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1:19pm

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

To Ease Budget Crunch, Topeka, Kan. Repeals Domestic Violence Law

A budget battle between the city of Topeka, Kan. and Shawnee County has led to the repeal of the city's domestic violence law and freed about 30 people charged with abuse.

Here's how the Kansas City Star tells the story:

It started when Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced that a 10 percent budget cut would force him to end his office's prosecution of misdemeanor cases, almost half of which last year were domestic battery cases.

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12:50pm

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

National Book Awards Finalists Announced

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 12:59 pm

National Book Awards finalist medal.

NationalBook.org

Our colleagues at Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud hosted today's announcement of the 20 finalists for this year's National Book Awards.

They report that the nominees are:

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12:43pm

Wed October 12, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Decoded DNA Reveals Details Of Black Death Germ

Victims of the plague are consigned to a communal burial during the Plague of London in 1665.

Universal Images Group Getty Images

Scientists have used DNA lurking inside the teeth of medieval Black Death victims to figure out the entire genetic code of the deadly bacterium that swept across Europe more than 600 years ago, killing an estimated half of the population.

The researchers didn't find any genetic feature that could explain why the plague was so virulent, according to a report just published in the journal Nature.

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12:25pm

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

WikiLeaks: Japan Rebuffed Idea Of U.S. Apology For Hiroshima

A tiny portion of a secret cable released last month by WikiLeaks is just now making its way to the United States. In the Sept. 2009 cable, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos tells the Obama administration that Japan doesn't think it's a good idea for President Obama to visit Hiroshima or to apologize for using an atomic bomb on two Japanese cities during World War II.

The contents of the cable were reported back in September by The Japan Times and ABC News picked it up, today.

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11:50am

Wed October 12, 2011
Job 1: Careers That Shaped The GOP Candidates

Before Politics, Huntsman Aspired To Rock Star Fame

With shaggy hair and skinny jeans, Jon Huntsman (upper right) strikes a pose with his band Wizard.

Courtesy of Politico.com

Third in a series

GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman says he's the most qualified Republican in the White House race, thanks to his background as governor of Utah, a corporate executive, and as U.S. Ambassador to China. But if Huntsman had lived out his youthful ambition, he would have been none of those things.

"My initial passion in life was to be a rock-and-roll musician," Huntsman told graduates at the University of South Carolina in May.

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11:21am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Clinton's Condemns 'Dangerous Escalation,' Iran Slams 'Baseless Claims'

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 11:22 am

The alleged plot by two Iranians to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, which U.S. investigators say had the support of some "factions" within Iran's government, marks a "dangerous escalation" in that nation's support for terrorism, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said this morning.

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11:03am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Latest Ryanair Cost-Cutting Measure? Replace Lavatories With Seats

President of Irish budget carrier Ryanair Michael O'Leary poses prior to a press conference in Madrid in Sept. 2011.

Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

For a long time, the Irish economy airline Ryanair has been the leader in slashing costs. It's also been known as the airline that made the current nickle-and-dime model of charging for food and carry-on luggage popular.

At one point last year, Ryanair briefly considered charging passengers to use the toilet. Now, Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary has put another cost-saving plan on the table: Removing two of the three on-board lavatories to make room for more seats.

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10:57am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Harrisburg Lawmakers Spar As City Moves Toward Bankruptcy

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 12:06 pm

After a 4-3 vote by the Harrisburg, Pa., city council Tuesday night to file for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy protection, a council member delivered the necessary documents to court today.

But now, The Associated Press reports, Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson (D) is making the case that the council doesn't have the authority to seek bankruptcy.

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10:42am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Picture Show

A Picture Of Poaching: Baby Gorilla Rescued

Courtesy of Virunga National Park

The folks at Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, alerted news media this week about a baby gorilla rescued from the clutches of poachers. You can tell a lot about little Shamavu's recent ordeal from this photo. With less than 900 mountain gorillas remaining on Earth, according to Virunga National Park, one gorilla saved is an accomplishment.

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10:06am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Family Lost In Corn Maze Dials 911 For Help

The family got lost in this corn maze on Connors Farm in Danvers, Mass., but were eventually found close to the exit. The maze was shaped in the theme of the "Headless Horseman."

Courtesy of Connors Farm

Maybe they'd recently read or watched Children of the Corn:

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10:00am

Wed October 12, 2011
Remembrances

Gay Rights Leader Dies On National Coming Out Day

Frank Kameny sued the government in 1957 for firing him as a government astronomer because he was gay. His case is believed to be the first civil rights claim based on sexual orientation that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Kameny then became a vocal gay rights advocate. He died Tuesday at age 86. Michel Martin looks at his legacy.

9:55am

Wed October 12, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Financial Conflicts 'Pervasive' On Key Medical Panels

Financial conflicts abound on medical panels that set practice guidelines.

Ricardo Reitmeyer iStockphoto.com

Like it or not, there's a seeming inexorable movement in medicine toward guidelines to help the average doctor deliver care that's in line with the latest evidence.

Somebody has to come up with those guidelines. Somebodies, actually, and they usually are experts who sit on panels charged with the task of boiling down the evidence.

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9:54am

Wed October 12, 2011
Country

Breathing New Life Into Hank Williams' Lyrics

It's hard not to feel ambivalent about The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams. Yes, it does give us an opportunity to hear previously unreleased lyrics by one of the greatest songwriters country music has produced. But Williams didn't write the music that accompanies his words, and as sincere as these performers are, none of the words are framed the way Williams would have, had he completed the songwriting process.

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9:36am

Wed October 12, 2011
Around the Nation

Out And Proud After 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

1st Lt. Josh Seefried is the author and editor of a new anthology, Our Time: Breaking The Silence of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a collection of stories from other gay military members.

Courtesy of Josh Seefried

The "Don't ask, don't tell" policy was still in effect when Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried helped start secret Facebook groups to connect active-duty gay and lesbian soldiers with each other online. Lieutenant Seefried also wrote for many publications — under the pseudonym J.D. Smith — about what it was like to be gay and an active-duty member of the military.

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9:31am

Wed October 12, 2011
Science

How Crossword Puzzles Unlocked An Artist's Memory

Language drives Johnson's art since her illness, as depicted in her piece called "Enthusiastic," created in 2009.

Courtesy of Walters Art Museum

It's not often you see an image of a brain scan on the wall of an art exhibit. But among works by Monet and Sisley at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore hangs just that — a cross-section of a human brain. It belongs to artist Lonni Sue Johnson.

The room is really two exhibits — the art Johnson created before she contracted viral encephalitis in 2007, which destroyed her hippocampus and parts of her left temporal lobe — and her work after.

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9:03am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Rep. Issa Sends 'Fast And Furious' Subpoenas To Holder, Other Officials

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 12:53 pm

Saying "it's time we know the whole truth" about the so-called Fast and Furious gun trafficking operation, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today followed through on his promise to issue subpoenas to Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-ranking Justice Department officials.

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8:34am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Impact of War

Rebuilding Wounded Soldiers When They Return

David Wood is the senior military correspondent for The Huffington Post. He was previously a staff correspondent for Time Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and The Baltimore Sun.

courtesy of David Wood

Better medical care and equipment means fewer troops are dying on the battlefield. But more troops are coming home severely wounded, with injuries that require lifelong care and cost millions of dollars in medical costs.

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8:29am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Salt

Supply, Labor, Money Gets More Local Food Into Schools

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 8:48 am

The money is only part of the challenge facing school lunch programs who want to expand contracts with local farms.

iStockphoto.com

When it comes to meeting the goal of getting more local food into school lunch, a major challenge has always been finding the money. Thanks to the new school lunch law, more federal grants than ever are available.

But the problem is bigger than money. It takes a serious supply chain and dedicated labor to make it work, too.

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8:26am

Wed October 12, 2011
It's All Politics

Fact-Checking The GOP Debate: What Candidates Said About The Economy

PolitiFact

In an interview for Wednesday's Morning Edition, Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact.com and Washington bureau chief for the St. Petersburg Times, talked with NPR's Steve Inskeep about how candidates at Tuesday night's GOP debate rated on PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter.

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8:23am

Wed October 12, 2011
The Two-Way

'Underwear Bomber' Pleads Guilty

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is this hour pleading guilty to attempting to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet on Christmas Day 2009.

The Detroit Free Press, which is live-blogging the court action, reports that attorney Anthony Chambers surprised the courtroom earlier by announcing that "his client plans to plead guilty." And it adds that:

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