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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

South African Police Open Fire On Striking Miners, More Than 30 Killed

Police surround miners killed in Marikana, South Africa, on Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 am

Update at 7 a.m. ET, Aug. 17. Death Toll Increased:

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Shots - Health Blog
4:33 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Global Smoking Survey Paints A Grim Picture

A man smokes a bidi on "No Tobacco Day," May 31, in Allahabad, India. These small, hand-rolled cigarettes are popular in India and Bangladesh because they are far cheaper than regular cigarettes.
Rajesh Kumar AP

Today we have a fresh look at smoking rates around the world, and the news isn't good.

A survey covering 60 percent of the world's population shows high rates of tobacco use in some countries, with more than 50 percent of men in Russia, China and Ukraine smoking between 2008 and 2010.

Although the statistics for women are better — only 11 percent of woman reported using tobacco — the number of people quitting is shockingly low, dropping below 20 percent in China and India.

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All Tech Considered
4:18 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

What's In Your Wallet? Wait, You Don't Need One

A barista processes a customer's payment using Square, a device that turns a mobile device into a card swiper. More businesses are using the devices to simplify credit card payments. Others are embracing technology that allows consumers to pay with their cellphones.
Jeff Wheeler MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:39 pm

Most Americans pay with plastic or cash when they visit the grocery store, buy their daily coffee, or fill up the gas tank. But a growing number of large companies are trying to change that.

Google, Starbucks and Wal-Mart are among the many firms that are eager to replace consumers' wallets and stores' cash registers, with smartphones and other mobile devices.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

United Nations Will End Observer Mission In Syria

With a political solution seemingly out of reach, the United Nations will begin recalling its military observers. They will, however, set up a political office in Damascus.

NPR's Michele Kelemen sent this report to our Newscast unit:

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The Salt
3:45 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Coffee Is The New Wine. Here's How You Taste It

Samantha Kerr prepares coffee at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore, MD.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:03 am

The "know your farmer" concept may soon apply to the folks growing your coffee, too.

Increasingly, specialty roasters are working directly with coffee growers around the world to produce coffees as varied in taste as wines. And how are roasters teaching their clientele to appreciate the subtle characteristics of brews? By bringing an age-old tasting ritual once limited to coffee insiders to the coffee-sipping masses.

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Europe
3:40 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Raid In Russia Brings Underground Sect To Light

Gumar Ganiyev opens the gates of the compound where members of the Islamic sect he belongs to have lived in seclusion since the early 2000s outside Kazan, capital of the Russian province of Tatarstan, earlier this month.
Nikolay Alexandrov AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:41 pm

The recent headlines in the Russian press were sensational: Members of a reclusive Islamic sect were said to be living in an isolated compound with underground burrows, some as deep as eight stories underground, without electricity or heat.

Reporters have descended on the compound, on the outskirts of the city of Kazan, but have had only limited access and have not been able to confirm all the allegations by Russian officials.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

After Review, 'Time Magazine' Will Reinstate Fareed Zakaria's Column

Fareed Zakaria.
Emmanuel Dunande AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:22 pm

Time Magazine says it has completed a review of Fareed Zakaria's work and it has decided to reinstate his column.

A Time spokesman sent this statement to reporters:

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

EBay Says Users Will No Longer Be Able To Sell Magic, Potions, Curses

A "powerful" love potion for sale on eBay. The "buy it now" price is $21.
eBay

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 3:04 pm

It's a tough day for the Harry Potters among us: Ebay said today that beginning in September it will no longer allow the sale of some, um, metaphysical products.

Among them: advice, spells, curses, hexing, conjuring, magic, prayers, blessing services, magic potions and healing sessions.

The Los Angeles reports:

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It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Romney Says He Paid A Tax Rate Of At Least 13 Percent

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney writes on a whiteboard during a news conference Thursday in Greer, S.C.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 3:15 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday revealed a bit more about his tax history, telling reporters: "I never paid less than 13 percent" in the past 10 years.

The Obama campaign's response: "Prove it."

Romney's statement came during an appearance in South Carolina and followed weeks of demands — mostly from Democrats, but also from some Republicans — that Romney release several years of his tax returns.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Letters: The Liberal Ayn Rand?

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:57 pm

Melissa Block reads letters from listeners about a conversation with Yale history professor Beverly Gage about her article for Slate, which asks, "Why is there no liberal Ayn Rand?"

Health
2:19 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Recording Hepatitis C: A Patient's Treatment Journal

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Ana Johnson of San Marcos, Texas, underwent treatment for hepatitis C last year. She believes she contracted the disease after receiving a blood transfusion during a C-section. Johnson lived with the diagnosis for 17 years before seeking treatment. She says her mind changed because her treatment options changed.

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World
2:19 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

WikiLeaks Founder Caught In Diplomatic Standoff

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
2:11 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Loving An Album To Death Makes A Music Fan For Life

Little Darrin Wolsko spent a chunk of his childhood playing his father's copy of The Beatles self-titled album, best known as The White Album, over and over.
Courtesy of the Wolsko family

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:19 pm

All this summer, All Things Considered is digging into the record collections of listeners' parents to hear about one song introduced by a parent that has stayed with you.

Among the many records Darrin Wolsko spun while donning a red cape around 1985, The Beatles' self-titled release best known as The White Album got the most plays — "to the point where I destroyed the album. I shredded this album to pieces," Wolsko says.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Rebutting Tax Criticism, Romney Gives A Number

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:19 pm

Mitt Romney told reporters Thursday that he has never paid less than a 13 percent tax rate over the past decade. Until now, the presumptive Republican nominee had sidestepped questions about his personal income taxes. Romney has come under withering criticism over the tax issue from President Obama's campaign and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

News Media's Credibility Ratings Have Slipped Sharply, Survey Says

Pew Research Center

"Believability ratings have fallen significantly for nine of 13 news organizations tested," the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reports today.

Its latest national survey signals that "the falloff in credibility affects news organizations in most sectors: national newspapers, such as The New York Times and USA Today, all three cable news outlets, as well as the broadcast TV networks and NPR."

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Facebook Shares Battered As Insiders Are Allowed To Sell

An illustration of an Apple iPhone displaying the Facebook app's splash screen in front of the login page.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:42 pm

At one point today, Facebook's stock price sunk to a new low. At about $19.69, it was worth about half of what it was initially sold for in May.

Bloomberg explains that what is happening is that early investors in the company — including founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg — were allowed to sell some of their stocks for the first time today.

Bloomberg adds:

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Environment
1:10 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

When This Oil Spills, It's 'A Whole New Monster'

An oil sheen appears along the shore of the Kalamazoo. More than 800,000 gallons of oil entered Talmadge Creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River, a Lake Michigan tributary. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams and carried oil 30 miles downstream.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:19 pm

Sometime in the next few months, David Daniel probably will have to stand by and watch as bulldozers knock down his thick forest and dig up the streams he loves.

His East Texas property is one of more than 1,000 in the path of a new pipeline, the southern stretch of what is known as the Keystone XL system.

For years, Daniel has tried to avoid this fate — or at least figure out what risks will come with it. But it has been difficult for him to get straight answers about the tar sands oil the pipeline will carry, and what happens when it spills.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:36 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

CDC Recommends Hepatitis C Testing For All Boomers

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 4:19 pm

Listen up, baby boomers. The government wants every one of you to get tested for the hepatitis C virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a sweeping recommendation official amid growing concern about the estimated 2 million boomers infected with the virus, which can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer. The advice was published in the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Television
12:18 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Jaws, Teeth And Fins! Oh My! 'Shark Week' At 25

In a scene from the "Shark Week" show Air Jaws Apocalypse, a great white shark goes after a seal.
Chris Fallows Discovery Channel

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:06 am

The Discovery Channel's annual "Shark Week" is one of the longest running events on cable television. After 25 years on the air, the weeklong series of programming dedicated solely to sharks has become an American icon. Comedian Stephen Colbert has called it his second favorite time of year.

Legend has it that it all began as an idea scribbled down on a napkin during a brainstorming meeting.

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Religion
12:10 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

What Lies Ahead For America's Nuns

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 12:57 pm

After the Vatican accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, America's largest organization of Catholic nuns, of failing to follow Church doctrine on several controversial issues, the group's president suggested they will not backing down.

On Aging
12:05 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Fact-Checking The Future Of Aging In America

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 12:57 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington; Neal Conan is away. The boomers, the Americans born between 1946 and 1964, from the start they have cut a wide swath through the American landscape, which just had to keep on accommodating them.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

'American Gypsy': A Road From Siberia To Hollywood

Oksana Marafioti moved to the U.S. with her family when she was 15.
Courtesy FSG Books

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:54 am

Oksana Marafioti spent her childhood touring the Soviet Union with the family band. She is a Gypsy — from an ethnic group dispersed throughout Europe and linked by a language called Roma, or Romani.

In their travels — from the deserts of Mongolia to the Siberian tundra — her family endured intense racism.

"In the USSR ... people would just ... spit on you or hit you as soon as you said you were a Gypsy," she tells NPR's John Donvan.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Thu August 16, 2012

More Of The Nation Is Getting The Worst Of The Drought

This week's drought map.
National Drought Mitigation Center

The drought gripping much of the nation is "exceptional" — the most severe classification — in an area covering 6.26 percent of the lower 48 states, according to the latest data from the National Drought Mitigation Center.

That's up from 4.21 percent the week before.

The center's latest map shows increases in size of the areas in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri that are experiencing exceptional drought conditions.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Thu August 16, 2012

A Gift From The Interwebs: A Brilliant Auto-Tuned Burger Review

A screenshot from a YouTube video.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:42 am

We will get back to the news in a bit. But we could not help but point you to a little bit of Internet happiness:

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Movie Interviews
11:39 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Frank Langella Embodies Wicked In 'Robot & Frank'

In Robot & Frank, a robot cares for an aging ex-burglar who has dementia. Frank Langella, who plays the burglar, says his character "becomes fond of the robot only because it is a tool for his wicked, wicked ways."
Samuel Goldwyn Films and Stage 6 Films

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 8:07 am

Frank Langella's career has not been an upward trajectory of success — and he likes it that way. He's had memorable roles on stage and screen, and times when he couldn't find work, or even an agent.

Now at 74, Langella is as busy as ever, and, as he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, he's never been hungrier to act.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Bahrain Sentences Prominent Activist To 3 Years In Jail

A man walks past a picture of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab and Arabic that reads, "freedom to human rights defender Nabeel Rajab."
Hasan Jamali AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:55 am

The government of Bahrain, today, handed down a three-year jail sentence for prominent activist Nabeel Rajab, the head of the Bahrain Center For Human Rights.

Rajab, reports The Guardian, was already serving a three month sentence for posting for his anti-government comments on Twitter. The government said the three-year sentence is a result of his participation in an "illegal demonstration."

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Two Deputies Killed, Two Wounded In Louisiana Shootings

Three days after the shooting death of a constable in College Station, Texas, there's word that two sheriff's deputies in Louisiana's St. John the Baptist Parish were killed this morning and another two were wounded in what appear to be connected shootings.

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Participation Nation
10:33 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Spreading Their Wings In Columbus, Ohio

The butterflies of Proyecto Mariposa.
Courtesy of Yahaira Perez

For the past year Yahaira Perez has led a group called Proyecto Mariposa, or Project Butterfly, that helps provide life skills to Latina girls and their mothers while ensuring they do not forget their Latin roots.

Proyecto Mariposa is made up of 16 mothers and their daughters, ages 2 to 13. They meet weekly at a church in Columbus to make crafts, read in Spanish and receive guidance on issues such as personal health and proper nutrition.

Yahaira, who moved from Puerto Rico to attend The Ohio State University, has gotten many people involved — including her family.

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Music Reviews
10:06 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Autosalvage: The Psychedelic Band That Vanished

Autosalvage, a New York quartet, made one album and then stopped playing.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:14 pm

A little over 10 years ago, a friend with a small record company in England called me and asked if I wanted to do liner notes for an album he was re-releasing. When he told me it was the Autosalvage album, I flipped. Of course I did!

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Around the Nation
9:30 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Undocumented Youth Line Up For A Chance To Stay

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we go to the Democratic Republic of Congo where a rebellion has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Could it lead to a wider regional war? We'll ask.

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