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Parallels
4:14 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Ottoman Dream Come True: Train Links East And West In Istanbul

A Marmaray Project train awaits its inauguration ceremony in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:04 pm

The Marmaray Project, Turkey's new underwater rail link between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, is open for business. It's the first of its kind, a modern feat of engineering that realizes the 150-year-old dream of an Ottoman sultan.

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

WATCH: Boy Upstages Pope's Speech

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis reads his message as a young boy plays in front of him on the stage.
AP

Protocol is a concept that's often lost on young children, and this boy — one of a group of children invited to sit near the pontiff during a speech — didn't see any reason why he shouldn't hang out for a bit with the guy in white.

Dressed in jeans, sneakers and a polo shirt, the unidentified youngster crawled up onstage and stood next to Pope Francis during a service at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican over the weekend.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
4:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined

An emergency responder helps evacuate two people with a boat after their neighborhood in Little Ferry, N.J., was flooded.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:00 pm

When Sandy blew into East Coast communities a year ago, it was flooding that did the most damage.

That's in part because the average sea level has risen over the past century — about a foot along the mid-Atlantic coast. That made it easier for the storm to push the ocean onto the land.

And scientists say there will be many more Sandy-style storms — that is, torrential rain and wind that create heavy coastal flooding — and they'll be more frequent than in the past. But preparing people for that means changing the way they live, and that's proving politically difficult.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Priceless Italian Treasure Is Shown Off In Rare Exhibition

A necklace of Saint Januarius, in gold, silver and precious stones, is displayed in Rome. The riches are from a treasure trove in Naples that is said to be worth more than the British crown jewels.
Gabriel Buoys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:07 pm

Dazzling with diamonds, emeralds and gold, 70 pieces of treasure — said to be some of the most valuable in the world — have been transported from a vault in a Naples cathedral to a museum in Rome. They'll stay there until February, marking the first time they've ever been displayed outside of Naples.

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Economy
3:13 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Why The Fed Decided Not To Change Course

Citing continued signs of weakness, the Federal Reserve said it will keep aiming for low interest rates.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 3:27 pm

Look around. Do you see much inflation?

Gas prices are down more than 7 percent from last year. Grocery costs haven't budged lately. And — just in time for Halloween — the price of candy is down 2.3 percent from last year, according to the government's consumer price index released Wednesday.

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Shots - Health News
3:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

The Long List Of Health Apps Features Few Clear Winners

He's not checking your blood glucose levels. He's playing Words with Friends.
Anna Zielinska iStockphoto.com

Here at Shots we get all kinds of pitches about the latest smartphone app that promises a profound improvement in our health. But truth be told, Candy Crush gets a lot more exercise than all those medical apps we've downloaded. And it turns out we're not alone.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

For Now, Fed Will Stand Firm On Bond Buying

The Fed pointed to a somewhat weaker housing market in recent months.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 3:36 pm

The Federal Reserve's message, at least for now, is to take a wait-and-see approach to the economy before tapering off on its bond-buying program.

In a statement issued after Wednesday's meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee said that while it has seen signs of "growing underlying strength in the broader economy" it awaits "more evidence that progress can be sustained."

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Author Interviews
2:25 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Brings Lessons From Space Down To Earth

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has spent a total of six months in space. In his new book, he writes that getting to space took only "8 minutes and 42 seconds. Give or take a few thousand days of training."
NASA Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:30 pm

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Education
2:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Teachers Share Their Top Safety Concerns

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we'll head into the Beauty Shop, where our panel of women commentators and journalists take on some hot topics of the week, including adult Halloween costume dilemmas. And we'll ask if Jay-Z has another problem to add to his 99 - we promise we'll explain all that.

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Politics
2:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Senator Cory Booker: Workhorse Or Show Horse?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we'll speak with a roundtable of educators about school safety. That's a subject that's on our minds a year after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and weeks after two more teachers were killed in their schools. That conversation is coming up.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Pakistan Says Drones Killed Far Fewer Civilians Than Thought

A U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 3:12 pm

While human rights groups and other watchdogs have put the civilian death toll in the hundreds, Pakistan's Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that just 3 percent of the deaths from U.S. drone strikes since 2008 were noncombatants.

The ministry says 317 drone strikes have killed 2,160 Islamic militants and 67 civilians in the last five years.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Report: NSA Has Broken Into Google And Yahoo Data Centers

"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world," The Washington Post reported at midday Wednesday.

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Shots - Health News
1:33 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Why Insurers Cancel Policies, And What You Can Do About It

Many people who buy their own health insurance are being told their policieswill be canceled. New coverage may cost more and sometimes less, but it can't be denied because or pre-existing conditions.
iStockphoto.com

Health insurers are ending policies for what could turn out to be millions of Americans. The moves have rattled consumers and stoked new debate about the health care law.

No one knows for sure right now how many of the estimated 14 million people who buy their own insurance are getting cancellation notices, but the numbers appear to be big. Some insurers report discontinuing 20 percent of their individual business, while other insurers have notified up to 80 percent of policyholders that they will have to change plans.

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Parallels
1:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Armies Can't Find Joseph Kony. Can Crowdfunding?

Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, is being pursued by U.S. Special Forces and African armies. If he can raise enough money, adventurer Robert Young Pelton will be tracking him, too.
STR AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:23 pm

U.S. Special Forces haven't found Joseph Kony. Several African governments have searched in vain for the notorious Ugandan warlord. And a social media campaign among young Americans, which last year focused attention on Kony's atrocities and went viral, has waned.

But Canadian Robert Young Pelton, an adventurer/journalist/entrepreneur, thinks he can track down Kony in central Africa — and he's prepared to do it if he can raise $450,000 from crowdfunding.

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The Salt
12:57 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Before Marathoners Had Energy Bars ...

These are food.
NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:36 pm

In its October/November issue, Running Times has a piece by distance running great Bill Rodgers. Among the most compelling of his reflections are the details on his diet while training for the 1976 New York City Marathon:

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All Tech Considered
12:18 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

(Don't) Pardon Me: One Man's Fight Against Distracted Walking

These days, pedestrians tapping away while walking are hard to miss.
Andreas Tittelbach iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:30 pm

We've all grumbled about the growing ranks of phone-gazing zombies, drifting along the sidewalk or holding up the checkout line. Texting while walking, distracted walking, the smartphone sidewalk scourge — whatever you call it, this phenomenon has rapidly become a nearly inescapable frustration of modern life.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Obama's 'Keep Your Health Care Plan' Pledge Fails Fact Checks

September 2010: President Obama at an event in Falls Church, Va., where he answered questions about his health care plan.
Dennis Brack/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:30 pm

As lawmakers grill Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the botched startup of HealthCare.gov and other issues related to the Affordable Care Act, nonpartisan fact checkers are giving failing grades to President Obama's oft-repeated pledge to Americans that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

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Parallels
11:28 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Someone In Central China Really Stinks At Photoshop

In a photo originally posted to a county government website, local officials purportedly visit a 100-year-old woman in Anhui province. They sure are tall, aren't they? And what happened to the legs of the guy on the right?
Ningguo Civil Affairs Department via Chinanews.com

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:32 pm

Local Chinese government propagandists have outdone themselves in what seems to be the increasingly competitive category of bad Photoshop.

This week's entry hails from Ningguo County in central China's Anhui province. The workmanship is so bad, it seems almost, well, effortless.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:23 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Debate: For A Better Future, Live In A Red State?

Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on Oct. 18." href="/post/debate-better-future-live-red-state" class="noexit lightbox">
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt (left) and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore argue in favor of the motion "For A Better Future, Live In A Red State" at an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on Oct. 18.
Rob Andrew Intelligence Squared U.S.

When it comes to things like the economy, taxes, health care and education, is it better to live in a red state or a blue state?

Some argue that red-state tendencies toward lower taxes and less regulated, more free-market systems make them ideal places to work and raise a family. But others counter that residents of blue states are wealthier, have more educational opportunities and benefit from a commitment to a social safety net.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Haiku In The News: Reality In Riyadh

A Saudi woman walks past vehicles stopping at a traffic light in Riyadh, where there is a government ban on women driving.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:15 pm

Poetry is important. And the hope for this standing feature of The Protojournalist is that by searching for a poetic nugget in the constant rush of news we can slow down for a moment and contemplate what the news story really means.

Like finding a lovely pebble in a mountain stream. Or a dropped earring on a crowded sidewalk.

Haiku in the News — you can find other examples here — is not designed to be a trivial thing.

Gray Lady Poems

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The Salt
11:09 am
Wed October 30, 2013

How Much Water Actually Goes Into Making A Bottle Of Water?

The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.
Steven Depolo Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:22 pm

Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year.

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It's All Politics
11:08 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., differ in style and ideology but show signs of having a good working relationship.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:17 pm

Two wily veterans of Congress' fiscal wars will lead the budget talks scheduled to start Wednesday: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the heads of the House and Senate budget committees.

As the 29 lawmakers on the budget conference committee — 22 from the Senate and seven from the House — sit down to begin negotiations, they'll have in Ryan and Murray two lawmakers who from most accounts get along well despite their many differences.

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Shots - Health News
9:55 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Victims Of Tainted Steroid Injections Still Struggling

Scans from patients with fungal meningitis show evidence of a stroke (left) and arachnoiditis.
New England Journal of Medicine

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:41 am

A year ago, public health officials were scrambling to figure out why people across the country were suddenly coming down with life-threatening cases of meningitis.

The outbreak eventually was traced back to contaminated steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center. All told, 751 people contracted fungal meningitis and other infections from the tainted shots; 64 died.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Job Growth Slowed Further In October, Survey Signals

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair earlier this month in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:21 am

Only a relatively low 130,000 jobs were added to private employers' payrolls in October and the labor market in September was even weaker than first thought, according to the latest data from the ADP National Employment Report.

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Parallels
8:30 am
Wed October 30, 2013

World Headlines: China Calls Tiananmen Attack Terrorism

A vehicle from the Chinese police special tactical unit guards the sidewalk Tuesday where it is believed a car drove up before it plowed through a crowd and crashed and burned in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Ng Han Guan AP

China, CCTV

We start this morning with more news on that deadly crash in Beijing's Tiananmen square.

Authorities say they've arrested five people in Beijing in connection with Monday's crash that killed two people and injured nearly 40. They labeled the incident a terrorist attack.

Police said the attack was "carefully planned, organized and premeditated."

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