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2:35pm

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Tells Oklahoma To Put Off Executions, Citing Drug Dispute

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 2:41 pm

The execution of three inmates has been put on hold, as the Supreme Court intervenes in a case that involves the controversy over the drugs states use to put people to death. The justices cited the sedative midazolam, which has been used in three executions that did not go smoothly.

The Supreme Court's stay is likely to hold until April, when it will hear arguments from three inmates who say that Oklahoma's execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.

The court's order did not elaborate on the reasons or debate behind the move:

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2:34pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Middle East

Jordan Considers Handing Over Prisoner For Hostage Pilot

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:39 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:29pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Education

At 100, Dartmouth Grad Still Writing His Class Notes

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:28pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Law

Judge Throws Out Convictions Of Civil Rights Pioneers, 'Friendship 9'

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:25pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Parallels

Where Is All That Excess Oil Going?

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:57 pm

Tankers are berthed beside the Fawley oil refinery on Jan. 7, in Southampton, England. With low oil prices, some traders are buying oil and storing it in tankers, hoping the price will rise soon so they can sell it at a profit.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

There's a term traders use when the price of a commodity like oil has fallen because of oversupply but seems guaranteed to rise again.

It's a market that's "in contango," says Brenda Shaffer, an energy specialist at Georgetown University. "It almost sounds like a sort of great oil dance or something."

And Shaffer says that some oil speculators see an oil market that is in contango in a major way.

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2:25pm

Wed January 28, 2015
U.S.

End Of Life Care Can Be Different For Veterans

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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2:25pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Around the Nation

Deal May Be In Sight For Pacific Coast Longshoremen

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:41 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

1:37pm

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Live, From Iceland: It's A Hamburger

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 2:29 pm

An exhibit called "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland" now has a webcam devoted to it. The burger was purchased in 2009.
Bus Hostel Reykjavik

They call it "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland." Purchased more than five years ago, it has been displayed in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ice­land. Now a webcam has been devoted to the hamburger (with a side of fries), among the last sold by the American company in the country.

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1:03pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Movie Reviews

Full Of Complexity And Ambivalence, 'American Sniper' Shows The Cost Of War

Bradley Cooper (right) plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The film has become a cultural phenomenon and has spawned knee-jerk squabbling.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

In the years following the invasion of Iraq, it became a truism that Americans simply didn't want to hear about the war — especially at the movies. While there were scads of films about Iraq, including Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, none was able to attract a big audience. Until American Sniper.

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12:49pm

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

A Saint With A Mixed History: Junipero Serra's Canonization Raises Eyebrows

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:08 pm

The name Junípero Serra is well known in California: Schools and streets are named in his honor, and statues of the 18th century Spanish missionary still stand. But Native American activists are far less enamored with the friar, saying Serra was actually an accomplice in the brutal colonization of natives. They object to Pope Francis' recent announcement that he will canonize Serra when he travels to the U.S. this fall.

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12:43pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Goats and Soda

India Grows, Canada Disappears: Mapping Countries By Population

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 5:55 pm

Can you find Australia and Canada? The cartogram, made by Reddit user TeaDranks, scales each country's geographic area by its population. (Click through to see the high-resolution map.)
TeaDranks via Imgur

World maps distort — it's inherent in their design.

Take a spherical object (the Earth) and try to represent it on a flat plane (paper), and some parts of the sphere are going to get stretched. On most maps, Canada and Russia get puffed up, while countries along the equator get shrunk.

Every now and then, though, you stumble across a map that enlightens.

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12:42pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Shots - Health News

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:26 pm

Dr. Frances Jensen is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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11:34am

Wed January 28, 2015
Parallels

China Continues To Push The (Fake) Envelope

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

Some fake Apple stores like this one in Kunming, in China's southwestern Yunnan province, were so authentic-looking that even some of their employees didn't know they were fake.
Stephen Shaver UPI/Landov

Nobody does fake like China. In 2011, a fake Apple store popped up in the southwestern city of Kunming. It looked so authentic, even some employees thought it was real.

This year, three farmers in central China set up a fake local government.

This month, police shut down a fake bank in the eastern city of Nanjing, where depositors reportedly lost nearly $33 million.

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10:40am

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

2 Israeli Soldiers Killed In Attack Near Lebanese Border

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 1:00 pm

Two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded during an attack near the Lebanese border on Wednesday.

Hezbollah, a long time Israeli rival in Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the attack and Israel told the United Nations that it would take necessary steps to defend itself.

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10:02am

Wed January 28, 2015
Shots - Health News

Is It OK To Pay Pregnant Women To Stop Smoking?

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 12:42 pm

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth, stillbirth and infant death.
iStockphoto

Women who smoke while they're pregnant are more likely to have health problems, and their babies are at risk, too. But attempts to get women to stop smoking while pregnant usually fail.

When pregnant women in Scotland got paid to quit, 23 percent of them managed to stop smoking, compared with 9 percent who quit after they got counseling, support calls and free nicotine replacement therapy, according to a study published Tuesday in The BMJ.

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9:36am

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Judge Throws Out Friendship 9's Civil Rights-Era Conviction

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 5:56 pm

Five members of the Friendship Nine — Willie Thomas Massey (from left), Willie McCleod, James Wells, Clarence Graham and David Williamson Jr. — sit at the counter of the Five & Dine restaurant in Rock Hill, S.C., on Dec. 17. A judge in South Carolina has thrown out the convictions of the nine black men who integrated a whites-only lunch counter in 1961.
Jason Miczek Reuters/Landov

Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET

A judge in South Carolina has thrown out the convictions of the Friendship Nine, nine black men who integrated a whites-only lunch counter in 1961, at the peak of the civil rights movement.

"We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history," Judge John C. Hayes III said before signing the order that vacated their trespassing convictions. (Hayes is the nephew of the judge who handed down the original sentence.) The prosecutor apologized to the eight surviving members of the Friendship Nine who were in the courtroom.

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9:08am

Wed January 28, 2015
The Salt

Why Dump Treated Wastewater When You Could Make Beer With It?

Clean Water Services held a brewing competition in Sept. 2014, inviting 13 homebrewers to make beer from its purified wastewater (as well as water from other sources). Now the company is asking the state for permission for brewers to use its wastewater product exclusively to make beer.
Courtesy of Clean Water Services

Just when we thought craft beer couldn't get any zanier, we learn that Oregonians want to make it with treated wastewater.

Clean Water Services of Hillsboro says it has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. The company, which runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area, wants to show off its "high-purity" system by turning recycled wastewater into beer.

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8:57am

Wed January 28, 2015
Goats and Soda

Mr. Taxi Driver, You Are GOING TOO FAST!!!!

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 1:17 pm

One of five stickers pasted in Kenyan passenger vans as part of a Georgetown University study to promote safe driving.
Courtesy of Georgetown University

The worst traffic accident I've ever seen happened on a highway in Kenya.

A friend and I were returning to Nairobi from Lake Naivasha when the cars in front of us came to a halt. I pulled onto the shoulder and spotted a 15-passenger van — a matatu in local speak — on its side, split open like a coconut. Another matatu was sideways in a ditch, its front end smashed inward. People were stopping, getting out of their vehicles and rushing to help.

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7:57am

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Smithsonian In Talks Over London Outpost — Its First Overseas

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 12:56 pm

The London 2012 Olympic Stadium at sunset at the Olympic Park in London. The Smithsonian Institution is working to establish its first international museum outpost in London as that city redevelops its Olympic park.
Alastair Grant AP

Updated at 12:08 p.m. ET

Along with Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London may soon be home to a Smithsonian outpost.

The institution's Board of Regents has authorized museum officials to explore the Smithsonian's first international gallery outpost. Its home: near the site of London's Olympic Park.

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7:55am

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Mexico Officially Declares 43 Missing Students Dead

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 7:59 am

A relative holding a picture of one of the missing students, wipes a tear from her face during a press conference in Mexico, City.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Mexico's attorney general made it official last night: The 43 college students who went missing last fall are dead.

That's the conclusion they've reached based on confessions of the alleged perpetrators and forensic evidence.

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6:04am

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Jordan Says It's Willing To Swap Prisoner For Hostage Held By ISIS

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 10:07 am

Passersby watch a TV news program Wednesday in Tokyo reporting on a video posted on YouTube by extremists that purports to show Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Jordan says it is prepared to meet the demands of Islamic State militants in order to save the life of a Jordanian hostage.

On Tuesday, the Sunni extremists released a video in which they demanded that Jordan release a woman who was sentenced to death over an attack in Amman that killed 60 people. If the release didn't happen in 24 hours, the militants said, they would kill a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist.

The AP reports:

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5:37am

Wed January 28, 2015
Around the Nation

Mayor Gets Worked Up As Storm Headed Toward New York City

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:09 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:14am

Wed January 28, 2015
Sports

Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch Shows Up For Media Day, Kinda

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:09 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch hates talking to the press. He's been fined thousands for skipping media sessions, though he did show up to the Super Bowl's media day yesterday.

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5:11am

Wed January 28, 2015
The Two-Way

As Nor'Easter Lifts, Life Slowly Gets Back To Normal In Hard-Hit Areas

Students play football at the Quad, on the campus of Harvard University on Tuesday in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Maddie Meyer Getty Images

A day after a monstrous winter storm spun its way across the Northeast, life is slowly getting back to normal.

Some residents of Massachusetts are digging out of almost 3 feet of snow. The AP reports that a travel ban has been lifted and Boston's highways are filling up with traffic.

Still, the AP adds:

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3:14am

Wed January 28, 2015
NPR Story

Judge To Exonerate 'Friendship 9' Activists 54 Years After Arrest

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:09 am

Nearly 54 years after their arrest, some of the first civil rights protesters to serve prison time for sitting at an all-white lunch counter were back in court Wednesday. A judge in Rock Hill, South Carolina cleared them of their convictions for trespassing.

In 1961, a group of nine college students from Friendship College walked into McCrory's Five and Dime Drugstore and sat down in protest to legal segregation in restaurants. Blacks were forbidden from sitting at the lunch counter so they were quickly taken to jail.

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