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It's All Politics
1:29 am
Tue August 6, 2013

On The Road With Max And Dave: A Tax Overhaul Tour

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., (center) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., (right) speak about overhauling the tax code at the 3M Innovation Center in Maplewood, Minn., on July 8.
Hannah Foslien AP

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:18 am

Ask Americans about the most pressing concerns for the nation, and overhauling the tax code probably isn't all that high on the list — that is, unless those Americans happen to be Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the chairmen of the congressional tax-writing committees.

The two lawmakers are on a mission to simplify the tax code.

When they're out on the road selling that tax overhaul, they don't wear ties and they skip much of the formality of Washington — like last names even. Just call them Max and Dave.

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Around the Nation
1:29 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Dredging South Carolina's Rivers For Long-Forgotten Timber

Louis Marcell and Adam Jones prepare to search for old logs, known as sinker wood, on the bottom of Ashley River near Charleston, S.C. They use sonar and a book of old train lines to find the timber, some of which has been preserved in the mud since the 1800s.
Noam Eshel

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:56 am

On the Ashley River, a few miles south of Charleston, S.C., the water is murky and the marsh grass high. A three-man logging crew is cruising on a 24-foot pontoon boat. It's low tide and logs are poking out everywhere.

Hewitt Emerson, owner of the Charleston-based reclaimed wood company Heartwood South, is in charge. He's going to an old saw mill site, but won't say exactly where. He's heading to Blackbeard's Creek, he says, as in pirate Blackbeard — the early 18th century scourge of the seas.

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Poetry
1:26 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Pinsky's 'Singing School': Poetry For The Verse Averse

Robert Pinsky served as the United States Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000.
Ebony Bailey NPR

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:06 am

For Robert Pinsky, the pleasure in poetry comes from the music of the language, and not from the meaning of the words. So he put together an anthology of 80 poems that are models by master poets -- from Sappho to Allen Ginsberg, Shakespeare to Emily Dickinson.

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The Two-Way
12:26 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Court-Martial To Begin Tuesday In Fort Hood Shooting Rampage

Maj. Nidal Hasan faces 13 charges of murder and 32 of attempted murder for the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:59 am

Former Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with opening fire in a troop processing center at Fort Hood, Texas, and killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others in 2009.

Hasan is representing himself in the death penalty case.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne that means Hasan will be questioning witnesses he is accused of shooting.

Hassan is paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by a military police officer during the rampage.

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All Tech Considered
5:06 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

In Bezos' Purchase Of 'Post,' Tech And Media Keep Melding

Jeff Bezos, a tech titan and Amazon founder, purchased a venerable newspaper, The Washington Post.
Richard Brain Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 9:46 am

The news spread with the speed of the Internet: The Washington Post, a newspaper that helped bring down a president, would be sold to Jeff Bezos, the tech titan who started Amazon.

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All Tech Considered
4:37 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Trade Case Puts Apple In Washington's Sights

The U.S. Trade Representative has overturned a ban on the import of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:08 pm

Apple has been notoriously disinterested in Washington politics. But two decisions coming from the Obama administration in the past few days indicate that Washington is increasingly interested in Apple.

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Code Switch
4:32 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

The Racial Backdrop Of The Tawana Brawley Case

Tawana Brawley and the Rev. Al Sharpton at a protest in 1988.
Neil Brake AP

As our colleagues at The Two-Way reported, Tawana Brawley, the central figure in one of the most bizarre and racially polarizing cases in New York City's recent history, has begun to pay part of the more than $430,000 judgment against her.

Brawley accused a group of men of having raped her repeatedly. Among those she accused were several police officers and a prosecutor.

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All Tech Considered
4:06 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Special Ops Envisions 'Iron Man'-Like Suit To Protect Troops

Concept art of the suit the Special Operations Command is trying to build.
Raytheon via YouTube

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

In the Iron Man movie series, Robert Downey Jr. plays a billionaire working with his trusty robot to build a protective suit that will help him battle evil.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Harsh In Hard Times? A Gene May Influence Mom's Behavior

A gene known as DRD2 affects the brain's dopamine system and is known to be associated with aggressive behavior.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:51 am

A gene that affects the brain's dopamine system appears to have influenced mothers' behavior during a recent economic downturn, researchers say.

At the beginning of the recession that began in 2007, mothers with the "sensitive" version of a gene called DRD2 became more likely to strike or scream at their children, the researchers say. Mothers with the other "insensitive" version of the gene didn't change their behavior.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

In Baseball, Punishments Often Come With An Asterisk

Despite already being in the Hall of Fame, New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle was banned from baseball in 1983, for his work for a casino. He was reinstated in 1985. MLB suspended Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 211 regular season games Monday.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:01 pm

By suspending New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 211 regular-season games — through the end of the 2014 regular season — Major League Baseball stopped short of the lifetime ban that had been threatened.

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Around the Nation
3:11 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

From Cops To Lawyers, Indian Country Copes With High Crime

Tuba City, Ariz., corrections supervisor Robbin Preston in front of the new jail on the Navajo Nation. The recidivism rate was so high, Preston couldn't keep track of it.
Laurel Morales KJZZ

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

Arizona's Monument Valley is known for its red sandstone buttes and spires, but now it's notorious for something else: crime. The Navajo Nation is one of the most violent reservations in the country. According to FBI reports, over the past five years, more rapes were reported on the Navajo Nation than in San Diego, Detroit or Denver, among other cities.

The U.S. attorney's office tries to take on the most violent crimes, but it often lacks enough evidence to prosecute. And because of antiquated tribal codes, Navajo courts can only order someone to serve one year in jail.

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NPR Story
3:11 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Amazon CEO To Buy 'Washington Post' And Sister Papers

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The man who pushed the book publishing industry into the digital age is now buying one of the country's most storied newspaper companies. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, is acquiring The Washington Post and its small sister papers. The news broke after the markets closed today. NPR's David Folkenflik covers the newspaper industry, and he joins me now. And, David, this was, I think, the best-kept secret in Washington. Tell us some details of this transaction and how it came about.

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

'Washington Post' To Be Sold To Amazon's Jeff Bezos

View of the front page of the October 30, 2009 edition of The Washington Post.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:03 am

The Washington Post Co. will sell its flagship newspaper and one of the most respected news organizations in the country to Amazon.com founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, the company announced in a press release. The Post has been a family-owned business for four generations.

Amazon, the company said, will play no role in the purchase. Bezos is making the purchase personally.

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NPR Story
2:47 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Running Program Uses Goal-Setting To Help Homeless

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Cities usually have an array of services to combat homelessness. These include shelters, soup kitchens, job assistance programs. But there's a new trend in helping the homeless: running.

Greg Collard of member station WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina, reports on how running has changed the lives for some of the city's homeless people.

GREG COLLARD, BYLINE: You might wonder, how do you get the homeless interested in running? Well, here's a big enticement: free shoes. That grabbed the attention of Matthew Hoffman.

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NPR Story
2:47 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Zombie Video Game Draws Inspiration From Real Fungus

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:59 pm

The Last of Us is a new survival horror video game. It follows a character named Joel as he fights off hostile humans and zombie-like creatures. The game was inspired by a BBC show on the scary effects of a fungus. (This piece initially aired July 9, 2013, on Morning Edition).

NPR Story
2:47 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Space Robot Designed As Companion For Japanese Astronaut

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

Japan has launched a humanoid robot bound for the International Space Station to keep one of its astronauts company.

The Salt
2:00 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Long Awaited Lab-Grown Burger Is Unveiled In London

Scientists say commercial production of cultured beef could begin within 10 to 20 years.
David Parry / PA Wire

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 3:04 pm

After three months, $330,000 and a high-profile media blitz, the world's first hamburger grown in a lab made its worldwide debut Monday.

The unveiling of "cultured beef," as the burger is branded, was a production worthy of the Food Network era, complete with chatty host, live-streamed video, hand-picked taste testers, a top London chef and an eager audience (made up mostly of journalists). Rarely has a single food gotten such star treatment.

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Shots - Health News
1:55 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Data Dive Finds Doctors For Rent

What's up, doc?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:04 am

Silly me. I thought "rent-seeking" was something only landlords did.

But economists have their own way of looking at the world. To them, rent-seeking is a term for describing how someone snags a bigger share of a pie rather than making a pie bigger, as the venerable Economist explains it.

So, a drugmaker can be seen as a rent-seeker if it cajoles doctors to prescribe more of a particular brand of medicine at the expense of a rival pharmaceutical company's wares.

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Space
1:28 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

No Tax Dollars Went To Make This Space Viking Photo

The Vikings Have Landed: Photographer Ved Chirayath staged this photograph in Palo Alto Foothills Park in California last December.
Courtesy of Ved Chirayath

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:02 pm

Scrutinizing the books of government agencies can turn up lavish parties or illicit trips at the taxpayers' expense. But not every investigation turns out that way. And when they don't, the hunt for waste can appear to be a waste itself.

Such appears to be the case with a recent inquiry involving NASA and Viking re-enactors. This whole saga began with an idea from Ved Chirayath, an aeronautics graduate student at Stanford University who loves photography. He was talking over what to shoot one day with a colleague, and thought of Vikings.

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All Tech Considered
1:17 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

The Hackable Japanese Toilet Comes With An App To Track Poop

A promotion for the My Satis app.
My Satis

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 1:45 pm

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It's All Politics
12:56 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

How John McCain Got His Groove Back

Sen. John McCain at a rally in Denver during his 2008 presidential campaign.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:20 pm

All of a sudden, Sen. John McCain matters again.

It's not like he disappeared. But after being sidelined for a time by his 2008 defeat in the presidential election against Barack Obama, the Arizona Republican has re-emerged as one of Obama's most important allies in the Senate.

McCain took the lead in crafting immigration legislation that passed the Senate in June. Last month, he came up with the deal that prevented the Senate from abolishing judicial filibusters, allowing several Obama Cabinet and agency nominees to win confirmation.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Ex-Turkish Military Chief Gets Life In Prison For Coup Plot

Protesters wave posters of Turkey's first president, Kemal Ataturk, before a police barricade outside the Silivri jail complex in Silivri, Turkey, on Monday. Scores of people were sentenced for their roles in what's being dubbed the Ergenekon plot.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:15 pm

Turkey's former military chief was sentenced to life in prison and scores of others were given long sentences Monday for plotting against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Technology
12:21 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Bracing For Google Glass: An In-Your-Face Technology

A conference attendee tries Google Glass during the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco in May.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 12:22 pm

The likes of you and I can't buy Google Glass yet. It's available only to the select developers and opinion-makers who have been permitted to spring $1,500 for the privilege of having the first one on the block. But I've seen a few around my San Francisco neighborhood among the young techies who commute down to the Google and Facebook campuses in WiFi-equipped shuttle buses or who pedal downtown to Zynga and Twitter on their fixies.

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Music Reviews
12:21 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Vince Gill And Paul Franklin Ain't 'Foolin' Around' With Bakersfield Sound

Vince Gill (left) and Paul Franklin.
Courtesy of the artist

Country-music star Vince Gill and steel guitarist Paul Franklin have teamed up to record a new concept album called Bakersfield. Their idea is to cover hits from the 1960s and '70s by two artists who helped define the Bakersfield, Calif., country sound: Merle Haggard and the Strangers and Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. But this is no nostalgia-fest — it's a vital testament to music that retains energy and innovation.

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It's All Politics
12:12 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Texas' Democratic Darling Will Decide On Governor's Race Soon

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis speaks at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser last month.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 3:24 pm

Official Washington has fled for dog-day vacations few deserved, leaving the nation's capital a bit languid and bereft of news.

Enter, as if on cue, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis of abortion bill filibuster fame, with a speech Monday at the National Press Club.

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The Salt
12:04 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Chili Cheeseburger A-Plenty

As you approach the Beacon in Spartanburg, S.C., you see the lighthouse, which is the only light thing you're going to encounter for the next half-hour or so.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 12:44 pm

There are, for eaters of sandwiches, pilgrimages that must be made. In fact, the pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower were on a pilgrimage to try the first day-after-Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich. After that, the next most important pilgrimage may be to the Beacon Drive-In Restaurant in Spartanburg, S.C.

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Author Interviews
11:32 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Talent Or Skill?: Homing In On The Elusive 'Sports Gene'

According to author David Epstein, hitters like the Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols look at the movement of the pitcher's shoulder, torso or hand to help them hit the ball.
Brian Bahr Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 9:59 pm

We've all had the experience of watching a great athletic performance — from gymnast Mary Lou Retton defying gravity to Michael Jordan sinking a mind-blowing turnaround jumper — and wondered: Were they born with that talent or can you get there with hard work and practice?

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Goodbye Earth! What Messenger Saw On Its Way To Mercury

Earth as seen by the Messenger spacecraft.
NASA

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 12:48 pm

For its "Astronomy Picture of the Day," NASA is featuring a time-lapse video of what Earth looked like from the Messenger spacecraft as it left its home planet in August of 2005 for its mission to Mercury, our solar system's innermost planet:

NASA explains:

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Mon August 5, 2013

15 Years Later, Tawana Brawley Has Paid 1 Percent Of Penalty

Tawana Brawley, with the Rev. Al Sharpton, in 1988.
Mark Elias AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 12:32 pm

It was 1987 when a black teenager, Tawana Brawley, said she had been raped and kidnapped by a group of white men in Dutchess County, N.Y.

Her story of being attacked, scrawled with racial slurs, smeared with feces and left beside a road wrapped in a plastic bag made front pages across the nation — especially after the Rev. Al Sharpton took up her case.

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All Tech Considered
11:03 am
Mon August 5, 2013

The Effort To Write Laws For Your Digital Life After Death

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 12:21 pm

Time was when the belongings you left behind after death were tangible — furniture, jewelry, letters — and financial property, which hundreds of years of experience have taught executors how to handle. Today, some of the most valuable keys to our lives and identities exist digitally, and are technically owned by companies like Google or Facebook.

For the digital assets stored on shared servers in the cloud, legal systems have yet to catch up to help decide who controls your data when you're dead. And uniform laws around control of these assets could help.

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