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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Visa, MasterCard Come To More Than $6 Billion Settlement With Retailers

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 7:31 pm

Visa and Mastercard have announced that they will pay retailers more than $6 billion to settle several class-action and individual lawsuits retailers have filed since 2005.

According to a Wall Street Journal story from earlier this month, the settlement stems from complaints that Visa and MasterCard, the largest card-payments networks in the world, prohibited retailers from imposing surcharges to customers using those credit cards.

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Business
3:52 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Documents Lift Veil On Bank-Rate-Rigging Scandal

Police wait for protesters to appear at a branch of Barclays Bank in London on July 4.
Olivia Harris Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

As the financial crisis began to unfold in 2007, the New York Federal Reserve learned that some banks might have intentionally underestimated the rates they expected to pay for loans from other banks.

Documents the New York Fed released Friday, in response to a request from Congress, show that the banking regulator began to be concerned about the accuracy of LIBOR — or the London Interbank Offered Rate — late in 2007.

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Planet Money
3:48 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

What's It Mean That Romney Was CEO, Anyway?

Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:47 am

Mitt Romney faces new scrutiny over his time at the helm of Bain Capital, the private equity shop he ran from 1984 until — well, that's exactly the question.

The political fight of the moment is just when Romney stopped running Bain Capital, which specialized in buying troubled companies and turning them around.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Why New Swing State Of Virginia May Determine Presidency

President Obama clasps hands with Sen. Mark Warner (left), D-Va., and Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine during a campaign stop Friday in Virginia Beach, Va.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 3:30 pm

Yes, Virginia, you are this election year's Santa Claus.

And it could be your bag of 13 presidential electoral votes that will be the key to deciding who occupies the White House in January.

Proof of Virginia's gathering importance?

President Obama is in the midst of a two-day Virginia campaign swing. Republican candidate Mitt Romney dispatched former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to counterattack Friday.

The airwaves are awash in campaign ads, and there's a veritable who-has-more-campaign-offices arms race well under way.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Richard Zanuck, Producer Of 'Jaws' And 'Driving Miss Daisy,' Dies

Richard Zanuck at 29 in 1964.
AP

Richard Zanuck, the Oscar-winning producer of films like Jaws and Driving Miss Daisy, died today from a heart attack.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:09 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Governors Spar Over Medicaid And Health Exchanges

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says Medicaid should be overhauled before it's expanded.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

The nation's governors — well, many of them, anyway — are gathering in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., for their annual summer meeting this weekend.

It's no easy trick for the National Governors Association to get Republican and Democratic chief executives on the same page, or even the same room.

This year, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, it's even harder.

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Commentary
2:46 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Week In Politics: Romney At Bain, NAACP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now to our weekly political roundtable. David Brooks is away this week. I'm joined instead by syndicated columnist Mona Charen, who worked in the Reagan White House and as a speech writer for Jack Kemp. Mona Charen, welcome to the program.

MONA CHAREN: Thanks for having me.

BLOCK: And E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution is back with us. Hi, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you and Mona.

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It's All Politics
1:55 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Texas Voter ID Law Now In Hands Of Three-Judge Panel

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 2:05 pm

The fate of Texas' new voter ID law is now up to a three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C.

Lawyers for Texas and the Justice Department wrapped up five days of arguments in U.S. District Court Friday, with each side accusing the other of using deeply "flawed" data to show whether minorities would be unfairly hurt by a photo ID requirement.

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Opinion
1:55 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Wish You Were Here: The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

The Dolle's sign is part of the magic of the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
Steve Snodgrass Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:16 pm

David Rowell is an editor with The Washington Post. His first novel, The Train of Small Mercies, is just out in paperback.

When I was growing up in North Carolina, my family went to the same beach every year; it had the sand, the water and pretty much nothing else. Mostly that was OK, but the idea of a boardwalk, which I caught glimpses of on TV or in movies, seemed wondrous to me — like a carnival rolled out from a wooden carpet.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Germany's Merkel Pledges To Protect Religious Circumcision

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, right, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, gestures next to Rabbi Avichai Appel, left, a board member of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany, during a news conference in Berlin, Germany on Thursday.
Gero Breloer AP

In Germany, the past few weeks have been marked by an intense debate over religious liberties.

Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel jumped into the fray saying her administration would work to protect religious circumcision.

"It is absolutely clear to the federal government that we want Jewish, we want Muslim religious life in Germany. Circumcisions carried out in a responsible way must not be subject to prosecution in this country," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.

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Poverty In America: The Struggle To Get Ahead
1:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Struggling Families Lift Themselves Out Of Poverty

Support group members Pamela Travis (from left), Dominique Martin, Yovanda Dixon, Shanna Chaney and Ramona Shewl hold a meeting as part of the Family Independence Initiative. The Oakland nonprofit encourages low-income families to form small groups to help each other get ahead.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

It's been almost 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." But today, the poverty rate in the U.S. is the highest it's been in 17 years, affecting some 46 million people.

The economy is partly to blame, but even in good times, millions of Americans are poor.

That's been a longtime concern for Maurice Lim Miller. He ran social service programs in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. Then one day, the painful truth hit.

"The very first kids I had trained back in the early '80s, I saw their kids now showing up in my programs," he says.

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World
12:45 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Al-Qaida: Now Vying For Hearts, Minds And Land

Militiamen from the Ansar Dine Islamic group, an al-Qaida affiliate, ride on a vehicle in northeastern Mali in June. Mali is one of the places where al-Qaida-linked groups are trying to take over territory and win over local residents to their cause.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:33 pm

Al-Qaida has been subtly testing a new strategy. In the past couple of years, the group's affiliates have been trying their hand at governing — actually taking over territory and then trying to win over citizens who live there. It happened with various degrees of success in Somalia and Yemen, and recently in the northern deserts of Mali.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Poll Finds Most Americans Believe The World Is Warming

In this Aug. 2, 2011 file photo, the bottom of the pond at the Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area is nearly dried up in Amarillo, Texas. A devastating drought across Texas turned rivers into sand, creeks into mud, springs into mere trickles and lakes into large puddles.
Michael Norris AP

A Washington Post-Stanford University poll released today finds that most Americans believe the world is warming.

Here's how the Post wraps up the findings:

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Federal Mine Agency Considering Tougher Response On Black Lung

Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va., at the end of his shift. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57.
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 6:54 am

NPR and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) have learned that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Labor Department are putting together a team of agency experts and lawyers to specifically consider how to bolster coal mine dust enforcement given the statutory and regulatory weaknesses detailed by NPR and CPI this week in stories about the resurgence of black lung.

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The Salt
11:46 am
Fri July 13, 2012

An Olympic-Sized Outrage Grows Over French Fry Sales At The Games

McDonald's and the American flag — ruling the London Olympics?
Keoni Cabral Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

When McDonald's cut a deal to make itself the exclusive purveyor of french fries and the similar (but please don't say matching) chips at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month, it may not have anticipated the flurry of responses. Foodies raged, nutritionists nagged, and many called it another example of an American cultural takeover.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:33 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Electric Fans May Do More Harm Than Good In A Heat Wave

Researchers say that when temperatures rise above 95 degrees, a fan might make you even hotter, and maybe even sick.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 10:26 am

Assuming you can't spend a heat wave bobbing up and down in some cool body of water, the next best option is to hunker down inside with air blowing on you, right?

Preferably it's from an air conditioner set on arctic chill.

But if there's no AC, then an electric fan would be the next best thing, wouldn't you think?

Well, it turns out health experts aren't so sure about electric fans. And they say using one in a really brutal heat wave can sometimes do more harm than good.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Fri July 13, 2012

ACLU Files 'Groundbreaking' Lawsuit Claiming Right To Learn To Read

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed suit against the state on Thursday on behalf of about 1,000 grade-school kids from Highland Park, Mich. who are not reading at grade level.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Norman Sas, The Genius Behind Electric Football, Dies

Setting up the players. Where would they go after the switch is thrown?
Beth A. Keiser AP

Some of us are old enough to remember when electric football first became one of the coolest toys.

Versions had been around since just after World War II. But when the NFL attached its name to the vibrating game in 1967, it quickly became one of those must-haves for many young boys.

Not that most of us could really get the plastic players to do what we wanted.

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Music Reviews
10:56 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Tanglewood Celebrates 75th With Free Web Stream

The scene at Tanglewood.
courtesy of Tanglewood

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 8:53 am

On July 20, 1958, at Tanglewood — the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra — pianist Leon Fleisher played an electrifying Brahms First Piano Concerto with the orchestra under its former music director, Pierre Monteux. This remarkable teaming has not been heard since then.

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Movies
10:48 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Looking For The Megabucks? Think Megapixels

Ice Age: Continental Drift, which comes out July 13, is the fourth film in the animated franchise. Since Toy Story marked the beginning of the era of entirely computer-animated films, they've been a studio's safest bet for big earnings at the box office and beyond.
Blue Sky Studios & 20th Century Fox

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:30 pm

Imagine you're a movie producer, and you've got a couple of hundred million dollars to gamble on a single massive blockbuster. Which genre do you suppose will be your safest bet — superhero? Action-adventure? Sci-fi? All of those have had huge successes, but they've also all had hugely expensive failures.

There's one genre, though, that's hardly a gamble at all. It's been almost foolproof since it first came into being in 1995: computer animation.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:02 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Generic Drugs Make Dent In Global AIDS Pandemic

In the absence of a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS, drug treatment has at least helped lower the pandemic's toll.

Since 2003, much of the treatment dispensed in hard-hit countries has come in the form of generic versions of previously expensive drugs. The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, has paid for quite a bit of the medicine.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Cheney: If There's Another Sept. 11, I Want Romney In The Oval Office

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, on November 2010 in Dallas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Former Vice President Dick Cheney at a Wyoming fundraiser he hosted Thursday for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (via MSNBC's First Read):

"Sooner or later there is going to be a big surprise. Usually a very unpleasant one. Whether it's 9-11 or the other kinds of difficulties or crises that arrive, they always do. ...

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:31 am
Fri July 13, 2012

It's All Politics, July 12, 2012

Evan Vucci AP

Mitt Romney, hearing boos at the NAACP convention, now knows what we go through each week on the podcast. President Obama, facing poor economic news, changes the subject with an assault on Romney and the GOP on taxes. Plus updates on Reps Charlie Rangel (victory), Jesse Jackson Jr. (health), Shelley Berkley (ethics) and Thad McCotter (skadoodle).

Join NPR's Ken Rudin and guest host Brian Naylor for this week's political roundup.

Television
9:19 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Aaron Paul: Playing A Meth Dealer On 'Breaking Bad'

Aaron Paul plays a meth-making drug dealer on the AMC drama Breaking Bad. He also played a recurring character on the HBO series Big Love.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:56 am

This interview was originally broadcast on September 19, 2011. Breaking Bad begins its fifth season on Sunday, July 15th at 10 PM EST.

Vince Gilligan's AMC drama Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as a high school chemistry teacher named Walter White who turns to dealing drugs after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. White's partner-in-crime throughout the series is his former student Jesse Pinkman, played by actor Aaron Paul.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Heir To Billions Arrested In Wife's Death

Eva Rausing, right, and her husband Hans Kristian Rausing in 1996.
Alan Davidson AP

An update on our post from Wednesday headlined "Heir To Billions May Have Lived With Wife's Body For Days In Britain":

Today in a London court, the BBC says, a police detective testified that Hans Kristian Rausing "has been arrested on suspicion of [Eva Rausing's] murder."

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Fri July 13, 2012

English Soccer's John Terry Found Not Guilty Of Racial Abuse

John Terry as he left court today in London.
Bethany Clarke Getty Images

A "not guilty" verdict has been handed down in a case that has been front-page news for months in Great Britain:

John Terry, former captain of England's national soccer team and captain of the English Premier League's Chelsea Football Club, "has been cleared of racially abusing fellow footballer Anton Ferdinand," the BBC writes.

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Election 2012
8:28 am
Fri July 13, 2012

How Obama Factors In States Voting On Gay Marriage

President Obama is interviewed from the Cabinet Room of the White House by Robin Roberts on ABC's Good Morning America on May 9. During the interview, Obama expressed his support for gay marriage — a first for a U.S. president.
Pete Souza The White House via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:40 am

President Obama's decision to publicly support same-sex marriage may have changed the minds of some Americans, according to a national poll. But in states that will vote on the issue in November, the impact has been mixed.

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Presidential Race
8:26 am
Fri July 13, 2012

How Battleground States See The Economy

A young supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a sign during an election party at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas in February.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:33 am

For all the chatter that the winner of the 2012 presidential election will be determined by the economy, you wouldn't know it by looking at the most closely contested states.

The recovery is still tepid in most parts of the country, and there's a sense of trepidation that signs of improvement might not last. Among the swing states, some are doing comparatively well while others are struggling — but the political picture looks roughly the same in all.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Penn State Scandal: Freeh Uncovered More About Paterno Than State Did

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in 1997.
Rick Stewart Getty Images

The reporter who last year broke the news that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had been accused of sexually abusing young boys today helps answer some very interesting questions:

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