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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.
President Obama's push for a military strike on Syria is on hold, at least for now. The administration is exploring a possible diplomatic alternative that calls for Syria to surrender its stockpile of chemical weapons. That could provide a face-saving out for the president, who appeared unlikely to win Congressional approval this week for a strike.
Next, we'll introduce you to Nathan Myhrvold, who made his name as a prolific inventor at Microsoft. These days, he's focusing on a different kind of technological advance - the threat from biological weapons. Myhrvold is in Washington this week to meet with national security leaders, and try to convince them to spend time and energy on potential attacks. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.
The National Security Agency violated special court restrictions on the use of a database of telephone calls, but the NSA says it fixed those problems. That's the bottom line from more documents declassified by the director of National Intelligence. The document dump is part of an effort to share more details about NSA surveillance activities that were uncovered by former government contractor Edward Snowden.
OK. Maybe you're one of the millions of Americans who attended college but never had a chance to finish. And you have dozens or scores or hundreds of credits just sitting there that don't quite add up to a degree. The University of Wisconsin system has introduced an alternative way to finish your degree by earning credits based on what you already know. It's the so-called Flex Option.
Since Sept. 11, one of the most effective ways the United States has found to weaken terrorist groups has been to go after their finances. Renee Montagne talks to former Treasury official Juan Zarate, who's new book is: Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.
The country will pause Wednesday morning to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. At the site of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, the names of all the victims will be read, along with the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Diplomats continue to consider a Russian plan to get Syria to hand over its chemical weapons to international control. If nations can agree on the details, the plan could avert a U.S. strike against Syrian targets. But accounting for and destroying Syria's chemical arsenal is a complicated undertaking.
Las Vegas is adding an eye-catching tourist attraction, in the form of a huge wheel that can take more than 1,000 people on a ride 550 feet into the sky over the city's famed Strip. The main construction of the wheel, called the High Roller, is nearly finished; it is expected to open in early 2014.
In a sign of China's growing importance as a market for Apple, the company will be rolling out its new iPhones simultaneously in the U.S. and China for the first time later this month. There are a few signs, however, that the new models will not find the sort of frenzied demand as before.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is swapping out three of its blue chip companies, in what's being called the biggest shake up of the index in almost a decade. Standard & Poor's announced it's dropping Hewlett Packard, Alcoa and Bank of America at the end of next week. Sliding into their places: Visa, Nike and Goldman Sachs.
Today marks the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Over the last several years, a group of family members have created a movement to turn the anniversary into a national day of service. This year more than 30 million people will be involved, and they claim it's the largest day of service in the country.
Lauren Henderson goes everywhere with her service dog Phoebe — to the grocery store, Disneyland, the beach. For Henderson, who used to be paralyzed, her 100 pound, lumbering Saint Bernard is a necessity.
An actor who lives in Malibu, Calif., Henderson uses her dog for stability and balance. And if she falls, Phoebe helps pull her back on her feet.
"She's basically like a living walker," Henderson says.
Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad swims toward shore in Key West, Fla., on Sept. 2, the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach about 53 hours after beginning her swim in Havana.
For sportswriters the fattest target has always been the America's Cup. It's too easy. It's like all those political writers who make fun of vice presidents and think they're being original. Sportswriters have been going har-de-har-har about the America's Cup even long before one of their wags said it was like watching paint dry. Or like watching grass grow. One or the other. Maybe both.
The other day, I was interviewing an economist who studies the effect college majors have on peoples' income. He was telling me that women often make decisions that lead them to earn less than they otherwise might.
Women are overrepresented among majors that don't pay very well (psychology, art, comparative literature), and underrepresented in lots of lucrative majors (most fields in engineering).
Cookie Marenco records musicians on a small remote recording console live at the California Audio Show in August. She'll demonstrate the quality of DSD to the audience by playing back her recording. How close will it sound to the live performance? Very close, according to people present.
Credit Cindy Carpien
Cookie Marenco, proprietor of Blue Coast Records, records musicians in her home studio in Belmont, Calif., just south of San Francisco. She'll offer the recordings as downloads in the high resolution format of DSD or Direct Stream Digital.
Last week, Sony Corporation announced a new line of high-end audio components that promise to deliver a better online audio experience. The announcement comes amid growing evidence that music fans are tired of the crappy sound they hear on their portable music players. Case in point is the success of Cookie Marenco's business of selling super high-definition music downloads.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:50 pm
Known for its fondue-ready texture and nutty taste, Swiss Gruyere has long been the cheese of choice for cooks who want something as smooth melting as mozzarella but with more complexity. But in the mountains just across the French border, there's another Alpine-style cheese that just might one-up this standard.
A debate is taking place in Iowa over the ability of people who are legally or completely blind to carry guns in public. The issue stems from a 2011 change in the state's gun permit rules, allowing visually impaired people to carry firearms in public.