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2:42 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 4:35 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
2:40 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Poll Shows Voters Split On Presidential Candidates' Tax Returns

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 3:10 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
2:30 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
2:06 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 5:14 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
2:06 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 4:21 pm

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The Two-Way
1:45 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 3:15 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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Music Reviews
1:34 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 6:24 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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News
1:16 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

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

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 3:15 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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Participation Nation
1:03 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
12:23 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
12:21 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.

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The Torch
11:44 am
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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All Tech Considered
11:36 am
Wed August 8, 2012

As Starbucks Adopts 'Square' Payments, Will Other Merchants Follow?

Square allows merchants to accept payments automatically from recognized registered customers.
Square screen grab

You could soon pay for a latte at Starbucks simply by walking into the store with a smartphone in your pocket and giving the cashier your name.

Square, a San Francisco-based payments startup unveiled a deal Wednesday with the world's largest coffee chain that will move its mobile payments products into Starbucks stores around the U.S. starting this fall.

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NPR Story
11:34 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Facebook Refugee Unplugs From Social Media

piece for Salon.com, former Facebook employee Katherine Losse wrote about why it's so hard to take breaks from social media." href="/post/facebook-refugee-unplugs-social-media" class="noexit lightbox">
In a piece for Salon.com, former Facebook employee Katherine Losse wrote about why it's so hard to take breaks from social media.
Courtesty of Katherine Losse

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 11:42 am

Katherine Losse was Facebook's 51st employee. After earning a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2005, she got a job as a Facebook customer service representative — tasked with answering questions like "What is a poke?" In the course of five years, she became the personal ghostwriter for founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"I witnessed over those five years this huge transformation in how we lead our lives," she tells NPR's Tom Gjelten.

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The Salt
11:09 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Here's Where Farms Are Sucking The Planet Dry

Click to see a high-resolution version of this map." href="/post/heres-where-farms-are-sucking-planet-dry" class="noexit lightbox">
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 2:49 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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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Amazingly Earth-like: Curiosity Beams First Full-Frame Photo Of Mars

A photograph taken by NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars. The rim of Gale Crater can be seen in the distance beyond the pebbly ground.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 1:20 pm

We can't help but tune into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's daily news conference about NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.

For the most part, it's very much inside baseball. The scientists talk about the nitty gritty details of getting the Curiosity Rover going and onto doing some science. They talk about reorienting antennas and about how a higher-than-predicted temperature won't have a significant effect on the mission.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:46 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs May Have Dark Side When It Comes To Health

Scientists say energy-saving compact fluorescent (left) or light-emitting diode (right) light bulbs can have unsavory health effects.
PRNewsFoto/OSRAM SYLVANIA

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 7:34 pm

Everybody knows that one good way to prevent a sunburn is to stay inside, where you're safe from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Right?

Well, that may not be true anymore if your house is lit with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Last month, researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook showed in a paper that tiny defects in the bulbs can let through UV light that can damage skin cells and lead to cancer.

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NPR Story
10:43 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Online Harassment Gets Real For Female Gamers

According to the Entertainment Software Association, 47 percent of gamers are women. Women over 18 are considered one of the industry's fastest growing demographics.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 10:57 am

Taunting and trash-talking are a regular part of the culture for online video gamers. Opponents tease and threaten each other to complement the violent clashes between the game avatars.

In a piece for The New York Times, reporter Amy O'Leary describes a series of incidents with female gamers over the past six months that have sparked a debate about sexual harassment in the online gaming community.

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NPR Story
10:43 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Guns 101: What We Know And What We Don't

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:30 pm

The recent shootings in Oak Creek, Wis., and Aurora, Colo., have reignited the debate about guns and gun control in America. But beyond the talking points and heated exchanges lie real questions about guns ownership, regulation and use.

NPR Story
10:43 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Finding The Truth In Politics

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 1:14 pm

Transcript

TOM GJELTEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Tom Gjelten in Washington. Harry Reid says Mitt Romney doesn't pay taxes. Romney supporters are furious. The VP speculation builds, and the debate on welfare reform is back on center stage. It's Wednesday and time for an...

MITT ROMNEY: Obamaloney...

GJELTEN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(MONTAGE OF ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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