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Shots - Health News
11:15 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders?

Knight (left) and Bucheli take soil samples from beneath one of the decomposing bodies.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 8:30 am

In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.

It's a strange scene at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility. At first, it's easy to miss the human bodies scattered among the tall pines, wild grass and weeds.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Mon September 23, 2013

IRS Official At Center Of Political Scandal Will Retire

Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, listens to opening statements during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee before refusing to testify on May 22.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:20 pm

Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who ran the division engulfed in a scandal over special scrutiny of Tea Party and patriot groups seeking tax exemption, will retire.

The IRS announced Monday that Lerner would step down after being placed on paid leave in May. She refused that month to answer questions at a congressional hearing, citing the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Mon September 23, 2013

$4.7 Billion Deal Would Take BlackBerry Private

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins officially unveils the Z10 smartphone in January.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 11:11 am

A consortium of investors lead by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered BlackBerry a $4.7 billion buyout, pending "due diligence," the company said on Monday.

The deal would take the struggling telecommunications firm into the private market, paying investors about $9 per share in cash. In a press release, BlackBerry said:

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Parallels
10:06 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Somalia's Al-Shabab: 4 Things To Know

Heavy smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday. The Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 12:36 pm

Al-Shabab, the Somali group that has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nairobi mall, began as a group fighting inside its homeland. But it has evolved into an al-Qaida affiliate that draws members from other countries and views Somalia as a front in the war against the West.

Here are some key things to know about the group:

Who Are Al-Shabab?

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Mon September 23, 2013

High-Level Meeting Set Between Kerry, Iranian Counterpart

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference earlier this month.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 6:26 am

Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet his Iranian counterpart this week for the highest-level face-to-face between Washington and Tehran in six years.

The meeting with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and representatives of five other world powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — would come as newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the United Nations in New York. The talks would center on Iran's nuclear program.

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The Salt
9:18 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Woody Allen

The Woody Allen. There's a quarter in this photograph to give you a sense of scale, but it's so tiny you can't see it.
NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:36 pm

So many great sandwiches have been named after great directors: the reuben, named for the great Ingmar Reuben, and the cheese sandwich, named for James Cameron. The Carnegie Deli in New York created the "Woody Allen," and our own Eleven City Diner here in Chicago copied it "oh so close." It's a double-decker corned beef and pastrami on rye.

Ian: Boy, the pastrami at this place is really good. And in such large portions!

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Detroit Has Many Strays, But 'We're Not Tripping Over Dogs'

A stray dog in Detroit last week.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:38 pm

While there's a serious dog problem in Detroit, the initial results of an effort to count the number of homeless canines in the city indicate there are far fewer than the 50,000 strays that some news accounts have talked about.

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Shots - Health News
8:41 am
Mon September 23, 2013

On Eve Of U.N. Goal-Setting, AIDS Agency Claims Big Progress

A doctor takes an HIV test from an athlete during the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos, Nigeria, last December.
Sunday Alamba AP

Despite a plateau in funding by international donors, the United Nations AIDS agency reports striking progress in curbing new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Apple Sells 9 Million New iPhones In Opening Weekend

Apple says it has sold 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c models since their launch on Friday. Here, staff members at an Apple retail store in Beijing cheer a customer after he bought a new iPhone.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:29 am

Sales of its new iPhone 5s and 5c models have surpassed other iPhone releases and exceeded initial supply, Apple says. The company says it has sold 9 million of the phones since their launch on Friday and that "many online orders" will ship in coming weeks.

"This is our best iPhone launch yet — more than nine million new iPhones sold — a new record for first weekend sales," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a Monday press release. He added that "while we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly."

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Mon September 23, 2013

U.S. Team Sails Back From Brink In America's Cup

Defenders Oracle Team USA was out ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand in Race 12 of the America's Cup Finals on Thursday.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:38 pm

Less than a week ago, it looked like the America's Cup — yachting's oldest and most prestigious trophy — would sail back to New Zealand after a near blowout of the U.S. defenders, who are sponsored by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Typhoon Usagi Destroys Homes, Causes Dozens Of Deaths In China

A man runs from a huge wave pushed up by Typhoon Usagi on a wharf in China's Guangdong province Sunday. Usagi killed at least 25 people after crashing ashore in southern China.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 8:31 am

Typhoon Usagi, which stormed ashore north of Hong Kong on Sunday evening, has been blamed for at least 25 deaths in south China's Guangdong province. Some 8,490 houses reportedly collapsed in the typhoon's winds, officials say.

"A total of 5.48 million people were affected and 310,000 residents were displaced due to the storm," reports the Xinhua state news agency, adding that the storm has caused an estimated $1.16 billion in direct economic losses.

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Politics
7:00 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Is A Government Shutdown Good For Anyone?

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:49 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later, we'll hear one side of the debate over tech in the classroom. We'll hear from the former chancellor of New York City schools about why he's become a big believer and investor in bringing tablet computers to the classroom. That's ahead.

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World
7:00 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Who Is al-Shabab?

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:49 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Africa
7:00 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Escaping The Kenya Mall Attack

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:49 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the program today by trying to learn more about the attack this weekend on a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 60 people were killed when attackers fought their way into Westgate shopping mall, eventually holding hostages there. In a moment, we'll try to learn more about al-Shabab. That's the group claiming responsibility.

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Shots - Health News
6:34 am
Mon September 23, 2013

To Succeed At Breast-Feeding, Most New Moms Could Use Help

That's how it's supposed to work. But for most new moms, breast-feeding doesn't come easily, a study finds.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 3:58 am

The majority of new mothers try to breast-feed. But it's not easy.

Only 13 percent manage to breast-feed exclusively for the six months that are recommended for a baby's health. And, as you might expect, the moms who have trouble with breast-feeding in the first week with a new baby are the ones most likely to give up, a study finds.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Death Toll In Pakistan Church Attack Reaches 85

A woman is carried into the hospital after being injured when two suicide bombers attacked a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Sunday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:58 am

At least 85 people are listed as dead in northwest Pakistan after what's been described as the largest-ever attack on the country's Christian minority.

A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up Sunday at the historic All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar, not far from the Afghan border.

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It's All Politics
6:09 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Monday News Clips: What We're Reading

J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 2:11 pm

We're kicking off a new morning routine in which we'll get the day started on NPR's It's All Politics" blog by sharing a handful of political stories that caught our interest or that we'll be watching.

Here are a few of them for Monday, Sept. 23:

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Boston Police Chief Is Stepping Down

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis talks with reporters during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers in April.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:45 am

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who became a nationally known figure as he led his department's response to last April's bombings at the Boston Marathon, announced Monday that he's stepping down after seven years in the job.

"It's time for me to try other things," the 57-year-old Davis told reporters. Among the first opportunities he said he may take advantage of is a fellowship at Harvard.

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NPR Story
5:35 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Bangladesh Garment Workers Protest Over Pay, Factories Shutdown

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with protests in Bangladesh.

Thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh continue protesting today. Dozens have been injured in clashes with police. They're demanding higher wages, seeking about $100 - per month. The demonstrators have forced over 100 factories to closes; factories that supply retailer like Wal-Mart and Gap.

The Two-Way
5:33 am
Mon September 23, 2013

$3.9 Billion U.S. Defense Contract Includes Missiles For UAE

A photo provided by Lockheed Martin shows a test of its THAAD missile interceptor system. The Pentagon has awarded a contract worth more than $3.9 billion for the system.
Lockheed Martin

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:11 am

The U.S. Defense Department has awarded a rich military contract to Lockheed Martin, agreeing to pay more than $3.9 billion for a missile-defense system. The deal calls for a maximum of 110 high-altitude interceptor missiles for the United States, and 192 versions of the missiles for export to the United Arab Emirates.

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET: Number Of Missiles Adjusted

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Code Switch
5:33 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Is It Racist To 'Call A Spade A Spade'?

So where did the phrase "call a spade a spade" come from?
andrewasmith/via Flickr

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:21 am

What happens when a perfectly innocuous phrase takes on a more sinister meaning over time?

Case in point, the expression "to call a spade a spade." For almost half a millennium, the phrase has served as a demand to "tell it like it is." It is only in the past century that the phrase began to acquire a negative, racial overtone.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Mon September 23, 2013

U.N.: Child Labor Is Down, But 168 Million Children Still Work

Near Islamabad, Pakistan, 6-year-old Jabro Mounir was arranging bricks this summer — part of his daily work at a brick-making facility. He earns a little less than $2 per day.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:59 am

The trend is good:

"The global number of child laborers has declined by one third since 2000."

But:

That still means there are an estimated 168 million child laborers around the world, and more than half "are involved in hazardous work" involving such things as dangerous machinery and harmful chemicals.

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The Two-Way
4:27 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Reports: Two Arrests In Chicago Shooting That Wounded 13

After last Thursday's mass shooting in Chicago, a police detective collected crime scene tape when investigators were done with their work.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:07 am

"Two men are in custody in connection with last week's shooting in a South Side park that left 13 people injured," the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Tribune adds that:

"The men, both 22, were arrested around 7:30 p.m. Sunday in an abandoned building in the 5200 block of South Marshfield Avenue, police said. No charges have been filed.

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The Two-Way
4:05 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Egyptian Court Bans The Muslim Brotherhood

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 2:49 pm

A court in Egypt has issued a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that is still protesting the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. The court also ordered the group's assets to be seized.

"The court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and its non-governmental organization and all the activities that it participates in and any organization derived from it," presiding Judge Mohammed al-Sayed said, according to Reuters.

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The Two-Way
4:00 am
Mon September 23, 2013

No Way, Man! Last VW Bus To Soon Roll Off Assembly Line

Enio Guarnieri of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in his 1972 Volkswagen. Soon, the last of the vans will be made in a nearby factory.
Andre Penner AP

We just tripped over some news that's got us a bit bummed out:

The last Volkswagen "hippie bus" is due to roll off an an assembly line in Brazil on Dec. 31.

It seems the van that became known as the transportation of choice for counter-culture folks in the '60s can't be made with the air bags and other safety equipment that "the man" wants it to have.

So Volkswagen is ending production in the last place where the van's still made; a factory near Sao Paulo.

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Africa
3:36 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Survivor Of Kenya Mall Attack Describes Horrible Situation

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:35 am

Efforts are underway in Nairobi to remove the militants and others trapped in the high-end shopping mall after it was attack on Saturday. For more on what the situation is like, David Greene talks to an American who works for a non-governmental organization. She asks only to be identified by her first name Lauren.

The Two-Way
2:40 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Kenyan Police Say They're 'In Charge' Of The Mall

Kenyan soldiers outside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi on Monday. Inside, attackers had killed dozens of shoppers, wounded more and it was feared they also had hostages.
Daniel Irungu EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 2:15 am

(We're adding to the top of this post as news comes in, and also posting updates here.)

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Around the Nation
2:27 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week Highlights What's Taken Out At Schools

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
2:19 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Pirate Gathering In Virginia Doesn't Come Close To Record

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:35 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene with news of the Pirates falling short. No, not the baseball team, thank goodness. We're talking about International Pirate Day in Newport News, Virginia. Thousands in costumes turned up at The Mariners' Museum. They wanted to break the Guinness record for largest pirate gathering. But shiver me timbers, they fell short and not just by few wooden legs. The museum might give it another heave-ho next year.

Argh, its MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Middle East
1:21 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Syria's Move To Join Chemical Treaty Puts Pressure On Israel

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

World leaders are convening in New York this week for the United Nations' General Assembly. And among other things, they're facing some potentially dramatic changes in arms control in the Middle East. Syria might give up it chemical weapons. Iran is signaling that it might negotiate with the West over its nuclear plans. From Jerusalem, NPR's Emily Harris looks at how this might affect Israel and its own weapons programs.

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