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8:53am

Thu September 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Islamic State Seizes Villages; Australia Says It Foiled Beheading Plot

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 12:14 pm

Islamic State fighters backed by tanks have seized 16 Kurdish villages in northern Syria over the past 24 hours in what is being described as a major advance for the extremist group, according to a human rights watchdog group.

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7:50am

Thu September 18, 2014
Around the Nation

High School Reconsiders Student's Yearbook Photo

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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7:50am

Thu September 18, 2014
Animals

Dog From Philadelphia Ends Up In Oregon Shelter

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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7:50am

Thu September 18, 2014
The Salt

From Coffee To Chicory To Beer, 'Bitter' Flavor Can Be Addictive

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 2:51 pm

The cardoon is like "celery on steroids," says McLaglan.
Aya Brackett/Ten Speed Press

Food writer Jennifer McLagan has spent the past few years trying to win home cooks over to the ingredients they fear. She's written a cookbook on fat, one on bones and one titled Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal.

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7:50am

Thu September 18, 2014
Politics

Ads Get Creative, Even Seductive, To Attract Voters

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:17 am

In this Illinois ad, Doris and her friend Betty suggestively encourage two young men to come in ... and get voter ID cards.
YouTube

September is voter registration month, but inspiring Americans to register and vote isn't always easy. Especially with politicians held in such low esteem. So some groups — and a few election officials — are taking a page from the book of Mad Men's Don Draper to get voters to the polls. Who knew that voting could be this much fun?

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7:50am

Thu September 18, 2014
Race

Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dreams

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:38 pm

Author Jacqueline Woodson reads from her newest novel, Sept. 15.
Kat Chow NPR

The first time author Jacqueline Woodson says she really understood poetry — and loved it — was after reading Langston Hughes in elementary school.

"Until then, I thought it was some code that older white people used to speak to each other. I didn't know what was going on with the line breaks and the words," Woodson recalls. "Once the floodgates opened, they opened."

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7:47am

Thu September 18, 2014
NPR Ed

Rethinking A Fall Classic: The Parent-Teacher Conference

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 8:48 am

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina speaks with students Carlos Cruz and Lluvia Hernandez while visiting a school in Brooklyn earlier this year.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

So now that students have settled in to the routine of the school year, yet another fall education ritual looms: the parent-teacher conference.

And while there's universal agreement that parent involvement is a good thing, these all-too-short meetings are often frustrating on both sides.

Teachers, and parents, often find them too short and too shallow, too likely to focus on problems, with little time to really get beyond test scores and a few bullet points about the curriculum or homework. And, as children get older, fewer parents tend to show up.

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7:47am

Thu September 18, 2014
NPR Ed

How To Make The Most Of Your 10 Minutes With Teacher

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:11 am

LA Johnson/NPR

So you finally get the chance to meet one on one with your child's teacher — now what?

Like a good Boy Scout, be prepared: Educators agree that doing your homework before a parent-teacher conference can make a big difference.

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7:41am

Thu September 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Scotland's Historic Decision: Should It Stay Or Should It Go?

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 10:47 am

A man played bagpipes on a "short walk to freedom" march in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday as polling in the independence referendum began.
Paul Hackett Reuters/Landov

Scots decide today whether to end 300 years of union with Great Britain and go it alone as they cast ballots in a historic referendum that is sure to have a lasting impact no matter the outcome.

Public opinion polls in recent days have suggested that Scotland is evenly split on the question and that the vote could be extremely close. The options are to vote "yes" or "no" to the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The results are expected on Friday.

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6:26pm

Wed September 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Federal Reserve To Markets: Nothing To See Here; Move Along

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen.
Susan Walsh AP

The Federal Reserve's policy makers just eyeballed the economy, and saw nothing new.

On Wednesday, they announced wage-and-price hikes remain low and growth continues at a moderate pace. That means interest rates can stay super low for a "considerable time," while the Fed's bond-buying program can wrap up next month, as expected.

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6:03pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Book Reviews

Martin Amis' 'Zone Of Interest' Is An Electrically Powerful Holocaust Novel

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:48 pm

When I picked up Martin Amis' new novel, The Zone of Interest, it felt as though I had touched a third rail, so powerful and electric is the experience of reading it. After years of playing the snide card and giving his great store of talents to the business of giving other people the business, Amis has turned again to the matter of Nazi horrors (he tried to deal with it in a gimmicky way in his 1991 novel Time's Arrow), and the result is a book that may stand for years as the triumph of his career.

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5:24pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Europe's Family Tree Gets A New Branch

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:26 pm

This skull, from the Swedish archaeological site called Motala, is thought to have come from a hunter-gatherer who died there about 8,000 years ago.
Anna Arnberg

For those who eagerly trace their genetic lineage or subscribe online to find their earliest ancestors, there's a new group to consider adding to the furthest reaches of your list. A previously unrecognized population of ancient north Eurasians may be a major third braid in the genetic twist that gave rise to most modern Europeans and their kin.

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5:24pm

Wed September 17, 2014
The Two-Way

House Passes Bill That Authorizes Arming Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:49 pm

In a vote that eschewed traditional Washington divisions in favor of novel ones, the House approved a bill that authorized the training and arming of Syrian rebels in their fight against the so-called Islamic State.

The final tally was 273 to 156. But many members of both parties broke ranks with their leaders — Reps. John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi — who strongly backed the measure.

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5:20pm

Wed September 17, 2014
U.S.

House Approves Bill To Train, Arm Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:20pm

Wed September 17, 2014
The Salt

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:29 am

Should we drink diet soda or not? The latest study doesn't really clear things up.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The debate over whether diet sodas are good, bad or just OK for us never seems to end.

Some research suggests zero-calorie drinks can help people cut calories and fend off weight gain.

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5:20pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Goats and Soda

The Insights Of An Ebola Doctor Who Became A Patient

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:19 pm

Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife, Amber, leave a news conference after his release from Emory University Hospital on Aug. 21.
John Bazemore AP

He had cared for Ebola patients. He himself caught the virus. Only then, said Dr. Kent Brantly, did he fully grasp the awful nature of this disease.

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3:44pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Parallels

After A Long Wait, Syrian Rebels Hope The Weapons Will Now Flow

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:45 pm

Syrian rebel fighters in the northern city of Aleppo in August. The Obama administration has been vetting rebel groups and decided that more than a dozen are moderate enough to arm.
Zein al-Rifai AFP/Getty Images

President Obama has long been reluctant to provide substantial aid to Syria's so-called moderate rebels, often dismissed as weak and disorganized. But the rapid rise of the group that calls itself the Islamic State has changed many calculations.

The CIA has been running a small-scale covert weapons program since early this year, according to rebels who have been trained and are now receiving arms shipments. The modest program has strengthened moderate battalions, according to Western and regional analysts, even as rebel commanders complain about the meager arms flow.

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3:37pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Kids' Perception Of Parents' Favoritism Counts More Than Reality

If a child feels like the odd person out, it could mean more problems in the teenage years, psychologists say.
iStockphoto

We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you're thinking it's not you.

But does that really make a difference? It can, researchers say, but not always the way you might think.

Less-favored children are more likely to be using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as teenagers, according to researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.

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3:19pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Parallels

From Quebec To Kashmir, Separatists Watch Scotland Vote

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 4:04 pm

These supporters of Scottish independence are saying yes, and separatist groups in other parts of the world hope it will give them a boost as they seek to break away.
David Cheskin AP

Scotland's referendum on independence Thursday could resonate far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. There are many places with separatist movements, like the militias in eastern Ukraine who have been battling the Ukrainian government this year.

Here's a look at some of the other places with separatists who want to break away from their current rulers, from Canada to Spain to Belgium to India.

Quebec

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3:12pm

Wed September 17, 2014
All Tech Considered

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:17 pm

Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, testifies on net neutrality issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

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2:25pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Music Articles

As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats' Lead Man Writes About Pain

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 3:35 pm

John Darnielle's first novel, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, was about a teenage boy in a psychiatric institution who is obsessed with heavy metal.
Lalitree Darnielle Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

When The Mountain Goats' founder John Darnielle was a teenager, he went through a self-destructive phase.

"Your intelligence doesn't override your desire to destroy yourself," Darnielle tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I really, really did not want to be in my own skin. I really wanted to get high and stay high."

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2:18pm

Wed September 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Iran's Foreign Minister: U.S. 'Not Serious' About Defeating Islamic State

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:50 am

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a recent news conference in Rome. Zarif told NPR that the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to dealing with the self-declared Islamic State.
Fabio Campana EPA/Landov

Iran's foreign minister says the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to combating extremist groups in Iraq and Syria and that President Obama needs a reality check on the subject of defeating the Islamic State insurgency.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep in an interview to air on NPR, said the United States is "not serious" about defeating the Sunni extremists.

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1:40pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Goats and Soda

Who's Giving What: Nonprofits Step Up Anti-Ebola Efforts

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 3:44 pm

Direct Relief has been shipping medical supplies to West Africa.
Courtesy of Direct Relief

"Charities and individual philanthropies have given generously and they can make a big difference," President Obama emphasized yesterday during his announcement of U.S. plans for addressing Ebola.

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1:30pm

Wed September 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Obama Rules Out Another Ground War In Iraq

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:13 pm

President Obama speaks at U.S. Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama reiterated that he will not commit U.S. troops to fight another ground war in Iraq, adding that U.S. airstrikes, combined with expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.

"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

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1:01pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Colorado Tries Hard To Convince Teens That Pot Is Bad For You

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:16 pm

This human-scale lab rat cage is parked near a skate park in Denver, Colo., to make a point about the lack of science on marijuana.
Richard Feldman Studio/Sukle Advertising and Design

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

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12:20pm

Wed September 17, 2014
The Salt

Mistura Food Fest Gives Peruvian Cuisine A Chance To Shine

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:08 pm

Cuy, or guinea pig, one of the traditional dishes from the Andes.
Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

Every September, Peruvian restaurants and famous chefs from around the world gather in Lima for a celebration of Peruvian cuisine. The word mistura means "mixture" in Portuguese. And the cuisine served at Mistura, the biggest food festival in Latin America, certainly reflects a fusion of cultural dishes.

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12:08pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

How Catholic Insurance Companies Outsource Contraceptive Coverage

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 8:03 am

Contraceptive coverage has long been required by state laws or sought by nonreligious employers the religious health plans serve.
iStockphoto

Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control as part of their employee health plans because it violates their religious beliefs.

But what happens when the insurance company is itself Catholic? It turns out that Catholic health plans have for years been arranging for outside firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.

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11:55am

Wed September 17, 2014
Parallels

For Scotland's 16-Year-Olds, The First Vote Will Be On Independence

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:03 pm

Scotland lowered the voting age to 16 for Thursday's referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or opt for independence. It was widely assumed the teenagers would overwhelmingly vote for independence, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Scott Heppell AP

It's lunchtime at Drummond Community High School in Edinburgh. The kids are all wearing the uniform of a smart black blazer, white shirt and blue tie. Some 16- and 17-year-olds are here with their cheese sandwiches and their baked potatoes.

They get to cast ballots Thursday in what looks to be a close vote on whether Scotland will become independent or remain part of the United Kingdom.

Here's what some of them are saying:

"Scotland will be a richer country if there's a 'yes' vote" for independence, says Calum Preston. "It's just a fact."

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11:17am

Wed September 17, 2014
The Protojournalist

Growing Business — Show Us Your Desk Plant

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:21 am

iStockphoto

Post a photo of the plant on your desk in the Comments section below.

That's right: The plant the boss wants you to take home ...

Now you can explain — with some research to back you up — that having greenery in your workspace makes you more productive. And how a ficus near the phone or a lily by the laptop helps grow business.

And maybe your supervisor will make like a plant — and leave.

Rooting Out The Problem

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10:22am

Wed September 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Bangladesh Court Commutes Islamist Leader's Death Sentence

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:03 pm

Bangladesh's Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence of an Islamist leader who was convicted last year by a war crimes tribunal for his role in the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Delwar Hossain Sayedee, now 74, will instead spend the rest of his life in prison, a five-member panel of judges ruled today.

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