3:02pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Planet Money

The Weird Story Of Why Helium Prices Are Going Through The Roof

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 9:51 am

A man selling helium balloons at a local festival on Feb. 19, in Athens, Greece.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

For More: Pork, Helium, Maple Syrup: Our Favorite Strategic Reserves

Back in the 1920s, the U.S. government thought blimps might be the next big thing in warfare. So the government started producing helium. And they created the Federal Helium Reserve, a vast store of helium that sits underground in the Texas panhandle.

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3:01pm

Fri September 28, 2012
It's All Politics

Citing 'Zero Tolerance' For Voter Fraud, RNC Fires Firm Over Florida Questions

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:31 pm

A big embarrassment came this week for the Republican Party, which has made voting integrity and fighting voter fraud a major issue.

A consulting firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in five battleground states has been let go after one of its workers apparently submitted over 100 questionable registration forms in Florida's Palm Beach County.

The party severed its ties with the firm — Strategic Allied Consulting — because it has "zero tolerance" for voter fraud, said RNC spokesman Sean Spicer.

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2:39pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Holy Bat Virus! Genome Hints At Origin Of SARS-Like Virus

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Bats harbor many types of coronaviruses and were probably the original source of the new coronavirus that appeared in the Middle East.
iStockphoto.com

On the surface, the new coronavirus detected in the Middle East this month looks quite similar to SARS. It apparently causes severe respiratory problems, and can be lethal.

But with viruses, the devil is in their details — the genetic details.

Dutch virologists have just published the whole genome of the new coronavirus — all 30,118 letters of its code. And, the sequence reveals that the mystery virus is most closely related to coronaviruses that infect bats in Southeast Asia.

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2:19pm

Fri September 28, 2012
The Two-Way

On Iran: Obama, Netanyahu In 'Full Agreement' About Goal, White House Says

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:50 am

Here's what the White House says the conversation was like when President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone today:

"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke today as part of their regular consultations, and to follow up on Secretary Clinton's meeting with the prime minister.

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2:05pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Interviews

Steve Martin: From Standup To Movie Star And Writer

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:13 pm

Steve Martin at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

This interview is an combination of broadcasts from Oct. 22, 2008 and Oct. 6, 2003. His early standup routines, TV specials and other TV appearances have been released in a new DVD box set.

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1:59pm

Fri September 28, 2012
The Salt

Grieving Pet Owners Want Imported Dog Treats Pulled From Shelves

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:52 pm

Rita Desollar believes chicken jerky treats imported from China killed her German shepherd, Heidi.
Rita Desollar

The Food and Drug Administration isn't sure, but Rita Desollar of Pekin, Ill., feels she knows what killed Heidi, her 7-year-old German shepherd. She feels it was the chicken jerky strips she bought at her local Walgreen's.

Desollar says on the Wednesday before Memorial Day, she gave two pieces of Waggin' Train jerky to Heidi as a treat. A few days later, Heidi was throwing up and "in a lot of distress," she says. By the time the holiday rolled around on Monday, Desollar says, Heidi was convulsing in her bed. She died that day, before Desollar could even take her to the vet.

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1:50pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Law

'Innocence Of Muslims' Filmmaker Arrested

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Federal authorities in Southern California have arrested the man who produced the now infamous anti-Islam video, the one that recently sparked unrest in many Muslim countries. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested for violating his probation from a previous bank fraud conviction. The judge at his hearing this afternoon denied Mr. Nakoula bail, calling him a flight risk, that's according to news agency reports. We now go to NPR West, and we're joined by NPR's Carrie Kahn, who has the latest on Nakoula's arrest.

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1:31pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Education

New Wave Of School Integration In Birmingham, Ala.

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

First-grade teacher Euginia Miller reads to her class at Avondale Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala. In this crucible of the civil rights movement, the city's schools are being reintegrated, as a handful of middle-class parents ignore the school district's poor reputation and enroll their kids in the city's public schools.
Dan Carsen WBHM

When Laura Kate Whitney enrolled her 4-year-old, Grey, at Avondale Elementary, a public school in Birmingham, Ala., she and her husband were bucking a trend. Whitney and her husband are white, middle-class professionals. Public schools in Birmingham are 95 percent black, and 90 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch.

Whitney's is one of about two-dozen similar families who are not buying into the conventional tradeoff that if you live within city limits and have means, you send your kids to private schools.

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1:22pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Television

Fall TV's Returning Series: A Cause To Rejoice

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:05 pm

A phone call from her former boss, Saul (Mandy Patinkin), delivers Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) back into the action of Homeland's second season.
Ronen Akerman Showtime

Right now, as we near the end of the 2012 fall TV premiere week, there's a tendency for a sense of weariness to set in. So many of the new TV series are so bad this year, and not one of them is outstanding. It tends to get a little depressing.

But then you think about the rich bounty of returning series, and how good television drama has gotten lately, and there's cause to rejoice all over again.

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1:11pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Election 2012

Secrets Of Winning The Presidential Debates

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:29 pm

Then-Sen. Barack Obama gets makeup applied at a presidential candidate forum in Lake Forest, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2008.
Alex Brandon AP

TO: President Obama and Mitt Romney

FROM: NPR News

RE: Prepping (and primping) for debates

With the first 2012 presidential debate slated for Wednesday night, we thought it might be helpful to pass along a few suggestions — some more substantive than others — to the participants.

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