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The Torch
2:39 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Marine Boxer: 'I'm Proud Of How Far I've Come,' Despite Olympics Loss

Jamel Herring of the U.S. departs the ring after his loss to Daniyar Yeleussinov in their boxing match at the London Olympics. Herring, an active-duty Marine, is the U.S. team captain.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Olympic boxing team captain Jamel Herring lost his light welterweight bout yesterday, but it's not the first setback he's faced — and he says he won't let his team lose its momentum in the London Olympics because of his defeat.

As the AP reports:

"After surviving two tours in Iraq and returning to boxing after the sudden death of his infant daughter in her crib three years ago, Herring knows a bit about composure and focus."

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The Torch
2:05 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Nathan Adrian Takes Gold In 100m Freestyle, Defeating France's Agnel

Yo Adrian! Swimmer Nathan Adrian (right) celebrates with Canada's Brent Hayden (left) after winning the men's 100m freestyle at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

American swimmer Nathan Adrian's name hasn't been on everyone's mind, the way that Michael Phelps' or Ryan Lochte's has. But he did something that even Lochte couldn't do this week: beat Yannick Agnel in a head-to-head race.

Adrian's time of 47.52 seconds in the men's 100-meter freestyle gave him his first individual gold medal, as he also beat James Magnussen of Australia, who came in second, and Brent Hayden of Canada.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Brings Out Supportive Crowds

The line stretched into the parking lot today at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Wichita, Kan.
Travis Heying / Wichita Eagle MCT /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:13 pm

The call from conservatives such as former Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to short support for Chick-fil-A and company President Dan Cathy's stand against same-sex marriage has produced long lines at the fast-food chain's restaurants today, judging from news reports:

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Europe
1:50 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Russia Charges Leading Dissident With Embezzlement

Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media as he arrives for questioning at the headquarters of the Russian Investigation committee in Moscow on Monday.
Misha Japaridze AP

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:54 pm

Government prosecutors in Russia have brought criminal charges against a leading dissident, Alexei Navalny.

Navalny writes a popular blog that points to alleged corruption in the Russian government, and he helped lead the anti-government protests in Moscow this past winter.

He says the charges — that he stole timber from a state-owned company — are part of a campaign to crack down on opposition by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime.

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The Torch
1:40 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

A Medal And Marmite For Team Kiwi

Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Here's a curious little bit of news from the BBC:

"New Zealand competitors who win medals at the London Olympics have been offered an unusual reward — food parcels containing jars of Marmite."

"The spread has been in short supply since March, after the manufacturer was forced to close its only factory because of earthquake damage."

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The Torch
1:32 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Flag-Bearer Zagunis Fails To Medal In Sabre

American fencer Mariel Zagunis (left), the two-time gold medal winner in sabre, shakes hands after losing to Ukraine's Olga Kharlan in their bronze medal match at London's ExCel Center.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Decorated fencer Mariel Zagunis, who carried the U.S. flag into Olympic Stadium as part of the London 2012 opening ceremony, lost in the bronze medal match in the sabre Wednesday afternoon, falling to Olga Kharlan of Ukraine, 15-10.

The loss means that Zagunis, 27, will leave London without a medal — there is no team sabre medal at this year's Olympics (we'll post more about that situation soon).

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The Torch
12:16 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Gymnast Danell Leyva Wins Bronze In All-Around

Gymnast Danell Leyva of the United States celebrates after his final rotation in the men's individual all-around final.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 1:07 pm

U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva has won the bronze medal in the men's all-around competition in London. The gold was taken by Japanese star Kohei Uchimura, while the silver medal went to Marcel Nguyen of Germany.

With a final score of 92.690, Uchimura was nearly 2 points ahead of Leyva, at 90.698. And with his win, Uchimura vanquished the disappointments of his 2008 Beijing, when his struggles on the pommel horse cost him a gold medal.

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NPR Story
12:07 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Crustacean Adventures — Love at First Crack

"Beware the green stuff," says Maggie Shipstead.
Daniel Gilbey

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:53 pm

Maggie Shipstead just published her first novel, Seating Arrangements.

There haven't been very many. I started late. Until I was 21, I thought I didn't like seafood. Then I got tipsy and ate a whole lobster, and my life changed.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Once In A Blue Moon: August Will Bring Two Full Moons

A waxing moon in the background of a fairground attraction in London on Sunday.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

In astronomical terms, a blue moon really doesn't denote that long a time span. In fact, a blue moon happens once every 2.7 years on average.

Still, it's a special event that, at least using its modern definition, happens when there are two full moons in a single month.

Today (Aug. 1) we'll see a full-moon and that is a prelude to the blue moon of Aug. 31. As Space.com reports, the Aug. 31 moon will reach its full phase during the day.

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Planet Money
11:57 am
Wed August 1, 2012

The Endlessly Disappointing Jobs Recovery

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 12:39 pm

Three years into the economic recovery, the unemployment rate is still disastrously high. So today's big economic question is whether the Federal Reserve will announce new measures to bring down unemployment when it releases its policy statement this afternoon.

Update: The new statement is out. The Fed isn't doing anything new right now.

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The Torch
11:26 am
Wed August 1, 2012

What's A Gold Medal Really Worth?

Plenty To Smile About: Weightlifter Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan celebrates on the podium with her new 400-gram gold medal, matching the feat of her compatriot Zulfiya Chinshanlo. The Kazakh Olympians will each receive a $250,000 bonus.
Laurence Griffiths Getty Images

Weighing 400 grams, the Olympic gold medals that are being doled out at the London 2012 Summer Games are the heaviest ever, according to reports. But that doesn't mean they're the most valuable: at an estimated $620.82, they're nearly $590 short of the $1,207.86 value held by a gold medal from the Stockholm Games of 1912.

The discrepancy stems from the fact that the 2012 gold medals contain only 6 grams of gold; the rest is silver and copper. In fact, the London bling contains more copper than gold, which is only used to coat the medals with a plating layer.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:25 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Lab Findings Support Provocative Theory On Cancer 'Enemy' Within

The white arrows in these two tumor samples point to a subset of tumor cells that are in a resting state.
Nature

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:54 pm

Scientists reported new evidence Wednesday that supports a provocative theory about cancer.

Three separate teams of scientists said they had, for the first time, shown that so-called cancer stem cells can be found naturally in brain tumors and early forms of skin and colon cancer.

Evidence has been mounting in recent years for the existence of these cells, which would be especially insidious. They are believed to resist standard chemotherapy and radiation and fuel the growth of tumors and relapses.

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Participation Nation
10:53 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Homeless Kids At Play In Washington, D.C.

A volunteer reads a book with a visitor at The Homeless Children's Playtime Project.
Courtesy of The Homeless Children's Playtime Project

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:58 am

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:51 am
Wed August 1, 2012

You Think Beauty Is Skin Deep? You're Not A Chiropractor

Contestants Marianne Baba (left), Lois Conway and Ruth Swenson stand next to plates of their X-Rays during a chiropractor-judged beauty contest.
Wallace Kirkland Time

When the nation's chiropractors descended on Chicago for a weeklong convention in May 1956, they threw a beauty contest.

The judges crowned Lois Conway, 18, Miss Correct Posture. Second place went to Marianne Caba, 16, according to an account in the Chicago Tribune. Ruth Swenson, 26, came in third.

But this was no ordinary pageant.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Sharp Swings In Stocks Renew Concerns About Computer Trading

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 1:58 pm

"August 1st will be another day that will destroy investor confidence just like the May 6th [2010] flash crash."

That rather ominous sounding pronouncement comes from Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading LLC in Chatham, N.J., in a Bloomberg News report about what happened early this morning on Wall Street.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed August 1, 2012

USPS Defaults On $5.5 Billion Payment To Treasury

An employee loads flat trays onto a truck at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Merrifield, Va.
Andrew Harrier Bloomberg via Getty Images

For the first time ever, the United States Postal Service has defaulted on a payment to the Treasury.

The USPS warned of a default in a statement on Monday. It it would not make the $5.5 billion payment due today and that it would also default on a $5.6 billion payment due Sept. 30. Both of those payments are federally mandated and go toward prefunding retiree health benefits.

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NPR Story
9:02 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Eight Badminton Players Disqualified From Olympics

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Olympics are a quest to be the best. But some Olympians are accused of purposely playing badly at badminton. The Badminton World Federation has launched disciplinary proceedings against four women's doubles pairs. First, the world champions, who are Chinese, faced off against opponents from South Korea. And spectators started booing when the players seemed to be making simple errors on purpose.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Torch
8:24 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Badminton's 'Detrimental' Conduct Rule, And Losing On Purpose

The Badminton Eight: That's the media's new nickname for the Olympic athletes disqualified Wednesday in a match-fixing scandal at the London Games. They are, from top left: South Korea's Kim Ha Na, Ha Jung-Eun, Kim Min-Jung and Jung Kyung-Eun. Bottom: Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari, and China's Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 11:08 am

Eight Olympic badminton athletes have been thrown out of the London Games after being charged by the Badminton World Federation with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" — which is against the rules of the sport. Because even some journalists may have forgotten badminton's rules, it seemed time to take a fresh look.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Wed August 1, 2012

'Pepper Spray Cop' Is No Longer On UC Davis Police Force

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Heir To Billions Pleads Guilty To Keeping Dead Wife's Body At Home

Eva Rausing, right, and her husband Hans Kristian Rausing in 1996.
Alan Davidson AP

In London today the Swedish heir to a fortune worth billions of dollars pleaded guilty to "preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife" and the court heard that Eva Rausing's body may have been lying beneath "bin bags, clothing and bed linen" for as long as two months, the BBC reports.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Employers Added 163,000 Jobs In July, Survey Suggests

There was a 163,000-gain in the number of jobs on private payrolls in July, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

That's down from an estimated 172,000 boost in June (a number revised slightly from ADP's previous report of a 176,000-increase for that month).

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The Torch
7:13 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Kristin Armstrong Wins Second Straight Gold Medal In Olympic Time Trial

Kristin Armstrong rides on her way to winning the women's individual time trial at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 12:41 pm

Kristin Armstrong has successfully defended her gold medal in the Olympic time trial, winning the race held in Surrey, England. Armstrong finished the 18-mile course in 37:34.82, nearly 16 seconds ahead of Judith Arndt of Germany, who won the silver.

Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia won bronze, seven seconds behind Arndt. American Amber Neben came in sixth, at 38:45.17. Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead, the silver medal winner in the road race, was tenth.

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Sports
6:13 am
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Gymnasts Win Gold, Ending 16-Year Drought

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

At the London Olympics, the U.S. women's gymnastics team did what it was expected to do yesterday - and then some. The five Americans won the gold medal. It's the first time in 16 years that's happened for a U.S. women's team. And they did it in a big way - beating second place Russia by what team members called a huge margin. From London, NPR's Tom Goldman has the story.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Indignant In India: Blackouts Have Millions 'Fuming'

Plenty of wires. But where's the juice? This electric pole in Kolkata is typical of many in heavily populated India.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

"Powerless and Clueless" was today's top headline on the Times of India's front page.

India's Economic Times went with "Superpower India, RIP."

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Participation Nation
5:42 am
Wed August 1, 2012

(W)E Pluribus Unum

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:58 am

With your help, NPR is writing a story across America. About the good things that Americans are doing.

You already know that our country is split by political partisanship, socioeconomic disparities, religious differences, geographical inequities and other factors.

Surely you have noticed: We are living in disunited states.

Sometimes it's hard to focus on the ways we work together, the similarities among us.

So that is what we will try to write about. Together.

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Remembrances
5:27 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Gore Vidal, American Writer And Cultural Critic, Dies

Author Gore Vidal in 1986. Vidal, whose prolific writing career spanned six decades, died Tuesday at age 86.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.

He also wrote essays and screenplays, and his play The Best Man currently has a revival on Broadway.

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Sweetness And Light
5:18 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Four Sports Superstars, Four Years Later

Michael Phelps reacts after winning silver in the men's 200-meter butterfly final at the Aquatics Centre on Tuesday. South Africa's Chad le Clos took home the gold.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 2:34 pm

Let us go back an Olympiad, to August of 2008. Incredibly, then, in all four of the world's most popular men's individual sports, we were at a time when, quite possibly, the four greatest champions ever in each of those sports was at or near his peak.

There they were, as the Beijing Olympics began:

  • Tiger Woods, 32 years old, still a prime age for a golfer, winner of his 14th major, the U.S. Open, only a few weeks ago — gloriously alone at the top.
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Business
5:18 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Conservatives Rally Around Chick-fil-A

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Chick-fil-A has been in the news lately, not because of its chicken sandwiches but thanks to comments by the fast food company's president opposing same-sex marriage.

Social media helped spread the story and some of the country's mayors urged Chick-fil-A not to come to their cities. This led conservatives, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, to call for the public to support the chain on Wednesday by eating at one of its restaurants.

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Politics
5:18 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Lawmakers Face Off On Pentagon Spending Cuts

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And members of Congress, this week, are head-lining rallies meant to inspire public outrage, outrage over potential cuts to Pentagon spending. Military contractors say they could lose a million jobs if Congress goes ahead with across-the-board spending reductions known as sequestration. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, the fuss is about budget cuts that were never intended to actually happen.

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Sports
5:18 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Phelps' 19th Medal Breaks 48-Year-Old Record

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Nobody was booing when American swimmer Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian ever. Two medals yesterday in London broke a 48-year-old record. Phelps has now has 19 Olympic medals, total.

NPR's Howard Berkes reports from London.

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Michael Phelps was a little sloppy on his way to breaking one of the most enduring records of the Olympics.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Take your mark.

(SOUNDBITE OF AN ALARM AND CHEERING)

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