1:30pm

Fri April 19, 2013
The Salt

Fertilizer Shows Its Deadly Side

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 2:06 pm

Workers at a cooperative farm near Shanghai scatter fertilizer across fields of winter wheat. Image from the May issue of National Geographic magazine.
© Peter Essick National Geographic

My first reaction when I heard details of this week's deadly fertilizer explosion in Texas was horror.

My second thought was, "Maybe I shouldn't have pushed to change that headline."

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12:38pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Transportation

California's high-speed rail gets first contractor

California's planned high-speed rail system (via flickr user Richard Masoner)

The first construction phase for California’s high-speed rail plan to link San Francisco and Los Angeles in under three hours has a builder. And the bid came in $200 million under expectations. 

The California High Speed Rail Authority has chosen the Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons joint venture as the winning bid for initial construction on the first 28-mile segment of the the line in California’s Central Valley between Madera and Fresno.

"Today is a significant milestone," Authority CEO Jeff Morales said in a statement. 

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12:36pm

Fri April 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Boston On Lockdown: 'Today Is So Much Scarier'

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:20 pm

A sign calling for citizens of Boston to "Shelter in Place" hung across I-93 Friday in Boston.
Elise Amendola AP

Update at 7:10 p.m. ET. Back Inside:

Following reports of sudden, heavy police presence in Watertown, Boston police have asked residents to once again stay indoors. Just about an hour earlier, the governor had lifted the shelter-in-place advisory. The police tweeted: "Police operations in the Franklin Street Watertown area. Residents shelter in place."

Update at 6:25 p.m. ET. "Shelter-In-Place" Advisory Lifted:

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12:21pm

Fri April 19, 2013
The Two-Way

FAA OKs Boeing's 787 Battery Fix

A part of a charred battery from a Japan Airlines 787 on display at the NTSB headquarters in January.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved changes to the design of the Boeing 787's battery system — the first step toward returning the grounded aircraft to service.

The approximately 50 787 "Dreamliners" delivered to airlines worldwide were grounded in January after incidents involving overheating problems in lithium-ion batteries.

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11:57am

Fri April 19, 2013
The Two-Way

CDC: U.S. Hospitals Should Be Vigilant For Bird Flu

An H7N9 bird flu patient is escorted after his recovery and approval for discharge at a central China hospital on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

U.S. hospitals have been urged to be on the lookout for symptoms of bird flu among patients who have recently traveled to China, where a new strain of the virus has killed 17 people and infected more than 70.

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10:55am

Fri April 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Boston Bombing Suspects Are Brothers Living In U.S. For Years

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:23 am

This combination of undated photos shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.
AP

Updated 1:50 p.m. ET: (Correcting that brothers shared an apartment in Cambridge, not Watertown.)

The suspects in Monday's deadly Boston Marathon explosions and the Thursday night murder of a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are two brothers from a former Soviet republic who were in the United States legally for years, and lived together in a Cambridge, Mass., apartment.

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10:42am

Fri April 19, 2013
The Two-Way

French Family Set Free After Cameroon Kidnapping

A security guard in Cameroon shows photos of Tanguy Moulin-Fournier and his wife, Albane, and their four children, in February.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Members of a French family held for weeks by Boko Haram militants in Cameroon have been freed and are in good health, Al-Jazeera reports, citing Cameroonian and French officials.

Cameroon's President Paul Biya, in a statement read on national radio, said the couple and their four children, aged 5 to 12, had been "handed over last night to Cameroonian authorities."

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10:41am

Fri April 19, 2013
Shots - Health News

What David Lynch And Tylenol Can Tell You About The Brain

Researchers used a clip from the David Lynch film Rabbits to make volunteers uneasy. Afterward some people got Tylenol, which appeared to help them cope.
YouTube

Even for a hardcore David Lynch fan, the idea that a film of his would be used to weird people out in a psychology experiment is a tad weird.

But it gets much stranger than that — fast.

Imagine the experiment involved testing whether Tylenol could help people overcome the angst triggered by a four-minute dose of Lynch. A related experiment tested Tylenol's effect on people asked to write about what happens to their bodies after they die.

At the University of British Columbia, psychologists went both places.

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10:32am

Fri April 19, 2013
Around the Nation

Boston Area Suburbs Remain On Lockdown

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All morning we have been following the extraordinary events in Boston, where a manhunt is underway for one of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. The brother of the young man the police are searching for, his brother was killed in a shootout last night with police. Meanwhile, this American city, the city of Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods are in total lockdown.

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10:32am

Fri April 19, 2013
Strange News

Explosions In The News Hit Home For Boston Runner From Texas

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

If you think this has been an unbelievable week of news, try telling it to Joe Berti. Mr. Berti traveled to Boston for that city's marathon and crossed the finish line seconds before the first bomb exploded. He was OK and he went home to Texas, where he was close enough to a fertilizer plant to see it explode on Wednesday night. Some people might feel star-crossed at that point, but Mr. Berti considers himself lucky.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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