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Author Interviews
10:21 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Baratunde Thurston Explains 'How To Be Black'

Baratunde Thurston is an American comedian and the digital director of The Onion. He co-founded the black political blog Jack & Jill Politics. He is also a prolific tweeter.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:55 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 1, 2012. How to Be Black will be released in paperback on Oct. 30.

It's no coincidence that Baratunde Thurston's new memoir and satirical self-help book How to Be Black was slated for release on the first day of Black History Month.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Twitter Blocks 'Offensive' Accounts In Germany, U.K.; Deletes Tweets In France

Twitter.com

Earlier this year, Twitter announced a new device and a policy of weeding out and removing offensive content from its site if a foreign government requested it.

Thursday, the company tweeted that it's done so for the first time — blocking a neo-Nazi group's account in Germany. Today, Twitter withheld another account — this one in Britain, belonging to a right-wing member of the European Parliament who tweeted support for discrimination against gays. Government officials are investigating both cases.

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The Salt
10:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Sugar Beet Labor Battles Spill Out Onto The National Stage

Supporters of American Crystal Sugar Co. workers, who have been locked out of the company's sugar beet processing plants since 2011, rally in the North Dakota Capitol.
Dale Wetzel AP

It's not just nutritionists who have a problem with sugar these days, so does organized labor. The AFL-CIO is calling for a boycott of one the country's biggest sugar producers, the American Crystal Sugar Company, based in Moorhead, Minn.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Life Of The Mother: Never A Reason For Abortion, Congressman Says

Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) right, and challenger Tammy Duckworth, left, at a televised debate at WTTW Chicago on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:43 am

During a televised debate Thursday on Chicago's WTTW, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) reiterated his opposition to abortion in any circumstance. It's similar to the Republican Party's national platform, which doesn't have any exceptions for abortion in the case of rape or incest. Walsh is taking it a step further — banning abortion to save the life of the mother.

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Election 2012
9:39 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Are Candidates Ignoring the Poor?

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 9:59 am

President Obama and Governor Romney have discussed the middle class a great deal during the debates, but the candidates haven't spent nearly as much time talking about the poor. To get a read on the state of poverty in America, host Michel Martin talks with Irwin Redlener, of the Children's Health Fund and Timothy Noah, a columnist for The New Republic.

Shots - Health News
9:33 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Tweet Chat: Chasing Down Polio, Eradication In Sight

Ado Ibrahim carries his son Aminu through a village in northern Nigeria. Aminu was paralyzed by polio in August.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:26 pm

Polio is on the ropes.

Thanks to vigorous efforts to eradicate the virus through vaccination, there are only three countries on the face of the earth where polio is still endemic.

Reported cases of the paralytic virus worldwide stand at 177 so far this year compared with 350,000 in the late 1980s.

Can polio be wiped out? The target is within sight.

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It's All Politics
9:32 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Redistricting In Maryland Imperils Longtime Congressional Republican

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., at a House Small Business Committee hearing on Sept. 21, 2011. After two decades in Congress, a redrawn district has put his re-election in question.
T.J. Kirkpatrick The Washington Times /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:38 am

Democrats have an uphill battle to take control of the House of Representatives in November. But one bright spot for the party is in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

State Democrats redrew the district's boundaries, and now it favors their party. That leaves 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in trouble.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Fri October 19, 2012

What The ...? Tom Hanks Drops 'F-Bomb' On 'Good Morning America'

TMZ.com was on the story quickly.
TMZ.com

If we were asked to list actors who would be likely to slip up and drop the "f-bomb" on live, national TV, we don't think Tom Hanks would have come to mind.

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Movie Reviews
8:51 am
Fri October 19, 2012

'The Sessions': Sex, Comedy And Something More

Living most of his life in an iron lung forces Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) to see the world from a different point of view.
Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:53 pm

In 1983, Berkeley poet and journalist Mark O'Brien wrote an article about sexual surrogates — women and men trained to help people with disabilities learn to use their bodies to give themselves and others erotic pleasure.

For O'Brien, the subject wasn't academic. After a bout of childhood polio, he had spent much of his life in an iron lung. He could talk, and tap out words on a typewriter holding a stick in his mouth. He could feel things below the neck. But he couldn't move his muscles.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:39 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Charles Darwin And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Aaron Birk

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:45 am

I guess everybody, even the smartest people who ever lived, have days when they feel dumb — really, really dumb. Oct. 1, 1861, was that kind of day for Charles Darwin.

In a letter to his friend Charles Lyell, Darwin says, "I am very poorly today," and then — and I want you to see this exactly as he wrote it, so you know this isn't a fake; it comes from the library of the American Philosophical Society, courtesy of their librarian Charles Greifenstein. Can you read it?

It says:

Whoah! You know the feeling, right?

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Deadly Car Bomb In Downtown Beirut Causes Devastation

Lebanese firefighters extinguish burning cars in Beirut following a huge bomb explosion.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 12:17 pm

A huge explosion in central Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded at least 78, state media in Lebanon are reporting, according to NPR's Kelly McEvers. The target of the bomb isn't clear, but Reuters says the blast occurred on the same street that's home to a political group that opposes Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Dipped In September, But Prices Rose

A "sold" sign in San Francisco in August.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:19 am

There was a 1.7 percent drop in sales of existing homes in September from August, the National Association of Realtors says.

But the median selling price compared to one year earlier was up for the seventh month in a row, leading NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun to say "we're experiencing a genuine recovery."

According to NAR:

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Suspect In Libya Attack Denies Involvement, Is Living In Open

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Not only is Ahmed Abu Khattala saying he wasn't part of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, but the man who witnesses and officials have said was "a ringleader" that night is living openly and "scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama, Romney Trade Jokes; Critics Aim At Obama's 'Optimal' Comment

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (left) and President Obama at the 67th Al Smith Dinner in New York City Thursday night.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images
  • Scott Horsley on the NPR Newscast

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as predicted, took on the challenge of being funny last night at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City — which as we said Thursday has become a quadrennial must-stop on the campaign trail for those seeking the White House.

As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, they "added a laugh track to their campaigns."

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Financially-Strapped Mass. Man Wins Lottery

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

World
5:20 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Air Canada Passengers Spot Missing Yacht

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:16 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Malala Stood For First Time Since Being Shot By Taliban, Doctors Say

Demonstrators in Islamabad at a protest earlier this week about Malala Yousafzai's shooting.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:20 am

  • Larry Miller reporting

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who spoke out against the Taliban and was shot in the head by one of its gunman for her bravery, "has stood for the first time since her attack," ITV News, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

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Around the Nation
4:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

New York Officials Insist Stop-And-Frisk Is Legal

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A judge in New York City is hearing arguments this week about the controversial policing tactic known as stop-and-frisk. This case concerns a relatively small number of searches done without warrants that took place in the hallways of apartment buildings. It's being watched closely because it's the first of several major stop-and-frisk lawsuits to go to court. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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Election 2012
4:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Redrawn 6th District In Md. May Benefit Democrats

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In November, Democrats have an uphill battle if they want to try and take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. But one bright spot for the party is the Sixth Congressional District in Maryland. State Democrats redrew the district's boundaries and now it favors their party. And that leaves 10-term Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett in trouble. NPR's Jeff Brady has our story from Hagerstown, Maryland.

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Music
4:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Recordings Reissued On Solti's 100th Birthday

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF OPERA, "THE FLYING DUTCHMAN")

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:00 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Freezing Eggs To Make Babies Later Moves Toward Mainstream

Human embryos under a microscope at an IVF clinic in La Jolla, Calif.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Doctors who specialize in treating infertility are making a big change in their position on a controversial practice. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has concluded that freezing women's eggs to treat infertility should no longer be considered "experimental."

The group plans to officially announce the change on Monday.

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Business
2:59 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Investors' Funds Are Recovering, But Not Their Nerves

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:14 am

Chicken Little was running wild 25 years ago today. But one could hardly blame the poultry for panicking.

On Oct. 19, 1987, the stock market plunged a record-setting 23 percent. The next day, the New York Daily News' front page screamed "Panic!" and a New York Times headline asked: "Does 1987 equal 1929?"

Turns out, the 1987 plunge was a mere stutter step. The Dow Jones industrial average, which closed at 1,739 that day, quickly bounced back. Within a decade, the stock-price average had nearly quintupled.

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StoryCorps
12:55 am
Fri October 19, 2012

'Black Monday' Plunge: From 'High Life' To Street Life

Robert Griffo, 57, was working on Wall Street when the market crashed on Black Monday.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Robert Griffo was living the high life at an investment firm on Wall Street when the stock market crashed 25 years ago on Black Monday. Along with the Dow Jones industrial average, Griffo's life tumbled.

Griffo tells StoryCorps he worked with the investment company for 11 years.

"I was making a lot of money," he says. "I used to walk over homeless people at Grand Central Station when they were begging for money, and I'd say, 'You need to get a job.' But I lost myself on Wall Street."

When the market crashed on Oct. 19, 1987, Griffo thought he would be let go.

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It's All Politics
12:54 am
Fri October 19, 2012

The Third-Party Factor: Will 2012 Look Like 2000?

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson addresses students at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., in September.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

As the presidential race enters its final weeks, there are many factors that could affect the outcome: a great — or terrible — debate performance by one of the candidates on Monday in Florida; the next jobs report; or the presence of third-party candidates who are on the ballot in almost every state.

Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico who's running on the Libertarian ticket, is on the ballot in 48 states.

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Planet Money
12:53 am
Fri October 19, 2012

The Candidate Is Fake; The Consultants Are Real

One consultant's vision for our political ad: "I see a horse."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:31 am

When our series began yesterday, we brought together five economists from across the political spectrum and had them create a platform for their dream presidential candidate. It's a platform — Get rid of a tax deduction for homeowners!

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Middle East
12:53 am
Fri October 19, 2012

In Syrian Conflict, Hezbollah Rears Its Head

Syrian children flash victory signs Oct. 2 as they stand in front of their tents at a refugee camp in Arsal, a Sunni Muslim town in eastern Lebanon near the Syrian border. The town has become a safe haven for war-weary Syrian rebels.
Bilal Hussein AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

We are standing on a roof, leaning back against the wall because of the snipers. We're right at the Syrian-Lebanese border, looking into the Syrian town of Jusiyah, standing with a rebel fighter who has his walkie-talkie going.

The rebel is part of a group fighting against the Syrian regime's army. The rebels have controlled a route into and out of Jusiyah for nearly a year.

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U.S.
12:51 am
Fri October 19, 2012

With A Phone Call, Truckers Can Fight Sex Trafficking

Errol Giwa, en route to Washington, D.C., fuels up and wipes down his windshield at the truck stop in Jessup, Md. He says in his 34 years as a truck driver, he has heard of many instances of human trafficking at truck stops but hasn't seen it with his own eyes. "If you are looking for that sort of thing, it's not hard to find on the road," Giwa says.
Brakkton Booker NPR

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Eight years ago, a truck driver parked at a travel center near Detroit made a phone call that changed a life.

"I pulled into a truck stop about midnight," Willis Wolfswinkel remembered. "Getting my log book done. Had two girls knock on my door. And I waved them on 'cause I knew what they were looking for."

Something about those girls bothered Wolfswinkel. They looked young, so he called 911.

When the girls went inside another truck in the same lot, he called again. Wolfswinkel kept watching as the police arrived.

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Shots - Health News
4:07 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

More Clues About Hazards From Laundry Detergent Pods

A label warns parents to keep Tide laundry detergent packets away from small children.
Pat Sullivan AP

There's now a deeper look at young kids who got sick after eating or otherwise messing around with those laundry detergent pods that look a lot like candy.

Doctors from two poison control centers and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have analyzed more than a thousand incidents involving people exposed to the pods and other kinds of laundry detergent.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Immigration Arrest Near School, Sparks Protest In Detroit

Immigrant rights groups rallied in Detroit, yesterday, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested one man and questioned another when they were on their way to drop their kids off at school.

Michigan Live reports:

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Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

To Shrink Rents, S.F. Considers Shrinking Apartments

The development firm Panoramic Interests is building about two dozen "micro-apartments" in San Francisco. The company is poised to offer even smaller units if the city approves a proposed new minimum size of 220 square feet.
Artist's Rendering of Smartspace Unit Courtesy of Panoramic Interests

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:32 pm

In many large cities, like Dallas, Phoenix and even parts of Chicago, $800 a month is enough for a clean one-bedroom apartment, decked out with a living room, washer and dryer — and maybe even a pool, in a larger complex.

But if you want to live alone in San Francisco, getting those amenities at that price is practically a pipe dream. With the region's resurgent high-tech industries luring many well-educated, well-paid workers to the Bay Area, the average rent for a studio apartment in the city now runs around $2,000.

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