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Kitchen Window
4:33 am
Wed September 5, 2012

No-Bake Desserts? No Sweat

Dave Scantland for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:26 am

I was once known among my friends as the queen of desserts. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I was at least the bringer of desserts. My circle of friends hosted frequent dinner parties, but my tiny apartment made entertaining any more than a couple of guests impossible. To make up for that, I always offered to bring a contribution. While I preferred appetizers, the day came when a friend asked for a dessert. With some trepidation, I complied. I have no idea what that first dessert was, but it was a hit. My fate was sealed.

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Movie Reviews
4:32 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Chilling Future Awaits 'Girl Model' Recruits

Nadya Vall, a 13-year-old Russian girl who is sent off to Tokyo to become a model, is hoping to satisfy her parents' desire to afford a larger home.
First Run Features

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:38 pm

In Girl Model, an alarming documentary about the trafficking of Russian child models to the Japanese fashion market, a garrulous modeling agent explains his philosophy: To expiate his own past bad behavior, he says with papal solemnity, he approaches model recruitment as a religious calling, not to mention a fatherly responsibility to do right by the girls, give them a better life than they have now and protect them from harm.

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Around the Nation
3:24 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit'

Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set.
Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 3:37 pm

One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. But they might not realize that he's also tied to another watershed moment in America's history.

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All Tech Considered
3:23 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Web-Based Subscription Businesses Surf A New Wave

Customers of Dollar Shave Club say that the company's sense of humor — as seen in an absurdist video of CEO Michael Dubin in his warehouse — has helped win them over.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:43 pm

The newspaper boy and the milkman might not come around as often as they used to, but the days of subscription and delivery aren't over. The Internet and overnight delivery have combined to make a new type of subscription business possible. The sales pitch is part convenience, part price and part cool factor.

Making Razors Cheap, And Cool

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Middle East
3:22 am
Wed September 5, 2012

A Syrian Village Is Oasis Of Calm Amid Conflict

Dr. Mahmoud Hasson, a specialist in internal medicine, runs a new hospital in the Syrian village of Kfar Ghan, a protected area along the border with Turkey. The Turkish government warned that any Syrian military aircraft near the border would be a target.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:58 am

Driving into Kfar Ghan, you notice the difference right away: The shops are open, there are kids on the street, there's even a row of open-air vegetable stalls and a crowd of shoppers.

There is a full spread of watermelon, eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. All the farmers from the area have brought their produce to the market in this Syrian village, about a mile from the Turkish border.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed September 5, 2012

'Quite Good' May Not Be Good Enough For GM

The General Motors logo is displayed atop the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The automaker, while doing much better following the government bailout, is still lagging some of its competitors.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:54 pm

When you talk to car people about General Motors, they all say the company has gotten better.

"I think General Motors, productwise, is in a better position than it's been in a decade or so," says Jack Nerad of Kelley Blue Book. "The new products, we feel ... are all quite good."

Like many people, however, Nerad adds an important caveat. He says GM's improvement doesn't mean the company is completely out of the woods, because the competition is very good as well.

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Education
3:20 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Florida Schools In Session, But Teachers Absent

Thousands of students in Florida are starting the school year without permanent teachers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:46 am

Schools have been open for a couple of weeks across much of Florida, but not all of the students know who their teachers are yet. There's typically a lot of teacher turnover during the summer break, and schools can't always get vacant teaching positions filled by the time school starts.

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It's All Politics
2:47 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Payroll Tax Holiday May Not Survive Year's End

The Social Security tax rate is scheduled to revert to 6.2 percent next year, up from the temporary reduction — to 4.2 percent on an employee's first $110,000 in wages — which has been in effect since January 2011.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:46 am

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.

If you work, you've probably been getting this tax break: Since January 2011, the government has knocked 2 percentage points off the payroll tax.

For someone making $50,000 a year, the payroll tax holiday works out to about $20 a week.

"We definitely notice it," says Steve Warner of Winter Haven, Fla., while on vacation with his family recently in the nation's capital.

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Europe
2:38 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Educated Russians Often Lured To Leave

Russia is suffering from an exodus of educated, talented citizens, including scientists. Here, scientists rally in Moscow to demand the government increase funding for science last October.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:43 am

Russia has been facing troubling demographics ever since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. The population has contracted by several million people over this period. The birth rate is low. Life expectancy for men is still less than 65 years.

And there is also a sense that many educated, talented people are leaving the country.

To take one example, the world of science lit up in July, when a billionaire Internet investor named Yuri Milner announced nine prizes for some of the world's most innovative thinkers in physics.

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Sweetness And Light
2:24 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Southern Pride And The Southeastern Conference

Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin speaks to reporters at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media day.
Butch Dill AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:09 pm

Well, the Southeastern Conference season has begun. I have it on good authority that other college football teams around the country will also be playing games this fall.

I don't know when exactly the SEC took over America. I know this is hard to believe, but the epicenter of college football used to be in the Midwest. I'm so old, I can remember when Notre Dame actually mattered, and the real tough players were supposed to come from Western Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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It's All Politics
12:26 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Chat Archive: Tuesday At The Democratic Convention

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 11:51 pm

On Tuesday, NPR's Frank James hosted a live chat during the Democratic convention. He was joined by Neal Carruth, NPR's elections editor; political science professors Sarah Treul of the University of North Carolina and Melody Crowder-Meyer of Sewanee: The University of the South; and Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly.

Read below to see how it unfolded.

It's All Politics
12:19 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Michelle Obama: "Being President ... Reveals Who You Are'

First lady Michelle Obama speaks Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 8:55 am

There were a lot of preliminaries, but it was Michelle Obama's show Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, and she used it masterfully — carrying a rapt crowd along with a narrative of family, hard work, and truth-telling.

Largely wrung of politics, the first lady's speech plotted parallels in her life and that of her husband, President Obama. She pointedly tracked their humble beginnings and strivings in an unspoken but clear contrast to the privileged upbringing of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

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It's All Politics
12:07 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Five Takeaways From Tuesday At The Democratic Convention

First lady Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:41 am

If you missed the opening night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., we live blogged it here.

We've also compiled five things that struck us about the night:

'Mom In Chief' Takes A Stand: There is no question that the first night of the convention belonged to first lady Michelle Obama, who delivered a sweeping, personal and dramatic endorsement of her husband, President Obama.

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It's All Politics
7:37 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Mormon Democrats Battling Romney — And What Would Be Church History

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., attends a practice session at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. On Tuesday, Reid also attended a gathering with other Mormon Democrats.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 1:53 pm

They billed the gathering in a Charlotte, N.C., Holiday Inn conference room Tuesday as the first national meeting of Mormon Democrats.

Don't laugh. Crystal Young-Otterstrom says she figures there are 1 million of them out there, and she's determined to find them.

"It's like a missionary effort," Young-Otterstrom said in a room packed with the curious, the media and a cadre of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints making the argument that the Democratic Party best represents their personal and religious values.

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The Two-Way
7:23 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Pentagon Unhappy With 'No Easy Day,' As Book On Bin Laden Raid Tops Charts

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:37 am

Defense Department officials say that No Easy Day, former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette's book about the secret mission to kill Osama bin Laden, includes classified information that may harm U.S. military operations. The book went on sale yesterday despite the Pentagon's warnings of possible legal action last week.

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World Cafe
6:10 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Antibalas On World Cafe

Antibalas.
Courtesy of Marina Abadjieff

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 10:23 am

Sometimes known as the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, the New York band Antibalas — which means "bulletproof" in Spanish — is a large group of talented musicians who play rhythm-intensive Afrobeat music. In a seven-year stretch, Antibalas has released four albums and withstood a five-year hiatus in which several members worked on the Broadway musical FELA!

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Election 2012
6:09 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Democratic Convention: A Viewer's Guide

Bennett Raglin Getty Images for Macy's

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:01 am

Speakers of interest at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

It's All Politics
5:37 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Some Black Leaders Say Obama's Race A More Nuanced Factor In 2012

Dianne Hart and Marcus Wheeler are both Florida delegates. Said Wheeler, of President Obama: "I would have the same expectation for any president that I have for him."
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 6:27 pm

Over the past four years, the presidential narrative has shifted for African-Americans like Louisiana state Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith of Baton Rouge.

"I'm 66 years old," said Smith, at an event Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., for black state legislators here for the Democratic National Convention. "And before 2008, I didn't think I'd live to see a dream come true."

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

To Some Runners, Zombies Are A Killer Motivator

A runner tries to escape with his life as zombies pursue him during the Run for Your Lives race. The 5K course is littered with obstacles — and the undead.
HGL

Some people run for charity; some run for their health. And some run because it's the only way to escape the ravenous brain-eating zombies who chase them. No, that's not a movie plot. It's essentially the pitch for Run for Your Lives, a "zombie-infested 5K obstacle race" whose popularity has surprised even its organizers.

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It's All Politics
5:31 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Live Blog: Tuesday At The Democratic National Convention

A general view of the start of Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 12:56 am

  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 1
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 2
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 3

Good evening from Charlotte, N.C., where Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz gaveled the convention to order promptly at 5 p.m. ET. in Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena.

Schultz, who is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said that throughout the next three days, "we will demonstrate we need to keep President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden four more years."

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