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Parallels
7:30 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Low Hopes, High Stakes For Syria Peace Conference In Geneva

In Istanbul on Saturday, Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba announces the opposition group will attend the upcoming peace conference in Geneva.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:00 pm

Can a meeting in Switzerland, known as Geneva-2, solve the crisis in Syria?

The expectations are low. The warring parties are reluctant. Some of the most important players, including powerful armed rebel groups, are not on the invitation list.

The superpower hosts, the U.S. and Russia, fully back the peace conference, set for Wednesday. They hope to kick-start a political process and end the armed conflict that has ravaged Syria and destabilized the region.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Book News: Amazon Wants To Ship Products Before You Even Buy Them

An employee prepares an order at Amazon's fulfillment center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:34 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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New In Paperback
7:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Jan. 19-25: A Twitter Star, An Infamous Murder And Arab World Intimacy

Jeffrey MacDonald before a hearing on July 7, 1970, on the murder charges against him. Errol Morris' book suggests that, despite his conviction, MacDonald was not guilty.
AP

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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

Shots - Health News
3:39 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies?

You tried burping. You tried bouncing. You tried swaddling. Now what?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:53 pm

When Melissa Shenewa and her husband imagined their first weeks with their new baby, they pictured hours of cuddling. Instead, they're enduring hours of inconsolable crying.

Their 6-week-old son, Aladdin, is a colicky baby. He cries for hours, usually in the middle of the night. They've tried everything they could think of. Nothing helps.

"Being a parent when your child is screaming in pain for hours on end and there's nothing you can do, you feel helpless," says Shenewa, 24, who lives in Houston. "You feel like you're not a good parent."

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Shots - Health News
3:37 am
Mon January 20, 2014

In Michigan, Businessmen And Politicians Agree On Medicaid

Henry Ford Hospital treats Detroit residents. About 1 in 3 residents of that city is uninsured, and the hospital CEO hopes Medicaid expansion will increase the number of people with health insurance.
Eric Whitney

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:45 pm

Republican Party leaders say opposition to the Affordable Care Act is their No. 1 campaign issue for the midterm election.

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Politics
3:36 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Wielding A Pen And A Phone, Obama Goes It Alone

President Obama has alluded to his pen and his phone as two tools that help him act without waiting for congressional approval.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:04 am

President Obama has a new phrase he's been using a lot lately: "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone."

He's talking about the tools a president can use if Congress isn't giving him what he wants: executive actions and calling people together. It's another avenue the president is using to pursue his economic agenda.

'If Congress Is Deadlocked'

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Sports
3:32 am
Mon January 20, 2014

U.S. Olympic Skier Finds Team Spirit, Minus The Team

Kris Freeman, skiiing here for the U.S. team in 2011, during the Winter Games NZ, was cut from the U.S. Ski team before the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games. Freeman has had to train without their support and still hopes to qualify to compete in Russia.
Hannah Johnston Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:57 pm

The U.S. Olympic team is taking shape in the run-up to next month's Winter Games in Russia. This week, the Olympic cross-country ski team names the athletes who'll be going to Sochi, and veteran Kris Freeman is vying for another spot.

The 33-year-old Freeman already has been to three Olympic Games, and he's considered the country's best long distance racer over the past decade.

All that despite the fact that he has diabetes.

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Shots - Health News
3:28 am
Mon January 20, 2014

In These Gyms, Nobody Cares How You Look In Yoga Pants

Kendall Schrantz, center, stretches after a class at Downsize Fitness in Fort Worth.
Lauren Silverman for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:46 am

If you want to lift weights or use the treadmill at Downsize Fitness, you have to be at least 50 pounds overweight.

Kendall Schrantz is a fan – and a member.

The 24-year-old has struggled with her weight since she was in the second grade. The looks she got at other gyms made her uncomfortable.

But now she drives more than an hour to Downsize Fitness in Fort Worth three times a week, just to exercise.

"It's worth every single penny I paid for gas," she said. "It's worth the time I spend on the road, the miles."

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Around the Nation
3:27 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label

Prince George's County, Md., Police Officer Juan Damian and Dora Escobar outside one of her popular check cashing businesses.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:04 am

On a recent Friday evening in Langley Park, Md., police officer Juan Damian drives his patrol car past fast food restaurants, discount stores and Hispanic groceries.

Damian estimates that at least two-thirds of the people here are undocumented, and that has made it a magnet for robberies over the years. Gangs know undocumented day workers are especially lucrative targets, he says. Their pockets are often stuffed with a day's or even a week's worth of wages. The street term for these men: "walking ATMs."

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Movie Interviews
6:20 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

How Breakthrough 'Captain Phillips' Actor Connected To The Role

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 6:43 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

"Captain Phillips" is one of those films, a true life story of war and drama. It's based on the story of the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama. Five years ago, pirates attacked the freighter ship off the coast of Somalia. The film star is Tom Hanks as the title character, Captain Richard Phillips, and Barkhad Abdi as the man who leads the charge to capture the ship and crew.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CAPTAIN PHILLIPS")

BARKHAD ABDI: (As Muse) Look at me.

TOM HANKS: (As Captain Phillips) Sure.

ABDI: (As Muse) Look at me.

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