Conflict In Libya
3:59 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Libyan Rebels Struggle To Impose Order On Tripoli

Libyan rebels remove the green flags from poles at the Abu Salim square in Tripoli on Aug. 26 after the opposition forces announced the transfer of their leadership to the capital.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:30 am

Packed into cars and pickup trucks, Libya's rebels honked their horns and fired into the air as they paraded through Tripoli's central square on Wednesday in a show of force and celebration.

Some fighters deliberately targeted the ancient stone walls of the old city that flank the square — apparently because Moammar Gadhafi used the ramparts as a podium while giving speeches. And everyone is now calling it Martyrs Square, rather than Green Square, which was Gadhafi's term.

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Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is a journalist and broadcaster from Ghana who reports for NPR News on issues and developments related to West Africa. She spent her early years in Ghana, Italy, Britain and Kenya.

Quist-Arcton has lived and worked in the U.K., France, Ivory Coast, U.S., South Africa and most recently Senegal, traveling all over Africa as a journalist, broadcaster, commentator and host.

After completing high school in Britain, she took a degree in French studies with international relations and Spanish at the London School of Economics (LSE) and went on to study radio journalism at the Polytechnic of Central London, with two internships at the BBC.

Africa
3:42 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

No Relief In Sight For Somali Refugees In Kenya

Women and children at the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya line up Aug. 24 to receive ifthar — a meal of rice, meat and vegetables to break the Ramadan fast. Somalis are fleeing across the border to Kenya to escape extreme poverty associated with the country's severe drought, famine and an Islamist insurgency.
Ofeibea Quist-Arcton NPR

Even in the relentless heat and dust of the sprawling Dadaab refugee settlement in northern Kenya, camp residents observe the dawn-to-dusk Ramadan fast.

Hawa Abdi is among them. She is from southern Somalia, a part of the country where famine has been declared by the United Nations. She says she has been a refugee at Dadaab for the past six months and is receiving assistance — but still would like more food and other aid.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:38 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Unwed Women Living With Partners Risk More Unplanned Pregnancies

Vicente Barcelo Varona iStockphoto.com

OK, so your mom was right.

It turns out that moving in with that special someone without getting married first puts you at very high risk for an unplanned pregnancy.

That's one of the key findings of a new report from the Guttmacher Institute.

The report found that overall, "the United States did not make progress toward its goal of reducing unintended pregnancy between 2001 and 2006." In fact, the rate was 49 percent in 2006, virtually unchanged from 48 percent in 2001.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:01 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Hospitals Have Got Your Back, Maybe A Little Too Quickly

Is that MRI for back pain necessary?
iStockphoto.com

Back surgery is one of the best documented examples of expensive medical treatments that drive up health care costs while not always helping patients, and sometimes even hurting them.

And the latest Medicare data show that doctors frequently order MRI back scans for patients who haven't tried recommended treatments such as physical therapy. An MRI often prompts surgery.

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Research News
2:57 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

El Nino Seen As Trigger For Violence In The Tropics

This image shows the the above-normal water temperature in the Pacific Ocean during the December 1997 El Nino. Green-blue colors represent normal temperatures; dark red indicates hotter water.
NOAA

Scientists say there's a link between climate and violent conflict.

A statistical analysis of civil conflicts between 1950 and 2004 found that in tropical countries, conflicts were twice as likely to occur in El Nino years. The analysis appears in the journal Nature.

El Nino occurs when there is unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator. But it affects weather patterns in tropical countries around the globe.

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Alex Kellogg is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk who covers diversity-related issues and how these act as social, political and economic forces shaping our country. One focus for Kellogg in this newly created position is on the convergence of ethnicity, race, politics, media and government.

Economy
2:21 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

For Corn Farmers, There's Gold In Them There Fields

High grain prices and increasing yields have been an economic windfall for farmers. Low stockpiles, the use in ethanol production and orders from China have driven up demand and are expected to keep corn prices high.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Corn is a mighty hot commodity these days.

Grain prices soared after weather damage across the Corn Belt led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to predict lower yields than previously expected earlier this month.

Some agronomists and farmers predict yields will likely be even lower because of ongoing heat and drought.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:00 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

When Forgetfulness Needs Medical Attention

In Pat Summitt's 1999 book Reach for the Summit, what comes through about the legendary University of Tennessee women's basketball coach is her singular toughness.

Summitt, 59, announced yesterday that she has been diagnosed with early onset dementia caused by Alzheimer's. Her grit, it seems, remains intact. She said she will continue coaching as she begins treatment.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Dick Cheney Reveals He Kept A Secret Resignation Letter

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, on November 2010 in Dallas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

You'll be hearing a lot about former Vice President Dick Cheney in the next couple of weeks. His memoir, In My Life, hits stores Aug. 29. And on that same day, NBC News will air an exclusive interview with Cheney during "Dateline," and another one during "Today" on Aug. 30.

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