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It's All Politics
11:45 am
Thu September 5, 2013

The Senator Who Dodged The Syria Vote

President Obama and now-Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., wave during a campaign rally for Markey in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood on June 12.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:09 pm

It's hard to imagine a rookie senator who's better equipped to confront a complicated issue like Syria than Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey.

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All Songs Considered
11:45 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Dancing Vegetables, Singing Ground Beef: TMBG's Old-School Video

Courtesy of the artist

They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh and John Linnell have just delivered an old-school video — think "early days of MTV" — and it's a pleasure to see. Over the course of 16 albums, the two Johns (first as a duo and later as bandleaders) have always kept humor at the core of their sound and general attitude. They continue the tradition with "You're On Fire," the first single from their 25-song, 45-minute album Nanobots.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Iran's President Wished Jews 'A Blessed Rosh Hashanah.' Or Did He?

Did Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweet a greeting to the world's Jews on Rosh Hashana?
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:12 am

It sounded a bit far-fetched, and perhaps it was.

Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and threatened to wipe Israel off the map. But his successor, President Hassan Rouhani, considered a relative moderate by contrast, has taken a somewhat softer tone. So, when Rouhani allegedly tweeted the following, it quickly became news:

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Shots - Health News
11:05 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Kids' Use Of Electronic Cigarettes Doubles

Clouds of nicotine-laced vapor are getting more popular with teens.
Mauro Grigollo iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 6:24 am

The percentage of middle and high school students who have tried electronic cigarettes more than doubled in a year, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The percentage of students in grades 6 through 12 who had ever used e-cigarettes increased from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Those who reported currently using the devices increased from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Thu September 5, 2013

IRS To Count Automatic Gratuities As Wages, Not Tips

A waiter serves patrons at Tony's Restaurant, part of the Casablanca Hotel in New York's Times Square. The custom at some restaurants of automatic gratuities for larger parties might change because of an IRS rule change.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 12:51 pm

Gratuity included? A new IRS rule could end, or at least curtail, the practice.

The Internal Revenue Service will soon begin classifying automatic gratuities as service charges that are taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll tax withholding. Currently, they're considered tips, and it's up to the wait staff to report them as income.

The Wall Street Journal says:

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Planet Money
10:04 am
Thu September 5, 2013

The World Capital Of Counterfeit Dollars

A policeman shows printed sheets of counterfeit bills seized by Peruvian police.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

This just in from the AP:

With its meticulous criminal craftsmen, cheap labor and, by some accounts, less effective law enforcement, Peru has in the past two years overtaken Colombia as the No. 1 source of counterfeit U.S. dollars, says the U.S. Secret Service, protector of the world's most widely traded currency. ...

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Movies
9:56 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Autism: Film Shows Education Challenges For Young Adults And Families

Best Kept Secret is a film that follows a group of young adults with autism during their last year of high school. Host Michel Martin speaks with filmmaker Samantha Buck and Janet Mino, a special education teacher.

Education
9:56 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Ranking Schools Based On What Matters

President Obama recently proposed a new college ranking system, based on more than test scores. The Washington Monthly has been doing that for years. Host Michel Martin finds out more.

Politics
9:56 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Progressive Democrats Doubt Syria Strategy

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Tuberculosis Hitched A Ride When Early Humans Left Africa

Signs of tuberculosis have been found in ancient Egyptian mummies, such as this one in London's British Museum.
Klafubra Wikimedia.org

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:55 am

Dogs often get credit for being humans' constant companions. But dogs have nothing on tuberculosis bacteria.

TB and people have been trapped in a relationship that's been going on for thousands of years — perhaps even tens of thousands of years, scientists said earlier this week.

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Parallels
9:49 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Dancing With The Dictators: Kanye West Joins The Club

Kanye West reportedly performed at a wedding last Saturday for the grandson of Kazakhstan's authoritarian President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 11:04 am

Rapper Kanye West got paid a reported $3 million to perform at the wedding of the grandson of Kazakhstan's autocratic President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Video of last Saturday's performance was posted on Instagram — and resulted in a flood of criticism.

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The Salt
9:43 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Fad Diets Will Seem Even Crazier After You See This

The 7-Day Color Diet: An attempt to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables, this diet requires followers to eat foods of just a single color each day. It ends with a day in which you "eat the rainbow," so to speak. Here's Gonot's cheeky take on orange day.
Stephanie Gonot Courtesy of the photographer

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:52 am

On one level, it's easy to understand the allure of a fad diet: Eat this, not that and you'll lose weight, guaranteed. Who doesn't want an easy way to shed unwanted pounds?

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All Tech Considered
9:41 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Our Cultural Addiction To Phones, In One Disconcerting Video

YouTube

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:54 pm

The cultural shift is complete. We're all just alone with our smartphones, even when we're surrounded by other humans.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Yah-New! Did Yahoo Hit The Mark With Its Logo Change?

Yahoo's new logo.
Yahoo.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 10:04 am

Compare Yahoo's new logo, introduced Thursday, to what was there before.

According to CEO Marissa Mayer, "we knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo — whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud."

On her Tumblr page, Mayer goes on at length about how:

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Fog Blamed For 100-Plus Vehicle Pileup In U.K.

Recovery workers vehicles back the front of the Sheppey crossing bridge after 100 or more vehicles were involved in a major road traffic incident in Sheppey, Kent, southeast England on Thursday.
Justin Tallis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 9:47 am

As many as 130 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup on a fog-covered bridge in Kent, England, that resulted in dozens of injuries along a major traffic artery.

Eight motorists suffered serious injuries in the morning rush-hour accident that closed down the A249 Sheppey Crossing, which is southeast of London.

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Theater
8:58 am
Thu September 5, 2013

In Small Spaces, Theater-Makers Are Telling Big Stories

Talk Of The Town: Mia Vallet and Joe Tippett star in Ashville, the newest of the five-show Hill Town Plays cycle from playwright Lucy Thurber. Currently being staged by a consortium of New York theater companies, it's just one of several large-scale stage projects on schedules this fall.
Sandra Coudert

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 2:44 pm

Monologist Mike Daisey has a new story to tell, and if you want to hear it, then you'd better settle in. It's going to take a month to get through it.

In one sense, All the Faces of the Moon, starting Sept. 5 at the Public Theater in New York, is a collection of 29 different monologues, which Daisey will perform consecutively and for one night only. Each piece has its own narrative, so even if they see just one installment, audiences can have a complete experience.

Pull back, though, and the project becomes a single massive opus — one that runs about 44 hours.

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Parallels
8:40 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Lions, Leaders And Lingerie: 5 Great Reads From Syria

A Syrian book vendor waits for customers at his street stall in the old city of Damascus, Syria, on Sept. 24, 2011.
Muzaffar Salman AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:41 am

What does President Bashar Assad think of himself? How did his father, Hafez Assad, rise from a dirt yard to rule the country? What happens to those who speak out against the regime? Who wrote the Syrian 1984? Does Syria make the best lingerie in the Middle East? Find the answers to these questions in our roundup of five great books about Syria, recommended by experts at Harvard University, Brown University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Shots - Health News
8:28 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Parents' Harsh Words Might Make Teen Behaviors Worse

Sure you're steamed. But teenagers tend to meet harsh words with even worse behavior, a study says.
Katherine Streeter

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:56 am

Most parents yell at their kids at some point. It often feels like the last option for getting children to pay attention and shape up.

But harsh verbal discipline may backfire. Teenagers act worse if they're yelled at, a study finds.

Researchers asked parents of 13-year-olds in the Philadelphia area how often in the past year they'd yelled, cursed or called the kid "dumb or lazy or some other word like that" after he or she had done something wrong.

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Ask Me Another
8:25 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Peter Sagal: The Oddly Informative Quiz Show Host

Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg chats with Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal onstage at The Bell House in Brooklyn, N.Y., about how to host the perfect public radio game show.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 3:59 pm

  • Bonus 1: Peter Sagal reveals his inner (and outer) nerd
  • Bonus 2: Peter Sagal on rebellion, motorcycles and parenting

When NPR listeners want to test their knowledge of current events — and laugh in the process — they tune in to Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!, NPR's news quiz. In every episode, host Peter Sagal quizzes panelists and contestants on a smattering some of the week's most oddball events, from the eccentricities of world leaders to failed robberies.

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Ask Me Another
8:25 am
Thu September 5, 2013

I Am Not The Walrus

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On stage right now we have Raya Elias-Pushett and Jonathan Firestone.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Raya, you are visiting from Florida.

RAYA ELIAS-PUSHETT: Yes. That's correct.

EISENBERG: Where do you live in Florida?

ELIAS-PUSHETT: I live in Aventura, which is Miami-ish.

EISENBERG: Miami-ish. Got it. OK. And you are there for college?

ELIAS-PUSHETT: Well, I'm from Aventura but I go to the University of Florida. Go Gators.

EISENBERG: Oh, nice. OK. Go Gators. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

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Ask Me Another
8:25 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Charming Old Moviehouse

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WYNC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and coming up, we'll find out if Jonathan Coulton is the walrus or the egg man in a game where we desecrate yet another Beatles' tune. Plus, we'll find out how much NPR's quiz show master Peter Sagal knows about his coworkers. But joining us right now are JJ Orgera and Justin Sheen.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Justin, if you could live in the fictional space of any television show, which one would you like to go into?

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu September 5, 2013

It's A Girl! New Panda Is Doing Fine, National Zoo Says

The Smithsonian National Zoo's newest giant panda on Aug. 25, two days after her birth.
National Zoo UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:52 am

The giant panda cub born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 23 is a girl, officials announced Thursday morning.

What's more, she "has a fat little belly" and seems to be doing just fine, zoo curator Brandie Smith says.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Did You See A Flash In The Sky? You Just Might On Friday

If you're in those circles, you may be able to see something in the sky late Friday night when NASA launches a rocket from its spaceport on the Virginia coast.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:44 am

News stations in Washington, D.C., say they started getting calls just after 11 p.m. ET Wednesday from folks reporting that they'd seen a mysterious light in the sky.

WTOP says some people thought the flash was green or blue. CBS DC heard from some who said it was orange. The station adds that the light "was seen in the skies over the eastern seaboard."

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Job Growth Cooled A Bit In August, Report Signals

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:39 am

There were 176,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in August than the month before, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:33 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Wild Things Hanging From Spruce Trees

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:45 am

Stanley Kunitz, one of our great poets, planted a spruce tree next to his house in Provincetown, Mass., and over the years that tree attracted some tenants, a family of garden snakes. I didn't know garden snakes climb trees, especially needly ones like a spruce, but they do.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Top Stories: Obama At G-20 Summit; New Egyptian Violence

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:37 am

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The Two-Way
5:36 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Egyptian Official Survives Attack As 'Remarkable Calm' Broken

Security officials inspect the scene of a bomb blast that apparently targeted Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim near his home in Cairo's Nasr City on Thursday. He survived the attack.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:35 am

Just a few hours after this headline:

"Egyptians Hail Military Order as Calm Returns to Streets." (The Wall Street Journal)

... The still tenuous state of affairs in Egypt was underscored by this news:

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Book News: Did A Missing Testicle Make J.D. Salinger A Recluse?

A photo of J.D. Salinger taken in September 1961.
AP

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

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It's All Politics
5:15 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Presidential Hopefuls Stake Out Syria Positions

Books by would-be 2016 presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., share a table display at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 15. Both Rubio and Paul on Wednesday voted against military action in Syria.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:35 pm

Voting in favor of war or military strikes has proved to have long-lasting political consequences for politicians angling for the highest office in the land.

Just ask former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose 2002 vote for the Iraq War resolution as a U.S. senator contributed to her failure to secure the Democratic presidential nomination six years later.

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Around the Nation
5:10 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Patient Not Amused At Drawings On Her Face

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Maybe you did something like this at summer camp - drawing a mustache on somebody sleeping. But it was different for a patient at California's Torrance Memorial Medical Center. She was a hospital employee and when she checked in for treatment, an anesthesiologist allegedly drew a mustache and teardrops on her face.

That may have seemed fun until she woke up. The LA Times says the doctor now faces an investigation, and a lawsuit.

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