The Salt
12:25 am
Thu September 29, 2011

The Pawpaw: Foraging For America's Forgotten Fruit

Pawpaws may look like mangos, but unlike other tropical fruits, they are native to North America.
Abby Verbosky for NPR

So what the heck is a pawpaw?

Recently, I heard about a secret snack. Kayakers who paddle the waters near Washington, D.C., told me about a mango-like fruit that grows along the banks of the Potomac — a speckled and homely skin that hides a tasty treat.

A tropical-like fruit here, really? Yep. It's the only temperate member of a tropical family of trees. You can't buy the pawpaw in stores, so for years, the only way to eat them was straight from the tree.

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Around the Nation
12:23 am
Thu September 29, 2011

California's New Prison Policy Has Some Skeptics

California is days away from launching a dramatic shift in the way it handles criminal offenders: Starting in October, the state will redirect tens of thousands of nonviolent felons away from state prisons to local facilities.

The state's plan is called "realignment." It shifts certain functions from the state to the counties, says Barry Krisberg, who teaches criminal justice at the University of California, Berkeley, law school.

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The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Adm. Mullen Sticks By His Assertion That Pakistan Supports Extremist Network

U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen speaks during a press conference in Baghdad on Aug. 2, during a visit to press top Iraqi officials to make a decision on the future of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.
Ali Al-Saadi ALI AFP/Getty Images

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he would not change "a word" of the testimony he gave the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.

"I phrased it the way I wanted it to be phrased," Adm. Mike Mullen said.

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5:10 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Health Officials: Listeria Outbreak Linked To 13 Deaths

A listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Colorado has infected 72 people in the United States and killed 13, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday. The food-borne outbreak is the deadliest in the United States in more than a decade, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Salt
5:03 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Pricier PB&J's In The Forecast, Thanks To Peanut Shortage

Peanut butter prices are up, and will likely increase again.
Edward Todd

How much you are willing to pay for your favorite sandwich? If it has peanut butter in it, you may soon be recalculating. A looming shortage of U.S. peanuts is causing the price of peanut butter to soar.

"We have quite a peanut shortage this year," says Tiffany Arthur, an agricultural economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency — the folks who make emergency loans to farmers. "Things are snowballing and prices are sharply rising," she says.

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Crosswalk accident
4:43 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Employee in pedestrian-vehicle accident identified

COMMERCE (ketr) - A Texas A&M University-Commerce student has been cited with disregarding a stop sign which led to him hitting a university employee with his vehicle Wednesday morning.

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4:23 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Bullfighting In Spain Stays Alive Despite Regional Ban

Tomas performs at the Monumental bullring in Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 25. Since the end of the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco, Catalan nationalists have sought to cast off all things Castilian — referring to Spain's heartland.
Manu Fernandez AP

Spain's northeast region of Catalonia held its final bullfight last weekend, after voting to ban the practice last year.

But it's a different story elsewhere in Spain. While relatively few Spaniards are real aficionados of bullfighting, many more see it as a national tradition, and don't want it banned.

On a recent day, Antonio Gutierrez and his friends puff on cigars and shuffle dominos on a folding table near Madrid's famed Las Ventas bullring. They're a bit suspicious of a foreigner asking about bullfights.

"Bullfighting is very, very good. OK?" says Gutierrez.

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

FBI: Mass. Man Arrested For Plot Against Pentagon, Capitol

The FBI arrested a Massachusetts man, who they say plotted to attack the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol using "small drone airplanes" loaded with explosives.

Bloomberg reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
4:19 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Today, Make Sure Rabies' Days Are Numbered

Around the world, bites from dogs infected with rabies are the most common way for humans to become infected.

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 4:40 pm

It seems sometimes that there's hardly a space on the calendar that hasn't been claimed for a campaign to raise awareness for an illness or health condition.

Today, for instance, is World Rabies Day, I learned from a tweet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting a celebration to learn about how to prevent the fatal disease.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Justice Department Asks Supreme Court To Take Up Health Care Law

The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to hear a case that will decide on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care overhaul law.

"The department has consistently and successfully defended this law in several courts of appeals, and only the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it unconstitutional," the Justice Department said in a statement. "We believe the question is appropriate for review by the Supreme Court."

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