National

The Two-Way
10:23 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Sick Ship Sets Dubious Record For Royal Caribbean

The New York skyline is seen in a distance as Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas enters New York harbor on Wednesday after a massive ship-borne outbreak.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:35 am

It was a record-setting voyage, but not one that Royal Caribbean's public relations team is likely to be bragging about: The cruise line's MS Explorer of the Seas now has the distinction of more sick passengers (630) and crew (54) than any cruise ship since the CDC starting keep stats 20 years ago.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Economy Ended 2013 With Growth Still Strong, Data Suggest

FedEx employees sorted through mounds of packages in December at one of the company's facilities in Miami. Consumer spending helped fuel the economy in the third quarter. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate (a figure that adjusts for holiday spending to show the "real" growth).
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:36 am

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 3.2 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

Coming on the heels of the third quarter's even better 4.1 percent pace, the news suggests the economy finished 2013 in better shape than it had been a year earlier.

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The Salt
8:38 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Meet The Cronut's Humble Offspring: The Doughscuit!

The honey-glazed doughscuit is a combination of "doughnut," "biscuit" and "life-changing."
NPR

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 11:11 am

I first met the doughscuit at last weekend's Donut Fest in Chicago, where 15 doughnut-makers get together to try to kill you, for charity. They serve 1/4 portions of doughnuts, but still, after a few tables you feel yourself slowing down and thinking there's no way you'll make it through.

Everything starts to taste the same. Your mustache, if you have a mustache, is glazed. You look around at the thousands of doughnuts and wonder if you totaled up the calories in this room, how many delicious pounds it would be.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Two Days Later, Atlantans Get Back To Cars Abandoned In Storm

Staff Sgt. Anthony Orsi, left, and Staff Sgt. Raymond Novak of the Army National Guard helped Lauren Gates (in vehicle) retrieve her car Thursday from the Cumberland Boulevard exit ramp along I-75 North in Atlanta. Guard members and police were working to reunite drivers with more than 2,000 cars.
Daniel Shirey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:24 pm

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET. Recovery Of Cars Is Underway:

We're starting to see photos of drivers in Atlanta being reunited with their cars, two days after the ice and snow storm that caused havoc on roads there.

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Around the Nation
5:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

In Las Vegas, Lawns Are The Biggest Water Waster

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:24 am

Las Vegas depends on Lake Mead for its water and the reservoir is dropping. The city's water officials long ago instituted water conservation measures. Critics say they are not nearly enough.

Around the Nation
5:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Drought Forces Calif. Farmers To Cut Back On Planting

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:45 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Awful snowstorms and a brutal cold snap dominated the weather news this week. But in the background, a long dry spell in parts of the Central and Western U.S. has now turned into a full scale drought. Farmers and ranchers across 11 states are struggling with a severe lack of rain and snow. Among the hardest hit states, California.

NPR's Nathan Rott traveled to the Central Valley, California's agricultural hub, and has this story.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Let's jump in a truck, and I'll explain as we go.

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Around the Nation
5:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ridge Of High Pressure Blocks Snow From Oregon Ski Resort

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:24 am

Throughout the West, bone dry conditions are exacting a toll on places that rely on water to thrive. In southern Oregon, recreation plays an important role in the region's economy. The ongoing drought is drying up streams where fishing once was plentiful and it's left ski resorts wanting for snow.

Around the Nation
4:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

New York Looks To Bring Bitcoin Out Of The Shadows

Cameron (left) and Tyler Winklevoss testified Wednesday at a hearing about virtual currencies held by the New York Department of Financial Services.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 2:58 pm

New York could soon become the first state in the nation to write comprehensive regulations for the largely lawless world of virtual currencies.

The biggest one, Bitcoin, has many boosters, but it has also been connected with some spectacular crimes. On Monday, federal prosecutors announced the arrests of two men accused of using Bitcoin to help their clients buy and sell over $1 million in illegal drugs.

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The Edge
3:29 am
Thu January 30, 2014

High Schoolers Hit The Slopes, And The Books, At Team Academy

Elite athletes at Team Academy keep up their education in classrooms like this one; their training facilities are downstairs in the same building.
Sarah Brunson USSA

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:41 am

Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he's not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he's taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
3:27 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:44 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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