3:06am

Fri March 29, 2013
Shots - Health News

Obamacare Won't Affect Most 2012 Taxes, Despite Firm's Claim

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:22 pm

Taxes this year will be as much of a drag as ever. But not because of the Affordable Care Act.
iStockphoto.com

If you haven't done your taxes yet, this ad from H&R Block might make you feel even more anxious.

"The Affordable Care Act means big changes this year when you file your taxes," says the young woman in the ad, with a smug smile. She then claims to have read "all 900 pages" of the law so she can offer you a "solution."

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3:05am

Fri March 29, 2013
Research News

Tiny DNA Switches Aim To Revolutionize 'Cellular' Computing

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

NPR Illustration

If you think programming a clock radio is hard, try reprogramming life itself. That's the goal of Drew Endy, a synthetic biologist at Stanford University.

Endy has been working with a laboratory strain of E. coli bacteria. He sees the microbes as more than just single-cell organisms. They're little computers.

"Any system that's receiving information, processing information and then using that activity to control what happens next, you can think of as a computing system," Endy says.

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3:04am

Fri March 29, 2013
Europe

Versailles Gets Spiffed-Up On Its Day Off

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Restorer Nicoletta Rinaldi works on the ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors at the Versailles Palace, west of Paris, in 2007.
Remy de la Mauviniere AP

With nearly 7 million visitors a year, the Chateau of Versailles in France is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. But one day a week, it's closed.

So what happens at Versailles on its day off? A spa day, of sorts — involving cleaning and conservation work.

Catherine Pegard, president of Versailles, says the palace is always caught between history and modernity.

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3:03am

Fri March 29, 2013
Middle East

Syrian Financial Capital's Loss Is Turkey's Gain

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:20 pm

Syrian refugees are pictured at Kilis refugee camp in Gaziantep, Turkey, on Nov. 1. An estimated 150,000 Syrians are reported to be living in the Turkish border town.
Maurizio Gambarini DPA/Landov

There is a brain drain in Syria, an exodus of the skilled and the educated as the Syrian revolt grinds into a third year.

The health care system is one casualty, as hospitals and clinics are shelled and doctors flee the country.

The business community is another — particularly in Aleppo, Syria's largest city and once the country's industrial and financial hub.

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3:02am

Fri March 29, 2013
Latin America

In Honduras, Fighting HIV/AIDS Through Music And Theater

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Women meet during a support group for those who have HIV and their friends and family on Jan. 17 in Triunfo de la Cruz. These kinds of support groups are an important part of making people feel comfortable with their diagnosis and seeking treatment.
David Rochkind Pulitzer Center

In the village of Corozal in Honduras, men ready boats for fishing excursions and boys play soccer on a beach lined with thatched huts.

On a sandy lot next to the town's main street, two teenage boys begin playing drums while women sing. For centuries, this has been the signature sound of celebration for the Garifuna, an Afro-Caribbean people on the Atlantic coast of Central America. Now this music has an additional purpose: to prevent HIV.

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6:52pm

Thu March 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Notes: Bugs, Pumps And Stolen Credit Card Numbers

Same-sex marriage supporters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg sends us some odds and ends from a very momentous week in the Supreme Court.

Hear all that sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and nose blowing during this week's same-sex oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court?

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6:29pm

Thu March 28, 2013
The Two-Way

In Light Of High Court Arguments, What Does Gay Marriage Tells Us About Polygamy?

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:18 pm

Robyn Brown, Meri Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Janelle Brown from "Sister Wives" arrive at the grand opening of Mike Tyson's one-man show at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

One of the more interesting exchanges to emerge from the Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage this week, wasn't about the sexes, instead it was when Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a question about polygamy.

Sotomayor asked Ted Olson, the lawyer asking the court to repeal California's ban on gay marriage, that if he was right and "marriage is a fundamental right" could any state restrictions ever exist. In other words, does declaring gay marriage a civil right, pave the way to legalization of, say, polygamy?

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6:14pm

Thu March 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Syrian Opposition Leader Not Leaving Post

We told you over the weekend about the Syrian opposition leader who resigned in frustration, criticizing the international community for not doing enough to end the civil war in Syria. Turns out he's staying in his job.

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6:06pm

Thu March 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

Many Hot Water Heaters Set Too High, Upping Burn Risk

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:16 pm

Burns are nasty injuries — they're painful and, if you're not careful, they can quickly get infected. Two children die from burn injuries every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A surprising number of these deaths originate with tap water that is way too hot.

The problem, a new study suggests, is that many water heaters are set dangerously high.

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6:04pm

Thu March 28, 2013
It's All Politics

Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:34 pm

Police stand guard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices hear arguments on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Now and then, an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court changes the course of the nation's political history — whether the justices like it or not.

It's happening again with gay marriage. This week the court heard oral arguments in two key cases. One could restore legal same-sex marriage in California; the other could end discrimination against gay married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programs.

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