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Parallels
3:26 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Singing The Blues, A U.S. Envoy Hopes To Boost Ties With Ecuador

Adam Namm (left) is the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador and a member of Samay Blues Band. He performs regularly with the group and says its a way to breakaway from traditional diplomacy.
Alejandro Reinoso for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 12:31 pm

Shortly before taking the stage at a bar in Quito, Ecuador's capital, the local band Samay Blues plugs in for a sound check.

Among the audience are a number of Americans. That's because the word is out: U.S. Ambassador Adam Namm will be sitting in on keyboards.

"I'm glad to get out of the office once in a while," Namm tells a patron. "Thanks for coming."

In a region where many left-wing leaders are hostile to the United States, Namm has found a novel way to reach out to his host country.

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Around the Nation
3:25 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Homeless Man Encourages Others On The Streets To 'Get Up'

Tony Simmons leads a group of Johns Hopkins University students on a "justice walk" in downtown Baltimore, during which they learn about public policy, providing services, and the connections between income inequality and health.
Gabriella Demczuk for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 10:57 am

This story begins an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Sometimes, the people you'd least expect are those who do the most. People like Tony Simmons, a homeless man in Baltimore who helps others get off the street. Simmons says he does it as much for himself as for anyone else.

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Parallels
3:24 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Tiger Skins And Rhino Horns: Can A Trade Deal Halt The Trafficking?

Coleen Schaefer (left) and Doni Sprague display a tiger pelt that was confiscated and is being stored at the National Wildlife Property Repository on the outskirts of Denver. Some 1.5 million items are being held at the facility. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is still under negotiation, would punish wildlife trafficking.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 3:36 pm

If you want a sobering look at the scale of wildlife trafficking, just visit the National Wildlife Property Repository on the outskirts of Denver. In the middle of a national refuge is a cavernous warehouse stuffed with the remains of 1.5 million animals, whole and in parts.

They range from taxidermied polar bears to tiny sea horses turned into key chains. An area devoted to elephants is framed by a pair of enormous tusks.

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Parallels
3:21 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Group Urges Swedes To Evade Subway Fares, And Even Insures Against Fines

Christian Tengblad (right) and his fellow fare dodger are part of the group Planka.nu.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 9:45 am

Every city that has public transportation struggles with fare jumpers — people who sneak onto the subway or the bus without buying a ticket. In Sweden, fare-dodging is a brazen movement in which the group's members don't try to hide what they're doing.

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All Tech Considered
1:11 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Apple Sold 30,000 iPhones An Hour Last Quarter, Scored Record Profits

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus late last year.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 3:50 pm

Sales of Apple's larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hit one out of the ballpark last quarter, reports NPR's Laura Sydell.

"Apple sold over 74 million iPhones in three months and it made $18 billion in profits — that's a record for the company. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that they sold 30,000 iPhones every hour.

"The sales may reflect pent-up consumer demand — many people were waiting for Apple to release a phone with a bigger screen, which its main competitor, Samsung, already had.

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It's All Politics
6:28 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Koch Brothers Put Price Tag On 2016: $889 Million

Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch speaks in Orlando, Fla., in August 2013.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 7:33 pm

The political network led by industrialists Charles and David Koch plans to spend $889 million for the 2016 elections. In modern politics, it's more than just a ton of money.

It's about as much as the entire national Republican Party spent in the last presidential election cycle, four years ago. And as Sheila Krumholz — director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks politicians and donors — pointed out in an interview, it's double what the Koch brothers and their network spent in 2012.

Krumholz summed it up: "It is staggering."

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Goats and Soda
6:12 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

For Dollars Donated To Vaccine Campaigns, Norway Wears The Crown

A Pakistani polio vaccination worker gives a dose to a child in Islamabad during a 2014 campaign.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

GAVI asked and the world gave.

GAVI is the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. At a conference in Berlin today, the nonprofit group asked for help in meeting its goals of vaccinating 300 million children in low income countries against potentially fatal diseases.

The response was extraordinary: a total of $7.5 billion pledged to cover GAVI's 2016-2020 efforts.

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Parallels
5:57 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Pakistanis View Obama's India Visit With A Touch Of Irritation

President Eisenhower and Pakistani President Mohammed Ayub Khan ride through the streets of Karachi in 1959. This wouldn't happen today.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 6:59 pm

A black and white photograph captures a scene that could never happen today.

It shows an American president riding through the streets of a city in Pakistan in a gleaming horse-drawn carriage, as if he's the Queen of England.

The city is Karachi, in the days when American visitors were not obliged by the presence of Islamist militants to conceal themselves behind blast-proof walls, sandbags and razor wire.

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

In Case You Were Wondering, Marshawn Lynch Is Here For One Reason

Addressing journalists at the Super Bowl media day, Marshawn Lynch had only one message: "I'm just here so I won't get fined."
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:49 pm

Whatever the question, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has the answer. At a (mandatory) media appearance for the upcoming Super Bowl, Lynch stuck to one response Tuesday: "I'm just here so I won't get fined." After he said it nearly 30 times, he added one word: "Time."

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Shots - Health News
5:42 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

To Protect His Son, A Father Asks School To Bar Unvaccinated Children

Rhett Krawitt, 6, outside his school in Tiburon, Calif. Seven percent of the children in his school are not vaccinated.
Courtesy of Carl Krawitt

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 2:09 pm

Carl Krawitt has watched his son, Rhett, now 6, fight leukemia for the past 4 1/2 years. For more than three of those years, Rhett has undergone round after round of chemotherapy. Last year he finished chemotherapy, and doctors say he is in remission.

Now, there's a new threat, one that the family should not have to worry about: measles.

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