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Shots - Health Blog
6:42 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Mixed Feelings About Side Effects From Cholesterol Pills

Lipitor and other cholesterol-fighting drugs carry risks of side effects.
Paul Sakuma AP

Drugs to lower cholesterol run neck and neck with antidepressants for popularity in the U.S.

There's ample evidence cholesterol-lowering pills called statins can reduce the risk of a repeat heart attack. The pills are frequently prescribed for people who've never had a heart attack or stroke, but are at high risk for trouble.

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The Torch
6:02 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Women Rowers Prevail, And NBC's Water Polo Coverage

The U.S. team races to their second straight gold medal in the women's eight rowing event at the London 2012 Olympic Games, at Eton Dorney Rowing Centre in Eton, west of London.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. Here's a rundown of the news that's catching our eye this morning, from the London Olympics:

-- The women's eight rowing competition was won by the U.S. team, in an encore of their gold-medal performance in Beijing 2008. The team, which led from the start and stayed ahead of silver medalists Canada at the end, consists of Mary Whipple (coxswain), Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Esther Lofgren, Susan Francia and Erin Cafaro.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Thu August 2, 2012

In Syria, Both Sides Now Have Heavy Weapons In Aleppo

Anti-Assad fighters stood atop a captured army tank on Wednesday in the village of Anadan, about 4 miles northwest of Aleppo.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:59 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn, in Beirut, talks with Steve Inskeep

Anti-Bashar Assad forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo now have at least a few tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and improved explosives.

And that has U.N. observers warning about the deadly consequences of heavy weapons being used by both sides within such a "confined urban area," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said earlier on Morning Edition. The fear, of course, is that even more non-combatants will be caught in the crossfire.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose By 8,000 Last Week

The number of people filing first-time clams for unemployment insurance rose by 8,000 last week, to 365,000 from 357,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

It adds that the "4-week moving average," which is supposed to give a slightly broader look at the trend in claims, "was 365,500, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 368,250."

But according to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Near Collision Near D.C.: Planes Were 12 Seconds From Possible Impact

A passenger jet preparing for takeoff from Reagan National Airport in 2002.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 11:42 am

  • Radio traffic between pilot and controller

Update at 2:40 p.m. ET. FAA Disputes Report:

The Associated Press writes that "none of the three commuter jets that flew too close together near Washington was ever on course to collide head-on with the others, U.S. officials said Thursday. "During a news conference, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood strongly disputed media reports characterizing the incident as a near-miss."

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Psychiatrist Was Alarmed By Aurora Shooting Suspect's Behavior, Media Report

James Holmes, who's accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58.
RJ Sangosti Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:50 am

A University of Colorado Denver psychiatrist was so worried about James Holmes' behavior that in early June she began the process of getting the school's "threat assessment" team involved in his case, sources with knowledge of the investigation into the movie theater shooting suspect are telling two Denver news outlets.

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Participation Nation
4:56 am
Thu August 2, 2012

They Take The Cake In Boise, Idaho

Sweetness: Kathy Plaisance and about 50 other bakers use their skills to bring sweet treats to people who might otherwise be overlooked.
Emilie Ritter Saunders for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 11:02 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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House & Senate Races
3:27 am
Thu August 2, 2012

GOP Has Big Hopes For Missouri Senate Race

Former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman has earned the endorsement of Sarah Palin in her bid for a Republican Senate nomination.
Brian Naylor NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:07 am

Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in November, and one seat they have high hopes for is in Missouri.

Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. Outside conservative groups have already been running ads against her. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate for the fall.

Meet The Candidates

In Neosho, Mo., on the edge of the Ozarks, summertime in an election year can only mean one thing: the Newton County Republican Party's watermelon fest.

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National Security
3:25 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Drones: From War Weapon To Homemade Toy

In this Jan. 8, 2009, photo provided by the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff's Department, a small Draganflyer X6 drone makes a test flight in Mesa County, Colo. with a Forward Looking Infrared payload. The drone, which was on loan to the sheriff's department from the manufacturer, measures about 36 inches from rotor tip to rotor tip, weights just over two pounds.
Mesa County Sheriff's Dept. AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 1:19 pm

Drones transformed the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. But their use has been extremely limited in U.S. skies. The Federal Aviation Administration essentially bans the commercial use of drones, and government use is still highly restricted.

But that's changing.

For a long time, drones, which are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, were exotic, expensive and out of reach for all but military users. Today, however, a clever hobbyist can have his own eye in the sky.

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Strange News
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Will You Marry Me? Wait, Where Are You?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Destination Art
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Marfa, Texas: An Unlikely Art Oasis In A Desert Town

In the 1970s, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas, where he created giant works of art that bask beneath vast desert skies. In the years since, Marfa has emerged as a hot spot for art tourism.
Art (c) Judd Foundation Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 3:36 pm

This tiny town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is nothing less than an arts world station of the cross, like Art Basel in Miami, or Documenta in Germany. It's a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.

"They speak about Marfa with the same kind of reverent tones generally reserved for the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Lourdes," notes Carolina Miranda, a writer who covers the art world.

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Middle East
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Syrian Rebels Gain Ground, And Criticsm

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.

Fighters for the Free Syrian Army are getting their hands on heavier weapons than normal. They used a captured tank to open fire on a government airbase. That happened outside the country's largest city, Aleppo, where despite a clear advantage in numbers and weapons, the government has not been able to take the city back after five days of intense fighting.

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Politics
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

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

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 8:53 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.

Presidential Race
2:32 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
2:32 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
2:32 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
2:32 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.

The Salt
6:45 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

The Secret Life Of California's World-Class Strawberries

Strawberry research fields in Watsonville, Calif.
courtesy California Strawberry Commission

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 4:16 pm

May is the month we see strawberries explode in the market. There are strawberry festivals in every corner of the nation celebrating the juicy ruby beauties, and Strawberry Queens crowned galore. Those traditional harvest time festivals make us think our strawberries are mostly grown on the farm just down the road.

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Books
3:56 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
2:40 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Romney's Adviser Defends 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 11:05 am

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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