2:06pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

High Blood Pressure: Often Recognized, But Still Poorly Controlled

Knowing your blood pressure is just the beginning.
iStockphoto.com

After decades of encouragement, Americans are getting their blood pressure checked more often.

And there's a little more good news, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most adults with high blood pressure are being treated these days.

But, and you knew there had to be a but, more than half of all Americans with hypertension — about 36 million people, all told — still haven't got it under control.

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1:17pm

Tue September 4, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

Bridging The Gap Between Two Neighborhoods

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 4:19 pm

An illustration for a park proposed for Washington's old 11th Street Bridge. If realized, the park would span the Anacostia River, linking the Capitol Hill neighborhood with lower-income Anacostia.
Ed Estes Courtesy of D.C. Office of Planning

Cities around the nation have tried a variety of approaches to revitalizing their urban cores. Some have turned to repurposing old infrastructure to breathe new life into neighborhoods.

One such effort is under way in the nation's capital, where the redevelopment of a bridge linking a wealthy part of the city with a lower-income one may present an opportunity — if an ambitious park plan can be brought to fruition.

A '21st Century Playground'

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12:38pm

Tue September 4, 2012
City Visions: September 10, 2012

A Conversation with SF MTA chief Ed Reiskin

City Visions host Joseph Pace speaks with Ed Reiskin, head of San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency. Find out the latest on the Central Subway project, Sunday parking and fleet improvements -- and hear Ed's reflections on his first year in one of the city's toughest jobs.

12:26pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Africa

Decades Later, South African Miners Sue Employers

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 1:35 pm

Armstrong Ngutyana (left), 55, and Dumisani Mjolwa, 65, were gold miners during the apartheid era. Both worked underground for nearly three decades. They developed lung disease and were forced to quit their jobs, but received only minimal compensation. They are now part of a class-action lawsuit against South African mining companies.
Anders Kelto for NPR

South Africa's mining industry is under heavy scrutiny after 44 people died during protests at a platinum mine near Johannesburg. Now, the industry is facing challenges on another front: Lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against three of the country's biggest gold mining companies.

They're suing on behalf of miners who worked during the apartheid era and now have lung disease.

A settlement in the case — and another like it — could reach into the billions of dollars.

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12:15pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Education

Can A New Building Save A Failing School?

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:59 pm

Research shows that students who attend school in buildings that are in disrepair score lower on state tests than students in satisfactory buildings.
iStockphoto.com

When students and teachers at School 16 in Rochester, N.Y., start the new school year in a newer school building, they'll leave their old building's laundry list of infrastructure problems behind.

As teachers finish unloading boxes and setting up their new classrooms, they hope the newer, nicer digs will give students renewed pride in their school. Education experts say the move could also bring a bump to the school's flagging test scores, because better school buildings actually improve academic performance.

A Drain On Spirit And A Drain On Grades

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12:15pm

Tue September 4, 2012
The Two-Way

State Must Grant Murder Convict A Sex Change Operation, Judge Rules

Michelle Kosilek, formerly known as Robert, in 1993.
Lisa Bul AP

A federal judge in Boston today "ordered state prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate serving life in prison" for murder, The Associated Press writes.

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12:11pm

Tue September 4, 2012
It's All Politics

Are You Better Off? Democrats In Charlotte Say It's Complicated

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:21 pm

Caroline Sink (from left), Liz McKeithen, Mary Edith Alexander and Sue Collins were handing out lemonade and cookies in front of the First Presbyterian Church.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

As Mark reported earlier, that's the question Republicans want Americans to ask themselves as they head to the polls this November.

The question was brought to the forefront after Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley was asked that question on CBS' Face the Nation.

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12:05pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Arts & Culture

Today's Music: Nice Guy Trio

Band Website

The sounds you’re hearing now are from San Francisco’s Nice Guy Trio. They use elements of many styles, including calypso and klezmer, to create their own unique form of jazz.

You can hear them for free at a midday show on Thursday (09.06) as part of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Garden Festival. These outdoor events start at 12:30pm.

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11:18am

Tue September 4, 2012
The Two-Way

There's A 'Bear Epidemic' Out West, And It's 'About To Get Worse'

Perhaps not the sight you want to see when you come home: A black bear.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen has reported for All Things Considered, encounters between humans and bears are up sharply across the western U.S. The bears are having to cover more territory because of droughts that have dried up some of their natural foods, including berries.

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11:15am

Tue September 4, 2012
Author Interviews

Mickey Edwards On Democracy's 'Cancer'

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:48 am

Mickey Edwards served as a Republican congressman for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District from 1977 to 1993.
Gia Regan Yale University Press

In his 16 years in Congress, Republican Mickey Edwards came to a strong conclusion: Political parties are the "cancer at the heart of our democracy," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his new book, The Parties Versus the People, the former Republican congressman from Oklahoma details how party leaders have too much control over who runs for office, what bills make it to the floor and how lawmakers vote.

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