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3:58pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Why Do We Hate The Sound Of Fingernails On A Chalkboard?

A male hand is about to scratch nails on a chalkboard.
iStockPhoto.com

Listen to this:

Those were finger nails working their way across a chalkboard. Some of you might have felt a shiver. It's one of those sounds that provokes a physical reaction. Scientists have looked into the why for years and this week, scientists presented another theory at the Acoustical Society of America meeting.

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3:15pm

Wed November 9, 2011
It's All Politics

GOP Michigan Debate: Auto Industry, Herman Cain Likely Topics

Sue McQueen displays her support for GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul outside the debate venue, Rochester, Mich., Nov. 9, 2011.
Scott Olson Getty Images

When the Republican presidential candidates meet Wednesday evening in Michigan for their ninth debate (it feels like there've been many more than that) the main topic up for discussion is supposed to be the economy.

But is there anyone who expects that the travails of Herman Cain won't be a subtopic?

The former Godfather Pizza CEO's flat-tax plan encountered severe turbulence at the last debate and it is likely to experience more during the encounter at Oakland University outside Detroit.

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3:12pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

'Personhood' Divides Anti-Abortion Groups

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 2:50 pm

Wife Deborah Bryant waits as Mississippi Governor-elect Phil Bryant thanks a supporter Tuesday at a victory party. Bryant supported a controversial amendment to the state's constitution on "personhood."
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Voters in Mississippi were expected to make it the first state to confer protected legal status to fertilized human eggs Tuesday. Instead, they made it the second state to reject a so-called personhood amendment to its constitution.

One possible reason is that the effort divides even those who consider themselves against abortion.

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3:00pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Africa

Turks, Europeans Lead Charge On Libyan Investment

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

Libya may be months from a new government, but the still-infrequent international flights to Tripoli are packed with businesspeople looking to land contracts with this oil-rich North African state. The Turks and Europeans appear to be moving quickly, while the Americans seem to be several steps behind.

On one recent afternoon, the plush Rixos hotel in Tripoli hosted hastily organized meetings between Libyans and a swarm of Turks representing 150 different companies.

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2:45pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

After Glitch, Russian Spacecraft Destined For Mars Is Stuck In Earth's Orbit

Russia and the former Soviet Union haven't had much luck when it comes to missions to the red planet. On Tuesday, it launched a probe destined for Mars. It was supposed to land on Phobos, one of the planet's moons, scoop up some rocks and return home with its specimens.

Instead, the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft launched successfully into orbit, but then its boosters failed to ignite, so for now, it's stuck orbiting our planet.

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2:33pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Picture Show

Flying Rhinos: Photos You Don't See Every Day

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:16 am

A rhino dangling from a helicopter is transported to a safer home.
Michael Raimondo WWF

Paging Danny Glover. A new species needs your help.

These photos, which came to us via email from the World Wildlife Fund, show an amazing scene: Nineteen sedated black rhinoceroses were airlifted out of an area in South Africa, and spent about 10 minutes upside down in the air en route to a new home.

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1:57pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

'Family Circus' Cartoonist Bil Keane Has Died, He Was 89

Bil Keane, whose "Family Circus" comics have been appearing in newspapers since 1960, died Tuesday in Arizona at the age of 89.

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1:51pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Asia

Money Pours In To Help Chinese Artist Pay Tax Bill

Outspoken Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei (shown inside his compound on the outskirts of Beijing) was detained by the government for nearly three months. Now, the government says he owes $2.4 million in taxes and fines. Supporters are sending him money, raising nearly $1 million so far.
Frank Langfitt NPR

The Chinese government slapped artist Ai Weiwei — one of China's most famous dissidents — with a $2.4 million tax bill last week. The move was widely seen as punishment for Ai's relentless criticism of the Communist Party.

Since then, in an outpouring of support rarely seen for a government critic, thousands of people have loaned Ai nearly $1 million to help pay the fine.

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1:30pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Herman Cain

Cain Donors Stand By Their Man For Now

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 6:31 pm

Herman Cain speaks at a press conference Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., to rebut charges of sexual harassment.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

When talking to people who have given to a candidate's campaign, you'd expect to find true believers.

"I liked what I heard, and he seemed to be the kind of person that I would like to see be president of the United States," says Carl Ploeger, who has donated twice to embattled GOP hopeful Herman Cain.

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1:20pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Salt

Reading, Writing And Roasting: Schools Bring Cooking Back Into The Classroom

Students of the the Dawes School Edible Garden Project, a program of Slow Food Chicago.
Dawes School Edible Garden Project via Slow Foods USA

Lots of kids have tried lentils. But what about Ethiopian-style lentils, accompanied by injera bread, couscous and cucumber salad?

Fourth graders in Santa Fe, N.M. prepared this lunch feast themselves as part of a nutrition education program called Cooking with Kids. And nutrition experts say programs like this one are not just about expanding timid kids' palates.

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1:10pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Energy

'Power For The Planet': Company Bets Big On Fusion

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 6:17 pm

A section of the fusion machine being tested at General Fusion's facility outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. General Fusion is hoping to implement a long-shot strategy that could produce fusion energy in the next few years.
Brett Beadle for NPR

The world would be a very different place if we could bottle up a bit of the sun here on Earth and tap that abundant and clean energy supply. Governments have spent many billions of dollars to develop that energy source, fusion energy, but it's still a distant dream. Now a few upstart companies are trying to do it on the cheap. And the ideas are credible enough to attract serious private investment.

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1:00pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Record

How Spotify Works: Pay The Majors, Use P2P Technology

Ken Parks, head of Spotify's New York office: "With a streaming service like Spotify that gives you access to everything in the world instantaneously, those distinctions between ownership and access tend to disappear."

Diana Levine Courtesy of Spotify

If you've ever tried listening to music on a web site, you've probably had the experience of waiting ... and waiting ... for a song to start. The cloud music service Spotify thinks it's found a way around to get music to your computer faster; employing some of the same technology the music industry has been fighting against for years.

One of the first things you notice about Spotify is how quickly it starts playing the song you want to hear — even if it's not already stored on your computer. There's no wait for buffering or downloading. Spotify feels, in a word, instant.

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1:00pm

Wed November 9, 2011
NPR Story

Letters: Streetlight Removal; Bob Costas

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for your comments, which include a spirited defense of the national pastime. And first, this correction.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Yesterday, during an interview about a streetlight removal program in Rockford, Illinois, I accidentally said that Daylight Saving Time was now upon us and I was wrong. As John Tellek(ph) of Oakland, California, points out, he writes: We have just switched from Daylight Saving Time back to Standard Time. Tellek softens the blow, he adds: Kudos, though, for correctly leaving the S off the word saving.

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1:00pm

Wed November 9, 2011
NPR Story

Actions Toward Protesters Alienate Mayor's Base

The Occupy encampment outside Oakland city hall has become a political quagmire for Mayor Jean Quan. Elected just a year ago, she was at one point a source of hope and inspiration for the city's liberals. Now, after her mishandling of the Occupy campsite — she forcibly evicted the campers, and then let them come back — she's managed to alienate friends and open up an opportunity for her political rivals. The situation may cost her the mayor's office before her term is up.

12:56pm

Wed November 9, 2011
The Two-Way

IMF Chief: World Could 'Face A Lost Decade'

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 1:04 pm

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde delivers her speech at the International Finance Forum in Beijing.
Liu Jin AFP/Getty Images

Speaking as world markets began to react to the gloomy prospects of the Italian economy, the head of the International Monetary Fund added a little more darkness to the picture. Radio Free Europe reports on comments Christine Lagarde made at the International Finance Forum in Beijing:

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12:52pm

Wed November 9, 2011
Latin America

Mexican Deportees Strain Cities South Of The Border

A group of illegal immigrants from Central America deported from the United States eat at a shelter near the Mexico-U.S. border, in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, July 28, 2010. Last year, the U.S. deported a record number of immigrants — and the Mexican border towns where they are being released face serious problems coping with the influx.
Alfredo Estrella AFP/Getty Images

For many Mexican migrants who've just been deported from the United States, the border city Reynosa is where the American Dream dies.

Maria Nidelia Avila Basurto is a Catholic nun who heads a church-run shelter for deportees in Reynosa, in the northeast corner of Mexico, just across from McAllen, Texas.

"Many of them arrive with nothing," she says. "We have to give them everything — clothes, shoes, everything."

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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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