The Two-Way
11:44 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Obama To Address Iraq Troop Withdrawal

A few minutes ago, President Obama announced that the war in Iraq was over.

"After nearly nine years, the long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year," the president said. President Obama said he talked to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier today and they were both in complete agreement about how to proceed. Obama said that "as promised" by the end of the year all troops will withdraw from the country.

He said that this means the relationship between Iraq and the United States will now be a normal one between two sovereign countries.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Europe Sends Satellites Into Orbit Using Russian Rockets

In this handout image supplied by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Soyuz VS01 is prepared on the launch pad at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

ESA Getty Images

A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from French Guiana this morning. It was the first time one of them has blasted off outside its old Soviet Union bases.

It also marked a more important first: The rocket was carrying the first piece of Europe's Galileo global positioning system, which aims to provide more accurate information than the United States' GPS system.

The BBC reports:

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Dan Charles is an independent writer and radio producer who contributes regularly to NPR's technology coverage. He is currently filling in temporarily as an editor on the National Desk, responsible for coverage of the environment and the western United States. He is author of Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, the Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare (Ecco, 2005). He also wrote Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food (Perseus, 2001), about the making of genetically engineered crops. From 1993 to 1999, Charles was a technology correspondent for NPR.

The Salt
11:19 am
Fri October 21, 2011

New Varieties Haven't Taken The Nutrition Out Of Broccoli

Newer varieties of broccoli may be prettier than the old ones, but they're probably no less nutritious.

Shullye Serhiy iStockphoto.com

Quick question: Are vegetables less nutritious than they used to be?

You're free to argue about this, because scientists haven't managed to come up with a clear answer.

There's some new data out this week in the journal Crop Science, and at least for broccoli, the answer seems to be no. But keep reading, because the story gets a little more complicated.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:11 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Don't Count On Facebook Boosting Your Brainpower Just Yet

If a high number of Facebook friends gives you a bigger brain, then CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seen here in Sept., must have one massive cortex.

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 11:43 am

A lot of people seem to be running wild with the idea that there is a direct, positive link between Facebook and the brain's grey matter.

I want to believe a study that suggested Facebook can enhance the size of key parts of your brain. Really I do.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Chinese Toddler Dies, Days After Being Hit By Vans And Ignored By Witnesses

An image from the Twitter-like Chinese site Weibo.com shows a composite image of the toddler's mother, Qu Feifei (left); her rescuer, Chen Xianmei (top right) and Wang Yue.

Weibo

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 11:20 am

In China, an "outpouring of grief" is meeting the sad news that a toddler has died after being struck by two vans on a crowded street in the city of Foshan, according to state-run media.

The story became a national — and then international — sensation after a security camera's video revealed that more than a dozen passers-by had ignored the injured Wang Yue, 2, as she lay in the street, crying.

Only Chen Xianmei, 57, who was in the area collecting garbage, pulled the girl to safety and called for help. Police reportedly have the drivers of both vans in custody.

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Business
10:00 am
Fri October 21, 2011

A Sigh Of Relief For A Rebounding Shopping Center

Claudine Dimitriou owns The Beach, a day spa in Phoenix. She was virtually alone in the shopping complex after investing $80,000 to open her business in December. The bet has finally paid off.

Peter O'Dowd for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 4:00 am

Last fall at troubled strip mall in Phoenix, a few brave business owners opened in a virtually empty complex called Bethany East during a decidedly bad economy. In March of this year, the center fell into foreclosure and new buyers stepped in. It's been a turbulent year on this corner, but things are finally looking up for the tenants.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:46 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Biggest Study Yet Finds No Cancer Risk From Cellphones

The latest study to look at cellphone safety found no increased risk of brain cancer.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Danish epidemiologists have some real advantages.

Citizens of the Scandinavian nation gets a unique ID number for life that can be used by researchers to pull together health records, including data from cancer registries, for just about anybody in the country.

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2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.
9:30 am
Fri October 21, 2011

In Miami, School Aims For 'Bi-Literate' Education

At Coral Way Elementary School in Miami-Dade County, students take classes in Spanish in the morning, then switch to English in the afternoon.

Claudio Sanchez NPR

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 11:00 am

In the fall of 1963, in the throes of the Cold War, Coral Way Elementary took in the children of political refugees fleeing Fidel Castro's Cuba. The goal was not just to teach them English, but to make sure they remained fluent in Spanish and held on to their culture. Cuban-Americans thrived in Miami, and so did Coral Way's bilingual immersion model.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Fri October 21, 2011

'Steve Jobs' Book Reveals Delay In Cancer Surgery; Vow To Destroy Android

For his upcoming biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson conducted more than 40 interviews with the enigmatic tech leader.

With a book about Steve Jobs' life set to hit real and virtual shelves soon, his official biographer, Walter Isaacson, is appearing on 60 Minutes this Sunday. And as often happens in these cases, portions of the book have hit the web a little ahead of its Oct. 24 publish date.

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