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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Tears And Tequila: Mexico City Says Goodbye To Chavela Vargas

Fans wait to see the coffin of late Costa Rican-born Mexican singer Chavela Vargas during a ceremony in her honour at Garibaldi Square in Mexico City on Monday.
Alfredo Estrella AFP/Getty Images

We would be remiss not to note that the legendary ranchera singer Chavela Vargas was sent off last night in Mexico City.

Her coffin was on display in Plaza Garibaldi, where Vargas was known to knock back a few drinks. NPR's Jasmine Garsd wrote about the 93-year-old Vargas on Sunday after her death. She was a woman who torched through barriers, many times singing about heartache with a pistol in her harness and a bottle of tequila in her hand.

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Participation Nation
10:33 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Rescuing Food In Boulder, Colo.

Rescued food waiting to be delivered.
Courtesy of Boulder Food Rescue

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 12:35 pm

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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Sports
9:43 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Love Of Sports Can Start Early; So Can Injuries

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 10:03 am

Concussions make up about 15 percent of all high school sports injuries, according to Children's Hospital Boston. But how can parents decide whether children should play sports, and how to keep them safe? Host Michel Martin talks with three "sports" moms, including a pediatrician who studies concussions in children.

Sports
9:43 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Is There A 'Concussion Crisis' In Sports?

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 10:03 am

Scientific evidence is mounting on the links between sports and concussions. Host Michel Martin explores what some are calling the "concussion crisis" for athletes. She speaks with Chris Nowinski, author and co-founder of the Sports Legacy Institute, a group focused on researching concussions in sports.

Sports
9:43 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Former Football Star Defends The Game

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 10:03 am

Mounting scientific evidence is linking football to brain trauma. While calls to increase safety measures in football are getting louder, players themselves often resist efforts to change the game. Host Michel Martin speaks with former Pro Bowl NFL player LaVar Arrington, who argues that the risks of the sport are worth it.

Sports
9:43 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Can The NFL Keep Fans Excited And Players Safe?

Thousands of former players or their families are filing lawsuits, alleging that the league downplayed the risks for concussions. But the NFL denies wrongdoing. Host Michel Martin speaks with two sports reporters about the NFL's current approach to reducing concussions.

The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Denies Laundering Iranian Money; Say It's Not A 'Rogue Institution'

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Jim Zarroli on 'Morning Edition'

As its stock tumbled today following word that New York State regulators have labeled it a "rogue institution" that allegedly hid about 60,000 secret transactions involving $250 billion in Iranian funds, Britain's Standard Chartered Bank strongly denied the accusations.

It "rejects the position or portrayal of facts as set out in the order," the bank said.

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The Torch
9:31 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Venezuela's Olympic Hero Gets A Parade To Celebrate Long-Awaited Gold

Venezuelan gold medal fencer Ruben Limardo (center) greets supporters after arriving in Caracas Monday. Limardo was received at the airport as a national hero, after winning the first gold medal for Venezuela in 44 years.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

The streets of Caracas, Venezuela, were awash in joy Monday, as fencer Rubén Limardo brought home the country's first gold medal in 44 years. That's right: the last time a Venezuelan Olympian won gold was in 1968. So, Limardo's fans could be forgiven for going a little crazy over it.

"I never imagined they'd receive me like this," he said.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:12 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Gaps In Maternity Coverage For Some Women Could Grow Under Health Law

Maria Villa has her pregnant belly examined in 2009.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:38 am

There's been a lot of controversy over the health care overhaul's requirement that most health plans this month to start covering contraceptive services for women as a free preventive benefit.

But that requirement may prevent some young women from falling into a coverage gap of a different kind: no maternity coverage.

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The Torch
8:34 am
Tue August 7, 2012

National Zoo Names Cheetah Cubs After U.S. Sprinters

The Cheetahs In Question: Two three-month-old cheetah cubs play during their first week of being on public view at the National Zoo. The animals were named after U.S. track stars Justin Gatlin and Carmelita Jeter. But like even the smallest of felines, there is precious little chance they will ever show even a flicker of recognition upon hearing their name called.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Two cheetah cubs whose cuteness recently landed them on Facebook and Tumblr pages around the Internet have been named after U.S. Olympians competing in London.

Presumably, it was the cheetahs' fabled speed, not cuteness, that inspired officials at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., to name them Carmelita and Justin, after sprinters Carmelita Jeter and Justin Gatlin.

The three-month-old felines' namesakes won silver (Jeter) and bronze (Gatlin) medals in the 100-meter sprint at the Summer Games.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Tue August 7, 2012

One Clue To Romney's Veep Pick: Whose Wiki Page Is Getting The Most Edits?

Wikipedia's entry for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. Is today's activity there a clue to Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick?
Wikipedia

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:46 am

Tech President reminds us that one way to possibly figure out who will be a vice presidential pick is to watch the various contenders' Wikipedia pages in the days before such an announcement is likely.

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The Torch
8:14 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Gold Medal In Hand, U.S. Vaulter Suhr's 'Hangar Time' Seems Well Spent

American gold medalist Jenn Suhr and Cuba's silver medalist Yarisley Silva celebrate after the women's pole vault final at the London 2012 Olympics. Suhr won silver at the 2008 Games.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:32 am

U.S. pole vaulter Jenn Suhr had a long-awaited breakthrough Monday evening, when she won the gold medal in her event at the London Olympics, clearing the bar at 15'7. She defeated a field that included two-time gold medalist Elena Isinbaeva of Russia, who has dominated women's pole vaulting in recent years.

Suhr, 30, won the silver medal in the event at the Beijing 2008 Games. In London's Olympic Stadium Monday, the vaulters were challenged by windy conditions that kept them well below world-record heights — and even had them clutching blankets to stay warm between attempts.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dies, Family Spokesman Says

Marvin Hamlisch in 1979.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:04 am

"Marvin Hamlisch, who composed the scores for dozens of movies including The Sting and won a Tony for A Chorus Line, has died in Los Angeles at the age 68," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service:

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The Torch
7:08 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Australia's Quiet Summer, And A U.S. Invasion

Triathlon gold medalist Alistair Brownlee of Britain (right) and silver medalist Javier Gomez of Spain lie on the ground after crossing the finish line in the London Games.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. A lot has been happening in London, where the Summer Games are in their eleventh day. Here's a rundown of the news that caught our eye:

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The Torch
6:47 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Coming Up On Day 11 Of The London Olympics

On the Olympics' eleventh day, artistic gymnasts will go for their last big batch of medals. There are 21 medals up for grabs Tuesday. Here are some of the highlights of the day's action:

Gymnastics

  • 9:00a Men's Parallel Bars Final
  • 9:47a Women's Beam Final
  • 10:37a Men's Horizontal Bar Final
  • 11:23a Women's Floor Exercise Final

Athletics (a.k.a. Track and Field)

  • 2:00p Men's High Jump Final
  • 2:15p Women's 100m Hurdles Semi-finals
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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Dozens Sickened By Fumes From Refinery Fire Near San Francisco

Smoke poured from the fire at a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif. Here, the plume rises behind Alcatraz Island in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 6:21 am

"Shelter-in-place" warnings have been lifted for people living downwind from a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif., where a large fire that started Monday evening "sent thick black smoke wafting" over areas around San Francisco and Oakland, the Contra Costa Times reports.

According to the newspaper, authorities say the blaze is now contained.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Psychiatrist Contacted Police About Colo. Shooting Suspect, Media Report

James Holmes, who's accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58.
RJ Sangosti Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 10:54 am

Six weeks before the July 20 mass shooting at an Aurora, Co., movie theater, a psychiatrist who had been treating accused killer James Holmes called the University of Colorado police department about him, according to reports from Denver's ABC7-TV and from ABC News.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Reports: Man ID'd As Wisconsin Killer Had Previously Been On FBI's Radar

Wade Michael Page, in a photo released by police.
Oak Creek Police

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 1:20 pm

  • Dina Temple-Raston talks with Steve Inskeep on 'Morning Edition'
The headline and top of this post were updated at 1:50 p.m. ET.

Wade Michael Page, the 40-year-old man killed by police at the scene of Sunday's shooting rampage at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee who authorities say gunned down six people and wounded three others, was referred to in a report the FBI received about six years ago, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston says.

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Around the Nation
5:20 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Rocket Scientist With Mohawk Is Web Sensation

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. While NASA put a rover on Mars, audiences were riveted by the high- stakes landing, and also by some high hair. Bobak Ferdowsi was on the mission control team when suddenly, his haircut made him famous. It's a mohawk, streaked in red and with stars dyed on the sides of his head.

"Mohawk Guy" has become an Internet star. He says he gets a new haircut for each mission, with colleagues voting on the design.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Around the Nation
5:08 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Fire Alarms Blairs For Hours In Pa. Apartment

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with an awkward moment for the housing authority in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. A fire alarm went off inside an apartment building. Strobe lights flashed. A high-pitched screech went on and on. And building managers had to confess the problem. The switch to shut off the alarm was in a locked room, and the housing authority did not have the key. The same room contains access to an ATM. The alarm was shut off 16 hours later. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Participation Nation
5:03 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Service Is A Stretch In Columbia, S.C.

Yoga instructor Dara Brown stretches — and stretches her students, too.
David Asiamah Courtesy of Dara Brown

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:03 am
Tue August 7, 2012

On The Road In Florida: Hard Times, Politics And Smoked Bat

NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin breaks years of vegetarianism to eat a barbequed fruit bat.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 1:04 pm

Hot Rod's BBQ is hard to miss in somewhat sleepy Lutz, Fla. The yard is littered with folksy, hand-painted sculptures and signs. There's a ramshackle front porch and smoke billowing out the side.

When I walked in, I was a vegetarian. But then I ate the fruit bat.

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Sports
4:27 am
Tue August 7, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Team To Play For Gold Medal

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

At the London Olympics, there's a lot of interest in a rematch coming up this Thursday, with a gold medal on the line. The U.S. women's soccer team will be playing Japan, a team that beat the Americans last year in a shoot-out at the end of the final match of the World Cup.

But first, the U.S. players had to get past Canada last night, and they did - barely, as NPR's Howard Berkes reports.

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Health Care
3:18 am
Tue August 7, 2012

The Cheesecake Factory, A Recipe For Health Care?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Dr. Atul Gawande spends a lot of time thinking about how to make health care better. A couple of years ago his best-selling book, "The Checklist Manifesto," demonstrated how following a simple list could prevent sometimes-deadly medical mistakes. Now he's looking at a bigger picture - the entire health-care system.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Accused Of Hiding Iranian Transactions

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Financial regulators in New York said yesterday they may bar a British bank from doing business in the state. They said that because the bank allegedly laundered some $250 billion in Iranian money through its branch in Manhattan. The bank is Standard Chartered Bank. It does much of its business in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. But like any global bank, it wants to have a foothold in the U.S. markets, and that foothold is now in danger. For more, we turn to NPR's Jim Zarroli in New York.

Jim, Good morning.

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NPR Story
2:56 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Loughner's Attorneys Bargain To Save His Life

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Arizona, the man accused of shooting Gabrielle Giffords at a gathering of her constituents in Tucson last year will be in court today. Jared Loughner allegedly killed six people in that attack and wounded 13 others. He was declared mentally unfit to stand trial, but now that may change. As NPR's Ted Robbins reports, Loughner's lawyers are expected to offer a deal to help him avoid the death penalty.

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Politics
2:24 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Will Tea Party Star Marco Rubio Get GOP VP Nod?

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., listens at left as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in Aston, Pa., in April. Republican leaders from Jeb Bush to John McCain have touted Rubio for vice president.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Among the Tea Party successes in the 2010 congressional elections was U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. He is now one of those on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's short list of possible running mates.

For any political party, Rubio would be worthy of consideration for vice president or a higher office. He's smart, good-looking and charismatic. The Cuban-American is a plus for Republicans, a party that polls show has been losing ground with Hispanics.

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World
1:27 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Growing Pains: Nations Balance Growth, Power Needs

Muslim girls study by candlelight inside a religious school in Noida, near New Delhi, on July 31. The collapse of three regional power grids last week caused a massive power outage that blacked out more than half of India.
Parivatran Sharma Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

It may take some time to pinpoint the exact cause of India's massive blackouts last week, but the underlying issue for India and many other parts of the developing world is that supply is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for power — an imbalance that can affect the reliability of electric grids.

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World
1:26 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Pakistan Blackouts Power Frustration At Government

Tangled power lines in a busy shopping district in Rawalpindi.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

In India last week, surprise grid failures plunged more than half the country into darkness. But power outages in neighboring Pakistan have been intentional — the result of summertime energy rationing.

Despite billions of dollars in U.S. aid, Pakistan has been unable to keep the lights on. Now the situation is getting worse, with riots erupting over factories forced offline.

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