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All Songs Considered
9:03 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Song Premiere: The Flaming Lips, 'If They Move, Shoot 'Em'

J. Michelle Martin Coyne

The Flaming Lips have always had a fondness for science fiction and fantasy, with a vast catalog of songs about robots, spontaneous human combustion, telepathy, wizards, and UFOs. The band's latest source of inspiration is the sci-fi novel (and new movie) Ender's Game, which tells the story of Earth's futuristic battle with insect-like aliens called "Buggers." A new EP from The Flaming Lips, The Peace Sword includes six songs inspired by the story, including this dark, strange, synth-heavy jam "If They Move, Shoot 'Em."

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It's All Politics
8:13 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix: Troll, Trial, Tribulation

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:53 am

Good morning.

Let's get right to the tribulation.

Fallout from the government shutdown and budget crisis continues to rain down on Republicans.

Fallout from the monumentally flawed online rollout of Obamacare continues to rain down on President Obama and his team.

Obamacare

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Crisis Averted For Now In Australia's Fight Against Fires

"A high-risk gamble by firefighters" has paid off in Australia, says The Sydney Morning Herald.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Book News: Two Cleveland Kidnapping Victims Writing A Book

A poster was still on display outside the Cleveland home of Amanda Berry after she was rescued in May along with Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
Tony Dejak AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Parallels
6:53 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Headlines From Around The World

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang talks during a joint news conference with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.
Peng Sun AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 12:18 pm

We begin with an agreement between the world's most populous and second-most populous countries.

India and China signed an agreement in Beijing on Wednesday on border defense following a military standoff earlier this year in an area they both claim.

Here's more from the official Chinese Xinhua news agency:

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Facebook Removes Beheading Video, Says It Will Tighten Rules

Facebook.com

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:30 am

Outrage over the posting of a video showing the decapitation of a woman has led Facebook to say it is going to "combat the glorification of violence ... [by] strengthening the enforcement of our policies." It has also removed the video.

This story began Monday when the BBC reported that:

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed October 23, 2013

An Exhaustive Survey From Columbus To Nemesis In 'Roth Unbound'

PBS

Roth Unbound, Claudia Roth Pierpont's aptly titled study of Philip Roth's evolution as a writer, unleashes a slew of memories — including my eye-opening first encounter with Portnoy's Complaint as a naive 14-year-old. It also stokes a strong desire to re-read his books, which I suspect will be the case for many.

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All Tech Considered
6:03 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Weekly Innovation: Huggable Lamp Fits Into Dark Corners

The Soft Light is currently a prototype only.
Simon-Frambach.com

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:53 am

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet.

Why do lamps have to stand apart from the surfaces you're trying to light? That was a question noodling around the mind of German design student Simon Frambach, who ultimately came up with the Soft Light, a thick, flexible lampshade that can be shoved into dark corners, furniture gaps or even used as a pillow.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Fired White House Aide Admits He Was Twitter Troll

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • From the NPR Newscast: Giles Snyder reports

A top White House national security aide who was secretly going on Twitter to insult other Obama administration officials and politicians from both major parties, and to question the policies he had been helping develop, is apologizing.

Jofi Joseph is also out of a job.

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Around the Nation
4:47 am
Wed October 23, 2013

After Four Decades, Cuomo Finally Watches 'The Godfather'

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:47 am

When the movie The Godfather came out in 1972, a young New York lawyer and future governor named Mario Cuomo didn't see it. He objected to stereotyping Italian-Americans as mobsters. But as first reported by The New York Times, Cuomo has finally ended his 41-year boycott and had a look.

U.S.
4:38 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Most Attractive Accent? The Southern Drawl, Y'All

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, y'all. I'm David Greene, with some poll results. The dating site Cupid.com has released a survey rating regional accents. Most attractive accent in North America: The Southern Drawl. And if you can't quite pull that off, your best bet is to get a coffee in New York. That accent came in second. New Jersey and Boston rounded up the top 5, along with the Western accent.

To me, the glaring omission: Yinz in downtown Pittsburgh.

You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sweetness And Light
4:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Frank Deford: 'Some Of Us Are More Valiant Than The Rest'

Hit The Numbers: Stats guys say that the clutch is a random crap shoot.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:16 am

As a child, your heart is broken when you learn that your grandfather really can't pull real quarters out of your ear. And if you're a baseball fan, that disillusionment happens once more to you in life when you first hear the numbers mavens tell you that there is no clutch hitter. None. No such thing.

Oh my, but if you have any romance in your soul, you do so want to believe that there are people in all walks of life whom we can count on to rise to the occasion. Don't you want that?

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NPR Story
4:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

What To Watch For In The World Series

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For the first time since 1999, the two teams with the best record in baseball will meet in the World Series. The Boston Red Sox host the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park tonight.

Enough said, let's bring in NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi.

GREENE: You're going to be at the game.

PESCA: Yes.

GREENE: So we have the two teams with the two best records. That has to tell us something about his World Series. Or maybe in this crazy world of sports it tells us nothing.

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NPR Story
4:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Typhoon Season Raises Concerns About Fukushima Plant

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Okay, the Atlantic hurricane season has been quiet so far, but in the Pacific two typhoons are moving toward Japan, raising concerns once again about the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which sits right on the coast. Its reactors, of course, melted down after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Joining us to discuss what the effects could be is NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel. Hi, Geoff.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Hi.

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Technology
2:14 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Copy Machine! Happy Birthday, Copy Machine!

The first modern photocopy
Xerox

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:37 pm

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Shots - Health News
2:13 am
Wed October 23, 2013

States' Refusal To Expand Medicaid May Leave Millions Uninsured

Protesters fill the Miami office of state Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. on Sept. 20 to protest his stance against expansion of health coverage in Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:12 am

President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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StoryCorps
2:13 am
Wed October 23, 2013

A Father, A Daughter And Lessons Learned

Wil Smith with his daughter, Olivia, today.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:47 am

When we met Wil Smith last year, we learned that he and his daughter, Olivia, had been unlikely college roommates at Maine's Bowdoin College in the late '90s. At 27, not only was he older than the other students, but he was also a single dad raising an infant.

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Shots - Health News
2:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico

A nurse treats a cholera patient at the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in August. Health officials say that the strain of cholera circulating in the country— the same one that first appeared in Haiti three years ago — has also caused outbreaks in Cuba and now Mexico.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 12:21 pm

A South Asian strain of cholera that was introduced into Haiti three years ago this month has now spread to this continent's mainland.

Mexico is the fourth Western Hemisphere country to experience the cholera outbreak. It's a disease that's very hard to stamp out once it gets into an area with poor water and sanitation.

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Around the Nation
2:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It's City Vs. Creditors In Detroit Bankruptcy Trial

Detroit officially makes its case for bankruptcy before a federal judge on Wednesday. The city is currently saddled with $18 billion in long-term debt, and officials see bankruptcy as their only choice.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:46 am

In Detroit on Wednesday, a federal trial begins that will determine whether that city is eligible for the nation's largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Hundreds of the city's creditors are lining up to oppose the bankruptcy, arguing that Detroit is violating Michigan's Constitution and that if officials tried harder they could find enough savings to pay the city's bills.

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Parallels
2:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Desperate Chinese Villagers Turn To Self-Immolation

Relatives of He Mengqing walk in front of his house, which the local government has slated for demolition. The rice farmer from Chenzhou in China's Hunan province rejected a government offer of compensation for his land; he set himself on fire when officials came for him.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:07 am

In order to turn China into an urban nation, local governments have demolished tens of millions of homes over the past decade. Homeowners have often fought back, blocking heavy machinery and battling officials.

In recent years, resistance has taken a disturbing turn: Since 2009, at least 53 people across China have lit themselves on fire to protest the destruction of their homes, according to human rights and news reports.

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It's All Politics
6:30 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

For Democrats, Obamacare Web Woes Create 2014 Headache

Glitches in the HealthCare.gov website, shown here, are making the White House and its allies very nervous.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:11 pm

President Obama radiated confidence when he took to the Rose Garden earlier this week to convince Americans that the flaws in the Affordable Care Act website would be fixed.

It's understandable that the president himself might be upbeat about the prospects of resolving the problems currently plaguing the technology behind the law.

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The Two-Way
5:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Pew: Most Latinos Can't Name 'Most Important Hispanic Leader'

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was named by 5 percent of respondents as "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."
Win McNamee AFP/Getty Images

While most Latinos believe it's important for their community to have a national leader, most of them can't pinpoint whom they think that leader is.

That's the new finding from a survey released today by the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. Survey participants were asked an open-ended question to name the person they think is "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."

Sixty-two percent responded they didn't know and 9 percent said no one.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

The Sounds Of New York City, Circa 1920

Times Square near 42nd Street in New York City, in the 1920s.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:59 pm

We can hear the music of the Roaring '20s anytime we want. But what if you could hear the day-to-day sounds of what it was like to live at that vibrant time?

That's the basis of Emily Thompson's project "The Roaring Twenties." She's a history professor at Princeton University who's been mapping the sounds of New York City in the late 1920s and early '30s.

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The Two-Way
4:48 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Sony Explains Why Its PlayStation 4 Costs $1,845 In Brazil

Sony announced U.S. and European prices for its new PlayStation 4 at a news conference this summer. The game system will cost some $1,845 in Brazil, angering fans.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:05 pm

Sony's new PlayStation 4 won't be on store shelves until next month, but the gaming console has already raised eyebrows in Brazil, after reports that it would cost 3,999 Brazilian real — or about $1,845 at today's exchange rate.

The company says the steep cost isn't a case of price gouging, but instead a sign of Brazil's heavy taxes and fees on imported electronics.

The game system will be released in the United States on Nov. 15 and in countries including Brazil later that month. Large retailers in the U.S. will offer the PS4 at a base price of around $400.

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World Cafe
4:46 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Don Was On World Cafe

Don Was.
Courtesy of the artist

This week's Sense of Place focus on Detroit calls for a resurrection of the very first installment of a World Cafe series called Producer Profiles. This archived session from 1992 features Don Was. In the profile, Was discusses the work he's done with a number of artists, including Bonnie Raitt (Nick of Time and Luck of the Draw).

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

IRS Delays Start Of Tax Season Because Of Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:59 pm

If you were one of those Americans who just can't wait to file your taxes because you're owed a handsome refund, the Internal Revenue Service has news for you: You're going to have to wait.

The IRS said today that the 16-day federal shutdown means it will delay the start of the 2014 filing season by one to two weeks. The shutdown delayed the updating and testing of some of the IRS' systems.

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All Songs Considered
3:57 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Our Favorite Discoveries From The 2013 CMJ Music Festival

Lucius was just one of the many bands worth discovering at this year's CMJ festival.
Becky Harlan NPR

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 11:14 am

Every fall, hundreds of bands flock to New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon, a large festival where independent, new and emerging musicians hope to be discovered. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen was among the countless journalists, bloggers, college radio DJs, record label reps and others who attempted to navigate the sea of live performances, hoping to find new music to love and share.

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Theater
3:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

For John Kander, A New 'Landing' At A Familiar Spot

David Hyde Pierce (center), Julia Murney and Frankie Seratch star in The Landing, a new musical from Broadway veteran John Kander, who co-wrote it with Greg Pierce. David Hyde Pierce previously starred in one of the latter collaborations between Kander and his late songwriting partner, Fred Ebb — the 2006 musical Curtains.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:40 pm

Broadway composer John Kander is a living legend: With his songwriting partner, the late Fred Ebb, he created the scores for the smash hit musicals Cabaret and Chicago, as well as the enduring anthem "New York, New York."

Now, at 86, Kander has a new writing partner — and a new musical, The Landing, opening off-Broadway Wednesday.

"Life Goes On"

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Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Doctors Enlist Therapists To Deliver Better, Cheaper Care

Tyler Engel with his parents, Dave and Jennifer. His doctor and therapist worked with the family to help Tyler recover from a concussion.
Kristian Foden-Vencil OPB

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:21 am

The state of Oregon is trying some experiments to bring different kinds of medical professionals under the same roof. Patients can see different kinds of doctors in one visit, and the hope is it will provide better patient care, eventually at less cost to the state.

This can make sense in a primary-care setting, where doctors often have to deal with stomachaches and migraines that stem from mental rather than physical problems.

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Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Online Insurance Brokers Stymied Selling Obamacare Policies

Independent online insurance brokers, like eHealth, haven't yet been able to sell subsidized health insurance policies.
eHealthInsurance.com

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:18 pm

Consumers aren't the only ones frustrated by problems with the online health insurance exchanges being run by the feds.

Private companies that sell health insurance on the Internet are also in a bind. Websites like eHealthInsurance.com that were planning to start selling new, subsidized health care policies on Oct. 1 still can't offer them to customers.

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