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The Two-Way
7:30 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

House Votes To Cut Student Loan Rate, Sends Bill To Obama

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 8:08 pm

The Republican-controlled House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to cut the cost of borrowing for federal student loans, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.

The bill, which had easily passed the Democratic-controlled Senate last week, would retroactively cut higher rates — which on July 1 had jumped to at least 6.8 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:01 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

NSA Chief To Hackers: Analysts Don't Abuse Their Power

U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The director of the National Security Agency faced a tough crowd at the premier yearly gathering of hackers in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander gave the keynote address at the Black Hat USA convention on the same day the British newspaper The Guardian published more details on a top-secret program that collects vast amount of data transmitted over the Internet.

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All Tech Considered
6:11 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Tampon Marketing Gets Real For The Social Media Age

"We just thought we were telling this endearing story women could relate to," says HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom.
Courtesy of HelloFlo

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:08 am

Advertising for feminine hygiene products was traditionally so cheesy that it invited mockery far and wide. There was something so laughable and incongruent about maxi pad commercials that featured blue liquid and girls dancing on beaches.

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It's All Politics
6:05 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

As His Campaign Craters, Weiner Picks Fight Over Flight

Anthony Weiner listens to a question from the media after courting voters outside a Harlem subway station in May.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Back in the day, when Anthony Weiner was still a youthful Democratic representative from Brooklyn, before the dirty texts and the penis photos chased him from Washington, before his scrabbling, sinking campaign for New York City mayor, he strove to emulate his predecessor.

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Around the Nation
6:05 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Twice Rejected, LGBT Group Won't Give Up On Boy Scout Bid

Senicka Arciaga-Spears (left), with his siblings and mothers, Kelly and Eliza. Senicka hopes to join the Boy Scouts if the Utah Pride Center's troop charter application is accepted.
Terry Gildea KUER

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:45 pm

Seventh-grader Senicka Arciaga-Spears wants to be a Boy Scout. Over a homemade Sunday evening dinner, he tells his two moms, Eliza and Kelly, that he wants to learn survival skills — including fishing and "dangerous hiking."

Eliza would like her son to join the Scouts, too. "They teach discipline and obedience and respect and self-sufficiency. I want that for him," she says. "I want him to learn those things and be surrounded by those things."

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Sports
5:34 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Is It Fair For Baseball To Reject Drugs But Embrace Surgery?

Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers has been suspended for the rest of the 2013 season after violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.
Mike McGinnis Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 1:05 pm

Doping in sports is back in the news and you don't need to be a sports fan to have heard about it. The PBS Newshour devoted a segment to the recent disclosure that Tyson Gay, America's top sprinter and self-declared Mr. Clean, had failed a drug test.

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Americas
5:05 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Pope's Visit: A Bumpy Test Run For Rio's World Cup, Olympics

Hundreds of thousands of people crowd Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday as Pope Francis celebrates the final Mass of his visit to Brazil. Security lapses, traffic chaos and other logistical snafus marred the visit.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 7:47 pm

While the recent World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro were a success for Pope Francis, they certainly weren't for the city government. Accusations of disorganization and transport failures have left residents wondering if Rio is really ready to host both the World Cup and the Olympics.

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Immigration
5:01 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Immigration Program Fails To Attract Eligible Applicants

The Mexican Consulate processes IDs at an area school. The New York Immigration Coalition goes to events like this one to find immigrants who are eligible for DACA.
Melanie Reyes The New York Immigration Coalition

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:05 pm

Teenagers and young adults who arrived in the U.S. illegally before they turned 16 have a chance at temporary legal status. A government program — the Deferred Action for Early Childhood arrivals program — gives them a Social Security number and protection from deportation.

But most who are eligible haven't applied. And advocates such as Melanie Reyes are trying to change that.

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Sports
4:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

For One Seniors Basketball Team, The Game Never Gets Old

She-Ca-Go's Leona Cochran attempts to block Jo Cahill's shot during the team's game against the Colorado Combos at the National Senior Games in Cleveland on Monday.
Benjamin Morris for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:05 pm

As athletes age, participation in team sports seems to fall by the wayside in favor of more low-impact activities like swimming and walking. But that's not for everyone. The National Senior Games finishes a two-week run in Cleveland on Thursday. The players for She-Ca-Go, a women's basketball team in the 75-to-79 age division, are still in it for the camaraderie and competition.

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Energy
4:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Canadian Regulators Investigate Mysterious Tar Sands Spills

Roughnecks build a drilling rig at the MEG Energy site near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. In addition to large, open-pit mining operations, tar sands oil can be extracted from the ground by pumping down high-pressure steam.
Michael S. Williamson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:05 pm

Government regulators in Canada are investigating a series of mysterious oil spills around tar sands operations in Alberta. Thick oil is gurgling up unexpectedly from the ground instead of flowing through the wells that were built to collect it.

The spills are raising questions about a technology that's rapidly expanding to extract fossil fuels that could ultimately end up in the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

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Media
4:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Local Kentucky TV Station Wants To 'Un-Hype' The News

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

In local TV news, one of the most basic ways to appeal to viewers is to constantly promise breaking news, but one station in Louisville, Kentucky, is taking a different approach. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik tells us more.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: The spot is for WDRB television in Louisville.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV BROADCAST)

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Africa
4:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Opposition Claims Zimbabwe Elections Were Manipulated

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:05 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The people of Zimbabwe cast ballots today for their next president. It's a two-horse race. Longtime president Robert Mugabe is once again being challenged by opposition leader and prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Violence and fear that followed an election five years ago have eased, but the opposition is again making claims that the election has been manipulated.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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National Security
4:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Bradley Manning Had Long Been Plagued By Mental Health Issues

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:05 pm

Sentencing began Wednesday in the trial of Army Pvt. Bradley Manning. Journalist Steve Fishman wrote an in-depth profile of Manning for New York Magazine. He speaks to Melissa Block about the famed Wikileaker who faces years in prison.

Shots - Health News
4:13 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Potential Treatment For Snakebites Leads To A Paralyzing Test

The bite of a cobra can paralyze its victims and, if enough venom is released, fatally stop their breathing. It's estimated that more than 75 percent of patients in India who die from a snake's bite never make it to the hospital.
STRDEL AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:38 am

Each year, as many as 125,000 people around the world die from venomous snakebites, often because they live in remote, rural areas and didn't get to a hospital in time to get treatment. Toxins in the venom of snakes like cobras and kraits slowly paralyze their victims, who ultimately die of suffocation.

A San Francisco emergency room physician says he may have the beginnings of a workaround that could fend off paralysis and save many of those lives.

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Health Care
4:06 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Nurse Charged With Assisting In Her Father's Death

Barbara Mancini with her father, Joe Yourshaw.
Barbara Mancini via Compassion & Choices

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:22 pm

A Philadelphia nurse has been charged with assisted suicide for allegedly providing her 93-year-old father with a lethal dose of morphine.

Authorities say Barbara Mancini, 57, told a hospice nurse and a police officer on Feb. 7 that she provided a vial of morphine to her father, Joe Yourshaw, to hasten his death.

Mancini and her attorneys acknowledge she handed the medication to her father, but maintain she never said she intended to help him end his life and was only trying to help her father ease his pain — an act they say is legally protected, even if it causes death.

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