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Science
12:47 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

The Importance of Strange Science

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Consider the shrew, a small harmless, nearly blind animal. If you were to find one scrambling across your kitchen floor, you might shriek or stomp on it. Shrews look a lot like mice. Or you could catch it and release it outside. But what if you ate the shrew, whole, instead? No, you don't debone it. You don't even chew it. You just hack the tail off and swallow it whole. Why? Well, for science, of course.

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Asia
12:40 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Little Islands Are Big Trouble In The South China Sea

Last month, Japanese police officers arrested activists holding Chinese and Taiwanese flags who landed on Uotsuri Island, one of the islands of Senkaku (in Japanese), which is known as Diaoyu in Chinese.
Masataka Morita AP

A storm has been brewing for decades in the South China Sea, and it has nothing to do with the weather.

Instead, it's a virtual typhoon of competing claims over tiny, uninhabited island chains that ring the South China Sea and reach even farther north. They all have one thing in common: China has claimed control of them.

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NPR Story
12:38 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

The Secrets In A Cigarette

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:51 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. In a few days, my next guest will be in Florida. He's going there to testify against Big Tobacco in a lawsuit brought by a smoker with health problems. Oh, you didn't know that tobacco lawsuits like this are still going on today? You certainly don't hear a lot about them in the news. But some 8,000 more cases just like this one exist in Florida alone.

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NPR Story
12:38 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Study May Link Pro Football, Brain Decline

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:45 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Football season is getting into full swing this week: tailgating parties, point spreads, Tim Tebow. But amid all the excitement of a new season comes an old and disturbing ghost. This week, a new study finds that pro football players may be more likely to die from various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's or ALS, more likely than the rest of us.

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NPR Story
12:38 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Tracking Viruses From Animals To People

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 1:04 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

I'm Ira Flatow. This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. We're going to talk now about West Nile virus, it showed up in 48 states, reports in viruses in either people or birds or mosquitoes, and it's not exactly clear just why the virus is so widespread this year or why the state of Texas has been particularly hard-hit.

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Movie Reviews
12:21 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

'Bachelorette' Sounds Dark Comedic Depths

Party Animals: Lizzy Caplan (from left), Isla Fisher and Kirsten Dunst play the brazen bridesmaids who make trouble for bride-to-be Becky (Rebel Wilson) in Bachelorette.
Radius-TWC

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:55 pm

Long before Bridesmaids convinced studio executives that a raunchy, female-centric comedy could find a huge audience, Leslye Headland was busy adapting her play Bachelorette into a movie. So this isn't a copycat rom-com, but the themes do overlap. Each film turns on a female rivalry: In Bridesmaids, it's between the maid of honor, Kristen Wiig, and the bride's rich friend, played by Rose Byrne. In Bachelorette, the rivalry is more complicated, more ... ugly. It's between the three, 30-ish, unmarried central characters and the bride.

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Election 2012
11:37 am
Fri September 7, 2012

The 7 Coolest Presidents In American History

President George W. Bush dances with members of the KanKouran West African Dance Company during a Rose Garden event to mark Malaria Awareness Day at the White House on April 25, 2007.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 2:34 pm

When former President Bill Clinton referred to present President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention as "cool on the outside," Clinton was underscoring the notion that Obama is, well, cool.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Suspect Charged In 'Air Hoax,' And Victim Arrested On Unrelated Charges

The US Air flight that was forced to return to Philadelphia on Thursday because of the hoax.
Clem Murray MCT /Landov

File this under "you think you had a bad day?" and "that was a really dumb idea."

First, a plane headed from Philadelphia to Texas is turned around Thursday because someone called authorities to say a passenger was carrying a "liquid explosive."

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Election 2012
10:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Top Speechwriters Grade Conventions

President Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination capped two weeks of speeches at the political conventions. Host Michel Martin discusses hits and misses with Mary Kate Cary, former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush; and Paul Orzulak, former speechwriter for President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

Economy
10:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

What August Job Numbers Mean

The Labor Department reported that the economy added 96,000 jobs in August, far fewer than analysts had predicted. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, an indication that more people moved out of the workforce. Host Michel Martin discusses the latest unemployment numbers with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax.

Election 2012
10:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Sandra Fluke: Health Access Is An Economic Issue

Sandra Fluke found herself in the center of a media storm earlier this year. She became a political target after she testified in favor of President Obama's policy to require most employers' insurance plans to cover contraception. Fluke spoke at this week's Democratic convention, and talks about it with host Michel Martin.

Sports
10:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Paralympians 'Dream, Drive, Do' In London

Joe Kusumoto U.S. Paralympics

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:04 pm

Team USA wheelchair sprinter Anjali Forber-Pratt may have won two bronze medals at the Beijing Paralympics, but she told NPR's Michel Martin that competing in London this year has blown her away.

"Oh my goodness, the stadium itself is just unbelievable," she said. "There's about 80,000 fans, and everyone is just genuinely excited to support all of the athletes here. It's surreal."

Forber-Pratt says that the sound from the stadium carries a mile away to where the athletes live. "Whenever there's a U.K. athlete ... you can actually hear the roar of the crowd," she laughs.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:55 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Volcano Shoots Geyser Of Water Up Into Space

Michael Benson

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:53 am

What we have here is a moon — a small one (slightly wider than the state of Arizona) — circling Saturn.

If you look closely, you will see a small splay of light at its top, looking like a circular fountain.

That's because it is a fountain — of sorts. A bunch of volcano-like jets are sending fantastically high geysers of water vapor up into the sky, so high that you can see them in this remarkable print by Michael Benson, back lit by light bouncing off of Saturn.

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It's All Politics
10:38 am
Fri September 7, 2012

In Case You Missed It: Video Of Gabrielle Giffords Leading The Pledge

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., waves to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It was, as Eyder wrote Thursday night, "one of the convention's most emotional moments."

So here, in case you missed it, is a video clip of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords leading her fellow Democrats in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Election 2012
10:15 am
Fri September 7, 2012

'Why I'm A Democrat'

Whitney Babbitt, 26, from Indianapolis, is a campaign manager and page for the state delegation.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:58 am

At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., NPR digital journalists asked delegates, politicians and other attendees to react to the statement: "Why I'm a Democrat." Here are some of those responses. (And here's what we heard from Republicans the week before.)

The Two-Way
10:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

VIDEO: Jennifer Granholm's High-Energy Address To The DNC

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm making one of her points Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama and Vice President Biden are naturally getting the big headlines. But it's former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm who is getting a lot of the buzz this morning for her high-energy address Thursday night at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Thanks to the video archive that C-SPAN helpfully makes available, we've created a clip of her 6 minute, 30-second appearance.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Clinton Signs Report Designating Haqqani Network As Terrorist Group

A U.S. Predator drone flies through the night sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Such drones have been targeting groups such as the Haqqani network that are accused of attacking U.S. and Afghan forces.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

One of the most violent groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan — one which top U.S.

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U.S.
9:15 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Close Read: Obama's Speech And The Jobs Numbers

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP. HOST: And I'm Steve Inskeep. Hours after President Obama delivered his speech at the Democratic Convention, the latest unemployment report provided a reminder of what's at stake. The unemployment rate dropped in August, which sounds good, but the number of jobs created was below expectations for August.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:14 am
Fri September 7, 2012

X-Ray Tests May Heighten Cancer Risk In Susceptible Women

Mammograms may pose a particular risk to women with genetic mutations that predispose them to breast cancer.
Bill Branson National Cancer Institute

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:53 am

Researchers report that women with genetic mutations that put them at dramatically increased risk of developing breast cancer may also face a heightened risk from radiation used during medical screening and diagnosis.

The imaging tools that help doctors identify disease, injury or damage to the body have long been known to carry some risk of cancer, in large part because ionizing radiation can damage the genetic material in the body.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:02 am
Fri September 7, 2012

It's All Politics, Sept. 6, 2012

Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 9:42 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

The Republicans and the Democrats have had their say. The bad news: NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin now have to have their say. This week's episode of the "It's All Politics" podcast reviews both conventions, the highs and the lows, and what if anything it all means for November.

Join Rudin and Elving for the latest political news in this week's roundup.

The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Bail Granted For Christian Pakistani Girl Accused Of Blasphemy Against Islam

The young Pakistani girl who has been in custody for about two weeks after neighbors accused her of burning some Islamic religious materials has been granted bail by a judge in Islamabad.

But NPR's Jackie Northam reports that the bail set today — the equivalent of about $10,000 — is an "enormous sum here in Pakistan." So it's uncertain whether Rimsha Masih will be out of jail anytime soon.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Top Stories: Jobs Report; Obama's Speech; Bail For Pakistani Christian Girl

Good morning.

Some of the early and overnight headlines on posts we've done here and at It's All Politics:

-- High Unemployment & Slow Job Growth: Likely News From Today's Report.

-- Obama: 'Times Have Changed ... So Have I'.

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It's All Politics
7:07 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Republicans Or Democrats: The Choice Comes Down To Competing Myths

What does your vision of America look like?
Loud Red Creative iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 8:15 am

Early in his acceptance speech last night, President Obama laid out the voters' task in these words:

"On every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice ... between two fundamentally different visions for the future."

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Fri September 7, 2012

High Unemployment & Slow Job Growth: Likely News From Today's Report

At a job fair in San Diego this week, Navy Sailor E-5 Cedric Washington spoke to Sim Garriotti from Lockheed Martin while interviewing for a potential position.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 9:34 am

The number of jobs on private and public payrolls grew by just 96,000 in August from July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this morning.

Meanwhile, the nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent the month before. Often, the jobless rate dips even when employment growth is weak because the size of the labor force shrank as many Americans gave up looking for work.

It's a report that will surely add to the presidential campaign rhetoric.

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Space
6:50 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Toothbrush Fixes Space Station Problem

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 9:15 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a story of a stellar MacGyvering. The International Space Station was faced with a malfunctioning electrical unit and couldn't screw down a new one because the exterior bolts were covered in debris. After two astronauts were stuck outside for hours, they hit on an idea - scrub the bolts clean with a toothbrush. It was a thrifty fix for the $100 billion space station and luckily the toothbrush was a spare. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

World
6:42 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Hummer Driver Diverts Potentially Fatal Crash

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 9:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's All Politics
6:32 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Fact Checkers Ding Obama And Biden For Some Spinning

Vice President Biden and President Obama wave to the delegates Thursday night at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 8:52 am

"We heard some facts being spun" Thursday night when President Obama and Vice President Biden gave their acceptance speeches at the Democratic National Convention, report the watchdogs at FactCheck.org.

They and other independent fact checkers have compiled, just as they did at last week's Republican National Convention, a list of those things said by the two parties' standard bearers that don't quite add up or may give misleading impressions.

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It's All Politics
6:09 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Retell Politics: Story About Obama's Mother Gets Another Look

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 6:50 am

Were last night's convention references to Barack Obama's mother and her struggles with an insurance company before her death a powerful argument for health care reform? Or were they a well-worn misrepresentation of history?

The answer appears to be in the wording.

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It's All Politics
6:03 am
Fri September 7, 2012

With Big Parties Over, It's Back To Small-Population Swing States

President Obama's campaign bus is parked in Missouri Valley, Iowa, on Aug. 13. On Friday, Obama was scheduled to return to the swing state for more campaigning.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

On the heels of the quadrennial political extravaganzas, it's back to the day-to-day work of winning the election. On Friday, that means the focus returns to a pair of small-population states with relatively few electoral votes.

The day after he formally accepted his party's nomination, President Obama and an entourage including first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden were scheduled to campaign in Portsmouth, N.H., and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

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Election 2012
4:40 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Thousands Of Shut-Outs Watch Obama Speech On TV

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 9:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Speaking to the Democratic Convention last night, President Obama spoke a line that played off a famous speech by John F. Kennedy. Kennedy said people should ask what they can do for their country.

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