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3:23 am
Fri May 29, 2015

It All Came Down To 'Nunatak'

Vanya Shivashankar, left, of Olathe, Kan., and Gokul Venkatachalam of Chesterfield, Mo., lift the trophy after becoming co-champions Thursday night after the final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Oxon Hills, Md.
Joshua Roberts Reuters/Landov

I started off wondering whether I might be able to spell a few of the words right. I ended up realizing that most of them I had never even heard of before.

Iridocyclitis. Cibarial. Pyrrhuloxia. And so on.

It was one of the many surprises of an evening spent watching the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night in Washington.

Another big surprise was how much I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I had expected to see a bunch of highly trained kids who've spent months and years memorizing the dictionary, essentially regurgitating that information.

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Goats and Soda
6:41 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Cholera Surges In Haiti As Rain Arrives Early

Health workers collect the body of a cholera victim in Petionville, Haiti, February 2011. The cholera outbreak in Haiti began in October 2010. Nearly 9,000 people have died.
David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

At a government-run clinic in Diquini, near Port-au-Prince, doctors are treating a handful of cholera patients.

One of them is Givenchi Predelus. For five days, the high school sophomore has been lying on a cot with a towel over his midsection and an IV in his arm, listening to tinny music on his bare-bones cellphone.

Predelus speaks in a whisper, a sign of what cholera has done to his strength. "Only one other person in my area has cholera," he says, through an interrupter. "She sells patties on the side of the road. I'm the second victim."

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The Salt
6:15 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Cod Comeback: How The North Sea Fishery Bounced Back From The Brink

Fish for sale in the fish market in Fraserburgh, Scotland.
Ari Shapiro/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Cod love the icy cold waters of the North Sea — and British people love eating cod.

But a decade ago, it looked like people were eating the fish to the brink of collapse. Now the trend has turned around, and the cod are coming back.

We pick up this fish tale, which seems to be on its way to a happy ending, at an early morning fish auction in Fraserburgh, Scotland, where buyers and sellers are lined up alongside hundreds of boxes containing cod, hake, monkfish, sole and every other kind of fish you can imagine from the North Sea.

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The Two-Way
5:54 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Former House Speaker Hastert Indicted In Probe Into $3.5M In Withdrawals

Then-U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert greets a supporter in Yorkville, Ill., in August 2007, after he announced that he would not seek another term in Congress. Hastert was indicted May 28 on charges of evading cash-withdrawal reporting requirements and lying to the FBI, in connection with what the indictment described as $3.5 million in hush money slowly taken out and paid to an unnamed individual.
John Gress Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 9:43 am

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Chicago. The Illinois Republican, 73, is charged with trying to evade cash withdrawal requirements, and with lying to the FBI about it.

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The Salt
5:51 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Why A Journalist Scammed The Media Into Spreading Bad Chocolate Science

Eating a chocolate bar daily can help you lose weight? Sorry, that study was a sweet lie — part of an elaborate hoax to school the news media about proper nutrition science journalism.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 12:22 pm

Earlier this spring, headlines around the world trumpeted an exciting bit of news that seemed too good to be true: "Eating chocolate can help you LOSE weight," as Britain's Daily Star put it.

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All Tech Considered
5:49 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Blind Auditions Could Give Employers A Better Hiring Sense

In the face-to-face interview process, research shows that managers tend to hire applicants who are similar to them on paper.
Bjorn Rune Lie Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Entrepreneur Petar Vujosevic was just a regular guy who saw a big problem with the way the hiring system works.

Typically, a hiring manager posts an opening, describes the ideal candidate and resumes come flooding in. After doing some interviews, the manager has to make a gut decision: Who is the best person for the job?

Research shows that more often than not, managers pick someone whose background is similar to theirs.

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Shots - Health News
5:49 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

CDC Investigates Live Anthrax Shipments

A security fence surrounds the main part of the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground, a testing laboratory in the Utah desert. The Army says it mistakenly shipped live anthrax from Dugway to several labs in the U.S. and Korea.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still trying to figure out how the military managed to ship anthrax spores that were apparently live from one of its facilities to more than a dozen labs across the United States.

"We have a team at the [military] lab to determine what may have led to this incident," says CDC spokesman Jason McDonald. In addition, he says, the agency is working with health officials in nine states to make sure the potentially live samples are safely disposed of and the labs affected are decontaminated.

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U.S.
5:49 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

For Juvenile Sex Offenders, State Registries Create Lifetime Of Problems

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Forrest Hampton is about to become a family man and he couldn't be happier. He's 25 and he lives in a suburb of Dallas with his fiancée, who's due to have their baby practically any minute. They've already picked out a name: Raven.

In most ways they are a normal family. Except for one thing. Until last year, Hampton was a registered sex offender.

"I honestly don't believe I was supposed to be registered in the first place," he says, "but I wasn't in the position to fight my case."

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The Salt
5:45 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Something's Spawning On Appalachia's Forest Farms

The Maslowskis love to cook, and with each mushroom harvest, they invent new recipes. One of their favorite dishes is Hungarian mushroom soup.
Courtesy of Susan Maslowski

Many farmers in Appalachia are cultivating food not in big open fields but deep in the forest — where ramps, hazelnuts and maple trees for syrup thrive.

But some would like to see the region producing even more forest-grown products — in particular, mushrooms — to meet growing demand at specialty food stores and restaurants that serve local ingredients.

The catch? Cultivating mushrooms is labor-intensive, and if you want to sell them to the public, you'll need to show proof that they're edible and safe.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

FCC Chairman Wants To Help Low-Income Americans Afford Broadband

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 11:53 am

A government program called Lifeline subsidizes basic phone service for low-income people. Now, the head of the Federal Communications Commission also wants to use the program to pay for broadband Internet connections, which many poor people lack.

When it comes to the Internet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says there are the haves and the have nots. Ninety-five percent of households with incomes over $150,000 a year have broadband access, he says. But just 48 percent of households making under $25,000 do.

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