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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed October 23, 2013

An Exhaustive Survey From Columbus To Nemesis In 'Roth Unbound'

PBS

Roth Unbound, Claudia Roth Pierpont's aptly titled study of Philip Roth's evolution as a writer, unleashes a slew of memories — including my eye-opening first encounter with Portnoy's Complaint as a naive 14-year-old. It also stokes a strong desire to re-read his books, which I suspect will be the case for many.

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Fired White House Aide Admits He Was Twitter Troll

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • From the NPR Newscast: Giles Snyder reports

A top White House national security aide who was secretly going on Twitter to insult other Obama administration officials and politicians from both major parties, and to question the policies he had been helping develop, is apologizing.

Jofi Joseph is also out of a job.

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Business
3:55 am
Wed October 23, 2013

ATM Maker Diebold Agrees To Settlement In Bribery Case

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a rather large ATM fee.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: The Ohio-based ATM manufacturer Diebold has agreed to a $48 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department over bribery allegations. The company is accused of spending more than $3 million to bribe bank officials in China, Indonesia and Russia over a five-year period - a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
3:47 am
Wed October 23, 2013

After Four Decades, Cuomo Finally Watches 'The Godfather'

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:47 am

When the movie The Godfather came out in 1972, a young New York lawyer and future governor named Mario Cuomo didn't see it. He objected to stereotyping Italian-Americans as mobsters. But as first reported by The New York Times, Cuomo has finally ended his 41-year boycott and had a look.

U.S.
3:38 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Most Attractive Accent? The Southern Drawl, Y'All

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, y'all. I'm David Greene, with some poll results. The dating site Cupid.com has released a survey rating regional accents. Most attractive accent in North America: The Southern Drawl. And if you can't quite pull that off, your best bet is to get a coffee in New York. That accent came in second. New Jersey and Boston rounded up the top 5, along with the Western accent.

To me, the glaring omission: Yinz in downtown Pittsburgh.

You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sweetness And Light
3:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Frank Deford: 'Some Of Us Are More Valiant Than The Rest'

Hit The Numbers: Stats guys say that the clutch is a random crap shoot.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:16 am

As a child, your heart is broken when you learn that your grandfather really can't pull real quarters out of your ear. And if you're a baseball fan, that disillusionment happens once more to you in life when you first hear the numbers mavens tell you that there is no clutch hitter. None. No such thing.

Oh my, but if you have any romance in your soul, you do so want to believe that there are people in all walks of life whom we can count on to rise to the occasion. Don't you want that?

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NPR Story
3:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

What To Watch For In The World Series

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For the first time since 1999, the two teams with the best record in baseball will meet in the World Series. The Boston Red Sox host the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park tonight.

Enough said, let's bring in NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi.

GREENE: You're going to be at the game.

PESCA: Yes.

GREENE: So we have the two teams with the two best records. That has to tell us something about his World Series. Or maybe in this crazy world of sports it tells us nothing.

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Business
3:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Is The JPMorgan Settlement Unfair?

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:47 am

The details are still being worked out, but JPMorgan Chase and the Justice Department have agreed to a $13 billion settlement that will close out numerous lawsuits. About $3 billion will go to compensate investors who lost money on securities from banks that JPMorgan acquired during the financial crisis. Federal prosecutors have agreed not to seek punitive damages against JPMorgan for losses related to those deals.

World
3:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Cuba Announces Plans To Change Currency System

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Cuba, President Raul Castro is continuing his uphill effort to revive the economy and overhaul the socialist system he inherited from his brother, Fidel.

Nick Miroff reports from Havana, his latest move is to scrap a dual currency system that made little sense to locals or visitors.

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Technology
1:14 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Copy Machine! Happy Birthday, Copy Machine!

The first modern photocopy
Xerox

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 12:37 pm

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Shots - Health News
1:13 am
Wed October 23, 2013

States' Refusal To Expand Medicaid May Leave Millions Uninsured

Protesters fill the Miami office of state Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. on Sept. 20 to protest his stance against expansion of health coverage in Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:12 am

President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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StoryCorps
1:13 am
Wed October 23, 2013

A Father, A Daughter And Lessons Learned

Wil Smith with his daughter, Olivia, today.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:47 am

When we met Wil Smith last year, we learned that he and his daughter, Olivia, had been unlikely college roommates at Maine's Bowdoin College in the late '90s. At 27, not only was he older than the other students, but he was also a single dad raising an infant.

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Around the Nation
1:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It's City Vs. Creditors In Detroit Bankruptcy Trial

Detroit officially makes its case for bankruptcy before a federal judge on Wednesday. The city is currently saddled with $18 billion in long-term debt, and officials see bankruptcy as their only choice.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:46 am

In Detroit on Wednesday, a federal trial begins that will determine whether that city is eligible for the nation's largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Hundreds of the city's creditors are lining up to oppose the bankruptcy, arguing that Detroit is violating Michigan's Constitution and that if officials tried harder they could find enough savings to pay the city's bills.

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Shots - Health News
1:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico

A nurse treats a cholera patient at the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in August. Health officials say that the strain of cholera circulating in the country— the same one that first appeared in Haiti three years ago — has also caused outbreaks in Cuba and now Mexico.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:21 am

A South Asian strain of cholera that was introduced into Haiti three years ago this month has now spread to this continent's mainland.

Mexico is the fourth Western Hemisphere country to experience the cholera outbreak. It's a disease that's very hard to stamp out once it gets into an area with poor water and sanitation.

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Parallels
1:12 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Desperate Chinese Villagers Turn To Self-Immolation

Relatives of He Mengqing walk in front of his house, which the local government has slated for demolition. The rice farmer from Chenzhou in China's Hunan province rejected a government offer of compensation for his land; he set himself on fire when officials came for him.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 9:07 am

In order to turn China into an urban nation, local governments have demolished tens of millions of homes over the past decade. Homeowners have often fought back, blocking heavy machinery and battling officials.

In recent years, resistance has taken a disturbing turn: Since 2009, at least 53 people across China have lit themselves on fire to protest the destruction of their homes, according to human rights and news reports.

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Pew: Most Latinos Can't Name 'Most Important Hispanic Leader'

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was named by 5 percent of respondents as "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."
Win McNamee AFP/Getty Images

While most Latinos believe it's important for their community to have a national leader, most of them can't pinpoint whom they think that leader is.

That's the new finding from a survey released today by the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. Survey participants were asked an open-ended question to name the person they think is "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today."

Sixty-two percent responded they didn't know and 9 percent said no one.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Company To Offer $75,000 Balloon Rides To 'Near Space'

If you can't afford a trip into orbit as a space tourist aboard a cramped Russian Soyuz capsule (about $35 million) or a reservation on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipOne (price tag: $250,000), World View Enterprises just might have the ticket: a leisurely high-altitude balloon ride for a less-than-stratospheric $75,000.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

The Sounds Of New York City, Circa 1920

Times Square near 42nd Street in New York City, in the 1920s.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:59 pm

We can hear the music of the Roaring '20s anytime we want. But what if you could hear the day-to-day sounds of what it was like to live at that vibrant time?

That's the basis of Emily Thompson's project "The Roaring Twenties." She's a history professor at Princeton University who's been mapping the sounds of New York City in the late 1920s and early '30s.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Sony Explains Why Its PlayStation 4 Costs $1,845 In Brazil

Sony announced U.S. and European prices for its new PlayStation 4 at a news conference this summer. The game system will cost some $1,845 in Brazil, angering fans.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Sony's new PlayStation 4 won't be on store shelves until next month, but the gaming console has already raised eyebrows in Brazil, after reports that it would cost 3,999 Brazilian real — or about $1,845 at today's exchange rate.

The company says the steep cost isn't a case of price gouging, but instead a sign of Brazil's heavy taxes and fees on imported electronics.

The game system will be released in the United States on Nov. 15 and in countries including Brazil later that month. Large retailers in the U.S. will offer the PS4 at a base price of around $400.

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Parallels
3:25 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Paris' Traffic-Cutting Gamble Charms Pedestrians, Irks Drivers

Parisians and tourists sit at a cafe along the Seine River. The mayor of Paris recently closed down a major highway along the river to open it up for pedestrians.
Christophe Morin Landov

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:51 pm

In a daring gamble, the mayor of Paris recently shut off a major vehicle thoroughfare through the city, the highway along the Seine River.

The move is part of his plan to reduce traffic in the city. The new space delighted Parisians and tourists this summer, but many wonder if it'll be such a hot idea during the cold winter months.

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Law
3:15 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

How A County Clerk Ignited The Gay Marriage Debate In N.M.

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins talks with Thom Hinks and Richard Sunman (far right) after they obtained a marriage license at the Dona Ana County Clerk's Office in Las Cruces, N.M. In August, Ellins' office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:51 am

New Mexico law doesn't explicitly ban or approve same-sex marriage. There were a spate of lawsuits seeking to clarify the issue, but they were tied up in the courts. Then in August, the clerk of Dona Ana County, Lynn Ellins, a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage, consulted his staff.

"And we all agreed that it was about time to bring this thing to a head, and if we did nothing, the cases would languish in the district court if we did not move to issue these licenses and try and put the ball in play," Ellins says.

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Environment
3:14 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Despite Efforts, The Rio Grande Is One Dirty Border

Kayakers head out on the Rio Grande toward one of the international bridges that connect Laredo, Texas, and the town of Nuevo Laredo in Mexico. Raw sewage and animal carcasses float in the water.
Neena Satija Texas Tribune

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:13 pm

There's one easy way to find out how bad the water quality is in the Rio Grande: get into a kayak.

Paddle through chocolate brown water in Laredo and the overwhelming smell makes it hard to breathe. A dog's carcass floats by; there are many dead fish, too.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

IRS Delays Start Of Tax Season Because Of Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:59 pm

If you were one of those Americans who just can't wait to file your taxes because you're owed a handsome refund, the Internal Revenue Service has news for you: You're going to have to wait.

The IRS said today that the 16-day federal shutdown means it will delay the start of the 2014 filing season by one to two weeks. The shutdown delayed the updating and testing of some of the IRS' systems.

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All Songs Considered
2:57 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Our Favorite Discoveries From The 2013 CMJ Music Festival

Lucius was just one of the many bands worth discovering at this year's CMJ festival.
Becky Harlan NPR

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:14 am

Every fall, hundreds of bands flock to New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon, a large festival where independent, new and emerging musicians hope to be discovered. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen was among the countless journalists, bloggers, college radio DJs, record label reps and others who attempted to navigate the sea of live performances, hoping to find new music to love and share.

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Theater
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

For John Kander, A New 'Landing' At A Familiar Spot

David Hyde Pierce (center), Julia Murney and Frankie Seratch star in The Landing, a new musical from Broadway veteran John Kander, who co-wrote it with Greg Pierce. David Hyde Pierce previously starred in one of the latter collaborations between Kander and his late songwriting partner, Fred Ebb — the 2006 musical Curtains.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:40 pm

Broadway composer John Kander is a living legend: With his songwriting partner, the late Fred Ebb, he created the scores for the smash hit musicals Cabaret and Chicago, as well as the enduring anthem "New York, New York."

Now, at 86, Kander has a new writing partner — and a new musical, The Landing, opening off-Broadway Wednesday.

"Life Goes On"

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Media
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Netflix Rebounds From 2011 Stumbles By Listening To Audience

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We have a few more numbers for you now from a superstar tech company that stumbled painfully and publicly back in 2011 but appears to be on solid footing again. I'm talking about Netflix. Now, remember when the company changed its prices and divided its DVD rental and streaming services, and then quickly reversed course when customers howled?

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Economy
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Tepid September Jobs Report May Be Just What Markets Desire

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

After a 16-day delay, the employment report for September was finally released today. The most anticipated report of the month was knocked off schedule by the government shutdown. And as NPR's John Ydstie reports, when it arrived this morning, it didn't quite live up to expectations.

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Asia
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

China Fights Choking Smog With New Regulations

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:13 pm

China's central and local governments are releasing a slew of new regulations aimed at cutting severe air pollution and mitigating its deadly effect on citizens. The seriousness of the problem is obvious in China's northeast, where smog in one city this week cut visibility down to a few yards, and particulate matter soared to 60 times the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization.

Latin America
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Brazil's Black Bloc Activists: Criminals Or People Power?

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The massive protests that took place in Brazil over the summer may be over, but smaller near daily smaller demonstrations are ongoing and getting more violent.

From Sao Paulo, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on the shadowy anarchist group that's now playing a key role in the protest. It's called the Black Bloc.

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Around the Nation
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Funeral Contest Rewards Those Who Think Outside The Pine Box

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Melissa Block talks with Christine Pepper, CEO of the National Funeral Directors Association and judge for the Design for Death contest, about the competition and the winning entries.

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