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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Thu August 22, 2013

VIDEO: Russian Hovercraft Storms Ashore, Surprises Beachgoers

Zubr-class air cushion landing craft "Kerkyra" seen in St. Petersburg, in 2004. A vessel similar to this one came ashore unexpectedly amid sunbathers on the Baltic coast.
Dmitry Lovetsky Associated Press

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:31 am

A giant Russian military hovercraft made an amphibious landing on a beach full of stunned sunbathers along the Baltic coast.

The massive 187-foot-long vessel, which rides on a cushion of air, is seen gently gliding up onto the sand as beachgoers in Mechnikovo, Kaliningrad, gawk and snap photos.

Russia's RT.com says no one was hurt in the incident.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Tourist Dies Of Shark Attack In Hawaii, Part Of Alarming Rise

As reports of shark attacks have risen, Hawaiian officials announced a plan Tuesday to study the sharks' movements. A German tourist who had been attacked in Maui last week died Wednesday.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:22 am

A German tourist in Hawaii who was attacked by a shark last week has died of her injuries, according to hospital officials in Maui. Jana Lutteropp, 20, lost her arm in the attack during a snorkeling trip last Wednesday. She is the first person to die from a shark attack in Hawaii in more than nine years.

After Lutteropp was attacked less than 100 yards from the coast at Palauea Beach, she was helped by Rick Moore, a California high school teacher who plunged into the surf to swim her back to shore.

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Music Reviews
8:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Robin Thicke: Smirky But Sincere On 'Blurred Lines'

Robin Thicke on the cover of Blurred Lines.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:57 am

Robin Thicke exudes a kind of oily charm that is, with the right material, by no means off-putting. A prime example is the single "Blurred Lines," which gives you the complete Robin Thicke Experience. The song is a come-on, because basically all Thicke does in his music is try to put the make on women. What prevents him from being too creepy is that he's also genial, even gentlemanly and debonair, when the object of his lust shoots him down.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak Released From Prison, Now Under House Arrest

A supporter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak celebrates his release from prison on Thursday. He's still under house arrest while awaiting retrial on various charges.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:04 am

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been released from the prison where he's been held while awaiting a retrial on charges related to the killing of protesters in 2011. The protesters lost their lives during the demonstrations that led to the topping of Mubarak's three-decade-old regime.

Earlier this week, a court ruled that after being held for two years while on trial and during his appeals, Mubarak could no longer be kept in prison. He's also facing corruption charges.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Lawyer Rejects Guantanamo 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Claim

Books in the detainees library at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are seen in this Aug. 8, 2013, photo. A prisoner at the facility handed over a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey to his lawyer.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 9:20 am

Weeks after detainees at Guantanamo Bay were said to be voracious readers of Fifty Shades of Grey, one lawyer says that, at least in his client's case, that idea is bogus.

Attorney James Connell says his client, Ammar al-Baluchi, turned over a copy of the bestselling erotic novel and had never heard of it before guards gave him a copy on Monday.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Comet Flies Into The Sun, Goes Out In A Blaze Of Glory

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:13 pm

Like Icarus, the mythological character who plunged to his death after flying too close to the sun, a comet took a solar swan dive earlier this week. NASA has captured its final moments on video.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bradley Manning: 'I Am A Female,' Call Me Chelsea

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who now asks to be referred to as Chelsea, dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph.
U.S. Army handout Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:05 am

"I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible."

That's part of a statement from Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to NBC-TV's Today show.

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Shots - Health News
6:28 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Popularity Of Circumcision Falls In U.S., Especially Out West

Where a boy is born has a big influence on whether he'll be circumcised, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.
CDC

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:09 am

Boys born in the West are more likely to skip circumcision than they are to have the once common procedure.

It's a dramatic change over the past 32 years. Back in 1979, about two-thirds of boys out West got circumcised in the hospital soon after they were born. By 2010, only 40 percent were.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Speculation Builds That San Diego Mayor Is On His Way Out

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D).
Fred Greaves Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:50 pm

Update at 3:40 p.m. ET. 'Tentative Agreement':

The law firm that has helped San Diego Mayor Bob Filner navigate the accusations of sexual harassment, says he and representatives of the city have "reached a tentative agreement," but declined to elaborate:

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Book News: FBI Suspected William T. Vollmann Was The Unabomber

Author William T. Vollmann poses in his studio in Sacramento, Calif., in 2005.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Business
5:15 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bank Of America To Close Some Drive-Up Tellers

Bank of America won't say exactly how many drive-through lanes are closing. A spokeswoman did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking. At branches where drive-through lanes are closing, the bank says ATMs will be available.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Some Bank of America branches with drive-through tellers from Georgia to Texas have already closed the lanes, according to spokeswoman Tara Burke.

She wouldn't divulge exactly how many are closing. She did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking.

About 13 million customers bank by mobile phone and 29 million participate in online services. Among them is 19-year-old Brittney Sprague who says, "Not too many folks will really miss the drive-through teller because everybody uses apps. It's all about the new technology."

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Chemical Weapons Claims Spur Calls For Force Against Syria

Gas mask in one hand and rifle in the other, a Free Syrian Army fighter sits inside a house in the city of Homs early Thursday.
Yazan Homsy Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:11 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: The BBC's Nick Bryant reports

Claims by the opposition in Syria that President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons during an attack Wednesday near Damascus — killing scores of people, they say — are being followed Thursday by word that:

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Asia
4:29 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Airline Offers Upgrade To Sit In Child-Free Zone

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you board a plane excited about a trip but dreading the possibility of a baby crying loudly for the whole flight, this news is for you. The budget arm of Singapore Airlines - called Scoot - is now offering a $14 upgrade to sit in a child-free zone, no one under 12 allowed.

Europe
3:50 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Madrid Creates 'Acoustic Protection Zone'

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

In downtown Madrid, music floats through the air, amateur musicians playing for money. Sadly, many are not that good, but the city is on the case. To shield residents from mediocre musicianship, it's created an Acoustic Protection Zone. Buskers who wish to perform will be talent-tested. A panel will issue permits to those who have what it takes. The rest will be booted off the stage or, in this case, the sidewalk.

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

Around the Nation
2:43 am
Thu August 22, 2013

New York City Council To Vote On Tough Police Oversight Laws

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In New York, the city council is poised to vote today on some of the toughest police oversight laws in decades. The vote comes just weeks after a judge ruled that the NYPD violated the civil rights of minorities with its practice of stopping mostly young men of color on the streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appealing the judge's ruling and refusing to back down on a policing program he has championed. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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National Security
2:43 am
Thu August 22, 2013

FISA Court: NSA Surveillance Program Was Unconstitutional

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

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Law
2:43 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Lawyers For Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales To Ask For Leniency

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We're following developments in Egypt after today's release from prison of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. We'll go to Cairo in a moment. We begin this hour with stories of two military trials in this country. Both involve horrendous massacres.

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Animals
1:01 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Where The Whale Sharks Go

A whale shark dives near the surface in waters off the coast of Mexico.
Marj Awai Georgia Aquarium

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:17 pm

Of all the creatures in the sea, one of the most majestic and mysterious is the whale shark. It's the biggest shark there is, 30 feet or more in length and weighing in at around 10 tons.

Among the mysteries is where this mighty fish migrates and where it gives birth. Now scientists have completed the biggest study ever of whale sharks, and they think they have some answers to those questions.

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It's All Politics
12:59 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Future Historians: Good Luck Sifting Through Obama Video

President Obama is seen on a video camera as he delivers a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2010. In addition to footage of official events, the White House now has thousands of hours of behind-the-scenes video that it will archive.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

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Crime In The City
12:58 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Awaiting The Apocalypse In The Quiet Town Of Concord

Ben Winters wrote the best-selling Sense And Sensibility And Sea Monsters, as well as Bedbugs, Android Karenina and several books for kids. So far, he's published two books in the Last Policeman series.
Neda Ulaby NPR

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

No place seems safe these days from someone's terrifying, post-apocalyptic imaginings. Los Angeles is wrecked in the movie Elysium, the South is zombie-ridden in TV's The Walking Dead, and now— thanks to writer Ben Winters — even the quiet streets of Concord are at risk of annihilation.

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All Tech Considered
12:56 am
Thu August 22, 2013

How A Look At Your Gmail Reveals The Power Of Metadata

An MIT analysis of Larry Abramson's Gmail account illustrates his online relationships.
immersion.mit.media.edu

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Sometimes you have to give up a little privacy in order to find out how much — or how little — privacy you really have. So I handed over the keys to my Gmail account to Cesar Hidalgo, a professor at the MIT Media Lab and the designer of a program called Immersion.

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Parallels
12:55 am
Thu August 22, 2013

China's College Grads Face A New Reality: Fewer Jobs

Thousands descended on a job fair in Shanghai earlier this year. This summer nearly 7 million people graduated from Chinese colleges, but jobs are harder to find than in previous years.
Frank Langfitt/NPR

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:03 pm

It's been about two months since college graduation, and more than 3 million graduates from this year and last still don't have jobs, according to government officials.

That's not in the U.S., but in China.

China is home to the world's fastest-growing major economy. But with nearly 7 million college graduates this year, a record number, finding work is tough and a worry for the ruling Communist Party.

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The Salt
12:53 am
Thu August 22, 2013

In Canada, Maine Lobstermen Get Both A Rival And A Tutor

Sternman Scott Beede returns an undersized lobster while checking traps in Mount Desert, Maine.
Robert F Bukaty AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

There's nothing quite like the sweet, succulent taste of Maine lobster. And fishermen off the state's rocky coastline have been catching more and more of the tasty crustacean over the past five years.

But that surging supply has overwhelmed Maine's limited marketing and processing capabilities and driven down the prices paid to lobstermen.

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Business
12:41 am
Thu August 22, 2013

As Housing Recovers, Lots Of Boats Rise In U.S. Economy

A worker at the Cataumet Sawmill in Falmouth, Mass., where the improved housing outlook has led to more hours for employees.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:02 am

In just the past week we've seen a bunch of signs that the housing recovery is gaining steam. Data out Wednesday showed that existing-home sales rose to their highest level in nearly four years, while prices were up 14 percent from a year ago.

Retailers Home Depot and Lowe's both reported strong earnings growth and attributed that to the housing rebound.

And most important for the economy, homebuilders are hiring more workers and building more houses.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Thu August 22, 2013

'You're What I Wanted': Assembling The Family Stone

Sly & The Family Stone in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., in 1968. Left to right: Sly Stone, Cynthia Robinson, Freddie Stone, Rose Stone, Jerry Martini, Larry Graham.
Stephen Paley Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

"I think he was looking for good musicians, and he knew quite a few. He sees the heart of a person."

That's how Cynthia Robinson, founding member of Sly & The Family Stone, characterizes the charismatic frontman's choice of backing players. The band, which pioneered a blend of funk, soul, jazz and pop, began in 1960s San Francisco as a kind of blended family: black and white, men and women.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Soldier Who Admitted To Massacre Hears From Afghan Survivors

A courtroom sketch shows an Afghan man named Faizullah testifying in a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., on Tuesday. His father and brother were shot and wounded when Staff Sgt. Robert Bales attacked their village in Kandahar province last year.
Peter Millett AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:11 am

Details of the massacre of 16 Afghans by a U.S. soldier last spring are emerging in a courtroom near Tacoma, Wash., where survivors of that attack traveled to confront Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. A six-member military jury is hearing testimony at a sentencing hearing for Bales.

At least seven people made the trip from Afghanistan to Washington state to speak at the hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Bales' Army unit is based.

The AP describes the night in question:

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It's All Politics
4:17 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Gender Gap Doesn't Budge In Virginia Governor's Race

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for Virginia governor, (left), is trailing Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe (right) among female voters.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 5:05 pm

Here's one takeaway from a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday: Republicans have their hands full if they hope to close the gender gap in the Virginia governor's race.

The poll of likely voters reports that Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a 6-percentage-point overall lead in his contest with Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

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It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Obama Heads Back To School To Talk College Affordability

President Obama steps off his bus, nicknamed "Ground Force One," as he arrives for breakfast at the Ossorio Bakery and Cafe in Cocoa, Fla., during a two-day bus tour last year.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:51 pm

It's back-to-school season for college students — and President Obama plans to be right there with them.

The president will spend the next two days on a bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania that includes stops at three colleges and a high school. At each stop, he'll be talking about ways to make college more affordable.

The president's big black bus will make its first stop at the University at Buffalo on Thursday — the same day incoming freshmen will be moving in, hauling suitcases and mini-refrigerators.

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The Salt
3:33 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Inside The Beef Industry's Battle Over Growth-Promotion Drugs

Beef cattle stand in a barn on the Larson Farms feedlot in Maple Park, Ill.
Daniel Acker Landov

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 2:39 pm

When the drug company Merck Animal Health announced plans to suspend sales of its Zilmax feed additive last week, many observers were shocked.

Yet concern about Zilmax and the class of growth-promotion drugs called beta agonists has been building for some time. In an interesting twist, the decisive pressure on Zilmax did not come from animal welfare groups or government regulators: It emerged from within the beef industry itself, and from academic experts who have long worked as consultants to the industry.

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