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Around the Nation
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

San Fernando's Financial Crisis Burdened By Scandal

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:07 am

The small Southern California city of San Fernando is facing a seven-figure fiscal crisis. But the town has been unable to address its money issues because the romantic entanglements of the city leaders are dominating the agenda.

Business
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Standard Chartered Settles Money Laundering Charges

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A British bank has agreed to settle charges that it illegally laundered Iranian money. The settlement with Standard Chartered was announced by New York banking regulators, who'd brought the charges just a week ago. The bank still is under investigation by the federal government. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

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Election 2012
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

On The Road With Biden

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

Well, it is VP against VP-hopeful. Vice President Joe Biden is touring Virginia, a key presidential swing state. And yesterday, Biden seized on Mitt Romney's choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as a running mate, saying it shows what the Republican ticket really stands for. In a moment, Ryan's day on the campaign trail.

First to NPR's Larry Abramson, who's traveling with Vice President Biden.

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Election 2012
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

In Colorado With Rep. Ryan

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:03 am

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan continues to introduce himself to voters. Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Ryan would be his running mate. So far, Ryan has campaigned exclusively in battleground states that were carried by Democrats in 2008.

Business
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Twitterverse is blowing up these days with a lot of talk of football, because its fans like me are very happy about the NFL season is getting close.

Here in Washington, D.C., fans are tweeting about Jordan Black. The Washington Redskins signed the offensive tackle during training camp and he has some work to do.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Which is why our last word in business is: chowing down.

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All Tech Considered
1:40 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Twitter Lets Customers Skip Recordings, And Make Choices

For customer Laura Hargrove, the choice between moving-truck companies Budget and Penske came down to how they use Twitter.
NPR

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:48 am

Once used mostly for one-time promos and marketing, Twitter is now something businesses are relying on to provide customer service. For instance, Southwest Airlines tweets to alert folks about delays. And Best Buy responds to questions and complaints via Twitter. And they're not alone.

Let's say you're thinking of ordering a pair of shoes online and you want to know the store's exchange policy. You could pick up the phone — but then you'll hear the old recording: "To ensure quality service, your call may be monitored or recorded."

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Law
1:39 am
Wed August 15, 2012

The Law — And Reality — Of Gun Access

Federal law bars gun sales to the mentally ill only if they've ever been deemed by a judge to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed. States reporting of such things to the federal database is spotty, and very often, it doesn't show up when a gun seller does a background check.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:44 am

Timothy Courtois' family had been worried about him for weeks. They repeatedly told police in Biddeford, Maine, that the 49-year-old was off his meds for bipolar disorder. And police were also told he had guns. But still, because he wasn't doing anything that rose to the legal definition of imminent threat, police said their hands were tied.

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National Security
1:38 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Taliban Showing New Willingness On Prisoner Swap

This image provided by IntelCenter on Dec. 8, 2010, shows a frame grab from a video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The 26-year-old Army sergeant was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago.
AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:14 am

There are new glimmers of hope for the only known U.S. prisoner of war held captive in Afghanistan — 26-year-old Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban more than three years ago. After lengthy discussions, it appears his captors may be more receptive than ever before to finding a way to send him home.

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Around the Nation
1:34 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Young Illegal Immigrants Seek To Avoid Deportation

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:21 am

Young people brought to the U.S. illegally began applying for a deportation deferral and a two-year work permit on Wednesday. It's the boldest immigration program yet by the Obama administration — putting into effect elements of the so-called DREAM Act even though it has not passed Congress.

Lizbeth Mateo has high school and college diplomas from California and evidence that she has been in the country continuously for at least five years. What she wants now is assurance that she won't be deported.

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Humans
12:51 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Changing Climate May Have Led To Earliest Mummies

a recent National Geographic story shows a long-buried corpse, preserved by one of Earth's driest climates, Chile's Atacama Desert, where it has retained centuries-old skin, hair and clothing." href="/post/changing-climate-may-have-led-earliest-mummies" class="noexit lightbox">
A photo from a recent National Geographic story shows a long-buried corpse, preserved by one of Earth's driest climates, Chile's Atacama Desert, where it has retained centuries-old skin, hair and clothing.
Enrico Ferorelli National Geographic

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:14 am

A couple of thousand years before the Egyptians preserved some of their dead, a much simpler society made the first known mummies.

The Chinchorros, the first mummy makers, lived about 7,000 years ago in South America, on the coast near the border between modern-day Peru and Chile. The desert area where they lived was so dry, dead people turned into mummies naturally.

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The Record
12:48 am
Wed August 15, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like The White Stripes

The White Stripes.
Autumn De Wilde Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 1:27 pm

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Feeling Just Wild About Wild Cards

Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is out at second against Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Despite less-than-stellar statistics, the Orioles are contenders in the American League wild-card race.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 11:46 am

Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, has persuaded his owners and the players to add an extra wild-card team to the playoffs, so now five teams per league will qualify.

Not only is this terrific for the fans, but Selig also wisely managed to make it so that the wild-card teams engage in a one-game showdown for the privilege of being the team that joins the three division winners in the battle for the league championship.

I have just the old-fashioned word for this newfangled development: nifty.

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Fast-Moving Washington Wildfire Burns 60 Homes

As embers still smolder, family members sift through the remains of their home that was destroyed in a wildfire.
Elaine Thompson AP

A wildfire burning near Cle Elum, Wash., has destroyed 60 homes, as it rushed through 45-square-miles of land.

The Seattle Times reports that the fire is still on the move and more homes and ranches are in its path.

The Times adds:

"The fire is proving difficult to fight.

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Election 2012
4:27 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Will Florida Seniors Accept Ryan's Medicare Vision?

An audience member looks on during a campaign rally for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in St. Augustine, Fla., on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.

But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.

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All Tech Considered
3:29 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Could The New Air Traffic Control System Be Hacked?

The current radar-based air traffic control system (shown here) will eventually be replaced with a new system called NextGen, which will rely on GPS. A number of computer security experts are concerned that NextGen is insecure and vulnerable to hackers.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

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The Salt
3:29 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Sneaking A Bite During Ramadan's Long, Hot Days

Palestinians order food at a coffee shop in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday.
Tara Todras-Whitehill Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:01 am

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has fallen on the longest and hottest days of the year, which means up to 15 hours of fasting in soaring temperatures.

This seems to have increased the number of Muslims who aren't fully observing the fast, and may be sneaking a bite or a drink — though no one wants to say so on the record.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
3:29 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Scorching Phoenix Plans For An Even Hotter Future

A Metro Light Rail train rolls by the Devine Legacy apartment building along Central Avenue in Phoenix. The energy-efficient complex includes 65 "urban style" apartments.
Courtesy of Mica Thomas Mulloy

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:37 pm

It's been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter.

A hotter future may mean a more volatile environment — and along with it, natural disasters, greater pressure on infrastructure, and an increased physical toll on city residents.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
3:29 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Medalist Claressa Shields Gets A Hero's Welcome

Olympian Claressa Shields visits the USA House in London before leaving for her home in Flint, Mich. Shields was greeted by a marching band and a motorcycle escort in her hometown.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images for USOC

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

Hundreds gathered in Flint, Mich., Tuesday, to celebrate the return home of Olympian Claressa Shields. At 17, Shields became the first U.S. woman ever — and the only American this summer — to win a gold medal in boxing.

In a rare moment of joy, Flint greeted the high school student with a marching band and a motorcycle escort.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:15 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Exposed Nearby City To Little Radiation

Care managers tend elderly people in March 2012 in Minamisoma, Japan. The home's residents were evacuated eight days after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station was crippled by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
Koji Sasahara AP

After a tsunami disabled the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in March of 2011, residents of the nearby city of Minamisoma, just 14 miles from the plant, were evacuated.

But within a few months, most returned to their homes. Still, many communities near the plant have remained skeptical and concerned about possible radiation exposure.

To find out how much radiation exposure these people have received, Japanese researchers measured levels of radioactive cesium in nearly 10,000 residents starting six months after the incident.

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Presidential Race
2:56 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Romney Focuses On Coal And Energy Policy In Ohio

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 4:04 pm

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned in Ohio on Tuesday, where his focus was on coal and energy policy.

Television
2:55 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

What Will Fill The TV Void Left By The Olympics?

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 4:04 pm

Now that the Olympics are over, what's there to watch on TV? Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says there is more fun programming than anything else. He tells Audie Cornish that he'll be watching HBO's Hard Knocks series on the Miami Dolphins training camp, TNT's Major Crimes, Discovery's Shark Week and others.

It's All Politics
2:49 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Ryan's Mission For Fed: Focus On Prices, Not Unemployment

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the close of the committee's hearing on the state of the economy in February 2011.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

Mitt Romney's new running mate has authored some provocative policy proposals to cut budget deficits and overhaul Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But Rep. Paul Ryan has also been an advocate for a different course for the central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve.

For the past 35 years, the Fed has had a dual mandate from Congress: to set interest rates at levels that will both foster maximum employment and keep prices stable. Put another way, the Fed's goals are to get unemployment as low as possible while keeping inflation in check.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

British Bank Agrees To $340 Million Settlement Over Laundering Charges

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:27 pm

Britain's fifth-largest bank has agreed to pay $340 million to settle charges by New York regulators that it laundered money for Iranian clients.

NPR's Chris Arnold filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"In court documents, the regulator alleged that for 10 years Standard Chartered Bank quote 'schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions... involving $250 billion dollars and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for the bank.'

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Candidates Trade Fire Over Coal In Ohio

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets coal miners during a campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:32 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in far eastern Ohio on Tuesday — seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

But Beallsville is in the middle of coal country, and this site was carefully chosen. There's a battle over messaging on coal in Ohio, a state with huge coal reserves and an important but troubled coal industry.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

First Openly Gay General: DADT Repeal Is More About Recognition Of Family

Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith (right) with her wife, Tracey Hepner.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 4:10 pm

Last Friday, when Tammy Smith was promoted to Army brigadier general, her wife, Tracey Hepner, was the one who pinned her star on her uniform.

With that, Smith became the first openly gay general in the country. When Smith joined the military 26 years ago, the moment would have been unthinkable. But she explains the historic moment by focusing on its simplicity.

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The Salt
1:54 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Secret Side Of The Drought: Many Corn Farmers Will Benefit

President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (second from right) inspect drought-damaged corn on the McIntosh farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:28 am

You've all heard a lot about this year's devastating drought in the Midwest, right? The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last Friday that the average U.S. cornfield this year will yield less per acre than it has since 1995. Soybean yields are down, too.

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Planet Money
1:38 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

What A Very Old Menu Tells Us About The Price Of Steak

Matt Sayles Associated Press

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 9:08 pm

Delmonico's, the New York City steakhouse, has been around forever.

The New York Public Library's archival menu collection doesn't go back quite that far. But it does have a Delmonico's menu from 1918. The archive also, sort of randomly, has a Delmonico's menu from 1988. Delmonico's current menu is online.

One item that's on all three menus: filet mignon.

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Economy
12:50 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Back-To-School Shoppers Open Wallets, But Carefully

Shoppers walk along Chicago's Michigan Avenue last month.
Sitthixay Ditthavong AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:29 pm

After months of sitting on their wallets, Americans went shopping in July. The uptick reported Tuesday is boosting economists' hopes for a reasonably strong back-to-school season. And retailers are looking for clues about how the holiday shopping season will turn out later in the year.

"This is a good report," Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, wrote in an assessment of the latest report. "It indicates that consumers came back after hunkering down" during the year's first half when sales were "dismal."

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Europe
12:49 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Germans Confront The Costs Of A Nuclear-Free Future

A worker on a newly constructed transmission tower near Buetzow, Germany, earlier this month. The German government plans to shut down nuclear power plants and is seeking to replace that production with power from renewable energy sources, especially wind turbines and solar parks. New power transmission lines will be needed.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

After Japan's Fukushima disaster last year, Germany announced a groundbreaking energy plan: It would phase out all of its domestic nuclear power in a decade and make a transition to safer, carbon neutral energy.

The goal is to have solar, wind and other renewables account for nearly 40 percent of the energy for Europe's largest economy in a decade, and 80 percent by 2050.

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Presidential Race
12:44 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Tale Of The Tape: The VP And His Challenger

Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Evan Vucci/Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 12:49 pm

Who Is He?

Joe Biden: Biden, whose own presidential aspirations sputtered in 1988 and again in 2008, brought to the Democratic ticket foreign policy chops and an ability to relate to working-class voters. In his 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, he became known as more pragmatist than ideologue. He has also made a somewhat dubious name for himself because of his volubility and not infrequent verbal stumbles. But he has parlayed those potential liabilities into an effective, if occasionally unpredictable, campaign trail presence.

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