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Shots - Health News
11:00 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Veterinarians Say Health Law's Device Tax Is Unfair To Pets

Dr. Douglas Aspros holds a patient not covered by the Affordable Care Act.
Courtesy of Douglas Aspros

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:53 pm

Dr. Douglas Aspros says the federal health law is increasing his costs to buy medical equipment, which he has no choice but to pass onto his patients — most of whom are uninsured.

None of Aspros' patients, though, will benefit from the Affordable Care Act's expansion of coverage. Aspros, you see, treats dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, parrots and other small animals at his veterinary center in Pound Ridge, N.Y.

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The Government Shutdown
10:59 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Obama's Absence At Asia Summit Seen Hurting U.S. Trade

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono speaks Tuesday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. President Obama missed the meeting due to the budget impasse in Washington.
Beawiharta/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:49 pm

Imagine a poker table.

At one seat, China's President Xi Jinping studies his cards. At another, Russian President Vladimir Putin is stroking his chin. Asian leaders fill the other seats, each trying to win the pot, which is filled — not with poker chips — but with jobs.

That's the kind of high-stakes game that played out this week in Indonesia, where global leaders got together to discuss trade relations. Their gathering ended Tuesday, and exactly who won what is not yet clear.

But this much is known: President Obama was not at the table.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:41 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Science Suffers In Unseen Ways From Government Dysfunction

Tourists are dwarfed by the Very Large Array in 2005. The facility, on the Plains of San Agustin, 50 miles west of Socorro, N.M., has been closed as a result of the government shutdown. The VLA consists of 27 radio antennas linked together to simulate the capabilities of a single dish 17 miles in diameter.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

On Saturday night I saw Gravity, the new semi-realistic space survival flick. I thought: an astrophysicist's view of this film would certainly be worth a 13.7 post. But I've left that thought behind for an email I had received the day before:

Dear user community colleagues,

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Monkey See
10:27 am
Tue October 8, 2013

First Novels: The Romance Of Agents

iStockphoto.com

Disclaimer: A couple of years ago, I made a bucket list. As I've had a pretty rollicking life, my bucket contained a single experience: Sell a novel to a major house.

And now, Saint Martin's Press is to bring out my novel, Small Blessings, in July of next year.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue October 8, 2013

North Korea Has Restarted Nuclear Reactor, South Korea Says

An Aug. 31 image from DigitalGlobe shows the 5-megawatt reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon facility. South Korean officials say they have confirmed that the nuclear reactor has been restarted.
DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:44 pm

South Korean officials say they have confirmed that North Korea has restarted a nuclear reactor that had been shut down in 2007. The news bolsters reports last month that the reactor was operating once again.

In April, North Korea said it would restart the reactor to aid its nuclear weapons program, as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports for our Newscast unit:

"South Korea's National Intelligence Service delivered a report to a parliamentary intelligence committee saying that North Korea's 5-megawatt plutonium reactor at Yongbyon has resumed operations.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Higgs Boson Researchers Awarded The Nobel Prize In Physics

British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (left) and Belgian theoretical physicist Francois Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:09 am

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass, the Swedish committee announced Tuesday.

The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."

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The Picture Show
9:58 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Women Who Broke The Rules In Nepal

The Nepalese army killed Gita Rasaili's brother and sister during the country's civil war. Now she is helping victims of violence. "My sister got raped and killed and also my brother as a revenge for feeding the Maoists — according to the perpetrators, the Nepali Army. So I had to fight for them. I also want to get justice for other families that have been victims of the war."
Courtesy of Arantxa Cedillo

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:07 am

Photojournalist Arantxa Cedillo has worked all over Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. But in 2011 she decided to spend a few years in Nepal. She says it interested her because it's a country in constant political turmoil, as well as "one of the most beautiful corners of the world."

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Libyan PM Tries To Calm Tensions Over U.S. Raid

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks to the media during a news conference in Rabat, Morocco, on Tuesday, where he talked about the U.S. action to nab an al-Qaida operative in Tripoli.
Abdeljalil Bounhar AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:24 pm

Libya wants to maintain good relations with the United States despite concerns about a U.S. raid that snatched an al-Qaida suspect from the street in Tripoli.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the U.S. and Libya would work out their issues but that his nation "would not surrender its sons."

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Weapons Expert Sees 'Constructive Beginning' In Syria

A convoy of chemical weapons disarmament experts depart the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday. A second team of experts will soon join mission to destroy Syria's chemical program.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:17 pm

A second team of international inspectors is being deployed to Syria, where the process of destroying chemical weapons-producing facilities began Sunday. Syria faces a November deadline for demolishing its production equipment; the first weapons team arrived in the country on Oct. 1.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Family Of Man Who Set Himself On Fire Says Act Wasn't Political

The man who set himself on fire Friday at the National Mall was John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J., police say. Constantino's family links the act to "a long battle with mental illness."
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:55 am

Officials have identified the man who died after setting fire to himself last week on the National Mall as John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J.

Constantino poured gasoline on his body and ignited it Friday afternoon while sitting on the mall. Passersby used their clothing to try to put out the flames. He was eventually airlifted to a hospital, where he died later that night.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Senate Democrats Could Set Up Test Vote On Debt Ceiling

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks at a news conference last week on the government shutdown.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:14 am

Senate Democrats might introduce a measure to raise the debt ceiling, even as the debate over a spending bill to restart the federal government drags on.

The Associated Press reports:

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It's All Politics
7:06 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Tuesday Morning Political Mix

Despite all the warning signs, U.S. leaders continue to barrel toward a debt default with no one yet willing to step on the brakes.
SAUL LOEB AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:18 am

Good morning, fellow political junkies. It's Day 8 of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Among the only certainties: many federal workers are a day closer to missing a paycheck and the nation is a day closer to hitting the debt ceiling.

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Music Interviews
7:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Watch: Pearl Jam In Conversation With Judd Apatow

Pearl Jam with writer and director Judd Apatow (third from right).
Karen Loria Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:53 am

When you operate within the pop world — that is, the world in which whatever you make becomes a cultural commodity (i.e. you record a song, it gets played on the radio and various hands exchange money) — you have to engage with the process of generating hype. It's a given, no matter how carefully made your work or how pure your intentions. Some people are in the thick of hype, but let's put thoughts of today's provocateurs aside for a moment. Instead, it's interesting to think about how artists who've had the machine spin around them a few times choose to play the game, or change it.

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World Cafe
7:01 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Pearl Jam On World Cafe: Part 1

Pearl Jam.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 9:50 am

Pearl Jam is set to release its 10th studio album, Lightning Bolt, on Oct. 15, making it the band's first record since 2009's Backspacer. The group members aren't doing much publicity for the album — but when they do, they make it count.

On Tuesday's edition of World Cafe, listeners can hear director and producer Judd Apatow (Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) talk with the premier American rock band in a wide-ranging interview.

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Around the Nation
6:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

NFL Jaguars, Broncos Have Interesting Point Spread

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. If you bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend, your team could be crushed and you could still win. The Jaguars are 0-5. They play Peyton Manning's undefeated Denver Broncos. The Broncos are 28-point favorites, the biggest point spread in NFL history. The Jaguars could lose by 27, you'd still win your bet. But gamble with care. In their big win against Dallas last weekend, Denver did not cover the spread. It is MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:26 am
Tue October 8, 2013

No Bones About It, Shutdown Traps T. Rex In Storage Facility

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

It may have been a fearsome predator in its day, but even Tyrannosaurus rex could not escape the government shutdown. A T. rex skeleton, one of the most complete in existence, was headed to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum this week to star in the National Fossil Day festivities. But with the museum closed, the tyrant lizard will continue to reign supreme at a storage facility in Montana, coming to Washington next spring

The Two-Way
6:20 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Book News: Without A Shortlist, Nobel-Watchers Turn To Bookies

Haruki Murakami is the author of such books as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore.
Elena Seibert Knopf

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:30 am

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue October 8, 2013

A Skillfully Composed Space Opera In 'Ancillary Justice'

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 3:19 pm

"My heart is a fish, hiding in the water-grass."

Breq has found someone in the snow: a stranger to everyone on this planet, a thousand years old, a relic out of time — but despite all that, Breq remembers.

Breq used to be the ship that carried them both.

The assured, gripping and stylish Ancillary Justice is, in its broadest strokes, the tale of an empire, and in its smallest a character study, and part of debut novelist Anne Leckie's achievement is how she handles her protagonists in both of those contexts.

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Research News
3:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

First Malaria Vaccine Moves A Step Closer To Approval

A health worker administers the malaria vaccine at a clinical trial in Kilifi, Kenya.
Joseph Okanga Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:50 pm

A malaria vaccine studied in more than 15,000 African children has been found to reduce the number of cases of disease by 27 to 46 percent.

That's only modest efficacy compared to most accepted vaccines. But this would be the first anti-malarial immunization on the market, and its developers emphasize that it still prevents a lot of cases. Its main sponsor, GlaxoSmithKline, says it's good enough to justify seeking regulatory approval in 2014.

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Law
3:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Jury Selection To Begin For Trial Of Madoff Employees

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Nearly five years after Bernie Madoff was arrested for fraud, some of his former employees are about to go on trial in New York. The trial is expected to focus on how much the employees knew about Madoff's multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. Jury selections gets under way today.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Sports
3:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

WNBA's All-Time Top Scorer Tina Thompson Retires

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:58 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're going to hear next from a woman who has finished one of the most extraordinary careers in recent sports history. Tina Thompson, of pro basketball Seattle Storm, has retired. She played in every one of the WNBA's 17 seasons. The all-time top scorer, she won four championships, two Olympic gold medals. But she never dreamed of becoming a pro basketball player. That option once hardly existed for women.

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Animals
3:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

The Truth About Lemmings, The Rodent, Not The Political Animal

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now we have this note as we continue America's most comprehensive coverage of the government shutdown. We have this morning, a scientific clarification about lemmings. Last week, you may recall a Republican lawmaker called his colleagues lemmings. He meant his fellow Republicans were following Senator Ted Cruz on a disastrous mission that led to the government shutdown.

Lemmings supposedly follow each other over a cliff. But we have learned - NPR has learned - that lemming mass suicide is a myth.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Law
2:25 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Calif. Law Allows Undocumented Immigrants To Practice Law

Sergio Garcia speaks at The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) news conference in August. Garcia, 36, is a law school graduate who passed California's bar examination, but he's living in the U.S. illegally.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:32 am

Sergio Garcia passed the California Bar exam four years ago. The bar granted Garcia a law license, but then rescinded it because he was undocumented.

The justices of the California Supreme Court may have been sympathetic to Garcia, but it quickly became clear during arguments they didn't think the law was on his side. Specifically, as the U.S. Department of Justice argued, federal law prevented Garcia's admission to the bar.

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Around the Nation
2:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Phase 2 Of BP Trial Focuses On Amount Of Spilled Oil

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig is seen burning in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. A second phase of the BP trial, which started this week, looks at just how much oil spilled into the Gulf.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:48 am

In a New Orleans courtroom this week, BP and the federal government are arguing over how much oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.

Oil flowed from the out-of-control well for nearly three months. Just how much oil spilled will be key in determining the amount BP will have to pay in federal fines and penalties.

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It's All Politics
2:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Hastert: Primary Challenges Making Congress 'Kind Of Neurotic'

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois is congratulated by members of Congress during the unveiling of his portrait at the Capitol in 2009.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:25 am

When it comes to political deal-making, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert speaks from experience.

"I always had a feeling whenever I had to negotiate ... you really needed to make sure that you knew where the hole in the box was, so if you got in there, you could get out of it again," says the Illinois Republican, who was speaker from 1999 until 2007.

Hastert tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he can't say whether House Republicans now have themselves in a box in the government shutdown fight because "we don't know what the end of this thing is yet."

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Afghanistan
2:03 am
Tue October 8, 2013

As Afghan Presidential Race Begins, Warlords Are Prominent

Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, an influential lawmaker and religious scholar, waves at his supporters on Oct. 3, after registering his candidacy in next year's presidential election.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:26 am

As the war in Afghanistan enters its 13th year, the political and security situation there remains precarious. But the country is hoping to reach a milestone next spring: the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history.

And there's no shortage of candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai — who is barred from running for a third term.

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Politics
2:02 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Supreme Court Hears Another Challenge To Campaign Finance Law

Shaun McCutcheon is challenging the aggregate limits on contributions to political candidates and parties.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court returns to the campaign finance fray on Tuesday, hearing arguments in a case that could undercut most of the remaining rules that limit big money in politics.

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It's All Politics
5:57 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Voting Math Fails To Add Up

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

A lot of words have been spilled since the government shutdown began nearly a week ago, but some of the most noteworthy came from the lips of House Speaker John Boehner Sunday on ABC's This Week:

"There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," Boehner said, referring to a spending bill to end the shutdown that would be devoid of any extraneous language.

Why is this significant?

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It's All Politics
5:38 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Shutdown Diary, Day 7: The Blame Game

Alabama fans hold up a sign about the government shutdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia State on Saturday.
Butch Dill AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:15 pm

As the seventh day of the federal government shutdown wraps up, Congress and the White House appear no closer to reaching a budget agreement.

Highlights:

Without much action Monday, a slew of newly released polls filled the news vacuum. While they showed that both parties are taking a hit over the shutdown, it appears Republicans are bearing the brunt of the blame from the American public.

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Shots - Health News
5:34 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Delaying Aging May Have A Bigger Payoff Than Fighting Disease

Gaining a few more years of healthy life would be great for individuals, but expensive for Medicare, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:24 pm

Curing cancer and eliminating heart disease has been the holy grail of medical research. But there could be even greater benefits if aging itself could be delayed, a study finds.

This is not quite as farfetched as it sounds. While the anti-aging "cures" being marketed these days are largely snake oil, in the laboratory scientists have managed to extend the lives of laboratory animals. And they have a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological aging.

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