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Shots - Health News
1:37 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time

When it comes to nature versus nurture, brain scientists think both matter.
Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:04 am

John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He's also a parent. Over the years, Hewitt has periodically drawn upon his scientific knowledge in making parenting decisions.

"I'm a father of four children myself and I never worried too much about the environments that I was providing for my children because I thought, well, it would all work out in the end anyway — aren't the genes especially powerful?" Hewitt says.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 am
Mon September 23, 2013

How A Pregnant Woman's Choices Could Shape A Child's Health

Does a glass or two of wine during pregnancy really increase the child's health risks? Epigenetics may help scientists figure that out.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 6:58 am

Pregnant women hear a lot about things they should avoid: alcohol, tobacco, chemical exposures, stress. All of those have the potential to affect a developing fetus. And now scientists are beginning to understand why.

One important factor, they say, is something called epigenetics, which involves the mechanisms that turn individual genes on and off in a cell.

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The Salt
1:35 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Got Baguettes? Bakers' Lobby Tells France To Eat More Bread

Baguettes head into a giant oven at Le Grenier a Pain Bakery.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:32 am

The French, it seems, aren't eating bread the way they used to. The average French person consumes just half a baguette a day, down from a full baguette 40 years ago.

Those statistics worry the French bakers' lobby, the Observatoire du Pain.

Bernard Vallius, who heads the group, says it used to be that people ate a sit-down lunch and dinner with family or friends every day. Now people — especially the young and those who live in cities — eat sandwiches or skip lunch altogether and snack, he says.

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The Two-Way
1:08 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Scripps College Honors Ex-Rep. Giffords For Public Service

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, accompanied by her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, speaks during a news conference in Manchester, N.H., in July. They were there to encourage state political leaders to have courage in the fight to expand background checks on gun purchases.
Mary Schwalm AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 2:02 am

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was honored over the weekend for her service to the public by Scripps College. Giffords' alma mater awarded her the school's highest level of recognition: the Ellen Browning Scripps Medal.

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Around the Nation
4:19 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Strained Foster Care System A 'Meter Of Our Social Problems'

Claudia Felder, 21, was in and out of the U.S. foster care system for nearly 10 years before she found a permanent family. Her difficult story ended happily, but that's not always the case for the 400,000 kids in foster care in America.
Daniel Hajek NPR

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 10:02 am

Claudia Felder lives in Chino, Calif., with her parents. It's a wholesome scene: nice house, three dogs and a parrot and happy family pictures everywhere.

You'd have no idea that the composed, cheerful, articulate young woman got off to a rough start in life.

Felder spent much of her childhood in foster care, starting when she was 3 years old. She's 21 now, and has been living happily with her adoptive family. But memories of an abusive past still haunt her.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama At Navy Yard Memorial: 'Once More, Our Hearts Are Broken'

President Obama speaks during a memorial service at the Marine Barracks Sunday in Washington, D.C., honoring victims of Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:07 am

President Obama spoke at a memorial service Sunday to honor the 12 victims of Monday's Navy Yard shootings.

"The tragedy and the pain that brings us here today is extraordinary. It is unique," he said.

But Obama also noted Monday's incident is the fifth mass shooting he has witnessed as president. "Once more, our hearts are broken," he said.

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Education
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

In Push For 'Common' Standards, Many Parents Left Uneducated

The Common Core Standards establish academic expectations across states in math and English language arts.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:51 pm

Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, the first-ever national academic standards for students. But opposition is growing, and some lawmakers are having second thoughts about their states' support.

Meanwhile, proponents of the standards are still struggling to explain the initiative to parents, many of whom say they've never even heard of Common Core.

Looking For Direction

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Move Over Vodka; Korean Soju's Taking A Shot At America

Boxes of empty Jinro soju bottles sit in a downtown Seoul, South Korea, shop on April 1, 2005.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:35 pm

Every year, the trade magazine Drinks International puts out a list of the top-selling alcohols in the world, and in the category of spirits, there is one brand that more than doubles the sales of its closest competitor every year. Smirnoff, Jack Daniel's and Bacardi don't even come close.

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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

'Hollywood Said No,' But 'Mr. Show' Fans Said Yes!

From left, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross co-created the sketch comedy series Mr. Show. They have since played long-running roles on Breaking Bad and Arrested Development, respectively.
Sharon Alagna Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:19 pm

When the comedy program Mr. Show with Bob and David came on the air in 1995, there was nothing like it. Created by comedians Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, it was full of dark, subversive and riotously funny sketches tied together with bizarre and brilliant segues reminiscent of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

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Parallels
2:22 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Small Syrian Border Town Magnifies Rift Between Rebel Groups

A Free Syrian Army soldier stands on a Syrian military tank in front of a damaged mosque in the Syrian town of Azaz in September 2012. A different rebel group, an al-Qaida offshoot, took over the town on Wednesday.
Hussein Malla AP

A small town on the Syrian-Turkish border is playing an outsized role in what has become a war within the war in Syria. Azaz is now a symbol of the dangerous rift between Western-backed rebels under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army and a radical Islamist groups linked to al-Qaida.

Clashes on Wednesday — the seizure of Azaz by an al-Qaida offshoot — were followed more closely than other battles, in part because Azaz was the gateway town for journalists reporting on Syria.

From Cooperation To Competition

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