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Parallels
12:59 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Islanders Pushed Out For U.S. Base Hope For End To 40-Year Exile

Chagossians weep at the grave of their parents on Peros Banos Island April 10, 2006. Fifteen elders are allowed to visit once a year.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 2:11 pm

One of the most important U.S. military bases in the world sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean on an atoll called Diego Garcia. It's the largest of the Chagos Islands, a British territory far from any mainland that is spread out across hundreds of miles. Thousands of people, called Chagossians, used to live on Diego Garcia.

The U.S. military moved in in the 1970s only after the British government forced the entire Chagossian population to leave.

For more than 40 years, the islanders have been fighting to return. Now, it seems they have a growing chance.

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The Salt
12:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

How Almonds Became A Scapegoat For California's Drought

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:05 am

You may have heard by now that it takes one gallon of water to produce just one almond. And those are considered fighting words in drought-stricken California, which produces 80 percent of the world's supply of the tasty and nutritious nut.

So when almond grower Daniel Bays hears that, he just shakes his head.

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U.S.
12:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

A North Dakota Family Breaks The Silence On Gay Marriage

In rural North Dakota, where Melanie Hoffert grew up on her family farm, discussing subjects like homosexuality and same-sex marriage is often considered taboo.
Courtesy of Beacon Press

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 5:27 am

All this week, Morning Edition is listening to people think out loud about same-sex marriage in North Dakota, one of 13 states that still ban same-sex marriage. Thursday's story looks at discussions about same-sex marriage among families — a subject some feel is often too taboo to tackle.

Melanie Hoffert grew up on a farm near the town of Wahpeton, N.D. She called her new memoir Prairie Silence because around here, people prefer not to talk about hard things in the open.

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Shots - Health News
12:49 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Tylenol Might Dull Emotional Pain, Too

Paul Taylor Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 1:18 pm

A common pain medication might make you go from "so cute!" to "so what?" when you look at a photo of a kitten. And it might make you less sensitive to horrifying things, too. It's acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Researchers say the drug might be taking the edge off emotions — not just pain.

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Parallels
12:46 am
Thu April 16, 2015

An American Journalist Explains Why He Had To Flee Iraq

American journalist Ned Parker (foreground) is the Reuters bureau chief in Baghdad. He fled Iraq last week after receiving threats in response to reports on human rights abuses by Shiite militias allied with Iraq's government. He's shown here at Iraq's Foreign Ministry in 2007.
Courtesy of Ned Parker

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 9:05 am

When the U.S. withdrew its troops from Iraq in 2011, many American news organizations followed suit, scaling back or shutting down their bureaus. Ned Parker was among a handful of American journalists who continued to report from the country.

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NPR Story
5:59 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Scientists Track Longest Mammal Migration Ever Recorded

A western gray whale is pictured off Sakhalin Island, Russia. In the 1970s, scientists thought the western gray whale had gone extinct. Now researchers estimate that about 150 individual whales remain.

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 11:17 am

A western gray whale has completed a nearly 14,000-mile journey from Sakhalin Island, Russia, to Baja California, Mexico — the longest mammal migration ever recorded.

In the early 1970s, scientists thought the western gray whale had gone extinct. Now researchers estimate about 150 individual whales remain.

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NPR Story
5:40 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Oil Refinery Could Be Built In Longview Or Elsewhere In The Northwest

A regional oil spill task force is bracing for the risks that come along with more crude oil traveling by rail.

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 1:50 pm

An energy company says it's looking at several locations in Oregon and Washington as potential sites for what could be the West Coast’s first crude oil refinery in more than 25 years.

Riverside Energy Inc. CEO Louis J. Soumas said Wednesday his company has engaged in discussions with a variety of locations in the two states in its pursuit of a place to build such a facility.

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The Salt
3:47 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Nut So Fast, Kind Bars: FDA Smacks Snacks On Health Claims

According to the Food and Drug Administration, there were four flavors of Kind bar that were misbranded when the agency reviewed them in August 2014.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:14 pm

If you're deciding between a candy bar and a fruit-and-nut bar, and health is top of mind, the best choice seems obvious.

But when it comes to companies actually labeling their products "healthy," the Food and Drug Administration is showing it won't pull any punches. In a letter dated March 17 that was released this week, the agency called out the snack food company Kind for violating labeling rules by putting the word "healthy" on the packaging for some of its bars.

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The Salt
3:25 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Street Food No More: Bug Snacks Move To Store Shelves In Thailand

The new line of HiSo edible insects. The fried crickets are on the top row, in order: original flavor, cheese, barbecue, seaweed. The fried silkworm pupae snacks are seen on the bottom row, in the same order of flavors.
Michael Sullivan for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:37 pm

C'mon, who doesn't like bugs in a bag? Crunchy little critters that are good and good for you? Panitan Tongsiri is hoping the answer is: no one.

The 29-year-old Thai entrepreneur is trying to change the way Thais eat insects — OK, the way some Thais eat insects — one bag at a time.

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National Security
2:36 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

President Obama To Remove Cuba From State-Sponsored Terrorism List

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:52 pm

President Obama intends to take Cuba off of the list of state sponsors of terrorism, and now Congress has a month and a half to decide if it wants to stop the process. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, who led the negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba.

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Politics
2:36 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Sen. Corker Says Congress Didn't Yield On Compromise Iran Bill

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:52 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Law
2:36 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Seattle Police Body Camera Program Highlights Unexpected Issues

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:52 pm

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with the Seattle Police Department's Chief Operating Officer Mike Wagers about the challenges that bodycams and dashcams present to the department. In addition to figuring out how to give the public access to the video evidence, police also have to decide the purpose of the cameras and how much control officers should have over them.

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Shots - Health News
2:25 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Why Knuckles Crack

NPR intern Poncie Rutsch takes a crack at making a big sound.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 1:19 pm

Scientists think they may have solved an old question about the cracking of knuckles: Why does it make that sound?

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

New Discovery Of World's Oldest Stone Tools

This undated image provided by the journal, Nature, shows an archaeological site, near Lake Turkana in Kenya.
Rhonda L. Quinn/Nature AP

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:35 am

Scientists working in East Africa say they've unearthed the oldest stone tools ever found. They were apparently made 500,000 years before the human lineage evolved.

A team led by Sonia Harmand from Stony Brook University in New York found the tools in Kenya, near Lake Turkana. It's an area that's yielded numerous fossils and tools from early humans.

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Business
1:19 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Online Crafts Marketplace Etsy Prepares For Public Offering

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:52 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Animals
1:19 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Chicago-Area Dog Flu Outbreak Rises To Over 1,000 Cases

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:52 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Pet owners in the Chicago area are hearing messages like this when they check in with their veterinarians.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUTOMATED MESSAGE)

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Around the Nation
1:19 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Bostonians Mark 2nd Anniversary Of Marathon Bombing

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:49 pm

Bostonians marked the second anniversary of the marathon bombing Wednesday, all while awaiting the sentencing phase of convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to begin. The jury must decide on death or life in prison — a fact that hung over the day's events.

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

Law
12:38 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Former FBI Agent Speaks Out: 'I Was Not Protected'

FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:52 pm

Robyn Gritz spent 16 years at the FBI, where she investigated a series of major national security threats. But she says she got crosswise with her supervisors, who pushed her out and yanked her security clearance.

For the first time, she's speaking out about her situation, warning about how the bureau treats women and the effects of a decade of fighting terrorism.

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Shots - Health News
11:49 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Personalizing Cancer Treatment With Genetic Tests Can Be Tricky

Sequencing the genes of a cancer cell turns up lots of genetic mutations — but some of them are harmless. The goal is to figure out which mutations are the troublemakers.
Kevin Curtis Science Source

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:52 pm

It's becoming routine for cancer doctors to order a detailed genetic test of a patient's tumor to help guide treatment, but often those results are ambiguous. Researchers writing in Science Translational Medicine Wednesday say there's a way to make these expensive tests more useful.

Here's the issue: These genomic tests scan hundreds or even thousands of genes looking for mutations that cause or promote cancer growth. In the process, they uncover many mutations that scientists simply don't know how to interpret — some may be harmless.

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Television
11:48 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Billy Crystal And Josh Gad: Separated By A Generation But United By Laughs

Billy Crystal (left) says that onstage Josh Gad (right) "lights up."
Ray Mickshaw FX

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 2:58 pm

In the new FX series The Comedians, Billy Crystal and Josh Gad star as satirical versions of themselves. The show is about how the two comedians are hesitant to work together and share the spotlight, but they do, and they begin a strained relationship, in which they're separated from each other by a generational comedy gap.

But in real life, when Crystal and Gad met, they hit it off.

"Even though there's 30-something years between us, there's a lot of commonalities and a lot of interesting parallels in our careers," Crystal tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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