Politics
1:23 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Procrastination Nation: The Out Years

President Barack Obama walks back to the Oval Office after speaking in Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 2, after the Senate passed the debt ceiling legislation.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Ah, the Out Years.

During the recent debt-ceiling debate, the phrase became a recurring motif. "You've got to look at the deficit not just in the next 10 years," White House political adviser David Plouffe told NPR, "but does it also produce savings in the out years."

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) told the Los Angeles Times that enforcement of the plan will be the key to its success, but "it's always in the out years and it never happens."

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Politics
1:17 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Despite Business Ties, Daley Struggled In Debt Talks

William Daley with President Obama when he was named White House chief of staff in January.
JEWEL SAMAD AFP/Getty Images

When White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley joined President Obama's team at the beginning of the year, he was expected to bring stability and a centrist approach to managing a sometimes chaotic White House.

His close connection to the business world was one of the strongest selling points as chief of staff. Daley built close friendships with business leaders during his years at JP Morgan Chase, and the White House hoped he could undo some of the bad blood that developed between Obama and business leaders during the first two years of the term.

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The Picture Show
12:08 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Simultaneous Sunset And Moonset: NASA's Image Of The Day

The moon, seen from the International Space Station, on July 31.
NASA

Peer out from an International Space Station window, and you might be greeted by this spectacular view, selected as NASA's image of the day. It's a simultaneous sunset and moonset; because the space station orbits the earth every 90 minutes, the crew experiences this about 16 times a day. Not bad.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Chinese City Bans Dogs, Telling Owners To Turn Them In

A sign reading "No Entry For Dogs" is posted near the Confucius Temple in a file photo from Nanjing, China. The city sought to remove stray dogs in 2007, prompted by fears of rabies.
China Photos Getty Images

Officials in Jiangmen, China, are banning residents from keeping dogs, in a move that will take effect at the end of August, according to Chinese media. In one week, owners can begin taking their dogs to drop-off centers, where they will be either adopted by residents of rural areas or euthanized.

The ban targets dogs in densely populated sections of Jiangmen, a city with a population of 3.8 million. Any owners who wish to keep their dogs must apply for a license, reports China Daily.

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Asia
12:05 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Plagiarism Plague Hinders China's Scientific Ambition

Helen Zhang's University of Zhejiang scientific journal was the first in China to use CrossCheck text analysis software to scan for plagiarism. She discovered that over a two year period, 31 percent of all papers showed unreasonable copying or plagiarism. The results are a symbol of the country's uphill battle to become a global leader in innovative scientific thought.
Louisa Lim NPR

Last in a three-part series

For a decade, Helen Zhang has had a dream: to run an international scientific journal that meets international standards. So she was delighted to be appointed journal director for Zhejiang University in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

In 2008, when her scientific publication, the Journal of Zhejiang University-Science, became the first in China to use CrossCheck text analysis software to spot plagiarism, Zhang was pleased to be a trailblazer. But when the first set of results came in, she was upset and horrified.

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History
12:00 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

The Long, Hot Road To Modern Air Conditioning

A nurse adjusts the air conditioning for the comfort of the patient in a hospital room during the 1950s. By 1953, over 1 million air conditioning units had been sold in the U.S.
Three Lions Getty Images

For some inventions, say the light bulb, everyone knows who invented it.

But at the U.S. Capitol on a hot July day, no one seemed to know who invented the air conditioner. Even as the statue of a man many call the air conditioner's inventor stood just down the hall.

After an hour or so of searching, Mike Veselik, from Chicago, came close to knowing.

"I know that a doctor from Florida came up with it, trying to stop people from having fevers I think it was," Veselik said.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Justice Department Charges 72 In Connection With Major Child Porn Ring

The Justice Department announced today that it had made 52 people and charged 72 in connection with an international child pornography ring with members in countries from the United States to Serbia.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the operation was the largest of its kind and took almost two years to complete.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports:

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Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.

With reporting focused on general science, NASA, and the intersection between technology and society, Greenfieldboyce has been on the science desk's technology beat since she joined NPR in 2005.

In that time Greenfieldboyce has reported on topics including the narwhals in Greenland, the ending of the space shuttle program, and the reasons why independent truckers don't want electronic tracking in their cabs.

Much of Greenfieldboyce's reporting reflects an interest in discovering how applied science and technology connects with people and culture. She has worked on stories spanning issues such as pet cloning, gene therapy, ballistics, and federal regulation of new technology.

Space
11:32 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Early Earth May Have Been Orbited By Two Moons

This artist's illustration shows a collision between the moon and a companion moon. Scientists say the collision could be responsible for the moon's asymmetric shape.
Martin Jutzi and Erik Asphaug Nature

The early Earth had two moons instead of just one — our familiar moon, as well as a smaller companion moon that also rose and set in the sky for tens of millions of years.

That's according to a new theory that says this smaller moon eventually went careening into our moon and is still there, in the form of mountains on its far side.

Scientists have long puzzled over those mountains, and the fact that the two sides of our moon are very different. The near side has flat lowlands, while the far side is high and mountainous.

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National Security
11:24 am
Wed August 3, 2011

White House Unveils Counter-Extremism Plan

Originally published on Thu August 4, 2011 9:56 am

The White House unveiled its strategy to counter radicalization today, ending months of speculation about how President Obama intends to tackle the problem of violent extremism in this country.

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