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The Picture Show
8:49 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
8:47 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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Middle East
8:20 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 6:09 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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Krulwich Wonders...
8:20 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 2:34 pm

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
7:30 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 8:30 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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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Wed September 19, 2012

18 Innings Are A Lot, But Orioles-Mariners Game Is No Record-Breaker

Fans were few and far-between (and possibly not awake) as the Orioles-Mariners game went on and on in Seattle.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:57 am

Hearing about the 18-inning, 5 hours and 44 minutes-long game between the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners that stretched from last night into today set us off in search of news about Major League Baseball's longest games.

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Politics
6:11 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Univision Cries Foul, Hosts Own Presidential Forums

Univision host Jorge Ramos will be one of the moderators at the "Meet the Candidate" events featuring President Obama and rival Mitt Romney.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:55 am

Spanish-language network Univision will broadcast the first part of its presidential forum Wednesday night. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be the first candidate to appear, and President Obama follows Thursday night.

The presidential interviews came after a dramatic clash that would rival any of the network's famous telenovelas. Univision confronted the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit group that organizes the candidate debates, after it announced an all-white lineup of moderators.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour Is On Its Way To California

Space shuttle Endeavour, attached to a 747, on the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Bill Ingalls/NASA UPI /Landov

Space shuttle Endeavour has taken off on its farewell tour across the country.

The third of the retired fleet of four to head off to a retirement home, Endeavour is being ferried from Florida to Los Angeles — with a stop on the way in Houston. It is perched atop a 747.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Wed September 19, 2012

France On Alert, Closing Embassies, After Magazine Publishes Muhammad Cartoons

At the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo earlier today, publisher/editor Stephane Charbonnier ("Charb") struck a defiant pose.
Fred DuFour AFP/Getty Images

A French magazine's publication today of "crude caricatures" depicting the Prophet Muhammad has that nation on alert and preparing to close 20 of its embassies in Muslim nations.

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Animals
5:15 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Dog Shoots Man While Pair Were Hunting

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 5:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:11 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Good Samaritan's Car Averts Pedestrian Crash

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A flat tire could have been tragic for an Ohio man, but for a good Samaritan who stopped to help and whose own car was then struck by a drunk driver.

Gerald Gronowski told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he and his son would surely have been hit as they stood on the shoulder. All the more miraculous, the stranger, Christopher Manacci, had rescued Gronowski eight years earlier, pulling out a hook embedded in his hand while he was fishing.

Religion
3:03 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Text Reignites Debate: Did Jesus Have A Wife?

A Harvard researcher says a "new gospel" written on a fragment of papyrus shows some early Christians believed Jesus had a wife. The fragment — which scholars believe was written in the fourth century — is creating a sensation among New Testament experts.

NPR Story
2:48 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an adjustment to the oil supply.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NPR Story
2:48 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 5:04 am

The most expensive work of art ever sold at auction is going on public display at New York's Museum of Modern Art. For six months starting in late October, museum-goers can stare into the abyss suggested by Munch's iconic image of a screaming man beneath a swirling orange sky.

NPR Story
2:48 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Japan Shocked By China's Protests Over Territorial Dispute

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:36 am

The head of Japan's Foreign Trade Council says China has started to delay imports of Japanese products. It's a replay of the de facto trade sanctions China imposed two years ago during a similar flare-up of tensions. The most recent confrontation was sparked by Japan's purchase of disputed islands which China claims sovereignty over. In Japan, the response to the more than a week of anti-Japanese protests across China has been shock.

The Salt
1:05 am
Wed September 19, 2012

So What Happens If The Farm Bill Expires? Not Much, Right Away

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talk to reporters about the farm bill at the U.S. Capitol in June.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:53 pm

Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:04 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Ebola's Other Victims: Health Care Workers

A medical worker from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works at the laboratory where Ebola specimens from the Congo were tested at the start of the latest outbreak.
Stephen Wandera AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:51 am

The Ebola virus continues to strike people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since May, the World Health Organization has counted 72 confirmed, probable or suspected cases and 32 deaths.

As usual, a disproportionate share of those cases are health care workers — 23 of them, almost a third.

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Law
1:04 am
Wed September 19, 2012

ACLU Pushes For Answers On Drone Strikes

A U.S. Predator drone flies through the night sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:28 am

Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world, in places ranging from Afghanistan to Somalia. In speeches and public appearances, U.S. officials say those attacks are legal and essential to protect the nation's security.

But when civil liberties groups asked for more information about targeted killing, the CIA told them it's a secret.

On Thursday, they'll square off in front of a federal appeals court in Washington.

Pushing For Records

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Shots - Health Blog
1:02 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Scientists See Upside And Downside Of Sequencing Their Own Genes

Dr. James Watson looks at a reproduction of the structure of DNA, which he helped discover, in this 1962 photograph. Decades later, Watson was one of the first people to have his entire genome sequenced.
Mondadori Mondadori via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 2:03 pm

When scientists were looking for the first person to test a new, superfast way of deciphering someone's entire genetic blueprint, they turned to James Watson the guy who shared a Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA.

"They had to sequence someone, so they got me," he says.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

The Big East Conference: What's In A Name?

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco answers questions from the media before an NCAA college football game. Aresco says there are no plans for the conference to change its name.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:45 am

All you have to know about the nonsense of college athletic conferences in America today is that the Big Ten has 12 members, and the Big Twelve has 10. Honestly.

But as badly as athletic conferences flunk arithmetic, they do no better with geography. Next year, for example, San Diego State will be in the Big East. This is like, you never could believe that Vladivostok, way out there, was really in Russia, could you?

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It's All Politics
5:40 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney Explains Comments Again As GOP Unearths Obama Video

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign fundraising event in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:39 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took his effort to contain the damage from the video of his remarks about Americans who don't pay taxes to Fox News Channel Tuesday.

There, he acknowledged that some of those who don't pay federal income taxes are senior citizens and military service members.

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It's All Politics
5:11 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Pa. High Court Orders Judge To Review Voter ID Law

Emily Goldberg holds up a sign during the NAACP voter ID rally opposing Pennsylvania's voter ID law last Thursday in Philadelphia. With her is her 2-year-old daughter, Willa.
Michael Perez AP

Pennsylvania's highest court is returning the state's controversial voter ID law to a lower court judge who must decide whether it will disenfranchise some voters.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports that according to Tuesday's ruling, the lower court judge must block the law from taking effect if he finds voters cannot easily get photo ID cards that the law requires.

The state Supreme Court recognized difficulties in implementing the law under a "relatively short time frame," concluding:

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The Two-Way
5:06 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Obama: As President, You Work Hard For The Entire Country

President Obama responded to Mitt Romney's controversial "47 percent" comments in an interview with David Letterman this afternoon.

"My expectation is that if you want to be president, you have to work for everyone, not just for some," Obama said according to a pool report.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Did Jesus Have A Wife? Newly Discovered Ancient Text Reignites Debate

The front of the papyrus fragment.
Karen L. King Harvard

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:30 am

An ancient piece of text is reviving an equally ancient debate: Was Jesus Christ married?

Of course, most Christians believe that he wasn't. But today, Harvard Professor of Divinity Karen King presented a scrap of papyrus that dates back to the fourth century. She told a gathering of scholars in Rome that written in Coptic was this surprising sentence: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...' "

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Education
4:29 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Chicago Teachers Union Delegates Vote To End Strike

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Chicago, teachers have suspended their strike. That means teachers and students could be back to class as soon as tomorrow. The strike lasted seven days.

And with us to explain what has transpired in Chicago is NPR's Claudio Sanchez. And, Claudio, teachers, as we've said, have suspended the strike. What has the reaction been?

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Presidential Race
3:14 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Some Florida Seniors Divided On '47 Percent'

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The fundraiser where the Romney video was recorded was held in Florida. And today, in that politically important state, reaction was mixed about Romney's unscripted remarks. NPR's Kathy Lohr gathered some views from people at a retirement community.

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Presidential Race
3:10 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Biden A Vital Surrogate For Obama On Campaign Trail

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Vice President Joe Biden has been an important surrogate for President Obama this year, as he was four years ago. Biden especially excels at connecting with white, working-class voters — a group with which the president has struggled.

It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

'Mother Jones' Journalist: Video Not An Attempt To 'Catch Mitt Romney'

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:43 am

The Mother Jones journalist behind the release of a surreptitiously shot fundraising video says the source "did not go there looking to catch Mitt Romney in the act."

David Corn, the magazine's Washington bureau chief, tells NPR's Michel Martin on Tell Me More:

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
3:00 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

With Hats And Umbrellas, Senegalese Fill A City Niche

Senegalese vendor Cheikh Fall prepares his stall in front of Brooks Brothers on 51st Street, just off the Avenue of the Americas in New York City. Fall runs an association of Senegalese vendors that deals with the city over licensing and regulations.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Careful planning can transform the shape and life of a city. But sometimes, a city's features develop spontaneously — like the immigrant enclaves that grow around certain jobs and trades in urban centers like New York.

Occupational cliches have been a fact of life in the Big Apple for generations. Historically, New Yorkers thought of Jewish tailors, Italian greengrocers or Irish policemen, says Philip Kasinitz, a sociologist with the City University of New York.

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