3:49pm

Fri July 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Germany's Merkel Pledges To Protect Religious Circumcision

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, right, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, gestures next to Rabbi Avichai Appel, left, a board member of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany, during a news conference in Berlin, Germany on Thursday.
Gero Breloer AP

In Germany, the past few weeks have been marked by an intense debate over religious liberties.

Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel jumped into the fray saying her administration would work to protect religious circumcision.

"It is absolutely clear to the federal government that we want Jewish, we want Muslim religious life in Germany. Circumcisions carried out in a responsible way must not be subject to prosecution in this country," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.

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3:24pm

Fri July 13, 2012
-Nature of Things

Super Flowers

From the Rice Creek Field Station, John Weeks contemplates the bright flowers that speckle summer grass. Many of the flowers reveal beautiful, subtle details upon closer inspection. Weeks describes the incredible "super flowers." Each petal of these flowers is actually made up of smaller petals which, in turn, are also made up of petals. Weeks gives ideas on how to find these "super flowers" in just about any lawn.

Originally aired on July 12, 1985.

3:19pm

Fri July 13, 2012
Regional Coverage

Port of Oswego explains its financial outlook

An audit of the Port of Oswego shows a loss of over a million dollars last year. But officials say that number is misleading and doesn't tell the whole story.

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3:02pm

Fri July 13, 2012
Regional Coverage

Anti-nuclear "peace walk" begins

The potential for disaster at nuclear power plants is the message of a "peace walk" that will take place around Lake Ontario and started this week in Onondaga County.

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3:02pm

Fri July 13, 2012
Poverty In America: The Struggle To Get Ahead

Struggling Families Lift Themselves Out Of Poverty

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:24 pm

Support group members Pamela Travis (from left), Dominique Martin, Yovanda Dixon, Shanna Chaney and Ramona Shewl hold a meeting as part of the Family Independence Initiative. The Oakland nonprofit encourages low-income families to form small groups to help each other get ahead.
Pam Fessler NPR

It's been almost 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." But today, the poverty rate in the U.S. is the highest it's been in 17 years, affecting some 46 million people.

The economy is partly to blame, but even in good times, millions of Americans are poor.

That's been a longtime concern for Maurice Lim Miller. He ran social service programs in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. Then one day, the painful truth hit.

"The very first kids I had trained back in the early '80s, I saw their kids now showing up in my programs," he says.

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2:45pm

Fri July 13, 2012
World

Al-Qaida: Now Vying For Hearts, Minds And Land

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:33 pm

Militiamen from the Ansar Dine Islamic group, an al-Qaida affiliate, ride on a vehicle in northeastern Mali in June. Mali is one of the places where al-Qaida-linked groups are trying to take over territory and win over local residents to their cause.
Reuters/Landov

Al-Qaida has been subtly testing a new strategy. In the past couple of years, the group's affiliates have been trying their hand at governing — actually taking over territory and then trying to win over citizens who live there. It happened with various degrees of success in Somalia and Yemen, and recently in the northern deserts of Mali.

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2:21pm

Fri July 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Poll Finds Most Americans Believe The World Is Warming

In this Aug. 2, 2011 file photo, the bottom of the pond at the Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area is nearly dried up in Amarillo, Texas. A devastating drought across Texas turned rivers into sand, creeks into mud, springs into mere trickles and lakes into large puddles.
Michael Norris AP

A Washington Post-Stanford University poll released today finds that most Americans believe the world is warming.

Here's how the Post wraps up the findings:

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2:02pm

Fri July 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Federal Mine Agency Considering Tougher Response On Black Lung

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 8:54 am

Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va., at the end of his shift. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57.
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

NPR and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) have learned that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Labor Department are putting together a team of agency experts and lawyers to specifically consider how to bolster coal mine dust enforcement given the statutory and regulatory weaknesses detailed by NPR and CPI this week in stories about the resurgence of black lung.

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1:46pm

Fri July 13, 2012
The Salt

An Olympic-Sized Outrage Grows Over French Fry Sales At The Games

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:24 pm

McDonald's and the American flag — ruling the London Olympics?
Keoni Cabral Flickr.com

When McDonald's cut a deal to make itself the exclusive purveyor of french fries and the similar (but please don't say matching) chips at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month, it may not have anticipated the flurry of responses. Foodies raged, nutritionists nagged, and many called it another example of an American cultural takeover.

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1:33pm

Fri July 13, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Electric Fans May Do More Harm Than Good In A Heat Wave

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 12:26 pm

Researchers say that when temperatures rise above 95 degrees, a fan might make you even hotter, and maybe even sick.
iStockphoto.com

Assuming you can't spend a heat wave bobbing up and down in some cool body of water, the next best option is to hunker down inside with air blowing on you, right?

Preferably it's from an air conditioner set on arctic chill.

But if there's no AC, then an electric fan would be the next best thing, wouldn't you think?

Well, it turns out health experts aren't so sure about electric fans. And they say using one in a really brutal heat wave can sometimes do more harm than good.

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