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2:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Rising Interest Rates Worry Banking Industry

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

Five years after the start of the financial crisis, the U.S. banking industry continues to earn strong profits. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs became the latest big bank to report better than expected earnings. But rising interest rates mean a riskier environment for banks.

Law
2:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Holder: It's Time To Examine 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Attorney General Eric Holder says it is time to take a hard look at so-called Stand Your Ground laws. These are laws that allow people to use deadly force to defend themselves, if they believe they're under attack. Holder delivered that call to action yesterday in a speech to the NAACP in Orlando, Fla., a short distance away from where unarmed, black teen Trayvon Martin was shot and killed last year. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

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Shots - Health News
1:02 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Sickle Cell Anemia Is On The Rise Worldwide

Red blood cells are normally shaped like doughnuts, but sickle cells (purple) are flattened and clump together.
NIH

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 8:45 am

Sickle cell anemia may not be as well-known as, say, malaria, tuberculosis or AIDS. But every year, hundreds of thousands of babies around the world are born with this inherited blood disorder. And the numbers are expected to climb.

The number of sickle cell anemia cases is expected to increase about 30 percent globally by 2050, scientists said Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most common, will be the hardest hit.

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Joe's Big Idea
1:01 am
Wed July 17, 2013

All Charged Up: Engineers Create A Battery Made Of Wood

Wood fibers are coated with carbon nanotubes and then packed into small disks of metal. The sodium ions moving around in the wood fibers create an electric current.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

The big idea behind Joe's Big Idea is to report on interesting inventions and inventors. When I saw the headline "An Environmentally Friendly Battery Made From Wood," on a press release recently, I figured it fit the bill, so went to investigate.

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The Salt
1:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Oregon, The GMO Wheat Mystery Deepens

Wheat grows in a test field at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Some scientists believe that there's a chance that genetically modified wheat found in one farmer's field in May is still in the seed supply.
Natalie Behring Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:34 pm

The strange case of genetically engineered wheat on a farm in Oregon remains as mysterious as ever. If anything, it's grown more baffling.

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Parallels
12:59 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

The Mathare Valley, shown here in an aerial map, is one of the largest and oldest slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Residents are using hand-held GPS devices to map the area, which comprises 13 villages and is home to nearly 200,000 people.
Courtesy of Muungano Support Trust and Jason Corburn, UC Berkeley

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:56 pm

If you were to do a search for the Nairobi city slum of Mathare on Google Maps, you'd find little more than gray spaces between unmarked roads.

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Around the Nation
12:58 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Europeans Traverse U.S. On Famous Lincoln Highway

Erik and Mary-Ann Gjermundsen of Norway are making the nearly 3,400-mile trip across the U.S. in their small Messerschmitt.
Jenna Dooley NPR

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:54 am

This year marks the centennial of America's first transcontinental road: the Lincoln Highway. You might have driven on the highway and not even known it, since it stretches from New York to California, passing through states like Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado, and carrying different state route numbers along the way.

Erik Gjermundsen of Fredrikstad Norway is checking off another item from his bucket list.

"I've been in the U.S. many times and I have always wanted to drive coast-to-coast," Gjermundsen says. "You have to do something in the summer and this was different."

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The Two-Way
10:42 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

American League Wins All-Star Game In 3-0 Shutout

Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees pitches a perfect eighth inning during Tuesday's Major League Baseball All-Star baseball game. He was later named Most Valuable Player.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:24 am

New York Yankees' great Mariano Rivera, pitching in his final All-Star game, was honored by fans at the home of the crosstown Mets, then pitched a perfect eighth inning to help the American League to a 3-0 victory over the National League in Tuesday's All-Star game.

The win means the team representing the American League will host this year's World Series.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Clap If You Believe In Roger Maris

Davis says that in his opinion, Roger Maris (above) is the all-time home run record holder. Maris hit 61 homers in 1961.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

In 1961 the American League schedule was lengthened by eight games to 162, and it was about this time that summer that the commissioner –– of whom it was once written, "An empty cab drove up to the curb and Ford Frick got out" –– declared that even if some player broke Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs, it would not count if he needed more games than Ruth had had.

So, when Roger Maris hit his 61st in the last game of the longer season, the distinction did not displace Ruth in the record books but was merely listed along with The Babe's lesser number.

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Book Reviews
6:00 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Book Review: 'Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish'

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The writer and humorist David Rakoff died last year at the age of 47 of cancer. He left behind his final work: a brief novel in verse with the long title "Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish." It was published today, and Alan Cheuse has this review.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

READ: The Theft Complaint Filed Against Bachmann Aide

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:11 am

Two envelopes filled with cash. A hidden camera. The office of a high-profile politician.

Sounds like a John Grisham novel.

The end result? Maybe not so dramatic.

As NPR's Tamara Keith tells us:

A now-former staffer for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has been arrested for allegedly stealing cash from the desk drawer of a co-worker.

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Heroin & Alcohol Killed 'Glee' Star Monteith, Coroner Says

Actor Cory Monteith on June 8 in Los Angeles. He died Saturday in Vancouver, Canada.
Jonathan Leibson Getty Images for Chrysalis

An autopsy shows that actor Cory Monteith was killed by "a mixed drug toxicity ... heroin, primarily, and also alcohol," the British Columbia coroner's office announced Tuesday afternoon.

Coroner Barbara McLintock released that conclusion in a short video her office posted on YouTube.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Liz Cheney, Daughter Of Former VP, To Run For Senate

Liz Cheney in 2010.
Chris Usher CBS/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 10:55 am

Liz Cheney, the elder of former Vice President Dick Cheney's two daughters, a former State Department official and a conservative commentator who's often on Fox, is going to challenge Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in next year's Republican primary.

According to The Associated Press, Cheney, 46, confirmed what had been wide speculation about her plans on Tuesday — not long after the 69-year-old Enzi said that he will seek a fourth term.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Unlikely Allies Shake Up Military Sex Assault Debate

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, at a news conference Tuesday with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas (right) and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul and Cruz have endorsed Gillibrand's bill regarding sexual assault in the military.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 3:29 pm

On most recent days, nothing that wasn't bitterly partisan has seemed possible in the nation's capital.

On Tuesday, the city got its exception.

Republican Tea Party Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas stood with liberal Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, endorsing her bill that would dramatically change how military sexual assault cases are reported and prosecuted.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Holder Calls For 'Hard Look' At 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the annual convention of the NAACP in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday. Holder told the convention that "Stand Your Ground" laws that have been adopted in 30 states should be reconsidered.
David Manning Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 4:34 pm

Saying that "it's time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods," Attorney Gen. Eric Holder on Tuesday called for a reexamination of so-called stand your ground laws.

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Education
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues

The latest study says kids learn better in charter schools than in public schools. But even charter school supporters question the study and its methods of research.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

Charter schools turn 21 this year. In that time, these privately run, publicly funded schools have spread to 41 states and enrolled more than 2 million students.

But one key question lingers: Do kids in charter schools learn more than kids in traditional public schools?

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Business
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

D.C. Wage Rift Puts Spotlight On Wal-Mart's Urban Push

The scene in a Wal-Mart store in Alexandria, Va. Cities are a key growth area for retailers since suburbs are already saturated with big-box stores.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

Wal-Mart's long-standing plans to come to Washington, D.C., are now up in the air. The City Council passed a living wage law that would require the world's largest retailer to pay $12.50 an hour, more than the city's current $8.25 minimum wage.

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Science
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Eavesdropping On Nature Gives Clues To Biodiversity

Scientists could use recordings of wildlife to monitor the movements of invasive species like the European starling.
Liz Leyden iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 8:00 pm

Biology professor Mitch Aide uses his ears to learn about the frogs, birds and insects that are all around him. This scientist at the University of Puerto Rico is trying to track how animal populations are affected by a world that's under increasing pressure from human activities.

Aide says, "We would like to have five, 10, 20 years of data of how populations are changing."

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Shots - Health News
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Cerner Fights For Share In Electronic Medical Records Boom

Pretty servers hold private health data at Cerner.
Courtesy of Cerner Corp.

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

This is a story about data. Lots and lots of data. And they're not just any data — they're extremely sensitive data.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Can Oysters With No Sex Life Repopulate The Chesapeake Bay?

Young oysters live on old oyster shells and slowly mature while forming a complete shell.
Astrid Riecken Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

The Chesapeake Bay once supplied half the world's oyster market. But pollution, disease and over-harvesting have nearly wiped out the population. It's a dire situation that's united former adversaries to revive the oyster ecosystem and industry.

Scientists and watermen have joined forces to plant underwater farms in the bay with a special oyster bred in a lab. Called triploid oysters, they have been selected for attributes like disease tolerance and fast growth.

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Television
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

McCarthy's Vaccination Stance Complicates Job On 'The View'

Jenny McCarthy, a regular guest host on The View, has been selected as a permanent co-host beginning in September. The appointment has sparked controversy because of McCarthy's anti-vaccination advocacy.
Donna Svennevik ABC via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:59 pm

The newest co-host for Barbara Walters' chatfest The View is a vivacious and outspoken model, actor and activist for children, seemingly a perfect person to have at the table of the successful network talk show.

But Jenny McCarthy is also one of the nation's leading skeptics about the safety of vaccines. And in that role, ABC's newest star has stirred consternation.

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

San Diego Mayor Accused Of Sexually Harassing Women

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Pressure is growing on the mayor of San Diego to resign. Democrat Bob Filner is being accused by former friends and supporters of sexually harassing women. Filner has apologized, but he also says he's innocent until proven otherwise.

Sandhya Dirks of member station KPBS has the story.

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Author Interviews
2:31 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

A Dark Family Secret Hidden For Years In Alaska's 'Wilderness'

Before Alaska, the Pilgrim family — seen here in 1992 — lived an isolated life in New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Courtesy of Kurina Rose Hale

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

In early 2002, a pair of battered old trucks drove through deep snow into a tiny Alaska ghost town carrying a large family that looked to be from another century.

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Television
2:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Laughs And Drama Behind Bars With 'Orange Is The New Black'

Taylor Schilling and Lin Tucci in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

Netflix's original series Orange Is the New Black has two important TV predecessors. One is HBO's Oz, the 1997 men-in-prison drama from Tom Fontana that paved the way for HBO's The Sopranos. The other is Showtime's Weeds, which in the fourth season put one of its central characters behind bars.

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Investigation Reveals A Military Payroll Rife With Glitches

Scot Paltrow is a special enterprise correspondent for Reuters.
Reuters

A new investigative report from Reuters says payroll errors in the military are widespread. And that "once mistakes are detected, getting them corrected — or just explained — can test even the most persistent soldiers."

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Code Switch
2:00 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Of Hoodies And Lost Time

After Sam Sanders learned of the Zimmerman verdict, one of the first things he did was count his hoodies.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 3:16 pm

The Code Switch team came across this blog post by Sam Sanders, our colleague at NPR. We thought it spoke to the resignation so many people felt following Trayvon Martin's shooting. Sam was kind enough to let us share it here.

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It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

3 Reasons The Senate Didn't Go Nuclear

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was credited by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with playing a crucial role in the filibuster pact.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:55 pm

With Tuesday's bipartisan agreement to let senators vote on seven of President Obama's previously stalled nominations, the Senate proved that the art of compromise isn't dead in Washington, even if it might be severely wounded.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

'Dear George Zimmerman' Letter Hits Home With Many

George Zimmerman during his trial.
Joe Burbank/pool UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:46 pm

There are obviously more provocative things being written and said about the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman than we could ever hope to keep up with.

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Around the Nation
1:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Baseball League Creates 'Islands' Of Refuge For Camden Kids

Angel Ramirez, a North Camden Little League player, walks through the Sixth Street drug corridor, known as "Heroin Highway," on his way home from practice in Camden, N.J. The Little League program is aimed at keeping kids in the struggling city engaged in a sport after school.
Gabe Dinsmoor for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

At a small park in Pyne Poynt on the north side of Camden, N.J., kids take practice cuts on the infield dirt and adjust their hats. A small but enthusiastic crowd shouts words of encouragement, but the cheering parents and playful bench-side scuffles only momentarily disguise the troubles in the city. Baggies, vials and hypodermic needles litter the same field where practice is being held.

"Each day, our kids walk past drug sets and open air drug use," says Bryan Morton, the North Camden Little League president.

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Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Mining Cell Data To Answer Cancer's Tough Questions

Chemistry, genetics and computing give us clues to understand cancer cells.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:47 pm

Sometimes a drug hits cancer hard. Sometimes the cancer cells are unfazed. But it's often hard to know which outcome to expect.

A group of scientists at the National Cancer Institute has spent the last three years turning some mathematical algorithms loose on giant sets of data to better understand the relationship between cancerous cells and cancer drugs.

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