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2:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Hashtag Activism In 2014: Tweeting 'Why I Stayed'

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:26 pm

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

The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Woman Who Challenged Facebook's Age Limit Dies At 114

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:03 pm

Anna Stoehr became an Internet celebrity at age 113, when she owned up to fibbing on her Facebook account so she could join the social network. It was an unpredictable turn of events for Stoehr, who was born before the Wright brothers took their historic first flight. She died Sunday at age 114.

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NPR Ed
12:33 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

An Update From New Orleans

Students at KIPP Central City Primary School raise their hands during a social studies class on August 14, 2014 in New Orleans. The school's student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.
Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 11:34 pm

NPR Ed is updating readers on some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

All this year, NPR Ed has been exploring the dramatic changes to the New Orleans school system, where more than nine out of ten children attend charter schools, most run by the state Recovery School District.

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The Salt
12:28 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Record Number Of Britons Are Using Food Banks

At the We Care food bank in Southeast London, customers pay 1 pound sterling, or about $1.60, for 10 items. The token payment is meant to ease customers' discomfort about having to use the food bank's services.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:26 pm

The United Kingdom is struggling with a situation that may sound familiar to Americans. The economy is expanding, unemployment is dropping, yet growing numbers of people don't have enough food to eat.

Six months ago, Peter Brogan was among those Britons going hungry. He'd lived a comfortable middle-class existence for the first 50 years of his life, with a house, a job and a relationship. Then the relationship fell apart, and so did his life. Between alcoholism and depression, he couldn't keep his head above water.

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Goats and Soda
11:47 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Floating Toilets That Clean Themselves Grow On A Lake

During the dry season, human waste makes the water putrid along the floating village of Prek Toal on Tonle Sap Lake.
Courtesy of Taber Hand

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 9:03 am

Imagine you live on a floating lake house. Open air. Chirping crickets. Clear, starry nights. Everything seems great until you need to use the bathroom.

The natural instinct might be to make a deposit in the water. But that wouldn't be safe. Microbes in your feces would contaminate the water and could cause outbreaks of deadly diseases, like cholera.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Tue December 23, 2014

FDA Proposes End To Lifetime Ban On Gay Blood Donors

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 12:40 pm

Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET

Men who haven't had sexual contact with other men in a year will be allowed to donate blood under a policy change the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it will recommend.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Tue December 23, 2014

'The Interview' To Play In More Than 200 Theaters On Christmas Day

A poster for The Interview. Some theaters now say they will show the comedy, which Sony Pictures had pulled following threats.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:32 am

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

More than 200 theaters will now show The Interview on Christmas Day, a spokesperson for Sony Pictures tells NPR.

Sony had pulled the controversial comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after ominous threats were made, allegedly by a group that hacked the studio's emails. The nation's largest theater chains had also said they won't show the movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue December 23, 2014

WATCH: Monkey Revives Dying Friend At Indian Train Station

A screengrab of a monkey reviving his friend in Kanpur, India.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:50 pm

Monkey see. Monkey do.

A monkey in Kanpur, India, fell unconscious alongside train tracks after walking on a power line. A friend jumped in and used resuscitation techniques not unfamiliar to EMTs [not the biting].

A passenger on the platform captured the whole thing. You can watch what happened here:

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The Salt
9:43 am
Tue December 23, 2014

For Australian Christmas, Everything's Overturned But The Pudding

Australian Christmas today is characterized by gastronomic eclecticism. Many of us have abandoned the old British customs — except for the rich and alcoholic Christmas pudding.
Edward Shaw iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 9:58 am

Americans know Australia as the land Down Under, and one consequence of this geographical flip is that Christmas here falls at the height of summer.

Our 100-degree temperatures aren't exactly conducive to cooking with a hot oven — although early colonists gave it their best shot.

But it wasn't long before Australians began to rebel, ditching the formal dining room for the pleasures of a picnic spread at the beach or a shady glade. Over the years, many of us have abandoned the old British customs altogether.

Except for Christmas pudding.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Tue December 23, 2014

New York's Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty To Tax Charge

Rep. Michael Grimm, seen here after voting in the Staten Island borough of New York City, was indicted on 20 criminal counts earlier this year.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 12:49 pm

Rep. Michael Grimm, the New York Republican who won re-election despite being indicted on 20 criminal counts related to a restaurant he owns, pleaded guilty to one charge of felony tax evasion Tuesday. He'll be sentenced in June; calls for him to leave Congress began Tuesday morning.

Grimm, a former FBI agent who represents Staten Island and south Brooklyn, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges that included mail fraud and perjury.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Irish Court Weighs Ending Life Support For Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 2:05 pm

Ireland's High Court is hearing a case about a brain-dead woman who has been kept on life support — over the objections of her parents and her partner — so her fetus may have a chance at survival.

"My daughter is dead; the chances of the fetus surviving are minimal, we have been told," the father of the unnamed 20-something-year-old woman told the court today. "I want her to have dignity and be put to rest."

Her father said he was told she had died on Nov. 29.

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Shots - Health News
9:07 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Being Thin Doesn't Spare Asian-Americans From Diabetes Risk

iStockphoto

We know that you can be fat while still fit, but how about skinny and unhealthy? This may be the case for many Asian-Americans who look slim, but actually face a higher risk of diabetes than people belonging to other ethnic groups.

As a result, Asian-Americans should consider getting tested for diabetes at a lower body mass index than previously recommended, according to new guidelines published Tuesday by the American Diabetes Association.

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The Salt
8:57 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Farm Fresh? Natural? Eggs Not Always What They're Cracked Up To Be

Cage-free eggs for sale in 2008 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Joel Kramer/Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:49 pm

You're in the supermarket gathering ingredients for eggnog and a Christmas Bundt cake, and you're staring at a wall of egg cartons. They're plastered with terms that all sound pretty wonderful: All-Natural, Cage-Free, Free-Range, Farm Fresh, Organic, No Hormones, Omega-3. And so on.

And yet the longer you stare at them, the more confused you become. You are tired and hungry, so you just grab the cheapest one — or the one with the most adorable chicken illustration — and head for the checkout line.

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Parallels
8:40 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Kurds Put Their Independence Dreams On Hold

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters arrive Saturday in Sinjar in northern Iraq, where they have made gains against the Islamic State. The Kurds were talking about independence this summer, but now appear focused on fighting the Islamic State.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:42 pm

Soon after Kurdish peshmerga fighters broke a siege by Islamic State extremists around Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, Kurdish television reporters arrived to broadcast the riotous celebrations.

This was the largest gain by the Kurds against Islamist militants since August, when Islamic State fighters, also known as ISIS, threatened Irbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

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Goats and Soda
8:36 am
Tue December 23, 2014

In The Village: Wilbur Goes Home

Wilbur Sargunaraj visits a small house with a thatched roof, a medium-sized house and a "gigantic mansion" in his father's village.
Produced by Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR, John W. Poole and Ben de la Cruz/NPR.

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 10:48 am

If a guy wearing pajama pants and a necktie and sunglasses rang your doorbell and asked to make a video of your home, you'd probably slam the door so fast you'd shatter his lenses.

That's not what happened when Wilbur Sargunaraj went calling on various homeowners in his father's home village in the Tirunelveli district in southern India.

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Shots - Health News
8:31 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Can I Keep My Marketplace Insurance If I Enroll In Medicare?

Sally Elford Getty Images/Ikon Images

We have received a bunch of questions about enrolling in Medicare lately. Here are answers to two that came up recently.

My wife has been automatically re-enrolled in a silver policy on the Oklahoma health insurance marketplace. She will turn 65 and be enrolled in Medicare on May 1, 2015. Can she keep her silver policy when she is enrolled in Medicare? And, if she does, will she automatically lose her premium subsidy? Do we have to cancel the policy or will the insurer do it automatically?

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Keurig Recalls 7 Million Coffee Machines Following Reports Of Burns

Keurig is recalling 7 million Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with the model number K10 (previously identified as B31).
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 10:50 am

Keurig, the company that makes the popular single-serve coffee machines, is recalling 7 million Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with the model number K10 (previously identified as B31), the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Algerian Army Kills Leader Of Group That Beheaded Frenchman

A picture of French tourist and mountain guide Herve Gourdel, 55, who was killed after being kidnapped on Sept. 21 while hiking in Algeria's Djurdjura National Park. The leader of the group that killed Gourdel has been killed in a military attack.
Farouk Batiche AFP/Getty Images

A man who led a group that beheaded a French journalist has been killed in an attack by Algeria's military. Abdelmalek Gouri had been a wanted criminal in Algeria for nearly 20 years. His Islamic State splinter group claimed responsibility for killing hiker Herve Gourdel in September.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Tue December 23, 2014

U.S. Economy Grew At A 5 Percent Rate; Dow Surpasses 18,000

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 12:55 pm

The U.S. economy grew at a surprisingly fast 5 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2014, up sharply from the 3.9 percent of the last revision. The figure blew past the consensus estimate of 4.3 percent put forth by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

It's the fastest the U.S. economy has grown in one quarter in more than a decade: The GDP grew at a 6.9 percent pace in the third quarter of 2003.

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: Dow Tops 18,000 For First Time

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Orangutan Declared To Have Basic Legal Rights In Argentina

Sandra, an orangutan owned by the Buenos Aires Zoo, was given the right to leave the zoo after a court ruled she was entitled to more desirable living conditions.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 7:48 am

In what may be a first, an appeals court in Argentina has recognized a nonhuman as having basic legal rights. A Buenos Aires judge ruled in favor of advocates who are calling for more freedom for a 28-year-old orangutan who was born in a zoo.

The advocacy group filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the orangutan's behalf, which would require proof of a justified detention.

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