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1:18 am
Thu July 18, 2013

In Today's Beijing, Flash Ferraris And Fading Traditions

Cyclists look at a Ferrari parked illegally and blocking the bicycle lane off a main road in Beijing, on April 7, 2011.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:12 pm

Before it became China's capital in 1949, Beijing was a fairly provincial little city of 2 million people.

Today, it has grown into a megalopolis of some 18 million people.

I've recently returned to the city after a few years away, the first thing that strikes me is: Who the heck are all of these 20-somethings and how did they get to be driving all these Ferraris and Maseratis?

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Shots - Health News
1:17 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tuberculosis Outbreak Shakes Wisconsin City

Dale Hippensteel, manages the Sheboygan County health department.
Jeffrey Phelps For NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Looking crisp and official in his khaki-colored sheriff's department polo shirt, Steve Steinhardt says Sheboygan, Wis., is a pretty good place to be a director of emergency services.

"Nothing bad happens here," he says, knocking on wood. Unless, that is, you count the tuberculosis outbreak that struck the orderly Midwestern city of 50,000 this spring and summer.

"I never expected TB to be one of the bigger emergencies I'd face when I got into this field," Steinhardt says.

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Parallels
1:15 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Opera Singer Becomes (Soprano) Voice Of Protest In Portugal

Pinto leads protesters in song during anti-austerity demonstrations. "I'm just a normal citizen," she says. "I just have this strong instinct of protecting what I love, and I do deeply love my country."
Courtesy of Ana Maria Pinto

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

For embattled Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, Oct. 5 started bad, and then got even worse.

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Parallels
1:14 am
Thu July 18, 2013

At Estonia's Bank Of Happiness, Kindness Is The Currency

Juan Pablo Gonzalez, a science and math teacher in San Diego, posted an offer to teach urban planting, including hydroponic techniques. He and his wife were inspired by the site and offered to help by translating it into Spanish.
Courtesy of Juan Pablo Gonzalez

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 8:54 am

Estonia's capital, Tallinn, is considered one of the world's leading "smart" cities, where the government and businesses alike rely heavily on computer technology.

But one group in the Estonian capital is using the Internet for something completely different: an online forum that markets good deeds.

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Talk Of Boycotting Russian Olympics Stirs Emotions

The silver medal design for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Olga Maltseva AFP/Getty Images

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a shudder through the Olympic world Wednesday when he told American Olympic network NBC that the United States should consider boycotting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia grants the asylum request of "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

San Diego Mayor Faces More Calls To Resign

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in the video statement he released last week.
City of San Diego

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

San Diego voters knew that Bob Filner could act like a jerk on occasion. But in 2012, they elected him mayor anyway.

Now, though, Filner's behavior may have crossed a threshold that few politicians can recover from.

The Democrat is facing numerous accusations of sexual harassment, and growing calls for him to step down from office.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

EPA Building Named For Bill Clinton; He Says That's Fitting

Former President Bill Clinton hugs House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California as another Democrat, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, looks on at Wednesday's ceremony naming the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters for him.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

The environment may not come to mind when most people think about former President Bill Clinton, but on Wednesday he defended his legacy as the Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., was renamed in his honor.

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Arts & Life
4:14 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

For Actress Ruby Keeler, Another Opening, Another Show

Broadway performer Ruby Keeler was a source of optimism for many during the Depression era, and nostalgia hit audiences hard when she returned to the stage decades later.
General Photographic Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Ruby Keeler was an unknown actress when she starred in the 1933 production of Busby Berkeley's 42nd Street.

But the movie was so popular she was able to land two more splashy musicals that same year — and seven more by the end of the decade. There was nothing extraordinary about her talents as a vocalist or as an actress, but audiences of the Depression era really bought into Keeler's "innocent" onstage persona. In fact, they craved it.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congress Debates Taking A Step Back From The Mortgage Market

The government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae (seen in 2010) and Freddie Mac in 2008, during the worst of the housing crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Obama Could Declare An Immigration Amnesty, But ...

President Obama has enough problems with Congress without waving the red cape of a presidential amnesty to immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
Univision screen shot

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:07 pm

In an interview this week, Univision's Adriana Vargas asked President Obama if, in the event Congress failed to pass immigration legislation, he could simply use his presidential power to give amnesty to the estimated 11 million people currently in the U.S. illegally.

The president didn't exactly shut the door on that possibility, though he did strongly suggest it was a portal he'd rather not go through.

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Planet Money
3:23 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The 'Ask Your Uncle' Approach To Economics

The Federal Reserve, home of the Beige Book.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

The Beige Book is weird. It's an economic report released by the Federal Reserve every few months, but it doesn't have many numbers in it. Mostly, it's a bunch of stories gathered by talking to businesses around the country. A Fed economist once described it as the "Ask Your Uncle" approach to figuring out what's going on in the economy.

In the Beige Book released today, for example, we learned that:

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Cleveland Hero Charles Ramsey: I'm Not Broke Or Homeless

Charles Ramsey on the day three young women (and one of the women's daughters) were rescued from a Cleveland home. He gained fame for his accounts of what happened.
Scott Shaw The Plain Dealer /Landov

If you've seen stories in the past few days about Cleveland's Charles Ramsey supposedly being out of work, broke and homeless, then you'll want to read this update that has word from the man himself:

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

'We're Here To Stay' Says Newly Confirmed Consumer Watchdog

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ron Sachs/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

One day after his two years in limbo ended and he was confirmed by the Senate as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray told NPR that though political bickering held up his nomination he now believes he has bipartisan support for the bureau's work.

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A Blog Supreme
2:15 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Remembering Laurie Frink, The 'Trumpet Mother' Of The Jazz Scene

Laurie Frink takes a moment to practice during a recording session for Darcy James Argue's Secret Society.
Lindsay Beyerstein

Sometimes, the most important musicians are the ones farthest away from the spotlight.

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Politics
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Senate Revisits Voting Rights Act Following Court Ruling

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has held the first congressional hearing on how to resurrect the Voting Rights Act. That's after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the law last month.

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Politics
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Liz Cheney Throws Down Challenge To Veteran Republican

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Liz Cheney's campaign to nudge veteran GOP Sen. Mike Enzi into retirement has become an official challenge to his re-nomination. Enzi, 69, has said he is seeking another term. Audie Cornish speaks with NPR's Mara Liasson about the questions Cheney's campaign raises: Will he still run? And what implications does this have for Wyoming, for control of the Senate in 2015 and for women in the Republican Party in the long run?

Asia
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Cause Of Indian School Lunch Poisoning Still Unknown

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Anger spilled onto the streets of the Indian state of Bihar today.

This after more than 20 children died after eating a free government-sponsored school lunch. Doctors say the victims show symptoms of insecticide poisoning. Today, protesters attacked police vehicles in Chhapra, a city near the children's school. From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.

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World
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

What Missile Shipment Says About Cuba-North Korea Relations

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And moving on now to a mystery in Panama. A North Korean ship was stopped there as it was cruising through the Panama Canal carrying military supplies from Cuba. Missile and aircraft parts were hidden beneath bags of sugar in the cargo hold. North Korea is subject to a U.N. arms embargo and the North Korean crew is said to have violently resisted an effort to inspect the ship. NPR's Tom Gjelten has the latest.

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Economy
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Bernanke Gives Economic Road Map With Uncertain Timeline

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

One month ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke introduced the idea of winding down the Fed's massive stimulus programs. On that announcement, the markets tanked. Today, Bernanke said pretty much the same thing. But this time, the markets yawned.

As NPR's John Ydstie explains, the Fed chairman appears to have finally found the formula to ease Wall Street's concerns.

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U.S.
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Victims Push Back On Fund Protocol

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Three months after the Boston Marathon bombing, money continues to roll into The One Fund, that's the charity set up for victims of the attack. More than 200 claims have already been paid out, but some victims are questioning the methods used to divvy up the funds. And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, they're asking the state attorney general to intervene.

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Law
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

How Secret Does A Secret Court Need To Be?

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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U.S.
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The Likely Story Of A Leaking Water Main

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

A water main crisis has been averted in Maryland, but the crumbling of water infrastructure is a common story. How did we get here? Melissa Block speaks with Greg DiLoreto, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

U.S.
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Writing A Road Map For Ending Sexual Assault In The Air Force

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Bipartisanship at the Senate may be seemingly in short supply, but an unlikely alliance has been forged over one issue, sexual assaults in the military. Republican senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, two stars of the Tea Party, announced yesterday their support for a measure sponsored by a Democrat, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Newly Discovered Dinosaur Sure Had One 'Supersize Schnoz'

An artist's image of Nasutoceratops titusi.
Lukas Panzarin for the Natural History Museum of Utah

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

The Proceedings of the Royal Society politely refers to it as a "short-snouted horned dinosaur."

National Geographic is less reserved and gets right to the obvious point: "Paleontologists have discovered a new dinosaur, a Triceratops relative with a supersize schnoz that once roamed present-day Utah."

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It's All Politics
1:13 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Slow Ride To City Hall For Female Candidates

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, shown here at City Hall in September 2010, is a good bet for re-election.
Prentice Danner AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:36 pm

This is a big year for mayor's races. And it was supposed to be "the year of the woman" for mayoral candidates.

When 2013 began, there was a fair amount of hope that women could make up for their relatively measly representation in local offices nationwide by capturing the mayoralty in three of the nation's five largest cities.

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Parallels
1:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

China's Internet Growth In Two Charts

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 2:38 pm

China has by far the most Internet users in the world, and it appears that soon half the country will be on the Web, thanks largely to cellphones and other mobile devices.

In percentage terms, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have the highest Internet penetration, with more than 90 percent of residents online. The U.S. is 27th, with 78 percent of Americans online.

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All Tech Considered
12:51 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Clever Hacks Give Google Glass Many Unintended Powers

Stephen Balaban has re-engineered his Google Glass to allow for facial recognition.
Courtesy of Stephen Balaban

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:55 pm

At Philz Coffee in Palo Alto, Calif., a kid who looks like he should still be in high school is sitting across from me. He's wearing Google Glass. As I stare into the device's cyborg eye, I'm waiting for its tiny screen to light up.

Then, I wait for a signal that Google Glass has recognized my face.

It isn't supposed to do that, but Stephen Balaban has hacked it.

"Essentially what I am building is an alternative operating system that runs on Glass but is not controlled by Google," he said.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:49 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Carnegie Hall's Barnstorming Youth Movement

Cellist Angelique Montes, resident advisor Melissa Willams and clarinetist Tom Jeon arrive at Purchase College, State University of New York to begin their NYO-USA adventure.
Chris Lee courtesy of Carnegie Hall

This is the kind of opportunity most classical musicians can only dream about: to be invited to spend part of the summer with an orchestra touring the world — Washington, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London — with two of the biggest names in classical music, conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell.

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The Fresh Air Interview
12:46 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Jason Isbell Locates His Musical Compass On 'Southeastern'

Jason Isbell was previously a member of Drive-By Truckers. His solo albums include Sirens of the Ditch and Here We Rest.
Eric England Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:38 am

When singer-songwriter Jason Isbell used to get drunk, he'd sometimes tell his then-girlfriend, the musician Amanda Shires, that he needed to quit the bottle — and that if it was going to take, he'd have to go to rehab. Eventually, she said the next time he told her that, she'd hold him to it. And she did. And he went. And, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "The jury is still out on whether or not it worked, but it worked today and all the days leading up to this."

Initially, he says he was scared about what sobriety would do to his personality and his creativity.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Economy's Growing At 'Modest To Moderate Pace,' Fed Says

Part I of the news from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday was Chairman Ben Bernanke's signal to the financial markets that the central bank won't be shifting away from its "easy money" policy just yet.

Part II was just released. In its latest "Beige Book" review of economic conditions around the nation the Fed says that:

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