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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

In New Video Game, China Seizes Disputed Islands From Japan

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force escort ship Kurama leads other vessels during a fleet review amid heightened tension last year over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.
Itsuo Inouye AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 8:11 am

Chinese gamers may soon be able to settle by force a thorny international dispute between their government and Japan over who controls a small chain of islands in the East China Sea.

The basic platform of the newly released Glorious Mission Online was developed as a training tool for the People's Liberation Army. Game maker Giant Interactive Group (GIG) has expanded the "first-person shooter" game with a simulation of a Chinese amphibious assault on the Senkaku islands, as they are known in Tokyo, or Diaoyu, as Beijing calls them.

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The Salt
5:17 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

What Poisoned Pomegranates Tell Us About Food Safety

The label for the berry blend recalled in June because of pomegranates linked to a hepatitis A outbreak.
Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Imported food is getting the kind of attention these days that no product wants. Health officials in Iowa and Nebraska are blaming salad greens for making hundreds of people sick with a parasite called cyclospora. That parasite usually comes from the tropics, so it's likely the salad did, too. Earlier this summer, pomegranate seeds from Turkey were linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A.

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Parallels
5:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

'Abenomics' Serving Up The Same Old Medicine In Japan?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans for reviving Japan's ailing economy are yielding mixed results so far.
Koji Sasahara AP

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Ever since Japan's stock market bubble burst in the early 1990s, the country's economy has been stuck in a deflationary spiral. Wages and prices kept going down — and so did consumer spending.

After all, would you buy something today if you knew it was going to be cheaper tomorrow?

But when he came to power last December, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he could fix the problem, after two "lost decades."

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

A Sculptor Struggles, But The Art Is Frustratingly Hollow

Aging sculptor Marc Cros (Jean Rochefort) finds new inspiration in the person — if not the personality — of a young Spanish refugee (Aida Folch) in The Artist and the Model.
Cohen Media Group

Writer-director Fernando Trueba certainly isn't earning points for his original premise in The Artist and the Model, which tells the story of an elderly French artist at the end of World War II who suffers from a creative block until the arrival of a young muse fuels a late-career resurgence.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Beyond Earth's Gravity, A Space Opera Goes Flat

Daniel Luxembourg (Christian Camargo) is chief scientist on a doomed mission to one of Jupiter's moons in Europa Report, a found-footage whatdunnit with sci-fi-thriller ambitions.
Magnolia

In space, not many people can hear you scream. In fact, traveling in a manned spacecraft is probably a bit like working on a soundproof movie set — which is plainly where Europa Report was shot.

Tricked up with split screens and digital-video glitchery, this low-budget sci-fi saga emphasizes the claustrophobia and monotony of a long journey beyond Earth's gravity. But it also borrows gambits from horror movies, withholding information and eliminating characters one by one.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Florida's Education Chief Resigns Over Grading Scandal

Florida's former Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett.
Florida Department of Education

In education circles, Tony Bennett is widely known as a hard-charging Republican reformer associated with Jeb Bush's prescriptions for fixing public schools: charter schools, private school vouchers, tying teacher pay to student test scores and grading schools on a A through F scale.

Bennett resigned from his post as Florida's education chief this morning when a controversy over the last of those things — the school grades — caught up with him.

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Europe
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Italian High Court Confirms Berlusconi's Conviction

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Italy's top court has upheld a conviction and prison term for Italy's most prominent politician, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, on charges of tax fraud. This the first time he has been definitively convicted, after 20 years in which he was accused of multiple transgressions. However, the supreme court will now reconsider the law that would bar him from holding high office because of the conviction. This could allow the shaky coalition that governs Italy to remain in place.

Africa
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Morsi Supporters Stage Sit-Ins In Cairo As Tensions Rise

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Tensions are growing among the thousands of pro-Morsi supporters camped out around a mosque in eastern Cairo. The government has ordered the protesters to disperse, sparking fears of fresh bloodshed.

Latin America
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

After Drug Policies Fail, Uruguay Tries Grand Pot Experiment

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

In the tiny South American nation of Uruguay, it's long been legal to smoke one's own homegrown marijuana. Now the government is getting close to putting the government in charge of producing and selling the nation's pot.

National Security
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

NSA Leaker Snowden Granted One-Year Asylum In Russia

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 9:39 pm

Edward Snowden has been granted asylum for up to one year by Russia and has left the transit zone at Moscow's airport where he was holed up for more than a month. The Russian government says a condition for his amnesty is that he not reveal any more information that will damage the United States.

Law
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Cleveland Kidnapper Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 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.

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Law
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Former Goldman Sachs Trader Found Liable For Fraud

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

In New York City today, a victory for the Securities and Exchange Commission: A federal jury held former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre liable on six of the seven counts against him. The SEC had accused Tourre of intentionally misleading investors about a mortgage-backed security just as the housing sector was beginning to collapse. The investment created huge losses.

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Politics
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Appropriations Bills Continue To Collapse In The House

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

House Republicans' plans to hold the line on federal spending and maintaining the cuts demanded by sequestration were thrown into doubt this week. Leaders abruptly pulled a transportation spending bill off the floor, prompting a rare public statement from the Republican chairman of the appropriations committee to lash out at the decision.

Politics
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

New ATF Head Is Its First Senate-Confirmed Leader In 7 Years

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

After a long delay, the Senate has finally confirmed B. Todd Jones to be the first permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives. Who is he and what took so long?

Sports
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Quarterback Controveries Plague Numerous NFL Teams

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

The New York Jets are one of many teams with a quarterback controversy headed into the new season. But in New York, it seems that controversy attaches itself to everything the Jets do. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath reflects on the difficulties of leading the Jets.

National Security
4:54 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Whistle-Blower: Protection Act Doesn't Cover Enough People

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:43 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's a large contingent of the public that sees Edward Snowden as a victim, a whistle-blower who saw abuse and revealed it. Just today, a poll released by Quinnipiac University found that among registered voters, 55 percent consider him a whistle-blower; only 34 percent called Snowden a traitor. Of course, it all depends on how you define whistle-blower.

JESSELYN RADACK: My definition is based on the legal definition...

CORNISH: This is attorney Jesselyn Radack.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Former Goldman Trader Found Liable For Billion-Dollar Fraud

Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre walks to a federal court in Manhattan with his attorneys Thursday. A jury found Tourre liable in a massive securities fraud case.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 4:59 pm

A federal jury in New York City has found that Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs trader who regulators say caused investors to lose $1 billion, is liable in the mortgage securities fraud case filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Regulators say Tourre, 34, a native of France who was nicknamed "Fab" in his office, packaged toxic subprime mortgages into a collateralized debt obligation that was sold to investors under the name Abacus in 2007.

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Found Recipes
4:03 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Zwetschgendatschi, A Mouthful That Captures The Perfect Plum

Zwetschgendatschi is the Bavarian word for plum cake. The dessert uses Damson plums, which are only in season for a few weeks each year.
Courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

If it's early August, it must be time for Damson plums. Gersine Bullock-Prado — a Vermont-based pastry chef and author of Bake It Like You Mean It — has a special place in her heart for them.

"They're not like your normal plum. They're not round. They're oval and very dark purple, almost black."

When barely ripe, the plums are firm, tart and olive green, Bullock-Prado says. "[They're] just these lovely little orbs of joy."

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The Salt
3:57 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Move Over, Dippin' Dots: 5 Futuristic Ice Creams

Wikipearl ice cream doesn't require plastic packaging because it is contained in edible skin.
Agence VFC Relations Publics

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 3:01 pm

When Dippin' Dots emerged in 1987 with the slogan "Ice Cream of the Future," its liquid nitrogen-blasted pellets seemed about as cutting edge as ice cream could get.

But ice cream has come a long way since then. Now, ice cream revolutionaries are updating our notions of ice cream texture and flavor with bioengineering and sheer chutzpah. Welcome to the new future of ice cream.

Lunar Ice Cream

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

U.S. Will Close All Embassies Sunday Over Security Concerns

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 6:43 pm

The United States will close all of its embassies on Sunday because of security concerns, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday.

AFP reports:

" 'The Department of State has instructed certain US embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4,' Harf told reporters.

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