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Shots - Health News
12:30 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Mysterious Kidney Disease Slays Farmworkers In Central America

Loved ones express their grief at the burial of Ramon Romero Ramirez in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, January 2013. The 36-year-old died of chronic kidney disease after working in the sugar cane fields for 12 years. Ramirez is part of a steady procession of deaths among cane workers.
Ed Kashi VII

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 4:32 am

Manuel Antonio Tejarino used to be a lean, fit field hand. During the sugar cane harvest, he'd swing a machete for hours, hacking at the thick, towering stalks.

Now Tejarino is slumped in a faded, cloth deck chair outside his sister's house on the outskirts of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.

Tejarino's kidneys are failing. He's grown gaunt. His arms droop by his side. In the tropical midday heat, he alternates between wiping sweat off his brow and pulling a sweatshirt up over his bare chest.

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Primordial Response
4:38 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Lab Rats May Be Stressed By Men, Which May Skew Experiments

A worker holds a white rodent at the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy in Chengdu, China. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that mice left alone with a man had increased levels of the hormone corticosterone.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 3:40 pm

During the course of an experiment, students at McGill University in Montreal noticed something odd: Rodents didn't seem to be showing signs of pain if they were handled by male students.

The observation led to an experiment, which led to a finding that when mice are left alone with a man, they had an increase in the hormone corticosterone, which acts like a pain reliever.

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Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Obamacare Enrollees Emboldened To Leave Jobs, Start Businesses

Mike Smith, of Long Beach, Calif., now pays $200 for his family's health insurance policy, compared with the $3,000 a month he would have had to pay on the individual market last year.
Stephanie O'Neill for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 9:10 am

Until recently, Mike Smith, 64, of Long Beach, Calif., worked 11 hours a day, Monday through Friday and then half a day on Saturday. He was a district manager for a national auto parts chain.

He dreamed of retiring early, but it wasn't an option for him because he and his wife relied on the health insurance tied to his job.

"At our age, with some pre-existing medical conditions, it would have been very costly to buy insurance on the open market — about $3,000 a month," he says.

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Genetic Changes
2:47 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Mom's Diet Right Before Pregnancy Can Alter Baby's Genes

Even before you were a twinkle in your mom's eye, what she ate — and didn't eat enough of — may have helped shape you.
George Marks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:59 am

Pregnant women have heard it time and time again: What you eat during those nine months can have long-term effects on your child's health.

Heck, one study even found that when pregnant women eat a diverse diet, the resulting babies are less picky in the foods they choose.

So what about mom's eating habits before she even knows she's pregnant?

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Paris Bridges
2:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

In The City Of Love, There's No Love Lost For Tourists' Love Locks

Couples stand on the Pont des Arts, Paris' iconic footbridge over the Seine river, where thousands upon thousands of padlocks bearing love messages are attached to the railing, on Aug. 30, 2013.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 4:40 pm

Bearing messages ranging from the inspiring to the insipid, "love locks" can be found clamped onto bridges in major cities around the world. But no place has it worse than Paris, where the padlocks cover old bridges in a kind of urban barnacle, climbing up every free surface.

Take the Pont des Arts, Paris' most famous footbridge across the Seine river. Hundreds of thousands of padlocks cover its old iron railings; the light of day barely passes through them.

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Around the Nation
2:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

If You Want Flextime But Are Afraid To Ask, Consider Moving

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 8:23 am

More companies than ever before say that they're offering flexible hours or telecommuting to their workers. Still, San Francisco and the state of Vermont are trying a new approach to push businesses to do more: They're using the law.

Starting this year, employees in both places have the right to ask for a flexible or predictable work schedule, without fear of retaliation.

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Death Penalty
2:40 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

UPDATED: After One Botched Execution, Oklahoma Stays A Second

This file photo combo of images provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows Clayton Lockett, left, and Charles Warner.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 8:12 pm

Update at 8:19 p.m. ET. Execution Fails:

According to reporters tweeting from inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, the execution of Clayton D. Lockett has failed. Lockett died of a heart attack after the execution was aborted.

The execution of Charles Warner, which was supposed to take place at 9 p.m. ET., was stayed by Corrections Director Robert Patton.

According to the AP reporter on the scene, about 34 minutes after the execution was scheduled to begin, Lockett was still conscious.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Reactions To NBA's Ban Of Clippers Owner Donald Sterling

Former and current NBA players (from left) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Roger Mason, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the Lakers' Steve Nash and former Laker and Clipper Norm Nixon, welcome the NBA's ban of Clippers owner Donald Sterling Tuesday.
Noel Vasquez Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 8:24 pm

Current and former NBA players praised the league's decision to punish LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime ban over racist remarks he made in an audio recording. Commissioner Adam Silver announced the punishment Tuesday, days after the audio emerged.

In addition to the lifetime ban, the NBA also fined Sterling $2.5 million.

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Business
2:01 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

From Waltz To '90s Icon: The Unforgettable Life Of The Nokia Ringtone

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 9:06 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There was a time when cell phones were used to make calls and many of the calls were defined by this.

(SOUNDBITE OF NOKIA RINGTONE)

SIEGEL: The Nokia ringtone, it was introduced in 1994. Last Friday, Nokia - once the world's cell phone leader - sold its dwindling phone business to Microsoft for a lot of money, seven and a half billion dollars.

Until today, no one had said what becomes of that ringtone, a tune Nokia says is played about 20,000 times a second worldwide.

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It's All Politics
1:57 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Poll: Young Voters Uninterested In November 2014 Elections

A young Miami voter wears her "I voted today" sticker in October 2012.
J Pat Carter AP

Youth is a time of idealism and energy, except, perhaps, when it comes to voting in the midterm elections.

A new Harvard Institute of Politics poll finds that interest in voting in the November 2014 elections among 18- to 29-year-old voters is lower now than just several months ago — and even lower than it was at a similar point in 2010.

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NPR Story
1:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Sterling Banned For Life By The NBA

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation.

Commissioner Adam Silver said he will try to force the controversial owner to sell his franchise. Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million, and Silver made no effort to hide his outrage over the comments.

He said a league investigation found that the league’s longest-tenured owner was in fact the person on the audiotapes that were released over the weekend.

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NPR Story
1:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

NBA Bans Clippers Owner Donald Sterling For Life

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says that after an investigation that verified it was Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments in audio released over the weekend, the NBA will ban him for life.

Silver says the NBA will also fine Sterling $2.5 million — the maximum fine allowed — and pressure Sterling to sell the team.

Doug Tribou of NPR’s Only a Game joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the decision by the NBA.

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NPR Story
1:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Craig Ferguson To Leave 'The Late Late Show'

After a ten year stretch with “The Late Late Show”, Craig Ferguson has announced his plans to step down as host. (Sonja Flemming/CBS)

CBS is losing yet another late-night host. After a 10-year stretch with “The Late Late Show,” Craig Ferguson has announced his plans to step down as host.

Ferguson’s announcement comes less than a month after David Letterman broke the news to his studio audience that he would be retiring from the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

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Education
1:28 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Small Gains, But Much Left To Fix, In Campus Sexual Assault Cases

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 4:40 pm

In 2010, NPR's Joe Shapiro led an investigation into sexual assault on college campuses. As the White House releases its own report on the subject, Shapiro explains what's changed since 2010 — and what hasn't.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Salt
1:24 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

In This Turkish Town, Liver (And Olive Oil Wrestling) Are King

Fried liver, an Edirne specialty.
Farzana Quaraishi Benabdeljalil Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 8:55 am

If we mention the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne, tucked up near the borders with Greece and Bulgaria, you may think, "Oh brother, not another story about olive oil wrestling."

Yes, it's true that each summer for the last 650 or so years Edirne has hosted the Kirkpinar Olive Oil Wrestling Festival, in which half-naked men slathered in fragrant oil grapple in the grass. It's activity that's even recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Event.

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