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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Wed October 12, 2011

BlackBerry Outages Continue, Reports Say They've Spread To North America

Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 5:14 pm

The focus remains on "Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India," where millions of BlackBerry users are without text services for a third straight day, Reuters reports, but there's word now that the problems are also affecting folks in North America.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Top Stories: Terror Plot, Baghdad Bombings, Republican Debate

Good morning.

Our early headline today was a follow to the news about an alleged plan by two Iranians to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.:

Alleged Terror Plot: 'Brazen And Bizarre'

As for other stories making headlines (and we'll have more about some of them later), they include:

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Alleged Terror Plot: 'Brazen And Bizarre'

This courtroom drawing shows Manssor Arbabsiar (front, right), appearing before U.S. Southern District Court Judge Michael H. Dolinger on Tuesday.

Shirley Shepard AFP/Getty Images

Two words — brazen and bizarre — come to mind about the alleged plot by two Iranians to hire members of a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and possibly bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, NPR's Tom Gjelten said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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Around the Nation
6:59 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Corn Maze Baffles Family Of Four

Bob Connors tells the Boston Globe he designed the seven-acre maze in Danvers, Mass., so people would get lost. Apparently it worked because a family of four became completely disoriented. In a final act of desperation, they called 911 from inside the maze.

History
6:56 am
Wed October 12, 2011

World's Oldest Running Car Sells For $4.5 Million

In 1887, the French-made motor car La Marquise was in the first automobile race. It is still running. The car got a standing ovation when it was driven onstage at a recent auction, and a winning bid of more than $4.5 million.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Business News

Renee Montagne has business news.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed October 12, 2011

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 8:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's remember, now, a pioneer for gay rights. Yesterday, on National Coming Out Day, Frank Kameny died.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mr. Kameny fought in World War II. He earned a PhD from Harvard. He landed a job with the U.S. Army Map Service. And then, in 1957, he was fired for being gay. Frank Kameny sued, and lost, and appealed, and lost. But this was still a landmark case. It was the first federal civil rights claim based on sexual orientation. He also organized a group called the Homophiles.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Fact Checking: Latest GOP Debate

Steve Inskeep and Bill Adair, editor of the non-partisan fact-checking web site Politifact.com, truth squad the latest Republican presidential debate held last night in Hanover, New Hampshire.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed October 12, 2011

U.S.: Iran Behind Plot To Kill Saudi Envoy

Steve Inskeep talks with Iran expert Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations about the criminal charges filed yesterday against two Iranians — one a naturalized U.S. citizen — accused of plotting to kill the Saudi Ambassador to Washington.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Economic Progress Lags For U.S. Born Children Of Mexican Immigrants

Since the last decade, there are now more Hispanic children of immigrants in the United States than actual immigrants. That should translate into more progress — educationally and economically. But Steve Trejo, an economist at the University of Texas at Austin, tells Renee Montagne that while the second generation does better than the first, the third generation doesn't fare as well.

Europe
4:00 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Does Dexia's Collapse Herald A Wider Banking Crisis?

Until now, the eurozone debt crisis has been confined to countries on the continent's periphery — like Greece, Spain and Ireland. But that may be changing with the collapse of a bank at the core of the eurozone. While some call Franco-Belgian lender Dexia's demise an exception, others say it is a wake-up call for all European banks.

Middle East
4:00 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Hamas, Israel Reach Deal To Swap Prisoners

The Israeli government and the Palestinian militant group Hamas have agreed to a prisoner exchange. Hamas says Israel will free more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas militants and held in Gaza for more than five years.

Africa
2:32 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Famine-Stricken Somalia Suffers From Aid Drought

Humanitarian groups are increasingly worried about the looming budget cuts in U.S. foreign assistance. They argue that lives are at stake, literally, in places like the Horn of Africa, which is suffering its worst drought in decades.

Raising public and private money for that has been a challenge in the current economic environment.

Hollywood stars and politicians have resorted to using the F word — in this case Famine — to get the attention of Americans about the humanitarian emergency in Somalia.

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2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.
12:01 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Immigrant Parents Rely On Kids For Help Online

A pamphlet in Spanish for Cingular phone rate information is displayed in a Cingular store in Elmhurst, Illinois. Cingular announced in 2006 that it was converting 420 of their stores to "a bilingual concept," with both English and Spanish phone information, payment options and bilingual staff members.

Tim Boyle Getty Images

On a weekend in East L.A., kids do what they do anywhere else — play games, hang out in restaurants. But in this immigrant neighborhood, many of them have grown-up responsibilities. Fifteen-year-old Gonzalo Cruz says his parents depend on him for help online.

"When they need to look up a place, like a doctor's appointment, I show them," Cruz says. "Computers right now, in our country, they're just English. You have to use them a certain way, and they didn't learn to do that when they were little."

Thirteen year-old Cassandra Flores helps her parents pay bills online.

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Research News
12:01 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Pain At The Plate: Heat Increases Pitcher Retaliation

Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers is hit by a pitch from the Tampa Bay Rays' James Shields on Oct. 1 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 2:54 pm

Richard Larrick has been bothered by something for two decades.

"Twenty years ago, I'd done a paper with some graduate students just showing that in hotter temperatures, pitchers are more likely to hit batters with pitches," says Larrick, a professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Was it because they would sweat more, and the ball might get slippery and hard to control? Or was it something intentional?

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Law
12:01 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Should Minor Offenders Be Subject To Strip Searches?

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears arguments for a case testing whether prison guards may constitutionally strip search even minor traffic offenders when they are arrested and taken to jail.

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 5:14 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing whether prison guards may constitutionally strip-search even minor traffic offenders when they are arrested and taken to jail.

For decades, most courts did not allow such blanket strip searches, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Syrian Refugees In Turkey Call For International Help

Syrian refugees gather for a protest against Syrian President Bashar Assad at the Turkish Red Crescent camp in the Yayladagi district of the Turkish city of Hatay near the Syrian border, June 20, 2011. More than 7,000 Syrians are living in camps in Turkey.

Mustafa Ozer AFP/Getty Images

As political unrest and a government crackdown in Syria continue to simmer, more than 7,500 Syrian refugees have fled to camps in southeastern Turkey, and Syrians say many more would come if they could get past the Syrian army.

One of these camps, Altinozu, lies deep in the farm fields of Turkey's Hatay province. It appears to be well-planned and well-run, right down to the asphalt laid between the rows of white tents.

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Sweetness And Light
10:00 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Football Uber Alles. Uber Alles, Football

It's hard to relate America's love for the NFL to the broader national temperament — but the league now dominates all sports. Here, a young Oakland Raiders fan watches his team on a recent Sunday.

Thearon W. Henderson Getty Images

Football is real big. Everybody knows that. But it is getting bigger. Football is now gigantic, monstrous, humongous. Sure, it was years ago that it passed baseball as our most popular sport, but by now it simply looms alone above the American sportscape.

I would rank the U.S. sports entities this way:

  1. The NFL
  2. College football
  3. Fantasy football
  4. Major League Baseball
  5. High school football
  6. The NBA
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The Two-Way
7:12 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Pakistani Court Will Hear Appeal Of Confessed-Killer Mumtaz Qadri

Demonstrators outside the court where lawyers for Mumtaz Qadri, the confessed killer of the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, petitioned the court to hear an appeal to overturn the death sentence against Qadri handed down by an Anti-Terror Court earlier this month.

Julie McCarthy NPR

A Pakistani court has decided to hear the appeal of the confessed-killer Mumtaz Qadri, who was sentenced to death this month for killing the Governor of Punjab earlier this year. The court's decision means that Qadri's death sentence has been suspended, until the high court rules on the appeal.

From Islamabad, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that hundreds of his supporters rallied outside the courthouse, saying Qadri killed in support of Pakistan's blasphemy laws:


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National Security
6:48 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

U.S. Drawn Into Long-Running Iran-Saudi Feud

Adel al-Jubeir, shown in this 2004 photo, is Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. and was the target of an Iranian assassination plot, according to the U.S. government.

Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 11:49 pm

Iran and Saudi Arabia have a bitter rivalry that plays out on many fronts, and in a bombshell allegation by the U.S. government on Tuesday, it looks like that feud has come to the United States.

Iran's alleged assassination plot against Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi's ambassador to Washington, is not likely to prompt the Obama administration to take military action against Iran, according to analysts.

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The Two-Way
6:16 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Obama's Job Bill Faces First Test In Senate Vote

A modified version of President Obama's jobs bill will face its first test this afternoon, when the Senate votes on whether to take up the legislation. Obama has been on a nation-wide campaign to sell his bill the American public, but it seems unlikely to get the 60 votes necessary to move it forward in the Senate.

The New York Times reports that Obama said if he doesn't get the votes, the president will try to move it through the chambers in a piece-meal manner:

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The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Senate Passes Bill On Chinese Currency

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 6:41 pm

Update at 6:29 p.m. ET. With a 63-35 vote, the Senate passed a controversial bill that seeks to curb what lawmakers see as a Chinese advantage based on the country's manipulation of its currency.

The bill is mostly symbolic, because the House has said it will not move on its version of the bill until the White House expresses its opinion. The White House has said it is worried about whether the bill might violate international trade rules.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Music Interviews
5:20 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Harry Belafonte: Out Of Struggle, A Beautiful Voice

Harry Belafonte's new memoir is titled My Song. An HBO documentary about the singer-songwriter and activist, Sing My Song, is scheduled to air Oct. 17.

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 12:01 am

To read Harry Belafonte's new memoir, My Song, is to discover a man who has packed enough life for 10 people into 84 years. There's the smash hit from 1956, "Banana Boat Song." There's a film career that made great use of his matinee-idol looks. And then there's Harry Belafonte the activist.

In the 1960s, he was a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr.'s. By the '80s, he was helping organize "We Are the World," the anthem for famine relief in Africa.

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Europe
4:52 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Malta Passes Measure To Expand Bailout Fund

The parliament in Malta passed a controversial measure to expand Europe's bailout fund late on Monday. But to many young people in the tiny Mediterranean island nation, the question was never really in doubt. Despite all its economic problems, they see their future in the eurozone.

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