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12:29pm

Wed October 5, 2011
Afghanistan

Afghan Officials Say Plot To Kill Karzai Foiled

Afghan officials said Wednesday that they have foiled a plot to assassinate President Hamid Karzai and arrested six people, including one of Karzai's bodyguards.

The bodyguard was recruited by a network of al-Qaida sympathizers at Kabul Medical University that is linked to the Pakistan-based Haqqani militant network, according to Afghan intelligence officials.

Intelligence service spokesman Latifullah Mashal said three college students and a university professor were also among those arrested in Kabul.

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12:28pm

Wed October 5, 2011
Author Interviews

'Terrorists In Love': The Psychology Of Extremism

Originally published on Mon October 10, 2011 7:49 am

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Ahmed Al Shayea left Saudi Arabia in November 2004 to join the insurgents in Iraq. He was misled into driving a butane-gas delivery truck, which was detonated by remote control in an attack that killed eight people and left him disfigured. Today, he wants would-be insurgents to listen to his advice: "There is no jihad. We are just instruments of death."

Donna Abu Nasr AP

Ahmad Al Shayea grew up in Saudi Arabia in a middle-class family and dropped out of high school to join a local gang. Abdullah Al-Gilani fell in love with a girl who eventually married someone else. Zeddy was an old colleague of Osama bin Laden's.

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12:12pm

Wed October 5, 2011
The Two-Way

National Cathedral Will Reopen In November; Repairs Will Cost Millions

Repairs are under way at the National Cathedral, which sustained millions of dollars' worth of damage in an August earthquake.

Bill Chappell NPR

The National Cathedral, closed since sustaining extensive damage from the August earthquake that shook Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area, will reopen on Nov. 12, according to officials.

The cathedral is also trying to raise money to pay for repairs, estimated to run into the tens of millions of dollars. A statement on the landmark's website says organizers are seeking "at least $25 million" to cover its expenses through the end of 2012.

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12:00pm

Wed October 5, 2011
Election 2012

Christie Out, Perry Down ... Obama An Underdog?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently announced that he will not enter the White House race. Texas Governor Rick Perry's poll numbers have tumbled, especially after reports showed him and his family frequenting a hunting camp with a controversial name. President Obama's poll numbers slipped to the point where he declared himself an underdog in the 2012 election. Also, a new report gives clues as to how restrictive voter laws might impact the elections.

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12:00pm

Wed October 5, 2011
Sports

Baseball, Basketball In The Beauty Shop

NFL players are donning pink to support a league-wide campaign against breast cancer. As the WNBA finals and MLB playoffs are kicking into gear, the NBA season is halting. Michel Martin talks sports with US A Today Sports Columnist Christine Brennan, ESPN the Magazine Staff Writer Elena Bergeron, and TheWiseLatinaClub.com Blogger-in-Chief Viviana Hurtado.

12:00pm

Wed October 5, 2011
Around the Nation

For Plus-Sized Model Contest Winner, Prize Denied

When retailer American Apparel put out a call for plus-sized models, Nancy Upton entered the contest as a joke. She submitted photos of herself eating food in posed positions, and even lying in a tub full of ranch dressing. Upton won the contest. But American Apparel announced she would not be awarded the prize. Michel Martin talks with Nancy Upton about her decision to enter the contest, and the reaction from the media, the public and American Apparel.

12:00pm

Wed October 5, 2011
It's All Politics

Rick Perry Raised $17 Million In Partial 3rd Qtr After Entering GOP Race Late

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's poll number may be sagging, but his campaign is flush with cash. Perry's campaign says it raised more than $17 million in the third quarter.

Perry entered the Republican presidential primary race in mid August with just 49 days left before the quarterly filing deadline. But in that short time he's shot to the top of the money race.

His $17 million haul likely outdoes front-runner Mitt Romney's efforts over the summer. Meanwhile, Perry's campaign says it's kept spending so low that it has $15 million cash on hand.

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12:00pm

Wed October 5, 2011
Arts & Life

Computer Science Major Becomes Hindu Dance Expert

Washington is hosting the Fall Festival of Indian Arts this week, which features poetry, music and a fusion of classical Indian dance with modern dance. Its founder Daniel Phoenix Singh grew up in a poor, fundamentalist Christian family in southern India and didn't see a live Indian dance performance until college. He works in IT during the day. He talks with Michel Martin about his journey into dance and his work bringing Indian dance to the U.S.

11:26am

Wed October 5, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

My Smartphone Is A Microscope. What Can Yours Do?

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 10:02 am

iStockphoto.com

I lied. My smartphone isn't a microscope — yet. But there are some smart physicists who want to make that transformation possible very soon, if not for you and me at first, then for doctors who don't have easy access to laboratories.

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11:23am

Wed October 5, 2011
Television

'Breaking Bad,' 'Horror' Leave Viewers Wanting More

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 10:05 am

Over the past few seasons, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) has changed from meek hero to forceful villain. TV critic David Bianculli says he isn't just breaking bad anymore...he's entirely broken.

Gregory Peters AMC

If you don't want to hear details, especially about last night's season finale of Breaking Bad, turn away from this website now. But I consider it fair game to talk in detail about TV shows once they've been televised — especially if they're doing interesting enough work to be saluted for it.

[Note: If the previous paragraph didn't convince you, maybe this will: There are many, many spoilers for Breaking Bad ahead. Proceed at your own risk.]

I was blown away by the season ender of Breaking Bad.

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11:20am

Wed October 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Kenneth Dahlberg, Who Didn't Lie About Watergate, Has Died

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 11:53 am

The scene of the crime that brought down a president.

Joe Raedle Getty Images

"There aren't a lot of people in the world who have been war heroes, created a high-flying business, and uttered the words that would bring down a presidency," our Minnesota Public Radio colleague Bob Collins writes today.

"Ken Dahlberg was one of them."

Now, Dahlberg has died at the age of 94.

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11:00am

Wed October 5, 2011
It's All Politics

W. VA Democratic Guv's Narrow Win May Be Ominous Sign For Party

Democrats are surely relieved to have held onto the W. Virginia governorship, with Tuesday's special election victory by acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin over Republican Bill Maloney.

But it was a narrow 50 percent to 47 percent win that could portend trouble when Tomblin once again stands for election in 14 months.

Democrats have dominated W. Virginia politics for decades, controlling local and state offices though in presidential elections President Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to win the state in 1996.

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10:59am

Wed October 5, 2011
The Salt

Thin Moms And Dads Pass On 'Skinny Genes'

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"Skinny genes": Maybe Gwyneth Paltrow can thank her mom, actress Blythe Danner, for her trimness? Parental weight strongly influences thinness in children, researchers say.

Gary Gershoff Getty Images

We inherit the darndest traits from our parents. My mom bequeathed to me that funny leg-shake she does when she's sitting. She also seems to have passed along a quick (but ... hmm ... endearing?) temper. And in the "thanks-for-that" column? Well, I'm on the skinny side. And so is she.

Our mother-daughter likeness isn't so unusual. Turns out, the "inter-generational transmission of thinness" is real. Thin parents appear to pass on "skinny genes."

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10:52am

Wed October 5, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Tainted Cantaloupes Claim 18 Lives, Sicken 100

The warnings from public health officials that the deaths and illnesses from listeria-tainted cantaloupes could drag on for a while are proving true.

The death toll from cantaloupes grown by Jensen Farms has hit 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest report on the outbreak. A hundred people have been sickened in 20 states, with Colorado and New Mexico the hardest hit.

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10:49am

Wed October 5, 2011
Politics

Affirmative-Action Case Could Be Campaign Issue

The Texas Longhorns band performs during a basketball game against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies on March 18. A challenge to the admissions policy at University of Texas, Austin, contends that the school does not need to consider race to achieve a diverse student body.

Ronald Martinez Getty Images

A Texas affirmative action case that has the potential to rewrite law on how or whether public colleges and universities may consider race and ethnicity as a factor in admissions could be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, and soon.

Though the court, which opened its fall term this week, has not yet agreed to hear Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, constitutional experts on both sides of the issue say they believe the case will be scheduled for a hearing this year or next spring, just as the presidential election season heats up.

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10:35am

Wed October 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Life's Still Hard For 'Reality Hits You Hard, Bro' Guy

Arizona Republic

In case you haven't seen this video yet, we'll wait while you watch. It's worth it.

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9:35am

Wed October 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Georgia Woman Wins $15.1M After Clerk Sells Her Wrong Lottery Ticket

Georgia Lottery
(We're a little behind on this story, but it's too good not to pass along.)

Kathy Scruggs of Lithonia, Ga., has won $15.1 million from the Powerball lottery.

And as it turns out, she didn't even intend to buy a ticket for that game.

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9:00am

Wed October 5, 2011

8:40am

Wed October 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Hank Williams Jr.: 'Sorry If It Offended Anyone'

Hank Williams Jr.

Scott Boehm Getty Images

A quick follow to the news that ESPN pulled Hank Williams Jr.'s iconic opening song from this week's Monday Night Football broadcast because he had compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

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8:15am

Wed October 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Occupy Wall Street: College Students Urged To Walk Out Today

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 12:02 pm

The scene this week at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan.

Spencer Platt Getty Images

As the Occupy Wall Street protests enter their 19th day and continue to spread well beyond lower Manhattan, there's word from the related "Occupy Colleges" movement that a "nationwide college student walk out" has been called for noon today.

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7:46am

Wed October 5, 2011
Around the Nation

Clerk Inadvertently Helps Ga. Woman Win Powerball

Kathy Scruggs of Georgia went to the store to buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket. By mistake, the clerk gave her a ticket for Powerball. Scruggs decided to buy both. The unemployed woman's Powerball ticket was worth more than $15 million.

7:32am

Wed October 5, 2011
Around the Nation

Bible Belt Oktoberfest Finally Taps A Beer Keg

To celebrate its German roots, residents of Cullman, Ala., usually donned liederhosen and ate bratwurst in. But keeping with Bible Belt values, beer was verboten. This year kegs are being tapped at what had been billed as the world's only dry Oktoberfest.

7:30am

Wed October 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Four Accused Of 'Brazen' Federal Contracting Corruption Scheme

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 7:34 am

Four men were arrested Tuesday for their alleged roles in what the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald Machen, alleges was "one of the most brazen corruption schemes in the history of federal contracting."

The Washington Post's Crime Scene blog writes that:

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7:10am

Wed October 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Chemistry Nobel Goes To Scientist Who Discovered Quasicrystals

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 12:06 pm

Nobel laureate Daniel Shechtman.

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman has been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his 1982 discovery of quasicrystals, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced this morning.

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7:00am

Wed October 5, 2011
You Must Read This

Drunk On Words: A Literary Escape From Adolescence

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 6:27 pm

Remember reading, as a child, and feeling the fine mesh of words catch you up so completely that you became enjoyably muddled about which was the real world and which the world of the book? For me, it was as though I gulped down the language of the story and grew fat with its cadences — they rang in my ears, colored my vision and pulsed in my throat.

As I got older, I lost some of that easy susceptibility. What had once been a permeable membrane between fiction and life solidified.

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6:06am

Wed October 5, 2011
Science

Israeli Chemist Wins Nobel Prize For Quasicrystals

Israeli scientist Daniel Schectman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystals, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.

The discovery, made in 1982, changed the way chemists look at solid matter.

"Contrary to the previous belief that atoms were packed inside crystals in symmetrical patterns, Shechtman showed that the atoms in a crystal could be packed in a pattern that could not be repeated," the academy said.

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4:12am

Wed October 5, 2011
Sports

NBA Labor Talks Break Down, Games In Jeopardy

Commissioner David Stern floated it as an idea more than a firm proposal: a 50-50 revenue split.

Even so, the union's reply was unequivocal.

"They said, 'We can't do it.'" according to Stern.

And with that, the remainder of the preseason was lost and the first two weeks of the regular season moved to the brink of cancellation.

The NBA shelved the rest of its exhibition schedule Tuesday and will wipe out the first two weeks of the regular season if there is no labor agreement by Monday.

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4:00am

Wed October 5, 2011
NPR Story

USDA Wants To Limit Potatoes In School Lunches

The Agriculture Department plans to limit potato consumption among schoolchildren to two servings a week. But politicians and farmers in potato-growing states such as Maine say the spud is being unfairly targeted. As it turns out, schoolchildren have strong opinions about potatoes too. Josie Huang of Maine Public Radio reports.

4:00am

Wed October 5, 2011
NPR Story

U.N. Resolution Against Syria Fail In Security Council

The U.N. Security Council has failed to agree on what to do about Syria's brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters. Tuesday night, Russia and China vetoed a resolution condemning Syria, even after the text was watered down and stripped of any threats of sanctions.

4:00am

Wed October 5, 2011
NPR Story

NBA Labor Talks Break Down

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 5:28 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

National Basketball Association players and owners are not any closer to settling their labor dispute. With the season scheduled to begin on November 1st, there's a real chance regular season games could be lost. After yesterday's talks ended without much success, league commissioner David Stern officially cancelled the remainder of the preseason. Joining us for more on this dispute is NPR's Mike Pesca.

Good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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