This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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The ongoing Syrian peace talks in Geneva have raised hopes for humanitarian relief in cities, towns, and villages across the country that are under siege by government or rebel forces. And no place is more in need than the central city of Homs, whose residents were among the first to rise up against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Ben Bernanke steps down this week as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The new chair, Janet Yellen, will take over on Saturday. After a two-day meeting, the message today from Fed policymakers was simple: Stay the course. The Fed released a statement saying it will continue dialing-back its stimulus.
NPR's John Ydstie has more on that decision and Bernanke's legacy.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama is on the road today. He's busy making the case for some of the ideas he rolled out last night in his State of the Union address. First stop, a warehouse store in Maryland. There, the president made a multipronged pitch around raising the minimum wage. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith begins our coverage.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Expect to hear this a lot in the coming weeks and months.
A lot of parents like to think their kids will simply outgrow baby fat. But the risk of becoming a severely overweight adult can actually start as early as kindergarten, research suggests.
"As parents, as a society, as clinicians, we need to think about a healthy weight really early on," says Solveig Cunningham, who led the study. But that doesn't mean putting young children on calorie-restricted diets.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:46 am
Saying Edward Snowden has "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order" by exposing U.S. surveillance practices and forcing a new debate over security and privacy, two Norwegian politicians nominated the former intelligence contractor for the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday.
If he were to win the award, Snowden, who gave a trove of classified documents to media outlets last summer, would join the ranks of popular Nobel Peace laureates such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.
The year is 1984: A Soviet defector dashes across the Korean border â chased by North Korean troops. American troops shield him and open fire on the North Koreans. There are dead and wounded on both sides.
Now, 30 years later, one of those Americans is finally receiving his medal for bravery.
Mark Deville was just 19 on that November day in 1984, part of an American Army unit patrolling the tense border between North and South Korea.
It took four years in a prison cell for Palestinian Abdel Hamid el-Rajoub to decide to work as an Israeli informant. Not that he ever planned it that way. Rajoub is in his 60s now. He grew up in a Palestinian village near Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He says he was 19, an emotional young man, when he got involved in fighting Israel.
"It was my right," he says, "to fight Israel and the occupation."
Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 5:03 pm
Meteorologists are used to people faulting their weather predictions. But when Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal called Tuesday's crippling winter storm "unexpected," he drew responses from several forecasters. One answer came from the head of the American Meteorological Society, who also lives in Georgia.
Neanderthals died out long ago, but their genes live on in us. Scientists studying human chromosomes say they've discovered a surprising amount of Neanderthal DNA in our genes. And these aren't just random fragments; they help shape what we look like today, including our hair and skin.
These genes crept into our DNA tens of thousands of years ago, during occasional sexual encounters between Neanderthals and human ancestors who lived in Europe at the time. They show up today in their descendants, people of European and Asian descent.