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Music Reviews
3:24 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Shemekia Copeland Embodies The Blues On '33 1/3'

Shemekia Copeland's new album is titled 33 1/3.
Sandrine Lee Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:25 pm

Shemekia Copeland says she didn't really find her singing voice until her teen years, when her father, the late blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, began suffering from health issues. On her new album, 33 1/3, she finds a different kind of voice — one that's eager to participate in a national dialogue.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Mexican Official: Zeta Leader's Body Was Stolen From Funeral Home

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano in an undated photo.
AP

A prosecutor from the Mexican state of Coahuila dropped a bombshell today: The body of Zeta founder and leader Heriberto "El Lazca" Lazcano was stolen from a funeral home.

This is big news because the Mexican government has on at least one other occasion claimed to have captured a big fish in the war on drugs only to have to walk it back, when questions arose.

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Europe
2:58 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

German Catholics' Path To Heaven Comes With Taxes

Bavarian bishops walk in a procession to the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers near Bad Staffelstein, Germany, in May. A decree by the German bishops' conference warns that German Catholics who do not pay a state church tax will be denied sacraments.
Daniel Karmann EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:02 pm

Germany's bishops have a clear message for the country's 25 million Catholics: The road to heaven requires more than faith and good intentions; it requires tax payments, too.

Last month, German bishops warned that if members of the Catholic Church don't pay the country's church tax, they'll be denied the sacraments — including baptisms, weddings and funerals.

In increasingly secular Europe, Germany is one of the few countries where the state collects a special levy from tax-registered believers and hands it over to three organized faiths.

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Marine General Expected To Be Next Commander In Afghanistan

Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Marines.mil

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce during a meeting of NATO defense leaders in Brussels Wednesday that Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford will be nominated to succeed Gen. John Allen as the top commander in Afghanistan, according to a defense official familiar with the decision.

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U.S.
2:41 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Getting To Yes On Gay Marriage, One Voter At A Time

Rion Tucker is a canvasser for Equality Maine. The organization is working to get supporters to the polls on Election Day, to vote for a ballot initiative legalizing same-sex marriage.
Michael May for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:10 pm

Rion Tucker is covering a lot of ground in his home state of Maine these days. The 20-year-old is a canvasser for Equality Maine, and he's been knocking on lots of doors in an effort to make sure that voters in his state pass a ballot initiative in November legalizing same-sex marriage.

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Health
2:23 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

When Prolonging Death Seems Worse Than Death

Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:18 pm

Many of us think of death as the worst possible outcome for a terminally ill patient, but Judith Schwarz disagrees.

Schwarz, a patient supporter at the nonprofit Compassion & Choices, says prolonging death can be a far worse fate. For many patients, good palliative or hospice care can alleviate suffering, yet "a small but significant proportion of dying patients suffer intolerably," Schwarz writes.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:04 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

England Offering Free HIV Treatment For Visitors

Outsiders might be unfamiliar with the U.K.'s National Health Service, but Brits love it so much that they devoted part of opening ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics to the NHS.
Courtesy of BBC One

We're just catching up with our U.K. reading list, so we're a bit late with this one. But it's worth noting that as of Oct. 1, England's National Health Service is providing treatment for HIV free of charge to visitors from overseas.

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It's All Politics
1:48 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Sesame Workshop To Obama Campaign: Leave Big Bird Out Of It

Sesame Workshop asked President Obama's campaign to stop running an ad featuring its Big Bird character.
Obama campaign ad

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:12 pm

In its attempt to turn the tables on Mitt Romney following the Republican presidential nominee's big win in the first presidential debate, President Obama's campaign has sought to enlist Big Bird.

The president has repeatedly reminded supporters at rallies that Romney, during the debate, specifically cited Big Bird when he promised to defund the Public Broadcasting Service to reduce federal deficits.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Taliban Say They Shot 14-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Who Exposed Their Cruelty

Malala Yousufzai on a stretcher as she was being taken to a hospital earlier today in Mingora, Pakistan.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:16 am

"Shooting attacks happen every day in Pakistan," as NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Islamabad.

But the shooting of a teenaged girl who became nationally known after she documented the Taliban's cruelty in Pakistan's Swat Valley has caused particular shock in that country, he tells our Newscast Desk.

The Pakistani Taliban are claiming their fighters carried out today's attack. According to Philip, "officials say Malala Yousufzai was outside her school when a gunman approached, and opened fire, injuring her and at least one other child."

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

LIVE VIDEO: Felix Baumgartner Attempts Record-Breaking Free Fall

Felix Baumgartner of Austria sits in his capsule during the preparations for the final manned flight of the Red Bull Stratos mission in Roswell, New Mexico, on Oct. 6.
Joerg Mitter AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:27 pm

Update at 1:46 p.m. ET. Aborted:

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

In Greece, Protests Greet Germany's Angela Merkel

Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Greece on Tuesday.
Milos Bicanski Getty Images

As the BBC puts it, Greece felt like two different places today: On the one had you had an "amicable and symbolic" state visit by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and on the other hand, you had tens of thousands of protesters gathered across Athens who weren't too happy to see her.

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

VIDEO: Australia's Prime Minister Doesn't Hold Back As She Rips Opponent

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivering her verbal takedown of the opposition.
ABCNews (of Australia)

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:59 am

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Commentary
12:12 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

One Debate, Two Very Different Conversations

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:13 pm

When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

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Education
12:02 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Florida, Microcosm of Nation's Schools

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk to a woman about the high price of friendship. Well, one friendship anyway. She cosigned a loan for a friend who was struggling. Now she is struggling with the consequences. We'll have more on that and we'll also tell you some things you might want to think about to protect your own credit score. That's in just a few minutes.

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Law
12:02 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

What Another Look At Affirmative Action Will Mean

Affirmative action is back before the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, the justices hear arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Abigail Fisher says she was denied admission to the school four years ago because she's white. Host Michel Martin discusses the upcoming arguments with Associated Press reporter Justin Pope.

U.S.
11:25 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Sandusky Sentenced For Penn State Assaults

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And here's another story we've been following throughout the morning: Jerry Sandusky was sentenced today to at least 30 years in prison. The former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June, of sexually abusing 10 boys. NPR's Jeff Brady was in the Pennsylvania courtroom today. He joins us now. Jeff, what's the sentence? More details.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:11 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Debate Heats Up About Contentious Bird Flu Research

When a case of the potentially lethal H5N1 bird flu was found in British poultry in 2007, Dutch farmers were told to keep their poultry away from wild birds by closing off outdoor areas with wire mesh.
Ed Oudenaarden AFP/Getty Images

What was supposed to be a 60-day moratorium on certain experiments involving lab-altered bird flu has now lasted more than eight months. And there's no clear end in sight.

Researchers still disagree on how to best manage the risks posed by mutant forms of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu. The altered viruses are contagious between ferrets, which are the lab stand-in for humans. The fear is that these germs could potentially cause a deadly flu pandemic in people if they ever escaped the lab.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Tue October 9, 2012

NPR Names New Executive Editor

Madhulika Sikka.
Doby Photography NPR

Madhulika Sikka, who has been Morning Edition's executive producer since joining NPR six years ago, will become the organization's executive editor in January.

In announcing the promotion this morning, NPR Senior Vice President for News Margaret Low Smith lauded Sikka's work at Morning Edition, saying she "brought real vision" to the show and that it has "evolved into a more interesting and relevant program" under her leadership.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:28 am
Tue October 9, 2012

The City As Infestation

This nighttime photograph taken from the International Space Station shows much of the Atlantic coast of the United States. Parts of two Russian vehicles parked at the orbital outpost can also be seen in the frame.
NASA

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:10 pm

For all their variety and variation, cities are, at their root, physical systems. That means, at some fundamental level, they are also expressions of the laws of physics. In physics size matters (or "scale" as we call it). Physicists learn different things about an object by looking at it from different scales. In our first exploration of physics and cities we stayed at the street level. At that scale we saw cities as machines: cars and elevators, pipes and plumbing. Then we went up to the roof. At that scale we saw cities as engines, vast systems for turning energy into work.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Risks Of Global Economic Slowdown Are 'Alarmingly High,' IMF Warns

In China's Anhui province, a worker unloads steel bars at a factory. A slowdown in China and other major nations threatens to pull the global economy into recession, the International Monetary Fund warns.
AFP/Getty Images

Saying that the global economic recovery "has suffered new setbacks, and uncertainty weighs heavily on the outlook," the International Monetary Fund today warned that the probability of "recession in advanced economies and a serious slowdown in emerging market and developing economies" next year have gone up.

The fund said its research indicates the risk of those things occurring in 2013 "has risen to about 17 percent, up from about 4 percent in April 2012."

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