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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Sam Berns, Teen Known For His Fight Against 'Aging Disease,' Dies

Sam Berns, 15, who has the very rare premature-aging disease progeria, plays the drums in his high school's marching band.
Courtesy of the Progeria Research Foundation

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 10:45 am

Sam Berns, the teen who became nationally known for his fight against a disease that accelerates aging, died on Friday from complications of his disorder.

As our friends at Shots explained back in September, Sam's parents, Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns, were spurred by his illness to find a cure for the disease.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Israelis Pay Respects To Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Israel's President Shimon Peres stands next the coffin of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 10:52 am

The body of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was lying in state on Sunday outside the country's parliament.

As Haaretz reports, the Israeli public, as well as top government officials gathered at the Knesset to pay their respects.

Sharon, one of Israel's most iconic figures, died on Saturday after spending eight years in a coma.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:02 am
Sun January 12, 2014

A's On Either End

NPR

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 10:41 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word that begins and ends with the letter A. You'll be given an anagram of the letters between the A's. For example, given "ern," you would say, "arena."

Last week's challenge: Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it?

Answer: Dream; Daymare

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The Salt
4:22 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Prison Gardens Help Inmates Grow Their Own Food — And Skills

Prisoners build an organic vegetable garden in the prison yard of the medium security unit at San Quentin State Prison in December.
Kirk Crippens Insight Garden Program

Last week, we reported on the correctional industry's enduring practice of punishing certain inmates with a bland, lumpish food known as "the loaf."

Fortunately, there are also more encouraging stories to tell about prison food.

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Around the Nation
4:20 am
Sun January 12, 2014

A Black Church's Dilemma: Preserve A Building, Or Our Identity?

Centennial Baptist Church in Helena, Ark.
Dave Anderson

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 9:51 am

The towers framing the majestic roof of Centennial Baptist Church reach for the heavens near downtown Helena, Ark. The elaborate red brick church stands out in a neighborhood that's seen better days, given the boarded-up homes and businesses nearby.

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The Two-Way
6:49 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Main Contractor Behind HealthCare.gov To Be Replaced By Accenture

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 7:08 am

Updated 8:50 p.m.

The main contractor behind the embattled Affordable Care Act enrollment site, which suffered major technological issues after its Oct. 1 debut, will be replaced early this year.

Accenture will replace CGI Federal, the IT contractor that built HealthCare.gov, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Saturday. CGI Federal's contract expires on Feb. 28.

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World
4:35 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

New Iranian President Brings 'Resurgence Of Hope' For Some

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:40 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.

Reporting on Iran is difficult and frustrating, and for those on the ground there, dangerous. It was especially bad after the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, which triggered massive protests. Iran cracked down hard on the dissenters and heavily restricted Western reporters' access. But the country's recently elected president, Hassan Rouhani, has started to change things.

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World
4:34 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon's Death Sparks Strong Emotions Across Middle East

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:40 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died today at the age of 85. The controversial military and political leader had spent the last eight years in a coma following a stroke. From Jerusalem, NPR's Emily Harris reports.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Ariel Sharon was part of the nearly-gone generation of leaders who fought for Israel before the state's founding. That history built trust, says Israeli military analyst Jonathan Spyer.

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Religion
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

When The Right To Religion Conflicts With A Changing Society

Little Sisters of the Poor runs the Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver, Colo. The group is seeking exemption from an Affordable Care Act requirement.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:40 pm

As the White House continues dealing with well-publicized problems with the HealthCare.gov website, there's at least one big question related to the Affordable Care Act that's outside the president's control: Can employers with religious objections be compelled to provide access to contraception coverage for their workers?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has granted a temporary injunction while she considers a challenge to the contraception requirement by a group of nuns called the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Catholic organization serves the poor elderly.

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Opinion
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

A New Rule For The Workplace: 'Hug Sparingly'

Research psychologist Peggy Drexler says one way to resist an unwanted hug at work is with a stiff handshake.
Simone Becchetti iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:40 pm

Everyone loves hugs right? Well, no. And for those who aren't fans, things can get really awkward.

In a recent piece for TIME.com, research psychologist Peggy Drexler declared: "I am not a hugger. And I am not alone."

She calls for an end to the "hugging arms race," particularly at work.

"It's something that's in the zeitgeist, but we really haven't made any rules," she tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath. "My own rule is: I won't hug if you don't."

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