12:55am

Thu May 10, 2012
Asia

After The Quake, Japanese Shop For Survival

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

Store manager Naoto Higashi models a helmet, a fully stocked kit in his backpack, and a windup flashlight. Such items have become popular in Japan following last year's huge earthquake and tsunami.
Lucy Craft for NPR

Walk into any large Japanese retailer nowadays, and you might think Japan had become a nation of survivalists.

Aeon, a Wal-Mart-like chain of stores, devotes a sizable chunk of floor space to something called bosai-yohin, or "disaster-protection gear."

Naoto Higashi, a manager at one of the Tokyo stores, demonstrates some of their best-sellers, flashlights that have become the Swiss Army knives of anti-earthquake gear.

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12:54am

Thu May 10, 2012
Economy

College Grads Struggle To Gain Financial Footing

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

Graduates of the University of Alabama's class of 2011. The economic downturn has hit recent college grads hard. New data show only half of those who graduated from 2006 to 2011 are working full time.
Butch Dill AP

Most of the estimated 1.5 million people graduating from a four-year college this spring will soon be looking for a job.

If the experiences of other recent college grads are any guide, many will be disappointed.

A new Rutgers University survey of those who graduated from college between 2006 and 2011 finds that just half of those grads are working full time.

Settling For Part Time

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12:53am

Thu May 10, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghan Goal: Toning Down The Radical Preachers

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

The Afghan government wants Muslim preachers to tone down sermons that often criticize the presence of American troops and praise the Taliban. Here, an Afghan youth drags his sheep past a group of men praying at a mosque in Kabul in November 2011.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

The ministry that governs religious affairs in Afghanistan has announced what some are calling a "three strikes" policy.

It's a warning directed at Muslim clerics, or imams, accused of inciting violence in their Friday sermons. Imams across the country routinely condemn the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and speak in favor of the Taliban.

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12:52am

Thu May 10, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Feds Join Fight Against Whooping Cough In Washington

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 5:50 am

Nurse Susan Peel gives a whooping cough vaccination to a high school student in Sacramento, Calif. The whooping cough vaccine given to babies and toddlers loses much of its effectiveness after by the time people reach their teens and early adulthood.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Washington state is in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. The state has more than 1,100 confirmed cases so far this year — that's 10 times as many as this time last year, and health officials fear the number may rise.

The state is desperately trying to raise awareness of the epidemic. Take this public service announcement featuring a mother whose baby contracted the disease.

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11:55pm

Wed May 9, 2012
Politics

House To Vote On GOP Bill Framed As Guns Vs. Butter

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 6:49 am

Republicans who control the House want to block some $55 billion worth of automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget next year. Instead, they want to cut funding for social programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. It's a choice that has been framed as guns versus butter, and this time, guns are expected to win.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto the legislation, which the House votes on Thursday. But the president is willing to leave the Pentagon cuts in place for now, in hopes of bringing Republicans back to the bargaining table.

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9:04pm

Wed May 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Pew Study: Americans In The Northeast Have More Economic Mobility

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds economic mobility differs significantly across the United States. The report finds Americans are more likely to move up the economic ladder if they live in the northeast.

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4:15pm

Wed May 9, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

A Critic's Advice For Doctors In Search Of Industry Work

iStockphoto.com

Over in the U.K. there's a set of principles being floated in support of collaboration between the drug industry and doctors.

A sample of the dos and don'ts for doctors reads a little like dating advice:

"Don't establish blanket policies denying interaction with industry or regard it merely as a source of funding.

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3:54pm

Wed May 9, 2012
Animals

'Frankenfish': It's What's For Dinner

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:19 pm

John Odenkirk holds up a snakehead. The fish can survive for long periods of time out of water as long as they're kept moist. They breathe air by gulping it, so they don't need to stay submerged.
Sabri Ben-Achour for NPR

More people on the East Coast are acquiring a taste for snakehead, an exotic fish that's moved here from Asia. But the fish are still multiplying and spreading.

Snakehead came to Maryland almost 10 years ago. The so-called "Frankenfish" looks like its namesake and has multiple rows of teeth. Someone released it here — and then there was a documentary and an unbelievably bad movie.

Creating A Market

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3:51pm

Wed May 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Vidal Sassoon, Hairstyling Icon, Dies At Age 84

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:05 pm

Clothes designer Mary Quant, one of the leading lights of the British fashion scene in the 1960's, having her hair cut by another fashion icon, hairdresser Vidal Sassoon in 1964.
Ronald Dumont Getty Images

Vidal Sassoon, who's hair styles and products are used by millions worldwide, has died. He was 84 and died of natural causes.

Sassoon started his career as a shampoo boy in the 1950s. As the AP reports, he became a hair styling icon when he freed women of 1950s hair in favor of a hair cut that needed little styling.

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3:42pm

Wed May 9, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Gambles On Gay Marriage

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:35 pm

President Obama was on a TV monitor at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, a key historic site of the gay-rights movement.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The 2012 presidential election was supposed to be about the economy, and even with President Obama's historic decision to make it known Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, that is still likely to be true.

But the president's decision to announce in an ABC News interview that he personally backs gay marriage could mean that at least one social issue may take a more prominent role in the election-year spotlight.

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