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Sports
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Cardinals Are 2011 World Series Champions

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers by a score of 6 to 2 Friday night to win the Series in seven games. NPR's Tom Goldman has game highlights.

Remembrances
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Remembering The Father Of Artificial Intelligence

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

John McCarthy, the American mathematician known universally as the father of Artificial Intelligence, died last Monday at his home in Palo Alto. He was 84.

WEEKEND EDITION's Math Guy, Keith Devlin, knew McCarthy and has this remembrance.

KEITH DEVLIN, BYLINE: I first got to know John McCarthy when I arrived at Stanford as a visiting professor in 1987. He was 60 years old at that time, with a towering and, to me, somewhat daunting, reputation.

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Around the Nation
7:54 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Mexican Trucks In U.S. Still Face Political Long Haul

The Port of Entry at Nogales, Ariz., is in the midst of a massive upgrade to ease congestion caused by up to 1,500 Mexican trucks crossing each day. Nearly two-thirds of the produce consumed in the U.S. and Canada during the winter come through here.

These Mexican trucks stop at warehouses near the border to transfer their loads to U.S. trucks. That's the way it's long been done. Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, says that adds cost.

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The Salt
6:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Eating Your Way To A Healthy Heart (If You're A Python)

Pythons' huge meals strengthen their hearts, and scientists hope it will help them learn how to treat human heart diseases.

Gabriel Bouys Getty Images/AFP

It's a huckster's dream: "Try the new Burmese Python Diet. No calorie counting or special foods. Eat whatever comes along, up to a quarter of your body weight. Not only is it good for your waistline; it's good for your heart."

Trouble is, what works in pythons probably won't work for humans.

Pythons employ what scientists call a "sit and wait foraging tactic." In other words, they lie around in a Burmese jungle and wait for the food to come to them. And of course, this can mean months between meals.

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Around the Nation
5:33 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Unions Assume A Support Role For Occupy Movement

Union posters can be found all over the Occupy Philadelphia protest site near City Hall. Protesters and local union leaders meet regularly to discuss tactics and how to involve labor.

Jeff Brady NPR

Attend just about any of the Occupy Wall Street-inspired protests across the country and you're likely to see a group of people dressed in matching union T-shirts somewhere in the crowd. Typically, they're older than your average Occupy protester but no less enthusiastic in their chanting.

"I've been doing this [protesting] for five decades," said Mike Wisniewski at a recent Occupy Philadelphia protest at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Wisniewski says he's a university library employee and has been a union member since 1972.

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Afghanistan
5:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

NATO: Troops, Afghans Among Bomb Casualties

A suicide car bomber struck a NATO convoy on the outskirts of Kabul on Saturday, causing casualties among the NATO service members and Afghan civilians, the U.S.-led coalition said. Afghan officials said three civilians and one policeman were killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred near Darulaman Palace, the bombed-out seat of former Afghan kings on the southwest outskirts of the capital. It was one of three attacks in the day that targeted either the U.S.-led coalition or Afghan government offices in the country.

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Latin America
4:29 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Small And Isolated, Belize Attracts Drug Traffickers

Special forces troops in Belize march through jungle looking for any sign of marijuana or drug smugglers. Drug traffickers have become increasingly active in Belize and other small nations in Central America.

Nick Miroff for NPR

A couple of decades ago, Colombian drug cartels dominated smuggling operations into the United States. In recent years, the Mexican cartels have taken over.

But Mexico's brutal drug war over the past five years is now pushing some of the drug trade into the smaller, weaker nations of Central America. And the traffickers are increasingly active in the region's least-populated and most vulnerable country, Belize.

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Business
4:09 am
Sat October 29, 2011

After Scandal, Solar Industry Looks On Bright Side

A worker stands next to an array of Sharp solar cell modules at a power plant south of Tokyo in August. Sharp was one of 1,400 solar panel manufacturers in attendance at the Solar Power International conference, where industry optimism was high.

Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 8:36 am

Solar power's image has taken a hit lately with the bankruptcy of Solyndra. The California solar panel manufacturer received more than half a billion dollars in Energy Department loan guarantees before going belly up.

But the industry is still optimistic — that much was apparent at the Solar Power International conference held in Dallas in mid-October. Walking into the big hall of the Dallas Convention Center, it was impossible not to be impressed by the huge array of black solar panels hanging from the ceiling.

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The Two-Way
2:26 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Comeback Cards Win It All: St. Louis Takes World Series Title

The St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2 to win the World Series in Game 7 at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Miss., on Friday.

Michael Heiman Getty Images

A World Series that saw plenty of drama, some history and a bit of the bizarre ended Friday night with the St. Louis Cardinals defeating the Texas Rangers by a score of 6-2 in the deciding Game 7.

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National Security
2:09 am
Sat October 29, 2011

U.S. Dismantles The Biggest Of Its Cold War Nukes

This undated photo provided by the National Nuclear Security Administration shows the last B53 nuclear bomb. It was dismantled this past week, just outside Amarillo, Texas. It's a milestone in efforts to reduce the number of nuclear weapons.

National Nuclear Security Administration AP

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

This past week, the U.S. dismantled the last of its largest nuclear bombs, the B53.

This was a Dr. Strangelove bomb, conjuring up images of armageddon and apocalypse. At the same time, one of the smallest warheads was also removed from the nuclear arsenal.

These are steps the U.S. is taking apart from its arms control agreements with Russia. And thousands more American nuclear weapons are slated for destruction in a process that could take a decade or more.

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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

'This Is Just Wrong': Weekend Snowstorm Takes Aim For Northeast

Satellite shows precipitation headed toward the Northeast.

NOAA

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 6:39 pm

Yes, it's still October, but the Northeast could be in for quite a snowstorm this weekend. It'll be a "quick, one-day event," says the Weather Channel, but it could dump up to 15 inches in Harrisburg, Pa.; 10 inches in Hartford, Conn.; 12 inches in Concord, N.H.

The Weather Channel adds:

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Politics
5:57 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Groups That Plan To Lobby The Supercommittee

An NPR review found that more than 600 different groups and corporations say they intend to lobby around the work of the deficit reduction committee.

Alykat Flickr

In all, 619 different groups and corporations said they intend to lobby around the work of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, better known around Capitol Hill as the supercommittee. All of them mentioned the supercommittee or the legislation that created it in their mandatory third-quarter lobbying disclosure forms. Here is an alphabetical list of the organizations:

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Chase Decides To Steer Clear Of Debit-Card Fees

Chase said using one of these won't cost more.

iStock

When Bank of America decided to introduce a $5 per month debit-card fee, consumers weren't happy. One senator even said it amounted to BoA "sticking it to customers."

All that noise might have encouraged JPMorgan Chase & Co. to steer clear. After testing out the concept in Georgia and northern Wisconsin for eight months, the bank said today that it scrapping the pilot next month and would not impose fees anywhere else.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:55 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Aspirin, Colon Cancer And You

Roel Smart iStockphoto.com

For some people at especially high risk of developing colon cancer, taking a couple aspirin a day appears to help protect them from the disease.

A study in The Lancet finds that people with Lynch syndrome, a hereditary predisposition to cancer of the digestive tract, who took aspirin twice a day for a up to 4 years were about 60 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who got a placebo.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

White House Orders Independent Review Of Solyndra Loans

The White House today ordered an independent review of the Energy Department loans that were made under a clean-energy loan program to companies like Solyndra.

The AP reports:

The announcement of an independent review came as House Republicans prepared to meet next week for a possible vote on a subpoena of White House documents related to Solyndra Inc.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Mitt Romney Criticized For Slow Motion, Climate-Change 'Flip Flop'

Mitt Romney.

JIM WATSON AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 4:00 pm

Mitt Romney drew barbs Friday for his continued shift to the ideological right on the climate change issue.

Actually, the criticism for Romney that blew in from both the political right and left came as critics accused him of a full flip flop on global warming.

Romney's political foes jumped on comments he made in Pittsburgh Thursday at a campaign appearance.

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Newt Gingrich
3:39 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Could Gingrich Be Next GOP Challenger To Surge?

Newt Gingrich is introduced before the start of a Republican presidential debate earlier this month in Las Vegas.The former House speaker is hoping for a surge after a highly anticipated Iowa caucus poll is released this weekend.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 9:36 pm

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich remains a long shot for the Republican presidential nomination.

He's been polling a distant fourth in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as in pivotal, winner-take-all Florida — all contests that will play out in January.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Bin Laden Capture Earns Leon Panetta A $10,000 Bottle Of Wine

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 4:23 pm

It was a bet made as a joke. Last New Year's eve, California restaurateur Ted Balestreri had then-CIA director Leon Panetta and about 28 others over for a dinner party. He was talking to his guests about his wine collection, when the 141-year-old bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild came up.

It was the oldest wine in his possession and Balesteri said he wouldn't serve it, but if Panetta captured Osama bin Laden he would uncork the $10,000 legendary bottle of wine.

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Environment
3:18 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Want To Improve Your Lawn? Don't Bag Those Leaves

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The National Audubon Society considers fall leaves to be "natural vitamins" to use in yards.

iStockphoto.com

Every year, about 8 million tons of fallen leaves end up in landfills.

That's according to Melissa Hopkins of the National Audubon Society, who offers alternatives to raking up leaves and throwing them away.

"A lot of people think that when leaves fall, you need to really quickly scoop them up and get rid of them," she tells NPR's Melissa Block as they take a look Block's backyard in Washington, D.C., covered in a blanket of leaves. "We think about leaves as vitamins. They are free vitamins that naturally occur in your yard."

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Watchdogs Take Back Claim About $16 Muffins

Federal watchdogs now concede they made a mistake when they criticized the Justice Department for paying $16 each for muffins at a conference. But they also say Justice still needs to be careful about how it spends taxpayer money.

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Youth Radio
2:54 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Injured Vet Becomes Symbol For Occupy Oakland

A photograph of Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen is seen Thursday at a vigil. Olsen was severely injured during a standoff between police and protesters in Oakland, Calif., two days earlier. He remains hospitalized.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The bloodied face of a 24-year-old Iraq veteran has become a symbol for protesters in Oakland, Calif., drawing attention to the level of force used by police and sparking criticism of the mayor's handling of the Occupy movement.

Scott Olsen came to Occupy Oakland after work Tuesday night to support the protesters. Witnesses say that when clashes broke out, he was struck in the head by a projectile fired by police — either a rubber bullet or a tear gas canister. He was hospitalized with a fractured skull.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Live From New York: Statue Of Liberty Webcams Are On

The view from above at the Statue of Liberty, where webcams were turned on today.

EarthCam.com

On this 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty's dedication, webcams have been turned on to let everyone see views of:

-- The torch.

-- The crown and the ground below.

-- Ellis Island.

-- A streaming of the harbor from the torch.

-- And a streaming view of the statue from Brooklyn.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:58 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Medical Schools Say Magazine's Ratings Get An Incomplete

Says who?

iStockphoto.com

Deans from some of the nation's top medical schools met Thursday — not to talk about training doctors or weathering economic challenges — but to size up the people who grade them.

The sit-down between editors at U.S. News & World Report and the top brass at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and several other schools showed how seriously those in medicine's ivory tower take the magazine's annual rankings.

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Religion
1:45 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Vatican To Host Stem Cell Research Conference

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 7:23 pm

A few years ago, Father Tomasz Trafny was brainstorming with other Vatican officials about what technologies would shape society, and how the Vatican could have an impact. And it hit them: Adult stem cells, which hold the promise of curing the most difficult diseases, are the technology to watch.

"They have not only strong potentiality," says Trafny, "but also they can change our vision of human being[s], and we want to be part of the discussion."

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

NASA Launches 'Next Generation' Weather Satellite

A Delta II rocket launches with the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Bill Ingalls NASA

Today, NASA launched into orbit what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling a "next generation" weather satellite that they say will fine-tune long-term weather forecasts.

The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang explains:

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Protests Break Out In Tunisia After It Releases Election Results

A car burns during clashes between demonstrators and secuitry forces on Friday in Sidi Bouzid.

Mokhtar Kahouli AFP/Getty Images

Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, held its first elections since its longtime dictator was toppled after a popular revolt. The elections were seen as one of the brightest moments in the regional movement.

But, today, it became clear that the path to democracy won't be easy. After the country announced that the Islamist Ennahda party had won 41 percent of the votes and 90 seats of the 217-member assembly, protests erupted across the country.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Fri October 28, 2011

West Virginia Prosecutor Defends Long Mine Disaster Investigation

Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette has a story this morning featuring a rare interview with the U.S. Attorney for West Virginia, who says prosecutors are exploring more serious charges against senior Massey Energy officials in last year's deadly explosion at the company's Upper Big Branch mine.

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The Salt
11:37 am
Fri October 28, 2011

When Forgettable Salads Cause A Deadly Outbreak

Would you remember exactly what was in this salad more than a week after eating it?

Luciana Bueno Santos (LuBueno) iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 3:31 pm

Consider the last time you ordered a salad at a restaurant. What, precisely, was in it? Chances are you'll remember the biggest, brightest ingredients, like the lettuce, the tomato, maybe the grilled chicken.

But will you remember the little bits — the nuts, berries or toppings? In an age when salads increasingly aspire to be confetti-like piles of artistic greatness, you'd be pardoned if you didn't take note every morsel.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Fri October 28, 2011

Find Your Spot Among World's 7 Billion And Meet The 'Most Typical Person'

National Geographic's composite sketch of the world's most typical person (left) and the real Mu Li.

CBS/National Geographic

Maybe you haven't heard yet, but the world's population is set to hit 7 billion people on Monday. At least that's what the United Nations Population Fund says.

Most news outlets are already covering the story or have plans to (Morning Edition has a four-part series scheduled for next week).

Two reports this week caught our attention.

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Economy
10:38 am
Fri October 28, 2011

Hundreds Try To Influence The Supercommittee

The line for seating in the hearing room of the supercommittee's meeting on Wednesday. An NPR review found that 619 separate interest groups have reported lobbying the group.

Tinna Knuutila Sunlight Foundation

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 5:56 pm

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