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Education
4:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Do The Data Exist To Make A College-Rating System Work?

President Obama delivers a speech on education at the University of Buffalo on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:46 pm

President Obama unveiled a plan on Thursday that would, for the first time, tie federal student aid to a new rating system for colleges and universities. While the president's message that higher education costs should be reined in was simple enough, the sweeping proposal is anything but.

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Sports
4:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Ichiro Suzuki Joins Two Other Baseball Greats With 4,000th Hit

Ichiro Suzuki got his 4000th hit on Wednesday, joining Ty Cobb and Pete Rose as the only baseball players to reach that milestone.

Asia
4:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Former Chinese Politician Has Spirited Defense At Trial

The former politician Bo Xilai offered a spirited defense in court in China on Thursday, surprising observers who had expected a quick show trial to end the country's biggest political scandal in decades. However Bo was allowed to cross-examine witnesses and tell judges he had been framed in the bribery charges against him. He said he had confessed to the charges under psychological pressure during interrogation.

Economy
4:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Unemployment Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Levels

More than 330,000 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week. That sounds like a big number — and is a slight increase over the previous week — but it's being taken as some very good news. For a month, now, fewer new people are asking for unemployment insurance than at any time since November, 2007. That's before the Great Recession.

The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Detroit's Packard Complex Could Sell Below $100,000 If Deal Fails

Detroit's abandoned Packard car plant, seen here in a 2010 photo, could eventually sell for $21,000 if a development deal falls through, a Wayne County official says.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:10 pm

The Packard plant, which once symbolized the might of America's auto industry, is at risk of heading to auction if a pending development deal fails. If that happens, The Detroit Free Press reports, the 35-acre site eventually could be sold "for as little as $21,000," a figure that comes from Wayne County Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski.

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The Salt
3:41 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Reviving An Heirloom Corn That Packs More Flavor And Nutrition

The heirloom corn variety has only eight rows of kernels and hence, its name: New England Eight Row Flint.
Courtesy of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 7:35 am

One day about eight years ago, chef Dan Barber of the famed Blue Hill restaurant at Stone Barns in the Hudson River Valley got a FedEx package from someone he didn't know.

Inside were two ears of corn. And a letter.

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NPR Story
3:25 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

New Wave Of New Orleans Artists Blend Jazz, Hip Hop, Rock

Christian Scott is one of the jazz musicians coming out of New Orleans who combines rock and hip hop influences. (christianscott.tv)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

New Orleans is often called the birthplace of jazz, famous for musicians from Louis Armstrong to Jelly Roll Morton.

The Big Easy is still central to the jazz music scene, and Sondra Bibb, host of “Jazz from the French Market with Sandra Bibb” on WWOZ, says that a number of new young artists are blending the hip hop and rock rhythms they grew with into their jazz.

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NPR Story
3:25 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Thoughts From A Former Teacher As School Year Begins

Jeremy Glazer is a former high school teacher in Miami, Florida. (WLRN)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

Teaching is the hardest job I’ve ever had.

In the midst of all the talk about schools and education policy, ultimately the classroom doors close and we, the teachers, are the ones in there with the children. We are the ones who think every day about those kids for the whole school year, and for years after.

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Obama Proposes New System For Rating Colleges

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 in Buffalo, N.Y., where he began his two day bus tour to speak about college financial aid. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

At the State University of New York’s Buffalo campus today, President Barack Obama outlined a plan to make colleges more affordable and more accountable.

His proposal includes a new system for rating colleges based on a series of factors, including affordability, graduation rate and the average earnings of graduates.

Today is the latest leg of the president’s economy tour — this time by bus — and the speech today is the first in a series about education.

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Shots - Health News
3:02 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

For Strokes, Superfast Treatment Means Better Recovery

The main goal in stroke treatment: saving brain.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 6:01 pm

Time is brain, the saying goes. The faster people get treatment for a stroke, the less brain damage they suffer. A new study says much faster is much better, especially for mild and moderate strokes.

People treated with a clotbusting drug within 90 minutes of having symptoms of a stroke had excellent recoveries, with less lasting disability.

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NPR Story
2:10 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Nuclear Fusion Research Enters 'Critical Phase' In France

The foundations for Iter's tokamak -- which will contain the hot plasma -- have been laid. (BBC)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

The world’s most ambitious attempt to harness fusion as a source of nuclear power is taking shape in the south of France.

Fusion is the process that drives the sun — atoms are forced together to release energy. Repeating it here on Earth could, in theory, offer an almost endless supply of electricity.

The BBC’s David Shukman reports.

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NPR Story
2:10 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

College Athletes Test New Head Impact Sensor

The University of New Haven Chargers in practice. (Harriet Jones/WNPR)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

Concussions are a hot topic across all levels of sports, as more coaches and players start to recognize the long-term debilitating effects of repeated head trauma.

Despite the lawsuits against both the NFL and the NCAA, there’s not much data on what kinds of head impacts are dangerous.

One Connecticut school is testing a new head sensor this season that aims to change that.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Harriet Jones of WNPR reports.

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Parallels
1:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

In Familiar Refrain, Syria Faces Criticism, Not Intervention

A Syrian man protesting an alleged chemical weapons attack in his homeland holds up a placard Wednesday in front of the United Nations offices in Beirut.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:43 pm

The international community once again rose in near unanimity to condemn a mass killing of civilians in Syria. But, as with so many previous episodes, no one proposed concrete action intended to prevent such bloodshed in the future.

The White House on Thursday expressed "deep concern" and urged a U.N. investigation into what the Syrian opposition says was a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Wednesday that left hundreds dead.

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Shots - Health News
1:24 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

How Hospitals Can Help Patients Quit Smoking Before Surgery

Stubbing that little habit out before surgery would be a very good idea.
Image Source/Corbis

Doctors want people to quit smoking before surgery because it reduces the risk of complications, but often don't do much to make that happen.

But, it turns out, just a wee bit of help makes it much more likely that people will quit before going under the knife, a study finds.

Patients who got less than five minutes of counseling from a nurse and free nicotine patches at least three weeks before surgery were much more likely to quit, according to researchers at the University of Western Ontario. Those patients also got a brochure and a referral to a quit-smoking hotline.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

King's Dream Is Not Yet Reality, Americans Say In Survey

Under Construction: A recent survey of Americans found that fewer than half believe the U.S. has made substantial progress toward racial equality. Here, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., is boxed in by scaffolding as work is done on it.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 2:01 pm

Fewer than half of all Americans say the United States has made substantial progress in treating all races equally, according to a new poll released by the Pew Research Center Thursday. The results were announced days before the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have A Dream" speech on the National Mall.

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Television
12:57 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Aussie Detective Jack Irish Is More Than Old-School Macho

Guy Pearce (front left) plays Jack Irish in TV movie adaptations of two Peter Temple novels. The films, Bad Debts and Black Tide, are broadcast by digital provider Acorn TV.
Lachlan Moore Acorn TV

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:28 pm

When Raymond Chandler first set Philip Marlowe walking down the mean streets of L.A., he couldn't have imagined that eventually every city, from ancient Athens to 21st century Bangkok, would have its own detective series. Of course, they're not all equally good.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Bo Xilai's Corruption Trial In China Kicks Off With A Twist

In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Bo Xilai appears Thursday on the first day of his trial in eastern China's Shandong province. Interestingly, he was photographed flanked by two very tall policemen.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:07 pm

In China, recent Communist Party show trials have featured cowed defendants acknowledging their crimes and offering apologies. Not this one.

The country's biggest trial in decades kicked off Thursday with the defendant, former politburo member Bo Xilai, denying guilt, claiming his confession was coerced and branding the testimony of one of his accusers — in this case his wife — "laughable."

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Colorado Town May Issue Licenses To Shoot Down Drones

A federal drone that's used to patrol the U.S.-Canadian border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:25 pm

Drones have not been spotted flying over the little town of Deer Trail, Colo., about 55 miles east of Denver.

But that hasn't stopped an effort by some in the town of 550 residents to make it legal to shoot down the unmanned aerial vehicles.

On Oct. 8, people there "will vote on whether to issue permits to hunt drones," The Associated Press writes.

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NPR Story
12:31 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Should We Get Paid For Our Online Data?

(Kevin McShane/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

In the digital economy, data is the most valuable form of currency.

Companies mine it to learn about consumers and sell their products more effectively.

But what about the tension between ownership and the ubiquity of data?

Computer scientist and author Jaron Lanier says fortunes are made from the data that companies access about us.

His proposal to fix the digital economy: we should all own our own data, and companies — whether it’s Google or Citibank — should pay us every time any bit of our data is used.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Nasdaq Resumes Trading After Halt For Technical Problem

Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:16 pm

(This post was last updated at 6:14 p.m. ET)

Nasdaq has resumed trading in all securities following a prolonged halt Thursday afternoon caused by a technical glitch.

"NASDAQ will first re-open trading in symbols ZVZZT and AAIT with a 15-minute quoting period beginning at 14:30, with trading beginning at approximately 14:45. All other securities will then be released at 14:55 with a 15-minute quote only period with trading resuming at approximately 15:10," the exchange said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

President Unveils Plan To Boost College Affordability

President Obama speaks on education at University at Buffalo, State University of New York, on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:25 pm

Saying a college education is the "surest path to the middle class," President Obama announced a plan Thursday to allocate federal aid to colleges and universities based in part on their affordability.

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Shots - Health News
12:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Say What? Jargon Busters Tackle Health Insurance

Good luck getting there!
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 6:12 am

Scared you'll have no idea how to choose the best health plan come fall? Dr. Ruth Parker feels your pain, and she offers a handy solution that may help.

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Movie Interviews
11:59 am
Thu August 22, 2013

An Epic Pub Crawl Gone Wrong Culminates In 'World's End'

Martin Freeman (from left), Paddy Considine, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Eddie Marsan star as five old high school friends who reunite to finish an epic pub crawl in The World's End, directed by Edgar Wright.
Laurie Sparham Focus Features

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:33 pm

If you've ever participated in a miserably long pub crawl, you'll understand the plight of the characters in The World's End, the latest from Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright. The film follows five old high school friends who reunite to finish a pub crawl they started 20 years earlier. But as they travel from pub to pub in their old hometown, they find strange, supernatural things start to happen.

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Parallels
11:55 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak's Case: What's The Best Approach With Ex-Dictators?

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and put under house arrest at a military hospital.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:38 pm

When Hosni Mubarak was whisked out of prison by helicopter on Thursday, he did not become a free man. The former Egyptian leader, 85, was taken to a military hospital in Cairo, where he's under house arrest and still faces criminal charges.

But to many, the move was highly symbolic, the latest sign that the 2011 revolution is being rolled back and that the country's future is growing messier and more complicated by the day.

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NPR Story
11:43 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Egypt's Mubarak Released From Prison

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It might have seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago, but today in Egypt, former President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison. Mubarak ruled the country as a police state for almost 30 years, but had been behind bars since the 2011 popular uprising centered in Tahrir Square, Cairo. He's still not a free man, though. Judges have ordered him kept under house arrest.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Thu August 22, 2013

The Lorax Is Home! Statue Taken From Dr. Seuss' Garden Found

The Lorax, before he was taken away.
San Diego Police Department

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:25 pm

The Lorax was missing,

From Dr. Seuss' garden.

Who could be so cruel?

Had their heart just hardened?

--

Now there's good news.

The little guy's back.

Found quite nearby,

Off the beaten track.

--

A man in Montana

Had a tip for police.

And for Seuss' family,

The news brought some peace.

--

His clue led to a canyon,

Beneath the Seuss home.

There the statue was found.

In a bush, quite alone.

--

A prank had gone bad,

Perpetrators had chickened.

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Music News
11:11 am
Thu August 22, 2013

A Unique Digital Music Service, For Locals Only

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios reviews recently donated CDs. Paulios says donations of old music give the library greater freedom to purchase new stuff, as well as license digital versions directly from smaller artists.
Clay Masters

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:30 pm

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.

"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."

The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.

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The Salt
11:10 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Stone Age Chefs Spiced Up Food Even 6,000 Years Ago

Prehistoric Deer Stew? A fragment of pottery found in Neustadt, Germany, is coated in the microscopic remains of crushed mustard seeds and roasted fish and ruminant meat, possibly deer. This shard dates back to about 5,900 years ago.
Courtesy of University of York, BioArch

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 7:36 am

The French may have coined the term "gourmand" a few hundred years ago, but it looks like humans were flexing their foodie muscles thousands of years before that.

Scientists have found the first direct evidence that European hunter-gatherers flavored their roasted fish and meat — probably deer — with at least one spice: garlic mustard seeds.

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Movies
11:07 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Film Shows Ali's Battles Outside The Ring

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:26 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

We turn now to another film, also about fighting, but this time, in and out of the ring. A new documentary celebrates one of the most recognizable athletes of all time, three-time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. He was as known for his gift of gab, as for his gift of jab.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI")

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Children's Health
11:07 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Florida Deaths Raise Questions About Child Welfare System

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:26 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we talk with actor Ziyi Zhang about her latest film "The Grandmaster," and women in kung fu. That's in a moment. But we start our program today in Florida. At least 20 children who were on the radar of child protective services have died there since April, that's according to an investigation by the Miami Herald. And the question of course is, why and how do we stop more deaths from occurring?

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