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It's All Politics
11:59 am
Wed October 23, 2013

White House Turns To 'Rock Star' Manager For Obamacare Fix

Jeffrey Zients was tapped to help fix problems with the Obama administration's heath care website.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:58 pm

Jeffrey Zients isn't exactly a household name. But if he can cure what ails the Affordable Care Act website, he'll be one of the best-known figures in the Obama administration.

Zients (rhymes with Heinz) is the professional manager President Obama turned to in order to solve the by-now-infamous problems with the federal government's health care exchange website.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Ex-Navy Carrier USS Forrestal Sold For 1 Cent

The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Forrestal departs Newport, R.I., for a three-day cruise to Philadelphia in 2010.
MCCS Melissa F. Weatherspoon U.S. Navy

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:45 pm

The U.S. Navy's first "supercarrier" is being sold for just 1 cent to a ship breaker.

The USS Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, is the first of three conventional (non-nuclear) carriers due to be scrapped in the coming years. The Forrestal is best known for a devastating fire in 1967 that engulfed the ship's flight deck, killing 134 sailors and wounding 161 others.

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The Salt
11:41 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Are You A Sage Foodie? A Quiz To Test Your Food Literacy

Screenshot of the Food Literacy Quiz

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:06 pm

So, Food Day is almost upon us (it's Oct 24). And maybe it's time to test your mettle.

The folks behind this celebration have devised a Food Literacy Quiz to gauge your knowledge of all things food — from farm to table.

Think you know tomatoes? Well, by evaluating a series of photos shown in the first question of the quiz, you may learn something about how its seeds are dispersed.

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It's All Politics
11:14 am
Wed October 23, 2013

GOP Pollster: What Went Wrong, And Why

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio (center), with House GOP leaders, speaks briefly to reporters on Oct. 1. Joining Boehner are (from left) House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., the Republican conference chairwoman.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

How badly did the recent fiscal fight go for the GOP?

Here's one hint: Prominent Republican pollster Bill McInturff opens his "after action report" on the government shutdown with a quote from Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu on the skills needed in picking the terrain of battle: "He who knows them not, nor practices them, will surely be defeated."

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Wed October 23, 2013

China's Smog As Seen From Space

Heavy smog has shrouded much of eastern China, and air quality levels have been dropped to extremely dangerous levels. The heavy smog is caused by industrial pollution, coal and agricultural burning, and has been trapped by the mountains to the west and wind patterns. The thick haze of smog is clearly visible as the murky gray color in this true color satellite image.
NASA/NOAA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:35 am

We told you earlier this week about how smog choked the northeast Chinese city of Harbin, which is home to 11 million people.

Today, we get a stunning look at just how bad the problem is from an image taken by the Suomi NPP satellite on Tuesday. That murky gray you see below is all smog:

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Theater
11:07 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Anthony Weiner (The Myth, Not The Man) Takes The Stage

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner announces his resignation from Congress in the wake of a sexting scandal on June 16, 2011. His speech that day was incorporated into the play The Weiner Monologues.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:43 pm

The sexting scandal surrounding former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner has been fodder for comedians, punsters and those who love double entendres. Now it's the source material for a play, The Weiner Monologues, coming to off-off-Broadway's Access Theatre Nov. 6 through Nov. 10.

'Found Texts' (You Finish The Joke)

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Shots - Health News
11:05 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Why Postponing Insurance Mandate Is No Easy Fix For Obamacare

Patrick Lamanske, of Champaign, Ill., works with Amanda Ziemnisky (right), of the Champaign Urbana Public Health District, to try to sign up his wife, Ping, for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 1.
David Mercer AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:57 pm

The Obama administration has entered full damage-control mode over the balky website intended to enroll people in new health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

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The Salt
10:30 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Put Some Sizzle In Your Halloween Costume ... With Sausage?

Geene Courtney models a scarf, skirt, bracelets and a crown made from hot dogs, frankfurters and kielbasa in her role as Queen of National Hot Dog Week, circa 1955.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:56 am

Still looking for a Halloween costume that makes a statement? Look no further than your grocery aisle, if you dare.

Ever since Carmen Miranda danced her way onto the silver screen with a fantastical fruit-laden hat in the 1940s, food as costume has provoked reactions of both delight and horror.

Costumes made of real food have sparked discussions about race, hunger, vegetarianism, commercialism, sexuality, morality and the ever-popular female body image for decades. Here are a few of the more memorable examples.

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Parallels
10:10 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Women Lose Election, Vow To Return

Michal Chernovitsky was one of several ultra-Orthodox women who ran for a seat on the all-male local council in El'ad, Israel. None of the women won a spot in Tuesday's vote, but they said they would continue to be active in politics.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 3:31 am

We wanted to follow up on our story about the ultra-Orthodox women in Israel who were running for the local council in El'ad, or Forever God, a small, religious Jewish town.

Five women had challenged not only El'ad's norms, but practices across Israel's various ultra-Orthodox communities just by getting their names on the ballot and running a campaign.

None of them won a seat, but they say they will be back.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Boston Mayor Fumbles (Again), Says Sox Will Bring Home 'Cup'

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in March 2013.
Paul Marotta Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:14 pm

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino dropped another fly ball: On Tuesday, a day before the first game of the World Series, he mixed his sports references, proving once again that he is no sports fan.

"Tomorrow night, the never (say) die Red Sox, play in their third World Series in the last nine years," Menino said, according to The Boston Globe. "(We're) rooting hard to bring back the World Series Cup to Boston, like we did in 2004 and 2007."

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Chinese Paper Makes Unprecedented Plea For Reporter's Release

A woman reads the New Express newspaper with Wednesday's headline: "Please Release Him."
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 12:55 pm

"Please Release Him."

That was the simple but startling front-page headline on Wednesday in New Express, a cutting-edge newspaper based in China's southern city of Guangzhou. "Him" is Chen Yongzhou, one of the paper's investigative journalists who New Express says was taken away by police after reporting "problems with the accounts" at Zoomlion Heavy Industries."

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed October 23, 2013

VIDEO: World Series Smackdown, Symphony Style

The St. Louis and Boston symphony orchestras are into this year's World Series. They've made a video so that they can talk some trash (and play some music too).
YouTube
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mike Pesca previews the World Series

We could do another World Series preview, like Eyder's "Sox Vs. Cards: 5 Things To Know About The World Series" post from Monday.

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Shots - Health News
7:31 am
Wed October 23, 2013

FDA Asks Dog Owners For Help With Illnesses Linked To Jerky

Jerky treats for dogs and cats have been linked to pet illnesses and deaths. But it's still unclear what is causing the problems.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 7:11 am

The Food and Drug Administration has a mystery on its hands.

Thousands of dogs and at least 10 cats have become sick after eating various forms of jerky for pets over the past few years. Some 580 animals have died, the agency says. But it's not sure why.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Wed October 23, 2013

6 1/2-Year Sentence For 'I Killed A Man' YouTube Confessor

An image from the video confession of Matthew Cordle.
becauseisaidiwould.com AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:28 pm

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Parallels
7:14 am
Wed October 23, 2013

5 Things To Know About The NSA's Surveillance Activities

Massive government surveillance of Americans' phone and Internet activity is drawing protests from civil liberties groups, but major legal obstacles stand in the way of any full-blown court hearing on the practice. Among them: government claims that national security secrets will be revealed if the cases are allowed to proceed.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:47 am

It's hard to keep track of all the leaks by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Iran Minister: Man Who Survived Hanging Shouldn't Be Executed

A blindfolded man convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and the slaying of two policemen awaits execution in Tehran in 2011.
Mohammad Hadi Khosravi AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:23 am

Iran's justice minister says a convicted drug smuggler who survived an attempted execution by hanging earlier this month shouldn't go back to the gallows.

As we reported last week, the 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in the morgue by his family following a 12-minute hanging. After the incident, an Iranian judge reportedly said Alireza would hang again once he had recovered from the botched execution.

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Sports
6:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Grambling Football Strike: Do College Athletes Have Rights?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later, if you want to find out what actress Alfre Woodard likes to listen to, to relax or get inspired, we will tell you. But first, we want to talk football. This is the time of year when a number of schools are celebrating homecoming, but there was no homecoming football game at Jackson State University in Mississippi this past weekend. That's because a majority of players on the visiting team, Grambling State University, refused to play.

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U.S.
6:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Belafonte And MLK Family Take Memorabilia Dispute To Court

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We'd like to turn now to a different subject, a painful one for those who follow the history of the civil rights movement. What we want to tell you about a lawsuit filed by the famed entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte. He filed suit last Tuesday against the three surviving children of Martin Luther King Jr. At issue is a document - well, actually, three documents - that were formally part of Belafonte's collection of photos, letters and memorabilia that chronicled his friendship with Dr. King.

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U.S.
6:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

What Latinos Want From Immigration Reform

President Obama recently announced that he would be turning his attention to immigration reform. But what's a realistic expectation, and what are immigrant communities really hoping for? Host Michel Martin talks with Fernando Espuelas of Univision, and Eduardo De Souza, a soccer coach at Longwood University.

Intelligence Squared U.S.
6:41 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Debate: Should The U.S. Break Up Big Banks?

Douglas Elliott (left) and Paul Saltzman argue against the motion "Break Up The Big Banks" in an Oxford-style debate on Oct. 16.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:52 am

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

Too big to fail.

Those four words loomed large in 2008, as a crisis in the banking world threatened the global economy. Fears that the failure of large financial institutions would undermine the entire economic system led Congress to step in, passing a $700 billion bailout package.

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Code Switch
6:28 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It Takes A Classroom To Learn The Family Language

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:32 am

Call it a linguistic identity crisis.

Growing up in Westchester, N.Y., 25-year-old Danielle Alvarez says, she and her two siblings didn't have much need for Spanish. With few other Hispanic families around, she got by with the few phrases she had picked up from her Mexican-born father: good night, put a coat on, be careful.

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Court Papers Link One Tsarnaev Brother To Previous Murders

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as seen in a video taken on April 15 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
FBI.gov

Papers filed by prosecutors in Boston this week confirm that a friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev told investigators that Tsarnaev took part in a 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts.

Tsarnaev had been linked to the murders before. We wrote on May 23 that:

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The Salt
6:02 am
Wed October 23, 2013

When Edible Plants Turn Their Defenses On Us

Rhubarb: delicious with strawberry pie, but steer clear of the leaves.
Rae Ellen Bichell NPR

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 7:39 am

Fruits and vegetables are unquestionably essential to a healthful diet.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Wed October 23, 2013

'Bishop Of Bling' Suspended By Pope Francis

Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.
Fredrik Von Erichsen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 7:17 am

  • NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome

The "bishop of bling" has been suspended by Pope Francis while the Roman Catholic Church investigates allegations of overspending on renovations at the German cleric's residence and offices.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

What Does The Fox Really Say? LISTEN

The Norwegian duo Ylvis (brothers Bard and Vegard Vlvisaker), who ask "What Does the Fox Say?"
Robert Pitts Landov

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It's All Politics
4:13 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix: Troll, Trial, Tribulation

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:53 am

Good morning.

Let's get right to the tribulation.

Fallout from the government shutdown and budget crisis continues to rain down on Republicans.

Fallout from the monumentally flawed online rollout of Obamacare continues to rain down on President Obama and his team.

Obamacare

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The Two-Way
3:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Crisis Averted For Now In Australia's Fight Against Fires

"A high-risk gamble by firefighters" has paid off in Australia, says The Sydney Morning Herald.

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The Two-Way
3:30 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Facebook Removes Beheading Video, Says It Will Tighten Rules

Facebook.com

Outrage over the posting of a video showing the decapitation of a woman has led Facebook to say it is going to "combat the glorification of violence ... [by] strengthening the enforcement of our policies." It has also removed the video.

This story began Monday when the BBC reported that:

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Parallels
2:53 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Headlines From Around The World

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang talks during a joint news conference with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.
Peng Sun AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:18 am

We begin with an agreement between the world's most populous and second-most populous countries.

India and China signed an agreement in Beijing on Wednesday on border defense following a military standoff earlier this year in an area they both claim.

Here's more from the official Chinese Xinhua news agency:

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The Two-Way
1:57 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Fired White House Aide Admits He Was Twitter Troll

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • From the NPR Newscast: Giles Snyder reports

A top White House national security aide who was secretly going on Twitter to insult other Obama administration officials and politicians from both major parties, and to question the policies he had been helping develop, is apologizing.

Jofi Joseph is also out of a job.

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