4:25pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Politics and Government

Common councilors try to better understand Syracuse's fiscal problems

Syracuse common councilors are trying to get a clearer snapshot of the city's fiscal problems. Lawmakers have been holding a series of meetings to try to figure out how the council can take a more proactive approach to dealing with an impending budget implosion.

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4:23pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Latin America

Bolivia's Cerro Rico: The Mountain That Eats Men

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Cerro Rico, or Rich Mountain, rises like a monument in Potosi, Bolivia. It has produced silver, and hardship, for centuries. Now it may be in danger of collapse.
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Near the mountain city of Potosi in the southern highlands of Bolivia, the cone-shaped peak of Cerro Rico stands as a 15,800-foot monument to the tragedies of Spanish conquest. For centuries, Indian slaves mined the mountain's silver in brutal conditions to bankroll the Spanish empire.

Today, the descendants of those slaves run the mines. But hundreds of years of mining have left the mountain porous and unstable, and experts say it is in danger of collapsing.

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4:21pm

Tue September 25, 2012
All Tech Considered

National Security Experts Go Rogue For 'Drone Smackdown'

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Alice Beauheim, her father and Bill Love fly their homemade machines at the Drone Smackdown in Manassas, Va., on Sunday. Objections by the Federal Aviation Administration forced organizers to hold the tongue-in-cheek contest outside of Washington, D.C.
John Procter

It started as trash talk between two contributors to a national security blog. They decided to host a drone smackdown to see if one guy's machine could take down another.

Unarmed drones, of course. The kind you can put together with a toy-store model and $200 in modifications. But the game turned out to have some serious undertones.

First, a word about the location. For a moment last week, the whole drone smackdown was up in the air.

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3:16pm

Tue September 25, 2012
The Salt

Meadmaker Bottles A Taste Of Maine With Roots In South Africa

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:16 am

A bee gathers pollen from goldenrod, a wildflower that's popular with meadmakers, in Scarborough, Me.
Melissa Beuoy NPR

A few years ago, your best chance of tasting mead might have been at a Renaissance Fair. We're going to wager the enduring memory is of overpowering sweetness and little desire for a second glass.

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3:13pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Middle East

As Numbers Swell, Syrian Refugees Face New Woes

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

A Syrian refugee walks with her children at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Sept. 8. Around 30,000 Syrians live at the camp, with the numbers growing each day.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Syria's refugees keep growing dramatically in number, and no country in the region has taken in more of them than Jordan — a poor, desert nation that is now hosting some 200,000 Syrians.

The conditions for the refugees are perhaps harsher in Jordan than in any other country, with many people sheltered in tents on a hot, dusty plain just inside Jordan's northern border with Syria.

At the Zaatari camp, everything is covered with a layer of sand and dirt; rows and rows of tents, once white, are now a golden color.

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2:21pm

Tue September 25, 2012
From Our Listeners

Letters: 'Hidden' Jobs, Atonement, And Knuckleballs

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous Talk of the Nation show topics, including underappreciated jobs, what it's like for Americans to live abroad when the U.S. is the target of civil unrest, where we find atonement, and how to pitch a knuckleball.

2:20pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Presidential Race

Obama And Romney Address U.S. Foreign Policy

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Earlier today, both of the major party candidates for president spoke on foreign policy in New York. Former Governor Mitt Romney at the Clinton Global Initiative and President Barack Obama before the General Assembly of the United Nations. We're going to play back substantial excerpts from both. Governor Romney spoke first after an introduction by the former president who delivered a well-received speech on behalf of his opponent at the Democratic National Convention.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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2:17pm

Tue September 25, 2012
On Disabilities

Siblings With Special Needs Change Childhood

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Anyone with brothers or sisters knows about the teasing, the fights and the betrayals that can come along with solidarity and the love. But all of that changes when one sibling has an intellectual disability like Down's syndrome or autism.

A lot of emphasis is often placed on the child with special needs while their brothers and sisters can feel left out, guilty, resentful, responsible and embarrassed. Of course, the sibling's relationship can last a lifetime.

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2:12pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Sports

NFL's Replacement Referees Baffle Fans

As the lockout of NFL officials over a labor dispute continues, the replacement refs have been roundly criticized for an increase in bad calls and a general loss of control on the field. NPR's Mike Pesca explains the issues with replacement refs and the ongoing dispute with the regular officials.

2:12pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Korean Eunuchs Lived Long And Prospered

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 2:22 pm

A mural in an ancient tomb in China shows a troupe of eunuchs. How long did they live?
Wikimedia Commons

Tell people you're doing a story about the life spans of Korean eunuchs, the typical reaction is a giggle or a cringe.

But if you can overcome your visceral response to the topic, a study scientists in Korea did is quite interesting, both for what they found, and the way they found it.

Several scientists have shown that there is a link between longevity and reproduction: the greater the fertility, the shorter the life span. This has been fairly well established in nonhuman animal species, but proving it's the case for humans has been tricky.

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