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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
4:51 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Olympic Security Firm Under Fire Days Before Games

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:16 pm

In London, the fight over the G4S security company and the Olympics is growing. More guards failed to show up for work on Tuesday. And the CEO of the massive security company is being grilled by the Home Affairs Committee.

NPR Story
4:37 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

HSBC Accused Of Letting Cartels Launder Money

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:16 pm

A Senate committee looked at the failure of HSBC bank to police money laundering.

Sports
4:07 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Is The Big Apple About To Lose Its Love Of Linsanity?

Jeremy Lin, who last season went from benchwarmer to star for the New York Knicks, might be shipping off to Houston if the Knicks don't match a $25 million contract offer.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:16 pm

In case you were living under a rock last winter, here's a quick refresher on the phenomenon known as "Linsanity."

In just a few weeks, Jeremy Lin — a lanky Asian-American point guard who played his college ball at Harvard — went from a benchwarmer to a star. He led an unlikely winning streak that made the long-downtrodden New York Knicks seem momentarily relevant in the NBA title hunt.

"This kid has single-handedly done the unthinkable: made people want to watch the New York Knicks," Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert said, joining the media frenzy.

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Music Interviews
4:06 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Jimmy Cliff's 'Rebirth' Gives New Life To Vintage Reggae

Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff performs in Rabat, Morocco, in May. His new album is titled Rebirth.
Fadel Senna AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Pop music in the 21st century has been flush with precise re-creations of '60s and '70s American R&B — think of Sharon Jones, Adele, Raphael Saadiq and the late Amy Winehouse. Meanwhile, I've been waiting for a similar revival of Jamaica's R&B: ska, rocksteady, roots-reggae.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Pot Growers May Be Killing Rare Creatures With Poison, Researchers Say

A fisher. It now has another challenge.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Already among the animals that may be added to the list of those protected by the Endangered Species Act, the weasel-like fisher now faces this deadly threat:

Rat poison that illegal marijuana growers put out to protect their crops in California.

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U.S.
3:51 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

States To Use U.S. Immigration List For Voter Purges

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:06 pm

Several presidential battleground states are moving quickly to reach agreements with federal officials to access a U.S. immigration database to purge noncitizens from voter rolls.

The states, including some with large Latino populations, are following Florida, which last week reached its own pact with the Department of Homeland Security to use a database that contains information about immigrants who are in the U.S. legally. The states' efforts had initially been blocked by DHS until the agency relented.

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Books
3:02 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Encyclopedia Brown: The Great Sleuth From My Youth

cover detail

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:35 am

Donald Sobol, the creator of the beloved character Encyclopedia Brown, died last week of natural causes, his family says. He was 87. The first in the Encyclopedia Brown series book was published in 1963, and the series has never gone out of print.

Crime novelist and forensic pathologist Jonathan Hayes has this appreciation of the character Sobol gave young readers.

While other boys got hooked on books about sports legends and race car drivers, there was something about Donald Sobol's boy detective Encyclopedia Brown that spoke to me right away.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Sometimes, 4Chan Users Do The Right Thing

This is the photo posted on 4Chan last night.
Anonymous

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:42 pm

4Chan is a cesspool. That's not even editorializing. A few minutes on the notorious, free-for-all Internet message board that gave birth to Anonymous will — in the famous words of Gawker — "melt your brain."

But every once in a while, they do the right thing — like today.

As Hypervocal reports, last night a 4Chan user posted a picture of someone standing on two containers full of lettuce with the taunting caption: "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King."

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Shots - Health Blog
2:17 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Cholera Vaccination Test Reached Targets In Haiti

A lone pig roots through trash dumped over the side of a sewage canal that runs from the center of Port au Prince through Cite de Dieu. During the rainy season, the canal overflows its banks and fills nearby houses with sewage, which can carry cholera.
John W. Poole NPR

The results are in on this spring's high-visibility pilot project to vaccinate 100,000 Haitians against cholera.

Almost 90 percent of the target population – half in Port-au-Prince and the other half in a remote rural area – got fully protected against cholera, meaning they got 2 doses of the oral vaccine.

The results defy the forecasts of skeptics who said in advance of the campaign that it would be lucky to protect 60 percent of the target populations.

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The Salt
1:54 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

FDA Bans Chemical BPA From Sippy Cups And Baby Bottles

FDA makes it official, banning the chemical BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups.
Fabrizio Balestrieri iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:04 pm

It's been years since manufacturers voluntarily stopped using the plastic additive BPA (Bisphenol A) in sippy cups and baby bottles. But now they have no choice. The FDA announced it has formally banned BPA from these products.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:39 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Athletes Look For Doping Edge, Despite Tests And Risks

An analyst works in the Olympic anti-doping laboratory in January. The lab in Harlow, England will test 5,000 of the 10,490 athletes' samples from the London 2012 Games.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Last weekend Debbie Dunn, a U.S. sprinter set to compete in the London Olympics, resigned from the team after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

And as the games draw closer, we expect to see more reports of elite athletes who have turned to prohibited substances in their search for stronger, faster, and leaner body.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

William Raspberry, Pulitzer-Winning Columnist, Dead At 76

Washington Post columnist William Raspberry in 1994, after it was announced that he had won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Denis Paquin AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 pm

William Raspberry, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his column in The Washington Post, died today at his home in Washington, his paper reported. He was 76.

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NPR News Investigations
12:48 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Calculating The Value Of Human Tissue Donation

Chris Truitt holds a photo of his daughter, Alyssa, who died when she was 2, at his home in De Forest Wis. After donating her organs and tissues, he decided on a career change that made him rethink tissue donation.
Narayan Mahon for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:11 pm

Part 1 of a four-part series

The story of how Chris Truitt went from being a tissue industry insider to an industry skeptic starts with a family tragedy.

In 1999, his 2-year-old daughter, Alyssa, died of a sudden health complication. Truitt and his wife, Holly, donated their daughter's organs and tissue, which saved the life of another young girl, Kaylin Arrowood.

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Business
12:37 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Debt, Debt And More Debt: Is Democracy To Blame?

The marble statue of Plato stands in front of the Athens Academy in Athens. The ancient Greek philosopher had his doubts about democracy.
Dimitri Messinis AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 1:03 pm

High-profile experts are staging two separate Washington press conferences Tuesday to demand action on public-debt problems. One group is targeting state budget crises; the other, the federal budget mess.

If the ancient Greek philosopher Plato were still alive, he might hold a third press conference to declare: "It's hopeless. I told you so. Democracy will always degenerate into chaos because people will vote for their immediate self interests, not the long-term good."

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It's All Politics
12:36 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Romney Repeats No-New-Tax-Releases Stance, Defends Offshore Accounts

Mitt Romney leaves a fundraiser in Baton Rouge, La., on Monday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 6:15 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued Tuesday to push back on calls to release more years of tax returns and defended keeping investments in offshore accounts — both issues that have been dogging his run for the White House.

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Afghanistan
12:22 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Old Mines Bring New Casualties In Afghanistan

An Afghan man rests after walking on his new artificial leg at the International Committee for the Red Cross Ortho Center in the eastern city of Jalalabad, last month. Many Afghans continue to be injured by mines.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Windblown villages of mud houses surround the huge Bagram Airfield north of Kabul. These poor villagers make a living in ways that can also kill them: They graze their animals or forage for scrap metal — often on a NATO firing range.

The East River Range dates to the 1980s, when the Soviet army occupied Afghanistan. It's full of mines, grenades and other ordnance that should have detonated during training exercises over the years. It sprawls along a mountainside and grazing areas. It's poorly marked, and only small sections are clearly identified by signs and concrete barriers.

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It's All Politics
12:22 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Obama Campaign Ad: Did Romney Pay 'Any Taxes At All' Some Years?

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 2:59 pm

President Obama's re-election campaign on Tuesday unveiled an ad questioning whether Mitt Romney somehow avoided paying any federal income taxes some years.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

U.S. Laboratory Breaks Laser Record, Delivering 500-Trillion-Watt Beam

The preamplifiers of the National Ignition Facility are the first step in increasing the energy of laser beams as they make their way toward the target chamber.
National Ignition Facility

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 2:32 pm

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has produced a record-breaking laser beam at its National Ignition Facility. The lab's system of 192 beams produced more than 500 trillion watts and 1.85 megajoules of laser light onto a 2-millimeter in diameter target.

And we know, those numbers sound like gibberish. But the laboratory puts it in every-day terms:

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Religion
11:54 am
Tue July 17, 2012

An American Nun Responds To Vatican Criticism

Sister Pat Farrell is the president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the vice president of the Sisters of St. Francis in Dubuque, Iowa.
LCWR

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:18 pm

In April, the Vatican announced that three American bishops (one archbishop and two bishops) would be sent to oversee the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a member organization founded in 1956 that represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the United States, to get them to conform with the teachings of the Church.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Republican Lawmakers Seek To Block Funding On Black Lung Regulation

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 6:33 pm

Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee have inserted into a broad appropriations bill language that would block funding for a Labor Department effort to reduce the occurrence of black lung, the disease that afflicts coal miners exposed to excessive mine dust.

The bill covers appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 for the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. Tucked away deep inside the measure is this language:

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Boy Scouts Reaffirm Ban On Open Gays; Call It 'Absolutely The Best Policy'

In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony.
Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 11:56 am

"After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America has emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said the 11-member committee decided that is "absolutely the best policy" for the organization.

The Boy Scouts' policy states that:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:50 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Health Insurance Prices For Women Set To Drop

Women pay extra for the coverage, but not for much longer.
iStockphoto.com

Any woman who has bought health insurance on her own probably didn't find herself humming the old show tune, "I Enjoy Being a Girl." That's because more than 90 percent of individual plans charge women higher premiums than men for the same coverage, a practice known as gender rating.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:45 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb

Atom Central/YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 2:23 pm

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Strange News
10:24 am
Tue July 17, 2012

'Cluster Balloon' Daredevils Attempt Record Flight

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:17 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
10:19 am
Tue July 17, 2012

In 'Dour' Report, Fed's Bernanke Says Economy Has Decelerated

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 2:10 pm

"The U.S. economy has continued to recover, but economic activity appears to have decelerated somewhat during the first half of this year," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tells Congress this morning in testimony prepared for his semiannual report on economic conditions and monetary policy.

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