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NPR's Backseat Book Club
12:16 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

How 'Black Beauty' Changed The Way We See Horses

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:45 pm

NPR's Backseat Book Club is back! And we begin this round of reading adventures with a cherished classic: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Generations of children and adults have loved this book. With vivid detail and simple, yet lyrical prose, Black Beauty describes both the cruelty and kindness that an ebony-colored horse experiences through his lifetime — from the open pastures in the English countryside to the cobblestone grit of 19th-century England.

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The Salt
11:29 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Christmas Comes Early For Denmark's Beer Drinkers

J-Day, the first Friday in November, marks the release of Denmark's Christmas beer, Tuborg's Julebryg. It's practically a national holiday as the beer is promoted tonight in bars throughout the country.
Tuborg

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 12:40 pm

In the U.S., Thanksgiving marks the unofficial start of the race to Christmas (unless you happen to decorate department stores, then it starts in October). But in Denmark, the Christmas race starts tonight.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Superstorm Sandy: Remembering Those Who Died

Water continues to flood a neighborhood on Thursday in the Ocean Breeze area of the Staten Island borough of New York City.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:22 am

As New Jersey and New York continue to pick the pieces in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the death toll has slowly crept up to 97.

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Monkey See
11:14 am
Fri November 2, 2012

The New York City Marathon Is Not Post-Sept. 11 Baseball, And More Reasons To Cancel

This image, from the 2011 ING New York City Marathon, shows the aftermath of the runners' passage.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

I'd almost forgotten about the NYC Marathon, thanks to Sandy, and when I did remember that this is "Marathon Weekend," I just assumed it would get cancelled.

As of this writing, the ING New York City Marathon is not cancelled. But it should be. Immediately.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Alan Murray Of 'The Wall Street Journal' Named Pew Research Center's President

Alan Murray, deputy managing editor and executive editor, online, at The Wall Street Journal, is taking the post of president at the Pew Research Center.

He's succeeding a man who would certainly be familiar to many NPR listeners and to those who like to pore over polls. Andrew Kohut, who has been the center's president since its founding in 2004, will "stay on as founding director and continue to provide counsel on political polling and global attitudes research," the organization announced today.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Fri November 2, 2012

As Tempers Flare At Stations, Moves Are Made To Get Gas To N.Y, N.J.

Rather than sit in their cars, many people on Staten Island today lined up at stations with gas cans — hoping to get a few gallons before supplies ran out.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:48 pm

Across the region around New York City and northern New Jersey today, "motorists increasingly desperate for a fill-up fumed in long lines at gas stations and screamed at each other" as post-Sandy shortages continued, The Associated Press reports.

Relief, hopefully, is coming soon.

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Technology
10:40 am
Fri November 2, 2012

How Secure are Electronic Voting Machines?

Election Day 2012 is just around the corner, and many Americans will be casting their ballots on electronic voting machines. But how reliable are these devices? Michael Alvarez, professor of political science at Caltech, discusses the technologies at your polling station.

Animals
10:09 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Animal Stage Trainer Makes Stars Out Of Pound Pups

Bill Berloni was responsible for making sure that chihuahua Bruiser could both bend and snap in the Broadway production of Legally Blonde.
Paul Kolnik

This interview was originally broadcast on Fresh Air on July 18, 2008.

A new revival of the hit musical Annie is now in previews on Broadway, scheduled to open Thursday. In the new production, the canine co-star Sandy is played by "Sunny," who has an understudy named "Casey." Bill Berloni trained them both — and, like the original Sandy in the original Broadway show, those dogs, too, were rescue dogs, found in animal shelters.

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Author Interviews
9:50 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Rin Tin Tin: A Silent Film Star On Four Legs

Susan Orlean is a staff writer for the New Yorker and has contributed articles to Vogue, Rolling Stone and Esquire. She is the author of several books, including The Orchid Thief.
Gasper Tringale

This interview originally aired on Fresh Air on Jan. 9, 2012. Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend is now out in paperback.

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Planet Money
9:45 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Even After Solid Gains, 22 Million Americans Are Unemployed Or Underemployed

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 7:09 am

Note: This post was updated to reflect the October jobs report, which was released this morning.

The U.S. added 171,000 jobs in October, according to this morning's big jobs report. That's a solid gain. Job gains for the previous few months were also larger than initial estimates suggested. But the U.S. labor market is still digging out of a deep hole.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Fri November 2, 2012

After Controversy, Officials Call Off New York City Marathon

Workers construct the Finish Line on Friday as preparations continue for the 43rd New York City Marathon.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 5:43 pm

Update at 5:17 p.m. ET. Marathon Cancelled:

After receiving withering criticism, officials have decided to cancel the New York City Marathon, the largest 26.2 mile road race in the world.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had insisted on allowing the marathon to continue, issued a statement saying he did not want to taint the event.

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Shots - Health News
9:33 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Attention, Shoppers: Health Care Prices Go Online In Colorado

If that ski run goes bad in Colorado, at least you'll be able to find the best price for a scan of your knee.
iStockphoto.com

If you need an MRI of your knee in Colorado, the price varies — a lot.

You can pay anywhere from $350 to $2,336. It's a huge range, but the truly remarkable thing about the prices is that we know them at all.

Prices for health care aren't public in most places, making shopping for the best deal nearly impossible. And patients pay different amounts for the same procedure based on their insurance coverage, too.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

It's All Politics, Nov. 1, 2012

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 10:47 am

Superstorm Sandy, the October Surprise no one anticipated, throws a monkey wrench into the final days of the campaign. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving spend the final pre-election podcast scouting the key presidential battleground states and have a forecast for control of the House and Senate in advance of Tuesday's voting.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for their pre-Election Day political roundup.

NPR Story
9:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Genetic Clues May Help Unravel Cause of Crohn's

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 10:40 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, a look at what current research tells us about what causes inflammatory bowel disease and the potentially simple way to treat it.

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NPR Story
9:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

As Storm Recovery Continues, Looking To The Future

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 10:45 am

Communities along the East Coast are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, dealing with electric outages, flooded streets, damaged sewage plants and fractured transportation lines. Can cities rebuild stronger, more resilient infrastructure to weather the storms of the future?

NPR Story
9:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Seeing Sandy From Space

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 10:40 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next stop, our Sandy coverage continues with the Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora. Flora Lichtman's here.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Yeah, how could we resist?

FLATOW: And how can we add something no one has ever seen?

LICHTMAN: I think we might be able to this week.

FLATOW: Yeah, yeah.

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Remembrances
8:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Navajo Code Talker George Smith Dies At Age 90

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And, unfortunately, we have some sad news to share here. George Smith, one of the famed Navajo Code Talkers, died on Tuesday at the age of 90. Smith enlisted in the Marines in 1943 and joined the elite unit of Code Talkers. He served in the Pacific theatre, eventually achieving the rank of corporal. The Code Talkers became military legends after the U.S. military began using the Navajo language to transmit tactical information during World War II. The code, which was never broken, is credited with helping the U.S. win the war.

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Economy
8:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

What's The Priority: Unemployment Or Deficit?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, Superstorm Sandy might've turned out the lights along the East Coast, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. We want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly that Sandy brought out on social media. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.

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Digital Life
8:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Why Some Spread Misinformation In Disasters

Superstorm Sandy turned out the lights along the Eastern Seaboard, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. Host Michel Martin looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media during Sandy, including intentional hoaxes. She speaks with Rey Junco of the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society about why some users spread misinformation.

China: Change Or Crisis
8:09 am
Fri November 2, 2012

China's Assertive Behavior Makes Neighbors Wary

China is currently involved in several disputes with its neighbors over small islands, many of them uninhabited. Here, Chinese fishing boats sail off the island province of Hainan in the South China Sea in July.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 7:20 pm

As China's global stature grows, Beijing appears to be flexing its muscles more frequently on the international stage. As part of NPR's series on China this week, correspondents Louisa Lim and Frank Langfitt are looking at this evolving foreign policy. From Beijing, Louisa examines the forces driving China's policy, while Frank reports on why China's neighbors are feeling increasingly edgy.

By Louisa Lim

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