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4:18 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Obama To Mark Anniversary Of Sept. 11

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

President Obama will mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House.

Science
2:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

A Berry So Shiny, It's Irresistible (And Inedible)

The shiny blue berries of the tropical Pollia condensata plant rely on their looks, not nutritional content, to attract birds to spread their seeds.
Silvia Vignolini et al. via PNAS

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

That fake fruit in the wooden bowls that hotels love to decorate their lobbies with never looks quite right. No, apparently it takes nature to make a fake that looks even better than the real thing.

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Presidential Race
2:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Rhetoric Aside, Few Details Of Romney's Tax Plan

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigns at PR Machine Works in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:59 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.

Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.

When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Atlanta Symphony Locked Out

The Atlanta Symphony performs at New York City's Carnegie Hall in 2011.
Jennifer Taylor

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:49 pm

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its musicians are at an impasse. The players' contract expired at the end of last month. The symphony is facing a $20 million budget deficit, and it's seeking millions in concessions from the musicians. Both sides say they want to reach an agreement, but they've left the bargaining table, putting the orchestra's 68th season in jeopardy.

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Politics
2:30 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Inside Obama's Decisions: From Libya To Lunch

President Obama answers questions at the White House on Aug. 20.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

To try to get a sense of what it really means to be the president of the United States, writer Michael Lewis spent six months in President Obama's shadow. Lewis hoped to find out just what it's like to be in the president's shoes — down to something as simple as how he decides what to wear every day.

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Middle East
2:30 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Fears Of Currency Devaluation Mount In Egypt

Egypt's stock market has been volatile since Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Though analysts say there are reasons for cautious optimism, concerns about the country's currency remain.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 3:00 pm

Egyptians have been struggling economically since the revolution last year that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian pound has remained relatively stable, though, because the central bank shored it up through foreign reserves, which prevented food prices from skyrocketing.

But despite increasing political stability, concerns about the currency remain.

The market has been volatile since Mubarak was ousted, swinging up and down with Egypt's political unrest.

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Religion
2:26 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Episcopal Church Woos Latinos To Congregations

The Rev. Roberto Arciniega, head of Latino ministries for the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, says the denomination must reach out to Latinos to stay relevant in a multicultural society.
Chris Lehman for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, but only 5 percent of all Hispanics attend a mainline Protestant church. The vast majority are Roman Catholic.

For the Episcopal Church, those numbers are an opportunity.

The denomination is seeing fast-growing pockets of new Latino congregants. Episcopal churches in Nevada and Washington, D.C., are seeing considerably higher attendance from Latinos. In Oregon, there were only 150 Latino Episcopalians 20 years ago. Now, there are more than 800.

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U.S.
5:53 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Army Aims To Use Words, Not Weapons, With Afghans

U.S. Army soldiers learn to play khosai, Afghanistan's full-contact national pastime, at Fort Campbell.
Blake Farmer for NPR

The U.S. Army has been ramping up instruction in the languages of Afghanistan, even as troop levels in the country decrease in preparation for the U.S. troop withdrawal in 2014.

This year, key installations have added several hundred speakers of Pashto and Dari to their ranks, more than doubling the number of soldiers trained in the Afghan languages.

But it's not just the country's languages that are foreign to U.S. soldiers — it's the culture, as well.

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

NOAA: This Summer Was Third Hottest On Record

A map that shows the difference from average temperatures.
NOAA

Today in Washington, D.C. we got our first taste of fall. It was crisp and in the low 60s. And just as we slide into the last days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published its summer 2012 recap.

It's exactly what you were expecting: It was really hot. In fact, 2012 was the third hottest on record.

NOAA reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
5:33 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Vaccine For Dengue Fever Shows A Glimmer Of Hope

A health worker in the Domincan Republic sprays insecticide between houses to stop dengue fever outbreaks this month.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

It's human nature to hope for positive results after spending months or even years conducting a research study. In well-designed studies, however, scientists identify in advance the criteria for success, so their optimism won't color their conclusions when the study is completed.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Kabul's First Skate Park Suffers Tragic Loss In Weekend Attack

Khorshid during a Kabul skating event in 2012.
Skateistan

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:15 pm

Many times what happens far away ends up coded in numbers and officialdom.

Like this weekend, a blast near NATO headquarters in Afghanistan killed at least six. NPR's Dana Farrington noted that a suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance of Camp Eggers, where many children who work on the streets set up to sell trinkets.

Today, we get the heartbreaking news that six of the dead were children and four of them were part of the Skateistan program.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:37 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Mitt Romney's Shifting Stance On Health Care

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling near the U.S. Capitol in Washington in late June.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:26 pm

Mitt Romney seemed to make health care news in a Sunday interview on NBC's Meet the Press.

He said he might not want to repeal all of the Affordable Care Act.

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All Tech Considered
4:10 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

What Will Apple's Patent Case Mean For Phone Design?

These Nokia phones unveiled earlier this month are the first smartphones built for Windows 8.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:52 pm

A lot of thought goes into giving your smartphone a distinctive look and feel, from the shape of the speaker — square, round or oval — to where to put the buttons — side, front or back.

But industrial designers like Robert Brunner say he doesn't have a lot of room to be creative.

"Because you're really being so heavily driven on maintaining a minimal physical size," he says. "So you really get into this very fine envelope of a few millimeters that you have to work with."

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Asia
4:05 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Candidates Criticize China; Presidents Show Caution

For more than three decades, presidential candidates have talked tough about China during the campaign season, but opted for more moderate policies as president. Republican nominee Mitt Romney, shown speaking in Colorado in July, accuses China of manipulating its currency in order to export its goods cheaply to the US.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:26 pm

It has become a staple of U.S. presidential campaigns: Candidates talk about getting tough with China, only to adopt much more moderate positions once they are in office.

When Ronald Reagan ran against President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the challenger often blasted the incumbent for, in his words, "abandoning" Taiwan to establish diplomatic relations with China.

"There will be no more abandonment of friends and allies by the United States of America and I want very much to send that message," Reagan said.

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Education
3:49 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Chicago Strike Emblematic Of Union Struggle

Chicago public school teachers picket outside William H.Wells Community High School on Monday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:06 am

The strike that shut schools in Chicago on Monday illustrates a larger, national trend: Teachers unions are having a harder time getting what they want.

For decades, teachers unions have been among the most powerful lobbying groups in nearly every state — and have been arguably even more powerful at the local level, where they've often been able to unseat school board members and even mayors who crossed them.

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Movies
3:32 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

The Straight-To-DVD World Of 'Mockbusters'

Paul Bales, David Rimawi and David Latt of The Asylum call their films "mockbusters."
Mike Digrazia

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 8:32 am

Dreamworks' animated movie Puss in Boots was a big deal. It won an Oscar, and its swashbuckling, sloe-eyed kitty was voiced by Antonio Banderas.

The meticulous computer-generated animation took four years and something like $130 million to make. But another cartoon, Puss In Boots: A Furry Tail, was hand-drawn in six months for less than $1 million. It went straight to DVD — one of the many low-budget productions riding the coattails of Hollywood blockbusters.

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Games & Humor
3:27 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Test Your Clever Side With 'Another Thing'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:57 pm

Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your cleverness skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.

This week's challenge: A handful of private companies are taking reservations for space flights. That means that there may soon be a lot of tourists floating around — which, in turn, means a lot of mouths to feed.

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Election 2012
3:10 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Voting Laws In Several States Remain Unsettled

In South Carolina, Pennsylvania and several other states, new voter ID laws are being challenged in court just eight weeks before the general election.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:26 pm

Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges.

Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state's new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

GoDaddy Goes Down, Anonymous Member Takes Responsibility

GoDaddy logo.
GoDaddy

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:09 pm

The web hosting company GoDaddy has been experiencing severe outages today. Many of its members are complaining that their service is down.

How wide this outage spreads is hard to tell, but GoDaddy aknowledged it was having problems on its Twitter stream.

"We're aware of the trouble people are having with our site," it said. "We're working on it."

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Education
2:46 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

College Course Lumps Homosexuality, Rape, Murder

Franciscan University of Steubenville's Christ the King Chapel seen at dusk in this image taken in 1980, in Steubenville, Ohio.
Courtesy of David E. West

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:26 pm

The Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio faces questions about its accreditation because of a course description that links homosexuality with crimes like murder, rape and robbery.

The university's social work program offers the course, called SWK 314 Deviant Behavior. The course description reads: "The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness and drug use."

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Shots - Health Blog
2:09 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

When Heat Kills: Global Warming As Public Health Threat

A man stands in a fountain in Washington Square Park on July 18, in New York City. Temperatures were expected in the upper 90's during another heat wave in the city.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 10:26 am

The current poster child for global warming is a polar bear, sitting on a melting iceberg. Some health officials argue the symbol should, instead, be a child.

That's because emerging science shows that people respond more favorably to warnings about climate change when it's portrayed as a health issue rather than as an environmental problem.

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The Salt
2:03 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Canada's Food Insecure Find Help, Community Through Facebook

A mural in the isolated city of Iqaluit, in Canada, where food insecurity is tied up with native culture, poverty, and high food prices.
ascappatura Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

We've been giving a lot of virtual ink to the problem of food insecurity lately — the challenges people face when they frequently can't put enough food on the table. And sometimes it seems like an insurmountable problem.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

AIG Stocks Drop, After U.S. Announces Sell-Off Plans

Over the weekend, the United States Treasury said it has plans to sell $18 billion worth of American International Group stocks. During the financial crisis in 2008, the government pumped $182 billion into AIG stock to keep it from collapsing.

Reuters reports, this morning, that AIG shares fell 1.5 percent because of the news. Reuters adds:

"AIG itself will buy back $5 billion of its own shares in the upcoming stock sale, with the rest of the shares going to the broader public.

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National Security
1:09 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

How 9/11 Changed How America Sees The World

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 2:51 pm

After the terror attacks on 9/11, a public opinion survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs showed widespread support for increased spending on national security and counterterrorism. A decade later, a new survey shows that "Americans have become increasingly selective about how and where to engage in the world."

Opinion
1:07 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Op-ed: America Needs Strikes

Public school teachers in Chicago walked off the job Monday after failed contract negotiations with the city. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the strike "unnecessary." In a piece for CNN.com, Chris Rhomberg, sociology professor at Fordham University, argues that America would be better off with more strikes.

Economy
1:04 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

The Housing Market: Have We Finally Hit Bottom?

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 2:51 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After five years of plunging prices and spiraling foreclosures, maybe, just maybe, the bubble's stopped bursting. Home prices are beginning to rebound in many parts of the country. Recent reports show fewer foreclosures in several hard-hit states.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:01 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Let Sleepless Babies Cry (For A While), If They Want To

Getting to no more tears.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 4:18 pm

When cranky babies won't sleep, is it OK to let them cry it out?

The short answer: Yes, within limits.

Many parents these days try to help their babies learn to sleep better by letting them cry a little.

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Television
12:41 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Andrew Rannells: Gay And Serious In 'New Normal'

Andrew Rannells plays Bryan Buckley, a successful TV show producer and writer, in the new comedy The New Normal.
Frederick M Brown/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 10:23 am

After Andrew Rannells pitched himself for a starring role in NBC's The New Normal, the show's creator didn't call for a month.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, I've completely overstepped — I've over-Oprah-ed this,' " Rannells tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I've ruined my chances of working with this man because I was too bold."

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Middle East
12:39 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Syrian Activists Take On New And Riskier Roles

Rebel fighters take up position near the military airport outside the rebel-held town of Azaz in northern Syria on Aug. 21. In rebel-held towns like Azaz, activists are taking on new, risky roles as the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad continues.
Youssef Boudlal Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 6:58 pm

On a recent day in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, there's an edgy energy when a pickup truck armed with a heavy machine gun screeches to a halt.

Wild-eyed and high-flving, the young rebels in the truck are happy to be alive after they hit a government helicopter landing at an air base 8 miles outside Azaz.

This rebel-held town is under nightly attack. This lightly armed rebel crew races out to the air base every day to target regime aircraft from hidden sites in the olive groves.

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NPR Story
12:29 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Lessons For College Students From 'The Zombie War'

Max Brooks World War Z is required reading for freshmen at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:26 pm

Several colleges and universities have adopted a common read program, where freshmen read the same book during the summer and discuss it once on campus.

Author Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is one of the less traditional books appearing on required reading lists. The book captures scenes from a global zombie apocalypse through a series of first-person accounts.

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