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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Radioactive Leak At U.S. Waste Dump Was Preventable, Report Says

A worker drives an electric cart past air monitoring equipment inside a storage room of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M., shown in this undated photo.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:02 pm

A February accident at a nuclear waste dump that resulted in the contamination of 21 workers resulted in part from "poor management, ineffective maintenance and a lack of proper training and oversight," a Department of Energy report concludes.

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel says the report, released Thursday, says the release of radioactive material into the environment from the Feb. 14 accident at the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., could have been prevented. The facility is a repository for defense-related nuclear waste.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Yankees Pitcher Suspended Over 'Foreign Substance' On Neck

Home plate umpire Gerry Davis checks out the hand of Michael Pineda of the New York Yankees in front of teammate Derek Jeter before throwing him out of the game in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox.
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 4:48 pm

Major League Baseball issued a ten-game suspension against Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda for "possessing a foreign substance on his person" during a game against the Boston Red Sox.

As Major League Baseball reports, after the Sox's manager complained to home plate umpire Gerry Davis, he went out to the mound to inspect Pineda.

Davis found some tar on Pineda's neck.

Pineda was ejected and if he doesn't appeal the suspension, he'll begin serving it tonight.

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Shots - Health News
4:18 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Rural Hospitals Weigh Independence Against Need For Computer Help

Dr. Billy Oley (left) talks with Dr. William George in the Beartooth Billings Clinic in Red Lodge, Mont. The hospital became part of the Billings Clinic system in exchange for help with its digital medical records.
Eric Whitney for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:17 pm

One of the biggest challenges American hospitals face right now is moving to electronic medical records from old-fashioned paper files.

The switch is costing tens of billions of dollars, eating up tons of staff time, and it's especially tough for the country's 2,000 rural and small-town hospitals.

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Business
4:16 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Recall Woes Push Along GM's Cultural Reinvention

General Motors has yet to explain why it took 10 years to recall a faulty ignition switch. Some blame the culture. GM says it's working on that.
Uli Deck DPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:17 pm

General Motors has announced a big hit to first-quarter earnings, largely due to costs for recalls. Profits dropped nearly 90 percent from last year, with the company making a razor-thin profit of $100 million, GM said Thursday.

Meanwhile, GM has yet to explain why it took 10 years to issue one of the recalls for a defective ignition switch. Some critics believe the automaker's dysfunctional culture is to blame.

But the recall crisis could speed up a culture shift that's already underway. 

Customer-Focused

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Strange News
4:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

The Man Who Would Own All The World's 'Speed' — But Only On VHS

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Ryan Beitz feels a need for speed. Specifically, he wants to get...

RYAN BEITZ: All available VHS copies of the hit 1994 action-adventure film "Speed," starring Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper.

BLOCK: It's called the World Speed Project. And please note, Mr. Beitz is very particular: only copies...

BEITZ: On VHS.

BLOCK: No Beta, no laser discs, no DVDs.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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U.S.
4:03 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Postal Workers Protest At Staples Over Shift In Jobs

Postal workers take part in a march in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to protest the opening of U.S. Postal Service counters at Staples stores.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:17 pm

U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.

The postal workers' grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.

Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S. Postal Service lay claim to be fighting for the same cause: safeguarding the long-term future of one of the largest employers in the country.

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Book Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

empty cubicles
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 10:33 am

I remember my first office desk well. It was the roaring '90s in Manhattan. "Silicon Alley," they called it. I was fresh out of college, working at a Web design company. The office had an open layout. We all shared long tables. I did have a window that looked onto a stone wall. I was given a computer, a drawer and a fancy ergonomic chair.

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The Salt
3:37 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Should Figs Go The Way Of Apples And Become A Year-Round Fruit?

Over 90 percent of American figs are grown in California. Two growers there are trying to coax the fruit into ripeness nine months of the year — and maybe more.
anujd89/Flickr

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 8:54 am

True fig lovers are well-practiced in the art of patience. We watch the calendar, dreaming of summer and the fruit's silky, sappy flesh. The season lasts through June and July, with another crop from August to October. And then we're back to almost eight months of oranges, apples and, if we must, Fig Newtons.

But these figless days may be coming to an end.

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Health Care
3:37 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

How One State Convinced Its 'Young Invincibles' To Get Health Insurance

A 2008 ad trying to convince uninsured Massachusetts residents to get signed up for health insurance.
Sawyer Miller Advertising

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 11:45 am

Buying insurance doesn't always feel like it makes economic sense, especially for young healthy people. So why are they still willing to pay?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
3:33 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Tech Giants Pony Up Cash To Help Prevent Another Heartbleed

Google is among several companies putting money into a fund to help safeguard the Internet from possible security flaws in open-source software.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:17 pm

Google, Intel, Facebook and many other tech giants are pooling their money together — for the first time — to fix a glaring hole in cybersecurity. They're launching a multimillion-dollar fund to protect open-source code — the code that anyone can use for free, and that often gets overused and underprotected.

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