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7:55 am
Tue September 17, 2013

In 'Sprinkler,' A Wacky Poet Returns With New Obsessions

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:06 am

Nicholson Baker has become a sort of poet of the particular and the peculiar. His books are filled with people who focus minutely on what captivates them – in other words, obsessives. A positive way of looking at obsession is as passion taken to an extreme. The danger, of course, is that the object of one person's intense fascination — such as the broken shoelaces in his unforgettable first novel, The Mezzanine, or the disquisitions on Debussy, dance music, and drones in his latest, Traveling Sprinkler — may spell another's total snore.

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NPR Story
7:38 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Is It Possible To Remove Chemical Weapons In Syria Under Current Conditions?

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk next with the United Nations official who oversaw the U.N.'s report on the use of poison gas in Syria. This report does not specify who used those chemical weapons, but the United States and others say evidence in that report backs their claim that the Assad regime was behind the attack.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Company Promises To Pay For Hawaii's Massive Molasses Spill

One of the fish thought to have died because of the molasses spill off Honolulu.
Hugh Gentry Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:33 am

Matson Inc., the shipping company that spilled 233,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor earlier this month, has pledged to pay all the costs stemming from the disaster that has devastated marine life there.

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Book Reviews
7:24 am
Tue September 17, 2013

A Predictably Pynchonian Take On The Internet And Sept. 11

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 5:07 pm

I approached this review with a little bit of dread. How do you write about the iconic novelist Thomas Pynchon, whose books are strange and difficult things, and whose die-hard readers gather online to wax poetic, and use words like Pynchonian, Pynchonalia and Pynchonesque? They are just so into him, and often so articulate about their love. If you read the thoughtful and detailed writing by Pynchon devotees, they make a very persuasive case.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Tue September 17, 2013

No Inflation In Sight As Federal Reserve Policymakers Meet

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:31 am

Consumer prices rose a scant 0.1 percent in August from July and were up a modest 1.5 percent since August 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday morning.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Tue September 17, 2013

The High Costs Of Colorado's High Water, By The Numbers

A man walks across the washed-out Wagonwheel Gap Road in Boulder, Colo., on Monday.
Mark Leffingwell Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 1:04 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': KUNC's Grace Hood reports on the flooding in Colorado
  • On 'Morning Edition': Mark Benjamin of Bellview, Colo., talks about life beyond washed-out roads

The flooding that has roared through communities and canyons across Colorado's Front Range in recent days is now being blamed for:

-- as many as eight deaths

-- damaging or destroying 19,000 homes

-- causing up to $500 million worth of damage to roads and highways.

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Navy Yard Shootings: No Second Gunman; Victims' IDs Emerge

At the White House and around the nation, flags are flying at half-staff since Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.
Olivier Douliery UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 2:18 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Brian Naylor on the Navy Yard shootings
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Hansi Lo Wang on the victims

Our coverage continues of Monday's shootings at the Washington Navy Yard. Twelve victims and the man who authorities say gunned them down are dead.

Some of the latest developments:

-- Investigators now do not think there was a second shooter, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said late Monday evening. Throughout Monday, authorities had run down witness reports and other evidence indicating there might have been additional gunmen.

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The Two-Way
5:07 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Book News: Fight Over Philosopher Ends With Gunfire In Russia

An artist's rendering of German philosopher Immanuel Kant.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:47 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

In 'Reaped,' 5 Lives That Are Far More Than Just Statistics

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On July 18, 1863, the Union Army's famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry — a black military unit — made a desperate assault on Confederate forces at Fort Wagner near Charleston, S.C. In the end, they were unsuccessful and lost almost half of their forces. Escaped slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman bore elegiac eyewitness to the terrible day: "We saw the lightning and that was the guns," she said later.

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Around the Nation
5:01 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Hawaiian Woman Complains Her Long Name Was Cut Off On IDs

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with an update on a Hawaiian woman with a very long name - Janice Lokelani Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele. She goes by Loke, but Honolulu's KHOM2 reported on her complaint that her name was cut off on ID cards, which led to issues with travel and cops.

Now, Hawaii will expand its limit on the length of names on IDs so Loke won't need to use her maiden name - Worth.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:51 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Employee Gives School Principal Pot As A Gift

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

The head of a Rhode Island school was named Providence Principal of the Year, but that was only the start of the accolades. Police say an employee, Christopher Michael Sheehan, gave his boss a present to celebrate - a half ounce of marijuana. Mr. Sheehan was arrested. Just to be clear, since it can apparently be easy to forget, Rhode Island is not one of the states that has legalized pot, and especially not in a school zone.

Business
4:45 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Hello Kitty Pitches Beer

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Next, we go to a wildly successful Japanese export that specializes in cute. I'm talking about the white cat with a red bow and a button nose, whose image adorns everything from school supplies to rifles to RVs.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yes, our last word in business today is: Hello Kitty - in a can.

The Japanese company Sanrio has licensed the pudgy face cartoon cat to a Taiwanese beverage maker which is selling fruit-flavored beer in China and Taiwan.

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Parallels
4:44 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Why The U.S. Needs Bashar Assad To Stay For Now

President Obama is no longer calling for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad, as the U.S. presses him to dismantle his stockpile of chemical weapons. Assad is shown here on Sept. 8.
AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:57 am

Throughout the Syrian war, President Obama has insisted that President Bashar Assad must go. But now, the U.S. may want, or even need, Assad to remain in power for a while longer so he can oversee the dismantling of his chemical weapons stockpile.

"For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside," Obama said back on Aug. 18, 2011, in his first explicit call for Assad's ouster, something the U.S. president went on to repeat on multiple occasions.

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Around the Nation
4:41 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Victims Of Navy Yard Shooting Are Being Identified

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the shooter is known to have been, as we've just reported, a former Navy reservist. But DC's police chief did say yesterday that no active duty servicemembers were killed, no one in uniform. The dead included contractors and civilians, apparently. And to learn more now about those victims of yesterday's shooting, we turn to NPR's Hansi Lo Wang.

And what are you hearing from the people for whom this is a personal tragedy - that is, those who knew one or more of these victims?

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Around the Nation
3:46 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Navy Yard Shooting Deadliest Rampage Since Fort Hood

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Let's walk through yesterday's events at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. Investigators often begin their reconstruction of a mass shooting with a timeline.

INSKEEP: That timeline may change as they learn more. So what follows is the best information we have available now.

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Around the Nation
3:43 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Probing Ties Between Mexican Cartel And Chicago's Violence

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Five hundred and six people were murdered in Chicago last year. It was the kind of news that got John Lippert thinking.

JOHN LIPPERT: I live in Chicago and a lot of what we get is overnight stories saying, you know, three people shot, six people shot, day after day. And I just felt like, okay, well, what does it mean? Where are we going with this?

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Analysis
3:39 am
Tue September 17, 2013

U.N. Report Doesn't Assign Blame To Syrian Chemical Attack

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. A report by United Nations' chemical weapons inspectors does not blame Syria's government for last month's chemical weapons attack. The inspectors were not authorized to do that. But they did provide substantial evidence, the most detailed look available, of an August 21 attack that led the United States to threaten military action.

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Politics
3:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Financial Crisis Recovery Has Been Bumpy For Some

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama says the nation does not want to watch another game of chicken in Washington, D.C. this fall, and he's warning congressional Republicans not to force his hand. Congress must, once again, raise the debt ceiling, or the federal government won't be able to pay all of its bills. Mr. Obama told GOP lawmakers yesterday they should lift that limit on borrowing, without trying to extract concessions from him.

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Business
3:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Fed Meeting Could Lead To Stimulus Reduction

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we are following other stories this week, including possible action by the Federal Reserve. Many analysts expect the Fed to announce the first reduction in its massive intervention in the economy, $85 billion per month, a decision that may come at the end of a two-day meeting. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

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Around the Nation
3:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Rain Stops In Colorado But Devastation Remains

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The heavy rain has finally stopped in Colorado, but days of flooding have devastated the most populated region of the state, known as the Front Range. As of this morning, we know that eight people have died, though hundreds have not been heard from, some in very remote areas. Officials estimate 1,500 homes have been destroyed, and thousands more damaged. Grace Hood from member station KUMC reports federal aid is making its way into the state, even as crews assess the damage.

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Around the Nation
3:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Navy Yard Shooter, Aaron Alexis, Killed In Battle With Police

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Police say the gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, died after a gun battle inside a building at the Navy Yard on Monday. He was a veteran with a history of gun-related incidents. His last known address was in Fort Worth, Texas.

Around the Nation
3:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Shooting At D.C.'s Navy Yard Leaves 12 Workers Dead

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

A shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. killed 13 people including the shooter. By late Monday, authorities said they were convinced the shooting was the work of a lone gunman, and the lockdown around the area was eased.

The Salt
1:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Kitchen Time Machine: A Culinary Romp Through Soviet History

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

The French novelist Marcel Proust immortalized the connection between food and memory when the narrator of his novel Remembrances of Things Past bit into a madeleine and was transported to thoughts of his childhood.

But what if that madeleine were poisoned, so to speak?

That is the question underlying Russian American writer Anya von Bremzen's new memoir, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. Though it contains recipes, this is not a cookbook but rather, a history of a family and of Soviet Russia.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

For-Profit Online Insurance Brokers Gear Up To Sell Obamacare

Workers at the eHealth call center outside Sacramento, Calif., get ready to sell health insurance through the marketplaces created under the federal health care law. Sales start Oct. 1.
eHealth Inc.

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:34 am

When the Affordable Care Act was working its way through Congress, Gary Lauer was nervous. Part of the bill sounded grim. It said people could buy required health coverage online, but only through websites run by state and federal governments.

"That was going to pretty much delete us from the landscape," he says.

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Parallels
1:02 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Japan's Rice Farmers See Trade Deal As Threat To Tradition

Rice farmers pull a harvest festival cart down country lanes in Narita city, Chiba prefecture. The area is home to Tokyo's main airport, but also has many agricultural areas.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

The Japanese city of Narita is best known to the outside world for its major airport that serves Tokyo, the nation's capital city.

Narita is also a rural area of Chiba Prefecture, however, with a long tradition of rice farming.

Toward the end of the summer, Narita's rice farmers gather to pray for bountiful harvests. They dance, play music and ride elaborate festival carts. From afar, the wagons appear to glide through a sea of lush green paddy fields as villagers pull them down Narita's placid country lanes.

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The Salt
1:01 am
Tue September 17, 2013

American Farmers Say They Feed The World, But Do They?

A cornfield is shrouded in mist at sunrise in rural Springfield, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 4:30 pm

When critics of industrial agriculture complain that today's food production is too big and too dependent on pesticides, that it damages the environment and delivers mediocre food, there's a line that farmers offer in response: We're feeding the world.

It's high-tech agriculture's claim to the moral high ground. Farmers say they farm the way they do to produce food as efficiently as possible to feed the world.

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The Two-Way
12:13 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Mission Success: Costa Concordia Is Vertical

The Costa Concordia is seen after it was lifted upright on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, early Tuesday morning. Officials declared the results of the 19-hour operation "perfect."
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 10:24 am

In an operation that took 19 hours, the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia is now in an upright position.

The head of Italy's Civil Protection agency, Franco Gabrielli, announced the ship had reached vertical and that the operation to rotate it was complete, according to The Associated Press.

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Animals
5:52 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Earwax From Whales Keeps Record Of Ocean Contaminants

A blue whale (and human diver) swimming off the coast of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, in April 2011.
Amos Nachoun Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:07 am

How often do whales clean their ears? Well, never. And so, year after year, their earwax builds up, layer upon layer. According to a study published Monday, these columns of earwax contain a record of chemical pollution in the oceans.

The study used the earwax extracted from the carcass of a blue whale that washed ashore on a California beach back in 2007. Scientists at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History collected the wax from inside the skull of the dead whale and preserved it. The column of wax was almost a foot long.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

JPMorgan To Get Whale Of A Fine For Trading Losses

JPMorgan Chase will reportedly pay a $700 million fine to settle allegations that it made risky trades out of its London office that led to more than $6 billion in losses.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Authorities are set to slap banking giant JPMorgan Chase with a massive fine over the bank's huge trading losses in London last year, confirms NPR's Jim Zarroli.

Though details of the deal are still pending, several reports put the amount at more than $700 million. It comes on the heels of the bank's having recently paid $410 million to settle charges that it manipulated energy markets.

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