6:48am

Sun October 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Competition Gets Fiercer In Salem's Scare Industry

Witch Mansion is a new haunted house in Salem, Mass. With animatronics and 3-D effects, it opened right next door to the Nightmare Factory, a more traditional haunted attraction.

Adam Starr Witch Mansion

For most of the year, Salem, Mass., looks like many other historic New England towns. Come October, though, the streets are packed with portable toilets, fried dough vendors and carnival rides. It's a major tourist attraction thanks to its infamous 17th-century witch trials.

Tourists line up for psychics' parlors, face-painters and wax museums, but haunted houses are the biggest draw.

Marshall Tripoli has been in the haunted attractions business in Salem for 21 years. He owns the five-year-old Nightmare Factory, where he says his motto is "Care how you scare."

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5:29am

Sun October 30, 2011
7 Billion And Counting

When Humans Hit 7 Billion, Will It Happen In India?

The maternity ward at Swami Dayanand hospital in northeast Delhi, the most densely populated district in India. U.N. demographers say the world's 7 billionth citizen could be born in India on Oct. 31.

Diana Derby NPR

The world is anticipating the birth of its 7 billionth person, as the United Nations predicts that the milestone baby will be born on Monday, Oct. 31. Demographers say the baby might be born in India, where an average of 51 babies are born every minute.

To get a feeling for the kind of world in which our 7 billionth citizen could grow up, it's worth a visit to the place that India's Census Bureau has identified as the densest place in the country.

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2:59am

Sun October 30, 2011
Presidential Race

Cain's 9-9-9 Plan A Hard Sell In Anti-Tax N.H.

The attractiveness, and simplicity, of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan — a nine percent federal income, corporate and sales tax — has catapulted the Georgia businessman to the head of the Republican presidential field. But for some states, such as New Hampshire, which doesn't have a sales tax, 9-9-9 wouldn't be simple at all.

People in New Hampshire, to put it mildly, dislike taxes.

"New Hampshire is definitely an anti-tax state," says Andy Smith, director of the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire.

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2:13am

Sun October 30, 2011
Hard Times: A Journey Across America

NPR's 'Hard Times' Series Reporters Begin Journey

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 2:49 pm

Millions of Americans are hurting financially, and they're worried about their future.

Fourteen million people are unemployed, and millions more are realizing that the jobs and the income and the home values they once had may never come back.

NPR has been reporting these stories for years, but in November, two reporters take the story on the road.

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6:17pm

Sat October 29, 2011
Crisis In The Housing Market

Official: No 'Silver Bullet' To Solve Housing Crisis

President Obama announces his housing initiative to help homeowners with federally guaranteed mortgages refinance their homes, in Las Vegas on Monday.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Earlier this week, President Obama announced a plan to help homeowners refinance their mortgages.

The White House says it will help millions of people hold onto their homes through a government-backed modification program. But critics are skeptical the plan will be a success, in part because of the dependence on the good will of banks to voluntarily join up.

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4:13pm

Sat October 29, 2011
Space

Spy Satellite Engineer's Top Secret Is Revealed

Phil Pressel designed cameras for the government's top-secret Hexagon project. He's only recently been able to speak about his life's work.

Roger Guillemette/SPACE.com

Every day for decades, engineer Phil Pressel would come home from work and be unable to tell his wife what he'd been doing all day.

Now, Pressel is free to speak about his life's work: designing cameras for a top-secret U.S. government spy satellite. Officially known as the KH-9 Hexagon, engineers called it "Big Bird" for its massive size.

Until the government declassified it last month, Hexagon had been a secret for 46 years.

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3:00pm

Sat October 29, 2011
Around the Nation

After 50 Years, Whirlpool Plant In Arkansas Closes

Transcript

GUY RAZ, host: For almost 50 years, workers have filed into the Whirlpool factory in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where they make refrigerators, dishwashers and trash compacters for KitchenAid and Maytag brands. But after months of layoffs and reductions, Whirlpool announced plans to close that Fort Smith plant altogether. And that means a thousand people will lose their jobs.

Mayor SANDY SANDERS: There's no good time for an announcement like this. And particularly with the economy and the situation it is now, it exacerbates the situation.

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3:00pm

Sat October 29, 2011
Around the Nation

Ohio Teachers Caught In Middle Of Labor Campaigns

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 10:23 am

Transcript

GUY RAZ, host: In Ohio, voters have been watching TV ads telling them which way to vote on Issue 2. That's a measure on the ballot that could overturn a law passed last spring that limits the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Organized labor, including the teacher's unions, are spending heavily to defeat that measure. But at the same time, there are other educators who back the law and are also campaigning.

Ida Lieszkovszky of StateImpact Ohio reports.

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3:00pm

Sat October 29, 2011
Economy

The Week In News: The Rich Got Richer

The Congressional Budget Office released a study this week that revealed a huge shift in the nation's wealth distribution. The top 1 percent of the country's earners more than doubled their take of the nation's wealth in just 30 years. James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, joins weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz to discuss that story and others from the past week.

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