5:04pm

Tue August 2, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Four Loko, 11 Young People And A Busy Emergency Room

Cans of fruit-flavored Four Loko in the liquor department of a convenience store in Miami in 2010.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Here at Shots, we've been watching the uproar over the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko ever since college kids last year reportedly started ending up in hospitals after drinking too much of the stuff.

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5:03pm

Tue August 2, 2011
Politics

Debt Impasse Over, GOP Hopefuls Turn To Spending

For the Republicans vying to replace President Obama, the debate on the campaign trail has taken a back seat to the debate in Washington.

Among the GOP presidential hopefuls, the dominant position on the deal is thumbs-down, though some reluctantly supported the agreement.

But now, the issue of federal spending promises to become one of the leading topics of discussion as voters size up the Republican field.

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Shankar Vedantam is a science correspondent for NPR. The focus of his reporting is on human behavior and the social sciences, and how research in those fields can get listeners to think about the news in unusual and interesting ways.

Before joining NPR in 2011, Vedantam spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he was also a columnist, and wrote the Department of Human Behavior column for the Post. Vedantam writes an occasional column for Slate called "Hidden Brain."

4:03pm

Tue August 2, 2011
The Two-Way

Giffords Staff Member Describes An Emotional Return To The House

The House of Representatives' vote to raise the debt ceiling Monday was upstaged by the surprise appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), making her first visit to the chamber since being shot in the head in January during a visit to her home state.

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Mike Shuster is an award-winning diplomatic correspondent and roving foreign correspondent for NPR News. He is based at NPR West, in Culver City, CA. When not traveling outside the U.S., Shuster covers issues of nuclear non-proliferation and weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and the Pacific Rim.

3:49pm

Tue August 2, 2011
Middle East

Egyptians Ready To See Mubarak Put On Trial

Mubarak (shown here in November 2010) is not well enough to be moved to Cairo from his hospital bed in the seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to stand trial, according to his lawyer.
Khaled Desouki Getty Images

Less than six months after he was toppled, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is scheduled to go on trial Wednesday, and a guilty verdict could bring the death penalty.

Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, is charged with multiple crimes that include corruption and ordering the killing of hundreds of protesters while he struggled to put down a popular uprising.

State television will broadcast the proceedings live, a show that is sure to grip the nation. That is, if it begins as scheduled — or at all.

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Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.

"The Two-Way" is the place where NPR.org gives readers breaking news and analysis — and engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

James came to NPR from the Chicago Tribune, where he worked for 20 years. In 2006, James created "The Swamp," the paper's successful politics and policy news blog whose readership climbed to a peak of 3 million page-views a month.

3:35pm

Tue August 2, 2011
Asia

China's Supercomputing Goal: From 'Zero To Hero'

The $60 million Tianhe-1A supercomputer in Tianjin, China.
Louisa Lim NPR

Second in a three-part series

China basked in a moment of technological glory last November when it nudged out the U.S. as home of the world's fastest supercomputer.

The achievement was short-lived — after just six months, a Japanese supercomputer three times as fast supplanted the Chinese machine — but it generated intense national pride.

But questions remain as to whether China's much-vaunted supercomputing program will be able to live up to Beijing's high expectations.

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3:28pm

Tue August 2, 2011
The Two-Way

Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook Friendship

Originally published on Wed August 3, 2011 6:12 pm

Facebook.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A law signed into law last month in Missouri is making waves nationally, this week. A small part of the wide-ranging SB54, makes it illegal for teachers to be "friends" with students on any social networking site that allows private communication.

That means teachers and students can't be friends on Facebook or can't follow each other on Twitter for example.

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3:00pm

Tue August 2, 2011
Law

Justice Department Sues Alabama Over Immigration Law

In this June 25, 2011 file photo, participants bow their heads in prayer during a demonstration to protest Alabama's new law against illegal immigration, in Birmingham, Ala.
Jay Reeves AP

Reaction was swift in Alabama on Tuesday after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block a new immigration law set to take effect next month.

Alabama's new law — considered the toughest in the country — requires authorities to confirm the status of anyone they stop if there's reasonable doubt that person could be in the U.S. illegally. The law makes it a crime for undocumented immigrants to work, rent an apartment or get a driver's license.

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