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Europe
1:58 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Controversial Austrian Law Encourages Teaching Islam In German

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 5:46 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, about revising a 1912 law giving Muslims the same rights as Christians and Jews. The new law would restrict foreign financing of mosques and Imams and encourage teaching Islam in German.

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

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National Security
1:58 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

The Strange World Of Guantanamo Bay's War Court

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:14 pm

From the tent city it's set up in, to a judge banning defense lawyers from mentioning a former CIA interpreter's having appeared before all of them, the war court in Guantanamo Bay borders on surreal. FBI infiltrations and hidden microphones — and a pile of evidence that remains classified — have hobbled the effort to try five Sept. 11 defendants who face death penalties should guilty verdicts ever be reached.

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Parallels
1:28 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Jordan's Fuzzy Definition Of Free Speech

Lina Ejeilat helped found the Jordanian online magazine 7iber (pronounced 'Hebber'). While the government encourages free expression in principle, many strict regulations remain, as noted by the satirical chart next to her.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 5:46 pm

Earlier this month, Jordan's Information Minister Mohammad Al-Momani told a conference that freedom of expression can contribute to stopping radicalization.

On the very same day, a military court in the capital Amman sentenced a man to 18 months in prison for a Facebook post that was seen as insulting a friendly country, the United Arab Emirates.

Momani spent years studying at Rice University in Houston, so he knows what Americans think of as free expression. But he sees it a little differently.

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World
1:27 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Edmonton 'Freezeway' Would Be Skating Lane For Commuters

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:38 am

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

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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Europe
1:27 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

French Authorities Pursue Drones Spotted Near Sensitive Sites

A drone is displayed Wednesday at Paris store Azur Modelisme. Law enforcement officials in the city are concerned about recent unexplained drone fly-bys of high-security sites, including the Eiffel Tower and the U.S. embassy.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:33 am

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History
5:20 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Even Pickaxes Couldn't Stop The Nation's First Oil Pipeline

Tanks holding oil in Pithole, Pa., in 1868. Samuel Van Syckel built his first pipeline over just five weeks in 1865. At 2 inches in diameter, it was tiny by modern standards — but it was an engineering marvel.
Drake Well Museum/Courtesy of PHMC

One-hundred-fifty years ago, a man named Samuel Van Syckel built the nation's first commercial oil pipeline in the rugged terrain of northwestern Pennsylvania.

His pipeline transformed how oil is transported — and it would change the modern world, too — but not before a battle that makes the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline look meek by comparison.

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Shots - Health News
1:59 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Gerbils Likely Pushed Plague To Europe in Middle Ages

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:43 am

Gerbils are a beloved classroom pet, but they might also be deadly killers. A study now claims that gerbils helped bring bubonic plague to Medieval Europe and contributed to the deaths of millions.

Plague is caused by bacteria (Yersinia pestis) found in rodents, and the fleas that live on rodents. The rodent that's usually Suspect Zero is the rat.

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Digital Life
1:59 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

A Stolen iPhone, A New Connection And Minor Celebrity In China

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 4:16 pm

Months after Buzzfeed writer Matt Stopera's phone was stolen, new pictures from China started uploading to his photo stream. He wrote about it and Chinese twitter, Weibo, picked it up. Kelly McEvers talks to Stopera about his stolen iPhone and newfound fame in China.

Law
1:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Little-Known Laws Help Sex Trafficking Victims Clear Criminal Records

This woman, who has had her prostitution charge wiped away, says she got the lotus tattoo to cover up the brand of a former pimp. "Once they put their name on me, I was their property," she adds. She says she got the word "persist" tattooed as a reminder to keep moving forward.
Evie Stone NPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:05 am

Advocates for women arrested on prostitution charges want the justice system to adopt a different approach. They say instead of being locked up, many prostitutes should actually be considered victims of human trafficking. And they're starting to offer those women a way to clean up the criminal records left behind.

One of them lives in an apartment not far from Dallas. Inside, a 24-year-old woman pushes up her sleeve to show off a tattoo of a lotus flower. The deep purple ink covers up an older mark.

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Parallels
1:27 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Jordan's King Balances Threats Abroad And Critics At Home

Jordanians marched in the streets of the capital Amman on Feb. 6 to show solidarity with the family of a pilot killed by the Islamic State in Syria. Jordanians also expressed support for the king's decision to take part in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.
Muhammad Hamed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 5:27 am

Jordan's King Abdullah has faced a delicate balancing act ever since he ascended the throne in 1999 following his father's death. His country shares borders with Iraq, Syria and Israel among others, and there always seems to be trouble in the neighborhood.

His latest challenge has been to convince Jordanians that it's in the country's interest to play a prominent role in the U.S.-led coalition against the self-declared Islamic State.

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Law
1:26 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Sniper Trial Could Be In Jury's Hands Soon

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 4:16 pm

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

Asia
1:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Indonesian Authorities Worried About Return Of Islamic Radicals

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 4:16 pm

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

Sports
3:40 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

'Cold Actually Feels Good' At The U.S. Winter Swimming Championship

Daina Bouquin competes in the first U.S. Winter Swimming Championships on Saturday in Lake Memphremagog near Newport, Vt. The event drew swimmers from around the world to race in icy water that was below 32 degrees F.
Herb Swanson for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 4:37 pm

One way to test your mettle in winter is to take one of those quick penguin plunges in icy water. But some stoic swimmers actually carve pools out of frozen lakes and race each other.

The sport of winter swimming is popular abroad, especially in Russia, Scandinavia and China. But last weekend, a newly formed organization to promote winter swimming in the United States held its first national competition on the Vermont-Quebec border.

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Author Interviews
3:40 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

'After Birth' Author On 'Mommy Wars': 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'

After Birth by Elisa Albert
Emily Jan NPR

Writer Elisa Albert believes that the so-called "Mommy Wars" have gone on long enough — they are both a distraction and a cop-out, she says. "It's a way of avoiding the actual issues, which is: Women don't have enough support for any of the choices that we make," Albert tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "We are pitted against each other and ultimately, then, are pitted against ourselves. And everybody is unhappy, and everybody feels judged. It doesn't have to be this way."

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Around the Nation
2:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Awash In Social Media, Cops Still Need The Public To Detect Threats

Some colleges and police departments are starting to use software that scans social media to identify local threats, but most tips still come from members of the public.
Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 8:30 am

On Valentine's Day weekend, Jonathan Hutson found himself exchanging tweets with somebody unpleasant: a Holocaust-denying anti-Semite, by the look of things.

Then Hutson looked up the person's earlier tweets. This guy was tweeting about shooting up a school. He said that he wanted to execute 30-plus grade-school kids."

So Hutson decided to draw the person out — "engage with him," as he puts it — to see if the threats were real.

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Parallels
2:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Jordan's Army Preps For A Bigger Role Against ISIS

Jordanian soldiers stand guard at the Iraq-Jordan border last year. Jordan also shares a border with Syria and has had to deal with a flood of refugees from both its neighbors over the past decade.
Jamal Nasrallah EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 1:55 pm

Jordan's King Abdullah was way out ahead of the people in his support of the war against the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS. Many Jordanians used to say it was someone else's war even though it's only a 90-minute drive from the capital, Amman, north to the Syrian border.

But Jordanian opinions changed dramatically after the horrific video in which ISIS immolated a Jordanian pilot, Moaz Kassasbeh, who was captured back in December.

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Parallels
2:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

In Battered Ukraine, Spirit Of Defiance Lives On In Maidan Square

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered in Maidan to mark the first anniversary of anti-government demonstrations that left scores of protesters dead.
Geovien So Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 3:40 pm

A year ago, clashes killed scores of anti-government protesters in Ukraine and the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the country.

Over the weekend, thousands of people turned out in Kiev's central square, known as the Maidan, to mark the anniversary.

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Law
1:44 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Virginia Caucus Hopes To Limit Police Data Collection, Storage

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 3:40 pm

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

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Salt
1:39 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Feeding Babies Foods With Peanuts Appears To Prevent Allergies

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 11:28 am

Babies at high risk for becoming allergic to peanuts are much less likely to develop the allergy if they are regularly fed foods containing the legumes starting in their first year of life.

That's according to a big new study released Monday involving hundreds of British babies. The researchers found that those who consumed the equivalent of about 4 heaping teaspoons of peanut butter each week, starting when they were between 4 and 11 months old, were about 80 percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy by their fifth birthday.

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Business
1:38 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

New Consumer Protections Hold Financial Advisors To Stricter Standards

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 3:48 pm

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

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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