12:42pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Education

Can Tyra Banks Get Kids To School? Seattle Says Yes

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 5:53 pm

Last month, Tyra Banks and the national Get Schooled Foundation visited 400 students in the Bronx in New York City. Banks is one of several celebrities who record messages encouraging kids to go to school. And Seattle is one of the latest cities to try it out — Mayor Mike McGinn's office is spending nearly $50,000 to coordinate and implement the effort.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Kids aren't usually eager to wake up and get to school in the morning. They might be, though, if their favorite musician or professional athlete called to coax them out of bed — or if a shiny new bike were on the line.

At least, that's what adults in Seattle think. So the city has a new plan to improve school attendance.

Isaac Bennett, 16, lives a few houses down from his high school in north Seattle. Yet the junior didn't make it there very often last year.

"I had like 167 absences for sophomore year, which wasn't good," he says with a laugh.

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12:15pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

'Epic' Storm Damages Buildings In Alaska

A historic storm hit Alaska's west coast overnight. The Anchorage Daily News called it "epic." Here's how one meteorologist described the storm's scale to the paper:

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12:08pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Monkey See

Eddie Murphy Will Not Host the Oscars

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 1:42 pm

Eddie Murphy, seen here in October 2011, will not host the 2012 Oscars after all.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Following the exit of producer Brett Ratner from the upcoming Oscars telecast yesterday, Eddie Murphy — whose new film Tower Heist is also Ratner's latest directorial effort — has stepped aside as host of the 2012 show, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

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11:35am

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Co-Author Of Accused Penn State Coach's Book Calls News 'Disheartening'

The fact that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's 2001 biography was called Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story, is generating some pretty pointed commentary on Amazon.com this week.

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10:59am

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Italy's Debt Woes Roil World Markets

The yield on 10-year Italian government bond.
Bloomberg

It was Greece, now it's Italy. Worries about the country's debt have sent world markets lower, today. Here's the Los Angeles Times with a roundup:

The yield on Italian bonds rose to a recent record this morning, signaling the distrust that investors have in Italy's ability to repay its debts.

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10:49am

Wed November 9, 2011
Middle East

Has Iran Become Less Dangerous?

Conflict between supporters of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (shown here Sept. 22 at United Nations headquarters in New York) and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is among a number of factors that analysts say are weakening Iran's position in the region.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency presents more evidence than ever before that many aspects of Iran's nuclear program are geared toward military purposes. Yet some analysts argue that overall, Iran represents less of a threat today than it did a year ago.

The IAEA report issued Tuesday largely focuses on historical matters, and some observers say Iran is still having a great deal of difficulty in many areas of weapons technology. And it's clear that Iran has experienced several other setbacks in recent months.

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10:49am

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Man's Video Shows Oakland Officer Shooting Him With Rubber Bullet

That flash in the middle is from the weapon that fired the rubber bullet at Scott Campbell in Oakland last week.
Scott Campbell video

This video is generating stories about whether an Oakland police officer used excessive force on Nov. 3 when he fired a rubber bullet in the direction of 30-year-old Scott Campbell, who was videotaping the scene at the time.

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10:17am

Wed November 9, 2011
Planet Money

Why Italy Is So Scary

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 12:54 pm

The moon rose above Italy's finance and economy ministry in Rome on Monday.
Alessia Pierdomenico Bloomberg via Getty Images

Italy crossed into bailout territory today. The interest rate on the country's 10-year bonds, which has gone through the roof in the past few weeks, rose to over 7 percent.

We've seen this story play out before in other European countries.

A country is in debt trouble. Investors demand higher interest rates to lend money to that country. Paying those higher interest rates mean the country will fall even further into debt. So interest rates go up even more.

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10:15am

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

At Guantanamo Hearing, Alleged Cole Mastermind Is 'All Swagger'

[The alleged mastermind of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole was seen today for the first time in nine years during an arraignment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It's the first test of the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston was there.]

When Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri walked into the Guantanamo courtroom this morning, he was all swagger.

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9:57am

Wed November 9, 2011
Politics

How Birth Control And Abortion Became Politicized

Stephan Zabel iStockphoto.com

The first birth control clinic in the United States opened in 1916. It was operated by Margaret Sanger, who started the clinic after becoming outraged that she couldn't give her patients — poor women in the tenements on New York City's Lower East Side — information about contraceptive options.

"Sanger [went] to these squalid, crowded homes of these young women bearing many children who are begging her — while giving birth — for information about contraception," says historian Jill Lepore. "And it [was] illegal for her to give them any information."

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