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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
7:17 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Join The Twitter Roundtable: What Makes A City 'Smart'?

Use #nprcities to join a Twitter conversation about smart cities and urban innovation.
NPR

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:10 pm

This year, the NPR Cities Project is covering the concept of "smart cities": how cities worldwide are experimenting with technology to solve all sorts of urban problems. Please join us as we tackle the issue of smart cities with a live Twitter chat on Thursday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon EDT.

Policymakers hope implementing technological solutions to urban issues will help cities become more efficient, more user-friendly and more environmentally sustainable.

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The Salt
7:14 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Hipsters Off The Hook: The Truth Behind Abandoned Backyard Chickens

Don't leave me: Many cities allow hens but not roosters.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 8:15 am

From the headlines this week, I almost expected to see a hen clucking outside NPR's headquarters this morning.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:55 am

There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, up 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The "four-week moving average," which gives a sense of the recent trend, "was 351,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 345,750."

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Country Star Randy Travis In Critical Condition After Stroke

Country singer Randy Travis at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville on June 7.
Terry Wyatt UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:58 am

Country singer Randy Travis is in critical condition at a hospital in Plano, Texas, after suffering a stroke, the Baylor Health Care System says.

He underwent surgery Wednesday night to relieve pressure on his brain, the hospital system adds. Word of his stroke came that evening.

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Parallels
5:38 am
Thu July 11, 2013

What Should The U.S. Be Doing In Egypt?

Some Egyptian protesters felt the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, was too close to the recently deposed president, Mohammed Morsi. Demonstrators in Cairo carry banners denouncing her on June 30, three days before Morsi was ousted by Egypt's military.
Ed Giles Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:25 pm

Egypt's crisis has ignited a familiar debate over U.S. foreign policy where the combatants cluster around two basic viewpoints: The U.S. is doing too little, and the U.S. is doing too much.

So which is it? Is America shrewdly orchestrating events behind the scenes, or is it just an impotent bystander in the Egyptian drama? It depends on whom you ask.

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Thu July 11, 2013

After Crash, Why Were Asiana Passengers Told To Stay Seated?

Passengers move away from Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on Saturday in San Francisco. This photo was taken by a passenger.
Eugene Anthony Rah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 2:41 pm

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The Two-Way
4:29 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Book News: Evidence 'Overwhelming' In Apple Price-Fixing Case

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Animals
4:09 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Tourists At Kruger National Park Witness High-Speed Chase

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 8:16 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Tourists at South Africa's Kruger National Park witnessed a dramatic high-speed chase - two cheetahs chasing a herd of impala. Impala are African antelope, and of course a Chevy model. And seconds from becoming dinner, one of the impala decided to make a tourist's SUV its getaway car.

The Two-Way
3:54 am
Thu July 11, 2013

50 Likely Died In Quebec Train Disaster, Officials Say

At a school in Lac-M├ęgantic, Quebec, the town's people have been waiting for word about their friends and family members.
Christinne Muschi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 7:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Brian Mann reports from Quebec

Police in Quebec are not holding out hope that any of the people still missing after Saturday's train derailment and explosions in the town of Lac-M├ęgantic are alive.

With 20 bodies found so far and an additional 30 people still unaccounted for, that means the death toll is expected to be around 50. Authorities are telling the families of the missing to prepare for the worst.

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Animals
3:17 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Giant Python Snakes His Way Into Thrift Shop

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

A break-in at an Australian thrift store had police stumped. There was a hole in the ceiling and smashed merchandise. Nothing was missing. Not a burglar, possibly a prankster on a rampage. The next day, staff spotted the intruder still in the store. It was a giant python, 19 feet long, 37 pounds, the head the size of a small dog. The local newspaper reported police chose not to handcuff the culprit, quote, "for logistical reasons."

Politics
2:58 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Senators Express Concerns About Smithfield Foods Merger

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Pork was on the menu on Capitol Hill yesterday, but not the kind Congress produces. Lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee were focused on the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a big Chinese company.

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Law
2:58 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Tsarnaev Pleads Not Guilty To Boston Marathon Bombing

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a brief appearance in federal court yesterday. He pleaded not guilty to 30 counts in connection with the attack. The charges include using a weapon of mass destruction in an attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. The 19-year-old faces the possibility of the death penalty. NPR's Tovia Smith was in the courtroom.

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Middle East
2:43 am
Thu July 11, 2013

For Those In Aleppo, Syria, Commuting Can Be Lethal

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Many of you, as you're listening, are on your commute to work, perhaps dealing with traffic, maybe waiting for a late train. But imagine for a moment a different commute, one on foot, where to get to work you have to pass through armed security checkpoints, all the while dodging sniper fire. That is the reality for many people in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

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Middle East
2:43 am
Thu July 11, 2013

With President Morsi Out, Gulf States Open Their Checkbooks

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

New Law Creates Business Opportunities In China

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Chinese culture, filial piety is the virtual of respect for one's elders. In fact, a new Chinese law requires adults to provide financial and emotional support to their elderly relatives, which brings us to today's last word in business: outsourcing tender loving care.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That's right. This new law is giving entrepreneurs a business opportunity. The Wall Street Journal reports that China's version of eBay now has listings that offer services like running errands or standing in line.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Wal-Mart Fumes Over D.C. Council Wage Vote

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Wal-Mart is changing its plans for the nation's capital. The company says it won't be building stores in Washington, D.C., after the city council passed a law requiring big-box retailers to pay what's known as a living wage.

Patrick Madden of member station WAMU has the story.

PATRICK MADDEN, BYLINE: Before the vote, Wal-Mart issued city lawmakers an ultimatum: kill the living wage bill, or it would pull the plug on three stores it has planned to build in the nation's capital.

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The Two-Way
1:44 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Inmates Across California Join Hunger Strike Over Conditions

A watchtower rises above the maximum security complex at Pelican Bay State Prison near Crescent City, Calif.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Thousands of prisoners across the state are expressing solidarity with inmates being held in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison in Northern California. They began refusing meals on Monday.

Problem inmates at the Pelican Bay maximum security facility are held in the Security Housing Unit. Some inmates have been in the SHU, pronounced "shoe," for decades.

Advocates for the inmates have filed a federal lawsuit to end the protracted use of solitary confinement.

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All Tech Considered
12:03 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Tech-Savvy Cities May Be 'Smart,' But Are They Wise?

Cable cars move commuters over a complex of shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro, one of many cities taking part in the smart city boom around the world.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:52 pm

This summer, NPR's Cities Project has been looking at how cities around the world are solving problems using new technologies. And though there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, New York University's Anthony Townsend remains skeptical.

Townsend, whose book Smart Cities is due out in October, tells NPR's David Greene about the causes, benefits and potential dangers of the smart city boom.


Interview Highlights

On what caused the smart city boom

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Environment
12:01 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Saving One Species At The Expense Of Another

Antelopes stand at alert at the presence of a human visitor in the sparsely populated Centennial Valley of Montana.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:52 pm

To keep America's wilderness anything like it used to be when the country was truly wild takes the help of biologists. They have to balance the needs of wildlife with those of cattle-ranching and tourism, and even weigh the value of one species against another. Ultimately, they have to pick and choose who makes it onto the ark. And, as scientists in Montana's Centennial Valley have discovered, all that choosing can be tricky.

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Fine Art
11:59 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

At 90, Ellsworth Kelly Brings Joy With Colorful Canvases

In this 2007 Ellsworth Kelly piece, four separate oil-painted canvases combine to form a single work, Green Blue Black Red.
Jerry L. Thompson Courtesy of Ellsworth Kelly

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:52 pm

American artist Ellsworth Kelly turned 90 in May, and there's been much celebration. On Wednesday, President Obama presented Kelly with the National Medal of Arts. Meanwhile, museums around the country are showing his work: Kelly sculptures, prints and paintings are on view in New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. In Washington, D.C., the Phillips Collection is featuring his flat geometric canvases, layered to create wall sculptures.

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