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2:22 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

You Can Buy An Island, But Can You Really Own It?

The Four Seasons resort on Lanai. Software mogul Larry Ellison recently bought virtually the entire Hawaiian island.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:23 pm

We don't know how much software mogul Larry Ellison recently paid for the Hawaiian island of Lanai — for 98 percent of the island, to be exact — but estimates run upward of half a billion dollars. So what do you get for that kind of money?

Beautiful beaches, for starters. A view of Maui, just eight miles away. A couple of luxury resorts built by the previous owner. And, as a bonus, some delicate history.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

U.S. Speedskater Accused Of Sabotaging Rival

Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men's final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden in 2011.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

The allegations of physical and verbal abuse at U.S. Speedskating have a new twist: A coach allegedly directed a skater to tamper with the skates of a Canadian competitor at an international competition last year — and the skater complied.

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The Salt
1:51 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man Wins $7 Million In Suit Claiming Microwave Popcorn Caused Lung Disease

Wayne Watson, who just won a $7 million lawsuit, explains how a bag of popcorn would "whoof" when opened, releasing steam and flavor.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:04 pm

A federal court has awarded a Denver man $7.2 million in a lawsuit he filed against a popcorn maker and a grocery store for selling him microwaved popcorn that made him sick.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:25 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Could Genes For Stripes Help Kitty Fight Disease?

The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans.
kennymatic via Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:04 pm

At this point it's just an interesting hypothesis, but it's possible that understanding cat coloration could help scientists understand resistance to infectious diseases.

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All Tech Considered
1:15 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Electronic Pull-Tab Gambling Hits The iPad In Minnesota Bars

Booths that sell paper pull-tab games like this one have new competition in Minnesota: electronic pull-tab games played on iPads. The games are meant to help pay for a new football stadium in Minneapolis.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:30 pm

Minnesota gamblers no longer have to rip paper pull-tabs to see if they've won cash: As of this week, they can use iPads to play, and play again, at the click of a button. The venture was sparked by the need to help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium, which will cost an estimated $975 million.

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Planet Money
1:01 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Are Chinese Exporters Cheating?

Workers assemble one of the many car models at Chinese carmaker's Chery Automobile plant in Wuhu, east China's Anhui province.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:35 pm

The Obama administration filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization this week alleging that China is illegally subsidizing its auto industry.

The US says China provides cheap loans and grants and other incentives to their car industry, and that these favors go to companies who are already successful exporters. That, says US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, is unfair.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Leader Of Amish Sect, 15 Others Found Guilty Of Hate Crimes In Beard Cuttings

Samuel Mullet outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011.
Amy Sancetta AP

Fifteen members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio "have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, a jury today "also found the sect's leader, 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr., "guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio. ... They all face prison terms of 10 years or more."

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Author Interviews
12:30 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print'

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 12:20 pm

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

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The Salt
12:23 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Billionaires Fund A 'Manhattan Project' For Nutrition And Obesity

Billionaires John and Laura Arnold are betting that the country's top nutrition researchers can get to the bottom of the obesity epidemic.
Courtesy of the John and Laura Arnold Foundation

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:46 am

Why would a billionaire energy trader-turned-philanthropist throw his foundation's dough behind a new think tank that wants to challenge scientific assumptions about obesity?

John Arnold, 38, whose move from Enron to a spectacularly successful hedge fund got him on the list of wealthiest Americans, isn't crazy about talking to the press. But certainly his decision with his wife Laura to back a newly launched operation called the Nutrition Science Initiative, or NuSI, is an intriguing one.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

White House: 'Self-Evident' Attack On Consulate 'Was A Terrorist Attack'

The Obama administration continued walking a fine line today when describing the attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

"It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," White House spokesman Jay Carney said aboard Air Force One, according to Reuters. "Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials. So, again, that's self-evident."

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Television
11:59 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Kelly Macdonald: A Strong Woman On The 'Boardwalk'

In Boardwalk Empire, Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) is married to corrupt political boss "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi.)
Macall B. Polay HBO

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:24 pm

When Kelly Macdonald landed her first acting gig in Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed 1996 film, Trainspotting, her lack of experience made it hard for her to relax on set.

"I don't think I spoke very much — I was very, very shy," Macdonald tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I kind of hid in the toilets most of the time when we weren't required on set."

Before Trainspotting, Macdonald was working at a bar in Glasgow, Scotland. After two friends separately handed her fliers for the movie's open casting call, she decided to audition.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Justice Ginsburg Predicts Gay Marriage Question Headed To High Court

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a bit of news during an appearance at the University of Colorado, yesterday. When she was asked a question about the issue of gay marriage, she smiled and declined to answer, the AP reports. She said the issue is likely to come up before the court, so she couldn't adress it.

"I think it's most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term," she said.

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It's All Politics
11:00 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Tim Pawlenty Exits Romney Campaign To Lead Bank Lobbying Group

Tim Pawlenty at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:03 pm

With less than seven weeks to go before the presidential election, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is leaving his job as co-chairman of the Mitt Romney campaign to take a top Washington lobbying job.

Pawlenty, 51, will become the next CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, whose 100 members include many of the nation's largest banks and insurance and securities companies.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Pew: Religious Intolerance Is On The Rise Worldwide

A woman takes a picture of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro after midday prayers in August in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Opponents of the mosque waged a two-year court battle trying to keep it from opening.
Mark Humphrey AP

Religious intolerance is on the rise worldwide, according to a new study from Pew's Forum on Religion and Public Life. The study finds that during the past year three-quarters of the world lived in countries with "high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion." That's five percent higher than a year earlier.

Perhaps the biggest jump, Pew reports, is the rise in countries the forum considers to put high or very high restrictions on religion. That number jumped from 31 percent in 2009 to to 37 percent in 2010.

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Business
10:35 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Is Putting Politics On Display Bad For Business?

A used-car lot displays a sign in support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Manchester, N.H., in January.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:43 am

Every election season, political signs sprout like dandelions from lawns across America. They also pop up at more than a few businesses. For some, expressing political preferences is a calculated move to attract customers. But it can just as easily turn clients away.

Jeff Reiter, who owns the Blue Plate Lunch Counter & Soda Fountain in Portland, Ore., proudly displays a 2008 Obama campaign sign inside his restaurant and says he has "never tried to hide" his support for the president.

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It's All Politics
10:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Ohio Senate Race Gets Nasty Amid Flood Of Ads And Cash

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 11:37 am

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Around the Nation
10:03 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Has Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Changed Military?

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:21 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. You might have heard us mention our Twitter Education Forum that we'll be hosting in Miami next month. We'll tell you more about that a little later.

But education is very much on our minds, so today, we're also going to talk more about some troubling new numbers showing that the high school graduation rates for black and Latino boys is lagging. We want to find out more about why. We'll talk about that a little later.

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Education
10:03 am
Thu September 20, 2012

What's Driving Dropout Rate For Black, Latino Men?

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:21 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, it's Hispanic Heritage Month. That's the time of year when we talk about the contributions and, sometimes, challenges facing people of Latino heritage in this country.

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It's All Politics
9:55 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Hispanics Certain To Back Obama, But In What Numbers?

Four years ago, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was greeted warmly at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's awards gala in Washington, D.C. Polls show Obama retains strong Hispanic support this year, but also that many who are eligible don't plan to vote.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:13 am

There appears to be no question that President Obama will win the lion's share of Hispanic support. But there are still very big questions to be answered about how many votes such support will translate into.

"What we know is that we don't know," says Ruy Teixeira, a political analyst at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.

"If you're the Obama campaign, there's cause for concern, because at least so far, [Hispanic support] is not translating into encouraging data on the turnout front," he says.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Thu September 20, 2012

No Criminal Charges For 'Pepper Spray Cop' Or Other Officers

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

This may be one of the last developments in the story of the "pepper spray cop" and what happened last November when University of California Davis Police Lt. John Pike infamously blasted some Occupy protesters who were blocking a campus road with some tear-inducing gas:

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Shots - Health Blog
9:17 am
Thu September 20, 2012

The 'Facebook Effect' On Organ Donation

Facebook is taking its campaign to boost organ donations to Canada and Mexico this week, four months after its premiere.

The feature allows Facebook users to tell their friends and family that they're registered organ donors. It also directs people who aren't signed up as organ donors to the official registries where they live.

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Election 2012
9:16 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Is 'Tough On Crime' No Longer A Talking Point?

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:21 pm

There's a growing bipartisan consensus that criminal justice policy needs to change, because of the costs and social consequences of keeping more than 2 million Americans behind bars. Host Michel Martin discusses the parties' platforms on criminal justice with the Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer and Marc Levin of the group Right On Crime.

U.S.
9:14 am
Thu September 20, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Scenarios Leave Economists On Edge

Economists hope lawmakers can avert a "fiscal cliff" after November's election, but what if Congress runs out of time?
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:46 pm

Members of Congress are about to flee Capitol Hill, and they'll be gone until Nov. 13, one week after Election Day.

As they shift to full-time campaigning, lawmakers are leaving behind many questions about the "fiscal cliff," a massive cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax-break expirations that come together around year's end.

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Planet Money
9:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff, In Three And A Half Graphics

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 9:50 am

For more, see this story from NPR's Marilyn Geewax on how Congress might pass some stopgap measures to blunt the effect of the fiscal cliff.

A bunch of federal tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to kick in around Jan. 1, 2013. This is what people are talking about when they talk about the "fiscal cliff."

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Actress: Anti-Islam Filmmaker Lied And Made Me Look Like A 'Religious Bigot'

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a.k.a. Sam Bacile, made her look like a religious bigot by "having hateful words put in her mouth" when he dubbed a new soundtrack into the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims that has sparked violence and protests around the Muslim world, one of the actresses in the video charges.

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The Salt
8:16 am
Thu September 20, 2012

As Scientists Question New Rat Study, GMO Debate Rages On

Italian farmer Giorgio Fidenato picks up what's left of his genetically altered corn after anti-GMO activists trampled it, back in 2010.
Paolo Giovannini AP

The headlines on the press releases that started showing up yesterday, here at The Salt certainly got our attention. Just one sample: "BREAKING NEWS: New Study Links Genetically Engineered Food to Tumors."

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Colorado's 'Deeply Spiritual' Chimney Rock To Be A National Monument

Chimney Rock, in southwestern Colorado.
National Trust for Historic Preservation Sen. Michael Bennet's Flickr photostream

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:22 am

Southwestern Colorado's 4,700-acre Chimney Rock Archaeological Area will on Friday be designated a national monument, according to Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

The designation, which President Obama will approve and that has bipartisan support, will help preserve the site.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Woman Who Ruined Fresco Of Jesus Now Wants To Be Paid

Three images: How the fresco should look (left); how it looked before the "restoration" (center); and what it looked like after Cecilia Gimenez was done.
Centre de Estudios Borjanos AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:44 am

Cecilia Giménez, the Spanish woman who really messed up when she tried to restore a 19th-century fresco of Jesus, now wants a piece of the action from the 2,000 or so euros ($2,600) her church has collected from tourists coming to see the ruined artwork.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Jobless Claims Changed Little Last Week

There were 382,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down by just 3,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Meanwhile, "the 4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750." That figure offers a slightly better look at the trend.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Pakistani Students Burst Barricades In Latest Protest Linked To Anti-Islam Video

One scene from the site of today's protest in Islamabad, where men identified as students got through police barricades and into the diplomatic enclave.
Sajid Mehmood NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:19 am

More than 500 people presumed to be university students today broke through police barricades and got into Islamabad's diplomatic enclave as they protested against the anti-Islam video that has sparked sometimes deadly demonstrations in many Muslim nations, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from the Pakistani capital.

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