12:01am

Fri October 14, 2011
Around the Nation

A New Muesli Maker's Quest For The Cereal Aisle

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 12:46 pm

Muesli Fusion for sale at the Rochester Public Market in Rochester, N.Y. Being a local brand has served owner Ian Szalinski well, but he has bigger plans for his cereal business.

Zack Seward for NPR

Small businesses are often called the backbone of the U.S. economy; they employ about half of the nation's private sector employees. But in many cases, small companies start out with a workforce of just one — like cereal entrepreneur Ian Szalinski in Rochester, N.Y., who's trying to stake a claim to the breakfast market.

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12:01am

Fri October 14, 2011
Politics

Trade Deals May Alienate Some Obama Supporters

This steel plant in Weirton, W.Va., was idled in 2009. The United Steelworkers union worries that a trade deal signed this week could result in more jobs lost.

Rick Gershon Getty Images

President Obama had a rare bipartisan economic success this week when Congress passed three trade deals.

Obama is going to Detroit on Friday with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to take a victory lap. But some important parts of Obama's base are not fans of these deals — with South Korea, Panama and Colombia — which could have political consequences for the president.

Friday's event is at a General Motors plant. The auto industry and its workers are big fans of the free-trade deal with South Korea, so they're sure to give the world leaders a warm welcome.

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12:01am

Fri October 14, 2011
Planet Money

Playing Chicken To Cut The Deficit

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 1:38 pm

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) speaks as Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) listen during a hearing before the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee, also known as the supercommittee.

Alex Wong Getty Images

If you've ever thought that most of politics is game-playing, you're right. Political scientists often use mathematical game theory to describe how Congress works. And when they look at the current battle over how to handle the deficit, the game that comes to mind is chicken.

Steven Smith is a professor of political science at Washington University, and he says yes, Republicans and Democrats sometimes remind him of two cars driving as fast as they can toward a cliff.

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12:01am

Fri October 14, 2011
Europe

Apathy Reigns In Russian Election Season

Vladimir Putin will be president, says 30-year-old Yelena.

The lifelong Muscovite is chatting to a friend in Alexander Gardens next to the Kremlin in Moscow. Yelena, who like many Russians won't give her last name when discussing politics, says she's not even sure she will vote.

"Everything's been decided," she says in Russian. "It will be the same no matter who we vote for."

It's election season in Russia, with votes due for parliament in December and president next March. Everyone knows who will win, however, and voters are not energized by the campaign.

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12:01am

Fri October 14, 2011
Business

Charlotte Sees Beyond Bank Of America's Troubles

Bank of America's headquarters towers over the city center in Charlotte, N.C. Charlotte has long been one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, but now nearly one in 10 residents is out of work.

Davis Turner Getty

Charlotte, N.C., is perhaps best known as the home of Bank of America, the country's largest financial institution. So now, with Bank of America struggling to revive its stock price, cutting tens of thousands of jobs and widely criticized for charging customers a $5 monthly fee to use their debit cards, what's the mood in Charlotte?

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10:00pm

Thu October 13, 2011
StoryCorps

A Love That Turned Difference Into Intimacy

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 12:01 am

John Klein, 60, and Bernice Flournoy, 60, visited StoryCorps in Oakland, Calif.

StoryCorps

As love stories go, Mary Ann Allen and John Klein's relationship started in an unusual place. And they were something of an unusual couple, too. But as it turned out, none of that meant a thing.

Klein recently sat down with Mary Ann's daughter, Bernice Flournoy, to explain.

"Tell us how you met Mom," Flournoy says.

"I had a temporary position at a senior citizen facility in downtown Oakland," Klein says. "Mary moved in there."

Allen, who was 59 years old when she met Klein, had diabetes.

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Leah serves as local program host afternoons and weekends on WRVO-1. She works on a variety of projects at WRVO including graphic design, public relations, marketing and promotion.

6:49pm

Thu October 13, 2011
The Two-Way

Poll: Support For Death Penalty At 39-Year Low

Gallup

A Gallup poll released today found support for the death penalty in the United States is at a 39-year low. As Gallup reports, "this is the lowest level of support since 1972, the year the Supreme Court voided all existing state death penalty laws in Furman v. Georgia."

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6:20pm

Thu October 13, 2011
Economy

In Spartanburg, S.C., Jobs Are Especially Scarce

Volunteer Dean Ford prepares bags of food to be distributed at the First Baptist Spartanburg's food pantry program.

Melissa Block NPR

The job market is barely treading water. The Labor Department Thursday reported that 404,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week — pretty much unchanged from the week before. Overall, there are 14 million people looking for work in the U.S.

One of those places where jobs are especially hard to find is Spartanburg, S.C.

On Thursday, the Occupy Wall Street protests spread to the heavily conservative corner of the heavily conservative state. It was a small turnout — about 20 people got some honks of support and some catcalls from people who shouted, "Get a job!"

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6:15pm

Thu October 13, 2011
Media

Tracking The Media's Eye On Occupy Wall Street

Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 10:25 pm

Protesters with Occupy Wall Street march along New York's 5th Avenue, where prominent heads of major business and financial institutions live, on Tuesday. The movement has expanded, along with media coverage.

Spencer Platt Getty Images

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