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Shots - Health Blog
2:28 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Haggle, Don't Settle, When It Comes To Health Costs

If you don't ask, you can't save money on health care.
iStockphoto.com

Seems like forever that Consumer Reports has been telling people to haggle over the price of a microwave or a car. Now the folks behind the magazine want you to haggle with your doctor — or at least let her know that you can't afford that bypass.

The cost of health care is expected to almost double in the next decade, and insurers and employers are increasingly shoving that cost onto individuals. As a result, even people with good insurance are finding it harder to pay medical bills.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Maryland Debuts Uniforms And The Country Cringes

We are not Anna Wintour, so we'll refrain from making a judgement. But, there are plenty of people who expressed their dislike of the uniforms the Maryland Terrapins debuted during their season opener Monday.

Here are some of the reviews, which came fast and furious from sports celebrities on Twitter:

Basketball star Lebron James said:

OH GOSH! Maryland uniforms #Ewwwwww!

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Newly Revealed Video Shows Smoke Rising From Flight 93

When passengers aboard United Flight 93 fought back on Sept. 11, 2001, they prevented what could have been a devastating strike on Washington by the four terrorists who had hijacked the jet.

Now, a newly released video shows — from a distance — the smoke rising above the hills of Shanksville, Pa., where Flight 93 came down. Thirty three passengers, five flight attendants and two pilots died.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
1:45 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

An Open Secret: Drone Warfare In Pakistan

In the decade since the attacks of Sept. 11, the number of drone strikes into Pakistan has grown dramatically. In this file photo from January 2010, a U.S. Predator drone flies above the Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Drone warfare is now one of the most fundamental features of the U.S. battle against its enemies. Just don't any anyone in the government to talk about it.

Since 2004, the United States military has fired about 270 missiles into Pakistan since 2004, killing thousands of militants, according to the U.S. government. Dozens of so-called high-value targets have been eliminated, like al-Qaida's No. 2, who was killed in an attack last month.

But since the CIA runs these attacks, they are secret. As a result, no one in the government is supposed to admit they're happening.

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Monkey See
1:23 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Eddie Murphy Will Host The Oscars

Eddie Murphy will be the host of the Oscars in February 2012.
Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

It's been rumored for a few days, and now it's official: Eddie Murphy will host the Oscars in 2012, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences announced today.

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Around the Nation
1:20 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Fingerboarding Champ: No 'Fear Factor' Skateboarding

Fingerboarding is a miniature version of skateboarding where competitors use tiny skateboards and skate with their fingers. Fifteen people qualified for the national championship event held in New York City this weekend.
Alberto Marangoni iStockphoto.com

Tech Deck, a manufacturer of 2 1/2-inch long skateboards — "fingerboards" — has spent the past five months hosting competitions in more than 10 cities to find the best fingerboarder in America.

Fingerboarding is a miniature version of skateboarding, where people skate with their fingers on tiny skateboards. The boards are often made of wood or plastic and have a sandpapery grip tape on top and skateboard graphics underneath. They cost anywhere from a few bucks to more than $100.

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Performing Arts
1:07 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

In Search Of A Stage, Western Opera Singers Try China

Lesson number one: saying "thank you" in Chinese.

"Xie xie. Xie xie. Xie xie," repeats American soprano Maria McDaniel, as she struggles to pin down the elusive Chinese "x" sound.

"Too much lips going on!" is the verdict of her teacher, Katherine Chu, who was an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Shootings Leave Several Dead In West Virginia And Nevada

As details come in about a shooting this morning in Carson City, Nev., that authorities are now saying left at least three people dead and at least six others wounded, there's word from West Virginia that as many as five people were shot and killed in Morgantown on Monday.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:35 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Memory Quizzes Still Best For Alzheimer's Diagnosis

PET scans of the brains of a person with normal memory ability and someone diagnosed with Alzheimer's
Image courtesy of the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

When it comes to predicting whether someone will have Alzheimer's disease, newfangled diagnostic tests for the illness aren't as good as old-fashioned quizzes of thinking and memory.

That's the word from a study that compared different methods for identifying Alzheimer's. The results was just published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

James Murdoch In Spotlight Again Over His Knowledge Of Phone Hackings

News International executive James Murdoch testified at a parliamentary hearing that he was unaware of a wider problem of cell phone hacking until a lawsuit in 2010.
Warren Allott AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this year, Rupert and James Murdoch told Parliament they didn't realize how deep the phone hacking scandal went in their U.K. tabloid until 2010.

Today, in testimony before Parliament, two of James Murdoch's top executives contradicted him saying they had presented evidence to him much earlier during a meeting that implicated others beyond Clive Goodman, a royal reporter convicted over the practice.

The Guardian reports:

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Asia
11:25 am
Tue September 6, 2011

After Nuclear Mishap, Japan Debates Energy Future

Japan faces a dilemma: the country lacks natural resources and relies heavily on nuclear power. But in the wake of the nuclear accident in March, 70 percent of Japanese now say they want to phase out atomic energy.

It's a huge, long-term challenge. Even backers of renewable energy say it could take two generations for Japan to become nuclear free.

But Japan was taking action even before the accident at the Fukushima power plant on the country's northeast coast.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Swiss National Bank Takes Aggressive Action, Caps Franc

Swiss francs.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters

Planet Money's Jacob Goldstein writes that what the Swiss National Bank did today was essentially tell everyone seeking refuge in their currency to, "Go away. Now."

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Tracks, Equipment Left By Apollo Missions Visible In New Moon Photos

The Apollo 17 landing site: To the far right, the Lunar Roving Vehicle; Toward the center, the descent stage of the Challenger lunar module. The lines are tracks and cables.
NASA

Tracks and equipment left on the moon by astronauts from three of the Apollo missions can be seen in new photos just released by NASA.

Though not close-ups by any stretch of the imagination, the images do offer more detail than other photos taken two years ago by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is now circling the moon.

As it flew over landing sites of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 missions, the orbiter snapped pictures that show, among other things:

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
10:09 am
Tue September 6, 2011

5 Other Surprise Attacks That Changed History

One of the earliest accounts of a surprise attack comes from Greek mythology: the Trojan Horse.
Rischgitz Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The headline writers at USA Today put it this way: "9/11 How One Day Changed Our World." National Geographic observed that the attacks of Sept. 11 would "alter the course of history."

But the shocking assaults in 2001 on the World Trade towers, the Pentagon and the planned hit on the Capitol were not the first surprise attacks that changed the way humans do business.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Service Sector Still Growing, Though Slowly, Survey Shows

The service sector of the economy, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the jobs on private payrolls, "grew in August for the 21st consecutive month," according to data collected by the private Institute for Supply Management.

The institute's "non-manufacturing" index expanded by 0.6 percentage points, to 53.3. A reading above 50 signals that the service sector is expanding.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:15 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Kids Of Parents Who Smoke At Home Miss More School

iStockphoto.com

About half of adult smokers who live with young children say they don't smoke in the house. But that leaves the rest who do.

And the children of these at-home smokers --according to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics — are missing more days of school.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue September 6, 2011

We Can All Track 'Happy Feet' On His Swim Home

The pause before the plunge: Happy Feet hesitated, and needed a little nudge from a handler, before sliding down into the sea on Sunday.
New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Getty Images

It took a little nudge, but Happy Feet the wayward penguin was indeed sent on his way home (hopefully) over the weekend.

The Associated Press has video of the moment when the little guy who ended up on a beach in New Zealand — thousands of miles from his home in Antarctica — slid into the Pacific Ocean.

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Three Books...
7:51 am
Tue September 6, 2011

What's In Store: 3 Tales Of A Terrifying Future

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 7:53 pm

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Remembering Sept. 11: 'We Didn't Want The Bad Guys To Win'

As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks draws closer, we're pointing to some of the stories being told about that day and the days since.

This morning, The Wall Street Journal offers "A Battered Firm's Long Road Back." It's a look at the investment-banking firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, which lost more than a third of its 171 New York employees when the south tower of the World Trade Center fell.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Top Stories: Wildfires; Obama's Ratings; Postal Service's Losses

Good morning.

Wildfires continue to blaze in parts of central and northeast Texas, as we reported earlier. There are so many and they're moving so fast, in fact, that NPR's Wade Goodwyn says there just aren't enough firefighters and aircraft to battle them all effectively.

We'll keep an eye on developments there this week.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Texas Wildfires: 'Move So Fast, They Kill'

Raging wildfires continue to burn across central Texas and so far have destroyed about 500 homes, Austin's American-Statesman writes this morning.

The newspaper adds that "the scope of the disaster — perhaps the worst of its kind in the region's history — was not fully known by late Monday as officials struggled to provide a complete count of the number of lost structures."

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Middle East
5:07 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Libyan Convoy Heads For Niger Capital

Originally published on Tue September 6, 2011 10:20 am

Armed loyalists of Moammar Gadhafi, including his security chief, fled into neighboring Niger in multiple convoys across hundreds of miles of desert on Tuesday. Libya's former rebels — now the country's de facto rulers — claimed the convoys were a major flight by Gadhafi's most hardcore backers from his final strongholds.

The claims could not immediately be confirmed. Information on the size of the convoys and who was in them was scarce as they made their way across the vast swath of Sahara — over 1,000 miles — between any populated areas on the two sides of the border.

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Rick Perry
5:00 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Rick Perry's Top Five Texas Debate Moments

The new Republican frontrunner, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, will take part in his first presidential debate Wednesday night. In advance of his debut, we looked back at key moments from the previous debate performances of the longest-serving governor in Texas history.

Politics
1:21 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Perry Skips S.C. Tea Party Forum, 5 Others Appear

GOP presidential candidates meet at a forum in South Carolina Monday. From left to right, Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was not at the event.
Stephen Morton Getty Images

Five of the top six Republicans running for president spent Labor Day taking a grilling from the conservative wing of their party at a forum in Columbia, S.C.

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina — who is a powerful voice in the early voting state and a Tea Party favorite — organized the forum, which started on a bit of a deflated note with news that Texas Gov. Rick Perry backed out at the last minute to deal with raging wildfires in his state.

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The Picture Show
10:01 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

A Beautiful View, But Still A Battle Zone

Pfc. Natan Martinez fires a machine gun at an enemy fighting position near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:27 am

Observation Post Mustang sits high in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. At an altitude of 5,600 feet, the soldiers stationed there from the Army's 2-27th Infantry Regiment have a stunning view of the Kunar River Valley far below.

But it's not all just beautiful vistas and clean mountain air. On Sunday, the forward operating base that sits in the valley below took enemy fire. NPR's David Gilkey, who is embedded with the 2-27th Infantry, photographed American soldiers as they engaged in a firefight with insurgents across the valley.

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Science
10:01 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

A Final Smash For America's Giant Particle Collider

A view inside the Tevatron ring, currently in its final days as a particle superhighway.
Reider Hahn Fermilab

A physicist named Dmitri Denisov walks up wooden steps to the top of something that looks sort of like an abandoned railroad bed.

"Wow, look, it's beautiful," Denisov says, gazing out at a pond. "I didn't even know about these flowers."

The tall mound of dirt he's standing on stretches off into the distance, forming a huge circle nearly four miles around — and the inside of this ring is filled with acres of restored prairie.

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Law
10:01 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

Proposition 8 Proponents Fight For Appeal Rights

The latest round in the legal battle over same sex marriage will be fought Tuesday in a hearing before the California State Supreme Court.

The arguments will focus not so much on same-sex marriage itself, but on Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative banning such marriages. A federal judge has ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional and the issue before the court on Tuesday is whether proponents of the initiative have the legal authority, or standing, to pursue an appeal.

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Hidden World Of Girls
10:01 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

Ex-L.A. Gang Member Trades Streets For Family Life

BooBoo (right) flashes a Playboys gang hand sign, 1993.
Robert Yager

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 1:20 pm

Los Angeles is arguably the epicenter of street gangs stretching back for generations. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has been documenting the lives of gang members in the city for nearly two decades. For the series "The Hidden World of Girls," produced with the Kitchen Sisters, del Barco revisits one gang girl she profiled for an NPR documentary in 1995.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
1:14 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

Memories Of Sept. 11's First Casualty Burn Bright

Father Mychal Judge became a fire department chaplain in 1992 — and he liked to join company drills. One retired fireman recalls, "I could picture him, chopping down a door with an axe. He would love to do that, too."
Holy Name Province Franciscans

When planes hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Father Mychal Judge ran into the North Tower alongside the firemen he served. Not long after, he became the first recorded victim of the terrorist attacks.

But 10 years later, his friends and colleagues remember Judge as vividly in death as they knew him in life: a gregarious, irreverent man wholly devoted to God, whom many considered a saint, in large part because of his own personal struggles.

Priest On A Fire Ladder

From the first, Mychal Judge loved to be where the action is.

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Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

'Mother Nature Has The Upperhand' In Wildfire Fight

A tinderbox landscape and unusually windy conditions have caused more than 60 wildfires to explode across Central and East Texas — creating a hellish Labor Day for thousands of Texans. Two people have been killed so far.

The worst fire is in Bastrop County, just southeast of Austin, where the blaze has been burning out of control for more than a day.

No one in Bastrop has ever seen anything like it. The tall, pine forests that were a favorite getaway for campers and city commuters have erupted into an inferno.

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