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Shots - Health News
3:39 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

As Fiscal Cliff Looms, Medicare And Medicaid Face Uncertain Budget Futures

Two new studies and a proposed class action lawsuit settlement all have the potential to change dollar signs as lawmakers address the impending fiscal cliff.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 4:02 pm

No matter who wins the election on Nov. 6, official Washington will have to deal with something called the "fiscal cliff" before the end of the year.

What's coming is a perfect storm of expiring tax cuts, scheduled budget cuts, and various other spending changes scheduled to take place Jan. 1 unless Congress and President Obama (who no matter what will still be president until next Jan. 20) agree on a way to avert them.

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It's All Politics
3:33 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Tax-Exempt Crossroads GPS Airs First Direct 'Vote Mitt Romney' Ad

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 3:02 pm

Karl Rove's tax-exempt Crossroads GPS group just months ago said it was interested only in advancing issues, not engaging in electoral politics.

This week, it began running a minute-long ad telling viewers to vote for Republican Mitt Romney — and it doesn't mention at all those very issues it had been saying were central to its mission.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

On Saturn, Cassini Observes Huge Storm, Causing Incredible Temperature Spike

These red, orange and green clouds (false color) in Saturn's northern hemisphere indicate the tail end of the massive 2010-2011 storm. Even after visible signs of the storm started to fade, infrared measurements continued to reveal powerful effects at work in Saturn's stratosphere.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

"Frankenstorm" may be drawing the attention of meteorologists here on Earth.

But NASA scientists using the Cassini spacecraft have witnessed a rare massive storm on Saturn that was so violent it sent the temperature in the planet's stratosphere soaring to 150 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

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Environment
2:50 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

On Climate Policy, Romney Walks A Tightrope

A general view of the Aletsch Glacier on April 21, 2007, near Brig, Switzerland, the largest glacier in the Alps. Unseasonably warm weather with temperatures up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit across Switzerland let snow melt, even at Alpine altitudes.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 4:51 pm

This story is part of a two-part series about the presidential candidates' climate policies. Click Here For The Story About President Obama

Neither presidential candidate mentioned climate change during their three debates — in fact, the issue is nearly absent from the entire campaign. That's because the issue poses challenges for each candidate.

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The Salt
2:39 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Beef Heart: An Unexpected Meal That Spans Generations

The Bristol's Beef Heart
Jody Eddy

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 4:43 pm

Beef heart — it's what's for dinner! Well, if you're not a vegetarian. Stick with us on this.

All Things Considered is launching a Found Recipe series Thursday, asking cookbook authors, chefs and bloggers to tell us about the dishes that surprise and delight. These are recipes stumbled upon or created by accident or by necessity.

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Author Interviews
2:24 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

A Journalist Chronicles Lives After Guantanamo Bay

Journalist Michelle Shephard has been covering stories from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the Toronto Star.
Michelle Shephard AP

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:45 pm

The presidential candidates may not be talking much about Guantanamo Bay, but the U.S. detention center there has been at the forefront of Michelle Shephard's mind for the last decade. The national security correspondent for the Toronto Star has traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, more than two dozen times; she even got enough stamps on her Guantanamo Starbucks card for a free latte.

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It's All Politics
2:23 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Rape Comments Complicate But Don't End GOP Senate Takeover Chances

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock holds a news conference Wednesday in Indianapolis to address his comments about rape and abortion.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 3:00 pm

The enthusiasm with which Democrats seized upon Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's philosophizing about God's plan for unborn children of women impregnated by rape may have suggested the Indiana Republican's election chances had just ended.

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Music Interviews
2:17 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Gary Clark Jr.: A Blues Wunderkind Grows Up, Breaks Out

Gary Clark Jr.'s new album is called Blak and Blu.
Frank Maddocks Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 7:05 am

It's been a while since pop-music writers have heaped praise on a blues guitarist as the next big thing. But that's what's happened with Gary Clark Jr., who's just put out his first full-length album on a major label. It's called Blak and Blu.

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Africa
2:13 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

In A Tanzanian Village, Elephant Poachers Thrive

Poaching is rife in Tanzania game reserves. This elephant was killed, and its tusks taken, at the Lake Chala Safari Camp, a small, private reserve near Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 6:16 pm

An insatiable demand for ivory in Asia is fueling a massive slaughter of elephants across Africa. As NPR's John Burnett reports, one of the worst poaching hot spots is Tanzania. In this story, he visits an ivory poacher's town that sits next to a major game reserve.

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It's All Politics
2:06 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Ad Watch Rematch: 6 Swing States, 1 Half-Hour, 87 Political Ads

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 9:12 am

In recent days, we've been reading about some unusual ways people are trying to get their political messages across in the feverish lead-up to Election Day: Political blimps. Conspiracy-laden DVDs.

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Europe
1:15 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

While Spain Struggles, The Basque Region Shines

The Basque region has a long and rich industrial tradition. Here is a CAF factory in Beasain, Spain.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 4:51 pm

For decades, most of the news out of Basque country was horrible. Since the late 1960s, this region in northern Spain has been infamous as home to the ETA separatist group, which killed more than 800 people while fighting for Basque independence from Madrid.

But two years ago, the separatist group declared a final cease-fire and the attacks have stopped. Now the country is becoming known for something else: its booming economy.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Barbara Walters To Donald Trump: 'You're Making A Fool Of Yourself'

The Donald: His old friend Barbara isn't happy.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

From one friend to another:

TV icon Barbara Walters turned to the camera on ABC's The View this morning to tell developer/reality TV star/birther conspirator Donald Trump that "you're making a fool of yourself."

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Obama Will Become First President To Cast His Ballot Early

First Lady Michelle Obama prepares her absentee ballot for the upcoming elections.
Jocelyn Augustino Obama For America

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 3:34 pm

Update at 5:19 p.m. ET. Obama Votes In Chicago:

After joking with some of the poll workers in Chicago, President Obama cast his ballot today, becoming the first president in history to vote early.

When Obama handed his license to the poll worker, he joked that they should ignore the fact that he has no grey hair in the picture. The poll worker actually checked if the picture on his ID matched the face.

After geting a little help to finalize his electronic vote, Obama said his vote showed just how easy and convenient the process was.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

NBA Commissioner David Stern Will Retire In 2014

NBA Commisioner David Stern.
Roberto Serra Getty Images/Iguana Press

David Stern said his 30-year run as the NBA's commissioner will come to an end Feb. 1, 2014.

ESPN reports the NBA Board of Governors tapped Adam Silver, Stern's deputy, as the successor.

ESPN adds:

"Stern, 70, has been the NBA's commissioner since Feb. 1, 1984. Last December, when a new collective bargaining agreement was announced, he predicted it would be the final labor deal before he steps down.

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Book Reviews
12:08 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Portis 'Miscellany' Makes A High-'Velocity' Collection

Escape Velocity: book cover detail

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 1:31 pm

Whenever I hear someone called a "cult writer," my hackles jump toward the ceiling. It's not only that the phrase calls up images of self-congratulatory hipsters, but that writers who become cultish tend to do so because their work is steeped in bizarro sex, graphic violence, trippy weirdness or half-baked philosophy.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Rooibos Tea Gets Its Own Sensory Wheel, Just Like Wine And Coffee

Rooibos tea leaves
Wian Hattingh Wian Hattingh

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 2:32 pm

Little rooibos, the humble red tea buttressing the "decaf" side of the after-dinner menu, must be growing up: First, featured in a Starbucks latte. Now, important enough to need its own gourmet lexicon.

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Shots - Health News
11:50 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Study Results Linking Diet Soda To Cancer Fall Into The 'Gray Zone' Of Science

The co-author of a controversial study on diet soda's link to blood cancers says his results fall into a gray zone between a clear relationship and no relationship at all.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 5:03 pm

As Allison Aubrey reported on The Salt, a brouhaha has erupted in Cambridge, Ma., over a study published yesterday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Humans
11:21 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Decision Time: Why Do Some Leaders Leave A Mark?

Abraham Lincoln, circa 1850. Lincoln was a political non-entity before he was elected. Why is he more widely known to history than the presidents who came immediately before and after him?
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 10:56 am

As part of NPR's coverage of this year's presidential election, All Things Considered asked three science reporters to weigh in on the race. The result is a three-part series on the science of leadership. In Part 1, Alix Spiegel looked at the personalities of American presidents. In Part 2, Jon Hamilton examined leadership in the animal kingdom.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Unclaimed Jobless Benefits Far Exceed Fraudulent Claims, Study Says

Two people check job listings at a New York State Department of Labor Employment Services office in Brooklyn. (March 2011 file photo.)
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Taxpayer-funded jobless benefits that shouldn't have been paid because of errors or fraudulent claims totaled about $11 billion in 2009, according to a new study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

But the total amount of unclaimed benefits was nearly 10 times larger, economists estimate: $108 billion. They estimate that during the 2007-2009 recession, only about half of those eligible for them were collecting the benefits.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Microsoft Introduces Windows 8, Marking A 'New Era'

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during a press conference at Pier 57 to officially launch Windows 8 in New York.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, put the release of the company's new operating system in dramatic terms: "Windows 8 shatters perceptions of what a PC truly is," he said during an introductory event in New York.

Windows 8, Ballmer said, "marks a new era" for Microsoft.

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It's All Politics
10:28 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Women Seen As Key In N.H, Both As Voters And As Candidates

President Obama pauses for a photo with supporters after arriving for a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday.
Winslow Townson AP

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 11:04 am

The decisive role female voters may play in the key battleground state of New Hampshire hasn't been lost on President Obama and his political allies.

If Democrats sweep the swing state's major races on Election Day, New Hampshire would become the first state to have women hold its entire congressional delegation and the governor's office. Obama would also pick up four potentially crucial electoral votes.

"We have held hundreds of events targeting women voters," said Harrell Kirstein, a spokesman for the Obama campaign in New Hampshire.

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Solve This
10:11 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Can A President Control Prices At The Pump?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program comedian DL Hughley stops by and gives us his - how shall we say it - unique take on politics. That's coming up later. But before we get to the laughs we're going to take a serious look at energy prices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that the average price at the pump for this year will be $3.65.

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Will It Hold? Assad Regime Says It Agrees To Truce; Rebels Are Skeptical

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 11:21 am

A message has appeared on the website of Syria's SANA news agency saying that the country's armed forces will halt military operations for four days, starting tomorrow.

On its face, that would appear to be acceptance of U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's plan for a truce during the Eid al-Adh holiday that Muslims begin observing on Friday.

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It's All Politics
9:37 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Down-Ballot Races Feel The Draft And Drag Of The Presidential Race

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters at an Indiana campaign event with U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock in August. Mourdock has come under fire for controversial comments about rape.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 9:56 am

President Obama has been turning up in a lot of debates lately. Not just in his encounters with Mitt Romney, but as a talking point for Republican Senate candidates.

In an Indiana Senate debate Tuesday — the same one in which he made a controversial comment about pregnancy resulting from rape — Republican Richard Mourdock castigated Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly for supporting Obama even though "60 percent" of Hoosiers oppose the president.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Banned In China: Ai Weiwei's 'Gangnam Style' Video

Ai Weiwei, "Gannam style."
YouTube

Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei is pushing authorities' buttons again, this time with a "Gangnam style" video spoof that was quickly blocked from Chinese websites.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Afghan Insurgents Still Finding New Ways To Disguise Roadside Bombs

U.S. soldiers carry a comrade injured by an improvised explosive device, or IED, in Logar province, south of Kabul, on Oct. 13. Roadside bombs are one of the biggest threats facing U.S. and Afghan troops, and insurgents keeping finding inventive ways to disguise them.
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 12:28 pm

Afghan troops south of Kabul last week discovered one of the most elaborate and frightening improvised explosive device (IED) traps that American troops have ever heard of or come across.

On the morning of Oct. 18, an Afghan National Army patrol received a tip that a body bag with human remains was lying near a graveyard in Pul-e Alam, the capital of Logar province.

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Shots - Health News
8:50 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Many Terminal Cancer Patients Mistakenly Believe A Cure Is Possible

Dr. Joel Policzer checks on his patient, Lillian Landry, in the hospice wing of an Florida hospital in 2009. A new study found that many terminally ill cancer patients don't fully understand their prognosis.
J. Pat Carter AP

Doctors are often called upon to deliver bad news to patients, and there isn't much that's worse than a diagnosis of an advanced-stage cancer for which there is no cure.

But there's new evidence that a surprisingly large majority of patients who receive this news don't fully comprehend it, or perhaps willfully choose to ignore it.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Florida's 'Mystery Monkey' Captured After Three Years On The Lam

The "mystery monkey," now known as Cornelius, while he was on the loose in 2010.
Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay Facebook page

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 9:21 am

The "mystery monkey" who had been on the loose in the Tampa Bay area for more than three years was captured Wednesday, our friends at WUSF report.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell By 23,000 Last Week; Durable Goods Orders Rose

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the company's factory in Everett, Wash. Orders for aircraft drove the increase in demand for durable goods last month.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 23,000 last week from the week before, to 369,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Claims have bounced around in recent weeks, in part because of some changes in the way at least one state reports its figures.

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The Future Of Nonhuman Rights
7:02 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Championing Life And Liberty For Animals

Monkey Rodeo, says his animals are treated humanely." href="/post/championing-life-and-liberty-animals" class="noexit lightbox">
A capuchin monkey riding a dog. Tim Lepard, owner and creator of the Monkey Rodeo, says his animals are treated humanely.
Courtesy of Tim Lepard

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 7:49 am

Before Sam, a white-throated capuchin monkey, threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game in Frederick, Md., on a midsummer Friday night, and before Sam and other monkeys — dressed as cowboys and riding shaggy dogs — rounded up longhorn sheep on the baseball diamond as part of Cowboy Monkey Rodeo promotion night, angry animal rights protesters gathered outside the front gate.

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