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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
1:54 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

It's All Politics, Oct. 25, 2012

Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Now comes the debate over the debates. No matter who "won" or "lost," it's clear that there has been momentum building toward Mitt Romney since he first debated President Obama early this month in Denver. Plus, a look at the competitive Senate races. And the comment by Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock about rape, pregnancy and God has put a GOP Senate seat in jeopardy.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for this week's political roundup.

The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Family Of China's Premier Is Really, Really Rich - China Doesn't Want People To Know

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 3:57 pm

An explosive report from the New York Times today spelled out just how wealthy the relatives of Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao are. Try $2.7 billion dollars in assets. This startling news so angered Chinese officials that the Times' website was quickly shut down in China.

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Music Interviews
1:04 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

John Cage At 100: Remembering A Revolutionary Composer

Composer John Cage was born in 1912 and died in 1992. He's show above in May 1972.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This fall, arts organizations around the world are celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of composer John Cage, who was born on September 5th, 1912.

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Movie Reviews
12:43 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

'Cloud Atlas': You're Better Off Reading The Book

Zachry and Meronym are only two of the combined 12 characters Tom Hanks and Halle Berry play in Cloud Atlas. It is a challenge that bests both actors, according to David Edelstein.
Jay Maidment Warner Bros.

First I need to talk about the book, because it's not as if Cloud Atlas the movie came from nowhere — and if you think it's only the movie you want to know about, I think you need a context for what's onscreen.

Author David Mitchell writes exquisite pastiches, and Cloud Atlas is in the form of six distinct and enthralling novellas set in six different eras with six different literary styles.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Zapping Nuclear Waste With Laser Beams Could Actually Be A Great Idea

This laser's just pretty, not powerful: Artist Yvette Mattern's laser rainbow in Whitley Bay, England, earlier this year.
Bethany Clarke Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:01 pm

"World's Most Powerful Laser Beams To Zap Nuclear Waste."

That Bloomberg Businessweek headline got our attention. We were imagining the explosion that might result.

But as it turns out, the zapping "could destroy nuclear waste and provide new cancer treatments," according to the story.

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The Salt
12:06 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Lasagna Cupcakes, Anyone? Science Says We Can't Get Enough Mini Stuff

Five savory cupcakes: Chicken potpie, lasagna, grilled cheese, mac n' cheese and the Thanksgiving leftovers.
Courtesy of @LisaSKim

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 1:04 pm

A few weeks ago, my friend came back from Brooklyn raving about the food served at a baby shower.

"Savory cupcakes!" she exclaimed. Lasagna, grilled cheese, chicken potpies and even a mac n' cheese cupcake — all shaped like the trendy dessert and served on a cupcake tree.

Despite all the enthusiasm, my first response was quite cynical. Isn't that just baked macaroni and cheese in a muffin tin?

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Music Reviews
11:59 am
Fri October 26, 2012

George Cables: A Heartfelt Tribute To His 'Muse'

Saxophonist Art Pepper called George Cables his favorite pianist.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 12:43 pm

In the 1970s and '80s, George Cables was the pianist of choice for saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Art Pepper; Pepper called him his favorite pianist.

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Music Interviews
11:22 am
Fri October 26, 2012

'Moogfest' Celebrates The Synthesis Of New Sounds

Bob Moog, namesake of the annual Moogfest music festival in Asheville, N.C.
Courtesy of the Bob Moog Foundation

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 7:53 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 28, 2000.

Follow NPR's All Songs Considered (@allsongs) this weekend for reports and photos from the 2012 Moogfest. Check NPR Music next week for concert recordings from the festival and explore our 2011 archive here.

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The Salt
10:37 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Citing Food Safety Risks, Kroger Chain Calls It Quits On Sprouts

Red clover sprouts are pretty, but they and other sprouts have been linked to too much foodborne illness for major grocers to continue carrying them.
Stephanie Phillips iStockphoto.com

Sprouts have taken one step closer to culinary oblivion, with the big grocery chain Kroger saying that as of this week, it's banishing sprouts from its 2,425 stores because they pose too big a food safety risk.

The crunchy green microplants have long been touted as raw food chock full of nutrients. But that very freshness is also why they've caused more than 54 disease outbreaks since 1990, including a mega-outbreak of E. coli in Germany in 2011 that killed 53 people.

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Faith Matters
10:01 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Taking The Sacred Hajj Pilgrimage ... VIP Style

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll sit down with MacArthur Genius fellow, Maurice Lim Miller, and talk about what some call his groundbreaking work on poverty.

But, first, it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program when we talk about faith, religion and spirituality. Many of us are familiar with significant spending on religious holidays and rituals like massive Christmas parties and lavish bar mitzvahs.

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Election 2012
10:01 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Voter ID Laws A Concern In Indian Country

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll take a look at how some Muslims are celebrating a big holiday in big ways. That's in a few moments. But first, imagine if the members of the U.S. Congress got together once a year and spent just one week discussing the issues that were important to their constituents.

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Around the Nation
10:01 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Genius Fellow: Tackling Poverty Takes Creativity

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now, we turn from a story about privilege to one about poverty. Forty-six million Americans now live with poverty. That's according to the latest figures available from the Census Bureau and, while the poor have been talked about on the campaign trail, how often have they been talked with?

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Fri October 26, 2012

No One Gets The Tour De France Titles Lance Armstrong Lost

Lance Armstrong, in the yellow leader's jersey, during the 2002 Tour de France. Now, there's no winner of that race or the six others in which he finished first.
Mike Powell Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 9:43 am

Declaring that they have "listened to the world's reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair," leaders of the international governing body for cycling today said that no one will be awarded the seven Tour de France titles that have been stri

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Shots - Health News
9:36 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Malaria Creeps Back Into Greece Amid Health Budget Cuts

Health employees protest outside the Health Ministry in Athens against pay and budget cuts. Fewer resources for malaria treatment and mosquito control may be contributing to malaria's comeback in Greece.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 11:39 am

After a 40-year hiatus, malaria is returning to Greece.

Some 70 cases have been reported there this year, and at least 12 people appear to have been infected in the country. (The others picked up the disease elsewhere.)

That's a concern for health workers because it means malaria may now be endemic to Greece — and not just hitching a ride with travelers.

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It's All Politics
9:20 am
Fri October 26, 2012

In Search Of Obama's Second-Term Agenda

President Obama holds a copy of "The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security," which outlines some of his agenda for a second term, during a rally in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 9:35 am

What would President Obama do with a second term?

It's been a bit of a mystery throughout the campaign. The president seems to devote at least as much time criticizing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney as he does explaining what he'd like to do if returned to office.

Obama has taken some heat for his silence and sought to answer such complaints this week. But even as he's made his priorities more clear, he hasn't answered what may be the biggest outstanding question: how he'll get congressional Republicans to go along with his agenda.

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The Salt
8:51 am
Fri October 26, 2012

As California Vote Looms, Scientists Say No To Genetically Modified Food Labels

While lots of labels tout their lack of genetically modified ingredients, if California's Prop. 37 succeeds, foods containing GMOs would have to be labeled.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 3:05 pm

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Italy's Berlusconi Given 4-Year Sentence For Tax Evasion; May Never Serve it

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

A court in Milan has convicted former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on a charge of tax evasion and he's been given a 4-year prison sentence, The Associated Press and Reuters report.

But whether he will ever actually go to jail on the charge isn't yet known.

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It's All Politics
8:03 am
Fri October 26, 2012

In Campaign's Final Days, Record Levels Of Money Still Driving The Message

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 8:28 am

Political history was made last night when President Obama's campaign, including affiliated Democratic Party committees, announced that it has raised in total more than $1 billion this election cycle, NPR's Peter Overby reports.

The number turned up as Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney made their final campaign finance disclosures before Election Day.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Several Dozen Killed In Afghanistan By Suicide Blast

Men mourn beside the bodies of victims from today's suicide bomb attack in Maymana, Afghanistan.
EPA /LANDOV

An explosion outside a mosque in northwest Afghanistan today killed more than 30 people and wounded dozens more.

From Kabul, NPR's Sean Carberry reports that witnesses have said a man approached on foot and then detonated a suicide bomb. It happened in Maymana, the capital of Faryab Province. Worshipers were gathering to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Reports: Some Clashes Despite Ceasefire In Syria

"Fighting raged near a military base in Syria's north as a ceasefire in the bloody civil war was supposed to go into effect Friday at dawn," activists tell The Associated Press, which says the news illustrates "the difficulty of enforcing even a limited truce coinciding with a Muslim holiday."

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Economic Growth Picked Up Slightly In Third Quarter

A GM assembly line in Lansing, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 8:31 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

That follows growth (at annual rates) of 1.3 percent in the second quarter and 2 percent in the first.

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Fri October 26, 2012

If Sandy Becomes 'Frankenstorm,' It Could Be Worst In A Century

National Hurricane Center's "5-day forecast cone" at 2 p.m. ET today (Oct. 26).
www.nhc.noaa.gov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:52 am

"We're not trying to hype it," National Weather Service meterologist Paul Kocin tells Bloomberg News. "What we're seeing in some of our models is a storm at an intensity that we have not seen in this part of the country in the past century."

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Strange News
4:44 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Shark Surprises Golfers In Southern California

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:51 am

Golfers are used to hazards like sand traps, though rarely an obstacle as interesting as a shark. This week, at a golf course in Southern California, a 2-pound leopard shark was spotted on the 12th tee. It had apparently been dropped by an ocean bird flying overhead.

Strange News
4:42 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Jail Inmates Sue For Access To Dental Floss

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a reminder that guns don't kill people, dental floss kills people. Jail inmates in Westchester County, New York have sued the county for $500 million because they want to be issued dental floss. The county is reluctant, saying prisoners elsewhere have used floss as a weapon. They've also used it to escape, weaving ropes out of braided floss or even using toothpaste-coated floss to cut very slowly through cell bars. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Future Of Nonhuman Rights
4:03 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Recognizing The Right Of Plants To Evolve

According to recent reports from a research team led by Australian biologist Monica Gagliano, some plants such as chili peppers may be able to "hear" other plants.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:55 am

If proposals calling for rights for animals are on the table, why not rights for other living things? Plants, for instance.

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It's All Politics
2:19 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Do Political Ads Actually Work?

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 9:31 am

Democrats and Republicans are on track to spend about $1 billion each on television advertising in the presidential race. Most of it is negative, and almost all of it is concentrated in nine battleground states.

If you live in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia or Wisconsin, you cannot get away from the ad blitz being waged by both sides. For the folks who track political advertising at Kantar Media CMAG, these commercials tell a story.

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Planet Money
2:19 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Energy Independence Wouldn't Make Gasoline Any Cheaper

Friedemann Vogel Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:05 pm

Just about every president since Richard Nixon has set energy independence as a goal, and both major candidates have brought it up the current campaign.

As it turns out, there is a place, not so far from here, that has achieved energy independence: Canada.

Canada produces far more oil than it consumes. They're not dependent on the Middle East! They've got all the oil they need!

I called Stephen Gordon, a professor of economics at Université Laval in Quebec City, to ask him about what energy independence means for his nation.

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StoryCorps
2:19 am
Fri October 26, 2012

After 30 Years Of Surgeries, Doctor And Patient Dance

Marcela Gaviria met Dr. Dempsey Springfield when she was 12, and he performed an operation to save her leg from complications from cancer. Since then, he's performed countless operations on her.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 9:44 am

When Marcela Gaviria was 7 years old, she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of childhood bone cancer. She survived, and the cancer was cured — but it nearly took her leg.

When Gaviria was 12, she needed a bone transplant and met surgeon Dempsey Springfield, who performed the operation.

"I was pretty scared, I remember, and I think I survived a very sort of traumatic moment 'cause you were so kind," Gaviria, now 43, told Springfield at StoryCorps in Boston.

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Animals
2:19 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Hey, Sexy Dino, Show Me Your Feathers

This artistic interpretation shows an adult and juvenile feathered ornithomimid dinosaurs.
Julius Csotonyi Science

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 6:43 pm

Some of the weirdest animal behavior is about romance. That's especially true with birds — they croon or dance or display brilliant feathers to seduce the reluctant.

This sort of sexual display apparently has a long pedigree: There's now new evidence that some dinosaurs may have used the same come-on.

The source is a kind of dinosaur that was built like a 400-pound ostrich. It lived about 75 million years ago and is called ornithomimus, meaning "bird mimic."

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How We Watch What We Watch
2:17 am
Fri October 26, 2012

The Future Of 'Short Attention Span Theater'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:36 pm

We've been looking at how technology has totally changed what it means to watch television or a movie. One of the biggest changes has been in demand — people want a baseball game — on their smartphone, wherever they are, right now. They want to pull up a video and stream it — on their laptop or phone, immediately, with no wait.

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