Victoria, a two-year-old rat, sniffs for TNT, sticking her nose high in the air to indicate she's found some. She works her way down a 10-meter [11-yard] line with a handler on either end, and is able to detect the presence of TNT at a distance of approximately half a yard. Michael Sullivan for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Sullivan for NPR

Parallels - World News

In Cambodia, Rats Are Being Trained To Sniff Out Land Mines And Save Lives

An estimated 4 to 6 million land mines are scattered throughout Cambodia, one of the world's worst-affected places. Rats possessing an exceptional sense of smell are being trained to detect the mines.

The bar chart tells all: That's how eighth-graders at Bakgatle Community Junior Secondary School in Botswana can compare the HIV infection rate of older men and of teenage boys. Don Boroughs for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Don Boroughs for NPR

Goats and Soda

What Botswana's Teen Girls Learn In 'Sugar Daddy' Class

They often think an older guy is a great boyfriend. They believe he's less likely to have HIV than a teenager. Plus, he's flush with cash. How do you get them to change their mind?

In this 16th-century painting, Saint Benedict exorcises a demon from a man possessed. Alfredo Dagli Orti/The Art Archive/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Alfredo Dagli Orti/The Art Archive/Corbis

Goats and Soda

Help Wanted: The Philippines Needs More Exorcists

The Office of Exorcism reports a sharp increase in cases over the past decade — more than its five-man team can handle. Warning: It's a high-stress job. The priests believe the demons strike back.

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Lalo Schifrin composed the soundtrack to the original Mission: Impossible TV series in 1966. Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Flickr

Music

Four Composers, One (Nearly) Impossible Mission To Reinvent A Classic Theme

Four different composers have scored the Mission: Impossible stories on the big screen. All have had to contend with the iconic music Lalo Schifrin wrote for the TV series.

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Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, (left) poses with his uncle, Philip Lee, and father Peter Lee (seated) at the younger Peter Lee's home in Pasadena, Calif., in 2013. Gina Ferazzi/LA Times via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Gina Ferazzi/LA Times via Getty Images

Shots - Health News

Meet The California Family That Has Made Health Policy Its Business SCPR

On Medicare's 50th birthday, two brothers who helped get it off the ground tell their stories. A younger member of the Lee family is at the helm of Covered California, the state insurance exchange.

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SCPR

Fans attend New York's Brasil Summerfest, which highlights Brazilian music in a wide variety of styles and genres. Eliseu Cavalcante hide caption

itoggle caption Eliseu Cavalcante

Alt.Latino

An Explosion Of Music From Brasil Summerfest 2015

For those who can't get to New York City, Alt.Latino samples the festival's diverse lineup.

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Mineral supplements, ape-style: A female chimp called Kana eats clay in the Budongo Forest of Uganda. A.Schel/Budongo Conservation Field Station/Animal Ecology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands hide caption

itoggle caption A.Schel/Budongo Conservation Field Station/Animal Ecology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

The Salt

Humans Aren't The Only Ones To Go Ape Over Diets: Chimps Detox, Too

A group of Ugandan chimps has found a great way to boost their mineral intake and neutralize bitter compounds in their diet: by eating clay.

Jason Isbell's new album, Something More Than Free, comes as he's preparing to be a father. David McClister/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption David McClister/Courtesy of the artist

Music Interviews

Jason Isbell Has Conquered Fear, But He's Still Learning About Himself

The country artist's chart-topping new album, Something More Than Free, comes at a turning point in his life.

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Buddy Emmons as a member of Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours, circa 1962. Elmer Williams/Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Elmer Williams/Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum/Getty Images

Music

Buddy Emmons, The Pedal-Steel Guitarist Who 'Taught Everybody To Play,' Has Died

The legendary musician worked with everyone from Ray Price to Ray Charles while making a complicated instrument seem effortless. He died Wednesday at 78.

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The Ensatina salamander, a lungless species common along the U.S. West Coast, is one of hundreds of species of salamanders endemic to North America threatened by an emerging infectious pathogen. Courtesy of Tiffany Yap hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Tiffany Yap

The Two-Way - News Blog

Scientists Urge Ban On Salamander Imports To U.S. To Keep Fungus At Bay

The chytrid fungus has wiped out populations of amphibians around the world. A type of the fungus infects only salamanders, and researchers have identified vulnerable areas in North America.

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