NPR News

The Two-Way
6:02 am
Mon July 9, 2012

In Afghanistan: Bomb Kills Six Americans; Shocking Video Of Woman's Execution

A screen grab from the video of a public execution reportedly carried out last month in Afghanistan. The victim is sitting with her back to the executioner, who is at left.
Agence France Presse

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 9:16 am

"In what was an extraordinarily violent day even by Afghan standards, separate incidents on Sunday killed seven Western troops, including six Americans who died in a single blast, along with five Afghan police officers and at least 18 civilians," the Los Angeles Times writes.

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Around the Nation
5:34 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Cherry Festival Crowns New Pit-Spitting Champ

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Ronn Matt told the Chicago Tribune that his mother used to frown on his habit of spitting cherry pits. But now he's a champion. Over the weekend in Michigan, Matt managed to unseat two spitting dynasties, families who had won for the last 20 years the International Cherry Pit spitting contest. He won by spitting a pit 69 feet. Impressive but far short of the world record of 93 and a half feet. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Asia
5:22 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Disney Characters Frolick On North Korean Stage

Disney says nobody in North Korea asked permission to use Mickey and Minnie and some of the company's other characters. A concert for the country's new leader Jim Jong Un featured the Disney stars.

The Two-Way
5:09 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Ahhh! Some Relief From The Heat

Dancing in the rain: New York City got some relief from the heat as early as Saturday, when this young woman danced in the rain in Times Square.
John Minchillo AP

The oppressive heat wave that blanketed much of the nation for nearly two weeks, causing at least 46 deaths, has finally eased.

As The Associated Press writes:

"The cooler air began sweeping southward Sunday in the eastern half of the country, bringing down some temperatures by 15 or more degrees from Saturday's highs, which topped 100 in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky."

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Mon July 9, 2012

The ABCs Of Politicians

Even in zoos, donkeys and elephants turn their backs on their parties.
iStockphoto.com

A. First, politicians began omitting their party affiliations on campaign literature and websites. Politics "is a dirty word," says David King, a lecturer on public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. King told the MetroWest Daily News: "Why would you want to put it right out there; why would you sell a shirt with a stain on it? You need to appeal on other terms by downplaying partisanship."

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Africa
3:28 am
Mon July 9, 2012

South Sudan Struggles 1 Year After Independence

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:47 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

This was the scene one year ago today in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Black Lung Returns To Coal Country
3:13 am
Mon July 9, 2012

As Mine Protections Fail, Black Lung Cases Surge

Mark McCowan, 47, was diagnosed with the worst stage of black lung only five years after an X-ray showed he had no sign of the disease.
David Deal for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 3:26 am

Part one of a two-part series.

It wasn't supposed to happen to coal miners in Mark McCowan's generation. It wasn't supposed to strike so early and so hard. At age 47 and just seven years after his first diagnosis, McCowan shouldn't have a chest X-ray that looks this bad.

"I'm seeing more definition in the mass," McCowan says, pausing for deep breaths as he holds the X-ray film up to the light of his living room window in Pounding Mill, Va.

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Food
2:55 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Kansas City Hospital Offers Healthy Food Choices

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:51 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

One of the places you'd expect to find healthy food is in hospitals - boring, but healthy. But in recent decades, fast food restaurants have worked their way into hospitals around the country. That's despite growing evidence linking fast food menus to high rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Elana Gordon from member station KCUR in Kansas City takes us to one place that has been wrestling with that situation.

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Governing
1:05 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Justice's New Watchdog Meets Fast And Furious

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing secret emails about the department's Fast and Furious operation.

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:28 am

The legal battle between Republican lawmakers and Attorney General Eric Holder over access to documents in a gun scandal could take months, if not years, to resolve.

But one man has already been sifting through secret emails about the operation known as Fast and Furious. He's Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's new watchdog.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
1:04 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Botswana's 'Stunning Achievement' Against AIDS

Johane Setlhare began taking anti-AIDS drugs, provided by the government, in 2007. Two years later, he regained enough strength to build the house that's behind him.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:50 am

The southern African nation of Botswana has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. Nearly 25 percent of all adults in the country are infected with the virus. Only the nearby kingdom of Swaziland has a higher rate.

But Botswana is also remarkable for its response to the epidemic. It has one of the most comprehensive and effective HIV treatment programs in Africa. Transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their fetuses and newborn babies has been brought down to just 4 percent.

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The Salt
1:02 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Confusion At The Yogurt Aisle? Time for Probiotics 101

Packages of Activa yogurt, which contain probiotics, on a grocery shelf in Chicago.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:51 am

Researchers are studying the ability of beneficial micro-organisms - or probiotics - to treat a range of conditions from eczema to inflammatory bowel disease. And the idea that "good" bacteria are healthy for us is gaining traction.

But the science is tricky.

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Middle East
1:01 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Across Continents, Syrian Family Seeks Assad's Ouster

Syrian activist Karam Nachar is pursuing a doctorate in Middle Eastern history at Princeton. His family is working on several fronts against the Syrian regime. His father, who has been jailed previously, helped form the Syrian National Council, an organization of dissidents.
Ozier Muhammad The New York Times

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:28 am

The Nachar family has long been on the radar of the Syrian government, and since last year, they have become even more visible.

When Syrians first started openly protesting inside the country in the spring of 2011, 29-year-old Syrian Karam Nachar was working on his doctorate in Middle East history at Princeton University. He joined demonstrations outside U.N. headquarters in New York.

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Politics
1:00 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Campaigns Play The Numbers To Tip Election Favor

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:28 am

There are two big factors that will determine the outcome of the presidential election: the economy and demographics.

The economy is weak and doesn't look likely to improve by much, but the makeup of the electorate on the other hand is highly dynamic. It continues a trend underway for years: a rapid rise in the number of people who are not Anglos in both the population and at the polls.

That percentage actually doubled between 1992 and 2008, says Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Oscar-Winner Ernest Borgnine Dies At 95

Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine died Sunday. He was 95.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:17 am

Ernest Borgnine, the larger-than-life actor with the affable, gap-toothed grin, known for often villainous roles, has died, according to spokesman Harry Flynn. He was 95.

Flynn told the Associated Press that Borgnine died of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his wife and children at his side.

Borgnine won the best-actor Oscar in 1955 for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in Marty.

The AP reports:

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Your Money
3:28 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Raising Minimum Wage: A Help Or Harm?

Wendy Brown of Schenectady, N.Y., holds a sign before an Occupy Albany rally pushing for a raise in New York's minimum wage on May 29, 2012.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 6:55 pm

Back in 1912, Massachusetts became the first place in America to introduce a minimum wage, but it would take another quarter century before a national minimum wage was set.

President Franklin Roosevelt made it law in 1938, that any hourly worker had to be paid at least 25 cents an hour. It was revolutionary, and very few countries had anything like it.

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Africa
3:19 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Liberia Launches Military Campaign To Route Rebels

Liberia is launching its first large-scale military operation since the end of its brutal civil war. Liberia's army, which has been trained by the U.S. military over the last six years, is going after mercenaries and rebels who are using thick forest as cover from which to launch ambushes in neighboring Ivory Coast.

NPR Story
2:57 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Drones Suspected In Yemen Fighting

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 3:19 pm

Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with NPR's Kelly McEvers about her reporting trip to towns in southern Yemen, which recently came under fire from what are believed to be unmanned drones.

NPR Story
2:57 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Hacking Drones And The Dangers It Presents

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 3:19 pm

A professor at The University of Texas has figured out how to intercept drones while in flight. Todd Humphreys and his team taps into the GPS coordinates of a civilian drone and can alter the flight path, even land it. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with Humphreys about how he did it and the dangers that hacking can present.

The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Barney Frank Gets Married; The Bridegrooms Wore Black

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass., left) and his longtime partner Jim Ready got married in Massachusetts on Saturday.
Jaime E. Connolly AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:50 am

The first openly gay congressman is now the first sitting congressman to be in a same-sex marriage. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank married his longtime partner, James Ready, in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick on Saturday.

The setting was low-key — a Marriott hotel in suburban Boston — and the ceremony lasted less than five minutes. Attendees including Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. John Kerry lent suitable gravitas.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
12:50 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

The Movie Gabriel Macht's 'Seen A Million Times'

Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show with Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon in 1975.
20th Century Fox The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 3:19 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actor Gabriel Macht, whose credits include The Good Shepherd, The Spirit, Love and Other Drugs and the USA TV show, "Suits," the movie he could watch a million times is the rock musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. "Tim Curry is just amazing," Macht says.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Federer Dashes UK Hopes With Wimbledon Win

Roger Federer of Switzerland (left) and Andy Murray of Great Britain hold up their trophies after the men's singles final match at Wimbledon Sunday.
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:49 am

Collapsing to the ground, Switzerland's Roger Federer rolled right back up with a look of joy Sunday as he took in his record-tying seventh title at the All England Club. He beat Britain's Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that electrified fans and came close to giving the U.K. its first Wimbledon men's singles title since 1936.

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Science
5:33 am
Sun July 8, 2012

How It Feels To Win A Bet Against Stephen Hawking

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn from political to science. Researchers discovered what looks to be the elusive Higgs boson. It's a subatomic particle they've spent nearly 50 years searching for. So, this was special vindication for their efforts, and special vindication for one of the scientists who's been searching for the particle - a man named Gordy Kane. Kane won $100 in a bet with Stephen Hawking, arguably the world's smartest person alive today. Hawking admitted defeat on the BBC.

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Africa
5:33 am
Sun July 8, 2012

South Sudan Turns 1, Without Much To Celebrate

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
5:33 am
Sun July 8, 2012

The Art Of Diplomacy Has Its Rules

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some people call it the art of diplomacy. Well, it sure is an art with a lot of rules. When an American president is meeting with a foreign leader, it is so important to respect the country's customs, use proper greetings, serve the right food, above all, avoid mistakes that could make things awkward. You might remember this scene from the TV drama, "The West Wing.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE WEST WING")

DULE HILL: (as Charlie Young) C.J.?

ALLISON JANNEY: (as C.J.) Hassan Ali is coming?

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Africa
5:33 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Libyans Vote, But Power Struggle Has Just Begun

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Yesterday, for the first time since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi, Libyans cast votes to elect their government. These were parliamentary elections. And while Libyans celebrated the landmark event in the street, it is clear the transition to democracy is running into trouble.

For more, we're joined by Fred Wehrey in the BBC Studios in London. He's a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and he was in Libya during the run-up to the elections.

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Around the Nation
5:33 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Fountain Spouts Freedom From Heat In Philadelphia

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

It's been pretty warm here on the East Coast the last few days. No, check that - it has been downright scorching. Temperatures have climbed so high many cities warned residents that they should avoid strenuous activity and stay hydrated.

From member station WHYY, Elizabeth Fiedler reports on how some are beating the heat in Philadelphia.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER AND CHILDREN LAUGHING)

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Sports
5:33 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Sports: Strikeouts And Curveballs This Week

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIFE IS A BALL GAME")

SISTER WINONA CARR: (Singing) Life is a ball game being played each day. Life is a ball game...

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That big stadium organ in that tune seems so appropriate this week because the Major League Baseball is heading into its All-Star break. And WEEKEND EDITION star, Mike Pesca joins us now to talk sports.

Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Thanks. I was named in fan balloting. I don't really deserve it.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: You got all the voting.

PESCA: Yeah.

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Sports
5:33 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Surprising Twist Leads To Wimbledon Finals

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The men's Wimbledon final has just ended, and Swiss star Roger Federer has now tied Pete Sampras' all-time record of seven Wimbledon victories in the modern era. It was a dramatic win for Federer, but also a dramatic loss for Britain's Andy Murray, who had a whole country watching today. He was the first British man to even reach the Wimbledon finals in 74 years. Like millions of people all over Britain, NPR's Philip Reeves tuned in. And, Phil, are you still breathless after that match?

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Politics
5:33 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Jobs Back In Political Forefront

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's talk about the presidential campaign with Mara Liasson, NPR's national political correspondent. Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

GREENE: So, we just heard in Cheryl's piece that the NAACP is meeting. They're going to hear from Mitt Romney. They're going to hear from Vice President Joe Biden. They are not expected to hear from President Obama. What do you make of him sitting this one out?

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U.S.
4:08 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Texas Seeks New Water Supplies Amid Drought

Receding water at Lake Travis near Austin, Texas, has the state concerned about its water supply. In 2011, Lake Travis had the lowest inflow since it was created about 70 years ago.
Joshua Lott Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 12:59 pm

The punishing seven-year drought of the 1950s in Texas brought about the modern era of water planning. But the drought of 2011 was the hottest, driest 12 months on record there.

Though only a handful of towns saw their water sources dry up last summer, it got so bad that cities, industries and farmers began to think the unthinkable: Would they run out of water?

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