Regional Interests

For only the third time in 157 years, the bell at London's landmark clock will not toll the hours.

Big Ben resides in Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament. Starting next year, the bell will go silent for a few months as part of a three-year repair plan.

When orchardist Eliza Greenman walks through a field of apple trees and gazes upon a pocked array of blemished and buckled fruits — scarred from fighting fungus, heat and pests — she feels a little thrill of joy. "I'm absolutely infatuated with the idea of stress in an orchard," says Greenman, who custom grafts and grows pesticide-free hard cider apples in Hamilton, Va. These forlorn, scabbed apples, says Greenman, may actually be sweeter.

VIDEO: Chocolate Bars With A Political Bite

Apr 26, 2016

It's often said that Washington, D.C., is a town obsessed with politics. Apparently, that obsession extends to its chocolatiers.

Local Mad River Union reporter (and KHSU regular) Kevin Hoover is hitting the road, hiking from the Mexican border to Ashland, Oregon. He writes that the 1,726.6-mile hike will take around four months and requires massive logistical planning from getting bearproof food storage to setting up autopay for his bills. 

But this isn't just about escaping to the wilderness, he's raising money. According to his blog

A Dutch dentist has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for harming patients in a rural French town. The so-called dentist of horror injured more than 100 patients and committed insurance fraud in Chateau-Chinon, which reportedly had been without a dental care provider for years.

Jacobus Van Nierop, 51, isn't allowed to practice dentistry anymore, and he has to pay about $11,900, according to the BBC.

We've all been dealing with so much unhappiness over the last week that hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton wanted to kick of this week's All Songs Considered with some celebrations. Bob leads off with some great pick-me up music from Moon Hooch. Robin continues to explore his love of "shrug rock" with a hilarious new song from the band PUP.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

In his new film, A Hologram for the King, Tom Hanks plays a middle-aged American businessman who is sent to Saudi Arabia, where the king is planning to build a new city in the middle of the desert. Hanks' character, Adam Clay, must persuade the Saudis to let the company he works for provide IT technology and support for this new city.

On Tuesday, April 19, the news broke that Michael Strahan would leave Live with Kelly and Michael to join Good Morning America. Strahan, who had been with Live since 2012, had been doing some work for GMA for a while, but now was making the switch full-time for good. A week later, the titular Kelly and Michael did their first show together since the announcement.

Former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, 23, has been indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on a misdemeanor assault charge.

Manziel's ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley has accused him of hitting her and rupturing her eardrum in January.

The Dallas Morning News describes what happened:

Immunotherapy tablets are starting to edge out shots as a treatment for allergies. And it looks like the pills can help reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, too.

Scientists reported Tuesday that immunotherapy tablets for dust mite allergy reduced the risk of an attack in people with moderate to severe asthma. The results were published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

A gay rights activist and his friend were killed Monday night in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, by a group of assailants reportedly armed with machetes and guns.

Their deaths are the latest in "a series of attacks on progressive voices that has deepened anxiety about growing fundamentalism in the tiny Muslim country, which borders India," NPR's Julie McCarthy tells our Newscast unit.

Xulhaz Mannan and a man said to be a close friend were slain by a half-dozen men posing as couriers when they forced their way inside Mannan's apartment, Julie reports.

After tens of thousands of votes, the pair of eaglets born in the National Arboretum last month now have official names. Freedom and Liberty won, beating out other options such as Stars and Stripes.

The eagles have been very popular. Since February, more than 35 million people have watched them progress from eggs to hatchlings to eaglets, according to the American Eagle Foundation, which set up cameras near the birds' nest in the arboretum in Washington, D.C.

When it comes to reversing the obesity epidemic, there have been glimmers of hope that the U.S. might be making headway, especially with young children.

An independent Russian newspaper has come under fire after it published stories about the business interests of President Vladimir Putin's family and friends.

The Kremlin insists that it's not applying pressure on any media, but observers say there's a climate where journalists don't know how far they can go without risking reprisals from the government.

Over the past decade, states have passed laws intended to help women understand the results of their breast cancer screening mammograms if they have dense breasts. But those notifications can be downright confusing and may, in fact, cause more misunderstanding than understanding.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

This is the sound of protesters out on the streets of Egypt.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting in foreign language.)

A 27-year quest for vindication ended in triumph Tuesday for the families of 96 people who were killed in the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989. A jury says Liverpool fans weren't to blame for the worst sports disaster in Britain's history — the police and other factors were.

Having HIV — or getting treatment for it — speeds up the aging process by about five years, on average, scientists report in a new study.

The findings, published in the journal Molecular Cell, fit with what doctors have seen in clinics: HIV-positive people tend to get hit earlier in life with age-related diseases, such as osteoporosis, heart disease and dementia.

Copyright 2016 WAMU-FM. To see more, visit WAMU-FM.

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