5:05pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Code Switch

The Questions People Get Asked About Their Race

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:58 am

How do you respond to questions about your culture or race?
Ariel Skelley Corbis

Since Code Switch launched, friends and people on Twitter have been sharing examples of questions they've been asked about their race or culture that they've found interesting, awkward or just plain offensive.

We were intrigued when we saw this question posted on AskReddit: "What's one question you've been dying to ask another race but never do because of the impending 'THAT'S RACIST' aftermath?"

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4:38pm

Wed May 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Prosecutor: Radical Islam Motivated Attack On French Soldier

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:12 pm

A 2009 photo of the La Defense shopping mall, west of Paris, where Saturday's stabbing attack took place.
Jacques Brinon AP

Police in France say that a 21-year-old Muslim convert who confessed to stabbing a French soldier was apparently motivated by his religious beliefs, in an eerie echo of an attack last week in London, in which a British serviceman was killed.

Pvt. Cedric Cordiez, 25, was approached from the back and stabbed in the neck at a shopping mall in a suburb of Paris on Saturday. He was treated at a military hospital and released on Monday, officials said.

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4:30pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Books

How OxyContin's Pain Relief Built 'A World Of Hurt'

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 12:40 pm

iStockphoto.com

Prescription painkillers are among the most widely used drugs in America. In the decade since New York Times reporter Barry Meier began investigating their use and abuse, he says he has seen the number of people dying from overdoses quadruple — an increase Meier calls "staggering."

"The current statistic is that about 16,000 people a year die of overdoses involving prescription narcotics. ... It's a huge problem. The number of people dying from these drugs is second only to the number of people that die in car accidents," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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4:28pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Parallels

In China, Customer Service And Efficiency Begin To Blossom

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:56 pm

A couple waits for a high-speed train in the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao. Modern infrastructure and the expanding private sector have greatly increased efficiency and customer service in many parts of Chinese life.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

China's infamous bureaucracy has bedeviled people for ages, but in recent years, daily life in some major Chinese cities has become far more efficient.

For instance, when I worked in Beijing in the 1990s, many reporters had drivers. It wasn't because they didn't drive, but because they needed someone to deal with China's crippling bureaucracy.

I had a man named Old Zhao, who would drive around for days to pay our office bills at various government utility offices. Zhao would sit in line for hours, often only to be abused by functionaries.

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4:10pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Media

Two Newspapers Battle It Out For The New Orleans Market

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 2:26 pm

Free introductory copies of the Baton Rouge Advocate's new New Orleans edition are seen next to copies of The Times-Picayune at Lakeside News in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie in September. The Baton Rouge newspaper started its own daily edition to try to fill the void left when The Times-Picayune scaled back its print edition to three days a week.
Gerald Herbert AP

Last year when New Orleans' main paper, The Times-Picayune, laid off dozens of newspaper employees and cut its circulation to three times a week, residents were shocked.

Sharron Morrow and her friends had bonded over the morning paper at a local coffee shop for the past 20 years.

"I've stopped my subscription, and I mourn the paper almost every day," she says.

Shifting Media Players

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3:40pm

Wed May 29, 2013
The Salt

Cooking With Cicadas: No Weirder Than Eating Cheese?

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:18 pm

Cicada: It's what's for dinner?
Sean Bush AP

You knew this one was coming.

Earlier this month, we told you about a U.N. report that makes the case for insects to improve global food security: They're cheap, plentiful and environmentally sustainable. Now, the coming of the 17-year cicadas provides East Coast Americans, for whom bug eating is considered novel at best, with an opportunity to try local insect cuisine.

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3:32pm

Wed May 29, 2013
The Two-Way

What's The Meaning Of This? A New Twist In The Spelling Bee

Minka Gill of Kokomo, Ind., participates in Round 2 of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

If Snigdha Nandipati, the 14-year-old who won last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee, had been asked to define her winning word, "guetapens," things might have turned out differently.

This year, a vocabulary test with word definitions is, for the first time in the bee's 86-year history, part of the competition. Preliminary and semifinal contestants must pass the test to get to the finals of the grueling competition.

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3:24pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Shots - Health News

Middle East Coronavirus Called 'Threat To The Entire World'

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 11:43 am

A nurse walks towards the Roger Salengro Hospital in Lille, France, where two patients were diagnosed with a coronavirus related to SARS.
Michel Spingler AP

If you've been following the news out of China about the latest bird flu and its threats to humans, may we direct your attention toward the Middle East for a minute?

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3:21pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Business

What's Under Youngstown May Help What's On Top

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:18 pm

By leasing land for drilling, city leaders in Youngstown, Ohio, hope to generate funds to demolish vacant buildings.
M.L. Schultze for NPR

A century ago, when fiery steel mills were roaring to life in Youngstown, Ohio, builders were racing to put up homes, storefronts, barbershops and more.

Today, many of those buildings sit empty and rotting. With the mills mostly gone and the population down 60 percent from 1960, to just 67,000, the city needs millions of dollars to tear down roughly 4,000 vacant structures.

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2:12pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Movie Interviews

From Boos To Bravos: A Recap Of Cannes

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 4:30 pm

French film Blue Is the Warmest Colour, winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of a teenager named Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos) who falls in love with a blue-haired art student named Emma (Lea Seydoux).
Wild Bunch

"It was the film of the festival," critic John Powers tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about Blue Is the Warmest Color, this year's Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival. When Powers says "film of the festival" he means "it was the film that people loved the most, some hated the most, and everyone talked about the most."

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