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12:19 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

To Stop Cheating, Nuclear Officers Ditch The Grades

First Lt. Patrick Romanofski (center) and 2nd Lt. Andrew Beckner (left) practice the launch of nuclear weapons. Promotions are now more strongly influenced by hands-on performance in this simulator.
R.J. Oriez U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 6:40 pm

The young officers at F.E. Warren Air Force Base have an enormous job: to keep 150 nuclear-tipped missiles ready to launch at a moment's notice.

Understandably, they're expected to know exactly what they're doing.

Three times a month, they're tested on the weapons and the codes used to launch them. Anything less than 90 percent is a fail.

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Shots - Health News
11:41 am
Mon July 28, 2014

With Men's Y Chromosome, Size Really May Not Matter

The human Y chromosome (left) holds the code for "maleness"; that's the X on the right.
Andrew Syred/Science Source

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 12:05 pm

Basic biology has it that girls are girls because they have two X chromosomes — the things inside cells that carry our genes. Boys are boys because they have one X and one Y. Recently, though, there's been a lot of debate in scientific circles about the fate of that Y chromosome — the genetic basis of maleness.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:19 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Where The Birds Are Is Not Where You'd Think

Robert Krulwich/NPR

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 6:33 pm

This is a trick question. Where would you expect to find the greatest variety of birds?

Downtown, in a city?

Or far, far from downtown — in the fields, forests, mountains, where people are scarce?

Or in the suburbs? In backyards, lawns, parking lots and playing fields?

Not the city, right?

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Court Orders Russia To Pay Former Yukos Shareholders $50B

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 3:46 pm

In 2003, Russia arrested the country's richest man, seized his main asset, Yukos Oil, broke it up and sold it. More than a decade later, a three-judge arbitration panel in The Hague ordered Moscow to pay the shareholders of the now-defunct oil giant more than $50 billion.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Dollar Tree To Buy Family Dollar In $8.5 Billion Deal

People shop outside of a Family Dollar discount store in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 9:28 am

With Dollar Tree's agreement to purchase Family Dollar on Monday, two of the United States' biggest discount stores are coming together in a deal estimated at $8.5 billion in cash and stock.

The New York Times reports:

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Parallels
9:15 am
Mon July 28, 2014

For Muslims In Gaza, End Of Ramadan Marred By Fighting

Members of a Palestinian family break their fast with the iftar meal during the holy month of Ramadan at a United Nations school, where hundreds of families have sought refuge after fleeing their homes following fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 5:56 pm

Um Ahmed Ahmed almost ignored Eid this year.

The Muslim holiday, which began Monday, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This year, it also marks three weeks since the current war in Gaza started.

"My plans were to have no plans for Eid," Ahmed says, pausing in the Firaz market area on a main street in Gaza City. "But my son kept bugging me, 'Mom, aren't you going to buy me something for Eid?' "

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Goats and Soda
8:20 am
Mon July 28, 2014

How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery

A child grabs sleep after a long day of labor in a struggling West African fishery.
Courtesy of Jessica Pociask, WANT Expeditions

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 4:45 pm

When scientists talk about the destruction of rain forests or the acidification of oceans, we often hear about the tragic loss of plants and animals.

But ecologists at the University of California, Berkeley say there's also a human tragedy that frequently goes unnoticed: As fish and fauna are wiped out, more children around the world are forced to work, and more people are forced into indentured servitude, scientists wrote Thursday in the journal Science.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Team Investigating Downing Of MH17 Turns Back Due To Heavy Fighting

Smoke from shelling rises over a residential apartment house in Shakhtarsk, which is in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, on Monday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 9:21 am

For a second day in a row, Dutch and Australian experts were unable to reach the debris field left by downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.

CNN reports that team members were attempting to make their way to the area when they heard explosions and were told there was heavy fighting, so they turned back. The network adds:

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Business
7:12 am
Mon July 28, 2014

The Ice Cream Sandwich That Wouldn't Melt

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 12:52 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Lawmakers Announce $17 Billion Deal Intended To Fix VA System

House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 2:36 pm

This post was updated at 3 p.m. ET:

House and Senate negotiators unveiled a $17 billion plan Monday to address the crisis in care for veterans.

The agreement would provide $10 billion to allow veterans to be treated outside the Veterans Affairs system, if they've had trouble getting appointments within it. More than two dozen clinics would be leased around the country, with $5 billion spent to hire additional doctors, nurses and other medical personnel at the VA.

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