National News

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Greece's radical left Syriza party has become the first anti-austerity party to win elections in Europe, throwing into doubt whether the troubled country stays the course on an international austerity plan.

The party fell just short of an absolute majority, NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports for our newscast unit, and will have to work with another party to govern.

Republican presidential hopefuls are turning out this weekend for two big events, but just one of them, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, plans to be at both.

Cruz is among seven possible contenders who spoke Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit, cosponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and the group Citizens United. Sunday night, Cruz is scheduled to join two possible primary rivals, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., at a semi-annual conference of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.

Updated at 9:50 a.m. ET

In the latest attack by the suspected Boko Haram extremists in Nigeria, militants shelled the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Reuters reports, quoting witnesses.

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Artist? Carpenter? Quidditch player? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

Some researchers say big data could change the way medical research is done and the way individual doctors make medical decisions. Others say it raises too many questions when it comes to medicine. (This story originally aired on All Things Considered on Jan. 5.)

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Super Bowl Talk (Other Than Ball Deflation)

Jan 25, 2015
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Video games are great for passing time or battling monsters with friends online. But the medium is also being used to explore complex stories and themes. It's even being used as form of journalistic storytelling, immersing people in places and events that can be hard to imagine.

In an unfinished building in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, displaced Christian children sing a little song about returning to their village. "We're going back," they sing, "to our houses, our land, our church."

Right now, they're living in an open concrete structure. The self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, took over their home village of Qaraqosh, and the Christians fled in fear, on foot.

Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

President Obama announced Sunday that the U.S. and India have made progress on civilian nuclear trade. In a joint news conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Obama said the countries had agreed to more cooperation in other areas as well, including defense and climate change.

There is a common belief that requiring the use of "politically correct" language in the workplace stifles creativity.

Michelle Duguid, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, tells NPR's Arun Rath that, intuitively, that assumption makes sense.

"People should be able to freely think, throw any crazy ideas, and any constraint would actually dampen creativity," Duguid says.

This is the first in a series, "Inside Alzheimer's," about the experience of being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

In 2009, 59-year-old Greg O'Brien was a successful journalist and writer living in Cape Cod. He was healthy and happy — he exercised every day, made a good living, spent time with his three children and wife.

But he had also started to notice changes in himself. He was forgetting things, and his judgment sometimes seemed to fail him. Meanwhile, his own mother was dying of Alzheimer's disease.

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Two fighters who used to perform for World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, are suing the company, alleging that it ignored signs of brain damage. NPR's Jasmine Garsd has more.

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New England Patriots' Head Coach Bill Belichick defended his team and quarterback Tom Brady against accusations of cheating amid the so-called "Deflategate" controversy that erupted last weekend when underinflated footballs were used in

President Obama wants to close the prison at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay before leaving office. But his departing defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, told NPR News the job is "going to be very difficult" to complete in that time.

Hagel made that remark in an exit interview Friday, one of only a handful he granted as he prepared to vacate his expansive office at the Pentagon. The interview will air Monday on Morning Edition.

A first attempt to lift the fuselage of the crashed AirAsia Airbus A320 to the surface of the Java Sea failed today, according to officials.

The BBC reports that "ropes around the fuselage snapped."

According to the BBC:

"[Seven] metres (22ft) from the surface, strong currents and the sharp edges of the emergency door of the aircraft cut the rope connecting the bag to the fuselage.

In the State of the Union this week, President Obama noted that crime in America is down. "For the first time in 40 years," he said, "the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together."

Years of austerity have worn down Greeks, who will choose a new government Sunday. Greek voters are expected to elect the first anti-austerity party in the Eurozone.

Maria Tsitoura, one of those voters, is a lively grandmother in her 70s. Like many retirees in Greece, she shares her small pension with her grown children, whose salaries have dropped by more than half in the last four years.

Limericks

Jan 24, 2015
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Lightning Fill In The Blank

Jan 24, 2015
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It's time to move on to our final game, Lighting Fill In The Blank. Each of our players now has 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

Prediction

Jan 24, 2015
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In just a minute, we're going to ask our panelists how the New England Patriots will cheat to win the Super Bowl. Now panel, how will the Patriots cheat their way to victory in the Super Bowl? PJ O'Rourke.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the purported beheading of a Japanese hostage by his ISIS captors an "outrageous and unacceptable" act that had left him speechless.

The remarks came after a video surfaced showing what appears to be one hostage holding a photo of his decapitated fellow abductee.

"This is an outrageous and unacceptable act of violence," Abe told reporters as he arrived at his office after midnight for an emergency meeting, according to Reuters. "We strongly demand the immediate release."

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