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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Did Twitter Go Too Far? It Suspended Critic Of NBC's Olympics Coverage

Twitter.com

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 7:54 am

Update at 1:45 p.m. ET. Adams Has Been Reinstated On Twitter:

Guy Adams just tweeted that "Oh. My Twitter account appears to have been un-suspended. Did I miss much while I was away?"

That doesn't change the thrust of our post. And we haven't heard back from Twitter about his questions regarding the suspension.

Update at 4:23 p.m. ET. Twitter's Response:

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Shots - Health Blog
8:58 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Distractions Come Naturally To Teenage Drivers

Drivers under 25 are more likely to send text messages and make calls behind the wheel. They're also less able to handle distractions while driving.
iStockphoto.com

Distracted driving is a problem for all drivers, but teens are at higher risk.

Yes, it's true that drivers under 25 are up to three times more likely to send text messages or emails while behind the wheel than older drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

But there's a deeper problem: Teenagers are also at a developmental stage where getting distracted is more problematic than it is for older drivers.

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Strange News
8:04 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Police Use Their Heads To Hem In Runaway Hamster

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Strange News
7:56 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Olympic Volunteers Cash In On Ceremony Souvenirs

The Telegraph reports that props from the Olympics opening ceremony are appearing on eBay — everything from an "Industrial Revolution" costume, to pieces of confetti that erupted as Great Britain's team entered the stadium. Some of the performers are calling it "crass." But a seller pointed out it is in the spirit of the games — because it could "help me achieve my own ambitions."

The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Reports: GOP Lawmakers Blame Five ATF Officials For 'Fast And Furious'

"Republican congressional investigators have concluded that five senior ATF officials ... are collectively responsible for the failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation that was 'marred by missteps, poor judgments and inherently reckless strategy,' " the Los Angeles Times reports.

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Election 2012
7:45 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Controversy Followed Romney On Overseas Trip

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 2:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, wrapped up a week-long foreign trip today, with a speech in Warsaw, Poland. His trip overseas, which began in London and then on to Jerusalem, was designed to bolster Romney's foreign policy credentials, but instead it's been riddled with gaffs and controversy.

Joining us now from Warsaw, is NPR's Eric Westervelt. Good morning.

ERIC WESTERVELT, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Massive Failure: 600 Million In India Lose Power; Grid Collapses For Second Day

Passengers waited for trains Tuesday at a railway station in New Delhi. Another grid failure cut power, causing chaos.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 2:38 pm

At day's end in India, after what's been called the "world's biggest blackout" ever, officials were reporting that electric service had been restored to most of the 670 million or so people who lost it on Tuesday.

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NPR Story
7:19 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Punk Band's Case Tests Putin's Tolerance For Dissent

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:52 am

Three women charged with blasphemy went on trial Monday in Russia in a case that's being seen as a major test of President Vladimir Putin's tolerance for dissent. The women are members of the band Pussy Riot. They were arrested after staging a punk rock protest at the altar of a Moscow cathedral.

Dead Stop
5:07 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Rediscovered Headstones Hold Clues To Earthquake

The Gilliam Cemetery, near Sebastopol, Calif., received its first grave in 1852. Many of its older headstones have disappeared over the years.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 8:55 am

The Gilliam Cemetery, which lies 60 miles north of San Francisco, appears to be gaining residents lately. But it's not only because new people have been interred there. Instead, headstones that wound up being buried a century ago have been found and resurrected.

The cemetery's story begins in 1850, when a wagon train of pioneers left Missouri and settled near what is now Sebastopol, Calif. The Gilliam Cemetery was started in 1852, when Polly Gilliam Sullivan and her husband, Isaac, needed a place to bury their stillborn son.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
5:07 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Is Housing Recovery Real? Not Everyone Is Convinced

A construction worker carries lumber while working on new homes in San Mateo, Calif., in March. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 5:08 pm

Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.

The question, of course, is whether this is a solid enough foundation to sustain a full housing recovery.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says housing woes are largely behind us.

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Politics
5:06 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Romney Goes After Obama On Alleged Leaking Of Secrets

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney meets with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars after his speech at the VFW National Convention in Reno, Nev., on July 24.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 8:25 am

The latest national security issue to figure in the presidential campaign has little to do with Iran, Afghanistan or other foreign policy challenges. Mitt Romney is instead focusing on what he and other Republicans allege is the Obama administration's record of leaking classified information for political purposes.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:06 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Medical Technician Might Have Exposed Hundreds To Hepatitis C

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 3:24 pm

After five years of crisscrossing the country as a traveling medical technician, David Kwiatkowski landed at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in the spring of 2011. A full-time job in the hospital's cardiac unit soon followed.

It was at Exeter that federal prosecutors say the 33-year-old began to divert syringes of the drug Fentanyl. They say Kwiatkowski, who was arrested July 19, would inject himself with the painkiller, and then refill syringes with a saline solution. He is hepatitis C-positive, meaning those tainted needles might have spread the liver-damaging virus.

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Space
5:04 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Telescope Targets Black Holes' Binges And Burps

The NuSTAR telescope, seen in this artist's illustration, will soon be sending back data that researchers will use to study black holes.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:45 am

NASA's newest space telescope will start searching the universe for black holes on Wednesday. Scientists hope the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, which launched about six weeks ago and is now flying about 350 miles above the Earth, will help shed some light on the mysteries of these space oddities.

Mission control for the telescope is a small room on the University of California, Berkeley, campus, where about a dozen people with headsets rarely look up from their screens.

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Europe
5:03 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Italy Worries Sicily's Woes Could Have Ripple Effect

Raffaele Lombardo, the governor of Sicily, speaks to reporters after his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Rome last week. Lombardo has been accused of having ties to the Mafia in Sicily.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 5:09 pm

In antiquity, Sicily was known as Greater Greece. Now, the eurozone crisis has led to sharp spending cuts and, with an economy based on public sector wages, Sicily is being called Italy's Greece. The central government fears the region's debt of more than $6 billion could further endanger the country's financial stability.

Worried about contagion, the Rome government is dictating on Sicily tough bailout conditions similar to those international lenders imposed on Greece.

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It's All Politics
7:23 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Romney's Foreign Trip Hits Right Note For Some, Potholes For Others

Mitt Romney, right, meets Monday with former Polish President Lech Walesa in Gdansk.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 2:01 pm

As Mitt Romney nears the end of his seven-day trip abroad, it's safe to call the results mixed at best.

The trip to Great Britain, Israel and Poland had several goals. It was meant to show that Romney has the gravitas and acumen to be this country's top foreign affairs policymaker; to remind U.S. voters of his success running the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics; to appeal to certain voters in battleground states, especially Jewish and Catholic voters of Polish heritage, and to raise campaign cash.

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Poetry Games
6:25 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

'Olimpicamente': In Praise Of Feistiness And Big Feet

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:14 am

A poet and editor of BOMB magazine living in Brooklyn, Monica de la Torre was born in Mexico City. Her poem "Olimpicamente" is told in the voice of the Mexican taekwondo champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza, who was born in the village of La Brecha, in the state of Sinaloa, where her father was a fisherman. Though of limited means, her parents supported her passion for taekwondo, and in 2008 Espinoza fought her way to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. "I am," says the poet, "dumbfounded and positively moved by Maria del Rosario's improbable story."

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It's All Politics
6:03 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Texas GOP Senate Runoff Gives Tea Party An Opportunity To Flex Its Muscles

Ted Cruz, left, and David Dewhurst shake hands before their Republican Senate debate in Dallas on June 22.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 9:45 am

The Republican race to succeed retiring Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison wasn't supposed to be tough. But it's become one of the hardest-fought and most expensive intraparty races in the country.

Early this year, the race was expected to be a coronation for Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, 66.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Poll: After Aurora Shooting, Opinions On Gun Control Are Unchanged

The Century 16 movie theatre is seen from a memorial setup across the street on July 28, in Aurora, Colorado.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

A new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that American views on gun control have pretty much remained unchanged since the Aurora, Colo. theater mass shooting.

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The Torch
5:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Studying Oscar Pistorius: Does The 'Blade Runner' Have An Advantage? [Video]

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa runs in the men's 200-meter event at the Paralympic World Cup in May. Some observers have suggested Pistorius receives an unfair advantage from his carbon-fiber "blade" legs.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:04 pm

The technology that makes walking possible for amputees is also making running possible at the Olympics. On Saturday in London, South African Oscar Pistorius will run on artificial limbs in the 400-meter sprint. Pistorius is a double amputee who runs world-class times on his carbon-fiber legs.

At last month's Prefontaine Track and Field Classic in Eugene, Ore., Pistorius ran in the inside lane of the 400-meter race. He leaned forward on his knees and fingers, and slipped his feet into the starting blocks — well, they're not actually feet.

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World
5:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

In Israel, Rabbis Rank Among The Rich And Famous

Rabbi Yaacov Israel Ifargan is known as the 'X-ray' rabbi for what his followers say is his ability to "see right through" a person. According to Forbes in Israel, he is worth about $23 million, which makes him the country's sixth-richest rabbi.
Tsafrir Abayov AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 2:01 pm

Over the past year, Israelis have taken to the streets to protest the country's high cost of living. They've also directed their anger at a small group of business moguls who have used their close ties to government officials to gain control of large chunks of the Israeli economy.

Now, the Israeli edition of Forbes magazine has shed light on a surprising category of Israelis who have quietly also climbed to the top rung of society: multimillionaire rabbis.

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Summer Nights: Funtown After Sundown
5:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Fishin' In The Dark Draws Rods and Reels To Park

A pond in Charlotte, N.C.'s Freedom Park is a popular spot for evening fishing. The city keeps the pond well-stocked with catfish.
Julie Rose for NPR

In the middle of Charlotte, N.C.'s toniest historic neighborhood, a pond in a local park has become the city's unlikely fishing hole.

Many residents consider Freedom Park one of the city's prettiest, and when summer arrives the fishermen come out, hoping to catch "the big one."

A tiny bream wriggles on the end of 11-year-old Ciarra Carella's line. She's fishing with a piece of hotdog, her line dangling off the edge of a lovely stone bridge. It's a popular spot for wedding photos and for bringing your kids to feed the ducks.

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Music Interviews
5:08 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Bibi Tanga: 'This Is A Band That Wants To Die'

Bibi Tanga (center) has embarked on a tour of the US with his band, The Selenites. Their new album 40 Degrees of Sunshine came out July 10.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:42 pm

Bibi Tanga is a true musical globe-trotter. Born in the Central African Republic to a family of diplomats, he spent most of his life following his father around the world. But Tanga says his journey has helped him to incorporate diverse genres into funky, multilingual songs that tackle themes well-hidden behind groovy hooks. Together with his band the Selenites, he is now touring the U.S. in support of his new album 40 Degrees of Sunshine.

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The Record
4:47 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Feminist Punk Band, Imprisoned For Five Months, Gets Next Gig: Russian Courtroom

Members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, Nadezha Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center) and Maria Alyokhina, at a hearing in Moscow court on Monday.
Andrey Smirnov Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

After more than five months in prison, some Russian dissidents are getting their day in court. The three young women are accused of being members of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band that staged a protest against then presidential-candidate Vladimir Putin in February.

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Middle East
4:32 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Is Assad Carving Out A Haven For Syria's Alawites?

A Syrian man holds a national flag bearing pictures of President Bashar Assad during a pro-regime protest to condemn a deadly attack in the central Midan district of Damascus on April 27.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:04 pm

As fighting between the Syrian military and rebel fighters rages, concerns are growing about how the regime of President Bashar Assad might react if it becomes convinced it's about to lose power.

One theory involves the establishment of a breakaway region dominated by Syria's Alawite minority — which includes the Assad family — in the northwestern coastal mountains. Analysts say this would be a disaster both for Assad and the region, but it can't be completely ruled out.

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Presidential Race
4:27 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Humor A Key Part Of Presidential Campaign Toolbox

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

Appearances on late night TV have become a go-to campaign tool for presidential candidates looking to soften their image. But the candidate who arguably first turned late-night comedy into an effective platform was Richard Nixon in 1968. Audie Cornish talks with the producer from the comedy classic Laugh In about how the Nixon appearance came to be.

It's All Politics
4:17 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Could Be Official Democratic Stance

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 9:45 am

Democrats are on the path to including an endorsement of same-sex marriage for the first time in their official party platform.

NPR's Ari Shapiro reported Monday that the proposal has made it through an important Democratic committee.

The 15 Democrats who serve on the party's platform drafting committee voted unanimously to endorse same-sex marriage in the party's official agenda, says Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who serves on the committee.

Frank recently married his partner.

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Asia
4:14 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

India's Huge Blackout Leaves Millions Without Power

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

A massive power cut in India left more than 300 million people — about a quarter of the population — without electricity on Monday. The cause of the collapse of the northern Indian power grid is still being investigated, but resulted in blackouts across at least eight Indian states. With no lights or hot water at home, millions of Indians then had to face a long struggle to get to work because trains were stopped and roads were jammed by lack of power for stop lights.

Shots - Health Blog
4:02 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Legal Battle Erupts Over Whose Plastic Consumers Should Trust

CamelBak-brand water bottles on display at an outdoor supply store in Arcadia, Calif., in 2008. The company removed BPA from the plastic in its bottles.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

In 2007, Eastman Chemical began marketing a tough new BPA-free plastic called Tritan. Business was good, says Lucian Boldea, a vice president at Eastman.

"We were able to make the statement that our product is not made with BPA and would release data to consumers to support that fact," he says.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:49 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

What Does The Future Hold For Bird Flu Research?

A government official in Bali, Indonesia, holds a chicken before administering an injection to cull it as a precautionary measure in April to prevent the spread of bird flu.
Firdia Lisnawati AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 4:43 pm

In a hotel ballroom in New York City, a couple hundred flu researchers watched with interest Monday as a government official ran down a list of seven kinds of experiments that could raise special security risks.

The official noted that one item on the list was any experiment that could make an infectious agent more transmissible, or contagious. "It wouldn't take long for this audience to come up with an example of that," he noted wryly.

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The Torch
3:38 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Franklin Wins Gold, While Lochte Misses Out; Grevers Wins Backstroke [Results]

Record setter: U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin celebrates winning the women's 100m backstroke final at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:22 pm

Yannick Agnel of France has won the 200m men's freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics, beating a field that included American Ryan Lochte and German world record holder Paul Biedermann. Sun Yang of China and and Tae-Hwan Park of South Korea finished with identical times of 1:44.93 — which means that both of them will receive silver medals.

We'll be updating this post with more results from today's action.

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