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Shots - Health News
3:13 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Before Sandy Hit U.S., Storm Was A Killer In Haiti

Hurricane Sandy's tear across the Caribbean left at least 54 dead in Haiti, where many people still live in tents because of damage from the 2010 earthquake.
Thony Belizaire AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Sandy only sideswiped Haiti during its early days. But reports so far suggest that even this indirect hit led to nearly as many deaths there as in the U.S. after the storm made landfall on the Mid-Atlantic coast.

As of Wednesday, Haiti had documented 54 deaths caused by Sandy — most in the nation's southern peninsula, which points toward Jamaica. Another 21 Haitians were still counted as missing, and many fear the death toll will rise as officials reach affected areas isolated by impassable roads and ruined bridges.

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It's All Politics
2:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Mysterious Anti-Obama Spam Texts Linked To Republican Consulting Group

A screenshot of an anti-Obama text message received Tuesday evening.
NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:53 pm

If you're using social media to follow the presidential campaign or even if you're related to someone else who's doing that, there's a good chance your cellphone got spammed Tuesday night with an anti-Obama text message.

The messages went out between 7:30 and 10 p.m. They were anonymous but quickly traced to a Republican consulting firm in Northern Virginia.

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Law
2:54 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Drug-Sniffing Dogs Take Center Stage At High Court

Miami-Dade Detective Douglas Bartelt and narcotics detector canine Franky give a demonstration in Miami in 2011.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:53 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases Wednesday testing what, if any, limits there are to the police using drug-sniffing dogs. By the close of two hours of argument, it looked very much as though the court would rule against the use of drug-sniffing dogs without a warrant in one case, but not the other.

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Success Factors: Rich, Poor And Everybody Else
2:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

At The Economy's Bottom Rungs, Striving To Climb Up

Johnita Ellerby, a single mother of four, is studying social work while working full time.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:53 pm

As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.

While it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy: A Voice From Union Beach, N.J.

Yesterday, we brought you a voice from Breezy Point, N.Y., the Queens neighborhood ravaged by fire.

Today, our Newscast unit spoke to Doug Doyle, the news director of NPR member station WGBO. Doug was making his way back to his apartment in Union Beach, N.J.

Except whole sections of shore city were destroyed by the storm surge. Doug was escorted to his apartment by emergency crews and he was fully expecting to find everything in tatters.

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Around the Nation
2:31 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

The Industrious Lives Of Halloween's Ghouls

Being a monster — or creepy clown — in a haunted house can be downright strenuous with all the jumping and running. And if the scares are too real, it can get physical.
Courtesy of Nick Markoff

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:22 pm

Halloween might be the best day of the year for kids who love candy and grown-ups who love to be scared, but it is also the last day of work for thousands of ghouls and clowns.

Every year, people from all walks of life — firefighters, students, preschool teachers — adopt the rather unconventional part-time job of scaring at haunted attractions. They spend a month caking their faces with makeup, dipping their bodies in jelly-like substances that resemble blood and practicing chilling screams and creepy laughs until they're pitch perfect.

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Science
2:30 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

High-Def Storm Models Yielded Accurate Predictions

These computer models from Oct. 26 of then-Hurricane Sandy show different predictions for the storm's path.
NOAA

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:53 pm

Better satellites, smarter computer models and faster computers helped government forecasters correctly predict the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, scientists say.

It's unlikely the forecast would have been nearly as accurate just a couple of decades ago, they say.

"The National Hurricane Center did a fantastic job, particularly with the track forecast and the intensity forecast as it was moving toward the Northeast," says Sharan Majumdar, an associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami.

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Around the Nation
2:23 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Atlantic City Starts To Dig Out From Sandy

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The massive storm that battered the East Coast this week is now fading, but Sandy's toll has become all too clear. In the U.S., at least 66 people are not confirmed dead, eight of them in New Jersey where we begin this hour.

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Arts & Life
2:11 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

A 'Witch Queen' Who Casts Her Spells Year-Round

Courtesy of Faith in the Five Boroughs

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 12:53 pm

Lady Rhea is not the kind of witch you'll find in a pointy hat this Halloween. She is a real workaday witch, grinding out a living selling magic products in a booth at Original Products, a grocery store-sized botanica in the Bronx. She's been a practicing Wiccan for nearly four decades, making her one of the longest-serving high priestesses in New York City.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

To Stem Mumps Outbreak, Doctors Try An Extra Vaccination

Two boys study together at a Chicago yeshiva in 2009. Public health officials say this type of close physical contact caused a mumps outbreak to spread throughout several orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:39 pm

On June 17, 2009, an 11-year-old boy returned home from the U.K., which was experiencing a large number of mumps cases at the time. He then went to a summer camp for Orthodox Jews in upstate New York.

This turned out to be the spark that led to an outbreak of mumps among Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City. Ultimately, more than 3,500 people got sick.

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Digital Life
1:33 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

A Mohawk Hero In The Not-So-Diverse Gaming World

For the latest installment of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series, set in Colonial America, the hooded main character is part Mohawk. The company brought in a Mohawk consultant and hired a Native actor to play the role.
Courtesy of Ubisoft

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 2:49 pm

The Assassin's Creed video game series has become a megahit for gaming enthusiasts. The story line follows a bloody war between Assassins and the Knights Templar, first during the Crusades and then in Renaissance Italy.

The newly released Assassins Creed III crosses the ocean and a couple of centuries so the action could take place during the Revolutionary War and would be wildly anticipated on its own.

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It's All Politics
1:11 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Auto Legend Iacocca Backs Romney In Ohio Car Wars

Mitt Romney campaigns Monday in Avon Lake, Ohio.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:06 pm

As the presidential race zeroes in on Ohio, and the auto industry gets renewed focus in the all-important swing state, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting the backing of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the company's former president, Hal Sperlich.

"In our opinion, Mitt Romney is the leader we need to help turn our economy around and ensure that the American auto industry is once again a dominant force in the world," Iacocca and Sperlich write on Romney's website.

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Environment
12:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy Raises Questions About Climate And The Future

Taxis sit in a flooded lot in Hoboken, N.J., after Hurricane Sandy caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic Seaboard.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:12 pm

If you ask climate scientist Radley Horton, it's difficult to say that Hurricane Sandy was directly caused by climate change, but he sees strong connections between the two. Horton is a research scientist at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He says that in New York City, the sea level has gone up about a foot over the past century and that researchers expect that rise to continue and even accelerate.

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The Salt
12:52 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Finding New Tricks To Get More Satisfaction Out Of Low-Fat Foods

The secret to making something low-fat taste good and keep us fuller longer may be in its thickness.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 12:12 pm

A thick and creamy shake sounds deliciously satisfying, and adding that kind of "mouth feel" to low-fat foods has become a multi-billion-dollar business. But are we really fooled?

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

New Visa System Marks New Phase In India-Pakistan Relations

The border between India and Pakistan has long divided two bitterly embattled nations. Any stable relationship between them has seemed far off.

This morning, though, Pakistan's Federal Cabinet ratified four agreements with neighboring India that are aimed at improving business, trade, and travel relations.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Dear Little Girl: Sorry We Made You Cry About 'Bronco Bamma' And Mitt Romney

We can sympathize, Abigael. She's tired of hearing about "Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney."
YouTube

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:47 am

Oh my goodness, do we feel bad now:

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Election 2012
11:08 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy's October Surprise May Change 2012 Race

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The storm stops top-of-the-ticket campaigning for a couple of days; the president plays chief of state; Romney collects cans and water for disaster relief; it's Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Sandy...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED 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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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Wed October 31, 2012

London Metropolitan Police Consider Selling New Scotland Yard

The rotating sign outside London Metropolitan Police headquarters.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 7:29 am

It's elementary: London's Metropolitan Police needs to trim spending and rather than cut staff, senior officials are suggesting selling the iconic New Scotland Yard building.

The force needs to make huge budget cuts; getting rid of the building (which isn't in Scotland and doesn't have a yard) could save more than 10.5 million dollars, according to the Telegraph.

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The Picture Show
11:05 am
Wed October 31, 2012

If Dick Cheney's Dogs Can Dress Up, So Can You

I mean, if Dick Cheney's dogs can do it, so can you. (Jackson, i.e. Darth Vader, and Dave, i.e. Superman, at the Vice President's residence in 2007.)
David Bohrer AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 10:57 am

Here's an idea: Why don't we just have a costume contest to see who wins this presidential election? That would be way more fun and fair.

America, after all, can be divided up into two camps: those who are comfortable embarrassing themselves on Halloween and those who aren't. Here's a look at some past politicians getting into the holiday spirit.

IMPORTANT POLL TIME:

Did/Will You Dress Up This Year?

  1. Duh!
  2. Lame.

Leave your responses in the comments section.

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Around the Nation
11:00 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Disrupts Life For Weeks To Come

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 12:08 pm

The remnants of Hurricane Sandy continue to push north toward Canada, leaving behind flooding and destruction. Millions of people remain without electricity across more than 15 states, thousands are in shelters and it may be days before power and public transportation systems are restored.

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