National

The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Florida Community Asks Mermaid To Swim Elsewhere

Jenna Conti, also known as Eden Sirene, before being asked to stay out of the water.
Courtesy of Bob Abruzzese

Jenna Conti just wants to swim.

In her custom-made mermaid costume.

At the Fishhawk Ranch community pools in Tampa, Fla.

But rules are rules, the local development district board says. And the rules say no swim fins in the pools.

So Conti, or Eden Sirene as she's known when she swims, has been left high and dry.

She "just wanted to really show some magic here in Fishhawk," Conti says.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Sequestration Could Curtail 'Hurricane Hunter' Missions

A WC-130J "Hurricane Hunter"
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:38 pm

Federal furloughs caused by sequestration could ground "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft, depriving forecasters of real-time measurements of storms during what's expected to be an especially active Atlantic hurricane season.

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Politics
4:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Lawmakers Work To Finish Deal On Student Loan Rates

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 11:46 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

College students across the country, you can now exhale. Today, a bipartisan group of senators announced a deal to stabilize rates on federal student loans. Two weeks ago, the rates for undergraduates doubled to 6.8 percent. Lawmakers have been working to avert the hike, but they couldn't agree on the basics until now, as NPR's Cory Turner explains.

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Law
4:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

How The Justice Department Picks Its Civil Rights Cases

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The NAACP says it's gathered more than one million signatures on a petition to the Justice Department. They want federal prosecutors to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, for what they call the egregious violation of his right to life. The petition bid follows Zimmerman's acquittal on Saturday in state court. The Justice Department says it continues its investigation into the shooting and will decide whether federal prosecution is appropriate.

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Around the Nation
4:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Where Are All Of Wyomings Escalators?

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Turning now to escalator news, specifically Wyoming escalator news.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There is a reported paucity of moving staircases in the Cowboy State, and that shortcoming has been posited as an argument for Wyoming to have fewer than its allotted pair of senators.

CORNISH: The argument goes like this: Why should a state with only two escalators get two senators?

BLOCK: Well, for some insight, we turn to the self-proclaimed escalator editor of the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune.

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U.S.
4:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Furloughs Cut Into Classtime At U.S. Military Bases

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Civilian furloughs have begun at U.S. military installations worldwide. The mandatory days off without pay, prompted by the current round of budget cuts known as sequestration, are looming over Defense Department-run schools that serve the children of military families. For teachers at the nation's most populous Army base, Fort Bragg, cuts mean no new textbooks and a loss of school days.

Energy
4:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Carbon Tax Gaining Popularity, But Not With Lawmakers

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

The idea of taxing carbon emissions to curb climate change has been gaining surprisingly diverse and bipartisan support over the past year. Everywhere, that is, except Congress.

The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

EPA, Labor Nominees Confirmed

By 59-40 vote mostly along party lines, the Senate on Thursday afternoon confirmed Gina McCarthy as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

That followed a 54-46 vote early in the day to confirm Thomas Perez as Labor secretary.

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Shots - Health News
3:37 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

World's Biggest Virus May Have Ancient Roots

Pandoraviruses were discovered lurking in the mud of Chile and Australia, half a world apart.
courtesy of Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:14 am

Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.

In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.

"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Man Who Hoped To Testify Against Whitey Bulger Is Found Dead

Stephen Rakes as he arrived at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston on June 12 for the first day of the "Whitey" Bulger's trial.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, who claimed that notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger forced him — at gunpoint — to sell a liquor store in 1984, was found dead Wednesday in Lincoln, Mass.

According to the Middlesex (Mass.) District Attorney's office, "there were no obvious signs of trauma. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death."

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