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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Ex-NFL Star Strahan Joins 'Live! With Kelly'

The new team: Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan earlier today in New York City.
Ben Gabbe Getty Images

Live! With Kelly is now Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Michael Strahan, a retired defensive end from the New York Giants, was officially named today to fill Regis Philbin's slot on ABC-TV's popular daytime chat show.

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Middle East
11:38 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Syrian Rebel Leader Keeps Order On The Border

Syrian rebels captured the Bab al-Salam crossing on the border with Turkey in July. Large numbers of refugees fleeing northern Syria for Turkey come to the crossing, which is orderly and well-run, at least for now.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 8:32 am

The Bab al-Salam border crossing, on Syria's northern border with Turkey, has settled into an orderly routine.

Back in July, rebel brigades wrested this border post in Syria's strategic Aleppo province from President Bashar Assad's army in a fierce battle. Now, passports are stamped and cars inspected by the rebels — polite, young, bearded men who wear mismatched military uniforms or civilian clothes.

While the military confrontation was a joint operation, bringing together many rebel brigades, the Northern Storm brigade retains exclusive control of the border post.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Big Three All Posted Double-Digit Gains In Auto Sales Last Month

A Dodge Ram pickup on sale at Criswell Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Gaithersburg, Md.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

"All three Detroit automakers saw double-digit sales increases in August compared with the same month last year," the Detroit Free Press writes. The gains "show that the automotive industry remains one of the economy's few bright spots," it adds.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:02 am
Tue September 4, 2012

More Employers' Health Plans Include Benefits For Transgender People

A growing number of companies are changing their health insurance plans to include benefits for transgender employees.

Yet even though professional groups such as the American Medical Association recommend coverage of services for transgender people —who identify with a gender other than the one they were born as—many companies continue to hold back. One of their big worries is cost.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Rumors Of Son's Sexcapade Behind A Ferrari's Wheel Rock China's Leadership

Ling Jihua, left, looked on in March 2010 as Chinese President Hu Jintao, signed a document at the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress in Beijing. Ling has been shifted to a lesser position.
Andy Wong AP

A top lieutenant to Chinese President Hu Jintao has been shifted to a lesser position because of "a lurid new scandal" involving the fiery crash of his son's Ferrari in March, The Associated Press writes.

According to the AP:

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It's All Politics
9:52 am
Tue September 4, 2012

At DNC, Julián Castro Tackles Comparisons To President Obama

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, left, and his twin brother State Rep. Joaquin Castro give an interview during preparations for the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Monday.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

As is traditional, first lady Michelle Obama will be the featured speaker on the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on Thursday.

But the buzz in the political sphere and in the city is all about San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, who has the distinction of being the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic convention.

Outside of Texas, however, Castro is essentially unknown.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue September 4, 2012

'Queen Of Cocaine' Is Gunned Down In Colombia

Griselda Blanco, the "queen of cocaine," in a 2004 photo posted by the Florida Department of Corrections.
Fla. Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:18 pm

Talk about your just deserts:

"A Colombian drug trafficker, known as the 'queen of cocaine,' has been killed in the city of Medellin," the BBC writes. "Griselda Blanco, 69, was shot dead by gunmen as she was leaving a butcher's."

That rather dry report doesn't do justice to the life and death of Blanco, though. As Miami New Times writes, her assassination on Monday:

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Power's Still Out For Many After Isaac, And They're Boiling

Kids in New Orleans on Monday getting some relief from the heat thanks to ice being distributed to those without power.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Check this fresh headline from The Times-Picayune in New Orleans:

"Public's anger at lengthy power outage after Isaac boils over."

According to the newspaper, after six days of camping outside in sweltering temperatures because Hurricane Isaac knocked out power last week, there are many angry folks in the city and surrounding parishes.

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Around the Nation
7:33 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Secret Service Blunders Make News

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:24 am
Tue September 4, 2012

How Do You Flip A 1-Ton Hamburger Patty?

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
7:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Are You Better Off? That's The Question As Democrats Gather

One of the many mementos for sale at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson on 'Morning Edition'

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

That classic question — so famously asked by then-candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980 — is again a topic of great debate as Democrats kick off their 2012 national convention in Charlotte, N.C.

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Asia
6:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Generators Power Through India's Blackouts

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 5:30 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The blackout that recently disrupted electricity across northern India is said to have affected more people than any previous power outage ever. It covered an area that's home to some 670 million people; that would be roughly 10 percent of the world's population. Still, large numbers of Indians living in the blackout zone barely noticed it happened. From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy explains.

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Business
6:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Author Caught Writing His Own Glowing Review

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 1:27 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today's last word in business is really written by Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And really written by David Greene. We feel obliged to mention that because a British author is in trouble for writing under a pseudonym.

GREENE: Amazon, the bookselling site, allows people to write short reviews of books. And the best-selling novelist R.J. Ellroy was caught anonymously writing glowing reviews of his own work.

INSKEEP: Mr. Ellroy praised himself for his, quote, "magnificent genius."

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Election 2012
6:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Democrats Gather In Charlotte To Renominate Obama

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Democrats hold their convention this week. And yesterday on this program, we heard one version of the challenge President Obama will face. Cokie Roberts said the president will need to talk of more than President Bush's failures and Mitt Romney's tax returns. He will face the challenge of defending his own record and speaking of what he'd do in four more years.

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NPR Story
6:07 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Democrats' Convention To Focus On Jobs, Economy

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, as you can hear from Scott's report, the economy is a top issue in this campaign.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So it's fitting that the Democratic Convention was preceded by Labor Day and will be followed by Friday's release of the latest employment numbers.

INSKEEP: NPR's Yuki Noguchi talked with voters about jobs on Labor Day.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: This year, Labor Day festivities came to Charlotte in the form of a huge street party.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

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NPR Story
6:07 am
Tue September 4, 2012

On Campaign Break, Obama Tours Louisiana Storm Damage

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Having spent much of the summer hammering Mitt Romney, President Obama is working to sell his record this week. Yesterday, administration spokesmen insisted that Americans are better off than they were four years ago.

INSKEEP: That's a change from the previous day's message, when key Obama backers would not make that claim. Yesterday, the president himself pointed to a success story.

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Election 2012
5:38 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Mayor Castro, 1st Latino To Give DNC Keynote Speech

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (left) stands onstage with his twin, Joaquin, during preparations Monday for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The mayor will give the keynote address Tuesday night, introduced by his brother, a Texas legislator.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Julian Castro, the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio, Texas, has been called the new face of the Democratic Party. And on Tuesday night, he'll become the first Latino to deliver the keynote speech at the party's national convention.

Over the weekend, parishioners at St. Paul Catholic Church in San Antonio sent off one of their own with a breakfast taco rally.

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The Salt
3:22 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Why Organic Food May Not Be Healthier For You

A shopper surveys the produce at Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif., in 2011.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:13 pm

Yes, organics is a $29 billion industry and still growing. Something is pulling us toward those organic veggies that are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

But if you're thinking that organic produce will help you stay healthier, a new finding may come as a surprise. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds scant evidence of health benefits from organic foods.

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Afghanistan
3:21 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Afghans Seek A Homegrown Plan For Security

An Afghan man inspects a motorcycle used in a suicide attack in a parking lot holding dozens of trucks supplying the NATO-run Kandahar Air Base in June. Bombings and assassinations are on the rise in Kandahar. Last month, a suicide bomber struck the convoy of the provincial police chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq, who was severely injured.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

For years, Kandahar province has been a key focus of NATO's efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. The volatile region is the birthplace of the Taliban, and its capital is the country's second-largest city.

American troops have begun leaving this area by the thousands and are handing security responsibilities over to Afghan forces. Afghan officials claim things are getting better.

But many residents don't trust Western forces or their own government's claims, and they are now turning to a third party for help.

A Dangerous City

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Author Interviews
3:20 am
Tue September 4, 2012

'Children Succeed' With Character, Not Test Scores

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

A child's success can't be measured in IQ scores, standardized tests or vocabulary quizzes, says author Paul Tough. Success, he argues, is about how young people build character. Tough explores this idea in his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.

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Environment
3:19 am
Tue September 4, 2012

As Temps Rise, Cities Combat 'Heat Island' Effect

An art installation of a melting fan sits on display in a subway station Thursday, June 9, 2011, in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 5:10 pm

More than 20,000 high-temperature records have been broken so far this year in the United States. And the heat is especially bad in cities, which are heating up about twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

High temperatures increase the risk of everything from asthma to allergies, and can even be deadly. But a researcher in Atlanta also sees this urban heat wave as an opportunity to do something about our warming planet.

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It's All Politics
7:25 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

The Undocumented Bus: In Charlotte, A Different Kind Of Coming Out

Maria Cruz Ramírez, 46, rode on the Undo-bus for six weeks.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 11:06 pm

The bus is always the center of attention. Partly because it's a hulking 1970s tour bus that somehow made it from Arizona all the way to Charlotte, but mostly because of what's inscribed on the side of it in thick, black letters.

"Sin Papeles, Sin Miedo," it reads in Spanish. "No papers, no fear."

Carrying a bunch of undocumented activists, the bus rolled through the country, through states like Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, and into Charlotte on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.

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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

'Green Mile' Actor Michael Clarke Duncan Dies At 54

Michael Clarke Duncan, seen here in 2010, has died at age 54 in a Los Angeles hospital. The actor appeared in more than 70 films, including blockbusters such as Armageddon and Kung Fu Panda.
Angela Weiss Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:48 am

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan has died at age 54, according to his fiancee, the Rev. Omarosa Manigault. Known for his huge size and deep, resonant voice, Duncan received an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Green Mile, the 1999 prison film in which he starred alongside Tom Hanks.

Duncan's death was announced by Manigault, who in July said that she performed CPR on the actor after finding him in a state of cardiac arrest late at night.

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It's All Politics
5:52 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Can Obama 'Reintroduce Hope' At Convention?

A delegate shows off her button on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:55 pm

It's been a rough four years since Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination during a celebratory Denver convention that launched the freshman Illinois senator to the White House.

Recovery from the worst economy since the Great Depression has been excruciatingly slow. The national unemployment rate has remained stubbornly above 8 percent.

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Afghanistan
5:34 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

For Afghan Girl, Going To School Is Act Of Bravery

Afghan girls walk home from school in Kunduz province earlier this year. Despite progress in recent years, girls who want an education face threats from the Taliban and other extremists, and sometimes even their own families.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 7:05 pm

In Afghanistan, girls are required by law to go to school. However, many of them never do.

Death threats, acid attacks and bombings by Taliban militants and other extremists lead many parents who support female education to keep their daughters at home.

Sometimes, it's the families themselves who stand in the way. School officials in conservative communities say relatives are often more interested in marrying off their daughters or sisters than in helping them get an education.

But some girls, like 18-year-old Rahmaniya, are fighting back.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:15 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Romney And Abortion: Another Shift In The Works?

Mitt Romney proclaimed himself a strong supporter of abortion rights in state campaigns in 1994 and in 2002. Now, he says he opposes almost all abortions.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:48 pm

Is Mitt Romney shifting his abortion position again?

It's fairly well-known that Romney proclaimed himself in favor of abortion rights when he ran for office in Massachusetts, then reversed himself before launching his presidential bid. But recently, the GOP nominee seems to be softening his opposition somewhat. Or is he?

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:58 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Time Tells Its Own Story: A Labor Day Fable

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:06 pm

The astronomer in me will tell you that summer officially ends on Sept. 22. That's the date of the Autumnal Equinox, the point in Earth's orbit where the hours of day and night are equal. That definition is fine for a scientific understanding of the cosmos, but when it comes to experience, we all know that summer really ends on Labor Day. And in that division between the ways we meter time (for science or business) and the way we actually live time, there is a Labor Day lesson we might keep close to our hearts all year long.

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Middle East
4:53 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Under The Shadow Of Jets, A Syrian Town Presses On

Syrians gather by the rubble of a house destroyed by shelling in the northern town of Azaz, on the outskirts of Aleppo, on Monday.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:12 am

Syrian air force jets bombed the rebel-held town of Al-Bab in northern Syria on Monday, killing at least 18 people, according to Syrian activists.

Over the summer, the rebels gained control of a number of towns and villages along the Syrian-Turkish border. Now, those places are being bombarded from the air and from the ground by government forces.

Azaz, in northern Syria's Aleppo province, is one of these places. There, the tombstones in the old section of the town's cemetery are laid out in neat rows.

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All Tech Considered
4:53 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

When A Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get Their Money Back?

In seeking financial backers for her Ouya game console, Julie Uhrman was looking for about $1 million. The business received far more than that amount.
Kickstarter

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:48 pm

Crowd funding began as a way to support the arts on the Internet. Artists could go online to pitch a new album, for example, in the hope that thousands would give small amounts. But now it's expanded to entrepreneurs, and the rules aren't quite as clear.

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