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Latin America
3:48 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Lesbian Couple Tests Colombia's Adoption Laws

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Latin America, the highest courts have increasingly been ruling in favor of gay rights, and that includes the right to marry. Now, some countries are moving to allow adoption by people who are gay. It is a hot-button issue that has drawn fierce opposition. One case that could set an important precedent involves a lesbian couple in Colombia. NPR's Juan Forero has the story.

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Remembrances
3:48 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Comedian Phyllis Diller Had Us Laughing For Decades

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Okay. It can be a sensitive matter to mention a woman's age, but if people failed to mention it, Phyllis Diller was liable to bring it up herself. Diller died at home in Los Angeles yesterday at the age of 95, after decades of making people laugh by poking fun at herself, as she did in this stand-up performance in 2004.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PHYLLIS DILLER: You know you're old when your walker has an airbag.

(LAUGHTER)

DILLER: And your birthday cake looks like a prairie fire.

(LAUGHTER)

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Business
3:48 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a really big apple.

It was bound to happen. Apple has surpassed Microsoft as the most valuable company ever. That happened when Apple stock hit $665 per share yesterday, boosting its market value to nearly $624 billion. Microsoft had held the record for market capitalization since 1999. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Latin America
3:39 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Cuba Views China, Vietnam As Economic Hope

People, one holding an image of Cuba's President Raul Castro and his brother Fidel Castro, wait in line at a bus stop in Havana last month.
Franklin Reyes AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

Cuba is one of the world's last remaining communist states. Cuba's allies in China and Vietnam also maintain firm one-party rule, but have prospered by introducing market principles to their economic models. With Cuban President Raul Castro easing government controls on property rights and private enterprise, many are wondering if the struggling island is looking to Asia for a way forward.

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Dead Stop
2:33 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Deaths Tell The Story Of Life In Old Hong Kong

For more than a decade, author Patricia Lim researched the 8,000 graves of the Hong Kong Cemetery, one of the city's oldest Christian cemeteries. Here, Lim stands at the grave of former Hong Kong police officer Richardson Barry Loxley Leslie. Last year, she rested on the grave while, unbeknownst to her at the time, she was having a mild heart attack.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

Below a noisy flyover alongside Hong Kong's Happy Valley racecourse, there's a little-noticed green oasis stretching up the hillside, punctuated by imposing Victorian chest tombs, granite obelisks and delicate angels. This is Hong Kong cemetery, the last resting place of the early settlers who colonized the island, starting in the 1840s.

For my mother, Patricia Lim, the cemetery is a repository of the island's early untold early history.

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Middle East
2:29 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Don't Charge That Electric Car Battery; Just Change It

Better Place is building a network of electric car battery changing stations throughout Israel. The idea is to make changing a spent electric battery as easy as pulling into the gas station for gasoline. Here, Better Place CEO Shai Agassi is shown in front of a cutaway model of an electric car at the company's showroom in Tel Aviv earlier this month.
Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

It looks like a bright new car wash, but it's a battery swapping station for electric cars in Israel. When a vehicle pulls up, it is slowly pulled through a conveyor. The spent battery is taken out and replaced with one that is fully charged. The entire process takes less than five minutes.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:29 am
Tue August 21, 2012

High School Daze: The Perils of Sacrificing Sleep for Late-Night Studying

It may not be the best strategy to stay up late and cram. A new study finds that when teens don't get the sleep they need, all kinds of things can go poorly.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

High school students with heavy academic course loads often find the demands of homework colliding with the need for adequate sleep.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:28 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Health Law Gives Medicare Fraud Fighters New Weapons

With help from the Affordable Care Act, government fraud investigators will make more use of computer programs to detect Medicare and Medicaid scams.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

Fighting health care fraud in the U.S. can seem like an endless game of Whack-a-Mole. When government fraud squads crack down on one scheme, another pops up close by.

But the fraud squads that look for scams in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs have some new weapons: tools and funding provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Medicare and Medicaid pay out some $750 billion each year to more than 1.5 million doctors, hospitals and medical suppliers. By many estimates, about $65 billion a year is lost to fraud.

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The Salt
2:24 am
Tue August 21, 2012

How A Biofuel Dream Called Jatropha Came Crashing Down

A man harvests fruits of the Jatropha tree in Taabo, Ivory Coast. Jatropha, which is grown in many parts of the world, has fallen from favor as a diesel fuel substitute.
Kambou Sia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:37 am

From Congress to The Colbert Report, people are talking about the Midwestern drought and debating whether it makes sense to convert the country's shrinking corn supplies into ethanol to power our cars.

It's the latest installment of the long-running food vs. fuel battle.

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First And Main
2:23 am
Tue August 21, 2012

In Wis. Swing County, Voters Criticize 'Handouts'

Patricia and Steven Cumber run the Food Tailor food truck in downtown Oshkosh, Wis. It's their primary source of income after Steven lost his job as a welder.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:01 am

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition is visiting swing counties in swing states for our series First and Main. We're listening to voters where they live — to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year. This week, we're spending time in Winnebago County, Wis.

We began our conversations in the lakeside city of Oshkosh, at a cafe on Main Street. But now, we're heading outside town to the Winnebago County Fair, where I was eager to taste Wisconsin's most famous food: cheese curds.

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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

JetBlue Fined $90K For Not Telling Passengers They Were Allowed To Deplane

A JetBlue Airways aircraft.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:19 pm

The Department of Transportation said it has fined JetBlue $90,000, after it failed to inform passengers that they could leave a plane that sat at the gate for close to three hours.

DOT said that violated airline protection rules that went into effect in April 2010. The rule says that if passengers can get off the plane, they should be informed that they can do so and they should be given updates every 30 minutes.

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Death Of Handcuffed Man In Police Car Ruled A Suicide

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 5:42 am

A 21-year-old man whose hands were cuffed behind him in the back seat of a police car in Arkansas killed himself with a concealed handgun. That's according to an autopsy report released Monday into the death of Chavis Carter.

Carter died July 28 after being detained during a traffic stop. Police said he had an outstanding arrest warrant – later revealed to be drug-related. The driver and the passenger of the vehicle he was in were allowed to go.

Police searched Carter twice, but found no gun.

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

For First Time, Latinos Represent Largest Minority Group In Colleges

In a new study, The Pew Hispanic Center says that for the first time ever, Hispanics have become the largest minority group in the country's college campuses.

It's a report that marks many firsts for the ethnic group, which has been making great strides in education since 1972.

Among them: For the first time, there were more than 2 million latinos ages 18 to 24 enrolled. They reached a record 16.5 percent of all college enrollment. Hispanics make up a little more than a quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in two-year colleges.

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NewsPoet: Writing The Day In Verse
4:34 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

NewsPoet: Tess Taylor Writes The Day In Verse

Tess Taylor visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:38 pm

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Low Waters Close 11-Mile Stretch Of Mississippi River

A tow pushes a barge past a sandbar on the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Missouri River north of St. Louis., on Friday. Many sandbars normally under water on the two rivers are now exposed as the drought has caused river levels to drop.
Jim Salter AP

An 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River was closed today because of low waters levels.

The AP reports:

"Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets told The Associated Press on Monday that the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.

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All Tech Considered
4:25 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Smartphone Apps Help More Singles Find The Boy (Or Girl) Next Door

A growing number of smartphone apps use internal GPS to help singles locate potential mates nearby. While men are enthusiastic about the apps, women have been slower to adopt them.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:02 pm

Pretty much every smartphone on the market today offers GPS. Apps of all kinds use that geo-locating ability to offer you the local weather forecast or help you find nearby restaurants.

There are also apps designed to help singles look for love, and the concept has been a hit — with men. The app Grindr, for gay men, has more than 4 million users worldwide. And straight guys are signing up for a bunch of dating apps, as well.

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It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Issue Of Abortion Back In Spotlight In Swing States

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:15 pm

With women's issues front and center again in the presidential campaign, a bus tour through several swing states kicked off Monday in opposition to President Obama's views on abortion.

At the same time, the Obama campaign launched a new TV ad — aimed at some of the same voters in some of the same key states — criticizing Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, on the issue.

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Participation Nation
3:33 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

A Simple Gesture In Paradise, Calif.

Cool green bags of food for the hungry from A Simple Gesture.
Courtesy of A Simple Gesture

In 2010, my wife Karen and I — inspired by the Ashland Food Project in Oregon — founded A Simple Gesture in Paradise, a small northern California town.

Simply stated: We give a donor a cool green shopping bag. Every time she goes shopping for her own groceries she buys one extra non-perishable item and puts it in the cool green bag. Every two months a volunteer picks up the bag at the home and gives her another.

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Environment
3:20 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Wood Energy Not 'Green' Enough, Says Mass.

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:02 pm

Wind and solar get lots of attention, but another kind of renewable power actually creates more energy in our country --wood. The state of Massachusetts on Friday decided that these plants aren't green enough to get some special breaks.

The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Phyllis Diller, Legendary Comedian, Is Dead

In this May 20, 1966 file photo, comedian Phyllis Diller appears in character in the ABC-TV comedy series "The Pruitts of Southampton."
AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:48 pm

Phyllis Diller, who was known for her trademark self-deprecating humor and laugh, has died at 95.

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Presidential Race
2:38 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Ann Romney Adds Fire, Faith To Husband's Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, greet supporters during an Illinois primary victory party in March.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 7:52 pm

If you want to see how much Mitt and Ann Romney consider themselves a team, check out his official portrait at the Massachusetts Statehouse. He's the first governor to request that an image of his wife be included in the painting — he's posed beside a framed picture of her.

By all accounts, the Romneys consult each other on everything. So after a bruising campaign in 2008 that left Mrs. Romney openly disgusted by the process and vowing she would never do it again, it looked like that might be it for Mitt.

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Remembrances
2:29 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Comedy's Self-Deprecating Pioneer Phyllis Diller Dies

Diller poses with a photo at her Los Angeles home in 2005.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:02 pm

A queen of comedy has died. Phyllis Diller had audiences in stitches for more than five decades with her outlandish get-ups and rapid-fire one-liners. She died at her home, where she had been in hospice care after a fall. She was 95.

Diller was glamorously outrageous — or at least the character she created was glamorously outrageous, the one who wore wigs that made her look like she had her finger in an electrical outlet, who wore gaudy sequined outfits. She was known for her laugh and those nasty jokes about her dimwitted husband, "Fang."

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Latin America
2:03 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Dissident's Death Stirs A Drama In Cuba

Oswaldo Paya, who challenged Cuba's communist regime for decades, died in a car crash on July 22. A Spanish man who was driving Paya has been charged with the equivalent of vehicular manslaughter. Here, a nun holds a portrait of Paya during his funeral in Havana.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:02 pm

The family of well-known Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, who was killed in a car crash in July, claims that the Cuban government may have had a role in his death.

But as new details come to light, it appears that a European activist who came to help Paya ended up accidentally killing him on a trip gone horribly wrong.

Actually, two Europeans, both 27, were in the car with Paya at the time of his death. The Europeans had met through Facebook.

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Election 2012
1:47 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Medicare And Medicaid: How The Campaigns Differ

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., discusses Medicare, Medicaid and the federal budget last year, in Kenosha, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 4:07 pm

Since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, seems all we've been hearing about is Medicare and its future.

No surprise, of course: Ryan is the author of the GOP budget plan that would dramatically remake how the health care insurance program for seniors is managed and funded. He also calls for big changes to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor, including elderly Americans who have exhausted their means.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:42 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Planned Parenthood Windfall Funds Breast Health Expansion

Radiologist Gerald Iba checks mammograms at The Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection in Los Angeles in May 2010.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 4:05 pm

When the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure moved to cut funding for Planned Parenthood's work to screen women for breast cancer early this year, the reaction was swift and furious.

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Fitness & Nutrition
1:30 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Getting Fit: Why More People Are Walking The Walk

More people are getting their exercise by walking, according to a new study by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The health benefits are clear: Walkers generally have a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. If walking is your form of exercise, why does it work for you?

The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Syrian Rebel Leader Accuses Regime Of Fabricating Scandalous Video

Abdel Razaq Tlas, 25, the leader of Farouk Brigades in Homs — one of the biggest rebel groups in Syria — has been a charismatic figure of the Syrian uprising.

Today, Tlas is facing questions about a video purporting to show him having Skype sex. It's a video he has said is a fabrication, but it seems to be damaging his popularity on the Syrian street.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

In Syria, Factions Gain Strength Amid Chaos

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:30 pm

Syria's civil war erupted again on Monday, just one day after the U.N. ended its monitoring mission in the country. Reporter Jon Lee Anderson joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss the different factions that are rising up amid the current confusion.

NPR Story
1:13 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Wheelchairs Welcome? Not Everywhere.

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:30 pm

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, former Major League Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent describes incidences of clubs, offices and public spaces posing obstacles for him and his wheelchair. He joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss the places where those in wheelchairs still don't feel welcome.

NPR Story
1:13 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Behind Mental Health Stigmas In Black Communities

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:30 pm

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder has focused attention on the shame that sometimes accompanies mental health diagnoses in the African-American community. Psychiatrist William Lawson joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss why such a stigma exists.

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