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Economy
7:52 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Where Europe's Bailout Falls Short

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 4:23 pm

Over the next few weeks, European leaders have a big task ahead of them. They have to begin fleshing out that big bailout plan unveiled to so much fanfare in Brussels this week. The plan represents the most comprehensive effort so far to resolve Europe's grinding debt problems, which have done so much damage to the world's financial markets this year, but some issues may require a global effort to solve.

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Around the Nation
6:48 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Competition Gets Fiercer In Salem's Scare Industry

Witch Mansion is a new haunted house in Salem, Mass. With animatronics and 3-D effects, it opened right next door to the Nightmare Factory, a more traditional haunted attraction.

Adam Starr Witch Mansion

For most of the year, Salem, Mass., looks like many other historic New England towns. Come October, though, the streets are packed with portable toilets, fried dough vendors and carnival rides. It's a major tourist attraction thanks to its infamous 17th-century witch trials.

Tourists line up for psychics' parlors, face-painters and wax museums, but haunted houses are the biggest draw.

Marshall Tripoli has been in the haunted attractions business in Salem for 21 years. He owns the five-year-old Nightmare Factory, where he says his motto is "Care how you scare."

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7 Billion And Counting
5:29 am
Sun October 30, 2011

When Humans Hit 7 Billion, Will It Happen In India?

The maternity ward at Swami Dayanand hospital in northeast Delhi, the most densely populated district in India. U.N. demographers say the world's 7 billionth citizen could be born in India on Oct. 31.

Diana Derby NPR

The world is anticipating the birth of its 7 billionth person, as the United Nations predicts that the milestone baby will be born on Monday, Oct. 31. Demographers say the baby might be born in India, where an average of 51 babies are born every minute.

To get a feeling for the kind of world in which our 7 billionth citizen could grow up, it's worth a visit to the place that India's Census Bureau has identified as the densest place in the country.

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Presidential Race
2:59 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Cain's 9-9-9 Plan A Hard Sell In Anti-Tax N.H.

The attractiveness, and simplicity, of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan — a nine percent federal income, corporate and sales tax — has catapulted the Georgia businessman to the head of the Republican presidential field. But for some states, such as New Hampshire, which doesn't have a sales tax, 9-9-9 wouldn't be simple at all.

People in New Hampshire, to put it mildly, dislike taxes.

"New Hampshire is definitely an anti-tax state," says Andy Smith, director of the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
2:13 am
Sun October 30, 2011

NPR's 'Hard Times' Series Reporters Begin Journey

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 2:49 pm

Millions of Americans are hurting financially, and they're worried about their future.

Fourteen million people are unemployed, and millions more are realizing that the jobs and the income and the home values they once had may never come back.

NPR has been reporting these stories for years, but in November, two reporters take the story on the road.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
6:17 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

Official: No 'Silver Bullet' To Solve Housing Crisis

President Obama announces his housing initiative to help homeowners with federally guaranteed mortgages refinance their homes, in Las Vegas on Monday.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Earlier this week, President Obama announced a plan to help homeowners refinance their mortgages.

The White House says it will help millions of people hold onto their homes through a government-backed modification program. But critics are skeptical the plan will be a success, in part because of the dependence on the good will of banks to voluntarily join up.

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Space
4:13 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

Spy Satellite Engineer's Top Secret Is Revealed

Phil Pressel designed cameras for the government's top-secret Hexagon project. He's only recently been able to speak about his life's work.

Roger Guillemette/SPACE.com

Every day for decades, engineer Phil Pressel would come home from work and be unable to tell his wife what he'd been doing all day.

Now, Pressel is free to speak about his life's work: designing cameras for a top-secret U.S. government spy satellite. Officially known as the KH-9 Hexagon, engineers called it "Big Bird" for its massive size.

Until the government declassified it last month, Hexagon had been a secret for 46 years.

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Afghanistan
3:00 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

Americans Killed In Suicide Bombing In Afghanistan

A suicide bomb in Kabul Saturday killed a dozen Americans, making this the deadliest attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan's capital since the war began a decade ago. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz gets the latest from reporter Rod Nordland of the New York Times.

Economy
3:00 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

The Week In News: The Rich Got Richer

The Congressional Budget Office released a study this week that revealed a huge shift in the nation's wealth distribution. The top 1 percent of the country's earners more than doubled their take of the nation's wealth in just 30 years. James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, joins weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz to discuss that story and others from the past week.

Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

Ohio Teachers Caught In Middle Of Labor Campaigns

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 10:23 am

Transcript

GUY RAZ, host: In Ohio, voters have been watching TV ads telling them which way to vote on Issue 2. That's a measure on the ballot that could overturn a law passed last spring that limits the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Organized labor, including the teacher's unions, are spending heavily to defeat that measure. But at the same time, there are other educators who back the law and are also campaigning.

Ida Lieszkovszky of StateImpact Ohio reports.

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

After 50 Years, Whirlpool Plant In Arkansas Closes

Transcript

GUY RAZ, host: For almost 50 years, workers have filed into the Whirlpool factory in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where they make refrigerators, dishwashers and trash compacters for KitchenAid and Maytag brands. But after months of layoffs and reductions, Whirlpool announced plans to close that Fort Smith plant altogether. And that means a thousand people will lose their jobs.

Mayor SANDY SANDERS: There's no good time for an announcement like this. And particularly with the economy and the situation it is now, it exacerbates the situation.

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NPR Story
12:47 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

American Troops Die In Afghan Attack

Originally published on Sat October 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Afghanistan today, a Taliban suicide bomber slammed a car packed with explosives into an armored bus carrying NATO troops in Kabul. At least 13 U.S. soldiers died in the attack. According to a Pentagon spokesman, the blast incinerated the vehicle and is the latest in a series of recent high-profile attacks in Afghanistan. For more on the incident, we're joined now by NPR's Ahmad Shafi in Kabul. Shafi, what more details can you give us about the attack?

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Author Interviews
12:06 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

Twain, Hughes, Among 'Funniest American Writers'

Mark Twain's story "A Presidential Candidate," in which he jokingly announces that he is running for president, kicks off Andy Borowitz's comedy collection.

Ernest H. Mills Getty Images

Writer and comedian Andy Borowitz says he initially got into comedy for one simple reason: girls.

In addition to using his jokes to charm women, Borowitz has also written for The New Yorker and runs a satirical blog called The Borowitz Report. His latest project is The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

The World Series As An Old Pro Sees It

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Jim Bouton knows what it's like to stand on the pitching mound in a World Series with the world watching. He pitched three World Series games for the New York Yankees in 1963 and '64. Of course, he's also wrote the classic baseball memoir about baseball and life, "Ball Four." Jim joins us from Western Massachusetts. Thanks so much for being with us.

JIM BOUTON: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: Couple of months ago, would a sane observer see the Cardinals winning the World Series?

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Remembering The Father Of Artificial Intelligence

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

John McCarthy, the American mathematician known universally as the father of Artificial Intelligence, died last Monday at his home in Palo Alto. He was 84.

WEEKEND EDITION's Math Guy, Keith Devlin, knew McCarthy and has this remembrance.

KEITH DEVLIN, BYLINE: I first got to know John McCarthy when I arrived at Stanford as a visiting professor in 1987. He was 60 years old at that time, with a towering and, to me, somewhat daunting, reputation.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

The Income Gap, Explained With Candy Corn

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This week, the Congressional Budget Office released a report showing that the gap between wealthy and poor Americans has become much wider than it once was. We'll have a story on how changes in the tax code may have contributed to this situation, and we'll look at the Occupy Wall Street movement. But first, we turn to NPR's Andrea Seabrook and Robert Smith for a seasonably appropriate analysis of how the income gap has changed over the last 30 years.

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Why N.Y. Cab Drivers Honk

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: This week, New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission reminded cabbies that honking is against the law except when warning of imminent danger. They could be fined $350 for using their horns, just to snagged affair, vent steam over traffic or jolt pedestrians are looking up at the skyscrapers and lingerie billboards to move more quickly. Mike Castillo has been driving for 30 years.

MIKE CASTILLO: Human stupidity in New York traffic is huge.

SIMON: And says cabbies ho when they spot dangerous less street smart drivers miss.

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Business
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

The Multibillion-Dollar Scare Business

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Halloween is just around the corner.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIMON: And seven in ten Americans are planning to get their screams this year through decorations, costumes or creeping into a haunted house. NPR's Allison Keyes visited some haunts and reports on the industry's multi-billion dollar battle for your souls.

ALLISON KEYES, BYLINE: It's dark. The people in front of you are cringing. And, hey, what's that stuff hanging from the ceiling?

(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAMING)

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Media
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Tribal Unrest In The New Libya

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Libya faces many challenges as it grapples with life after dictatorship. Of course, Moammar Gadhafi is dead. His fugitive son, Saif al Islam, is reportedly in talks with the International Criminal Court to face charges of alleged crimes against humanity. The city of Bani Walid was the last place in Libya known to have him. It's also the seat of the largest tribe in Libya. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro travelled to Bani Walid yesterday and found a tribe that's aggrieved and city that is seething.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (foreign language spoken)

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Sports
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Cardinals Are 2011 World Series Champions

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers by a score of 6 to 2 Friday night to win the Series in seven games. NPR's Tom Goldman has game highlights.

From Our Listeners
8:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Your Letters: From Boxing Bros To Iowa Polls

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Last week, we spoke with NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea. He was in Iowa talking to voters about Republican presidential contenders ahead of the 2012 presidential caucuses.

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Around the Nation
7:54 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Mexican Trucks In U.S. Still Face Political Long Haul

The Port of Entry at Nogales, Ariz., is in the midst of a massive upgrade to ease congestion caused by up to 1,500 Mexican trucks crossing each day. Nearly two-thirds of the produce consumed in the U.S. and Canada during the winter come through here.

These Mexican trucks stop at warehouses near the border to transfer their loads to U.S. trucks. That's the way it's long been done. Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, says that adds cost.

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The Salt
6:00 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Eating Your Way To A Healthy Heart (If You're A Python)

Pythons' huge meals strengthen their hearts, and scientists hope it will help them learn how to treat human heart diseases.

Gabriel Bouys Getty Images/AFP

It's a huckster's dream: "Try the new Burmese Python Diet. No calorie counting or special foods. Eat whatever comes along, up to a quarter of your body weight. Not only is it good for your waistline; it's good for your heart."

Trouble is, what works in pythons probably won't work for humans.

Pythons employ what scientists call a "sit and wait foraging tactic." In other words, they lie around in a Burmese jungle and wait for the food to come to them. And of course, this can mean months between meals.

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Around the Nation
5:33 am
Sat October 29, 2011

Unions Assume A Support Role For Occupy Movement

Union posters can be found all over the Occupy Philadelphia protest site near City Hall. Protesters and local union leaders meet regularly to discuss tactics and how to involve labor.

Jeff Brady NPR

Attend just about any of the Occupy Wall Street-inspired protests across the country and you're likely to see a group of people dressed in matching union T-shirts somewhere in the crowd. Typically, they're older than your average Occupy protester but no less enthusiastic in their chanting.

"I've been doing this [protesting] for five decades," said Mike Wisniewski at a recent Occupy Philadelphia protest at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Wisniewski says he's a university library employee and has been a union member since 1972.

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Author Interviews
5:22 am
Sat October 29, 2011

After 40 Years, Grisly 'Exorcist' Book Gets A Rewrite

'I'm Not Regan': Linda Blair played the young Regan MacNeil in the 1973 film adaptation of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist. In the book, Regan becomes possessed by a malevolent demon who makes her head turn 360 degrees.

AP Warner Bros. Entertainment

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

In 1971, a novel set off a frenzy that soon inspired a film — and then a firestorm.

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