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Shots - Health Blog
10:58 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Supporters Of Health Overhaul Look To Reclaim 'Obamacare'

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President Barack Obama greets people outside the Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls, Minn., on the Aug. 15, during a Midwest bus tour. The same day he said he likes the term "Obamacare."

Samantha Appleton The White House

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 12:33 pm

"Thanks Obamacare." Sounds like sarcasm, right?

Sure, opponents of the federal law overhauling health care tagged it with the "Obamacare" moniker to belittle the measure even before it had passed.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Sales Of New Homes Rose In September As Builders Cut Prices

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 10:35 am

There was a 5.7 percent increase in sales of new homes in September from August, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

The 313,000 (at an annual rate) pace was still down 0.9 percent, however, from a year earlier.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Alcohol Killed Amy Winehouse, Coroner Rules

Amy Winehouse in 2007.

Matt Dunham AP

There were no illegal drugs in singer Amy Winehouse's system when she died on July 23, a British coroner reported today.

Instead, the troubled 27-year-old suffered "death by misadventure" — a drinking binge.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Army Ranger On 14th Deployment Killed In Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 9:58 am

This young man's death says a lot about how much has been asked of the nation's men and women in uniform and their families since Sept. 11, 2001:

Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, was killed on Saturday in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, by an improvised explosive device, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

"He was on his 14th combat deployment to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror," the statement adds.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed October 26, 2011

New Insider Trading Case Reaches Into 'Iconic Corporate America'

The news this morning that "a prominent former Goldman Sachs board member" has surrendered to federal authorities in New York City "to face criminal charges stemming from a massive hedge fund insider trading case" (as the AP writes), takes the federal investigation into new territory, New York Times reporter Azam Ahmed said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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World
8:48 am
Wed October 26, 2011

3 People Pulled Out Of Turkish Quake Rubble Alive

A Turkish men searches through the debris of his collapsed building in Ercis.

Mustafa Ozer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 12:38 pm

Two teachers and a university student were rescued from ruined buildings in eastern Turkey on Wednesday, three days after a devastating earthquake, but searchers said hopes of finding anyone else alive were rapidly fading.

NTV television said 25-year-old teacher Seniye Erdem was pulled out around the same time that rescue workers also freed another teacher. The woman was thirsty and asked about her husband, who had died, it said

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Violence At 'Occupy Oakland,' Some Protesters Vow To Regroup

"Dozens of police in riot gear and hundreds of protesters supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse in downtown Oakland on Tuesday," The Associated Press writes, "with authorities using tear gas to respond to demonstrators' repeated agitations."

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Business
7:30 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Ex-Goldman Board Member Faces Criminal Charges

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with more insider trading charges.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Was Libya A 'Recipe For Success,' As Obama Says?

President Obama gestures during his appearance Tuesday (Oct. 25, 2011) on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 7:20 am

The U.S.-NATO mission in Libya was a "recipe for success in the future," President Obama said Tuesday on NBC-TV's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

During a sober discussion that lasted several minutes, the president told Leno that he doesn't agree with critics who say the U.S. led from behind.

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Africa
4:21 am
Wed October 26, 2011

South Africa Reconsiders Walmart's Bid For Retailer

Members of the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union protest against Walmart's acquisition of Massmart, southern Africa's largest retailer, in May. The deal was initially approved but is now under review.

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 12:40 pm

In May, the South African government approved Walmart's bid to buy Massmart for more than $2 billion. Massmart is the largest retail chain in southern Africa, operating in 14 countries. But now the government is reconsidering that ruling.

Workers' unions have long opposed the plan because of concerns that the deal could lead to significant job losses, and the government has worries of its own in a time of high unemployment.

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World
4:08 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Fresh Violence Strains Reforms For Turkish Kurds

Thousands of Turks march Sunday in the streets of the capital, Ankara, to denounce the killing of 25 soldiers by the PKK.

Burhan Ozbilici AP

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 7:49 am

Turkish soldiers, artillery and military aircraft are engaged in their biggest military operation in a decade after a raid last week by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, killed 24 soldiers and wounded more than 100. The operation comes as Turkish politicians begin to debate a new constitution that many hope will grant Turkey's Kurdish population long-sought civil rights.

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Politics
4:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Supercommittee Reconvenes On Deficit Reductions

The deficit-cutting supercommittee re-emerges Wednesday morning with its first public meeting in more than a month. The group is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions by late November. If it fails, automatic, across-the-board cuts follow.

U.S.
4:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Occupy Oakland Protesters Clash With Police

Ari Shapiro speaks with San Francisco Chronicle reporter Matthai Kuruvila about Tuesday's dramatic clashes between police in Oakland, California, and protesters supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Europe
4:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Hurdles Facing EU Leaders At Brussels Debt Summit

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, host: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: And I'm Renee Montagne.

The European Union is facing the worst crisis in its history and it has to the potential to affect us all. The meltdown in Greece could eventually imperil the entire global financial system. Today in Brussels, Europe's leaders will make another attempt at finalizing a eurozone survival plan. But time is short and the stakes could not be higher. The key players have big national issues to worry about.

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Europe
4:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

In Germany's Finance Capital, All Eyes On Debt Meeting

In Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital, all eyes are on the debt crisis meeting in Brussels. Frankfurt is home to Europe's leading stock exchange and some of the largest banks and investment firms on the continent. More recently it's also home to street demonstrators sharply critical of the current state of capitalism. The two worlds have yet to meet.

Sports
4:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

NCAA Meeting Puts Players' Rights In Spotlight

Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 12:27 am

NCAA officials meets Wednesday to continue on a path toward what they call meaningful reform in college sports. High-profile scandals over the past several years prompted the pledge for change. Ramogi Huma will be watching the NCAA closely, as he has for the past 15 years. The former college football player has been a passionate advocate for college athletes' rights. For the most part, he has worked behind the scenes. Now, his work has taken on new relevance.

Law
3:54 am
Wed October 26, 2011

As It Turns 10, Patriot Act Remains Controversial

Protesters hold up signs outside of Federal Hall during a demonstration against then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2003 in New York City.

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 10:27 am

Ten years ago, on Oct. 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act.

Congress overwhelmingly passed the law only weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. It's designed to give the FBI more power to collect information in cases that involve national security.

But in the decade since then, civil liberties groups have raised concerns about whether the Patriot Act goes too far by scooping up too much data and violating people's rights to privacy.

Nicholas Merrill is one of the people sounding an alarm.

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Energy
3:52 am
Wed October 26, 2011

In Northwest Town, A Local Fight Against Global Coal

Bellingham, Wash., a progressive college town of 81,000, could soon be home to a new coal terminal. Developers want to ship the lucrative commodity to China, but some locals are worried about the potential environmental impacts.

Brett Beadle for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:18 am

This is the first of two reports on plans to export U.S. coal to China.

Plans are afoot to build giant new coal terminals on the West Coast to ship this lucrative commodity to China. But activists want to stop this, in part because coal produces huge amounts of carbon dioxide when it's burned. Federal climate policy is silent on this potentially large source of emissions, so the debate is happening at the local level.

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Sweetness And Light
10:00 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

The (Basketball) Show Must Go On

Fans who are tired of the NBA lockout can get some basketball entertainment from a new show, Lysistrata Jones, which opens on Broadway next month.

Carol Rosegg AP

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 8:44 am

For those of you desperately missing basketball during the NBA lockout, an antidote to your hoop pangs is on the way: A musical comedy about basketball will open for previews on Broadway on Nov. 12. It's called Lysistrata Jones and is based on the original Lysistrata, which, of course, was written by Aristophanes back in 411 B.C.

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The Two-Way
6:44 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Google Says Number Of Government Requests For User Info Jumps

Twice a year, Google releases aggregate data on requests it receives from governments across the world. It's part of a project they call "Transparency Report."

In its latest release, Google says the number of content removal requests it received from the United States increased by 70 percent from the previous six months. And the number of user data requests jumped by by 29 compared to the previous reporting period.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:32 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Flu Shots: Far from Perfect, Still Advised

What's in this vial changes from year to year, but the process of creating the flu vaccine remains pretty constant.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Flu shots are safe, cheap and pretty much universally recommended.

But how well do they really protect us from getting sick?

The most comprehensive review to date, just published online by The Lancet, suggests that flu vaccines aren't as effective as many of us have thought.

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Election 2012
6:03 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

The GOP Campaign Ad Wars, As Seen On YouTube

A new ad from Herman Cain features his campaign manager, Mark Block, taking a drag from a cigarette.

YouTube

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 10:29 pm

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Presidential Race
5:44 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

The Flat Tax Through The Decades

Last-minute income tax filer Jen Makowski works on her taxes at the main post office, April 15, 2004, in Chicago. Proponents of the flat tax argue it would make it easier for Americans to file their taxes.

Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Rick Perry unveils his flat tax plan, we take a look back at the history of the flat tax, from Abraham Lincoln to Steve Forbes to 9-9-9.

Business
5:34 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Entrepreneurship Lessons For The Academic-Minded

subject of a Nobel Prize last year.

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A pair of tweezers holds a graphene transistor fabricated on a silicon wafer. An I-Corps team from the University of Pennsylvania is working on scaling up their cheaper method of making high-quality graphene, an extremely strong, conductive material one atom thick that was the subject of a Nobel Prize last year.

Courtesy of Zhentang Luo

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

The slow pace of job creation has revived interest in getting promising new technologies out of university labs and into the marketplace. At Stanford University, a group of academic researchers from all over the country gathered to take a crash course in how to turn their projects into startup companies.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

New $5.50 Tax For Canadians Flying To U.S. Called A 'Provocative Insult'

Oh! Canada!

S. Badz Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 5:58 pm

Canadians are not feeling very loved by the United States. The latest spat comes after the U.S. announced that any Canadian traveling to the country by air or boat will be charged a $5.50 tax.

The tax had been discussed and discarded before, but a new free-trade deal signed with Colombia prohibits tariff exemptions for travelers from Canada.

The sentiment in Canada is perhaps best captured by the headline in today's National Post:

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Rick Perry
5:13 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Perry Proposes Optional 20 Percent Flat Tax

Rick Perry doesn't have a catchy marketing slogan for his tax plan. But he's hoping the idea of a flat, 20 percent income tax rate will do for his campaign what "9-9-9" did for Herman Cain's.

"We need a tax code that unleashes growth instead of preventing it; that promotes fairness, not class warfare," Perry said during a speech at the ISO Poly Films factory Tuesday in Gray Court, S.C.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Gadhafi's Final Weeks, As Told By A Top Security Official

From the shaky, grainy video, we have an idea of what the last moments were like for Col. Moammar Gadhafi. But over the past few days, his top security official, who was captured along with Gadhafi, has been talking about the final weeks of one of the most notorious despots in modern history.

As Mansour Dao, who says he is also Gadhafi's cousin, puts it, Gadhafi left Tripoli on Aug. 18 or 19, before the rebels made a push for the capital city. He left to Sirte, what was a stronghold, and his son Saif al-Islam left for Bani Wald.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:22 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Employers May Not Rush To Drop Health Coverage After All

Despite claims to the contrary, a insightful economic analysis suggests that it wouldn't be in most employers' business interests to stop providing health insurance when the main coverage provisions of the federal health overhaul kick in.

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Asia
2:47 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Boom In Shadow Financing Exacts High Toll In China

At least 80 business owners have abandoned factories like this one in Wenzhou, China's entrepreneurial capital, because they have run up exorbitant debts to the city's loan sharks and underground lenders.

Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 8:26 pm

In recent weeks, at least 80 business owners have fled Wenzhou in eastern China and gone into hiding because they can't pay crushing debts to the city's empire of underground lending firms and loan sharks.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao became so concerned that he flew to Wenzhou earlier in October to try to keep the problem from spreading.

The city's credit crisis highlights some of the flaws — and potential risks — of the banking system in the world's second-largest economy.

Business Owners Trapped By Debt

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