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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Lower-Key Ceremonies For This Year's Sept. 11 Commemoration

A woman looks at flowers at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Monday ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in Shanksville, Pa.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE at 9:00 ET:

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and White House staffers observed a moment of silence on the White House South Lawn to remember the nearly 3,000 people killed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

After the silence, three bell tolls were struck and a bugler played taps.

Here's our earlier post:

Ceremonies to commemorate the nearly 3,000 people killed 11 years ago today in the worst-ever terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are decidedly lower key this time around.

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Music Reviews
10:22 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Bob Dylan's Baffling And Sometimes Beautiful 'Tempest'

Bob Dylan's Tempest features 10 new songs with many feisty, baffling, sometimes beautiful moments.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 1:48 pm

Bob Dylan made the rare mistake of talking about his creative process shortly before the release of Tempest. He told Rolling Stone that he'd originally wanted to write a collection of what he called "religious songs," saying, "That takes a lot more concentration to pull that off — 10 times with the same thread than it does with a record like I ended up with." Which means that either his powers of concentration failed him, or he became distracted by other themes, topics and moods.

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Opinion
9:52 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Vietnam To Sept. 11: A Daughter's Lessons

Members of West Point's class of 1965 are honored with a parade by cadets at the class's 40th reunion at the military academy in New York in 2005.
Laurel Dalrymple NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:37 am

Laurel Dalrymple is an editor at NPR.org.

Duty — Honor — Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. – Gen. Douglas MacArthur, May 1962

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Shots - Health Blog
9:24 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Two Mutations Can Transform A Swine Flu Virus

A hog gets a closeup at the Illinois State Fair in August. Officials took special precautions to make sure no livestock sick with a new strain of swine were part of the fair.
Seth Perlman AP

Flu pandemics don't happen very often. So many people might feel the relative fizzle of a flu pandemic three years ago somehow immunizes the globe against another one for awhile.

But don't relax, say the authors of a report published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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U.S.
8:57 am
Tue September 11, 2012

In New York City, A Somber Remembrance Of Sept. 11

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF BAGPIPES)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Those are the sounds of Ground Zero in New York where a memorial service is underway this morning, marking the anniversary - the 11th anniversary - of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Moments of silence and commemorations have been held in New York, at the Pentagon and at a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania to honor the nearly 3,000 victims of the attack.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Chicago Classrooms Are Empty For A Second Day

Striking teachers in Chicago manned the picket lines for a second day today as parents again scrambled to occupy their stay-at-home kids.

Some 350,000 of the district's students are locked out of their classrooms because city officials and thousands of teachers represented by the Chicago Teachers Union have yet to reach a contract. The strike is the first by public school teachers in the Chicago in 25 years.

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The Salt
7:38 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Heavy Teens Eat Less But Weigh More Than Their Thinner Peers

Overweight teens tend to eat fewer calories than their healthy-weight peers. So why do they weigh more? A drop-off in exercise in the tween years may be one reason.
Robert Brown iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:08 pm

It may be more important than we thought to tackle obesity in childhood. A new study published in Pediatrics finds that overweight teenagers eat fewer calories than their healthy weight peers.

That's right — they eat less.

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Around the Nation
6:17 am
Tue September 11, 2012

In Chicago, 'Perfect Storm' Led To Teachers' Strike

Striking Chicago Public School teacher Lanessa Mendoza pickets with fellow teachers Monday as Mayor Rahm Emanuel visits students staying at Maranatha Church in Chicago during the strike.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

It was a major accomplishment in Chicago that teachers who used to walk out frequently had, for the past 25 years, managed to avoid a strike. But it's not surprising, many experts say, that things would fall apart now.

"I think it is a perfect storm," says Tim Knowles, head of the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute. He says issues in Chicago — of tying teacher pay to student test scores, job security, longer school days and expanding charter schools, for example — are not unlike issues unions have grappled with in other cities, from New York to Los Angeles.

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Business
4:25 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Millions Of New Jobs, But Many Don't Pay Well

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The economy added only about 100,000 private sector jobs last month - far fewer than had been expected.

And as NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, a close reading of the numbers reveals that many of those jobs are low wage.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Some of the nation's job growth has been in places like this - a suburban mall near Seattle. While many shoppers aren't spending like they did before the economic crash, they are buying more than they did a couple of years ago.

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Strange News
4:21 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Marathon Runner Shatters World Record, Or Not

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. When a runner, originally from Sudan, ran the Sioux Falls Marathon and shattered the world record by 25 minutes, he was as shocked as everyone else. Maybe I'm lost. I don't know, Olok Nykew told a reporter at the finish. Turns out, he was correct. According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, he had arrived late to the race. He ran the wrong route - the half marathon. I'm not cheating. I was just confused, he said. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Strange News
4:19 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Man Reviews Neighbors' Late-Night Karaoke

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Business
4:18 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Coca-Cola Returns To Myanmar

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business today is: soda diplomacy. The long isolated Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is now undergoing dramatic political reform and opening up to the outside world. The U.S. recently lifted sanctions and sent an ambassador there. And what comes next? Coca-Cola.

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Around the Nation
4:18 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Conn. Court Examines Alleged Death Penalty Bias

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's catch up now on a court case in Connecticut that involves a group of death row inmates. The trial centers on whether there has been race, gender and geographic bias in Connecticut's death penalty cases. Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports.

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Presidential Race
4:18 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Romney Campaigns In 'Must-Win' Ohio

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The presidential candidates are toning it down, we're told, on this 9/11. They'll stop their negative ads, they have said. But, of course, the campaigning will continue all fall. And Mitt Romney spent yesterday in Ohio. Over the weekend, Vice President Biden was there, as well. The Midwestern state is becoming like a second home to candidates in this presidential election season.

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Presidential Race
2:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Rhetoric Aside, Few Details Of Romney's Tax Plan

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigns at PR Machine Works in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:59 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.

Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.

When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.

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Science
2:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

A Berry So Shiny, It's Irresistible (And Inedible)

The shiny blue berries of the tropical Pollia condensata plant rely on their looks, not nutritional content, to attract birds to spread their seeds.
Silvia Vignolini et al. via PNAS

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

That fake fruit in the wooden bowls that hotels love to decorate their lobbies with never looks quite right. No, apparently it takes nature to make a fake that looks even better than the real thing.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:31 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Atlanta Symphony Locked Out

The Atlanta Symphony performs at New York City's Carnegie Hall in 2011.
Jennifer Taylor

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:49 pm

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its musicians are at an impasse. The players' contract expired at the end of last month. The symphony is facing a $20 million budget deficit, and it's seeking millions in concessions from the musicians. Both sides say they want to reach an agreement, but they've left the bargaining table, putting the orchestra's 68th season in jeopardy.

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Politics
2:30 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Inside Obama's Decisions: From Libya To Lunch

President Obama answers questions at the White House on Aug. 20.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

To try to get a sense of what it really means to be the president of the United States, writer Michael Lewis spent six months in President Obama's shadow. Lewis hoped to find out just what it's like to be in the president's shoes — down to something as simple as how he decides what to wear every day.

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Middle East
2:30 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Fears Of Currency Devaluation Mount In Egypt

Egypt's stock market has been volatile since Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Though analysts say there are reasons for cautious optimism, concerns about the country's currency remain.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 3:00 pm

Egyptians have been struggling economically since the revolution last year that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian pound has remained relatively stable, though, because the central bank shored it up through foreign reserves, which prevented food prices from skyrocketing.

But despite increasing political stability, concerns about the currency remain.

The market has been volatile since Mubarak was ousted, swinging up and down with Egypt's political unrest.

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The Record
2:27 am
Tue September 11, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like The Jackson 5

The six brothers who would all get their turn in The Jackson 5.
Frank Barratt Courtesy of Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:45 am

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Religion
2:26 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Episcopal Church Woos Latinos To Congregations

The Rev. Roberto Arciniega, head of Latino ministries for the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, says the denomination must reach out to Latinos to stay relevant in a multicultural society.
Chris Lehman for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:57 am

Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, but only 5 percent of all Hispanics attend a mainline Protestant church. The vast majority are Roman Catholic.

For the Episcopal Church, those numbers are an opportunity.

The denomination is seeing fast-growing pockets of new Latino congregants. Episcopal churches in Nevada and Washington, D.C., are seeing considerably higher attendance from Latinos. In Oregon, there were only 150 Latino Episcopalians 20 years ago. Now, there are more than 800.

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

NOAA: This Summer Was Third Hottest On Record

A map that shows the difference from average temperatures.
NOAA

Today in Washington, D.C. we got our first taste of fall. It was crisp and in the low 60s. And just as we slide into the last days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published its summer 2012 recap.

It's exactly what you were expecting: It was really hot. In fact, 2012 was the third hottest on record.

NOAA reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
5:33 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Vaccine For Dengue Fever Shows A Glimmer Of Hope

A health worker in the Domincan Republic sprays insecticide between houses to stop dengue fever outbreaks this month.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

It's human nature to hope for positive results after spending months or even years conducting a research study. In well-designed studies, however, scientists identify in advance the criteria for success, so their optimism won't color their conclusions when the study is completed.

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U.S.
5:26 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Army Aims To Use Words, Not Weapons, With Afghans

U.S. Army soldiers learn to play khosai, Afghanistan's full-contact national pastime, at Fort Campbell.
Blake Farmer for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:53 pm

The U.S. Army has been ramping up instruction in the languages of Afghanistan, even as troop levels in the country decrease in preparation for the U.S. troop withdrawal in 2014.

This year, key installations have added several hundred speakers of Pashto and Dari to their ranks, more than doubling the number of soldiers trained in the Afghan languages.

But it's not just the country's languages that are foreign to U.S. soldiers — it's the culture, as well.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Kabul's First Skate Park Suffers Tragic Loss In Weekend Attack

Khorshid during a Kabul skating event in 2012.
Skateistan

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:15 pm

Many times what happens far away ends up coded in numbers and officialdom.

Like this weekend, a blast near NATO headquarters in Afghanistan killed at least six. NPR's Dana Farrington noted that a suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance of Camp Eggers, where many children who work on the streets set up to sell trinkets.

Today, we get the heartbreaking news that six of the dead were children and four of them were part of the Skateistan program.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:37 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Mitt Romney's Shifting Stance On Health Care

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling near the U.S. Capitol in Washington in late June.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:26 pm

Mitt Romney seemed to make health care news in a Sunday interview on NBC's Meet the Press.

He said he might not want to repeal all of the Affordable Care Act.

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All Tech Considered
4:10 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

What Will Apple's Patent Case Mean For Phone Design?

These Nokia phones unveiled earlier this month are the first smartphones built for Windows 8.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:52 pm

A lot of thought goes into giving your smartphone a distinctive look and feel, from the shape of the speaker — square, round or oval — to where to put the buttons — side, front or back.

But industrial designers like Robert Brunner say he doesn't have a lot of room to be creative.

"Because you're really being so heavily driven on maintaining a minimal physical size," he says. "So you really get into this very fine envelope of a few millimeters that you have to work with."

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Asia
4:05 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Candidates Criticize China; Presidents Show Caution

For more than three decades, presidential candidates have talked tough about China during the campaign season, but opted for more moderate policies as president. Republican nominee Mitt Romney, shown speaking in Colorado in July, accuses China of manipulating its currency in order to export its goods cheaply to the US.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:26 pm

It has become a staple of U.S. presidential campaigns: Candidates talk about getting tough with China, only to adopt much more moderate positions once they are in office.

When Ronald Reagan ran against President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the challenger often blasted the incumbent for, in his words, "abandoning" Taiwan to establish diplomatic relations with China.

"There will be no more abandonment of friends and allies by the United States of America and I want very much to send that message," Reagan said.

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Education
3:49 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Chicago Strike Emblematic Of Union Struggle

Chicago public school teachers picket outside William H.Wells Community High School on Monday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:06 am

The strike that shut schools in Chicago on Monday illustrates a larger, national trend: Teachers unions are having a harder time getting what they want.

For decades, teachers unions have been among the most powerful lobbying groups in nearly every state — and have been arguably even more powerful at the local level, where they've often been able to unseat school board members and even mayors who crossed them.

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Movies
3:32 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

The Straight-To-DVD World Of 'Mockbusters'

Paul Bales, David Rimawi and David Latt of The Asylum call their films "mockbusters."
Mike Digrazia

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 8:32 am

Dreamworks' animated movie Puss in Boots was a big deal. It won an Oscar, and its swashbuckling, sloe-eyed kitty was voiced by Antonio Banderas.

The meticulous computer-generated animation took four years and something like $130 million to make. But another cartoon, Puss In Boots: A Furry Tail, was hand-drawn in six months for less than $1 million. It went straight to DVD — one of the many low-budget productions riding the coattails of Hollywood blockbusters.

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