12:59pm

Wed February 27, 2013
Shots - Health News

Scientists Sift For Clues On SARS-Like Virus

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:40 pm

A new coronavirus looks a lot like its cousin SARS under the microscope, but it appears they're quite different when it comes to contagiousness.
NIAID/RML

Ever since a previously unknown virus killed a Saudi Arabian man last summer, scientists from around the globe have been trying to figure it out.

On Wednesday, two of the researchers who helped identify the virus shared fresh details about recent cases, including some ideas about how people catch it.

The session was part of an annual research meeting on biodefense and emerging diseases put on by the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, D.C.

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12:53pm

Wed February 27, 2013
Music Interviews

Richard Thompson: The Acoustics Behind 'Electric'

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:03 pm

Richard Thompson performs live at the All Things Considered studio.
Claire O'Neill NPR

Guitar players will hear the pure, ringing tones conjured by 10 fingers that seem to be doing the work of 20 and say, "Oh, for sure — that's Richard Thompson."

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12:28pm

Wed February 27, 2013
Music Reviews

Aretha Franklin Before Atlantic: The Columbia Years

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:01 pm

Aretha Franklin became a star on the Atlantic record label after leaving Columbia.
Express Newspapers Getty Images

Aretha Franklin made her first record when she was 14, singing some gospel standards in the church of her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, an easygoing Detroit pastor who was friends with Martin Luther King and just about every gospel singer you could name. One of the stars who visited a lot was Sam Cooke, who convinced Aretha that she could be a hit singing popular music.

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11:35am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Van Cliburn, Renowned American Concert Pianist, Dies

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 12:22 pm

U.S. pianist Van Cliburn in 1963.
Evening Standard Getty Images

The American concert pianist Harvey Lavan "Van" Cliburn has died, according to the Associated Press, who is quoting a representative.

Cliburn achieved worldwide recognition when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow as a 23-year-old. What's more he did so in 1958, at the height of the Cold War.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Cliburn died in his mansion in Fort Worth, Texas. He had been diagnosed with bone cancer.

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11:33am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Salt

Germans Are Drinking Less Beer These Days, But Why?

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:57 pm

A waiter carries beer mugs during the 2012 Oktoberfest in Munich.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

For centuries, Germany has been synonymous with beer. Tourists flock from around the world to take part in the country's many beer festivals, including the famous Oktoberfest.

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11:15am

Wed February 27, 2013
Economy

Economists See Budget Cuts Putting The Recovery At Risk

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 3:52 pm

Shipyard workers wait for President Obama to speak about looming automatic federal budget cuts Tuesday in Newport News, Va.
Charles Dharapak AP

Getting economists to agree with each other isn't easy. But Congress and the White House have managed to unite them.

More than 95 percent of top U.S. economists believe growth is "likely to be negatively affected" by the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in Friday, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

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11:14am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Highest Bidder Will Get DNA Pioneer's Nobel Medal

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:43 pm

Francis Crick in 2003, the year before his death, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego.
Denis Poroy AP

This is no ordinary family heirloom.

The granddaughter of English scientist Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA who passed away in 2004, is putting his Nobel Prize medal up on the auction block.

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11:05am

Wed February 27, 2013
Shots - Health News

When Sizing Up Childhood Obesity Risks, It Helps To Ask About Random Kids

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:17 am

A poll needs to ask about randomly selected children in households across the country to bring context to what's happening with kids like 7-year-old Henry Condes in Los Angeles.
David Gilkey NPR

To understand the challenges around childhood obesity in the U.S., you need to take a close look at the lives of children and the households in which their habits are formed.

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, where I'm a researcher, created a unique poll to do that.

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11:03am

Wed February 27, 2013
Author Interviews

'Behind The Scenes' At The Vatican: The Politics Of Picking A New Pope

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 12:54 pm

In his new book, The Vatican Diaries, John Thavis draws on his nearly 30 years of reporting on the Vatican.
Viking/Penguin Group

The years of his papacy had seen "moments of joy and light, but also difficult moments," Pope Benedict XVI told some 100,000 spectators gathered in St. Peter's Square Wednesday during his final address. "There have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us ... and the Lord seemed to sleep."

As Benedict becomes the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years and cardinals gather in Rome to choose his successor, a series of scandals — child sex abuse, mismanagement at the Vatican bank, the leaking of secret church documents — has left the Vatican reeling.

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11:03am

Wed February 27, 2013
Race

Students Vote To Drop 'Redskins'

Students at Cooperstown Central School recently voted to stop calling their sport teams the Redskins. In turn, an Indian tribe offered to pay for new team uniforms. Host Michel Martin talks about the gesture with Ray Halbritter, of the Oneida Nation.

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