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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Federal Reserve Will Continue Bond Buying Program

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in May of 2013.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:23 pm

After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve said it will continue to buy $85 billion in bonds every month and will leave the federal funds rate at the historic rate of near zero.

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Planet Money
12:25 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Which Can Of Shaving Cream Should I Buy? A Surprisingly Complex Analysis

iStockphoto.com

Because my morning routine involves the waking, feeding, dressing, brushing and sunblocking of a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old, certain personal morning grooming habits fall by the wayside. Like, all of them. This is why I think of the gym mainly as a place to wash up.

Which is a long way of saying I ran out of shaving cream the other day.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

'Guardian' Report Sheds Light On NSA's Internet Spying

A top-secret presentation slide published by The Guardian.
Guardian

In its latest report stemming from leaked documents provided by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, The Guardian newspaper outlines a tool that gives intelligence analysts access to a wide range of data collected on the Internet.

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A Blog Supreme
11:36 am
Wed July 31, 2013

5 To Watch: Newport Jazz Festival Debuts

Dee Alexander is among the artists leading a band for the first time at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Major jazz gatherings such as the Newport Jazz Festival — which dates back to 1954 — have always relied on big names to attract visitors. The 2013 edition is no different, with headliners such as Wayne Shorter (with Herbie Hancock), Marcus Miller, Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri and Esperanza Spalding.

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Monkey See
11:34 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Coffee Break: People Arguing And Counting And Singing And Getting Gassed Edition

iStockphoto.com

* If you're anywhere near Winston-Salem, please note that Tonya Pinkins, whose chops are so considerable that I don't entirely know where to start with her amazingness, so just Google her, is in cabaret thereabouts, as part of the biennial National Black Theatre Festival. This is a thing that makes me want to go to North Carolina. [Winston-Salem Journal]

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Politics
11:28 am
Wed July 31, 2013

As Summer Recess Looms, Congress Remains Inactive

Jonathan Weisman writes that the last week before the long summer recess is usually crunchtime for Congress, but it's "a sleepy time for the underachieving 113th."
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:20 pm

Friday is the last day before the 113th Congress scatters for their summer recess. And what has it accomplished so far? Almost nothing, says New York Times congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman. As he points out in a recent article:

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Texas Author John Graves Dies At 92; Wrote 'Goodbye To A River'

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:23 am

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All Tech Considered
11:01 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Weekly Innovation: A Better Travel Neck Pillow

The Nap Anywhere is a new, portable head-support pillow created by a Virginia-based physician.
Courtesy of Nap Anywhere

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Previously we've featured the sink-urinal and Smart Bedding.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Wed July 31, 2013

U.S. Declassifies Documents About Surveillance Programs

A new National Security Agency data center is set to open in Bluffdale, Utah, in the fall.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:01 pm

The National Security Agency declassified more documents that shed light on formerly secret programs that collect a vast amount of metadata on the phone calls made in the United States, as well as the electronic communication of foreigners.

In a statement, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the release was "in the public interest."

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Shots - Health News
10:28 am
Wed July 31, 2013

More Moms Are Breast-Feeding, But Many Babies Still Miss Out

More than three quarters of new babies get at least a start at breast-feeding, according to the CDC.
iStockphoto.com

Three quarters of new mothers gave breast-feeding a try in 2010, and mothers are sticking with breast-feeding longer, according to federal data.

Almost 50 percent of babies are still being breast-fed at least sometime at 6 months of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's up from 35 percent in 2000.

The number of babies breast-feeding at 12 months also rose, from 16 percent in 2000 to 27 percent in 2010. Go moms!

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Announcer-Free TV? Detroit's Baseball Fans Say Yes, Please

Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta bats during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. Detroit fans watching game had the option of tuning in to a broadcast that lacked announcers, featuring only the sounds from the stadium.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:57 pm

Baseball fans often declare their love of the game's rhythm, its quiet pauses and bursts of action. For such people, watching a game on TV can be a struggle, particularly if they're annoyed by the chatter of announcers. Fans in Detroit had another option last night: watching a TV broadcast that included only the natural sounds of the ballpark.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Luxury Watch Store Robbed Days After Riviera Hotel Heist

Police investigate outside the Kronometry shop in the French Riviera town of Cannes after two armed men robbed the luxury watch store on Wednesday.
Valery Hache AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 10:39 am

In an amazing string of coincidences, a luxury watch store in Cannes, France, has been robbed just three days after an armed man successfully stole diamonds and other valuable jewels from a nearby hotel.

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Parallels
10:13 am
Wed July 31, 2013

For Saudi Women, New Subway Will Mean More Than A Cool Ride

Saudi women get into a taxi outside a shopping mall in Riyadh in 2012. Plans for a subway system in the Saudi capital are likely to provide the biggest benefits to women and the poor.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 1:25 pm

Saudi Arabia will soon have a subway system in the capital, Riyadh, that's said to be the world's biggest current investment in public transport.

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Politics
9:46 am
Wed July 31, 2013

On The Eve Of Gay Marriage, Not All Of Minnesota Is Ready

Cathy ten Broeke speaks during a news conference last month at Minneapolis City Hall. She and her partner, Margaret Miles (right), along with Jeff Isaacson (back left) and his partner, Al Giraud (back right), are the first two same-sex couples Mayor R.T. Rybak (right) will marry in the City Hall rotunda on Aug. 1.
Jeff Baenen AP

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 11:53 am

It's going to be a party in Minneapolis.

With gay marriages becoming legal in Minnesota on Thursday, courthouses in major cities across the state will be open after midnight to accommodate dozens of same-sex couples eager to tie the knot.

"It's good for our business," says Ron Stein, a jeweler in Minneapolis, where the mayor plans to conduct weddings for approximately 40 couples. "We've had orders already."

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Beauty Shop
9:32 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Do Women Have A Responsibility When Men Misbehave?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Health Care
9:32 am
Wed July 31, 2013

New Health Exchanges: What You Need To Know

On October 1st, online health insurance exchanges open up as part of the Affordable Care Act. Kaiser Health News' Mary Agnes Carey speaks to host Michel Martin about what will change, and how you can prepare for the roll-out.

Health
9:32 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Decades Later, Drugs Didn't Hold 'Crack Babies' Back

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to talk about another body of research that's also challenging assumptions, very old assumptions about the effects of cocaine addiction. During the crack epidemic of the 1980s and '90s, healthcare workers feared that children born to addicted mothers had little hope for a healthy future. But a newly released study suggests that initial concerns about so-called crack babies may have been misplaced, and that the biggest issue that could hurt these kids was not drug exposure, but poverty.

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Education
9:32 am
Wed July 31, 2013

'Separate And Unequal': Racial Divides In Higher Ed

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, during the height of the crack epidemic in the 1980s, many doctors despaired that children born to crack addicts were doomed to grim lives as adults, if they managed to grow up all. But, now there's new research that's challenging that assumption. We'll hear more about that just ahead. First, though, we want to talk about a new study that challenges other assumptions about the opportunities extended to African-American and Latino students.

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Monkey See
8:58 am
Wed July 31, 2013

10 Awkward, Unexpected, Or Otherwise Curious Press Tour Moments

Actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul speak onstage during the Breaking Bad panel on July 26.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

The Television Critics Association press tour, a two-week event in which press conference after press conference parades through a hotel ballroom, is about half over, so it's time for a few stories.

In a room of 250 or so reporters and a rotating set of actors, producers, and executives, there's likely to be a conversation here and there that perhaps doesn't go as everyone involved was expecting. After all, I've already been to 57 panel discussions or presentations (according to our transcripts list), and we have a week to go.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Facebook Sees Its Shares Hit $38 IPO Price

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:36 pm

It's been more than a year since Facebook's stock debuted at $38 in its initial public offering. But after a problematic start and an eventual slide below $20, the company saw its shares reach that initial price in early trading Wednesday, one week after it reported strong advertising revenue.

"Before Wednesday's opening bell, the shares rose as high as $38.05, before settling back down to $37.95," the AP reports. "On Tuesday, the shares closed up 6 percent after coming within pennies of the IPO price."

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Economy
8:41 am
Wed July 31, 2013

GDP Report Is Better Than Economists Expected

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts begins with some surprising economic growth.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The U.S. Commerce Department says the economy grew at an unexpectedly swift pace during the second quarter of the year. The Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, grew at an annual rate of 1.7 percent. That compares to the first quarter, when it grew at 1.1 percent. As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, this might mean the economy has not been hit hard by the automatic government spending cuts known as sequestration.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Wed July 31, 2013

U.S. Economy: GDP Surprises, And Hiring Rises In July

A chart shows the quarterly growth of real GDP in the United States. The U.S. economy expanded more than analysts had expected, at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent.
Bureau of Economic Analysis

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:51 pm

The U.S. economy grew by an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, according to gross domestic product data released Wednesday morning. The Commerce Department says the rise stems from business investments, particularly in buildings, and an upturn in exports and the civilian aircraft industry.

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Wed July 31, 2013

U.S. Teenager Is Youngest Ever To Pass Britain's Bar Exams

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 11:23 am

At 18 years old, American Gabrielle Turnquest has become the youngest person to pass Britain's Bar exams, qualifying her as a barrister. Turnquest is a native of Windermere, Fla. She studied for the exams at Britain's University of Law.

From London, NPR's Larry Miller reports for our Newscast unit:

"The average age to gain a barrister's qualification is 27. Turnquest says she's honored to be the youngest person to become a British barrister. Due to her parent's heritage, she is also called to the Bahamas bar.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Top Stories: Manning Sentencing; DEA Settles Abandonment Case

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 7:46 am

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Student Left In DEA Cell For Days Reaches $4.1 Million Settlement

Daniel Chong spent more than four days in a federal holding cell without food or water.
K. C. Alfred U-T San Diego

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 9:43 am

Daniel Chong, the San Diego college student who spent more than four days in a Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell without food or water, has reached a $4.1 million settlement with the U.S. government. The DEA apologized to Chong last year and instituted a review of its practices.

The ordeal, in which Chong was forgotten in a cell after being taken in during a drug raid, caused Chong to become increasingly desperate. At one point, he said last year, he drank his own urine to survive.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed July 31, 2013

As Sentencing Phase Begins, Manning Could Face Decades In Prison

Former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, found guilty of espionage and theft Tuesday, could face a lengthy prison sentence. A penalty hearing for Manning begins today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 8:57 am

As the sentencing hearing for former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning begins today, he faces the possibility of spending many decades in prison. Manning was found guilty Tuesday of 19 counts for giving thousands of classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning, 25, was acquitted of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge against him, which would have put him in jeopardy of a life sentence. He was found guilty of other serious charges, from theft to espionage, for his role in the largest leak of U.S. secrets in history.

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The Two-Way
5:09 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Book News: Booksellers Irate Over Obama's Amazon Visit

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

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Shots - Health News
5:09 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Last Person To Get Smallpox Dedicated His Life To Ending Polio

Ali Maow Maalin said he avoided getting the smallpox vaccine as a young man because he was afraid of needles. He didn't want others to make the same mistake with polio.
Courtesy of the World Health Organization

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 10:13 am

So far, the human race has eliminated just one disease in history: smallpox. But it's on the cusp of adding a second virus — polio — to that list.

One special man in Somalia was at the battlefront of both eradication efforts. He died last week of a sudden illness at age 59.

Ali Maow Maalin was the last member of the general public — worldwide — to catch smallpox. And he spent the past decade working to end polio in Somalia.

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Book Reviews
5:04 am
Wed July 31, 2013

The Scope Of The 20th Century In Sweeping, Sprawling 'Joy'

There's nothing soothing or easygoing about this massive novel, which was first published obscurely in Italy in the late 1990s. Goliarda Sapienza, a novelist and actress who worked with the likes of Pasolini and Visconti, spent more than a decade writing The Art of Joy, and on balance, she must have felt it a massive disappointment, given that no publisher wanted to go near its chaotic, handwritten blend of ambisexuality, religion, feminism, and politics.

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Politics
4:27 am
Wed July 31, 2013

House Expected To Vote On Student Loan Deal

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 4:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with hope for a student loan dean.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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