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The Torch
10:52 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The London Games, Seen Through A (Very) Critical Eye

Just as every Olympic athlete trains their heart out, every Olympic expert seems to wear themselves out describing what an unmitigated sham is being perpetrated on the host city. Many of those criticisms are valid, of course — especially concerns about overbuilding facilities.

For instance, NPR's Louisa Lim recently reported on China's Post-Olympic Woe: How To Fill An Empty Nest.

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The Torch
9:16 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Iran's Judo Champ Withdraws From Olympics, Ending Chance Of Facing Israeli

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:19 am

Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub will miss the London 2012 Olympics because he needs a 10-day course of antibiotics, according to reports. But few Olympic observers are worried about the health of Mahjoub, 21. Many of them see the withdrawal as a ploy to keep from competing against an Israeli.

From London, Tom Goldman filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Kim Jong Un Has Married That Mystery Woman, North Korean TV Says

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on Monday, July 9, 2012, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and a woman clap with others on Friday as they watch a performance by North Korea's new Moranbong band in Pyongyang. Now it appears they have gotten married.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:58 am

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Shots - Health Blog
8:12 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Prevention Programs Curb New HIV Infections In South Africa

Health care workers in South Africa speak to residents during a door-to-door AIDS awareness campaign, part of a series of prevention efforts that has helped lower the country's HIV infection rate.
Mujahid Safodien Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:03 pm

The statistics on HIV and AIDS in South Africa are daunting.

In a country of 50 million people, more than 5.5 million people are living with HIV and almost 2 million people are on HIV drug treatment. Each year, roughly 300,000 more South Africans are infected with HIV, and half a million come down with tuberculosis.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Aleppo 'Cowers' As Fighting Flares In And Around Syria's Biggest City

Tuesday in Aleppo, these men from an anti-Assad force were on guard at a checkpoint.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

"Ancient Aleppo Cowers Amid Reports of Approaching Syrian Forces."

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Strange News
7:36 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Survey Shows Londoners Are A Crabby Bunch

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Strange News
7:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Joggler To Make World Record Attempt

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Matthew Feldman won't be competing in the Olympics, but he'll be trying to break a record this Friday in joggling. That's what it sounds like: juggling while jogging. He's trying to run one mile, continuously juggling five objects. He broke the Guinness world record in practice, and if he doesn't drop the ball Friday, he can make it official. But there are no gold medals for joggling so far. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:19 am
Wed July 25, 2012

'Heat Dome' Linked To Greenland's Biggest Melt In 30 Years

In these illustrations NASA produced from satellite data, the melt in Greenland on July 8 (at left) and July 12 are shown. According to NASA, "the areas classified as 'probable melt' (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as 'melt' (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting."
NASA

Last week there were the pictures of an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan breaking off Greenland's Petermann Glacier.

Now there are NASA images showing that in four days earlier this month, "Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations."

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Remembrances
6:27 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Sherman Hemsley, TV's George Jefferson, Dies

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

George Jefferson was an upwardly mobile black businessman with a longsuffering wife, equal parts pride and frustration when it came to his family and neighbors. Actor Sherman Hemsley brought that vivid character to life on television in the 1970s and '80s. He was 74 when he died yesterday at his home in El Paso, Texas. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has this remembrance of the actor behind the headstrong, high-strung center of "The Jeffersons."

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME SONG, "THE JEFFERSONS")

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Law
6:05 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Ariz. Sheriff Arpaio Grilled On Racial Profiling

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio made a court appearance Tuesday and faced questioning. Arpaio is accused of racial profiling in a civil class-action lawsuit.

U.S.
4:56 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Plant Pleads To Stay Afloat, But Army Says 'No Tanks'

M1 Abrams tanks sit on the assembly line at a plant in Lima, Ohio, the only place where the tanks are manufactured. Plant and local officials fear the plant won't survive if the military temporarily halts new tank orders.
General Dynamics Land Systems

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:39 pm

M1 Abrams battle tanks are the rock stars of military armor. They're made in only one place: Lima, Ohio. The Army says it's done ordering them, but Congress appears intent on spending millions for more, arguing that cutting production is bad for the economy and national security.

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Afghanistan
4:56 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Taliban's 'Summer Offensive' Heats Up In Afghanistan

A Spanish NATO soldier on patrol in Afghanistan. Insurgents in the country have been busier this summer than last, and more often than not, civilians are paying the price.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

NATO officials were hoping that insurgent activity in Afghanistan would taper off during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but so far, insurgents appear to be pressing ahead with their summer offensive.

More than a dozen NATO troops and contractors have been killed since the beginning of Ramadan last Friday. In general, insurgents have been busier this summer than last, and more often than not, civilians are paying the price.

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Joe's Big Idea
4:55 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Summer Science: Clothes Keep You Cool, More Or Less

United States runner Kam Conley sheds layers to train for the Olympics in England on Monday. Less clothing means more evaporation, keeping athletes cooler.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:05 am

The cool weather in London is good news for the Olympic athletes because their bodies won't need to put as much energy into cooling off.

But most of us aren't lucky enough to be headed to London, and we could use some help keeping cool.

When you get hot you sweat — but it's not enough to just sweat. To cool off, you need that sweat to evaporate. It's evaporation that drains the heat from your body.

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Around the Nation
4:54 am
Wed July 25, 2012

When The Ship Comes In To Brownsville, Rip it Up

A ship cutter helps dismantle a ship at the Bay Bridge Texas recycling yard.
Michelle Lopez for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:41 pm

This fall, the U.S. Navy will contract three Cold War-era aircraft carriers — the USS Forrestal, the USS Saratoga and the USS Constellation — for scrapping. Often called "supercarriers" owing to their massive size, the ships contain nearly 60,000 tons of steel and other metal each.

All three carriers are likely to be sent to the landlocked city of Brownsville, Texas, to be ripped apart.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:51 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Track The Spread Of AIDS Across The Globe

Nelson Hsu, Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:04 pm

Its expansion was frighteningly fast. A handful of cases were first recognized in the U.S. at the beginning of the 1980s, but AIDS was soon seen around the world.

By 1990, the world had a pandemic on its hands. In 1997, the peak of the epidemic, more than 3 million people became newly infected with HIV.

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Inside Rebel-Held Syria
4:51 am
Wed July 25, 2012

In Syria's North, A Shadow State Emerges

A Free Syrian Army solider mans a checkpoint in the northern town of Ariha, on the outskirts of Idlib, Syria, last month. In rural areas held by rebels, new institutions are cropping up to fill the void left by the receding Syrian state.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 9:10 pm

Third of five parts

Tucked in the olive groves and rocky hills of northern Syria, the small village of Qurqanya doesn't seem like much.

Scratch the surface, though, and you realize that this is a hub for the revolution in northern Syria, where a kind of shadow state is forming.

As the Syrian state recedes, the people in this village and villages around it are filling in the blanks with their own institutions and, for better or for worse, their own ideas about how a country should be run.

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Law
4:44 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Justice Scalia Disputes Accuracy Of 'Leak'

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke with NPR on Tuesday at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:02 pm

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, influential conservative and pugilistic dissenter, is challenging everything from a recent leak about Supreme Court deliberations, to conventional wisdom about the court and its history.

In a new book co-authored with Bryan Garner, Scalia spells out his judicial philosophy, and on Tuesday, the always voluble, charming and combative justice sat for a wide-ranging interview — about the book, his relationships on the court, and the recent leak alleging anger among the justices over the recent health care decision.

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It's All Politics
4:02 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Pa. Won't Use Voter Fraud Argument At Hearing Over ID Law

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:30 pm

When Pennsylvania officials begin their defense of the state's new voter identification law in court Wednesday, they will do so after agreeing to abandon a central argument for why such laws are needed.

In a Pennsylvania court filing, the state says it has never investigated claims of in-person voter fraud and so won't argue that such fraud has occurred in the past. As a result, the state says, it has no evidence that the crime has ever been committed.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

From Obscurity To The Olympics Back To Obscurity

Know who this gymnast is? You will soon. Seventeen-year-old Jordyn Wieber will compete for the U.S. women's gymnastics team in the 2012 London Olympics.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Why do we like the Olympics?

If somebody hadn't thought to start them up again 116 years ago, would ESPN have invented them to fill in summer programming?

I'm not being cranky. It's just that most of the most popular Olympic sports are the groundhog games. Swimming, gymnastics and track and field come out every four years, see their shadow and go right back underground where nobody pays any attention to them for another four years. Can you even name a gymnast?

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Business
7:43 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Ford's Little Engine That Could Challenge Hybrids

The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany featured Ford Motor Co.'s new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which will hit the U.S. market next year.
Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 9:37 am

Ford Motor Co. intends to prove that good things come in small packages — really small packages. The company has taken engine downsizing to a new level with its new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which has been introduced in Europe and is set to hit the U.S. market next year.

The EcoBoost offers more power than many conventional four-cylinder engines, with fuel economy numbers a hybrid could envy. Early fans are calling it a modern "little engine that could," and Ford is betting that American customers are ready to embrace a three-cylinder engine.

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Planet Money
7:22 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Apple Just Made $9 Billion (And Investors Are Mad)

Daniel Hennemand (photogestion) Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:30 am

Apple reported its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, and depending how you look at it, they're either amazing or disappointing.

The company says it made $8.8 billion in profits over the course of three months. That's more than enough to buy every share of Alcoa, the global aluminum giant, which was worth just under $8.6 billion when the stock market closed this afternoon.

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U.S.
6:19 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Offshore Jobs Play Role In Campaigns And Economy

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:46 pm

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have been trading attacks over the issue of American jobs being moved overseas.

The president has pounded Romney for the investments made by his former firm Bain Capital in the 1990s. Not to be outdone, the Romney campaign has suggested most of the money from the president's stimulus program went to create jobs overseas.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:19 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Black Teens Are Getting The Message On HIV, But Risks Are Still There

Condom use has dropped among black youth, even as teens engage in less risky sexual behavior overall.
Mike Segar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 7:01 pm

The HIV epidemic among African-Americans is getting deserved new attention at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. And the news isn't all bad.

New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that black high school students are engaging in risky sexual behavior far less often than they were 20 years ago.

Since black teens are the future of the epidemic for the hardest-hit ethnic group, this is encouraging.

Here are the main results:

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It's All Politics
6:01 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Sen. Feinstein Backtracks On White House National Security Leaks

Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 6:32 pm

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, appeared to have second thoughts Tuesday about joining the chorus of Republicans accusing the Obama White House of leaking classified national security information.

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