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Parallels
4:48 am
Wed November 27, 2013

In Kenya, Corruption Is Widely Seen, Rarely Punished

Video footage shows what appears to be Kenyan soldiers carrying plastic shopping bags as they leave a supermarket at Westgate Mall during a terrorist attack in Nairobi on Sept. 21. Kenya's security forces have long been rated as among the most corrupt institutions in the country, but even jaded Kenyans were shocked by the CCTV footage.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 8:20 am

Editor's Note: One out of three Africans paid a bribe in the past year to obtain a government document, get medical care, place kids in school or settle an issue with police, according to a recent survey. Police consistently attracted the highest ratings of corruption, including those in Kenya. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at the impact it has on the country.

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The Two-Way
4:00 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Good News, Bad News: Jobless Claims Dip, But Key Orders Drop

While a key measure of factory orders weakened in October, there's better news about the labor market: fewer Americans are filing claims for unemployment insurance.
Mark Duncan AP

First, the good news:

There were 316,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 10,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration said Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
3:54 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Judge Orders Sriracha Factory To Cool It

Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:02 am

Peppered with complaints from citizens about burning eyes, sore throats and headaches, city officials in Irwindale, Calif., went to court to see if they could do something about smells coming from a factory that produces Sriracha hot sauce.

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Parallels
3:27 am
Wed November 27, 2013

World Headlines: China Tracked U.S. Bombers Over New Zone

Computer screens display a map showing the outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, in Beijing.
Ng Han Guan AP

China, Xinhua

China says it tracked U.S. B-52 bombers that flew over its "air defense identification zone."

Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said Wednesday the U.S. aircraft flew south and north along the eastern border of the East China Sea air defense identification zone from 11 a.m. to 1:22 p.m. Tuesday, about 120 miles east of the disputed islands that Japan calls Senkaku and China Diaoyu.

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Code Switch
3:14 am
Wed November 27, 2013

'The Knockout Game': An Old Phenomenon With Fresh Branding

This still from a video of an alleged "knockout game" assault has been played over and over on news reports on the supposed trend.
HLN

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:00 pm

There are a few variations, but this is generally how "the knockout game" works: A teenager, or a bunch of teenagers, bored and looking for something to get into, spies some unsuspecting mark on the street. They size up the person, then walk up close to their target and — BLAM — punch him or her as hard as possible in an effort to knock the person out. The most brazen perpetrators even post the videos on sites like YouTube and Vine.

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The Two-Way
2:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Thai Protesters Continue Effort To Topple Government

An anti-government protester blows her whistle during a rally Wednesday at Democracy Monument in Bangkok.
Athit Perawongmetha Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:44 am

We told you earlier this week about the massive anti-government protests in Thailand in which demonstrators took over parts of the Finance and Foreign ministries and called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign. On Wednesday, the fourth day of demonstrations, protesters forced the evacuation of the country's top crime-fighting agency.

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Business
2:09 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Star Trek's George Takei Adds Perfume Mogul To His Resume

The scent is being sold through Amazon and of course it's called EAU My, which is Takei's catchphrase. But for the perfume, the oh is spelled EAU.

Around the Nation
1:58 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Americans Asked To Chose National Thanksgiving Turkey

It seems like the White House was hosting a Thanksgiving Hunger Games. Americans were asked to decide which turkey tribute, Caramel or Popcorn, will be the National Thanksgiving Turkey.

The Two-Way
1:44 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Three Words For Getaway Day: Soggy, Sloppy And Snowy

Passengers wait for a BoltBus to arrive during a light rain, Wednesday, Nov. 27 in New York. A wall of storms packing ice, sleet and rain could upend holiday travel plans as millions of Americans take to the roads, skies and rails for Thanksgiving.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 8:21 am

While those in the western half of the nation will mostly enjoy fair skies on this Thanksgiving Eve, we regret to repeat that for millions of Americans east of the Mississippi it's going to be a messy busiest-travel-day-of-the-year (otherwise known as Getaway Day).

Here's what the National Weather Service has to say:

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Business
12:29 am
Wed November 27, 2013

It Still Isn't Easy, But Independent Bookstores Are Doing Better

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 10:36 am

With another holiday shopping season on the horizon, one group of retailers is doing better than you might expect. Despite intense competition from Amazon and big box retailers, independent bookstores are enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

Robert Sindelar, managing partner at Third Place Books in Seattle, says for a couple of decades independent booksellers have been fighting an uphill battle, but now things are finally improving.

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Energy
12:28 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Drilling For Oil, Based On The Bible: Do Oil And Religion Mix?

John Brown, the head of Zion Oil & Gas, believes the Bible will help him find oil in Israel. The company, which is listed on Nasdaq, has so far spent $130 million and drilled four dry holes. Brown is shown here at one of the company's drilling rigs in Israel.
Courtesy of Zion Oil

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 7:44 am

They say an oilman has to be a gambler, but can he be a prophet?

Zion Oil & Gas, based in Dallas, is a publicly traded company that believes it is commanded by the Bible to search for oil in Israel, both to help the Holy Land and make money for investors. The 22 employees of Zion Oil in Texas and Israel, and many of its 30,000 investors, believe the company is on a mission from God.

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Business
12:25 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Men's Wearhouse Goes 'Pac-Man' On Joseph A. Bank

The retail company Men's Wearhouse has announced it is launching a takeover battle for rival Joseph A. Bank. What makes the effort unusual is that just last month Joseph A. Bank was trying to take over Men's Wearhouse. The turnaround is an example of what Wall Street calls a Pac-Man defense.

Around the Nation
10:27 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

More Girls Target Archery, Inspired By 'The Hunger Games'

Y'Jazzmin Christopher, 7, takes up target practice at Archery in the Wild in Longmont, Colo. "She used to be a really shy person, but now she's opening socially," says Alicia Christopher, Y'Jazzmin's mom, about her daughter's archery.
Grace Hood KUNC

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 7:32 am

The indoor shooting range at Archery in the Wild in northern Colorado used to be dominated by camouflage and hunters. But on this Saturday morning, the archery range is dotted with ponytails and 7-year-old girls like Y'Jazzmin Christopher.

The popularity of The Hunger Games series is fueling an interest in the sport of archery, particularly among girls. Some sporting equipment outfitters say they've seen a big boost in bow and arrow sales since the film series began in 2012.

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Food
10:26 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Squash Your Thanksgiving With Tips From The Test Kitchen

Joe Keller Courtesy America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 8:23 am

Squash is the ultimate Thanksgiving food, not turkey. So says Chris Kimball, host of the PBS show America's Test Kitchen.

"Of all the things they served in that first Thanksgiving, there might not have been turkey," Kimball says. Early revelers may have dined on small birds or venison. "The one thing we know they did have was squash. So, if you want to go back to the first Thanksgiving, this is the item to start with."

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Sweetness And Light
10:25 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

The Horse Who Picked Up A Paintbrush

Metro Meteor, a retired racehorse, stands with owners Ron and Wendy Krajewski and one of his paintings at Motters Station Stables in Rocky Ridge, Md., earlier this year.
Jeffrey B. Roth Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:55 am

This is a Thanksgiving story about a horse. Actually, a horse artist. I don't mean an artist who paints horses, like Degas or Remington, but a horse who paints — and thereby also raises money for less fortunate horses.

Really.

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Business
10:24 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

How Shopping Malls Are Adapting In An Online World

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:49 am

Traditional shopping malls took a big hit after the economic collapse. Problems at big retailers Sears and J.C. Penney — two of the biggest mall tenants — could signal even more troubles.

But malls are trying to adapt. As online shopping grows, things are getting more and more competitive out in the real world of brick-and-mortar retail.

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The Salt
10:23 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

After Years Of Pasta, Rice Returns To A Filipino Family Kitchen

Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil with her grandmother, who taught her to make the Filipino dish lumpia, in 2009.
Courtesy of Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:40 am

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris dips into those stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Parallels
10:21 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Israel Dreams Of A Future As An Oil Producer

Givot Olam CEO Tovia Luskin expects to drill 40 wells and build a pipeline to a refinery on the coast. The company already has "proven and probable" reserves of 12.5 million barrels of oil. Luskin chose where to drill based on a passage from the Bible.
Emily Harris/ NPR

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 3:51 am

There's an old joke that if Moses had turned right when he led Jewish tribes out of Egypt, Israel might be where Saudi Arabia is today — and be rich from oil. Consultant Amit Mor of Eco Energy says that joke is out of date.

"Israel has more oil than Saudi Arabia," he claims. "And it's not a joke."

But that oil will be difficult to reach, if it can be recovered at all. The oil he's talking about is not yet liquid but is trapped in rocks underground.

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Shots - Health News
10:20 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

To Changing Landscape, Add Private Health Care Exchanges

www.delightimages.com iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:30 am

We've been reporting a lot lately on the troubled rollout of President Obama's signature health care law. But at the same time, there are rumblings of a major shift in the way companies offer private health insurance to workers.

It involves what are called "private health care exchanges." These are similar to — but completely separate from — the public exchanges you've heard so much about.

Some experts say this new approach soon could change how millions of Americans receive their health care.

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Law
1:11 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Challenge To Obamacare Contraceptive Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take another case involving the Affordable Care Act, this time a challenge to the provision that for-profit companies that provide health insurance must include contraceptive coverage in their plans offered to employees.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:55 pm

President Obama's Affordable Care Act will be back before the Supreme Court this spring. This time, the issue is whether for-profit corporations citing religious objections may refuse to provide contraceptive services in health insurance plans offered to employees.

In enacting the ACA, Congress required large employers who offer health care services to provide a range of preventive care, including no-copay contraceptive services. Religious nonprofits were exempted from this requirement, but not for-profit corporations.

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Business
12:56 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

The Stock Market Loves The Fed For Now, But Can It Last?

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 for the first time last week.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:32 pm

Major stock indexes have shot to record highs in the U.S. this year, gaining more than 20 percent, and yet economic growth remains at disappointing levels. A lot of analysts believe the stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve are behind the stock boom and a possible bubble.

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All Tech Considered
12:14 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

The Misery Of Holiday Travel, In One Real-Time Map

FlightAware Misery Map combines weather and flight data into a live map." href="/post/misery-holiday-travel-one-real-time-map" class="noexit lightbox">
The FlightAware Misery Map combines weather and flight data into a live map.
FlightAware

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 12:29 pm

As I write this, snowstorms are swirling over the East Coast, threatening Thanksgiving holiday travel plans for millions of travelers. How much time in the purgatory of airports will this mean for you? Check out FlightAware's MiseryMap, which combines weather and flight data into a live map that lists which airports are being struck by storms, the number of delays and cancellations, and graphs that show flight destinations and the chances they'll actually make it on time.

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Energy
12:07 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Colo. Fracking Votes Put Pressure On Energy Companies

A vote to ban fracking in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver, headed to a recount this month after the measure failed by just 13 votes. Broomfield was one of four Front Range towns considering limits or bans on the drilling procedure some fear may not be safe.
Kristen Wyatt AP

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:45 pm

The 2013 election marked a victory for foes of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Colorado. Voters in three Front Range communities decided to put limits on the practice.

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A Blog Supreme
12:07 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Drummer Chico Hamilton, West Coast Jazz Pioneer, Dies

Chico Hamilton.
Todd Boebel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 2:17 pm

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Middle East
12:07 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Meet The 'Arabs Got Talent' Star Who Doesn't Speak Arabic

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 12:56 pm

A Massachusetts woman is getting a lot of attention in the Arab world where she's advanced to the final of Arabs Got Talent. Jennifer Grout can't speak Arabic, but she sings flawlessly in Arabic.

The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Still A Teenager, Freed Cartel Killer Will Leave Mexico For U.S.

A 2010 file photo shows Edgar "El Ponchis" Jimenez Lugo in the city of Cuernavaca, Mexico. The teenage U.S. citizen who acknowledged being a drug-cartel killer has finished his three year juvenile-offender term for homicide, kidnapping and drug and weapons possession.
Antonio Sierra AP

Three years after the startling arrest of a 14-year-old boy for acting as a gang's assassin in Mexico, the boy, now 17, is reportedly heading to the United States, according to media and government reports. Edgar Jimenez, nicknamed El Ponchis — "The Cloak" — is a U.S. citizen who was born in San Diego.

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It's All Politics
11:37 am
Tue November 26, 2013

You Can Vote, You Can Enlist — But Can You Buy A Cigarette?

Cigarette packs are displayed at a convenience store in New York City, which has raised the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 12:22 pm

So, a uniformed Marine walks into a convenience store, and says to the clerk, "Pack of Marlboro Reds, in a box — and some matches."

The clerk gives the Marine the once over and says, "Sorry, son, but you look a bit young to be buying smokes. You 21?"

That potential scenario, in a nutshell, is the most common argument against a small but nascent movement to increase the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.

You can fight in a war at age 18, and vote in elections, but you can't buy cigarettes until your 21st birthday?

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The Salt
11:09 am
Tue November 26, 2013

In Vermont, A Wild-Game Church Supper Feeds The Multitudes

Adventurous carnivores from all over New England have been flocking to the Wild Game Supper in Bradford, Vt., for almost 60 years. The fare at this year's event included beaver, boar, moose and buffalo.
Herb Swanson for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:32 pm

The wild-game supper has traditionally been a way for rural America to share the harvest before winter sets in. Food historians trace the ritual back to Colonial times, when families had to hunt in order to eat well, and some providers were better shots than others.

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Code Switch
10:54 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Trove Of Artifacts Trumpets African-American Triumphs

Hence We Come, by Norman Lewis
Courtesy of The Kinsey Collection

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:44 pm

Seventeen-year-old Tonisha Owens stared wide-eyed at the faded script on an 1854 letter. It was once carried by another 17-year-old — a slave named Frances. The letter was written by a plantation owner's wife to a slave dealer, saying that she needed to sell her chambermaid to pay for horses. But Frances didn't know how to read or write, and didn't know what she carried.

"She does not know she is to be sold. I couldn't tell her," the letter reads. "I own all her family and the leave taking would be so distressing that I could not."

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The Protojournalist
10:33 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Project XPat: Turkey Ball In Djibouti

Baseball in Djibouti
Rachel Pieh Jones

Here in the States, many folks play American-made football — touch, not tackle — on Thanksgiving Day after the megameal.

But in other parts of the world, no one will be the wiser if you make a substitution — and play American-made baseball. Turkey Ball instead of Turkey Bowl, perhaps?

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