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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Rim Fire Is Third-Largest Wildfire In California's History

A charred tree rests on the forest floor after being sawn down to a stump Friday. Firefighters are still working to contain the Rim Fire, which is now the third-largest wildfire in California's history.
Mike McMillan U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:00 am

The Rim wildfire that began three weeks ago today is now 80 percent contained, officials say, but it has burned more than a quarter of a million acres, and it may continue to grow, thanks to low humidity and other conditions.

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The Two-Way
5:17 am
Sat September 7, 2013

NASA Lunar Orbiter Solves Snag After Successful Launch

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks before Friday night's launch of the LADEE moon orbiter. The craft has run into a small technical issue, NASA says, which it will fix before it arrives at the moon next month.
Carla Cioffi NASA

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:59 am

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The Two-Way
4:26 am
Sat September 7, 2013

EU Nations Join To Blame Syria, But Not To Support An Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry urged European Union officials, including foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, left, to support military action in Syria to punish the country for a chemical attack on its citizens.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:19 am

America's most powerful European allies agree that Syria should be held responsible for what the U.S. calls a chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens on Aug. 21. Despite Secretary of State John Kerry's request to support military strikes, members of the European Union believe diplomacy should be the priority.

NPR's Teri Schultz reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
3:11 am
Sat September 7, 2013

In Australian Vote, Prime Minister Concedes To Abbott

Women hold a banner celebrating Australia's next prime minister, conservative Tony Abbott, in Sydney. Abbott swept away Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as voters punished Labor for years of internal party warfare.
Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:22 am

In Australia's just-concluded national vote, conservative Tony Abbott has won enough support to become the country's next prime minister and end six years of Labor rule. That's the analysis from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which reports that voters' main issues were the economy and repeal of carbon and mining taxes.

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Monkey See
3:09 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Toronto International Film Festival, Days One And Two

Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox.
Toronto International Film Festival

Two days into the Toronto International Film Festival, I'm 10 films in. We'll talk more about all of these later, but it seemed only fair to share some basic impressions, since I'm certainly logging the seat time to earn them. So here are the 10 I've seen so far.

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Parallels
2:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

In Macho Mexico's Lucha Libre, The 'Lady' Is Often The Champ

Pasión Kristal walks toward the ring in Magdalena Culhuacán, Mexico.
Daniela Herrerías for NPR

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:56 pm

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NPR Story
2:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Cow Tipping: The Myth That Just Won't Stand Up

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Cow tipping is considered an adolescent rite of passage in some places. Now, we have members of our staff in this very office of urban sophisticates who say they've been part of a group that tipped a bovine. But a journalist named Jake Swearingen insists that cow tipping is what amounts to a rural legend - no more real than jackalopes. His sod-breaking analysis appears in the new quarterly magazine Modern Farmer. Jake Swearingen joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks so much for being with us.

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NPR Story
2:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Former Champion Makes Case For Squash As An Olympic Sport

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tomorrow, the International Olympic Committee will meet in Buenos Aires to decide which sport - wrestling, the combined sports of baseball and softball, or squash - will be added to the 2020 Olympics. Now, if squash is chosen, it would make its debut as an Olympic sport. Jonathon Power was the first North American to become the world's top-ranked squash player. He joins us on the line now. Thanks very much for being with us.

JONATHON POWER: An absolute pleasure. Thanks for having me.

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NPR Story
2:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

History Repeats Itself At Women's U.S. Open

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:01 am

Serena Williams will take on Victoria Azarenka in the U.S. Open final. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Tom Goldman about tennis, as well as the season opener of the NFL.

Education
1:25 am
Sat September 7, 2013

New School Year Brings Sequestration Pain For Many Districts

A student at Red Lake High School starts the 2005 school year following a shooting the year before in which eight people were killed. Because of sequestration, the district is not able to keep on staff a school psychologist brought in after the shootings.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:39 pm

The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.

"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"

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It's All Politics
12:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Vulnerable Senators Straddle The Syria Fence

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Timothy D. Easley AP

President Obama has mustered limited international support for a military strike on Syria, stirred uncertainty about what he'll do if Congress fails endorse a strike (it may depend on the meaning of "intention") and faces growing Capitol Hill resistance.

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Parallels
12:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

On A Razor's Edge In Damascus

Syrian military soldiers check identifications and search vehicles at a checkpoint on Baghdad Street in Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:32 am

The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.

Lately, Marwan feels like he is sneaking around Damascus doing "something bad."

Marwan is a personal trainer, and under normal circumstances he would have nothing to worry about.

But in the increasingly tense and fearful atmosphere that Damascenes find themselves, Marwan feels he has little choice but to look over his shoulder — especially because some of his few remaining clients are underground activists.

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Music
12:36 am
Sat September 7, 2013

A Children's Author Wrangles A Cowboy Soundtrack

Sandra Boynton's new children's album and songbook is titled Frog Trouble.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:11 pm

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Simon Says
12:33 am
Sat September 7, 2013

When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children

Leo del Aguila (from left), Vesa Gashi, Scott Simon, Erblin Mehmetaj and Shawn Fox in 1999 in a housing complex in Pristina. Del Aguila, Simon and Fox were covering the Kosovo conflict for NPR; the children lived in the war-stricken area.
Courtesy of Erblin Mehmetaj

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:01 am

I was in a grocery store one night this week when a sturdy young man approached with a smile.

"Do you remember me?" he asked. "Bini."

Bini — Erblin Mehmataj — was a bony-shouldered 9-year-old boy with a full, toothy grin who lived in an Albanian Muslim housing complex in Pristina, where we stayed to cover the war in Kosovo in 1999.

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Author Interviews
12:32 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Billy Crystal's 'Foolin', Full Of Fun — And Feeling

Billy Crystal returned to voice the role of Mike Wazowski in 2013's Monsters University, sequel to the hit Pixar comedy that introduced the outgoing one-eyed scareball — sidekick to John Goodman's furry blue-and-purple star.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:07 pm

Billy Crystal is ... 65. He feels that he's gone from being, as he puts it, "a cool Baby Boomer into a Diane Arbus photograph."

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Top Afghan Militant Reportedly Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

Protesters in Pakistan shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest in July against drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:58 pm

A senior leader of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network — considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan — has been killed in a U.S. drone strike over northwestern Pakistan, officials say.

Sangeen Zadran was among five people killed at a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region when a missile fired from a U.S. drone hit the building, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

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It's All Politics
1:04 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Opponents of Syria Strikes Gain Edge In Lobbying Fight

President Obama answers a question regarding the situation in Syria during his news conference at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:35 am

The interest groups opposed to U.S. military strikes against Syria had a very good week. That made it a very bad week for President Obama and those who support his plans.

Anna Galland, executive director of the liberal MoveOn.org — which opposes military action in Syria — said that by midweek, her group's members reported making 10,000 calls to Congress, contributing to an avalanche of calls from citizens opposed to military strikes.

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Sports
12:38 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Back At School, Injured Player Fights On After Fateful Tackle

Devon Walker smiles with his teammates after the school's home opener in New Orleans. A former team captain, Walker was paralyzed from the waist down during a tackle last September.
Courtesy of Tulane Athletics

When Devon Walker returned to the Tulane University campus last week, he was greeted with kisses in the hallways. Students and faculty applauded him.

One year ago this weekend, in the second game of the football season, Walker, a team captain for Tulane, went in for a tackle and broke his neck. He was paralyzed from the shoulders down.

For months, he recovered far from home in two different hospitals. But now he's back in Louisiana and re-enrolling at Tulane, in New Orleans.

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All Tech Considered
12:20 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

This Is Musician Mickey Hart's Brain On Music

Musician Mickey Hart in a cap that collects electrical activity in his brain.
Tamarind Jones Courtesy of Nvidia

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:20 pm

Peering inside our mind and capturing images of our thoughts has become a preoccupation in much of neuroscience. It's also an unlikely part of the light show at a Mickey Hart Band concert.

Yes, the musician best known as the percussionist for the Grateful Dead for more than 20 years jams with a light show powered by his mind.

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Environment
12:20 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Immense Underwater Volcano Is The Biggest On Earth

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In the northwestern Pacific Ocean, scientists have found what they believe to be the biggest volcano on Earth. In fact, to find a volcano of a similar size, you'd have to go to Mars. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the volcano is, fortunately, dormant, but in its prime, it changed the face of the Earth.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: William Sager says he brings conversations to a halt when he tells people he's a geophysicist. But now, he says he's got a story that gets people's attention.

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Commentary
12:20 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Is There Any Meaning In Poet Seamus Heaney's Last Text?

Commentator Andrei Codrescu reflects on the text message written by poet Seamus Heaney just before he died. In Latin he wrote to his wife "do not be afraid." The 74-year-old Heaney died in a Dublin hospital last week. Codrescu says no great meaning should be implied — it was just a personal message to his wife.

Around the Nation
12:20 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Tensions Over Syria Run High In Two Chicago-Area Districts

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Defending national security is one of the core arguments President Obama is using in his bid to strike Syria. Congress is expected to vote on military action next week. NPR's David Schaper takes us now to two Chicago area districts where passions on Syria are running high.

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It's All Politics
11:46 am
Fri September 6, 2013

GOP Congressman: 'Constitutional Crisis' If Obama Bucks Vote

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer is one of few House Republicans who publicly back military action in Syria.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:49 pm

President Obama on Friday declined to say whether he'd go ahead with military action in Syria if Congress votes against it — a what-if scenario that's attracting growing attention in the wake of preliminary House head counts that suggest there's nowhere near enough votes for passage.

It's a question that won't be answered until late next week when Congress is expected to vote.

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The Salt
9:38 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Skipping Breakfast Makes You Fat? Not So Fast

association between regularly skipping breakfast and higher body mass index," an obesity researcher says. "But it does not necessarily represent cause and effect."" href="/post/skipping-breakfast-makes-you-fat-not-so-fast" class="noexit lightbox">
"Studies show there is an association between regularly skipping breakfast and higher body mass index," an obesity researcher says. "But it does not necessarily represent cause and effect."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:19 am

The world of dieting is awash in half-truths and wishful thinking. Just have a look at some of these fad diets to be reminded of how much we are willing to stretch reason in pursuit of weight loss.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Feds Asked Yahoo For Data 12,444 Times In First Half Of Year

Yahoo's new logo.
Yahoo.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:38 am

Adding its experience to those of other major browsers and social media sites, Yahoo said Friday that it received 29,470 requests from governments around the world for user data in the first six months of 2013.

Of that total, 12,744 — 42 percent — came from the U.S. government, Yahoo says.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Deep In The Pacific, Scientists Discover Biggest Volcano On Earth

Tamu Massif 3D map
William Sager University of Houston

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 8:10 am

The world's largest volcano has until now been lurking undiscovered in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, according to a team of scientists who identified the massive object and reported their findings in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience.

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Shots - Health News
9:21 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Turns Out Your Kids Really Did Love That Music You Played

Mom loved him. You love him. Prince performing in 1985.
Ron Wolfson Landov

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:17 am

Way back in the 1980s, were you the one playing "When Doves Cry" over and over? Well, don't be surprised if your kids wind up doing the same thing.

Young adults have strong positive memories of the music their parents loved when they were the same age, a study finds. That flies in the face of the cultural stereotype that children reject their parents' taste in music.

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All Tech Considered
8:51 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Encryption Disrupted; Anonymity Online

Circuit board
Marilyn Nieves iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:09 am

Monday's Labor Day holiday shortened our week, but there was no shortage of news in the tech space. Herewith, our weekly roundup to help catch you up.

ICYMI

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Dutch Court Rules Government Liable For 3 Srebrenica Deaths

Relatives of Rizo Mustafic react after the Dutch Supreme Court ruled the Netherlands was responsible for the deaths of Mustafic and two other Bosnian Muslim men during the Srebrenica massacre in 1995.
Martijn Beekman EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:53 am

The Dutch Supreme Court has ruled that the Netherlands is responsible for the deaths of three Muslim men during the infamous Srebrenica massacre in 1995. More than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men were killed in the massacre, considered to be the worst on European soil since World War II.

At the time, Dutch peacekeeping forces had ordered the men to leave a United Nations compound when it was attacked by Bosnian Serb forces.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Friday's Moon Launch Visible To A Potential 85 Million

An unmanned Minotaur rocket carries NASA's newest robotic explorer, the LADEE spacecraft, into Earth orbit and then to the moon.
Carla Cioffi AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:07 am

Updated, 11:40 p.m. EDT

The LADEE spacecraft is on its way to the moon. The rocket and its two-stage separation was visible at least from the Washington D.C. suburbs, and likely up and down the East Coast, given the clear skies.

Our original post:

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