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Election 2012
11:53 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Which Polls To Believe As Election Nears?

A poll out from ABC News and The Washington Post on Monday, shows President Obama with a slight edge over GOP nominee Mitt Romney. As the candidates head into Tuesday night's debate, host Michel Martin gets the latest on election news from Republican strategist Ron Christie and Corey Ealons, a former Obama White House advisor.

It's All Politics
11:46 am
Mon October 15, 2012

What They're Saying In Swing Counties

Voting stickers at the Miami-Dade County elections office on Oct. 10. A study of online conversations finds that voters in the large, diverse county are discussing issues differently from those in other parts of Florida.
Lynne Sladky AP

Last week, we discussed state-by-state differences in online conversations around the issue of unemployment. That analysis of millions of words from news posts, blogs and user comments showed how the conversation in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia varies greatly because of cultural and socioeconomic factors.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Scotland Set To Vote On Independence In 2014

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron shake hands after signing an Independence Referendum deal in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Ian MacNicol Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:31 pm

In what's being called a "historic agreement," Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond have hammered out a deal will allow Scotland to decide if it wants to secede from the United Kingdom. The question will be settled in a 2014 referendum.

The AP reports:

"Officials from London and Edinburgh have been meeting for weeks to hammer out details of a vote on Scottish independence. Sticking points included the date and the wording of the question. ...

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Books
10:20 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Some Book! 'Charlotte's Web' Turns 60

Sixty years ago, the book Charlotte's Web first appeared in print. This children's classic is often seen as a story of a spider and a pig. But when E.B. White recorded a narration of the book, he said something different: "This is a story of the barn. I wrote it for children, and to amuse myself."

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Mystery Solved: 'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Likely Belongs To A Swordfish

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

We learned two things this morning: First, experts from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believe that the softball-sized eyeball that washed up in Pompano Beach, Fla. belongs to a swordfish.

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The Salt
9:59 am
Mon October 15, 2012

A Nose Tuned In To Bitter May Help Stave Off Sinus Infection

If you're a supertaster with a nose for bitter flavors, scientists say you might be good at fighting sinus infections.
iStockphoto.com

Supertasters are the Olympic athletes of gastronomy, able to detect subtle differences in flavors that other people never register. That talent may make for more than a discriminating palate, though. It may also warn them about attacking germs, and help them defend themselves against sinus infection.

This notion isn't as bizarre as it may seem. Bitter tastes have long been considered a danger signal in foods, warning about potential toxins in potatoes and other vegetables. If the potato's bitter, don't eat it.

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Monkey See
9:00 am
Mon October 15, 2012

A Day Later, The Space Jump Guy Is OK, But How About The Rest Of Us?

Felix Baumgartner of Austria as he jumps out of the capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos on Sunday.
Red Bull Stratos AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:23 am

More than 7 million people were watching as Felix Baumgartner sat at the edge of his space capsule yesterday 24 miles off the ground and got ready to jump, in what was known as the "Red Bull Stratos" project, better known as the "space jump." I saw it myself; he opened the door, and there was something there that certainly seemed to be space.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon October 15, 2012

VIDEO: A Skydive From The Edge Of Space

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria and technical project director Art Thompson celebrate after Baumgartner completed a skydive from the stratosphere Sunday.
Joerg Mitter AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:51 am

In case you missed it this weekend, here is harrowing video of the Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner stepping off a capsule at the edge space. He then plummets toward Earth at :

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Malala, 15-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban, Airlifted To Britain

Malala Yousafzai in March 2012.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Malala, the 15-year-old shot in the head by the Taliban, has been airlifted to Britain, the Pakistani government said in a press release today.

The government said that they were "pleased with her present condition, which has been described as optimal."

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Japanese Mobile Carrier Softbank To Buy Majority Stake In Sprint Nextel

After days of rumors, the Japanese telecom Softbank announced it would buy a 70 percent stake of the American mobile carrier Sprint Nextel.

Two reasons this is important: Sprint had been overshadowed by mega companies Verizon and AT&T. When T-Mobile announced a merger with Mobile PCS, Sprint was left in a kind of nowhere land.

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It's All Politics
7:56 am
Mon October 15, 2012

A Fighter To The End, Arlen Specter Seemed To Thrive On Controversy

Sen. Arlen Specter speaks to the media at the base of Air Force One in Maryland in 2010. Specter died Sunday at the age of 82.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:39 am

Imagine a lawyer's lawyer, a fighter's fighter and a pol's pol. Now imagine one person as all three. That was Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday at age 82.

Over the course of three decades in the U.S. Senate (1981-2011), Specter came to personify the pragmatic, independent operator who sized up the substance and politics of every issue for himself. His vote could be one of the hardest to get, and often the one that made the difference.

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History
7:50 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Is The Nobel Prize A Boys Mostly Club?

Tawakkol Karman, a 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is one of few women in the ranks of Nobel laureates.
Donnelly Marks Courtesy of Nobel Media

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:04 pm

As the last of this year's Nobel Prize winners are announced and media focus shifts away from Sweden, two things are clear about the winners.

One: They have all done laudatory work in their respective fields.

Two: Aside from the European Union, which was awarded the Peace Prize, all of this year's Nobel laureates are men.

They join the ranks of hundreds of people who have received the awards over the past 111 years. But what is surprising about the list of Nobel laureates is just how few women are on it.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Americans Roth, Shapely Win Nobel Prize For Economics

Lloyd S. Shapley.
Nobel Prize

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:42 am

Two Americans took the Nobel prize for economics this morning.

Alvin E. Roth, of Harvard University, and Lloyd S. Shapley, of University of California, Los Angeles, were given the award "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."

If that doesn't mean anything to you, the Nobel committee explained that their work essentially explained an important economic problem: How can different economic actors find each other.

They explain:

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Around the Nation
7:06 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Iowa Baby's Birth Is One For Number Lovers

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Katie Deremiah and Ron Fitzgerald of Des Moines, Iowa thought it was cool when their son was born on September 10th last year, offering the fun sequence: 9, 10, 11. Last week, they had a daughter, weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces. Attention numerologists - little Laila was born on October 12th at military time 13:14, outnumbering her big brother at 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:50 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Chuck Yeager Marks Speed Barrier Record

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with low-key congratulations to Chuck Yeager. In 1947, he broke the sound barrier. On Sunday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports he did it again. At age 89, he climbed in the backseat of an Air Force jet. The plane ripped past the speed of sound 65 years to the minute after Yeager first did it. Afterward, the famously laid back pilot seemed unimpressed. Flying is flying, he said. You can't add a lot to it. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Middle East
5:53 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Video From Syria Alerts Activist To His Father's Death

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:48 am

The numbers coming out of Syria these days are staggering: hundreds of thousands of refugees, tens of thousands dead. The struggle, and the death, is being captured regularly on social media. The documentation not only serves as a bulletin for foreigners, but also as an alert for those with family members who become victims.

When Syrians first started protesting in March of last year, Fadi Zeidan was there. He and his friends thought the Syrian uprising would be fast, like the ones in Tunisia and Egypt.

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Election 2012
4:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Volunteers Labor To Get Early Voters Out In Iowa

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

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Business
4:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today, is supersonic.

A space jump and the brand behind it mesmerized viewers yesterday.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Felix Baumgartner wanted to jump from 24 miles up and travel faster than the speed of sound in freefall, which would be a first. From mission control, they went through a checklist.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Item 31. Your shoot integrity is checked and your parachutes are not deployed.

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Business
4:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

2 Americans Win Nobel Economics Prize

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Two Americans have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Economics for work that has to do with matching in business, medicine and marriage. The two, whose work turned out to be a good match, are Alvin Roth of Harvard and Lloyd Shapely of the University of California, Los Angeles. They will share the $1.2 million prize.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:29 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Spray Lights Up The Chemical That Causes Poison Ivy Rash

Urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy, is also harvested from the Japanese lacquer tree to coat lacquerware. Here, a rash caused by lacquerware that likely was not properly cured.
Kenji Kabashima

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 2:17 pm

You'd think that someone who is a science correspondent and is as allergic to poison ivy as I am would have heard of urushiol, but no. I didn't recognize the word when I saw it a week or so ago. Now, thanks to my new beat (Joe's Big Idea), I'm allowed to dig a little deeper into stories, and what I learned about urushiol is pretty amazing.

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