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3:35 am
Mon March 3, 2014

E-Cigarette Critics Worry New Ads Will Make 'Vaping' Cool For Kids

E-cigarettes was a $2 billion industry last year and it's expected to hit $5 billion this year.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 5:30 pm

Electronic cigarette makers are getting bold with their advertising, using provocative new print ads and celebrity endorsements on TV. But public health advocates say these images are luring kids to hook them on nicotine.

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Law
3:35 am
Mon March 3, 2014

With Death Penalty, How Should States Define Mental Disability?

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 11:11 am

Twelve years after banning the execution of the "mentally retarded," the U.S. Supreme Court is examining the question of who qualifies as having mental retardation, for purposes of capital cases, and who does not.

In 2002, the high court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that executing "mentally retarded" people is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. But the justices left it to the states to define mental retardation.

Now the court is focusing on what limits, if any, there are to those definitions.

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Shots - Health News
3:33 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Evidence On Marijuana's Health Effects Is Hazy At Best

C. Nash smokes after possession of marijuana became legal in Washington state on Dec. 6, 2012.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 9:23 am

Colorado opened its first pot stores in January, and adults in Washington state will be able to walk into a store and buy marijuana this summer. But this legalization of recreational marijuana is taking place without much information on the possible health effects.

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Shots - Health News
3:32 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Marijuana May Hurt The Developing Teen Brain

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 8:42 pm

The teenager's brain has a lot of developing to do: It must transform from the brain of a child into the brain of an adult. Some researchers worry how marijuana might affect that crucial process.

"Actually, in childhood our brain is larger," says Krista Lisdahl, director of the brain imaging and neuropsychology lab at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. "Then, during the teenage years, our brain is getting rid of those connections that weren't really used, and it prunes back.

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Monkey See
1:29 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Oscars 2014: Low On Laughs, But A Great Speech Or Two

At Sunday's Oscar ceremony, the feel-good win of the night came when 12 Years a Slave star Lupita Nyong'o took home the supporting-actress trophy.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 8:26 am

The big winner was 12 Years a Slave, but there was quite a bit of love to go around at Sunday night's Oscars. What there wasn't, as usual, was a lot of riveting television.

Sure, there was John Travolta squinting at the teleprompter and introducing Idina Menzel (to sing the Oscar-winning Best Original Song "Let It Go," from Frozen) as — no kidding — "Adele Dazeem." And there was a fun dance number featuring Pharrell Williams and his own Oscar-nominated "Happy," which he wore a formal black version of his Grammys hat to perform.

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Shots - Health News
12:03 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Noise Machines To Help Babies Sleep Can Raise Quite A Din

Noise machines to help infants fall asleep can be so loud that they pose a hazard, researchers say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 9:23 am

About a year ago, pediatric otolaryngologist Blake Papsin went into a patient's room at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He was surprised by the roar of a sleep machine the parents had brought to help their child conk out amid the beeps and buzzes of the hospital.

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Latin America
5:12 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

In Defiance Of Arrests, Protests Erupt Again In Venezuela

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 7:09 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Now to Venezuela where violent clashes continue between antigovernment protesters and national guard security forces who are using water cannons and tear gas to break up demonstrations. On Friday, dozens of people, including journalists, were arrested. And on Saturday, more protests erupted around the city. So far, 18 people have died.

Joining us now in Caracas is reporter Girish Gupta who has been covering the unrest. Girish, tell us what things are like there today.

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Europe
5:12 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

With Russian Military In Crimea, What's Next For Ukraine?

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 7:09 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Events in Ukraine have taken another dramatic turn. Russian forces now control Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. The Ukrainian government in Kiev is calling up its military reserves. Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia's military incursion is an incredible act of aggression. Kerry will meet with the new Ukrainian government in Kiev on Tuesday.

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Asia
5:12 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Corruption Blurs The Lines Of China's Mistress Culture

A passerby walks past a sign for an "hourly hotel" in a popular shopping district in Hong Kong. An recent anti-vice crackdown in China has targeted mistresses and sex workers as part of a social problem.
Antony Dickson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 7:09 pm

China's leader Xi Jinping has made a crackdown on corruption a centerpiece of his administration. He's vowed to root out corruption from the bottom to the top, or to use his expression, to "go after the tigers as well as the flies."

When it comes to corrupt, high-ranking officials, there's a reliable source for tips: scorned mistresses. Some have even taken to shaming their lovers on social media, and the scandals have made international headlines.

The Mistress Standard

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Books
5:12 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Roving Literary Death Match Aims To Breathe Life Into Literature

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 7:09 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Picture this, a group of writers - quiet, bookish, solitary - duking it out in a fight to the death. That's the idea behind Literary Death Match, a performance series that pits authors against each other - not physically but through readings from their own books. The show travels all over the country. Reporter Alex Schmidt was at a recent performance in Los Angeles and has the story.

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Europe
5:12 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

'Snow-How': The Winter Playbook At Nordic Airports

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 7:09 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

If you're just joining us, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

It's happening again. Yet another massive winter storm is covering much of the central U.S. with freezing rain and snow. Thousands of flights have already been cancelled across the country. Well, this would not be the case if you lived in any Nordic country. Nordic countries face brutal snow every year and their winter lasts five months. But their airports almost never close.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

China Blames Muslim Separatists For Deadly Knife Attack

The scene of a deadly knife attack at the railway station in Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan province on Saturday.
Sui Shui EPA/Landov

This post was updated at 2:10 p.m. ET.

A bizarre mass stabbing at a southern China rail station on Saturday that killed at least 29 people and wounded 143 others is being blamed on Muslim separatists.

As we reported on Saturday, the 10 knife-wielding assailants randomly stabbed people at the Kunming Railway Station in Yunnan province.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Get Ready For Yet Another Winter Storm

The National Weather Service calls for snow, ice or a "wintery mix" across much of the nation.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:44 pm

This post was updated at 4:30 p.m. ET.

It already has an ominous-sounding name: Winter Storm Titan. And it has much of the nation's mid-section in its sights.

The storm is the same system that that caused flash-flooding in California on Saturday and is now heading the Midwest and the Deep South on Sunday, where it will dump snow, ice or some combination of the two over a large swath of the country, according to The Weather Channel.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Is It Too Late For Ukraine To Take Back Crimea?

A Russian naval landing vessel enters one of the bays of Sevastopol, Crimea, on Sunday.
Andrew Lubimov AP

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 3:27 pm

This post was updated at 1:20 p.m. ET.

Russian forces appear to be digging in after seizing key assets in the Ukrainian republic of Crimea, and despite tough talk from Kiev's new leaders, the former Soviet satellite's under-manned and under-equipped military is no match for Moscow's battle-tested troops, experts say.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Kerry Will Travel To Kiev Amid Escalating Crisis

Ukrainian military personnel stand guard in the Crimean port city of Feodosia on Sunday. Ukraine is mobilizing for war, calling up reserve troops.
Thomas Peter Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 8:12 pm

This post was updated at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who has described Moscow's military intervention in the Crimea an "incredible act of aggression," will travel to Ukraine's capital on Tuesday to meet with the country's embattled government.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement late Sunday that Kerry "will meet with senior representatives of Ukraine's new government, leaders of the Rada [Ukraine's parliament], and members of the civil society."

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