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The Torch
1:15 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Olympic Athletes' Names: Endurance (Track), Moist (Swimming), And A Leeper

Nathan Leeper of the United States jumps during the IAAF World Championships in this photo from 2001. A high jumper, Leeper is one of several athletes whose name suited their sport.
Andy Lyons Allsport/Getty

"What's in a name?" a British writer named Shakespeare once asked in Romeo and Juliet, long before the Olympics ever came to London.

Well, it turns out that some Olympic names herald the greatness athletes seek, and the events they enter, while some bear monikers better suited for others.

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Religion
1:10 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Bishop Explains Vatican's Criticism Of U.S. Nuns

Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio is the bishop who assessed the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. You can hear Blair discuss the nuns' organization here.
Courtesy Catholic Diocese of Toledo

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:32 pm

Four years ago, a Vatican group called "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" began an assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a member organization founded in 1956 that represents 80 percent of Catholic nuns in the United States. The assessment was designed to take a careful look at whether the nuns were acting in accordance with the teachings of the church.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

As Details Emerge On Difficulty Getting Help To Victims, Colorado Funerals Begin

An ambulance and police cars outside the Century 16 movie theater complex in Aurora, Colo, during the early hours of July 20, 2012. A gunman attacked an audience there — killing 12 people and wounding 58.
Bob Pearson EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 12:53 pm

  • Aurora, Colo., police dispatch recordings

There's an account in today's Denver Post of the huge problems first responders faced early Friday when they got to the scene of the shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater where 12 people were killed and 58 others wounded.

According to the Post:

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The Salt
12:50 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

How Many Calories Do Olympic Athletes Need? It Depends

Endurance athletes like Michael Phelps, here at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Omaha, can easily burn off stacks of pancakes.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:06 pm

Food, as we so often note on this blog, means a lot of different things to different people. To Olympic athletes, food is fuel for exceptional athletic performance. But there's a surprising amount of variety in just how much fuel elite athletes need.

Anyone who followed Michael Phelps' astonishing performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games surely will remember one of the secrets of his success: Consuming as many as 12,000 calories in a day.

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Economy
12:21 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

When It Comes To Tax Cuts, Neither Side Is Blinking

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:43 pm

Taxes may be certain, but growth and job creation aren't.

As the U.S. edges closer to a year-end "fiscal cliff," Democrats and Republicans haven't budged in their fight over expiring tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — and how best to help the middle class and get the country back to work.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

After Another Night Of Near-Riots In Anaheim, Latinos Want Feds To Investigate

An injured pedestrian cries out to end the destruction of local properties after violence erupted between police officers and protesters during demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz.
Jonathan Gibby Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:02 pm

Update at 5:36 p.m. ET. U.S. Attorney Will Investigate:

During a press conference today, Mayor Tom Tait asked for calm. He also said that the Office of the U.S. Attorney had agreed to investigate the shootings.

"The first step is to get to the truth," Tait said according to the Orange County Register. "That takes some time and patience, and that's what I'm asking for."

Our Original Post Continues:

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Shots - Health Blog
11:51 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Epidemics Prefer Changing Planes In JFK Over ATL

Travelers crowd around a ticketing counter at John F. Kennedy International Airport in April 2010 in New York.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 12:34 pm

When the next epidemic comes, there's a good chance it will switch flights at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

Researchers at MIT have developed a pretty nifty computer model to figure out the most influential airports in the early stages of an epidemic's spread.

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Beauty Shop
11:49 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Should Sally Ride Have Come Out?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will remember Sherman Hemsley, the actor who played the brash, abrasive, yet hilarious George Jefferson. That's later in the program.

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World
11:49 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Ghana's New President Shaped By A Violent Past

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 12:58 pm

  • Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama reads from his memoir.

The President of Ghana unexpectedly died Tuesday, and Ghana's former Vice-President John Dramani Mahama has been sworn in as the country's new leader. The peaceful transition is in contrast to past coups and political problems. Host Michel Martin recently spoke to Dramani Mahama about the Ghana's turmoil, which he details in his new autobiography My First Coup D'Etat.

The Torch
11:37 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Greek Triple Jumper Suspended From Olympic Team For Inappropriate Tweets

Triple jumper Voula Papachristou, seen competing in Finland last month, has been removed from Greece's London Olympics squad over comments made on Twitter.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:32 pm

Greek track star Voula Papachristou has been suspended from her country's Olympic team, after she made a comment about Africans who live in Greece. The comment was widely noticed on her Twitter feed, and resulted in her removal from the London 2012 roster.

On Twitter, Papachristou also reportedly expressed support for the right-wing Greek political party Golden Dawn, particularly its views on immigration.

The Hellenic Olympic Committee said that Papachristou "is suspended after her comments that go against the values and ideals of Olympism."

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Senate Plans Two Symbolic Votes On Taxes That Won't Change Anything

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 6:22 pm

"Senate leaders have reversed course and decided to stage showdown votes later today on rival Democratic and Republican plans for extending broad tax cuts next year that will otherwise expire in January," The Associated Press writes.

So, Democrats will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts only for those earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone.

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The Torch
10:52 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The London Games, Seen Through A (Very) Critical Eye

Just as every Olympic athlete trains their heart out, every Olympic expert seems to wear themselves out describing what an unmitigated sham is being perpetrated on the host city. Many of those criticisms are valid, of course — especially concerns about overbuilding facilities.

For instance, NPR's Louisa Lim recently reported on China's Post-Olympic Woe: How To Fill An Empty Nest.

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The Torch
9:16 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Iran's Judo Champ Withdraws From Olympics, Ending Chance Of Facing Israeli

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:19 am

Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub will miss the London 2012 Olympics because he needs a 10-day course of antibiotics, according to reports. But few Olympic observers are worried about the health of Mahjoub, 21. Many of them see the withdrawal as a ploy to keep from competing against an Israeli.

From London, Tom Goldman filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Kim Jong Un Has Married That Mystery Woman, North Korean TV Says

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on Monday, July 9, 2012, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and a woman clap with others on Friday as they watch a performance by North Korea's new Moranbong band in Pyongyang. Now it appears they have gotten married.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:58 am

Closing the loop — almost — on our reports about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the "mystery woman" who has been seen with him in recent weeks:

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Shots - Health Blog
8:12 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Prevention Programs Curb New HIV Infections In South Africa

Health care workers in South Africa speak to residents during a door-to-door AIDS awareness campaign, part of a series of prevention efforts that has helped lower the country's HIV infection rate.
Mujahid Safodien Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:03 pm

The statistics on HIV and AIDS in South Africa are daunting.

In a country of 50 million people, more than 5.5 million people are living with HIV and almost 2 million people are on HIV drug treatment. Each year, roughly 300,000 more South Africans are infected with HIV, and half a million come down with tuberculosis.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Aleppo 'Cowers' As Fighting Flares In And Around Syria's Biggest City

Tuesday in Aleppo, these men from an anti-Assad force were on guard at a checkpoint.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

"Ancient Aleppo Cowers Amid Reports of Approaching Syrian Forces."

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Strange News
7:36 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Survey Shows Londoners Are A Crabby Bunch

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Strange News
7:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Joggler To Make World Record Attempt

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Matthew Feldman won't be competing in the Olympics, but he'll be trying to break a record this Friday in joggling. That's what it sounds like: juggling while jogging. He's trying to run one mile, continuously juggling five objects. He broke the Guinness world record in practice, and if he doesn't drop the ball Friday, he can make it official. But there are no gold medals for joggling so far. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:19 am
Wed July 25, 2012

'Heat Dome' Linked To Greenland's Biggest Melt In 30 Years

In these illustrations NASA produced from satellite data, the melt in Greenland on July 8 (at left) and July 12 are shown. According to NASA, "the areas classified as 'probable melt' (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as 'melt' (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting."
NASA

Last week there were the pictures of an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan breaking off Greenland's Petermann Glacier.

Now there are NASA images showing that in four days earlier this month, "Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations."

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Remembrances
6:27 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Sherman Hemsley, TV's George Jefferson, Dies

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

George Jefferson was an upwardly mobile black businessman with a longsuffering wife, equal parts pride and frustration when it came to his family and neighbors. Actor Sherman Hemsley brought that vivid character to life on television in the 1970s and '80s. He was 74 when he died yesterday at his home in El Paso, Texas. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has this remembrance of the actor behind the headstrong, high-strung center of "The Jeffersons."

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME SONG, "THE JEFFERSONS")

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