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Law
5:19 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Supreme Court To Weigh Case Of False Testimony

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that sounds more like a John Grisham novel than a Supreme Court case.

The issue is whether police investigators have total immunity from being sued for giving false testimony before a grand jury. The case has all the elements of a spooky saga, involving power, influence and money — all used to silence the critics of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, the largest hospital in Albany, Ga.

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Latin America
4:54 am
Tue November 1, 2011

In The Hills Of Rio, Shantytowns Get A Makeover

Santa Marta is one of the many slums that dot the hillsides of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio, host of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, is now trying to remake these slums, or favelas, long wracked by poverty and violence.

Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 9:23 pm

On a recent day in Rio de Janeiro, police radios crackle in Providencia, a warren of cinder-block homes and narrow walkways where drugs and violence were once common.

But these days, it's just routine chatter. All is safe in this favela, one of the hundreds of slums built chockablock on the city's steep hills. A Rio advertising company is leading a tour for its employees and representatives of other companies.

Among those who have come is Raoni Lotar, a 30-year-old Carioca — resident of Rio.

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Around the Nation
4:53 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Starbucks Hopes To Kick-Start Job Creation

Starbucks is teaming up with a network of community-based financial institutions to help create jobs. Beginning Tuesday anyone can make a tax-deductable contribution at a Starbucks store or online to the Create Jobs for USA Fund. The money will go to companies so they can hire or retain American workers.

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Law
4:52 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Official Admits 'Mistake' In Gun-Trafficking Case

U.S. Border Patrol vehicles drive from a checkpoint in December 2010, as teams of border officers comb the Arizona desert about 10 miles north of Mexico in search for a suspect in the fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in the rugged terrain in Rio Rico, Ariz.

Ross D. Franklin ASSOCIATED PRESS

A top political appointee in the Obama Justice Department says he made a "mistake" when he didn't flag questionable tactics used by federal agents in a gun-trafficking case for his superiors last year.

Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, told NPR he found out in April 2010 that agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had let more than 400 guns connected to suspicious buyers cross the Southwest border during the Bush years, but he didn't tell senior leadership at the Justice Department.

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7 Billion And Counting
4:46 am
Tue November 1, 2011

As Population, Consumption Rise, Builder Goes Small

The world's population has just hit 7 billion people and continues to grow. Population experts are concerned about the rise in consumption that will accompany the increase in people. One California home builder, ZETA Communities, designs and builds small, highly energy-efficient homes.

Zeta Communities

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 12:33 pm

The planet may not feel any different today, but there are now 7 billion people on it, according to the United Nations.

That number will continue to rise, of course, and global incomes are likely to rise as well. That means more cars and computers, and bigger homes: the kinds of things Americans take for granted. It's that rise in consumption that has population experts worried.

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Europe
4:00 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Greek Referendum Could Jeopardize Bailout Deal

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he will ask the public to vote in a referendum on last week's European debt deal. His surprise announcement could throw a wrench into the bailout agreement. The bankers holding Greek debt agreed to accept losses on Greek bonds on the assumption that the country would carry out austerity measures. For the latest, Steve Inskeep talks with reporter Joanna Kakissis in Athens.

Business
4:00 am
Tue November 1, 2011

MF Global A U.S. Casualty Of EU's Debt Crisis

MF Global, the securities firm run by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection Monday. The company, at Corzine's urging, made big investments in European sovereign debt. Those bets turned out to be losers. Analysts don't believe MF Global is a harbinger of bad things to come. It was much more exposed to European debt than most U.S. financial companies. Zoe Chace reports for NPR's Planet Money.

Africa
4:00 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Somali Militants Vow Payback For Kenya's Offensive

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 10:28 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Yet another foreign army has sent its troops into Somalia.

INSKEEP: Many years ago, American troops took positions there.

MONTAGNE: More recently, forces from neighboring Ethiopia, with U.S. backing, have moved against Islamist groups.

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The Two-Way
6:35 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Halloween Chicago-Style: 'Da Mayor And 'Da Zombies

The mayor's message: Have a safe Halloween, zombies included.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 6:44 pm

Set aside your doubts about zombies and ignore the signs of Photoshopping (like that reflection in the window of a guy with a baseball cap).

Here's a photo/illustration that begs for some creative caption suggestions (and ChicagoNow.com has just such a contest going).

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Shots - Health Blog
6:29 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Controversial Cholesterol Pill Vytorin Shows Promise For Kidney Patients

Merck

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 12:03 pm

Remember Grandpa Frank?

Way back in 2008, the ad above ran in heavy rotation on TV during the heyday of Vytorin, a cholesterol-lowering pill that claimed to fight both genetics and bad habits.

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The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Supreme Court Reinstates Conviction Of Grandmother In Shaken Baby Case

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 7:05 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again rebuked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in California. This time, the court, by a 6-to-3 vote, reinstated the conviction of a California grandmother for shaking her baby grandson to death. The court's unsigned opinion, provoked a strong dissent from three of the justices, who accused the court majority of using a "tragic case" to "teach the Ninth Circut a lesson."

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Law
5:31 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Supreme Court Hears Plea Bargain Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in two cases testing whether a lawyer's mishandling of a plea bargain offer should be sufficient reason for a defendant to get a second chance to accept the offer.

Both cases involve defendants who got prison terms much longer than they would have under plea bargains offered by the prosecutor. In one case, the defendant's lawyer never told his client about the offer. In the other, the defense lawyer advised against taking the offer based on a clearly erroneous understanding of state law.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

High Court Lets Stand Ruling Ordering Removal Of Crosses In Utah

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 8:40 am

The United States Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling that ordered the removal of 12-foot high crosses placed along highways in Utah to commemorate state troopers killed in the line of duty.

The court acted without comment, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 19-page dissent.

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

'Ghost Stories': FBI Releases Documents, Videos Of Russian Spy Operation

Christopher Metsos in Queens, N.Y.

FBI

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 1:16 pm

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Politics
4:16 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Facing Stiffened Opposition, Obama Goes It Alone

President Obama signed an executive order Monday directing the Food and Drug Administration to take steps to reduce drug shortages. The order is one of several similar actions the president has taken in recent weeks.

Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 8:30 pm

President Obama, faced with what he described as an "increasingly dysfunctional" Congress, has turned repeatedly in recent weeks to the time-honored, but often controversial executive order to unilaterally make policy.

On Monday, Obama signed an executive order designed to require drug companies to report anticipated manufacturing shortages in advance. Last week, he said he would issue an executive order designed to help ease home-refinancing rules. And earlier in the same week, the president issued a directive to cap student loan payments.

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The Salt
3:48 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Kids And Teens See More Ads For Sugary Drinks

Kids and teens saw double the number of ads for soda in 2010 than they did in 2008.

Todd Keith iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 3:00 pm

From 2008 to 2010, children's and teens' exposure to television ads for soda doubled, according to a new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. And beverage companies targeted black and Hispanic kids more than others in recent ads, the report found.

Commercials for Coke and Dr. Pepper products led the increase. Pepsi actually showed young audiences 22 percent fewer commercials for its products in that same time period.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Tom Keith, 'A Prairie Home Companion's' Sound Guy, Has Died

Tom Keith.

A Prairie Home Companion via Facebook

Tom Keith, who fans of A Prairie Home Companion knew as the show's sound guy, passed away Sunday, after collapsing at his Minnesota home. He was 64.

Minnesota Public Radio, which produces APHC along with American Public Media, reports that Keith started his relationship with host Garrison Keillor in 1976, when the two worked on MPR's Morning Show.

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'Darkhorse' Battalion And The Afghan War
3:40 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

An Afghan Hell On Earth For 'Darkhorse' Marines

U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment and the Afghan National Army provide cover as they move out of a dangerous area after taking enemy sniper fire during a security patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, in November 2010. During its seven-month deployment, the 3/5 sustained the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the Afghan war, losing 25 men.

Cpl. David R. Hernandez U.S. Marine Corps

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 5:55 pm

A year ago, nearly 1,000 U.S. Marine officers and enlisted men of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment deployed to restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. By the time their tour ended in April 2011, the Marines of the 3/5 — known as "Darkhorse" — suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the past 10 years of war. This week, NPR tells the story of this unit's seven long months at war — both in Afghanistan and back home.

Second of seven parts

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Herman Cain
3:34 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Experts Doubt Cain's Response To Harassment Report

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the National Press Club on Monday.

Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 11:50 pm

Republican presidential front-runner Herman Cain has stumbled before, and on big issues ranging from his position on legal abortion to the effects of his radical flat tax plan on the poor and middle class.

But his response to a Politico report that he faced two sexual harassment complaints that were settled with cash payments more than a decade ago presents a new kind of threat to his cometlike ascendancy in the Republican race.

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Latin America
3:16 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

In Cuba, A Used Car Is No Bargain

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 5:51 pm

What may be the most expensive Honda Civic in the world can be found in Havana. There's nothing especially luxurious about the car: It's a red 2005 model, with 60,000 miles on the odometer.

But what is special about this Civic is that there are few like it on the supply side of Cuba's used car market. And that's why Acela Claro says she's had plenty of interest, even though she's offering it for $65,000.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Ohio Voters To Decide Union Law's Fate

State Sen. Shannon Jones, who introduced Senate Bill 5, argues that if pay and benefits for government workers can be held down, schools and cities can avoid cutbacks.

J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Earlier this year, Wisconsin received lots of attention after passing a law slashing the power of public employee unions.

But soon after, Ohio legislators went even further.

In March, Gov. John Kasich and Republican lawmakers pushed a sweeping plan to slash union negotiating clout. It would ban strikes by all of Ohio's 350,000 government workers, require all public employees to pay at least 15 percent of their health care premiums, and use merit to decide pay and layoffs.

Now, Ohio is getting attention because voters there will decide that law's fate on Nov. 8.

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Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Cain Responds To Harassment Allegations

Businessman Herman Cain recently entered the top tier of Republican presidential candidates. A story published Sunday evening by Politico alleges that Cain harassed two female employees when he ran the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. On Monday, Cain appeared at two public events, a discussion of his 9-9-9 tax plan at the American Enterprise Institute as well as a speech and Q-and-A session at the National Press Club.

The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Steve Jobs And His Last Words

A photographer uses his iPhone to take a picture of a tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in front of an Apple store in London.

Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

There's been plenty written about Steve Jobs since his death. But, yesterday, The New York Times published a eulogy delivered at a memorial service by his sister, the novelist Mona Simpson.

It's lovely to say the least and there are lots of little nuggets about Jobs and his relationship to his family and Jobs as a devotee of love and beauty. But the thing the Web is buzzing about today is what Simpson said were his last words:

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Technology
2:00 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Paranormal Technology: Gadgets For Ghost-Tracking

At an investigation of a supposedly haunted house in a wooded area an hour south of Richmond, Va., called the Edgewood Plantation, one ghost-hunting team recently used its high-tech tools to track down the spirits that always become of interest this time of year.

With uneven floorboards and creaky doors, the house is prime real estate for a haunting. Its owner hired a private firm, Richmond Investigators of the Paranormal — or RIP — to scan her property for ghosts.

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Asia
1:49 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Dream Sparks Events That Reunite Cambodian Family

In 1975, the Khmer Rouge told the family of Peou Nam that he had been executed. After 36 years of separation, hardship and an unusual series of events, the family was reunited in June this year. Son Phyrun visits his father at his farmhouse in southern Cambodia's Kampot province.

Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 3:27 pm

On a recent day, Peou Phyrun steers his motorcycle down the rutted dirt road to his father's home in southern Cambodia's Kampot province. His father, 85-year-old Peou Nam, lives in a traditional Khmer farmhouse on stilts, where sugar palms tower over verdant rice paddies like giant dandelions on a lawn.

Like so many other families in Cambodia, theirs was torn apart by the Khmer Rouge. But unlike so many others, they were able to find each other, 36 years later, through a most unusual sequence of events.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Report: U.S. Knew Of Abuse In Afghan Prisons Before U.N. Report

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 2:41 pm

Over the weekend The Washington Post ran a long investigative story in which unnamed officials claim the United States knew that detainees in Afghan intelligence prisons were being abused. The U.S., the Post reports, knew about the abuse long before the United Nations issued a report earlier this month that said suspected Taliban fighters were tortured.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:30 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Who Left A Tree, Then A Coffin In The Library?

Chris Scott flickr

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 3:35 pm

Update: The Library Phantom Returns! See Part 2 of the mystery.

It started suddenly. Without warning.

Last spring, Julie Johnstone, a librarian at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, was wandering through a reading room when she saw, sitting alone on a random table, a little tree.

It was made of twisted paper and was mounted on a book.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:02 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Obama Tackles Rx Drug Shortages

President Obama is wielding a unilateral prerogative of his office – the executive order – to get something done about a worsening shortage of essential drugs.

It's a problem that earlier this month one administration official called "a dire public health situation." Many thousands of patients with cancer, life-threatening infections, cardiac disease, severe gastrointestinal disorders and many other conditions aren't able to get the drugs they need.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Halloween Is More Funny Than Scary In St. Louis

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At Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday, student Andrew Dwoskin was handing out candy to local children during a "Safe Trick-or-Treat" event.

Courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis

Being a comedian, Joe Marlotti is always afraid he won't get laughs. But he grows especially nervous this time of year. After all, a comedian doesn't want his kids to bomb when it comes time to tell jokes.

Marlotti hails from St. Louis, where local Halloween tradition calls for children not to say "trick or treat," but to tell a joke in order to earn candy.

"I've been all around the block — literally — telling them that it's important to tell the joke right, or it makes me look bad," Marlotti says.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
12:45 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Miss. Couple Lament Loss Of The American Dream

Norris and Janis Galatas at their home in Collinsville, Miss., with their horse, Cinnamon. The couple is struggling to make their mortgage payments.

Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 5:31 pm

Part of a monthlong series

The plan for Norris and Janis Galatas was that they would be settled and comfortable at middle age — paying off their bills and putting away something for the future. But now the wounded warrior and his wife are rethinking the American dream.

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