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NPR Story
5:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

U.S. Increases Aid To Syria As Violence Rages On

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States will give another $45 million in aid to Syria. That aid will mostly go toward humanitarian assistance, but it will also include communications equipment for the opposition in Syria. The news came at the end of a week of speeches at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where many raised alarms about the bloodshed in Syria. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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NPR Story
5:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

'Instant' Recounts The Magic Of Polaroids

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Decades before people would camp out for days, to get the latest next-big-thing in new technology, there was the magic of pictures you could snap and see instantly - or almost. Edwin Land created a company in his garage - sound familiar? - that would be both a success, and an inspiration, to Steve Jobs and other inventive entrepreneurs of a new era, Polaroid. Its products were considered elegant, original and desirable. The company was miles and dollars above any other, in innovative technology. So why couldn't it last into the 21st century?

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NPR Story
5:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Online And In The Open: Transparent Novel Writing

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Writing's often depicted as a private act - scribbling, crossing out, then crumpling two sheets into a fireplace; trial, error and angst - all of which is best kept private. Silvia Hartmann is now writing on a kind of electronic stage - in an open document, a Google doc - so that readers can see her story appear line by line, edit by edit. Silvia Hartmann joins us from the south coast of England. Thanks so much for being with us.

SILVIA HARTMANN: Hi.

SIMON: So what are you trying to do here, write a novel?

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Health
4:38 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Why Tylenol Bottles Are Hard To Open

Thirty years ago this weekend, seven people died from ingesting Tylenol that had been poisoned. Since then, Johnson & Johnson has overhauled its packaging.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Opening a new package of Tylenol can take some effort. There's the cardboard packaging, plus the push-and-twist top and the safety seal.

It used to be a matter of just popping off a cap. Thirty years ago, seven people died in Chicago suburbs after taking poisoned Tylenol. Pharmacies pulled Tylenol off the shelf in a panic, and the nation was in shock.

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The Salt
4:37 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Bouillabaisse: From Humble Beginnings To High-Class Tourist Meal

The ingredients for a vrai bouillaibaisse at Le Miramar in Marseille, France.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

The southern French city of Marseille on the Mediterranean Sea has long been famous for its spicy fish soup, known as bouillabaisse. The soup started as a poor man's meal, made with leftover fish scraps, but these days, it's evolved to the point that it can run connoisseurs about $75 for a generously sized meal.

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Music Interviews
4:23 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Frankie Valli On Hair Products And Finding His Falsetto

The Four Seasons pose for a portrait circa 1963 in New York City. They are, clockwise from the top, Nick Massi, Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:31 am

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Deceptive Cadence
4:14 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Leonard Bernstein's 'Kaddish' Symphony: A Crisis Of Faith

The traditional Jewish Kaddish prayer gets turned on its head in Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 1:46 pm

I can't think of anything I loved more than talking to Leonard Bernstein. Or, more accurately, listening to him talk — about music or any topic under the sun. I remember a long discourse we had about one of my favorite books, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, and Bernstein's summarizing statement: "Well, of course, every author spends his whole life writing the same book."

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Author Interviews
4:11 am
Sat September 29, 2012

'Listening In' To JFK's Secret White House Recordings

Listening In, a new book and CD set, includes more than 260 hours of transcribed conversations and 2.5 hours of audio from inside the Kennedy White House.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:41 pm

In the spring of 1963, as the U.S. was mired in conflicts with Vietnam and Cuba and the Soviet Union, President John F. Kennedy called his old friend David Hackett to express his frustration at the U.S. men's ice hockey team — and their miserable record overseas.

JFK: Dave, I noticed that in the paper this morning that the Swedish team beat the American hockey team 17-2.
Hackett: Yeah, I saw that.
JFK: Christ! Who are we sending over there? Girls?

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House & Senate Races
3:56 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Utah House Candidates Both Have The 'Right Strategy'

Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28. She's running for Congress against incumbent Democrat Jim Matheson.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 2:53 pm

In Utah, the state's lone Democratic congressman is in a tough battle for a seventh term. Jim Matheson's opponent, Mia Love, has the support of national GOP superstars and, if elected, would become the first black Republican woman in Congress.

In a state where only about 25 percent of residents vote as Democrats, Matheson has successfully gotten enough Republicans to vote for him and keep him in office for the past 12 years. He can trace his political roots back to his father, Scott Matheson, the state's last Democratic governor.

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Around the Nation
3:55 am
Sat September 29, 2012

L.A. Sheriff Rebuked For Alleged Inmate Abuse

County Sheriff Lee Baca faces what may be the toughest fight of his 14-year political career.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Los Angeles County's sheriff is under fire. A blue-ribbon commission issued a scathing report Friday accusing Sheriff Lee Baca of failing to address long-standing allegations of inmate abuse in his jails. The accusations include deputies beating inmates, cover-ups and a persistent culture of violence.

The sheriff has been able to weather many storms during his 14-year tenure, but this may be the toughest fight of his political career.

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Europe
3:52 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Greeks Battle To 'Survive' Amid New Budget Proposal

People with disabilities take part in a march against the government's new austerity measures in central Athens on Thursday.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 9:25 pm

The Greek government is set to present a new austerity budget on Monday that's supposed to please the institutions that are lending billions to the country to save it from bankruptcy.

But the cuts also come at a time when a deep recession has dragged into its fifth year. More than a third of businesses in Greece have closed, and nearly a quarter of Greeks are unemployed.

Busking For The Next Generation

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It's All Politics
5:06 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

In Ohio, Obama and Romney Duel Over Trade With China

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a roundtable discussion on manufacturing this Wednesday in Bedford Heights, Ohio.
MANDEL NGAN AFP/Getty Images

If there is a boogey man in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China. According to Bloomberg, the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have aired nearly 30,000 ads that mention trade with China, many airing in the key swing state of Ohio.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Tomato Wars Ahead? U.S. Dubious On Extending Mexico Trade Deal

A worker separates tomatoes at a market in Mexico City. The Commerce Department says it might act to end a 16-year-old trade deal governing fresh Mexican tomatoes sold in the U.S.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 8:09 pm

Talk of a Tomato War is simmering in agricultural circles, after the U.S. Commerce Department issued a report Thursday that recommends ending an agreement on how fresh tomatoes grown in Mexico are sold in the United States. The issue could create an expanding trade conflict; Mexican officials have said they would retaliate to defend the tomato growers.

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Afghanistan
4:31 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Can't Change Your Money In Iran? Try Afghanistan

A money-changer in the Afghan city of Herat counts a stack of Iranian bills. More and more Iranian currency is being brought in by smugglers to exchange for dollars, which then go back to Iran.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

The western Afghan city of Herat has become a thriving hub for the money exchange business, a consequence of geography and politics. Money-changers throng the currency market carrying thick stacks of Iranian currency, much of it brought in by the hundreds of thousands of Afghan workers who earn their living in Iran.

While the stacks of crisp 100,000 rial notes that money-changers bring to the market might look like a small fortune, the 10 million rials in each of these stacks is worth less than $400, because the Iranian currency recently lost more than half of its value.

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Presidential Race
4:16 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

In Ohio, China's A Top Campaigning Point

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

According to Bloomberg, President Obama and Mitt Romney have aired nearly 30,000 TV spots addressing the issue of trade with China, and that's just in the past month. Many of those ads aired in Ohio where both candidates are spending a lot of time. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains the Ohio-China nexus.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If there's a boogeyman in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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Politics
3:45 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

In Presidential Ads, A Shared Strategy For Connection

President Obama and Mitt Romney campaign in August: Obama in Leesburg, Va.; Romney in Waukesha, Wis.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:29 pm

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World
3:26 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

The Tricky Business Of Reintegrating The Taliban

Former Taliban fighters display their weapons as they join Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province on Sept. 18.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 3:59 pm

In an attempt to put down the insurgency in Afghanistan, the international community has spent millions to try to reintegrate former Taliban fighters and other militants back into society.

So how well has it worked?

Critics like Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network say many militants use these programs to gain access to arms and money, without necessarily changing their ways.

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NewsPoet: Writing The Day In Verse
2:50 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

NewsPoet: Philip Schultz Writes The Day In Verse

Philip Schultz visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Ryan Smith NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Fox News' Smith Apologizes After Man Commits Suicide On Air

Shepard Smith apologized to viewers Friday afternoon, after his show aired live footage of a man who fled police and then shot himself.
Fox News

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 9:30 am

After inadvertently airing live coverage of a car chase that ended with a man's suicide, Shepard Smith of Fox News has issued an apology to viewers of his show. The incident occurred as the cable network carried a live feed of a man fleeing police on the interstate west of Phoenix.

In the footage, the man abandoned his vehicle and began running across a field, before pulling out a gun and shooting himself in the head. Despite being filmed from a helicopter hovering above the scene, the footage was graphic enough to prompt immediate yelling in the Fox News studio.

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World
2:30 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Pakistani Minister Stands By Bounty For Filmmaker

Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Pakistan's railways minister, has offered $100,000 for the death of a filmmaker who produced an anti-Islam movie. He says it's the "only way" to stop insults to the Prophet Muhammad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Despite international condemnation, Pakistan's railways minister says he isn't backing down from his $100,000 bounty offer to anyone who kills the maker of the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims.

Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, the slight, silver-haired minister, says he was angry when he saw the video and that he's a man of great faith, passionately devoted to the Prophet Muhammad.

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It's All Politics
2:24 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

In Blue-Leaning Connecticut, Tight Senate Race Has Democrat On Offense

Linda McMahon (center) visits a senior center in Naugatuck, Conn., this month.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

It might seem counterintuitive, but the man running against Republican Linda McMahon in her second attempt at becoming Connecticut's first female senator wants this race to be all about women.

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy released an ad this week, hammering McMahon's stance on women's health and reminding voters of McMahon's former role as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:08 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Gustavo Dudamel On The Magic Of Stravinsky's 'Crazy Music'

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 1:46 pm

This Sunday, a landmark composition of the 20th century will be webcast by NPR, and led by the quintessential 21st century conductor: 31-year-old Gustavo Dudamel, who will conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring). Dudamel spoke about his experience of this earthshaking piece with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

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Planet Money
1:02 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

The Weird Story Of Why Helium Prices Are Going Through The Roof

A man selling helium balloons at a local festival on Feb. 19, in Athens, Greece.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 7:51 am

For More: Pork, Helium, Maple Syrup: Our Favorite Strategic Reserves

Back in the 1920s, the U.S. government thought blimps might be the next big thing in warfare. So the government started producing helium. And they created the Federal Helium Reserve, a vast store of helium that sits underground in the Texas panhandle.

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It's All Politics
1:01 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Citing 'Zero Tolerance' For Voter Fraud, RNC Fires Firm Over Florida Questions

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:31 pm

A big embarrassment came this week for the Republican Party, which has made voting integrity and fighting voter fraud a major issue.

A consulting firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in five battleground states has been let go after one of its workers apparently submitted over 100 questionable registration forms in Florida's Palm Beach County.

The party severed its ties with the firm — Strategic Allied Consulting — because it has "zero tolerance" for voter fraud, said RNC spokesman Sean Spicer.

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It's All Politics
12:57 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Presidential Debates: The One Area Where Campaigns Pitch Their Weakness

Sen. John McCain and then-Sen. Barack Obama, at one of their 2008 presidential debates.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:19 pm

An oddity of U.S. presidential politics is that candidates and their campaigns spend nearly all their time telling voters how superior they are to their rivals in virtually every area: the wisdom of their policy proposals; the soundness of their characters and judgments — everything, really.

Except for debating.

It's the old game of setting the bar high for your opponent and lower for your candidate, of course. That way, anything short of a disastrous debate performance can be claimed as a knockout victory.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:50 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Holy Bat Virus! Genome Hints At Origin Of SARS-Like Virus

Bats harbor many types of coronaviruses and were probably the original source of the new coronavirus that appeared in the Middle East.
iStockphoto.com

On the surface, the new coronavirus detected in the Middle East this month looks quite similar to SARS. It apparently causes severe respiratory problems, and can be lethal.

But with viruses, the devil is in their details — the genetic details.

Dutch virologists have just published the whole genome of the new coronavirus — all 30,118 letters of its code. And, the sequence reveals that the mystery virus is most closely related to coronaviruses that infect bats in Southeast Asia.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

On Iran: Obama, Netanyahu In 'Full Agreement' About Goal, White House Says

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:50 am

Here's what the White House says the conversation was like when President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone today:

"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke today as part of their regular consultations, and to follow up on Secretary Clinton's meeting with the prime minister.

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The Salt
11:59 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Grieving Pet Owners Want Imported Dog Treats Pulled From Shelves

Rita Desollar believes chicken jerky treats imported from China killed her German shepherd, Heidi.
Rita Desollar

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:52 pm

The Food and Drug Administration isn't sure, but Rita Desollar of Pekin, Ill., feels she knows what killed Heidi, her 7-year-old German shepherd. She feels it was the chicken jerky strips she bought at her local Walgreen's.

Desollar says on the Wednesday before Memorial Day, she gave two pieces of Waggin' Train jerky to Heidi as a treat. A few days later, Heidi was throwing up and "in a lot of distress," she says. By the time the holiday rolled around on Monday, Desollar says, Heidi was convulsing in her bed. She died that day, before Desollar could even take her to the vet.

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Law
11:50 am
Fri September 28, 2012

'Innocence Of Muslims' Filmmaker Arrested

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Federal authorities in Southern California have arrested the man who produced the now infamous anti-Islam video, the one that recently sparked unrest in many Muslim countries. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested for violating his probation from a previous bank fraud conviction. The judge at his hearing this afternoon denied Mr. Nakoula bail, calling him a flight risk, that's according to news agency reports. We now go to NPR West, and we're joined by NPR's Carrie Kahn, who has the latest on Nakoula's arrest.

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Education
11:31 am
Fri September 28, 2012

New Wave Of School Integration In Birmingham, Ala.

First-grade teacher Euginia Miller reads to her class at Avondale Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala. In this crucible of the civil rights movement, the city's schools are being reintegrated, as a handful of middle-class parents ignore the school district's poor reputation and enroll their kids in the city's public schools.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:05 pm

When Laura Kate Whitney enrolled her 4-year-old, Grey, at Avondale Elementary, a public school in Birmingham, Ala., she and her husband were bucking a trend. Whitney and her husband are white, middle-class professionals. Public schools in Birmingham are 95 percent black, and 90 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch.

Whitney's is one of about two-dozen similar families who are not buying into the conventional tradeoff that if you live within city limits and have means, you send your kids to private schools.

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