Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden says that it is "not possible" for him to come back home to face charges, unless changes are made to the Whistleblower Protection Act.

During a live question and answer session hosted by a website collecting money for his legal defense, Snowden said that as a national security contractor, he would not be protected by the law.

Indeed, a report on the Whistleblower Protection Act by the Congressional Research Service opens by detailing the federal employees covered by the law.

Potential Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data

Jan 23, 2014

A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of a chemical compound classified as a possible human carcinogen in many popular brands of soda.

The findings have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to take a new look at the compound, 4-methylimidazole — or 4-MEI for short. It is found in the caramel color that soda makers use to dye the drinks brown.

Indian Village Elders Accused Of Ordering Gang Rape

Jan 23, 2014

Atrocious instances of gang rape over the past year or so have shaken India, but the one this week in West Bengal has a particularly sinister twist.

An all-male village tribunal, said to be upset that a 20-year old tribal woman had fallen in love with a man outside the community, is alleged to have ordered she be gang-raped as punishment.

Editor's Note: This week Code Switch has been bringing you a series of stories prompted by a poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. And one of the findings that stood out was a striking difference between Latinos born and raised in the U.S. and immigrants when it comes to the degree of openness when it comes to talking about sexual orientation.

Since the Korean War, which ended in 1953, no American has been imprisoned in North Korea as long as 45-year-old Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae.

Bae was arrested in November 2012 and later convicted for supposedly attempting to overthrow the state through a plot called Operation Jericho, described in videotaped sermons.

Texas has imposed strict new regulations on the insurance helpers, or navigators, who work in the community to enroll people in health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

The navigators must register with the state, undergo a background check and fingerprinting, and complete 20 hours of additional training — beyond the 20 to 30 hours of federal training they've already received.

Our four-legged friends suffer from many of the same cancers that we do. But one type of dog tumor acts like no other: It's contagious.

The tumor spreads from one pooch to another when the dogs have sex or even just touch or lick each other.

"It's a common disease in street dogs all around the world," says geneticist Elizabeth Murchison at the University of Cambridge. "People in the U.S. and U.K. haven't heard of it because it's found mostly in free-roaming dogs in developing countries."

South Sudan Signs Cease-Fire With Rebels

Jan 23, 2014

A cease-fire deal has been reached between the government of the nascent country of South Sudan and rebel forces to end five weeks of fighting that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

The agreement for a countrywide cease-fire was signed Thursday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. NPR's Gregory Warner, reporting from Bukavu in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, says the deal marks a breakthrough in peace talks that stalled for weeks over the fate of 11 political prisoners under house arrest by the South Sudanese government.

You've almost certainly heard about Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman's post-game rant from over the weekend.

As Mark reported, it sparked a great deal of controversy because he got loud and instead of answering questions from a reporter, he screamed at the microphone and looked straight into the camera to deliver a message to San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.

The title essay of Ann Patchett's latest book, This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage, isn't exactly what it sounds like. It's actually the story of an unhappy marriage that ends quickly in divorce and results in a strongly defended refusal to marry that lasts many years. But eventually, it does lead to the happy marriage.

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