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3:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

The Physics Of A Football Player's Performance

The New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs is a 6'4", 270 pound running back. And with that kind of size, you think he'd be able to run right through would-be tacklers, especially when he only needs to pick up a few yards. But he often can't — Jacobs's stats are below average in those situations. A couple NFL greats and a physics professor have the answer.

Economy
3:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Improved Job Figures Surprise Economists

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

January's weather looked like spring in much of the country, and today's monthly employment report suggests it's spring in the job market, too. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the economy added 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Nobody expected that job creation in January would be this strong, or that the unemployment rate would fall again to 8.3 percent – nobody including John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.

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Business
3:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Facebook's IPO And The Average Investor

The social network filed to go public earlier this week and is hoping to raise $5 billion in a huge IPO. The markets are buzzing, but what might it mean for an individual investor? Melissa Block gets the story on how high profile IPOs work from Dennis Berman, Marketplace editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Shots - Health Blog
2:57 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Many Hits, Rather Than A Big One, Pose Greatest Concussion Risk

Members of the Jefferson High School football team took 200 to more than 1,800 hits to the head in a season.
Purdue University

High school football players have changes in their brain function long before they have recognizable signs of a concussion, according to a new study.

The more hits a player got, the more brain function changed. The findings support the growing belief that a concussion comes as the result of a succession of insults, not just one bad hit.

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The Salt
2:30 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Prison Meal Deal: Where The Staff Serves Lunch ... And Time

Inmate Calvin Hodge, in the second week of a five-week rotation as head chef, stirs gravy in preparation for lunch at the Fife and Drum Restaurant at the Northeastern Correctional Center in Concord, Mass., Jan. 26.
Photos by Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

The Fife and Drum Restaurant offers a daily lunch bargain that sounds hard to pass up: For just $3.21, you get a hot, tasty meal, made mostly from scratch and delivered to your table by friendly waiters.

So what's the catch? You have to go through security before you're served.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

After A Tepid Start, Cities Like Rome, Denver Receive Winter Battering

A man dressed as a Roman Gladiator stands in front of the ancient Colosseum as snowflakes fall in downtown Rome on Friday.
Angelo Carconi AP

Denver and Rome could not be farther apart. But today one city used to massive snow storms is facing a blizzard so big it cancelled 310 flights, even though the Denver airport has 500 workers clearing the snow. The other one hasn't seen this much snow since the '80s.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli told our Newscast unit the 1.5 inches of snow in Rome and the 16 inches that have accumulated in the northern suburbs have meant that very few attended schools and big tourist attractions like the Colosseum were closed.

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Pop Culture
1:53 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

3 Hidden Themes Of This Year's Super Bowl Ads

Many of this year's Super Bowl ads, like this one from CareerBuilders.com, play off our affection for animals.
CareerBuilders.com AP

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 10:01 am

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Economy
1:53 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Have Economists Got It Wrong About The U.S.?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pauses during a hearing before the House Budget Committee on Feb. 28, 2007.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 11:23 am

Five years ago, a subprime mortgage firestorm was melting down the U.S. economy, but most analysts didn't see it happening.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress in February 2007, said the housing sector "is a concern, but at this point we don't see it as being a broad financial concern or a major factor in assessing the course of the economy."

If he and the vast majority of economists were blind to the economic and financial calamity taking shape then, could they also be missing the start of a huge economic boom now?

A boom? Really?

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

'Anonymous' Follows Hacking Of FBI-Scotland Yard Phone Call With Attacks

The Greek Ministry of Justice website after it was hacked earlier today.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

A day that began with the Anonymous hackers posting a nearly 17-minute recording of a conference call between officials of the FBI and Scotland Yard has been followed with some tweeted taunting of law enforcement and the news media, and the hacking of websites for the Greek Ministry of Justice, Boston Police Department and lawyers who defended a U.S. Marine at the center of the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians.

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It's All Politics
1:24 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

If Romney Misspoke About 'Poor' Why Did He Later Repeat Statement?

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 3:10 pm

(Revised at 2:19 pm ET)

In an interview Thursday, Mitt Romney said he "misspoke" when he infamously said earlier in the week that he was not concerned about the very poor because they had a safety net, and the very rich but, instead, was focused on the middle class.

Speaking of the CNN interview that has caused Romney a world of trouble, the Republican presidential frontrunner told Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun during an interview program called Face to Face:

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Health Care
12:56 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Komen Issues Apology In Planned Parenthood Flap

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 12:57 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with a reversal from the Komen Foundation. The Susan G. Komen For The Cure Foundation has just announced that it will not pull its funding for Planned Parenthood after all. The breast cancer charity endured a massive backlash when it announced, earlier this week, it would no longer give Planned Parenthood money for breast cancer screening. NPR's Julie Rovner joins us to explain the turnaround. And Julie, what exactly did the Komen Foundation say this morning?

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

BBC Accuses Iran Of 'Bullying' Its Persian Service Employees

Saying officials have undertaken yet another campaign of "bullying and harassment" of its Persian service staff, the BBC called on the Iranian government to "repudiate the action of its officials."

In a blog post, the BBC's Director General Mark Thompson also called on the international community to "put maximum pressure on Iran to desist in this campaign of intimidation, persistent censorship and a disturbing abuse of power."

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Business
12:45 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

January's Jobless Rate Shows Spurt Of Growth

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 12:57 pm

The Labor Department said the economy added 243,000 jobs in January, well beyond many economists' expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.

The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Rights Group Says Syrian Security Forces Detained, Tortured Children

A young boy carries the Syrian-rebel adopted flag during an anti-regime demonstration in the Syrian village of al-Qsair, not far from Homs.
Alessio Romenzi AFP/Getty Images

Human Rights Watch has a harrowing report out today about what it says is the targeting of children by Syria's government forces.

"Children have not been spared the horror of Syria's crackdown," Lois Whitman, children's rights director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "Syrian security forces have killed, arrested and tortured children in their homes, their schools or on the streets. In many cases, security forces have targeted children just as they have targeted adults."

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Education
12:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Las Vegas Principal Hopes To Beat The Odds

Nevada has the lowest high school graduation rate in the country. But now a multi-million dollar federal grant is helping one district turn its schools around. Host Michel Martin speaks with a principal who spent last Saturday knocking on the doors of students who dropped out, encouraging them to come back to school.

The Swing State Project
11:37 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Battered By The Bust, Nevada Voters Search For Slivers Of Hope

Las Vegas resident Jillian Batchelor, 29, voted for Obama in 2008 but says now, "I'm voting Republican all the way this time."
Becky Lettenberger NPR

The brutal recession has wracked Nevada, where soaring unemployment and foreclosure numbers tell the story of the state's misery. But its importance as a swing state in the 2012 presidential contest has only been enhanced in the four years since it went for Democrat Barack Obama.

The Two-Way
11:35 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Komen Foundation Now Says It Will Continue Grants To Planned Parenthood

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 2:14 pm

The Susan G. Komen Foundation just announced it will be providing grants to Planned Parenthood for that organization to use in basic screening and educating women about breast cancer.

"We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."

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Shots - Health Blog
11:35 am
Fri February 3, 2012

In Reversal, Komen To Continue Funding Planned Parenthood

Nancy G. Brinker, CEO and founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 5:37 pm

After days of controversy, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has said it will continue funding for Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this week, the foundation moved to discontinue funding of breast cancer screening by Planned Parenthood. The Associated Press reported the change came because of a new Komen policy forbidding grants to organizations under official investigation.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Reports: Two American Women Freed In Egypt

NBC News, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya are reporting that police in Egypt say two American women and an Egyptian tour guide have been released by gunmen who kidnapped them earlier today near the Red Sea

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Shots - Health Blog
10:51 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Advocates Say Flu Vaccine Should Be Mandatory For Health Workers

Despite more than 20 years of recommendations that health workers get flu shots, the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than a third don't comply.

The voluntary approach to reducing the risk that workers will transmit flu to patients has fallen short.

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Around the Nation
10:43 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Fairway To Heaven: Trump Eyes A Golf Course Burial

Junior amateur Sarah Brown tees off on the 13th hole of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. Under the current deal that's been negotiated, the club could feature 500 graves, including, eventually, Donald Trump's.
Andy Mills The Star-Ledger/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:54 pm

You might think Donald Trump can buy anything he wants. But at least one purchase has eluded him: Trump wants to be buried on his golf course in Bedminster, N.J.

Even though Trump owns the 500-acre spread, it's taking an eternity for him to get a cemetery built there.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Will Blue Laws Make For A Melancholy Super Bowl Sunday?

Indiana laws bar all carryout alcohol sales on Sundays, leaving Super Bowl revelers in the lurch in their quest for any 11th-hour 12-pack the day of the big game. At Kahn's Fine Wines and Spirits in Indianapolis earlier this week, Bill Cheek was putting labels on cases of beer.
Darron Cummings AP

Fans lucky enough to toast a Giants or a Patriots Super Bowl win in Indianapolis this weekend will need to stock up early on their champagne supplies. Indiana is one of just two states that ban the sale of beer, wine and liquor at stores statewide on Sundays.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Baseball's Josh Hamilton Reportedly Suffers Relapse; Seen Drinking At Bar

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers during last year's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, one of baseball's biggest stars and someone who has been battling addiction demons for the last decade, was spotted drinking alcohol at a Dallas bar on Monday, the local Morning News has reported.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Unemployment Rate Edges Down To 8.3 Percent

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 9:41 am

The nation's unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent the month before as private employers added 257,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. Overall, after a small drop at government agencies, employment grew by 243,000.

We'll add more from the report momentarily.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. White House, Republican Reactions:

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