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4:02 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Abuse Case Shatters Penn State's 'Happy Valley' Image

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno announced Wednesday he would resign at season's end. The coach is seen here during the 2002 season, several months after a graduate assistant informed him of seeing alleged sexual abuse in a locker room shower.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

For nearly half a century, Penn State football has been the model for how to run a successful — and clean — college sports program. And coach Joe Paterno has been its leader, revered in all quarters not only for winning games but for his virtuous, fatherly leadership.

That all changed this week, with the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on 40 criminal counts related to the alleged sexual abuse of minors. In addition, two top university officials have been charged with perjury and failing to report allegations to police.

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It's All Politics
4:01 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Ohio voters on Tuesday resoundingly repealed a controversial law that would have severely limited collective bargaining for public employees, a law Republican Gov.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
3:58 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
3:15 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
3:12 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 2:50 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
3:00 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Turks, Europeans Lead Charge On Libyan Investment

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 5:53 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
2:45 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
2:33 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 9:16 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
1:57 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

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

An October 1987 "Family Circus."
Bil Keane AP

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 2:04 pm

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
1:51 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
1:30 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 6:31 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
1:20 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
1:10 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 6:17 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 Two-Way
12:56 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 1:04 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
12:52 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
12:42 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 5:53 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
12:15 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
12:08 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 1:42 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
11:35 am
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
10:59 am
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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Middle East
10:49 am
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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The Two-Way
10:49 am
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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Planet Money
10:17 am
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 12:54 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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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Wed November 9, 2011

At Guantanamo Hearing, Alleged Cole Mastermind Is 'All Swagger'

[The alleged mastermind of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole was seen today for the first time in nine years during an arraignment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It's the first test of the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston was there.]

When Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri walked into the Guantanamo courtroom this morning, he was all swagger.

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Politics
9:57 am
Wed November 9, 2011

How Birth Control And Abortion Became Politicized

Stephan Zabel iStockphoto.com

The first birth control clinic in the United States opened in 1916. It was operated by Margaret Sanger, who started the clinic after becoming outraged that she couldn't give her patients — poor women in the tenements on New York City's Lower East Side — information about contraceptive options.

"Sanger [went] to these squalid, crowded homes of these young women bearing many children who are begging her — while giving birth — for information about contraception," says historian Jill Lepore. "And it [was] illegal for her to give them any information."

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Wed November 9, 2011

'This Is Only A Test;' National Alert System Gets Trial Run Today

Don't be alarmed at 2 p.m. ET today when broadcasters across the U.S., including NPR stations, take part in the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.

After all, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports for our Newscast Desk, "remember, this is only a test."

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Son Says Penn State Coach Paterno Will Retire At End Of Season

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 4:19 pm

Saying "I wish I had done more" about accusations that one of his former assistants had been sexually abusing young boys for more than a decade, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno just confirmed that he will retire at the end of this season.

The 84-year-old Paterno, who holds the record for most wins by a Division I coach, released this statement moments ago:

"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.

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The Salt
8:18 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Giving Mini Burgers To Mice Reveals The Good And Bad Of Cooking Meat

Cooked meat may be humans' most efficient energy source.
Istockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 1:19 pm

Ah, to be a Harvard laboratory mouse. The pay stinks, but the food is delish! Researchers at the venerable school have been serving lab mice tiny organic burgers made with meat from Savenor's Market, where Julia Child bought her steaks.

"It came out looking like a beautiful little mini hamburger," says Rachel Carmody, a graduate student in evolutionary biology at Harvard who cooked up the mini-burgers in Petri dishes.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Top Stories: Cain Allegations, Penn State Scandal, 2011 Elections

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 7:37 am

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Cain Accuser Says She Didn't Want Controversy

Cain accuser and longtime government employee Karen Kraushaar once worked as a spokesperson for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. She offered a statement after meeting with the Miami family of Elian Gonzalez in March of 2000.
Miami Herald Getty Images

A few of the developments since our last post about the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain — who calls them "false, anonymous, incorrect accusations":

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