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A protest Thursday in Portland drew hundreds of activists and spectators as an icebreaker working for Royal Dutch Shell, the Fennica, moved along the Willamette River and into the Columbia. protesters with Greenpeace USA attempted to stop the ship by blockade, as 13 people dangled from the St. Johns Bridge. Portland-based kayakers also attempted to block the icebreaker by swarming the river at times.

Marine Version Of F-35 Deemed 'Combat Ready'

Jul 31, 2015

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Eighteen years and nearly $400 billion since engineers begin outlining the initial concept, a small squadron of F-35B Lightning IIs has finally been declared ready to fight.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four items.

From NPR producer Sarah Handel:

To Haben Girma's grandmother, back in East Africa, it "seemed like magic." Her granddaughter, born deaf and blind, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and works as a civil rights attorney.

Nisha Saini has been practicing an Indian traditional health form called Ayurveda for more than 16 years. She runs a small alternative health center in Manhattan called New York Ayurveda, where customers can get massages and dietary advice. Over the counter, Saini sells an extensive array of traditional remedies concocted from herbs and spices. But there's one kind of Ayurvedic medicine she doesn't sell.

Advocates and inmates working to overhaul the criminal justice system will have to wait at least a little longer for congressional action.

The Republican leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley, said he won't hold a public event on sentencing reform proposals until after the August recess, as language is still being drafted by a bipartisan working group. And in the U.S. House, lawmakers and their aides will spend at least the next five weeks making adjustments to a sweeping bill sponsored by 40 Democrats and Republicans, sources told NPR Friday.

Stouts Creek Wildfire Expands Rapidly In Southern Oregon

Jul 31, 2015

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown invoked the state's Emergency Conflagration Act Thursday evening as the Stouts Creek Wildfire encroached on homes in Southwest Oregon.

The wildfire began Thursday afternoon and reached nearly 6,000 acres by the end of the day. The fire threatened about 50 homes 11 miles east of Canyonville in Douglas County. An additional 300 homes are at risk as hot and dry conditions are expected to fuel the blaze Friday.

An arson attack in the West Bank that killed an 18-month-old boy was being condemned widely on Friday, but the Palestinian Liberation Organization is putting the blame on the Israeli government.

The attack happened in the early morning hours of Friday when perpetrators firebombed a house in the village of Duma. According to the BBC, the perpetrators left behind some graffiti in Hebrew. On one wall, the Star of David was drawn right next to the word "revenge."

In a development that could change the way the deadly Ebola disease is fought, researchers have announced promising results of a new vaccine's trial in Guinea, one of several countries affected by a historic outbreak in West Africa.

"The estimated vaccine efficacy was 100 percent," a team of researchers say.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the winner is...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The International Olympic Committee has the honor to announce the host city of the Olympic Winter Games 2022 - Beijing.

(APPLAUSE)

The killing of Cecil, a Zimbabwean lion, by a dentist from Minnesota has turned an international spotlight on big game hunting. It's a thriving industry, with more than 1,000 organizations worldwide.

In a scathing 60-page report, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division says the St. Louis County Family Court has engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the constitutional rights of children caught up in the juvenile justice system.

Just over two-thirds of Californians who did not have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act went into full effect in 2014 are now covered, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The newly insured are much less likely to say that paying for health care is a problem, compared to when they were uninsured.

How Will Open-Source Research Help Cure Cancer?

Jul 31, 2015

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Fighting Cancer

About Jay Bradner's TED Talk

Giving away something that could make you a billion dollars sounds foolish. But Dr. Jay Bradner believes it's essential to share even the most prized scientific discoveries if we hope to find a cure for cancer.

Can Healthy Eating Reverse Some Cancers?

Jul 31, 2015

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Fighting Cancer

About Dean Ornish's TED Talk

Dr. Dean Ornish studied how lifestyle changes could help people with chronic heart disease; he wanted to figure out if there was a way to do the same with patients with some types of cancer.

What Does It Mean To Be A "Cancer Survivor"?

Jul 31, 2015

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Fighting Cancer

About Debra Jarvis' TED Talk

Debra Jarvis had breast cancer, but it doesn't define her, she says. Jarvis explains how clinging to the identity of "survivor" sometimes stifles personal growth.

About Debra Jarvis

Tonight, Look For A Rare (But Not Quite Blue) Moon

Jul 31, 2015

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

Get ready for a very rare event tonight — a blue moon.

But don't expect to see a new hue. A blue moon, at least according to the modern definition of the term, has nothing to do with color. It simply means a second full moon in the same calendar month.

As NASA explains in the video above: "Most blue moons appear pale gray and white, just like the moon you've seen on any other night."

Measuring The Power Of A Prison Education

Jul 31, 2015

The Obama administration Friday is taking a small step toward expanding adult prisoners' access to federal Pell grants. The money would help pay for college-level classes behind bars.

New classified documents released by WikiLeaks purport to show that the United States spied on Japan's government, as well as on Japanese banks and companies, including Mitsubishi.

In one document marked "top secret," the U.S. allegedly distributed information from a conversation between cabinet-level officials from four ministries and Japan's chief cabinet secretary about Japan's G-8 proposals on climate change.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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