9:37am

Sun July 20, 2014
Pop Culture

'Transformers' Inspires Chinese Farmer-Artists

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

And while we are celebrating zombies who shuffle from movies into comic book, what about the toy robots that became a cartoon that then became a movie series and now have inspired Chinese farmers to become master replica robot builders?

(SOUNDBITE OF "TRANSFORMERS" THEME SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Transformers, more than meets the eye.

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9:21am

Sun July 20, 2014
The Two-Way

R.J. Reynolds Vows Appeal Of $23 Billion Cancer-Death Verdict

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:01 am

Camel cigarettes, an R.J. Reynolds brand, are seen on display at JJ&F Market in in Palo Alto, Calif. The company has vowed to appeal a $23 billion judgement.
Paul Sakuma AP

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the nation's second-largest cigarette maker, is vowing to fight a verdict of $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer.

Calling the massive award "grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law," the tobacco company's CEO, J. Jefferey Raborn, said the verdict was "beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented."

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NPR's Giles Snyder can be heard on NPR stations nationwide, bringing listeners the latest in national and international developments. His newscasts have been a regular part of NPR News' weekend overnight coverage since June 2004.

Prior to coming to NPR, Snyder worked for sixteen years at West Virginia Public Radio. He held a variety of on-air as well as managerial positions at the station, including operations director, program director, and the morning and local news anchor and reporter. He also spent time as the station's afternoon anchor/reporter.

Snyder has been awarded a variety of state Associated Press Awards for his newscasting role in public radio. He was also a proud member of an award-winning news team in West Virginia.

7:26am

Sun July 20, 2014
The Two-Way

At Least 13 Israeli Soldiers, 87 Palestinians Killed In Gaza Strip Sunday

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:36 pm

A Palestinian man runs with a white flag in the Shejaia neighborhood, which was heavily shelled by Israel during fighting in Gaza City on Sunday.
Finbarr O'Reilly Reuters/Landov

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET.

A spokesman for Hamas claimed Sunday that the group has captured an Israeli soldier. Reuters quotes Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, as saying that no Israeli soldier has been kidnapped.

It's the latest development in a bloody day of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israel's military said today that a series of attacks on its forces inside the Gaza Strip has killed 13 soldiers, by far the heaviest single-day toll for its troops since the beginning of the offensive nearly two weeks ago.

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7:18am

Sun July 20, 2014
The Two-Way

James Garner, Of The '70s TV Show 'The Rockford Files,' Dies

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:53 am

Actor James Garner died Sunday at age 86.
AP

Actor James Garner, whose wise-cracking but affable character made hits out of the TV shows Maverick and The Rockford Files, has died. He was 86.

Los Angeles Police confirm that Garner was found dead of natural causes at his home in Brentwood on Saturday.

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6:40am

Sun July 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Kerry: Evidence Points Clearly To Rebels Shooting Down MH17

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 3:29 pm

Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry work at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk, on Sunday.
Maxim Zmeyev Reuters/Landov

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET.

In the most emphatic U.S. statement to date on culpability for the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people, Secretary of State John Kerry says evidence overwhelmingly points to Russian-backed separatists.

In an interview with CNN, he says that U.S. intelligence, as well as social media put out by the rebels, "obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists.

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4:05am

Sun July 20, 2014
Shots - Health News

A YouTube Video Is Doctor's Secret Weapon Against Back Pain

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:45 pm

Katherine Streeter for NPR

A woman in her late 20s came to see me recently because her back hurt. She works at a child care center in town where she picks up babies and small children all day long.

She felt a twinge in her lower back when hoisting a fussy kid. The pain was bad enough that she went home from work early and was laid out on the couch until she came to see me the next day.

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5:18pm

Sat July 19, 2014
Around the Nation

As Superheroes Go Mainstream, Comic Cons Get Corporate

Anna Swope, dressed as a stormtrooper from Star Wars, and her husband Stephen Goss, dressed as the films' Boba Fett, wait to use an ATM while attending the Fan Expo convention in Vancouver, B.C.
Darryl Dyck AP

Darren Tompkins attended his first comic convention (or comic con) in Roanoke, Va., back in the mid-1980s. At the time, these gatherings were only for die-hard comic fans — people who might invest in a Batman or Joker costume to wear once a year.

"Really, it was just a small ballroom filled with cardboard boxes," Tompkins says. "I mean, there weren't any actors or famous people or panels or anything. It was just a place for comic book dealers to get together and sell their wares."

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4:40pm

Sat July 19, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Remixed And Retweeted

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:13 am

A Hamas supporter holds her mobile phone during a public rally in Gaza City in March.
Said Khatib AFP/Getty Images

The deadly war in the Gaza Strip and Israel is being fought with rockets and guns. It's also being fought with tweets and viral videos.

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4:05pm

Sat July 19, 2014
Around the Nation

Learning To Love The Ocean After A Lifetime Of Fearing It

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 8:26 pm

Every Wednesday for a decade, Tim Bomba has been helping people in Santa Monica, Calif., get over their fears of the ocean.
Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Tim Bomba is a tall, rangy guy with a quick smile and a penchant for off-color jokes. He's a marathoner, a triathlete (he's done two Ironman races), and every Wednesday morning for the last decade, Bomba has taught a ocean swimming course in Santa Monica, Calif.

The course, called Ocean 101, isn't for accomplished swimmers like Bomba. It's for people who are new to the ocean, and many participants are afraid of the water when they arrive. Bomba knows what they're going through. He himself was terrified of swimming until he was in his 50s.

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