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Science & Health
3:59 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Aggressive Care Still Common For Dying Seniors, Despite Hospice Uptick

Joe Takach comforts his friend Lillian Landry, as she spends her last days in the hospice wing of a hospital in Oakland Park, Fla., in 2009.
J. Pat Carter AP

Although federal data show that fewer Medicare beneficiaries are dying in hospitals that doesn't mean they're getting a lot less medical care in their final days, new research suggests.

Even as deaths in acute-care hospitals declined between 2000 and 2009, the use of intensive care units in the final 30 days of life increased, as did short-term hospice use. The rate of changes to care for these patients, such as transfers within the last three days of life, also increased.

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Arts & Life
3:56 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reg Presley, The Voice Of 'Wild Thing,' Dies

Reg Presley in Hamburg, circa 1965.
Petra Niemeier — K & K Redferns

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Reg Presley, the founder and lead singer of The Troggs, the rock group best known for the performing the original version of the song "Wild Thing," has died. Presley was 71. He died of lung cancer yesterday at his home in England.

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Arts & Life
3:49 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Did Ninjas Use Throwing Stars? A Conversation About Ninja Realities

An authentic master of ninjutsu martial art, Kazuki Ukita poses in Ninja costume at the Ninja museum's Ninja residence in the small ancient city of Ueno.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:31 pm

Our friends at On Point had a fascinating discussion today with the author of a new book about ninjas.

Here's what Sam Gale Rosen, On Point's producer, told us:

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National Security
3:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Democratic Senator Questions Administration's Drone Program

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, is one of those 11 senators that Carrie mentioned who've demanded the administration turn over secret documents about the operation against Anwar al-Awlaki. Senator Wyden also sent a letter last month to the White House counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, the president's nominee to run the CIA. And in that letter, he asked: How much evidence does the president need to determine that a particular American can be lawfully killed?

Senator Wyden joins us now. Welcome to the program.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Obama Calls On Congress For Short-Term Sequestration Solution

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

It seems like the keyword in Washington these days is deadline: debt ceiling deadlines, tax deadlines, spending cut deadlines. Well, today, President Obama called for a delay on a looming deadline: the automatic spending cuts that are set to kick in on March 1.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

How The Labor Movement Did A 180 On Immigration

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka leaves the White House on Tuesday after meeting with President Obama to discuss immigration policy and other issues.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

The AFL-CIO begins a big push this week to build momentum for comprehensive changes to the nation's immigration laws.

But it wasn't long ago that organized labor viewed illegal workers in the U.S. as a threat — and fought against proposals that would lead to citizenship.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, referenced the labor movement's history with the immigration issue in a YouTube message to members late last year.

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Arts & Life
3:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Is It So Hard To Make A 100 Percent American Hand Dryer?

The Xlerator hand dryer is made almost entirely of American components and assembled in Massachusetts. But the company's owner says it's simply not cost-effective to use an American-made motor.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:17 pm

Fifteen years ago, Denis Gagnon bought a company that made a product nobody really liked: hand dryers. But he quickly managed to turn Massachusetts-based Excel Dryer into an innovator with the Xlerator — a high-speed dryer that cut drying time from more than 30 seconds to less than 15.

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Politics & Government
3:39 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

White House Says Obama Will Visit Israel This Spring

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 7:49 am

President Obama will make his first presidential visit to Israel this spring, the White House announced this afternoon.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did not give an indication of date, but he said that Obama will also visit the West Bank and Jordan during the trip.

As The Washington Post points out, the trip comes at a time when Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have stalled. The Post reports:

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Arts & Life
3:25 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reissued And Relevant, Marcos Valle's '70s Bossa Nova Returns

Marcos Valle in Los Angeles in 1968.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Marcos Valle wasn't identified with Brazil's influential Tropicalia movement during the 1960s and 1970s. But, like his peers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, he made ambitious and subversive pop music during those years, mixing American soul and rock with samba, bossa nova and other Brazilian styles.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Exercise Can Be Good For The Heart, And Maybe For Sperm, Too

Human sperm race to fertilize an egg.
David M. Phillips Science Source

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:39 am

Guys, it may be time to get off the couch and hit the treadmill — especially if you want to have kids.

Okay, we all know that exercise is good for us. It can reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, to name a few benefits. Now researchers say physical activity may also help keep sperm healthy and happy.

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Science & Health
3:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Mixing Alcohol With Diet Soda May Make You Drunker

The rum in that Cuba libre will hit your bloodstream faster if it's mixed with diet cola.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:36 pm

Looking to cut back on the calories in your cocktail by mixing, say, diet soda and rum? Well, get ready for the buzz.

According to the results of a new study, this combination will leave you drunker than if you'd mixed the liquor with a sugary, caloric mixer.

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Kitchen Window
2:56 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Chocolate: Out Of The Box, Into The Frying Pan

Peter Ogburn for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:02 am

Chocolate is like sex or pizza: Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. There are those who prefer light, refreshing desserts after a big meal, but I think those people are crazy. I always gravitate to the most decadent dessert on the menu, which is usually laden with chocolate. And while I love the stuff, there is nothing sadder than giving or receiving a box of boring chocolates on Valentine's Day. Each year, men and women shamefully duck into grocery stores and pharmacies to grab a box of assorted chocolates. Because nothing says "I love you" quite like chocolate from a gas station.

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Arts & Life
2:52 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

U.S. Says It Has No Plans To Charge Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong during a January interview with Oprah Winfrey regarding the controversy surrounding his cycling career.
Getty Images

The Department of Justice said today that it was sticking by its decision not to pursue any charges against cyclist Lance Armstrong.

"We made a decision on that case a little over a year ago. Obviously, we've been well aware of the statements that have been made by Mr. Armstrong in other media reports. That does not change my view at this time," André Birotte, a U.S. attorney based in Los Angeles, said according to Reuters.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

5 Questions About Justice Department Memo On Targeted Killings

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:48 am

A confidential Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News outlines legal theories the Obama administration has used to justify killing American citizens abroad. Here are five key questions and answers about the document:

1) What is it?

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Monkey See
2:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Ann Harada, From 'Smash' To Stepsisterhood

Actress Ann Harada (in pink) returns to the stage in the Broadway premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, an update of the made-for-TV movie from 1957. Her other theater work has included Avenue Q and Les Miserables.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:45 pm

Ann Harada is that rare Asian-American musical theater actress who's never starred in The King and I or Miss Saigon. After a few summer stock stints as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Harada realized if she was going to make it in theater, it would be as a character actor. In 2003, she originated the role of Christmas Eve in the irreverent puppet musical Avenue Q, a part she played on and off for six years.

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