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Predicting Sexual Function After Prostate Treatment

Sep 20, 2011

Up to now doctors couldn't tell a man much about his chances of maintaining sexual function after surgery or radiation for prostate cancer.

"We'd say about half recovered or maintained their function," says Dr. Martin Sanda of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "And we'd be able to turn that up or down a little bit based on age."

As the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy went into effect, we heard many stories out about how service members are marking the occasion. But one of them has emerged as particularly personal.

The Dozen Richest Men And Women In Congress

Sep 20, 2011

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) barely made our list at No. 13, but here are the richest dozen men and women in Congress who could be affected by the Buffett Rule. The rankings, by average net worth, were released on Tuesday by the Center for Responsive Politics.

How do you come up with a plan to help millions of people around the world avoid a chronic disease? For starters, don't treat the food companies that sell the products that contribute to those diseases as partners in the process. At least, that's what public health advocates argue — even as the accused companies say they're committed to making healthier products for the masses.

Al-Jazeera Director Announces Resignation

Sep 20, 2011

Al-Jazeera's top executive, Wadah Khanfar announced he was resigning today. The network announced that it had appointed Sheikh Ahmad bin Jasem al-Thani, a member of the Qatari ruling family, which owns Al-Jazzeera, as its new director general.

A New Destination For Kayakers: The L.A. River?

Sep 20, 2011

The once-polluted and often ridiculed Los Angeles River is now open to kayak and canoe adventures. City officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are running a pilot program that allows people to explore the river.

In the South American rain forest, I once paddled in a dugout canoe through the lush Amazon River, filled with pink dolphins and flesh-eating piranhas. So the thought of navigating down the Los Angeles River at first seemed almost ridiculous.

Maryland Man's Robocall Scam Nets Him $4M

Sep 20, 2011

From the annals of ingenious scams, comes this report from the AP:

A pay phone owner is being charged with using his Washington-area phones to ring in $4 million in fraudulent 50-cent calls.

With Leadership Questioned, Obama Gets In The Fray

Sep 20, 2011

There's been a sea change at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It's almost as if the cerebral, detached president went into a phone booth and came out a fighting Democrat.

In the Rose Garden on Monday, as President Obama laid out his vision for how the congressional supercommittee could find trillions in savings, he was no longer above the fray. He was right in the fray. And he made it clear he has given up on his so far fruitless search for common ground with the Republicans.

Hollywood Seen Through Paparazzi-Colored Glasses

Sep 20, 2011

Since its debut six years ago, TMZ has fed millions of fans a steady diet of celebrity news on its highly trafficked blog. There's also the TMZ TV show, syndicated on hundreds of stations. And now, for the truly TMZ obsessed, there's a TMZ Tour of Hollywood.

The traditional Hollywood tour has been around almost as long as Hollywood itself.

For decades, tourists have come here to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars — or at least a glimpse of where they eat.

President Obama Praises Libya's Political Transition

Sep 20, 2011

President Obama met Libya's interim leader Tuesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and held up the country as a model of what the U.N. can do to protect civilians from atrocities.

Obama also pledged continued support and encouraged Libya's new leaders to keep their promises to forge a just, democratic society.

Libyan rebels have yet to find ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi and fighting continues in the country. Still, Obama went to the meeting with a hopeful message.

Is Another Shutdown Showdown Looming In Washington?

Sep 20, 2011

Less than two months after nearly shutting down the federal government as they argued over the best way to reduce the budget deficit, there's word that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are again at odds and that another shutdown showdown is possible.

Politico reports that:

Today, the Canadian press picked up on a video that seems to have been making the rounds on car sites for a few days. Here's how the Toronto Sun introduces it:

Zahir Rana wanted to give spectators at the Targa Newfoundland rally a show they'd never forget — he did just that after putting a $1.5 million Ferrari into the Atlantic Ocean.

DVD Picks: 'Prime Suspect'

Sep 20, 2011

Time again for film critic Bob Mondello's recommendation for your home-viewing queue. This week, to prepare for the start of NBC's new TV series Prime Suspect, he suggests you look back at the original PBS series, starring Helen Mirren.

The year was 1991, and a new British police procedural had what then counted as a gimmick: Its star — smart, forceful, and assertive — was a woman, which was a big deal.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he will submit his formal request for Palestinian statehood and U.N. membership on Friday, immediately after addressing the General Assembly.

This has already touched off intense diplomatic wrangling, and even more is expected in the weeks and months that follow.

"I don't remember any event in the last 25 to 30 years where it was so difficult to predict what will happen," says Yoram Peri, director of the University of Maryland Institute for Israel Studies.

Melissa Block and Lynn Neary learn from Kevin Allan of The University of Aberdeen King's College in Scotland that women remember better when spoken to in a low-pitch voice. This helps women to pick a suitable partner.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ends

Sep 20, 2011

The ban on gays serving openly in the military ends Tuesday. A look at the reaction — at the Pentagon and from around the country.

Lucas Santtana: Bossa Nova With A Brand-New Beat

Sep 20, 2011

Lucas Santtana is a Brazilian artist who has been hiding in plain view for years. I came across a record by Santtana back in 1999, EletroBenDada, which updated the experimental and political pop music of the 1960s and '70s Brazilian Tropicalia movement for a new generation. I heard nothing more from Santtana for more than 10 years, but it turns out he's been busy making great music in Brazil, even if hasn't been making it up to North America. His latest record, Sem Nostalgia, has just been released in the U.S.

FDA Confirms Source Of Cantaloupe Contamination

Sep 20, 2011

There's closure in the investigation of a multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to cantaloupes.

What A Bright Idea: 'A Liter Of Light' For The Poor

Sep 20, 2011

A BBC report this week about a project in the Philippines that has brought virtually free light to dark homes in some of that country's poorest neighborhoods brightened our day so much that we went looking to find out more.

For the past week, Wired's Danger Room has been following a thread on how the FBI trains its agents on the subject of Islam. It started last week, when the national security blog obtained presentation materials that painted Muslims as a whole with the broad brush of violence and terrorism.

Here's how Wired introduced its first piece:

Quays Focus 'Weeping Glass' On The Mutter Museum

Sep 20, 2011

The notion of "beauty" can mean many different things to artists. For the Brothers Quay — identical-twin filmmakers — it often means dimly lit black and white images of animated dolls, screws, cogs — any manner of inanimate object brought to life. They're so good at it that fellow filmmaker Terry Gilliam called the Quays' Street of Crocodiles one of the best animated films of all time.

A few seconds doesn't seem like much, but scientists say an early detection system that gives the public five, 10, up to 40 seconds of warning before an earthquake could save lives.

The AP reports today that the United States is working on a system that does just that:

After years of lagging behind Japan, Mexico and other quake-prone countries, the U.S. government has been quietly testing an earthquake early warning system in California since February. ...

Perry To Israel: 'Help Is On The Way'

Sep 20, 2011

The prospect of a United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood did not escape the notice of the Republican contenders for president as Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday hurled himself into the debate over Middle East policy with a public address on the subject in New York City.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, host: I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Coming up, a major civil rights victory for LGBT servicemembers. The policy which prevented them from serving openly in the military, the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy comes to an end today. We'll talk with a decorated Air Force veteran who's career came under a cloud because of "don't ask, don't tell." We'll ask him about his thoughts about this day.

On Tuesday, Georgia's pardons board rejected a last-ditch plea for the clemency of Troy Davis, who is to be executed Wednesday for killing a police officer. Davis claims innocence. No physical evidence links him to the murder. His supporters, including legal professionals, say the case is rife with doubt.

DADT Ends, But What Will Actually Change?

Sep 20, 2011

On Tuesday, the Pentagon officially terminated "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." More than 14,000 troops were discharged under the law that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. The repeal interrupted the discharge of Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach. He speaks with host Michel Martin.

The word is spreading about the $2 million — in cash — paid recently for a double-wide mobile home in Malibu, Calif.

A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind paints an unflattering picture of rivalries and dysfunction within President Obama's first economic team — rivalries that Suskind says then slowed the administration's response to the financial crisis.

Many Are Myopic About Costs Of Short-Term Disability

Sep 20, 2011

Many people, if they think about disability insurance coverage at all, focus on their employer's long-term disability plan rather than any short-term coverage they may get on the job. That makes sense in many ways, since you face a bigger financial risk if you're unable to work for two years rather than for two months.

Next Step For Drones May Be 'Automated Killing'

Sep 20, 2011

The "future of the American way of war," The Washington Post writes this morning, may be:

"A day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. Imagine aerial 'Terminators,' minus beefcake and time travel."

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