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Shots - Health Blog
4:09 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Silence From Rep. Bachmann As Vaccine Challenge Expires

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during the California Republican Party Fall Convention dinner in Los Angeles.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 9:54 am

The high noon deadline for bioethicist Arthur Caplan's $10,000 challenge to Rep. Michele Bachmann has come and gone without a peep from the Republican presidential hopeful. But damage from her statement linking the HPV vaccine with mental retardation has already been done, Caplan says.

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It's All Politics
3:31 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Lamar Alexander: Leaving Senate Leadership Gives Room To Deal

Sen. Lamar Alexander.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 4:09 pm

When Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, announced earlier this week that he was stepping down from the number three position in the Senate GOP leadership, his move got the rumor mill going.

Was it because the 71-year old senior senator from the Volunteer State sensed that he wasn't perceived as hardline enough in the Tea Party-era to advance to the the number two position?

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The Record
3:30 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Facebook Announces New Partnerships For Music, Movies And TV

Screengrab of the Facebook Music profile picture.
Courtesy of Facebook

Facebook took a leap Thursday towards making itself into what it hopes will be the social center for entertainment and media. You'll be able to see what movies and TV your friends are watching, what music they're listening to and what news items they're reading.

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Education
3:22 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Too Much GI Bill Money Going To For-Profit Schools?

The nation's for-profit colleges and universities have reaped a windfall from the new post-Sept. 11 GI bill.

The top for-profit companies brought in around a billion dollars in benefits in the last year alone.

Some lawmakers say federal regulations encourage these schools to target current and former members of the military.

At a Senate hearing Thursday, lawmakers and witnesses praised the two-year post-Sept.11 GI bill, saying it had helped many vets and active-duty service personnel go to college.

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The Salt
3:05 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Farmers And Ranchers Reach Out To Talk To Consumers

It seems that all the big farm groups - from beef and pork producers to sugar and soybean growers — have been paying attention to those "Know Your Farmer" bumper stickers.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Hewlett-Packard Names Meg Whitman President And CEO

Meg Whitman, on April 12, 2011, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

As was widely expected, Hewlett-Packard announced that Meg Whitman, the one-time CEO of eBay and former gubernatorial candidate in California, would be its next president and chief executive.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Markets Plunge On Fears Of Global Economic Downturn

At one point in trading today, the Dow Jones was down close to 500 points or about 4 percent. The U.S. markets followed the earlier global slide as investors grappled with a gloomy forecast from the Federal Reserve and fears of a global economic downturn.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:56 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Virus As The Cause Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Shot Down, Again

XMRV retrovirus proteins in cancer cells.
PNAS

A theory that a virus is the culprit for the mysterious chronic fatigue syndrome has just suffered another serious blow. But some patient advocates are standing by it, saying more research is needed.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Scientists Report Breaking The Speed Of Light, But Can It Be True?

A 2010 light installation entitled 'Speed of Light' in London.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 8:13 pm

The AP is reporting results from a group of Italian researchers using equipment from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) that claims they've measured particles traveling at a speed greater than the speed of light.

Nature reports:

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Business
1:35 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Stocks Close Sharply Down Amid Recession Fears

Stocks closed sharply lower Thursday after investors sold stocks with abandon, convinced that the U.S. and the world are headed for a new recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 527 points, the second consecutive rout since the Federal Reserve announced a change in strategy for fighting the economic slowdown.

At the close of trading, the Dow was down 391.01 points, or 3.5 percent, at 10,733.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 37.18, or 3.2 percent, to 1,129.58. The Nasdaq composite fell 82.52, or 3.3 percent, to 2,455.67.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Ambassador Rice: Palestinian Bid Is 'Unwise And Counterproductive'

In an interview with All Things Considered's Michele Norris, the United States' ambassador to the United Nations said the U.S. supports an independent Palestinian state, but trying to achieve that by asking the U.N. to recognize Palestine as a state is "unwise and counterproductive."

Ambassador Susan Rice echoed President Obama, saying "there's no shortcut; there's no magic wand," toward Palestinian statehood. She said the only way to reach a solution is for Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

China's 'Strong-Willed Pig' Has Been Cloned

"Strong-willed pig," in 2008.
AFP/Getty Images

He's a national hero in China, as NPR's Melissa Block learned in 2009.

Zhu Jian Qiang, or "Strong-Willed Pig", survived for 36 days in the rubble of a home in southwest China after the devastating earthquake there in 2008. It's thought he only had water and charcoal to live on.

Since then, the castrated male has gone on to be a featured part of an earthquake museum in Dayi, China. And now, he'll live on — sort of — after he dies.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Pakistan's Proxies Are Attacking Afghans And Americans, Mullen Says

Sept. 13: Afghan Security personnel stand above the body of one attacker, on the 10th floor of the building in Kabul from which RPGs and other weapons were fired toward the U.S. embassy.
David Gilkey NPR

"Extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers," the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress today, in some of the sharpest words so far about what U.S. officials say is Pakistan's support of terrorist groups.

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The Salt
12:34 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Zebra And Cattle Make Good Lunch Partners, Researchers Say

Cattle and zebra share a meal in a pasture in Kenya.
Ryan Lee Sensenig Science

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 4:11 pm

Those of us who eat beef can thank cattle for turning grass into something tastier. But grass is not always easy to come by, especially in Africa. And without grass, where's the beef?

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World
12:25 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

U.S. Rebukes Pakistan For Ties To Afghan Militants

Afghan security personnel carry a wounded colleague across a street in Kabul on Sept. 14, after Taliban fighters attacked the most heavily protected part of the Afghan capital. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday before a Senate panel that the Haqqani network of militants, supported by Pakistan, was responsible for this attack, among others.
ShahMarai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 3:15 pm

U.S. military officials have for years talked of links between Pakistan's spy agency and militant groups attacking American targets across the border in Afghanistan.

During a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill, the top U.S. military officer said there's proof.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, was blunt. Supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, the militant Haqqani network was responsible for attacks that included the one on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul last week, he said.

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Around the Nation
11:38 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Bike Infrastructure Hits Congressional Speed Bumps

Cities across the country are investing more money in infrastructure to make roads safer for bikes. Last week, a highway bill faced resistance from lawmakers who saw those kinds of projects as an inappropriate use of federal funds.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 7:21 pm

The corner of 15th and K streets in Washington, D.C., is busy. Buses, trucks, cars and taxis zip by. There are pedestrians and, increasingly, bikes.

Some 57 million adults ride bicycles in the U.S., whether for commuting or exercise or fun. Cities are adding bike lanes with the help of a federal program that gets its money from the highway bill. Some Senate Republicans tried — and ultimately failed — to block funding for that program, which also pays for sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Thu September 22, 2011

New Law Compels Toronto Shops To Sell Only Shelter Pets

Cute puppies!
iStockphoto

In an effort to curb puppy and kitty mills, the Toronto city council approved a new resolution that restricts the kinds of pets shops can sell. Now, pet shops will only be allowed to sell dogs and cats that come from a shelter, a Humane Society or a registered rescue group.

The National Post reports on the reaction of one of the people behind the law:

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World
11:18 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Toronto Restricts Sales Of Cats And Dogs

Toronto's City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to ban pet shops from selling dogs and cats unless the animals come from shelters or rescue groups.

The move comes after authorities seized more than 500 dogs from a Quebec puppy mill in what could represent the largest case of animal cruelty in Quebec's history.

The animals are now in the care of the Humane Society. Many of them are suffering from skin and respiratory problems. A representative of the society said the operation involved some of the worst conditions she'd ever seen.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Ahmadinejad: U.S. Used 'Mysterious Sept. 11 Incident' As Pretext For War

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the U.N. today.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

American diplomats just walked out of the United Nations General Assembly after hearing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ask what to him is a rhetorical question: who used "the mysterious Sept. 11 incident as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq?"

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Striving For A Safer Table Saw
11:03 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Regulators Consider Safety Brakes For Table Saws

Federal regulators are moving closer to implementing new safety standards for table saws. Every year, several thousand Americans cut off their fingers using the tools.

Engineers at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency tasked with ensuring safety standards on a range of consumer products, say almost all of those injuries could be prevented with a better safety brake system.

Currently, such a brake is only available on one brand of table saw, called SawStop, but the vast majority of saws sold today don't have the safety brake.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Cantaloupe Illness And Death Toll May Keep Climbing, CDC Says

A label from the Colorado cantaloupe blamed for at least 8 deaths in a listeria outbreak.
FDA

As of Tuesday night, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention reported that 55 people in 14 states have become infected with one of the strains of Listeria monocytogenes tied to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms' production fields in Granada, Colo.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Senators: Justice Department Misleading Americans About Patriot Act

Two U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Justice Department, yesterday, accusing it of misleading the American public about how a section of the Patriot Act is being implemented.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO) take issue with two things agency officials from both the Obama and Bush administrations have said in the past:

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Europe
10:29 am
Thu September 22, 2011

'Unauthorized' Book On WikiLeaks' Assange Released

Copies of the book Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography lined the shelves of a store in central London on Thursday.
Facundo Arrizabalaga AFP/Getty Images

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange found himself on the wrong side of an unauthorized leak of sorts on Thursday when his autobiography was released in Britain without his permission.

British publisher Canongate decided to go ahead and release Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography because it said Assange received a six-figure advance but then changed his mind and kept the money.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Arkansas' Missing Moon Rock Turns Up In Boxes Of Clinton's Memorabilia

July 20, 1969: astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. on the moon.
Neil Armstrong/NASA AP

That's one small step for historians ...

We'll stop there and just go to the news:

"An archivist sifting through boxes of former President Bill Clinton's papers and memorabilia from his time as Arkansas governor [has] found a missing moon rock given to the state 35 years ago," the Arkansas News Bureau reports.

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World
10:00 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Americans Divided On Palestinian Statehood

The Palestinian president is set to make a bid for statehood on Friday at the U.N., but President Obama said he'll veto the effort. A new Pew study shows some Americans strongly sympathize with Israel while others strongly support a Palestinian state. Michel Martin explores American public opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew Research Center.

Around the Nation
10:00 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Beauty Shop: Davis' Execution, DSK's 'Moral Failing'

Georgia executed Troy Davis Wednesday night for the shooting death of a police officer, despite widespread opposition to the execution and Davis' innocence plea. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist's new book says the Obama White House was a hostile workplace for women. And Dominique Strauss-Kahn confesses to "moral failing." The Beauty Shop women weigh in.

The Two-Way
9:26 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Falling Satellite To Return Tomorrow

A screen grab from NASA shows UARS attached to the robotic arm of the space shuttle Discovery in 1991 as it was deployed.
NASA

We know a little bit more about the fate of that falling weather satellite, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, which is close to its fiery end. NASA now predicts the UARS will plunge into Earth's lower atmosphere "sometime during the afternoon of Sept. 23, Eastern Daylight Time".

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The Salt
9:02 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Shining A Light On The Hidden Hardships Of Tomato Pickers

A protester outside a Trader Joe's in Washington, D.C. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, which organized the protest, says Trader Joe's has refused to meet standards set by leaders of the fast-food and foodservice industries for a more humane tomato supply chain.
Claudia Saenz Student/Farmworker Alliance

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 11:48 am

If you shopped at a Trader Joe's store this summer, you might have passed activists wielding signs in the shape of plump red tomatoes with slogans like "Trader Joe's Exploits Farmworkers." The Florida-based labor rights group behind these picket lines is demanding that the grocer pay an extra cent per pound to the tomato pickers at the other end of the supply chain.

Why? Because those workers are some of the worst treated and lowest paid farmworkers in the U.S., the Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers says.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:57 am
Thu September 22, 2011

End Is Nigh For Over-The-Counter Inhalers That Eat The Ozone Layer

Primatene Mist, a nonprescription inhaler, will no longer be available after December 31, 2011 because it contains chemicals that harm the environment.
David McNew Getty Images

People with asthma who've been relying on cheap, over-the-counter inhalers to get a soothing blast will have to look elsewhere for relief beginning in 2012.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Fed's 'Twist' Not Enough To Keep Markets Happy

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on Thursday.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 11:00 pm

The Federal Reserve can't seem to win.

Stocks around the world fell sharply Thursday, a day after Chairman Ben Bernanke and his Fed colleagues announced their latest plan to cut already-low interest rates in an effort to boost the economy. Analysts said the Fed's "Operation Twist" was actually a signal that the central bank is still extremely worried about the prospects for recovery.

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