Politics
10:01 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Outsiders Seek To Capitalize On Wis. Recall Elections

Wisconsin voters are headed to the polls for an unprecedented round of recall elections in response to Republican Gov. Scott Walker's move to limit collective bargaining rights of public employees.

In recall votes Tuesday and next week, control of the Republican-held state Senate is at stake, and with it, Walker's agenda.

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Business
10:01 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Frantic Market Can Make For Jittery Consumers

The volatile stock market has people worried.

After the downgrade of Treasury Bonds by Standard & Poor's, consumers might be less likely to buy a home, car or other big ticket item if they believe the economy is going south.

But even as the market suffers through fits and falls, people are visiting car dealers. On a recent day, Jack Myers was trading in his gigantic, black 2002 Chevy pickup at a dealership in southeast Michigan.

"Well this [truck] is eating gas," Myers said, "and we [want] something more economical. We're purchasing a hybrid."

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The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Market Indexes Sink On U.S. Debt Concerns; Widespread Losses Seen

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke may look to reassure global financial markets Tuesday. Here, he arrives for a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in July.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

U.S. stock benchmarks took another big hit Monday, in the first day of trading since America's credit was downgraded by Standard and Poor's rating agency late Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial index closed below the 11,000 mark for the first time since late 2010, ending the day at 10,811.

The Standard and Poor's 500 Index, meant to reflect the U.S. domestic economy, sank by 6.7 percent Monday. According to Bloomberg, all 500 of the stocks in the index declined on the same day — something that hadn't happened since at least 1996.

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Elizabeth Shogren is an NPR News Science Desk correspondent focused on covering environment and energy issues and news.

Since she came to NPR in 2005, Shogren's reporting has covered everything from the damage caused by the BP oil spill on the ecology of the Gulf Coast, to the persistence of industrial toxic air pollution as seen by the legacy of Tonawanda Coke near Buffalo, to the impact of climate change on American icons like grizzly bears.

Education
4:12 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

No Child Left Behind Gets A Revamp

Originally published on Mon August 8, 2011 5:08 pm

The Obama administration is giving school districts a waiver from some mandates of the No Child Left Behind education law.

The law requires schools to reach higher goals each year, and by 2014, it demands that every student be graded proficient in reading and math. The administration, which has repeatedly called on Congress to rewrite the legislation, says the law is overly punitive.

In an announcement on Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan opened the door for states to avoid the penalties and deadlines of the current No Child Left Behind Law.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

London Endures A Third Night Of Riots, Violence; Cameron Cuts Vacation Short

A rioter throws a rock at riot police in Clarence Road in Hackney, London, Monday. Rioting and looting continued into the night Monday in parts of London, as well as in Birmingham. The unrest was prompted by the initial rioting in Tottenham and then in Brixton on Sunday night.
Dan Istitene Getty Images

Cars and buildings were burning and stores were looted in areas across London Monday, on the third night of riots and violence in the British capital. "Area is an absolute war zone," pub manager Alan McCabe told the BBC in Croydon.

Prime Minister David Cameron is returning early from his summer vacation to help get the riots under control. He will meet with police and Home Office officials Tuesday, part of his "COBRA" emergency response team. The group takes its name from the Cabinet Office Briefing Room in which it meets.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:55 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Early Morning Smokers Are More Addicted And At Greater Risk Of Cancer

Early morning cigarettes are a proxy for the level of addiction, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Even though rising cigarette prices and new restrictions on smoking in public places have helped to make a dent in smoking rates in the U.S., there are still plenty of heavily addicted smokers out there who remain at great risk of developing cancer from their habit.

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Economy
3:49 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Market Turmoil Fuels Gold Rush

Gold futures climbed above $1,700 an ounce Monday as investors eyed the precious metal as a safe haven from declining stock markets.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 9:16 pm

The stock markets may be sinking, but the price of gold is on the rise, topping $1,700 an ounce Monday. Economists say the spike in gold is a sign that investors are getting nervous.

Ken Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University, says gold is kind of like an economic mood ring: When the price is relatively stable, the economy is cool, calm and collected.

But when the price of gold soars to levels like Monday's high, it's a sign of panic, he says. "People are scared right now," he says.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Why The Downgrade Won't End The D.C. Dysfunction

President Barack Obama talks about the downgrade of U.S. debt at the White House on August 8.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

The political blame game that has followed Standard & Poor's U.S. debt downgrade has been dismally predictable.

Democrats point fingers at the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Republicans condemn President Obama for an inability to lead. And S&P has been alternately hailed for calling out Washington's budgeting dysfunction and excoriated for overstepping in its ratings role.

One thing not in dispute?

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Alleged 'Patent Troll' Hit With Large Fine In Appeals Court

A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is being seen as a victory against "patent trolls," companies that acquire intellectual property for the sole purpose of extracting licensing fees or settlements, despite having no intention of using the protected technology or idea themselves.

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