NPR News

The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

What If Google Were Run By Replacement Engineers?

A spoof site launched by Erik Johnson pretends to offer Google's search engine — if it were run by replacements.
Replacement Google

Frustration over the NFL's not-ready-for-primetime replacement referees has inspired web designer Erik Johnson to present Google as if its search engine had replacement engineers at the controls. The result is a web page that looks a lot like the standard Google Search page — with a note that it is sponsored by the NFL.

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Around the Nation
3:47 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

'Wanna Go To The Dance?' Is SO Passe. Try YouTube

Andrew Forsyth, a high school junior, devised an elaborate scheme to ask his girlfriend, Maddy Powell, to their high school's homecoming dance.
Gigi Douban for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

She doesn't know what's about to happen, but this is a moment high school junior Maddy Powell has been waiting for.

She's sitting in her Advanced Placement biology class, and her boyfriend, Andrew Forsyth, is finally going to pop the question.

Don't worry — he's not asking for Maddy's hand in marriage. But what Andrew has planned is perhaps as elaborate as a marriage proposal.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

UC OKs $1 Million Settlement In Pepper-Spray Suit

Nov. 18, 2011: Occupy protesters get sprayed at University of California Davis.
Thomas K. Fowler AP

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 4:44 am

The University of California will pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Occupy protesters at UC Davis who were pepper-sprayed last November, according to a preliminary settlement filed in district court.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Army Brigadier General Faces Sexual Misconduct Charges

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:42 am

Months after his sudden removal from his post in Afghanistan, Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has been charged with multiple violations of the military's Uniform Code, ranging from wrongful sexual conduct to several rules violations.

For our Newscast desk, NPR's Tom Bowman reports that "Sinclair faces multiple counts of sexual misconduct and maltreatment of subordinates, as well as charges he violated orders by possessing alcohol and pornography while deployed."

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It's All Politics
2:45 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

New Groups Make A Conservative Argument On Climate Change

Former South Carolina Republican Rep. Bob Inglis now runs the Energy and Enterprise Initiative.
Energy and Enterprise Initiative

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 8:22 am

One topic you don't hear much about from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is climate change. Like so much else, it's become politically divisive, with polls showing Republicans far less likely to believe in it or support policies to address it.

But two new groups aim to work from within, using conservative arguments to win over skeptics.

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Around the Nation
2:45 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Young Illegal Immigrants Seek Work Permits

Carlos Martinez, 30, shows off his new work permit, which he received after applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Mamta Popat Arizona Daily Star

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

It's been more than a month since the government began accepting requests for its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama administration's policy for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Hundreds of thousands of people are eligible for the program. So far, only 82,000 have applied.

Carlos Martinez is one of the 29 people who have actually gotten deferrals. It means that he won't be deported, and that he can get a work permit. Martinez applied for the deferred action program the first day.

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It's All Politics
2:36 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

One Way To Avoid Political Ads: Watch 'Dancing With The Stars'?

Pamela Anderson performs with Tristan MacManus on Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars. Anderson was the first contestant eliminated on the show this season.
Adam Taylor ABC

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:41 pm

It's no secret that TV watchers in swing states are getting flooded, bombarded, practically drowned in political ads.

According to data from Kantar Media, as of a week ago, nearly 700,000 political ads had aired throughout the country during the general election campaign. The estimated spending on those ads: $395 million.

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World Cafe
1:52 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Hacienda On World Cafe

Hacienda.
John Peets

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 1:48 pm

San Antonio's Hacienda is a family band featuring brothers Abraham, Jaime and Rene Villanueva, as well as their cousin Dante Schwebel. The Tex-Mex rockers had just started the band and recorded their first demo when they had an encounter that would change the course of their careers. In 2005, they met Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys; after listening to their demo, Auerbach took them under his wing.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:27 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Scientists Go Deep On Genes Of SARS-Like Virus

Cheryl Gleasner, a research technologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, works with a genome sequencing machine designed for disease surveillance. Since the SARS epidemic in 2003, advances in sequencing technologies have greatly speed up the ability to detect and track a new virus.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:51 pm

When an unknown virus emerges, disease detectives turn to gene sequencers — not magnifying glasses — to identify the culprit.

So when a new type of coronavirus killed a man in Saudia Arabia and hospitalized another in the U.K., investigators got cracking.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Freddie Mac Didn't Harm Homeowners, Inspector General Says

In January, NPR and ProPublica reported on a potential conflict of interest at Freddie Mac, a mortgage giant sponsored by the federal government. The stories noted that even as Freddie Mac was writing rules making it harder for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, it also was stepping up investments in securities that gain when homeowners remain stuck in high-rate loans.

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Asia
1:00 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Tokyo's Governor Stokes The Island Feud With China

China, Japan and Taiwan all claim the Senkaku-Diaoyu islands as sovereign territory. On Tuesday, coast guard vessels from Japan and Taiwan dueled with water cannons after dozens of Taiwanese boats escorted by patrol ships sailed into waters around the islands.
Yomiuri Shimbun AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 12:25 am

Japanese politicians are prone to vague pronouncements and a lot of bowing. But not Tokyo's flamboyant, ultraconservative governor, Shintaro Ishihara.

Ishihara, now in his fourth term, thrives on outrageous statements and sensational headlines, and is a central figure in the dispute between China and Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

The islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan, and Diaoyu in China, have become the worst foreign policy crisis to embroil the two Asian superpowers in decades, stoked by nationalist feelings on both sides.

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It's All Politics
11:53 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Romney's Nevada Problems Explained By A Political Scientist Who Voted For Him

Mitt Romney at a Las Vegas fundraiser last week.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:04 pm

Nevada, with its six electoral votes, is far from the biggest Election Day prize sought by President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

But in a race that could be so close that neither candidate can afford to concede a single electoral vote, Nevada is being courted by the candidates to a degree far greater than its size would suggest.

Also, while Obama carried the state by 12 percentages points in 2008, the Great Recession hit the state hard, with widespread foreclosures and high unemployment.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Young Man Who Helped Capture Gadhafi Dies After Being Tortured

Friends and relatives of Omran Ben Shabaan carried his coffin Tuesday after it arrived as the airport in Misrata, Libya.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:58 am

A year ago, Omran Ben Shaaban was among the young men who helped capture Moammar Gadhafi as the former Libyan leader tried to hide in a drainage ditch.

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Animals
11:14 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Mammalian Surprise: African Mouse Can Regrow Skin

The African spiny mouse has the ability to regrow large patches of skin and hair without scarring.
Ashley W. Seifert Nature

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

Scientists have discovered that a mouse found in Africa can lose large patches of skin and then grow it back without scarring, perhaps as a way of escaping the clutches of a predator.

The finding challenges the conventional view that mammals have an extremely limited ability to replace injured body parts. There are lizards that can regrow lost tails, salamanders that can replace amputated legs, and fish that can generate new fins, but humans and other mammals generally patch up wounds with scar tissue.

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Music Reviews
10:59 am
Wed September 26, 2012

After 26 Years, The Sam Rivers Trio Resurfaces

Sam Rivers' trio with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul (not pictured) recently released its 2007 reunion show on CD.
Ken Weiss Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 12:12 pm

Jazz multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers, who died at 88 in December 2011, recorded with many trios in the 1970s. But his most celebrated trio was barely recorded at all. In 2007, it played a reunion concert — its first in 26 years.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:40 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Knee Replacements Are All The Rage With The Medicare Set

Ouch!
Ken Tannenbaum iStockphoto.com

Spend a little time where seniors hang out and there's a good chance you'll hear about somebody getting a new knee — maybe two.

Some figures pulled from Medicare data analyzed in the latest JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, help explain why.

There are about 600,000 knee replacements a year now, at a cost of around $15,000 a piece. All told, the tab for all that orthopedic work is about $9 billion a year, the JAMA study says.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Wed September 26, 2012

City Folk Are More Likely To Read This Post

Remember these? They're most important to those who live in small towns, a new survey shows.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Reinforcing some things you might have suspected, the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, along with the Knight Foundation, report today that a national telephone survey of adults finds:

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Education
10:10 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Librarians Reach Out To Spanish Speakers

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

We just talked about the changing demographics in this country. In fact, the Pew Research Center says Latinos will make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population by the year 2050. So we talked about how that might affect our public schools, but there's another group that's paying very close attention to these changes, and that's librarians.

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Race
10:09 am
Wed September 26, 2012

School Segregation Persists, New Report Says

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, a new documentary follows a harrowing day in an Oakland, California emergency room, where the policy questions about health care play out in real life. We talk with the director of "The Waiting Room." That's in just a few minutes.

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Election 2012
10:08 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Weighing Candidates' Foreign Policies

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 2:31 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, it's been nearly 60 years since public schools were legally desegregated, but new research shows schools are still divided. That's in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Psst! Wanna Buy Some Mozzarella? U.S. Cheese Being Smuggled Into Canada

Somebody check the cheese.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Criminals and cops looking to grab a slice of some tasty action are smuggling American cheese into Canada, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

At the center of this "mozzarella mafia" conspiracy are some officers in the Niagara Regional Police Service, the news agency says. It says that:

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Europe
8:36 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Greeks Take To Streets In Anti-Austerity Protests

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

People are not getting much work done in parts of Europe. Last night, there were violent protests in Spain. They were protests against austerity measures, which is also the case in Greece, where a nationwide strike came today. It closed businesses and schools, and reporter Joanna Kakissis is following the story from Athens.

Joanna, what's been happening?

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Andy Williams Dies; Crooner Was Known For 'Moon River,' Christmas TV Specials

Singer Andy Williams in 1970.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:24 am

  • A bit of Andy Williams singing 'Moon River'

Singer Andy Williams, best known for his rendition of Moon River, his Christmas TV specials and his long-running show in Branson, Mo., has died.

He was 84.

Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, says in a statement sent to reporters that the singer "passed away last night (Tuesday) at home in Branson, Mo, following a year long battle with bladder cancer. ... Williams, 84, who also had a residence in La Quinta, Calif., is survived by his wife Debbie and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian."

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Ahead Of U.N. Address, Ahmadinejad Talks Of New World Order

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his address today at the U.N.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:44 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Michele Kelemen previews Day II at the U.N.

In something of a swan song, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his eighth — and likely final — appearance before the U.N. General Assembly to elaborate on his vision of a new world order and criticize what he calls the world's "hegemonic" and "expansionist" powers.

In general, the Iranian leader took a less confrontational tone than in previous years.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Wed September 26, 2012

After Uproar, No Signal That NFL Refs Will Be Back Soon

Things haven't been going well for these guys: Some of the NFL's replacement referees, during a Sept. 23 game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 12:22 pm

  • David Green and Tom Goldman talk on 'Morning Edition'

Though the nation's football fans — from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the average couch quarterback — are begging the two sides to settle their contract dispute so that regular NFL referees can come back to work, there seems to be no clear reason to think that's going to happen in time for this week's games.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Ahead Of Carmageddon II, Angelenos Fear Traffic Jams In ... The Sky?

Carmageddonin' It? In a photo from last year, a traffic signs alerts motorists on Interstate 405 that the freeway will be shut down for two days in July for demolition of the Mulholland Bridge. The city is bracing for Carmegeddon II, scheduled for this weekend.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

This weekend, a 10-mile stretch of heavily trafficked Interstate 405 in Los Angeles will be shut down for two days to demolish part of the Mulholland Drive bridge. Officials and residents are hoping for a repeat performance of a similar closure last year — known as Carmageddon — when much-hyped traffic woes never materialized.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Tear Gas, Rocks Fly At Anti-Austerity Protest In Athens

In Athens today, anti-austerity demonstrations began peacefully. Later, protesters threw rocks and petrol bombs. Police responded with tear gas.
John Kolesidis Reuters /Landov
  • On 'Morning Editon': Lauren Frayer reporting from Spain

Riot police in Athens have fired tear gas at protesters who in turn have been lobbing stones and petrol bombs in one of the largest anti-austerity demonstrations to hit the Greek capital in months.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Wed September 26, 2012

U.S. Believes It Has Pakistan's 'Tacit Consent' For Drone Strikes, 'WSJ' Reports

February: A protest in Multan, Pakistan, over the drone attacks.
S.S. Mirza AFP/Getty Images

The CIA tells Pakistan in advance about "broad areas" where it intends to take aim at suspected terrorists with drone strikes and interprets the other government's silence and clearing of airspace as "tacit consent," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

Saying its sources are "U.S. officials" and "two senior [Obama] administration officials," the Journal adds that:

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Food
5:13 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Cheap Cheese Smuggled Across Canadian Border

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 9:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

See You Later Alligator, At My Kid's Party

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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