12:36pm

Thu December 6, 2012
Shots - Health News

Nigeria Pressured To Clean Up Lead-Contaminated Villages

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 12:57 pm

A boy works at an illegal gold mine in northern Nigeria. Lead from these mines has sickened thousands of children in the region.
David Gilkey NPR

The Nigerian government has been slow to fulfill a promise it made last spring. And, its sluggishness is putting kids at risk for lead poisoning, the advocacy group Humans Rights Watch says.

Last May, the Nigerian government pledged roughly $5 million to clean up lead contamination around illegal gold mines in northwest Nigeria. But so far, that money hasn't been released.

Read more

12:32pm

Thu December 6, 2012
Around the Nation

To Trim Down, Spelman Trades Sports For Fitness

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 3:40 pm

Spelman College has dropped NCAA athletics in favor of a comprehensive fitness program. The school now offers classes like Zumba to help encourage all students to exercise more.
Courtesy of Spelman College

For the past decade, Spelman College, a historically black women's school in Atlanta, has fielded NCAA teams in basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball and other sports. But when its small Division III conference started dwindling, college President Beverly Tatum says the school decided it was time to change focus.

"We have to ask ourselves: What is the cost of the program and who is benefiting? How many people are benefiting? Is the benefit worth the cost?" Tatum asks.

Read more

11:50am

Thu December 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Protests Erupt In Michigan Capitol, After Governor Unveils Right-To-Work Bill

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:22 pm

Police arrested several protesters and they sprayed irritants at a crowd gathered at the Michigan State House today.

As the Detroit Free Press reports, State Police used "chemical munitions" when the crowd tried to rush the Senate floor.

Read more

10:47am

Thu December 6, 2012
The Two-Way

With Looting, Syria's Army Isn't Winning Hearts And Minds

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 11:35 am

A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes with rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. Syrian soldiers have been taking over private homes and apartments, and have sometimes looted and trashed them, according to Syrian civilians.
HOPD AP/SANA

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country. In this report, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

As the Syrian military struggles against rebel fighters, it seems the army has not been paying a lot of attention to winning the hearts and minds of civilians.

Read more

10:20am

Thu December 6, 2012
The Two-Way

PHOTOS: In Washington, A Historic Day; Gay Marriage, Marijuana Are Legal

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 3:26 pm

Jeri and Amy Andrews laugh as they wait in line outside of the King County Recorder's Office on Wednesday in Seattle, Washington.
David Ryder Getty Images

History was made at midnight in Washington on two fronts last night: Bans on both gay marriage and recreational marijuana use were lifted.

As you might expect, as the sun set and the clock struck 12, there were scenes of celebration across the state's biggest city. The pictures tell the story, so with that here are five photographs from Seattle.

Read more

10:03am

Thu December 6, 2012
Movie Interviews

In 'This Is 40,' Family Life In All Its Glory

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 2:22 pm

"Were going to blink and be 90," Debbie tells Paul. "We have to make a choice to make things different."
Suzanne Hanover Universal Studios

Since earning a cult following for his acclaimed television show Freaks and Geeks, writer, producer, and director Judd Apatow has become a brand name. He has a new movie out this month — This Is 40 — and also guest-edits the January "Comedy Issue" of Vanity Fair.

He's an executive producer for the HBO show Girls and previously wrote, produced and directed the 2005 comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Read more

9:47am

Thu December 6, 2012
The Salt

Fruit Fly Nose Says Steer Clear Of Deadly Food; Human Nose Not So Reliable

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 1:10 pm

Now we know why we'll never see a common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) sitting on a beet.
Jan Polabinski iStockphoto.com

The earthy smell of a fresh beet may spark delicious thoughts for us, but for a fruit fly, that smell screams danger.

Geosmin, a naturally occurring chemical that gives beets, fresh soil and corked wine their distinctive smell, is also cranked out by bacteria deadly to fruit flies. And it turns out that the tiny flies have a direct pathway from nose to brain made just to detect that smell — and avoid the toxic microbes that produce it.

Read more

9:19am

Thu December 6, 2012
The Two-Way

'Anonymous' Hacker Convicted For Attacks On PayPal, Mastercard

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 9:36 am

The "Anonymous" logo is seen on a tablet screen.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

A hacker associated with the collective Anonymous has been convicted in Britain today for attacks against the websites of PayPal, Mastercard and Visa.

Christopher Weatherhead was found guilty following the guilty pleas of three others — Jake Birchall, Ashley Rhodes and Peter Gibson. If you remember, the four were arrested for orchestrating denial of service attacks against the companies because they had stopped processing payments for WikiLeaks.

Read more

8:43am

Thu December 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Good Joke? Australian Leader Says End Of World Is Coming

She's a kidder: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Oh those wacky Australians.

Wednesday, it was two disc jockeys impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles to trick a nurse into telling them how the Duchess of Cambridge was coping with her morning sickness.

Read more

7:53am

Thu December 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Sen. Jim DeMint Leaving Congress To Run Heritage Foundation

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 11:47 am

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., speaks during to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

One of the most consistently conservative voices in Congress and a favorite of Tea Party activists across the nation is leaving the Senate.

South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint is resigning to take over as president of the Heritage Foundation.

Read more

Pages