Politics
2:00 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Mitch Daniels: Avoid 'Fiscal Niagara' On Social Security

Social Security has been compared to Ponzi schemes for decades, says Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. In his new book, he lays out ideas for improving the system.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 7:06 am

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels urges a new approach for Social Security in his new book, Keeping the Republic. In the book, Daniels writes that Carlo Ponzi — the con man whose name became synonymous with a swindling scheme — would have been "an ideal Social Security commissioner."

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The Two-Way
5:08 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

New York Unions Vow To Support Wall Street Protesters

Demonstrators with "Occupy Wall Street" occupy Zuccotti Park in New York. The encampment in the financial district of New York City is now on Day 13.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 5:11 pm

The group of young people who have set up camp in lower Manhattan in order to protest what they say is the corruption of Wall Street have been dismissed by some as being a disorganized movement with no real focus.

New York Magazine reports that next week, the professionals have vowed to help "Occupy Wall Street" put some people on the street:

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Man Accused Of Poisoning Toomer's Corner Oaks Apologizes To Auburn

It was a sports rivalry gone too far: You may remember that in February of this year, Auburn University football fans received some heady news.

Their beloved 130-year-old oak trees, which for years fans toilet papered to celebrate sports victories, had been poisoned with a herbicide that would kill them slowly. Spike 80DF disrupts a tree's photosynthesis process and in a painstaking process, it produces fewer leaves in each shoot until the entire tree is dead.

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Research News
3:17 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Using Twitter To Tap Into The Mood Of The Planet

iSockphoto.com

Right now, armies of marketers, pollsters and social scientists are trying to figure out what Americans are thinking about — issues like global warming or Lady Gaga's latest outfit. And surveys are only so good: It's hard to get a big enough sample to be sure of the results. That's particularly vexing for social scientists who want a high standard of accuracy.

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The Salt
3:16 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Scent Of Rotten Fruit Signals Sex, At Least For Fruit Flies

Waitin' on a lady
digicla Flickr

If you're into sexual chemistry, set an aging banana peel or apple core out on your kitchen counter, pull up a chair, and wait — for the fruit flies.

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Animals
3:05 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Chicago-Area Skunk Population Raises A Stink

This small juvenile skunk was caught by Des Plaines, Ill., homeowner Richard Kaulback. He says there have always been raccoons and opossums in the Chicago area, but this year, skunks have become prolific.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 4:15 pm

There is a slight stench as Brandon Owen steps out of his truck. The biologist is a wildlife technician with ABC Humane Wildlife Control, and his company has captured 687 skunks so far this year in northeastern Illinois — about 200 more than last year.

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Europe
2:59 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

French Feminists Say 'Non' To 'Mademoiselle'

In France, feminists are trying to do away with the word mademoiselle, which they see as separating women into two categories — married and unmarried — in a manner men aren't subjected to.
Thurston Hopkins Getty Images

Feminists in France say the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal has forced the country to confront longstanding sexist attitudes. Buoyed by this new awareness, they are now taking on what they see as one of the most entrenched, if not discreet, barriers to gender equality in France: the word "mademoiselle."

In France, when you fill out a form — whether it's a job application or a parking citation — if you're a woman, you have to choose between madame and mademoiselle.

Too bad if you feel your marital status is nobody's business, there's simply no French equivalent of "Ms."

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Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.

Siegler grew up near Missoula, MT, and received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado.  He’s an avid skier and traveler in his spare time.

Politics
2:40 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

It Took Only 5 Minutes? House Votes To Stay Funded

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), pictured here on Tuesday, was one of a few House members present Thursday to vote to keep the government funded till next week. "Once you get to yes, things can move quickly," he says.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 5:13 pm

The House or Representatives met for exactly 5 minutes and 2 seconds Thursday and — in less time than you can eat lunch — passed a spending bill that will keep the government up and running.

That is, for a few days, anyway.

How It Happened

At 11 a.m., an officer of the sergeant at arms threw open the doors of the House of Representatives to carry in the 4-foot ceremonial mace with the golden eagle on top.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) was in the chair and called on the House chaplain to give the prayer.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Authorities Charge 37 In Drug Sting At Boeing's Penn. Plant

The Justice Department announced that 36 Boeing employees and one non-employee were arrested in connection to a drug sting at the aerospace company's Ridley Park, Penn. plant.

Twenty-three of them were charged with illegal distribution of a prescription drug; while the rest were charged with buying the drugs. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration placed an uncover agent at the plant, after Boeing complained that there was a problem.

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