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The Salt
11:34 am
Mon December 2, 2013

I'm Not Just Gaming, Ma! I'm Helping The World's Farmers

Cropland Capture's developers hope players will find where crops are grown amid Earth's natural vegetation in satellite images to shine a light on where humanity grows its food.
Courtesy of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:05 pm

There's no easy way to track all of the world's crops. What's missing, among other things, is an accurate map showing where they are.

But the people behind Geo-Wiki are hoping to fix that, with a game called Cropland Capture. They're turning people like you and me into data gatherers, or citizen scientists, to help identify cropland.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Mon December 2, 2013

In About-Face, R.I. Governor Describes Spruce As A Christmas Tree

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee speaks with reporters in November of 2012, during the lighting the Statehouse Christmas tree. Chafee announced the ceremony 30 minutes ahead of time to avoid what he called the "chaos" of 2011's lighting, which was protested by people angered by Chafee's decision to call the Statehouse tree a "holiday" tree.
David Klepper AP

It seems Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has given up on trying to make a point about the separation of church and state during the holiday season.

In a short statement issued on Monday, Chafee said the 18-foot blue spruce that will be raised inside the State House on Thursday will be called a "Christmas tree."

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Comet ISON Is No More, NASA Says

NASA took a series of images to create this "timelapse" view of comet ISON's trip around the sun.
NASA

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Comet ISON, a "shining green candle in the solar wind," is no longer with us, NASA declared Monday morning in a tribute to what many hoped would be the "comet of the century."

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Ninth Body Pulled From Helicopter Crash Site In Scotland

Scottish Fire and Rescue services look on at the helicopter being lifted from the scene Monday following the crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow, Scotland.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:22 pm

We've been following the story of the helicopter that crashed into a pub in Glasgow, Scotland, last week. There's more news Monday on the deadly crash: A ninth body has been pulled from the wreckage of The Clutha Bar.

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Health Care
10:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

HealthCare.gov Back On Track?

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 8:58 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
10:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Holiday Sales: Gloomy or Merry And Bright?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we want to know how the federal health care website is working today after the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to get HealthCare.gov running smoothly. We'll check in later. But first, Americans are heading online today for another reason. It is Cyber Monday and retailers are offering bargains to kick off the holiday shopping season or so they tell us.

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The Protojournalist
9:39 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Quick Question: Is Cyber Monday Passe?

Marek Uliasz iStock

Cyber Monday. The phrase seems so quaint. Like floppy disk. Or information superhighway.

But the idea of making a big deal about everybody shopping online on a given day seems even more quaint.

So quick question: Is the notion of Cyber Monday passe?

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Gay Marriages Take Place In Hawaii As New Law Takes Hold

Saralyn Morales (center left) and Isajah Morales walk down the aisle at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu shortly after Hawaii's new gay marriage law took effect Monday.
Marco Garcia AP

Six same-sex couples got married in Hawaii shortly after midnight Monday morning, taking advantage of a new law in the first hours of the first day it took effect. The state's Legislature approved the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act in a recent special session.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Mon December 2, 2013

VIDEO: Eagle Snatches Camera, Flies Away, Takes Great Selfie

Caught red-beaked: This eagle grabbed a small wildlife camera in western Australia, flew away with it and then pecked away at the lens.
ABC Kimberley

We've been fascinated by an "eagle cam" trained on a nest in Iowa and been thrilled by the view from a camera attached to an eagle that soared above Chamonix, France.

If you liked those, you'll likely be interested in this, too:

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Code Switch
9:08 am
Mon December 2, 2013

A Battle For Fair Housing Still Raging, But Mostly Forgotten

"Every measure of well-being and opportunity, the foundation is where you live...cancer rates, asthma rates, infant mortality, unemployment, education, access to fresh food, access to parks, whether or not the city repairs the roads in your neighborhood," ProPublica's Nikole Hannah-Jones said.
Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 3:08 pm

It's not something we think about a lot or something that gets reported on often, but once you start digging around some, it's hard not to see the consequences of our country's long, sordid history of housing discrimination everywhere racial disparities manifest. The giant wealth gap between black and Latino Americans and white folks. Shorter life expectancies. Worse educational outcomes. Mass incarceration.

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All Tech Considered
8:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Getting To Know Black Innovators, One Tweet At A Time

Pitch Mixer founder Ayori Selassie speaks at an entrepreneur forum.
Tamara Orozco

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:37 am

There is no question that Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Beach and all of the other places we associate with tech entrepreneurism face diversity problems.

African-American innovators represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Protesters Block Government Buildings In Ukraine

A woman walks past a giant European Union flag hung on the gates of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers building in Kiev on Monday.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:11 am

A day after the largest protest since the Orange Revolution, protesters in the Ukraine blocked government buildings on Monday in an attempt to oust President Viktor Yanukovich.

Demonstrators are angry because Yanukovich abandoned a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. As Reuters explains, many in the Ukraine have yearned to become part of the EU to escape the grip of Moscow.

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Shots - Health News
8:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Uninsured Fret About Getting Health Coverage By New Year's Day

For Tambra Momi, who has Dercum's disease, health coverage can't come soon enough.
Courtesy of Tambra Momi

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:07 am

Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.

Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.

Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Mon December 2, 2013

For The First Time, China Launches A Moon Rover Mission

The Long March-3B carrier rocket carrying China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday.
Li Gang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:03 am

Early this morning, China successfully launched what it hopes will become its first rover mission on the moon, the official state news agency Xinhua reported.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Delivery By Drone? Amazon Says A New Era Looms

In an image taken of a test flight, an Amazon Prime Air drone carries a package. The online retailer could begin 30-minute deliveries within four to five years, CEO Jeff Bezos told 60 Minutes Sunday.
Amazon

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:21 am

Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.

That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.

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Europe
5:40 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Swedish Inmate Escapes To Go To The Dentist

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

The prisoner complained of a toothache but says he couldn't get anyone to help him treat it. So, according to Swedish media, the 51-year-old man escaped, and went to a dentist. He had his tooth pulled and then turned himself in to authorities.

The Two-Way
5:36 am
Mon December 2, 2013

NYC Commuter Train Was Well Above Speed Limit Before Crash

Search and rescue teams work at the scene of Sunday's passenger train crash in the Bronx. The train crash killed four people and injured dozens more.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 4:53 pm

Update at 6:50 p.m. ET. Speeding Into Curve; A Mile Or More To Safely Stop:

A commuter train headed into New York City was traveling at 82 mph Sunday morning when it entered a curve where the speed limit was supposed to be 30 mph and derailed, National Transportation Safety Board investigators have concluded. Four people on the train were killed and at least 60 others were injured.

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Animals
5:34 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Elwood, World's Ugliest Dog, Dies

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

We remember this morning, Elwood. He was a good dog. But cute, he was not; tiny, hairless except for a tufty Mohawk, with hooded eyes and a red tongue that stuck out. Six years ago, Elwood shot to fame when he was named the world's ugliest dog. He died on Thanksgiving Day but is immortalized in a popular children's book written by owner Karen Quigley. "Everyone Loves Elwood" is about how it's OK to be different.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Environment
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Australia Disapproves Of Seeds In Katy Perry CD

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Singer Katy Perry's new album has been adored in some reviews, but one critic is the Australian Department of Agriculture. Seeds included in the CD could pose a threat to the environment there.

Movies
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

'Best Man Holiday' Resonates Across Racial Lines

The Best Man Holiday is Malcolm Lee's sequel to his film Best Man.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:36 pm

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Companies Revisit 'Rank And Yank' of 1980s

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Longtime General Electric CEO and management icon Jack Welch popularized a management style in the 1980s that critics dubbed "rank and yank." The system ranks employees — with under-performers getting yanked from their jobs or the company. This old practice is in the news again. Microsoft recently did away with it. But other companies are embracing it.

Around the Nation
1:48 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Deadly Derailment Is Latest Accident For N.Y. Commuter Train Line

The wreckage of a Metro-North commuter train, which derailed Sunday just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station in Bronx, N.Y., lies on its side. The train was heading to Grand Central Terminal along the Hudson River.
Christopher Gregory Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:30 pm

A commuter train crash that left four people dead and dozens injured Sunday in the Bronx is the most serious among a number of incidents in the past year for Metro-North Railroad.

As the investigation into what caused the derailment continued Monday, thousands of commuters were looking for alternate ways in and out of New York City.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:57 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Yuja Wang: Rooted In Diligence, Inspired By Improvisation

Yuja Wang at NPR's studio in Washington, D.C.
Denise DeBelius NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 8:56 am

Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 — "Rach 3," as fans fondly call it — is one of the most famously difficult pieces of music there is. The sheet music goes on and on, with notes so dense the pages start to look like modern art. The piece is so challenging that some noted pianists have declined to perform it — but Yuja Wang has recorded it for her newest album.

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Business
12:56 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Could Hawaii Become A Same-Sex Wedding Destination?

Sunset on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Starting Monday, same-sex marriage is legal in Hawaii. The state has long been a destination for weddings and honeymoons. And now state officials, as well as hotels and restaurants, are hoping the latest marriage-equality law will spur a new market for wedding tourism.

Wedding planner Keane Akao is showing off a secluded beach wedding site, one of several on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

"You can use the beach for pictures," he tells a couple, "and this is actually called Secret Beach."

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Shots - Health News
12:54 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Parents Of Sleep-Deprived Teens Push For Later School Start Times

Maggie Starbard / NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 3:32 pm

Cristina Sevin knows the drill. Her 15-year-old son Isaac's first alarm goes off at 6:05 a.m.

When he sleeps right through it, Mom starts the nudging. But she also has to wake up 16-year-old Lily. She flips on the bedroom lights. "Lily, you gotta get up!"

They have to be out the door before 6:35 a.m. in their Annapolis, Md., neighborhood in order to catch the bus for a 7:17 school start. "I wish I didn't have to be awake right now," says Lily.

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Shots - Health News
12:53 am
Mon December 2, 2013

School Stress Takes A Toll On Health, Teens And Parents Say

Colleen Frainey, 16, of Tualatin, Ore., cut back on advanced placement classes in her junior year because the stress was making her physically ill.
Toni Greaves for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 3:35 pm

When high school junior Nora Huynh got her report card, she was devastated to see that she didn't get a perfect 4.0.

Nora "had a total meltdown, cried for hours," her mother, Jennie Huynh of Alameda, Calif., says. "I couldn't believe her reaction."

Nora is doing college-level work, her mother says, but many of her friends are taking enough advanced classes to boost their grade-point averages above 4.0. "It breaks my heart to see her upset when she's doing so awesome and going above and beyond."

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Around the Nation
3:44 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Shifting Gears: Commuting Aboard The L.A. Bike Trains

L.A. Bike Trains brings together groups of five to 10 cyclists who commute en masse.
Courtesy of Bruce Chan

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:04 am

One of the largest obstacles in getting people to bike to work is their fear of getting hit by a car. A new grass-roots project in Los Angeles is helping folks navigate the ins and outs of traffic.

It's 6:45 a.m. and Barbara Insua is busy packing a bag. She will ride seven miles from her home in Pasadena to NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, where she works as a graphic designer. She only started doing this ride a few months ago.

"It was kind of daunting," she says, "because seven miles to the lab — I didn't know how to do it. I'm not an avid cyclist."

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Around the Nation
3:43 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

The Latest From The New York Train Derailment

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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

A commuter train derailed as it was heading into Manhattan this morning, killing four people and injuring more than 60. Witnesses say the train appeared to be going too fast as it rounded a curve just north of a train station in the Bronx. The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to piece together what happened.

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Iraq
3:42 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

A Soldier Accused, But Few Answers In Death Of Iraqi Teens

Last month, military investigators began a process to charge Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera in the 2007 fatal shooting of two deaf, unarmed Iraqi youths.
Mario Tama AP

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

It sounds unthinkable, but there are times, according to the rules of war, when it's morally acceptable to shoot a child.

A 12-year-old can, of course, fire an AK-47, but the more gut-wrenching decisions revolve around ambiguous situations. Could a child with a cell phone be a lookout for insurgents or send a detonation signal to an IED bomb?

These were the types of scenarios our soldiers had to face in Iraq. Countless soldiers have returned haunted by civilians they killed because the civilians panicked and ran through a checkpoint or reached for something too quickly.

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Author Interviews
3:41 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Nightclub King Jon Taffer Sets A High Bar

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

Jon Taffer is the king of the bar business. Over the past three decades, he has managed dozens of bars and nightclubs, and is a consultant for bar owners all over the country.

Most recently, he has put his expertise to use as the host of the popular reality show Bar Rescue. Bar and nightclub owners with failing businesses ask Taffer for his help. In return, Taffer brings a team of bartenders, chefs and designers with him to revamp every part of the operation. On the show, as in person, Taffer is a tough, no-nonsense guy.

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