The Salt
4:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Where Did All The Watermelon Seeds Go?

Watermelon with seeds is getting harder to find at the supermarket.
iStockphoto.com

Many people think of the seedless watermelons popping up at grocery stores and markets everywhere in the last few years as a marvel of modern scientific technology. In fact, more than 60 percent of watermelon shoppers seek this smoother pink flesh, and the numbers are increasing every year, according to a recent survey done for the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

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U.S.
4:46 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Bypassing College Dreams, A Different Road To Work

Kelly Thompson, a mentor at Siemens, gives apprentices an orientation of the factory. The program provides on-the-job training in manufacturing.
Courtesy of Siemens Energy Inc.

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 5:10 pm

Rebeca Espinal admits with a shy smile that she's a straight-A math student. She's a high school graduate who dreamed of going to college.

Instead, Espinal, 17, is working in a Charlotte, N.C., factory that makes gas turbines and generators. She is an apprentice with the German company Siemens.

"I was planning on getting a degree in international relations, but with financial aid and how difficult it is to pay for college and everything," she says. "So when Siemens came along and gave me the offer, it was too good of an opportunity to just let it go.

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Election 2012
4:46 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney Aims Tough Talk At China, And Obama

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. In the speech, Romney attacked the Obama administration's approach to China.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:24 pm

President Obama's national security adviser visited China this week, just as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was attacking the administration's approach to that country.

"The cheating must finally be brought to a stop," Romney said Tuesday in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev. "The president hasn't done it and won't do it, and I will."

China is the world's largest economy after the United States. It is one of the most important — and complicated — foreign relationships the U.S. has.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Amid An AIDS Epidemic, South Africa Battles Another Foe: Tuberculosis

A mobile clinic set up to test students for HIV is parked near Madwaleni High School in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on March 8, 2011. Parts of the South African province have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:24 pm

The province of KwaZulu-Natal has emerged as the epicenter of South Africa's HIV epidemic. South Africa already has more people infected with HIV than any other country in the world, but parts of KwaZulu-Natal have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.

Now in addition to HIV and AIDS, the province is also dealing with a major tuberculosis epidemic.

In the northeastern part of KwaZulu-Natal, dusty dirt tracks wind through pastures and fields of sugar cane. The hillsides are dotted with small huts made of cinder blocks and field stones.

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The Torch
4:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Maroney Says She'll 'Make The Best' Of Competing On Broken Toe

"It was really fun to get out there and do my vault," McKayla Maroney said, after trying out the apparatus at the North Greenwich Arena in London Thursday. Maroney is coping with the lingering effects of a broken right toe.
John Cheng USA Gymnastics

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:42 pm

U.S.gymnast McKayla Maroney will compete in the London Summer Games, despite the lingering effects of a broken toe. Maroney, a gold medal contender, is the reigning world champion in the vault. Early reports suggested that Maroney broke her toe in London. But it appears that she merely tweaked an earlier injury.

On Twitter, NBC producer Alexa Ainsworth clarified that Maroney's toe "was broken before Classic and she just aggravated that here."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Feds And Health Insurers Partner To Fight Fraud

Insurers and the federal government are teaming up to fight health fraud.
iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration is enlisting new allies to fight health care fraud: insurers.

Today the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice announced a partnership with more than a dozen health insurers and industry groups to nip fraudulent schemes in the bud, instead of tracking down bad guys after the fact.

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Public Safety
3:18 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Construction starts on new Westwood fire station

Rendering of new Station 35 in Westwood
By Jay Hanselman

Construction on Cincinnati's newest fire station is already underway in Westwood.  A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday. 

Officials say it will improve public safety and residents say they hope it will spur other economic development.

The new Station 35 will sit on Harrison Avenue near the intersection of McHenry. 

The 18,000 square foot facility will have 4 bays for equipment and will replace the 105-year-old location about a mile and a half away. 

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The Torch
3:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

In Kayla Harrison, U.S. Has Chance For Judo Gold, And A 'Comeback Kid' Story

Kayla Harrison, who is on the U.S. judo team, is going to the Olympics for the first time.
Melanie Stetson Freeman Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:10 pm

Kayla Harrison, 22, is the best chance the United States has to win its first Olympic gold medal in the sport of judo. Like many of the world's best athletes, Harrison's road to London wasn't easy.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

After Uproar, USDA Walks Back 'Meatless Monday' Support

Steak.
Larry Crowe AP

It was likely something that the United States Department of Agricultural didn't put much thought into. In an internal newsletter detailing agency's "greening" efforts, there's information about new lightbulbs and locally bought fruits and vegetables.

But on page three of five, there's also a passage that encourages forgoing meat on Mondays.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

NPR Taps Lobbying Firm To Help Make Case On Public Funding

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Our colleague David Folkenflik reports for the Newscast Desk that:

"NPR has hired an outside lobbying firm to help make its case with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as some House Republicans seek to make deep funding cuts to public broadcasting.

"Recent disclosure forms show NPR has paid $10,000 to Navigators Global, a firm founded by Republican political figures including strategist and pundit Mike Murphy.

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