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12:28 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

President Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with the Tully Central High School soccer team about their plans for college in Tully, N.Y., on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:39 am

President Obama toured Pennsylvania and New York by bus on Thursday and Friday to promote his college affordability plan.

He's proposing a affordability-rating system that would steer federal aid, but a budget battle with Congressional Republicans is looming.

'A Major Debate'

The tour had a back-to-school theme, but at his stop on Thursday, the fall semester hasn't even begun. Obama spoke to a packed high school gym in Syracuse.

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Simon Says
12:27 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature

Many of Elmore Leonard's stories have been adapted for the screen, from the movie Get Shorty to the TV show, Justified.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:39 am

Elmore Leonard was a writer who hated — and I don't mean disliked; Elmore had a contempt for putting pretty clothes on hard, direct words, so I mean hated — literature, or at least what he believed a lot of people mean when they say liter-a-ture, as if it were a Members Only club.

Elmore Leonard wrote for a living, from the time in his 20s when he turned out ads for Detroit department stores and vacuum cleaners during the day, and wrote cowboy and crime stories for pulp magazines at night.

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The Salt
12:26 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Wine Has Sommeliers. Now, Beer Has Cicerones

Ray Daniels inspects a glass of beer. A Chicago brewer, Daniels started the Cicerone training program five years ago.
Johnny Knight Courtesy of Ray Daniels

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 3:08 pm

If you've been to a fancy restaurant, you've probably seen a sommelier — those wine experts who make sure you get the best possible match for your meal. But what if you don't want a chardonnay or pinot? What if you want a nice cold beer?

A new program is working to bring this same level of knowledge to the world of malt and hops by turning out batches of certified beer experts known as Cicerones.

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Around the Nation
2:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

San Diego Mayor Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:53 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Doctors Fleeing Medicare? Not So Fast, Feds Say

How many doctors are taking new patients under Medicare and private insurance?
HHS

Are doctors so fed up with Medicare's stagnant pay and bureaucratic rules that they're bailing out of the program?

Short answer: Yes, some are. Long answer: Not as many as you might have thought.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently, the number of doctors who opted out of Medicare tripled between 2009 and 2012. Tripled!

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

ESPN Says It Backs Reporting As It Pulls Out Of NFL Series

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:12 pm

  • Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis Discusses ESPN's Decision On 'All Things Considered'

ESPN President John Skipper released a statement Friday defending the network's journalistic integrity after it pulled out of an investigation of the NFL.

ESPN had been a partner with PBS's Frontline on a forthcoming series about concussions in the National Football League. A trailer for the two-part investigation says Frontline "investigates what the NFL knew and when they knew it" regarding the lasting effects of head injuries.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Mei Xiang, Giant Panda At National Zoo, Gives Birth To A Cub

Mei Xiang, who gave birth Friday, enjoying a piece of fruit on Dec. 19, 2011, at the National Zoo.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

The Smithsonian National Zoo has some happy news this evening: Mei Xiang, a giant panda, gave birth to a cub at 5:32 p.m. ET.

In some ways this was a surprise, as the zoo did not know the panda was pregnant until earlier this month, when she began to act like she was expecting.

The zoo says their panda team heard the cub vocalize and saw Mei Xiang cradle her cub.

The zoo reports in a press release:

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

NSA Says Some Analysts Willfully Violated Spying Authority

The National Security Agency says that on rare occasions some of its analysts deliberately violated the agency's surveillance authorities.

NPR's Tom Gjelten tells our Newscast unit that the violations generally do not involve surveillance of U.S. citizens' telephone or email data. He filed this report:

"The NSA this week briefed members of Congress on employee compliance with surveillance authorities. In a new statement the agency summarized what it reported.

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It's All Politics
1:29 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Is This The Beginning Of Obama Unbound?

President Obama speaks at a town hall-style meeting at SUNY Binghamton on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Are we seeing the beginning of a trend from the occupant of the Oval Office — a President Obama unbound?

That's the question after Obama cast aside his usual caution while speaking at a town hall-style meeting in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday. Asked about his proposals for attacking soaring higher education costs, Obama said:

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Announces His Resignation

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego speaks at a news conference in July.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:19 pm

Embattled Mayor Bob Filner on Friday announced that he would step down at the end of the month following allegations by more than a dozen women that he sexually harassed them.

With equal measures of remorse and defiance, Filner, speaking before the City Council, apologized to his supporters and to "all the women I have offended."

"I had no intention to be offensive, to violate any physical or personal space," he said.

"I never had any intention to be a mayor who went out this way," he said.

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Environment
12:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

The 'Consensus' View: Kevin Trenberth's Take On Climate Change

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Next month, a scientific committee sponsored by the United Nations will put out its latest assessment of climate change. The report is expected to underscore yet again that climate change is a serious problem and human beings are largely responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents a consensus view of hundreds of scientists from around the world. The effort shared the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

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Sports
12:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

What To Make Of Tiger Woods' Major-less Year

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the first round of The Barclays golf tournament on Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

By the standard of normal golfing mortals, Tiger Woods has had an incredible summer. He's won multiple tournaments and millions of dollars in prize money. What he didn't do was win any of golf's four major championships, and that has led some to write off Woods' 2013 as a failure.

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The Record
12:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Haven't I Heard This Song Before?

The hook in Vanilla Ice's song "Ice Ice Baby" was based on a passage from "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen, but the rapper denied the similarity at first.
Time & Life Pictures Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

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Planet Money
12:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Cash, Cows And The Rise Of Nerd Philanthropy

A family in western Kenya received this cow as part of a Heifer International program.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

For more of our reporting on this story, please see our recent column in the New York Times Magazine, and the latest episode of This American Life.

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Around the Nation
12:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Summer Nights: Senior Softball In Huntington Beach, Calif.

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Nothing suggests summer like a game of softball. As part of our Summer Nights series, we're visiting Murdy Park in Huntington Beach, California, for a game of senior women's softball. It was a game between the Mighty's and the Misfits. Gloria Hillard reports.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: All right. Let's go, ladies.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Sports
12:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

ESPN Backs Out Of Brain Injury Documentary After NFL Pressure

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. As a television network, ESPN pays billions of dollars to sports leagues for the right to show their games, but its reporters also cover those leagues. Those two roles came into conflict this week when ESPN announced it is pulling out of a project investigating the concussion crisis in the National Football League. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now, as he does most Fridays. Hey there, Stefan.

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Asia
12:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Corruption Trial Not Working Out As Communist Party Had Hoped

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

China's Communist Party had hoped a high profile corruption trial this week would send a message that the party punishes its own and operates under the rule of law. But so far, the trail of former Politburo member Bo Xilai hasn't quite worked out that way. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on how China's biggest case in decades is toying with the expectations of the millions of people following the trial.

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Russia Bans Protests At Site Of Sochi Winter Games

Demonstrators protest against homophobia and repression of gays in Russia, in front of the Russian Embassy in Madrid on August 23, 2013.
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an executive order that bans protests around the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The AP reports Putin issued the 10-week ban along with other orders designed to tighten security. Of course, the ban comes amid international consternation about Russia's laws prohibiting people from publicly supporting "nontraditional relationships."

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All Tech Considered
10:11 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Three Tips For Microsoft's Next CEO

Microsoft's next chief will face a host of challenges, including doing more to encourage innovation.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:30 am

Speculation is already beginning about who will replace Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft. The names being floated are as diverse as Stephen Elop, the head of Nokia, and Steven Sinofsky, who ran Windows.

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Shots - Health News
9:35 am
Fri August 23, 2013

To Reduce Prejudice, Try Sharing Passions And Cultures

Sharing passions can help erase ethnic prejudice. No word if that includes a passion for NCAA basketball.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 5:17 am

People can become less prejudiced, but it's not entirely clear how we make the journey from hatred to acceptance.

Something as simple as a shared passion for The Catcher in the Rye can help, researchers say. So does getting an inside look at the other person's culture, even if only for a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Fri August 23, 2013

U.S. Soldier Sentenced To Life In Afghan Village Attacks

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seen in a courtroom sketch earlier this week, as prosecutor Lt. Col. Jay Morse, right, speaks to the jury. Bales was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday.
Peter Millett AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:14 am

A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Why It's Difficult To Find Full Video Of King's Historic Speech

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King waves to supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, in Washington.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 7:11 am

As thousands gather in Washington over the next week to the mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, you may be moved to look for video of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech," which he delivered in front of the Lincoln Memorial during that march.

It might surprise you that it is actually quite hard to find — because while many copies have been uploaded to Internet video sites, many have also been taken down.

Why, you ask? It's all about copyright.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Gunman Found Guilty On All Counts In Fort Hood Murder Rampage

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan is seen in a booking photo after being moved to the Bell County Jail on April 9, 2010, in Belton, Texas.
Bell County Sheriff's Office handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:41 am

A military jury has returned a guilty verdict on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder against Maj. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused in the November 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood.

The attack at the Texas military base killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Drop In New Home Sales May Be Sign Higher Rates Are Biting

The scene earlier this year at a home construction site in Phoenix.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 8:59 am

Proving once again that when it comes to economic data there's almost always a "but" to watch out for:

The housing sector has been one of the economy's stars in recent months, as we said Thursday when the news broke that sales of existing homes rose an estimated 6.5 percent in July from June.

But ...

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Bill For Three Years In Airport Parking Lot? $106,000

A "Denver Boot" wheel lock attached to a car in a parking lot at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:17 am

Chicago resident Jennifer Fitzgerald has finally settled her airport parking tickets — $106,000 worth of them.

But she'll pay just a small fraction of what she originally owed under a deal she's reached for a car registered in her name that was left for nearly three years in an employee parking lot at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

According to a lawsuit that was dismissed last week, Fitzgerald's ex-beau, Brandon Preveau, who worked at O'Hare, abandoned the 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, where it began collecting tickets on Nov. 17, 2009.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Calif. Wildfire Nearly Doubles In Size, Burns Into Yosemite Park

A Colorado-based firefighter monitors a backfire while battling the Rim Fire in Groveland, Calif., on Thursday. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and has grown to more than 105,000 acres, officials said Friday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:52 pm

Updated at 12:35 a.m. Saturday: Emergency For San Francisco

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Francisco because of the wildfire's threat to public utilities there.

The fire is 150 miles from the city, but Brown said the fire jeopardizes San Francisco's power lines and stations in the fire area. The city has already had to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations, the AP reports.

Further damage could have an impact on San Francisco's power supply.

Our Post From Late Friday:

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All Tech Considered
8:00 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Tech Week That Was: National Security, Privacy And Ballmer

Glenn Greenwald is the blogger and journalist who broke the story about widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency. His partner, David Miranda, was detained at London's Heathrow Airport earlier this week.
Sergio Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:27 pm

Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.

ICYMI

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri August 23, 2013

A Glimpse Of Syria's 1 Million Child Refugees

Syrian-Kurdish children sit on a bed at the Quru Gusik refugee camp in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on Aug. 22. Faced with brutal violence and soaring prices, thousands of Syrian Kurds have poured into Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. UNICEF has reported that over one million Syrian children live as refugees in other countries.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:04 am

Syria's war has reached another grim milestone: Two United Nations agencies announced Friday that 1 million Syrian children have now fled their homeland in an uprising and civil war that's well into its third year.

The accompanying slide show provides a glimpse of some of these children and the conditions they are living in.

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Barbershop
7:19 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Are There 'Blurred Lines' Over Summer's Hottest Song?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Race
7:19 am
Fri August 23, 2013

What Do Asian-Americans Owe The Civil Rights Movement?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, for some music fans, Robin Thicke's megahit "Blurred Lines" sounds distinctly familiar, kind of like an old Marvin Gaye song. The Barbershop guys step to the mic with their verdict. That's ahead. But first, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington has given the nation an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King and the movement that he helped to shape.

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