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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue October 8, 2013

North Korea Has Restarted Nuclear Reactor, South Korea Says

An Aug. 31 image from DigitalGlobe shows the 5-megawatt reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon facility. South Korean officials say they have confirmed that the nuclear reactor has been restarted.
DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:44 am

South Korean officials say they have confirmed that North Korea has restarted a nuclear reactor that had been shut down in 2007. The news bolsters reports last month that the reactor was operating once again.

In April, North Korea said it would restart the reactor to aid its nuclear weapons program, as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports for our Newscast unit:

"South Korea's National Intelligence Service delivered a report to a parliamentary intelligence committee saying that North Korea's 5-megawatt plutonium reactor at Yongbyon has resumed operations.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Libyan PM Tries To Calm Tensions Over U.S. Raid

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks to the media during a news conference in Rabat, Morocco, on Tuesday, where he talked about the U.S. action to nab an al-Qaida operative in Tripoli.
Abdeljalil Bounhar AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:24 am

Libya wants to maintain good relations with the United States despite concerns about a U.S. raid that snatched an al-Qaida suspect from the street in Tripoli.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the U.S. and Libya would work out their issues but that his nation "would not surrender its sons."

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Higgs Boson Researchers Awarded The Nobel Prize In Physics

British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (left) and Belgian theoretical physicist Francois Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass, the Swedish committee announced Tuesday.

The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Weapons Expert Sees 'Constructive Beginning' In Syria

A convoy of chemical weapons disarmament experts depart the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday. A second team of experts will soon join mission to destroy Syria's chemical program.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:17 am

A second team of international inspectors is being deployed to Syria, where the process of destroying chemical weapons-producing facilities began Sunday. Syria faces a November deadline for demolishing its production equipment; the first weapons team arrived in the country on Oct. 1.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Family Of Man Who Set Himself On Fire Says Act Wasn't Political

The man who set himself on fire Friday at the National Mall was John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J., police say. Constantino's family links the act to "a long battle with mental illness."
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:55 am

Officials have identified the man who died after setting fire to himself last week on the National Mall as John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J.

Constantino poured gasoline on his body and ignited it Friday afternoon while sitting on the mall. Passersby used their clothing to try to put out the flames. He was eventually airlifted to a hospital, where he died later that night.

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It's All Politics
6:18 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Tuesday Morning Political Mix

Despite all the warning signs, U.S. leaders continue to barrel toward a debt default with no one yet willing to step on the brakes.
SAUL LOEB AFP/Getty Images

Good morning, fellow political junkies. It's Day 8 of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Among the only certainties: many federal workers are a day closer to missing a paycheck and the nation is a day closer to hitting the debt ceiling.

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Senate Democrats Could Set Up Test Vote On Debt Ceiling

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks at a news conference last week on the government shutdown.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:14 am

Senate Democrats might introduce a measure to raise the debt ceiling, even as the debate over a spending bill to restart the federal government drags on.

The Associated Press reports:

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Around the Nation
5:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

NFL Jaguars, Broncos Have Interesting Point Spread

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. If you bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend, your team could be crushed and you could still win. The Jaguars are 0-5. They play Peyton Manning's undefeated Denver Broncos. The Broncos are 28-point favorites, the biggest point spread in NFL history. The Jaguars could lose by 27, you'd still win your bet. But gamble with care. In their big win against Dallas last weekend, Denver did not cover the spread. It is MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:33 am
Tue October 8, 2013

No Bones About It, Shutdown Traps T. Rex In Storage Facility

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

It may have been a fearsome predator in its day, but even Tyrannosaurus rex could not escape the government shutdown. A T. rex skeleton, one of the most complete in existence, was headed to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum this week to star in the National Fossil Day festivities. But with the museum closed, the tyrant lizard will continue to reign supreme at a storage facility in Montana, coming to Washington next spring

Law
2:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Jury Selection To Begin For Trial Of Madoff Employees

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Nearly five years after Bernie Madoff was arrested for fraud, some of his former employees are about to go on trial in New York. The trial is expected to focus on how much the employees knew about Madoff's multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. Jury selections gets under way today.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Sports
2:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

WNBA's All-Time Top Scorer Tina Thompson Retires

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:58 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're going to hear next from a woman who has finished one of the most extraordinary careers in recent sports history. Tina Thompson, of pro basketball Seattle Storm, has retired. She played in every one of the WNBA's 17 seasons. The all-time top scorer, she won four championships, two Olympic gold medals. But she never dreamed of becoming a pro basketball player. That option once hardly existed for women.

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Animals
2:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

The Truth About Lemmings, The Rodent, Not The Political Animal

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now we have this note as we continue America's most comprehensive coverage of the government shutdown. We have this morning, a scientific clarification about lemmings. Last week, you may recall a Republican lawmaker called his colleagues lemmings. He meant his fellow Republicans were following Senator Ted Cruz on a disastrous mission that led to the government shutdown.

Lemmings supposedly follow each other over a cliff. But we have learned - NPR has learned - that lemming mass suicide is a myth.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Law
1:25 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Calif. Law Allows Undocumented Immigrants To Practice Law

Sergio Garcia speaks at The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) news conference in August. Garcia, 36, is a law school graduate who passed California's bar examination, but he's living in the U.S. illegally.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:32 am

Sergio Garcia passed the California Bar exam four years ago. The bar granted Garcia a law license, but then rescinded it because he was undocumented.

The justices of the California Supreme Court may have been sympathetic to Garcia, but it quickly became clear during arguments they didn't think the law was on his side. Specifically, as the U.S. Department of Justice argued, federal law prevented Garcia's admission to the bar.

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Around the Nation
1:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Phase 2 Of BP Trial Focuses On Amount Of Spilled Oil

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig is seen burning in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. A second phase of the BP trial, which started this week, looks at just how much oil spilled into the Gulf.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:48 am

In a New Orleans courtroom this week, BP and the federal government are arguing over how much oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.

Oil flowed from the out-of-control well for nearly three months. Just how much oil spilled will be key in determining the amount BP will have to pay in federal fines and penalties.

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It's All Politics
1:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Hastert: Primary Challenges Making Congress 'Kind Of Neurotic'

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois is congratulated by members of Congress during the unveiling of his portrait at the Capitol in 2009.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:25 am

When it comes to political deal-making, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert speaks from experience.

"I always had a feeling whenever I had to negotiate ... you really needed to make sure that you knew where the hole in the box was, so if you got in there, you could get out of it again," says the Illinois Republican, who was speaker from 1999 until 2007.

Hastert tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he can't say whether House Republicans now have themselves in a box in the government shutdown fight because "we don't know what the end of this thing is yet."

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Afghanistan
1:03 am
Tue October 8, 2013

As Afghan Presidential Race Begins, Warlords Are Prominent

Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, an influential lawmaker and religious scholar, waves at his supporters on Oct. 3, after registering his candidacy in next year's presidential election.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:26 am

As the war in Afghanistan enters its 13th year, the political and security situation there remains precarious. But the country is hoping to reach a milestone next spring: the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history.

And there's no shortage of candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai — who is barred from running for a third term.

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Politics
1:02 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Supreme Court Hears Another Challenge To Campaign Finance Law

Shaun McCutcheon is challenging the aggregate limits on contributions to political candidates and parties.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:17 am

The U.S. Supreme Court returns to the campaign finance fray on Tuesday, hearing arguments in a case that could undercut most of the remaining rules that limit big money in politics.

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It's All Politics
5:15 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Diary, Day 7: The Blame Game

Alabama fans hold up a sign about the government shutdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia State on Saturday.
Butch Dill AP

As the seventh day of the federal government shutdown wraps up, Congress and the White House appear no closer to reaching a budget agreement.

Highlights:

Without much action Monday, a slew of newly released polls filled the news vacuum. While they showed that both parties are taking a hit over the shutdown, it appears Republicans are bearing the brunt of the blame from the American public.

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Shots - Health News
5:02 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Delaying Aging May Have A Bigger Payoff Than Fighting Disease

Gaining a few more years of healthy life would be great for individuals, but expensive for Medicare, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:24 pm

Curing cancer and eliminating heart disease has been the holy grail of medical research. But there could be even greater benefits if aging itself could be delayed, a study finds.

This is not quite as farfetched as it sounds. While the anti-aging "cures" being marketed these days are largely snake oil, in the laboratory scientists have managed to extend the lives of laboratory animals. And they have a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological aging.

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Religion
4:21 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

To Pastor, Afterlife Is Where We 'Learn To Live Together'

Detail of the central compartment of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, where pilgrims gather to pay homage to the lamb of God. Many art historians interpret the painting's fountain as a symbol of eternal life.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 2:39 pm

A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife — from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there — often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.

To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.

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It's All Politics
4:14 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Voting Math Fails To Add Up

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:57 pm

A lot of words have been spilled since the government shutdown began nearly a week ago, but some of the most noteworthy came from the lips of House Speaker John Boehner Sunday on ABC's This Week:

"There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," Boehner said, referring to a spending bill to end the shutdown that would be devoid of any extraneous language.

Why is this significant?

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Code Switch
4:12 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Undocumented Immigrants In Calif. Will Benefit From New Laws

California's Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.
AP

The federal government remains shut down over a budget stalemate, but California's Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to wait for Congress to make decisions on the Gordian knot that is U.S. immigration policy. On Saturday, Brown signed into law a group of bills related to immigration because, he said, enough time has passed.

"While Washington waffles on immigration, California's moving ahead," Brown stated. He added, with trademark bluntness, "I'm not waiting."

The "Trust Act" Vs. "Secure Communities"

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Former French Leader Sarkozy Is Cleared In Corruption Case

The decision to dismiss charges against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen here in Paris Monday, could clear the way for him to return to politics.
Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:36 pm

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been cleared in a scandal over the finances of his 2007 presidential campaign. The examining magistrates' decision to dismiss the case may clear the way for a return to politics for Sarkozy.

"I am delighted about this decision, which I expected," said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after the announcement, the AP reports. The news agency adds, "After leaving a private meeting on Monday at the main Paris mosque, Sarkozy nodded to cameras but did not speak to journalists."

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The Government Shutdown
3:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Even Antarctica Feels Effects Of The Government Shutdown

A helicopter is unloaded from an LC-130 in Antarctica last December. Researchers on this mission were studying the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-receding glaciers on the continent.
August Allen National Science Foundation

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.

That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.

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Politics
3:31 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Raids Project Presidential Power Amid Shutdown's Gridlock

President Obama arrives to speak about the government shutdown at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Response Coordination Center on Monday.
Shawn Thew-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

The American system of government was built on gridlock. Yet even by that standard, this past week has demonstrated new levels of immobility.

So the special forces operations carried out in Libya and Somalia over the weekend were a bracing change. President Obama decided to do something — and it happened.

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Economy
3:31 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

In A Debt Crisis, U.S. May Have To Decide Payment Priorities

House Republicans have proposed directing the Treasury Department to pay bondholders first if there is not enough money available to pay all the nation's debts.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:02 am

The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.

"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Malala Yousafzai: 'I Believe In Peace; I Believe In Mercy'

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani advocate for girls education who was shot in the head by the Taliban, attends a conversation with the United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki Moon and other youth delegates.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

It's been a year since Taliban militants shot Malala Yousafzai in the head for her campaign promoting the right of girls to go to school.

It was a heartbreaking case that captured the globe and luckily — and against the odds — the 16-year-old has made a full recovery that culminated in a stunning speech at the United Nations in July.

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It's All Politics
2:44 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

GOP Governors Chart Different Paths On Shutdown

Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announces her candidacy for a second term in August, with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (from left), Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
Richard Shiro AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:23 pm

The federal government shutdown has given governors across the country an opportunity to take part in one of their favorite pastimes: scolding Washington.

Among Republicans, though, there appears to be some disagreement over exactly who's to blame for the latest budget impasse.

One camp of GOP governors — often those in blue states or with national ambitions (if not both) — has largely chastised all parties involved. They're eager to distance themselves from Washington and portray themselves as results-oriented "outsiders."

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Sports
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

His Dodgers In The Playoffs, A Legendary Announcer Keeps On

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For the first time in four years, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the playoffs. They have plenty of stars on the field, but the most famous and beloved member of the organization is in the radio booth. Eighty-five-year-old Vin Scully has been broadcasting games for 64 years. Ben Bergman of member station KPCC got a rare interview with Scully, who says he'll keep going for at least another year.

VIN SCULLY: It's time for Dodger baseball.

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Pop Culture
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

George R.R. Martin, Author And ... Movie-Theater Guy?

George R.R. Martin prepares to introduce author Neil Gaiman and performer Amanda Palmer at charity benefit at his newly renovated Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 29. Reopening the old movie house has been a passion project for the Game of Thrones author — but for some of his fans, it's one more distraction that's come between them and Martin's unfinished epic.
Grayson Schaffer for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:21 pm

George R.R. Martin's hit fiction series A Song of Ice and Fire has sold more than 25 million copies and sparked an HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, that won two Emmys in 2013, bringing its total to 10.

But many fans are grumbling that Martin hasn't been spending enough time of late in his mythical kingdom of Westeros and its surroundings. On the list of things Martin is doing instead of writing the next Game of Thrones book? Reviewing the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, editing a sci-fi series and writing a novella.

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