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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Satellite Fell Into South Pacific Far From Land, NASA Says

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 12:52 pm

That bus-sized Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite that fell back to Earth late last week broke up and spread its debris "over a broad, remote ocean area in the Southern Hemisphere, far from any major land mass," out in the South Pacific Ocean, NASA just reported.

The space agency adds that:

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Saudi Woman Sentenced To Lashes After Defying Driving Ban

A Saudi woman fastens her seat belt before driving in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia.
Michael Bou-Nacklie Michael Bou-Nacklie

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:01 pm

A court in Jeddah on the west coast of Saudi Arabia sentenced a woman to ten lashings with a whip for defying the country's ban on women driving, activists told the AP.

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Europe
12:06 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Greece Approves New Property Tax To Boost Revenue

Greek lawmakers approved a controversial new property tax Tuesday that aims to boost revenue as the country struggles to obtain a critical installment of international bailout loans that will prevent it from default.

The new tax passed 154 votes to 143 against in the 300-member parliament. It was announced earlier this month after international debt inspectors suspended their review of Greek reforms amid talk of missed revenue targets and delayed implementation of austerity measures. The inspectors are expected to return to Athens this week.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Tue September 27, 2011

OnStar Hits Reverse: It Won't Keep Collecting Data From Old Customers

Just days after it received intense criticism from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), some other lawmakers and privacy advocates, General Motors' OnStar service has agreed that it won't keep its data connections open to customers who have canceled the service.

In a statement, the company says today that:

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Coca-Cola Chief: U.S. Becoming Less Business Friendly Than China

Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, speaks during the seventh annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York City.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola's chief executive, is making some waves after what he told The Financial Times in an interview the paper ran this morning.

"I believe the US owes itself to create a 21st century tax policy for individuals as well as businesses," Kent told the paper. He also went on to criticize the complexity of the tax code, as well as the fact that American companies have to pay taxes on income earned abroad. The FT adds:

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Prosecution Begins Case Against Michael Jackson's Doctor

The early word from the trial of pop star Michael Jackson's physician is that the prosecutor says "the superstar's misplaced trust in the doctor led to his death" in June 2009, The Associated Press reports.

As the AP adds, "Jackson died of an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol." Dr. Conrad Murray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. he has pleaded not guilty.

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Asia
11:09 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Widows Win Legal Victory In Indonesia Massacre Case

Cawi Binti Baisan, 84, squats beside the grave of her first husband Bitol, a farmer who was executed by Dutch soldiers in 1947. She is one of seven remaining widows of the more than 400 estimated massacre victims. A Dutch court recently ruled that the Dutch government must compensate the widows for their losses.

Yosef Riadi for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 2:09 pm

In Indonesia, many people are celebrating what they see as a long-delayed victory for justice and human rights. Representatives of a village in West Java that was the site of a massacre by Dutch colonial soldiers 64 years ago sued the Dutch government and won.

The Dutch court ruled that the government must now compensate the victims' seven surviving widows. One of them is 84-year-old Cawi Binti Baisan.

She remembers her husband Bitol waking her up before dawn one morning in 1947. Bitol, who went by only one name, had just come in from the rice paddies, carrying his plow.

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Afghanistan
11:04 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Deadly Blasts Strike Two Cities In Afghanistan

An Afghan police officer looks at a police vehicle damaged in a suicide attack Tuesday in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province.
Abdul Khaleq AP

A minivan carrying women and children returning from an engagement party in Afghanistan struck an improvised land mine that killed 16 people, Afghan officials said Tuesday.

Eleven children were among the dead in Herat province's Shindand district. An additional four people in the car were wounded, said Mohammad Salim, the police garrison chief for the district.

Earlier in the day, a suicide car bomb attack targeted a local business that provides bread for the Afghan police in the southern city of Lashkar Gah, the main city in Helmand province.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:56 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Employer Survey Shows Big Jump In Health Insurance Premiums

iStockphoto.com

There was good news and bad news in this year's annual survey of employer health benefits by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Tue September 27, 2011

No Hoax, BBC Says: Alessio Rastani Is A Trader Who Wants A Recession

Alessio Rastani during his appearance this week on the BBC.
bbc.co.uk

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:29 am

His words were provocative enough.

Alessio Rastani dreams of another global recession, the "independent market trader" told the BBC this week, because he knows he — and anyone who's prepared — can make money when that happens.

Traders, he said, don't care if the European bailout plan works or not. They'll profit either way if they're smart.

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It's All Politics
10:30 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Heckler Gives Obama Chance To Affirm His Christian Faith

There are a few things to say about about the incident in which President Obama was heckled by an apparent militant Christian at Monday night's campaign fundraiser at Los Angeles' House of Blues in Los Angeles. (My colleague Mark Memmott reports on the incident over at The Two-Way blog.)

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The Salt
10:28 am
Tue September 27, 2011

How A Small Red Fruit Performs Taste Miracles For 'Flavor Trippers'

The miracle fruit from West Africa has a chemical that binds to and boosts sweet taste receptors in the presence of acidic foods.
Courtesy of Keiko Abe

A tiny crimson berry from West Africa discovered by Westerners almost three centuries ago can turn lemons into lemonade and vinegar into apple cider, at least as far as the tongue is concerned.

The chemical miraculin in "miracle fruit," as the berry is known, makes sour things eaten immediately afterward taste sweet, and sweet things taste super sweet. And it's inspired a small counterculture of "flavor trippers" who get together to swirl it (or a tablet containing it) around on their tongues and then sample a parade of foods to showcase its mind-bending qualities.

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Author Interviews
10:12 am
Tue September 27, 2011

The 'Worm' That Could Bring Down The Internet

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:47 am

For the past three years, a highly encrypted computer worm called Conficker has been spreading rapidly around the world. As many as 12 million computers have been infected with the self-updating worm, a type of malware that can get inside computers and operate without their permission.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue September 27, 2011

A Moment Of Cute: A Photo Of Sleeping Baby Pandas

This photo taken on Sept. 26 shows a group of giant panda cubs napping at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 12:11 pm

Unbearable cuteness is news, right? In any case, we'll get back to the serious news in a bit. But, first, a picture of 12 baby giant pandas taking a nap at a breeding center in Chengdu:

There is a bit of news to go along with this picture. As the AP reports today, China has finished its census of humans and has now started its once-a-decade counting of pandas in the wild. The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Shanghai Subway Crash Renews Questions About Safety In China

Rescue workers evacuated passengers after a subway train crashed into another train between stations Tuesday in Shanghai.
AFP/Getty Images

There's been another train crash in China — this time a collision of subway trains in Shanghai earlier today. The accident injured more than 200 people.

It's yet another blow to China's image.

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It's All Politics
8:44 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Despite Senate Spending Deal, Nation Stuck In Stormy Political Pattern

Many Americans view Congress as a disaster, albeit one whose shifting tectonic plates are caused by humans not geology.

So it was probably fitting that FEMA, whose mission is partly to mitigate calamities stepped in to do just that Monday and rescue the nation's lawmakers from the dire circumstances the policymakers had created.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Rappelling Work Begins At Washington Monument

At 555 feet above Washington, the work begins.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:03 pm

There's live video now from CNN and Washington's NBC-4 as work begins to have engineers rappel down the sides of the Washington Monument to inspect for damage from the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook much of the eastern U.S.

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The Salt
8:09 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Caffeinated Women May Be Fighting Depression With Every Cup

See that sparkle? It could be the caffeine
iStockphoto.com

For many of us, coffee is the first thought of the day. Just thinking about it gives us the buzz, the energy and the power to ask ourselves the next question, do I make it at home or shell out another $4 at the local Starbucks as I race to work?

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Shots - Health Blog
8:06 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Washington State Raises Bar For Parents To Skip Kids' Vaccinations

Saying no to vaccines is getting harder in Washington state.
iStockphoto.com

The vast majority of parents get their kids vaccinated, but a persistent minority decline to do so.

Their reasons vary: Some continue to worry about a link with autism even though research supporting a connection has been completely discredited. Others are concerned about side effects, or they say they don't believe that the diseases the vaccines prevent are really all that serious.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Texas Turns Down Cook's Offer Of Free 'Last Meals'

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Last week the state of Texas said it would no longer let condemned prisoners order practically anything they want for their last meals before execution.

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Middle East
7:54 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Israel Approves 1,100 New Homes In East Jerusalem

Israel's government has given the final go-ahead for the construction of 1,100 new housing units in east Jerusalem.

The move is sure to heighten tensions, which are already high following a Palestinian move last week to seek U.N. membership.

Israel's Interior Ministry announced Tuesday that it had given the final approval for the new homes to be built in Gilo, a sprawling Israeli enclave in southeast Jerusalem. It said construction could begin after a mandatory 60-day period for public comment.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Home Prices Edged Up In July, Report Says

A "sale pending" sign outside a home in Bath, Maine, in July.
Pat Wellenbach AP

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 7:52 am

July marked a fourth consecutive month of slight gains in home prices in its surveys covering major cities across the nation, researchers who put together the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Obama To Heckler: 'I Agree Jesus Christ Is The Lord'

The man who interrupted President Obama during a fundraiser Monday in Los Angeles is removed from the audience.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 11:01 am

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Today's Top Stories: Eurozone Crisis, Typhoon In Philippines

Good morning.

Today's top story so far in the U.S. seems to be about the government shutdown that isn't going to happen.

As we reported earlier, Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement last night that averted what might have been at least a partial shutdown later this week. And, as often is the case, both sides are claiming vindication.

Meanwhile, other stories making headlines include:

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Both Sides Claim Vindication After Shutdown Is Averted

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky walks to the floor as the Senate prepares to vote on a short-term funding measure .
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 8:28 am

As some last-minute developments and a late-evening deal came together to bring another shutdown showdown to a close last night, Democratic and Republican leaders were both declaring their positions in the latest budget battle had been vindicated.

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Science
2:37 am
Tue September 27, 2011

How Psychology Solved A WWII Shipwreck Mystery

A gun turret on the sunken Australian warship HMAS Sydney. All 645 people aboard the Sydney died.
AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:52 am

In November 1941, two ships crossed paths off the coast of Australia. One was the German raider HSK Kormoran. The other: an Australian warship called the HMAS Sydney. Guns were fired, the ships were damaged, and both sank to the bottom of the ocean.

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Your Money
2:36 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Smaller Banks Use Free Checking To Lure Customers

Two-thirds of the country's largest banks no longer offer free checking, according to a survey by Moebs Services.
iStockphoto.com

Big banks are beginning to make good on their threat to charge fees for everyday checking accounts. But most banks aren't big banks, and community institutions are hanging on to free checking as long as they can in the hopes of luring away some of the big banks' disgruntled customers.

The larger banks are now enacting what customers like James Miller of Nashville have heard was on the horizon for a year or more: Your free checking account is about to cost you.

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Around the Nation
2:35 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Estate Liquidators See A Frenzy Of Speculation

Gold rings and heirloom jewelry like these pieces displayed in a San Francisco store are fetching record high prices this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The high price of gold and other precious metals is encouraging a new breed of gold diggers — traveling estate buyers who temporarily set up shop in hotels. They offer to pay cash on the spot for gold, diamonds, old Rolexes and collectibles.

Walking into one such event at a hotel, it all seems very professional: A fancy conference room with a 20-foot conference table, with soothing bossa nova music playing overhead.

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U.S.
2:00 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Senate Deal To Avert Shutdown Goes To House

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 6:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, host: It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, host: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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World
2:00 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Eurozone's Looming Financial Crisis

For a long time, much of the world saw the eurozone sovereign debt crisis as Europe's problem. Now world leaders, including the United States, realize a eurozone meltdown could have dire consequences for everyone. They are working up a massive rescue plan whose contours are beginning to emerge. Although Britain does not use the euro, that nation's politicians are using their party conventions to issue dire warnings about the euro's fate. And one eminent economist is proposing a novel solution to limit the impact of the European debt crisis.

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