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4:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Budgets Tight, States Ask Voters To Raise Taxes

California Gov. Jerry Brown, speaking in Sacramento on Wednesday, advocates a ballot initiative that would increase sales and income taxes. Several states have measures on the November ballot that seek to plug deficits by raising taxes.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Tax increases will join political candidates on the November ballot in several states struggling to plug some big holes in their budgets.

One of the most closely watched measures is in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown has staked his reputation on closing his state's multibillion-dollar budget gap.

On Wednesday in Sacramento, Brown officially kicked off his campaign to get voter approval to raise taxes via the Schools Public Safety Protection Act, also known as Proposition 30.

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Europe
4:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Russian Rockers Get Prison Sentences

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Human rights groups are denouncing the sentence handed down today to members of the Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot. The group's crimes? It staged a protest in Moscow's main Russian Orthodox Cathedral last winter. A judge convicted the three women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced each of them to two years in a labor camp.

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Participation Nation
3:33 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Outreach With A Wrench In Homer, Alaska

The generous Brant Torsen at Boog's Automotive shop.
Nathan Rott for NPR

Brant "Boog" Torsen can't fix everyone's cars for cookies. Wouldn't have much of a business if he did. But he knows that when you've got a repair garage in a place like Homer, sometimes folks need a little help to make sure the town's nickname — "The End of the Road" — doesn't apply to them.

That's why Boog's done everything from "fixing engines to replacing turn signal bulbs," for nothing more than handshakes and once, a plate of double chocolate chip cookies.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:14 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

WHO Calls For Emergency Stockpile Of Cholera Vaccine

Thousands of doses of cholera vaccine sit in a refrigerated trailer in a United Nations compound in Saint-Marc, Haiti, in March. After some delays, a vaccination project proved successful.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:11 pm

A month ago the results of a successful cholera vaccine project in Haiti became available. Now the World Health Organization is calling for the establishment of a global stockpile of the vaccine to respond to outbreaks like Haiti's.

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Law
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Jailed Young, Inmates Seek A New Day In Court

Ruth "Margo" Gee (left) is hopeful that her brother, Tyrone Jones, convicted of murder as a juvenile, will soon be freed from prison. Lawyer Charlotte Whitmore is helping her.
Emma Lee for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

A recent Supreme Court decision striking down mandatory life terms for juveniles has touched off a flurry of activity across the country, especially in Pennsylvania, where lawyers are advising about 500 prisoners to file requests for new sentencing hearings before the end of next week.

Bradley Bridge with the Defender Association of Philadelphia has received more than 200 letters from prisoners in the past two months asking about the Supreme Court ruling.

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All Tech Considered
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

At This Camp, Kids Learn To Question Authority (And Hack It)

DefCon Kids camp co-founder Chris Hoff, with Conner Gilliam (from left), Conner Fine and Ethan Lai, work on a machine that draws designs on ping-pong balls. The camp is held in Las Vegas.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:54 pm

Some kids go to band camp; others go to swim camp. But for the children of the world's digital rabble-rousers, there is hacking camp. It's called DefCon Kids.

This camp, held in Las Vegas, encourages kids to take a hard, skeptical look at the machines that surround them, and teaches them to hack apart everything they can lay their hands on.

One of the most popular activities is lock-picking.

"I had fun with some of the harder locks," says 16-year-old Alaetheia Garrison Stuber.

But did she learn any new tricks?

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Afghanistan
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Afghan Attacks On Western Partners Rising Sharply

Afghan soldiers (right) patrol with U.S. troops in the Panjwai district of southern Afghanistan in May. The two armies have been working together for years, but Afghan attacks against U.S. and NATO forces have been rising recently.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

In the past two weeks, seven Afghans in uniform have opened fire on Western forces. The most recent incidents occurred Friday. First, a newly recruited policeman in western Afghanistan turned his gun on U.S. military trainers, killing two and wounding a third. A short time later in southern Kandahar province, an Afghan soldier shot and wounded two foreign troops.

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Law
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

North Carolina Eugenics Victims Plan Next Steps

Rita Thompson Swords was sterilized by a doctor after delivering her second child. She was 21, unwed and poor, a combination that made her unfit for more children, according to the North Carolina Eugenics Board.
Julie Rose for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

North Carolina was poised to become the first state to compensate people who had been sterilized against their will under decades of eugenics laws. More than half of states had forced sterilization laws, but North Carolina's were particularly aggressive.

A bill to pay the victims nearly passed in recent months. But "nearly" isn't enough for the victims who risked their reputations to go public with their stories.

Now they — and their advocates — wonder what comes next.

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Africa
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

In S. Africa Protest Shooting, An Echo Of The Past?

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It has become the deadliest protest in South Africa since the end of apartheid: 34 people dead and more than 78 wounded after police opened fire yesterday on striking workers at a platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg. The miners had walked off the job a week ago, demanding an increase in wages double to triple what they were making. Today, South Africa's National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said officers were acting in self-defense after armed miners charged their position.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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Politics
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

An Early Exit For Calif. Congressman

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Congressman Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat from California, was retiring after this year. But why wait? A job with a big lobby-law firm was waiting, so the congressman resigned from Congress this week.

Presidential Race
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Romney To Obama On Tax Deal: No, Thanks

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 8:02 pm

After weeks of saying he would not release his tax returns, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told reporters Thursday he had checked them and could report he had always paid at least 13 percent annual in federal income tax. But Romney still refuses to make public more of his tax returns, despite a new offer from the Obama campaign.

Presidential Race
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Sound From The Trail: Ryan On His Running Mate

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

We're hearing from all the candidates on the presidential campaign trail this week. We listen to part of a stump speech from vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan in Glen Allen, Va.

The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Snickers And 5-Star Hotels: Report Details Top General's Wasteful Spending

Army Lt. Gen. William E. Kip Ward is adminstered the oath of four-star General, the Army's highest rank of general.
Caleb Jones AP

A report made public today by the Department of Defense finally gives us details on what caused the downfall of Four-Star Gen. William "Kip" Ward.

More than a year ago, Ward gave up his post as leader of U.S. Africa Command and Stars and Stripes reported in May that he would be stripped of two of his stars, pending an investigation. But the reasons why were kept quiet, as Stars And Stripes reported.

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Music Reviews
2:17 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Fire Up Your Kid's Imagination At The 'Science Fair'

Science Fair includes science-loving songs from Laura Veirs, Mates of State, Elizabeth Mitchell and more.
El Lohse

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

As a math-loving parent of a math-loving tween girl, I'm worried that women are significantly underrepresented in science and engineering fields. A new benefit album of kids music called Science Fair gathers musicians together to take on that disparity both by raising awareness and firing up the imagination.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Study Supports Regulators' Effort To Limit Miners' Exposure To Coal Dust

A study released today by the Government Accountability Office says that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) used appropriate data and scientific methods in drafting new regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coal dust miners are exposed to at U.S. operations.

As NPR's Howard Berkes reported for us last month, some House Republicans had blocked implementation of the regulations until GAO issued its report.

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It's All Politics
1:05 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Obama Camp's DOA Tax Offer To Romney Keeps Issue Alive

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:26 pm

The Friday offer from President Obama's campaign to Mitt Romney — that if the GOP presidential candidate releases his tax returns for the past five years, it won't attack him for not releasing more — was immediately rejected by the Romney campaign.

But the give-and-take keeps Romney on the defensive, and promises to keep the issue of Romney's taxes going for weeks to come.

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Digital Life
12:50 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Arbiter Of 'Interestingness' Navigates The 'Net

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, and I'm Flora Lichtman. On any given day, visit the website brainpickings.org, and you'll find posts on topics ranging from Charles Darwin's notes on marriage, to a birthday tribute to Julia Child, to the poetry of Patti Smith.

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Medical Treatments
12:44 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Working Towards A Universal Flu Vaccine

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow, who's out today. This week, the FDA approved a new influenza vaccine for this year's flu season, and soon enough summer will be over and you'll be standing in line again at your pharmacy or doctor's office, participating in that yearly ritual - your annual vaccination allocation.

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Science
12:34 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Solar Toilet Disinfects Waste, Makes Hydrogen Fuel

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

You might take that sound for granted. I know I do. That's because most of us hear it all the time, at least in this country. Toilets are everywhere here in the U.S. But a lot of people around the world don't hear that sound every day, because two-and-a-half billion people, with the B, don't have a safe, sanitary place to go to the bathroom, according to the World Health Organization.

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Science
12:30 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Aging City Pipes In Need Of A Plumber's Touch

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. We're in the midst of the worst drought in over 50 years. Water tables are dropping faster than they can be replenished, and at the same time an op-ed in the New York Times today says that the United States is estimated to lose about one in six gallons, one in six gallons of clean water every day due to leaky pipes in the ground.

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Health
12:22 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Some Docs Doubt Blood Type, Heart Disease Link

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Do you know your blood type? You may have wondered about it this week if you heard news linking blood type to your risk of heart disease. In that study, researchers determined that those with blood type O had the lowest risk of heart disease and those with AB the highest.

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NPR Story
12:16 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Actress Danica McKellar Helps "Girls Get Curves"

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:55 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

Up next, math books get a makeover. You may remember my next guest from her acting roles on "The Wonder Years." Winnie Cooper may ring a bell or "The West Wing." But for thousands of girls today, she's the writer and personality behind a bestselling series of books that aim to teach girls about math. First, there was "Math Doesn't Suck," then "Hot X: Algebra Revealed," and now we're onto geometry.

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NPR Story
12:16 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Massive "Phoenix Cluster" Supersizes Star Creation

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:01 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
12:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Donald Ray Pollock On Finding Fiction Late In Life

This interview was originally broadcast on July 26, 2011. Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time is now out in paperback.

Knockemstiff, Ohio, is a tiny hamlet in southern Ohio. In the 1950s, Knockemstiff had three stores, a bar and a population of about 450 people. Most of those people, says fiction writer Donald Ray Pollock, were "connected by blood through one godforsaken calamity or another."

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

New Syrian Envoy Brahimi Takes On 'Crucial Task'

Longtime troubleshooter Lakhdar Brahimi has, as expected, taken on the extremely difficult challenge of being the "joint special representative for Syria" who will try to broker a peace plan for that nation on behalf of the United Nations and the League of Arab States.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Steve Jobs' Stolen iPad Ends Up In The Hands Of A Clown

Kenny the Clown.
@kennytheclown via Twitter

You may have heard that the house of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was burglarized, back in July. Among the stolen items, was a 64 GB silver iPad.

Today, there's news from the San Jose Mercury News that the iPad was recovered from an unlikely source: It was in the hands of Kenny the Clown, who used it to entertain kids and tourists in the Bay Area.

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Movie Interviews
11:34 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Sacha Baron Cohen: The Fresh Air Interview

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, the authoritarian, anti-Semitic and unexpectedly sympathetic protagonist of The Dictator.
Melinda Sue Gordon Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:12 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on May 21, 2012. Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is now out on DVD.

Actor and writer Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for taking his characters — Ali G., Borat, Bruno — into the real world, interacting with people who have no idea that they're dealing with a fictional character. But his new movie, The Dictator, is a scripted comedy about a tyrant on the loose in New York.

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Participation Nation
11:33 am
Fri August 17, 2012

A Middle Way In Bloomington, Ind.

Indiana University student volunteers participate at the Middle Way House fundraising events held in spring 2012.
Courtesy of Indiana University

Each year hundreds of students from Indiana University volunteer at Middle Way House, a haven for victims of domestic violence.

Volunteers conduct crisis interventions and act as personal counselors and advocates. A new on-campus chapter makes it easier for student volunteers to promote the mission of MWH.

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It's All Politics
11:11 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Twitter And The New Mom: Keeping Up With Politics, 140 Characters At A Time

Twitter.com

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:46 am

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR), an NPR congressional reporter.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:11 am
Fri August 17, 2012

When Does Mom's Blog Become An Ad?

Some mommy bloggers threw parties with Madagascar 3-themed activities for kids. Here's one suggestion from Merck's Children's Claritin Facebook page.
Facebook

Blogging about being a mom is a booming business. And the popularity of these blogs has spawned an industry that turns some of the moms into virtual product reps.

With companies and conferences devoted to connecting moms with industry, regulatory agencies that keep track of truthfulness and transparency in advertising are struggling to keep up.

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