7:02am

Sat May 12, 2012
The Salt

Black Pepper May Give You A Kick, But Don't Count On It For Weight Loss

Can you fight fat with a spoonful of these?
iStockphoto.com

Is black pepper the new secret weapon against fat? A recent paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claims that the piperine, an ingredient in black pepper, has the power to stop the body from making new fat cells, and could be used to treat obesity.

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6:19am

Sat May 12, 2012
Author Interviews

'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Simon & Schuster

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

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6:19am

Sat May 12, 2012
Around the Nation

Wearing Helmets In Tornadoes Gains Momentum

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 1:18 pm

Tornado survivor Jonathan Ford saves what he can from his home April 29, 2011, after it was destroyed by a powerful tornado in Pleasant Grove, Ala.
John Bazemore AP

Months after safety advocates embraced wearing helmets during tornadoes — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines on the practice. The CDC says there's not yet enough scientific evidence to fully endorse the idea. But the agency is warming up to people donning helmets when severe weather threatens.

Since a horrific outbreak of tornadoes killed more than 250 people last year in Alabama, safety advocates have been on a crusade.

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6:19am

Sat May 12, 2012
Health

In L.A. Pregnancy 'Hot Spot,' An On-Campus Clinic

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Sherry Medrano, chief nurse at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, hands condoms to a student in her office. The school has teamed up with Planned Parenthood to combat teen pregnancy.
Bob Owen San Antonio Express-News

School nurse Sherry Medrano has more than Band-Aids stored in her cabinets. She has an armory of birth control options: condoms, the pill, the patch, the ring and emergency contraception.

The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is the lowest it's been in nearly 40 years. However, in some communities, the number of young girls getting pregnant remains stubbornly high.

Planned Parenthood On Campus

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6:18am

Sat May 12, 2012
Presidential Race

Iowa On Same-Sex Marriage: It's Complicated

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:17 pm

Iowans attend a marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader on Tuesday at the Statehouse in Des Moines. The head of the organization says President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage could cost him the election.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Immediately after President Obama announced his support this week for same-sex marriage, attention turned to politics. The outcome of this year's election will be determined by a handful of states — one of them is Iowa, where the politics of same-sex marriage are complicated.

Same-sex marriage is legal here, but three of the state Supreme Court justices upholding that 2009 decision were removed from office by voters a year later.

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5:03am

Sat May 12, 2012
Afghanistan

U.S. Military Mission: Pushing Afghans To Take Lead

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:48 am

In Afghanistan, American troops are pushing Afghans to take charge.
David Gilkey NPR

The American military has two main jobs now in Afghanistan: sweeping the remaining Taliban from safe havens and getting Afghan security forces to take charge in the fight.

On a recent day, the Afghan National Army, or ANA, is to be out front on a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol in the countryside outside Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. It may seem like a small thing, but it's actually a big deal.

Sgt. Matthew McMurray lets his platoon know.

"ANA is going to lead, too. If they don't want to lead, just stop and make them walk ahead of you," he says.

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4:38am

Sat May 12, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Lena Dunham, Gretchen Reynolds

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 11:22 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Lena Dunham Addresses Criticism Aimed At 'Girls': The creator and star of HBO's new series Girls addresses the growing backlash against the show, which follows four 20-somethings as they navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City.

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4:03am

Sat May 12, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:54 pm

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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6:52pm

Fri May 11, 2012
Business

What Caused JPMorgan's Loss Of $2 Billion?

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 7:35 pm

Audie Cornish speaks with Gregory Zuckerman about one of the men behind JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion loss. He's a special writer for The Wall Street Journal and author of The Greatest Trade Ever.

6:21pm

Fri May 11, 2012
The Two-Way

A Helpful Reminder: This Sunday Is Mother's Day

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:23 pm

Call your mom. Buy her a present. Give her a big hug and kiss. (And don't forget the mother of your children.)

To all our mom readers, Happy Mother's Day!

We'll leave you with a link to a great piece from Bloomberg, which takes us back to the somber beginnings of the holiday. Bloomberg writes in part:

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