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Shots - Health News
4:33 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Older Folks Get Modest Memory Boost From Brain Boot Camp

Study participants were trained in practical reasoning skills like managing medications.
Jorge Salcedo iStockphoto

Older people who took a few weeks of classes to train their brains say their ability to perform everyday tasks declined less than people who hadn't had the training, even years later.

But the difference between them was modest at best, and wasn't independently verified. So it's impossible to know if the people were really doing better at tasks like reading bus schedules or completing order forms, or if they just thought they should be.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Side Effect Of Legal Pot: Police Budgets Take A Hit

The legalization of marijuana could dry up a revenue stream for police, according to reports. Here, two men share a water pipe underneath the Space Needle shortly after a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana took effect in Seattle in 2012.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Some U.S. states are viewing the legalization of marijuana as a chance to gain new sources of tax revenue. Several states allow its use for medical reasons; Colorado has approved its recreational use, and Washington will follow suit this year.

But the decriminalization of pot also stands to remove a funding source for police: property forfeitures from drug dealers. Such funding is "going up in smoke," The Wall Street Journal reports.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Chomp! Fish Snatches Bird In Flight: VIDEO

My what big teeth you have. An African tigerfish.
Smithsonian Channel

The Smithsonian Channel doesn't call it "the ferocious tigerfish" for nothing.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Review Of Terrorism Cases Finds NSA Spying Helped Very Little

A graph from a study about the efficacy of NSA programs.
New America Foundation

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:53 pm

Surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency helped very little when it came to cases brought against individuals the United States says were linked to al-Qaida.

That's according to a review of 225 cases by the New America Foundation, which describes itself as a "nonpartisan public policy institute."

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Movie Reviews
2:01 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Three Protesters, One 'Square': Film Goes Inside Egypt's Revolution

Before protesting in The Square, Khalid Abdalla (left) acted in such films as The Kite Runner, Green Zone and United 93.
Noujaim Films

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:46 pm

A revolution is a bit like a writing a mystery novel. It's hard to start but even harder to come up with a satisfying ending.

They're still working on that in Egypt. Three years after the toppling of dictator Hosni Mubarak — the crowning moment of the Arab Spring — the army's running the country again; the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, has been arrested and charged with treason; the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned; and Tahrir Square's secular protesters are getting arrested. All this in the name of order and country.

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Author Interviews
2:01 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

As A Latina, Sonia Sotomayor Says, 'You Have To Work Harder'

In addition to being the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor was New York state's first Hispanic federal judge.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:46 pm

Like most sitting Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor is circumspect when talking about the court; but she has written intimately about her personal life — more so than is customary for a Supreme Court justice.

"When I was nominated by the president for this position, it became very clear to me that many people in the public were interested in my life and the challenges I had faced," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "... And I also realized that much of the public perception of who I was and what had happened to me was not quite complete."

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The Salt
1:44 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Italians To New Yorkers: 'Forkgate' Scandal? Fuhggedaboutit

In this image taken from video and provided by New York City Hall, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio eats pizza with a fork at Goodfellas Pizza on Staten Island on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 12:10 pm

Over the past week, two high-profile leaders in the New York metropolitan area found themselves at the center of unfolding political scandals. At least one, it seems, has some plausible deniability.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie's political future is in doubt over the ever-widening "Bridgegate" fiasco, as emails revealed that members of his closest inner circle were involved. But just across that bridge, New York City's newly installed mayor, Bill de Blasio, became embroiled in another kind of drama: "Forkgate."

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Letter: Kalashnikov Suffered Remorse Over Rifle He Invented

Russian President Vladimir Putin pauses by a portrait of Mikhail Kalashnikov at the arms designer's funeral in December.
Sergei Chirikov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:37 pm

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 rifle who died last month at the age of 94, wrote a letter in 2012 to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church expressing "spiritual pain" over the deaths caused by the ubiquitous weapon.

More than 100 million AK-47 and variants have been sold worldwide since it was first produced in the Soviet Union in 1949. The Kalashnikov rifle quickly developed a reputation for being cheap to make, reliable and easy to use, making it the weapon of choice for many of the world's infantry soldiers, freedom fighters and terrorists.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Japan's Suntory To Buy Maker Of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark

Three bourbon whiskeys.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:59 pm

A piece of legendary Americana will now be owned by a Japanese firm.

Beam Inc., the maker of the bourbons Jim Beam and Maker's Mark, will be sold to Japan's Suntory in a deal the companies say is worth $16 billion, including assumed debt.

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Law
12:19 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Supreme Court Declines To Consider Arizona Abortion Law

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And some news from the Supreme Court this morning: The justices have decided not to intervene in a legal battle over abortion in the state of Arizona. Earlier, an appeals court said the state's law banning most abortions after 20 weeks was unconstitutional. The high court's decision today not to review the case effectively blocks that ban from coming into place in Arizona.

NPR's Julie Rovner joins us to talk about the implications of this. Hi, Julie.

JULIE ROVNER, BYLINE: Hey, David.

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