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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Fri July 19, 2013

China Scraps Some Controls On Lending Interest Rates

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:00 am

China's central bank announced that it was removing some controls on the interest rates charged by banks for the loans it issues clients.

Reuters explains that the People's Bank of China said in a statement that it was removing the floor "on lending rates for commercial banks, meaning that banks will now be able to cut rates as much as they see fit to attract borrowers."

Reuters adds:

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Trying To Restart Peace Talks, Kerry Will Fly To West Bank

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on the phone at Mafraq Air Base before boarding a helicopter to Amman on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 6:45 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a last-minute trip to the West Bank this morning that's intended to jump-start stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The trip comes just hours after the Palestinians said they would not return to the negotiating table unless Israel agreed to begin talks using the borders that existed before 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Salt
6:35 am
Fri July 19, 2013

The Ramadan Challenge: Shop And Cook While Hungry And Thirsty

Jehad Outteineh shops at a market near the Damascus gate in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. Around the world, hundreds of millions of Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan. Outteineh is shopping for the family's iftar, the meal that breaks the fast.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:31 am

Around the world, hundreds of millions of Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sunset. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began last week and continues until Aug. 7. That's 30 days of avoiding food and drink all day. But in many families, someone still has to prepare a hearty, and sometimes festive, dinner every night.

"Ramadan is a big change in routine," says Jehad Outteneh, a Palestinian in Jerusalem who shops and cooks for her family of eight.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Book News: J.K. Rowling 'Very Angry' That Law Firm Leaked Her Name

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:26 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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World
5:39 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Pitch-Drop Worse Than Watching Paint Dry

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Even if you have been bored watching paint dry or grass grow or water boil, you have nothing on these scientists. An experiment that began in 1944 at Trinity College in Ireland just now has a definitive result - to test whether a thick substance called pitch flowed and dripped. A funnel with the stuff was placed over a jar. Seventy years later students saw a drip forming, set up a camera, and witnessed the drip drop. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:26 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Canadian Woman Picks Marriage Proposal Over Jail Time

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Marcia Belyea was on a drive with her boyfriend when she heard a police siren. The Canadian woman was pulled over and told she owed $2,000 in parking tickets and faced 30 days in jail. As she wept in the police car, Belyea was offered a deal. Charges would be dropped if she took her boyfriend's hand in marriage.

Yes, this traumatic event was an elaborate wedding proposal. Believe it or not, she said yes. But Marcia, you have the right to revenge.

The Two-Way
5:13 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Now That Detroit's Filed For Bankruptcy, What Happens Next?

A portion of downtown Detroit along the Detroit river.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:59 am

With its bankruptcy filing Thursday, Detroit became the largest municipality in the United States to seek Chapter 9 protection.

As Scott reported, the city is saddled with $18.5 billion in debt.

Today, we ask, what happens next?

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Politics
4:03 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Filner Scandal Casts Shadow On San Diego Recovery

Mayor Bob Filner smiling during better times at a November 2012 news conference at a San Diego park.
Greg Bull AP

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's problems — a sex scandal coupled with federal investigations into possible financial improprieties — may end up being purely personal matters.

But they aren't helping the city's reputation any.

Nearly a decade ago, the city suffered through a pension underfunding scandal that anticipated problems around the country and led to the resignation of a previous mayor, Dick Murphy.

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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Fri July 19, 2013

A Year After Colo. Shooting, Trial Still Far Off

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Costume-Clad Comic-Con Fans Descend On San Diego

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Some 130,000 fans are converging on the convention center in San Diego for this year's Comic-Con, the world's largest pop culture convention. One big draw will be the appearance of fantasy writer Neil Gaiman who, after a long hiatus, is bringing back his best-selling comic Sandman. Here to tell us what she's seeing so far is Gina McIntyre. She's the editor of Hero Complex, the pop culture blog at the Los Angeles Times. Good morning.

GINA MCINTYRE: Good morning.

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Europe
4:00 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Russian Opposition Leader Convicted Amid Controversy

A Russian court has convicted one of the country's most prominent opposition leaders of embezzlement. Alexei Navalny faces a sentence of five years in prison in a controversial case that he says was trumped up to derail his political career. Navalny was instrumental in organizing mass protests against the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sports
3:42 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Tour De France Racers Want To Leave Shadow Of Doping Behind

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

After three weeks and more than 2,000 miles, the Tour de France finishes up on Sunday in Paris. The race is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It's also the first year in many that no former winners are suspected of doping. Seven-time tour winner Lance Armstrong finally admitted to doping this past spring, ending a years-long saga.

But even after all that, doping is probably not fini - as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris.

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Business
3:12 am
Fri July 19, 2013

In Dubai, Weight Loss Is Worth Gold

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:06 am

If you want people to slim down, why not reward them with gold? That's the tack being taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For every kilogram lost, the government will pay out a gram of gold.

Business
3:12 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Federal Judge Green Lights Suit Against Private Equity Firms

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

The investor lawsuit claims the companies, including Blackstone, Carlyle and Bain Capital, colluded to drive down prices on hundreds of billions of dollars in takeovers.

U.S.
2:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Pa. City Tries Wild West Auction To Rope In Cash

A Harrisburg Wild West artifact sits inside of a warehouse building owned by the city, seen here in 2011.
Craig Layne WITF

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:43 am

Leaders in Harrisburg, Pa., hope the legends of the Wild West will ride to the rescue of the cash-strapped state capital. Thanks to a former mayor's eccentric, failed museum project, the city has an extensive collection of Wild West artifacts — some said to have ties to people like Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Buffalo Bill.

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Code Switch
1:26 am
Fri July 19, 2013

How To Fight Racial Bias When It's Silent And Subtle

Researchers say it may be possible to temporarily reduce racial biases.
Images.com Corbis

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:00 pm

In the popular imagination and in conventional discourse — especially in the context of highly charged news events such as the shooting of Trayvon Martin — prejudice is all about hatred and animosity.

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Shots - Health News
1:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

White House Muddles Obamacare Messaging — Again

President Obama walks off the stage after speaking about the Affordable Care Act during an event in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. Obama argued that the law is holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of consumers.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:13 am

This summer was supposed to be a time to reintroduce the public to the Affordable Care Act and teach people how to sign up for benefits this fall.

But that's not what's happening.

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StoryCorps
1:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Grandpa's Story: A Comb, Penknife And Handkerchief

Leonard Carpenter in Kentucky, where he grew up, in the early 1940s.
Photo courtesy of Lynne Bruschetti

Jack Bruschetti was born in 1999, the same year his grandfather, Leonard Carpenter, died from Alzheimer's disease.

But 13-year-old Jack wanted to know more about his grandfather, who worked as a tire builder for BFGoodrich in Akron, Ohio, where he also raised his family.

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Business
1:20 am
Fri July 19, 2013

With Filibuster Deal, NLRB Could Soon Return To Full Force

The National Labor Relations Board building in downtown Washington.
Jon Elswick AP

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

For decades after the 1930s, the National Labor Relations Board served as the arbiter for squabbles between management and unions, or workers who wanted to join a union. In more recent years, though, the board itself has become a battleground.

Democratic appointees to the NLRB have grown increasingly sympathetic to organized labor, while Republican appointees have grown increasingly hostile, says Harley Shaiken, who studies labor relations as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Planet Money
1:18 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Will Robot Nannies Save Japan's Economy?

The key to Japan's economy?
Courtesy of Cartoon Network

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 7:40 am

More than half of all Japanese women quit their jobs after giving birth to their first child. That's more than double the rate in the U.S., and it's a problem for Japan's economy.

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The Record
10:05 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

20 Years Ago, Tupac Broke Through

Tupac Shakur on the set of Poetic Justice.
Everett Collection / Rex USA

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 5:37 pm

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

New Photos Show 'Real Face' Of Tsarnaev, Police Sgt. Says

Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on April 19 as he emerged from a boat stored in a Watertown, Mass., backyard. The red dot of a police sharpshooter's laser sight can be seen on his forehead.
Mass. State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy Boston Magazine

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:47 pm

(Updated 11:45 p.m. ET)

Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy, who released images that depict the capture and arrest of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has reportedly been "relieved of duty," Boston Magazine reported Thursday night.

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Arts & Life
4:31 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Civil War's First African-American Infantry Remembered In Bronze

Boston's Shaw Memorial sits at the corner of Beacon and Park Streets.
Andrea Shea WBUR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:37 pm

The Shaw Memorial, by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, stands 11 feet by 14 feet, like a giant bronze diorama, on the corner of Boston Common. In it, 40 or so black soldiers march to war alongside their white colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, on horseback.

The statue memorializes the first African-American volunteer infantry unit of the Civil War, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, which was crushed 150 years ago Thursday in a battle at Fort Wagner in South Carolina.

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Around the Nation
3:49 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

South Boston Transformed In Whitey Bulger's Absence

Four decades after James "Whitey" Bulger first rose to power, "Southie" is not what it used to be. The once blue-collar, Irish-Catholic neighborhood is now an ethnic melting pot that has been invaded by young urban professionals who have gentrified the area and smoothed out its once-rough edges.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

When the FBI brought reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger back to his old stomping ground of South Boston to be tried in federal court after 16 years on the lam, he must have done a double take. The neighborhood that Bulger is accused of terrorizing with murders and extortion is booming.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Detroit Files For Bankruptcy

Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 2:32 am

(This story last updated at 6:45 p.m. ET)

The city of Detroit has filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, seeking Chapter 9 protection from creditors and unions owed some $18.5 billion in debt and liabilities.

In a news conference on Thursday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he didn't want to go into bankruptcy, but the city will now "have to make the best of it."

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

GOP Won't Defend Ban On Veterans Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on June 29.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

House Republicans, who defended in court the Defense of Marriage Act only to see it struck down by the Supreme Court last month, have now decided not to try to defend a similar law that denies veterans' benefits to married, same-sex couples.

BuzzFeed, which broke the news Thursday of the GOP's decision, reports that:

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Shots - Health News
3:11 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

For A Long And Healthy Life, It Matters Where You Live

It's not just living longer that matters. It's living healthier longer.
iStockphoto.com

It's not just how long you live that matters. It's healthy life expectancy – the additional years of good health you can expect once you hit 65.

And by that measure, a new analysis shows it makes a lot of difference where Americans live.

Hawaiians are lucky in more than their idyllic weather and gorgeous scenery. Seniors there can expect a little more than 16 years of healthy life after 65. Women in Hawaii can expect more than 17 years.

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The Salt
2:46 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

These Pictures Might Tempt You To Eat Bugs

Gordon recommends dusting the deep-fried tarantula spider with smoked paprika.
Chugrad McAndrews Reprinted with permission from The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:18 am

Oh, Jiminy Cricket, you've never looked more scrumptious.

The grasshopper kabob is one of several enticing images of insect cuisine included in the new, revised edition of The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook, by avowed entomophagist (i.e., bug eater) David George Gordon.

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Code Switch
2:45 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

S.C. High Court Moves To End Saga Of 'Baby Veronica'

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that custody for Baby Veronica, shown here in a October 2011 provided by her adoptive mother, Melanie Capobianco, be transferred from her biological father to the Capobiancos.
Melanie Capobianco AP

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 3:47 pm

UPDATE July 24, 2013: The South Carolina Supreme Court denied a petition for rehearing and ordered Baby Veronica's adoption by the Capobiancos finalized, as reported by NPR's Nina Totenberg.


Less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court sent an unusually messy child custody case back to the lower courts, South Carolina's Supreme Court has ruled to end the long-running saga of Baby Veronica, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Florida Community Asks Mermaid To Swim Elsewhere

Jenna Conti, also known as Eden Sirene, before being asked to stay out of the water.
Courtesy of Bob Abruzzese

Jenna Conti just wants to swim.

In her custom-made mermaid costume.

At the Fishhawk Ranch community pools in Tampa, Fla.

But rules are rules, the local development district board says. And the rules say no swim fins in the pools.

So Conti, or Eden Sirene as she's known when she swims, has been left high and dry.

She "just wanted to really show some magic here in Fishhawk," Conti says.

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