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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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Code Switch
4:19 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

'Baby Veronica' Custody Battle Continues

Veronica, the child at the center of an adoption dispute, smiles in the bathroom of the Cherokee Nation Jack Brown Center in Oklahoma.
Mike Simons/Tulsa World AP

The U.S. Supreme Court may have decided almost three months ago the case known as Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. But the young Native American girl known as "Baby Veronica," who turns 4 years old on Sunday, is still stuck in legal limbo.

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It's All Politics
3:18 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Congress Looks Beyond Syria To Its Next Fight

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio (right) leads members of Congress as they step outside the Capitol on Wednesday to attend a ceremony in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. With him are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Now that Congress' extraordinary Syria debate is on hold, at least for now, the next upcoming drama is really a return to much more familiar territory: how will congressional leaders get enough votes to pass legislation to keep the government from going off yet another metaphorical cliff.

Until Wednesday, it looked like Congress was moving toward a vote this week to fund the government past September, when the fiscal year ends, and into December — thus avoiding a shutdown. But that vote was postponed until next week at the earliest.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Conservatives Use Budget Deadline To Revive Obamacare Debate

Linda Norman (right) and Joanna Galt, both from Florida, hold their banners during a rally against the health care law Tuesday outside the U.S. Capitol.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:03 pm

With the pause button pushed on the congressional debate over Syria, the House is turning its attention back to the issue that is expected to dominate the fall: the budget.

The long-running fight over spending and the debt is back. The House was supposed to act this week to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, and leaders had hoped to avoid drama. But the vote has been delayed, and drama is brewing.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Satellite Image Suggests North Korea Is Restarting Reactor

This is a DigitalGlobe image of the 5-megawatt (electric) reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon facility, Aug. 31, with steam seen coming from the electrical power generation building.
DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:46 pm

North Korea appears to be in the process of restarting a nuclear reactor used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, five years after shutting the facility down as part of international disarmament efforts.

New satellite imagery appears to reveal that the 5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon, which experts believe can produce enough plutonium for one to two bombs a year, shows signs of being operational.

Analysts Nick Hansen and Jeffrey Lewis, writing for the website 38 North, say the satellites show:

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Protesters Hound David Petraeus Before Lecture At CUNY

David Petraeus resigned as head of the CIA in November, citing an extramarital affair.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 8:10 pm

Ret. Gen. David Petraeus, who served as director of the CIA and commanded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was hounded and taunted as he walked through the streets of New York City on Monday.

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All Tech Considered
2:59 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Army Looks To Schools To Find The Next Cyberwarriors

Security experts say the U.S. is ill-prepared to respond to cyberthreats. A new high school curriculum in Alabama aims to attract more young people to the field.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:50 pm

You can literally see rockets when you drive into Huntsville, Ala., also known as the "Rocket City." NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is here, along with scores of aerospace and defense contractors. The city also has one of the largest fully digital school districts: 24,000 Huntsville City Schools students use laptops or tablets instead of textbooks.

All of this partly explains the new cybersecurity class at Grissom High School. Huntsville City Schools and U.S. Army Cyber Command are developing the curriculum, which will eventually begin in middle school.

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The Salt
2:50 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Earl Of Sandwich Blended Frappes Long Before Starbucks

Would he have won a James Beard? The First Earl of Sandwich probably brought the iced chocolate drink to England from Spain, decades before the recipe appeared in cookbooks.
Jan Arkesteijn Wikimedia.org

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 11:19 am

In the ranks of English nobility, the Montague family may have just been earls. But in the kitchen, they were kings.

A historian has stumbled upon the first English recipe for a frozen chocolate dessert — think chocolate sorbet crossed with a Slurpee. Even in 17th century speak, it sounds simple:

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World
2:28 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

What's Driving Russia's Tactical Change On Syria?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to avoid a strike by the U.S.
Michael Klimentyev/Ria Novosti Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:14 pm

For months, Russia has been playing a defensive game on Syria, blocking U.N. resolutions that could have led to the ouster of its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But Russia is now on the offense, running with a plan that could avert U.S.-led strikes against Syria by having Syria place its chemical weapons under international control.

So why the change in tactics?

There are several different strands in Russian thinking on the issue.

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The Salt
2:25 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Pets Or Livestock? A Moral Divide Over Horse Slaughter

Jamesport has the largest Amish community in Missouri, and horse-pulled buggies are often parked alongside cars. Horse owners in the state are divided over whether to allow horses to be killed for meat in the U.S.
Frank Morris for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:30 pm

Few Americans eat horse meat, and many don't like the idea of slaughtering horses. But a handful of investors are struggling to restart the horse-slaughter industry in the U.S.

Thousands of American horses are already slaughtered in Mexico and Canada each year for their meat, which gets shipped to European and Asian markets.

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Shots - Health News
2:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Proposed Alaska Road Pits Villagers Against Environmentalists

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell (center) gets a tour of King Cove, Alaska.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Radio Network

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 3:29 pm

The town of King Cove, Alaska, is crowded onto a narrow spit, surrounded by ocean and isolated by rows of volcanic mountains.

It's an Aleut Native community of about a thousand people, and for roughly a third of the year, treacherous winds close its airstrip. There's no road between King Cove and Cold Bay, the nearest town with year-round air facilities. When the weather turns bad, the only way out of King Cove is a two-hour boat trip through choppy seas.

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Around the Nation
2:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

A Mother Receives Her Sons' Remains 12 Years After Attacks

Sandra Grazioso sits at a New Jersey funeral home, where she will receive the newly identified shoulder and tooth of her son, Tim. Both of her sons died in the terrorist attacks.
Sarah Gonzalez WNYC

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:18 pm

Twelve years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the loved ones of victims are still getting calls from the New York City Medical Examiner's Office about newly identified remains.

Sandra Grazioso from Clifton, N.J., said her family got one of those calls last week. She lost both of her sons in the terrorist attack — Tim, 42, and John, 41. Two more body parts belonging to Tim had been identified.

"An upper arm and shoulder and a tooth," Grazioso says. "A molar."

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All Tech Considered
2:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Sexism In The Tech Industry Takes Center Stage

TechCrunch's Disrupt 2012 conference in San Francisco. This year, two hackathon presentations ignited a firestorm.
Max Morse Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:59 pm

For women struggling to make inroads in the male-dominated tech industry, a few stunning situations this week have provided some extreme examples of what they're up against.

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