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Shots - Health News
9:55 am
Thu January 10, 2013

As Cases Spike, Flu Season May Be Peaking In Boston

Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz gets a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, the same day the city declared a public health emergency.
Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 10:16 am

We were warned that this year's flu season was likely to be a bad one, and now that forecast is starting to bear out.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

If Obama Took 'Executive Action' On Guns, What Might He Do?

Vice President Biden and President Obama at the White House on Dec. 19. Biden has been charged with drawing up "concrete proposals" on how to reduce gun violence.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 5:29 am

After Vice President Biden said Wednesday that the Obama administration might take some executive actions on the issues of guns and gun-related violence, questions naturally arose:

What kinds of things was he talking about? What might the administration do that doesn't require Congressional action?

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U.S.
7:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Mississippi Blues: When The River Doesn't Run

Barges last month crowded an area on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis where barges are stored, loaded and unloaded. Shippers worry that the drought-shrunken river could shut to barge traffic entirely this month.
Colby Buchanan/U.S. Coast Guard AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 10:53 am

The Mississippi River has provided George Foster with a living all his life. Now, with the river dropping to historically low levels, it's threatening to take his business down with it.

Foster's office sits atop an empty barge on the river, just south of St. Louis. His building tilts at a 30-degree angle because the water is so low. Visitors may want to stick out their fingertips for balance walking down his narrow hallway.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Thu January 10, 2013

'Lincoln' Leads With 12 Oscar Nominations

Daniel Day-Lewis, in the lead role of Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 7:20 am

Update at 9:00 a.m. ET:

Lincoln, director Stephen Spielberg's acclaimed look at the 16th president's push for the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, has been nominated for Oscar awards in 12 categories, it was announced this morning in Hollywood. That's the most for any single film.

Life of Pi is up for 11 awards. Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook are up for eight.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Crazy Or Canny? Talk Grows About $1 Trillion Platinum Coin

No, this isn't worth $1 trillion. It's a commemorative coin minted in the U.K. in 2008. But some have suggested the president's image should be on it if he orders up a $1 trillion coin.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 11:15 am

We're pretty sure this won't happen.

But ...

You practically can't visit a news site these days without seeing a story about why President Obama should or should not order the Treasury Department to strike a platinum coin "worth" $1 trillion and deposit it with the Federal Reserve.

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Business
5:49 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Wanted: Water Slide Tester

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. A travel group in Britain is advertising a six-month job with an intriguing set of qualifications: comfortable in swimwear, happy to get wet at work. And this is key: mad about water parks. The job is water slide tester at the company's Splash World Resorts in places like Majorca and Turkey. It pays just okay, but the gig does promise plenty of thrills before the water slide tester retires that swimwear. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:43 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Inauguration Package Includes Social Media Butler

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with an offer you probably can refuse. Washington, D.C. hotels offer luxury packages for those attending President Obama's second inauguration. The Madison Hotel offers one for $47,000. It includes four nights at the hotel, a car and driver, a shopping spree, and the services of a social media butler. You, too, could have someone follow you around, take your picture and chronicle your moves on Facebook and Twitter.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Books
5:40 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Job Cuts Are Coming To Wall Street

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with job cuts on Wall Street.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

The Two-Way
5:17 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Three Kurdish Activists Found Dead In Paris; 'Without Doubt An Execution'

An undated of Sakine Cansiz, one of three Kurdish activists found shot to death today in Paris.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 10:10 am

Three Kurdish women, one of them a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that seeks autonomy for Kurds in Turkey, were found shot to death today in Paris.

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NPR Story
3:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Study: Music Affects Driver Safety

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business goes out by special request to people listening in their cars. A new study finds that the music you listen to can affect how safely you drive.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Researchers at London Metropolitan University studied how drivers reacted to different playlists over 500 miles. Some of the safest music, we're told, included tunes by Norah Jones and Elton John. They're soft and slow-paced.

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NPR Story
3:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

China Investigates Foxconn For Bribery Allegations

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And there's more trouble for Foxconn, the electronics giant which makes Apple products in China. The company is acknowledging that Chinese police are looking into allegations that Foxconn employees took bribes from parts suppliers.

NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from Shanghai.

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NPR Story
3:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Baseball Writers Vote For No Hall Of Fame Candidates

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Baseball writers send a message when they vote for candidates for the Hall of Fame, both in who they select and in who they pass up. And for the first time since 1996, only the eighth time in baseball history that baseball writers decided not to nominate anyone for induction. The winners are no one. The pool of candidates was one of the most star-studded ever. It included Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa - players all linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me. Good morning.

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World
1:30 am
Thu January 10, 2013

What Do You Pack For A Seven-Year Trip?

Journalist Paul Salopek, shown here with his supplies in Ethiopia, is setting out on a seven-year walk that will take him to the tip of South America.
John Stanmeyer

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Paul Salopek is already a well-traveled journalist — a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who has spent most of the past two decades roaming across Africa, Asia, the Balkans and Latin America.

This, apparently, has not sated his wanderlust. So now he's in a dusty village in Ethiopia's Rift Valley, ready to launch a seven-year, 21,000-mile journey on foot that will take him from Africa, across the Middle East and through Asia, over to Alaska and down the Western edge of the Americas until he hits the southern tip of Chile.

Why?

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Digital Life
1:28 am
Thu January 10, 2013

In Video-Streaming Rat Race, Fast Is Never Fast Enough

Tommy Ingberg iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 11:55 am

On average, YouTube streams 4 billion hours of video per month. That's a lot of video, but it's only a fraction of the larger online-streaming ecosystem. For video-streaming services, making sure clips always load properly is extremely challenging, and a new study reveals that it's important to video providers, too.

Maybe this has happened to you: You're showing a friend some hilarious video that you found online. And right before you get to the punch line, a little loading dial pops up in the middle of the screen.

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Planet Money
1:27 am
Thu January 10, 2013

The North Dakota Town Where A One-Bedroom Apartment Rents For $2,100 A Month

Yours, for $2,100 a month
Josh Marston

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

A plain, one-bedroom apartment in Williston, N.D., rents for $2,100 a month. For this price, you could rent a one-bedroom apartment in New York City.

Williston is not New York City. There are 30,000 residents and one department store. The nearest city is two hours away.

Rents are so high in Williston because the town is in the middle of an oil boom. Unemployment is below 1 percent, and workers are flooding into town.

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Africa
1:25 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Clinics Come To The Rescue Of Ethiopia's Overworked Donkeys

A donkey bitten by a hyena is checked by a veterinarian as the owner calms the animal at The Donkey Sanctuary, a clinic near Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, in 2005.
Boris Heger AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:32 pm

In Ethiopia, the donkey is more than just a beast of burden.

The Horn of Africa nation is home to more than 6 million donkeys and comes second only to China in global donkey numbers. The country is both donkey heaven and donkey hell, but though the animal is highly prized, it can also be mistreated.

"In Ethiopia, there's a good saying: 'A farmer without a donkey is a donkey himself,' " says Bojia Endebu, a veterinary surgeon and seasoned donkey doctor. "Because the donkey does lots of work, so they are very valuable for Ethiopian farmers."

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Europe
1:25 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Rubles For Minutes, Not Mochas, At Russian Cafe Chain

Tsiferblat, or Clockface Cafe, in Moscow draws a young crowd, from students to entrepreneurs. The cafe provides Wi-Fi, printers, books and art supplies. Drinks, snacks, atmosphere and the space are free. All customers pay for is time.
Courtesy Of Diana Derby

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

Cafe life has taken hold in modern Russia. From Starbucks to local chains such as Kofe Khaus and Schokoladnitsia, there are lots of places to hang out, see and be seen.

It's a striking change in a country where, in Soviet times, the best an ordinary comrade could expect was a mug of tea in a workers canteen.

The world over, the basic contract between cafe and customer is this: You buy a drink or a snack, and you get to use the premises for as long as it takes to consume it.

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Your Money
1:24 am
Thu January 10, 2013

New Mortgage Rules Would Limit Risky Lending

New federal mortgage rules come at a time when regulators and banks are trying to find a middle ground between overly lax and overly tight lending standards.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:04 pm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is releasing Thursday much anticipated new mortgage rules, which will restrict the kind of subprime lending practices that caused both the financial and housing sectors to crash five years ago.

The new rules come at a time when regulators and banks are trying to find a middle ground between overly lax and overly tight lending standards.

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It's All Politics
4:22 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

In Talking To Their States, Governors Keep An Eye On Washington

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., walks to the podium Wednesday in Albany to deliver his third State of the State address.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 5:18 pm

From Superstorm Sandy to gun laws to the fiscal cliff, national issues are on the minds and the lips of the nation's governors setting their state agendas this week.

Some want Congress and President Obama to act; others urged state legislators to do what Congress hasn't.

"No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. End the madness now," an impassioned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday in calling for the state to enact the "toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period."

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U.S.
3:49 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Ohio Town Roiling As Rape Case Accusations Fly

Protesters gather at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio, on Saturday, to demand justice for a girl allegedly raped by Steubenville High School football players last August.
Rick Senften WKSU

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 6:17 pm

The small river town of Steubenville, Ohio, is in turmoil over an alleged rape involving high school football players, a 16-year-old girl and accusations of a cover-up.

Steubenville is nestled in the foothills of Appalachia at the juncture of Ohio and West Virginia, less than 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border. To the west, reclaimed strip mines, woods and hills stretch far into rural Ohio. Pittsburgh lies 37 miles to the east.

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Shots - Health News
3:49 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

U.S. Ranks Below 16 Other Rich Countries In Health Report

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:46 pm

It's no news that the U.S. has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than most high-income countries. But a magisterial new report says Americans are actually less healthy across their entire life spans than citizens of 16 other wealthy nations.

And the gap is steadily widening.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Sebelius, Holder, And Shinseki Will Stay Put When Obama's Second Term Begins

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks as Attorney General Eric Holder listens during a news conference last October. The two plan to remain in their current jobs as President Obama's second term begins.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:41 am

Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki plan to remain with President Obama's administration as his second term begins, according to a White House official. The news that the three will remain in their current posts comes amid the departure of other Cabinet officials, including Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who submitted her resignation today.

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Latin America
3:36 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Buyback Program Gets Some Guns Off Mexican Streets

These weapons, in the Iztapalapa neighborhood of Mexico City, were handed over by their owners during a government program that accepts weapons in exchange for bicycles, computers, tablets or money.
Marco Ugarte AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:31 pm

In Mexico, a country plagued by drug cartel violence, the mayor of the capital city is offering residents cash, new bikes and computers in exchange for their guns. He says the buyback program will get dangerous weapons out of the hands of residents and make the streets safer.

But not all mayors in Mexico — where it's extremely difficult to legally buy a gun — are rushing to replicate the program. In fact, in cities overrun by drug traffickers, some say law-abiding citizens should be able to have them for protection.

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Around the Nation
3:11 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Thanks, But No Thanks: When Post-Disaster Donations Overwhelm

Volunteers sort through piles of donated clothes for Superstorm Sandy victims at an impromptu Staten Island aid station in November. Relief groups are still trying to figure out what to do with donated clothes people sent to New York and New Jersey in Sandy's aftermath.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:31 pm

Newtown, Conn., was so inundated with teddy bears and other donations after last month's school shootings that it asked people to please stop sending gifts. Relief groups in New York and New Jersey are still trying to figure out what to do with piles of clothes and other items sent there after Superstorm Sandy.

It happens in every disaster: People want to help, but they often donate things that turn out to be more of a burden. Disaster aid groups are trying to figure out a better way to channel these good intentions.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Canada's Indigenous People Rally For Rights Around 'Idle No More' Initiative

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. A grass-roots indigenous movement is shaking up politics in Canada. It's called Idle No More. Like Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, it spread quickly through social media. And it's now got the attention of Canada's leaders, thanks to the efforts of one chief from a tiny tribe whose hunger strike has galvanized the movement. David Sommerstein, of North Country Public Radio, has the story.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Announces Her Resignation

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, seen here sitting in a new Ford Fusion last September, submitted her resignation to President Obama Wednesday.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 3:34 pm

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is resigning, opening up one more slot in President Obama's second-term administration. A former member of Congress, Solis was the first Hispanic woman to head a Cabinet-level agency.

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Book Reviews
2:31 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

'A Life In Friendships' Is A Life Well Lived

She Matters cover detail

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:31 pm

You know how sometimes in life you make a friend, and at first you want to talk to her all the time, feverishly telling her details that, by their very personal nature, will bind you to this other person forever, or so you hope? But inevitably, of course, friendships shift and change and become something different from what they initially seemed.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Attacks On U.S. Banks' Websites Seen As Work Of Iran

Sophisticated hacking attacks on U.S. banks in recent months have distinctive qualities that are leading investigators to believe another nation may be behind the assault. The likely suspect is Iran, which officials believe may be trying to even the score for American hacking of its nuclear program.

At least nine U.S. financial institutions have been hit since September; more attacks are expected. And part of what makes them suspicious is that they seem calculated not to steal account data or money, but instead to disrupt the banking system.

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Middle East
1:59 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Wary Of Syria's War, Israel Plans A Fence In The Golan Heights

An Israeli tank in the Golan Heights overlooks the Syrian village of Bariqa in November. Israel, which captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, says it's building a fence there because it's concerned about spillover from the Syrian war.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:04 am

Concerned about spillover from Syria's civil war, Israel says it will build a fence in the Golan Heights along the line that has effectively served as the border since wars between them in the 1960s and 1970s.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently made the announcement, says he's concerned about Syrian rebel groups that have succeeded in capturing areas close to the frontier. He says that building the fence, which would extend for more than 40 miles, is a precaution.

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The Salt
1:12 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

How Google Earth Revealed Chicago's Hidden Farms

Uncommon Ground, a certified green restaurant in Chicago, hosts an organic farm on its rooftop.
Zoran Orlic of Zero Studio Photography Uncommon Ground

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 12:14 pm

Cities have plenty of reasons to care about how much food is being produced within their limits — especially now that community and guerrilla gardeners are taking over vacant urban lots across the country. But most cities can only guess at where exactly crops are growing.

And in Chicago, researchers have found that looks — from ground level, anyway — can be very deceiving when it comes to food production.

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