The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Oktoberfest Tallies 7.5 Million Liters Of Beer; Lost And Found Office Is Busy

Revelers clink their beer mugs inside a beer tent on the last day of Oktoberfest in Munich. The festival drew some 6.9 million visitors this year.

Johannes Simon Getty Images

In the past 17 days, people visiting Munich's Oktoberfest drank a record 7.5 million liters of beer — around 1.98 million U.S. gallons. That figure is made more striking if one notes that the festival, which ended Monday, hosted some 6.9 million visitors this year — or 200,000 people short of a record turnout.

Despite that number, there was less violence this year, with the police being called about 100 times fewer than they were in 2010. And Reuters says that only 58 conflicts involved people knocking one another over the head with steins — a drop of 4 from last year.

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Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Mississippi's Jobs Program: A New National Model?

Brian Vandevender says a tough economic market prevented him from getting a good job until the state brought back the program it calls STEPS 2 last month. He just got a position working for a company that makes auto parts and supplies and hopes it will turn into a full-time job when STEPS ends in December.

Kathy Lohr NPR

As President Obama sells his jobs initiative across the country, people in Mississippi point to a program they say is already creating jobs. Mississippi has attracted attention because economists like the way the state got employers to share the cost of hiring workers.

Under the Subsidized Transitional Employment Program and Services, or STEPS for short, the state pays part of the cost of workers' salaries in the hopes that the subsidy will lead to full-time jobs.

Some analysts say this could be a national model, but it comes with a price tag.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:09 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Hormonal Contraceptives May Raise HIV Risk For Men And Women

Hormone shots that are a popular form of birth control in Africa may increase the risk of HIV infection for women who use them and the men who are their sexual partners.

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Economy
2:51 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Obama, Banks Trade Fire In Debit-Card Debate

A man walks up to an ATM machine outside a Bank of America branch in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. Bank of America has said it will charge customers a $5 monthly fee to use its debit card — a plan that has set off grumbling from consumer advocates at the highest levels.

Jae C. Hong AP

President Obama has waded into the controversy over bank card fees, suggesting that Bank of America is mistreating its customers with a plan to start charging a $5 monthly fee for the use of its debit card.

In an interview Monday with ABC, the president seemed to suggest the fee could become a target for the federal government's new financial watchdog agency.

"This is exactly why we need this Consumer [Financial] Protection Bureau that we set up, that is ready to go," he said.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Bicycles, China's Former Love, Get A Second Look

For years, it was common to see images of Chinese people riding bikes in massive packs, coursing along the streets of Beijing or other sprawling metropolises. Then, as the nation's economy took off, bicycles came to be seen as part of the country's past — and cars as a sign of its future.

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Conflict In Libya
1:43 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Post Revolution, Libyan Women Seek Expanded Roles

In Tripoli, Libya, women celebrate the revolution against Moammar Gadhafi's regime and call for a strengthening of women's rights, Sept. 2. After playing large but largely unsung roles during the uprising, women are now seeking a greater political role.

Alexandre Meneghini AP

One recent day in Tripoli, hundreds of people strolled through a charity fundraiser organized by the women in Libya's capital city.

Ladies sold baked goods and handicrafts in rows of stalls. For the kids, there was a moon bounce and face painting. There was even a rock band that could use some practice.

It was a lot like charity bazaars in towns across the U.S., with a couple of notable exceptions: most of the women wore headscarves and among the more popular items for sale were hand-knitted versions of the Libyan flag.

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Europe
1:41 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Greek Prime Minister: Undoing His Father's Legacy

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses a meeting of the Federation of German Industry in Berlin, Sept. 27. He is the son and grandson of Greek prime ministers, but his critics say he is betraying the work of his father, who built up the Greek welfare state.

John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Greek Prime Minster George Papandreou, who was born and raised in the U.S., belongs to Greece's most important political dynasty — he's the son and grandson of prime ministers.

And yet just two years after he led the Socialist party to victory, his popularity has plummeted, his debt-stricken country is at the heart of the eurozone crisis and he faces the daunting task of dismantling the generous welfare state his father created.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:33 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Surprise In Your Sewage: Lots Of Exotic Viruses

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 8:03 am

You think your job is tough? Some scientists examined sewage from Pittsburgh, Barcelona and Addis Ababa in a hunt for unknown viruses.

They found scads. How many? At least 43,381.

To put that number into perspective, consider that up to now scientists have charted only about 3,000 viruses. And among the known viruses found in the sewage samples, only 17 were bugs that cause human disease — things like the common cold virus, diarrhea-causing Norwalk virus and human papilloma virus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer and genital warts.

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Monkey See
1:11 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Apple Announces A New Phone And Voice Recognition, But Not The iPhone 5

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the event introducing the new iPhone.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 4:01 pm

Today was widely expected to bring the announcement of the iPhone 5 — maybe with a bigger screen, a different home button, or a differently shaped case — at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

It didn't.

That's not to say Apple didn't say anything of note at its rather lengthy presentation. Not at all. But the big game-changing piece of new hardware didn't come to pass. Aficionados waited, wondering and chattering on liveblogs and on Twitter to see if it would come at the end in Apple's traditional "one more thing" fashion.

It didn't.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Beware The Bear Market? Here's Why Not To

With the Dow Jones industrial average and other market indexes around 20 percent below their recent peaks, the very definition of a "bear market," there's understandably a fair amount of concern among investors and everyone else who watches the economic indicators.

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