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4:28 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

China Kicks Off 'Great Leap Forward' On The Soccer Field

First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

At an elementary school outside the Chinese capital, Beijing, first-graders practice controlling soccer balls under the instruction of American coach Tom Byer.

"When I clap, everybody's going to dribble to the circle, pull it back and go to the right. Go!" he says.

Regular soccer balls would practically come up to the kids' knees, so they practice with miniature ones instead.

But Byer, a native of New York, argues that even at age 6 or 7, the children are already late to the game.

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

White House Ban On Militarized Gear For Police May Mean Little

Police in riot gear stand around an armored vehicle as smoke fills the streets of Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:09 pm

When riots erupted last fall on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., police in riot gear fanned out armed with assault rifles and armored vehicles made for the battlefield.

Analysts said at the time it was just another symptom of the continued militarization of local police forces.

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Shots - Health News
3:38 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Coded Talk About Assisted Suicide Can Leave Families Confused

Hope Barrone-Falk and J.D. Falk on their wedding day in 2009.
Kelly Dunsford Courtesy of the family

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 4:02 pm

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most states in the U.S. But there are gray areas where doctors can help suffering patients hasten their death. The problem is nobody can talk about it directly.

This can lead to bizarre, veiled conversations between medical professionals and overwhelmed families. Doctors and nurses want to help but also want to avoid prosecution, so they speak carefully, parsing their words. Family members, in the midst of one of the most confusing and emotional times of their lives, are left to interpret euphemisms.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Head Of Boy Scouts Says Group's Ban On Gay Adults 'Unsustainable'

Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, warned that failure to make changes quickly could spell "the end of us as a national movement."
Thierry Roge Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:40 pm

Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, says the organization must reassess its ban on gay adults, saying, "We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be."

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Goats and Soda
3:14 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district's accomplishment of bringing sanitation to every home.
Mark Maseko Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:46 pm

On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes, while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, "We use a toilet ... do you?"

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

More Than 100 Charged In Mob Killing Of Christian Couple In Pakistan

Pakistani human rights activists condemn the killing of the Christian couple for alleged blasphemy during a demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:53 pm

Prosecutors in Pakistan's Punjab province have charged 106 people in connection with the gruesome mob killing of a Christian couple who were incinerated in a brick kiln for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.

In November, Sajjad Mesih and his wife, Shama — who was pregnant when the couple in their 20s was killed — were beaten and thrown into the kiln they tended as laborers.

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It's All Politics
2:39 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Gyrocopter Pilot On His 'Incredible' Flight Onto Capitol Lawn

Doug Hughes said he sees his future as working for "the cause of getting a Congress — not more liberal, not more conservative — but a Congress that is working for the people."
Peter Overby NPR

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 8:39 am

Florida postman Doug Hughes made headlines last month for landing his gyrocopter on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.

In an interview with NPR, Hughes said he "made every effort to send word ahead" about the flight, but also knew he would be taken into custody. He made the flight anyway, he said, to "get a message to the American people — not that there's a problem with Congress but that there are solutions to the problem."

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:59 pm

A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.

Also added: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. (See a longer list at the bottom of this post.)

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Fla. Mailman Who Flew Gyrocopter Onto Capitol Lawn Appears In Court

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:00 pm

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

The Florida mailman who landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the Capitol last month appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to all six charges against him.

Douglas Mark Hughes was charged Wednesday and faces up to 9 1/2 years in prison.

NPR's Peter Overby reported on the charges against Hughes:

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Shots - Health News
2:10 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

This fungus among us — baker's yeast, aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae — is useful for more than just making bread.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 4:02 pm

Rip open a little package of baker's yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you'll see your distant cousin.

That's because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven't really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

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