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Environment
2:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

EPA Sites Asarco For Toxic Violations

The Environmental Protection Agency says the Asarco copper smelter in Hayden, Arizona, has been continuously emitting illegal amounts of lead, arsenic and eight other dangerous toxins, for the last six years. The agency's finding means Asarco could face millions of dollars in fines and could be forced to install expensive pollution controls. The EPA disclosed the action last week to NPR and the Center for Public Integrity, which were jointly investigating toxic air pollution in the town.

Africa
2:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Congolese Presidential Candidate Orders Jail Breaks

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 10:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Voters in the Congo head to the polls at the end of this month. The campaigning has been beset by violence which threatens to undermine an electoral process in a giant nation that's at the heart of Africa. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Campaigning took a stormy turn when veteran Congolese opposition politician and presidential candidate Etienne Tshisekedi sent a bombshell. He proclaimed himself president and ordered his supporters to stage jailbreaks to free their detained colleagues.

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Business
2:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Labor Department Wants To Make Farming Safer For Kids

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 10:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Life as a kid on a farm can seem idyllic. The work, though, can be dangerous. Kids who do farm work are six times more likely to be killed than those doing other jobs.

The Department of Labor now wants new regulations that would bar children under the age of 16 from doing the most dangerous farm jobs. As Harvest Public Media's Peggy Lowe reports, that's angered many who depend on such labor, and see it as a right of passage.

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Race
2:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Rwanda Genocide Survivor To Sit On Holocaust Museum Board

Renee Montagne talks to Rwandan refugee Clemantine Wamariya about her recent appointment to the board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Wamariya survived the Rwandan genocide and is now a student at Yale.

The Two-Way
12:15 am
Thu November 17, 2011

At A Quiet Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street Prepares For Big Protests

A near-empty Zuccotti Park on Wednesday night.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Late at night on Wednesday, protesters at Zuccotti Park in New York were outnumbered by police. But every now and then a new protester would come into the park and just stare at the space like they were looking at it for the first time.

Jo Robbin, 29, was one of them. One of the first things she did as soon as she made it past the security check point was pull up her sleeves to show the red markings the plastic ties had left her.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
10:01 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

When Hard Times Means Leaving A Career For A Job

After a long job search, Alice Eastman, a once highly paid professional, now works at Target. "I've climbed to pretty much the top of the one ladder, and now I'm starting at the bottom rung of a different ladder. It's a job. It's not a career," she says.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 10:40 am

Part of a monthlong series

Alice Eastman, a single mother living in Wheaton, Ill., is one of many Americans who, after losing her job, tried to make ends meet on unemployment while she hunted for a job in her field. Then after a long, fruitless search, she took a lower-paying job in retail.

Eastman had a pretty good job making $75,000 a year at the park district in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, heading up its Department of Natural Resources.

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Election 2012
10:01 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Political Climate Ripe For A Third-Party Prospect

Ross Perot, shown on a video screen, addresses the Reform Party's national convention in July 1999 in Dearborn, Mich. The billionaire founder of the Reform Party, Perot ran for president as a third-party candidate in both 1992 and 1996.
Jeff Kowalsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:02 pm

Voter dissatisfaction with both parties is at an all-time high — and voters' trust in Washington is at an all-time low.

This is the kind of political climate that is welcoming for an alternative to the Democrats and the Republicans.

Pollster Stan Greenberg worked for Bill Clinton in 1992, when third-party candidate Ross Perot roiled the race. If it happened back then, Greenberg says, it can happen again next year.

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Newt Gingrich
10:01 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

By Attacking The Media, Gingrich Built A Following

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has relished attacking the journalists questioning him during the GOP debates.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was once written off as a footnote in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. But, for the moment, polls now show him among the leaders.

Gingrich may have found his voice, in part, by turning the tables on the political press. Republicans have been doing this for decades — quite explicitly at least since Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in 1968.

In Gingrich's case, it was a strategy masquerading as a tactic — one that he adopted over the summer at a time of desperation.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Why Brain Injuries Are More Common In Preemies

The most common cause of brain injury in premature infants is a lack of oxygen in the days and weeks after birth, researchers say.
Ibrahim Usta AP

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 6:26 pm

Scientists say they are beginning to understand why brain injuries are so common in very premature infants — and they are coming up with strategies to prevent or repair these injuries.

The advances could eventually help reduce the number of premature babies who develop cerebral palsy, epilepsy or behavioral disorders such as ADHD, researchers told the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C., this week.

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Asia
10:01 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Asia In Focus As U.S Expands Australia Defense Ties

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Obama hold a joint news conference in Australia on Wednesday. The U.S. is sending some 250 U.S. Marines to the country next year, a number that will later grow to 2,500.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 10:40 am

President Obama traveled early Thursday to the Australian city of Darwin, a base for past U.S.-Australian military cooperation. Now it will be one of several military bases from which the U.S. operates as it seeks to reassert itself in Asia.

Some 250 U.S. Marines will arrive in northern Australia next year, a number that will later expand to about 2,500. U.S. jets and warships will also train with the Australians.

Abraham Denmark, a China specialist at the Center for Naval Analyses, sees the new focus on Asia as a natural evolution of U.S. interests.

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It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

In Swing Through Sunshine State, Cain Struggles To Regain Momentum

Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain greets supporters at a campaign rally outside of Wings Plus on Wednesday in Coral Springs, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Herman Cain followed a path well-worn by other presidential candidates in Miami to the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana on Wednesday. While there, he had a cup of Cuban coffee, sampled a croquette and, playing to the largely Cuban-American crowd called out, "Freedom for Cuba!"

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Newt Gingrich
3:03 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

As Gingrich Surges, He Has Catching Up To Do In N.H.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich greets a supporter at a kickoff party for the opening of a campaign office in Manchester, N.H., on Nov. 11.
Winslow Townson AP

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 4:22 pm

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's surge to the top tier of the GOP presidential field has been sudden.

That's put him squarely in the media spotlight — Gingrich has been buffeted for the past several days over his consulting work for the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. But it's also highlighted the challenge he faces in early-voting states like New Hampshire, where he lacks a traditional campaign structure.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:00 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Emergency Room Closures Hit Minorities, Poor Hardest

Patients in California may find a shuttered glass door the next time they seek out emergency care, as hospitals across the state close emergency rooms.

California hospitals that serve large numbers of blacks and Medicaid patients, who often rely on ERs the most, run a higher risk of closing the emergency deparment, according to an analysis just published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Music Interviews
2:39 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

R.E.M., R.I.P.

R.E.M. in the early days. Left to right: Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Bill Berry, Peter Buck.
Laura Levine

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 4:02 pm

They were four guys out of Athens, Ga., with a three-letter name — and one hell of an impact on rock. R.E.M. was Michael Stipe singing lead, Mike Mills on bass and harmonies, Peter Buck on guitar and Bill Berry on drums, until Berry left the band in 1997.

"We never expected the thing to last any longer than a couple of years to begin with," Stipe says. "And then when it did, and we were making records and people were interested in it, the band started getting bigger and bigger and bigger."

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Monkey See
2:35 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

DVD Picks: 'West Side Story'

'Tonight' Music: Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood played Tony and Maria in the 1961 film of West Side Story.
Fox Home Entertainment

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 4:02 pm

Time now for a home video recommendation from movie critic Bob Mondello. This week he's looking back a half-century, to a ground-breaking musical that won ten Oscars, West Side Story.

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The Road Back To Work
2:34 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Squabbles In Washington Frustrate Job Seekers

Ray Meyer, 55, had a 30-year career in banking before losing his job. He's been rolling from one temp assignment to the next since February.
Tamara Keith NPR

Part of an ongoing series

Being unemployed for more than two years changed the way Ray Meyer looks at politics. He has always leaned Republican and used to have little sympathy for those who were receiving unemployment benefits.

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The Salt
2:23 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

The Secret To Foie Gras That Keeps Its Fat Is In The Liver

A jury member feels a piece of duck foie gras during a contest of local producers and producers from southwestern France.
BOB EDME ASSOCIATED PRESS

People get very riled up about foie gras, the fatty liver of ducks and geese.

Some are bothered by the force feedings the ducks and geese undergo to produce those fatty livers, which are 6 to 10 times the normal size. Others fear the fat itself – although foie gras enthusiasts insist that the delicacy is "surprising low in bad fats, and high in good fats."

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

New Judge Named To Handle Penn State Scandal Case

A judge from a different Pennsylvania county who "has no known connections with Pennsylvania State University, the Second Mile charity, nor any officers or representatives of any of those entities," will handle the Dec. 7 preliminary hearing of the case against accused child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports.

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Books News & Features
1:51 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Ann Patchett Opens Parnassus Books In Nashville

The world of independent bookstores has a new member: Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn., opened its doors on Wednesday. The store has a marquee name behind it — best-selling novelist Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder, is the co-owner.

The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Benetton Drops Image Of Pope Kissing Imam After Vatican Objects

Reacting to sharp objections from the Vatican over a digitally created ad image showing Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian imam, Benetton has quickly agreed to drop the photo illustration from its new "Unhate" campaign.

The company just posted this statement:

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Asia
1:43 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Cambodia Tries To Curb Foreign Men Seeking Wives

On any given night, foreign visitors throng the many bars, restaurants and hotels overlooking the Tonle Sap River on bustling Sisowath Quay in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. Among them, foreign men accompanied with Cambodian women are a common sight.

Just up the street is Rory's Pub, where a Celtic cross and a Bushmills whiskey sign hang on the wall.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Other Victims Of Arizona Rampage Move On Without Letting Go

Suzi Hileman inspects an aloe on her front porch on Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Ron Medvescek Courtesy Arizona Daily Star

We've heard from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in recent days about her slow recovery from being shot in the head on Jan. 8.

There were 18 other victims of that day's shooting rampage in Tucson — six of whom died. And beyond them, there are dozens of family members and loved ones in pain about what happened.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Mongolian City Hopes To Cool Off With Huge, 'Artificial Ice Shields'

How do you keep a cold city cool during the summer? Mongolia's capital city — , its average temperature at the peak of summer is 72 degrees Fahrenheit — has an idea that sounds adventurous.

During the cold months, the city of Ulan Bator wants to create artificial glaciers that will then melt slowly during summer, absorbing some of the heat and helping to keep the temperatures down. Here's how Wired explains the process in their piece today:

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Europe
12:56 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Europe's Debt Crisis Moves Toward Bigger Economies

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 4:02 pm

With every day that passes, the troubles in Europe seem to grow bigger, and leaders are still at odds over how to contain the crisis. On Wednesday, just about every country in Europe saw borrowing costs rise.

For a long time the crisis was limited to small peripheral countries like Ireland and Greece, but no longer. Now, countries like Italy, Austria and the Netherlands have seen their borrowing costs rise as well.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:49 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Geckos Threatened By Booming Demand For Traditional Medicines

An Asian lizard that likes to come out at night has become a prime target for hunters looking to make a quick ringgit, dong or Philippine peso.

The tokay gecko is reputed to have HIV-fighting properties, though there is no scientific evidence to support that notion. And it's been an ingredient in Asian traditional medicines for lots of other uses, including cancer.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Proposed Piracy Legislation Puts Internet Giants On Defensive

This is what a Tumblr news feed looks like today.
Screenshot Tumblr

The biggest names on the Internet — Google, Facebook, Twitter, AOL and eBay — are banding together to urge Congress to scrap the Stop Online Piracy Act, which they say poses a huge threat to the Internet. The House is set to debate the measure today.

The Christian Science Monitor reports on what Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt had to say about the bill:

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The Salt
11:15 am
Wed November 16, 2011

A Clothing Company Goes Fishing For Change With Salmon Jerky

Patagonia Provisions salmon jerky will be available sometime this winter.
Patagonia

What does a clothing company that sells high-end products with names like Nano Puff know about the fish business?

"It is a big jump," Yvon Chouinard, the storied founder of Patagonia, admits to The Salt. He's talking about the company's new plan to sell fish — salmon jerky to be exact — at his retail shops around the world.

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Politics
11:12 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Did U.S. Tax Policies Increase Economic Inequality?

The eight Republican presidential candidates sitting at the table listen as a video of former President Ronald Reagan is played during a debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., on Oct. 11.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 7:54 pm

The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to protest policies that have made the top 1 percent of income earners richer, while about 14 million Americans are out of work.

Meanwhile, the Congressional supercommittee only has one week left to come up with a plan that will cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit. Republicans are opposed to raising revenues by raising taxes, even on the wealthiest Americans, who have seen their taxes dramatically cut over the past 14 years.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Head-On Collision Kills 18 Kindergarteners In China, Prompting Outcry

Chinese police stand beside a damaged school bus after it collided with a red truck on a road in the Yulinzi township in northwest China's Gansu province.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 12:12 pm

A truck carrying coal slammed into a overcrowded bus this morning in the Northwest Chinese township of Yulinzi, killing 18 children and two adults. According to China's official news agency Xinhua, 44 other children were injured. Xinhua reports that "a van with nine seats was carrying 64 people."

Reuters reports that the accident has prompted anger toward the government:

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