Shots - Health Blog
4:48 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

India Marks A Year Free Of Polio

An Indian boy receives a polio vaccination from an Indian health worker in Amritsar last year.
Narinder Nanu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 5:08 pm

A year ago today, India saw its last recorded case of polio in an 18-month-old girl in West Bengal named Rukhsar Khatoon. She recovered without lasting paralysis.

One year without another case is an impressive milestone in the decades-long effort to wipe the poliovirus from the face of the planet. Only a few years ago, India reported more polio cases than anywhere else — as many as 100,000 cases a year.

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World Cafe
4:46 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Tori Amos On World Cafe

Tori Amos.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 2:30 pm

For more than 20 years, Tori Amos has been one of the most inventive and distinctive singer-songwriters in contemporary music. With eight Grammy nominations and millions of albums sold worldwide, Amos has become a living legend. Her solo career has evolved unpredictably, from acoustic piano to electronica and orchestral styles.

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The Salt
4:37 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Waste Whey? Some Say No Way.

Swiss cheese-maker Ernst Waser lets the whey drain off from the skimmed cheese curd through the cheesecloth.
GAETAN BALLY KEYSTONE /Landov

When you open a tub of yogurt, do you pour off that cloudy layer of liquid that collects on the top? If so, you're not just wasting nutritious protein and lactose – you're tossing out what some scientists see as a valuable raw material.

Strange though it might seem, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering in Germany announced this week that they're turning whey into plastic-like films.

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It's All Politics
4:30 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

A GOP 'Station Of The Cross,' Bob Jones Is Not On Romney's Itinerary

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign stop at Cherokee Trikes and More in Greer, S.C. on Thursday.
BRIAN SNYDER Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 4:48 pm

Bob Jones University used to be a "station of the cross for aspiring presidential candidates," NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on Friday's All Things Considered. Candidates like Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and Pat Buchanan all spoke at the school, a "bastion of the most conservative brand of evangelical Christianity," Shapiro says.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul Says He's Returning $500K In Unused Operating Costs

Making a point about government spending, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky presented taxpayers from his state with a symbolic $500,000 "oversized check." Paul, who is the son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, said his office had saved more than 16 percent of its allotted operating budget last year, so he was giving it back to the Treasury.

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Technology
3:48 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Dashboard Distractions: New Luxuries Cause Concern

In many ways, the Detroit Auto Show has become a kind of consumer electronics show for cars, where you're just as likely to see the rollout of a new app or entertainment system as the introduction of next year's models.

"The growth in mechanical changes [has] now become incremental, whereas the growth in the consumer electronics industry seems to be taking place at a rate that is almost unprecedented," says Thomas Tetzlaff, a spokesman for Volkswagen Canada.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:46 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Woman Injects 'Bath Salts,' Loses Arm To Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Stimulant chemicals dubbed "bath salts" are increasingly injected for a high.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 5:04 pm

Using illicit drugs can cause lots of bad things to happen. But being attacked by flesh-eating bacteria usually isn't one of them.

Yet that's what happened to an unfortunate young woman who had injected the increasingly popular stimulant drug called "bath salts."

The 34-year-old woman showed up at a New Orleans hospital with a painful, swollen arm after she attended a party. She had a small red puncture mark on her forearm.

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Around the Nation
3:38 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

When Pardons Become Political Dynamite

Gov. Haley Barbour said in a statement that his decision to grant clemency was based upon the recommendation of the Mississippi's Parole Board in more than 90 percent of the cases.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

The power of the pardon can redress an overly harsh sentence or a wrongful conviction. It can also prove to be a political landmine.

Exhibit A: Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's sweeping 11th-hour orders granting clemency to more than 200 people, ranging from convicted murderers to the brother of NFL great Brett Favre, who had his record cleared in connection with a 1997 conviction on manslaughter charges.

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Jackie Northam is Foreign Affairs correspondent for NPR news. The veteran journalist has more than two decades of experience covering the world's hot spots and reporting on a broad tapestry of international and foreign policy issues.

Based in Washington, D.C., Northam is assigned to the leading stories of the day, traveling regularly overseas to report the news - from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Northam just completed a five year stint as NPR's National Security Correspondent, covering US defense and intelligence policies. She led the network's coverage of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, traveling regularly to the controversial base to report on conditions there, and on US efforts to prosecute detainees.

Europe
3:15 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Russian Activists Turn To Social Media

Relying on social media, Russian activists are attempting to organize more mass rallies against the Russian government. Here, protesters staged a huge rally in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2011, alleging vote rigging in parliamentary polls.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 8:55 pm

Russia's largest anti-government demonstrations since the Soviet breakup of 1991 are being organized and driven by a force that didn't exist two decades ago — social media.

In recent years, protests have been relatively rare, and Russians who got their news from state-run television essentially saw one narrative — one that relentlessly extolled the virtues of the country's leaders, particularly Vladimir Putin.

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