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BackTalk
10:00 am
Fri August 12, 2011

BackTalk: Debates, Danziger Bridge, Kid Bans

Originally published on Fri August 12, 2011 11:29 am

Transcript

ALLISON KEYES, host: This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Allison Keyes. Michel Martin is away.

Coming up, two hip-hop kings collaborate for the new album "Watch the Throne." But do Kanye West and Jay-Z live up to their royal hype? We'll find out next.

But first, it's time for Backtalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere and get to hear from you, our listeners. Corey Dade is right here with me. He's the national correspondent for NPR Digital News. Welcome back, Corey.

COREY DADE: Hi, Allison.

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Barbershop
10:00 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Barbershop: Can Super Committee Save Sour Economy?

The Barbershop guys weigh in on the Super Committee picks, TBS' cancellation of George Lopez's show and the 25th anniversary of the film "She's Gotta Have It." Guest host Allison Keyes speaks with author Jimi Izrael, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar, syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette and reporter Gautham Nagesh.

The Two-Way
9:52 am
Fri August 12, 2011

U.S. Skier Kicked Off Team After Alleged Midair Urination Incident

The Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. Ski Team has kicked Robert "Sandy" Vietze off its development squad for what the team said were "conduct violations."

The New York Post reports that Vietze,18, was accused of boarding a JetBlue flight drunk and then urinating on a fellow passenger.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:40 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Captain Morgan, The Rum Pirate, Lends A Knee To Hip Dislocation

If you were to dislocate your hip, you'd need the able hands of a physician to push your thighbone back into the socket where it belongs. But that effort of "reducing" a hip dislocation can be a tricky and even risky task.

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Law
9:09 am
Fri August 12, 2011

The Quiet Revolution In The Death Penalty Debate

A shortage of a key drug for lethal injections has slowed the pace of executions.
Nate Jenkins AP

There are 58 people on federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind. But for now none appears likely to face the ultimate punishment, at least not on President Obama's watch.

The Justice Department is reviewing its lethal injection protocols because of a shortage of a key drug. While that study is underway, authorities have backed away from setting execution dates.

Over the last few years, a quiet revolution has overtaken the death penalty debate. Like many trends, this one started in the states and moved to the federal level, says death penalty expert David Bruck.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Markets Open Higher, As Investors Weigh Positive Retail Numbers

Many investors are probably about ready for this week to end. It's been a cardiac-inducing one that set a record yesterday: For the first time in history the markets swayed more than 400 points four days in a row.

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Business
8:40 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Beyond Bulls And Bears: A Wall Street Bestiary

A vintage illustration of Wall Street, 1908
Library of Congress/Prints and Photographs Division

Lions and vultures and bears, oh my.

Animal imagery has been used since the early 18th century to describe human behavior on Wall Street, says Charles R. Geisst, a professor of finance at Manhattan College and author of Wall Street: A History.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Usher Who Took Foul Ball From Boy Was Only Joking, Say Dodgers

Imagine you're a kid — maybe 10-years-old. And you're at a Dodgers game sitting in a prime spot, behind home plate, close enough to hear the grunts of the umpire as deals verdicts on balls and strikes.

Then you hear the crack of a bat, you look up and there it is, your shot at a Major League foul ball. It lands near you, you scramble, you've got it. You're so happy, you jump to your seat clutching a ball that barely fits in your fist.

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Politics
7:00 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Debate Over, Iowa Prepares To Winnow GOP Field

Voters put corn kernals into jars with their favorite Republican presidential candidates on the first day of the Iowa State Fair August 11 in Des Moines.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

They traded attacks and insults, argued about war funding, and disparaged the man in the White House whose job they want.

The two-hour, eight-candidate Republican presidential debate Thursday in Iowa, coming just days before the state party's presidential straw poll and in the midst of a national financial crisis, had the potential to matter — to elevate or, perhaps, eliminate a contender or two.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Postal Service Considering 120,000 Job Cuts

A U.S. Post Office in Bristow, Virginia.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The United States Postal Service, which has been facing tough financial times, is proposing to cut 20 percent of its workforce and moving its retired workers out of federal health and retirement programs.

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Opinion
6:44 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Foreign Policy: Deja Vu — UK Riots Nothing New

Burnt out cars are seen following attacks on police and firefighters in Tottenham in London, October 1985. Riots in London in August 2011 seem to mirror attacks like this.
Robert E. Dear AP

Sophia Jones blogs for Foreign Policy.

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Opinion
6:44 am
Fri August 12, 2011

The Nation: Biased Slant Misses Point On Education

Primedia chairman and CEO Tom Rogers, left, talks with Steven Brill after a New York news conference announcing Brill as the chariman and CEO of a new subsidiary, Media Central, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2001. magazine publisher Primedia Inc.
Ed Bailey AP

Dana Goldstein is a Puffin Foundation writing fellow at The Nation Institute and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Steven Brill, the journalist and media entrepreneur, has come a long way since he helicoptered onto the education beat in 2009.

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Opinion
6:44 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Weekly Standard: NY Times' Well-Deserved Backlash

Dave Channon of Shandaken, N.Y., shouts during a rally against hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region of the state, at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. in April. Pundits and news organizations have become critical of recent New York Times coverage of the fracking controversy.
Mike Groll AP

The Scrapbook is a special section from The Weekly Standard.

While the New York Times can barely conceal its glee at the phone-hacking scandal embroiling the rival Murdoch empire, The Scrapbook confesses to a certain schadenfreude of its own at the Gray Lady's latest embarrassment. The Times's slanted coverage of the natural gas industry continues to generate radioactive fallout.

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Opinion
6:43 am
Fri August 12, 2011

New Republic: Iowa Might Actually Be Influential

The Iowa Straw Poll kicks off this week in Ames, Iowa. GOP presidential hopefuls debated Thursday and the mock election results will be announced on Saturday.
iStockphoto.com

Jonathan Bernstein writes at aplainblogaboutpolitics.com

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Opinion
6:42 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Weekly Standard: Ame'n For The Wrong Target

Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty look to the audience before the start of the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Fri August 12, 2011

'I Deserved To Get Shot,' Sis In Dougherty Gang Tells Police

Pueblo County (Colo.) Sheriff's Department photos of (L-R): Ryan Edward Dougherty, Lee Grace Dougherty and Dylan Dougherty Stanley.
AFP/Getty Images

Though she reportedly claims she and her brothers weren't trying to hurt anyone, the sister in the so-called Dougherty Gang has told investigators that "I deserved to get shot," The Pueblo Chieftain and other news outlets in Colorado are reporting.

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Europe
4:41 am
Fri August 12, 2011

European Central Bank Orders Italy To Reduce Debt

Originally published on Mon August 22, 2011 10:29 am

With Italy in the crosshairs of the eurozone debt crisis, the European Central Bank is dictating to Rome the measures it should take to reduce its massive debt mountain.

But the government is divided over draconian measures that go against the grain of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's populist policies.

MP's of the Budget and Constitutional Affairs Committees were summoned back to Rome from their vacations for an emergency session — many of them tanned and fitter than usual.

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It's All Politics
11:28 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Iowa Debate Leaves Romney Unscathed As Bachmann, Pawlenty Rumble

The front-runner for a major party's presidential nomination is always happiest when his intraparty rivals turn their attacks on each other instead of him.

So by that measure, Mitt Romney had to be very pleased indeed because he was left largely unmolested by the seven other Republican candidates contending for the party's presidential nomination at the debate at Iowa State University Thursday evening.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Book Closes On U.S. House's Storied Page Program

Paul R. Ashbrook tells House pages that the Cardinal rule is "courtesy first" at a coaching session just before the 76th Congress convened on Jan. 3, 1939. Pages have been a fixture of Congress since its inception, but the House program is now ending because of budget concerns.
Library of Congress

If you walk through Congress when it's in session you'll see teenage pages wandering the halls. Pages have been in Congress since its inception, but this week the leaders of the House of Representatives announced the page program is no more.

The pages are exceptionally well-dressed, with blue blazers and conservative haircuts. Who are they?

Well, one former page is NPR's own Guy Raz, weekend host of All Things Considered. Raz, who was a page in the spring semester of 1991, was fascinated by politics, and he wanted to see government up close.

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Your Money
10:01 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Wall Street's Ups And Downs Leave Investors Worried

Michael Mussio, a portfolio manager at FBB Capital Partners, says phones have been ringing more than normal in recent days. "I think the main thing is — don't panic," he says.
Tamara Keith NPR

It's been a volatile couple of weeks on Wall Street. With all of the major stock indexes down more than 10 percent since mid-July, individual investors are wondering what they should do.

When was the last time you checked the movement in your brokerage account, your 401(k) or IRA?

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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

The Dollar Is Still Central To The Global Economy. That May Not Last.

Everybody wants some.
Phil Dokas Flickr

The U.S. economy is spooking investors. But every day, all around the world, foreign businesses are still eager to use U.S. dollars — even when their business has nothing to do with the U.S.

When South Koreans buy Chilean wine, they convert their Korean won to U.S. dollars, and send those dollars to the winery in Chile. The winery then converts the dollars into Chilean pesos. This kind of thing is routine in global trade, according to Barry Eichengreen, an economist at U.C. Berkeley.

Why not just go from won to pesos?

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Mexican Theater Chain Projects Its Future In U.S.

The Mexican theater chain Cinepolis has opened its first luxury cinema in the United States in San Diego's affluent Del Mar beach community.
Amy Isackson

Cinepolis doesn't look like a typical movie theater. Dave and Kris Litvak, patrons of the new cinema in San Diego, say it's more like a chic hotel.

Before the building was renovated, "it looked like a horrible kind of movie theater," Dave Litvak says. Now, he says, "it's modern, and it's elegant."

The lobby floors are dark hardwood, and there's an art gallery. General Manager Antonio Garcia points to people sipping cocktails at the bar.

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Europe
10:01 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Remembering The Berlin Wall, 50 Years On

The wall between East and West Germany was torn down after 28 years on Nov. 12, 1989
John Gaps II AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:33 am

The Berlin Wall has now been torn down for nearly as long (22 years) as it stood (28 years). Yet it was such a powerful symbol of the Cold War that it still evokes a strong response today, a half-century after it was constructed in the summer of 1961.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

The Cases Of Two Women, Turned In For Looting In London

Two young women are accused of looting during the riots that have taken over several British cities this week. How they came to the attention of the courts provides a glimpse into the unrest — and how far the fractured country has to go to heal itself.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:28 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

'I Will No Longer Be Disfigured': First Photos of Transplant Patient Released

Charla Nash received a full face transplant after she was mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009. The procedure was performed last month by a team of plastic and orthopedic surgeons at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
HO AFP/Getty Images

The Boston hospital that gave Charla Nash a new face in May has released the first post-surgery photo of the transplant's results.

Nash's face was mauled by an out-of-control chimpanzee in 2009. Before the transplant, she wore a veil to conceal the grotesquely misshapen face that was the best plastic surgeons could do.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Iowa GOP Debate: What To Expect

Based on everything we've seen so far in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination, what should we expect from the candidates at Thursday's debate at Iowa State University in Ames?

In the two-hour Fox News/Iowa GOP debate to start at 9 pm ET, Mitt Romney, the frontrunner, will likely stick tightly to his message, which is that President Obama has failed to lead, and his approach, which is to play it safe.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Sesame Workshop: Bert And Ernie Just Friends, Have No Sexual Orientation

This week, an online petition concerning Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie started making the rounds. The Facebook petition asked that Sesame Street allow the two male Muppets, who share a house and a bedroom, to be married on the show.

"We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful," the petition read. "Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way."

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'Radio Diaries'
2:58 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

The Last Man On The Mountain

Jimmy Weekley, 71, shown here with a friend, says that when he was a kid, there were more than two dozen homes in Pigeonroost Hollow, W.Va. "But right now no one else lives in this hollow except me, James Weekley, and the coal company."
Andrew Lichtenstein

James "Jimmy" Weekley has lived in Pigeonroost Hollow in West Virginia for 70 years. He grew up surrounded by family and friends, part of a tight-knit community in the state's southern mountain valley. Like his grandfather, father, uncles and sons, Weekley worked as a coal miner. And like most West Virginians, Weekley saw coal as the economic lifeblood of his community.

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Conflict In Libya
2:42 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

In Libya, A Father And Son's Brief War

Mabruk Eshnuk (left) and his son Malik left their home in Pittsburgh to volunteer and fight with rebels in western Libya's Nafusa Mountains.
Ayman Oghanna for NPR

About a month ago, I met Mabruk and Malik Eshnuk, a father and son who had traveled from Pittsburgh to western Libya to help rebels battling forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The family originally hails from the Libyan coastal city of Zawiya, but left years ago.

Mabruk and Malik were filled with optimism when I spoke to them. Mabruk, the father, had a ready smile and a voluble manner — he spoke so quickly it was often hard to follow him.

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