Middle East
10:01 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Even In Lebanon, No Safe Haven For Syrian Dissidents

Lebanese and Syrian protesters demonstrate against the Syrian government in Beirut in August. Syrian defectors say they fear the Syrian regime will track them down, even in Lebanon.

Anwar Amro AFP/Getty Images

Syrian exiles, both defecting soldiers and civilian protesters, have slipped across the border into northern Lebanon seeking safety from the Syrian government and its relentless crackdown on opponents.

But even here, they can literally hear the shooting from across the border in the restive Syrian town of Homs, less than 20 miles away. They express fear that President Bashar Assad's forces will track them down in Lebanon. Those most at risk are army defectors who are hiding out in small Lebanese villages.

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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Where Everybody Has A Say In Everything

Spencer Platt Getty Images

At Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters are camped out, there's a big meeting every night at 7:00.

The protesters call it the General Assembly, and it's a meeting where every single person has a say in every single decision that gets made. For the protesters, this is a model society.

It's a model where it takes a really long time to make a decision — like, say, whether to buy more sleeping bags for the group.

I visited the park for a General Assembly earlier this week. Here's what I heard.

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Sports
10:01 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

WNBA Has Higher TV Ratings But Uncertain Future

Minnesota Lynx guard Candice Wiggins, center, goes up for a shot against Atlanta Dream center Alison Bales, left, and forward Sancho Lyttle, right, in the second half of Game 1 of the WNBA finals basketball series on Sunday.

Stacy Bengs AP

Game 2 of the WNBA finals is set for Wednesday night in Minneapolis, as the Minnesota Lynx face the Atlanta Dream. The Lynx lead the series after winning Game 1 on Sunday, where they played in front of a near-record crowd. But after 15 seasons, the WNBA is still having trouble attracting fans and making money.

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Law
10:01 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Do Civil Rights Laws Apply To Parochial Schools?

Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The United States Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a major case testing the rights of teachers in religious schools. At rock bottom, the issue is who is a minister and when, if ever, that individual is exempt from the nation's civil rights laws.

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Living Large: Obesity In America
10:01 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

The Thinnest State Loosens Its Belt

Ryan Van Duzer, an outdoor enthusiast who has starred in reality TV adventure shows, visits Colorado schools to talk about how working out can be entertainment. He says he often leaves frustrated after kids tell him about staying inside playing video games.
Kirk Siegler for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 3:28 pm

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America.

The obesity crisis is catching up with Colorado, the nation's thinnest state.

Being fit is part of the culture in Colorado: there are biking trails and hiking trails and ski slopes and even the high altitude itself helps burn off calories. But waistlines are widening, especially among children.

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Sweetness And Light
8:00 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

The Luxurious Revenue College Sports Model

Despite the popularity of college football, according to Frank Deford, only 14 athletic departments show a profit. Why? Because football has to cover the costs of the college sports that lose money.

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 10:01 pm

Hollywood inhabitants always joke that nobody can understand the profit and loss statements of films. There's an old expression: "We shoulda shot the deal instead of the movie — it's got a better plot." The same, it seems to me, could be said of the economics of college athletics.

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The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Relief Pitcher Admits Living A Lie, And Then Life Gets Complicated

Juan Carlos Oviedo, seen here closing a game for the Marlins under the name Leo Nunez, remains in the Dominican Republic after admitting falsifying documents.

Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

One week before the pro baseball season ended, Florida Marlins pitcher Leo Nunez made a stunning admission: For the past 10 years, he lied about both his age and his name. As the subterfuge finally came apart, Nunez left for his native Dominican Republic. Details about why he assumed someone else's identity are only now coming out.

"His real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo," Miami Herald reporter Frances Robles tells NPR's Lynn Neary. "And when he was 17, he assumed a friend's identity, who was 16 — because the teams pay so much more money for 16-year-olds."

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Oktoberfest Tallies 7.5 Million Liters Of Beer; Lost And Found Office Is Busy

Revelers clink their beer mugs inside a beer tent on the last day of Oktoberfest in Munich. The festival drew some 6.9 million visitors this year.

Johannes Simon Getty Images

In the past 17 days, people visiting Munich's Oktoberfest drank a record 7.5 million liters of beer — around 1.98 million U.S. gallons. That figure is made more striking if one notes that the festival, which ended Monday, hosted some 6.9 million visitors this year — or 200,000 people short of a record turnout.

Despite that number, there was less violence this year, with the police being called about 100 times fewer than they were in 2010. And Reuters says that only 58 conflicts involved people knocking one another over the head with steins — a drop of 4 from last year.

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Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Mississippi's Jobs Program: A New National Model?

Brian Vandevender says a tough economic market prevented him from getting a good job until the state brought back the program it calls STEPS 2 last month. He just got a position working for a company that makes auto parts and supplies and hopes it will turn into a full-time job when STEPS ends in December.

Kathy Lohr NPR

As President Obama sells his jobs initiative across the country, people in Mississippi point to a program they say is already creating jobs. Mississippi has attracted attention because economists like the way the state got employers to share the cost of hiring workers.

Under the Subsidized Transitional Employment Program and Services, or STEPS for short, the state pays part of the cost of workers' salaries in the hopes that the subsidy will lead to full-time jobs.

Some analysts say this could be a national model, but it comes with a price tag.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:09 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Hormonal Contraceptives May Raise HIV Risk For Men And Women

Hormone shots that are a popular form of birth control in Africa may increase the risk of HIV infection for women who use them and the men who are their sexual partners.

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