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5:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Longtime Wal-Mart Employee Chosen As CEO

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a new chief at Wal-Mart.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Doug McMillon of Jonesboro, Arkansas, started at Wal-Mart in 1984. It was a summer job, he was unpacking trucks. Yesterday, he was named as the retail giant's new CEO. Not only is the 47-year-old McMillon an insider who rose through the ranks, he's one of the few executives who actually worked under founder Sam Walton.

Technology
5:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Feds Have Troubled History With New Computer Systems

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's hear a little recent history now, a history of federal IT failures. The troubled healthcare.gov website has many ancestors, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: The new software system was glitchy, it was behind schedule and over budget. University of Pennsylvania computer scientist Matt Blaze said the problems were foreseeable.

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Around the Nation
2:59 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Infamous Reporter Stephen Glass Vies For Bar Admission

Stephen Glass during a 2003 interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes.
CBS/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Fifteen years ago, Stephen Glass fabricated dozens of articles. Now, he is facing off against the California bar over whether he has the moral character required of lawyers.

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The State Of The American Small Business
2:57 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Firms May Soon Turn To Crowdfunding To Sell Shares

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Crowdfunding is popular among musicians, filmmakers and artists looking for a way to finance their next project.

Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering rules that, for the first time, would allow small companies to solicit investments over the Internet and sell shares to the general public.

For some small firms, these new rules come as welcome news.

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Shots - Health News
2:56 am
Tue November 26, 2013

These Californians Greeted Canceled Health Plans With Smiles

Amid insurance cancellations, some people are finding better coverage through Covered California, the state's health exchange.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Barbara Neff of Santa Monica is one of the roughly 1 million Californians who recently got word that their health insurance coverage would be expiring soon.

The canceled plans sparked a political firestorm as people realized President Obama's promise — "If you like your plan, you can keep it" — didn't apply to everyone.

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Space
2:54 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Comet Fans Psyched For A Celestial Feast On Thanksgiving Day

Comet ISON on Nov. 14.
Courtesy of Mike Hankey

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

While most Americans are sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, astronomers will be looking up at an unusual comet passing near the sun.

The comet, known as ISON, has been hyped as "the comet of the century." It may not quite live up to that billing, but astronomers say it is a one-of-a-kind object.

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Shots - Health News
2:52 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Emergency Contraceptive Pill Might Be Ineffective For Obese

Levonorgestrel, one of the main ingredients in emergency contraceptive pills, including Plan B, was found in a recent study to be less effective in overweight and obese women.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

The Food and Drug Administration says it is reviewing whether the maker of the most widely used emergency contraceptive pill needs to change its label in light of new evidence that it doesn't work to prevent pregnancy in overweight or obese women.

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Environment
2:51 am
Tue November 26, 2013

What's In It For U.S. To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

The chimneys of the Kolaghat Thermal Power Station loom above a field flooded for rice farming near Mecheda, West Bengal, India, in July 2011.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

The United Nations negotiations in Warsaw over a climate treaty are moving at glacial speed — and that's in part because there's a fundamental problem.

In the coming decades, carbon dioxide emissions from China, India and other rapidly developing countries are expected to grow quickly. Residents there aspire to lifestyles Americans and Europeans enjoy today, and those nations aren't willing to slash emissions, because doing so could slow their economic growth.

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Music News
2:03 am
Tue November 26, 2013

AK-47s, Accordions And Angels Of Death: Narcocorridos Hit The Big Screen

Edgar Quintero of the band Los Bukanas de Culiacan likens what he does in the narcocorrido genre to gangster rap.
Shaul Schwarz Cinedigm

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

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The Two-Way
6:29 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

No Motive In Newtown Report, But Many Details About Lanza

An image from a Connecticut State Police report on the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shows a scene at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown, Conn., where Adam Lanza killed his mother before driving to the school and killing 26 students and staff last December.
AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 7:49 pm

Investigators say they haven't determined why Adam Lanza killed 26 students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December. But they know he acted alone in that attack and his mother's murder, according to a summary report released weeks before the one-year anniversary of the shooting rampage.

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Shots - Health News
6:28 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Yes, Your Toddler Really Is Smarter Than A 5-Year-Old

Children under age 2 can reason abstractly, researchers say.
Jandrie Lombard iStock

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:42 pm

Parents, does your 18-month-old seem wise beyond her years? Science says you're not fooling yourself.

Very small children can reason abstractly, researchers say, and are able to infer the relationships between objects that elude older children who get caught up on the concreteness of things.

In experiments at the University of California, Berkeley, children as young as 18 months were able to figure out the relationship between colored blocks.

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Environment
6:09 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

U.S. May Be Producing 50 Percent More Methane Than EPA Thinks

The EPA tries to keep track of all sorts of methane producers — including herds of methane-belching cattle.
Emmett Tullos Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 7:59 pm

Methane is the source of the gas we burn in stoves. You can also use it to make plastics, antifreeze or fertilizer. It comes out of underground deposits, but it also seeps up from swamps, landfills, even the stomachs of cows.

And while methane is valuable, a lot of it gets up into the atmosphere, where it becomes a very damaging greenhouse gas.

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This Is NPR
5:53 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Curious Listener: The Spoil(er Alert)s of War

Katie Burk NPR

For a news organization, the question of when spoiler alerts may be appropriate can be a nuanced one. It's certainly not unreasonable for listeners to hope that NPR might avoid revealing key plot points or endings when reviewing books and movies. But what if those books or movies are based on real life events? And what if those events have already been reported in the news?

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Code Switch
5:45 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

A History Of Indentured Labor Gives 'Coolie' Its Sting

Nine out of 10 workers on the transcontinental railroad were Chinese. These indentured laborers, derogatorily called "coolies," became a prime target for criticism in the mid-19th century.
Joseph Becker Library of Congress

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

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World Cafe
5:25 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

World Cafe Next: Phèdre

Phèdre.
Maya Fuhr Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 2:43 pm

  • Hear Two Songs By Phèdre

This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Phèdre, a Canadian band that also serves as a highlight for this month's Sense of Place: Toronto series. The group was named by singer Daniel Lee and bassist April Aliermo after Nancy Sinatra's alter ego in "Some Velvet Morning," the classic duet with Lee Hazlewood.

The band released its second album — the synth-laden, oozy and outrageous Golden Age — in October. Listeners can hear and download two songs from the record with today's podcast.

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All Tech Considered
5:00 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Helping Low-Income Seniors Build A Social Web Online

Hazel Avery, 86, holds her iPad for the first time. The Connecting to Community program, with funding from the AARP Foundation, teaches low-income seniors how to increase social engagement online. The Washington, D.C., program chose seniors with no previous computer experience.
Sarah L. Voisin The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:23 pm

The Internet is often considered the realm of the young. But in the U.S., people over 65 are one of the fastest-growing groups to go online, and social media usage among seniors has soared.

A program in Washington, D.C., is designed to bring more seniors online, especially those who are socially isolated.

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Shots - Health News
4:57 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

FDA Tells 23andMe To Stop Selling Popular Genetic Test

YouTube

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:41 pm

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Code Switch
4:47 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

What Do We Mean When We Talk About 'Latino Art'?

Radiante, Olga Albizu
Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:42 pm

When the Whitney Museum of American Art announced the artists for its 2014 biennial, people took to the Internet to chime in about who's been included and who's been left out; the last biennial had been blasted for ignoring Latino artists. But when a new show opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum featuring only Latino artists — "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art" — it was blasted for other reasons.

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World Cafe
4:42 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Stars On World Cafe

Stars.
Courtesy of the artist

This segment from Nov. 19, 2010, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

Originally formed in Toronto in 1998, the indie-pop band Stars features singer Torquil Campbell, keyboardist Chris Seligman, singer-guitarist Amy Millan and bassist Evan Cranley. After the release of 2004's Set Yourself on Fire in the U.S., Stars became a huge buzz band for songs like "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" and "Ageless Beauty."

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Latin America
4:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Whoever Honduras Elects President Faces Tough Road, Broke Country

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Hondurans went to the polls this Sunday to elect a new president. The Central American country has a whole host of problems to deal with, including the highest levels of violence in the world and increased drug cartel activity. Most pressing, though, the new leader will inherit a failing economy. Honduras is broke. It just borrowed, for the first time, $500 million on the international bond market, but that wasn't even enough to bail the country out of its devastating financial troubles.

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