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Economy
4:12 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The Fed's Surprising Decision: Should You Cheer Or Boo?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives to speak at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The Fed cut its economic growth forecasts and said it would keep buying bonds in a bid to keep interest rates down.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

If you are trying to buy a home, you just got good news: The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is not going to try to drive up long-term interest rates just yet.

Stock investors are happy for you. They like cheap mortgages too because a robust housing market creates jobs. To celebrate, they bought more shares, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 147.21 to an all-time high of 15,676.94.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

New Zealand Sails Within One Race Of The America's Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA in action during Race 11 of the America's Cup finals on Wednesday in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:59 pm

Emirates Team New Zealand is within a single race of snatching the America's Cup from defenders Oracle Team USA, as the two giant catamarans square off in the waters off San Francisco for a 12th time.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

On Budget Issues, Pentagon's Rhetoric Is Challenged

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:06 pm

The budget battles in Washington have inspired the need for some verbal gymnastics that have challenged even the most adept doublespeakers at the Pentagon. As one member of the House pointed out today, some Pentagonians have insisted that Congress cannot cut a single additional dollar from defense, without endangering the national defense strategy.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Blame Miley Cyrus: University Removes Wrecking Ball Sculpture

A college student copies Miley Cyrus.
Twitter

Eighteen years after it was placed there, a wrecking ball sculpture that has sat on the campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., has been removed and put into storage.

And you can blame Miley Cyrus.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Good Samaritan Could Get Unclaimed Lotto Jackpot In Spain

Women in Barcelona check their numbers for Spain's Christmas lottery, named "El Gordo" (Fat One), in 2012.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 4:10 am

A city in northwest Spain issued a rather unusual lost-and-found notice this week:

FOUND: A lottery ticket bought more than a year ago, which entitles the owner to an unclaimed $6.3 million jackpot.

LOST: The ticket's owner.

From its El Gordo ("The Fat One") Christmas lottery, to the summertime EuroMillions drawing, Spain is a country obsessed with playing the lottery — especially in a dismal economy.

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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Atheists Start PAC To Elect Nonreligious Candidates

Bishop McNeil, who isn't a cleric despite his name, speaks to reporters Wednesday at a news conference to introduce the Freethought Equality Fund PAC.
Frank James NPR

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:13 pm

Americans who count themselves among the "nones" — as in atheists, agnostics or those of no definite religious affiliation — have launched a new political action committee.

The goal? To support the election of like-minded lawmakers or, at a minimum, candidates committed to upholding the constitutional separation between church and state.

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Theater
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Daniel Craig Heads Back To Broadway With 'Betrayal'

Daniel Craig, at right, is probably best known as the current incarnation of James Bond. He's in rehearsal now for a Broadway production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, alongside Rafe Spall and Rachel Weisz — who plays his wife, and is that in real life, too.
Brigitte Lacombe

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

A revival of Harold Pinter's play Betrayal is in rehearsal now in New York. It's the story of an affair, and it unfolds backward in time, from the lovers sharing a post-romantic drink to the passion they first experienced seven years earlier. Along the way, much deception — betrayal, even — is revealed.

Daniel Craig, who stars as the jilted Robert, tells NPR's Robert Siegel that the show, first performed in 1978, still feels "surprisingly contemporary. ... When you have someone as good as Pinter, it remains timeless. And the themes are timeless. It's just good writing."

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Law
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Push To End Mandatory Minimums Makes Strange Bedfellows

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

On Capitol Hill today, a rare acknowledgement from lawmakers that they are partly to blame for the country's crowded prisons. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, opened a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this way.

SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY: We must reevaluate how many people we send to prison and for how long.

SIEGEL: Leahy wants to dial back the long prison sentences that Congress approved during the war on drugs and he's got some surprising allies.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Obama Looks To Businesses For Back Up In Budget, Debt Fights

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

That threat of a government shutdown or worse, default, is taking a toll on the country's businesses. Half of the CEOs surveyed by the Business Round Table say the gridlock in Washington is making them less likely to hire. Today, President Obama tried to enlist business leaders in a campaign to press Congress. Their message: Keep the government open and raise the debt ceiling. NPR's Scott Horsley has the story.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

House GOP Leaders Now Say Defund Obamacare Or Face Shut Down

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. We have said this before and in the next week and a half you're likely to hear it repeated. If Congress does not act, the government will shut down on October 1st. Today, House Speaker John Boehner unveiled a new strategy designed more to appease the hardliners in his own conference than to avoid a shutdown.

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Business
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The Man Who Made Toyota A Modern Success Dies At 100

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

A giant of the auto business died yesterday, a few days after he turned 100. Eiji Toyoda was president and later chairman of Toyota. The family name is T-O-Y-O-D-A. Toyoda played a key role in the company going worldwide, especially Toyota's move into the U.S. market. Micheline Maynard covers the automotive industry. She's a contributing editor for Forbes these days. Welcome to the program.

MICHELINE MAYNARD: Thanks for having me, Robert.

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Economy
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Fed Decides Not To Taper Bond Buying Yet, Surprises Analysts

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The stock market hit new highs today after the Federal Reserve made a surprise announcement. Investors and economists had expected the Fed to start winding down it's $85 billion a month stimulus program at its policymaking meeting today, but it didn't. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the Fed said it wanted to make sure a recent improvement in the economy and labor market continued before pulling back its stimulus.

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Turkey's Detente With Kurdish Militants On Verge Of Collapse

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The conflict in Syria is causing problems for its neighbors beyond the violence that's spilling over their borders. In Turkey, which has strongly backed Syrian rebels, one of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's most important political efforts is in danger of collapsing.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on dimming hopes for a peace process between Turkey and its Kurdish minority.

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Latin America
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

A Cable Car Ride Gives Insight Into Rio's 'Pacified' Favelas

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:46 pm

Brazil's favelas, or slums, are notoriously violent places, and in recent years, the Brazilian government has attempted to establish order through police-run "pacification" programs. A cable car ride above several favelas gives a clearer view of what's happened in the communities in recent years.

Latin America
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Brazil's New Middle Class: A Better Life, Not An Easy One

Roberto de Carvalho (left), who maintains a truck fleet in Recife, Brazil, is shown here with his daughter Sandra, 22, wife Enilda and daughter Susana, 16. The family makes just enough to belong the rapidly expanding ranks of the country's middle class, though they still can't afford a house or even a car.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Tens of millions of Brazilians have risen out of poverty over the past decade in one of the world's great economic success stories. The reasons are many: strong overall economic growth, fueled by exports. A rise in the minimum wage. A more educated workforce. And big government spending programs, including direct payments to extremely poor families.

But becoming middle class in Brazil means a better life, not an easy one. The new, lowest rung of the middle class is what in the U.S. would be called the working poor, with monthly incomes of between $500 and $2,000.

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Flood Damage Shuts Down An Entire Colo. Town

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

The rainstorms and flooding in Colorado over the past week have dealt an especially harsh blow to tiny Estes Park. Many of the roads were washed away, leaving the town that bills itself the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park essentially cut off from the rest of the state. Luke Runyon of member station KUNC reports the devastation leaves the town's tourist-dependent economy uncertain.

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Mental Health
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

After Attacks, Seattle Rethinks How To Treat Mentally Ill

Police officials stand next to a bullet-ridden Seattle Metro bus on Aug. 12. A man with a history of mental illness shot and wounded the driver, then died in a chaotic shootout with police.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

The Navy Yard massacre may renew concerns over the potential dangers of mentally ill people who don't get treatment. That issue is especially hot right now in Seattle, where the mayor has called untreated mental illness an "emergency."

Unstable In Seattle

Seattle's Pioneer Square is an uneasy mix of art galleries and skid road; it's gelato over here, and heroin over there. And then there's mental illness.

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Navy Yard Shooter's Mother Speaks Out As Inquiry Continues

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

Officials in Washington are answering hard questions today in the aftermath of Monday's mass shooting at a Naval office complex. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered a review of access and security procedures to U.S. military bases. Hagel also said there were red flags about gunman Aaron Alexis that people somehow missed

NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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Ecstatic Voices
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Sacred Strings Guide Gospel Through Thunder And Steel

The Sacred Steel tradition is an integral part of worship. From the House of God Keith Dominion Church, Aubrey Ghent (pictured) helped revive the style in 1990s.
Brad Gregory Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Some say the purpose of church is to deliver the word of God. If so, what's the role of music in the service?

"The music has always been a part of God's way of getting people's attention," says Bishop Calvin Worthem, pastor at the Church of the Living God in Toccopola, Miss. "Sometimes he speaks through the thunder, the lightning, and sometimes he speaks in the music."

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Latin America
2:54 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Brazil's Traffic Is A Circus, So Send In The Clowns

The Brazilian city of Olinda has a novel approach to taming its ever-growing traffic problem: traffic clowns known as palhacos.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

On a busy avenue in Olinda, in northeastern Brazil, two men in wigs, big red noses and full clown makeup are squeaking horns and making a good-natured ruckus.

"Where's your helmet?" shouts one as a motorcyclist whizzes by. "Fasten your seat belt!" calls out the other.

Uncle Honk and Fom Fom are traffic clowns, or palhacos, hired by the city to make the roads a bit safer. They lean into traffic, making exaggerated gestures, like the sweep of the arm to mimic fastening a seat belt, and a mimed reminder to never drink and drive.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Private Spacecraft Lifts Off With Space Station Supplies

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:53 pm

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft has successfully launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on its way to becoming the second private vehicle to resupply the International Space Station.

Space.com says:

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Shots - Health News
1:57 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Americans' Upside-Down View Of Medicare's Problems

Medicare is big. And as America gets grayer, the health insurance program for seniors and the disabled is going to get a lot bigger — and more expensive.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Iran Frees Political Prisoners

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh smiles at her house in Tehran on Wednesday, after being freed from prison.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:17 pm

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was among several political prisoners released by Tehran on Wednesday, just days ahead of a visit by Iran's newly elected moderate president to the United Nations in New York.

Sotoudeh, who had been held since 2010, was one of eight women and three men released, according to the BBC. Reformist politician Mohsen Aminzadeh was also among the prisoners freed.

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It's All Politics
12:43 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Newest Headache

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters following a Republican caucus at the Capitol Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 1:36 pm

As House Republican leaders acquiesce to their Tea Party faction and tie a government spending renewal to the defunding of Obamacare, don't look for much cheering from the Senate minority leader's office.

That's because what had largely been House Speaker John Boehner's problem now becomes Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell's problem — at least for the next steps of this drama.

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Author Interviews
12:33 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Bio Credits Manson's Terrible Rise To Right Place And Time

Charles Manson is escorted to his arraignment on conspiracy and murder charges in 1969.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:10 pm

Lots of listeners read all kinds of messages into The Beatles' White Album, but nothing compares to the album's impact on Charles Manson. He heard it as a message to him and his followers — known as "The Family" — that the world was on the verge of an apocalyptic race war in which blacks would rise up against their white oppressors and enslave them.

This battle would be set off by an event called Helter Skelter, after the eponymous Beatles song, and Manson planned to lead his followers into the desert, where they would hide until the chaos ended.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Fed Says It Will Continue Stimulus; Markets Reach New Highs

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:28 pm

The Federal Reserve said today that it is not slowing down its monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds.

The program is intended to stimulate a sluggish economy and the Fed was widely expected to announce that in light of a recovering economy, it was tapering the bond-buying program. Instead, it delivered a surprise that caused the markets to jump, as the Dow and the S&P closed at record highs.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Russia Says It Will Implicate Syria's Rebels In Chemical Attack

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will provide the U.N. Security Council evidence implicated Syrian rebels in a chemical attack.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:58 pm

Russia's top diplomat says his nation will give the U.N. Security Council evidence that implicates Syria's rebel forces in the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus, the BBC reports.

Word of what Syrian President Bashar Assad's strongest ally on the Security Council plans comes from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

VIDEO: You Will Smile At This Dancing Queen And Her Good Luck

Ellie Cole, in the "dancing queen" video that's made her famous.
YouTube.com

Building on our first feel-good story of the day — "$64,000 Raised So Far For Homeless Man Who Turned In $42,000" — here's another:

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Judge: Boy In Tennessee Can Keep Name 'Messiah'

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 1:34 pm

A judge has ruled that a Tennessee woman can name her 8-month-old son "Messiah" — a decision that overturns a ruling last month that drew international attention to the boy.

In a paternity hearing in August, Jaleesa Martin and Jawaan McCullough brought a dispute over their son's surname. Martin had given her son the name Messiah Deshawn Martin, but McCullough wanted the boy to have his last name.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Put A Camera On An Eagle And What Do You Get? Soaring VIDEO

The eagle's view.
YouTube/Srachi

If this is a trick, it's a spectacular one.

A video that purports to have been taken by a GoPro or similarly small camera strapped to an eagle soaring above Chamonix, France, is quickly going viral.

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