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Goats and Soda
2:41 am
Thu May 21, 2015

WHO Calls For $100 Million Emergency Fund, Doctor 'SWAT Team'

The Ebola outbreak "overwhelmed" the World Health Organization and made it clear the agency must change, WHO's director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan, said Monday in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:44 am

Nearly 3,000 delegates from around the world are gathering this week in one of the most expensive cities in Europe to debate the fate of the World Health Organization.

There's one main question on the table: Will the WHO be given the power and money it needs to be the world's leading health agency, or will it plod forward in its current state — as a weak, bureaucratic agency of the U.N. known more for providing advice rather than taking action.

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The Salt
2:40 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory

"No trespassing" signs are posted on the edge of a field at a farm operated by Daybreak Foods near Eagle Grove, Iowa, which has been designated "bio security area," on May 17.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:44 am

An avian flu outbreak is sweeping across the Midwest at a frightening pace, ravaging chicken and turkey farms and leaving officials stumped about the virus's seemingly unstoppable spread.

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2:38 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Spending To Fight Wildfires At The Expense Of Preventing Them

Rancher Ross Frank worries that funding to fight fires in Western communities like Chumstick, Wash., has crowded out important land management work.
Rowan Moore Gerety Northwest Public Radio

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:23 am

The weed-whacker is a frequent companion to the sounds of chirping birds and rustling pines at Ross Frank's ranch in Chumstick, Wash. With forested land on all sides, he's clearing dense brush beneath a stand of by his house.

"So we're turning that around manually and mimicking what fire would have done naturally," he says.

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Heroin In The Heartland
2:36 am
Thu May 21, 2015

States Lack Accurate Statistics On Widespread Heroin Use

Stacy Emminger holds the death certificate for her son, Anthony, who was addicted to heroin. His death was marked as a multidrug toxicity in Pennsylvania.
Ben Allen WITF

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:51 am

In Pennsylvania, it's estimated opioids like heroin killed at least 1,300 people last year. In Massachusetts, more than 1,000 have died, and in Connecticut, heroin deaths jumped more than 85 percent in two years.

But figuring out the size and scope of the problem is harder than many people think.

Pennsylvania, like many states, doesn't require reporting of specific details on drug overdoses, and whatever other information is available is at least two years old.

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2:35 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Why A Chinese Government Think Tank Attacked American Scholars

Exiled Tibetans march in November 2009 in Kathmandu, Nepal, during a protest against alleged human rights violations by the Chinese government in Tibet and Xinjiang.
Rafiq Maqbool AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:29 am

Last month, a Chinese government think tank bashed history professors from Harvard, Georgetown and other leading American universities regarding things they wrote — at least 15 years ago — about events that occurred more than two centuries ago.

"This was a uniquely vitriolic attack," says Georgetown's Jim Millward. The article calls him as "arrogant," "overbearing" and an "imperialist," and dismisses Millward's and his colleagues' scholarship as "academically absurd."

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Islamic State Takes Control Of Ancient City Of Palmyra

Smoke rises after a Syrian Rocket launcher shell on Islamic State positions in the ancient oasis city of Palmyra, about 215 kilometers northeast of Damascus on Tuesday. News reports say the Islamic State has taken control of the city.
EPA /Landov

The self-declared Islamic State has taken control of Palmyra, an ancient city that's on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.

Palmyra and Tadmur, the modern town that adjoins it, have been the scene of recent fighting between Syrian government troops and fighters from the Islamic State. Multiple news reports say government troops left the city ahead of an advance by the rebels.

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6:25 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Chipping Away At The Mystery Of The Oldest Tools Ever Found

An ancient stone tool unearthed at the excavation site near Kenya's Lake Turkana. It's not just the shape and sharp edges that suggest it was deliberately crafted, the researchers say, but also the dozens of stone flakes next to it that were part of the same kit.

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:19 pm

A scientific discovery in Kenya, first reported in April, challenges conventional wisdom about human history, say the scientists who made the discovery and are now releasing the details. The scientists say the collection of stone tools they turned up near Lake Turkana were made long before the first humans are thought to have evolved.

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6:17 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

For Israel, Soccer Becomes A Geopolitical Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter kicks a ball during the inauguration of a football stadium in the village of Dura al-Qari near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday. Blatter said he is on a "mission of peace" to resolve tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian soccer federations.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:39 pm

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has moved to the soccer field. Next week, at the annual meeting of FIFA — the international body governing football — its 209 members are scheduled to vote on a proposal to suspend Israel from international play.

Palestinian soccer officials put the proposal on FIFA's agenda, saying Israeli policies hurt Palestinian players and the sport's development and break FIFA's own rules.

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The Salt
5:08 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

McMadness: Activists Pile On At McDonald's Shareholders Meeting

Demonstrators march on McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., on Wednesday, demanding a wage increase to $15 per hour.
Brian Kersey UPI /Landov

Whoa, I wouldn't want to be Steve Easterbrook right about now.

The newish CEO of McDonald's — who has pledged to turn the fast-food giant into a progressive burger chain — is getting an earful this week, as the company prepares to convene its annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.

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4:34 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Energy Companies Step In To Fund STEM Education

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:15 pm

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