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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Kerry Says Assad, A 'Thug And Murderer,' Was Behind Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks Friday at the State Department.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:28 pm

  • Aug. 30, 2013: Secretary of State John Kerry on the crisis in Syria

The evidence is clear "and compelling" that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons against its own people last week, Secretary of State John Kerry told the American people Friday.

The U.S., Kerry said, knows where the rockets carrying the chemicals were fired from — territory controlled by the Assad regime — and when they were launched.

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Space
11:04 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Space Telescope Reawakened for an Asteroid Hunt

After the WISE telescope used up the coolant needed to operate its detectors, its primary mission as an infrared survey telescope ended. NASA's Amy Mainzer describes how the agency is repurposing the dormant craft for a new three-year mission looking for near-Earth asteroids. Astronomer Brett Gladman also discusses a newly spotted asteroid-like object trailing Uranus.

Mental Health
11:04 am
Fri August 30, 2013

New Clues to Memory Glitch Behind 'Senior Moments'

Reporting in Science Translational Medicine, Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist Eric Kandel and colleagues write of a memory gene that appears to retire as the brain ages — leading to those "Where'd I put my keys?" moments. Kandel says such memory glitches may be reversible with the right intervention.

Food
11:04 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Food Failures: Beer Home Brew

Is your wort too hot? Have wild yeast taken over your brew? Are you experiencing bottle bomb? Home brewing beer is a combination of art and science. Chris Cuzme from 508 GastroBrewery discusses common pitfalls of home brewing and tips to perfect your process.

History
11:04 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Ancient Beads with an Otherworldly Origin

Researchers analyzed ancient Egyptian iron beads fashioned out of meteoric iron and crafted 2,000 years before the Iron Age. Archaeometallurgist Thilo Rehren discusses how the beads were made before the prevalence of iron mining and smelting.

Mental Health
11:04 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Diagnosing Self-Destruction

Suicide kills twice as many people as murder each year in the United States, and rates in the military recently surpassed those among civilians. But while scientists have identified some risk factors for suicide being white, being male, substance abuse, mental illness — they still have little idea what spurs people to take their own lives.

All Tech Considered
10:50 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Syrian Hackers And Google Intrigue

A cyberattack, reportedly by a group called the Syrian Electronic Army, forced The New York Times offline this week.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 2:44 pm

Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers across the Internet.

ICYMI

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Fri August 30, 2013

India's PM Tries To Reassure Country Over Rupee's Slide

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a diplomatic signing ceremony with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in New Delhi last week.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 2:03 pm

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed a steep slide in the country's currency in recent weeks in a rare public speech on Friday, hoping to assuage concern over the rupee's sudden depreciation and blaming the opposition for inaction in Parliament that he said was sending the wrong signals to the markets.

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Shots - Health News
10:28 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Can Wife Insured Through Estranged Husband's Job Use Exchange?

We've got another one.
iStockphoto.com

We've been fielding questions about the rollout of the federal health law. With the health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, set to open in a little over a month, the questions about how they'll work are pouring in.

Here's one with a twist we hadn't thought of.

I'm not living with my husband, but he still provides health insurance for me through his employer. Will I be eligible to go on the health insurance marketplace if I choose not to have him cover me through his employer?

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Don't Call It A Mind-Meld: Human Brains Connect Via Internet

Acting as a "sender," brain researcher Rajesh Rao watches a video game and waits for the time to hit the "fire" button. But he'll only think about doing that — the impulse was carried out by someone in another building, in a recent test of brain-to-brain communication.
University of Washington

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 10:42 am

In what they call "direct brain-to-brain communication in humans," researchers in Washington state say they've successfully passed signals from one mind to another via the Internet, without using surgical implants. In their test, two people collaborated on a task while sitting in different buildings, using only their minds.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

"Bear," who has been trained to sniff out Giant African Land Snails.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 10:41 am

More than 128,000 Giant African Land Snails have been found and eradicated in the two years since the highly destructive creatures invaded the Miami-Dade area, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam says.

While it's too soon to declare victory, "we are confident that we will win this fight," Putnam adds.

Part of the credit, officials say, should go to "canine detector teams" that are sniffing out snails in places that are tough for humans to search.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Defectors Think Most North Koreans Approve Of Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Mr. Popularity?
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 12:45 pm

While public opinion polling hasn't exactly caught on in North Korea, a survey of defectors estimates that more than half of the country they left behind approves of the job leader Kim Jong Un is doing.

Seoul's Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, as reported by Yonhap news agency, asked 133 defectors to hazard a guess as to Kim's actual approval rating in the country, which at least publicly buys into the absolute cult of personality surrounding its leadership.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:02 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Drone It To Me, Baby

Jasper van Loenen/Vimeo

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 3:18 pm

Spies used them first, then the Air Force, then cops, then mischievous civilians; drones, for some reason, are what gawkers use to gawk. They're spy accessories. But not only spy accessories. Thanks to Jasper van Loenen, drones are about to expand their repertoire. The word "drone" is about to become a verb, as in "Drone it to me"...

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Business
9:54 am
Fri August 30, 2013

More Americans Are In The Mood To Travel For Labor Day

Labor Day weekend travel may rise by 4.2 percent to the highest level since before the recession, according to AAA Travel.
Scott Olson Getty Images

After years of sticking close to home, more Americans are eager to shake off the recession's remnants and have a final summer adventure, according to experts who track travel.

"We've noticed that vacation plans increased quite a bit in August," compared with June, said Chris Christopher, an economist who focuses on consumer markets for IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm.

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Late Night TV Week On Fresh Air
9:38 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Questlove's Roots: A 'Meta' Memoir Of A Lifetime In Music

In his new memoir, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson describes his life in music — and how he mimicked beats at just 10 months old.
Danny Clinch Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 12:51 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on June 24, 2013. Questlove's hip hop band The Roots is preparing to move from Late Night to The Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon takes over as the host in February. We kick off this hour with a conversation between TV critic David Bianculli and Fresh Air host Terry Gross about the history of Tonight Show bands.

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