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12:29 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Feeling Really Lucky? Try Betting On The 76ers

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Anybody who bets on the Philadelphia 76ers to win the NBA title has a chance at a serious payoff. Pro basketball started yesterday. Miami is favored to win the championship. Philadelphia, coming off a disastrous last season, is not favored. In Las Vegas, odds against them are 9,999-to-1. Asked how they came up with that figure, odds-makers say it's just the highest number their computers can take.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sweetness And Light
12:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Can NASCAR Steer Itself Back Into Popularity?

Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive through turn four on a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:24 am

As the NASCAR season climaxes, America's prime motor sport continues to see its popularity in decline. For several years now, revenues and sponsorship have plummeted, leaving an audience that increasingly resembles the stereotype NASCAR so desperately thought it could grow beyond: older white Dixie working class.

Both ESPN and the Turner Broadcasting Co., longtime NASCAR networks, took a look at the down graphs and the down-scale demographics and didn't even bother to bid on the new TV contract.

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Shots - Health News
11:29 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa

The Ethiopian government has set up about a dozen vaccination booths along its thousand-mile border with Somalia.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:27 pm

Update on Thursday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. ET:

A spokesman for the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.

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Around the Nation
11:28 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Arguments Over Social Security Pit Old Vs. Young

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:24 am

Congress has until Jan. 15 to come up with another spending plan. As they negotiate, one thing you'll hear a lot about is overhauling entitlement programs — particularly Social Security.

The program accounts for about 20 percent of federal spending. One argument in favor of cuts is that Social Security amounts to a huge transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

French Hostages Held In West Africa Since 2010 Win Freedom

The hostages' families, friends and activists demonstrate in Aix-en-Provence, France, in June.
Claude Paris AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 1:36 pm

Four French hostages captured in Niger three years ago by members of an al-Qaida affiliate have been released.

France's President Francois Hollande says the men, seized in a raid on a uranium mining operation on Sept. 16, 2010, near Arlit in northern Niger, will be returning home soon.

The four men are identified as Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Feret. A source close to Hollande was quoted by AFP as saying: "We can't say that they're in great health but their health is fine."

The hostages are thought to have been held in neighboring Mali.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Alabama Agrees To Permanently Gut Immigration Law

Parents arrive to pick up their children from a school in Montgomery, Ala. After a tough immigration law was enacted in 2011, Hispanic students began to disappear from classrooms in the state's public schools.
Dave Martin AP

Opponents of Alabama's strict immigration law are declaring victory Tuesday, as the state agreed not to pursue key provisions of a measure critics had called an endorsement of racial profiling. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the state's appeal of a federal court's ruling that gutted the law.

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It's All Politics
1:12 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

For Somali Immigrants, All Politics Really Is Local

Members of the Somali community visit near a park in Minneapolis. The city is home to the nation's largest concentration of Somali Americans.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:06 pm

Politics in Minneapolis is about to change.

Not only is the city electing a new mayor on Nov. 5, it's also possible that a majority of the members of City Council will be freshmen.

Among their number could be Abdi Warsame, who would be the first Somali American elected to the City Council there — or anywhere else.

"The community has realized we can turn to each other to address issues of education, housing and health, which are mainly controlled by the politicians," says Mohamud Noor, a Warsame ally.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

WATCH: BBC News Introduces The 'Hexacopter'

The "hexacopter" in action.
BBC

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:16 pm

We're not sure if it outdoes Fox News and its giant tablets, but the BBC introduced a gadget it says will "transform the way TV news looks in the future."

They call it the "hexacopter." And it's essentially a drone with six rotors that's able to flit through many places a cameraman or a helicopter could not.

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The Salt
12:32 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Community Supported Canning Gets Locavores Through Winter

Cheryl Wixon's Kitchen will get you 54 jars of pasta and pizza sauces, cranberry ketchups and fruit jams and butters delivered between November and April." href="/post/community-supported-canning-gets-locavores-through-winter" class="noexit lightbox">
For $300, a share from Cheryl Wixon's Kitchen will get you 54 jars of pasta and pizza sauces, cranberry ketchups and fruit jams and butters delivered between November and April.
Courtesy of Andrea Hand

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:03 am

Community supported agriculture shares are moving out of the crisper and into the pantry.

That's the hope, anyway, of a growing number of farmers and small processors who are marketing local goods under the CSA model.

In traditional a CSA, a farmer sells shares of their fruit and vegetable crop ahead of the growing season to generate cash flow for the year. The farmer then provides boxes of seasonal produce on a regular basis to shareholders during the harvest.

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Shots - Health News
12:31 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Insurance Cancellations Elbow Out Website Woes At Health Hearing

Marilyn Tavenner was the first Obama administration official to testify before Congress about the troubled launch of HealthCare.gov.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:57 pm

When the head of the agency responsible for the troubled Healthcare.gov went before Congress for the first time since its foibles became apparent Oct. 1, she probably didn't expect that many questions would be on something else altogether.

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Law
12:30 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Illinois Files Suit Against Online Adoption Agency

A Web-based adoption can hold great appeal for all sides.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:57 pm

The Adoption Network Law Center is based in California, but when someone in Illinois searches "adoption" on the Web, up it pops, right near the top.

"They're very specific in directing their advertising and marketing to people in Illinois," says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, even though they're not licensed in the state. Illinois prohibits for-profit adoption agencies.

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Sports
12:30 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

NBA Preview: On Valuable Knees And Building Legacies

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The NBA begins a new regular season today with three games. Among the match-ups, the two-time defending champion Miami Heat play the Chicago Bulls. That game features the regular season return of Bulls' all-star point guard Derrick Rose. He hurt his knee badly a year and a half ago. As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, knee injuries are just one of the storylines of the new season.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Chicago's preseason began 24 days ago with a game in Indianapolis, and with Bulls fans holding their collective breath.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Report Details Industry's 'Cutthroat' Fight Of Miners' Claims

My investigative reporting colleague Chris Hamby at the Center for Public Integrity has a compelling and troubling follow-up to our jointly-reported series last year on the resurgence of the deadly coal miners' disease black lung.

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Parallels
11:34 am
Tue October 29, 2013

100 Days To The Sochi Olympics: Some Key Things To Know

One of the participants of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay runs near the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, on Oct. 8. Controversies surrounding costs, security and gay rights swirl around the games, to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:58 am

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, open in February, just 100 days from now.

The games have already given rise to some superlatives: most expensive (at more than $50 billion), most heavily guarded and, potentially, most controversial.

Here are key questions surrounding the Sochi games, and some answers:

An Islamist militant leader has called on Muslim fighters to attack the Olympics. Can Russian officials keep visitors and athletes safe?

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Shots - Health News
11:26 am
Tue October 29, 2013

For A Longer Life, You Might Try Mowing The Lawn

Spiffing up the garden may also make your cardiovascular risk profile look better, too.
Lauren Mitchell Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:16 pm

We all know we're supposed to exercise daily, but precious few of us do. And it only seems to get harder with age.

There's a reason to try harder, though. Tacking more years of good health on to your life may be as simple as mowing the lawn more often and engaging in other everyday physical activities.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Tue October 29, 2013

U.S. Did Not Spy On French, Spanish Citizens, Says Spy Chief

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander is sworn on Capitol Hill on Sept. 26.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:31 pm

The brewing scandal over allegations that the United States spied on millions of phone calls made by Spanish and French citizens took a sharp, surprising turn Tuesday.

During congressional testimony, Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, said those reports, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, were "false."

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Texas Asks Court To Reinstate Abortion Restrictions

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott delivers comments at the 43rd Annual National Right To Life Convention on Thursday.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked a federal appeals court judge to grant an emergency ruling allowing the state to enforce an anti-abortion law struck down by a lower court on Monday.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Tue October 29, 2013

U.N. Condemns U.S. Embargo Of Cuba, Again

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:02 pm

In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Woman On Bridge Of Costa Concordia Says She Was Captain's Lover

Moldovan Domnica Cemortan, who was spotted with the Costa Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, during the spectacular crash of his cruise ship in 2012, during a break in Schettino's trial in July.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:40 am

A Moldovan dancer who was on the bridge of the ill-fated Costa Concordia on the night that it crashed and sank nearly two years ago has admitted in court that she and the captain were lovers, after having repeatedly denied the rumors in public.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Tue October 29, 2013

'We Hurt A Lot Of People,' Westboro Pastor's Granddaughter Says

Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, is seen during her days with the church. Now alienated from their family, Phelps-Roper and her sister, Grace, speak to religious and cultural groups.
Jennifer Hack MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 1:25 pm

Nearly a year after breaking with the Westboro Baptist Church, two of Pastor Fred Phelps' granddaughters are enjoying a new freedom. But as they tell a Canadian newspaper, they also want to extend empathy to those they hurt in the name of a cause championed by the man they call "Gramps."

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Two Kenyan Soldiers Jailed For Looting During Mall Siege

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:38 am

Two Kenyan soldiers have been fired and jailed after they allegedly looted stores while they were supposed to be trying to a control a terrorist attack at a Nairobi mall last month, the Kenyan Army said on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Meet The Mom Who Shamed A Pumpkin Thief

The sign to shame a pumpkin thief (with a rather mild expletive digitally hidden).
Eric Fidler Flickr

A photo of a Washington, D.C., mom's message to a pumpkin thief is resonating with many.

"To the person who stole my son's pumpkin," wrote Becky Reina. "Thank you for the life lesson. This will teach him that sometimes people are mean for no reason and you have to just brush it off.

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Parallels
9:25 am
Tue October 29, 2013

3 Charts (And A Few Words) On The Rise Of Electric Bikes

Electric bikes made by French company Moustache are displayed during the Cycle Show 2013 in Paris last month.
Charles Platiau Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:49 am

We told you last week about how bicycles are outselling new cars in almost every European country.

When we delved a little deeper into the numbers, we found that while bicycle sales remained steady in a six-year period that began in 2006 (the top chart), sales of electric bikes exploded (the second chart).

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Code Switch
9:22 am
Tue October 29, 2013

When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'?

The children of the Ruseva family — at the heart of a story about a Roma child suspected of being kidnapped because she had blond hair and blue eyes — might not read to many as relatives. But they are.
BGNES AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 3:00 am

Last week, folks told us that that they found odd resonances in their lives with the stories of several Roma children in Europe who'd separated from their families. Like those blond, blue-eyed Roma children in darker-skinned, dark-haired families, people said that their own familial bonds had occasionally come under suspicion from strangers, who thought there was a "racial mismatch" between parent and child.

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The Salt
8:35 am
Tue October 29, 2013

A Japanese iPhone Gadget Teases The Tummy With Food Smells

Simply plug the Scentee device into your iPhone jack and let the scent of grilled meat waft your way.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:35 am

Have you ever wished that your iPhone could bring you the smell of coffee, curry or steak?

No? Well, there's a gadget for that.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Obama Aide Apologizes For HealthCare.gov's Troubled Launch

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, during her testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Shawn Thew EPA/LANDOV
  • Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner apologizes for problems with HealthCare.gov
  • Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner says progress has been made

The first of two days worth of hearings about the problems plaguing HealthCare.gov got going Tuesday with an apology for the botched rollout from Marilyn Tavenner — administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As It's All Politics noted earlier, she heads the agency "that oversaw the ill-fated website project."

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It's All Politics
7:30 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Long Shot Could Play Spoiler Role In Kentucky Senate Race

Kentucky Senate candidate Ed Marksberry, who's running as an independent, speaks during the 133rd Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., in August.
Stephen Lance Dennee AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 9:00 am

Ed Marksberry is the longest of long shots against Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell.

While the unknown Democrat turned independent is given little chance of defeating the Senate minority leader, Marksberry could still play an important role in the 2014 race — as a spoiler candidate in a contest that many expect will be decided by a close margin.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Tue October 29, 2013

WATCH: Surfers Ride Towering Waves In Portugal

Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle rides a big wave at the Praia do Norte, north beach, at the fishing village of Nazaré in Portugal's Atlantic coast on Monday.
Miguel Barreira AP

Here we go again: As a massive storm brings hurricane force winds through Western Europe, surfers in Nazaré, Portugal were taking advantage of monster waves, triggering rumors of record-breaking rides.

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Planet Money
7:12 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Top Reviewers On Amazon Get Tons Of Free Stuff

What's this?
Amazon

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:41 am

You're on Amazon.com. You're buying, say, a toaster, and you're checking out the customer reviews. You assume the people writing these reviews are people like you — people who wanted a toaster, went online and bought one. As it turns out, a lot of reviews on Amazon are written by people who are nothing like you. They're written by elite reviewers who are sent free merchandise to review products. In other words, it's possible that the guy reviewing that toaster you're looking at wasn't in the market for a toaster to begin with and didn't pay a cent for it.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. Begins Prison Term Several Days Early

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois leaves federal court in August after being sentenced to 30 months in prison. Jackson reported to prison in North Carolina several days before the Nov. 1 deadline.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 8:26 am

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has begun his prison sentence, resolving a brief period of confusion over his status. It seems that Jackson tried to turn himself in to federal prison officials Monday — but he was four days early. The official deadline for his surrender for a 30-month prison term had been set for Friday.

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