2:53pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Diet Drug Qnexa Gets Thumbs-Up From FDA Panel

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 5:29 pm

A new weight-loss pill could be coming to the menu.
Luis Pedrosa iStockphoto.com

A key federal panel Wednesday recommended the Food and Drug Administration approve the first new weight-loss drug in more than a decade.

At the conclusion of a day-long hearing, the FDA's Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 20-2 to endorse a request from Vivus to approve the drug Qnexa. The same panel gave a thumbs-down to Qnexa in 2010.

Qnexa is a combination of two generic drugs that are already on the market:

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2:31pm

Wed February 22, 2012
The Two-Way

In Speech, Top Pentagon Lawyer Defends Targeted Killing Program

The top lawyer at the Pentagon offered a strong defense of the Obama administration's targeted killing program Wednesday, arguing the use of lethal force against the enemy is a "long-standing and long-legal practice."

In a speech at Yale University's Law School, Jeh Johnson said there's no real difference between high tech strikes against members of al-Qaida today and the U.S. military decision to target an airplane carrying the commander of the Japanese Navy in 1943.

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2:18pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Whooping Cough Vaccine Recommended For Seniors

Nurse Susan Peel gives a whooping cough vaccination to a student at Inderkum High School in Sacramento, Calif., in 2011. Now it seems likely such shots will become routine for senior citizens, too.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Now just about everybody should be getting vaccinated against whooping cough.

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending all adults 65 and older be immunized against whooping cough, or pertussis.

The panel is expanding an earlier recommendation that seniors be vaccinated if they have contact with very young infants. Adults and teens have been on the recommended list for years already.

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1:59pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Reporter's Notebook

'We Crush The Cars': Inside The Monster Truck Arena

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:01 am

The Grave Digger team of monster trucks, considered to be one of the most influential monster trucks of all time, is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary and racing in the United States Hot Rod Association (USHRA) Monster Jam series.
Doriane Raiman NPR

It's that time of year again — the time when the sports world starts to zone in on basketball's March Madness, hockey's playoff push, baseball's spring training ... and monster trucks. That's right, it's prime time for four-wheeled contraptions that specialize in crushing each other.

While it may be hard to get past the deafening radio ads, a funny thing can happen on the way to a Monster Jam show. It turns out that young fans' giddiness over the awesome destruction they're about to witness can be pretty contagious.

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1:54pm

Wed February 22, 2012

1:46pm

Wed February 22, 2012
The Salt

Panda Express Takes Sweet And Sour Beyond The Food Court

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 5:29 pm

An employee packs a customer's takeout order at a Panda Express restaurant in Los Angeles.
Fred Prouser Reuters /Landov

Not all that long ago, many Americans thought of Chinese food as fried rice, chow mein and orange chicken. And one reliable place to find it was at the mall, at places like Panda Express.

But food court mainstay Panda Express is now in the midst of a major transformation. That means moving from mall basements to stand-alone restaurants and keeping pace with an increasingly sophisticated American palate.

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1:28pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Asia

On Tibetan Plateau, A Sense Of Constant Surveillance

Ethnic Tibetan pilgrims walk on a road during Tibetan New Year in Langmusixiang, Sichuan province, in western China, Feb. 22. Celebrations are subdued in the Tibetan areas of China this year, after a string of self-immolations and protest against Chinese control.
Carlos Barria Reuters /Landov

Wednesday marks the traditional Tibetan New Year, but many Tibetans won't be celebrating. They'll be mourning the almost two-dozen people who set themselves on fire in the past year as a protest against Chinese rule. Eyewitnesses say the town of Aba, site of many of the self-immolations, resembles a Chinese military camp, with soldiers and riot police every few feet. NPR's Louisa Lim traveled elsewhere on the Tibetan plateau to cover the story and sent this dispatch.

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1:23pm

Wed February 22, 2012
The Two-Way

IAEA Team Returns From Iran Empty Handed

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 3:55 pm

Herman Nackaerts (center), deputy director general and head of the Department of Safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is interviewed as he arrives after his flight from Iran at Vienna's Schwechat airport on Wednesday.
Ronald Zak AP

A team of United Nations nuclear experts has returned from Iran empty-handed. In a statement today, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran refused the team access to a military site at Parchin.

The statement read in part:

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1:05pm

Wed February 22, 2012
The Two-Way

'Pepper Spray Cop' Suit Filed

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
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