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7:32 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Olympics Sets Off British Tears

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

You find out so much about a country, you know, when it's hosting the Olympics. It's almost as if the games lay bare a nation's soul. NPR's Philip Reeves says that is what's happening in Britain. He's finding the experience unnerving, as he explains, in this letter from the Olympics.

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Participation Nation
6:39 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Going The Extra Inning In St. Louis, Mo.

Marathon baseball players in St. Louis. A recent game helped raise more than $150,000 for a local charity.
Courtesy of World Record Charity Events

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 10:07 am

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:39 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Gathering Of The Viols: The 50th Annual Viola Da Gamba Conclave

Jack Ashworth, Tina Chancey, Lisa Terry and Phillip Serna perform Sunday during the closing banquet of the weeklong conclave at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del.
Scott Mason

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:59 pm

Viola da gamba players are a special breed β€” a tiny subset in the already small world of early classical music. They rarely meet their own kind, but once a year they come together for a week in July at an annual jam session they call a conclave. Wendy Gillespie, who just finished her term as president of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, says attending the event is the highlight of her year.

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Africa
5:55 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Kenya's Youngest 'Outcasts' Emerge From Shadows

Alice Njeri found work, and her 10-year-old son Mike β€” who is physically and mentally disabled β€” received therapy and other services at a community center in Maai Mahiu, outside Nairobi, Kenya.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 6:07 pm

Kenyan Alice Njeri knew by the fourth month that something was terribly wrong with her infant son, Mike. When the baby boy was in the hospital recovering from a case of pneumonia, the doctors told Njeri that he was paralyzed on his left side and mentally disabled.

It appeared that Mike would grow up severely disabled in a country that shunned children with disabilities as curses from God.

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World
5:54 am
Sat August 4, 2012

No Space, Mate: Koalas' Habitat Under Threat

A male koala visits the female enclosure at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. Koalas are dwindling in number as their habitat along Australia's east coast gives way to urban growth.
Stuart Cohen for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

Earlier this year, the Australian government added the koala to the country's list of endangered species. By some counts, only about 100,000 remain in the wild in a country that once boasted a population in the millions. But many conservationists say the listing doesn't go far enough.

Paul O'Donnell is one of the many volunteers at Friends of the Koala in the northern New South Wales town of Lismore.

"We go out every day for about an hour or so collecting leaf; usually we get about one bin per koala," O'Donnell says.

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Africa
5:53 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Mali's Cultural Heritage, Old And New, Faces Threats

Mali's popular Festival of the Desert, held each year near Timbuktu, attracts both local and international music stars. The festival took place in January, but the Islamists who have taken control of the area have since banned all entertainment.
Serge Daniel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

Mali is a country rich in culture, both old and new.

The banging of hammers on silver echos through the main crafts market in Bamako, Mali's capital. It's usually teeming in a place where you can buy anything, from silver earrings to batik fabric, all of it handmade.

And despite its remote location, Mali has enhanced its cultural reputation in recent years with an annual international music and arts festival in the Sahara Desert near Timbuktu, drawing both African and Western artists.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
5:53 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Grand Ole Goo Goo Sweetens Fans Old And New

The Goo Goo Cluster, a classic gooey treat from Nashville, Tenn., celebrates its 100th birthday this year.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

No one's entirely sure where the Southern treat called the Goo Goo Cluster got its name.

The iconic candy from Nashville, Tenn., celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The confection of marshmallow, peanuts and caramel wrapped in milk chocolate may owe its longevity in part to another Nashville icon: the Grand Ole Opry.

Goo Goo Cluster sponsored the venue's radio broadcasts from 1966 until 2006. In one popular advertisement, stage performers crooned, "Go get a Goo Goo ... it's gooooooood!"

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The Veepstakes
5:53 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Ayotte Would Add Youth, Conservatism As VP Choice

Sen. Kelly Ayotte campaigns with Mitt Romney in Portsmouth, N.H., in April.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

That New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is even being considered as Mitt Romney's running mate is somewhat remarkable. After all, New Hampshire has just four electoral votes, and Ayotte has been a U.S. senator β€” her first elected office β€” for less than two years.

But if any senator could be said to possess a refreshing charm, it might be Ayotte, 44, a mother of two young children, who still lives in her hometown of Nashua and is married to a former combat pilot.

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Opinion
5:53 am
Sat August 4, 2012

India's Blackout A Reminder Of How Far We've Come

A girl prepares a meal by candlelight in Jammu, India, during the massive blackout last week.
Channi Anand AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

This week, the world's largest democracy experienced the world's largest power outage. Nearly 700 million β€” that's more than half a billion β€” Indians were said to have been without power Tuesday. No air conditioning. No traffic lights. No metro system.

Most of the power is back now, but the outage had resonance for me from the long-ago years when I lived in New Delhi and experienced power failures almost as regularly as I did steaming cups of dark, sweet Indian tea.

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Presidential Race
5:52 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Obama, Romney Each Read Jobs Numbers Differently

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

The stock market rallied on Friday's jobs report, with the Dow Jones industrial average jumping more than 200 points. But what do the numbers mean for the political stocks of President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney? That's harder to measure.

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Around the Nation
5:51 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Soaked In Drought: Lessons From The Dust Bowl

Scorched pastures are spreading across central Illinois and the rest of the Midwest. Technology and techniques developed from previous droughts like the Dust Bowl are helping to save some of today's crops, but there's no substitute for water.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

This summer's drought continues to wilt and bake crops from Ohio to the Great Plains and beyond. Under a baking, late-afternoon sun just outside of the tiny east-central Illinois town of Thawville, John Hildenbrand walks down his dusty, gravel driveway toward one of his corn fields.

"You can see on the outer edge, these are a lot better-looking ears on the outside rows. Of course, it's not near as hot as it is inside the field," he says.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet: Scat Singing To Its Own Tune

The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet, left to right: Ginny Carr, alto; Robert McBride, tenor; Holly Shockey, soprano; and Andre Enceneat, bass. The group's new album, Hustlin' for a Gig, came out in May.
Michael G. Stewart

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet has been serenading audiences in its native Washington, D.C., across the country and even as far as France for more than two decades. But its members are finding ways to bring something new to their performances. Bandleader and co-founder Ginny Carr says she wrote the words and music to all 10 songs on the quartet's new album, Hustlin' for a Gig β€” a relative rarity in a jazz world defined by time-tested standards.

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The Two-Way
6:35 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

From Our Readers: English Only? Look To The Past

Many of our commenters look to America's rich history of immigration in order to form their opinion of the 'English-Only' debate. Interestingly enough, this approach facilitated conclusions on both sides of the issue.

"John G" believes that, "Society, not law, determines the specific language used."

He writes:

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Shots - Health Blog
6:33 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Experts Fear Whooping Cough Vaccine's Shield Is 'Waning'

Pharmacist Kristy Hennessee administers a vaccination against whooping cough in Pasadena, Calif., in 2010. Vaccinations are the most powerful weapon for slowing the epidemic, but there are growing concerns that the current vaccine doesn't last as long as expected.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 9:29 pm

Whooping cough is getting a foothold once again in the U.S., and it seems to be getting stronger. More than 20,000 cases have been reported so far this year, compared with only about 8,500 last year, and Washington State has already declared a whooping cough epidemic.

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The Two-Way
6:30 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Paterno Family Will Appeal Sanctions; NCAA Rejects Attempt

Visitors gather around the statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium Saturday in State College, Pa.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

The family of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno said it intends to appeal the sanctions issued by the NCAA against the university in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

In a letter to the organization, the family repeated its accusations that the sanctions were decided in haste and without due process.

The AP reports that the NCAA quickly responded that their sanctions weren't up for appeal.

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Money & Politics
6:11 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Not Always Clear Who's Funding Politics-Related Ads

Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, leave a speech by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 2:11 am

Prominent Jewish Republicans flew to Israel last weekend to join presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his overseas trip. Among them were casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam.

The Adelsons were in the audience Sunday when Romney gave a policy speech in Jerusaleum. And at a fundraising breakfast Monday, Sheldon Adelson sat by Romney's side.

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The Torch
5:49 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Saudi Arabia's First Female Olympian Makes History In Judo Match

Wojdan Shaherkani of Saudi Arabia (left) met Melissa Mojica in the women's +78 kg judo in London. Their match was short, but historic.
Quinn Rooney Getty Images

It's nearly time to set The Torch to "dim" for the night, but we must note something historic that happened today: Wojdan Shaherkani competed for Saudi Arabia in the Olympics, becoming the first woman ever to do so.

Shaherkani wasn't a threat to win her match against Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica. After all, Shaherkani is only 16, and her highest level of achievement in judo is a blue belt. Their match only lasted 1 minute and 22 seconds.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman Is Headed Back To Jail

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 5:34 pm

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has been sentenced to 78 months in prison.

It means Siegelman is headed back to prison after he was freed to appeal his case. The AP gives us some background:

"Siegelman, 66, and former HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy were convicted in 2006. They arranged $500,000 in contributions to Siegelman's campaign for a state lottery in exchange for the governor appointing Scrushy to an important hospital regulatory board.

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Health
5:11 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

New York Officials: Breast Milk May Be Best 'Formula'

City leaders want to encourage more new moms to breast-feed their babies. One of several "Latch on NYC" posters promoting the initiative.
Courtesy of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Starting next month, dozens of hospitals will participate in "Latch on NYC," an initiative aimed at encouraging new moms to breast-feed instead of using baby formula.

Health care professionals say breast-feeding is better for both mother and baby.

But critics β€” many of them mothers β€” say the city is inserting itself where it doesn't belong.

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Movies
4:54 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Franchises Age, But Their Stars Stay Forever Young

Jeremy Renner stars in The Bourne Legacy, the latest in a franchise previously fronted by Matt Damon. But when an actor departs a Hollywood cash cow, it can be less a death knell than a chance for rejuvenation.
Mary Cybulski Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

The Bourne Legacy, which opens in theaters this week, is the fourth thriller in the series, and the first without either Jason Bourne or the star playing him, Matt Damon. They're suddenly not necessary, even though the series is named for Bourne? Why am I not surprised?

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Arts & Life
4:44 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Monroe's Legacy Is Making Fortune, But For Whom?

Marilyn Monroe's will reveals a quieter, more complicated side to her legacy.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Marilyn Monroe, a global symbol of beauty, glamour and sex, died on Aug. 5, 1962. Fifty years later, she's still in style β€” and making more money than ever. Monroe's come-hither expression is emblazoned on posters, T-shirts and refrigerator magnets. She's become a multimillion-dollar brand, but that may never have happened if not for the will she left behind, a document that reveals a much quieter β€” and more complicated β€” side to her legacy.

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The Torch
4:42 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Track Cyclist's Admitting To Intentional Crash Won't Bring Investigation

The British sprint team of Philip Hindes (front), Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy won a gold medal Thursday, but remarks by Hindes caused concerns about athletes' ethics to resurface. The IOC says it will not investigate.
Bryn Lennon Getty Images

If one thing is clear at these London Games, it's that not doing one's best is not only uncool β€” it's not allowed. Witness the badminton-to-worstminton scandal that erupted earlier this week, when players turned the tournament structure into a "farce" by attempting to lose in order to manipulate their seeds in the next round.

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Politics
4:40 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Wireless Carriers Text 'NO' To Campaign Donations

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Here's a way the candidates would like to be able to raise money - donations via text message. It's something nonprofits already do. The American Red Cross, for example, raised $32 million from texts after the earthquake in Haiti. But, for political campaigns, it's not a reality, not yet. In June, the FEC ruled that campaigns can collect donations from text messages, but wireless carriers still aren't onboard.

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Book Reviews
4:40 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Reviews: 'The Fallen Angel' And 'A Foreign Country'

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

August is here and, for many, that means vacation and a last minute scramble for a good book to pass the quiet hours. Well, take heart. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse has reached deep into his pile of new books and found two spy thrillers, perfect, he says, for brisk summer reading.

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Middle East
4:40 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

With Annan Out, U.S. Is Pressured To Act In Syria

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

What now? That's the question many in and out of Syria are asking, one day after Kofi Annan announced he's quitting as special envoy to Syria. Annan blamed his resignation, in part, on a divided U.N. Security Council. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, activists are now calling on Washington to work around the U.N. and do more to support Syria's rebels.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Reuters Says Its Website Was Hacked, Fake Syria Stories Posted

The wire service Reuters says its blogging service was compromised today. The people responsible, Reuters said, took the opportunity to post a fake news story about Syria.

Reuters reports:

"One of the false posts purported to be an interview with Riad al-Asaad, the head of the Free Syrian Army.

"'Reuters did not carry out such an interview and the posting has been deleted,' the Reuters statement said.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Experts Find Ancient Mayans May Have Used Chocolate As Condiment

Chocolate.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:38 pm

Archaeologists have made a surprising discovery: They announced they found traces of 2,500-year-old chocolate on a plate as opposed to a cup.

The conclusion they make is that it means ancient Mayans not only drank chocolate but also used it as a condiment.

The AP reports the discovery was made public by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The AP adds:

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The Torch
3:10 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Phelps And Franklin Add To Their Medal Totals, And A New Teen Phenom Emerges

American Katie Ledecky seemed to be in disbelief as she hugged bronze medalist Rebecca Adlington of Great Britain. Ledecky, 15, won the women's 800m freestyle by four seconds in London.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 5:08 pm

In one of the last showcase days for swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics, American athletes Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin hit the pool at London's aquatic center Friday. Each of them were on a mission to end their individual event schedules with gold medals.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

If Almonds Bring You Joy, Enjoy More For Fewer Calories

Almonds may have 20 percent less calories than previously thought.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:10 am

Scientists are starting to discover that the standard way of measuring calories, established more than 100 years ago, may not be terribly accurate when it comes to higher fat, high-fiber foods like nuts. But when it comes to almonds, the count may be off by a whole lot.

Food scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published a new study that finds almonds have about 20 percent fewer calories than previously documented.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:51 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

More Cases Of New Swine Flu Virus Appear In Three States

Colton Tucker gives water to a pig to be shown at the California State Fair in Sacramento in July. Federal health officials say most of the cases of a new flu virus in Indiana, Ohio and Hawaii after kids came in direct contact with pigs at agricultural fairs.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Federal health officials Friday reported a jump this summer in the number of people who have gotten infected with a new swine flu virus.

Sixteen cases of the new H3N2 swine flu have been confirmed in the last few weeks, including 12 in the last week alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Ten of last week's cases occurred in Ohio, while the two others were in Indiana and Hawaii.

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