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Politics
5:13 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

An Inside Look At The 'Dark Art' Of Politics

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain wipes his brow during a discussion on health care Wednesday in Washington. The former head of the National Restaurant Association has been under fire in recent days over sexual harassment allegations and his response to them.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

No one seems to be talking about Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan this week — including Herman Cain. Instead, he's had to deal with allegations that he committed sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association.

On Wednesday night, he accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign of planting the story. Perry's campaign flatly denied it, and Cain has backed off.

Regardless, some political consultants have seen the invisible hand of opposition research during this campaign season — what's known as the "dark art of politics."

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It's All Politics
5:02 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Cain Accuser Won't Release Name As New Details Of Harassment Emerge

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke in Virginia on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

One of two women who settled sexual harassment complaints against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain when he headed the National Restaurant Association will know by Friday whether the group will release her from a confidentiality clause that prevents her from speaking about the agreement.

The woman, however, is unlikely to go public even if the lobbying group lifts the confidentiality requirements imposed as part of the 1999 cash settlement, her lawyer says.

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National Security
4:59 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

China, Russia Top List Of U.S. Economic Cyberspies

A poster warns U.S. companies of the threat of cyber-espionage. A new report released Thursday names China and Russia as the top culprits in the theft of U.S. intellectual property and technology.
Courtesy of the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive

Privately, U.S. officials have long complained that China and Russia are out to steal U.S. trade secrets, intellectual property and high technology. But in public they've been reluctant to point fingers and instead have referred obliquely to "some nations" or "our rivals."

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:36 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

As Foreclosures Surge, Help Is Often Hard to Find

Residents pack an auditorium during a town hall on mortgages organized by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, in Northern Virginia.
Todd Parola Todd Parola Photography

President Obama's new plan to help millions of people stay in their homes by refinancing their mortgages at low rates raised hopes of easing the housing crisis.

But federal budget cuts have sharply reduced the number of housing counselors who can help distressed homeowners in the nation's hardest hit communities. Banks that own the properties are slow to pick up the tab.

"We are definitely concerned about counseling capacity," says Lemar Wooley, a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Report: Many Large Corporations Are Paying No Income Taxes

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 4:31 pm

As the U.S. faces a presidential election in the middle of tough economic times, taxes have been firmly in the spotlight. A study (pdf) released today is bound to add more fuel to the fire.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:47 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Insurance Penalties For Smokers Draw Wide Support

A woman smokes outside an office building in New York City.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 4:19 pm

When it comes to improving health, there are carrots and there are sticks.

One way to try to influence people's habits is by tying how much they pay for health coverage to their behavior.

Starting next year, for instance, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, will charge workers who smoke a penalty ranging from $260 to $2,340 annually on health insurance. That's a pretty big stick. As for a carrot, the retailer will offer free smoking-cessation help.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Seattle 'Superhero' Phoenix Jones Loses His Day Job

Getting arrested for using pepper spray on a group of people has at least temporarily cost self-proclaimed Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones his day job helping autistic children.

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Politics
3:25 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Once GOP Stars, 5 House Freshmen Fight For Seats

Rep. Adam Kinzinger during a July 28 news conference on Capitol Hill to announce plans to vote yes on the GOP proposal to raise the debt limit.
Harry Hamburg AP

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 7:55 pm

In the election held a year ago this week, Republicans took over control of the House with the help of nearly 90 newcomers to their ranks. Now, just a year before the 2012 contests, many of those freshman lawmakers find themselves facing tough re-election bids.

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'Darkhorse' Battalion And The Afghan War
3:22 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

A Marine's Death, And The Family He Left Behind

Kait Wyatt carries her 1-month-old son, Michael, at the burial for her husband, Marine Cpl. Derek Wyatt, at Arlington National Cemetery, Jan. 7. Wyatt was killed Dec. 6, 2010, in Afghanistan. Kait Wyatt, who was pregnant at the time of her husband's death, was induced the day after he was killed so she could attend the service.
Evan Vucci AP

A year ago, nearly 1,000 U.S. Marine officers and enlisted men of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment deployed to restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. By the time their tour ended in April 2011, the Marines of the 3/5 — known as "Darkhorse" — suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the past 10 years of war. This week, NPR tells the story of this unit's seven long months at war — both in Afghanistan and back home.

Fifth of seven parts

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Books
3:07 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

'The Art Museum': A Case For The Printed Book?

If The Art Museum were a real museum and not just a book, there would hardly be need for another. At 18 pounds and 922 pages, the expansive book is organized into thematic "galleries," and within those "rooms" dedicated to solo artists, like Picasso.
Phaidon

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 3:01 pm

Publisher Phaidon's latest art endeavor, The Art Museum, presents the collection of an imaginary museum with the greatest works from art collections around the globe. That museum would have to be imaginary — the book itself weighs in at 18 pounds, measures 16 1/2 by 12 5/8 inches and runs nearly 1,000 pages.

The Art Museum is divided into 25 galleries, as opposed to chapters, and each gallery is divided into several rooms, which all told include reproductions of more than 2,700 works.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Ongoing Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Leaves U.S. Isolated

The Obama administration's flagging efforts to revive Arab-Israeli peace talks took another turn in the wrong direction this week. The Palestinians overcame U.S. opposition and won diplomatic recognition by UNESCO, becoming a new member state of the U.N.'s cultural and scientific agency. They've vowed to keep seeking such recognition elsewhere in the U.N system. Israel responded by speeding up settlement construction. U.S. officials say those moves are pushing the parties further away from a peace process, but both sides seem determined to move in opposition directions, leaving the U.S.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

G-20 Protesters Object To Greek Austerity Program

People protesting the agenda of the world leaders meeting at the G-20 summit in the south of France are being kept well away from the event. So Thursday, several hundred of them staged a peaceful demonstration in a super wealthy suburb near Monte Carlo. Amid the fabulous villas of the super wealthy, the protesters asked why the Greek people have to suffer an austerity program — while the rich benefit from tax havens like Monaco.

World
3:00 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Papandreou Nixes Referendum On Bailout

The Greek government is teetering on the brink of collapse Thursday, following the decision of Prime Minister George Papandreou to call off a referendum on the Europe bailout package for his country. The finance minister and other party colleagues have turned against Papandreou, amid talk of a national coalition government to prepare for new elections. Guy Raz talks to Joanna Kakissis, who has the latest from Athens.

Europe
3:00 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Why Put The Bailout To A Referendum In Greece?

Robert Siegel speaks to Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University and an expert on contemporary Greece, about the tensions between democracy and the need for decisive action in dealing with the euro crisis. Mazower says that the speed of financial markets, and the slowness of the democratic process, has increased this tension during the crisis.

The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Another Tibetan Nun Sets Herself On Fire

Palden Choetso.
Free Tibet

In what's becoming a disturbing trend in China, another Tibetan nun has set herself on fire to protest the country's strict control of their religion.

The Free Tibet Campaign says Palden Choetso is second nun to self immolate. Nine monks have done the same since March.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:52 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Hey, Kids, It's Vinny Pookh Time! Cartoon Music From The USSR

1969's Vinny Pookh V Gosti ("Winnie The Pooh Goes Visiting"), with music by Mieczysław Weinberg.
YouTube

Twentieth-century Russian music is often thought of as dark and brooding, a reflection of life under the thumb of a brutal state. When it was funny, it usually had a kind of gallows humor.

Yet many of the same composers whose concert works often reflected a dark reality also wrote cartoon music for kids. Thursday night, the Brooklyn Philharmonic is playing some of these cartoon scores in Brighton Beach — the heart of the Russian-American community in New York City. For some of its creators, cartoon music offered a certain kind of escape.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

After 520 Days In Isolation, 'Astronauts' About To End Fake Mission To Mars

Members of the Mars500 crew posing during their Mars500 mission.
AFP/Getty Images

To us it sounded like the premise of a particularly cruel reality TV show: Six men are picked to live in a windowless, cramped mock spaceship for 18 months to see how humans would react to conditions similar to what one would expect on a mission to Mars.

Tomorrow, after 520 days of isolation, the hatch will finally be open and the volunteers will return to normal life. With a cost of $15 million, the project, dubbed Mars500, is a serious experiment commissioned by the European Space Agency.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Cuba Approves Buying And Selling Of Residential Property

Beginning Nov. 10, citizens and permanent residents in Cuba will be able to buy and sell residential property on the island. The move is one of the more major acts of reforms instituted by President Raúl Castro.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Thu November 3, 2011

How Low Fat Foods Get Their Texture

One way food companies compensate for the texture lost from lowering fat is by using replacements like cellulose gum.
iStockphoto.com

Pull any packaged food item off the shelf and chances are it has a long list of mysterious ingredients with highly scientific names like "methylcellulose." If you're like us, you may puzzle and even worry a little over these unappetizing words.

Why do we have so much weird stuff like methylcellulose and xanthum gum that's produced in a laboratory in our food? Texture, baby, texture. It's nearly impossible to understate the importance of texture and "mouth feel" to food companies, especially in an age when people fear the fat content in their food.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:40 am
Thu November 3, 2011

A Disco Beat Isn't Enough For CPR Stardom

"Disco Science," which you may know from the movie Snatch, has joined the '70s hit "Stayin' Alive" and the British children's song "Nellie the Elephant" on a unique playlist.

The three songs have been found to help people compress the chest at the right rate. Unfortunately, adding music to the CPR mix doesn't improve its overall effectiveness, a new study finds.

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Digital Life
11:10 am
Thu November 3, 2011

The War Between Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple

Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are expanding rapidly into markets like media, TV, movies, finance, advertising, retail and mobile phones.
Stephanie d'Otreppe NPR

In the old days, Amazon sold books, Google was a search engine, Facebook was a social network and Apple sold computers.

But that's not the case anymore.

Google and Apple now sell phones. Amazon has gotten into the server business. Apple sells music. Facebook and Amazon provide online payment services. And that's just the beginning.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Daughter Beaten By Dad Who's A Texas Judge: It Happened Regularly

Hillary Adams (left) as her father was striking her with a belt. She set up a video camera to record what she says was one of many such beatings.
YouTube.com (warning, video is graphic)

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 5:51 pm

Hillary Adams, who videotaped her father beating her in 2004 and released it to the world last week because she believes he should not be serving as a judge in Texas, said this morning that such punishments happened regularly and that she believes her father "needs help and rehabilitation."

For his part, Judge William Adams says that "in my mind I haven't done anything wrong. ... She wasn't hurt, it was a long time ago" and she was just "being disciplined."

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Top Stories: Eurozone Crisis, 'Occupy Oakland,' Afghan Strategy

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 9:25 am

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Greek Prime Minister Under Pressure To Resign

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou heads to a cabinet meeting in Athens earlier today (Nov. 3, 2011).
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images
(We're updating this post as the story develops. Hit "refresh" and scroll down to see our latest additions.)

Under intense pressure from the European Union, Greece's prime minister has scrapped the idea of asking the country to vote on whether to accept the terms of a bailout package.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Jobless Claims Dip Below 400,000

There were 397,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down 9,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

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