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Shots - Health Blog
12:32 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Nail Biting: Mental Disorder Or Just A Bad Habit?

Pathological nail biting may be a form of grooming on steroids, but it also makes the biter feel good, unlike fear-driven OCD.
Andrea Kissack for KQED

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:54 am

Do you bite your nails? For 30 years, I did. We nail biters can be "pathological groomers" — people for whom normal grooming behaviors, like skin picking or hair pulling, have become virtually uncontrollable.

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Fiscal Cliff Notes
12:31 am
Mon October 1, 2012

For High Earners, Expiring Tax Cuts Would Hit Hard

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:22 pm

This story is part of our occasional series Fiscal Cliff Notes.

If the Bush-era tax cuts are allowed to expire, the majority of Americans will see their taxes rise. Those who will see the largest increase are the wealthy.

Dr. Hamilton Lempert, an emergency room doctor in Cincinnati, works almost exclusively on overnight shifts.

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Race
12:30 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Integrating Ole Miss: A Transformative, Deadly Riot

Meredith, center with briefcase, is escorted to the University of Mississippi campus by U.S. marshals on Oct. 1, 1962.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 9:07 am

Fifty years ago — Oct. 1, 1962 — the first black student was admitted to the University of Mississippi, a bastion of the Old South.

The town of Oxford erupted. It took some 30,000 U.S. troops, federal marshals and national guardsmen to get James Meredith to class after a violent campus uprising. Two people were killed and more than 300 injured. Some historians say the integration of Ole Miss was the last battle of the Civil War.

It was a high-stakes showdown between President Kennedy and Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett.

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Law
12:29 am
Mon October 1, 2012

High Court Preps For Another Headline-Making Term

The U.S. Supreme Court is embarking on a new term beginning Monday that could be as consequential as the last one, with the prospect of major rulings on affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:30 am

It would be hard to beat last June's cataclysmic, cacophonous end of the Supreme Court term and the decision upholding the Obama health care law. But while all the media focus is on the upcoming elections, the U.S. Supreme Court is about to begin yet another headline-making term, with decisions expected on affirmative action in higher education, same-sex marriage, the Voting Rights Act and a lot of privacy issues.

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Middle East
12:27 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Syrian-American Doctors Head To The Battle Zone

Local Syrian doctors prepare to treat a patient in a field hospital in Aldana, Syria, near the Turkish border. Each day, local and expatriate doctors take big risks to treat the wounded in rebel-held areas.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:21 pm

As Syrian war planes bomb towns and villages held by anti-government rebels, a group of Syrian-American doctors is quietly providing medical aid inside Syria.

The Syrian American Medical Society, or SAMS, has a long track record of supporting health care in Syria.

But as Syria's 18-month revolt has grown more lethal, these Syrian-American doctors have sided with the revolution and undertaken risky work delivering medicines and volunteering in field hospitals.

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The Record
9:39 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

The CD, At 30, Is Feeling Its Age

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:01 am

Today marks the 30th anniversary of a musical format many of us grew up with: the compact disc. It's been three decades since the first CD went on sale in Japan. The shiny discs came to dominate music industry sales, but their popularity has faded in the digital age they helped unleash. The CD is just the latest musical format to rise and fall in roughly the same 30-year cycle.

Compact discs had been pressed before 1982, but the first CD to officially go on sale was Billy Joel's 52nd Street.

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Books
4:11 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'The Interview'

iStockphoto.com

The judging process for Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is now under way. NPR's Bob Mondello reads an excerpt from one standout story, The Interview, written by Georgia Mierswa. You can read the story in its entirety below, and read more stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Science
2:49 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Tiny Ocean World With A Mighty Important Future

Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life and provide half of the oxygen on the planet. Scientists are working to figure out how climate change may be affecting these important microorganisms.
M. Ormestad Tara Oceans

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 4:11 pm

As you take in your next breath of air, you can thank a form of microscopic marine life known as plankton.

They are so small as to be invisible, but taken together, actually dwarf massive creatures like whales. Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life.

"This invisible forest generates half of the oxygen generated on the planet," Chris Bowler, a marine biologist, tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

And, as climate change alters the temperature and acidity of our waters, this mysterious ocean world may be in jeopardy.

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Education
2:42 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Online Education Grows Up, And For Now, It's Free

Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller are computer science professors at Stanford University.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:26 pm

Online education isn't particularly new. It has been around in some form since the 1990s, but what is new is the speed and scale in which online learning is growing.

In barely a year, many of the most prestigious research universities in the world – including Stanford, Caltech, Oxford and Princeton — have started to jump onto the online bandwagon.

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Music
1:42 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Son Jarocho, The Sound Of Veracruz

Las Cafeteras, from Los Angeles, have made their own version of the classic son jarocho song "La Bamba."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:56 pm

Betto Arcos is the host of Global Village, a world music show on KPFK in Los Angeles, and a native of Xalapa, capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. He recently spoke with Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about son jarocho — a style of music played mostly in the south of his home state. He says the music is so vibrant because it comes from the Caribbean side of Mexico and has all the influences of that region: African, indigenous and Spanish.

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Interviews
1:40 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

The Man Who Jump-Started Modern Presidential Debate

Vice President Richard Nixon listens as Sen. John F. Kennedy talks during their televised presidential race debate. This photo was made from a television screen in New York, Oct. 21, 1960.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 4:11 pm

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are prepping for Wednesday's presidential debate. It's a well-worn tradition now, but it wasn't always that way.

The 1960 Kennedy-Nixon face-off wasn't just the first televised presidential debate, it was also the first presidential debate in more than a century.

Four years earlier, a young German emigre named Fred Kahn, a student at the University of Maryland, wanted to see whether the nominees — Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson — might want to engage with students.

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Author Interviews
12:51 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

From Tea To T-Shirts: The History Of U.S.-China Trade

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:25 pm

You probably don't give much thought to the phrase "Made in China" when you see it written on the bottom of your coffee mug, or on the tag of your T-shirt, but Americans have traded with China for hundreds of years.

In his new book, When America First Met China, Eric Jay Dolin takes us back to the beginning of the long and complicated trade relationship between the two countries.

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Politics
11:43 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Being 'Better Off' May Not Be Enough To Win Colo.

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 2. He and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will have their first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 4:11 pm

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:09 am
Sun September 30, 2012

On The Road: Reporting On Lead Poisoning In Nigeria

Four-wheel drive is no match for the mud on the road to a gold mine in northern Nigeria.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 1:20 pm

If you want to witness the health consequences of unsafe gold mining in northwestern Nigeria, the first thing you have to do is get to the mines

There's a crisis of severe lead poisoning near the mines that's killed hundreds of children and made thousands more sick.

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What's in a Song?
8:40 am
Sun September 30, 2012

'I've Been Everywhere' Turns 2 Hours Into 50 Years Of Pay

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 11:14 am

The song "I've Been Everywhere" was a hit for a string of country stars: Hank Snow in 1962, later Lynn Anderson, then Asleep at the Wheel and Johnny Cash. An all-American classic, right? Think again.

It was actually an Australian who, 50 years ago, wrote the song while trying to come up with a new opener for his act.

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Presidential Race
8:38 am
Sun September 30, 2012

To Prep For Debates, Stand-Ins Take The Stage

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain waits backstage before the presidential debate with Obama in 2008.
Scott Olson AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 2:59 pm

When President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney stand on the debate stage this week, their campaign advisers and debate coaches want everything — from the stage lighting, to the audience, the room temperature and most importantly, their opponent — to feel very familiar.

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Presidential Race
4:45 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Candidates Push For Colo. To Swing In Their Favor

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:04 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Afghanistan
4:45 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Insider Attacks Hinder Transition Out Of Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:04 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The big headline out of the U.N. general assembly has been about the speech by the Israeli prime minister who warned of the dangers of a nuclear Iran. Other speakers didn't get nearly as much attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The assembly will hear an address by his Excellency Hamid Karzai, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

MARTIN: Hamid Karzai's address made little news, despite highlighting efforts to bring the Taliban back into mainstream Afghan society.

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Latin America
3:02 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Venezuela's Young Voters Courted Heavily In Election

Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles attend a campaign rally in Valencia, Venezuela, on Thursday. Capriles is running against President Hugo Chavez in the country's Oct. 7 election.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 10:09 am

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is running for re-election next Sunday. With some polls predicting a tight race, the youth vote in Venezuela is shaping up to be crucial.

That has both the populist president and his challenger working hard to appeal to younger voters who are worried about high crime and jobs — and who can remember no other president than Chavez.

Out on the campaign trail, Angie Rivas passes out fliers and organizes other young people as they canvass this gritty metropolis in a van belting out hip music.

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Afghanistan
2:20 am
Sun September 30, 2012

'Suspected Insider Attack' Reported In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:46 am

Update 10:22 a.m. ET: Not Necessarily An Insider Attack

According to a ISAF statement, the attack that killed a NATO service member and a civilian contractor in Afghanistan on Saturday may not have been an insider attack, as originally reported.

In the statement, the International Security Assistance Force says:

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