NPR News

Strange News
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Will You Marry Me? Wait, Where Are You?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR Story
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Back To The Debt Debacle: A Look At What's Changed

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:53 am

It was just a year ago that the House rejected a deal with President Obama and threatened to allow the U.S. to default on debt obligations coming due. The Tea Party refusal to raise the debt ceiling led to a downgrade in U.S. credit and a selloff in the markets. NPR's David Welna reports on what's changed since then and what hasn't.

NPR Story
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Breaking Tax Code: Obama Jumps On Romney's Policy

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A damaging analysis has worked out the implications of Mitt Romney's plan to change the tax code. Romney says if elected, he would cut taxes, and do it in a way that does not expand the federal deficit.

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Education
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

A Survey Of Families: Grappling With College Costs

Renee Montagne interviews Sarah Ducich, senior vice president for public policy at Sallie Mae. The big student lender just issued a major report on how families are paying for college these days and among the findings, it shows that students are taking on more of the burden of paying for college compared to before.

Sports
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Medals And Scandals: An Olympic Update

Thursday is day seven of the Summer Olympics. Another big moment is on tap for American swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. The host country looks to add to its suddenly growing tally of medals. And badminton marches on, its image battered by scandal. Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Tom Goldman about all things Olympics.

Education
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Who's The Best? How Universities Stack Up

Forbes Magazine just released its rankings of the best universities in the U.S. They're based on graduation rates, student satisfaction, post-graduate debt and success.

Sports
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

The Power Of Trash Talk For Bhutanese Archers

In women's archery at the Olympics, a sole American competitor remains. Khatuna Lorig beat many competitors, including the one holding up Bhutan's archery tradition, Sherab Zam. NPR's Mike Pesca reports a Bhutanese tradition may be the reason for its ranking.

Music Reviews
5:09 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

The Very Best: A Band's Summer Escape With A Message

Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and Swedish producer Johan Hugo met in a London thrift shop and soon became musical collaborators as The Very Best.
David Harrison

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 8:45 am

The high-tech pop intro to The Very Best's song "Kondaine" suggests a carefree summer party. There's Afropop uplift to the sound and Top 40 melodiousness to the vocal.

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Books
4:56 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Famous For His Hates: The Cool, Witty Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal arrives at the premiere of Alexander at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Calif., on Nov. 16, 2004.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.

Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.

He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.

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It's All Politics
4:15 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Romney Adviser Defends Candidate's Statements About Palestinian Culture

Dan Senor, senior national security aide to Mitt Romney, speaks to the press en route to Israel from London on Saturday.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 12:05 pm

A top foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended statements the Republican presidential candidate made in Israel about the cultural differences between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Science
3:10 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

At Old Mine, Hopes Of Striking Gold With Dark Matter

The LUX Dark Matter Detector is installed in the Davis Cavern of the Sanford Lab in South Dakota in March. The water tank measures 24 feet in diameter, is two stories high and will hold 71,600 gallons.
Matt Kapust AP

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:54 pm

In Lead, S.D., a steel cage drops almost a mile below ground into the Sanford Underground Laboratory. It's formerly the deepest underground gold mine in North America, and when it closed a decade ago, state officials hoped that an underground science laboratory along with on-site university classes could spur economic development.

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It's All Politics
3:03 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

In Ohio, Obama Seeks Middle-Class Mantle Romney's Team Would Deny Him

President Obama argued in Mansfield, Ohio, that he was the true defender of middle-class voters.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:38 pm

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Regulators Propose Tougher Rules For Children's Online Privacy

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:33 pm

The Federal Trade Commission is proposing some tougher rules to control the privacy of children online. According to The Washington Post, the proposed rules would make it more difficult for advertisers and social networks to collect information from children.

Reuters adds:

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Asia
2:42 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

India's Blackout: In The Dark About Being In The Dark

India's electric system is under constant stress and blackouts are common. Elliot Hannon was on the streets of New Delhi when power went out Tuesday, but he didn't realize there was an outage until later.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:26 pm

This might sound strange, but I was on the streets of New Delhi when the power went out Tuesday and I didn't learn about the biggest blackout in history until I read about it later online.

The roads did seem particularly crowded, even for New Delhi. And it did seem odd that the streets were clogged with children in school uniforms and lines of office workers so early in the day.

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The Torch
2:39 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Marine Boxer: 'I'm Proud Of How Far I've Come,' Despite Olympics Loss

Jamel Herring of the U.S. departs the ring after his loss to Daniyar Yeleussinov in their boxing match at the London Olympics. Herring, an active-duty Marine, is the U.S. team captain.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Olympic boxing team captain Jamel Herring lost his light welterweight bout yesterday, but it's not the first setback he's faced — and he says he won't let his team lose its momentum in the London Olympics because of his defeat.

As the AP reports:

"After surviving two tours in Iraq and returning to boxing after the sudden death of his infant daughter in her crib three years ago, Herring knows a bit about composure and focus."

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The Torch
2:05 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Nathan Adrian Takes Gold In 100m Freestyle, Defeating France's Agnel

Yo Adrian! Swimmer Nathan Adrian (right) celebrates with Canada's Brent Hayden (left) after winning the men's 100m freestyle at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

American swimmer Nathan Adrian's name hasn't been on everyone's mind, the way that Michael Phelps' or Ryan Lochte's has. But he did something that even Lochte couldn't do this week: beat Yannick Agnel in a head-to-head race.

Adrian's time of 47.52 seconds in the men's 100-meter freestyle gave him his first individual gold medal, as he also beat James Magnussen of Australia, who came in second, and Brent Hayden of Canada.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Brings Out Supportive Crowds

The line stretched into the parking lot today at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Wichita, Kan.
Travis Heying / Wichita Eagle MCT /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:13 pm

The call from conservatives such as former Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to short support for Chick-fil-A and company President Dan Cathy's stand against same-sex marriage has produced long lines at the fast-food chain's restaurants today, judging from news reports:

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Federal Reserve Says Economy Has Slowed, But Leaves Policy As Is

While it does indeed appear that "economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year," the Federal Reserve also said in its policy statement this afternoon that it is not — as of yet — taking any news steps to give the economy a boost.

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Politics
1:46 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

How Congressman Paul Ryan Is Shaping The GOP

In his New Yorker article, Fussbudget, Ryan Lizza writes: "To envisage what Republicans would do if they win in November, the person to understand is not necessarily Romney, who has been a policy cipher all his public life. The person to understand is Paul Ryan."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

As the presumptive presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is currently the face of the Republican Party. But, as journalist Ryan Lizza suggests in his article in this week's New Yorker, the party's agenda and ideology are being driven by a very different figure: Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

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The Torch
1:40 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

A Medal And Marmite For Team Kiwi

Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Here's a curious little bit of news from the BBC:

"New Zealand competitors who win medals at the London Olympics have been offered an unusual reward — food parcels containing jars of Marmite."

"The spread has been in short supply since March, after the manufacturer was forced to close its only factory because of earthquake damage."

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The Torch
1:32 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Flag-Bearer Zagunis Fails To Medal In Sabre

American fencer Mariel Zagunis (left), the two-time gold medal winner in sabre, shakes hands after losing to Ukraine's Olga Kharlan in their bronze medal match at London's ExCel Center.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Decorated fencer Mariel Zagunis, who carried the U.S. flag into Olympic Stadium as part of the London 2012 opening ceremony, lost in the bronze medal match in the sabre Wednesday afternoon, falling to Olga Kharlan of Ukraine, 15-10.

The loss means that Zagunis, 27, will leave London without a medal — there is no team sabre medal at this year's Olympics (we'll post more about that situation soon).

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The Salt
1:01 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

'Sweet Child O' Mine,' Julia Child Mash-Up Honors America's First Top Chef

Julia Child prepares a French delicacy in her cooking studio on Nov. 24, 1970.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:31 am

Julia Child, the woman credited with singlehandedly teaching America how to cook, would have turned 100 years old on August 15 this year.

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World Cafe
12:40 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Glen Hansard On World Cafe

Glen Hansard.
Conor Masterson

Having already found success as the singer of the Irish band The Frames and as half of the folk-pop duo The Swell Season, singer-songwriter Glen Hansard is venturing out as a solo artist.

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NPR Story
12:07 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Crustacean Adventures — Love at First Crack

"Beware the green stuff," says Maggie Shipstead.
Daniel Gilbey

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:53 pm

Maggie Shipstead just published her first novel, Seating Arrangements.

There haven't been very many. I started late. Until I was 21, I thought I didn't like seafood. Then I got tipsy and ate a whole lobster, and my life changed.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Once In A Blue Moon: August Will Bring Two Full Moons

A waxing moon in the background of a fairground attraction in London on Sunday.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

In astronomical terms, a blue moon really doesn't denote that long a time span. In fact, a blue moon happens once every 2.7 years on average.

Still, it's a special event that, at least using its modern definition, happens when there are two full moons in a single month.

Today (Aug. 1) we'll see a full-moon and that is a prelude to the blue moon of Aug. 31. As Space.com reports, the Aug. 31 moon will reach its full phase during the day.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:25 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Lab Findings Support Provocative Theory On Cancer 'Enemy' Within

The white arrows in these two tumor samples point to a subset of tumor cells that are in a resting state.
Nature

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:54 pm

Scientists reported new evidence Wednesday that supports a provocative theory about cancer.

Three separate teams of scientists said they had, for the first time, shown that so-called cancer stem cells can be found naturally in brain tumors and early forms of skin and colon cancer.

Evidence has been mounting in recent years for the existence of these cells, which would be especially insidious. They are believed to resist standard chemotherapy and radiation and fuel the growth of tumors and relapses.

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Participation Nation
10:53 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Homeless Kids At Play In Washington, D.C.

A volunteer reads a book with a visitor at The Homeless Children's Playtime Project.
Courtesy of The Homeless Children's Playtime Project

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:58 am

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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Shots - Health Blog
10:51 am
Wed August 1, 2012

You Think Beauty Is Skin Deep? You're Not A Chiropractor

Contestants Marianne Baba (left), Lois Conway and Ruth Swenson stand next to plates of their X-Rays during a chiropractor-judged beauty contest.
Wallace Kirkland Time

When the nation's chiropractors descended on Chicago for a weeklong convention in May 1956, they threw a beauty contest.

The judges crowned Lois Conway, 18, Miss Correct Posture. Second place went to Marianne Caba, 16, according to an account in the Chicago Tribune. Ruth Swenson, 26, came in third.

But this was no ordinary pageant.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed August 1, 2012

USPS Defaults On $5.5 Billion Payment To Treasury

An employee loads flat trays onto a truck at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Merrifield, Va.
Andrew Harrier Bloomberg via Getty Images

For the first time ever, the United States Postal Service has defaulted on a payment to the Treasury.

The USPS warned of a default in a statement on Monday. It it would not make the $5.5 billion payment due today and that it would also default on a $5.6 billion payment due Sept. 30. Both of those payments are federally mandated and go toward prefunding retiree health benefits.

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NPR Story
9:48 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Eight Badminton Players Disqualified From Olympics

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Olympics are a quest to be the best. But some Olympians are accused of purposely playing badly at badminton. The Badminton World Federation has launched disciplinary proceedings against four women's doubles pairs. First, the world champions, who are Chinese, faced off against opponents from South Korea. And spectators started booing when the players seemed to be making simple errors on purpose.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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