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Mitt Romney
3:22 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

With Romney In Race, Mormon Church Steps Up Ads

An "I'm A Mormon" billboard in New York's Times Square in June.The LDS church expanded the ad campaign to 12 new cities within the last week.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 4:59 pm

Just as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tries to overcome unease about his Mormon faith in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, a new ad campaign promoting the religion is drawing attention.

"I'm a Mormon" billboards and television commercials aimed at improving the religious group's public image have surfaced over the past week in states almost certain to be battlegrounds for next year's presidential contest.

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Middle East
3:06 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

In Syria, Can The President Outlast The Protesters?

Syrian women stroll past posters of President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Monday. Assad has relied heavily on his security forces as he battles an uprising now in its eighth month.

Muzaffar Salman AP

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 7:40 pm

Syria's President Bashar Assad has survived an uprising that's now in its eighth month, and he shows no signs of buckling. The president has relied on a massive security presence to limit protests at home, and has dismissed criticism and sanctions from abroad.

But is this strategy sustainable, or is Assad simply buying time?

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Out Of Wall Street Protest, An Unlikely Celebrity: 'Hipster Cop'

We've covered the serious news out of the Occupy Wall Street movement today. But The Gray Lady has a story we just couldn't stay away from.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:14 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Abbott Unveils Breakup, Plans To Settle Alleged Marketing Misdeeds

Abbott Labs is splitting up. The diversified maker of medical products will become two companies: one focused on brand-name prescription drugs and the second on the other stuff, including medical devices, diagnostic tests and baby formula.

It's a big deal, and Forbes' Matt Herper explains the logic behind it: Investors aren't giving drugmakers much respect, so separating the businesses could give a lift to the future stock of the faster-growing non-drug business.

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Economy
2:04 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

A Hard-Times Journey: Where Should NPR Go?

Luis Pedrosa iStockphoto.com

Americans are worried. Fourteen million people are unemployed. Wages are flat. And there's concern about a double dip recession. But for many Americans, it feels like the last recession never ended.

And many economists don't expect a real turnaround anytime soon. They call it "The New Normal" or "The Great Stagnation."

The country has always come back from hard times. Is this time different?

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Fed Sees An Expanding Economy; Check How Its Language Has Changed

Eight times a year the Federal Reserve releases "beige book" reports about how the economy is doing. Named for the traditional color of their covers and based on reports from the central bank's 12 districts, they're largely anecdotal and full of generalizations about what businesses leaders and others are saying about current conditions.

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Education
1:34 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Why Is College So Expensive?

Sproul Plaza at the University of California, Berkeley. Tuition at U.C. Berkeley was about $700 a year in the 1970s. Today, families pay over $15,000 per year to attend.

Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 5:16 pm

Many of the protesters occupying Wall Street and other places say they are upset about the rising price of going to college. Tuition and other costs have been going up faster than inflation, and family incomes can't keep up. Despite public outrage about the problem, there's little sign these costs will drop anytime soon.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:29 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

IQ Isn't Set In Stone, Suggests Study That Finds Big Jumps, Dips In Teens

Brain researchers say the big fluctuations in IQ performance they found in teens were not random — or a fluke.

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 10:50 am

For as long as there's been an IQ test, there's been controversy over what it measures. Do IQ scores capture a person's intellectual capacity, which supposedly remains stable over time? Or is the Intelligent Quotient exam really an achievement test — similar to the S.A.T. — that's subject to fluctuations in scores?

The findings of a new study add evidence to the latter theory: IQ seems to be a gauge of acquired knowledge that progresses in fits and starts.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:25 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Classical Music From ...TED?

Soprano Danielle de Niese.

courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 12:17 pm

I'm a complete TED fangirl. I get irrationally excited when I see new talks from the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference arrive. I just feel smarter listening to intelligent people from around the globe speaking about their passions and creative pursuits of all sorts, from writing to developing solar technology to advances in neurology.

But it's also become a rich treasure trove of musical performances and talks about musicians' creative processes, as you can see in these five videos. Enjoy.

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The Salt
1:11 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

FDA Probe Points To Cantaloupe Packing Plant As Source Of Listeria

Owner Eric Jensen examines cantaloupe on the Jensen Farms near Holly, Colo., last month.

Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 4:42 pm

The Jensen Farms cantaloupe blamed for the deadliest listeria outbreak in years may have become contaminated in the farm's own packing facilities.

That's the conclusion of the FDA's investigation into the source of the outbreak so far, although the saga is far from over.

And once again, the likely culprit is poop.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Americans' Student Loans Balance Now Exceeds $1 Trillion

Americans now owe more on student loans than they do on credit card debt. Estimates show students graduating this year with about $27,000 in debt.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 1:04 pm

USA Today parses through New York Federal Reserve's latest report (pdf) on Household Debt and Credit and finds that for the first time, this year the amount of student loans will surpass the $100 billion mark and the outstanding balance will exceed $1 trillion.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Reports: U.S. To Resume Talks With North Korea, Appoint New Envoy

"The United States will hold a fresh round of talks with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program next week and appoint a new full-time envoy as its seeks to deepen its engagement with the reclusive regime," U.S. officials and a Washington-based foreign diplomat tell The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Wed October 19, 2011

More Than 90 Dead, Thousands Displaced In Central American Floods

People observe the damage caused by a landslide on the Pan-American highway 55 Km south of Tegucigalpa.

Orlando Sierra AFP/Getty Images

For the past week, the rain across Central America has been relentless. The AFP reports that some places have received 47 inches over the course of a week.

The floods have killed nearly 100 people and displaced 700,000. The AFP has more:

The unusually heavy rainfall came as the region was pounded from one weather system from the Pacific and another from the Caribbean.

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Media
11:49 am
Wed October 19, 2011

The Informal Media Team Behind Occupy Wall Street

Colin Laws mans an Internet live-stream station in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street. He says he was inspired in part to join the protests by Hero Vincent, another member of the group's Livestream team.

Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Protesters are not only occupying Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park; they're also occupying Twitter and other social media sites like Livestream, where visitors to the site can watch live footage from the protests.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Windy City Indeed: 25-Foot Waves Likely Along Chicago Shoreline Today

Waves were already crashing along Chicago's shore with Lake Michigan earlier today.

nbcchicago.com

High winds, heavy rain and waves of up to 25 feet are forecast for later today along Chicago's shore with Lake Michigan.

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It's All Politics
11:25 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Perry-Romney Feud Over Illegal Workers Took Oddly Long Time To Develop

Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry clash at Republican presidential debate, Oct. 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nv.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 11:43 am

With all the time he's had to prepare since 2008 when he last ran for president, you might have thought Mitt Romney would have come up with a more persuasive and sympathetic defense to the charge that illegal immigrants once worked on his Massachusetts property.

And with all the news coverage that issue got during the 2008 presidential campaign, including being raised in GOP debates, you might have also thought that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would have resorted to the story sooner to put Romney on the defensive and counter Romney's immigration attacks on him.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Mario Andretti: 'No Tension' With Jimmie Johnson Over Indy Car Tragedy

Mario Andretti.

Robert Laberge Getty Images

In the aftermath of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon's death Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, there's been a passionate discussion going on in the racing world about whether it was just too risky to have open-wheel-style cars on an oval track with banked turns designed for NASCAR races.

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Europe
11:11 am
Wed October 19, 2011

'Mother Of All Strikes' Brings Greece To A Standstill

A riot policeman's clothing catches fire after being hit by a gasoline bomb during clashes with protesters Wednesday outside the Greek Parliament in Athens.

Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 12:18 pm

Anger over proposed new austerity measures boiled over in Greece on Wednesday as unions shut down the country with what one newspaper called "the mother of all strikes."

Flights were grounded, and state offices and shops were shuttered on the first day of a 48-hour general strike, the biggest organized protest against austerity since the debt crisis began almost two years ago.

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The Salt
11:07 am
Wed October 19, 2011

School Lunch Potato Fight Gets The Colbert Treatment

You know that a political food fight may be a teensy bit out of hand when it becomes fodder for late night TV. And that's exactly what happened last night to the long-running saga of the subsidized school lunch spud.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:55 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Teens' Sexual Attitudes Affected By TV And Mom

Even with a strong maternal relationship, teenage boys who watch a lot of TV acquire their attitudes toward sex from gender stereotypes seen on the tube, a new study says.

Andrea K. Gingerich iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 1:05 pm

Movies, music and video games always seem to get a bad rap for flooding teenagers' minds with sex. The all-you-can-watch buffet of television is no exception.

A heavy, TV-watching habit makes teens who don't have close relationships with their mothers more likely to have looser attitudes about sex, according to a study of about a thousand 16-year-olds in Belgium. Teens were surveyed about the amount of TV they watched, how close they were with their moms and their attitudes on sex.

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Asia
10:18 am
Wed October 19, 2011

At 105, Chinese Linguist Now A Government Critic

Zhou Youguang, founder of the Pinyin system of romanizing the Chinese language, has published 10 books since turning 100, some reflecting his critical views of the Chinese government. Shown here in his book-lined study, the outspoken Zhou has witnessed a century of change in China.

Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 10:59 pm

Zhou Youguang should be a Chinese hero after making what some call the world's most important linguistic innovation: He invented Pinyin, a system of romanizing Chinese characters using the Western alphabet.

But instead, this 105-year-old has become a thorn in the government's side. Zhou has published an amazing 10 books since he turned 100, some of which have been banned in China. These, along with outspoken views on the Communist Party and the need for democracy in China, have made him a "sensitive person" — a euphemism for a political dissident.

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Economy
10:17 am
Wed October 19, 2011

The 'Informal Economy' Driving World Business

Robert Neuwirth is an investigative journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday and The Nation.

Courtesy of the author

More than half of all employed people worldwide work off the books. And that number is expected to climb over the next decade.

"Estimates are that the informal economy around the world is [worth] about $10 trillion a year," says journalist Robert Neuwirth. "That's an astounding figure because what it means, basically, is that if the informal economy was combined in one country, it would be the second-largest economy on Earth, rivaling the United States economy."

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The Salt
8:55 am
Wed October 19, 2011

PETA's New Campaign Gives Veggie Lifestyle An 'XXX' Factor

Is asparagus sexy? PETA thinks so

iStockphoto.com

Let's face it, vegetables are the goody-two-shoes of the food world. We eat them because we know they're good for us. They're like station wagons, treadmills, and sensible shoes. They are practical and healthy but they're not much fun. And they're definitely not what most of us would call sexy.

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It's All Politics
8:48 am
Wed October 19, 2011

From 9-9-9 To Immigration: Fact-Checking The GOP's Nevada Debate

PolitiFact's "Barely True" rating.

PolitiFact

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 4:38 pm

In an interview for Wednesday's All Things Considered, Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact.com and Washington bureau chief for the St. Petersburg Times, will talk about how candidates at Tuesday night's GOP debate rated on PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Wed October 19, 2011

N.Y. Police Officer Who Pepper-Sprayed Occupy Protesters Is Disciplined

Members of the Occupy Wall Street community protest outside of the Manhattan District Attorney's office to demand the release of their fellow protesters who were arrested on Oct. 18 in New York City.

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 12:06 pm

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Clashes In Streets Reported As Greeks Protest Austerity Measures

Outside the Greek parliament building today, protesters burned a guard box.

Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

"Greek riot police have fired tear gas and fought running battles with protesters, amid a 48-hour general strike that has paralyzed the country," the BBC reports.

It adds that: "Tens of thousands are out on the streets of Athens to protest against the government's austerity measures. Some protesters have been hurling smoke bombs and stones at the police."

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National Security
8:14 am
Wed October 19, 2011

In The Rush To Deport, Expelling U.S. Citizens

The government is not shy about its success deporting people from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently sent out videos of early-morning raids conducted across the country. Uniformed ICE agents are shown planning to capture suspects, followed by shots of the suspects being handcuffed and put into vehicles.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Housing Starts Rise; Consumer Prices Go Up Slightly

Two more pieces of data to add to the economic mix:

-- Builders started work on 5.7 percent more housing units in September than in August, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report. The number of "housing starts," 594,000 at an annual rate, were still down 5 percent from August 2010. But, The Associated Press notes, the pace was the fastest in 17 months — "a hopeful sign for the struggling housing market."

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Wed October 19, 2011

2011 World Series: A Few Things To Know As Cards, Rangers Get Set

Tuesday: St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols runs during practice for Game 1 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers in St. Louis.

Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 9:50 am

"I don't know how to pick this one," NPR's Tom Goldman conceded on Morning Edition today.

But while the outcome may be difficult to predict because both teams can make compelling cases for why they should emerge victorious, Tom said the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers has some very compelling story lines. The Series is set to begin tonight in St. Louis (game time is 8:05 p.m. ET. Fox-TV is the broadcaster.)

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Business
7:04 am
Wed October 19, 2011

DeLorean DMC-12 Goes Electric

The Delorean CEO unveiled a prototype of the car over the weekend. It's lighter and stronger. It keeps the steel frame and the gullwing doors. The vehicle goes on sale in 2013 for around $90,000.

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