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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Top Stories: Occupy Wall Street Day Of Action; Penn State Scandal

Good morning.

Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have begun what they say will be a day full of marches, civil disobedience and other actions aimed at — this is their goal — shutting down Wall Street.

Eyder is there to follow the story as it develops. His posts from the streets are being collected here.

Our other early-morning headlines:

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Europe
7:59 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Silvio Berlusconi To Release Album Of Love Songs

Now that Silvio Berlusconi has resigned as Italy's prime minister, he'll have more time for his music. Berlusconi's newest album is called True Love. It will be releases this month.

Around the Nation
7:50 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Couple Celebrates 50 Years With Another Big Plunge

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
6:59 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Crowd Gathers In New York, Ahead Of Wall Street Protest

Occupy protesters argue with a passerby.
Eyder Peralta NPR

As the sun rose on Zuccotti Park, a crowd began to gather. Amid the falling leaves and the the occasional shouts for a "mic check," the park was flooded by TV camera lights and the constant hum of two helicopters flying high above the buildings.

It's a cold day in New York and the Occupy Wall Street movement is hoping for a strong showing to mark their second anniversary, but by 6:30 a.m., the crowd was thin, perhaps 100 people.

Robert Segal, 47, said he was not going to march today, but he was here to "support community building."

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu November 17, 2011

EPA Takes Action Against Toxic Arizona Copper Plant

A haze can be seen at night hovering over the Asarco copper smelter, which turns copper ore into nearly pure copper bars.
Emma Schwartz Center for Public Integrity

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

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Youth Radio
4:32 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Would-Be Accountant Takes To Streets To Find Work

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

College graduates face one of the bleakest job markets on record. Reporter Sayre Quevedo of TurnstyleNews.com met an aspiring accountant who emailed resumes for six months and then tried on something more daring.

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Latin America
4:04 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Sao Paulo's Redesign: 'Big Worm' Could Come Down

Sao Paulo, Brazil, is an economic engine in a booming country. It's also a huge mess, with traffic jams that go for miles, crumbling infrastructure and shoddy airports. Urban planners say it needs a major makeover, including razing the Minhocao, an elevated highway known as the "Big Worm."

Neide Batochio loves to sew on her old Singer, strategically placed at a desk in front of her window. She says that way she can see the Minhocao, which twists and turns feet from bedroom windows for 2.2 miles through the center of the city. She says the sound's not so bad.

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Environment
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

EPA Sites Asarco For Toxic Violations

The Environmental Protection Agency says the Asarco copper smelter in Hayden, Arizona, has been continuously emitting illegal amounts of lead, arsenic and eight other dangerous toxins, for the last six years. The agency's finding means Asarco could face millions of dollars in fines and could be forced to install expensive pollution controls. The EPA disclosed the action last week to NPR and the Center for Public Integrity, which were jointly investigating toxic air pollution in the town.

Books
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

2011 National Book Award Winners Announced

Stephen Greenblatt's "The Swerve," a dramatic account of the Renaissance-era rediscovery of the Latin poet Lucretius, won for nonfiction. "Salvage the Bones," set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, by Jesmyn Ward, won for fiction.

Around the Nation
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Occupy Protests Spread Across College Campuses

The Occupy Wall Street movement is planning a series of strikes and protests today on college campuses. The movement and its encampments are proving to be a challenge for administrators at some schools. They say they want to encourage free speech and political engagement, but can't tolerate unsanitary conditions, violence and drug use in the tent cities.

Europe
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

New Greek Prime Minister, Same Old Austerity Protesters

Thousands of Greeks are expected to join in a rally today in Athens. The new prime minister has promised to speed up long-term changes and negotiate a new bailout deal. Polls show Lucas Papademos enjoys popular support, but the crowds on the streets have made it clear they won't accept any more austerity measures.

Africa
4:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Congolese Presidential Candidate Orders Jail Breaks

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Voters in the Congo head to the polls at the end of this month. The campaigning has been beset by violence which threatens to undermine an electoral process in a giant nation that's at the heart of Africa. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Campaigning took a stormy turn when veteran Congolese opposition politician and presidential candidate Etienne Tshisekedi sent a bombshell. He proclaimed himself president and ordered his supporters to stage jailbreaks to free their detained colleagues.

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The Two-Way
2:15 am
Thu November 17, 2011

At A Quiet Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street Prepares For Big Protests

A near-empty Zuccotti Park on Wednesday night.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Late at night on Wednesday, protesters at Zuccotti Park in New York were outnumbered by police. But every now and then a new protester would come into the park and just stare at the space like they were looking at it for the first time.

Jo Robbin, 29, was one of them. One of the first things she did as soon as she made it past the security check point was pull up her sleeves to show the red markings the plastic ties had left her.

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Newt Gingrich
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

By Attacking The Media, Gingrich Built A Following

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has relished attacking the journalists questioning him during the GOP debates.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was once written off as a footnote in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. But, for the moment, polls now show him among the leaders.

Gingrich may have found his voice, in part, by turning the tables on the political press. Republicans have been doing this for decades — quite explicitly at least since Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in 1968.

In Gingrich's case, it was a strategy masquerading as a tactic — one that he adopted over the summer at a time of desperation.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Why Brain Injuries Are More Common In Preemies

The most common cause of brain injury in premature infants is a lack of oxygen in the days and weeks after birth, researchers say.
Ibrahim Usta AP

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 8:26 pm

Scientists say they are beginning to understand why brain injuries are so common in very premature infants — and they are coming up with strategies to prevent or repair these injuries.

The advances could eventually help reduce the number of premature babies who develop cerebral palsy, epilepsy or behavioral disorders such as ADHD, researchers told the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C., this week.

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Asia
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Asia In Focus As U.S Expands Australia Defense Ties

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Obama hold a joint news conference in Australia on Wednesday. The U.S. is sending some 250 U.S. Marines to the country next year, a number that will later grow to 2,500.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

President Obama traveled early Thursday to the Australian city of Darwin, a base for past U.S.-Australian military cooperation. Now it will be one of several military bases from which the U.S. operates as it seeks to reassert itself in Asia.

Some 250 U.S. Marines will arrive in northern Australia next year, a number that will later expand to about 2,500. U.S. jets and warships will also train with the Australians.

Abraham Denmark, a China specialist at the Center for Naval Analyses, sees the new focus on Asia as a natural evolution of U.S. interests.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

When Hard Times Means Leaving A Career For A Job

After a long job search, Alice Eastman, a once highly paid professional, now works at Target. "I've climbed to pretty much the top of the one ladder, and now I'm starting at the bottom rung of a different ladder. It's a job. It's not a career," she says.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

Part of a monthlong series

Alice Eastman, a single mother living in Wheaton, Ill., is one of many Americans who, after losing her job, tried to make ends meet on unemployment while she hunted for a job in her field. Then after a long, fruitless search, she took a lower-paying job in retail.

Eastman had a pretty good job making $75,000 a year at the park district in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, heading up its Department of Natural Resources.

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Election 2012
12:01 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Political Climate Ripe For A Third-Party Prospect

Ross Perot, shown on a video screen, addresses the Reform Party's national convention in July 1999 in Dearborn, Mich. The billionaire founder of the Reform Party, Perot ran for president as a third-party candidate in both 1992 and 1996.
Jeff Kowalsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Voter dissatisfaction with both parties is at an all-time high — and voters' trust in Washington is at an all-time low.

This is the kind of political climate that is welcoming for an alternative to the Democrats and the Republicans.

Pollster Stan Greenberg worked for Bill Clinton in 1992, when third-party candidate Ross Perot roiled the race. If it happened back then, Greenberg says, it can happen again next year.

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It's All Politics
5:05 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

In Swing Through Sunshine State, Cain Struggles To Regain Momentum

Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain greets supporters at a campaign rally outside of Wings Plus on Wednesday in Coral Springs, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Herman Cain followed a path well-worn by other presidential candidates in Miami to the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana on Wednesday. While there, he had a cup of Cuban coffee, sampled a croquette and, playing to the largely Cuban-American crowd called out, "Freedom for Cuba!"

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Newt Gingrich
5:03 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

As Gingrich Surges, He Has Catching Up To Do In N.H.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich greets a supporter at a kickoff party for the opening of a campaign office in Manchester, N.H., on Nov. 11.
Winslow Townson AP

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 6:22 pm

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's surge to the top tier of the GOP presidential field has been sudden.

That's put him squarely in the media spotlight — Gingrich has been buffeted for the past several days over his consulting work for the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. But it's also highlighted the challenge he faces in early-voting states like New Hampshire, where he lacks a traditional campaign structure.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:00 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Emergency Room Closures Hit Minorities, Poor Hardest

Patients in California may find a shuttered glass door the next time they seek out emergency care, as hospitals across the state close emergency rooms.

California hospitals that serve large numbers of blacks and Medicaid patients, who often rely on ERs the most, run a higher risk of closing the emergency deparment, according to an analysis just published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Music Interviews
4:39 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

R.E.M., R.I.P.

R.E.M. in the early days. Left to right: Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Bill Berry, Peter Buck.
Laura Levine

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 6:02 pm

They were four guys out of Athens, Ga., with a three-letter name — and one hell of an impact on rock. R.E.M. was Michael Stipe singing lead, Mike Mills on bass and harmonies, Peter Buck on guitar and Bill Berry on drums, until Berry left the band in 1997.

"We never expected the thing to last any longer than a couple of years to begin with," Stipe says. "And then when it did, and we were making records and people were interested in it, the band started getting bigger and bigger and bigger."

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Monkey See
4:35 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

DVD Picks: 'West Side Story'

'Tonight' Music: Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood played Tony and Maria in the 1961 film of West Side Story.
Fox Home Entertainment

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 6:02 pm

Time now for a home video recommendation from movie critic Bob Mondello. This week he's looking back a half-century, to a ground-breaking musical that won ten Oscars, West Side Story.

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The Road Back To Work
4:34 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Squabbles In Washington Frustrate Job Seekers

Ray Meyer, 55, had a 30-year career in banking before losing his job. He's been rolling from one temp assignment to the next since February.
Tamara Keith NPR

Part of an ongoing series

Being unemployed for more than two years changed the way Ray Meyer looks at politics. He has always leaned Republican and used to have little sympathy for those who were receiving unemployment benefits.

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