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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

In Settlement, FCC Says Comcast Will Pay $800K, Extend Stand-Alone Internet Offer

A Comcast logo is seen on a Comcast truck in Pittsburgh in 2011.
Gene J. Puskar AP

The Federal Communications Commission and Comcast-NBCU came to an agreement today over charges that the cable company had not adequately advertised its affordable Internet-only plans.

Providing data-only plans and making sure customers knew they were available was one of the conditions set by the FCC when it approved the NBC/Comcast merger in 2011.

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The Salt
4:51 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Why There's Less Red Meat Served On Many American Plates

Some Americans are cutting back on red meat, and health concerns seem to be the biggest reason they're doing it, a survey found.
Shmeliova Natalia iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:38 pm

Dan Charles reported earlier this week on why meat consumption in the U.S. has climbed so precipitously; today, we brought you charts and graphs on that, and on how meat production affects the environment.

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Election 2012
3:51 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Some Democrats To Skip Obama's Renomination Party

Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., where President Obama will accept his party's nomination on Sept. 6.
Jeff Siner MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 1:52 pm

This summer's Democratic National Convention has already gotten shorter, shrinking from the traditional four-day extravaganza to three days. Now it appears the attendance for the event is shrinking, too.

At least a dozen Democrats say they won't be able to make it to Charlotte, N.C., when the convention begins Sept. 4. It's no coincidence that all are facing tough election campaigns in places where President Obama's popularity lags.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:47 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Can IVF Treatments Reverse A Woman's Biological Clock?

Human embryos under a microscope at an IVF clinic in La Jolla, Calif.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Modern reproductive technologies can give older women the same chances of having a baby as younger women, researchers reported Wednesday.

The new study found that women age 31 and younger have about a 60 percent to 75 percent chance of having a baby after three IVF cycles. The chances drop to about 20 percent to 30 percent for women ages 41 or 42, and to about just 5 percent to 10 percent for those age 43 or older.

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Around the Nation
3:47 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Pieces Of AIDS Quilt Blanket Nation's Capital

People view the AIDS Memorial Quilt at the National Mall this week.
Ebony Bailey NPR

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:06 pm

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is too big to display all in one piece. Since 1987, it has grown to more than 48,000 panels that honor the lives of more than 94,000 people who have died of AIDS. The last time the whole quilt was shown together was in 1996, on the National Mall. Now it's back in Washington, D.C., for its 25th anniversary.

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Middle East
3:47 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Is A Protest Camp Still Needed In Yemen?

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Yemen's capital, Sana'a, a sprawling tent city is beginning to be dismantled. It was home to thousands of protesters for more than a year. Known as Change Square, it came to look more like Change Mile as street after street became packed with demonstrators and their makeshift homes. Kelly McEvers reported from Yemen during last year's uprising and she went back and sent this report about the changes at Change Square.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

No 'Bath Salts' Drug Found In System Of Face-Eating Attacker

An undated booking mug made available by the Miami-Dade Police Dept., showing Rudy Eugene.
AP

Back in May, we told you that Miami Police suspected that a man who was shot dead while he bit off another man's face was high on "bath salts."

A Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's report released today, however, disproves that theory. According to the AP, the only drug found in Rudy Eugene's system was marijuana.

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Europe
3:13 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

European Union Tradeoff: Sovereignty For Stability

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:50 pm

In order to salvage its common currency, Europe is working toward a tighter fiscal union. That will require a tradeoff — sovereignty for economic stability. Over the next two days European Union leaders will try to come to an agreement to boost growth.

Architecture
3:13 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Still Unimplemented, Ariz. Law Has Chilling Effect

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:49 pm

It will be weeks — maybe longer — before the one part of Arizona's immigration law the Supreme Court left standing goes into effect. A lower court has to remove its injunction before local police are required to ask about immigration status. But as NPR's Ted Robbins reports, there's already been a backlash.

Shots - Health Blog
2:56 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Medicaid Expansion Goes Overlooked In Supreme Court Anticipation

When the U.S. Supreme Court rules Thursday on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it will also rule on whether the expansion of Medicaid is an unconstitutional infringement of states' rights.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:20 pm

When the Supreme Court announces its long-anticipated decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, all eyes will be on the so-called individual mandate. That's the section of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
2:30 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Chris Thile's First Musical Memory

Chris Thile says he was only a year old when he first heard "The Girl from Ipanema."
Danny Clinch

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:54 pm

It's clear Chris Thile has an ear for music: The 31-year-old mandolinist, best known for his bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, has been playing music his entire life.

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Election 2012
2:28 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Influx Of Puerto Ricans Changes Fla.'s Voter Calculus

A sign lets voters know they can cast early ballots for the Florida primary election in January at the South Creek Branch Library in Orlando.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:51 pm

Florida is a perennial battleground state in presidential elections. And within Florida, the area around Orlando is a battlefield where the terrain has changed radically.

It used to be a tossup. But four years ago, Barack Obama won in Orlando — or technically in Orange County — with 59 percent of the vote, a margin of almost 80,000 votes.

What happened in Orlando?

There were several things: The Democrats registered a lot of black voters. Obama ran well among independents. But the biggest difference was the number of new arrivals to the area.

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Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

The State Of Affairs For Veterans Seeking Jobs

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, retired Army General Eric Shinseki, is attending that job fair in Detroit and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.

SECRETARY ERIC SHINSEKI: Well, thank you, Melissa. Great to be joining you.

BLOCK: When you talk with employers, what do they tell you about the hurdles or the challenges of hiring veterans? What are the problems there?

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Presidential Race
2:09 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Translating The Veepstakes

David McNew Getty Images

Running for president means spending a lot of time convincing the public that you really want the job. Not so if you're seeking the No. 2 spot.

The road to the vice presidency, history shows, is paved with feigned disinterest.

"If you're going to be vice president, you're going to be in the president's shadow," says Jody Baumgartner, a political science professor at East Carolina University. "If you appear to be seeking the vice presidency, drawing attention to yourself, that's not really a quality that a presidential candidate is looking for."

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Chicago Council OKs Fines Instead Of Arrests For Pot Possesion

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 2:10 pm

The Chicago City Council voted overwhelmingly to approve a new policy on marijuana possession.

The policy gives police the option of giving a fine to those caught with less than 15 grams. The fine could range between $250 and $500 and doesn't apply to minors or those carrying pot on a park or school grounds, reports The Chicago Tribune.

Previously, law required police to arrest the person and charge them with a misdemeanor.

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It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Obama Saw Immediate Fundraising Spike After Same-Sex Marriage Announcement

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 1:53 pm

In the days following President Obama's announcement that he supports same-sex marriage, anecdotal evidence suggested that the political position had a financial payoff.

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Europe
1:23 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Months After Protest, Russian Rockers Still Jailed

Women in a Russian punk rock group briefly perform a protest song at Moscow's main cathedral, Christ the Savior, in February. The singers criticized the church and Vladimir Putin, who is now president. Three women have been arrested and jailed for months, and the church is demanding harsh punishment.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 8:45 pm

The Russian government is facing a growing chorus of criticism over its harsh treatment of three women from an all-female rock band who staged a "punk" prayer service last winter in Moscow's most prominent cathedral.

Back on Feb. 21, two weeks before Russia's presidential election, several members of the band Pussy Riot, wearing brightly colored balaclavas, rushed onto the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Google Introduces Tablet And Streaming Device

Hugo Barra, product management director of Android, introduces Google's low-cost computer tablet Nexus 7 during the keynote speech at Google's annual developer conference on Wednesday.
Kimhiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Today's a good day for gadget enthusiasts. During its I/O event, Google announced that like Microsoft, it was jumping into the tablet market. The search giant made three big announcements: The Nexus 7, its tablet; the Nexus Q, a streaming device; and a new version of its mobile operating system called Jelly Bean.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:01 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

What Clementines Can Teach Surgeons

University of Michigan

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Clementines and pelvic anatomy are two things you probably wouldn't ever talk about in the same sentence, unless you're Pamela Andreatta.

Andreatta, a medical educator at the University of Michigan Medical School, knows all about how people learn. And lately, she's been spending a lot of time scrutinizing how residents are taught to do minimally invasive surgery.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Microsoft's Greece Headquarters Firebombed By Armed Assailants

A security officer stands by the van used by attackers at the entrance of the Microsoft office in an Athens on Wednesday.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 1:10 pm

Early this morning, three armed assailants fire bombed the headquarters of Microsoft in Athens, Greece.

The attackers used a van to ram through the front door and tried to set the building on fire using gasoline, Microsoft Greece's General Manager Ernst-Jan Stigter told reporters. Stigter added that no one was injured.

The AP reports:

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Remembrances
12:15 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Remembering Groundbreaking Filmmaker Nora Ephron

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Nora Ephron provided some of the most memorable moments in the movies: "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," many other films and, of course, essays and stories. She suffered from leukemia and died last night in New York at the age of 71. Six years ago, she joined us to talk about her book, "I Feel Bad About My Neck," and we concluded that conversation by talking about her last chapter, "Consider the Alternative," where she wrote about regrets, and she cited Edith Piaf's celebrated song "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien."

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It's All Politics
12:03 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Read The Tea Leaves, But Justices (And Their Clerks) Aren't Telling

The U.S. Supreme Court
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 12:26 pm

Several dozen people know how the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. And it'll stay that way until sometime after 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, when the court releases its opinion to the rest of us.

The decision will have broad societal, economic and legal ramifications, and will play a featured role in the November presidential election. But the justices and their young law clerks — the only ones privy to the deliberations — don't leak opinions. It's virtually unheard of.

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NPR Story
11:54 am
Wed June 27, 2012

'Who Gets What': Putting A Price On Human Tragedy

Public Affairs

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 10:56 am

When a tragedy like the Sept. 11 attacks or the Virginia Tech shooting strikes, shock and grief quickly give way to blame. And when it's time to figure out if and how victims should be compensated, lawyer Kenneth Feinberg's phone rings.

Over the past three decades, Feinberg has developed a unique specialty: overseeing compensation funds by doing the difficult, often contentious and politically charged work of figuring out who deserves payment — and often, how much they will receive.

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Election 2012
11:54 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Presidential Campaigns Move Into High Gear

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 12:09 pm

With the Republican primary season completed, the presidential campaigns are buckling down for the months ahead. NPR's Ron Elving and political strategists Vin Weber and Anna Greenberg discuss the presidential race, key battleground states and what it will take for candidates Romney or Obama to win in November.

National Security
11:54 am
Wed June 27, 2012

FBI Tracks Possible Military 'Insider Threats'

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 12:11 pm

The Pentagon and FBI have conducted more than 100 investigations into possible Islamist extremists inside the U.S. military in the wake of the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston shares the latest developments and what the military is doing to prevent radicalization within its ranks.

The Two-Way
11:49 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Puny Humans: Robot Plays Rock, Paper, Scissors With 100 Percent Accuracy

A robot hand playing rock, paper, scissor.
Ishikawa Oku Laboratory

We don't know what this says about the relationship between humans and robots. But researchers at the Ishikawa Oku Lab at the University of Toyko have developed a robot hand that can beat a human 100 percent of the time in a game of "rock, paper, scissors."

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Here's How To Learn What The Supreme Court Says About Health Care

The U.S. Supreme Court, which will be in the news on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 12:15 pm

The biggest surprise Thursday morning at the Supreme Court will be if the justices do not issue their most-anticipated decision of the year — on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act; the health care overhaul enacted in 2010.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:42 am
Wed June 27, 2012

FDA Approves First New Weight-Loss Drug In More Than A Decade

Belviq, the first new prescription drug in years to help people lose weight, is expected to be available in four to six months.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 10:34 am

For the first time in 13 years, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to help people lose weight.

The FDA gave the green light to Arena Pharmaceuticals to sell Belviq, or lorcaserin generically, a twice-a-day pill that suppresses appetite and appears to affect metabolism by influencing levels of the brain chemical serotonin.

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The Salt
11:00 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Just What Your Summer Beer Needed, Frozen Foam

Kirin

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 11:05 am

Apparently, it is just what it looks like — frozen foam, on a beer.

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Author Interviews
10:53 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Why Flying Is No Fun (And May Be More Dangerous)

Michal Krakowiak iStockphoto.com

After the airline industry was deregulated in 1978, flying changed considerably.

Some of those changes have improved commercial flying, but others have made the skies much less friendly, says journalist and airline veteran William J. McGee.

McGee's new book, Attention All Passengers, details how airlines are cutting costs through regional carriers, outsourcing airline maintenance, mishandling baggage and overbooking airplanes.

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