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NPR's up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary and coverage of news, politics, arts, sports, and more from around the world and in and around Pittsburgh, hosted locally by 90.5 WESA's Josh Raulerson.

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Asia
3:35 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Asian Investors Find Hot Market In U.S. Properties

In May, a large piece of the General Motors Building in Manhattan was purchased by a Chinese real estate developer.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:51 am

The General Motors Building in Manhattan is a majestic 50-story, white marble structure that takes up one full city block. This is prime New York City real estate. A flagship Apple store sits on the ground floor, across the street is the Plaza Hotel, and on another corner is an entrance to Central Park.

The GM building is considered one of the most valuable office towers in the U.S. In May, a large piece of it was purchased by a Chinese real estate developer.

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The Two-Way
12:03 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Justice Department Sues North Carolina Over Voter ID Law

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 5:16 pm

(This post was updated at 5 p.m.)

The Justice Department is suing North Carolina over that state's restrictive new voting law. The lawsuit takes aim at provisions that limit early voting periods and require a government photo ID as an illegal form of discrimination against minorities at the ballot box.

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Around the Nation
7:42 am
Fri September 27, 2013

North Texas See Mass Migration Of Spiders

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

World
7:38 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Half Marathoner: Bad At Directions, Good At Distance Running

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene with the story of a very happy but long accident. Thirty-four-year-old Meredith Fitzmaurice signed up for the recent Run for Heroes Half Marathon in Ontario, Canada. Somewhere on the route, she took a wrong turn, landing on the full marathon course, 26.2 miles.

And she decided to just keep going. Fitzmaurice ended up being the first woman to cross the finish line, the 10th person overall; and she qualified for the Boston Marathon.

All Tech Considered
6:07 am
Fri September 27, 2013

BlackBerry: If You Don't Survive, May You Rest In Peace

Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:45 pm

This may be premature, but it is best to think of this post as an obituary for the BlackBerry, a phone struck down seemingly in its prime. Gone so soon.

BB, we'll miss you.

Over the course of its existence, BlackBerry sold smartphones to more than 200 million people. It became ubiquitous in places like Indonesia, but it began with an invasion of Wall Street and Washington.

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Sports
3:56 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Bream's Slide Decades Ago Dashed Pittsburgh's Playoff Hopes

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And staying with baseball, let's meet a man who was once closer than anyone to victory and defeat in the same game. It's 1992, the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates were in the post season. They are one out away from the World Series. Atlanta is batting. And this happened.

(SOUNDBITE OF 1992 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES)

SKIP CARAY: Swung, line drive left field. One run is in. Here comes Bream. Here's the throw to the plate. He is - safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

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Sports
3:56 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Fans Experience The Thin Line Between Winning And Losing

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's not just sports teams that win championships. It's also their fans - whole cities of people who endure long seasons, hanging on every pitch, every touchdown, every basket, sharing in both the elation of victory and also the pain of defeat. Major League Baseball's best teams are getting ready for the playoffs next week and so are their faithful. And over the next few minutes we want to feel what it's like to be on the cusp of either a championship - or disaster.

(SOUNDBITE OF 1986 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYOFF GAME)

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Middle East
3:56 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Journalists In Egypt Face 'Unprecedented Pressures'

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Research News
3:06 am
Fri September 27, 2013

How Recycling Bias Affects What You Toss Where

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:07 am

During an experiment, marketing professor Remi Trudel noticed a pattern in what his volunteers were recycling versus throwing in the garbage. He then went through his colleagues' trash and recycling bins at Boston University for more data.

He found the same pattern, says NPR's Shankar Vedantam: "Whole sheets of paper typically went in the recycling, but paper fragments went in the trash."

Same type of paper, different shapes, different bins.

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Shots - Health News
3:05 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Houston Gears Up For Obamacare, Despite GOP Opposition

Enroll America outreach worker Rosy Mota (right) talks about the federal health care law with a CVS customer.
Carrie Feibel

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:26 am

Two high-profile Texans are fighting the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Rick Perry has loudly dismissed the law, and fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor this week to rail against it at length — 21 hours and 19 minutes to be exact.

On the other side of the issue, you have Rosy Mota and her clipboard, standing at the door of a CVS pharmacy in one of Houston's Latino neighborhoods, stopping shoppers.

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Author Interviews
3:04 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Diane Ravitch Rebukes Education Activists' 'Reign Of Error'

Yunus Arakon iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 8:11 am

Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education, spent years advocating for an overhaul of the American education system. She supported the No Child Left Behind Act, the charter school movement and standardized testing.

But Ravitch recently — and very publicly — changed her mind. She looked at the data and decided that the kinds of changes she'd supported weren't working. Now she's a prominent critic of things like charter schools and school choice — and she's particularly opposed to privatizing schools.

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Animals
7:34 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Animal Park In England Enforces Strict Dress Code

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Next time you're in England on a wild animal safari, leave your animal print outfits at home, OK? The Chessington World of Adventure has just issued a strict dress code. They noticed the animals were getting really confused when they saw visitors in furs or leopard-print shirts.

There will be bouncers enforcing the code, giving offending visitors bland, gray jumpsuits to put on. I guess they're not that worried about visitors dressed like elephants.

World
7:30 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Toronto Blue Jays Fan Disrupts Game

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

A Toronto Blue Jays' fan ran onto the field earlier this season, and now we have his arrest report. It suggests the police are bit frustrated with the Blue Jays, who are in the midst of a losing season. The official report says the Blue Jays were, quote, "surprisingly winning" at the time of the incident. The fan's transgression, quote, "can only be described as an attempt to inject some kind of spark into the Blue Jays, and relieve fans from their season-long agony."

Politics
5:12 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Not All Republicans Embrace Big Business All The Time

The Republican Party in the past has had a close relationship with Wall Street and big business. But lately there's growing tension and disagreement as some Republicans in Congress consider a possible government shutdown. The Tea Party seems to have the strongest criticism of big business.

Politics
5:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

If The Government Closes, 'Essential' Employees Would Work

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Congress has until Tuesday to agree on funding for federal agencies in order to avoid a partial government shutdown. So let's look this morning at exactly what that shutdown would mean.

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Sports
5:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand To Win America's Cup

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:28 am

Oracle Team USA completed a remarkable comeback to win the America's Cup regatta, winning eight straight races. The American team, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, beat Emirates Team New Zealand. Just a few days ago, the American team trailed the Kiwis, and were on the brink of being eliminated from the competition.

Animals
5:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Ancient Fish Fossil Sheds Light On Modern Jaws

A newly discovered fossil of a fish in China changes what scientists know about the origins of jaws. It turns out, human jaws are remarkably similar to the jaw of this 419-million-year-old fish. That suggests jaws evolved much earlier than previously thought.

Business
5:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

1 In 7 American Adults Don't Go Online

Fifteen percent of Americans don't use the Internet, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Most of these "offline adults" are 65 years old or older, many live in rural areas and have incomes lower than $30,000 a year.

Shots - Health News
3:44 am
Thu September 26, 2013

A Medicaid Expansion In Pennsylvania May Take Time

Susan Mull is a substitute teacher in Lancaster County, Pa. She's lived with HIV for 21 years, the past 13 without health insurance. She says an expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania would be "life-changing."
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:26 am

In Pennsylvania, more than a half-million people who don't have insurance are waiting to hear whether the state will take advantage of a Medicaid expansion that's part of the Affordable Care Act.

The federal law would allow people earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines to sign up for Medicaid. But a Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld the law gave states the choice whether to expand their Medicaid programs.

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World
3:43 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Syrian Rebels: U.S. Distracted By Focus On Chemical Weapons

Smoke from heavy shelling rises above buildings in Dara'a, Syria, on Aug. 28.
Ugarit News AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:06 am

A satellite cellphone rings for rebel commander Bashar al-Zawi, at home with his family in the Jordanian city of Irbid. It's a rare domestic break for this wealthy businessman turned rebel commander. But he is anxious to get back to his battalion of 5,000 fighters in southern Syria.

They are taking part in a rebel offensive that is squeezing the Syrian army around the city of Dera'a. Military analysts say the fight is one of the most strategically important battles in Syria's civil war, because Dera'a, close to Damascus, is President Bashar Assad's stronghold in the southwest.

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Energy
3:42 am
Thu September 26, 2013

In Wake Of Colo. Floods, A Scramble To Clean Up Spilled Oil

A crude oil storage tank lies on its side in floodwaters along the South Platte River, in Weld County, Colo., on Sept. 17. Hundreds of natural gas and oil wells along with pipelines are shut down by flooding, as state and federal inspectors gauge the damage and look for potential contamination from inundated oil fields.
John Wark AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:06 am

The heavy floodwaters in Colorado this month caused more than 37,000 gallons of oil to spill into or near rivers, and the state's oil and gas industry is rushing to fix equipment damaged during the storm. It comes at a time when there's growing public concern about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

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Music Interviews
2:01 am
Thu September 26, 2013

'You Can Always Come Home': Alan Jackson On Family And Bluegrass

Alan Jackson's The Bluegrass Album combines new originals with some staples of the genre.
Russ Harrington Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 11:06 am

Alan Jackson has achieved huge success in country music, but he's not above trashing his own industry. The platinum-selling star once voiced his frustration with the narrow range of country music that receives radio play by writing a spot-on parody — "Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Up-Tempo Love Song" — that hit all the mainstream marks on the nose.

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Around the Nation
7:21 am
Wed September 25, 2013

99-Year-Old Iowa Woman Receives High School Diploma

Audrey Crabtree of Cedar Falls began her education in the 1920s in a one-room school house. But then she got injured in a swimming accident, and her grandma fell ill, so she didn't finish high school — 1 credit shy. This week, during a board meeting, she received her diploma from the current principal of East High.

Sports
7:12 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Steelers, Vikings To Play NFL Game In London

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

American football doesn't have a big following overseas, which does not stop the National Football League from trying. An NFL game will be played in London Sunday. As it worked out, the league is not necessarily sending its best. The Pittsburgh Steelers, led by Ben Roethlisberger, also known as Big Ben, are winless, 0-3. They'll play the Vikings, also 0-3. On the upside, David Greene, Steelers fan, one team is likely to overcome jetlag and win.

Sports
6:05 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Qatar's Heat May Force World Cup Schedule Changes

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The global governing body of soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, has a big decision to make next week. Some in that group, known as FIFA, are rethinking their plan to hold the 2022 World Cup in the desert nation of Qatar in the middle of summer.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports on what he calls the Confluence of Football and Fahrenheit.

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