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Science
11:01 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Complaint Tests Rule Protecting Science From Politics

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 11:07 am

One of the first things President Obama did after he took office was put out a memo that basically said: Don't mess with science.

The March 9, 2009, memorandum stated that "political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions" and said all government agencies should have appropriate rules and procedures to safeguard the scientific process.

Nearly three years later, only a few have finalized new policies — though they're starting to be put to the test.

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Law
11:01 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

High Court To Hear HIV-Positive Pilot's Privacy Case

People wait to enter outside the U.S. Supreme Court in March. The court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing whether the federal government is liable for damages when it violates the Privacy Act by disclosing that an individual is HIV-positive.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 11:07 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing whether the federal government is liable for damages when it violates the Privacy Act by disclosing that an individual is HIV-positive. The government does not dispute that it broke the law, but it asserts that the Privacy Act authorizes damage suits only for violations that cause economic harm, not for emotional harm.

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Law
11:01 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Hearing May Lead To More Freedom For Hinckley

John Hinckley Jr. is escorted by police in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1981, following his arrest after shooting and seriously wounding then-President Ronald Reagan.
AFP/Getty Images

More than 30 years ago, on March 30, 1981, John Hinckley shot President Reagan and three other people outside a Washington hotel. A jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity, and authorities sent him to a mental institution.

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KCUR Newscast
6:06 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

KCUR Evening News 11-29-11

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –

  • Urban Summit proposes state school takeover.
  • Arson-murder suspect arrested without incident.
  • Kansas expects 20% increase in prison population.
  • Pre-incentives doubt esxisted about Moberly plant.
  • Sheriff releases description of man who stabbed hunter.
  • Man files suit against couple he held hostage.

     

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    The Two-Way
    5:39 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Report: Henry Paulson Tipped Hedge Funds About Fannie, Freddie Takeover

    We've been following the reporting Bloomberg Markets Magazine has been putting out over the past few days. They've gotten a load of documents through Freedom of Information Act requests and found that the U.S. Federal Reserve had committed $7.7 trillion to rescuing big banks in 2009.

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    Shots - Health Blog
    5:28 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    GOP Governors Hedge Bets On Health Insurance Exchanges

    Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is among several GOP governors accepting grant money to set up health insurance exchanges while also challenging the health overhaul law in court.
    Dave Martin AP

    Obama administration officials have announced another round of grants to states to help build the insurance marketplaces, called "exchanges," that will help individuals and small businesses buy health insurances beginning in 2014.

    But the real news is who's getting the $220 million. Nine of the 13 states in this round of grants are headed by GOP governors.

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    The Two-Way
    4:49 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    As Superdome's New Light Display Settles, A Discussion On Its Merits

    The Mercedes-Benz Superdome lit up at night in New Orleans on Oct. 20.
    Chris Granger The Times-Picayune

    Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:13 am

    The Superdome is one of those pieces of distinctive architecture that immediately gives you a sense of place. Obviously, most recently the Superdome was the backdrop for tragedy, when it became a shelter-of-last-resort during Hurricane Katrina.

    But over the past few years, it's gotten quite a makeover. It culminated last month, when new LED lights were installed on its exterior and it was emblazoned with the corporate logo of Mercedes-Benz, which acquired naming rights this year.

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    Business
    4:44 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Bringing Audi Back, For A Younger Audience

    Despite the sluggish economy, it's been a pretty good year for luxury carmakers. Deluxe brands such as Mercedes, Volvo and BMW have seen double-digit growth.

    But the German carmaker Audi is the standout. It's seen a near tenfold growth in the past 20 years, and the company has also become the new status car for young urban professionals.

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    It's All Politics
    4:41 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    If Herman Cain Quits The GOP Race, Where Will His Supporters Go?

    Herman Cain leaves the Big Sky Diner on Nov. 10, 2011 in Ypsilanti, Mich.
    Scott Olson Getty Images

    Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 5:11 pm

    Herman Cain's decision to reassess the status of his Republican presidential campaign in the wake of allegations he engaged in a long-term extramarital affair raises questions beyond will-he-or-won't-he drop out.

    One of the big ones?

    Which candidate in the still-crowded GOP field would benefit most if Cain ends his White House quest?

    We put that question to Republicans in the early contest states of Iowa, which will hold its caucuses Jan. 3, and New Hampshire, where the nation's first primary will be held Jan. 10. What we heard wasn't all that surprising.

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    The Salt
    4:08 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    A Dissolving Fruit Sticker That Claims Soap Superpowers

    Courtesy of Amron Experimental

    Scott Amron really doesn't like peeling those little stickers off fruit from the grocery store. "They're pesky and annoying and they create waste," he tells The Salt. So, he decided to do something about it.

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    Election 2012
    3:34 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Political Affairs Now An Open Book

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, seen here in Concord, N.H., earlier this month, is reassessing his campaign after denying allegations this week that he engaged in a long-term affair.
    Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

    Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:13 am

    There's a difference between news that's in the public interest and news that the public is interested in. But that difference has been eradicated when it comes to sex scandals involving presidential candidates.

    There was a time when affairs involving candidates for the nation's highest office were not generally considered fit subjects for media scrutiny. In the current media environment, however — and in the wake of dozens of sex scandals involving politicians in recent years — that's no longer the case.

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    Europe
    3:22 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Modern Greeks Return To Ancient System Of Barter

    In Volos, optician Klita Dimitriadis accepts partial payment in Local Alternative Units, or TEMs. She then spends the TEMs at a monthly farmers market, or exchanges them for other services.
    Sylvia Poggoli NPR

    It's Sunday in Volos, a fishing village nestled in a large bay in central Greece, and fishermen display their daily catch, which this day includes codfish, sardines and octopus.

    Prices have been slashed, but customers are few.

    Fisherman Christos Xegandakis laughs bitterly. He says business is so bad, it's time to start swapping goods.

    "Give me two kilos of potatoes, and I give you a kilo of fish," he says. "Why not?

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    Business
    3:21 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Is Bankruptcy 'Business As Usual' For Airlines?

    Passengers check in at an American Airlines ticketing counter at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Tuesday. American's parent company, AMR, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to cut costs and unload massive debt.
    Richard W. Rodriguez AP

    As American Airlines struggled to keep up with its rivals in recent years, it could at least boast something that competitors could not: The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier had never gone bankrupt. Not anymore.

    On Tuesday, American's parent, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection, citing $10 billion in loses over the past decade. In a statement, it said it took the step in hopes of bringing down costs and emerging more competitive.

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    The Two-Way
    3:05 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Atlanta Man Wins Lottery For The Second Time In Three Years

    Delma Kinney collecting his 2008 jackpot.
    screenshot 11 Alive

    They say lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, right? It's also a popular belief that you're more likely to get hit by lightning than to win the lottery.

    So, I think we're safe in saying that Delma Kinney, an Atlanta man who will turn 51 Dec. 5, has beat the odds, winning a million-dollar lottery twice in three years.

    The AP reports:

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    Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
    3:01 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    India Eye Care Center Finds Middle Way To Capitalism

    Patients sit after their cataract surgeries at a hospital of the Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, India.
    Reinhard Krause Reuters/Landov

    Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 6:38 pm

    At an Aravind hospital in Madurai, a city on India's southern tip, the waiting room is packed. A clinical assistant calls out the names of patients, and they're escorted to examination rooms. This hospital alone screens around 2,000 patients a day — and tour guide Shawas Philip says this day is busier than usual.

    "We might break that record today — of the number of patients that are seen on a particular day. That's exciting," he says.

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    Middle East
    2:45 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Report Says Syrian Forces Have Killed 256 Children

    Syrian has come under increasing international pressure in recent days. On Monday, Syrians protested in the capital Damascus against the Arab League's decision to impose sanctions. Syria has also come under sharp criticism from an independent commission that accused the security forces of systematically carrying out abuses against anti-government demonstrators.
    Yin Bogu Xinhua /Landov

    An independent commission has released a blistering human rights report that says Syria's security forces have carried out widespread abuses against protesters, including murder and torture.

    The commission, appointed by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, based its report on interviews with more than 220 witnesses or victims of abuse by Syrian security forces. The panel says it collected a solid body of evidence and identified patterns of human rights violations.

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    The Two-Way
    2:00 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Book Award Winner's Tale Echoes Those Told By Other Vietnamese Refugees

    Thanhha Lai.
    Courtesy of Harper Collins

    Thanhha Lai was 10 years old the day in 1975 that North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon and fear spread through the city on rumors that Communist troops were about to begin a massacre. Lai recalls fleeing with her eight older siblings and her mother to the nearby port and boarding a crowded South Vietnamese Navy ship that then headed to sea.

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    Hard Times: A Journey Across America
    1:59 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    Hard Times Inspire Ky. College Students To Action

    Sophomore Emily Nugent is among Berea College's 1,600 students who receive free tuition. On average, Berea's students come from families with household incomes of about $25,000.
    Noah Adams NPR

    Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 7:22 pm

    Part of a monthlong series

    NPR's Hard Times series features stories of economic hardship and also stories of hope. We asked for ideas from listeners, and Emily Nugent of Berea College in Kentucky responded, writing: "With a student body composed entirely of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Berea students know about the challenges Americans are facing." Noah Adams went in search of Emily and the Berea College story.

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    Environment
    1:51 pm
    Tue November 29, 2011

    What Will Become Of The Kyoto Climate Treaty?

    Key provisions of the Kyoto Protocol expire in December of 2012, and experts say there's no real global framework in place to replace the treaty that was supposed to be the first step toward ambitious actions on climate change. Above, a coal-fired power plant in eastern China. China is now the leading carbon dioxide emitter in the world.
    AFP/Getty Images

    Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 1:45 pm

    As diplomats from around the world gather in Durban, South Africa, for talks about climate change, a big question looms: What will become of the Kyoto climate treaty, which was negotiated with much fanfare in 1997. The treaty was supposed to be a first step toward much more ambitious actions on climate change, but it is now on the brink of fading into irrelevance. That could have major implications for the future of United Nations climate talks.

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    Education
    9:59 am
    Tue November 29, 2011

    In Texas, Keeping Kids In School And Out Of Court

    Seventy students a day are sent to the Waco Alternative School Campus, after being "ticketed" for bad behavior in municipal court.
    Marisa Peñaloza NPR

    Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 5:49 pm

    The sort of offenses that might land a student in the principal's office in other states often send kids in Texas to court with misdemeanor charges. Some schools have started rethinking the way they punish students for bad behavior after watching many of them drop out or land in prison because of tough disciplinary policies.

    In a downtown Houston municipal court, Judge David Fraga has presided over thousands of cases involving students "ticketed" by school police. His docket is still relatively small at the moment, with only 45 to 65 cases per night.

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    KCUR Newscast
    9:18 am
    Tue November 29, 2011

    KCUR Morning news 11-29-11

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. –
    Kansas City's Union Station will bring back the traveling Titanic exhibit this spring.

    A Kansas City woman has admitted that she swindled 14 couples by pretending to be pregnant with twins who she wanted to give up for adoption.

    The Missouri Department of Transportation says snow removal won't be an issue this winter, despite the agency's downsizing.

    Police say a man has stolen between $200,000 and $500,000 from a Walmart store in Topeka.

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    KCUR Newscast
    6:08 pm
    Mon November 28, 2011

    KCUR Evening News 11-28-11

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. –

  • Brownback says his staff overreacted to tweeting teen.
  • Osceola man pleads guilty to million-dollar meth conspiracy.
  • Male-female bank robbery team hits Smithville bank.
  • Investigators continue search in police uniform theft.
  • MoaDOT says cutbacks won't seriously affect snow removal.

     

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    Cops & Crime
    4:53 pm
    Mon November 28, 2011

    Hotel Raid Leads to Meth, I.D. Theft Plea

    Kansas City, MO. – A man who admits he and others made a million dollars from selling methamphetamine in the western Missouri area has given up the fight against those and other charges. The downfall of Brad Webster came in a raid on a Lees Summit hotel.

    Webster pleaded guilty today to dealing Mexican made meth funneled by the pound through a Kansas City Kansas smuggler.

    Read more
    KCUR Newscast
    12:13 pm
    Mon November 28, 2011

    KCUR Morning News 11-28-11

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Businesses are beginning to reopen in the tornado-ravaged southeast Kansas town of Reading.

    A Kansas legislator hopes a conference next month can help lawmakers from around the nation tackle some of the pressing social and economic issues facing the states.

    A Lawrence resident and architect is proposing a new downtown trail that would offer views of the Kansas River.

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    KCUR Newscast
    4:04 pm
    Sat November 26, 2011

    Top Stories of the Week

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. –

  • Commission says no residency violation by municipal judge.
  • New chief''s police-community forum draws large turnout.
  • Former KCUMB president Pletz found dead in Floriaa condo.
  • Brownback vows to hold Bpeing to promise to stay in Kansas.
  • Big-12 men's basketball tourney to stay, women move to TX.
  • Cassel out for season, Chiefs claim Orton off waivers.

     

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    Simon Says
    7:00 am
    Sat November 26, 2011

    What Black Friday Crowds Are Really Shopping For

    A holiday shopper at the Toys R Us in New York's Times Square.
    Andrew Burton AP

    Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 4:17 pm

    It's hard not to look at some of the pictures of people surging into stores as they opened at the stroke of midnight for Black Friday sales and see some kind of crass, mindless mob.

    The crowds in Cairo's Tahir Square clamor for democracy and free speech. Crowds in American shopping malls seem to clamor for Blu-rays, Xboxes and Wii consoles.

    There were even a few reported instances of violence Friday among unruly shoppers, hell-bent for bargains.

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    Business
    7:00 am
    Sat November 26, 2011

    Early Receipts Indicate A Happier Holiday Season

    Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 4:17 pm

    Transcript

    SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

    The holiday shopping season started even earlier this year in hopes that consumers would spend more in these economic times. Macy's, Toy R Us, Target, all moved up their opening times - in some cases to Thanksgiving Day. Joining us now to talk about Black Friday is NPR correspondent Yuki Noguchi. You've been reporting the scenes in stores. What can you tell us about the volume of shopping?

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    Sports
    7:00 am
    Sat November 26, 2011

    Deal Reached; NBA Season Mostly Saved

    Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 4:17 pm

    Transcript

    SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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    Around the Nation
    7:00 am
    Sat November 26, 2011

    Back From Iraq, A Soldier Gives Thanks With Family

    Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:48 am

    Military families across the country celebrated Thanksgiving this week with loved ones who were home after being deployed to Iraq for the last time. Scores of troops are coming home as the war winds down to an end next month, but for one Kentucky National Guardsman, his commitment to family is as strong as his desire to serve. Brenna Angel of member station WUKY in Lexington has his story.

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    Commentary
    7:00 am
    Sat November 26, 2011

    One Last Hitchhike In A Moscow Taxi

    Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 4:17 pm

    Transcript

    SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

    Before you hear this next story, let's offer a caution. Hitchhiking is not generally safe. But just happens to be a way of life in Moscow. That may be about to change.

    NPR's David Greene sent this postcard from the Russian capital.

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