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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Rare Earthquake Rattles New England

A map from the USGS. The yellow represents the areas that felt the earthquake the most.
USGS

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:37 am

A rare 4.0 magnitude earthquake rattled New England, last night. While some of our readers on the West Coast would barely even blink with such a shake, it caused confusion and consternation for many around the epicenter about 30 miles outside of Portland, Maine.

The Bangor Daily News reports that the largest earthquake to strike the region measured 5.1 and it happened in 1904.

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It's All Politics
7:49 am
Wed October 17, 2012

A Stronger Showing At Hofstra, But Ghost Of Denver Still Haunts Obama

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney participate in the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 12:42 pm

President Obama beat at least one of his adversaries on the stage at Hofstra University last night. He easily outperformed that guy — whoever he was — who debated against former Gov. Mitt Romney two weeks ago in Denver.

That much was obvious — and necessary for the president. The question now is whether it will be sufficient to restore his momentum in the race itself.

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World
7:32 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Mongolia To Sell Last Lenin Statue

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:31 am

In 1990, a bloodless revolution brought down the Communist government of Mongolia,and their memorials to communist heroes were destroyed or sold for scrap. But one remaining statue of Lenin is being sold at auction.

Around the Nation
7:25 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Birth Control Pills For Squirrels?

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Business
4:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Farmers Cautious Of Drought-Resistant Seeds

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here in the United States, the corn harvest is nearly complete. It was earlier and much smaller than in recent years, which means stockpiles are lower and prices will likely be higher. Now, while this summer's drought is largely to blame, the dry weather did offer perfect conditions to test drought-resistant corn. As Iowa Public Radio's Amy Mayer reports, seed companies and farmers are now crunching the yield numbers to see what these new varieties could mean in coming years.

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Business
4:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Target Begins Running Holiday TV Ads Early

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Are you ready?

(SOUNDBITE OF TARGET COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The holidays are coming, and they're going to be big.

MONTAGNE: Target has aired its first holiday ad of the season.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let me just get my face out of my palm here. That's right. Forget planning your Halloween costume or picking out a turkey. Target is making its mark early - six weeks before Thanksgiving, in fact. It had a lot of people double-checking their calendar.

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Politics
4:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

How Will Sequestration Effect The Federal Budget

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now let's go to our latest installment in the series Fiscal Cliff Notes.

(SOUNDBITES OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: On January 1st, 2013 there's going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: ...painful cuts to the Defense Department, food safety, education...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: ...the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax cuts...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Taxmageddon.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #4: It's a cliff.

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Latin America
4:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Cuba To Lift Travel Restrictions But Not For All

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

After controlling the comings and goings of its citizens for 50 years, Cuba is relaxing its grip. The government announced it would eliminate the exit visa requirements. That announcement has been welcomed by many there, but as Nick Miroff reports from Havana, not all Cubans will be treated equally when the new immigration rules take effect in January.

NICK MIROFF, BYLINE: Cuban broadcasters read the announcement word-for-word on state television, just in case there were some who wouldn't have believed it otherwise.

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Business
4:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

'Wired' Magazine Story

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:13 am

Google has nearly 20 data centers packed with computer servers that are huge consumers of energy. Google allowed technology writer Steven Levy of Wired magazine to see its facility in Lenoir, N.C. Levy talks to Steve Inskeep about what he saw while he was there.

Shots - Health News
3:51 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Poor Sleep May Lead To Too Much Stored Fat And Disease

Many Americans aren't getting the recommended seven to nine hours per night.
Franck Camhi iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:57 am

Is that 6 a.m. workout getting in the way of good sleep? Don't think your fat cells won't notice.

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that inadequate shut-eye has a harmful response on fat cells, reducing their ability to respond to insulin by about 30 percent. Over the long-term, this decreased response could set the stage for Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and weight gain.

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Shots - Health News
3:49 am
Wed October 17, 2012

States Iron Out The Kinks In Long-Term Care Insurance

Not many elderly people get long-term care insurance. It's expensive and many hope their kids will look after them instead.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:31 am

Long-term care insurance provides money for care when you're too old or sick to wash yourself and cook, though few American use it. Many who do have found that some insurance companies are slow to pay up or deny payments completely.

Oregon is one of several states that's adopting new regulations to improve the industry.

It used to be that the only way to appeal a long-term care decision in Oregon was in court, an arduous process for a person who may be elderly, sick or in a nursing home.

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Sweetness And Light
3:48 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Kickers Are Taking The Kick Out Of Football

Place kicker Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos kicks a second quarter field goal on a hold by Britton Colquitt against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High in Denver on Sept. 23.
Justin Edmonds Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:31 am

Of all the strained sports cliches, my favorite was "educated toe." Remember? An accomplished field goal kicker possessed an educated toe. I had a newspaper friend who wrote that a punter had an "intellectual instep," but the copy desk wouldn't allow it. Spoilsports.

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Health Care
3:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Home Health Aides Often As Old As Their Clients

Onether Lowery, 80, (standing) is a home health aide for Rosalie Lewis, 86. As a whole, the aides are largely female and far older than women in the general workforce.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 12:03 pm

In a red brick rambler in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., Onether Lowery begins her daily shift as a caregiver. She skillfully helps 86-year-old Rosalie Lewis into her electric wheelchair, holding her from the back, then bending over to ease her down.

It's an impressive feat: Lowery herself is 80 years old.

"My mother, she was 89 when she passed away," Lowery says. "I took care of her and I just fell in love with older people. I get along with them very well."

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It's All Politics
1:21 am
Wed October 17, 2012

How Obama Got His Groove Back, And Other Debate Takeaways

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama spar over energy policy during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 1:25 am

Anyone who thought the presidential candidates couldn't get aggressive within a town hall-style format underestimated the sharp differences in policy that divide them.

President Obama and Mitt Romney remained continuously critical against one another throughout their second debate Tuesday night. Neither ever seemed to finish a statement without launching an attack against his opponent.

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It's All Politics
12:34 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Media Circus: Candidates Brawl, Pundits Reverse Course Yet Again

CNN's Candy Crowley moderates the second presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:57 pm

Pundits fretted that the town hall format for Tuesday's presidential exchange would yield tepid results: undecided voters posing questions over 90 minutes with little more than a passing touch from the moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley.

Boy, was that a misplaced fear. "So much for the analysis this would not be confrontational," Fox News anchor Bret Baier said in the moments after the debate.

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It's All Politics
7:54 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

In Battleground Nevada, Voters We Met In February Offer Few October Surprises

Jared Fisher, who runs an outdoor recreation and bicycle company, voted for Barack Obama in 2008. He says he has yet to decide who he'll vote for this year.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

With eyes on the presidential debate in New York, we decided to turn ours to the swing state of Nevada, where President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney are battling mightily over the state's small but crucial trove of six electoral votes.

Polls show the race at a near dead heat in the Silver State, which was hit harder than any other by the recession, and still records among the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rates in the nation.

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The Two-Way
7:42 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Federal Investigators Search Pharmacy Linked To Meningitis Outbreak

"The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts on Tuesday said federal agents raided the New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that has killed 15 people and sickened more than 200 others," Reuters writes.

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National Security
7:26 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Court Overturns Conviction Of Bin Laden Driver

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden, who served a prison term for material support for terrorism.
AP

A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver and bodyguard, Salim Ahmed Hamdan. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Hamdan was at the center of a Supreme Court case that ruled that the Bush administration's military commission system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was unconstitutional.

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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Hilary Mantel Wins Man Booker Prize For 'Bring Up The Bodies'

Hilary Mantel, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, poses with her prize shortly after the award ceremony in London Tuesday. Mantel, won the 50,000 British pounds (approximately $80,000) prize with her book Bring up the Bodies.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:21 pm

"The whittling has finished," declared the website of the Man Booker Prize.

On Tuesday, judges awarded the prestigious literary award to Hilary Mantel for her historical novel Bring up the Bodies.

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It's All Politics
5:53 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

When The Debate Ends, The Advertising Debate Is Just Beginning

A worker cleans a sign before Tuesday's presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Each presidential and vice presidential debate lasts 90 minutes. If you watch political ads, though, they may seem to go on much longer.

In the hours and days after the first presidential debate and this year's sole vice presidential version, both campaigns used debate footage in their ads — attempting to amplify messages, make counterarguments and drive the focus of the election.

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The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Court Reverses Conviction Of Bin Laden's Driver

Salim Ahmed Hamdan, with his attorney, in a courtroom sketch from 2007.
Janet Hamlin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:01 pm

Today's decision by a federal appeals court to overturn the conviction of a former driver for Osama bin Laden is unlikely to affect the high-profile cases against the accused architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks or other suspected terrorists who face multiple charges, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston said earlier on All Things Considered.

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Books News & Features
5:44 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Hilary Mantel First Woman To Win Booker Prize Twice

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:06 pm

Writer Hilary Mantel has won her second Man Booker prize. She was recognized for her book, Bring Up The Bodies. Mantel is the first British writer and woman to win the award more than once.

The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Picasso, Monet Paintings Among Those Swiped From Dutch Museum

There's an empty space today where a Henri Matisse painting had been hanging at the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Seven paintings were stolen Tuesday, including works by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:11 pm

At least the thieves had good taste.

Paintings by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin were were among seven stolen from a museum in the Dutch city of Rotterdam before dawn on Tuesday.

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Shots - Health News
4:49 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Medicare: Where Presidential Politics And Policy Collide

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney first debated Medicare on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:06 pm

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for about 50 million senior and disabled Americans, is simultaneously one of the most popular and imperiled programs in America.

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Author Interviews
4:38 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

In A 'Dream,' Lincoln Checks In On State Of The Union

Roaring Book Press

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:48 am

With the country mired in a civil war, Abraham Lincoln had a lot on his mind, so it's not surprising that the 16th president experienced vivid, troubling dreams.

"He was haunted by his dreams," says author and illustrator Lane Smith. In one dream, Lincoln found himself aboard an indescribable vessel moving toward an indistinct shore, Smith tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "He had these dreams apparently several times before momentous events of the Civil War, and in fact he had it the night before he was assassinated."

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Economy
4:37 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Home Health Aides: In Demand, Yet Paid Little

Home health aide trainees Marisol Maldonaldo (center) and Nancy Brown (right), shown here with assistant instructor Miguelina Sosa, are studying to join one of the nation's fastest growing yet also worst paid sectors of the workforce.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 3:29 pm

The home care workforce — some 2.5 million strong — is one of the nation's fastest growing yet also worst paid. Turnover is high, and with a potential labor shortage looming as the baby boomers age, there are efforts to attract more people to the job.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Louisiana To Soon Have State's First Black Chief Justice

Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson.
Louisiana Supreme Court AP

Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled today that Justice Bernette Johnson has the seniority that entitles her to become the panel's chief justice at the end of January, NPR's Debbie Elliott tells our Newscast Desk.

Johnson will be the first African-American to sit in the chief justice's seat. The state's first Supreme Court was created in 1812.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Former Sen. George McGovern Enters Hospice; Was 1972 Democratic Nominee

Then-Sen. George McGovern in 1972, when he was running for president.
Keystone Getty Images

Former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, the Democratic Party's 1972 presidential nominee, has moved into a hospice care facility in Sioux Falls, his family and friends tell The Associated Press and other news outlets.

The 90-year-old World War II veteran is "coming to the end of his life," his daughter, Ann McGovern, tells the AP.

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Economy
3:01 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

6 Things Surnames Can Say About Social Mobility

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:31 pm

Using data on surnames dating back almost 1,000 years, economic historian Gregory Clark says he's found evidence that families rise and fall across generations at a much slower rate than anyone previously thought. And he says that rate remains constant across national boundaries and time periods.

Clark is writing a book about his research, and he says he's still working out some of his conclusions, but here are six possible takeaways from what he's found so far:

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Economy
3:00 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Movin' On Up? That May Depend On Your Last Name

New research suggests that success in life may be determined by ancestors from hundreds of years ago. The research finds that your chance of making it into the elite is the same in the United States as it is in South America, no matter when you were born.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:06 pm

Here is a question that social scientists have been pondering for years: How much of your success in life is tied to your parents, and how much do you control?

The academic term used for this is "social mobility." And a striking new finding from economic historian Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis claims your success in life may actually be determined by ancestors who lived hundreds of years ago. That means improving opportunities across generations might be a lot harder than anyone imagined.

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