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8:25 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Next Door To Syria, Iraq Slowly Boils

Mourners carry the coffin of a car bomb victim during the funeral in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq, last week. Violence is on the rise in Iraq, but it is receiving little international attention.
AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:56 am

With the current focus on Syria it's easy to miss that things are getting worse again in Iraq. Since the spring, the country has been pounded by waves of attacks on civilians and security forces by extremists with links to al-Qaida. Three car bombs in the Iraqi city of Baquba killed 10 people Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Missouri Vote Fails On Measure To Invalidate Federal Gun Laws

George Sherer and his son, Jeff, look at a SIG Sauer 716 patrol rifle during the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits last April in St. Louis.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:30 am

Missouri lawmakers failed to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of legislation aimed at invalidating certain federal firearms restrictions.

Senators voted 22-12 Wednesday night to override the veto, falling a single vote short of the required two-thirds majority. The override had already passed the Republican-controlled House.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Massive Molasses Spill Devastates Honolulu Marine Life

An image from video shot by diver Roger White for Hawaii News Now shows how the molasses spill has affected the water in part of Honolulu Harbor and killed many creatures.
Hawaii News Now

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 1:20 pm

"Everything down there is dead."

That's one stunning quote from Hawaii News Now's latest report about the devastating damage that's been done to the marine life off Honolulu's Sand Island by 233,000 gallons of molasses that were spilled into Honolulu harbor on Monday.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu September 12, 2013

UPDATED: U.S. Rejects Assad's Timetable For A Chemical Weapons Deal

In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 2:44 pm

Thirty days after his regime signs the international Chemical Weapons Convention that bans their use he will start handing over data about Syria's stockpile, President Bashar Assad told a Russian TV channel Thursday.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Jobless Claims Hit 7-Year Low, But Data Weren't Complete

At a Target store in San Francisco last month, job seekers waited in line.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A plunge in the number of first-time claims for jobless benefits last week — to a 7-year-low 292,000 — can be partly explained away by "technical problems," Reuters writes:

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Thu September 12, 2013

You May Not Want To Look: Blobfish Named 'Ugliest Animal'

The blobfish: world's ugliest animal?
NOAA.gov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:47 am

At first glance, we thought it was a Star Wars character.

But, no, the blobfish is a real creature that bobs around in the waters off Australia.

And now it's the "winner" of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society's online vote to choose a mascot.

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The Two-Way
4:50 am
Thu September 12, 2013

'Massive Flooding' In Colorado's Boulder County

A city worker talks on his phone while surveying high water levels on Boulder Creek following overnight flash flooding in downtown Boulder, Colo. today. Flash flooding in Colorado has left two people dead and the widespread high waters are keeping search and rescue teams from reaching stranded residents and motorists in Boulder and nearby mountain communities.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 8:28 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: KGNU's Maeve Conran on the flooding

A huge overnight downpour that brought 4 to 7 inches of rain to the area around Boulder, Colo., has already produced "massive flooding" in the streets there, The Denver Post writes.

Even worse:

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Europe
4:25 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Pope Accepts Hand-Me-Down Car

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Picture now a boxy little 1984 four-door Renault with 190,000 miles. The perfect hand-me-down car for a teenager maybe, but the Pope? Well, Pope Francis accepted the keys to one over the weekend - a gift from a 70-year-old priest, Renzo Zocca of Verona. Pope Francis has famously shunned luxury items, including the popemobile, but he plans to drive this car himself around the Vatican grounds. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Texting Driver Ends Up All Wet

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Two kinds of news stories seem to come up again and again. The first is the guy who writes a text message about a drug deal and inadvertently sends it to the cops. This story, too, seems like it's happened more than once. A driver in Waldorf, Maryland lost control of her car while texting and landed in a lake. She was not hurt. She faces criminal charges. We do not know if her cell phone contract allows her a replacement when the phone gets wet.

The Two-Way
4:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Russian Plan 'Is Just A Lie,' Syrian Rebel General Says

A Free Syrian Army fighter in eastern Syria on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris

As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."

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Around the Nation
2:27 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Mill Closing Is 'Major Setback' For Ala. Town

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The world's largest paper producer says it's closing a mill in Alabama that employs 1,100 people. International Paper Company blames the closure in the town of Courtland on a decline in the demand for paper. Stan Ingold of Alabama Public Radio reports.

STAN INGOLD, BYLINE: The small town of Courtland, Alabama is reeling after the announcement by Memphis-based International Paper to close their mill. Diane Scanland is the executive director of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

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Around the Nation
2:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Two Years On, Protesters Still Fighting Wisconsin Governor

Members of a loosely organized, anti-Walker group known as the Solidarity Singers sing outside the Wisconsin Capitol in July.
Michelle Johnson AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:34 am

It's been more than two years since Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill stripping collective bargaining rights from most public employees. The new law sparked massive protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol because many saw it as an attack on unions.

While most demonstrators eventually went away, a small group did not. They arrive at the building most weekdays to sing anti-Walker and pro-union songs.

On a recent day, more than 100 people were gathered in a circle on the Capitol lawn, tapping cowbells and singing a localized version of "This Land Is Your Land."

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All Tech Considered
2:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Long Before Most, Intel Chased The Smart Watch

The Microma watch was the first watch with a liquid crystal display, but the limited technology of the time prevented Intel from achieving much else with it.
Courtesy of Intel

In the past couple of weeks, several major companies — Samsung, Sony, Qualcomm — have announced they will release smart watches this fall. As the name suggests, the gadgets do more than keep time.

The latest spate of computerized watches promise to do everything from working as a phone to taking photos and fielding emails. Smart watches have actually been around for a long time, but they've never really taken off as a product.

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Business
2:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

A Check On The Housing Industry

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There is, of course, a lot of attention being paid about what's happening in Richmond because millions of other American homeowners around the country are also underwater - again, homes that are worth less than their mortgages. We're joined now by NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who's been following all of this. Good morning.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: How many homeowners are still underwater? I gather with the housing market coming back, this is changing - for the better.

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Around the Nation
1:55 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Missouri Tax Posturing May Influence Other States

Republican lawmakers in Missouri on Wednesday failed to override a tax veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The controversial measure would have lowered state income taxes for the first time in decades.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 2:50 am

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon used some fancy footwork to ensure his veto of a tax cut stayed in place — even though it faced a supermajority of Republicans in the Missouri House and Senate

Nixon said he vetoed the tax cut because the $700 million price tag was "unaffordable." But he knew in doing so, he was up against a lion of a legislature, with a veto-proof majority in both chambers.

Lawmakers on Wednesday failed to override Nixon's veto.

Dan Ponder, a political scientist at Drury University, says the governor had a decidedly uphill battle.

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Business
12:46 am
Thu September 12, 2013

5 Years After Financial Crisis, Are Big Banks Still A Threat?

The headquarters of Lehman Brothers in Times Square in 2008, the year the financial services firm filed for bankruptcy.
Hiroko Masuike Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 8:30 am

It's been five years since Lehman Brothers collapsed and touched off a banking crisis that is still being felt by the global economy. Today, the banking industry is a lot stronger than it was, but some critics say efforts to reform banking regulations have fallen short of their potential.

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Shots - Health News
12:45 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better

Physician Jim Olson cares for children with brain cancer in Seattle. His laboratory studies the gene expression programs controlling neural differentiation, brain tumor genesis and neurodegenerative diseases.
Courtesy of Susie Fitzhugh/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:58 am

Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable things a doctor has to tell patients is that their medical problems are iatrogenic. What that means is they were caused by a doctor in the course of the treatment.

Sometime these iatrogenic injuries are accidental. But sometimes, because of the limits of medical technology, they can be inevitable. Now, a medical researcher in Seattle thinks he has a way to eliminate some of the inevitable ones.

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Author Interviews
12:43 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Tired Of Inequality? One Economist Says It'll Only Get Worse

Economist Tyler Cowen believes that income inequality in America is only increasing. His new book is called Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation.
Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:57 am

Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:

"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."

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Code Switch
11:58 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

For Native Americans, Mental Health Budget Cuts Hit Hard

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:49 am

Native American tribes gave up millions of acres to the federal government in the 19th century in exchange for promises of funded health care, education and housing. But time and again, those funds have been cut.

The recent across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, are no exception. They came with a 5 percent reduction in funding for mental health services, including suicide prevention. That's especially troubling for Native Americans, whose suicide rate are four times the national average.

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Media
10:36 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Tina Brown To Leave The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown plans to leave the website to produce live forums on news topics.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:41 am

Celebrity editor Tina Brown announced Wednesday that she's leaving The Daily Beast to launch her own media company. She has been a regular guest on Morning Edition. Brown, 59, plans to produce live forums on news topics.

Brown has edited some of the most prestigious publications: Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Tattler. Five years ago, she helped found The Daily Beast — a news and opinion website. Now, the editor-in-chief says she's leaving to do what she calls "theatrical journalism" before live audiences.

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