NPR News

The Two-Way
6:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Assad Names New Prime Minister; Fighting Continues In Aleppo

As Syrian President Bashar Assad today chose a replacement for the prime minister who defected earlier this week, there were conflicting reports about just what's happening in the key northern city of Aleppo.

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Sports
6:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Olympic Preview: Decathlon Medals To Be Awarded

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

At the London Summer Olympics, it's one star-studded 200-meter race down and one to go - today. American Allyson Felix won the women's 200 last night and was part of a U.S. track and field medal-winning binge. The Americans took seven medals at Olympic Stadium, helping push the Americans past arch-medal rival China in the overall race.

Not that anyone's counting, right, Tom Goldman?

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Done In A Day: China Wraps Up Murder Trial Of Once-Prominent Politician's Wife

Gu Kailai during today's trial at the Hefei Intermediate People's Court. (Screen image from Chinese TV.)
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 7:10 am

  • Frank Langfitt on 'Morning Edition'

As we said two weeks ago, China's state-controlled media had already concluded that Gu Kailai was guilty of murder even before any sort of a trial.

Today in central China the wife of once-prominent politician Bo Xilai got her day in court.

Literally.

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Religion
5:08 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Blurry Glasses Are A Solution To An Age-Old Conflict

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:48 am

Conservative men from many religions demand that women dress modestly so the men can avoid feeling tempted. Some ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in Israel are selling special glasses that blur men's vision so they can't see women clearly.

Participation Nation
5:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

A Pet Project In Atlanta, Ga.

Samantha Shelton of Furkids, an Atlanta-based animal shelter.
John Slemp Courtesy of Furkids

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:59 am

Samantha Shelton has made it her mission to rescue homeless pets. Furkids, the organization she founded 10 years ago, operates one of the largest no-kill animal shelters in Georgia, caring for more than 600 homeless cats and dogs every day.

Furkids has placed more than 7,000 animals into permanent homes.

"Animal overpopulation in Georgia is an epidemic," Samantha says. To combat that problem, Furkids spays or neuters every animal; many day-to-day operations are carried out by more than 400 volunteers — adults and children.

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Sports
5:01 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Internet Surfers Have Fun With Gymnast's Scowl

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:49 am

U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney was disappointed when she took silver in the Olympic vault competition. A photographer snapped her wearing the medal around her neck and a big scowl on her face. That photo has now been Photoshopped on to all sorts of other pictures on the Internet.

Middle East
4:55 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Israel Monitors Egypts Call To Modify Treaty

Israeli soldiers look at their Egyptian counterparts from their side of the border Wednesday at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, where an attack by Islamist militants on Sunday killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.
Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 7:44 am

Israel is welcoming Egypt's military efforts to stamp out Islamist militants in the Sinai following the recent border attack there that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. The Jewish state has long been concerned over the situation in the Sinai, where there's been an upsurge in violence.

But calls in Egypt to modify the peace treaty with Israel — allowing Egypt to strengthen its security in the Sinai — has also led to concern in Israel.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:36 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Olympic Bodies: They Just Don't Make Them Like They Used To

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:55 am

The Olympic Games seem to celebrate the extremes of athletic physique — from tiny gymnasts to impossibly huge shot-putters. But why are they shaped that way?

We've put together an infographic that explores how athletes' bodies have changed over the last century, and the role physics plays in each event. Here on Shots, we're taking a look at some of the athletes featured in the graphic.

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First And Main
1:24 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Complications, Contradictions In A Fla. Swing County

Sofia Martinez, 40, is a registered nurse in Plant City, Fla., who supports both the DREAM Act and Republican Mitt Romney, who says he would veto it.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:17 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

Sofia Martinez was a kid when she began what you could call her life on the road.

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Dead Stop
1:20 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Uncovering Secrets Buried At A Neglected Cemetery

Volunteers have been collecting grave markers like these and trying to figure out where they go.
Maggie Martin NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 9:07 am

At most cemeteries, hearing weed cutters and lawn mowers trimming grass around graves would seem normal enough. But at Lincoln Cemetery in Montgomery, Ala., these are the sounds of progress.

Lincoln Cemetery was established in 1907 for African-Americans. But with no one in charge of the cemetery or keeping up with burial records, abuse, vandalism and neglect became rampant and the cemetery is in disrepair. Grass and weeds grew three feet high. People picked apart old, crumbling graves and took bones of the deceased.

And no one is quite where people are actually buried.

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Environment
1:19 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Building For Birds: Architects Aim For Safer Skies

Architect Guy Maxwell holds a printout of his proposed design for the new Bridge Building at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 11:07 am

Second of a two-part series. Read Part 1.

Modern architecture's love affair with tall glass buildings takes a toll. Every year, millions of birds crash into glass windows in North America.

These collisions may seem like an intractable problem. But in New York City, an architect is trying to find a solution.

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The Torch
5:21 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Sarah Attar Becomes Saudi Arabia's First Female Track Olympian

Sarah Attar of Saudi Arabia walks off the track after competing in the Women's 800m Round 1 Heats.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:27 am

It's a moment worth noting: Like judoko Wojdan Shaherkani before her, 19-year-old Sarah Attar became Saudi Arabia's first female track Olympian, today.

As Reuters reports, Attar ran the 800 meter heat in a "white head cover, a long-sleeved green top, black leggings" and " luminous green running spikes."

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Shots - Health Blog
5:13 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Internet's Cat Obsession Justifies Itself In Cancer Ward

Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem, 16, received a bone-marrow transplant at Seattle Children's Hospital in 2011 for leukemia and returned in July 2012 for follow-up treatment. On July 25, an artist at the hospital set up a cat photo installation in her room.
Courtesy of Seattle Children's Hospital

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 9:06 am

We're not sure it's ever been studied, but we're willing to bet that the glut of cute animal photos on the Internet is a testament to their soothing effect on the human mind.

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Religion
4:41 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Cue The Tape: How David Barton Sees The World

David Barton in 2004.
ERIC GAY ASSOCIATED PRESS

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All Tech Considered
4:32 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Text-Talented Or R U All Thumbs?

Austin Wierschke, left, of Rhinelander, Wis., and Kent Augustine, of Jamaica, N.Y., compete during the final round of the 2012 LG U.S. National Texting Championship on Wednesday, in New York. Wierschke won the championship for the second time in a row.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:38 pm

Back in front of my computer where thankfully I can use more than my thumbs to type, I see that Austin Wierschke of Rhinelander, Wis., grabbed the title again at the competition in New York City this afternoon. He's the first texting competitor to win back-to-back titles.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Obama App Showing Nearby Democrats Has Some Concerned About Privacy

A screenshot of the new Obama campaign app.
Pro-Publica

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 8:20 am

A mobile phone application released by the campaign of President Obama last week has some privacy advocates crying foul.

The app taps publicly available data and allows you see registered Democrats near you. It shows the Democrats' first name, last initial, age and their home address.

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It's All Politics
4:15 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

In Brawl Over Romney's Tax Returns, Harry Reid Gets Marquee Billing

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. speaks to the media at the Capitol in March.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 4:57 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's decision not to release more of his past tax returns has fueled countless attacks and counterattacks.

The former Massachusetts governor has released his 2010 tax return and promises that his 2011 return is forthcoming. He says that's enough.

But that's not enough for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The result is an increasingly ugly fight.

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Asia
3:42 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Murder Trial Of Chinese Politician's Wife Set To Start

Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, will stand trial on charges related to the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Here, the couple is shown in 2007 attending Bo's father's funeral.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:35 pm

One of China's biggest criminal trials opens Thursday, and its lurid details make for a sort-of Communist Party film noir. The wife of an ambitious Chinese politician is accused of murdering a British businessman. Her powerful husband allegedly blocks the police investigation, and the police chief, fearing for his life, takes refuge in a U.S. consulate and implicates the wife in the killing.

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It's All Politics
3:40 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Poll Shows Voters Split On Presidential Candidates' Tax Returns

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 4:10 pm

About half of those surveyed in a new poll of voters in three swing states thought presidential candidates should release multiple years of their tax returns.

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The Torch
3:30 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

May-Treanor And Walsh Jennings Go Out Golden, With A Three-Peat

Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings (left) and Misty May-Treanor yell after winning a record third-straight gold medal in women's beach volleyball, at the Horse Guard's Parade in London.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have won an unprecedented Olympic three-peat in women's beach volleyball, as they defeated their fellow Americans, the team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, in the gold medal match.

The match lasted just 36 minutes, as May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won the first and second sets by the same score: 21-16. On the final point, Ross' serve floated long, and the celebration was on. May-Treanor started dancing on the sand, and the players ran to the stands to hug their loved ones.

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Religion
3:06 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

The Most Influential Evangelist You've Never Heard Of

Republican activist David Barton speaks before testifying before the Texas State Board of Education in 2009.
Harry Cabluck AP

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:14 pm

David Barton says Americans have been misled about their history. And he aims to change that.

"It's what I would call historical reclamation," Barton explains, in his soft but rapid-fire voice. "We're just trying to get history back to where it's accurate. If you're going to use history, get it right."

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The Record
3:06 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Laughing To Keep From Crying: A Comic Novel About Copyright Law

Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:21 pm

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Researcher: Temple Gunman Said Military Experience Drove Him To Hate

Wade Michael Page, in a photo released by police.
Oak Creek Police

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 4:15 pm

Pete Simi says that when he heard it was Wade Michael Page who police said killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday, he felt "sick to my stomach."

Simi, a professor of criminology at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and co-author of American Swastika, realized that he had talked to Page at length during his research on the white power movement in the United States.

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News
2:44 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

To Prevent A Tragedy, How Much Can A School Do?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 4:15 pm

A Colorado judge on Thursday will consider whether to lift the gag order in the case of James Holmes, 24, who's accused of killing 12 and wounding dozens more at a movie theater last month.

NPR and other news organizations want access to case files, including a notebook that Holmes reportedly sent to a university psychiatrist before withdrawing from the school that may have described an attack.

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Music Reviews
2:34 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Lianne La Havas: A Cool Antidote For Late Summer's Heat

Lianne La Havas' debut album is titled Is Your Love Big Enough?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 7:24 am

It's gotten to that point in the dog days of August where the air is stale and nothing seems to be moving. But sometimes all it takes to snap me out of a late-summer heat coma is the sound of a new and electrifying voice — like that of Lianne La Havas.

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Participation Nation
2:03 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Fixing A Broken World In Chicago, Ill.

Ally and Carla, co-founders of the Community Glue Workshop.
Courtesy of Community Glue Workshop

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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The Torch
1:23 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Shut Out Of London Games, Video Artists Get Inventive

A video pays homage to the Olympic Games — and to the video games of the 1980s. It's one of many inventive videos around the web, inspired by the London Games.
Flikli

It's not easy to find video of the London 2012 Olympics on the Internet — even on YouTube. And that's inspiring people to "interpret" the Summer Games for themselves. For instance, you can see puppet shows, 8-bit video, and Taiwanese animation, all related to the Olympics... or, at least sort of related.

Here are some of my favorites — feel free to put yours into the comment section below:

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Sweet Story: Bear Breaks Into Candy Shop, Feasts; Camera Captures It All

The bear burglar.
Estes Park News

So, a bear walks into a candy shop.

No, we're not starting a bad joke.

Last week in Estes Park, Colo., a black bear with a sweet tooth took advantage of a candy shop's defective front door to walk in and out seven times over 20 minutes — each time taking some of the treats outside and then coming back in to enjoy more.

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The Torch
12:44 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

How Do You Stack Up Against An Olympic Athlete?

Weightlifter Kazuomi Ota of Japan takes a moment after failing to lift the required weight in the men's +105kg final in London. At 6 feet and 324 pounds, Ota is one of the largest Olympians.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Sure, you might spend a lot of time on your couch, as you watch the Summer Olympics. And hey, maybe you've drifted a couple pounds above your fighting weight. But there's all kinds of athletes competing in London — one of them has to be around the same size as you, right?

Now you can find that out, thanks to the BBC, whose site has an interactive chart that lets you enter your height and weight — and then tells you which two Olympic athletes you most resemble.

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The Salt
12:09 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Here's Where Farms Are Sucking The Planet Dry

Check out some of the world's most important - and threatened - aquifers. Click to see a high-resolution version of this map.
Nature

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 3:49 pm

This map is disturbing, once you understand it. It's a new attempt to visualize an old problem — the shrinking of underground water reserves, in most cases because farmers are pumping out water to irrigate their crops.

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