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12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

GOP Seeks Big Changes In Federal Prison Sentences

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:25 am

Every year, federal judges sentence more than 80,000 criminals. Those punishments are supposed to be fair — and predictable. But seven years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court threw a wrench into the system by ruling that the guidelines that judges use to figure out a prison sentence are only suggestions.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

'I Wanted To Live': New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases

Chris Stephens, 28, who has been battling depression all of his life, plays with his dogs at home in Concord, Calif., on Friday. After a dose of ketamine, Stephens says, "I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to live life."
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:52 am

A club drug called "Special K" is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression.

That's because "Special K," which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours. And it works on many patients who haven't responded to current antidepressants like Prozac.

Those traditional drugs, which act on the brain's serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in, and don't work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression.

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Election 2012
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Golden Age: Florida Primary Centers On Seniors

Judy Youngblood of Jacksonville, Fla., appears at a rally at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel Monday, wearing earrings she made from campaign buttons supporting Newt Gingrich.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Just how important is the senior vote in Florida?

Nearly one in five Floridians is retired. And a survey conducted by AARP predicts that as many as 60 percent of those who cast ballots in Tuesday's Republican primary — 6 out of 10 voters — will be retirees.

If that number is surprising, AARP Florida director Jeff Johnson says it helps to remember that primaries typically have a low turnout.

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The Salt
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Lamb Boom Has Sheep Farmers Flocking Together

A holding pen for lamb at the Will-O-Wood Farm in southeastern Ohio.
Meta Van Nostran

When city folk think of lamb, they may think of very young sheep — perhaps six weeks old. But six months is the average age of spring lamb going to market these days.

Don Van Nostran has one in a holding pen in his barn at Will-O-Wood Farm in southeastern Ohio. It soon will be butchered and sold in a local Kroger store.

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Europe
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

In Italy, Art As A Window Into Modern Banking

Oil painting by Marinus van Reymerswaele.
Courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 am

As Italy and much of Europe struggle with their finances, the city of Florence has staged an art exhibition looking at the critical — and controversial — role that financial institutions have played for centuries.

The recent Money and Beauty exhibit, held in the majestic 15th-century Palazzo Strozzi, illustrated how Florentine merchants got around the Catholic Church's ban on money-lending and bankrolled the Renaissance.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Longtime Allies, Egypt And U.S. Now Have Differences

The U.S. is insisting that Egypt establish a full-fledged democracy and move away from military rule. Here, an Egyptian woman covers her head in a national flag as she demonstrates in a pro-democracy rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 27.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 7:50 am

For many years, top Egyptian officials coming to Washington could expect a warm welcome, with few points of contention.

But for a group of Egyptian generals now in the U.S., several points of friction are likely to dominate the agenda between the longtime allies.

Egypt doesn't like the new conditions U.S. lawmakers have placed on American aid. And the U.S. is furious with the way Egypt has been treating U.S. groups that promote democracy. At least three Americans have taken shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

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The Two-Way
7:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Report Prompts Calls To End Freddie Mac's Conflict Of Interest

A sign for Freddie Mac in front of its headquarters in McLean, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Several U.S. lawmakers and prominent economists on Monday said Congress and the White House should end a financial conflict of interest at the taxpayer-owned mortgage company Freddie Mac.

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The Salt
6:19 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Here's A Pie In Your Eye: A Brief History Of Food Fights

Communist party lawmaker Liana Kanelli enters her car after protesters threw yogurt on her face as she tried to reach the Greek parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens in 2011.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Last week, 500 tacos appeared at the mayor's office in East Haven, Conn. But they weren't intended for a casual luncheon.

Instead, this truckload of tacos was meant to be a symbol of discontent. An immigration reform group sent the fare in protest to what they said was an insensitive comment from Mayor Joseph Maturo in reference to Latinos and tacos.

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

?yllaeR 'Alyssa Talks Backwards' seoG lariV

Alyssa the backwards talker.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:18 pm

"Talent, odd it is," Yoda might say.

In one of those quirks we've come to like about the Web, a video called "Alyssa talking backwards. Poteau Oklahoma" that was posted last July is just now beginning to get some viral-style attention. She seems to be quite good at quickly saying — backwards — any word she's given.

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Death Toll Rises As Syria's Crisis Heads To U.N. Security Council

Syrian soldiers who defected join protesters in the al-Khaldiya neighborhood of the restive city of Homs on January 26, 2012.
- AFP/Getty Images

At least 100 people were killed across Syria today by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, activists said. The Local Coordination Committees, which organize protests on the ground and document the killings, said 76 people were killed in the restive central region of Homs.

The past five days have been some of the bloodiest since the uprising began last March, with about 387 people killed since Thursday, activists said.

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