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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Justice Files Voter Discrimination Suit Against Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Attorney General Eric Holder was "wrong to mess with Texas."
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The Justice Department has filed suit against Texas under the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the state requirement for voter identification discriminates against minorities.

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It's All Politics
1:34 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Polite Reception For Obama College Cost Plan Belies Hurdles

President Obama takes the stage at the University at Buffalo on Thursday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:47 pm

The big idea in President Obama's new proposal for tackling the growing crisis in college affordability can be boiled down to this: linking federal higher education aid to a new grading system that would rate colleges and universities on the "value" they provide students.

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Business
12:42 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Is Government's Renewed Push On Mortgage Fraud Too Late?

Foreclosures increased dramatically as a result of risky subprime loans during the 2000s.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

"Remain aggressive." That's the message Attorney General Eric Holder says he has given to prosecutors around the country about pursuing wrongdoing by financial institutions — particularly, wrongdoing related to the financial crisis of 2008.

But as the five-year anniversary of the crisis approaches, the record of prosecutions against high-level Wall Street executives has been dismal.

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Environment
12:42 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

'Uncertain' Science: Judith Curry's Take On Climate Change

Judith Curry with her dogs, Rosie (left) and Bruno, in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. The climatologist focuses on the uncertainties of climate change far more than on the consensus of climate scientists.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:10 pm

While the Obama administration presses forward with plans to deal with climate change, Congress remains steadfast against taking action. It's not easy to find a scientist who will agree with that point of view. But Republicans have found an ally in a climate scientist by the name of Judith Curry.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

NYC Lawmakers Override Bloomberg On Police Oversight

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference with New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly last week.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:26 pm

New York's City Council has approved a new layer of oversight for the nation's largest police force, overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg a week after the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactics were deemed "indirect racial profiling" of blacks and Latinos.

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Research News
12:28 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The World's Most Precise Clock Could Prove Einstein Wrong

This may look like a mad scientist's garage sale, but it's actually the most precise clock ever built.
Jim Burrus NIST

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 2:00 pm

What a makes a good clock? Andrew Ludlow, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, says one of the most important criteria is stability.

"If you could imagine a grandfather clock and see the pendulum swinging back and forth, ideally that pendulum would swing back and forth very uniformly," Ludlow says. "Each swing would take exactly the same amount of time."

That's stability. But what if something perturbs the system, like a mischievous toddler?

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Education
12:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Do The Data Exist To Make A College-Rating System Work?

President Obama delivers a speech on education at the University of Buffalo on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:46 pm

President Obama unveiled a plan on Thursday that would, for the first time, tie federal student aid to a new rating system for colleges and universities. While the president's message that higher education costs should be reined in was simple enough, the sweeping proposal is anything but.

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Sports
12:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Ichiro Suzuki Joins Two Other Baseball Greats With 4,000th Hit

Ichiro Suzuki got his 4000th hit on Wednesday, joining Ty Cobb and Pete Rose as the only baseball players to reach that milestone.

Asia
12:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Former Chinese Politician Has Spirited Defense At Trial

The former politician Bo Xilai offered a spirited defense in court in China on Thursday, surprising observers who had expected a quick show trial to end the country's biggest political scandal in decades. However Bo was allowed to cross-examine witnesses and tell judges he had been framed in the bribery charges against him. He said he had confessed to the charges under psychological pressure during interrogation.

Economy
12:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Unemployment Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Levels

More than 330,000 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week. That sounds like a big number — and is a slight increase over the previous week — but it's being taken as some very good news. For a month, now, fewer new people are asking for unemployment insurance than at any time since November, 2007. That's before the Great Recession.

The Two-Way
11:55 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Detroit's Packard Complex Could Sell Below $100,000 If Deal Fails

Detroit's abandoned Packard car plant, seen here in a 2010 photo, could eventually sell for $21,000 if a development deal falls through, a Wayne County official says.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:10 pm

The Packard plant, which once symbolized the might of America's auto industry, is at risk of heading to auction if a pending development deal fails. If that happens, The Detroit Free Press reports, the 35-acre site eventually could be sold "for as little as $21,000," a figure that comes from Wayne County Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski.

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The Salt
11:41 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Reviving An Heirloom Corn That Packs More Flavor And Nutrition

The heirloom corn variety has only eight rows of kernels and hence, its name: New England Eight Row Flint.
Courtesy of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 3:35 am

One day about eight years ago, chef Dan Barber of the famed Blue Hill restaurant at Stone Barns in the Hudson River Valley got a FedEx package from someone he didn't know.

Inside were two ears of corn. And a letter.

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Shots - Health News
11:02 am
Thu August 22, 2013

For Strokes, Superfast Treatment Means Better Recovery

The main goal in stroke treatment: saving brain.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:01 pm

Time is brain, the saying goes. The faster people get treatment for a stroke, the less brain damage they suffer. A new study says much faster is much better, especially for mild and moderate strokes.

People treated with a clotbusting drug within 90 minutes of having symptoms of a stroke had excellent recoveries, with less lasting disability.

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Shots - Health News
9:24 am
Thu August 22, 2013

How Hospitals Can Help Patients Quit Smoking Before Surgery

Stubbing that little habit out before surgery would be a very good idea.
Image Source/Corbis

Doctors want people to quit smoking before surgery because it reduces the risk of complications, but often don't do much to make that happen.

But, it turns out, just a wee bit of help makes it much more likely that people will quit before going under the knife, a study finds.

Patients who got less than five minutes of counseling from a nurse and free nicotine patches at least three weeks before surgery were much more likely to quit, according to researchers at the University of Western Ontario. Those patients also got a brochure and a referral to a quit-smoking hotline.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Thu August 22, 2013

King's Dream Is Not Yet Reality, Americans Say In Survey

Under Construction: A recent survey of Americans found that fewer than half believe the U.S. has made substantial progress toward racial equality. Here, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., is boxed in by scaffolding as work is done on it.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:01 am

Fewer than half of all Americans say the United States has made substantial progress in treating all races equally, according to a new poll released by the Pew Research Center Thursday. The results were announced days before the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have A Dream" speech on the National Mall.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bo Xilai's Corruption Trial In China Kicks Off With A Twist

In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Bo Xilai appears Thursday on the first day of his trial in eastern China's Shandong province. Interestingly, he was photographed flanked by two very tall policemen.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 2:07 pm

In China, recent Communist Party show trials have featured cowed defendants acknowledging their crimes and offering apologies. Not this one.

The country's biggest trial in decades kicked off Thursday with the defendant, former politburo member Bo Xilai, denying guilt, claiming his confession was coerced and branding the testimony of one of his accusers — in this case his wife — "laughable."

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Colorado Town May Issue Licenses To Shoot Down Drones

A federal drone that's used to patrol the U.S.-Canadian border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 9:25 am

Drones have not been spotted flying over the little town of Deer Trail, Colo., about 55 miles east of Denver.

But that hasn't stopped an effort by some in the town of 550 residents to make it legal to shoot down the unmanned aerial vehicles.

On Oct. 8, people there "will vote on whether to issue permits to hunt drones," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Nasdaq Resumes Trading After Halt For Technical Problem

Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:16 pm

(This post was last updated at 6:14 p.m. ET)

Nasdaq has resumed trading in all securities following a prolonged halt Thursday afternoon caused by a technical glitch.

"NASDAQ will first re-open trading in symbols ZVZZT and AAIT with a 15-minute quoting period beginning at 14:30, with trading beginning at approximately 14:45. All other securities will then be released at 14:55 with a 15-minute quote only period with trading resuming at approximately 15:10," the exchange said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Thu August 22, 2013

President Unveils Plan To Boost College Affordability

President Obama speaks on education at University at Buffalo, State University of New York, on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 2:25 pm

Saying a college education is the "surest path to the middle class," President Obama announced a plan Thursday to allocate federal aid to colleges and universities based in part on their affordability.

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Shots - Health News
8:08 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Say What? Jargon Busters Tackle Health Insurance

Good luck getting there!
iStockphoto.com

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

Scared you'll have no idea how to choose the best health plan come fall? Dr. Ruth Parker feels your pain, and she offers a handy solution that may help.

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Parallels
7:55 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak's Case: What's The Best Approach With Ex-Dictators?

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and put under house arrest at a military hospital.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 8:38 am

When Hosni Mubarak was whisked out of prison by helicopter on Thursday, he did not become a free man. The former Egyptian leader, 85, was taken to a military hospital in Cairo, where he's under house arrest and still faces criminal charges.

But to many, the move was highly symbolic, the latest sign that the 2011 revolution is being rolled back and that the country's future is growing messier and more complicated by the day.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Thu August 22, 2013

The Lorax Is Home! Statue Taken From Dr. Seuss' Garden Found

The Lorax, before he was taken away.
San Diego Police Department

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 8:25 am

The Lorax was missing,

From Dr. Seuss' garden.

Who could be so cruel?

Had their heart just hardened?

--

Now there's good news.

The little guy's back.

Found quite nearby,

Off the beaten track.

--

A man in Montana

Had a tip for police.

And for Seuss' family,

The news brought some peace.

--

His clue led to a canyon,

Beneath the Seuss home.

There the statue was found.

In a bush, quite alone.

--

A prank had gone bad,

Perpetrators had chickened.

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NPR Story
7:19 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Egypt's Mubarak Released From Prison

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 7:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It might have seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago, but today in Egypt, former President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison. Mubarak ruled the country as a police state for almost 30 years, but had been behind bars since the 2011 popular uprising centered in Tahrir Square, Cairo. He's still not a free man, though. Judges have ordered him kept under house arrest.

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Music News
7:11 am
Thu August 22, 2013

A Unique Digital Music Service, For Locals Only

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios reviews recently donated CDs. Paulios says donations of old music give the library greater freedom to purchase new stuff, as well as license digital versions directly from smaller artists.
Clay Masters

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 8:30 am

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.

"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."

The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.

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The Salt
7:10 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Stone Age Chefs Spiced Up Food Even 6,000 Years Ago

Prehistoric Deer Stew? A fragment of pottery found in Neustadt, Germany, is coated in the microscopic remains of crushed mustard seeds and roasted fish and ruminant meat, possibly deer. This shard dates back to about 5,900 years ago.
Courtesy of University of York, BioArch

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 3:36 am

The French may have coined the term "gourmand" a few hundred years ago, but it looks like humans were flexing their foodie muscles thousands of years before that.

Scientists have found the first direct evidence that European hunter-gatherers flavored their roasted fish and meat — probably deer — with at least one spice: garlic mustard seeds.

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Movies
7:07 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Film Shows Ali's Battles Outside The Ring

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

We turn now to another film, also about fighting, but this time, in and out of the ring. A new documentary celebrates one of the most recognizable athletes of all time, three-time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. He was as known for his gift of gab, as for his gift of jab.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI")

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Children's Health
7:07 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Florida Deaths Raise Questions About Child Welfare System

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we talk with actor Ziyi Zhang about her latest film "The Grandmaster," and women in kung fu. That's in a moment. But we start our program today in Florida. At least 20 children who were on the radar of child protective services have died there since April, that's according to an investigation by the Miami Herald. And the question of course is, why and how do we stop more deaths from occurring?

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Tourist Dies Of Shark Attack In Hawaii, Part Of Alarming Rise

As reports of shark attacks have risen, Hawaiian officials announced a plan Tuesday to study the sharks' movements. A German tourist who had been attacked in Maui last week died Wednesday.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 8:22 am

A German tourist in Hawaii who was attacked by a shark last week has died of her injuries, according to hospital officials in Maui. Jana Lutteropp, 20, lost her arm in the attack during a snorkeling trip last Wednesday. She is the first person to die from a shark attack in Hawaii in more than nine years.

After Lutteropp was attacked less than 100 yards from the coast at Palauea Beach, she was helped by Rick Moore, a California high school teacher who plunged into the surf to swim her back to shore.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Thu August 22, 2013

VIDEO: Russian Hovercraft Storms Ashore, Surprises Beachgoers

Zubr-class air cushion landing craft "Kerkyra" seen in St. Petersburg, in 2004. A vessel similar to this one came ashore unexpectedly amid sunbathers on the Baltic coast.
Dmitry Lovetsky Associated Press

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 7:31 am

A giant Russian military hovercraft made an amphibious landing on a beach full of stunned sunbathers along the Baltic coast.

The massive 187-foot-long vessel, which rides on a cushion of air, is seen gently gliding up onto the sand as beachgoers in Mechnikovo, Kaliningrad, gawk and snap photos.

Russia's RT.com says no one was hurt in the incident.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak Released From Prison, Now Under House Arrest

A supporter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak celebrates his release from prison on Thursday. He's still under house arrest while awaiting retrial on various charges.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 8:04 am

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been released from the prison where he's been held while awaiting a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters in 2011. The protesters lost their lives during the demonstrations that led to the topping of Mubarak's three-decade-old regime.

Earlier this week, a court ruled that after being held for two years while on trial and during his appeals, Mubarak could no longer be kept in prison. He's also facing corruption charges.

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