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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Did You Hear About Andy Rooney? He's Retiring

Andy Rooney.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 5:52 am

What is it about Andy Rooney that's kept him on the air with CBS for more than 60 years — the last 33 of them as a regular essayist on 60 Minutes?

Is it his sense of humor?

His distinctive voice?

Those bushy eyebrows?

The questions he's always asking?

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Listeria Outbreak Tied To Colorado Cantaloupes; 13 Known Dead

A label consumers might find on the cantaloupes.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 12:55 pm

"The number of deaths linked to Colorado-grown cantaloupes keeps climbing, and it soon could become the second-deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food-borne illness," The Denver Post reports.

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The Salt
5:07 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere, But Not Enough To Waste

Here's a fact worth pondering: Farming accounts for 70 percent of all the water that's used for any purpose, worldwide. And demand for it is growing, along with the planet's population and our increasing appetite for meat. That's according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which recently published this poster and others in a striking series on the vital role of water in growing our food.

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It's All Politics
4:00 am
Wed September 28, 2011

As Anita Perry Hits Campaign Trail, Five Things You Should Know

Anita Perry is increasingly stepping out from behind her husband, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Wednesday she'll campaign solo in Iowa. Here they greeted supporters together during a rally on Sept. 8 in Newport Beach, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 8:05 am

When Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced plans to run for president, he made a point of noting that it was his wife, Anita, who urged him to go for it, to get out of his "comfort zone."

Step into the fray, she urged.

That fray in recent days has taken a toll on Perry, who had a roundly-panned performance at GOP presidential debate last week followed by a surprising drubbing in Saturday's Florida Republican presidential straw poll.

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Economy
2:26 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Recession A Tougher Hit For The Middle-Aged

Job seekers participate in a career counseling session targeted to an over-50 demographic in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. Human resources professionals say there are fewer leadership positions available, so it may take middle-aged workers longer to find a good job.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 7:11 am

Joblessness can be particularly tough for those in middle age. The recession hit this age group hard, and they aren't getting rehired as quickly during the sluggish recovery.

Middle-aged workers face more financial demands than other age groups and are too young to retire, yet they also don't have as much time to work their way up again from the bottom rung like younger workers.

Networking For A New Job

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Business
2:26 am
Wed September 28, 2011

'Lean Startup' Advice: Think Big, Start Small

Small startup companies have an advantage, says author Eric Ries: they can test innovative ideas quickly. Here, workers in London talk at TechHub, an office space for technology entrepreneurs.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Some of our best ideas supposedly come to us in the shower: a business to start, an industry to shake up. Or maybe not, says entrepreneur Eric Ries.

"When we're in the shower, when we're thinking about our idea — boy, does it sound brilliant. But the reality is that most of our ideas are actually terrible," he says. "But it's hard to know which are the brilliant ones, and which are the crazy ones, until we actually test them against reality."

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Europe
2:26 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Will U.S.-Russia Reset Survive A Putin Presidency?

Russia's leading political party, United Russia, called for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) and and President Dmitry Medvedev to effectively switch jobs when Russia holds elections next year. Putin previously served as president from 1999-2008.
Yekaterina Shtukina AP

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 11:59 am

Vladimir Putin's planned run for the presidency next year comes as no surprise to U.S. policymakers. But it may make their lives more complicated and signal a return to more troubled times in U.S.-Russian relations.

Russia's dominant political party, United Russia, nominated Putin as its presidential candidate on Saturday. That virtually assures him that he will return to his old job, which he held from 1999 to 2008. The current president, Dmitry Medvedev, will be the candidate to replace Putin as prime minister.

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Latin America
2:25 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Education Is Latest Casualty In Mexico's Drug War

In Acapulco, Mexico, teachers are out on strike at more than a hundred schools because of spiraling violence related to the country's drug war. Here, a child looks at a sign announcing the closure of a school in Acapulco, Sept. 1.
Pedro Pardo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 1:41 pm

In the coastal Mexican city of Acapulco, teachers are out on strike — not over wages, working conditions or pensions, but because of crime.

Teachers say they're being extorted, kidnapped and intimidated by local gangs and they're refusing to return to their classrooms until the government does something to protect them. Over the last two years, drug cartels fighting for control of Acapulco have terrorized the once-popular tourist resort.

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Life In Retirement: The Not-So-Golden Years
2:24 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Boomers 'Delusion' About Health In Retirement

Seniors at the Greenspring Village Retirement Community in Springfield, Va., play Wii bowling.
Julie Rovner/NPR

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 12:11 pm

Most baby boomers say they're planning on an active and healthy retirement, according to a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. And, in a switch from earlier years, more than two-thirds recognize the threat of long-term care expenses to their financial futures.

But some experts worry that when it comes to their health, boomers are still woefully unprepared — or worse, in denial.

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Middle East
2:19 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Syrian Leader Digs In For A Long Battle

Despite domestic and international pressure, Syrian President Bashar Assad has pursued an aggressive crackdown on protesters, and the outcome of the seven-month-old uprising is far from clear.
Muzaffar Salman AP

After seven months of protests in Syria, the international community has stepped up economic pressure, and some of Syria's traditional allies have turned into critics.

Yet President Bashar Assad presses on with a relentless and bloody crackdown, and his government seems to be operating on its own timeline when it comes to the uprisings that have already toppled several Arab regimes.

The events in Syria suggest it's time for a reassessment of the Arab spring, according to Vali Nasr, a former U.S. government adviser and Middle East scholar at Tufts University.

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Herman Cain
2:19 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Cain's Catchy 9-9-9 Tax Plan Draws Interest, Doubters

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday. He won a GOP straw poll there with 37 percent of the vote.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Last weekend, pizza magnate Herman Cain did something that surprised the political world: He came in first in a Florida GOP presidential straw poll.

One way Cain has attracted the attention of Republican voters is with what he calls his 9-9-9 plan. It's a cleverly marketed idea for changing the nation's tax code.

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Planet Money
10:58 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

The Dream Of Europe And The Bailout Of Greece

Peace symbol
Michael Probst AP

"We need Greece," Maurice Minot, a Frankfurt taxi driver, told me, swerving in excitement. "We need Spain, we need Italy. It's the dream for Europeans, for more than a hundred years."

For Minot, as for many Germans on both sides of the debate, the question of bailouts goes beyond narrow self interest. It gets at what it means to be German, and what it means to be European.

Klaus Frankenberger, an editor at the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, points to the painful labor reforms Germany went through a few years ago.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:01 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Wanna Live Forever? Become A Noun

Adam Cole NPR

Adam: When I say "Henry Shrapnel, Jules Leotard, Robert Bunsen," you think — what?
Me: That they're inventors?
Adam: No. Better than that. Each one has become immortal. They're nouns!
Me: Is that a good thing, becoming a noun? ...
Adam: Are you kidding? It's a wonderful thing. A thing to sing about.
Me: You're going to sing?
Adam: If I may ...

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The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Pakistan's Foreign Minister: 'Blame Game Is Counterproductive'

Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, addresses the United Nations' 66th General Assembly on Sept. 27.
Lou Rouse AFP/Getty Images

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Pakistan's foreign minister said her country and the United States "need each other" and "are fighting against the same people" but "Pakistan's dignity must not be compromised."

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Around the Nation
4:30 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Census: 131,729 Gay Couples Report They're Married

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 6:04 pm

The Census Bureau released a revised estimate Tuesday of the number of same-sex married couples living in the United States: More than 130,000 same-sex households recorded themselves as married. Another 500,000 same-sex households indentified themselves as unmarried.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

N.Y. Authorities Arrest Seven Accused Of Running SAT Cheating Ring

Sam Eshaghoff is accused of taking the SAT exam for six students in the span of two years.
Nassau County District Attorney

Seven former and current students from a prestigious New York high school have been arrested for allegedly running an SAT cheating ring.

The Nassau County district attorney announced today that Samuel Eshaghoff, a 19-year-old Emory University student, took the SAT exam for at least six John L. Miller Great Neck North High School students. Each one of those students paid Eshaghoff between $1,500 and $2,500. Eshagoff graduated from Great Neck in 2010.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Israel Approves Building Of 1,100 Homes In East Jerusalem

A new construction site in the east Jerusalem Jewish settlement of Gilo.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

In a move that's bound to stress Israeli-Palestinian relations further, Israel's Interior Ministry announced it would allow 1,100 Israeli homes to be built in East Jerusalem. Palestinians want that area as the capital of their future state.

Reporting from Jerusalem, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro filed this report:

The homes will be built in Gilo, a huge east Jerusalem settlement. The United Nations and the European Union criticized the move today restating their position that settlement activity is illegal under international law.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:43 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Problems Behind Drug Shortages Are Clear; Solutions Aren't

iStockphoto.com

A daylong session on drug shortages convened by the Food and Drug Administration documented lots of issues and no easy remedies.

Religion
2:39 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

The Hard Economics of High Holy Days

Over the next two weeks, some 5,000 people will fill the sanctuaries at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., to pray, worship and remember their spiritual roots.

"Rosh Hashana is a time of renewal, and it's a time of reconnecting with what really matters for us as a Jewish people," Rabbi Gil Steinlauf says.

The Jewish New Year is a time of spiritual awe — and practical considerations. Unlike churches, most synagogues charge membership dues to keep the lights on and fund the programs, because they are autonomous and do not receive funding from a national body.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:12 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Fresh Push To Vaccinate Kids In Developing World

A nurse vaccinates a child against pneumonia at a healthcare center in Managua in January. Nicaragua received pneumococcal vaccines from the GAVI Alliance.
ELMER MARTINEZ AFP/Getty Images

While Rep. Michele Bachmann's recent flap over the HPV vaccine was a reminder that some Americans are unsure that new vaccines are good for their children, Africans are in a very different boat.

Young children there still die daily from infectious diseases that vaccines can easily prevent. And now that new vaccines are available to prevent a common cause of severe diarrhea and pneumonia, African countries are clamoring for them.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

How Do You Mend A Broken Monument? Call The 'Difficult Access Team'

At 555 feet above Washington, the work begins.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

If you're afraid of heights, this is definitely not your dream job.

Tuesday, five engineers began a series of rappelling operations down the face of the Washington Monument to assess damage caused by the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook the nation's capital. The five belong to a special "difficult access team" from Northbrook, Ill.-based Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., or WJE.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Helen Reichert, Who Could Bounce Back From Stress, Dies At 109

Helen Reichert.
Courtesy of Olive Villaluna

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:28 pm

A passing of note:

Helen Reichert, who Morning Edition introduced to listeners in April, died on Sunday. She was 109.

In that April commentary for Morning Edition, Dr. Mark Lachs said of his patient that:

"Unusual longevity often has a genetic basis, and Reichert probably does have a gene that contributes to her unusual longevity. But she also exhibits a powerful trait geriatricians call adaptive competence.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Report: Poor Scrutiny Of BofA Settlement May Have Cost Taxpayers Billions

At the end of 2010, the federal government announced a settlement with Bank of America in which the bank bought back $2.87 billion in mortgages that did not meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's standards — that is these were mortgages where, for example, someone inflated their income to guarantee a loan.

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Economy
1:18 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Obama Returns To Familiar Turf To Sell New Stimulus

President Obama says his jobs plan would create tens of thousands of construction jobs by funding public works projects like roads, bridges and school improvements.

The president made that case again Tuesday afternoon, while standing outside Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver.

The Mile High City is familiar turf for Obama: It's where he accepted his party's nomination for the White House three years ago; and it's where he signed the original economic stimulus bill.

At the time, he said it marked the beginning of the end of the nation's economic troubles.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Impulsive Preschoolers Turned Into Risk-Taking Adults

Kids who can't resist temptation early on may have trouble with it throughout their lives.
iStockphoto.com

BJ Casey, Director of the Sackler Institute at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, studies brain development in teenagers. After Talk of the Nation had her on the show last week to talk about why some kids like to take risks and push boundaries, listeners had so many questions that she returned today to answer a couple more.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Satellite Fell Into South Pacific Far From Land, NASA Says

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 12:52 pm

That bus-sized Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite that fell back to Earth late last week broke up and spread its debris "over a broad, remote ocean area in the Southern Hemisphere, far from any major land mass," out in the South Pacific Ocean, NASA just reported.

The space agency adds that:

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Saudi Woman Sentenced To Lashes After Defying Driving Ban

A Saudi woman fastens her seat belt before driving in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia.
Michael Bou-Nacklie Michael Bou-Nacklie

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:01 pm

A court in Jeddah on the west coast of Saudi Arabia sentenced a woman to ten lashings with a whip for defying the country's ban on women driving, activists told the AP.

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Europe
12:06 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Greece Approves New Property Tax To Boost Revenue

Greek lawmakers approved a controversial new property tax Tuesday that aims to boost revenue as the country struggles to obtain a critical installment of international bailout loans that will prevent it from default.

The new tax passed 154 votes to 143 against in the 300-member parliament. It was announced earlier this month after international debt inspectors suspended their review of Greek reforms amid talk of missed revenue targets and delayed implementation of austerity measures. The inspectors are expected to return to Athens this week.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Tue September 27, 2011

OnStar Hits Reverse: It Won't Keep Collecting Data From Old Customers

Just days after it received intense criticism from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), some other lawmakers and privacy advocates, General Motors' OnStar service has agreed that it won't keep its data connections open to customers who have canceled the service.

In a statement, the company says today that:

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Coca-Cola Chief: U.S. Becoming Less Business Friendly Than China

Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, speaks during the seventh annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York City.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola's chief executive, is making some waves after what he told The Financial Times in an interview the paper ran this morning.

"I believe the US owes itself to create a 21st century tax policy for individuals as well as businesses," Kent told the paper. He also went on to criticize the complexity of the tax code, as well as the fact that American companies have to pay taxes on income earned abroad. The FT adds:

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