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The Torch
3:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Studying Oscar Pistorius: Does The 'Blade Runner' Have An Advantage? [Video]

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa runs in the men's 200-meter event at the Paralympic World Cup in May. Some observers have suggested Pistorius receives an unfair advantage from his carbon-fiber "blade" legs.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 7:04 pm

The technology that makes walking possible for amputees is also making running possible at the Olympics. On Saturday in London, South African Oscar Pistorius will run on artificial limbs in the 400-meter sprint. Pistorius is a double amputee who runs world-class times on his carbon-fiber legs.

At last month's Prefontaine Track and Field Classic in Eugene, Ore., Pistorius ran in the inside lane of the 400-meter race. He leaned forward on his knees and fingers, and slipped his feet into the starting blocks — well, they're not actually feet.

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World
3:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

In Israel, Rabbis Rank Among The Rich And Famous

Rabbi Yaacov Israel Ifargan is known as the 'X-ray' rabbi for what his followers say is his ability to "see right through" a person. According to Forbes in Israel, he is worth about $23 million, which makes him the country's sixth-richest rabbi.
Tsafrir Abayov AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 12:01 pm

Over the past year, Israelis have taken to the streets to protest the country's high cost of living. They've also directed their anger at a small group of business moguls who have used their close ties to government officials to gain control of large chunks of the Israeli economy.

Now, the Israeli edition of Forbes magazine has shed light on a surprising category of Israelis who have quietly also climbed to the top rung of society: multimillionaire rabbis.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Texas GOP Senate Runoff Gives Tea Party An Opportunity To Flex Its Muscles

Ted Cruz, left, and David Dewhurst shake hands before their Republican Senate debate in Dallas on June 22.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:45 am

The Republican race to succeed retiring Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison wasn't supposed to be tough. But it's become one of the hardest-fought and most expensive intraparty races in the country.

Early this year, the race was expected to be a coronation for Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, 66.

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Summer Nights: Funtown After Sundown
3:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Fishin' In The Dark Draws Rods and Reels To Park

A pond in Charlotte, N.C.'s Freedom Park is a popular spot for evening fishing. The city keeps the pond well-stocked with catfish.
Julie Rose for NPR

In the middle of Charlotte, N.C.'s toniest historic neighborhood, a pond in a local park has become the city's unlikely fishing hole.

Many residents consider Freedom Park one of the city's prettiest, and when summer arrives the fishermen come out, hoping to catch "the big one."

A tiny bream wriggles on the end of 11-year-old Ciarra Carella's line. She's fishing with a piece of hotdog, her line dangling off the edge of a lovely stone bridge. It's a popular spot for wedding photos and for bringing your kids to feed the ducks.

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The Record
2:47 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Feminist Punk Band, Imprisoned For Five Months, Gets Next Gig: Russian Courtroom

Members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, Nadezha Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center) and Maria Alyokhina, at a hearing in Moscow court on Monday.
Andrey Smirnov Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:46 pm

After more than five months in prison, some Russian dissidents are getting their day in court. The three young women are accused of being members of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band that staged a protest against then presidential-candidate Vladimir Putin in February.

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Middle East
2:32 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Is Assad Carving Out A Haven For Syria's Alawites?

A Syrian man holds a national flag bearing pictures of President Bashar Assad during a pro-regime protest to condemn a deadly attack in the central Midan district of Damascus on April 27.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 7:04 pm

As fighting between the Syrian military and rebel fighters rages, concerns are growing about how the regime of President Bashar Assad might react if it becomes convinced it's about to lose power.

One theory involves the establishment of a breakaway region dominated by Syria's Alawite minority — which includes the Assad family — in the northwestern coastal mountains. Analysts say this would be a disaster both for Assad and the region, but it can't be completely ruled out.

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It's All Politics
2:17 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Could Be Official Democratic Stance

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:45 am

Democrats are on the path to including an endorsement of same-sex marriage for the first time in their official party platform.

NPR's Ari Shapiro reported Monday that the proposal has made it through an important Democratic committee.

The 15 Democrats who serve on the party's platform drafting committee voted unanimously to endorse same-sex marriage in the party's official agenda, says Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who serves on the committee.

Frank recently married his partner.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:02 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Legal Battle Erupts Over Whose Plastic Consumers Should Trust

CamelBak-brand water bottles on display at an outdoor supply store in Arcadia, Calif., in 2008. The company removed BPA from the plastic in its bottles.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:46 pm

In 2007, Eastman Chemical began marketing a tough new BPA-free plastic called Tritan. Business was good, says Lucian Boldea, a vice president at Eastman.

"We were able to make the statement that our product is not made with BPA and would release data to consumers to support that fact," he says.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:49 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

What Does The Future Hold For Bird Flu Research?

A government official in Bali, Indonesia, holds a chicken before administering an injection to cull it as a precautionary measure in April to prevent the spread of bird flu.
Firdia Lisnawati AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 2:43 pm

In a hotel ballroom in New York City, a couple hundred flu researchers watched with interest Monday as a government official ran down a list of seven kinds of experiments that could raise special security risks.

The official noted that one item on the list was any experiment that could make an infectious agent more transmissible, or contagious. "It wouldn't take long for this audience to come up with an example of that," he noted wryly.

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The Torch
1:16 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Lochte Misses Out On Medal; American Grevers Wins Backstroke [Results]

Record setter: U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin celebrates winning the women's 100m backstroke final at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:22 pm

Yannick Agnel of France has won the 200m men's freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics, beating a field that included American Ryan Lochte and German world record holder Paul Biedermann. Sun Yang of China and and Tae-Hwan Park of South Korea finished with identical times of 1:44.93 — which means that both of them will receive silver medals.

We'll be updating this post with more results from today's action.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Apple, Samsung Face Off In Court Over Alleged Patent Infringements

Samsung Electronics Co. representatives wait to enter the Robert F. Peckham Federal Courthouse in San Jose, California on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 1:26 pm

Fortune calls it "the patent trial of the century." And based on money alone, it might as well be: Apple and Samsung are accusing each other of infringement. Samsung wants higher royalties on some technology and Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in damages.

A jury will decide which, if any, company is right. With jury selection, Reuters reports the trial begins today in San Jose, Calif.

Reuters adds:

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Jonah Lehrer Resigns From 'New Yorker,' Admitting He Made Up Quotes

Jonah Lehrer.
Nina Subin Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:56 pm

Jonah Lehrer, the super star science writer, has resigned from The New Yorker and admitted that quotes that he attributed to Bob Dylan in his latest book, Imagine, don't exist.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:48 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Ebola Outbreak Kills At Least 14 In Uganda

Although infections with the Ebola virus are rare, they can be deadly.
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 12:48 pm

An outbreak of the Ebola virus has emerged in western Uganda.

Twenty cases were reported by the World Health Organization yesterday. At least 14 people have died. The number of Ebola infections is expected to rise in the next few days, as more patients are admitted to hospitals.

The outbreak began in a rural district of Uganda about 125 miles west of the Uganda capital, Kampala.

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The Torch
11:46 am
Mon July 30, 2012

U.S. Men's Gymnastics Takes A Fall During Finals

U.S. gymnast John Orozco runs through his pommel horse routine, in the Olympic men's team final at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London. The Americans fell short of the promise they established in qualifying rounds.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 12:52 pm

The U.S. men's gymnastics team had an excellent day of qualifying this weekend, putting it in first place entering today's team finals. But the Americans struggled in the final, which does not carry points over from the earlier rounds.

Update at 2:12 p.m. EDT: The U.S. team has taken fifth place in the competition, despite early struggles that put them in last place. Great Britain surged to win the silver medal behind China — but Japan is reportedly now disputing the score one of its gymnasts received on the pommel horse.

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It's All Politics
11:29 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Poll: Jobs Should Be Next President's Priority; Tax Fairness? Not So Much

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:31 pm

Nearly every major poll indicates that the top issues for voters are jobs and the economy. Making the wealthy pay more in income taxes? Not so much, at least according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.

An excerpt from Gallup:

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Mon July 30, 2012

24 Murder Counts, 116 Attempted Murder Counts For Colo. Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors in Colorado today charged James Holmes with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the July 20 deaths of 12 people and wounding of 58 during a shooting rampage at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:15 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Cancer Patient Gets Help From 'Bake Sale' And Aetna CEO

One of the slogans on a T-shirt sold to raise money for the care of Arijit Guha.
Poopstrong.org

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 11:52 am

It's a diagnosis nobody in grad school would ever expect.

Arijit Guha, who's working on a doctorate at Arizona State, felt sick after coming back from a trip to India in early 2011. His severe stomach pain, which he thought was probably from a bug he caught on the journey, turned out to be caused by colon cancer. He was 30.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Genealogists Say Obama Likely A Descendant Of First American Slave

President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at the Washington Convention Center in April.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Genealogists at Ancestry.com have two surprises for us today: After years of studying President Obama's family tree, they have concluded that he was likely John Punch's 11th great-grandson. Punch is considered the first documented American slave.

The second surprise: The experts connected President Obama to Punch not through his African father, but through his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was white.

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The Torch
10:06 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Olympic Cauldron Is Put Out, Then Relit, In London

In a mostly empty Olympic Stadium, Austin Playfoot lights the Olympic cauldron Monday morning. The cauldron was extinguished Sunday night, so it could be moved to one end of the stadium. Click the enlargement to see a close-up view.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Just when the discussion over the London Olympics' opening ceremony was finally being overshadowed by actual sporting events at the Summer Games, news emerges Monday that the Olympic cauldron was extinguished Sunday night, so it could be moved.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Colorado Shooting Stories: There Were Many 'Heroes Among Us'

A heart shaped balloon hovered above a memorial for victims outside the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last week.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:15 am

As they're being told, we're pointing to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded when a gunman opened fire on July 20 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Click here to see more. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

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Law
9:31 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Will Penn. I.D. Law Actually Keep Voters Away?

Voter I.D. laws have been hotly debated this election season. Now, a Pennsylvania case is challenging that state's new Voter I.D. law. The Justice Department also announced that it will investigate whether the law is discriminatory. Host Michel Martin speaks with Columbia Law Professor Nathan Persily for more on the case.

The Torch
9:28 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Overturned Judo Result Called A 'Farce' And Parody

A judo judge waves a blue flag to award victory to South Korea's Cho Jun-Ho Sunday. But moments later, judges raised white flags instead, giving the win to Masashi Ebinuma of Japan.
Franck Fife AFP/Getty Images

Judo is a sport of leverage, strength, tactics and cunning. These attributes can appear to the uninitiated to be two people attempting to grab each other, without success, for five minutes. And then when no points are scored, they try to grab each other for another three minutes of overtime.

One of these gripping contests — the men's quarterfinals at 66 kg — has become the source of international indignation over a perceived injustice. But with the sport of Judo, an apparently firm set of circumstances can flip in an instant.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Romney's Words That Outraged Palestinians Were 'Mischaracterized,' Aide Says

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem's old city on Sunday.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 12:00 pm

Reports that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said at a fundraiser in Jerusalem that "culture" is among the reasons Israel's economy is much stronger than those in "areas managed by the Palestinian Authority" have led a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accuse Romney of racism.

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The Torch
8:27 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Phelps In Fly, Too Many Tweets, And A Chatty Olympics Greeter

Sam Griffiths of Australia, and his horse Happy Times, compete in the cross country phase of the equestrian eventing competition in London's Greenwich Park.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. Here's a roundup of London 2012 Olympics news stories that have caught our interest. We also have a highlight list of today's upcoming events, in a different post. You can also check out our main schedule. Here's what's been happening already today:

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Afghan Reconstruction Projects May Be 'Counterproductive,' Report Warns

At a road project in Qalat, Afghanistan, last summer, U.S. forces were providing security.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt.Brian Ferguson Reuters /Landov
  • Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker speaks with Renee Montagne

The rising hopes but still-daunting challenges facing the people of Afghanistan and their allies, most notably the U.S., were underscored again this morning by two new stories:

-- The recently departed U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, told Morning Edition host Renee Montagne that he does not think Afghans will suffer through another devasting, multi-party civil war after U.S. combat forces are gone in 2014.

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The Torch
7:10 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Highlights Of Monday's Events From The London 2012 Olympics

Australia's Jamie Dwyer, who scored three goals against South Africa in field hockey Monday, goes horizontal in London's Riverbank Arena. The South African goalie matched Dwyer's strategy, but Australia won, 6-0.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:00 am

Swimming is again the big draw in the London 2012 Olympics today, with four gold-medal races scheduled. But gymnastics also has a big day. Competitions are being held in 22 sports Monday — meaning there are dozens of events vying for your attention. Below, we list the ones we'll be keeping a close eye on.

As always, we'll be reporting results and stories as they happen. So if you're someone who worries about spoilers and prefers to watch on tape-delay, steer clear of our Twitter feed... and possibly the entire Internet.

All times are EDT:

Swimming

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Syrian Conflict: Refugees Race To Escape; Battle Goes On In Aleppo

Syrian refugee children at the refugee camp in Jordan on Sunday.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 10:03 am

  • Anthony Kuhn reporting about Aleppo for 'Morning Edition'

The focus of the battle between the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposition fighters remains on the city of Aleppo, where it could be a long, deadly fight before either side can claim victory.

Meanwhile, a refugee crisis continues to build:

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The Salt
6:18 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Fun — And Olympic Games — On National Cheesecake Day

There's evidence the first Olympic athletes ate cheesecake, but it probably looked a lot different than this.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:23 am

It turns out to be easier to find out when and where the original Olympic Games were held (776 BC, in Olympia, Greece) than to nail down the story behind National Cheesecake Day.

Yes, in case it had passed you by, today is National Cheesecake Day.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Grid Failure In India Cuts Power To 370 Million

Passengers in New Delhi were waiting for trains that couldn't run because of Monday's power outage.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:31 am

An estimated 370 million people — about 60 million more than live in the U.S. — were without power for at least part of today in northern India because of a massive failure in the country's power grid.

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