9:59am

Wed July 18, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

FDA Approves Second Diet Drug In A Month

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 5:14 pm

The range of Qsymia doses approved by the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday.
AP

After a 13-year hiatus, the Food and Drug Administration gave its OK to the second weight-loss drug in a month.

This time it's Qsymia, previously called Qnexa, from Vivus. The pill contains two active ingredients: topiramate, an anti-seizure medicine, and phentermine, a stimulant.

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9:57am

Wed July 18, 2012
World

Syrian Regime Hit By Deadly Blast In Damascus

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's follow up now on what appears to be a serious blow to the regime in Syria today. A blast repeatedly killed the country's defense chief, the brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad and wounded other top officials. This explosion, we're told, occurred inside the tightly guarded national security headquarters in Damascus. To sort out what we know, or don't know, about this incident so far, we've called Neil MacFarquar. He's a correspondent for the New York Times. He's in Beirut. Welcome back to the program.

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9:26am

Wed July 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Housing Starts Hit Four-Year High; Bernanke Heads Back To Capitol Hill

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:57 am

In Phoenix earlier this month, workers were framing this new home.
Matt York AP

There's more evidence that the housing sector is on the mend and may be the sector of the economy that's got the most going for it these days.

According to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development there was a 6.9 percent increase in "housing starts" last month. At an annual rate of 760,000, ground-breaking for construction of single-family homes, apartments and condominiums the pace hit a four-year high, The Associated Press says.

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8:54am

Wed July 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Miner hosts meeting to discuss upstate cities' financial woes

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, left.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Some of upstate New York's mayors are putting their brains together to deal with looming fiscal nightmares.

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8:40am

Wed July 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Iceberg Twice The Size Of Manhattan Breaks Off Glacier In Greenland

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:30 am

A view of the glacier taken Tuesday. Inside the square: the iceberg that broke off.
NASA Earth Observatory

A huge iceberg that's about twice the size of Manhattan has broken off the Petermann Glacier in Greenland — the same sheet of ice that just two years ago "calved" another massive berg.

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8:35am

Wed July 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Business group asks for audit of Thruway Authority

A business group is asking the New York State Thruway Authority to delay a proposed 45 percent increase in truck tolls and conduct an audit of the authority’s finances instead.

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7:56am

Wed July 18, 2012
Around the Nation

Following Up On Tuesday's Feline Mayor Story

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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7:48am

Wed July 18, 2012
Media

Gotcha Story Idea Backfires On Conservative Blogger

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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7:17am

Wed July 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Defense Minister Killed In Explosion, State TV Says

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:49 am

Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Dawoud Rajha last September.
Syrian Arab News Agency AFP/Getty Images

The uprising in Syria against the regime of President Bashar Assad took a dramatic turn today when an explosion at a government building in Damascus killed the country's defense minister and a brother-in-law of the president.

Syrian state TV, which is reporting the deaths, has blamed a suicide bomber. There have been at least two claims of responsiblity from groups opposed to the Assad regime. There are also reports that the bomber was a member of the Assad inner circle's security team.

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7:16am

Wed July 18, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Indian Atheltes Want A Medal And A Government Job

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:18 pm

India's Sandeep Sejwal swims his way to gold in the 100-meter men's breaststroke at the 2006 South Asian Games in Sri Lanka. Sejwal, who competed in the Beijing Olympics two years later, has a government job with India's railway that accommodates his heavy training schedule.
AP

For athletes anywhere, just qualifying for the Olympics can be a full-time job. But in India, training full-time is a luxury few can afford. That means many athletes work part-time government jobs. And for some, it can result in a job for life.

In return for putting in an appearance at the office, athletes like shooter Suma Shirur get a monthly salary and time to train.

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