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NPR news, audio, and podcasts. Coverage of breaking stories, national and world news, politics, business, science, technology, and extended coverage of major national and world events.
Updated: 40 min 44 sec ago

Water's Back On For Just About Everyone In West Virginia

Fri, 2014-01-17 10:24

Eight days after a chemical spill led authorities to warn 300,000 people not to use the water coming from their taps, the all-clear has been given. Only those in a few small towns are still being cautioned.

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Do You Have What It Takes To Get A Chinese Driver's License?

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:48

Everyone who applies for a driver's license in China must take a written test; 90 percent is considered passing. The test consists of 100 questions drawn from a pool of nearly 1,000. The test is particularly tough for foreigners — due to the volume of memorization and often sketchy translations.

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How I Flunked China's Driving Test ... Three Times

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:43

NPR's Frank Langfitt recently decided to apply for a driver's license in China. Since he already has a U.S. license, the main requirement was passing a computerized test on Chinese rules of the road. He's been driving for decades, and figured it would be a breeze. He was wrong.

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One Downside Of Home Wart Treatments: Bursting Into Flames

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:09

Home wart-freezing devices can spark fires, the Food and Drug Administration warns, and people have been burned. People also can be injured by using these frostbite-inducing tools too enthusiastically, dermatologists say, damaging skin as a result.

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India Unveils Handgun For Women After Much-Publicized Rapes

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:05

The .32-caliber weapon comes amid a spate of reports about rapes in the country. The gun is named for the victim of a 2012 gang rape and murder in New Delhi. But reaction to the Nirbheek has been mixed.

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Researchers Are Totes Studying How Ppl Shorten Words On Twitter

Fri, 2014-01-17 08:20

The team at Dartmouth College mined 180 million tweets from 900,000 users to understand word clippings — like "awks" as "awkward." The researchers want to understand how such words originate and how they spread.

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News Match Game: Leaders And Tweeters

Fri, 2014-01-17 08:11

Politicians of the world have caught on to the fact that Twitter can help get out the party line.

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Obama Calls For Limits On NSA's Collection Of Phone Data

Fri, 2014-01-17 07:57

The president said intelligence agencies would now need court approval before accessing phone data of hundreds of millions of Americans. He also directed the agencies to stop spying on the leaders of friendly nations. The changes come amid criticism directed at the NSA.

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Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down

Fri, 2014-01-17 06:49

The state's controversial law threatens the rights of hundreds of thousands of potential voters, a judge has ruled. His decision is almost sure to be appealed. Republicans champion the law, saying it's common sense to require such identification. Democrats say it targets minorities.

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Japanese Soldier Who Fought On For 29 Years After WWII Dies

Fri, 2014-01-17 05:29

For nearly three decades, until 1974, Lt. Hiroo Onoda lived in a Philippine jungle. During those years he continued to battle with villagers. As many as 30 people were killed. It wasn't until his former commander ordered Onoda to lay down his arms that he surrendered. Onoda died Thursday. He was 91.

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Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S.

Fri, 2014-01-17 05:20

The omnibus spending bill approved by the Senate on Thursday night contains language banning funding for USDA inspections of slaughterhouses for horses. That effectively stops plans to restart the slaughter of horses in the U.S. to export meat abroad.

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Obama Expected To Say NSA Should Not Hold 'Metadata'

Fri, 2014-01-17 04:30

One change that privacy advocates have been pushing for is that the NSA no longer store the records from millions of phone calls — including those of Americans. Officials are telling Reuters and NPR that the president will endorse the idea of having a third party, not the NSA, hold that data.

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A Black Chef At An All-White Club Who 'Never Looked Back'

Fri, 2014-01-17 00:34

After his father suffered a heart attack, 13-year-old Clayton Sherrod got a job washing dishes at a country club in Birmingham, Ala. By the time he turned 19 in 1964, he was the executive chef.

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The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America

Fri, 2014-01-17 00:33

For decades, the Supreme Court ruled that laws regulating things like wages and working conditions were unconstitutional. That changed during the Great Depression, when one of the justices switched sides, paving the way for the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health

Fri, 2014-01-17 00:31

A study in the journal Obesity found that students who used credit or debit cards in the school cafeteria chose fewer fruits and vegetables and more desserts than kids paying with cash. But the researchers say schools should work with the bias instead of trying to fight it.

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MLB Approves Expanded Replay Starting This Season

Fri, 2014-01-17 00:24

Major League Baseball on Thursday approved a huge expansion of instant replay in hopes of eliminating blown calls that riled players, managers and fans. The NFL, NBA, NHL, some NCAA sports and major tennis tournaments all use a form of replay.

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Surgeon General Adds To List Of Smoking's Harms

Fri, 2014-01-17 00:19

A new report from the U.S. Surgeon General's office says the nation is at a crossroads, celebrating decades of progress against the chief preventable killer but not yet poised to finish the job.

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Japanese WWII Soldier Who Hid In Jungle For 30 Years Dies

Thu, 2014-01-16 23:25

Hiroo Onoda was an intelligence officer who came out of hiding on Lubang Island in the Philippines in 1974. He surrendered only when his former commander flew there to reverse his 1945 orders to stay behind. He died Thursday in Tokyo at age 91.

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By Tracking Sugar In Tears, Contact Lens Offers Hope For Diabetics

Thu, 2014-01-16 18:14

Despite the technical feat, researchers say that much basic research remains, and the relationship between glucose and tears is still unproven.

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With Senate's OK, $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Heads To Obama

Thu, 2014-01-16 15:45

The wide-ranging federal spending bill will prevent any gaps in government funding as well as take some of the sting out of automatic spending cuts. The House approved it Wednesday.

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