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10:41 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

The Deficit: The Talk Is Big, But The Number Is Shrinking

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:12 am

The deficit is the nation's annual budget shortfall, the difference between what the government spends in one year and what it takes in. In 2009, '10, '11 and '12, it was huge.

"You look at the president's budget," said House Speaker John Boehner in 2012, "and we've got trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see."

"We're going to have trillion-dollar deficits for years to come," said former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

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The Salt
10:40 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

How American Food Companies Go GMO-Free In A GMO World

Allen Williams grows corn and soybeans for Clarkson Grain, which has been selling GMO-free grain to Japan for years.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:12 am

Quite possibly, you've noticed some new food labels out there, like "Not made with genetically modified ingredients" or "GMO-free." You might have seen them on boxes of Cheerios, or on chicken meat. If you've shopped at Whole Foods, that retailer says it now sells more than 3,000 products that have been certified as "non-GMO."

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Parallels
10:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Istanbul's Mega-Projects: Bigger Is Better, Or A 'Crazy Canal'?

The pillars for the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, commonly known as the "Third Bridge" rise from the Anatolian and European sides of the Bosphorus, above the fishing harbor of Poyrazkoy. When completed, the bridge will be over two kilometers in length, making it the longest combination railway/highway bridge in the world.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:12 am

Istanbul has long been a city of historical layers and sharp contrasts: ancient monuments share the skyline none too comfortably with modern skyscrapers, and charming cobbled streets run alongside massive highway traffic snarls.

Those contrasts have multiplied under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his love of giant building projects hasn't abated after more than a decade in power.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Tech Companies Release Details On Surveillance Data

An employee stands at the Microsoft booth during the 2013 Computex in Taipei on June 4, 2013.
Mandy Cheng AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 1:02 am

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Around the Nation
1:14 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Outdoor Show Reopens Under New Management: The NRA

Gun rights and gun control advocates demonstrate in Harrisburg, Pa., last year after the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show decided to ban certain guns. The show was canceled that year, but is back with a new name.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:33 pm

Last year, organizers of one of the nation's largest outdoor shows tried to ban certain guns in the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the industry struck back with a boycott, and the Eastern Sports and Outdoor show was eventually canceled.

This year, it's back and bigger than ever.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Stocks Head Lower; Investors Wonder What's Next

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the trading day on Monday in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:44 pm

If your New Year's resolution was, "I am going to prepare for retirement by moving my savings into stocks," then you must be very sad now.

Broncos-fan-level sad.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged an additional 326 points, down about 2 percent to 15,373. That was the seventh triple-digit drop so far this year. Back on Dec. 31, the Dow was at 16,577.

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It's All Politics
12:28 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline Report Creates Political Headache For Obama

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will run through this field near Bradshaw, Neb.
NH AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:11 pm

Any expectation that a new State Department report would clarify the Keystone XL pipeline issue went up in smoke in recent days.

In the aftermath of a conclusion that downplayed the oil pipeline's potential effects on climate change, the issue has gotten even more politically complicated for the Obama White House. Environmentalists are ramping up their opposition to the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, while Republicans have intensified their push for approval. As for Democrats, well, that depends on their election prospects.

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The Salt
12:25 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

All Hail The Asparagus Queen! How Ag Pageants Lure New Contestants

The 2011 Asparagus Queen, Megan Roskan, and runner-up Christine Merten wave to spectators during an Independence Day parade in Whitehall, Mich. With interests waning in agricultural pageants, organizers are relaxing the requirements to encourage more people to apply.
Courtesy of Phil Squattrito

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:33 pm

Forget Miss USA and Miss Universe.

Think you've got what it takes to be the Asparagus Queen?

Mainstream beauty pageants still get tons of applicants every year (even after the dip in participation during the 2008 recession). The same can't be said for the rural festival pageant circuits, The Wall Street Journal's Lindsay Gellman tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered.

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Movies
12:20 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances

Philip Seymour Hoffman at a screening of The Master, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, during the 2012 Venice Film Festival.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 3:16 pm

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Shots - Health News
11:27 am
Mon February 3, 2014

HPV Vaccine Doesn't Promote Riskier Sexual Behavior In Teens

A 13-year-old girl gets an HPV vaccination at the University of Miami in 2011. The vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 11:00 am

More than a few parents have worried that the HPV vaccine might encourage girls to be more sexually active.

But girls say that's not so, even if they think, wrongly, that the HPV vaccine protects them against other sexually transmitted diseases.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Senators Say John Kerry Admits Obama's Syria Policy Is Failing

Secretary of State John Kerry waves while boarding his plane at Franz-Josef-Strauss Airport in Munich, Germany, on February 2, 2014.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Two prominent U.S. senators are telling reporters that in a private meeting with John Kerry in Munich, the secretary of state said the administration's policy toward Syria is failing.

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Economy
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

The Dow Drops Again, But What's Driving The Sell-Off?

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:33 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.

The stock market had one of its worst days in months today after some disappointing news about manufacturing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points, about two percent. The other major indexes were down even more.

NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us investors are reacting to new concern about the health of the global economy.

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All Tech Considered
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Wikipedia Archiving Voices So You'll Always Know How Celebs Sound

Actress Emma Thompson is one of the first to have an audio snippet of her voice included in her Wikipedia biography.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:30 pm

What's in a voice? To the folks at Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, a voice means a lot. They've begun a project to archive the voices of famous people.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

'Time Is Short' On Debt Ceiling, Treasury Secretary Says

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:33 pm

Warning that "simply delaying action on the debt limit can cause harm to our economy," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew repeated Monday that he believes Congress should act soon to raise that limit so the federal government avoids even looking like it might default on its debts.

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Business
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Lots Of Little Credit Charges Add Up To One Big Scam

Many consumers don't check their credit card bills carefully — which makes it easy to miss fraudulent charges.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:29 pm

Would you notice an unexpected charge of $10 or less on your credit card statement? Lots of consumers don't — and scammers count on that, says Steve Barnas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in northern Illinois.

But Barnas says the Better Business Bureau is now hearing from consumers across the country about $9.84 credit charges for what look to be very innocuous purchases. But while they may seem legitimate, many are not.

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Education
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Part-Time Professors Demand Higher Pay; Will Colleges Listen?

Maria Maisto is an adjunct professor at Cuyahoga Community College and president of the national support group New Faculty Majority.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 3:14 pm

When you think about minimum-wage workers, college professors don't readily come to mind. But many say that's what they are these days.

Of all college instructors, 76 percent, or over 1 million, teach part time because institutions save a lot of money when they replace full-time, tenured faculty with itinerant teachers, better known as adjuncts.

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Politics
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

A Candidate For Congress In Georgia — And Michigan And Hawaii And...

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

We're going to introduce you now to one unusual Republican running for Congress in this year's midterm elections. As a candidate, Allan Levene stands out for a bunch of reasons. He's a naturalized U.S. citizen, born and raised in London. He says the federal government should do away with corporate taxes and create a new Israel in Texas.

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Technology
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

'Jeopardy' Legend Picks Up A Smartphone Quiz App

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, in Tech today, an app to keep you guessing.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC, JEOPARDY)

CORNISH: Or if you're former "Jeopardy!" champ Ken Jennings, a trivia app called QuizUp to keep you answering confidently.

KEN JENNINGS: I was surprised to find that I was very good at Disney. I patted myself on the back for that.

CORNISH: But even Ken Jennings has a few trivia blind spots.

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Music
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

The Fringe Benefits To Bruno Mars' Free Super Bowl Gig

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Early ratings are in for last night's Super Bowl. And while down a bit from last year, the game clocked a respectable 96.9 million viewers. The half-time show was easily the most high-profile gig singer Bruno Mars has enjoyed in his young career.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST THE WAY YOU ARE")

BRUNO MARS: (singing) Just the way you are.

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Hacker Group Sues German Government Over NSA Spying

Revelations made by Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency, have strained diplomatic relations, prompted congressional hearings, and shed light on some aspects of

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Mon February 3, 2014

U.S. One Step Closer To Future Where Cars Talk To Each Other

An illustration showing how a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system would work.
U.S. Department Of Transportation

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:50 am

The United States is one step closer to a future where cars will communicate with each other to avoid accidents.

The Department of Transportation announced on Monday it was moving forward with the steps necessary to one day mandate vehicle-to-vehicle — V2V — communication technology on light automobiles.

The big deal here is that research — including a 3,000-vehicle test of the system in Ann Arbor, Mich. — finds that V2V technology has the potential to "help drivers avoid or mitigate 70 to 80 percent of vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers."

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The Salt
9:51 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Food Comics Turn 'ZAP' And 'POW' Into 'Sizzle' And 'Bubble'

Lucy Knisley's Relish is a graphic memoir about how she discovered her love of food and cooking.
Courtesy of Lucy Knisley

Comic book heroes don't have to wear brightly colored spandex or possess superpowers to capture readers' imaginations anymore. They can don toques and wield whisks instead.

A growing number of comic artists are focusing on what's on their plates, rather than dreaming up intergalactic showdowns and caped crusader capers.

So less ZAP, BOOM, POW. More sizzle, crackle, bubble.

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The Salt
9:38 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Poppin' Pebbles, A Fruity Pebbles Spinoff

Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm get weird.
NPR

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:39 pm

For years, makers of kids' cereals have been upping the ante to get kids interested: hiding a toy surprise inside, adding multicolored marshmallows, setting bear traps in the cereal aisle. Now Post, maker of the classic Flintstones-themed Fruity Pebbles, has created "Poppin' Pebbles," an explosive Pop Rocks-cereal mashup.

Miles: This is the only cereal on the market that fizzes and foams in your mouth. Well, this and Cinnamon Rabies Crunch.

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Shots - Health News
9:33 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Inexpensive Aquarium Bubbler Saves Preemies' Lives

A nurse attaches the low-cost breathing machine (far left) to an infant at The Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.
Jocelyn Brown Rice University

There's only one thing better than having a good idea, and that's having a good idea that really works.

Earlier this year, I reported on some students at Rice University who had designed a low-cost medical device to help premature infants breathe.

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Parallels
8:14 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Did London Get An Economic Boost From The 2012 Olympics?

This cable car line in London, shown on Jan. 27, was built in time for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in the city. It is taking 35 percent fewer visitors than predicted.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 9:33 am

Ronald Reagan once joked that the game Trivial Pursuit had a special economists' edition: It came with 100 questions and 3,000 answers. Economists are notorious for being unable to agree on anything. So it's striking that on the finances of the Olympics, they almost all agree.

"Investing in the Olympics is not worth the investment," says Andy Zimbalist of Smith College.

"You build all these facilities that are perfect for the Olympics, that are not really as desirable once the circus leaves town," says Allen Sanderson of the University of Chicago.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Mon February 3, 2014

As Search Ends, Toll Rises To 27 In Quebec Seniors' Home Fire

Jan. 23: Ice covers the remains of a home for seniors in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec. A fire there killed at least 27 people. Authorities fear another five people also died.
Remi Senechal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:27 am

Twenty-seven bodies have been recovered from the ruins of a home for senior citizens in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec, and authorities believe that bone fragments found in the burned-out building will help them identify five more victims.

The search is over at the site, which was consumed by a fire on Jan. 23. It took 10 days to search the wreckage because water used to fight the flames had frozen. In some spots, ice was more than a foot thick.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Yellen Becomes Fed Chair, And Bernanke Heads To Think Tank

Janet Yellen smiles Monday before being sworn in as Federal Reserve Board chair at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Just as Janet L. Yellen was sworn in as the first woman to head the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke announced his next move on Monday.

The former fed chief, who saw the country through a recovery from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, will join Brookings' Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy.

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Shots - Health News
6:18 am
Mon February 3, 2014

10 Places Where Health Insurance Costs The Most

Health insurance premiums in Aspen, Colo., are among the highest in the country.
Andrew Wilz AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:12 am

If you are buying health coverage in the Colorado ski resort towns, the Connecticut suburbs of New York City or a bunch of otherwise low-cost rural regions of Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada, you have the misfortune of living in the most expensive insurance marketplaces under the new health law.

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The Protojournalist
6:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

6 Odd College Courses In America

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:21 am

About college courses, actor Tom Hanks recently told The Star-Ledger: "I had thought, oh, college, you have to take chemistry and stuff and sit there slogging through work in the library. And then it was like, wait, you can go to college and study theater? And act in plays? This is almost a racket."

Check the catalogs at colleges these days and you will see that you can study theater, act in plays and explore a whole lot more.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Joe Namath's Fur Coat: Nothing New, But It's A Talker

Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath in 1971, left, and at Sunday's Super Bowl in New Jersey.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:04 am

The Seattle Seahawks' "Legion of Boom" defense delivered on its promise. Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos couldn't do anything right. Bruno Mars came through with a "red-hot" halftime performance.

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