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The Government Shutdown
6:57 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Some Are Benefiting From The Government Shutdown

Rasim Akin Sevimli of Turkey tries to peer through the glass of the closed Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Tuesday — his only chance to see the museum before leaving Washington, D.C.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:52 pm

Among the temporary casualties of the government shutdown, besides the paychecks of 800,000 workers, are all federally funded tourist attractions.

Sure, it's a bummer for those who planned vacations around the Smithsonian museums and galleries, national parks and national monuments (although barricades didn't stop some veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Tuesday).

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The Two-Way
6:46 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Jury: Concert Promoter Was Not Liable In Michael Jackson Death

Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family, delivers his closing argument to jurors in the Michael Jackson lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live last week in Los Angeles.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:55 pm

A Los Angeles jury has found concert promoter AEG Live was not negligent in the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson, who died of a sedative overdose four years ago.

Jackson's mother had sought $1.5 billion in damages — a figure AEG's attorney called "ridiculous" last week.

Reuters reports the jury ruled unanimously. The 12-person panel in the wrongful death lawsuit was made up of six men and six women, but only nine jurors were needed to decide the case.

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It's All Politics
6:45 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Diary: Day 2

Anti-shutdown protesters in Los Angeles may have had enough of the budget crisis, but it appears to be far from over.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:12 pm

Wednesday's Highlights:

White House

Day 2 of the federal government shutdown found President Obama summoning congressional leaders to the White House to urge House Republicans to pass legislation to reopen agencies and raise the debt ceiling to avoid a first-ever default by the U.S. (Nothing was resolved; here's the story.)

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Code Switch
6:20 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Howard's President Steps Down Amid Tumult And Uncertainty

Sidney Ribeau's tenure saw the university's endowment recover from the 2008 downturn and its alumni giving rate quadruple. But a trustee said the school was in "serious trouble" and called for a no-confidence vote against him.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:55 pm

Is Howard University facing an existential crisis?

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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Legal Advocates Want Overhaul Of Public Defender System

Former Vice President Walter Mondale speaks at a Georgetown University Law Center discussion last week. He is one of several prominent individuals calling for better legal representation for the poor.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 9:55 am

Prominent members of the legal community are pressuring the Obama administration to do more to ensure that poor criminal defendants have access to a lawyer, a situation that Attorney General Eric Holder has already likened to a national crisis.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

John Boehner Reports No Progress After Meeting With Obama

The White House is seen behind a stop sign in Washington, D.C, on Oct. 1.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:46 pm

Update at 7:15 p.m. ET. No Progress:

Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, stepped out of the White House this evening after a 90-minute meeting with President Obama and reported no progress.

"They will not negotiate," Boehner said. "All we are asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people on Obamacare."

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It's All Politics
5:49 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Gives Americans New Reason To Hate Washington

Regina Whittington (right) of Little Rock, Ark., and her friend Diana Fuller, of Noble, Okla., walk toward the entrance to the Gateway Arch Wednesday in St. Louis.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:59 pm

There's nothing like a government shutdown to make people angry about government, or at least the politicians who are running things.

"The people we have in the Senate and the House of Representatives, I don't know who they're working for, but they're not working for us," says Larry Abernathy, an insurance broker in St. Louis. "I think both parties are useless."

It's a widely shared belief. People in this Midwestern city may be far removed from the back and forth of the budget debate that has paralyzed Washington, but the partial shutdown is very much on their minds.

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All Tech Considered
5:48 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Calif. Bans Jilted Lovers From Posting 'Revenge Porn' Online

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:08 pm

After a breakup, raw feelings can set off a desire for revenge. Some jilted lovers have taken to posting intimate pictures of a former partner on the Internet. It's a phenomenon known as "revenge porn," and on Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law making it a crime.

The new law is a victory to Holly Jacobs, who was a victim of revenge porn. Jacobs went through what sounds like a typical boy-meets-girl story of falling in and out of love. The first year of the relationship, Jacobs and her partner lived in the same city, but she left to go to graduate school in Miami.

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All Tech Considered
5:39 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Social Media Detectives: Is That Viral Video For Real?

via YouTube

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

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It's All Politics
5:39 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

GOP Establishment Grapples With A Tea Party That Won't Budge

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is among the Republicans who want to pass a spending bill not tied to defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

The old line in Washington is that the "establishment" controls everything.

But the fights that have resulted in the government shutdown have turned that cliche upside down.

This time, it's the Tea Party and its allies in Congress calling the shots. The "establishment" — on Capitol Hill and in the business community — has so far been on the outs.

You can hear the frustration in the voice of 11-term Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., as he runs a gantlet of reporters at the Capitol.

"I'm just more concerned about there not being a clean CR," he says amid the hubbub.

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Shots - Health News
5:39 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

A DEET-Like Mosquito Spray That Smells Like Jasmine Or Grapes?

Scientists have discovered four new DEET-like mosquito repellents. Three of them are safe to eat.
Courtesy of Pinky Kai/University of California, Riverside

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:56 am

California scientists are reporting a pair of victories in the epic struggle between man and mosquito.

A team at the University of California, Riverside, appears to have finally figured out how bugs detect the insect repellent known as DEET. And the team used its discovery to identify several chemical compounds that promise to be safer and cheaper than DEET, according to the report in the journal Nature.

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The Salt
4:45 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Fish Guidelines For Pregnant Women May Be Too Strict, Study Suggests

In a study of 4,000 pregnant women, fish accounted for only 7 percent of blood mercury levels.
JackF iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 5:22 pm

The health benefits of eating fish are pretty well-known. A lean source of protein, fish can be a rich source of healthful omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to benefit heart, eye and brain health.

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Space
4:40 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

The Government Shutdown's Final Frontier: How NASA Is Dealing

While almost all of NASA's employees have been furloughed because of the government shutdown, ground control activities for the International Space Station are still operational. Above, astronaut Chris Cassidy on a spacewalk aboard the ISS on May 11.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:39 am

If ET wants to phone home, this is not the week to do it. NASA's phone lines are down, as are its website and many Twitter feeds. All have been silenced by the government shutdown, whose far-reaching consequences are now stretching into space.

The shutdown began on Tuesday, after Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives failed to come to an agreement over the federal budget. Most of the government's nonessential services have ground to a halt, and among the hardest hit agencies is NASA.

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It's All Politics
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Obama's Shift In Rhetoric Helping Democrats Stick Together

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid celebrate the open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday. During the government shutdown, the Democrats have been more unified than they have been in a long time.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

President Obama has been railing against Republicans in Congress nearly every day this week.

"One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government," he said in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday. "All because they didn't like one law."

He's expected to take that message on the road on Thursday, visiting a construction company in Maryland to talk about the impact of the shutdown on the economy.

And that finger-pointing at Republicans is sure to be part of his speech again.

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Europe
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Russia Charges Greenpeace Activists With Piracy

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Russian prosecutors have filed charges of piracy against 14 people who were aboard a Greenpeace boat during a protest last month in the Russian Arctic. Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. Greenpeace says it was peacefully protesting the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and that the Russian government is violating international law.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Hundreds Of Safety Net Hospitals Face Uncertain Future

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Hospitals that serve the neediest patients are bracing themselves through the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. These safety-net hospitals treat large numbers of people with no health insurance and many are struggling. In New York, a handful of these hospitals are on the brink of closing.

And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some worry that the health care law will make things even worse, not better.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Clapper: Shutdown Hurts Intelligence, Counterterrorism Efforts

National Intelligence Director James Clapper (left), accompanied by Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, testifies on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:50 pm

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate panel on Wednesday that the government shutdown — which forced the furlough of 70 percent of the CIA and NSA workforce — amounted to a "dreamland" of opportunity for foreign spy agencies.

Clapper, who appeared side by side with National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander, told a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee that failure to fund the government "is not just a Beltway issue. It affects our capability to support the military, diplomacy and our policymakers."

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

At Least 8 Dead In Tenn. Church Bus Crash

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 6:05 pm

Eight people are reported dead in a fiery crash between a tractor trailer and a tour bus in Tennessee.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the crash has shut down both sides of Interstate 40, in Statesville, Tenn., east of Knoxville.

Aerial images of the crash show a smoldering trailer and an overturned bus.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

U.S. Opposes Tech Firms' Plea To Release Surveillance Requests

An employee stands at the Microsoft booth during the 2013 Computex in Taipei on June 4, 2013.
Mandy Cheng AFP/Getty Images

The United States filed a court brief (pdf) opposing the release of details concerning the surveillance requests they hand big tech companies in the U.S.

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The Salt
2:57 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Is It Time To Cool It On Kale Already?

Are we putting too much pressure on this little superfood that could?
Peet Sneekes Flickr

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:23 pm

Let's start by agreeing to this premise: Kale is very good for you.

And yes, we here at The Salt have been known to indulge in — nay, crave — kale chips and kale salads on a not infrequent basis.

Still, when we found out that Wednesday is National Kale Day — featuring a kale dance party (we kid you not) — we couldn't help but think: Come on, people, the kale love has officially Gone. Too. Far.

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Shots - Health News
2:07 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Why Eye Contact Can Fail To Win People Over

Eye contact may prove persuasive only if a person's already on your side, a study finds.
iStockphoto.com

Pop psychology holds that to connect with someone, you should look deep into their eyes. The more you look, the more persuasive you'll be. But that may work only when your audience already agrees with you.

Researchers in Germany tested the power of the eye lock by polling university students about their opinions on controversial issues like assisted suicide, nuclear energy and affirmative action in the workplace.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Dying 'Angola 3' Inmate Freed After Decades In Solitary

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:26 pm

Herman Wallace, one of the "Angola 3" inmates who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement for the killing of a guard, has been freed after his conviction was overturned.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson in Baton Rouge, La., said Tuesday that Wallace had not received a fair trial.

The Associated Press says that Jackson "had also ordered a new trial because women were unconstitutionally excluded from the grand jury that indicted Wallace in the guard's death. And, he ordered him immediately released."

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

FBI Arrests Alleged Owner Of 'Silk Road' Black Market Site

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 8:47 am

The FBI has moved to crack down on a shadowy back channel of the Internet — where transactions take place outside of easily accessible domains — arresting the alleged proprietor of the black-market site Silk Road, which has been called the eBay of the drug trade.

Ross William Ulbricht, 29, known by his hacker handle "Dread Pirate Roberts," was arrested Tuesday morning in San Francisco and charged with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations' court filing.

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Music Reviews
1:27 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

On 'Days Are Gone,' Three Sisters HAIM It Up

HAIM.
Tom Beard Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 1:28 pm

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All Tech Considered
1:03 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Your Digital Trail: Does The Fourth Amendment Protect Us?

The Bill of Rights as seen at The National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of National Archives

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

This is the third story in our four-part series examining your digital trail and who potentially has access to it. It was co-reported by G.W. Schulz from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Yesterday, we examined how data-tracking companies are monitoring your online behavior. Today we look at your Fourth Amendment rights.

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