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Great Lakes Waters Can Take A Savage Toll On Swimmers

12 hours ago

The Great Lakes have more coastline for beaches than the United States' East and West coasts combined. There are thousands of beaches — and hundreds of drownings each year, in part because of dangerous currents that are very different from those found in the ocean.

Regulators in Salem, gardeners in Portland, lab technicians in Washington — they've all been studying toxic lead this summer. Health regulators want to add one more group to that list: building contractors.

“As many as 50 percent of all poisoning cases result from some kind of renovation activities in homes," said Perry Cabot, lead specialist in Multnomah County's Public Health Department. "That is the next big thing that’s been really tackled, but not fully and not successfully yet around the country.”

It was a rough morning for U.S. attorneys arguing the federal government's case against Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and six other defendants accused of conspiring to occupy an Oregon wildlife refuge.

A visibly frustrated Judge Anna Brown struck from the record a previous ruling that effectively allowed evidence from defendants' Facebook accounts into next month’s trial.

A series of medical images published Tuesday offer the most complete picture, so far, of how the Zika virus can damage the brain of a fetus.

"The images show the worst brain infections that doctors will ever see," says Dr. Deborah Levine, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who contributed to the study. "Zika is such a severe infection [in fetuses]. Most doctors will have never seen brains like this before."

The nation's first "soda tax" on sugar-sweetened beverages, which went into effect in Berkeley, Calif., last year, appears to be working.

According to a new study, consumption of sugary drinks — at least in some neighborhoods — is down by a whopping 20 percent.

It's been a rough summer for supporters of Donald Trump.

A convention that aimed for harmony had some disharmony. The candidate picked arguments with a Gold Star family and with Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Polls have shown Trump falling behind.

At a recent rally in Altoona, Pa., Trump told the crowd that the only way he could lose Pennsylvania — a state where he is polling well behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton — would be in the event of a fix.

Author Lawrence Wright was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, which meant he was required to do two years of what was called "alternative service." He ended up in Egypt, teaching at the American University in Cairo. And it was there that the man from Texas started his obsession with the Middle East.

Since then, Wright has written a lot about the region and about terrorism as a staff writer for The New Yorker. Now, he has compiled his many New Yorker essays into a new book called The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.

The Clinton Foundation is working now to "spin off" or "find partners" for many of its programs, including all international activities and programs funded by foreign and corporate donors, the head of the Clinton Foundation told NPR's Peter Overby. The "unraveling," which would be an attempt to prevent conflicts, would go into effect if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Firefighters have reached full containment of a blaze east of Los Angeles that forced tens of thousands to evacuate their homes. At the same time, multiple wildfires continued to challenge crews throughout the state.

California's Department of Forestry and Fire Information declared the Blue Cut Fire 100 percent contained Tuesday — but not before the 36,000-acre fire destroyed nearly 100 homes and forced the evacuation of 80,000 people in San Bernardino County.

It started with a report and erupted into a controversy involving a mufti, a Russian Orthodox priest and a rabbi.

The subject: female genital mutilation.

Mike Pence sat down in Henry Jones' barbershop in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, during a campaign swing — and the media came along for the ride.

CNN streamed 20 minutes of silence and small talk on Facebook Live, as Pence got a trim. Watch it here:

Among the moments captured on camera:

Pence: You've been at this location since '92?

Jones: Yes

Pence: It's a good location

After looking in a mirror and proclaiming it a "great haircut — perfect," Pence applauded, then walked behind the chair to shake Jones' hand.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Back in 1972, John Lennon hired Leon Wildes, an immigration attorney who had no idea who he was.

Wildes' son, Michael, remembers his father coming home to tell his mother about their first meeting.

"And he said, 'A singer by the name of Jack Lemon and his wife Yoko Moto,' " Michael recalls. "My mom looked at him like he wasn't well. 'Are you talking about the Beatles and John Lennon?' My father said, 'Yeah!' "

It was a tragic turning point.

On July 11, South Sudanese soldiers invaded a hotel in the capital city of Juba and gang-raped foreign aid workers.

"The soldiers just came to the bathroom where all the girls were hiding and they just picked us out of the bathroom one by one," says one of the women who was in the hotel. She asked that her name not be used.

Despite calls for help to the U.N. compound a mile down the road, no one came.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled 3-1 Tuesday that graduate students working as teaching or research assistants at private universities are employees with the right to collective bargaining.

The decision comes in response to a petition filed by the Graduate Workers of Columbia-GWC and the United Autoworkers Union, which has been seeking to represent grad student assistants at Columbia University.

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit yesterday. She claims that Roger Ailes and Fox News executives punished her for complaining about sexual harassment.

NPR’s David Folkenflik joins Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the latest media news, including the Tantaros lawsuit and coverage of the U.S. Olympic swimmers’ robbery allegations in Rio.

The National Parks Service has been making an effort to get more people, especially young people and minorities, to visit and to care about America’s parks.

Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson talks with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who oversees the National Park Service, about those efforts, as well as the challenges of climate change, funding, congestion and whether the Obama Administration will protect more public land before he leaves office.

When companies know about problems, they’re often reluctant to admit them publicly.

But it’s better when they do, because when the media exposes their problems, the negative publicity can do lasting damage. Recent examples include Volkswagen and Theranos.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti hears more from Curt Nickisch, senior editor at Harvard Business Review.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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