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9:01 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Judge Resigns, Casting Doubt Over Khmer Rouge Trials

In this undated photo, a man cleans a skull near a mass grave at the Choeung Ek camp outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia — the best known of the killing fields run by the Khmer Rouge in the middle and late 1970s. Now, Cambodians are skeptical that a U.N.-backed tribunal will be able to deliver justice in the case of four remaining high-level Khmer Rouge officials.

Jeff Widener AP

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 10:05 am

Long running and frequently delayed, the legal cases against former leaders of the Khmer Rouge are now in danger of being terminated before many of their victims get the justice they've sought.

A German judge resigned this month from the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal. The judge, Siegfried Blunk, felt Cambodian officials were obstructing efforts to investigate the crimes of the Khmer Rouge, which is believed to have killed as many as 2 million of its own citizens between 1975 and 1979.

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The Salt
8:44 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Scientists Seek To Break Aquaculture's Fish-Eat-Fish Chain

Fish feed contains fishmeal and fish oil

Kristofor Husted NPR

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 8:25 am

Aquaculture, one of the fastest growing sectors of agriculture in the U.S., combats the global dilemma of depleting wild fish populations. But a new report from the group Food & Water Watch says factory fish farms risk the health of other, stable species swimming in the sea. One of the biggest problems? The fish food.

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Fri October 14, 2011

If You're So Inclined, Don A Black Turtleneck For 'Steve Jobs Day'

Here's the look, and the website.

stevejobsday2011.com

Most fans of the late co-founder of Apple probably already know, but just in case:

Some folks have declared this to be "Steve Jobs Day," and are encouraging others to "Sport your black turtleneck, jeans, tennis shoes, and glasses and snap a pic!" They're also making it easy to donate money to cancer research in Jobs' memory.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:05 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Early Deadline For Medicare Enrollment This Year

Medicare beneficiaries who want to switch drug plans will have to make a decision earlier than usual this year.

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 8:29 am

The holiday shopping season seems to start earlier every year. And this year, Medicare's open enrollment season also begins — and ends — earlier than ever.

The annual enrollment period for privately run Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug benefits starts Saturday, rather than in mid-November as in past years. The deadline for enrollment has also been pushed up — to Dec. 7 from Dec. 31. But the enrollment season is now a week longer, so it's not all bad news.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Death Toll In Syria Exceeds 3,000, UN Says

Saying that the government's uses of "excessive force to crush peaceful protests" has led to a "devastatingly remorseless toll of human lives," the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reported today that more than 3,000 people have now died because of the violence in Syria in recent months.

And at least 187 of the fatalities were children, Commissioner Navi Pillay added.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Retail Sales Rose 1.1 Percent In September

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 6:53 am

Driven by gains at car dealers, U.S. retail sales rose 1.1 percent in September from August, the Census Bureau just reported.

It's the strongest one-month gain since February's 1.3 percent increase.

And sales were up 7.9 percent from September 2010, Census adds.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Berlusconi Survives Confidence Vote

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi sat in the lower chamber during today's confidence vote.

Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 6:52 am

Breaking news from The Associated Press:

"Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi survives confidence vote in Parliament."

The BBC says "Berlusconi won the vote by 316 to 301, the bare minimum he needed." That, it adds, "presages trouble ahead. ... If Mr Berlusconi has to get a vote of confidence on every issue, he will find it very difficult to govern."

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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Bartender Who Famously Shamed A Nasty Non-Tipper Got Wrong Guy

The receipt that started it all.

Victoria Liss seattlepi.com

Don't "drunk dial" an old lover.

Double check the "To" address before sending an email about your incompetent boss.

And if someone really ticks you off, sleep on it before posting about what happened. You might decide in the morning that it's best left unsaid.

That last bit of advice comes to mind with the story of a Seattle bartender who exposed a "nasty non-tipper" on her Facebook page and mistakenly identified the wrong guy — causing headaches not only for him but for her as well.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Park Cleanup Postponed

The scene at Zuccotti Park on Thursday as Occupy Wall Street protesters started their own cleanup.Â

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Today's planned cleanup of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been camped out for a month, has been postponed — bringing cheers and relief to those in the park, who thought the move might have been a ruse designed to evict or arrest them.

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National Security
10:14 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Defending Defense Contracts: Programs Turn To PR

In southern Arizona, troops take part in a large-scale search-and-rescue exercise called Operation Angel Thunder.

Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 3:45 pm

Five Air Force Pave Hawk helicopters are parked or landing in the high desert east of Tucson, Ariz. They are transporting victims of a mock earthquake as part of a training exercise called Operation Angel Thunder.

"We were always known for staying really quiet and not really saying much," says Brett Hartnett, who started Operation Angel Thunder five years ago.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Trade Deals May Alienate Some Obama Supporters

This steel plant in Weirton, W.Va., was idled in 2009. The United Steelworkers union worries that a trade deal signed this week could result in more jobs lost.

Rick Gershon Getty Images

President Obama had a rare bipartisan economic success this week when Congress passed three trade deals.

Obama is going to Detroit on Friday with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to take a victory lap. But some important parts of Obama's base are not fans of these deals — with South Korea, Panama and Colombia — which could have political consequences for the president.

Friday's event is at a General Motors plant. The auto industry and its workers are big fans of the free-trade deal with South Korea, so they're sure to give the world leaders a warm welcome.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

A New Muesli Maker's Quest For The Cereal Aisle

Muesli Fusion for sale at the Rochester Public Market in Rochester, N.Y. Being a local brand has served owner Ian Szalinski well, but he has bigger plans for his cereal business.

Zack Seward for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 10:46 am

Small businesses are often called the backbone of the U.S. economy; they employ about half of the nation's private sector employees. But in many cases, small companies start out with a workforce of just one — like cereal entrepreneur Ian Szalinski in Rochester, N.Y., who's trying to stake a claim to the breakfast market.

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Humans
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

In African Cave, An Early Human Paint Shop

This abalone shell was found with ocher and a grinding stone. The iron oxide was used as a pigment to paint bodies and walls, as well as to thicken glue.

Science/AAAS

Apparently one of the earliest human instincts was to paint things, including bodies and cave walls. That's the conclusion from scientists who have discovered something remarkable in a South African cave — a tool kit for making paint. It looks to be the oldest evidence of paint-making.

Over in southern Africa 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens was pretty new on the scene. A favorite hangout was a cave named Blombos near the Southern ocean.

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Business
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Charlotte Sees Beyond Bank Of America's Troubles

Bank of America's headquarters towers over the city center in Charlotte, N.C. Charlotte has long been one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, but now nearly one in 10 residents is out of work.

Davis Turner Getty

Charlotte, N.C., is perhaps best known as the home of Bank of America, the country's largest financial institution. So now, with Bank of America struggling to revive its stock price, cutting tens of thousands of jobs and widely criticized for charging customers a $5 monthly fee to use their debit cards, what's the mood in Charlotte?

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Europe
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Apathy Reigns In Russian Election Season

Vladimir Putin will be president, says 30-year-old Yelena.

The lifelong Muscovite is chatting to a friend in Alexander Gardens next to the Kremlin in Moscow. Yelena, who like many Russians won't give her last name when discussing politics, says she's not even sure she will vote.

"Everything's been decided," she says in Russian. "It will be the same no matter who we vote for."

It's election season in Russia, with votes due for parliament in December and president next March. Everyone knows who will win, however, and voters are not energized by the campaign.

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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Playing Chicken To Cut The Deficit

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) speaks as Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) listen during a hearing before the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee, also known as the supercommittee.

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 11:38 am

If you've ever thought that most of politics is game-playing, you're right. Political scientists often use mathematical game theory to describe how Congress works. And when they look at the current battle over how to handle the deficit, the game that comes to mind is chicken.

Steven Smith is a professor of political science at Washington University, and he says yes, Republicans and Democrats sometimes remind him of two cars driving as fast as they can toward a cliff.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Syrians, Not The Regime, Feel The Sting Of Sanctions

Syrians walk in the Hamidiyah market, decorated with portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian flags, in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 5, 2011. The European Union has intensified economic sanctions against Syria, but the crackdown against anti-regime protesters is unlikely to stop, Syrians say.

Bassem Tellawi AP

Every Syrian is feeling the economic pain of a seven month uprising and western sanctions to end a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.

But shopkeepers tell a different story along a street of open-air shops in the Midan neighborhood in central Damascus. A government escort accompanies an NPR reporter for interviews about the sensitive subject of tightening economic sanctions against Syria.

Hassan Shagharouri runs a sweets shop. When asked if prices are rising, he responds that the prices are the same and that everything is perfect.

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StoryCorps
8:00 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

A Love That Turned Difference Into Intimacy

John Klein, 60, and Bernice Flournoy, 60, visited StoryCorps in Oakland, Calif.

StoryCorps

Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 10:01 pm

As love stories go, Mary Ann Allen and John Klein's relationship started in an unusual place. And they were something of an unusual couple, too. But as it turned out, none of that meant a thing.

Klein recently sat down with Mary Ann's daughter, Bernice Flournoy, to explain.

"Tell us how you met Mom," Flournoy says.

"I had a temporary position at a senior citizen facility in downtown Oakland," Klein says. "Mary moved in there."

Allen, who was 59 years old when she met Klein, had diabetes.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Poll: Support For Death Penalty At 39-Year Low

Gallup

A Gallup poll released today found support for the death penalty in the United States is at a 39-year low. As Gallup reports, "this is the lowest level of support since 1972, the year the Supreme Court voided all existing state death penalty laws in Furman v. Georgia."

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Economy
4:20 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

In Spartanburg, S.C., Jobs Are Especially Scarce

Volunteer Dean Ford prepares bags of food to be distributed at the First Baptist Spartanburg's food pantry program.

Melissa Block NPR

The job market is barely treading water. The Labor Department Thursday reported that 404,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week — pretty much unchanged from the week before. Overall, there are 14 million people looking for work in the U.S.

One of those places where jobs are especially hard to find is Spartanburg, S.C.

On Thursday, the Occupy Wall Street protests spread to the heavily conservative corner of the heavily conservative state. It was a small turnout — about 20 people got some honks of support and some catcalls from people who shouted, "Get a job!"

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Media
4:15 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Tracking The Media's Eye On Occupy Wall Street

Protesters with Occupy Wall Street march along New York's 5th Avenue, where prominent heads of major business and financial institutions live, on Tuesday. The movement has expanded, along with media coverage.

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 8:25 pm

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Handing Apple A Win, Australia Bans Sale Of Samsung Tablet

A woman holds an Apple iPad (L) next to a Samsung Galaxy Tab during the 50th International consumer electronics fair in Sept. 2010.

Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

An Australian court issued a temporary injunction that bars Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the country. The judgement is a big win for Apple, which has filed lawsuits worldwide alleging that Samsung had copied its iPhone and iPad.

The Australian court ruled Samsung could not sell its device if included certain features such as a touch-screen.

The AP reports:

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It's All Politics
3:40 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Herman Cain Tells NPR's Scott Simon Surge In Polls Means He's Hiring

Herman Cain.

NICHOLAS KAMM AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 4:31 pm

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who has surged to the top of some national presidential preference polls, told NPR's Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday, that his fundraising has increased 20-fold in the past few weeks, and he is hiring more, much-needed staff.

In fact, he told Scott in an interview Thursday that will air on NPR Saturday, that he just "brought on an entire team" of about 10 new people to help his campaign ramp up.

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Economy
3:36 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Silence Of Super(secret)committee May Be Progress

The debt reduction supercommittee had its first public meeting three weeks ago. The committee has been largely silent since then and this may be a sign of progress.

J. Scott Applewhite AP

On Capitol Hill, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has been very quiet. Also known as the supercommittee, it was created by Congress this summer and is tasked with finding at least 1.2 trillion dollars in cuts over the coming decade. But, so far, its members are keeping their ideas for doing that on the down-low — and that may be a good sign.

It's been weeks since the committee had an open hearing. In fact, it's only had three meetings total — the first of which was to set up its rules.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

U.S. Says Top Haqqani Leader Was Killed In Drone Strike

The Associated Press along with other news organizations are reporting that a top leader of the Haqqani network has been killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan.

The AP pins the news of Janbaz Zadran's death on a "senior American official," and MSNBC reports that "local intelligence officials" also confirmed the news.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Gulf States Call Arab League Meeting On 'Dire' Situation In Syria

The Gulf Cooperation Council called for a meeting of the Arab League on what it termed the "dire" situation in Syria. Reuters and Al Arabiya report the GCC issued a statement with the announcement.

Al Arabiya adds:

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Link Between Iran's Quds Force And Bomb Plot 'Doesn't Seem To Fit'

As details emerge about the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S., some experts say the plan is uncharacteristic of Iran's Quds Force, which is said to be behind the plans. So what is known about this elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards?

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Shots - Health Blog
1:17 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Private Medicare Plans Use Stars To Navigate For Profits

Just three stars could be enough to put health plans in the money.

iStockphoto.com

The latest edition of the federal government's annual reviews of private Medicare health plans came out Wednesday, just in time to help seniors choose plans during this year's open enrollment period that starts Saturday and runs through Dec. 7.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Cain's 9-9-9 Plan: Just Like SimCity?

A framegrab from the Cain campaign's video about its 9-9-9 tax plan.

YouTube.com

One rival said he thought it was "the price of a pizza" (Jon Huntsman's quip). Another said you need to turn it upside down because "the devil's in the details" (Rep. Michele Bachmann's 6-6-6 reference).

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