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11:53 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Supreme Court To Take Up Affirmative Action Case

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a landmark case about race and college admissions. In 2008, a white student named Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Fisher claimed she was denied admission to UT because of her race.

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Around the Nation
11:52 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Instead Of Surgery, Man Pedals Off The Pounds

Ernest Gagnon weighed 570 pounds before he decided to lose weight by taking up cyclocross racing. Forgoing surgery, Gagnon lost more than 200 pounds and recently competed in his first cyclocross race.
Courtesy of Ernest Gagnon

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:02 pm

A lot of Americans are struggling to lose a whole lot of weight, and they try all kinds of crazy things.

Ernest Gagnon — a man from Billerica, Mass. — decided to shed pounds by getting into the often intense, high-adrenaline sport of cyclocross: racing road bikes on obstacle courses.

Two years ago, Gagnon tipped the scales at 570 pounds. He was depressed and embarrassed to leave the house.

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The Salt
11:13 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Restaurant Discounts For Gastric Bypass Patients May Send Mixed Messages

People who have had gastric bypass surgery qualify for discounts at popular restaurants, including buffets.
coolmikeol Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:31 am

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans turn to stomach-shrinking bariatric procedures, hoping for extreme weight loss.

All of these reduced appetites might seem like bad news for the restaurant business, but surgeon-distributed food discount cards aim to make dining out cheaper and more practical for gastric bypass patients.

But is this kind of encouragement really a good idea?

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It's All Politics
11:03 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Study: Unemployment Discussion Differs By Swing State

Job seekers line up to register at a Miami job fair in January. A new study shows that Florida voters discuss joblessness in ways quite different from those in Ohio and Virginia, two other presidential battleground states.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:21 pm

Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, which uses demographic, voting and cultural data to study communities. It is part of the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Jefferson Institute, which teamed with NPR to examine what can be learned about different communities through online text analysis. The project had Knight Foundation funding.


Since the beginning of the Great Recession, unemployment has driven much of the national conversation, and with good reason.

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It's All Politics
10:38 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Young 'Nones' Set To Transform The Political Landscape

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:50 am

Culture warriors on the left and right would be wise to carefully examine a new survey from the Pew Research Center showing that a growing number of Americans are moving away from religious labels.

The study, titled "Nones" on the Rise, indicates that 1 in 5 Americans now identifies as "religiously unaffiliated," a group that includes those who say they have no particular religion, as well as atheists and agnostics.

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Music Reviews
10:24 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Shemekia Copeland Embodies The Blues On '33 1/3'

Shemekia Copeland's new album is titled 33 1/3.
Sandrine Lee Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:25 am

Shemekia Copeland says she didn't really find her singing voice until her teen years, when her father, the late blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, began suffering from health issues. On her new album, 33 1/3, she finds a different kind of voice — one that's eager to participate in a national dialogue.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Mexican Official: Zeta Leader's Body Was Stolen From Funeral Home

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano in an undated photo.
AP

A prosecutor from the Mexican state of Coahuila dropped a bombshell today: The body of Zeta founder and leader Heriberto "El Lazca" Lazcano was stolen from a funeral home.

This is big news because the Mexican government has on at least one other occasion claimed to have captured a big fish in the war on drugs only to have to walk it back, when questions arose.

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Europe
9:58 am
Tue October 9, 2012

German Catholics' Path To Heaven Comes With Taxes

Bavarian bishops walk in a procession to the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers near Bad Staffelstein, Germany, in May. A decree by the German bishops' conference warns that German Catholics who do not pay a state church tax will be denied sacraments.
Daniel Karmann EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:02 pm

Germany's bishops have a clear message for the country's 25 million Catholics: The road to heaven requires more than faith and good intentions; it requires tax payments, too.

Last month, German bishops warned that if members of the Catholic Church don't pay the country's church tax, they'll be denied the sacraments — including baptisms, weddings and funerals.

In increasingly secular Europe, Germany is one of the few countries where the state collects a special levy from tax-registered believers and hands it over to three organized faiths.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Marine General Expected To Be Next Commander In Afghanistan

Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Marines.mil

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce during a meeting of NATO defense leaders in Brussels Wednesday that Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford will be nominated to succeed Gen. John Allen as the top commander in Afghanistan, according to a defense official familiar with the decision.

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U.S.
9:41 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Getting To Yes On Gay Marriage, One Voter At A Time

Rion Tucker is a canvasser for Equality Maine. The organization is working to get supporters to the polls on Election Day, to vote for a ballot initiative legalizing same-sex marriage.
Michael May for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:10 pm

Rion Tucker is covering a lot of ground in his home state of Maine these days. The 20-year-old is a canvasser for Equality Maine, and he's been knocking on lots of doors in an effort to make sure that voters in his state pass a ballot initiative in November legalizing same-sex marriage.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:04 am
Tue October 9, 2012

England Offering Free HIV Treatment For Visitors

Outsiders might be unfamiliar with the U.K.'s National Health Service, but Brits love it so much that they devoted part of opening ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics to the NHS.
Courtesy of BBC One

We're just catching up with our U.K. reading list, so we're a bit late with this one. But it's worth noting that as of Oct. 1, England's National Health Service is providing treatment for HIV free of charge to visitors from overseas.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Taliban Say They Shot 14-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Who Exposed Their Cruelty

Malala Yousufzai on a stretcher as she was being taken to a hospital earlier today in Mingora, Pakistan.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:16 am

"Shooting attacks happen every day in Pakistan," as NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Islamabad.

But the shooting of a teenaged girl who became nationally known after she documented the Taliban's cruelty in Pakistan's Swat Valley has caused particular shock in that country, he tells our Newscast Desk.

The Pakistani Taliban are claiming their fighters carried out today's attack. According to Philip, "officials say Malala Yousufzai was outside her school when a gunman approached, and opened fire, injuring her and at least one other child."

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It's All Politics
8:25 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Sesame Workshop To Obama Campaign: Leave Big Bird Out Of It

Sesame Workshop asked President Obama's campaign to stop running an ad featuring its Big Bird character.
Obama campaign ad

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:12 am

In its attempt to turn the tables on Mitt Romney following the Republican presidential nominee's big win in the first presidential debate, President Obama's campaign has sought to enlist Big Bird.

The president has repeatedly reminded supporters at rallies that Romney, during the debate, specifically cited Big Bird when he promised to defund the Public Broadcasting Service to reduce federal deficits.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Tue October 9, 2012

LIVE VIDEO: Felix Baumgartner Attempts Record-Breaking Free Fall

Felix Baumgartner of Austria sits in his capsule during the preparations for the final manned flight of the Red Bull Stratos mission in Roswell, New Mexico, on Oct. 6.
Joerg Mitter AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:27 am

Update at 1:46 p.m. ET. Aborted:

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Tue October 9, 2012

In Greece, Protests Greet Germany's Angela Merkel

Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Greece on Tuesday.
Milos Bicanski Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:54 am

As the BBC puts it, Greece felt like two different places today: On the one had you had an "amicable and symbolic" state visit by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and on the other hand, you had tens of thousands of protesters gathered across Athens who weren't too happy to see her.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Tue October 9, 2012

VIDEO: Australia's Prime Minister Doesn't Hold Back As She Rips Opponent

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivering her verbal takedown of the opposition.
ABCNews (of Australia)

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:59 am

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Education
7:02 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Florida, Microcosm of Nation's Schools

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk to a woman about the high price of friendship. Well, one friendship anyway. She cosigned a loan for a friend who was struggling. Now she is struggling with the consequences. We'll have more on that and we'll also tell you some things you might want to think about to protect your own credit score. That's in just a few minutes.

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Law
7:02 am
Tue October 9, 2012

What Another Look At Affirmative Action Will Mean

Affirmative action is back before the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, the justices hear arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Abigail Fisher says she was denied admission to the school four years ago because she's white. Host Michel Martin discusses the upcoming arguments with Associated Press reporter Justin Pope.

U.S.
6:25 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Sandusky Sentenced For Penn State Assaults

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And here's another story we've been following throughout the morning: Jerry Sandusky was sentenced today to at least 30 years in prison. The former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June, of sexually abusing 10 boys. NPR's Jeff Brady was in the Pennsylvania courtroom today. He joins us now. Jeff, what's the sentence? More details.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:11 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Debate Heats Up About Contentious Bird Flu Research

When a case of the potentially lethal H5N1 bird flu was found in British poultry in 2007, Dutch farmers were told to keep their poultry away from wild birds by closing off outdoor areas with wire mesh.
Ed Oudenaarden AFP/Getty Images

What was supposed to be a 60-day moratorium on certain experiments involving lab-altered bird flu has now lasted more than eight months. And there's no clear end in sight.

Researchers still disagree on how to best manage the risks posed by mutant forms of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu. The altered viruses are contagious between ferrets, which are the lab stand-in for humans. The fear is that these germs could potentially cause a deadly flu pandemic in people if they ever escaped the lab.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Tue October 9, 2012

NPR Names New Executive Editor

Madhulika Sikka.
Doby Photography NPR

Madhulika Sikka, who has been Morning Edition's executive producer since joining NPR six years ago, will become the organization's executive editor in January.

In announcing the promotion this morning, NPR Senior Vice President for News Margaret Low Smith lauded Sikka's work at Morning Edition, saying she "brought real vision" to the show and that it has "evolved into a more interesting and relevant program" under her leadership.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:28 am
Tue October 9, 2012

The City As Infestation

This nighttime photograph taken from the International Space Station shows much of the Atlantic coast of the United States. Parts of two Russian vehicles parked at the orbital outpost can also be seen in the frame.
NASA

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:10 pm

For all their variety and variation, cities are, at their root, physical systems. That means, at some fundamental level, they are also expressions of the laws of physics. In physics size matters (or "scale" as we call it). Physicists learn different things about an object by looking at it from different scales. In our first exploration of physics and cities we stayed at the street level. At that scale we saw cities as machines: cars and elevators, pipes and plumbing. Then we went up to the roof. At that scale we saw cities as engines, vast systems for turning energy into work.

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The Two-Way
4:10 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Risks Of Global Economic Slowdown Are 'Alarmingly High,' IMF Warns

In China's Anhui province, a worker unloads steel bars at a factory. A slowdown in China and other major nations threatens to pull the global economy into recession, the International Monetary Fund warns.
AFP/Getty Images

Saying that the global economic recovery "has suffered new setbacks, and uncertainty weighs heavily on the outlook," the International Monetary Fund today warned that the probability of "recession in advanced economies and a serious slowdown in emerging market and developing economies" next year have gone up.

The fund said its research indicates the risk of those things occurring in 2013 "has risen to about 17 percent, up from about 4 percent in April 2012."

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The Two-Way
3:04 am
Tue October 9, 2012

In Mexico: Cartel Leader May Be Dead, Key Lieutenant Captured

Sept. 1, 2010: Police stood guard by a truck containing some of the bodies of immigrants killed by members of the Zetas drug cartel in Tamaulipas state.
Jorge Dan Xinhua /Landov

"Top Zetas drug cartel leader Heriberto Lazcano has apparently been killed in a firefight with marines in the northern border state of Coahuila, the Mexican navy said late Monday."

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Around the Nation
2:43 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Couple Take Marriage Vows While Running Marathon

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Planning a wedding can feel like running a marathon. A couple in Oregon took that metaphor a step further and married while running one. The bride wore white. Her veil attached to a baseball cap. The groom a tuxedo T-shirt. It was a race that sparked their romance. So Eric Johansson and Katie Holmes decided to run 20 miles of the Portland marathon before stopping at a park to exchange vows. Then the newlyweds ran the final 6.2 miles. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
2:37 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Kitten In Engine Survives Car Trip

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Two-Way
2:04 am
Tue October 9, 2012

30 Years In Jail — At A Minimum — For Seemingly Unrepentant Sandusky

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky as he walked to the courthouse this morning in Bellefonte, Pa.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:17 am

Saying that the former Penn State assistant football coach had assaulted not only 10 young boys' bodies but also their "psyches and souls," a Pennsylvania judge this morning sentenced Jerry Sandusky to between 30 and 60 years in prison for the sexual abuse of those children.

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Around the Nation
1:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

'Fearless Felix' Set To Break Sound Barrier

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Asia
1:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

U.S., India Try To Boost Economic Ties

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a passage to India.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meet their counterparts in India today. The U.S. wants to boost economic ties with the country that it on its way to becoming the most populous in the world. Talks have been pushed forward by India's new liberalizing economic reforms.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Delhi.

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