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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Where Are All Of Wyomings Escalators?

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Turning now to escalator news, specifically Wyoming escalator news.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There is a reported paucity of moving staircases in the Cowboy State, and that shortcoming has been posited as an argument for Wyoming to have fewer than its allotted pair of senators.

CORNISH: The argument goes like this: Why should a state with only two escalators get two senators?

BLOCK: Well, for some insight, we turn to the self-proclaimed escalator editor of the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune.

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U.S.
3:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Furloughs Cut Into Classtime At U.S. Military Bases

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:31 pm

Civilian furloughs have begun at U.S. military installations worldwide. The mandatory days off without pay, prompted by the current round of budget cuts known as sequestration, are looming over Defense Department-run schools that serve the children of military families. For teachers at the nation's most populous Army base, Fort Bragg, cuts mean no new textbooks and a loss of school days.

The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

EPA, Labor Nominees Confirmed

By 59-40 vote mostly along party lines, the Senate on Thursday afternoon confirmed Gina McCarthy as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

That followed a 54-46 vote early in the day to confirm Thomas Perez as Labor secretary.

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Shots - Health News
2:37 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

World's Biggest Virus May Have Ancient Roots

Pandoraviruses were discovered lurking in the mud of Chile and Australia, half a world apart.
courtesy of Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:14 am

Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.

In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.

"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Man Who Hoped To Testify Against Whitey Bulger Is Found Dead

Stephen Rakes as he arrived at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston on June 12 for the first day of the "Whitey" Bulger's trial.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:31 pm

Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, who claimed that notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger forced him — at gunpoint — to sell a liquor store in 1984, was found dead Wednesday in Lincoln, Mass.

According to the Middlesex (Mass.) District Attorney's office, "there were no obvious signs of trauma. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death."

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Scientists: Pitch In July Is Slower Than Molasses In January

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:28 pm

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have some long awaited test results: After 69 years, they have captured on video a drop of pitch, also known as bitumen or asphalt.

With a camera trained on a glass funnel containing a generous dollop of the substance, so thick that it appears as a solid at room temperature, it finally happened.

You can see the dramatic moment in this video above, which proves conclusively that pitch is indeed a liquid, according to Nature.

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Politics
1:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

The United States Of Dynasty: Boom Times For Political Families

Liz Cheney walks off the stage with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2010.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:23 pm

Another day, another political dynasty.

This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary.

Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Justice's Rules Mean Reporter Need Not Testify, Lawyer Says

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency. The case that prosecutors want journalist James Risen to testify in involves an alleged leak of information by a former CIA agent.
Greg E. Mathieson Sr. MAI/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:48 pm

A lawyer for New York Times reporter James Risen is citing new Justice Department guidelines about when to subpoena journalists to support his argument that Risen is covered by a common-law reporter's privilege and need not testify about a former CIA agent who allegedly served as his source.

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Book Reviews
12:40 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

The Only Surprise In Rowling's 'Cuckoo's Calling' Is The Author

J.K. Rowling recently revealed herself to be the author of the mystery novel The Cuckoo's Calling.
Ben Pruchnie Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:41 pm

Call it "The Mystery of the Missing Book Sales" — and I don't think we'll be needing to bring Sherlock Holmes in to solve this one. In April, a debut mystery called The Cuckoo's Calling was published. It appeared to be written by an unknown British writer named Robert Galbraith, who was identified on the book jacket as a former military cop now working in private security.

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Pop Culture
12:40 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Maria Bamford: A Seriously Funny Comedian

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:05 pm

It's almost uncomfortable to laugh at Maria Bamford's comedy, because so much of it is about really serious problems she has: OCD, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts. She's been hospitalized several times. But you have to laugh, because she's that funny.

In addition to the difficulties from which she suffers, Bamford — who has a new comedy CD out called Ask Me About My New God! — incorporates her family into much of her material. She's close to both her parents, in part, she says, because they've been through so much together.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Indian Police Still Searching For Principal In Poisoning Case

Indian school children hold candles as they pay tribute to school children who died from food poisoning in Saran district of Bihar state.
Narinder Nanu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:18 pm

By Thursday afternoon, the number of children poisoned by their school lunch at a rural school in Bihar, India had risen to 23.

As we reported, doctors suspect the food the children were given was laced with a toxic insecticide.

Today, we get word that the principal at the school, who was tasked with overseeing the school meals program, has absconded and police were searching for her.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Study: U.S. Viewed As 'Favorable', China As Rising Superpower

A Chinese boy passes a photo of China's first aircraft carrier during an exhibition entitled "Scientific Development and Splendid Achievements" in Beijing in 2012.
Feng Li Getty Images

More people around the globe view the United States positively than do China, but most of them also believe that Beijing is set to eclipse Washington as the world's dominant Superpower, according to a new Pew Research survey.

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Parallels
11:14 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Global Survey: China Will Surpass U.S. As Leading Superpower

In a global survey, many respondents believe that China has overtaken or eventually will overtake the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. Chinese are shown here walking in Shanghai's financial district in March.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 12:56 pm

China has supplanted or soon will supplant the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. That's the headline from a survey by the Pew Research Center, which put this proposition to people around the world.

In 23 of the 39 countries surveyed, majorities or pluralities said China has overtaken or will overtake America.

In China, the verdict was clear: Two-thirds believe their country already has supplanted or eventually will supplant America.

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All Tech Considered
11:04 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tech Companies Issue Loud Call For Surveillance Transparency

A Ukrainian activist protests the NSA Internet surveillance program.
Sergei Supinsky Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:44 am

Apple, Google, Microsoft and a broad coalition of major tech companies are making a loud call for greater government disclosure of digital communications monitoring.

In a letter out today, an alliance of 63 companies and groups are calling for dramatically increased transparency around U.S. government surveillance efforts. This comes as the companies — and individual Americans — continue to grapple with recent revelations of a sweeping surveillance program led by the National Security Agency.

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The Salt
10:58 am
Thu July 18, 2013

How To Better Protect Farmworkers From Pesticides: Spanish

Farmworkers harvest and package cantaloupes near Firebaugh, Calif.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 12:02 pm

Advocates for farmworkers, especially those who grow America's leafy greens and fresh vegetables, are pushing the government to do more to protect those workers from exposure to pesticides.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Level In Months

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 24,000 last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 334,000, the number is at a 10-week low.

The Associated Press reports that the drop may be due to seasonal factors. The wire service adds:

"Still, the broader trend has been favorable. The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, fell 5,250 to 346,000.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Panama Charges North Korean Ship's Crew

View of what seems to be weapon parts aboard a North Korean-flagged ship on Tuesday.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:57 am

The crew of a North Korean ship carrying a clandestine cargo of Cold War-era weapons from Cuba has been charged with endangering public security by Panamanian authorities, who seized the vessel earlier this week.

The North Korean vessel en route from Cuba was seized as it attempted to transit the Panama Canal.

According to the BBC:

"[Panamanian] Prosecutor Javier Caraballo accused the 35 crew members of endangering public security by illegally transporting war material.

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Shots - Health News
9:48 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tuberculosis Takes Lasting Toll In The Former Soviet Union

A Doctors Without Borders support counselor waits for MDR-TB patients at a clinic in Nukus, Uzbekistan.
Courtesy of Misha Friedman

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 9:22 am

Misha Friedman began training his lens on tuberculosis patients in the former Soviet Union in 2007, when he worked in logistics for the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders.

At first he took photos in his spare time, whiling away his off days by documenting the patients and hospital workers he met on the job. But this hobby quickly turned into more than that when he won a photo competition judged by renowned photojournalist Gary Knight, founder of the VII photo agency.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Russian Court Convicts Opposition Activist

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife, Yulia, look at a mobile phone Thursday during his trial in Kirov, Russia. A Russian judge found Navalny guilty of embezzlement.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:02 am

We have news this morning from Russia that opposition leader and Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison.

"The judge found Navalny and his business partner guilty of embezzling nearly a half-million dollars' worth of timber from a state-owned company in 2009," NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit. "The case was previously dismissed for lack of evidence but later reinstated after Navalny published embarrassing revelations about the foreign assets owned by the head of Russia's investigative committee."

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Judge Won't Drop 'Aiding The Enemy' Charge Against Manning

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (right) is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on June 25, 2012. His attorney announced that Manning, who is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:15 pm

The military judge presiding over the court-martial of leaker Bradley Manning has declined to drop the most serious charge against him.

The Associated Press reports that the judge, Col. Denise Lind, said she would allow the government to proceed with a case accusing Manning of aiding the enemy, a charge punishable by life in prison. Lind found the government had enough evidence to support the charges, the AP says.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Trayvon Martin's Mom: Jury Should Have Blamed 'Responsible Adult'

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, appears for an interview with NPR's Michel Martin at Tell Me More.
Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:09 am

"How can you let the killer of an unarmed teen go free? What would your verdict ... have been had it been your child?"

That's what Trayvon Martin's father said when asked by Matt Lauer to address the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of their 17-year-old son.

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Economy
7:29 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Part-Time Workers Say Schedules Are Getting More Erratic

Part-time jobs have been proliferating this year as employers hold back on hiring.
iStockphoto.com

In the 1980s, a popular fast-food commercial touted chicken-breast sandwiches — and mocked chicken nuggets sold by competitors.

In the ad, a competitor's doofus clerk explains nuggets. "All the parts are crammed into one big part," he said. "And parts is parts."

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Thu July 18, 2013

WATCH: South Africa Celebrates Mandela's 95th Birthday

Schoolchildren sing 'Happy Birthday' to former South African President Nelson Mandela at Phefeni High School, opposite Mandela's former home in Soweto Township on Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:58 am

It's a bittersweet day in South Africa today: Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who many consider the country's father, is celebrating his 95th birthday. But he is doing so from a hospital bed in Pretoria.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Book News: Globe Theatre Taking 'Hamlet' To Every Nation On Earth

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

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Thu July 18, 2013

96-Year-Old Store Owner Wins Standoff With Robber

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Magaretta Wolf has owned a grocery store in Marshfield, Wisconsin for more than 50 years. So when a masked robber recently demanded she hand over the store's cash, she refused, saying you can have all the Tootsie Rolls you want but I am not opening that cash register. By the way, Wolf is 96.

The Two-Way
5:43 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Thousands Flee Calif. Wildfire Moving Toward Populated Area

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:46 am

About 6,000 people in California have been ordered out of their homes by authorities worried that a wildfire is quickly moving toward a more populous area southeast of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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Around the Nation
5:14 am
Thu July 18, 2013

PayPal Glitch Makes Pa. Man Very Rich

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

For a moment, Chris Reynolds was the world's richest man. The Pennsylvania resident checked his PayPal account, expecting a zero balance. Instead he found a credit of more than $92 quadrillion. That 17-digit figure did revert back to zero when PayPal corrected the glitch. Still, a guy can dream. As to how he would have spent the money, Reynolds said: Payoff the national debt, then maybe buy the Phillies.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asia
4:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Police In India Probe Poisoning Of School Children

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
4:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Congress Takes Renewed Aim At Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For the first time since the housing crash, lawmakers are getting serious about dismantling the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were rescued with $190 million bailout. Two prominent senators - a Democrat and a Republican - have a bill that's attracting some bipartisan support. A separate Republican bill is being introduced in the House today and a third may soon come from Democrats. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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