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2:07 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

30 Years On, Educators Still Divided On Scathing Schools Report

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:32 pm

Thirty years ago this week, President Ronald Reagan's administration released "A Nation at Risk," a report warning of "a rising tide of mediocrity" in American public education.

According to the report, only one-third of 17-year-olds in 1983 could solve a math problem requiring two steps or more, and 4 out of 10 teenagers couldn't draw inferences from written material. In an address to the nation, Reagan warned that "about 13 percent of 17-year-olds are functional illiterates and, among minority youth, the rate is closer to 40 percent."

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Africa
2:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

787 Dreamliner Could Mean Big Things For Africa's 'Air Wars'

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The Dreamliner is coming back. FAA regulators have approved a fix for the Boeing Dreamliner 787, which was grounded around the world out of safety concerns. The first redesigned plane could retake to the skies as soon as this weekend out of Ethiopia. NPR's Gregory Warner explains what the world's most modern aircraft means to the cradle of humanity.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
1:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Carjacking Victim Of Boston Suspects Recalls Harrowing Night

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A 26-year-old Chinese engineer turned entrepreneur who is in Boston developing a start-up played one of the more interesting and dangerous roles in the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt. He was driving the Mercedes SUV that he'd leased when it and he were carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers. He escaped when they stopped for gas. Ever since, this man has kept a very low profile, but he did give an exclusive two-and-a-half-hour interview to Boston Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz, who joins us now. Welcome.

ERIC MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Robert.

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Commentary
1:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Week In Politics: Syria, Immigration Reform

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're joined now by our Friday political observers, columnist E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of the New York Times, good to see you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.

CORNISH: So we're going to go back to the news we heard at the top of the hour about Syria. We heard Tom Bowman talk about three U.S. options all having downsides. Here's President Obama on this topic today.

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Animals
1:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Navy Sonar Criticized For Harming Marine Mammals

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The U.S. Navy is planning to ramp up training activities off California and Hawaii. But that has rekindled a battle over Navy sonar, which is known to harm marine mammals. From member station KQED, Lauren Sommer reports.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: We humans are visual creatures and for good reason. If someone is far away, you can usually see them before you hear them. Underwater, it's the opposite.

BRANDON SOUTHALL: The physical environment of the ocean really favors the use of sound, and the animals have evolved accordingly.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
1:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

FBI Criticized For Failing To 'Connect Dots' In Boston Case

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing was moved today to a prison hospital outside Boston. Officials say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is no longer cooperating with investigators. Some members of Congress, meanwhile, say the FBI should have heeded Russian warnings that Dzhokhar's elder brother had become a follower of radical Islam.

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The Salt
1:26 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Why Caffeine In Coffee Is A Miracle Drug For The Tired

Many believe that humanity's caffeine addiction has wrought a lot of good.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:46 pm

NPR's Coffee Week is winding down, but we'd be remiss if we didn't give some space to caffeine, the most widely used stimulant drug in the world.

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It's All Politics
1:11 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Budget Politics Forcing Congress To Pick Favorites

Call it the Whac-a-Mole approach to budgeting.

Congress restored budget flexibility so the FAA can keep air traffic controllers working, just days after their furloughs had started and flight delays began stacking up.

With spending cuts caused by sequestration rolling throughout the government, the question becomes which programs Congress might address next — and why.

"That's the parlor game in Washington," says Scott Lilly, a former staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. "There are dozens and dozens of candidates."

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Shots - Health News
1:09 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Freaky Friday: Autonomous Tissue Grabbers Are On Their Way

A miniature ninja throwing star or a surgical device? The microgripper, shown here coming out of a catheter tube, is activated by body heat. The sharp appendages fold up when the device warms up.
Evin Gultepe, Gracias Lab, Johns Hopkins University.

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:54 am

When we first heard about researchers using tiny freely floating tools to grab tissue samples deep inside the body, we were scared.

But our fears quickly turned to fascination.

Johns Hopkins engineers are testing out what they call "untethered microgrippers" as a better way to investigate hard-to-reach places. They have launched hundreds of these things, which look like miniature ninja throwing stars, inside the body of animal to retrieve tiny pieces of tissue for biopsies.

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Music + Culture
11:48 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Madame Mao's Hollywood Fantasies

A Chinese and a North Korean embrace in a pledge of everlasting (political) love. From Raid on the White Tiger Regiment, 1971.
Zhang Yaxin Courtesy of the see+ Gallery, Beijing, and the Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto.

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:56 pm

During the chaos and oppression of China's Cultural Revolution, one curious new theatrical genre was born — and it was the child of the Communist Party. Jiang Qing (a.ka. Madame Mao), a former stage and screen actress and the notorious wife of Mao Zedong, led the creation of yang ban xi: "model works" that were meant, in words attributed to Chairman Mao, to "serve the interests of the workers, peasants, and soldiers and [conforming] to proletarian ideology."

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