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10:09 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

How One D.C. Suburb Set A Gold Standard For Commuting

Becca Bullard commutes every day from Arlington, Va., via Metro's Virginia Square station to her work in downtown Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Becca Bullard

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:33 am

It may come as a surprise to riders on Metro's Orange Line in Arlington, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., but the area sets the bar for suburban transit.

That's because a risky, expensive decision by local planners in the 1960s as the Washington subway system was about to be built helped this once-sleepy community come alive. It led to an increase in residents and decrease in traffic. Instead of having a line bypass these nearby Virginia suburbs aboveground, next to a highway, planners decided to run it underground and redevelop the neighborhoods above.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Bank Of America Liable For Fraud In Countrywide Mortgages

The Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office in Glendale, Calif., in an April 2007 photo.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:59 pm

A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.

The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

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Environment
1:08 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Delegates To Debate Watered-Down Plan For Antarctic Marine Preserve

A lone emperor penguin makes his rounds, at the edge of an iceberg drift in the Antarctic's Ross Sea in 2006.
John Weller AP

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

Less than 1 percent of the world's oceans are set aside as protected areas, but diplomats meeting now in Australia could substantially increase that figure.

Delegates from 24 nations and the European Union have convened to consider proposals to create vast new marine protected areas around Antarctica.

This same group met over the summer and didn't reach consensus, so it's now considering a scaled-back proposal.

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NPR Story
1:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Widespread Plague In Wildlife Threatens Western Ecosystems

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:26 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Most Americans' experience with plague is limited to history books. In the 14th century, it famously wiped out half of Europe's population. But right now, the bacteria is quietly ravaging wildlife in parts of the American West.

NPR's Elizabeth Shogren has the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF A PRAIRIE DOG)

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Two Blond Children Taken From Roma Families In Ireland Are Returned

A newspaper vendor wears a vest displaying front page of The Herald on Wednesday in Dublin. Irish authorities were waiting for DNA test results in relation to a girl removed by Gardai from a Roma family in Dublin, days after a similar case in Greece. The test showed the girl was the biological daughter of the Roma family.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:33 pm

Over the past week, two children were taken from Roma families in Ireland. Authorities said they suspected the blond-haired and blue-eyed children might had been abducted because they did not look like their parents.

Today, we get news that after a DNA test and other proof was presented to authorities, the boy and the girl are back with their biological parents.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister Alan Shatter called for a report about how this happened.

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Shots - Health News
12:21 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

A Toddler Remains HIV-Free, Raising Hope For Babies Worldwide

HIV-positive babies rest in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Treatment right after birth may make it possible for HIV-positive newborns to fight off the virus.
Brent Stirton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:31 pm

A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.

New results on this child, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.

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All Tech Considered
12:10 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

U.K. Official Urges U.S. Government To Adopt A Digital Core

Mike Bracken is executive director of digital for the U.K. government.
Lisbon Council Flickr

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

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Netflix On The Moon? Broadband Makes It To Deep Space

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer probe, seen in this artist's rendering, is orbiting the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar surface.
Dana Berry NASA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 3:20 pm

Here's a funny quirk of the modern age: It takes just seconds to pull up a bad sci-fi movie about invaders from the moon and watch it in HD. But actual communications between the Earth and moon are just as static-filled as they were back in the 1960s.

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All Tech Considered
12:02 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

It's Easy To Blame The Canadians For HealthCare.gov Problems

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

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

President Obama is putting former CEO Jeff Zients in charge of the "tech surge" — the administration's emergency effort to fix the Web portal at the heart of the federal government's new health care market. But what about the contractors that built the system? What's their responsibility?

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Art & Design
12:02 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Getting 'Banksied' Comes With A Price — And Maybe A Paycheck

Cara Tabachnick's family owns the East Williamsburg building that Banksy chose as the canvas for one of his latest works. They installed a metal gate and commissioned a guard to protect the art from vandalism or removal.
Alyssa Goodman AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:04 pm

The elusive British graffiti artist Banksy has taken to the streets of New York this month, tagging buildings throughout the city. Last week we brought you the story of his fans, who have been on the hunt, early each day, to find his latest creation. They have to move quickly; Banksy creations are often vandalized after their locations become known.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

World War II Vet Awarded Medals 67 Years Later

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

Phillip Coon, a 94-year-old World War II Army veteran, POW and Bataan Death March survivor, finally received medals for his service Monday. Coon was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Melissa Block speaks with Coon and his son, Michael, who is also an Army veteran.

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?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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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.

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