The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at Cinecittà in 1958. AP hide caption

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Parallels - World News

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

Blockbusters like Ben-Hur were filmed at Cinecittà, a 100-acre movie metropolis, during its heyday. After decades of hard times, a tax credit has sparked a revival of "Hollywood on the Tiber."

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Police in riot gear stand around an armored vehicle as smoke fills the streets of Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charlie Riedel/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

White House Ban On Militarized Gear For Police May Mean Little

An NPR analysis of equipment given to police agencies by the Pentagon since 2006 — 84,258 assault rifles, 951 armored vehicles, for example — found a vast majority of it would fall outside the ban.

This fungus among us — baker's yeast, aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae -- is useful for more than just making bread. iStockphoto hide caption

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Shots - Health News

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

Genetically, at least, not that much has changed in the billion years since you two last shared a relative. Roughly half the 500 genes yeast need for life are interchangeable with the human versions.

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First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

Parallels - World News

China Kicks Off 'Great Leap Forward' On The Soccer Field

China is rolling out an ambitious soccer program. President Xi Jinping is reported to be a big fan who wants China to win a World Cup. Critics say there's too much emphasis on quick results.

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district's accomplishment of bringing sanitation to every home. Mark Maseko/Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Maseko/Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia

Goats and Soda

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Answering the call of nature in the open is all too common when families don't have other options. But now the country has its first zone that's free of open defecation.

Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner stops to sign autographs for fans before a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm in 2013 in Seattle. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Elaine Thompson/AP

Code Switch

What Anti-Domestic Violence Advocates Are Saying About The WNBA Suspensions

The league handed seven-game suspensions to stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson after their arrests for domestic violence. The unprecedented penalties came just a week after the couple's wedding.

When J.D. Falk was dying of stomach cancer in 2011, his wife, Hope, says doctors would only talk about death in euphemisms. The couple is pictured here on their wedding day in 2009. Kelly Dunsford/Courtesy of the family hide caption

itoggle caption Kelly Dunsford/Courtesy of the family

Shots - Health News

Coded Talk About Assisted Suicide Can Leave Families Confused KQED

In veiled conversations, some doctors may explain to dying patients how to hasten death. But overwhelmed families are left with profound questions and the feeling that no one can answer them.

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KQED

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Parallels - World News

He Calmed Kandahar. But At What Cost?

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq has imposed control on the city where the Taliban were born. He's been praised by the U.S. and the Afghan leadership, but his forces have also been accused of human rights abuses.

Alan Doan likes the fact that Missouri Star Quilt Co. is following in the footsteps of fellow Hamilton native J.C. Penney, but Doan's never been into an actual J.C. Penney store. Frank Morris/KCUR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Morris/KCUR

Around the Nation

One Family Revitalizes A Small Town With, Yes, Quilts KCUR

After launching a quilt company as a desperation move, Jenny Doan and her two savvy kids have shaken up an ancient industry in downtown Hamilton, Mo., thanks in part to popular folksy video tutorials.

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KCUR

David Letterman taped his final Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday. Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via AP

Television

Letterman's Executive Producer: 'He's Meant A Lot To A Lot Of People'

Rob Burnett started working with David Letterman as an intern in 1985. He talks with Terry Gross about the absurd and somber moments of his three-decade tenure with the Late Show.

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Doug Hughes said he sees his future as working for "the cause of getting a Congress — not more liberal, not more conservative — but a Congress that is working for the people" Peter Overby/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Peter Overby/NPR

It's All Politics

Gyrocopter Pilot On His 'Incredible' Flight Onto Capitol Lawn

Doug Hughes flew into Washington, D.C., on something resembling a hybrid bicycle and helicopter. He did it to protest money in politics, but he could face up to a decade in prison. He has no regrets.

Project ACES (All Children Exercise Simultaneously), launched by gym teacher Len Saunders, aimed to have students in 28 states and at least seven other countries exercising on the same day in an effort to curb childhood obesity. Mike Derer/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Derer/AP

13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is The War On Fat Harming Children?

Anthropologist Barbara J. King interviews Harvard University's Susan Greenhalgh, author of the new Fat-Talk Nation, who says one surprise is that compliments on weight loss may do more harm than good.

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