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Iraq
5:43 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

What, Exactly, Are U.S. Interests In Iraq's Turmoil?

Iraqi Shiite tribesmen show their enthusiasm Tuesday for joining Iraqi security forces in the fight against Islamist militants who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities.
Haidar Hamdani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

As the U.S. steers warships closer to Iraq and beefs up its embassy's security in Baghdad with nearly 300 troops, a nagging question has resurfaced.

What compelling interests does Washington still have in a nation where all U.S. forces were pulled out 2 1/2 years ago?

Three days after Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, President Obama paused on the White House lawn and issued a warning.

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Environment
5:31 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Plastics Don't Disappear, But They Do End Up In Seabirds' Bellies

Plastic floats ashore in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

The vast majority of debris in the ocean — about 75 percent of it — is made of plastic. It can consist of anything from plastic bottles to packaging materials, but whatever form it takes, it doesn't go away easily.

While plastic may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some as small as grains of sand, these pieces are never truly biodegradable. The plastic bits, some small enough that they're called microplastics, threaten marine life like fish and birds, explains Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the U.K.

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Music Reviews
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Album Review: 'While You Were Sleeping'

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:28 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: A jazz singer for the hip-hop generation - that's how Jose James was described after he released his first album last year for the famed Blue Note record label. James has now released a follow-up. It's called, While You Were Sleeping. And reviewer Tom Moon says the 35-year-old shows phenomenal growth.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING")

JOSE JAMES: (Singing) Shadows long upon my face. Shadows long upon my face.

TOM MOON, BYLINE: Catch up with Jose James now because he's a rarity - an artist evolving at warp speed.

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Politics
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The Would-Be Ambassador To Norway Who Has Never Been There Himself

George Tsunis, the Obama administration's nominee for ambassador to Norway, at his January confirmation hearing.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 8:41 am

It wasn't expected to be a controversial nomination. After all, ambassador to Norway isn't a very high-profile position.

But the nomination of George Tsunis, a major fundraiser for President Obama and other Democrats in 2012, has turned into a minor embarrassment for the administration.

The reason? Several prominent Democrats say they won't vote for him on the grounds he's not qualified.

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Politics
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Lightning-Fast Trades Go Beneath The Congressional Microscope

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is holding a hearing on problems in the financial markets caused by high-frequency trading firms.

Iraq
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Will The Trouble In Iraq Draw U.S. And Iran Closer Together?

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One big question about Iraq concerns it's neighbor to the east, Iran. What will Tehran do in the face of the ISIS offensive? And do Iran and the United States share sufficient common interests to actually cooperate over Iraq? Well, joining us from Tehran is Thomas Erdbrink, who is the New York Times bureau chief there. And tell us, how worried are the Iranians, first, about what ISIS has done in Iraq?

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Are Room Service And Hotel Mini Bars Becoming Obsolete?

Mini bar included at The Standard Hotel in Los Angeles. (adamjackson1984/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 11:02 am

The New York Hilton has modified its traditional room service model and has moved to a delivery system after the company has seen less and less room service orders at the hotel.

Hilton has not implemented this across the all of its hotels, as it says different markets have different demands.

But what about mini bars? Are the goodies in hotel room mini fridges as popular as they once were, and are they a profitable business model?

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Some Paramedics Doing Less Transport, More Treatment At Scene

Speeding to a house call? Training paramedics to do more treatment at the scene can be pricey, critics say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:42 am

It's being called the house call of the future: Ambulance crews rush when you call 911, but instead of taking you to the emergency room, they treat you at home.

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Startup Aims To Score With World Cup

Boston startup Dashbell is capitalizing on the crowds gathering in Brazil. (Nelson Antoine/AP)

The World Cup finals kicked off yesterday in Brazil. For the roughly 70,000 Brazilian immigrants in Massachusetts, the opening match between the host nation and Croatia was a reason to leave work early.

But one Boston startup is looking to the World Cup for more work.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Curt Nickisch of WBUR has the story of a small company using the global competition to prove its worth on a bigger stage.

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Ariz. Mayor Worries About New Wave Of Child Migrants

A child on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border fence looks into Arizona during a special 'Mass on the Border' on April 1, 2014 in Nogales, Arizona. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Vice President Joe Biden heads to Guatemala this week to meet with leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador about the wave of unaccompanied children coming across the U.S. Mexico border from those Central American countries.

Border patrol agents are finding children as young as 4, with notes pinned on their clothing with instructions on how to contact relatives in the U.S.

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