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Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to reporters at the State Department in Washington on Tuesday. (AP)

White House Threatens More Russian Sanctions, As Kerry Decries Ukrainian Rebels

by Eyder Peralta
Jul 29, 2014

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Saying that the conflict in Ukraine had "gone on for far too long," Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia to use its "considerable influence" to make sure investigators had access to the debris field of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine.

The separatists who control that area of Ukraine, said Kerry, "have displayed an appalling disregard for human decency."

Kerry spoke after Dutch and Australian experts abandoned their attempts for a third day in a row to reach the debris field.

CNN reports that the 50-member team was accompanied by monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, who were unable to leave Donetsk because "there is too much fighting at the moment on and near the route to the disaster site."

Kerry also spoke after the European Union agreed to implement tougher sanctions against Russia.

Reuters reports the deal reached by the EU on Tuesday targets the Russian "oil industry, defense, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies."

"Among the new measures that were discussed are steps that could limit access of Russian banks to European capital markets, which could affect European holders of Russian debt and financial services firms that do business there," Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, the White House said the U.S. could also unveil additional sanctions against Russia as early as today.

"It's precisely because we've not yet seen a strategic turn from Putin that we believe it's absolutely essential to take additional measures, and that's what the Europeans and the United States intend to do this week," Tony Blinken, Obama's deputy national security adviser, told the AP earlier Tuesday.

Kerry, who was speaking alongside the Ukrainian foreign minister in Washington, said he had talked to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who told him Russia wanted to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.

However, Kerry said, actions have not shown "a shred of evidence" that Russia wants to end the violence.

Russia Today, the Russian-funded, English-language news service, reports that Lavrov blamed Kiev. If it adhered to a cease-fire agreement, Lavrov said, investigators would have access to the Malaysia Airlines disaster site.

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Germany, Hamburg, Man and woman listening to radio in cottage at allotment garden (Getty Images/Westend61)

Share With Us: #WHYLISTEN To Public Radio?

by Rund Abdelfatah
Jul 29, 2014

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At NPR and NPR Member Stations nationwide, our journalists, producers, and storytellers spend their days and nights finding the stories that matter - around the world and in your own backyard. Energized by a mission to create a more informed public, we seek to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation of the events, ideas, and cultures that we encounter every day; the human side of the story. And what we've found in over four decades of bringing you the news is that only when these stories hit your airwaves and ear buds and mobile screens do they really come alive: through you, our listeners.

Over the next two weeks, we'll be collecting your stories and compiling them into a broader narrative called Story Nation. We'll even invite some of you to record your story for possible broadcast on the radio. We can't thank you enough for your support over the years. So now we're turning the mic towards you, to hear YOUR stories about why you listen to OUR stories.

So tell us: Why do you listen to NPR? Has there been a moment when a particular story has moved you or when public radio has made a difference in your life?

Send us an email at whylisten@npr.org or put it out on your favorite social platform tagging @npr and using the hashtag #whylisten.

We can't wait to hear from you!

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

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Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

The Case For Competitive Eating

Jul 29, 2014 (Here & Now / WBUR-FM)

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Running out of summer entertainment ideas? Why not check out the Joey Chestnut Vs. Joey’s All-Stars Fish Taco World Record Challenge, or the Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship?

Or are you horrified by the idea of competitive eating?

Crazy Legs Conti is a defender of the “sport,” as he calls it, and a long-time Major League Eating (MLE) competitor. He talks to Here & Now’s Robin Young.

[Youtube]

Guest

Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

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Google Asks, What Makes Us Healthy? Skeptics Ask, Should Google Be The One To Know?

Jul 29, 2014 (Here & Now / WBUR-FM)

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Google has announced a massive science project, Baseline Study, to provide the most complete possible picture of a healthy human body.

In the initial stage, the project will gather genetic and molecular information, and collect bodily fluids including blood, urine and saliva, from 175 volunteers. Volunteers will also wear devices to collect data on heart rates and rhythms and oxygen and glucose levels.

The project is not limited to specific diseases, and the data will be scoured for patterns or “biomarkers,” which will help medical researchers detect diseases early, before any significant symptoms develop.

The project is run by leading scientists and will be overseen by an institutional review board. But skeptics, like Forbes’ Dan Munro are asking if a multi-billion dollar company should have all that personal information.

James Temple, medicine and technology reporter for Re/code, discusses the Google project and reaction with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

Guest

Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

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Tiny House, Big Problems

Jul 29, 2014 (Here & Now / WBUR-FM)

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Rolf and Mari von Walthousen are a young couple who want to tread lightly on the land. They built a tiny cabin in the woods of a northern Michigan town named Cedar.

Their 200-square-foot house has no electricity or running water. The town health department and zoning officials said their home is too small and deemed it uninhabitable.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Emily Fox of Michigan Radio reports on the von Walthousen’s struggles.

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Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

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