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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

September Jobs Report: Little Changes For States

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 1:45 pm

Unemployment rates across America didn't change much in September, says the Labor Department. But among the mostly small shifts that occurred, 25 states reported decreases in their unemployment rate. Of the remaining states, 14 saw a higher jobless rate, and 11 remained the same.

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Europe
12:45 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Hamilton's Lesson For Europe: Pay Your Debt

Because of Alexander Hamilton's insistence that the United States pay off its debt, investors came to see the nation as a stable place to do business, biographer Ron Chernow says.

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

This weekend, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Brussels with other European Union leaders. Their goal: to settle on a plan to pay the debts of struggling member nations.

Their meeting might go better if Alexander Hamilton's ghost could get a seat at the table.

Hamilton, one of the United States' Founding Fathers, was the fiscal genius who insisted that paying off debts of this union's member states would lead to economic greatness.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Obama To Address Iraq Troop Withdrawal

A few minutes ago, President Obama announced that the war in Iraq was over.

"After nearly nine years, the long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year," the president said. President Obama said he talked to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier today and they were both in complete agreement about how to proceed. Obama said that "as promised" by the end of the year all troops will withdraw from the country.

He said that this means the relationship between Iraq and the United States will now be a normal one between two sovereign countries.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Europe Sends Satellites Into Orbit Using Russian Rockets

In this handout image supplied by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Soyuz VS01 is prepared on the launch pad at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

ESA Getty Images

A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from French Guiana this morning. It was the first time one of them has blasted off outside its old Soviet Union bases.

It also marked a more important first: The rocket was carrying the first piece of Europe's Galileo global positioning system, which aims to provide more accurate information than the United States' GPS system.

The BBC reports:

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The Salt
12:19 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

New Varieties Haven't Taken The Nutrition Out Of Broccoli

Newer varieties of broccoli may be prettier than the old ones, but they're probably no less nutritious.

Shullye Serhiy iStockphoto.com

Quick question: Are vegetables less nutritious than they used to be?

You're free to argue about this, because scientists haven't managed to come up with a clear answer.

There's some new data out this week in the journal Crop Science, and at least for broccoli, the answer seems to be no. But keep reading, because the story gets a little more complicated.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:11 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Don't Count On Facebook Boosting Your Brainpower Just Yet

If a high number of Facebook friends gives you a bigger brain, then CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seen here in Sept., must have one massive cortex.

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 12:43 pm

A lot of people seem to be running wild with the idea that there is a direct, positive link between Facebook and the brain's grey matter.

I want to believe a study that suggested Facebook can enhance the size of key parts of your brain. Really I do.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Chinese Toddler Dies, Days After Being Hit By Vans And Ignored By Witnesses

An image from the Twitter-like Chinese site Weibo.com shows a composite image of the toddler's mother, Qu Feifei (left); her rescuer, Chen Xianmei (top right) and Wang Yue.

Weibo

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 12:20 pm

In China, an "outpouring of grief" is meeting the sad news that a toddler has died after being struck by two vans on a crowded street in the city of Foshan, according to state-run media.

The story became a national — and then international — sensation after a security camera's video revealed that more than a dozen passers-by had ignored the injured Wang Yue, 2, as she lay in the street, crying.

Only Chen Xianmei, 57, who was in the area collecting garbage, pulled the girl to safety and called for help. Police reportedly have the drivers of both vans in custody.

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Business
11:00 am
Fri October 21, 2011

A Sigh Of Relief For A Rebounding Shopping Center

Claudine Dimitriou owns The Beach, a day spa in Phoenix. She was virtually alone in the shopping complex after investing $80,000 to open her business in December. The bet has finally paid off.

Peter O'Dowd for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 5:00 am

Last fall at troubled strip mall in Phoenix, a few brave business owners opened in a virtually empty complex called Bethany East during a decidedly bad economy. In March of this year, the center fell into foreclosure and new buyers stepped in. It's been a turbulent year on this corner, but things are finally looking up for the tenants.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:46 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Biggest Study Yet Finds No Cancer Risk From Cellphones

The latest study to look at cellphone safety found no increased risk of brain cancer.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Danish epidemiologists have some real advantages.

Citizens of the Scandinavian nation gets a unique ID number for life that can be used by researchers to pull together health records, including data from cancer registries, for just about anybody in the country.

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2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.
10:30 am
Fri October 21, 2011

In Miami, School Aims For 'Bi-Literate' Education

At Coral Way Elementary School in Miami-Dade County, students take classes in Spanish in the morning, then switch to English in the afternoon.

Claudio Sanchez NPR

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 12:00 pm

In the fall of 1963, in the throes of the Cold War, Coral Way Elementary took in the children of political refugees fleeing Fidel Castro's Cuba. The goal was not just to teach them English, but to make sure they remained fluent in Spanish and held on to their culture. Cuban-Americans thrived in Miami, and so did Coral Way's bilingual immersion model.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Fri October 21, 2011

'Steve Jobs' Book Reveals Delay In Cancer Surgery; Vow To Destroy Android

For his upcoming biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson conducted more than 40 interviews with the enigmatic tech leader.

With a book about Steve Jobs' life set to hit real and virtual shelves soon, his official biographer, Walter Isaacson, is appearing on 60 Minutes this Sunday. And as often happens in these cases, portions of the book have hit the web a little ahead of its Oct. 24 publish date.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Kinsler Steals Second, And Rangers Take Game 2 In St. Louis

The second game of the World Series came down to the ninth inning Thursday night, as the Texas Rangers used a string of base hits, sacrifices and a stolen base to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1. It was the second tight game of the series, which is now tied, 1-1.

NPR's Tom Goldman calls Ian Kinsler's steal of second in the ninth inning "a key moment" in the win. At that point in the game, the Rangers were down 1-0. But then Kinsler reached first base, on a bloop single to shallow left field. And he was determined to make it to second base.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Top Stories: Questions In Libya; Rangers Win; Jobs Bill Blocked

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:29 am

Good Morning.

Here's a roundup of the top news stories so far today:

One day after Moammar Gadhafi's death, Libya is celebrating. But questions persist over exactly how he died — and how to bury him.

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Africa
8:05 am
Fri October 21, 2011

U.S. Steers Clear Of Nation-Building In Libya

The U.S. chose to play a limited role in the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi, shown here delivering a speech at the United Nations in 2009. He was killed in Sirte, Libya, on Thursday.

Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 1:05 pm

The United States military has intervened and helped topple three autocratic leaders over the past decade, yet it remains far from clear whether any of these countries will be successful in the years to come.

Iraq and Afghanistan are still struggling to find stable footing years after U.S. invasions drove out Saddam Hussein and Mullah Omar.

The death of Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday removes him as a force that could undermine the new, interim Libyan leadership. But the country still faces many obstacles to building a stable, prosperous and democratic future.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Gadhafi's Funeral Delayed; Questions Persist On Final Moments

In Sirte, fighters loyal to the new government celebrate after the town's defenses finally fell, and former leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed.

Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

The funeral for former Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi was to have taken place Friday, in keeping with Islamic tradition that bodies be buried as soon as possible. But a host of concerns have caused the body to be placed in temporary storage instead — and an inquiry may be launched into how he died.

The dictator was found and killed in his hometown of Sirte Thursday, after eight months of unrest and violence in Libya.

Here are some of the open questions concerning Libya:

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Africa
7:17 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Uganda Mission Part Of Military's Wide Reach

The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, is shown in 2006. He has fought against the Ugandan government for years. The U.S. is now sending 100 military advisers to central Africa to help regional armies fight against Kony's movement.

Stuart Price AP

President Obama's decision to send 100 U.S. troops into central Africa to help combat a rebel group may have struck many as a surprise, but there's a long precedent for such operations.

U.S. forces have worked collaboratively with numerous militaries around the globe in recent decades, whether to put down insurgencies in places like the Philippines and El Salvador, or to fight the drug trade in Colombia and Mexico.

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Business
12:01 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Japan's Uniqlo Eyes Manhattan, And More

The mannequins are fashionably dressed at Uniqlo's new Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York. Uniqlo's U.S. chief says he would eventually like to have 1,600 stores in the country, almost twice the number in Japan.

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 3:59 pm

At the same time that Gap is closing 20 percent of its stores, a big Japanese clothing retailer called Uniqlo plans to open hundreds of shops in the U.S. Uniqlo is sort of like the Gap of Japan: The low-priced casual clothing retailer has been around since the 1980s, but sales are flattening out in its home market so the company is looking overseas for growth.

The U.S. is at the heart of its strategy, according to the head of Uniqlo's U.S. operation, Shin Odake.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Prominent Syrian Activist Flees, Reveals Identity

At his home in Syria, activist Rami Jarrah, 28, spoke out under the alias Alexander Page. Fearing arrest, he recently fled to Egypt.

Courtesy of Rami Jarrah

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 10:30 pm

The Syrian government has barred most international journalists from the country, restricting coverage since an uprising began last spring. In response, Syrian activists have played a crucial role in providing information to the wider world.

One of the most prominent is Alexander Page — an alias that a young Syrian used for his safety. He was often cited by international media outlets, including NPR.

But he recently fled Syria after his identity was compromised and he was in danger of arrest.

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National Security
12:01 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Does Libya Offer Clues To An Obama Doctrine?

President Obama speaks in the White House Rose Garden to discuss the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:08 am

President Obama said Moammar Gadhafi's death marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the Libyan people. The seven-month military campaign that toppled the Libyan leader also marks a high point for the kind of international cooperation that Obama has championed.

The White House was careful Thursday not to claim vindication for the president's policies, but the Libyan exercise does offer an example of what an "Obama Doctrine" might look like.

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Fri October 21, 2011

France And Germany: A Love Story

Philippe Wojazer AP

France and Germany are trying to come up with a bailout plan for Europe. This isn't the first time they've fought over money.

Like any bickering couple, they've spent centuries fighting over finances. In fact, the history of their relationship is so dramatic — so theatrical — it's best to tell it in song.

(Read the lyrics, and see the credits, here.)

Our story begins in 1870.

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Economy
12:01 am
Fri October 21, 2011

School Debt A Long-Term Burden For Many Graduates

Students attend graduation ceremonies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average amount of $24,000.

Butch Dill AP

With the nation's student-loan debt climbing toward $1 trillion, it's taking many young people longer than ever to pay off their loans. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average of $24,000. But some borrow far more and find this debt influencing major life decisions long after graduation.

"I was very naive, and I realize that now," says Stephanie Iachini, of Altoona, Pa. She was the first in her family to go to college and financed it herself. "Basically I was just signing papers because the education part meant a lot to me."

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Research News
12:01 am
Fri October 21, 2011

'Living Fossils' Just A Branch On Cycad Family Tree

A giant dioon, seen at the United States Botanic Garden, is part of the cycad family and can be found growing in Mexico and Central America.

Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:46 am

Although dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, there are still thought to be a few species left over from those days. Plants called cycads are among these rare "living fossils" — they have remained pretty much unchanged for more than 300 million years, but a study in Science magazine suggests that glamorous title may not be deserved.

There's no time machine in Washington, D.C., but Harvard botanist Sarah Mathews leads me to what's arguably the next best thing — a room made of glass in the U.S. Botanic Garden, just downhill from the U.S. Capitol.

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The Salt
6:25 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Panel Proposes Nutrition Labels That Reach For The Stars

The Institute of Medicine wants the FDA to adopt new food labels that make it easier for consumers to compare the healthfulness of food products.

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:24 am

The Institute of Medicine sympathizes with us consumers and the confusion we suffer weighing health claims on food packaging at the grocery store. Our convoluted food labels might have something to do with why so many Americans aren't eating as healthfully as they could, and are shouldering too much weight and diet-related health problems, the IOM says.

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It's All Politics
5:51 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Ohio's Upcoming 'Issue 2' Vote Carries Larger Political Implications

Protesters against Senate Bill 5 during a rally in February 2011 in Columbus.

J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 10:46 pm

Early voting is underway in Ohio, where a fierce fight with political and economic implications is forcing voters to pick sides between Republican budget-cutters and public workers' unions. At issue is whether to keep or repeal SB 5, a controversial bill supported by Gov. John Kasich and passed by the GOP-dominated legislature this spring. Among other things, SB 5 dramatically restricts Ohio's public sector workers collective bargaining rights. Under SB 5, public employees cannot strike or negotiate for wages or working conditions.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Protest Role Does Not Cost Public Radio Host Her Job On Opera Program

The host of a public radio opera show that is distributed nationally by NPR will keep her job after drawing criticism for her involvement with an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Lisa Simeone, the freelance host of the show World of Opera, also has been acting as a spokeswoman for Washington, D.C., protesters affiliated with the "October 2011" group.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:25 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Crash Rates Don't Tell the Whole Story Of Risky Teen Driving

Gene Blythe AP

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 6:18 pm

Teenage drivers have fewer crashes after they've been driving for a while, but new research suggests that a few months behind the wheel doesn't improve their driving skills all that much.

Researchers persuaded 42 newly licensed teen drivers to have data-recording systems installed in their cars — a camera, a GPS, and an accelerometer to measures rapid stops, sharp turns and swerves. They also checked up on how their parents did when driving the same cars.

The idea was to compare the driving habits of novices with those of more experienced drivers under similar conditions.

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Conflict In Libya
4:59 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Gadhafi's Last Days Still A Mystery

Libyan Transitional National Council fighters said Moammar Gadhafi was captured Thursday in this graffitti-filled culvert in Sirte.

Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:19 am

Moammar Gadhafi proved true to his word that he would remain in Libya and "die as a martyr," though his final hours were an ignominious end for a man who long ruled from a fortress-like compound in the heart of Tripoli.

His last moments were reportedly spent holed up in a culvert under a road in his hometown of Sirte as loyalist forces waged a losing battle to keep control of the city.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

In Upcoming Memoir, Condoleeza Rice Recounts Encounter With Gadhafi

Moammar Gadhafi (R) poses with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prior to a meeting in Tripoli on Sept. 5, 2008.

Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice held a special place for Col. Moammar Gadhafi. We know that because he once referred to her her as "my darling black African woman," and said, "I love her very much."

We also know that because after he was toppled, his compound was ransacked and among the things found was a scrapbook packed with photos of Rice.

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Afghanistan
4:33 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Despite Recent Killings, Kandahar Appears Stable

The assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai (center, shown in 2009), the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, prompted fears of a security breakdown in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Ahmed Wali Karzai was rumored to have a hand in everything that went on in the region: tribal affairs, politics and business.

Banaras Khan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 4:42 pm

This past summer, two assassinations paralyzed the southern Afghan city of Kandahar with fears of a power vacuum.

In the first incident, President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, considered the unofficial kingpin of the south, was gunned down in July by a close associate. Two weeks later, a Taliban assassin killed the city's mayor, Ghulam Hamidi, with a bomb concealed in his turban.

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Crash Leaves 5,000 Chickens On Northern Calif. Highway

About 5,000 chickens spilled onto Northern California's I-80.

screenshot KTXL-TV

Commuters on Northern California's I-80, which connects the Bay Area to Sacramento, saw something unexpected early this morning. Two rigs collided and about 5,000 chickens spilled onto the highway near Vacaville.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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