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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Costa Concordia Captain Blames Crash On Helmsman

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:46 pm

The captain of the Costa Concordia says the helmsman of the ill-fated cruise liner failed to properly execute a last-minute corrective maneuver that could have kept the massive vessel off a rocky shoal near the coast of Tuscany.

Capt. Francesco Schettino, who is charged with manslaughter in the deaths of 32 people aboard the ship, which ran aground on Jan. 13, 2012, is also accused of abandoning the liner's 4,200 passengers and crew on the night of the wreck.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Former FBI Agent To Plead Guilty In Leak Case

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:36 pm

A former FBI agent intends to plead guilty to leaking information about a foiled bomb threat to The Associated Press, the Justice Department said on Monday.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Online Review-Rigging Firms To Pay Fines In Yogurt Shop Sting

A sting operation involving a Brooklyn yogurt shop was part of an investigation by New York's attorney general that found companies had flooded ratings websites with fake consumer reviews.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:50 pm

The practice of writing fake online reviews has landed 19 companies in hot water in New York, where the attorney general announced penalties Monday over what he says are attempts to manipulate consumers.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman says the companies will pay more than $350,000 in fines after an investigation found that firms "had flooded the Internet with fake consumer reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google Local, and CitySearch," according to a press release from his office.

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The Salt
3:25 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Raising Tastier Sea Urchins For Foodies And The Environment

Sea urchins are considered a culinary delicacy, but supply can't keep up with demand.
Aizat Faiz Flickr

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 5:09 pm

Sea urchins are considered a culinary delicacy in many parts of the world, including Japan and the United States. The market for this "foie gras of the sea" is growing rapidly — so fast that supply can't keep up with demand.

But a scientist in Birmingham, Ala., says he's found a solution: He's built a sea urchin farm in his lab and has even developed a food for them to make them taste better. Now, he wants to take his tasty urchins out of his farm and into restaurants across the country.

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Around the Nation
2:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

A Young Afghan War Survivor Touches Two American Lives

Arefa with Jami Valentine (left) and Staci Freeman. Arefa, who first stayed with the sisters while receiving medical care last year, came back to the U.S. this summer for follow-up treatment.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:38 pm

When Staci Freeman and her sister Jami Valentine first took in a child ravaged by war in Afghanistan last year, Arefa was a 6-year-old in Hello Kitty shoes, who quickly turned the daily routine of changing her head bandages into a counting game.

When Arefa arrived in Los Angeles from central Afghanistan, three years after being injured, Freeman says, third-degree burns mapped her body, and her head was an open bleeding wound.

"When she came, she came crying and in pain and her head hurt," Freeman says.

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Shots - Health News
2:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders?

Knight (left) and Bucheli take soil samples from beneath one of the decomposing bodies.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:30 am

In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.

It's a strange scene at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility. At first, it's easy to miss the human bodies scattered among the tall pines, wild grass and weeds.

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NPR Story
2:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Don't Try To Clean That Messy Desk

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

When you fall in love with science, ordinary, everyday stuff can suddenly seem extraordinary. That's how NPR blog or an astrophysicist Adam Frank sees it. So look around your house: the mail, the kids' toys, the mess on your desk, the constant daily chaos. Adam Frank says it's all just the universe having its way with your life.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

IRS Official At Center Of Political Scandal Will Retire

Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, listens to opening statements during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee before refusing to testify on May 22.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:20 pm

Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who ran the division engulfed in a scandal over special scrutiny of Tea Party and patriot groups seeking tax exemption, will retire.

The IRS announced Monday that Lerner would step down after being placed on paid leave in May. She refused that month to answer questions at a congressional hearing, citing the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

$4.7 Billion Deal Would Take BlackBerry Private

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins officially unveils the Z10 smartphone in January.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 2:11 pm

A consortium of investors lead by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered BlackBerry a $4.7 billion buyout, pending "due diligence," the company said on Monday.

The deal would take the struggling telecommunications firm into the private market, paying investors about $9 per share in cash. In a press release, BlackBerry said:

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The Salt
12:37 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Woody Allen

The Woody Allen. There's a quarter in this photograph to give you a sense of scale, but it's so tiny you can't see it.
NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 3:36 pm

So many great sandwiches have been named after great directors: the reuben, named for the great Ingmar Reuben, and the cheese sandwich, named for James Cameron. The Carnegie Deli in New York created the "Woody Allen," and our own Eleven City Diner here in Chicago copied it "oh so close." It's a double-decker corned beef and pastrami on rye.

Ian: Boy, the pastrami at this place is really good. And in such large portions!

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Parallels
12:32 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Somalia's Al-Shabab: 4 Things To Know

Heavy smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday. The Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:36 pm

Al-Shabab, the Somali group that has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nairobi mall, began as a group fighting inside its homeland. But it has evolved into an al-Qaida affiliate that draws members from other countries and views Somalia as a front in the war against the West.

Here are some key things to know about the group:

Who Are Al-Shabab?

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

High-Level Meeting Set Between Kerry, Iranian Counterpart

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference earlier this month.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 9:26 am

Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet his Iranian counterpart this week for the highest-level face-to-face between Washington and Tehran in six years.

The meeting with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and representatives of five other world powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — would come as newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the United Nations in New York. The talks would center on Iran's nuclear program.

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The Fresh Air Interview
12:18 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

A More Reflective Leap On Elton John's 'Diving Board'

Elton John tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that The Diving Board is "a very adult album."
Joseph Guay Courtesy of the artist

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Movie Interviews
12:08 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

'12 Years' Star Alfre Woodard: 'You're Never Too Young For The Truth'

Alfre Woodard as Mistress Harriet Shaw and Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:40 pm

Alfre Woodard has been a familiar face on television over the course of her three-decade career. She was up for an Emmy Award on Sunday for her role in the Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias. She didn't win that one, but she still has on her mantle previous Emmys for programs like The Practice and L.A. Law. Woodard is also a powerful presence on the big screen, as evidenced by her Oscar nomination for the 1983 film Cross Creek and roles in acclaimed features like Primal Fear and Love & Basketball.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Detroit Has Many Strays, But 'We're Not Tripping Over Dogs'

A stray dog in Detroit last week.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:38 pm

While there's a serious dog problem in Detroit, the initial results of an effort to count the number of homeless canines in the city indicate there are far fewer than the 50,000 strays that some news accounts have talked about.

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Shots - Health News
11:41 am
Mon September 23, 2013

On Eve Of U.N. Goal-Setting, AIDS Agency Claims Big Progress

A doctor takes an HIV test from an athlete during the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos, Nigeria, last December.
Sunday Alamba AP

Despite a plateau in funding by international donors, the United Nations AIDS agency reports striking progress in curbing new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Apple Sells 9 Million New iPhones In Opening Weekend

Apple says it has sold 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c models since their launch on Friday. Here, staff members at an Apple retail store in Beijing cheer a customer after he bought a new iPhone.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:29 pm

Sales of its new iPhone 5s and 5c models have surpassed other iPhone releases and exceeded initial supply, Apple says. The company says it has sold 9 million of the phones since their launch on Friday and that "many online orders" will ship in coming weeks.

"This is our best iPhone launch yet — more than nine million new iPhones sold — a new record for first weekend sales," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a Monday press release. He added that "while we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly."

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Politics
10:49 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Is A Government Shutdown Good For Anyone?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later, we'll hear one side of the debate over tech in the classroom. We'll hear from the former chancellor of New York City schools about why he's become a big believer and investor in bringing tablet computers to the classroom. That's ahead.

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World
10:49 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Who Is al-Shabab?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Africa
10:49 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Escaping The Kenya Mall Attack

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the program today by trying to learn more about the attack this weekend on a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 60 people were killed when attackers fought their way into Westgate shopping mall, eventually holding hostages there. In a moment, we'll try to learn more about al-Shabab. That's the group claiming responsibility.

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Education
10:49 am
Mon September 23, 2013

School Technology: Pros Outweigh Cons?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now. By now, most students are settled into the new school year, so we wanted to talk about bringing technology into the nation's schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District - the nation's second-largest school system - has started ruling out a $1 billion effort that will put iPads in the hands of all of its students. Education leaders around the country are paying close attention to this experiment to see whether these devices engage students or just distract them.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Mon September 23, 2013

U.S. Team Sails Back From Brink In America's Cup

Defenders Oracle Team USA was out ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand in Race 12 of the America's Cup Finals on Thursday.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:38 pm

Less than a week ago, it looked like the America's Cup — yachting's oldest and most prestigious trophy — would sail back to New Zealand after a near blowout of the U.S. defenders, who are sponsored by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Typhoon Usagi Destroys Homes, Causes Dozens Of Deaths In China

A man runs from a huge wave pushed up by Typhoon Usagi on a wharf in China's Guangdong province Sunday. Usagi killed at least 25 people after crashing ashore in southern China.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 11:31 am

Typhoon Usagi, which stormed ashore north of Hong Kong on Sunday evening, has been blamed for at least 25 deaths in south China's Guangdong province. Some 8,490 houses reportedly collapsed in the typhoon's winds, officials say.

"A total of 5.48 million people were affected and 310,000 residents were displaced due to the storm," reports the Xinhua state news agency, adding that the storm has caused an estimated $1.16 billion in direct economic losses.

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Shots - Health News
9:34 am
Mon September 23, 2013

To Succeed At Breast-Feeding, Most New Moms Could Use Help

That's how it's supposed to work. But for most new moms, breast-feeding doesn't come easily, a study finds.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 6:58 am

The majority of new mothers try to breast-feed. But it's not easy.

Only 13 percent manage to breast-feed exclusively for the six months that are recommended for a baby's health. And, as you might expect, the moms who have trouble with breast-feeding in the first week with a new baby are the ones most likely to give up, a study finds.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Death Toll In Pakistan Church Attack Reaches 85

A woman is carried into the hospital after being injured when two suicide bombers attacked a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Sunday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:58 pm

At least 85 people are listed as dead in northwest Pakistan after what's been described as the largest-ever attack on the country's Christian minority.

A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up Sunday at the historic All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar, not far from the Afghan border.

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It's All Politics
9:09 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Monday News Clips: What We're Reading

J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:11 pm

We're kicking off a new morning routine in which we'll get the day started on NPR's It's All Politics" blog by sharing a handful of political stories that caught our interest or that we'll be watching.

Here are a few of them for Monday, Sept. 23:

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Boston Police Chief Is Stepping Down

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis talks with reporters during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers in April.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:45 pm

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who became a nationally known figure as he led his department's response to last April's bombings at the Boston Marathon, announced Monday that he's stepping down after seven years in the job.

"It's time for me to try other things," the 57-year-old Davis told reporters. Among the first opportunities he said he may take advantage of is a fellowship at Harvard.

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NPR Story
8:35 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Bangladesh Garment Workers Protest Over Pay, Factories Shutdown

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with protests in Bangladesh.

Thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh continue protesting today. Dozens have been injured in clashes with police. They're demanding higher wages, seeking about $100 - per month. The demonstrators have forced over 100 factories to closes; factories that supply retailer like Wal-Mart and Gap.

The Two-Way
8:33 am
Mon September 23, 2013

$3.9 Billion U.S. Defense Contract Includes Missiles For UAE

A photo provided by Lockheed Martin shows a test of its THAAD missile interceptor system. The Pentagon has awarded a contract worth more than $3.9 billion for the system.
Lockheed Martin

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:11 pm

The U.S. Defense Department has awarded a rich military contract to Lockheed Martin, agreeing to pay more than $3.9 billion for a missile-defense system. The deal calls for a maximum of 110 high-altitude interceptor missiles for the United States, and 192 versions of the missiles for export to the United Arab Emirates.

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET: Number Of Missiles Adjusted

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Code Switch
8:33 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Is It Racist To 'Call A Spade A Spade'?

So where did the phrase "call a spade a spade" come from?
andrewasmith/via Flickr

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:21 pm

What happens when a perfectly innocuous phrase takes on a more sinister meaning over time?

Case in point, the expression "to call a spade a spade." For almost half a millennium, the phrase has served as a demand to "tell it like it is." It is only in the past century that the phrase began to acquire a negative, racial overtone.

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