National

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Gets Mellow

15 hours ago

The legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally draws bikers to South Dakota from around the world.

Vendors line the sidewalks hawking biker gear, tattoos and the obligatory rally t-shirts; Harleys and Hondas are parked along the side entrances to bars and restaurants. But traffic on the roads is pretty light compared to the past, when rowdy bikers were backed up at four-way stop signs for a city block.

In fact, the "rowdy rally" is looking pretty mellow in its 78th year.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got panned this week for changes they announced to their annual awards.

Oscar viewership has declined 39 percent since 2014. Lots of people now watch programs on streaming services, or game casts on their iPhones, rather than real-time television.

Debbie Dobrosky noticed a peculiar hue in the sky on August 6 — "a very ugly yellow casting" — as she peeked outside. A large cloud of smoke had begun to cover the sun.

By the next day, the smoke was so heavy that "even inside my apartment I've had to use my inhaler twice this morning, which is not a normal thing," says Dobrosky, a Riverside County, Calif., resident who lives about 30 miles from a fast-growing fire in the Cleveland National Forest.

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

To tell how the nation's first black beer festival came to be held in Pittsburgh, you might start with a beer.

Maybe it was that introductory Sam Adams Boston Lager that longtime Michelob and Heineken guy Mike Potter drank more than a decade ago. "It had a completely different profile, a completely different taste, you know, completely different aroma," he says. "It just elevated my curiosity."

It's a sunny day, and a woman walks past a young man on the street. He mutters an obscene catcall. In the video, the woman smiles and says, "Thank you!" But then, the camera pans to her fantasy. What she really wishes she could do: the video goes on to show her in her imagination, pulling out a knife and stabbing him.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who leads Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer by a razor-thin initial vote tally in the Republican primary race for governor, said Thursday night that he would recuse himself from the vote-counting process.

Kobach told CNN Thursday night that he would be "happy to recuse" himself and would make a formal announcement Friday.

As of Thursday night Kobach leads Colyer by 121 votes, out of about 311,000 ballots cast in Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial primary, according to an Associated Press count.

It was Bea Duncan who answered the phone at 2 a.m. on a January morning. Her son Jeff had been caught using drugs in a New Hampshire sober home and was being kicked out.

Bea and her husband, Doug Duncan, drove north that night nine years ago to pick Jeff up. On the ride back home, to Natick, Mass., the parents delivered an ultimatum: Their son had to go back to rehab, or leave home.

Jeff chose the latter, Bea says. She remembers a lot of yelling, cursing and tears as they stopped the car, in the dead of night, a few miles from the house.

A key initiative of the Affordable Care Act was a program designed to help control soaring Medicare costs by encouraging doctors and hospitals to work together to coordinate patients' care. This led to the formation of what are known as accountable care organizations or ACOs.

The program was expected to save the government nearly $5 billion by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

It hasn't come anywhere close.

Spike Lee's new movie, BlackkKlansman, is based on a true story, but the plot sounds crazy enough that you'd be excused for thinking he'd just made it up. It's about an African-American police officer, Ron Stallworth, who went undercover in the 1970s to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan ... by joining it.

Stallworth was the first black officer hired by the Colorado Springs Police Department. In the film, when his chief and the mayor tell him they're hoping he'll "open things up," they don't anticipate that he'll go about that task in quite the way he chooses to do so.

One of the first things actors learn is how to become highly suggestible: Take a cue from a director, a script, a parent, a memory or a dream, and use it to become someone else. Acting classes instruct on the fine art of removing that layer of yourself that says, "No, I shouldn't do this, it isn't me." Fail to break down those walls, and you aren't much of a performer; knock too many down, and you may lose yourself.

Uneasy lies the wrist that wears the big diver's watch, but Jason Statham never looks especially perturbed in The Meg, an agreeably daft if disappointingly bloodless sea creature-feature from the auteur who brought you Three Ninjas and Phenomenon — the film that asked us to imagine, What if John Travolta were smart?

'Dog Days' Is Shaggy But Lovable

Aug 9, 2018

Short Cuts meets Love, Actually ... in Dog Days, an ensemble rom-com-o-rama that brings Los Angeles dog owners together under the reasonable thesis that dogs make everyone's lives better. In fact, the film itself exhibits a dog-like sensibility: Simple, shaggy, ingratiating, lovable, and totally disinterested in aesthetics, like a St. Bernard's lick across the face.

For a doctor, learning that a patient has died is often an emotional moment. Emergency room physician Roneet Lev wondered if telling doctors when their patients die of an overdose might motivate them to rethink their prescribing behavior.

"I asked other physicians if they would want to know if a patient had died," says Lev. "They said yes. I needed to help make that happen."

Researchers have discovered why some stomach bugs hit us so hard — and spread so fast.

New research published Wednesday in Cell Host & Microbe found that stomach infections, like norovirus and rotavirus, are more contagious and more potent when the virus particles cluster together.

These findings may help treat — and even prevent — these viruses more effectively.

By now, practically everyone has seen that picture of the two guys at President Trump's weekend rally in Ohio wearing T-shirts that said: "I'd Rather be a Russian than a Democrat!"

If only the worst thing about Netflix's Insatiable were its lazy portrayals of fat people or its tone-deaf deployment of sexual assault and abuse as comedy or its embrace of racist tropes or its portrayals of people with Southern accents as dumb hicks or its white-hot conviction that same-sex attraction is either inherently hilarious or a teaching moment.

Oh, if only.

Medicaid home care aides — hourly workers who help elderly and disabled people with daily tasks like eating, getting dressed and bathing — are emerging as the latest target in the ongoing power struggle between some conservative lawmakers and organized labor.

If you've ever seen someone with testicles get kicked in the groin, then you probably know that male genitals — often portrayed as a symbol of male strength and virility — aren't actually that tough.

But can testicles — or rather, the sperm they produce — be harmed by something as seemingly innocent as a pair of briefs?

Healthy women with normal pregnancies can opt to have labor induced without worrying that the decision will make a cesarean section more likely, according to a major study published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Ohio's special election yesterday to fill a congressional seat offers a textbook example of a razor-thin margin. Republican Troy Balderson holds a lead of less than 1 percent in a reliable GOP district. Last night, though, he claimed victory.

In a letter to its members sent this morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) listed three changes approved by its Board of Governors.

1. A three-hour Oscars telecast

We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.

With Tuesday's primaries, women have hit another milestone in this record-breaking political year, setting a new record for the number of women who have secured a major party nomination for the U.S. House.

Democrats and Republicans have nominated 185 women to run for the House in November, as of Wednesday morning, according to the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

The figure breaks the prior record of 167 nominees set in 2016.

HGTV is the winning bidder for the Studio City, Calif., house featured in the sitcom The Brady Bunch, with the cable network's parent company promising to "restore the home to its 1970s glory."

The CEO of Discovery Inc., which recently completed acquisition of HGTV, announced the news on a corporate earnings call.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF "THE BRADY BUNCH" THEME SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) Here's the story of a lovely lady...

Several states are questioning the cost of using pharmacy middlemen to manage their prescription drug programs in a movement that could shake up the complex system that manages how pharmaceuticals are priced and paid for.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

All right, we've sorted out those technical difficulties we were facing earlier, and NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro is with us to discuss tonight's primary races. Hi, Domenico.

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Hey, Ari.

Pages