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The Salt
2:17 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Your Kitchen Spices Can Often Harbor Salmonella

Pepper is the spice most commonly contaminated with salmonella and other pathogens.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:59 pm

Spice may be nice, but spices also can carry very bad bugs. About 7 percent of spices tested by Food and Drug Administration researchers were contaminated with salmonella, which can cause serious illness and death. Because of this finding and others, the FDA and international food safety organizations are putting more effort into how to reduce the risk.

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Shots - Health News
1:43 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

How Money Worries Can Scramble Your Thinking

Worrying about finances can tax the brain just as much as staying up all night.
Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 2:29 pm

There's no question that dealing with mortgages, car payments and other bills takes up time and energy. But having a tight budget may also zap our ability to think clearly, scientists report Thursday in the journal Science.

In a series of clever experiments involving farmers in India and shoppers in New Jersey, scientists found that people are worse at solving puzzles — similar to those on the IQ test — when they're first reminded of money problems.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

IRS Will Recognize All Legal Same-Sex Marriages

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:16 pm

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday that when it comes to federal tax purposes, same-sex couples who have legally married will be treated the same as straight married couples, no matter what state they reside in now.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Report: Spy Agencies' 'Black Budget' Reveals Intelligence Gaps

Pakistani Army soldiers guard nuclear-capable missiles at the International Defence Exhibition in Karachi in 2008. The Washington Post reports that concern over their security is a "blind spot" in U.S. intelligence efforts.
Rizwan Tabassum AFP/Getty Images

The Washington Post on Thursday reports on U.S. spy agencies' $52.6 billion secret budget for fiscal year 2013, a document that reveals significant "blind spots" obscuring the intentions and motives of U.S. friends and foes alike.

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Parallels
1:16 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

A Rare Wedding Offers Syrians A Brief Respite From War Talk

The bride, groom and wedding party celebrate Thursday in the Syrian capital, Damascus. It was a brief respite for residents of the neighborhood who were expecting U.S.- or NATO-led airstrikes.
For NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:26 pm

The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.

In a west Damascus neighborhood Thursday, a drumbeat all too rare drew people to their windows and balconies. Passersby stopped to investigate. Traffic came to a halt. Some drivers honked to the beat.

They were the drums of a wedding, a tradition known in Damascus as an arada. It involves a troupe of professional drummers, along with dozens of members of a wedding party, that picks up the groom from home.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Third Tsarnaev Friend Indicted On Lying Charge

A third friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been indicted on a charge related to what authorities say were attempts by the trio to mislead investigators or dispose of evidence that linked Tsarnaev to the bombings.

The office of the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts posted this statement on Twitter early Thursday afternoon:

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All Tech Considered
1:11 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

The Fast-Food Restaurants That Require Few Human Workers

The Febo snack bar is open all night.
Adam Jackson Flickr

In perhaps the largest nationwide fast-food strike in history, the employees who make your 99-cent burgers and tacos were planning strikes in 50 U.S. cities Thursday. Workers are calling for a $15 minimum wage and hoping to raise attention to the fast-food industry's low pay and limited prospects. The current federal minimum wage standard is $7.25 per hour.

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Parallels
12:57 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Too Weird To Be True? In China, You Never Can Tell

A zoo in central China's Henan province swapped a dog — a Tibetan mastiff like the one shown here — for a lion, in another story that recently swept Chinese cyberspace.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:47 pm

Here are some of the recent news stories that went viral in China that you may have missed:

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Federal Prosecutors Told Not To Focus On Marijuana Users

A customer rolls a joint made of half marijuana and half tobacco to smoke inside of Frankie Sports Bar and Grill in Olympia, Wash., in December 2012.
Nick Adams Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:58 pm

Federal prosecutors are being told by Attorney General Eric Holder to focus on cartels, criminal enterprises and those who sell the drug to children, not on casual marijuana users, a Justice Department official tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Holder today informed the governors of Washington and Colorado — two states that recently legalized the sale of marijuana for personal use — about the new guidelines for prosecutors, the official adds.

Bu the new guidelines will apply to all states, not just Washington, Colorado and those where "medical marijuana" is legal.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Judge Hints At Helping American Airlines Out Of Bankruptcy

American Airlines aircraft sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport last week.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:41 pm

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday indicated that he's leaning in favor of a allowing American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy, clearing a major obstacle to the carrier's planned merger with US Airways.

Judge Sean H. Lane said he is "finding the arguments in favor of confirmation fairly persuasive" to allow American, which filed for Chapter 11 in November 2011, to emerge from bankruptcy.

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