7:12 am
Thu August 11, 2011

Weekly Standard: Shaken (Not Stirred) Money Maker

A bartender mixes cocktails at a stand selling vodka at the Wine and Gourmet Asia show at the Venetian hotel in Macau on November 8, 2007.
Mike Clarke AFP/Getty Images

Victorino Matus is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.

Unemployment once again has crept past 9 percent. GDP growth fell below 2 percent this last quarter. Inflation is up. Home values are down. There's talk of a double-dip recession. According to one market analyst, "We're on the verge of a great, great depression." But through it all, there is one constant, a commodity that has not only survived during these harsh economic times, but even thrived.

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6:57 am
Thu August 11, 2011

Foreign Policy: Britain's Young And Relentless

A jewelry store is damaged in Ealing, west London, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, following unrest overnight. A wave of violence and looting raged across London and spread to three other major British cities Tuesday, as authorities struggled to contain the country's worst unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s.
Jonathan Short AP

Portia Walker is a freelance journalist.

Buildings are charred and shops barricaded closed. Helicopters circle low overhead. London's prison cells are all full. Police are flooding the streets of the capital. For four days now, mobs have run amok in multiple areas across this city, looting, brawling, and terrorizing people.

As a mob stormed through a warm Monday night on a west London street, restaurants locked their doors and diners headed home early.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu August 11, 2011

New Unemployment Claims Drop To Four-Week Low

The Labor Department released a rare piece of good economic news, today: Its weekly unemployment claims report shows that this past week had saw lowest number of claims in a month.

For the week ending Aug. 6, the number of unemployment claims dropped by 7,000 to 395,000, the lowest number since the week that ended April 2.

Reuters reports:

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu August 11, 2011

In U.K.: Talk Of Banning Masks, Blocking Text Messages

This masked man walked past a burning car in London on Monday (Aug. 8, 2011).
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

The wave of violence that swept across cities in Britain over the past week has led to Prime Minister David Cameron saying that:

-- Authorities may block instant messaging services "when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."

-- The police have been given the power to order protesters to remove facemasks "under any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity."

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Elizabeth Blair is a Senior Producer on the Arts Desk of NPR News.

On a daily basis, she produces, edits and reports arts and cultural segments that air on NPR News magazines including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her recent stories explored the rise of public humiliation in popular culture, consumers' changing media habits and the intersection of the arts and education.

Laura Sydell fell in love with the intimate storytelling qualities of radio, which combined her passion for theatre and writing with her addiction to news. Over her career she has covered politics, arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Currently Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and NPR.org.

Sydell's work focuses on the ways in which technology is transforming our culture and how we live. For example, she reported on robotic orchestras and independent musicians who find the Internet is a better friend than a record label as well as ways technology is changing human relationships.

Jeff Brady is a NPR National Desk Correspondent based in Philadelphia. He covers the mid-Atlantic region and the energy industry.

In this role, Brady reports on the business of energy, from concerns over hydraulic fracturing in Western Pennsylvania to the oil boom in North Dakota and solar developments in the desert Southwest. With a focus on the consumer, Brady's reporting addresses how the energy industry intersects consumers' perspective at the gas pump and light switch.

Frequently traveling throughout the country for NPR, Brady has covered just about every major domestic news event in the past decade. Before moving to Philadelphia in July 2011, Brady was based in Denver and covered the west for NPR.

10:05 pm
Wed August 10, 2011

Energy Panel Wants Answers On Gas Fracking

Originally published on Wed August 10, 2011 10:01 pm

A Department of Energy panel hopes new recommendations — if implemented — will restore the public's trust in hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for natural gas.

In the last few years, fracking has brought new life to old gas fields around the country. Most of the increasing production comes from dense layers of shale deep underground. By pumping huge deep underground amounts of water, along with smaller amounts of chemicals and sand, drillers can force gas out of shale.

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Arts & Life
10:01 pm
Wed August 10, 2011

World Art Managers Find New Funding Models In D.C.

Kennedy Center fellow Reem Kassem recently used her Kennedy connections to help organize an outdoor arts festival in Alexandria, Egypt.
Kennedy Center

Cultural diplomacy usually comes in the form of a traveling art exhibit or a celebrity visit to a war-torn country. But there's a deeper kind of diplomacy taking place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. For the past four summers, arts managers from around the world have been coming to D.C. for training on how to improve their organizations back home.

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