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The Torch
5:51 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

London 2012 Games Set A Viewership Record, At 219.4 Million

It's nearly time to extinguish The Torch, and end NPR's little marathon of Olympic coverage. Before we do, we must note that the games have now become the most-watched television event in U.S. history, with a total of 219.4 viewers over 17 days of coverage.

Those high ratings push the London Games past Beijing 2008, which held the previous record of 215 million viewers. The number seems to include only NBC's TV audience, not mobile or online.

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News
5:51 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

In Colorado Wildfires' Wake, Survivors Live In Limbo

C.J. Moore stands where her front door used to be, before the Waldo Canyon Fire swept through the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo. The fire destroyed more than 350 homes there.
Kirk Siegler for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:10 pm

When the Waldo Canyon Fire roared over the hill behind the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo., in June, nearly 350 homes were destroyed. The blaze reduced this affluent neighborhood at the foot of the mountains to rubble.

C.J. Moore's home on Mirror Lake Court was among the casualties. The inferno was so hot, her stone driveway exploded. Only a few blackened trees sway eerily in the wind where her home used to stand.

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The Two-Way
5:42 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Google To Buy Frommer's Travel Guides

Google will buy the Frommer's travel guides from John Wiley & Sons.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Google will buy the Frommer's travel guide from John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the publishing company announced Monday.

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

From Curiosity, Another Martian Landscape

This image of the crater wall is north of the landing site, or behind the rover. Here, a network of valleys believed to have formed by water erosion enters Gale Crater from the outside. This is the first view scientists have had of a fluvial system - one relating to a river or stream β€” from the surface of Mars.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA has released two more pictures from the Curiosity Mars rover.

One is a color image that shows that wall of the Gale Crater and the other is a close up shot of the area excavated by the rover's descent stage rocket engines.

We've posted the white-balanced version of the photos. In theory those should appear more like what Mars would look like if you were using your eyes.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:25 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Thousands Of Hospitals Face Penalties For High Readmission Rates

C.S. Mott Women and Children's Hospital is part of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Health System, one of the organizations Medicare is penalizing for its high readmission rate.
Lon Horwedel AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:17 am

Medicare is cracking down on hospital readmissions in a way that is going to hurt the bottom line of facilities in most parts of the nation.

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The Torch
4:56 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Gabby Douglas Gets One More Gold, For Winning Facebook Fans

Gabby Douglas sits in the Olympic Media Lounge at Westfield Stratford City in London. During the Olympics, Douglas' Facebook fanbase grew by nearly 4,000 percent.
Alex Grimm Getty Images for adidas

They've been called the first "Social Games" β€” and the London Summer Olympics have delivered on that promise, making social stars out of athletes like gymnast Gabby Douglas, who saw her Facebook fanbase grow by nearly 4,000 percent during the games.

Gymnasts Marcel Nguyen and Jordyn Wieber were also among the big winners on Facebook, according to a research firm that tracked athletes' fan numbers during the games.

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Remembrances
4:51 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

'Cosmo' Editor Helen Gurley Brown Dies At 90

When Helen Gurley Brown took the reins at Cosmo in 1965, it was a foundering monthly known for fiction. She remained at the helm for more than 30 years. Here, Brown poses at her office in New York in September 1985.
G. Paul Burnett AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:22 pm

Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, died Monday in New York at age 90.

If Cosmo was her biggest legacy, it was her 1962 best-seller, Sex and the Single Girl, that launched her to fame. She was 40, with a high-paying job in advertising and a recent marriage to Hollywood producer David Brown.

But she was writing for the single girls, not her privileged peers, says Jennifer Scanlon, author of a Brown biography called Bad Girls Go Everywhere.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

VIDEO: Paul Ryan Is Interrupted By Hecklers During First Solo Appearance

Republican vice presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan speaks during a campagin stop at the Des Moines Register Soap Box at the Iowa State Fair on Monday.
Steve Pope Getty Images

Two days after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced him as his running mate, Paul Ryan made his first solo appearance at the Iowa State Fair, today.

It's a grand tradition in Des Moines where candidates stand on a "soapbox" and get a microphone and 20 minutes to say whatever they like.

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Music Reviews
4:17 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Debo Band: Ethiopian Funk, Reinvented

The debut album from Boston group Debo Band honors and updates the sound of "swinging Addis."
Shawn Brackbill

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 6:09 pm

Boston's Debo Band takes inspiration from a golden era of popular music in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the late '60s and early '70s. During a brief period of cultural freedom in Ethiopia, funk and soul music fused spectacularly with local traditions. Debo Band's debut album both honors and updates the sound of "swinging Addis."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:14 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Study Finds Snack, Soda Regulations In Schools Help Kids' Health

A student at Fairmeadow Elementary School buys fruits and vegetables in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2010.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 9:08 am

Lately, parents, teachers and policymakers have been experimenting with all kinds of different ways to keep unhealthy food out of schools. Some schools are limiting bake sales, as we reported earlier this year, while others are preparing lunches from scratch.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

From A British King To Rock 'N Roll: The Slippery History Of Eel Pie Island

F. Cooke's, one of the few remaining places to get eel pie in London.
Davia Nelson NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:59 am

We were in London, searching for Hidden Kitchen stories, when we came upon an Eel Pie & Mash shop. It was full of old white marble tables, tile walls, pots of stewed and jellied eels, and piles of pies. These shops are now a dying breed, along with the eels they serve. Our search for the source of these vanishing eels led us to southwest London β€” to Eel Pie Island, a tiny slice of land with a flamboyant history that stretches from Henry the VIII to the Rolling Stones.

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Participation Nation
4:03 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

A Lasting Legacy In Pomona, Calif.

Dr. Jamie Garcia spent years expanding her small clinic so that more people could receive health care.
Courtesy of PCHC

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:33 pm

Dr. Jamie Lynn Garcia was a tireless champion for the poor, devoting her life to healthcare for all.

In 2002, she founded the two-room Pomona Free Clinic. Her community needed more. She spent the next 10 years building and staffing an expanded clinic.

In 2010 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She continued to work through her chemotherapy.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:03 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Wicked And Delicious: Devouring Roald Dahl

cover detail

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 6:09 pm

D.W. Gibson is the author of Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today's Changing Economy.

The bright white Heritage Park library opened up a mile from my house when I was 13, and the first thing I checked out was Roald Dahl's story collection Someone Like You. I should have known what I was in for because of that giant eyeball on the cover; but somehow I saw it as more of a temptation than a warning.

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Shooting Near Texas A&M Campus Leaves 2 Dead

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:40 pm

At least three people are dead after a shooting incident near the Texas A&M campus in College Station, Texas.

During a televised press conference, Assistant Chief Scott McCollum said a police officer and a civilian were killed during the shooting. McCollum said the alleged gunman was also shot, but he is now in custody.

The (Bryan-College Station) Eagle reports that at least five people were taken to the hospital, "but it wasn't known if all were gunshot victims."

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Helen Gurley Brown, Legendary Cosmo Editor, Is Dead

Helen Gurley Brown, editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, poses in her office in New York September 1985.
G. Paul Burnett AP

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 3:53 pm

The longtime and legendary editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine Helen Gurley Brown died today. The Hearst Corporation, which published Cosmopolitan, announced her death in a press release, according to the Albany Times-Union.

She was 90.

NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin filed this remembrance for our Newscast unit:

"Brown made her name by writing frankly about women and sex when that was truly a rare thing.

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The Torch
3:33 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Winners And Losers From London's Summer Olympics, 'The Crying Games'

Sir Chris Hoy of Great Britain cries as he celebrates winning the men's keirin track cycling final. In shedding Olympic tears, Hoy was far from alone in Britain.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

The London 2012 Olympics were billed as the Social Games, with Twitter, Facebook and other services making it an immersive experience. But it might be remembered as "The Crying Games," for the swelling of emotions many Britons experienced. We run down some of the Olympics' winners and losers:

The Losers

The Stiff Upper Lip

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Participation Nation
3:22 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Gardening For Good In Pompano, Fla.

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:38 pm

When chef Trina Spillman β€” trained at Le Cordon Bleu β€” discovered that more than one-third of the children in Broward County didn't know where their next meal was coming from, she was shocked. So she took action.

Through her Need to Feed Gardening Initiative, Trina has planted community gardens, opened a community cafe and donated fresh produce to local food pantries. She holds Summer Hat Luncheons.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Hog Prices Rise On Word That Feds Will Buy Pork In Bid To Help Farmers

Hogs at a farm in Elma, Iowa (2009 file photo).
Scott Olson Getty Images

President Obama not coincidentally chose Iowa today as the backdrop for his announcement that the federal government is buying $170 million worth of pork, chicken, lamb and catfish to help producers who've been hit hard by drought-related increases in feed costs and by soft prices because of overproduction.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr. Is Being Treated For Bipolar Depression, Says Hospital

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

The Mayo Clinic says Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., an Illinois Democrat, is being treated for bipolar depression at its clinic in Rochester, Minn.

"Congressman Jackson is responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength," Mayo Clinic said in a statement.

Jackson Jr.'s condition has forced him to take a leave from Washington since June 10. His whereabouts have led to widespread speculation and calls for him to release more details of his condition.

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Middle East
2:55 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

On Call-In Radio, Egypt's Leader Offers Reassurance

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (right) speaks to the media on Aug. 6 in El Arish, Egypt. He has already been engaging with the public more regularly than his predecessor.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 7:18 pm

When it comes to connecting with the Egyptian public, the country's new president, Mohammed Morsi, seems to have looked at what his predecessor did, and then plotted a course that is diametrically opposed.

During three decades of rule, the former president, Hosni Mubarak, would sometimes go months without making a public statement. When he did appear, it was almost always a formal presentation that seemed to emphasize the gulf between the leader and the ruled.

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NPR Story
1:51 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

'Dreamland' Uncovers Science Of Odd Sleeping Habits

In Dreamland, David Randall discusses the pros and cons of sharing a bed with a partner, and why naps sometimes leave us feeling more exhausted.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:38 pm

We spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, but know very little about what happens once we shut our eyes and drift off.

David Randall has had trouble sleeping for most of his life. One particularly bad night inspired him to learn everything he could about the process.

"I woke up in the middle of the night with the scary and strange realization that I was on my back in the middle of the hallway with a searing pain in my knee," he tells NPR's Lynn Neary. "I ... quickly put together that I had been sleepwalking, and I ran myself into the wall."

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Amid Intense Fighting, Syria's U.N. Human Rights Envoy Defects

As more heavy fighting continues in Aleppo, Syria's chief Human Rights ambassador has defected and pledged allegiance to the opposition.

The AFP reported the story this morning and Swiss state media confirmed it. The AFP reports:

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

College Freshmen Learn From 'Enrique's Journey'

Many colleges and universities require incoming freshmen to read Sonia Nazario's book Enrique's Journey.
Random House

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:24 pm

Before incoming freshmen actually step onto campus, many get their first assignment: a "common read." Colleges and universities assign the same book for freshmen to read over the summer to facilitate discussions once they get to school.

Sonia Nazario's book Enrique's Journey is on dozens of required reading lists this year. It tells the story of a Honduran boy who embarks on a perilous search to find his mother in the United States. Enrique's mother left to find work in the United States when he was 5, and he sets out to track her down as a teenager.

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Law
1:40 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

The Line Between Confidentiality And Public Safety

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 3:57 pm

Mental health professionals are faced with difficult decisions about when to warn about potential threats to public safety. State laws vary: Some require mental health workers to report a perceived threat, others ease confidentiality requirements, and some states have no established duty to warn.

Election 2012
1:40 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Will Ryan Help Or Hurt The GOP Ticket?

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 3:55 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And now, the Opinion Page. And Republicans and Democrats can agree on one thing about Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate. His selection reshapes the race for president. That may be all they agree on. We'll read from our range of opinions in a few minutes, and we want to hear from Republicans today. Does Paul Ryan help or hurt the GOP ticket? Give us a call: 800-989-8255. The email address is talk@npr.org. And we start with NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving. He's here with us in Studio 3A.

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It's All Politics
1:39 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Moderators Announced For Three Presidential Debates, One VP Debate

CNN's Candy Crowley at a Mitt Romney campaign event during the Iowa caucuses in January.
David Holloway CNN

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 7:07 pm

For the first time in 20 years, a woman β€” CNN's Candy Crowley β€” will moderate a presidential debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday.

The moderators for all three presidential debates and the sole vice-presidential debate were announced:

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The Torch
1:33 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Olympics Closing Ceremony: Both Well-Received And Anger-Inducing

Fireworks explode at London's Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics. The gala has gotten good reviews β€” with the exception of those troubled by NBC's presentation.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:09 pm

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

House Republicans Sue AG Holder Over 'Fast And Furious' Documents

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Gerardo Mora Getty Images

House Republicans have gone through with their promise: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder, claiming that he is under contempt for failing to turn over documents related to the failed gun-walking operation Fast and Furious.

Fox News reports they filed the civil case today. Fox adds:

"That decision is expected to be challenged in the court case.

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Author Interviews
12:34 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Looking To The 'Stars' For A Reason To Live

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 12:51 pm

When Peter Heller sat down to work on his first novel, all he knew was that he wanted to have the experience of writing without knowing the ending. As an expedition kayaker, Heller was already the author of many works of travel and outdoor-adventure writing. With his debut novel, The Dog Stars, Heller returned to fiction β€” his first love. But as the novel took a post-apocalyptic turn, he found himself relying on his real-life scrapes and survival skills.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Norway's Massacre Could Have Been Stopped Sooner, Commission Concludes

July 24, 2011: A man and woman look out across Tyrifjorden Lake towards Utoya Island, where 69 of the victims were killed.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

The bombing that began the July 22, 2011, attacks in Oslo could have been prevented and the massacre that followed on an island outside the city could have been stopped much sooner than it was, according to a report released today by an independent commission.

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