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9:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Mo Yan's 'Hallucinatory Realism' Wins Lit Nobel

Chinese writer Mo Yan is the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature. Mo Yan is a pen name that means "don't speak" — a name he adopted because his parents, who raised him during the Cultural Revolution, warned him to hold his tongue.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 9:42 am

Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday. The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the award, praised Mo's "hallucinatory realism," saying it "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." The award is a cause of pride for a government that disowned the only previous Chinese winner of the award, an exiled critic.

Peter Englund, the academy's permanent secretary, said the academy contacted Mo, 57, before the announcement. "He said he was overjoyed and scared," Englund said.

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Business
9:10 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Beep If You Understand Veep Buzzwords

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. The White House wants to extend a federal wind energy credit, but the Romney campaign wants to let it expire.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:07 am

When Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep Paul Ryan face off during their only debate, tens of millions of Americans will tune in to hear them defend their running mates' records.

And that audience Thursday night also will hear lots of budget-related buzzwords, with meanings that may not be entirely clear. Those words are shorthand for policies that could have huge impacts on taxpayers and the annual $1 trillion budget deficit.

Brushing up on terms of the debate can help voters better understand what's really being said on the stage at Centre College in Kentucky.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Malala, Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban, Airlifted To Military Hospital

Malala Yousafzai in March 2012.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

The news coming out of Pakistan today in the case of Malala is not good: The 15-year-old girl shot by the Taliban has been airlifted to the "country's top military hospital for specialist treatment," Pakistan's Dawn reports.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Forced Landing Of Syrian Plane, Opens Rift Between Turkey And Russia

People speak atop the aircraft steps of a Syrian passenger plane that was forced by Turkish jets to land at Esenboga airport in Ankara, Turkey, early Thursday.
Burhan Ozbilici AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:06 am

The rift between Syria and Turkey deepened, after Turkish warplanes forced a Moscow-to-Damascus bound passenger airplane to land on Wednesday.

Not only that but it also opened fresh conflict with Russia. The New York Times reports that today Moscow demanded answers for it called "air piracy" and Turkey said it had found illegal materials on board.

The Times reports:

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Thu October 11, 2012

U.S. Foreclosures Drop Dramatically, But The Picture Remains Very Mixed

An auction sign in front of a Salem, Ore., home on Feb. 23.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:38 am

RealtyTrac, an online industry group that follows the foreclosure market, says the number of foreclosed properties nationally dropped dramatically in September, down by seven percent from August. And the firm says since September 2011, foreclosures are down 16 percent — that's the lowest total since July 2007.

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop To Lowest Level In More Than Four Years

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:30 pm

There were 339,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, a decrease from last week's revised figure of 369,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Reuters reports it's the lowest number in more than four years. Reuters adds:

"The prior week's figure was revised up to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported.

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The Salt
6:51 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Why Foods Go Together Like 'Rama Lama Lama, Ke Ding A De Dinga Dong'

Taking a bite out of a salty pretzel can actually enhance the bitterness of your beer. That's one reason pretzels and beer work as a pair.
James Puccio iStockPhoto

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:49 am

OK, Grease lyrics aside, when it comes to gastronomy, certain foods just belong together: red wine and red meat, sushi and ginger, tea and biscuits, beer and pretzels. But, ever wonder why your favorite cabernet goes so well with a nice filet mignon? What makes two flavors jibe?

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

It's Vice Night: Biden, Ryan Set For Face-off In Only Vice Presidential Debate

Crews put finishing touches on the stage for the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:37 am

Tonight, Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan are set for a one-on-one, 90-minute debate in Danville, Ky. It's the one and only VP candidate debate of the campaign and after what has been conclusively deemed a bad performance by President Obama during the first presidential debate, all eyes are on Biden.

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The Record
6:03 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Taking Stock Of The MP3 At Mid-Life

The Hardware: The Rio, a portable MP3 player introduced by Diamond Multimedia in 1998, had 32MB of internal memory, just about enough to hold one 35-minute album of MP3s encoded at 128 kBps.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 5:31 am

Last week, Joel Rose wrote about the compact disc on its 30th anniversary, but it could have been an obituary. In the last decade, CD sales in the United States have dropped by more than two thirds, fulfilling a cycle that dates back to wax cylinders and 78 rpm discs: the 20 to 30 year lifespan of a format, followed by the rise of a new technology. So we decided to look at the format that usurped the CD's place in music listener's ears and hard drives, if not always hearts.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Chinese Author, Mo Yan, Awarded 2012 Nobel Prize In Literature

Mo Yan.
J. Kolfhaus, Gymn. Marientha

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:53 am

Mo Yan, the Chinese author, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature this morning.

Mo Yan, the Nobel committee wrote, uses his "hallucinatory realism" to merge "folk tales, history and the contemporary."

"Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition," the committee explained in its citation.

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Sports
5:11 am
Thu October 11, 2012

N.Y. Yankees Win With Help From Raul Ibanez

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Remembrances
5:05 am
Thu October 11, 2012

British Pirate Radio Broadcaster Dies At 91

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Starting a pirate radio station and declaring your own nation, it's the sort of thing people did in the '60s. In 1967, Roy Bates made himself prince of Sealand, an old British fort on a platform off the coast of England. Never mind it was the size of a McMansion. Prince Roy ruled Sealand for four decades. In that time he fought off others who claimed it, even confronting the Royal Navy. Roy Bates died this week at 91, not from boredom. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Mapping The Road 'From The Closet To The Altar'

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:20 pm

During a college visit to Colorado in September, Ruth Bader Ginsburg told students that she expects to rule this coming term on the Defense of Marriage Act. The 1996 law is already on its deathbed — since last year, the Justice Department has refused to argue in court for its constitutionality — but it remains on the books. That means the 130,000 or so married gay couples in America receive none of the federal benefits that straight married couples do.

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Election 2012
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Obama Is 'Committed' To A Second Term

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:17 am

Presidential polls are starting to shift to show the race between President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney tightening even further, and in some cases, Romney is ahead for the first time. Steve Inskeep talks to David Axelrod, Obama's senior campaign adviser, about the shifts in the race, and the president's strategy with less than a month to go before the election.

Election 2012
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Romney Tries To Move To The Center

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:14 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This week in Iowa, the Des Moines Register asked Mitt Romney about abortion. Romney replied: There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda.

Democrats immediately noted that during the Republican primary campaign Romney actually wrote an article headlined, "My Pro-Life Pledge" that promised specific legislation. Much of his political base is pro-life and his campaign quickly clarified that Romney remains proudly pro-life and would support pro-life legislation.

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NPR Story
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Biden, Ryan To Meet In Kentucky For Only V.P. Debate

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEPI, HOST: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Tonight, it is the vice presidential candidates who face the audience for their first and only debate. Joe Biden will be under pressure to shift the momentum back to the Democratic ticket. Republican challenger, Paul Ryan, will be trying to keep that momentum going in Mitt Romney's direction. ABC's Martha Raddatz will be moderating the debate, which will be held in Danville, Kentucky.

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Business
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Michigan Voters To Decide Renewable Energy Mandate

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There are business effects to some of the more than 170 statewide ballot measures to be decided in next month's elections. In California, voters will determine if labels should be required on genetically-modified food. People in Arkansas will vote whether to increase taxes for highways and bridges. And one measure in Michigan is capturing attention - whether the state constitution should be amended to change how utilities get their electricity.

Here's Rebecca Williams of Michigan Radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHIP HORN)

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Business
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

WAL-Mart's Off To A Good Start With Holiday Shopping

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:22 pm

Wal-Mart is thriving despite the shaky economy, protests from union supporters and allegations of bribery at its Mexican unit. The company's stock price hit an all-time high Wednesday, and holiday layaway sales are off to a sizzling start. It's also introducing a low-cost, pre-paid debit card.

Business
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:59 am

Lenovo shipped 13.8 million units in the third quarter, according to the research firm Gartner. That robs a struggling Hewlett-Packard from a title they'd long enjoyed: the world's No. 1 PC vendor. The firm's data also suggests a worldwide dip in PC sales of about 8 percent over the past year.

Business
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:54 am

In a Census Bureau report released Wednesday, it tallied up the median earnings for different bachelor degree holders. Engineers make an average of $92,000 a year. Some other majors at the low-end of the list: education, fine and visual arts and communications. Those all earn an average of $50,000 to $60,000.

Health
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak Linked To Compounding Pharmacies

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've been watching a deadly medical scandal unfold over the past week. A steroid commonly injected into people's spines to relieve back pain was apparently contaminated by an ordinary fungus.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As a result so far, 137 people in 10 states have contracted a rare brain infection of fungal meningitis. Twelve people have died. The tainted drug apparently came from a pharmacy in Massachusetts that shipped nearly 18,000 doses to 23 states.

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Books
2:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Nobel Prize For Literature Announced Thursday

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:22 am

Mo Yan was one of three writers favored to win. He is perhaps best known in the West as the author of Red Sorghum, which was made into a film. He is only the second Chinese writer to win the Nobel — the other is poet Gao Xingjian, who won in 2000.

Afghanistan
1:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Afghan Dreams: In New Film, Nation's Untold Stories

American director Sam French on the set of his short film, Buzkashi Boys, which was filmed in Afghanistan.
David Gill Courtesy of Afghan Film Project

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 11:59 am

When you hear the term "film premiere," you are likely to think of Hollywood or New York — not Kabul. But just last week, an award-winning short film was screened in the Afghan capital, and for a good reason: The movie was shot entirely in Kabul and tells the story of two Afghan boys dreaming about their future.

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Science
1:28 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Software Calculates City-Specific Carbon Footprint

Bedrich Benes and Michel Abdul-Massih

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:58 pm

One way to measure greenhouse gases is simply to capture them at the source: You put an instrument on a smokestack, for example. Cities, however, are full of cars, buses, factories and homes that all use fuel or electricity. No one really knows how much carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, comes from each.

Ecologist Kevin Gurney says he can find out.

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Media
1:27 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Advice For Moderators: Keep Order, Out Of Spotlight

Moderator Jim Lehrer gestures before the presidential debate at the University of Denver last week. Moderators must finagle answers out of sometimes-dodgy politicians and keep control, all without seeming to get in the way.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:58 am

PBS' Jim Lehrer came in for widespread criticism last week for failing to control the first presidential debate. Now, moderator Martha Raddatz is confronting partisan criticism in the lead-up to Thursday night's vice presidential debate, the first and only direct confrontation between Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden.

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It's All Politics
1:26 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Presidential Candidates Set Their Sights On Colorado's Latinos

Betty Aragon (center), an Obama supporter, says she thinks Latinos support Democrats because of the party's position on immigration issues.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:47 am

For our series First and Main, Morning Edition is traveling to contested counties in swing states to find out what is shaping voters' decisions this election season. The latest trip took us to Larimer County, Colo.

The presidential race has become much tighter in recent days, and in Colorado, a recent poll puts Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the lead.

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Europe
1:26 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Vatican II: A Half-Century Later, A Mixed Legacy

Thousands of faithful Catholics carry torches in a procession in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on Oct. 11, 1962, the opening day of the historic Second Vatican Council. Over a three-year period, more than 2,000 bishops from around the world issued 16 landmark documents, which championed a more inclusive, less hierarchical and open church.
Girolamo Di Majo AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:23 am

At Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week, the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what's known as Vatican II.

Pope John XXIII called for the institution's renewal and more interaction with the modern world.

As a result of Vatican II, the Catholic Church opened its windows onto the modern world, updated the liturgy, gave a larger role to laypeople, introduced the concept of religious freedom and started a dialogue with other religions.

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Author Interviews
1:25 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Emma Thompson Revives Anarchist 'Peter Rabbit'

In Emma Thompson's new book, Peter Rabbit decides he needs a change of scene to cure his mopey mood.
Eleanor Taylor Penguin Young Readers Group

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 9:57 am

Emma Thompson isn't just an Oscar-winning actress; she's also an Oscar-winning writer. Thompson authored the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and now she's taken on another period project — reviving the classic children's book character Peter Rabbit.

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Fiscal Cliff Notes
1:24 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Could Hit Civilian Pentagon Workers First

A Marine Corp F-35B Joint Strike Fighter lands at Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland in 2011. Analysts say that if mandatory Pentagon budget cuts are imposed next year, fewer new planes could ultimately be ordered.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:23 pm

Unless Congress acts, the Defense Department faces some $55 billion in cuts after the first of the year. The cuts are part of what's known as sequestration — automatic across the board spending cuts to both defense and nondefense government spending set in motion by last year's debt-ceiling fight.

Salaries for uniformed personnel are the one major thing that's protected. Otherwise, it's about a 10 percent cut to everything from Pentagon civilian staff to the acquisition of multimillion-dollar aircraft, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

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