4:43pm

Fri August 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Jerry Nelson, Puppeteer For Sesame Street's Count Von Count, Is Dead

Jerry Nelson and the character he brought to life, Count von Count.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Jerry Nelson, who voiced many characters on Sesame Street for more than 40 years, has died.

Nelson is perhaps best known because he brought Count von Count, the purple, friendly vampire, to life.

Madalit del Barco filed this obituary for our Newscast unit:

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4:20pm

Fri August 24, 2012
Music Reviews

Blackberry Smoke: Life In A Small Town

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 7:47 pm

Like Lynyrd Skynyrd before it, Blackberry Smoke turns Southern music forms into radio-ready singalongs.
Matthew Mendenhall

The Georgia-based rock band Blackberry Smoke has been together for more than a decade, slowly building an audience the old-fashioned way by relentless touring — around 250 shows a year.

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3:33pm

Fri August 24, 2012
Participation Nation

Barrio Basketball In El Paso, Texas

A rainbow of teams at basketball camp.
Mike James Courtesy of AUFP

A summertime basketball camp can cost a kid several hundred dollars. But the Basketball in the Barrio camp — held just two blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso — costs just one buck.

Actually, only a portion of the camp is about basketball, says co-founder Rus Bradburd. The experience is sponsored by Athletes United for Peace, a group that tries to promote peace and harmony through sports.

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3:12pm

Fri August 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Anti-Doping Chief: Armstrong Knows Truth, Is Holding On To 'Baseless Soundbites'

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 7:47 pm

United States Anti-Doping Agency Chief Executive Officer Travis Tygart, right, during a subcommittee hearing on drug use in sports in 2008.
Susan Walsh AP

The head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency says Lance Armstrong knows the truth and he has decided that instead of airing every piece of evidence publicly and in front of an impartial court, the dethroned seven-time Tour de France winner has decided to "hold on to baseless soundbites."

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2:54pm

Fri August 24, 2012
Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest

Is It Too Late To Defuse The Danger Of Megafires?

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 7:47 pm

Timmons and Springer work in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, which were burned during last year's Wallow Fire. The largest fire in Arizona history, Wallow barreled through a half-million acres of forest.
David Gilkey NPR

Fourth in a five-part series

Forests in the Southwest have become a fuel stockpile. A century of U.S. Forest Service policy of quashing all fires has allowed forests to become overgrown, and now a warming climate is making the problem worse.

Scientists are trying to defuse these green time bombs. Is it too late?

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2:30pm

Fri August 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Failure Of Lilly Drug Is Latest Alzheimer's Setback

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 3:19 pm

A PET scan of the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease.
U.S. National Institute on Aging Wikimedia Commons

An experimental drug that aimed to slow the development of plaques and help clear them from the brains of Alzheimer's patients failed in two late-stage studies conducted by Eli Lilly & Co., the company said today.

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1:50pm

Fri August 24, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Drone Strike Kills 18 In Pakistan, Security Officials Say

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 2:24 pm

Pakistani security officials say that a United States drone strike has killed 18 suspected militants today in the northwest part of the country. The attack is the fifth of its kind in a week.

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1:39pm

Fri August 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Now They're Even? Romney Gets In 'Birth Certificate' Quip

But seriously, folks: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joked about birth certificates today in Commerce, Mich.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

In Commerce, Mich., today, The Associated Press reports, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney told supporters that he and his wife, Ann, had been born in nearby hospitals. Then, Romney added, "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate; they know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised."

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1:26pm

Fri August 24, 2012
Building The Future

The Urban Design Challenge Is Over. Now What?

Six teams of architects created six concept designs to improve various city blocks and neighborhoods downtown.  It was part of a year-long contest called The Urban Design Challenge.  In this segment, we discuss what it would take to make these designs real.

1:07pm

Fri August 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Dire Health Conditions In South Sudan Prompt Airdrops

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 4:32 pm

Families wait for hours to register at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan along the northern border in early July. Within a few weeks, the population of the camp more than doubled, leading to shortages of food, water and medicine.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

It's been only a year since South Sudan became an independent nation. But as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reported last month, the young county is already facing major challenges.

One of these is a growing population of refugees at the northern border, where conditions have become so dire in the past few weeks that aid workers are now calling it a "health catastrophe."

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