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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Pew: Middle Class Poorer, Earning Less And Shrinking

Pew

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 12:07 pm

The researchers at Pew Social & Demographic Trends aren't holding back in their new report on the middle class. It calls the last 11 years, "the lost decade" for the country's middle class.

The highlight from the report issued today is that the middle class is poorer, earning less and shrinking.

In its press release, Pew reports:

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NPR Story
11:16 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Political Junkie: Todd Akin And Negative Campaigning

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 11:29 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. A congressman skinny dips in holy water and still can't buy a headline because another congressman redefines rape and biology, defies his own party and stands up Piers Morgan. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PIERS MORGAN: Gutless little twerp...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL JUNKIE INTRO)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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NPR Story
11:16 am
Wed August 22, 2012

What Pussy Riot Ruling Means For Russian Regime

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 11:21 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This weekend, a court in Moscow sentenced three women from a previously obscure punk band guilty of hooliganism. They got two years in prison and made Pussy Riot an international sensation. In the Washington Post today, columnist Anne Applebaum writes that for all the attention paid to the case, Madonna's was by far the most damaging, not because she's a serious political figure, but because she isn't.

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NPR Story
11:16 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Drought Forces Ranchers Into Difficult Decisions

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 11:29 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Parts of the country have suffered from record heat and drought for several years in a row now, and this summer, it's been just brutal. In past programs, we talked with farmers about their crops. Today, we focus on difficult choices facing ranchers and dairy farmers.

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NPR Story
11:16 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Social Workers Help Navigate Path To Transplant

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 11:28 am

Each year, some 2,000 heart transplants are performed in the U.S., and the number of people on the waiting list is even larger. Between finding the perfect donor to worrying about insurance, the wait can be grueling, but heart transplant social workers are here to help.

The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Check It Out, Yo: 'Hot Cheetohs & Takis,' This Summer's 'Truly Great Jam'

It's a summer hit.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:14 am

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Shots - Health Blog
10:32 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Could Antibiotics Be A Factor In Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity is on the rise in many countries and overuse of antibiotics is now on the radar as a possible factor in the epidemic. Here 18-month-old twins are weighed in a nutritionist's office in Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:34 am

There's growing evidence that the bacteria in our gut influence our health, including how much we weigh. So what happens when antibiotics knock out some of the microbes that help us?

A study, published online today in the journal Nature, finds that antibiotics make young mice fatter by changing the mix of their gut bacteria.

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It's All Politics
10:29 am
Wed August 22, 2012

In Ad Battle, Obama Banking On Wind-Power Message In Key Swing States

Windmills in a corn field in Colo, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:00 am

In Colorado and Iowa, two states considered up for grabs in the presidential race, a battle over alternative energy policy is playing a growing role in the debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Both states have important wind-energy sectors, and Obama's campaign is rolling out new radio ads this week highlighting the president's support for — and Romney's opposition to — extending a tax credit on wind-energy production.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Wed August 22, 2012

AT&T Defends Itself From Criticism Over Limits To Video-Call App

Emilie Weideman and her father, Marc Weideman, of Fremont, Calif., use FaceTime after purchasing the new device in June 2010.
Paul Sakuma AP

AT&T is on the defensive today, saying that its decision to limit the use of Apple's video-call app Facetime does not violate the FCC's net neutrality rules.

Ever since Apple introduced the application, AT&T has limited its use to Wi-fi. In other words, customers who were using the AT&T network could not make video calls using the built-in app. Last week, AT&T changed that policy, saying it would allow customers on its new "shared data plans" to use the app but that did not apply to those who are on unlimited or tiered plans.

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Interviews
10:00 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Bill Hader On Sketch Comedy, His Love Of Old Films

Bill Hader was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Stefon on Saturday Night Live.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:12 pm

Comedian Bill Hader is adept onstage and doing live performances. But he's scared to death of standup.

He says he remembers watching Chris Rock's 1996 HBO special, Bring the Pain, and thinking, "I don't know how people do that."

"I need a character," Hader tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I need people out there with me."

So Hader has stuck with sketch comedy — where he has been wildly successful.

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Education
8:47 am
Wed August 22, 2012

College-Bound Latino Students At New High

More Latino students are enrolling in college now than ever before, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. But Latinos still lag behind other groups in preparing for and completing college. Guest host Viviana Hurtado discusses the report's findings with Richard Fry of the Pew Hispanic Center and the College Board's Jim Montoya.

The Two-Way
7:48 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In July, Another Sign Of Stronger Market

More of these sorts of signs are popping up (November 2011 file photo from San Rafael, Calif.).
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A 2.3 percent increase in sales of previously owned homes in July from June is the latest sign that the housing market is on the mend, Reuters reports.

The National Association of Realtors said this morning that sales of existing homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
7:33 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Sky Sighting: Is That A Thread Of Dark Matter I Spy?

A tenuous thread of dark matter is seen connecting the galaxy clusters Abell 222 and 223.
Courtesy Jörg Dietrich/Universitäts-Sternwarte München

When astronomers survey the universe, the landmarks are galaxies, those gigantic agglomerates of stars and interstellar gas spread across the immensity of space. A typical spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way, boasts hundreds of billions of stars grouped along hundreds of thousands of light-years. That means that it takes a beam of light all that time to go from one extreme of the galaxy to the other, traveling, as light does in a vacuum, at 186,282 miles per second.

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The Salt
7:32 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Meet A Man On A Mission To Save Rare And Unusual Figs

One of Bassem Samaan's Pan e Vino fig trees, propagated from the yard of an Italian restaurant in Bethlehem, Pa.
courtesy Bassem Samaan

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:02 am

In the backyard of an unassuming suburban home in Bethlehem, Pa., is a global cornucopia of botanical heritage. Almost 300 varieties of fig grow here, most of them with roots in Europe, Asia or Africa, and each one collected and propagated by Bassem Samaan, a 34-year-old Lebanese native with an unusually green thumb and an obsession with figs.

Samaan is one of a handful of eccentric gardeners around the world whose goal is to save and preserve rare or unusual fruit varieties — trees that may never have commercial value and which may barely cling to existence.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Deficit To Total $1.1 Trillion, Unemployment To Stay Above 8 Percent, CBO Says

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:33 am

Expect to hear about this from the campaign of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney as he continues to take aim at President Obama's record on the budget and the economy:

The Congressional Budget Office reports this morning that "for fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion ... marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion."

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Wildfires Have Burned Nearly 7 Million Acres So Far, Up 6 Percent From Last Year

A photograph from June 8, 2002 shows flames from the Hayman wildfire, which burned in in the Rocky Mountains southwest of Denver.
Bryan Dahlberg/FEMA Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:08 pm

There's word this morning of another wildfire, this time outside the community of Manton in Northern California, where "dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed," as The Associated Press reports.

Wildfires out West have been a constant topic this summer, it seems, on The Two-Way and other news outlets.

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It's All Politics
6:15 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Romney and GOP Strike Deal With Ron Paul Loyalists Before Convention

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, after speaking in Berkeley, Calif., in April.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 9:55 am

GOP officials and the Mitt Romney campaign have cut a deal with Texas Rep. Ron Paul's campaign to allow some — though not all — of Paul's delegates from Louisiana and Massachusetts to be seated at the Republican National Convention. The status of Maine's delegates remains unsettled.

The compromise would appear to avert a potential public clash with Paul supporters during the convention's opening day Monday.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:33 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Clinics Go Mobile To Take Health Care To The Street

Jamari Brighthaupt, 11, gets blood drawn by registered nurse Rae Montilla at the Georgetown Pediatric Mobile Clinic.
Jessica Camille Aguirre NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 12:38 pm

Matt Levy, medical director of community pediatrics at Georgetown University, calls mobile health clinics permanently temporary.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Prince Harry Exposed: Photos Show Up Of Naked Royal 'Cavorting' In Vegas

Prince Harry, fully clothed, watching a beach volleyball match at the Olympic Games in London on Aug. 8.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:17 am

We absolutely, positively will not make a reference to the crown jewels.

Oops, we just did.

It seems that last Friday night in Las Vegas, Prince Harry — third in line to the throne over in England and one of the world's most eligible bachelors — did some "cavorting with two naked women in a Las Vegas hotel room," as the London Evening Standard puts it.

The evening apparently involved some "strip billiards."

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Texas Sheriff: Sacred White Buffalo Was Not Slaughtered

Lightning Medicine Cloud, a sacred white buffalo, last June.
LM Otero AP

The mystery surrounding the death of a rare white buffalo and the claim by some Lakota Sioux in Texas that it had been killed by other Native Americans deepened Tuesday. A local sheriff announced that investigators believe the animal died of a bacterial disease and said the case is now closed.

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