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The Picture Show
7:23 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Amazing Art From Ivory, But At An Extreme Expense

"A sculpture like this can take a master carver years to produce. Front and center are the popular Taoist gods Shou, Lu and Fu — symbols of long life, money, and luck. 'We hope — no, we insist — we can continue to protect these skills,' says Wang Shan, secretary-general of the China Arts and Crafts Association."
Brent Stirton National Geographic

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:21 pm

My immediate response to the intricate carvings in these photos is awe — maybe even admiration. I can't believe they are made by hand from one solid piece of material. With such detail and complexity, I can see why they would be coveted and sold at a high price.

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It's All Politics
7:14 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Latest Fundraising Picture Shows Strong Month For Obama

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:21 am

Fundraising reports filed last night by the presidential campaigns show President Obama with a slight advantage in fundraising last month, while Republican Mitt Romney has the edge by some other measures.

Each candidate is raising money for his own campaign committee, plus his national party committee and a joint fundraising committee or two.

So what you see depends on what you look at.

In cash on hand, the overall Romney organization finished August with more than $168 million — that's $43 million more than the overall Obama organization.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Here's Where And When To See Space Shuttle Endeavour Today In California

Endeavour passed by the Golden Gate Bridge today.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:28 pm

The last leg of space shuttle Endeavour's flight to its retirement home in Los Angeles began at 8 a.m. Pacific time today, NASA says.

And the space agency has put together a timetable for Endeavour's flybys that will give folks from San Francisco to Southern California a chance to see the shuttle aboard the jumbo jet that's carrying it to L.A.

Update at 4:25 p.m. ET. Touchdown:

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Fri September 21, 2012

As Last Surge Troops Leave, Some Afghans Take Up Arms Against Taliban

January 2011: Boys in the Andar district of Afghanistan gathered to collect candy from passing U.S. Army soldiers. Now, there are reports from that area of locals rising up against the Taliban.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notes that the last of the 33,000 so-called surge troops who were added to the U.S. force in Afghanistan last year have now left the country, there's this interesting news:

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Fri September 21, 2012

More Protests In Muslim Nations; Some Violence

In Islamabad today, this demonstrator threw a tear gas canister back toward police.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:45 am

(Check below for updates.)

Tens of thousands of people are protesting in all of Pakistan's major cities today, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Islamabad, as those who oppose U.S. policy in the region continue to use outrage over an anti-Islam video to whip up anti-American sentiment.

There are also reports of new protests in other Muslim nations, including Bangladesh and Malaysia.

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Europe
5:26 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Woman Who Popularized Fresco Of Jesus Wants A Cut

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

World
5:14 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Record Soap Bubble Holds 181 people

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Election 2012
4:04 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Romney Argues For The Proper Role Of Government

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been busy after a tape emerged of him telling wealthy donors that nearly half of Americans see themselves as victims dependent on the federal government. Now he's trying to make those remarks part of a broader argument: What is the proper role of government and who should pay for it?

NPR Story
3:58 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Want An iPhone 5 But Don't Want To Stand In Line?

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 5:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: Why wait?

American consumers will likely go to great lengths - and stand in lines of great lengths - to get the iPhone 5, which goes on sale today.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

People are lining up in front of Apple stores already. But this is a market economy, after all, and time is money, which explains why some people are paying others to stand in line for them.

IAN DEBORHA: I'm getting paid $55 for four hours.

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Media
3:11 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Smaller Audience, Bigger Payoff For Glenn Beck

Since leaving Fox News in 2011, Glenn Beck has found his way back to TV. His Internet television network, The Blaze TV, is now available to subscribers of the Dish Network.
Kris Connor Getty Images for Dish Network

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:43 pm

By the time Glenn Beck left the Fox News Channel in June 2011, both sides seemed ready, even eager, to part ways. Beck announced he would move on to bigger and grander ventures with his own production company, Mercury Radio Arts, but some media critics, such as Variety's Brian Lowry, shrugged then and since.

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Planet Money
2:10 am
Fri September 21, 2012

The Downside Of Tax Havens? Paperwork.

Unbelizable and Delawho? company documents, along with our official company stamp.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:44 pm

We were curious how hard it would be to set up an offshore company, so this summer we bought two. We at Planet Money are now the proud owners of "Unbelizable Inc." in Belize and "Delawho? LLC" in Delaware. The whole process was quick and easy.

At least that's how it seemed at first — until we got an email from David Buckley, a tax lawyer at Rogin Nassau, telling us we had just walked into an IRS sinkhole.

Buckley described it as "a minefield of U.S. tax obligations," and he said he was worried about me. (The companies are in my name.)

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Shots - Health Blog
1:36 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Swedes Perform Pioneering Uterine Transplants; Americans Not Far Behind

A surgical team with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, performs the first mother-to-daughter uterine transplant.
Johan Wingborg University of Gothenburg

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:39 am

A Swedish medical team has transplanted uteruses from two women in their 50s to their daughters. Meanwhile, Shots has learned that an Indiana group is recruiting women willing to undergo womb transplants in this country.

"We could go ahead tomorrow if we found the perfect candidate," Dr. Giuseppe Del Priore told Shots.

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Europe
1:35 am
Fri September 21, 2012

A Stiletto, A Lamppost And The Soul Of Berlin

Berlin's lampposts bristle with fliers and notices, and Berliners read them avidly. For one resident, the lamps were a natural place to turn when she lost a beloved shoe.
Esme Nicholson NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:09 pm

Something horrible has happened in Berlin.

You won't see it on TV or in the newspaper, but I know about it. So do my neighbors.

That's because there's a lamppost on our street, festooned with a note that reads, "A HORRIBLE ACCIDENT HAS HAPPENED." And naturally, once you see a note like that, you have to find out more.

As it turns out, the note was written by 29-year-old Maira Becke. But before I reveal her calamity, I must first explain the significance of lamp posts here in Berlin.

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It's All Politics
1:34 am
Fri September 21, 2012

You've Got Mail: Campaigns Still Rely On Snail Mail

A collection of political direct-mail pamphlets produced by the Mammen Group.
Lauren Rock NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 3:08 pm

For those of you who feel you've had quite enough of the political ads airing every night on your TV screens, well, get ready for another sort of deluge.

In the coming weeks, candidates will bombard your mailboxes with ads. It may seem old-fashioned, but the consultants who devise direct-mail campaigns have become sophisticated about knowing whom to reach and what to say.

"It's almost because of the changing media landscape that direct mail remains relevant," says Anil Mammen, who runs a small direct-mail shop in Washington, D.C.

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StoryCorps
12:16 am
Fri September 21, 2012

College Student Recalls High School Homelessness

John Horan was dean at the charter school where Tierra Jackson was a struggling student. Part of the reason she struggled: Jackson was homeless.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:04 am

When Tierra Jackson was in high school, she was struggling. She kept getting yelled at for being late to school.

What most of her teachers and administrators didn't know was the reason for her tardiness: Jackson was homeless. Her mother was in and out of prison. She and her brother were living with her aunt and cousins. All seven of them shared a single room in one of Chicago's homeless shelters, a long bus ride from her school.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands In California

Space Shuttle Endeavour sits atop the shuttle aircraft carrier, flies over downtown Austin, Texas early Thursday.
Marco Hanson AP

The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed in the Mojave Desert today. In truth, tomorrow will be the spectacular day, when it flies across the California coast, and across the landmarks of San Francisco and Los Angeles, where it will find its new, permanent home at the California Science Center.

Still, the retired shuttle had a poignant day today, taking off from Houston, flying low through Austin and making a special flyover in Tucson, Arizona in honor of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose husband Mark Kelly was in command during its last mission in May 2011.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Report: Multinationals, Including Microsoft, Avoided Billions In Taxes

Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP

According to a Senate investigations subcommittee, Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and other multinational corporations took advantage of an ambiguous U.S. tax code to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

Here's how Bloomberg wraps it up:

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Election 2012
4:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Race Tough To Call As Wisconsin Swings

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin sits with state delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5.
David Goldman AP

Republicans hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November's elections are banking on Wisconsin where they want to flip the seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who's retiring.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Despite Obama's High Latino Support, Univision Puts Him On Hot Seat

President Obama got few if any softball questions when he had his turn at a Univision forum for the two major-party presidential candidates.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:46 pm

President Obama may have the overwhelming support of Latino voters in his race against Republican Mitt Romney, but that didn't get him a free pass during his appearance Thursday at Univision's presidential candidate forum.

Obama faced repeated tough questions from the hosts of the forum on the Spanish-language channel, and from some in the audience, for his failure to deliver on his promise as a candidate in 2008 to push comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.

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Middle East
3:33 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Mideast Violence Prompts Calls For New U.S. Policy

Egyptians destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 11, during a protest over the film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:05 pm

The protests and violence aimed at U.S. interests in the Middle East have set off a domestic debate about what the U.S. could or should do to relate to new political movements in the region. The Obama administration says it will continue to engage the region. The campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, says the U.S. needs to do more to lead.

But there are others who say that both parties have it wrong, and that U.S. policies from both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed.

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Election 2012
3:31 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Parties Debate Meaning, Value Of 'Redistribution'

Mitt Romney speaks in Miami on Wednesday.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:19 pm

Cuban-Americans know a thing or two about what can happen when a government seizes wealth and redistributes it, as Fidel Castro's regime did five decades ago in Cuba.

So Mitt Romney had an especially receptive audience Wednesday night at a rally of Cuban-Americans in Miami, when he launched his campaign's latest line of attack on President Obama.

"He said some years ago something which we're hearing about today on the Internet," Romney told the crowd. "He said that he believes in redistribution."

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Africa
3:21 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Militiaman Says He Warned U.S. Of Dangers

U.S. officials and Libyan militiamen met to discuss the deteriorating security in Benghazi just two days before the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Stevens is shown here at the consulate in June.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:15 pm

Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.

In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.

Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.

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Animals
2:52 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man-Made Cave Built To Shelter Bats From Infection

The artificial cave built for bats in Tennessee has a human entrance below and a bat entrance above. In the summer, any fungus left by the bats over the winter will be cleaned up.
The Nature Conservancy

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:05 pm

A man-made bat cave in Tennessee is looking for tenants. An hour northwest of Nashville, the artificial cave is built to give thousands of bats a haven from a devastating infection called white-nose syndrome.

Millions of bats in the Northeast have died from the infection since it first showed up a few years ago. The culprit is an invasive fungus that grows in caves. When bats hibernate inside, they wake up with faces covered in white fuzz and often wind up starving or freezing to death.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

'New York Times' Bans Practice Of Allowing Sources To Approve Quotes

Back in July, The New York Times writer Jeremy Peters lifted the curtain on a common, but surprising, practice in Washington: In exchange for an interview, high-powered politicos demand the right to approve any quotes before they're published.

It's a practice used by the White House as well as the Romney campaign.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:38 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Who's Next In Line For A Kidney Transplant? The Answer Is Changing

Surgeons transplant a kidney in 8-year-old Sarah Dickman at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in 2008. The proposed changes in the transplant list attempt to maximize kidney life in young patients.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:38 am

There's some big news out today about one of the most sensitive issues in medicine: Who's next in line for a transplant?

The United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, a nonprofit in charge of distributing organs, wants to revamp the system for distributing the most sought-after organ — kidneys — for the first time in 25 years.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:29 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Challenges To Health Law Just Keep Coming

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, seen at a news conference in early 2011 before he took office, promised to file a lawsuit soon after he was sworn in. He did.
Sue Ogrocki AP

The Affordable Care Act survived a near-death experience at the Supreme Court earlier this year. And the overhaul law's fate again hangs in the balance come Election Day. Mitt Romney has vowed to work for its repeal, if he's elected president.

Meanwhile, the law continues to take its hits.

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U.S.
2:22 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

You Can Buy An Island, But Can You Really Own It?

The Four Seasons resort on Lanai. Software mogul Larry Ellison recently bought virtually the entire Hawaiian island.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:23 pm

We don't know how much software mogul Larry Ellison recently paid for the Hawaiian island of Lanai — for 98 percent of the island, to be exact — but estimates run upward of half a billion dollars. So what do you get for that kind of money?

Beautiful beaches, for starters. A view of Maui, just eight miles away. A couple of luxury resorts built by the previous owner. And, as a bonus, some delicate history.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

U.S. Speedskater Accused Of Sabotaging Rival

Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men's final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden in 2011.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

The allegations of physical and verbal abuse at U.S. Speedskating have a new twist: A coach allegedly directed a skater to tamper with the skates of a Canadian competitor at an international competition last year — and the skater complied.

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The Salt
1:53 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man Wins $7 Million In Suit Claiming Microwave Popcorn Caused Lung Disease

Wayne Watson, who just won a $7 million lawsuit, explains how a bag of popcorn would "whoof" when opened, releasing steam and flavor.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:04 pm

A federal court has awarded a Denver man $7.2 million in a lawsuit he filed against a popcorn maker and a grocery store for selling him microwaved popcorn that made him sick.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:25 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Could Genes For Stripes Help Kitty Fight Disease?

The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans.
kennymatic via Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:04 pm

At this point it's just an interesting hypothesis, but it's possible that understanding cat coloration could help scientists understand resistance to infectious diseases.

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