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Shots - Health Blog
5:55 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Romney's Remarks On Abortion Cause A Stir

Mitt Romney's comments on abortion have surprised those on both sides of the issue.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 9:22 am

Just how many abortion positions does Mitt Romney have? Once again, that answer is unclear.

This time the confusion began Tuesday, during a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.

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Science
5:31 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Two Americans Share Nobel Prize In Chemistry

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:57 pm

Two Americans have won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Koblika were awarded the prize for their work on protein receptors that tell cells what's going on around the human body. Their research has allowed drug makers to develop medication with fewer side effects. The pair with share the $1.2 million award.

The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

A Rare Case: Canadian Navy Officer Pleads Guilty To Selling Secrets To Russians

Sub.-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle is escorted into Nova Scotia provincial court in Halifax in June.
Mike Dembeck AP

Canada is not used to high profile spy cases. But today there is news that the country has tried its first successful case using the Security of Information Act. And it's quite the case.

The CBC reports that a Navy sub lieutenant pleaded guilty to selling secrets to Russia. Canadian Forces Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle, the CBC reports, simply walked into the Russian Embassy in Ottawa and offered to work for them.

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Religion
5:12 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Sisters And Vatican II: A Generational Tug Of War

A nun chants while she and her sisters pray together during Vespers at their home near Dumfries, Va. Unlike older sisters shaped by Vatican II, a new generation of women are flocking to more conservative orders.
Barbara Bradley Hagerty NPR

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:37 pm

Fifty years ago, Pope John XXIII launched a revolution in the Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council opened on Oct. 11, 1962, with the goal of bringing the church into the modern world. Catholics could now hear the Mass in their local language. Laypeople could take leadership roles in the church. And the church opened conversations with other faiths.

For American nuns, Vatican II brought freedoms and controversies that are playing out today.

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Opinion
5:11 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Listeners Take Stock Of Affirmative Action

A word cloud of listener responses to the question, "Is there still a place for affirmative action in 2012, and why?"
NPR via Wordle

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 12:53 pm

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that could put an end to policies that take race into account in college admissions decisions.

NPR's All Things Considered recently asked listeners if there is still a place for affirmative action policies in America today. Below are just a few responses from among the more than 50 received.

'Still A Need'

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It's All Politics
5:09 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'I Was Just Too Polite,' Says Obama, Vowing To Hit Hard At Next Debate

President Obama promised to take it to Mitt Romney in future debates.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:44 pm

No more Mr. Nice Guy. That was essentially what President Obama told Tom Joyner, the black-radio megahost, to expect at upcoming presidential debates.

On Wednesday, the president explained that his main mistake at last week's debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney was an excess of gentility.

Obama's self-critique, such as it was, came in response to a Joyner question:

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

JPMorgan Chase CEO: 'I Should Have Caught' $5.8 Billion Error

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, wearing a dark suit possibly made of sackcloth, didn't hold back when discussing the derivative trades that led to massive losses for his company.

"We made a stupid error," he said before a lunchtime audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on Wednesday. "We screwed up."

Then he got more specific: "I should have caught it ... I didn't."

The company estimates it lost $5.8 billion, thanks to a London-based trader, nicknamed the "London whale," who took large, risky positions in credit derivatives.

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World Cafe
4:49 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Debo Band On World Cafe

Debo Band.
Shawn Brackbill Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:18 pm

The 11-member group from Boston known as Debo Band has a sound influenced by the traditional music played in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the late '60s and early '70s. This style, labeled "Addis swing," came about amid the cultural freedom of that period, before a military coup put an end to the era. Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen, who was born in Sudan and grew up in Texas, founded Debo Band, which released a self-titled album in July.

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Romney, Obama Surrogates Clash Over Military Strategy

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:16 pm

The Romney campaign is putting more meat on the bones of its defense policy, and the result is a muscular, almost hawkish posture.

Dov Zakheim, Mitt Romney's special adviser for foreign policy and national security, went toe-to-toe with Richard Verma, who plays a similar role for the Obama campaign, at a forum Wednesday.

The two tussled for over an hour in a foreign policy debate of sorts at a Washington, D.C., hotel.

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Music News
4:24 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

An Immigrant's 'Star-Spangled Banner,' En Español

Clotilde Arias (seated) with composer and arranger Terig Tucci, circa 1943.
Courtesy of the Arias family

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:57 pm

In 2006, Roger Arias went into his garage searching for a long-lost treasure. He remembered a story about his grandmother and a Spanish translation of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"I dug through my boxes and sure enough, there was a folder," he says. "It said 'The National Anthem,' and she had version 1 through 10. She kept every one of them."

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Religion
4:15 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Why Is Vatican II So Important?

Pope Paul VI hands Orthodox Metropolitan Meliton of Heliopolis a decree during the December 1965 session of the Roman Catholic Ecumenical Council in Vatican City. The decree cancels excommunications that led to the break between the Roman and Orthodox churches nine centuries before.
AP

When Pope John XXIII announced the creation of the Second Vatican Council (also known as Vatican II) in January 1959, it shocked the world. There hadn't been an ecumenical council — an assembly of Roman Catholic religious leaders meant to settle doctrinal issues — in nearly 100 years.

"Many people maintained that with the definition of papal infallibility in 1870, councils were no longer needed. So it was a big surprise," Georgetown University professor Rev. John W. O'Malley says.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:06 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

During Lockout Season, Orchestra Musicians Grapple With Their Future

The Minnesota Orchestra is one of many orchestras around the country dealing with labor disputes.
Greg Helgeson

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:05 pm

It's been a tumultuous time for American orchestras. Labor disputes have shut down the Minnesota Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, and strikes and lockouts have affected orchestras in Chicago, Atlanta and Louisville in the past year.

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Music News
4:02 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

You, Too, Can Print Your Own Guitar

Industrial engineer Scott Summit made this guitar out of nylon powder.
Courtesy of Scott Summit

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:57 pm

Though it's been around for three decades, 3-D printing has finally started to take off for manufacturing and even for regular consumers. It's being used for making airplane parts on demand and letting kids make their own toys. One designer is pushing the limits of 3-D printing by using it to make an acoustic guitar.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:40 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

How Do Public Data About Heart Attack Treatment Change It?

Too risky to fix?
Clayton Hansen iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:38 am

Measurement has long been a cornerstone of quality improvement, whether it's on the factory floor or the hospital ward.

And making the quality scores of doctors and hospitals publicly available is central to the idea that health care can become a service that patients shop for intelligently. The results can also ratchet up professional peer pressure for improvement.

But does public reporting lead doctors and hospitals to game the system by withholding care from the sickest patients?

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It's All Politics
3:27 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

As Race Tightens, The Electoral Map Still Favors Obama

A boy examines CSPAN's 2012 presidential race electoral map at the American Presidential Experience exhibit last month in Charlotte, N.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:17 pm

Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.

In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'Human Hamster Wheel' Sinks; Here's Video Of How It Used To Work

The hamster wheel, before she sank.
Facebook.com/IrishSeaCrossing

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:57 pm

As our friends at All Things Considered say, "it's been a frustrating week for daredevils."

Felix Baumgartner had to postpone his attempt to rise 23 miles high in the sky and then jump from a balloon to see if he can break the speed of sound on the way down.

And maybe you haven't heard, but Chris Todd had to give on his "walk" across the Irish Sea in a human hamster wheel.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'Sweatt Vs. Texas': Nearly Forgotten, But Landmark Integration Case

Heman Sweatt in line for registration at the University of Texas in 1950.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 2:06 pm

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the affirmative action case of Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, as NPR's Nina Totenberg will report later today on All Things Considered.

But we want to take a moment to remember another landmark case that brought the University of Texas to the Supreme Court 62 years ago.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Record-Breaking Skydive Attempt Scrapped For Second Day

In this photo provided by Red Bull, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria steps in the capsule during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in July.
Getty Images

In case you were wondering, Felix Baumgartner, who was scheduled to jump out of a capsule floating at 120,000 feet, has cancelled his attempt for a second day in a row.

The BBC reports that like yesterday gusty winds in Roswell, New Mexico, halted Thursday's plans.

Baumgartner is trying to break the speed of sound using only his body.

The BBC adds:

"Baumgartner is trying to topple records that have stood for more than 50 years.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Sharp Criticism, Some Words In Defense At Hearing On Benghazi Attack

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:57 pm

Two very different views from two different witnesses today as the House House Oversight and Government Reform Committee opened its probe into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

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Author Interviews
1:25 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'Signal' And 'Noise': Prediction As Art And Science

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:56 pm

No one has a crystal ball, but Nate Silver has perfected the art of prediction. In 2008, he accurately predicted the presidential winner of 49 of the 50 states, and the winners of all 35 Senate races. Before he focused on elections, Silver developed a sophisticated system for analyzing baseball players' potential and became a skilled poker player — which is how he made his living for a while.

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