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Economy
6:00 am
Sat August 6, 2011

The Economics Of The U.S. Credit Downgrade

Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. credit puts the country in uncharted economic waters. Host Scott Simon talks to New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera about the implications of the S&P downgrade.

Afghanistan
6:00 am
Sat August 6, 2011

Helicopter Crash In Afghanistan Takes Deadly Toll

Thirty-one American troops and seven Afghans are reported dead in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan. If confirmed, it would be the highest number of Americans killed in a single incident since the war in Afghanistan began 10 years ago. NPR Pentagon Correspondent Tom Bowman is following the story, and talks with host Scott Simon.

World
6:00 am
Sat August 6, 2011

After U.S. Downgrade, China Adds Its Own Disapproval

China, the biggest holder of U.S. treasuries, is reacting strongly to the downgrade of U.S. debt. China's official news agency says the country "has every right now to demand that the United States address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China's dollar assets." NPR's Frank Langfitt is following reaction in Asia, and talks with host Scott Simon.

Middle East
6:00 am
Sat August 6, 2011

Mubarak's Trial Signals Egyptian Transition

Originally published on Sun August 7, 2011 7:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak began this week in Cairo more than six months after the start of anti-government protests that ultimately proved to be his undoing. The ailing 83-year-old Mr. Mubarak was wheeled into court on a hospital bed. From behind the bars of a courtroom cage, he heard and denied charges of corruption and of authorizing the killing of protesters. NPR's Mike Shuster joins us from Cairo. Mike, thanks for being with us.

MIKE SHUSTER: Hi, Scott. Good to be with you.

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Europe
5:53 am
Sat August 6, 2011

The French Are Getting Fatter, Too

Restaurants line a street of the Quartier Latin in central Paris.
Bertrand Guay AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 5:00 pm

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America.

As the United States struggles to cope with obesity rates, France is often looked to as a counterexample. Yet obesity is on the rise there as well now, and though French culinary traditions are often credited with keeping people trim, some worry those eating habits are under assault.

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Middle East
5:33 am
Sat August 6, 2011

Doctors Without Borders Targeted In Bahrain

Tens of thousands of Bahrainis participate in an anti-government march on July 29 in Saar, Bahrain. The protest took place a day after authorities raided and shut down the local office of an international medical aid group, highlighting the way the government crackdown has included medical workers who have treated injured protesters.
Hasan Jamali AP

In Bahrain, the local office of the international medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres has been raided, its local driver has been arrested, and the operation has been shut down.

The government has largely suppressed a mass protest movement, and the security forces in Bahrain have carried out a crackdown on those who continue to demonstrate against the country's rulers.

MSF has been aiding injured protesters who were too afraid to go to the hospital, for fear they'd be arrested.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:51 am
Sat August 6, 2011

Your Health Podcast: The Illness of Kings and Scorpion Stings

Poultry farms and other livestock operations often use antibiotics to promote growth, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria such as salmonella.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Hosts April Fulton and Rebecca Davis talk turkey this week on the podcast, among other things.

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Middle East
4:06 am
Sat August 6, 2011

After The Revolution, Arab Women Seek More Rights

Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni says that rather than being heralded as part of the solution, women are now being vilified as the source of corruption in the now-overthrown regimes.
Cyril Folliot AFP/Getty Images

At the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in Egypt's port city of Alexandria, 23-year-old May Kamel found herself arguing with one of the group's senior members.

Kamel, a journalist, had traveled to the Muslim Brotherhood's office to ask about their upcoming political campaign. But she found herself arguing as a woman concerned for her rights.

"You need to explain to the people what you are doing. You need to explain to women what your party wants from them," she told Sobhi Saleh, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

DuPont Pulls Herbicide Blamed For Tree Deaths From Market

Damage done to these Norway spruce trees has been blamed on contact with Imprelis. DuPont is pulling the herbicide.
Penn State Extension

DuPont Co. is pulling a new herbicide from the market, after it was blamed for damaging or killing thousands of trees. Since the EPA approved the weedkiller Imprelis for sale last October, it has become the target of several lawsuits.

As reported by the Lawn and Landscape website, DuPont has posted a letter announcing the suspension of sales, and instituting a return-for-refund policy. The company also expressed regret for any "tree injuries."

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Volatile Market Week Brings Promise Of Cheaper Gas

U.S. stock markets finished Friday with a mix of gains and losses, ending a volatile week of steep declines on Wall Street. The release of better-than-expected July job numbers helped early in the day, but the data only seemed to pause, not end, the blood-letting.

But for drivers, there's an upside to the market's losses: The price of gasoline is going to fall, as well, dragged down by the same fears that prompted the flight from stocks.

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Economy
4:01 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Will The Budget 'Supercommittee' Accomplish Anything?

This Aug. 16, 12 lawmakers — six Democrats and six Republicans from both houses of Congress — will become among the most influential figures in Washington.

The lawmakers will be part of a bipartisan joint committee formed under the recent debt-ceiling deal, the result of nearly three months of unending gridlock on Capitol Hill.

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Small Beer Brewers Hit With '50 Percent Local' Rule In Massachusetts

Cellarman Cooper Reid packs cases of beer at the Ipswich Ale Brewery in July. New rules put out by the state's alcohol commission require "farmer-brewers" like Ipswich to grow 50 percent of their own grains and hops, or get it from domestic farms.
Boston Globe Boston Globe via Getty Images

Small beer brewers in Massachusetts were shocked this week, when the state alcohol commission announced a new rule that any "farmer-brewers" in the state must grow at least 50 percent of their beer's hops and grain themselves, or get them from a domestic farm they've contracted with for the purpose.

When it announced the advisory, the commission emphasized that farmer-brewer licenses were created to encourage development of the state's domestic farms. But the license also costs far less money than a full "manufacturer" permit.

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Religion
1:50 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Heat Wave Tests Muslims During Ramadan

Muslims pray together on the evening of the first day of Ramadan at the Islamic Center of Greater Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

As a heat wave grips large parts of the country, ask yourself this: Would you turn down a glass of water? If you're Muslim, you probably would, because it is the month of Ramadan, when Muslims can't eat or drink from sunup to sundown.

It's a bit of a challenge, says Omar Shahin, an imam in Phoenix. At that moment, it was 105 degrees outside, and he was cleaning the pool in his backyard. The water was so close, yet so far.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

$8 Billion: What This Week's Market Losses Cost The World's Richest Man

Anyone who has a 401K knows that market fluctuations of the kind that have rattled world markets this past week show up significantly on quarterly statements.

Well, imagine what it does to the wealth of the wealthiest man in the world. According to analysis conducted by Bloomberg, Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom magnate, lost $8 billion in past four days. Bloomberg reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
1:08 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Americans Support Bans On Food Allergens In Public Places

Peanuts were a problem for 9 percent of households that reported someone with a food allergy or intolerance.
iStockphoto.com

If some foods really don't agree with you or someone you live with, you've got plenty of company.

In the latest NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll, we asked people across the country about food allergies and intolerance. The bottom line: 1 in 5 households across the country has at least one person who is allergic or intolerant to at least one food.

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Middle East
1:02 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

In Syria, Hama Residents Document Fierce Crackdown

A screen grab of a YouTube video shows smoke rising in what appears to be a contested part of Hama, Syria.
YouTube user "revosyria"

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:35 am

The residents of Hama, a religiously conservative city in central Syria, have a bitter history with the Assad family that has ruled the country for four decades.

Government opponents rose up in 1982 against Hafez Assad, the former president, and he responded with massive military force that reduced parts of the city to rubble. It took weeks for details to reach the wider world, and there has never been a full accounting. But human-rights groups estimate that anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 people were killed.

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Media
1:00 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

CNN's Morgan Under Pressure Amid Hacking Scandal

CNN's Piers Morgan is under growing pressure to return to the U.K. to face questions about whether the Daily Mirror engaged in hacking voicemails while he was editor.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

For years, CNN's Piers Morgan has alternately prospered and flopped on the basis of how readily his roguish charm could get him out of scrapes.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Obama Outlines Plan To Spur Hiring Of Veterans

President Obama outlined his plan to help veterans find jobs Friday, calling for better training for demobilized soldiers and tax credits for employers who hire them. In June, there were 1 million unemployed veterans in America, and the jobless rate for post-Sept. 11 veterans stood at 13.3 percent — about four points higher than the national average.

Ari Shapiro filed this report for Newscast:

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Jury Finds Five Officers Guilty In Deadly New Orleans Bridge Shooting

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:27 pm

A federal jury found five former New Orleans police officers guilty of civil rights violations in connection to the shooting deaths of two men on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans. The shootings took place during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The AP reports:

"All five officers were convicted Friday of charges stemming from the cover-up of the shootings. The four who had been charged with civil rights violations in the shootings were convicted on all counts.

"However, the jury decided that neither fatal shooting was a murder.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Fri August 5, 2011

L.A. School District Rehires 450 Teachers Laid Off In June

The Los Angeles school district has rehired 450 elementary school teachers who had been laid off in June. The AP reports that the jobs were restored after "a combination of retirements, resignations, dismissals and a four-day furlough agreement with the teachers union allowed the district to rescind the layoffs."

The layoffs were part of massive job cuts instituted this summer, as Los Angeles dealt with state funding cuts. Although the school district has rehired 4,170 teachers and support staff since those initial cuts were made, some 1,450 personnel remain laid off.

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Around the Nation
10:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

President Obama: 'Nobody's Boy'?

The President was recently referred to as "your boy" by MSNBC's Pat Buchanan, and his debt ceiling policy was called a "tar baby" by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.). Also in the week's news: July gained 117,000 jobs and MTV hit 30 years on the air. Weighing in are the Barbershop guys: author Jimi Izrael, attorney Arsalan Iftikhar, Republican strategist Ron Christie, and professor Mark Lamont Hill.

Economy
10:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Latest Job Gains Enough To Cure Economy?

Federal statistics show the U.S. gained 117,000 jobs in July, and unemployment dropped to 9.1 percent. Financial journalist Stacey Tisdale discusses what these numbers mean for the national economy's long-term health, and Rep. Chakah Fattah describes how his Pa. district compares to the rest of the U.S.

Politics
9:57 am
Fri August 5, 2011

The Next D.C. Guessing Game: Who's On Debt Panel?

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) could land a seat on the debt panel.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Congress avoided a federal default this week by raising the debt ceiling in exchange for promised spending reductions, but it ceded the difficult details to a new 12-member "super committee."

If reaction to the bipartisan panel of Senate and House members, yet to be appointed, is any measure, its chances of agreeing on ways to reduce the nation's deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade are slim — no matter who gets picked to serve.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Comcast Announces $10 Web Access For Low-Income Families

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 9:30 am

Cable and Internet provider Comcast is launching a new initiative aimed at bridging the digital divide, offering discounted web access and home computers to families that meet income requirements.

The plan, called Internet Essentials, will be available wherever Comcast offers Internet services — which it currently does in 39 states. The company has launched websites in English and Spanish to promote the program.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:51 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Salmonella Outbreak Reignites Debate Over Antibiotics In Food Supply

With one death and 77 people reported ill, the latest foodborne illness outbreak has led to one of the largest recalls in U.S. history. Food giant Cargill has been forced to pull a staggering 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market. And the victims in this case have gotten very sick — almost one-third have ended up in the hospital.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Polygamists Condemn Warren Jeffs' Sexual Abuse

As a Texas jury considers a possible life sentence for polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, a coalition of polygamist groups is condemning the sexual abuse that led to Jeffs' conviction.

"We are alarmed that such depravity could have been perpetrated by anyone," says a written statement from the Principle Rights Coalition, a group representing five polygamist groups in Arizona and Utah, as well as "numerous other independent Fundamentalist Mormons."

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Opinion
9:15 am
Fri August 5, 2011

New Republic: Ceiling Up, Global Stocks Down

After the debt ceiling was raised Sunday it wasn't just America that felt the economic blow.
iStockphoto.com

Peter Boone is a principal at Salute Capital Management and non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE). Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Senior Fellow at PIIE.

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Opinion
9:14 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Weekly Standard: Pin The Tail On The Economy

Pundits are wondering if some leaders are blind to America's economic reality.
iStockphoto.com

Mark Hemingway is an editorial page writer for the Washington Examiner.

Much to the frustration of the press corps and the country at large, President Obama went nearly a year without giving a press conference at a time when the country was in a rather precarious state economically and politically. Lately, however it seems that Obama has decided that the debt ceiling debate is the time to reengage — no doubt the looming campaign has something to do with this decision.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Fri August 5, 2011

'Rent Is Too Damn High' Candidate Faces Eviction

Jimmy McMillan of the Rent is Too Damn High Party speaks during the gubernatorial debate at Hofstra University in Oct. 2010.
Getty Images

The man who ran for New York governor with the simple message of "the rent is too damn high," is facing eviction from his rent-controlled apartment, because, he says, his "rent is too damn low."

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NPR Story
8:41 am
Fri August 5, 2011

How European Money Woes Could Stall U.S. Economy

Originally published on Fri August 5, 2011 3:06 pm

The nations belonging to the euro currency zone have been struggling with a debt crisis for more than a year. The wealthier nations — notably, Germany — have helped bail out the troubled nations, including Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Yet these smaller countries have not solved their financial problems, and there is now a growing fear that the debt problems are spreading to the much larger economies of Spain and Italy.

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