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Monkey See
4:26 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Can NBC Get Its Fall Shows Into The Olympic Spotlight?

Matthew Perry and Brett Gelman of NBC's Go On appear in a promo shot especially for the Olympics.
Justin Lubin NBC

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:47 pm

With the Olympics drawing to a close, NBC is looking especially golden. They have had two weeks of great ratings — including record highs. What better time than on the eve of the network's new fall season to rack up two weeks of record audiences? But what might seem a slam dunk for the network is anything but.

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Books News & Features
4:11 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

'Age Of Desire': How Wharton Lost Her 'Innocence'

Edith Wharton moved to Paris in the early 1900s. Not long after, in 1913, after her affair with Morton Fullerton had ended, she divorced her husband of more than 20 years.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:47 pm

Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.

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Participation Nation
4:03 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Treats For The Troops In Denver, Colo.

Lainey Hamrick, center, flanked by the folks she supports.
Courtesy of CSOT

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:59 pm

Over the past several years, Lainey Hamrick and the volunteers at Colorado Supporting Our Troops have sent hundreds of care packages to members of the military in Afghanistan, Iraq and bases all over the world. In December, the group shipped 160 boxes of goodies overseas.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

VIDEO: Researchers Present Hard-To-Kill Robotic 'Earthworm'

A robotic worm.
MIT

Robots are cool to begin with, but today researchers at MIT, Harvard and Seoul National University unveiled one that will impress some and scare others.

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The Salt
3:33 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Some At-Risk Shark Species Are Ending Up In U.S. Soups

Click the image to see a full-size version. At least eight shark species, many endangered or threatened, were found in bowls of shark fin soup across the country.
Pew Environment Group

Sharks are some of the most feared and fascinating animals on the planet. They've had their own week of awareness-raising and celebration on the Discovery Channel for the last 25 years. But some say they are also delicious — as in the Chinese delicacy — shark fin soup.

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The Torch
3:24 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

U.S. Breaks Through In Wrestling, As Burroughs Delivers Gold

Jordan Burroughs celebrates with the U.S. flag after defeating Iran's Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi in the men's 74kg freestyle gold medal match.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

American wrestler Jordan Burroughs has won the first and only U.S. gold medal in his sport at the London Games, beating Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi of Iran. Burroughs, the reigning world champion at the 74kg weight, won a point in the first two periods to put a quick end to the men's freestyle match.

Goudarzi took silver with the loss, and the two bronze medals went to Russian Denis Tsargush, whom Burroughs defeated in the semifinals, and Sosan Tigiev of Uzbekistan.

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Middle East
3:21 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Egypt's Christians Form Their Own Brotherhood

Egyptian riot police sit in the shade by damaged buildings as people walk through debris from the aftermath of clashes on Aug. 1 between Christians and Muslims in Dahshour, on the outskirts of Cairo. The violence was sparked by a dispute between a Muslim and Christian over laundered clothing.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 9:11 pm

A former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood occupies Egypt's presidential palace, leaving many of the country's Coptic Christians deeply anxious about their future.

Now, a new group calling itself the Christian Brotherhood has emerged, vowing to stand up for the rights of Copts.

On a Cairo rooftop recently, members of the new Christian Brotherhood are debating how to respond to the first major outbreak of Muslim-Christian violence since President Mohammed Morsi came into office in June.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

7,500 Square Miles Of Pumice Floating In Pacific Is 'Weirdest Thing I've Seen'

This photo photo from the New Zealand Defense Force shows a handful of the rocks found floating in the South Pacific.
EPA /Landov

Nearly 300 miles long and about 35 miles wide, a floating raft of pumice in the South Pacific Ocean is "the wierdest thing I've seen in 18 years at sea," says Royal Australian Navy Lt. Tim Oscar.

He was aboard the Royal New Zealand Navy's HMNZS Canterbury on Thursday when the "amphibious support ship" investigated the phenomenon.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Top New York ICE Officer Sues Napolitano For Discrimination Against Men

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

The officer in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New York has filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

James Hayes Jr. alleges that the department, under Napolitano, has been turned into a female-run "frat house" and that Napolitano promoted women because of friendship instead of merit.

The lawsuit alleges that Napolitano hired two friends who have tormented the men of the agency.

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The Salt
2:22 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Consumer Group Files Suit Against Sweetener For Claiming It's 'Essential'

Spenda Essentials
NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:06 am

Ok guys, reality check here: Nutella is not really a health food, POM Wonderful may be wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily prevent heart disease and... eating Splenda Essentials doesn't single-handedly make the pounds drop off.

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Planet Money
2:05 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

How A Pasta Factory Got People To Show Up For Work

Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:06 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This story is about the unofficial border within one country — the border that divides northern and southern Italy. This is the fourth story in a four-part series.

A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

California's Baking And The Power Grid's Being Tested

Will there be too much demand? Power lines near Redondo Beach, Calif.
Gerard Burkhart AFP/Getty Images

Southern California will be broiling through the weekend, as a heat wave that has brought record-breaking temperatures continues, the Los Angeles Times says.

That's why the managers of California's power grid have issued a "flex alert" to customers.

They're asking that residents:

-- "Turn off all unnecessary lights."

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The Torch
1:21 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Year Of The Woman At The London Games? For Americans, It's True

The U.S. women's soccer team won gold Thursday, in a victory that also kept the American women far ahead of the men in the number of medals won at the London Games: 100 to 59.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:27 pm

Every nation that sent a delegation to the London Games sent at least one female athlete — a first for the Olympics. This year's Team USA has more female than male athletes — and the women have won nearly twice as many medals: 100 total medals, by my count, to 59 for the men.

So yes, it looks like this is the Year of the Woman at the Olympics, particularly for the United States.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Wave Of Violence Leaves Dozens Dead Across Mexico

Police officers and soldiers stand around a white van containing the dead bodies of several man while it is being hauled onto a tow truck in San Luis Potosi on Thursday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:39 pm

While the exact number of dead seems to be in flux, there is no question that the last few days have been incredibly bloody across Mexico.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:39 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Yoga On Commission: More Employers Pay For Good Health Habits

Health risk questionnaires and other wellness programs are becoming a popular way for employers to encourage employee health and, ultimately, reduce health care costs.
grandaded/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 6:31 pm

If you feel like your employer is more interested in your health lately, you're probably right.

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Participation Nation
12:33 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Running For Others In Richmond, Ky.

Afsi and Lindsey use Skype to make plans for Eastern Further.
Colin Reusch Courtesy of Eastern Further

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:59 pm

There is something special about Eastern Kentucky University: We call it "the Power of Maroon."

Eastern Further, a group of Eastern alumnae who recognize the positive impact that EKU has had on our lives, has organized a running team to compete in the Disney Princesses Half Marathon in February 2013.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Bears With Taste For Beer Have Quite A Night In Norway

Don't get between a beer and a bear.
London Express Getty Images

"Drunk Bear Family Downs Over 100 Beers During Bear Rager."

Given our fondness for stories about pick-a-nicking bears, we couldn't resist that Gawker headline.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

FTC Finalizes Privacy Settlement With Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about history of Facebook during the f/8 conference in San Francisco.
Paul Sakuma AP

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a settlement with Facebook in which the social media leader agrees to get users' approval before making any privacy changes and agrees to periodic third-party audits for the next 20 years on how it handles user privacy.

We told you about this settlement back in November, but today, Reuters reports, after a period of public comment, the settlement has become official.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
12:11 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

It's All Politics, Aug. 9, 2012

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 8:01 pm

In what could be the last podcast before GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's V.P. announcement, NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin once again review the finalists. Plus: A look at the latest Obama and Romney ads, more battleground state polls, primary results in Missouri and elsewhere, and a look ahead to the next Tea Party target: U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin on Aug. 14.

Election 2012
12:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Voter ID Laws: Necessity Or Burden?

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:11 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, if you thought the Tea Party a passing political fad with a catchy name, our next guest would urge you to reconsider. He's written a new book about the Tea Party and what he believes is the source of its influence in today's politics. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:28 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Why Is The World's Largest Foundation Buying Fake Poop?

Graduate student Clement Cid sits atop the solar-powered toilet he helped to build at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Underneath the platform, the toilet converts waste into fertilizer. The Caltech team will use fake feces to demonstrate the toilet's features next week at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices.
Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 12:31 pm

Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.

A practical joke? No, not in the least.

Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.

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The Torch
11:16 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Boxing Maths and Aftermaths: Why Similar Scores Are A Mean System

Shiming Zou of China is declared the winner over Paddy Barnes of Ireland during their men's light flyweight boxing semifinal in London. The match was scored a 15-15 tie; Zou won on the number of punches landed.
Scott Heavey Getty Images

Four years ago, Irish boxer Paddy Barnes lost to China's Zou Shiming by a score of 15-0 in Beijing. Today in London, Barnes fought his way back into their match to tie Zou at 15-15 — but he still lost. Barnes accepted the decision, but the result might confuse anyone who isn't familiar with boxing's scoring system.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Consumer Bureau Moves To Make Mortgages Clearer, Foreclosures Fewer

A "bank owned" sign in front of a home in Miami last October.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Saying it wants "to protect homeowners from surprises and costly mistakes by their mortgage servicers," the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed new rules it believes would make the home loan process simpler and give struggling homeowners more of a chance to avoid foreclosures.

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The Salt
10:12 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Smoked Chocolate, For National S'More Day And More

Chocolate chips, fresh out of the smoker at Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Seattle.
Florangela Davila NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:57 am

It's National S'more Day, so you've got a good reason to indulge in the gooey goodness.

But what if you're nowhere near a campfire? How can you replicate the taste of a chocolate-marshmallow-graham cracker s'more fired up and fashioned en plein air?

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The Torch
10:03 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Taekwondo Setback, And A Spice Girls Sighting

Great Britain's Stuart Bithell leaps off the boat while teammate Luke Patience sails on as they win silver in the men's sailing 470 two-person dinghy medal race in Weymouth, England.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. The final weekend of the Summer Olympics is about to begin. In the medal count, the U.S. has jumped out to a 90-80 lead over China, with 39 golds to China's 37. And Russia has overtaken Great Britain, with 57 to the host nation's 54 medals.

Here's today's news that caught our interest:

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