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Science
12:35 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Hungry Snakes Trap Guam In Spidery Web

Invasive brown tree snakes have gobbled up most of Guam's native forest birds. Without these avian predators to keep their numbers in check, the island's spider population has exploded.
Isaac Chellman Rice University

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

The Pacific Island of Guam is experiencing a population explosion — of spiders.

There are more spiders there now than anyone can remember. To get a sense of how weird the situation is, I started out in Maryland. On my front porch, overlooking the Severn River.

At 6:30 in the morning on a cool fall day, I find two spider webs in a matter of five minutes. But if I were on the island of Guam, I might find 70 or 80 spider webs in five minutes.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Halliburton Loses Radioactive Rod, The National Guard Is Called In to Help

You thought this happened only to Homer Simpson.

But, no, it happened in real life to oilfield workers in Texas: During the course of their work, they lost a radioactive rod. That's the story our friends at State Impact Texas are telling this afternoon.

We'll let you click over to get the full story about how even the National Guard has been enlisted, but here are the basics:

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Music Interviews
12:08 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Adrian Sherwood: Dub Without Borders

Adrian Sherwood's latest album, Survival and Resistance, was released on Sherwood's own On-U Sound label in August.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook Among Those Forming New Lobbying Group

The big names on the Internet are forming a new lobbying group they hope will influence lawmakers when it comes to privacy and piracy.

The Washington Post reports that Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook and 10 other Web companies formed the Internet Association to counter any efforts to issue new rules for their industry.

The Post adds:

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Asia
11:52 am
Wed September 19, 2012

China Offers Glimpse Of A New Stealth Fighter

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has lunch with engineering cadets at the Chinese military academy in Beijing on Wednesday. Just before Panetta's arrival for talks with top leaders, China released photos of a new stealth fighter under development.
Larry Downing Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:27 am

Ahead of high-profile talks in China by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, there was a high-impact leak. Photos emerged of a second Chinese stealth fighter jet — one that had been rumored but never seen before.

The J31, as analysts call it, shows how fast China is moving.

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U.S.
11:41 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Why Does China Want A Mural In Oregon Destroyed?

This pro-Tibet mural in downtown Corvallis is at the center of a dispute between the town's mayor and the Chinese government.
Chris Lehman for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

The mural in downtown Corvallis, Ore., is big: 10 feet high and 100 feet long. One side shows a peaceful countryside setting in rural Taiwan. The other shows police beating protesters in Tibet and a Buddhist monk setting himself ablaze in protest.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:12 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Tiny Bubbles: Injectable Oxygen Foam Tested For Emergency Care

Bubbles of oxygen injected as a foam might someday help patients live long enough to get treatment for oxygen deprivation.
iStockphoto.com

A lot of medicine's direst emergencies come down to one problem: lack of oxygen.

Cardiologist John Kheir started thinking about that when a little girl in his care, drowning from lung hemorrhages, died before she could be hooked up to a heart-lung machine that would have kept her blood oxygenated while the damage was repaired.

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The Salt
10:42 am
Wed September 19, 2012

FDA Weighs Federal Standard To Limit Exposure To Arsenic In Rice

A combine harvests rice near Tucker, Ark., as consumer groups pressure the FDA to set federal standards on arsenic in rice.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

Scientists have known for a long time that rice — often babies' first food and the staple of much of the world's diet — is good at absorbing inorganic arsenic from soil during the growing process.

Two separate analyses, one by Consumer Reports and one by the Food and Drug Administration, have raised concerns that we might be getting too much of this known human carcinogen in our diets.

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Politics
10:32 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Deep South Democrats Seek Path Back To Relevance

Albert N. Gore Jr., a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., on Aug. 2. Gore is running against incumbent Republican Roger Wicker. He says there should have been younger people interested in taking on Wicker — "but they didn't want to fight."
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

It can be lonely being a Democrat in the Deep South. Just ask Steve Wilson.

The young lawyer was a first-time delegate at the Democratic National Convention, but it's not something he brags about back home in Meridian, Miss.

"I don't talk about it," he says. "It's the elephant in the room, so to speak. Most of my friends are Republican, I think, but I just don't bring it up."

That climate can make it hard to recruit viable Democratic candidates in the Deep South — once a solidly Democratic region that is now reliably Republican.

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U.S.
10:21 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Smoke Cleared, Texas Gun Owners Remain Wary

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.

"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.

When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act — how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.

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It's All Politics
9:39 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Welfare Wasn't Always A Dirty Word In The Romney Family

Mitt Romney reads on his campaign bus earlier this year. A 1960s campaign poster supporting his father, George, is behind him.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:24 am

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It's All Politics
9:29 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Obama Has 8-Point Lead In Pew Poll; Big Advantage With Women, Blacks, Young

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 10:02 am

President Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney by 8 points nationally — 51 to 43 percent among likely voters — as the race heads into the final stretch, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.

Obama's advantage, particularly among women, blacks and voters younger than 30, puts him "in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates," Pew reported.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Speedskaters Step Up Abuse Allegations Against Coach

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 10:19 am

The abuse allegations against U.S. Olympic short track speedskating coach Jae Su Chun have escalated with a demand for arbitration and an "open and ongoing investigation" by police.

But while a large group of skaters charge Chun with abuse, another set has issued a statement in support of the coach.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Introducing A New Commenting System

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:59 am

As many of you have no doubt noticed, within the past few hours our technology team has introduced a brand-new commenting system.

The transition should be painless — meaning that there is nothing to do on your end to continue participating in the comments.

The good news is that this new system allows for many modern amenities the other system lacked. Those include: Threaded comments and the ability to use HTML formatting. The new system also allows you to delete your own comments.

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It's All Politics
8:50 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Republicans Race To Reframe Romney Comments As Campaign Opportunity

Mitt Romney speaks at a fundraiser in Dallas on Tuesday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 9:43 am

Republicans scrambling to turn Mitt Romney's videotaped aspersions cast on 47 percent of Americans into a campaign opportunity are hoping for a "Chick-fil-A moment."

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Election 2012
8:48 am
Wed September 19, 2012

6 Quirky Tie-Ins To The 2012 Election

Spirit Halloween political masks
Spirit Halloween PR Newswire

This being America, the Galactic Capital of Capitalism, it's no wonder folks try to cash in on just about everything — including the presidential election.

Give us a big event — the Olympics, the World Series, a blockbuster movie — and we will offer you all kinds of foodstuffs and folderol that are linked, however loosely, to the occasion.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Chick-fil-A Welcome In Chicago, Alderman Says, After Renewed Pledge Of Respect

A Chick-fil-A in Fort Worth, Texas, on "appreciation day" last month.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 10:23 am

Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, who led the opposition in his city to the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant there because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken stand against same-sex marriage, now says he won't stand in the fast-food chain's way.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Justice Department Inspector General To Release 'Fast And Furious' Report

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 9:54 am

Update at 2:01 p.m. ET. 14 U.S. Officials Cited For Possible Discipline:

The Justice Department's Inspector General has released the results of an investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive's failed gun-walking operation known as "Fast and Furious."

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Teachers, Students Head Back To School In Chicago

Students at Frazier International Magnet School wait outside before the start of school on Wednesday in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Tens of thousands of students are back in school this morning in Chicago.

As we told you yesterday, the Chicago Teachers Union voted to end the seven-day walkout. This morning, reports The Chicago Sun-Times, everyone was excited to get back to normal — the teachers, the students and even the mayor.

The Sun-Times reports:

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Media
7:11 am
Wed September 19, 2012

'Bleak' Picture For Minority Managers In Newsroom

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, we're going to focus on a new study about the people who decide what you see on America's television news. The National Association of Black Journalists, or NABJ, has just released its latest diversity census. The group says the picture is bleak for journalists of color who hope to get into television newsroom management. That's journalists who belong to all different ethnic groups.

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Election 2012
7:09 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Unique Obstacles For Asian Americans In Voting

There's been a lot of attention on how voter ID laws might affect minority groups like African-Americans and Latinos. But some observers say that Asian Americans may also be affected. Host Michel Martin discusses the potential impact with Glenn Magpantay of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Election 2012
7:03 am
Wed September 19, 2012

House Democrats Offer Their Solution For Voter ID

Democratic members of the House introduced a bill yesterday that would allow voters without ID to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity at the polls. The new bill is the latest in the ongoing voter ID debate and host Michel Martin speaks with one of the bill's sponsors Congressman Rick Larsen about the proposal.

Middle East
6:18 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Syrian Rebels Fear Radicals May Hijack Revolt

Syrian rebels pose after seizing control of the Bab al-Hawa border post on the Syrian-Turkey border on July 20. Now, the rebels are facing a new challenge: radical Islamists, who they say do not represent them.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

Homegrown rebels have done most of the fighting against the Syrian government troops. But Islamist militants from abroad, including some with links to al-Qaida, are now joining the fight against the government in growing numbers.

The local rebels are not pleased with this development, and there is growing tension between the groups that share a desire to oust President Bashar Assad but little else.

Until a few weeks ago, the border crossing at Bab al-Hawa on Syria's northern frontier with Turkey was the site of a training camp for a militant Islamist group.

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The Salt
6:10 am
Wed September 19, 2012

McRib Fans May Have To Wait Till Christmas For Their Sandwich Fix

McDonald's plans to delay the return of the seasonal McRib sandwich in the hopes it can help boost late winter sales.
Ruocaled Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:21 am

It's not quite as iconic as falling leaves, crisp air, and football, but the McDonald's McRib is usually something folks look forward to enjoying in the autumn months. Not happening this year, according to a company memo obtained by Advertising Age.

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The Picture Show
5:49 am
Wed September 19, 2012

An Octogenarian's Opus: A Portrait Of Newburgh, N.Y.

088.-red-brick-house.jpg
Dmitri Kasterine

Following a tip from a friend one day, photographer Dmitri Kasterine drove 15 miles from his home in Garrison, N.Y., to nearby Newburgh. What he found there was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

Kasterine was immediately drawn to the crumbling Victorian houses, the neglected buildings, and, most strikingly, the unassuming grace of the people on the street. But when he tried to take his first photo, his subject told him to go away. Still, Kasterine returned, and kept coming back for the next 16 years.

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Zombies In The News: Living Dead To Help Liven Up A Counterterrorism Summit

Need to lighten up your day? Invite some of these folks. (A "zombie walk" in Stockholm on Aug. 25.)
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

There's no rest for the undead, it seems.

Zombies have been used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help spread tips about preparing for natural disasters. They've been "studied" by Canadian researchers trying to figure out the best way to respond to new, highly infectious diseases.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:00 am
Wed September 19, 2012

U.S. Explodes Atomic Bombs Near Beers To See If They Are Safe To Drink

National Technical Information Service via Alex Wellerstein

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 11:34 am

So you're minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there's a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It's been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.

So you wonder: Can I grab one of those beers and gulp it down? Or is it too radioactive? And what about taste? If I drink it, will it taste OK?

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The Two-Way
4:30 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Housing Starts Rose Again In August, Pace Remains Well Above Previous Years

Construction that was underway this summer in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 5:30 am

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

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It's All Politics
3:55 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The End Of WASP-Dominated Politics

The Obamas walk back to the White House after attending Easter service at St. John's Episcopal Church on April 8. President Obama is the only Protestant on either 2012 presidential ticket.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 9:02 am

Just looking at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you might not think of them as cultural pioneers. But the Republicans make up the first presidential ticket in history not to feature a Protestant.

Romney is Mormon, Ryan, Catholic. That might not seem like such a big deal — especially when you consider they are running against the first African-American president.

But all of these individuals are emblematic of an enormous shift in both American demographics and political power.

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