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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Takes Next Step Toward Shutdown Showdown

After a dramatic 21-plus hours in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stood to express his opposition to President Obama's health care programs, the Senate early Wednesday afternoon voted 100-0 to move ahead and take up legislation that would avert a government shutdown next Tuesday.

As expected, the move by the Democratic-led Senate sets up what promises to be another showdown with the Republican-controlled House.

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Shots - Health News
8:28 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Say What? French Horn Players Run Risk Of Hearing Loss

Stand back, or wear earplugs.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 9:52 am

Loud music can lead to hearing loss. But it's not just rock musicians and their fans who are at risk.

In classical orchestras, horn players are particularly vulnerable to hearing damage from the tunes they and their colleagues play.

Some studies have found that horn players are blasted with some of the loudest sounds in the orchestra. The levels are so high that many countries' occupational health regulations would limit exposure like that to a half-hour a day, some studies have found.

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World
7:52 am
Wed September 25, 2013

After Siege, Kenyans Left Wondering What Happened

Kenya's president says the siege of a mall in Kenya is now over. Host Michel Martin speaks to The Associated Press's Jason Straziuso in Nairobi for an update on the terror attack.

Parallels
7:22 am
Wed September 25, 2013

That's The Spirit: Why Indians Prefer Strong Beer, Liquor

A bartender pours Haywards 5000 strong beer into a glass at a restaurant in Mumbai. Strong beer, with alcohol content of 5 to 8 percent, accounted for 83 percent of all beer sold in India last year, according to research firm Mintel.
Danish Siddiqui Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:59 am

Sometimes we at Parallels see a story that's so compelling, we make an extra effort to chase down the facts. So it's in that spirit, this story from Reuters caught our attention:

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Shots - Health News
7:03 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Repeated Bone Scans Shed Little Light On Fracture Risk

A broken hip like the one at left is a big health worry for older women.
iStockphoto.com

Many women have heard that they should be concerned about bone health as they age because there's a risk for crippling fractures.

But repeated bone scans that are supposed to help assess the risk do a crummy job of predicting who's actually going to break a bone.

That's the gist of a study of 802 women and men who are part of the ongoing Framingham Heart Study. They were screened for osteoporosis in 1987 and again in 1999. Most were in their 70s.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Ohio, Other States Running Out Of Lethal Injection Drug

The Texas death chamber in Huntsville, Texas, where death-row inmates receive lethal injections.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 9:34 am

After Ohio death row inmate Harry Mitts Jr. is executed on Wednesday, the state will have officially run out of pentobarbital — the lethal injection drug.

That's because the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck LLC, which manufactures the drug, has cut off its supply in deference to the European Union's opposition to capital punishment.

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All Tech Considered
6:33 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Weekly Innovation: Pampering Your Pooch From Afar

Your dog can hear your voice, see your face and get treats dispensed at your whim. Almost as good as the real thing!
iCPooch

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 9:41 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Kenyan Mall Attack: The Latest News

Members of the Kenyan Sikh community gathered in Nairobi on Wednesday to cremate a grandmother and son who were killed when terrorists took over the Westgate Mall.
Kabir Dhanji EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 2:00 pm

Here's a quick look at where things stand in Nairobi, Kenya, where terrorists claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab organization attacked a shopping mall on Saturday and then kept security forces at bay until late in the day on Tuesday:

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The Salt
5:48 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Rooftop Farming Is Getting Off The Ground

Stacey Kimmons and Audra Lewicki harvest lettuce at the Chicago Botanic Garden's 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden atop McCormick Place West in Chicago.
Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 10:03 am

From vacant lots to vertical "pinkhouses," urban farmers are scouring cities for spaces to grow food. But their options vary widely from place to place.

While farmers in post-industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland are claiming unused land for cultivation, in New York and Chicago, land comes at a high premium. That's why farmers there are increasingly eyeing spaces that they might not have to wrestle from developers: rooftops that are already green.

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Yankees Bobble The Ball On Mariano Rivera Giveaway Night

This is what all the fuss was about: One of the Mariano Rivera bobblehead dolls that were eventually given away Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:18 am

Mayhem. Chaos. Fiasco.

Choose your favorite. Those words and others are making their way into headlines about what happened Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

It was Mariano Rivera Bobblehead Night, and the first 18,000 fans through the gates were supposed to get jiggly statues of their soon-to-be retired star pitcher.

But the truck bringing the bobbleheads to the stadium broke down. So the thousands of fans who had gathered outside the gates were given vouchers instead.

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The Two-Way
3:54 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Another Car, Another Watery Grave, Another Cold Case Solved?

An undated photo provided by the South Dakota Attorney General's Office shows a Studebaker found this week in a creek near Elk Point, S.D. Two teenage girls from the area were last seen May 29, 1971, driving a car like it. Remains found in the vehicle may be those of the two teenagers.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:23 am

Just one week after the discovery of two long-lost cars in an Oklahoma lake and what appear to be the remains of six long-lost people inside them, a 1960 Studebaker Lark has been recovered from a creek in South Dakota.

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It's All Politics
3:42 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix — Sept. 25, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, worked a rare Senate overnight shift as he kept up a lengthy diatribe against Obamacare (with many digressions.)
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:21 am

It's Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, which puts us five days away from a possible federal-government shutdown that would begin Oct. 1 if Congress fails to pass a stop-gap spending bill.

So the drama in the Senate over the spending bill leads the day's interesting political items and features Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. At this writing, Cruz was in the last gasps of an anti-Obamacare talkathon. That's where we start:

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The Two-Way
3:08 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Pakistan Quake Killed Hundreds, Created Island Off Coast

It rose from the sea: The small island that appeared off the coast of Pakistan on Tuesday after an earthquake shook the region.
Government of Pakistan EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:26 am

As more becomes known about the strong, 7.7-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern Pakistan on Tuesday, we're hearing that:

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The Two-Way
2:24 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Latest MacArthur Geniuses Include Sound Savior

Carl Haber, 2013 MacArthur fellow.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:59 am

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Around the Nation
2:21 am
Wed September 25, 2013

99-Year-Old Iowa Woman Receives High School Diploma

Audrey Crabtree of Cedar Falls began her education in the 1920s in a one-room school house. But then she got injured in a swimming accident, and her grandma fell ill, so she didn't finish high school — 1 credit shy. This week, during a board meeting, she received her diploma from the current principal of East High.

Sports
2:12 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Steelers, Vikings To Play NFL Game In London

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

American football doesn't have a big following overseas, which does not stop the National Football League from trying. An NFL game will be played in London Sunday. As it worked out, the league is not necessarily sending its best. The Pittsburgh Steelers, led by Ben Roethlisberger, also known as Big Ben, are winless, 0-3. They'll play the Vikings, also 0-3. On the upside, David Greene, Steelers fan, one team is likely to overcome jetlag and win.

Sports
1:25 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Qatar's Heat May Force World Cup Schedule Changes

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The global governing body of soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, has a big decision to make next week. Some in that group, known as FIFA, are rethinking their plan to hold the 2022 World Cup in the desert nation of Qatar in the middle of summer.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports on what he calls the Confluence of Football and Fahrenheit.

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It's All Politics
1:03 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Your Government Shutdown Questions, Answered

If Congress can't come to an agreement to fund the government, there will be a shutdown on Oct. 1.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 4:29 pm

There's a showdown underway in Congress.

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government running only if the Affordable Care Act is defunded, and the Democratic-controlled Senate isn't likely to go along with that plan. If the two sides can't resolve their differences by Oct. 1, the U.S. government will shut down.

We asked you what you wanted to know about the potential government shutdown, and journalists from NPR's Washington Desk tracked down the answers:

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Middle East
12:31 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Examining Britain's Position On The Crisis In Syria

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When President Obama chose diplomacy over military action in Syria, some feared that could actually bolster Assad. We posed that question earlier this morning to Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who led his country's delegation to the U. N. General Assembly. Clegg told us the threat of military strikes forced Assad's hand, and he said Britain and the U.S. will work to threaten military consequences in a U.N. resolution, even if the Russians are pressing hard against that.

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Middle East
12:23 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Iran, U.S. Can Manage Differences, Rouhani Tells U.N.

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama never did meet Iran's president Hasan Rouhani at the United Nations, as many expected. But Iran's new president gave a speech calling for results-oriented talks to clear up concern about what he called Iran's peaceful nuclear program. NPR's Michele Kelemen was there.

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Politics
11:45 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

House GOP Group Forces Boehner To Choose Sides

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And Senator Cruz spoke against Obamacare all night in the Senate, but can't actually prevent a Senate vote. The Senate is considered likely to approve a bill that funds the government - including the Affordable Care Act.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

But that does not end the story, because the House passed a bill that defunds Obamacare. It would be up to Democrats to find some agreement with House Speaker John Boehner that avoids a government shutdown.

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Business
11:35 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Moroccan Women Have 'Greater Opportunities' In Business

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's meet a businesswoman now who has risen to prominence in a country in North Africa where women have not exactly had it easy. In Morocco, women are often in poverty and illiterate, and they face a restrictive legal code. The government has over the last decade given women more rights. It raised the marriage age and promoted more women in parliament. And among the educated elite in this Muslim country is a highly accomplished businesswoman and banker named Nezha Hayat. She recently came by our studio.

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Politics
11:35 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Senate More Than Likely To Keep Obamacare Intact

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Let's catch up on the Senate's fight over Obamacare. A handful of Republican senators say they support a plan to deny funding to the Affordable Care Act. They want to attach that to a larger measure designed to keep the rest of the government running and avoid a partial shutdown at the end of the month.

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Sweetness And Light
10:44 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Head Games: NFL Should Share Records About Concussions

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:15 am

Football is unique in that most players participate in only half the game — offense or defense.

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Environment
10:43 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Wild Weather Tied To Unusual Jet Stream Activity

Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio NASA

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:25 am

There has been a lot of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere this year, including the recent torrential rains in Colorado, flooding in Europe, bitter cold in Florida and a heat wave in Alaska. And scientists say all of it is related to some odd behavior by the powerful air currents called the polar jet stream.

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Around the Nation
10:43 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Proposed Power Lines Tangle With Native American History

Four humanlike figures were painted in a cave in Washington hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:25 am

Imagine running power lines through a cathedral. That's how archaeologists describe what the Bonneville Power Administration proposes doing in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state. The federal electricity provider is trying to string a new transmission line near a cave that contains ancient paintings, a site considered sacred by Native Americans.

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Planet Money
10:41 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

What Happens When Stores Let Customers Return Whatever They Want?

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:35 am

Sunny Pettinati walked into the L.L. Bean store in Yonkers, N.Y., clutching a plastic bag and looking a little embarrassed.

"I'm returning a sweater that I purchased, I think, about 10 years ago," she said.

The sweater had sat in a drawer, unworn, for years, and she was trying her luck with the store's famously lenient return policy.

It turned out to be painless. A few taps on the keyboard, and the saleswoman handed her a gift card worth the full value of the sweater.

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Afghanistan
10:40 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

U.S. Soldier Fights For Afghan Interpreter Who Saved His Life

Janis Shinwari is seen wearing his body armor in 2008. Shinwari, an Afghan interpreter who assisted U.S. forces, has been waiting three years for a visa to enter the United States. He is now in hiding in Afghanistan.
Matt Zeller

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:40 am

Army Capt. Matt Zeller had been told that his Afghan comrades would make a big show of hospitality. He'd read that the Afghan code of honor would mean protecting his life with their own. Sure enough, that's what his interpreter, Janis Shinwari, pledged to him when they met in April of 2008.

"I expected him to say it. I didn't think he'd make good on his promise within two weeks of my arrival," Zeller says. "Literally pick up a weapon and ... save my life," says Zeller.

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Health Care
10:36 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Commander In Chief, Explainer In Chief Tout Health Care Law

President Obama joins former President Clinton to talk about the health care law, during the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting Tuesday in New York.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:18 am

President Obama's health care law has so far survived challenges in Congress and the courts. But its biggest test could begin next week. That's when the online marketplaces offering health care coverage to the uninsured are set to start signing people up. The question is, will they come?

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The Two-Way
8:09 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

With A Call For Prayer, Cruz Wraps Up Protest Against Obamacare

Sen. Ted Cruz's anti-Obamacare strategy seemed to fall flat Tuesday with many of his fellow Senate Republicans. They urged him to back down out of concern over a possible government shutdown next week.
C-SPAN.org screen shot

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:17 am

Update at noon ET. It's Over:

Saying that "it's fitting that this debate concludes with a prayer" because he believes Americans are pleading with Congress to defund President Obama's health care law, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas just wrapped up his marathon protest on the Senate floor.

Cruz began speaking just after 2:40 p.m. ET Tuesday and abided by Senate rules when he finished at noon today.

"The pleas from the American people," he said of what he sees as the public's opposition to Obamacare, "are deafening."

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