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It's All Politics
6:01 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Did Ohio Gov. Kasich Hurt His Prospects In Backing Controversial Labor Law?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich in March, 2011.
Jay LaPrete AP

Ohio voters on Tuesday resoundingly repealed a controversial law that would have severely limited collective bargaining for public employees, a law Republican Gov. John Kasich made the centerpiece of his legislative agenda this spring.

Voters not only disliked Kasich's law — 61 percent voted to repeal it, 39 percent supported keeping it — they also have grown to dislike Kasich. The governor's approval rating was at 36 percent in an October Quinnipiac poll.

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The Two-Way
5:58 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Why Do We Hate The Sound Of Fingernails On A Chalkboard?

A male hand is about to scratch nails on a chalkboard.
iStockPhoto.com

Listen to this:

Those were finger nails working their way across a chalkboard. Some of you might have felt a shiver. It's one of those sounds that provokes a physical reaction. Scientists have looked into the why for years and this week, scientists presented another theory at the Acoustical Society of America meeting.

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It's All Politics
5:15 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

GOP Michigan Debate: Auto Industry, Herman Cain Likely Topics

Sue McQueen displays her support for GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul outside the debate venue, Rochester, Mich., Nov. 9, 2011.
Scott Olson Getty Images

When the Republican presidential candidates meet Wednesday evening in Michigan for their ninth debate (it feels like there've been many more than that) the main topic up for discussion is supposed to be the economy.

But is there anyone who expects that the travails of Herman Cain won't be a subtopic?

The former Godfather Pizza CEO's flat-tax plan encountered severe turbulence at the last debate and it is likely to experience more during the encounter at Oakland University outside Detroit.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:12 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

'Personhood' Divides Anti-Abortion Groups

Wife Deborah Bryant waits as Mississippi Governor-elect Phil Bryant thanks a supporter Tuesday at a victory party. Bryant supported a controversial amendment to the state's constitution on "personhood."
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 4:50 pm

Voters in Mississippi were expected to make it the first state to confer protected legal status to fertilized human eggs Tuesday. Instead, they made it the second state to reject a so-called personhood amendment to its constitution.

One possible reason is that the effort divides even those who consider themselves against abortion.

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Africa
5:00 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Turks, Europeans Lead Charge On Libyan Investment

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 7:53 pm

Libya may be months from a new government, but the still-infrequent international flights to Tripoli are packed with businesspeople looking to land contracts with this oil-rich North African state. The Turks and Europeans appear to be moving quickly, while the Americans seem to be several steps behind.

On one recent afternoon, the plush Rixos hotel in Tripoli hosted hastily organized meetings between Libyans and a swarm of Turks representing 150 different companies.

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

After Glitch, Russian Spacecraft Destined For Mars Is Stuck In Earth's Orbit

Russia and the former Soviet Union haven't had much luck when it comes to missions to the red planet. On Tuesday, it launched a probe destined for Mars. It was supposed to land on Phobos, one of the planet's moons, scoop up some rocks and return home with its specimens.

Instead, the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft launched successfully into orbit, but then its boosters failed to ignite, so for now, it's stuck orbiting our planet.

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The Picture Show
4:33 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Flying Rhinos: Photos You Don't See Every Day

A rhino dangling from a helicopter is transported to a safer home.
Michael Raimondo WWF

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:16 am

Paging Danny Glover. A new species needs your help.

These photos, which came to us via email from the World Wildlife Fund, show an amazing scene: Nineteen sedated black rhinoceroses were airlifted out of an area in South Africa, and spent about 10 minutes upside down in the air en route to a new home.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

'Family Circus' Cartoonist Bil Keane Has Died, He Was 89

Bil Keane, whose "Family Circus" comics have been appearing in newspapers since 1960, died Tuesday in Arizona at the age of 89.

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Asia
3:51 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Money Pours In To Help Chinese Artist Pay Tax Bill

Outspoken Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei (shown inside his compound on the outskirts of Beijing) was detained by the government for nearly three months. Now, the government says he owes $2.4 million in taxes and fines. Supporters are sending him money, raising nearly $1 million so far.
Frank Langfitt NPR

The Chinese government slapped artist Ai Weiwei — one of China's most famous dissidents — with a $2.4 million tax bill last week. The move was widely seen as punishment for Ai's relentless criticism of the Communist Party.

Since then, in an outpouring of support rarely seen for a government critic, thousands of people have loaned Ai nearly $1 million to help pay the fine.

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Herman Cain
3:30 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Cain Donors Stand By Their Man For Now

Herman Cain speaks at a press conference Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., to rebut charges of sexual harassment.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 8:31 pm

When talking to people who have given to a candidate's campaign, you'd expect to find true believers.

"I liked what I heard, and he seemed to be the kind of person that I would like to see be president of the United States," says Carl Ploeger, who has donated twice to embattled GOP hopeful Herman Cain.

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The Salt
3:20 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Reading, Writing And Roasting: Schools Bring Cooking Back Into The Classroom

Students of the the Dawes School Edible Garden Project, a program of Slow Food Chicago.
Dawes School Edible Garden Project via Slow Foods USA

Lots of kids have tried lentils. But what about Ethiopian-style lentils, accompanied by injera bread, couscous and cucumber salad?

Fourth graders in Santa Fe, N.M. prepared this lunch feast themselves as part of a nutrition education program called Cooking with Kids. And nutrition experts say programs like this one are not just about expanding timid kids' palates.

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Energy
3:10 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

'Power For The Planet': Company Bets Big On Fusion

A section of the fusion machine being tested at General Fusion's facility outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. General Fusion is hoping to implement a long-shot strategy that could produce fusion energy in the next few years.
Brett Beadle for NPR

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 8:17 pm

The world would be a very different place if we could bottle up a bit of the sun here on Earth and tap that abundant and clean energy supply. Governments have spent many billions of dollars to develop that energy source, fusion energy, but it's still a distant dream. Now a few upstart companies are trying to do it on the cheap. And the ideas are credible enough to attract serious private investment.

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The Record
3:00 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

How Spotify Works: Pay The Majors, Use P2P Technology

Ken Parks, head of Spotify's New York office: "With a streaming service like Spotify that gives you access to everything in the world instantaneously, those distinctions between ownership and access tend to disappear."

Diana Levine Courtesy of Spotify

If you've ever tried listening to music on a web site, you've probably had the experience of waiting ... and waiting ... for a song to start. The cloud music service Spotify thinks it's found a way around to get music to your computer faster; employing some of the same technology the music industry has been fighting against for years.

One of the first things you notice about Spotify is how quickly it starts playing the song you want to hear — even if it's not already stored on your computer. There's no wait for buffering or downloading. Spotify feels, in a word, instant.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Ridpath Discusses Ethics In College Supports

Robert Siegel speaks to Dave Ridpath, an assistant professor of sports administration at Ohio University. Ridpath, a former Division 1 wrestling coach and assistant athletic director at Marshall University, has called the current system of college sports "broken." He says that the current scandal at Penn State is the most extreme example of a college sports system that protects teams at all costs.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Letters: Streetlight Removal; Bob Costas

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 7:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for your comments, which include a spirited defense of the national pastime. And first, this correction.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Yesterday, during an interview about a streetlight removal program in Rockford, Illinois, I accidentally said that Daylight Saving Time was now upon us and I was wrong. As John Tellek(ph) of Oakland, California, points out, he writes: We have just switched from Daylight Saving Time back to Standard Time. Tellek softens the blow, he adds: Kudos, though, for correctly leaving the S off the word saving.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

IMF Chief: World Could 'Face A Lost Decade'

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde delivers her speech at the International Finance Forum in Beijing.
Liu Jin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 3:04 pm

Speaking as world markets began to react to the gloomy prospects of the Italian economy, the head of the International Monetary Fund added a little more darkness to the picture. Radio Free Europe reports on comments Christine Lagarde made at the International Finance Forum in Beijing:

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Latin America
2:52 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Mexican Deportees Strain Cities South Of The Border

A group of illegal immigrants from Central America deported from the United States eat at a shelter near the Mexico-U.S. border, in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, July 28, 2010. Last year, the U.S. deported a record number of immigrants — and the Mexican border towns where they are being released face serious problems coping with the influx.
Alfredo Estrella AFP/Getty Images

For many Mexican migrants who've just been deported from the United States, the border city Reynosa is where the American Dream dies.

Maria Nidelia Avila Basurto is a Catholic nun who heads a church-run shelter for deportees in Reynosa, in the northeast corner of Mexico, just across from McAllen, Texas.

"Many of them arrive with nothing," she says. "We have to give them everything — clothes, shoes, everything."

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Education
2:42 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Can Tyra Banks Get Kids To School? Seattle Says Yes

Last month, Tyra Banks and the national Get Schooled Foundation visited 400 students in the Bronx in New York City. Banks is one of several celebrities who record messages encouraging kids to go to school. And Seattle is one of the latest cities to try it out — Mayor Mike McGinn's office is spending nearly $50,000 to coordinate and implement the effort.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 7:53 pm

Kids aren't usually eager to wake up and get to school in the morning. They might be, though, if their favorite musician or professional athlete called to coax them out of bed — or if a shiny new bike were on the line.

At least, that's what adults in Seattle think. So the city has a new plan to improve school attendance.

Isaac Bennett, 16, lives a few houses down from his high school in north Seattle. Yet the junior didn't make it there very often last year.

"I had like 167 absences for sophomore year, which wasn't good," he says with a laugh.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

'Epic' Storm Damages Buildings In Alaska

A historic storm hit Alaska's west coast overnight. The Anchorage Daily News called it "epic." Here's how one meteorologist described the storm's scale to the paper:

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Monkey See
2:08 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Eddie Murphy Will Not Host the Oscars

Eddie Murphy, seen here in October 2011, will not host the 2012 Oscars after all.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 3:42 pm

Following the exit of producer Brett Ratner from the upcoming Oscars telecast yesterday, Eddie Murphy — whose new film Tower Heist is also Ratner's latest directorial effort — has stepped aside as host of the 2012 show, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Co-Author Of Accused Penn State Coach's Book Calls News 'Disheartening'

The fact that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's 2001 biography was called Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story, is generating some pretty pointed commentary on Amazon.com this week.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Italy's Debt Woes Roil World Markets

The yield on 10-year Italian government bond.
Bloomberg

It was Greece, now it's Italy. Worries about the country's debt have sent world markets lower, today. Here's the Los Angeles Times with a roundup:

The yield on Italian bonds rose to a recent record this morning, signaling the distrust that investors have in Italy's ability to repay its debts.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Man's Video Shows Oakland Officer Shooting Him With Rubber Bullet

That flash in the middle is from the weapon that fired the rubber bullet at Scott Campbell in Oakland last week.
Scott Campbell video

This video is generating stories about whether an Oakland police officer used excessive force on Nov. 3 when he fired a rubber bullet in the direction of 30-year-old Scott Campbell, who was videotaping the scene at the time.

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Middle East
12:49 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Has Iran Become Less Dangerous?

Conflict between supporters of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (shown here Sept. 22 at United Nations headquarters in New York) and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is among a number of factors that analysts say are weakening Iran's position in the region.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency presents more evidence than ever before that many aspects of Iran's nuclear program are geared toward military purposes. Yet some analysts argue that overall, Iran represents less of a threat today than it did a year ago.

The IAEA report issued Tuesday largely focuses on historical matters, and some observers say Iran is still having a great deal of difficulty in many areas of weapons technology. And it's clear that Iran has experienced several other setbacks in recent months.

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Planet Money
12:17 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Why Italy Is So Scary

The moon rose above Italy's finance and economy ministry in Rome on Monday.
Alessia Pierdomenico Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 2:54 pm

Italy crossed into bailout territory today. The interest rate on the country's 10-year bonds, which has gone through the roof in the past few weeks, rose to over 7 percent.

We've seen this story play out before in other European countries.

A country is in debt trouble. Investors demand higher interest rates to lend money to that country. Paying those higher interest rates mean the country will fall even further into debt. So interest rates go up even more.

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