World

The Two-Way
8:53 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Steady

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan earlier this year.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:54 am

There were 333,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. Claims were up 1.5 percent from the previous week's 328,000 — and basically remained at the lower end of the range where they've stayed for the better part of the last two years.

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The Picture Show
8:33 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Burrowed In Brooklyn: A Little Ukrainian Beach Town

Women walk to the sea during a Christian Epiphany ceremony, January 2013.
Uliana Bazar

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 1:35 pm

Resting on the southern shore of Brooklyn, between Coney Island and Manhattan Beach, is a place known to New York City dwellers as Brighton Beach. To some, though, it's just "Little Odessa."

Photographer Uliana Bazar grew up in Ukraine and had heard of "Little Odessa" during her childhood. The New York community is named after a Ukrainian city on the Black Sea — and today it's a community of mostly Eastern Europeans, many of whom immigrated after 1970.

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Song Premiere: The Avett Brothers, 'Another Is Waiting'

The Avett Brothers will release Magpie and the Dandelion on Oct. 15
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 8:46 am

It hasn't even been 11 full months since The Avett Brothers released The Carpenter, the North Carolina band's most recent collection of poignant and infectious, bluegrass-inflected folk-rock.

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Summer Books 2013
8:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Of Ingenuity And Insane Clown Posse: 5 Books On Music For What's Left Of Summer

cover for Dinner With Lenny
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:58 am

It's already August 8, which means you've got maybe three or four weeks left to complain about preseason football, inadequately shield yourself from the scorching heat of the sun, and communicate with your kids about something other than why they haven't done their homework. So why not get cracking on a book?

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Shots - Health News
8:00 am
Thu August 8, 2013

What Makes Good Bacteria Go Bad? It's Not Them, It's You

S.pneumoniae bacteria may look harmless, but don't rile them.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:01 am

Imagine a friend of a friend brings his family to stay with you — his family of tiny survivalists. For weeks or months you all live quietly side by side with no problems. You share meals. Your kids play together.

Then one day you get sick — maybe felled by a bad cold or the flu. Suddenly certain the end is near, your jittery houseguest breaks out an armory's worth of chemical weapons. He abandons his community to save himself and hunt for a new home, wreaking havoc on the way out the door.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:58 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Watch Me Do Something Impossible In Three Totally Easy Steps

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:19 pm

Here's what the Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvard did. In 1934, he got himself a pen and paper and drew four cubes, like this.

Then he drew some more, like this.

And, then — and this is where he got mischievous — he drew one more set, like this.

He called this final version "Impossible Triangle of Opus 1 No. 293aa." I don't know what the "293aa" is about, but he was right about "impossible." An arrangement like this cannot take place in the physical universe as we know it.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Book News: Publishers Object To Proposed Punishments For Apple

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:15 am

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

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Magic And Politics Beyond The Portal In 'Guide'

It's one of the most familiar stories in fantasy: someone from our world stumbles on a gateway to a world entirely other — usually magical, sometimes dangerous, and always ripe for a great adventure. But despite the iconic image of a paradise just beyond the doorway, the portal fantasy is often, at heart, a cynical work. After all, some of folkore's most notable archetypes were supernatural threats who crossed from their world to ours to beleaguer us.

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Europe
6:53 am
Thu August 8, 2013

'Magic Flute' Singers End Up In Lake Constance

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute," Tamino and Pamina can't get married unless brave Tamino passes three tests or trials. At a performance on Lake Constance in Austria this week, the trials by silence and fire were no sweat but water turned out to be a bit trickier. As a gondola carrying three characters approached the floating stage it capsized, tossing the three into the lake's shallow waters. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
4:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Former Soviet Republic's Democratic Transition Questioned

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It was five years ago that the U.S. was chastising Russia over its invasion of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Russian tanks had moved across the border after Georgian forces tried to re-take a separatist region, a region which Russia backed. There is still tensions between the countries, but last year Georgian voters elected a new prime minister who pledged to improve ties with Moscow.

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U.S.
4:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Kerry, Hagel To Meet Russian Counterparts On Friday

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:41 am

The U.S. has canceled plans for an Obama-Putin summit because Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. But Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will go ahead with plans to meet their counterparts in Washington.

Business
4:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Railroad In Deadly Canadian Crash Files Bankruptcy

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:06 am

The rail company involved in the explosion that killed 47 people in a small Quebec town last month has filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy is a direct result of the explosion, in which a run-away train carrying oil derailed and blew up not far from the Maine-Quebec border.

Business
4:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Love Boat Reaches Its Final Destination

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:38 am

The cruise ship made famous by the TV show The Love Boat will end up in a scrap heap on the Turkish coast. A ship recycling company in Turkey bought the cruise liner for a little more than $3 million and will strip it for its parts and metal.

Business
4:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Faces Justice Department Probe

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:09 am

JPMorgan Chase revealed on Wednesday that it's facing criminal and civil investigations by the Justice Department. The bank says the investigations focus on sales of subprime mortgage securities in the years preceding the financial crisis.

Science
4:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

NIH Issues Guidelines For HeLa Cell Genome Data

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:53 am

The 2010 bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks highlighted ethical controversies surrounding scientists' use of HeLa cells. The cells are descended from a tumor taken without consent from Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman who died in 1951. Ethical concerns resurfaced with the publication of the HeLa cell's genome. The National Institutes of Health has now issued guidelines. For an explanation, Linda Wertheimer talks to NIH director Francis Collins.

Code Switch
3:49 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Science Rap B.A.T.T.L.E.S. Bring Hip-Hop Into The Classroom

Jayda Neor and Kephra Shaw Meredith, seventh-graders from KIPP Bridge middle school in Oakland, Calif., perform a rap song about the discovery of DNA's structure in front of a green screen.
Tom McFadden

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 12:48 pm

This story comes to us from our friends at the science desk. They produced the 7-minute video documentary you see above.

"Modern-day rappers — all they talk about is money, and all these unnecessary and irrelevant topics," says Victoria Richardson, a freshman at Bronx Compass High School. Richardson's rhymes tackle a much less-popular subject: DNA.

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Latin America
3:23 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Working To Save The Painted 'Zonkeys' Of Tijuana

Victor Reyes has been photographing tourists atop Tijuana's "zonkeys" since he was 12, and says at one time he could earn $150 a day. Now, he's lucky to earn $15, he says. Here, Reyes poses with his donkey, Ruben.
Amy Isackson NPR

Ruben prances across the street one recent morning on his way to work on a corner of Tijuana's famous tourist strip, Avenida Revolución.

Ruben's hair is freshly dyed. His nametag is shiny.

But both he and his boss, Victor Reyes, have long faces.

Ruben, well, he's a donkey, (a "zonkey" in local parlance).

As for Reyes, his business — taking photos of tourists atop Ruben — has stumbled on hard times.

'Old Mexico'

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Shots - Health News
3:20 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Obamacare Foes Make Final Push To Stop Health Law's Implementation

A screenshot from the FreedomWorks website, which is urging citizens opposed to the Affordable Care Act to opt out of the law's requirement to have insurance. It asks Americans to symbolically "burn your Obamacare card." In reality, no such card will exist.
FreedomWorks

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:47 am

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Europe
3:17 am
Thu August 8, 2013

How Gaul-ing! Celebrating France's First Resistance Fighter

Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, is a national hero in France, where he is admired for his fight against invading Romans, despite his ultimate defeat.
Kevin Beesley NPR

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 9:33 pm

Every summer, a village in eastern France celebrates a Gallic chieftain who lost a major battle to Julius Caesar in 52 B.C. Despite that defeat, the mythic Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, is a French national hero today.

But Vercingetorix wasn't always remembered with such fanfare: For 2,000 years, he lay nearly forgotten.

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Planet Money
3:13 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Egypt May Not Need Fighter Jets, But The U.S. Keeps Sending Them Anyway

An American F-16 fighter plane arrives at an airbase in Egypt on March 27, 1982.
Foley AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:51 pm

Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt.

The U.S. started sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt in the late '80s. In all, the U.S. sent more than 1,000 tanks to Egypt since then — valued at some $3.9 billion — which Egypt maintains along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.

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