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Crime In The City
1:58 am
Thu August 15, 2013

In 'Alphabet' Mysteries, 'S' Is Really For Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a Spanish-Moorish landmark, was built in 1929.
Anna Fox (harshlight) Flickr

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 8:27 am

Novelist Sue Grafton is a real hoot. She's just as likely to talk, in that native Kentucky drawl of hers, about her prized silver-coin mint julep cups as about a juicy murder mystery. But she does have a crime writer's imagination.

"I always say to people, 'Don't cross me, OK? Because you will be so sorry,'" she says. "'I have ways to kill you you ain't even thought of yet.'"

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All Tech Considered
1:57 am
Thu August 15, 2013

The Next Disaster Scenario Power Companies Are Preparing For

Part of the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in Lewiston, N.Y., is seen from the air on Aug. 14, 2003, during a massive power outage that stretched from New York to Detroit and into Canada.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:49 am

In the 10 years since sagging power lines in Ohio sparked a blackout across much of the Northeastern United States and Canada, utility engineers say they have implemented measures to prevent another such event in the country's electric grid.

But there is one disaster scenario for which the power companies are still unprepared: a massive attack on the computer networks that underlie the U.S. electric grid.

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Business
1:56 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Pent-Up Demand Is Boosting Home Sales, But Can It Last?

Carpenters work on a housing site in Brandywine, Md., on May 31. Pent-up demand for homes could create jobs and help the struggling U.S. economy.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:33 pm

Six years ago, the U.S. housing market plunged off a cliff. Now prices are bouncing back up — sharply in many markets.

That has some real estate analysts saying 2013 may mark the turning point — when pent-up demand will revive the housing sector and boost the broader economy.

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The Two-Way
6:04 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

That 2012 Bundle Of Joy Will Cost You $241,080 To Raise

Eight-week-old Eleanor Delp attends a "What to Expect" baby shower with her mother in August of 2012 in Springfield, Virginia.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 9:19 am

The United States Department of Agriculture has crunched the numbers and it concludes today that if you had a child in 2012, it'll cost you $241,080 to raise him or her for next 17 years.

If you adjust it for inflation, that number soars to $301,970.

This represents a 2.6 percent increase from 2011. The USDA reports:

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Gmail Users Shouldn't Expect Privacy, Google Says In Filing

People who use Gmail and other free email systems have no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to papers filed in a U.S. district court by lawyers for Google. The filing was made in June, when Google moved to dismiss a case accusing it of breaking federal and state laws by scanning users' emails to help target its advertising campaigns.

In making its case, Google compared sending an email to other types of communications where privacy cannot be expected:

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It's All Politics
5:02 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

A Lover Of Horse Races, And Horses: Remembering Jack Germond

Jack Germond, who died Wednesday at 85, was one of the legendary "boys on the bus" covering presidential politics.
David Burnett/Random House AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

Political reporter Jack Germond smoked and loved martinis and red wine and fine food and betting on horses — he lived life large and didn't suffer phonies.

But here's the thing about Germond, who died Wednesday at age 85: He liked politicians. That's something you don't find much among reporters today.

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Energy
4:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

The Grid Of The Future Could Be Brought To You By ... You

Wind turbines at the Kahuku wind farm on Oahu's North Shore in 2011. Hawaiian energy managers are hoping to build stronger connections with customers to better manage renewable sources of energy on the grid.
Yuriko Nakao Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

The electricity system is experiencing growing pains these days. But it's not only demand for electricity that's expanding — it's the sources of electricity, particularly unpredictable kinds, like wind farms and solar panels.

And grid operators know that we're just at the beginning. States are requiring more renewable power to fight climate change, and it may be the customers who will play a big role in helping grid operators manage these clean, but finicky, sources of power.

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Shots - Health News
4:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Evidence Supports Pill To Prevent Some Prostate Cancers

The active ingredient in Propecia, a baldness remedy approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997, is showing new promise as a way to prevent some prostate cancers.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

Researchers say a cheap, generic pill called finasteride prevents almost 40 percent of low-grade prostate cancers without increasing the risk of dying from more aggressive tumors.

New evidence points to the drug as a potentially safer way to deal with prostate cancers that now get more intense treatment. Many prostate cancers that aren't destined to cause men serious health problems are often treated with surgery or radiation.

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Research News
4:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

New Drug Study Revives Debate Over Prostate Cancer Screening

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's clear from Dick Knox's story just now that there are a lot of caveats that come along with the study of finasteride. One physician, Dr. Michael LeFevre, certainly feels that way. Dr. LeFevre is a professor at University of Missouri Medical School, and he's co-vice chair of the United States Preventive Services Task Force. He joins us now from Columbia, Missouri. Welcome.

DR. MICHAEL LEFEVRE: Thanks very much.

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Law
4:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Former JPMorgan Chase Traders Charged Over 'White Whale' Bets

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Federal prosecutors have charged two former JPMorgan Chase traders with securities fraud. The two men worked in London. And they are part of the so-called London Whale case, which cost the company more than $6 billion. U.S. officials say the men lied about the value of some derivatives trades to cover up mounting lawsuits. More from NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Law
4:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for using campaign funds to buy luxury goods. His wife also received a year in prison for filing false tax returns. Prosecutors called their joint crimes one of the worst abuses of campaign finance laws in recent memory. NPR's Jennifer Ludden was at the courthouse here in Washington, D.C.

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Parallels
4:18 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Egypt's Ominous Developments

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clash with the Egyptian security forces Wednesday in Cairo. In addition to the fighting, the interim government imposed a state of emergency.
Mosaab El-Shamy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 5:03 pm

Egypt suffered a day of terrible violence Wednesday, and the bloodshed was compounded by several developments that suggest more confrontations are ahead.

Egypt's security forces reasserted their authority on a number of fronts and gave every appearance that they would press ahead with a crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups.

Here are several examples:

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It's All Politics
3:55 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

GOP Debate: Is Obamacare Fight Worth A Government Shutdown?

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

Congressional Republicans agree that the new federal health care program should be ended. But they are finding themselves bitterly divided over how.

They have tried dozens of times to repeal it. Now, some GOP lawmakers want to block all money for Obamacare in a stopgap spending bill that must be approved next month to prevent the government from shutting down on Oct. 1. But other Republicans say that won't work and may well backfire.

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Business
3:52 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

More Companies Encourage Workers To Volunteer, On The Clock

Kristin Yentes (right) and other volunteers from U.S. Bank serve breakfast to diners at Catholic Charities Opportunity Center in Minneapolis. Workers from the bank have been volunteering with Catholic Charities for more than a year.
Jeffrey Thompson MPR

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

You're not likely to find many bankers wearing those old stereotypical green visors these days. But at U.S. Bank, some employees sport hairnets — at least when they're serving breakfast.

Every Friday morning, a group of U.S. Bank employees stands elbow to elbow at a Minneapolis soup kitchen, doling out French toast, sausage and other breakfast goodies. Most of the people getting free breakfast are homeless men who lug their belongings in plastic bags.

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NPR Story
3:20 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

To Get Kids Into The Kitchen, Teach Them To Cook

Kids make "Little Lasagnas" from the cookbook "Chop Chop: The Kids Guide to Cooking Real Food With Your Family." (Carl Tremblay/Simon & Schuster)

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 3:11 pm

Sally Sampson founded ChopChop magazine to get kids to eat healthier by getting them interested in cooking.

The magazine won a James Beard award earlier this year and this week, Sampson published the book “Chop Chop: The Kids Guide to Cooking Real Food With Your Family.”

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NPR Story
3:20 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Economic Independence Is Transforming India's Marriage Culture

(Meghdut Gorai/Flickr)

A rapidly changing world is altering the lives of millions of women.

In India, the rising economic wherewithal of a new generation of women is transforming an institution as old as the country itself: marriage.

NPR’s Julie McCarthy has this report on Indian match-making with a modern twist.

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NPR Story
3:20 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

European Union Emerges From Recession

After a record 18-month slump, the European Union is coming out of a recession.

Numbers released today show three-tenths of a percent growth for the second quarter of the year.

While that may not sound like a lot, it is a signal that a much-needed recovery to pull the eurozone out of its three-and-a-half-year debt crisis may be here.

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Author Interviews
2:39 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Shipping: The 'Invisible Industry' That Clothes And Feeds You

Ninety percent of what we wear, eat and consume is carried by container ships like this one at the state-run Jaya Container Terminal of Sri Lanka's port of Colombo.
Lakruwan Wanniarachchi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 3:38 pm

Imagine a ship carrying goods in containers that, if lined up, would stretch around 11,000 miles long, or nearly halfway around the planet. Rose George spent several weeks aboard one such ship as research for her new book, Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car and Food on Your Plate.

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NPR Story
2:15 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Legendary Steinway Piano Company Set To Change Hands

(Wexner Center/Flicker)

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 3:20 pm

The 160-year-old piano maker, Steinway, is set to change hands. Last month, a private equity firm emerged as the likely buyer.

That was until today, when hedge fund manager John Paulson made an offer of $500 million. The billionaire now looks set to take control of one of the oldest manufacturers in the country.

But, Steinway’s workers don’t think a change of ownership will mean much of a change for them.

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NPR Story
2:15 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Do Leaked Albums And Songs Hurt Or Help Artists?

An image from the cover of Lady Gaga's latest album, "Artpop." (Lady Gaga)

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 3:20 pm

Katy Perry‘s new single “Roar” from her upcoming album “Prism” and Lady Gaga’s latest track “Applause” from her new album “ARTPOP,” both were leaked over the weekend. The artists and their labels have very different initial reactions.

Lady Gaga called upon fans to report leaks for removal, while Katy Perry simply tweeted “Looks like there’s a tiger on the loose!!!”

Ultimately, both songs were released early.

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NPR Story
2:15 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

When It's Not Alzheimer’s: Little-Known Illness Mimics Dementia

Jim Lampert, right, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, but his wife Terrie, left, found a specialist who diagnosed him with normal pressure hydrocephalus. (Screenshot from Boston Globe video)

The last thing most patients do when they receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is seek another diagnosis.

But research shows that up to 5 percent of dementia cases are misdiagnosed cases of a treatable but largely unknown condition called “normal pressure hydrocephalus.”

It is theorized that NPH arises from excess fluid building up in the brain. The cure is to drain the fluid with shunts.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Egypt Violence Upsets White House Policy

Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stand among debris and smoke in background as they confront Egyptian security forces trying to clear the smaller of the two sit-ins, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. (Imad Abdul Rahman/AP)

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 3:20 pm

As the death toll mounts today in Egypt, it also upends the Obama administration’s delicate balance on the Egyptian crisis.

The White House has steadfastly refused to call the Egyptian army’s ouster and arrest of former President Mohammed Morsi a coup.

At the same time, the administration has urged the Egyptian military to move forward quickly with constitutional reform and free elections.

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Shots - Health News
1:59 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Industry Ties Raise Questions About Expert Medical Panels

Who's deciding which boxes he gets to check?
iStockphoto.com

When your doctor is looking to make a diagnosis or choose a treatment, she often checks to see what the experts recommend.

Guidelines from these groups of leading doctors help the average physician decide if it's time to prescribe drugs to lower a patient's cholesterol or turn to medicines for someone's depression.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

'Nothing Racist' Implied In 'Obama' Act, Says Rodeo Clown

A photo taken of the clown who wore a mask resembling President Obama during a rodeo Saturday at the Missouri State Fair.
Jameson Hsieh AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown at the center of the controversy over the skit at the Missouri State Fair in which a man wearing a President Obama mask was mocked, says "nothing racist was ever implied."

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

In Moscow, American Runner Dedicates His Medal To Gay Friends

Nick Symmonds of the United States celebrates winning silver in the Men's 800 meters final during Day Four of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on Tuesday.
Mark Kolbe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:18 pm

The two-time U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds won the silver medal in the 800 meter race, yesterday, in the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

That wasn't the news, however. Instead, the news became Symmonds' dedication of his medal to his gay and lesbian friends.

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Law
12:49 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Past Immigration Policies Had A Reverse Effect, Professor Says

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:20 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
12:36 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Violence Causes Doctors Without Borders To Exit Somalia

Somali women and children wait to get medicine in July 2008, from a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders about 20 miles south of Mogadishu.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:05 am

The aid group Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday that it's closing all operations in Somalia after 22 years because of the increase in violent attacks and abuse against its staff.

"This is the most difficult announcement that I've had to make as MSF president," Dr. Unni Karunakara said at a press conference from Kenya. "Respect for humanitarian principles no longer exists in Somalia today."

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Parallels
12:13 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

French Maker Of Military Rafts Gets An American Identity

U.S. Marines with 4th Force Reconnaissance Company slide off F470 Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts during training in Waimanalo, Hawaii. The French company Zodiac has been the U.S. military's choice for inflatable rubber rafts for roughly two decades. Now the company is making the rafts in the U.S.
Lance Cpl. Reece E. Lodder Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:40 am

For roughly two decades, the Zodiac has been the U.S. military's choice for inflatable rubber rafts. These rafts, especially the high-end model F470, are not the recreational rafts you take out to the lake on a Sunday, says Lionel Boudeau, the head of Zodiac's North America operations.

"It is used for a large variety of missions, like assault landings, infiltration and exfiltration," he says. "It can be deployed from the shore or deployed from the air by an aircraft, a helicopter, by a submarine. It is used by special forces and regular Army."

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., leaves federal court in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Jackson was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on TV's, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 4:56 pm

Jesse Jackson Jr., who pleaded guilty to misusing $750,000 in campaign funds, was sentenced to 30 months in prison plus three years of supervised release today, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times are reporting.

Earlier during the sentencing hearing, the former Democratic congressman from Chicago and his wife wept, while apologizing for their failings.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Wed August 14, 2013

San Diego's Hooters, Other Businesses Tell Mayor To Stay Away

At the entrance to this Hooters restaurant in San Diego, the sign is up telling Mayor Bob Filner that he's not welcome.
Gregory Bull AP

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who is refusing calls to resign following the dozen or so accounts of women who say he sexually harassed them, isn't welcome at his city's Hooters restaurants.

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