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9:10 am
Mon October 14, 2013

'Menstrual Man' Had An Idea To Help Indian Women

Arunachalam Muruganantham installs his machine in a village in Chhattisgarh, India.
Amit Virmani

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 10:02 am

Arunachalam Muruganantham had his light bulb moment when he was 29 years old, and holding a sanitary napkin for the first time.

Examining the cotton pads he was buying as a gift for his new wife, the Indian entrepreneur realized that the multinational company that produced them was probably spending cents on raw materials, and making a huge profit.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Rome And Church Officials Block Nazi War Criminal's Burial

Former SS Captain Erich Priebke, seen here in Rome during his war crimes trial in 1996, died Friday at age 100. Authorities in Rome, Germany, and Argentina have rejected becoming his final resting place.
Plinio Lepri AP

The late Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, infamous for his role in crimes that included a massacre in Italy, is proving to be difficult to bury, after church and government officials in Rome blocked his funeral there.

Authorities in Germany and Argentina have also rejected the idea of becoming the final resting place for the former SS captain, who died Friday at 100.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Taliban Urges Rejection Of U.S.-Afghan Security Deal

Afghan men stand at a livestock market set up for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or "feast of sacrifice," in the center of Kabul Monday. In an email, the Taliban is calling on Afghans to reject a new security agreement with the U.S.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

As a bilateral security agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan begins an approval process, the Taliban's leader urged Afghans to reject the deal, calling it a colonial arrangement with elements of slavery.

The message came in an email on the eve of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. In it, Mullah Mohammad Omar told Afghans to keep fighting, as NPR's Sean Carberry reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Collectible Art At Street Prices: Banksy Sells Pieces For $60

An image from a video posted by Banksy shows a man representing the artist staffing a sidewalk stall featuring signed works for $60. Banksy says he only made $420 Saturday, with one customer negotiating a 2-for-1 discount.
Banksy NY YouTube

New Yorkers who love a good bargain missed a golden opportunity Saturday, when the artist and provocateur Banksy, whose sly graffiti art adorns collectors' walls, opened a sidewalk kiosk in Central Park to sell his work for $60 apiece.

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Code Switch
5:15 am
Mon October 14, 2013

How Columbus Sailed Into U.S. History, Thanks To Italians

Though he sailed in 1492, Christopher Columbus was not widely known among Americans until the mid-1700s.
Spencer Arnold Getty Images

It's been 521 years since the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus "sailed the ocean blue/in fourteen hundred and ninety-two." Since then, there have been thousands of parades, speeches and statues commemorating Columbus, along with a critical rethinking of his life and legacy.

But the question remains, how did a man who never set foot on North America get a federal holiday in his name? While Columbus did arrive in the "New World" when he cast anchor in the Bahamas, he never made it to the United States.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Reid And McConnell Cite 'Progress' As Default Deadline Looms

Still Right Twice A Day: Visitors look at the Ohio Clock outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill Sunday. The clock that has stood watch over the Senate for 196 years stopped running shortly after noon Wednesday. Employees who wind the clock weekly were furloughed in the federal shutdown.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 1:34 pm

This post was last updated at 6:10 p.m. ET.

The House and Senate were in session on Columbus Day, the 14th day of the federal government shutdown. A meeting that had been arranged between President Obama, Vice President Biden and the four main leaders of Congress was postponed, as the White House cited the progress being made in negotiations.

The latest word of a possible deal calls for raising the federal debt limit through Feb. 15 and funding a return to work for the government through Jan. 15. We'll update this post as more news comes in.

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Planet Money
4:45 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Economics Nobel: Nobody Knows What Stocks Are Going To Do Today

The Nobel Foundation

If you want to honor today's Nobel laureates in economics, turn off CNBC and ignore everyone who says they know what the stock market is going to do today, tomorrow, or next week.

The award went to three economists — Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller — for their work studying asset prices.

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The Two-Way
3:50 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Americans Win Economics Nobel For Interpreting Stock Prices

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:12 am

Three American professors have won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Economics for their work in identifying long-term trends in the prices of stocks and bonds, based in part on analyzing the role of risk.

Professors Robert J. Shiller of Yale University and Eugene F. Fama and Lars Peter Hansen, both of the University of Chicago, won "for their empirical analysis of asset prices," the Royal Swedish Academy said in announcing the honor Monday.

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Business
2:46 am
Mon October 14, 2013

3 American Economists Win Nobel Prize

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics was awarded today to three American men - Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, Robert Shiller. The Nobel committee cited their research in the predictability of stock prices, as well as other asset prices. We're going to find out more now from Zoe Chace of NPR's Planet Money team. She's on the line. Hi, Zoe.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: Each of these guy's names is a little familiar, I think to the layman, especially maybe Shiller. Who are they?

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Around the Nation
2:31 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Shutdown Hinders S.D. Post-Blizzard Cleanup

Heavy and wet snow weighs down tree branches on the west side of Rapid City, S.D. Earlier this month, a fierce October snowstorm hit ranchers in the state hard.
Kristina Barker Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 3:58 am

A freak October blizzard earlier this month killed tens of thousands of cattle in South Dakota.

The number of animals is hard to confirm. In part, because the federal agency tasked with tallying livestock losses after a disaster is closed during the partial government shutdown.

October is often a great weather month to be in South Dakota, which is one reason why the early October blizzard caught so many off guard.

Todd Collins lost a fifth of his herd in this storm. "My dad is 80 years old, and he says he's never seen a killer storm the first of October."

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Europe
2:29 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Three U.S. Economists Win Nobel Prize

Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics on Monday for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.

While it's hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.

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Europe
1:37 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Man Leaves Wife Accidentally At Gas Station

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you've forgotten to replace the fuel cap at the gas station, you could do worse. A German man was driving back from his honeymoon in France. He pulled over to fuel up, thinking his bride, sleeping in the back seat, remained put. She actually got out to use the facilities. He drove on, and two and a half hours later, he noticed his wife was gone. The man called police, who said she was patiently waiting back at the gas station. This is probably not what she meant when she said, no better or for worse.

Around the Nation
1:24 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Chiefs Break Record For Loudest NFL Stadium

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Kansas City football fans broke the record yesterday for loudest stadium in the NFL. Fans of the Chiefs were recorded howling at over 137 decibels as the Chiefs defeated Oakland. Now, you may wonder just how loud 137 decibels is. That's considered beyond the threshold of pain, louder than a loud rock concert, almost as loud as a jet engine, and nearly as annoying as two soccer fans with vuvuzelas.

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

Asia
11:31 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

China Experiences Surprise Drop In Exports

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a slide in Chinese exports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Chinese exports showed a surprise drop last month, according to government figures.

As NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, the September numbers underscore some of the challenges facing the world's second-largest economy.

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Media
11:21 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Readers Lament 'International Herald Tribune' Name Change

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The International Herald Tribune is about to change its name. In these difficult days for print journalism, fans of the Paris-based English newspaper are grateful that it's still being published. But the change is prompting a good bit of nostalgia.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris explains why.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)

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Planet Money
11:21 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Prize In Economics A Latecomer To Nobel Lineup

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Later this morning, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics will be announced in Sweden. Unlike some other Nobel Prizes we've heard about in recent days, this one comes with an asterisk. And NPR's Robert Smith is covering the story. He's in New York. Hi, Robert.

ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Hey, it's good to be here.

INSKEEP: Why is there an asterisk over the Nobel Prize in Economics?

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Politics
10:23 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

How The Debt Limit Became 'A Nuclear-Tipped Leverage Point'

Congress set a limit on how much debt the U.S. Treasury could accrue back in 1917.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:14 pm

Political battles over the debt limit have been around nearly as long as the law passed by Congress in 1917 that set a statutory limit for how much debt the Treasury could accrue.

Since then, Congress has had to increase that limit on more than 100 occasions — and 40 of those times, lawmakers have tried to tie strings to raising the debt ceiling. In the last few years, though, there's been a marked escalation in those demands.

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Shots - Health News
10:22 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

So What's The Real Deadline For Obamacare Sign-Up?

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 8:06 am

The health exchanges are now open, though some have a lot of glitches. You still have lots of questions about how the Affordable Care Act affects you and your family.

And we have answers. In our ongoing series, we're addressing questions you've asked about the sign-up process.

With people having so much trouble logging onto the websites to get coverage, some are wondering how soon they have to sign up for coverage to avoid the potential penalties.

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Parallels
10:21 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Iran's Leaders Send Sobering Message: No Quick Economic Fix

Two Iranian textile merchants wait for customers in Tehran's main bazaar. President Hassan Rouhani has raised hopes by reaching out to the West and promising to work for an end to sanctions. But his team has cautioned that the country's economic problems have deep roots.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 11:21 pm

The U.S. and its Western allies have not been able to win the nuclear concessions they have sought from Iran. But they have been able to inflict considerable economic pain through sanctions.

But now, Iran's call for a nuclear agreement and an end to sanctions has raised hopes among Iranians that better economic times may be ahead. The Iranian currency has stabilized somewhat since the election of President Hassan Rouhani, although inflation and unemployment remain high.

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Africa
10:20 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Kenyan President Faced Justice With Help Of Secret Envelope

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:32 am

Kenya's deputy president William Ruto is back before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Monday. He and his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, face charges of instigating and financing deadly tribal violence in Kenya after that country's disputed 2007 election.

But their cases might never have reached this stage if not for one Kenyan judge and a remarkable disappearing act.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
10:20 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Holding Onto The Other Half Of 'Mixed-Race'

Wilma Stordahl with her sons (from left) Kevin, Kazon and Kenneth at Kazon's high school graduation. "We think of Norwegians as being tall and blond and blue-eyed," Stordahl says. "My sons are tall — but they're not blond and blue-eyed."
Courtesy of Wilma Stordahl

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 7:14 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 will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Shots - Health News
10:19 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Exercise May Help Knees More Than Glucosamine And Chondroitin

With osteoarthritis, knees become swollen and stiff, and cartilage can degenerate.
Ted Kinsman Science Source

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:18 am

If you're among the estimated 27 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, then perhaps you've tried the nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. They've been marketed for joint health for about 20 years, and sales are still brisk. But do they help?

Some horses might say yes. The supplements were first tried in horses, and there's some evidence that the supplements might improve joint function for them.

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Asia
8:41 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Death Toll In India Temple Stampede Rises

A stampede on a bridge outside a Hindu temple in India killed more than 100 people on Sunday. Many of the victims leapt to their deaths in the water below.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 9:16 pm

The death toll from a stampede near a temple in central India rose to 109 after many of the injured succumbed, an official said Monday.

Thousands of Hindu pilgrims were crossing a bridge leading to a temple in Madhya Pradesh state on Sunday when they panicked at rumors the bridge would collapse, triggering a stampede.

The district medical officer R.S. Gupta said that autopsies had been carried out on 109 bodies by late Sunday.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Israel Discovers Tunnel Leading To Gaza, Army Says

A view of a tunnel reportedly dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on Sunday.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 3:29 am

Israeli military officials announced Sunday that they have discovered an underground tunnel that leads from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into Israel. They say the tunnel could have been used for an attack against Israelis.

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Movie Interviews
1:12 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Alan Rickman On 'CBGB' And The Importance Of Listening

Alan Rickman tells NPR's Arun Rath he wasn't familiar with CBGB or the punk scene until he began working on the film.
Beau Giann XLrator Media

After several failed musical ventures and two bankruptcies, New Yorker Hilly Kristal decided to try something new. In 1973, he opened a bar in Lower Manhattan intended to showcase sounds not so indigenous to the urban landscape: country, bluegrass and blues. And so came the name for the dive bar CBGB.

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Business
12:53 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

15 Years Later, Where Did All The Cigarette Money Go?

So far, the tobacco industry has paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of a settlement. While smoking is down among young people and even adults in some areas, it's still unclear where much of that money has gone.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 7:12 am

Fifteen years after tobacco companies agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines in what is still the largest civil litigation settlement in U.S. history, it's unclear how state governments are using much of that money.

So far tobacco companies have paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of the 25-year, $246 billion settlement.

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Animals
12:53 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Birds Of A Feather Spy Together

AFP/ Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:12 pm

The scene: Two men in a chilly Soviet apartment converse in whispers, careful to protect their plans from enemy ears. Little do they know, the benign-looking raven outside their window is not merely a city scavenger hunting for food, but a spy for the U.S. government.

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Music Interviews
12:25 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

A Comedy Woodstock, Courtesy Of Tenacious D

Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D mug as 1960s hippies in a promo clip for Festival Supreme, a Los Angeles-based alternative comedy festival of their own creation.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:08 am

Woodstock didn't just bring together some of the most important musical acts of the late 1960s: It showed that a music festival could be a truly historic event.

These days, leave any pasture open long enough and someone will start setting up amps and concession stands. The outdoor music festival is ubiquitous in 2013. But so far, there has been no Woodstock for comedy.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Sequester Emerges Anew In Senate Shutdown Debate

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), left, seen here speaking with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) in an elevator Sunday, says that undoing the sequester cuts is "one of the sticking points" in budget talks. Congress is struggling to find a solution to end the government shutdown, now in its thirteenth day.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:15 pm

The federal government shutdown is in its 13th day, with little sign of a budget deal that could win the approval of both houses of Congress, as well as the White House. The debate now includes efforts to avoid a default if the government's debt limit isn't raised by Thursday.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Seven Red Cross Relief Workers Seized In Syria

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 10:32 am

The International Committee of the Red Cross says seven of its workers have been abducted in northwest Syria. The team, which includes one Syrian Red Crescent volunteer, was taken by gunmen as they drove to Damascus on Sunday morning.

The workers were seized in Idlib province, where rebels have clashed with government forces this month.

"We call for their immediate release," the relief agency said.

The AP reports:

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