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Every year, the flu almost goes extinct in temperate places like the United States. The key word is "almost." It stays afloat by constantly moving.

"It looks like it's hopping between different cities and different populations," says Sarah Cobey, a computational biologist at the University of Chicago.

The virus does an annual migration across the world, hitting the Southern Hemisphere during its winter, the Northern Hemisphere right about now, and hanging out in the tropics in between — especially in parts of Asia.

Many Americans Believe They Don't Need The Flu Vaccine

4 minutes ago

Flu season is in swing and likely won't let up until April.

It seemed like high time to check in on how Americans feel about flu vaccination, so we asked more than 3,000 adults in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll, conducted during the first half of October.

All told, 62 percent of people said they had been vaccinated or intended to get vaccinated against flu.

Is there ever a time when cool trumps science?

It's a question that becomes relevant when you consider NASA's plans to put a helicopter drone on an upcoming rover mission to Mars.

Thirty years ago, one of the most valuable paintings of the 20th century vanished. It wasn't an accident and it wasn't some elaborate movie heist. It was a simple theft — and it's still a mystery.

It was the day after Thanksgiving, 1985. Staff at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson were getting to work, just like any other day.

"It was almost 9:00 o'clock so the museum was gearing up to open the doors," says museum curator Olivia Miller. "The security guards opened the doors for one of the staff members, and two people followed behind."

Urban foraging might call to mind images of hipsters picking food out of the trash.

But one group in Massachusetts eats only the finest, freshest produce. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees in Cambridge and Somerville and turns it into jam.

Sam Christy, a local high school teacher, started the league four years ago.

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This time of year we tend to do a lot of writing about food. Usually we describe delicious dishes that remind us of home and our favorite family traditions, but there's something missing from that conversation: the tale of the kitchen disaster, the wreck, the unsalvageable mess for which the only remedy is take-out.

To fully appreciate the special anguish that is a home-cooked meal gone wrong, we've asked three people with particular knowledge in this area to tell us about their worst-ever kitchen debacles.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

When his cellphone rang Friday night, on Nov. 13, Joel Touitou Laloux didn't answer. The sun had long since set, the Jewish Sabbath was under way, and he doesn't use electronics on Shabbat.

He recognized the number. One of his sons was calling from Paris. Laloux, who managed the Bataclan theater for decades until he and his family sold it in September, now lives in Ashdod, a coastal city in southern Israel.

Finally, after his son's number flashed three or four times, Laloux answered.

For high school students looking to choose a college, grade point averages and test scores may weigh heavy on their minds. But campus atmosphere may not be far behind given recent demonstrations on college campuses across the country.

Students at the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia were the forefront of a wave of protests over racist incidents and the reaction of school officials. For some high school students, those protests make racial relations factor highly in their college search.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Stephane de Sakutin/Pool/Reuters

The President of France is continuing his quest to create a grand alliance against ISIS, following the massacres in Paris on Nov. 13.

Earlier this week, François Hollande met with Barack Obama in Washington. On Thursday he went to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin.

“Mr. Putin’s been saying the same kind of thing for the last couple of weeks,” says Moscow-based reporter, Charles Maynes.

France and Russia have both suffered from ISIS violence recently. France — with the attacks on Paris, and Russia with the bombing of an airliner over Egypt barely a week before that.

The pope goes to Kenya

13 hours ago
Noor Khamis/Reuters

It rained on the pope's parade today. Quite literally. But it didn't seem to dampen the spirits of the 300,000 Kenyans who crowded onto the University of Nairobi campus, despite heavy downpours, to hear and see Pope Francis celebrate his first public mass in Africa.

A new report by UNICEF warns that the number of child brides in Africa could more than double to 310 million in the next 35 years.

Though the rates of child marriage are on the decline in most parts of the world, the number of girls married as children in Africa is expected to increase by 250 percent by the year 2050.

At that point Africa would surpass South Asia as the region of the world with the largest number of young women who were married before their 18th birthday, the report says.

Friendship is unlike any other relationship in a person’s life. It can be difficult to define and may carry different meanings for different people. Two friends may describe the degree of their relationship in totally different ways.

While family bonds are typically considered unconditional, friendships are voluntary and thus subject to being set aside when people enter adulthood and “more important” events arise.

Here & Now’ Robin Young and her now-late uncle, Lachlan Maclachlan Field, take a trip to see the migrating snow geese in Vermont. Revisiting their pilgrimage has become a Thanksgiving tradition at Here & Now.

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Qirat Chappra, a terminally ill 18-year-old who has spent most of her life at a children’s hospital in Houston, will be granted what she calls her dying wish.

Chappra has not seen her parents, who live in Pakistan, for 13 years. They have been repeatedly denied travel visas, but after a social media campaign and some help from a congressman, their visas have been approved. The parents could be in the United States as early as next week.

Hana Baba

In Fremont, California, home to one of the country’s largest Afghan populations, you'll find Zamzam Supermarket. It's a butchery, grocery, bakery, restaurant and, ahead of Thanksgiving, the store rolls out it's signature dish: an Afghan-seasoned halal Thanksgiving turkey. 

Pepe Escárpita/Agencia El Universal/AP Images

For many Americans living overseas, celebrating Thanksgiving is a must. But as Marisa Kaplan can attest, maintaining this tradition abroad comes with certain challenges.

The Pennsylvania native says last year, for instance, was a debacle. 

Kaplan decided to host a Thanksgiving meal for 50 people at her friend Lungi’s house in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“It was very international,” Kaplan remembers. “[There were] people from all over: South Africans, but also people from Europe and the US.”

Copyright 2015 Fresh Air. To see more, visit



Some 84 percent of Irish listen to the radio daily, and Pat Herbert has been one of them since he was 10.

It was 1947, and Herbert lived in a deeply rural area of the country, Rathmanagh in County Mayo, where there wasn't even electricity yet, and World War II had left the local economy devastated. So, his first encounter with radio changed his life for good, as he told Danish audio producer Rikke Houd at the HearSay International Audio Arts Festival.

Courtesy of Aida Alami

In the summer of 1969, Khadija Ouannane, a 16-year-old girl from Casablanca, Morocco stepped off an airplane in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and into the arms of the people she would come to call family.

Updated 3:30 p.m. ET: Eagles Lose To The Lions, 14-45

On Thanksgiving Day three years ago, Mark Sanchez, then quarterback for the New York Jets, fumbled the football after running into his own crouching lineman's backside. The New England Patriots, en route to a 49-19 victory, scooped up the ball and ran it back for a touchdown.

The Pilgrims are among the early heroes of American history, celebrated every Thanksgiving for their perseverance in the New World against great odds.

To Christian conservatives, they are role models for another reason as well: They were deeply committed to their Christian faith and not afraid to say so.

In the Mayflower Compact, the governing document signed shortly before the Pilgrims disembarked in Massachusetts' Provincetown Harbor, Pilgrim leaders said they undertook their voyage across the Atlantic "for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith."

Syrians on speed. Jihadis addicted to uppers. Drug cartel lackeys setting up illegal pill factories in crappy hole-in-the-wall spaces in Beirut while the top boss lives in splendor outside some European capital.

This isn't a movie plot; this is a real story about a drug that's little known in the West, but is running wild in the Middle East: captagon. 

The Tunisian Interior ministry identified the suicide bomber in Tuesday's bus attack as a 27-year-old Tunisian man named Houssam Abdelli.

The Interior Ministry released a statement Thursday:

Turkey says audio from the cockpit supports its position that Turkish pilots repeatedly warned a Russian military plane that it was violating Turkish airspace before shooting it down.

Dalia Mortada reports for NPR that the surviving Russian pilot continues to deny the signal.

Turkey says it warned the Russian Su-24 fighter jet 10 times before Turkish F-16s shot it down on Tuesday, but Russia maintains the jet was flying over Syria at the time.