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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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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Thu September 22, 2011

GOP Rep. Ryan On Obama's Plan: 'Why Would We Want To Do This Again?'

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at NPR headquarters in May.
Erin Schwartz NPR

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 4:01 pm

Earlier this month on Morning Edition, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made the case for President Obama's latest jobs plan, saying it "would have a substantial, powerful effect on strengthening the economy." Click here to read and hear his conversation with host Steve Inskeep.

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Business
8:01 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Air Force And Navy Turn To Bio-Fuels

US airforce F16 jet fighters sit on the tarmac at the Aviano air base in Italy on March 25, 2011. It tested its jets on fuel made of 50 percent vegetable oil.
Giuseppe Cacace AFP/Getty Images

The Pentagon's hunt for an alternative to petroleum has turned a lowly weed and animal fat into something indistinguishable from jet fuel and now the military is trying to kick-start a new bio-fuel industry.

"To flip the line from 'Field of Dreams', if the Navy comes, they will build it," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a recent speech.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Diplomats Owe NYC $17.2M For Parking Tickets; DC Is Owed $340,000

A car with diplomat license plates near the United Nations in New York City.
Stephen Chernin Getty Images

There was outrage yesterday over the $16 muffins and $32 snack packs purchased by the Justice Department in recent years.

Today's this is outrageous news:

Diplomats owe the city of New York $17.2 million and owe Washington, D.C., more than $340,000 for unpaid parking tickets, Washington's WTOP-radio reports.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Jobless Claims Dipped Slightly Last Week

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 6:38 am

There were 423,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

That's down 9,000 from the previous week. But, as The Associated Press says, claims "remain elevated" and at a level that underscores the weakness of the labor market.

The Two-Way
6:04 am
Thu September 22, 2011

Backburner Or Frontburner? Views Vary On Palestinian Strategy At UN

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 11:47 am

The Associated Press says Palestinians remain "undeterred in U.N. statehood bid" despite a U.S. plan to use its Security Council veto to block a move by Palestinian leaders for U.N. membership as a state.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu September 22, 2011

After The Execution: Relief For Victim's Mom; Anguish For Davis' Supporters

Now that the execution of convicted cop killer Troy Davis has been carried out in Georgia, the morning-after stories are focusing on the controversy over his punishment and the effect the case has had on all those involved.

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Politics
4:30 am
Thu September 22, 2011

The GOP Primary Race: Four Lessons From Florida

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall meeting in Miami on Wednesday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 9:03 am

Florida will be the center of Republicans' political universe for the next three days, starting with a televised GOP presidential debate Thursday night and wrapping up Saturday with a presidential straw poll.

Get used to it.

The spotlight will remain on Florida long after the last vote is tallied this weekend.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

King Abdullah: Jordan Needs 'Stable Middle Class'

King Abdullah II speaks to Jordan's royal reform committee after receiving plans to alter his country's Constitution, during a ceremony at Raghadan Palace in Amman on Aug. 14.
Nader Daoud AP

The protests of the Arab Spring have made it a risky time to be a ruler in the Middle East. But King Abdullah II of Jordan, who is among the world leaders at the United Nations this week, also sees opportunities.

"In certain countries, you're going to see revolution after revolution, until it calms down," the king tells Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep. "What we're trying to do in Jordan is [to] do evolution."

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Media
10:01 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

'Ebony,' 'Jet' Parent Takes A Bold New Tack

Circulation figures for Johnson Publishing's flagship Ebony and Jet magazines is up substantially in recent months.
NPR

Johnson Publishing Company, the black American icon based in Chicago, is hiring. It's a sharp turnaround for a company that saw circulation numbers and revenue for its flagship Ebony and Jet magazines plummet over a number of years. Those numbers are on the rise now, and company officials say questions about Johnson Publishing's ability to survive the turmoil in the media industry are no longer relevant.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

The Fed's Latest Moves May Fall Flat, Experts Say

Despite the availability of cheap loans, in some places, people are cautious when it comes to buying new cars. Here, workers display a car at a California Hyundai dealership earlier this year.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 7:00 am

With the White House and Congress at loggerheads over how best to help the U.S. economy, some have pinned their hopes on the Federal Reserve to help fill the void.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the central bank still has a range of tools it can use to prop up the economy. But Greg McBride of the financial website Bankrate.com is not holding his breath.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Egypt's Political Turmoil Drives Foreign Tourists Away

Tourist guides sit on camels as they wait for clients next to the Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, June 23. Tourism in Egypt has dropped 35 percent overall in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2010.
Khalil Hamra AP

The big losers of the Arab Spring in Egypt aren't just Hosni Mubarak and his allies.

Before the February revolution, one of every seven Egyptians made a living in the tourism industry. But nearly seven months after the popular uprising, foreign tourists are still largely staying away.

Their absence has delivered a multibillion-dollar financial blow that is reverberating from luxury tour operators down to vendors in Cairo's bazaars.

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Mitt Romney
10:01 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Former GOP Front-Runner Romney Seeks Opening

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall meeting at the Doubletree Miami Airport hotel as he campaigns in South Florida on Wednesday. Romney is participating in a GOP debate in Orlando on Thursday night.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 12:53 pm

The Republican presidential candidates debate again Thursday night — this time in Orlando, Fla.

Mitt Romney, who comes to Florida as the former front-runner, is eager to find a way to knock the newest candidate in the race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, off his perch as the new GOP leader.

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The Two-Way
5:29 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

News Of R.E.M.'s Split, As Sung By NPR's Robert Smith

The singer Michael Stipe of the US rock group R.E.M. performs on July of 2003.
Marcus Brandt AFP/Getty Images

We already delivered the news earlier, but NPR's Robert Smith just delivered it in a more lyrical manner for our Newscast unit.

There's not much more we can add. You just have to listen:

Business
4:40 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Google Head Disputes That Company Thwarts Rivals

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee on Wednesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told a Senate panel Wednesday that the company faces tough competition and isn't using its dominance in Internet search to stifle competitors.

Schmidt is testifying at a hearing examining whether Google is abusing its power to thwart competition by placing links to its own content and services at the top of search results to the disadvantage of its rivals' links.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Survey: Universities Increasingly Admitting Students Based On Wealth

A new survey of admissions officers released today by Inside Higher Ed, a news site for higher education professionals, shows that sometimes your worst thoughts about how colleges make admission decisions are right.

The survey found that in a cash-strapped environment, universities are paying more attention to whether a student can pay their own way and will pay more to attend the school.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

After Obama's U.N. Speech, Backstage Negotiations Continue

Addressing the United Nations on Wednesday, President Obama reiterated his support for the creation of a Palestinian state. Still, the United States is expected to block the Palestinian bid for full U.N. membership.

In the hours following Obama's speech, the kind of backstage negotiations that have dominated activity at the U.N. this week continued.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:50 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Is Human Resistance Futile? Maps Show March Of Drug-Resistant Germs

A look at the distribution of drug-resistant staph bacteria across the county shows the problem is worse in the South.
Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 4:01 pm

I don't want to freak you out. OK, maybe a tiny bit. Being a little scared might get you to wash your hands more often. And that would be a good thing for everyone.

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Economy
2:49 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Political Heat Is Nothing New For The Fed

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in July 2010. Bernanke has been heavily criticized by Republican presidential candidates in recent months.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 6:20 pm

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday took the latest step in its effort to revive the economy, saying it will shift its portfolio of Treasury securities in a bid to drive down interest rates.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

With A Few Hours Left Before Troy Davis Execution, Protests Mount

People hold placards of rights group Amnesty International during a demonstration in Paris on Wednesday.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

At 7 p.m. ET today, Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed in the state of Georgia. Davis' case has garnered international attention and he's been at this point three times before. As The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, on one occasion, the state stayed his execution two-hours before it was set to take place.

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Middle East
2:30 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

In West Bank, Tensions Run High Before U.N. Vote

A Palestinian girl waves a flag during a demonstration in support the Palestinian bid for recognition of statehood at the U.N. on Sept. 21 in Ramallah, West Bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to submit a letter to the U.N. Security Council to petition for statehood during the U.N. General Assembly.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

With a diplomatic showdown looming at the United Nations, Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the West Bank both see their futures at stake, and emotions are running high.

In the Jewish settlement of Itamar this week, residents staged a march around what they call "the neighborhood." About 200 people were walking past hillside homes, separated by less than a mile from the large Palestinian city of Nablus.

Moshe Goldsmith, the mayor of Itamar, said the march was meant to show the world that the settlers are opposed to any U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

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Middle East
2:06 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Tiny Nation Played Pivotal Role In Americans' Release

The two American men who stepped out of an Iranian prison Wednesday after spending more than two years in custody may have a tiny Persian Gulf nation to thank for greasing the wheels of their release.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 29, had been accused of espionage along with fellow American Sarah Shourd and sentenced to eight years in prison. They were freed in exchange for $1 million dollars and flown to Oman.

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Conflict In Libya
1:48 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

What Role Will Islamists Play In Libya?

Libyan rebels pray before going out on patrol outside the port city of Misrata on April 30. Religion plays a major role in Libyan life, and Islamist groups want to be part of the new government.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

As Libyans work to form an interim government, some of those competing for power are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, raising fears that Islamist radicals may try to hijack the revolution. But many Libyans say those fears are mostly in the minds of Westerners.

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi banned the Muslim Brotherhood. The group attempted to overthrow Gadhafi in the 1990s, and he responded with a ferocious crackdown that put many of its members in jail.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Billy, Giants' Missing Fan Is Found, Says 'I'm Fine... Just Broke Right Now'

Billy (left) poses for a photo with San Francisco Giants' Pitcher Matt Cain.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Giants

Earlier this month, we reported a heartbreaking story about Billy, a San Francisco Giants fan, who showed up to every game for years, until one day he just stopped coming. The Giants went searching. Giants manager Bruce Bochy told NPR's All Things Considered that he was worried, "hoping to get some good news."

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The Salt
1:30 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

'Biggest Loser' Nudges Many Viewers To Think Thin

Contestants from NBC's "The Biggest Loser" do yoga in Auckland, New Zealand.
TRAE PATTON PR NEWSWIRE

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 1:33 pm

Contestants on the Season 12 Premiere of TV's The Biggest Loser last night may not be the only people motivated to lose weight. Viewers are influenced by weight-loss reality shows, too.

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Asia
1:29 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

The Curious Case Of The Vanishing Chinese City

Chinese officials announced on Aug. 22 that the large city of Chaohu in eastern China no longer existed. The move caught residents by surprise. Chaohu's museum, shown here, houses a Han dynasty tomb, and the city is known for its huge freshwater lake.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 6:20 pm

Imagine a city like Los Angeles disappearing from the map completely. That's exactly what happened to Chaohu, a city in eastern China's Anhui province with a similar population — about 4 million. The people have remained, but the city has vanished in an administrative sleight of hand.

That was the Kafkaesque reality for Chaohu's inhabitants, who went to bed one night and woke up the morning of Aug. 22 to find out that their city no longer existed. For many, their first inkling that something had changed was from the local news.

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