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4:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
U.S.

Alabama's Controversial Immigration Law Takes Effect

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, Host:

And I'm David Greene.

How to handle illegal immigration has been a big topic on the presidential campaign trail and a big debate in many states. Alabama has what's considered to be the toughest law against illegal immigration in the country, and much of that law takes effect today. A Birmingham federal judge refused to block some of the most stringent provisions in the state's crackdown.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

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4:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
Sports

Red Sox Shut Out Of Playoffs As Rays Clinch Wild Card

The Tampa Bay Rays rallied from a seven-run deficit Wednesday to beat the New York Yankees and advance to the playoffs. The win shuts out the Boston Red Sox, who lost a close game to the Baltimore Orioles.

4:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
Middle East

Saudi Woman's Driving Violation Spurs Controversy

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, Host:

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4:00am

Thu September 29, 2011
Europe

British Leaders Object To EU's Proposed Tax

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, Host:

NPR's business news starts with a call for banks to pay up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The head of the European Commission has renewed calls for a tax on financial transactions. He said yesterday it was time for banks to step up and contribute to solving Europe's debt crisis. But Europe's financial center lies in London, and as Vicki Barker reports, the British government is likely to veto such a plan.

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1:25am

Thu September 29, 2011
The Salt

The Pawpaw: Foraging For America's Forgotten Fruit

Pawpaws may look like mangos, but unlike other tropical fruits, they are native to North America.
Abby Verbosky for NPR

So what the heck is a pawpaw?

Recently, I heard about a secret snack. Kayakers who paddle the waters near Washington, D.C., told me about a mango-like fruit that grows along the banks of the Potomac — a speckled and homely skin that hides a tasty treat.

A tropical-like fruit here, really? Yep. It's the only temperate member of a tropical family of trees. You can't buy the pawpaw in stores, so for years, the only way to eat them was straight from the tree.

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1:23am

Thu September 29, 2011
Around the Nation

California's New Prison Policy Has Some Skeptics

California is days away from launching a dramatic shift in the way it handles criminal offenders: Starting in October, the state will redirect tens of thousands of nonviolent felons away from state prisons to local facilities.

The state's plan is called "realignment." It shifts certain functions from the state to the counties, says Barry Krisberg, who teaches criminal justice at the University of California, Berkeley, law school.

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7:34pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Adm. Mullen Sticks By His Assertion That Pakistan Supports Extremist Network

U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen speaks during a press conference in Baghdad on Aug. 2, during a visit to press top Iraqi officials to make a decision on the future of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.
Ali Al-Saadi ALI AFP/Getty Images

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he would not change "a word" of the testimony he gave the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.

"I phrased it the way I wanted it to be phrased," Adm. Mike Mullen said.

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6:10pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Health

Health Officials: Listeria Outbreak Linked To 13 Deaths

A listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Colorado has infected 72 people in the United States and killed 13, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday. The food-borne outbreak is the deadliest in the United States in more than a decade, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

6:03pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Salt

Pricier PB&J's In The Forecast, Thanks To Peanut Shortage

Peanut butter prices are up, and will likely increase again.
Edward Todd iStockPhoto.com

How much you are willing to pay for your favorite sandwich? If it has peanut butter in it, you may soon be recalculating. A looming shortage of U.S. peanuts is causing the price of peanut butter to soar.

"We have quite a peanut shortage this year," says Tiffany Arthur, an agricultural economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency — the folks who make emergency loans to farmers. "Things are snowballing and prices are sharply rising," she says.

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5:23pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Europe

Bullfighting In Spain Stays Alive Despite Regional Ban

Tomas performs at the Monumental bullring in Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 25. Since the end of the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco, Catalan nationalists have sought to cast off all things Castilian — referring to Spain's heartland.
Manu Fernandez AP

Spain's northeast region of Catalonia held its final bullfight last weekend, after voting to ban the practice last year.

But it's a different story elsewhere in Spain. While relatively few Spaniards are real aficionados of bullfighting, many more see it as a national tradition, and don't want it banned.

On a recent day, Antonio Gutierrez and his friends puff on cigars and shuffle dominos on a folding table near Madrid's famed Las Ventas bullring. They're a bit suspicious of a foreigner asking about bullfights.

"Bullfighting is very, very good. OK?" says Gutierrez.

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5:22pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

FBI: Mass. Man Arrested For Plot Against Pentagon, Capitol

The FBI arrested a Massachusetts man, who they say plotted to attack the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol using "small drone airplanes" loaded with explosives.

Bloomberg reports:

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4:57pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Justice Department Asks Supreme Court To Take Up Health Care Law

The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to hear a case that will decide on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care overhaul law.

"The department has consistently and successfully defended this law in several courts of appeals, and only the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it unconstitutional," the Justice Department said in a statement. "We believe the question is appropriate for review by the Supreme Court."

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4:40pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Digital Life

Who Are You, Really? Activists Fight For Pseudonyms

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 7:04 pm

In the past, Google Chief Eric Schmidt, shown this month, has expressed impatience with Internet anonymity. At the Techonomy conference last year, he said, "One of the errors that the Internet made a long time ago is that there was not an accurate and non-revocable identity-management service."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Social media companies don't like people creating accounts under fake names. That's long been the case at Facebook, but over the summer, Google's new social network, Google Plus, surprised users by making a point of shutting down accounts with names that didn't look real.

Some online activists refer to Google's action as the "nym wars" — short for "pseudonym wars." They see it as part of a worrying trend to force people to use their real names online.

Trying To Weed Out 'Trolls'

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4:15pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Braves, Red Sox Fans Ready For The End, Ugly Or Not

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez: the face of frustration.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

There's one game left in baseball's 2011 regular season and four teams are tied for the last two playoff spots. It all ends tonight, or maybe not.

Some claim that this is the type of scenario that makes sports exciting. For the fans of two teams, however, the drama is not welcome.

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3:43pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Heidi, Germany's Cross-Eyed Opossum, Has Died

We have news of a passing: Heidi, the cross-eyed opossum that became an Internet sensation, was put to sleep in Germany today.

If you accept that Facebook fans are popularity's new currency, then Heidi was a big deal. With her 338,000 fans, the opossum, who made her American debut by predicting the Oscars (correctly on two categories) on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, was more popular than German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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3:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
NPR Story

How Will Amazon's Fire Impact Apple?

On Wednesday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the release of a tablet device called Fire. Michele Norris will talk with NPR's Laura Sydell about what this means for Amazon, Apple and consumers.

3:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
NPR Story

Cast Of Characters Compete In Irish Elections

Melissa Block talks to Irish Times reporter Ronan McGreevy about the interesting mix of candidates in this year's presidential election in Ireland. Among those in the race: a gay rights campaigner, a former IRA commander and a singer who won the Eurovision song contest back in 1970.

3:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
NPR Story

Amazon Debuts Its New Tablet

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday the release of a full-color tablet device called Fire, as well as three new Kindle E-Ink models starting at $79.

3:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Around the Nation

Texas Authorities Find Massive Shark Kill

This past weekend, wildlife officials in Texas came across a huge illegal fishing operation. They found about 3,000 dead sharks, tangled in miles of nets off the coast. Michele Norris talks with Sergeant James Dunks with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department who found the sharks.

3:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
World

Saudi Woman Sentenced To Lashings After Violating Driving Ban

A group of activists in Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign to overturn a court ruling against a woman who defied the kingdom's ban on driving by women. The woman was sentenced to 10 lashes with a whip after she defied the ban in her home city on the Red Sea Coast. Melissa Block talks with NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson for the details.

2:42pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Rick Perry

Social Security: The 'Third Rail' No More?

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry attend a rally earlier this month in Newport Beach, Calif. Though some Republican voters have doubts about Perry, recent polls show it's not because of his stance on Social Security, which he's called a "Ponzi scheme."
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

It's often been called the "third rail" of American politics. If so, many of those running for office this political season are living dangerously.

Social Security — what's wrong with it and how to fix it — has become part of the political debate in the presidential primary season. Most candidates say they have plans to reform it, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry has gone further, saying that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" and a "monstrous lie."

Although Perry may be running into resistance from Republican voters, it's not because of his stand on Social Security.

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2:40pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Life In Retirement: The Not-So-Golden Years

Saving For Retirement: How Much Do You Need?

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 7:04 pm

More than half of Americans are at risk of not having enough money for basic expenses in retirement, experts say.
iStockphoto.com

By some counts, fewer than half of Americans have ever tried to calculate how much they'll need for retirement. And those who do? In one recent survey, half told pollsters they just guessed.

A new poll for NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds retirement is proving more difficult than expected for many Americans, in large part because they haven't saved enough. So we set out to ask: How much do you need?

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2:38pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

NYPD Will Examine Use Of Pepper Spray On 'Occupy Wall Street' Protesters

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 3:13 pm

At the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration in the financial district near Wall Street on Monday (Sept. 26, 2011).
Spencer Platt Getty Images

2:09pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Controversial Alabama Immigration Law Upheld In Part

A federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., has blocked some provisions of a controversial immigration law in the state — most notably those that would "make it a state crime to harbor immigrants and make it a misdemeanor to work in the state" — the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

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2:05pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Study: Education About Civil Rights Movement Is 'Dismal' In U.S. Schools

The Southern Poverty Law Center has some tough words for school districts across the country. A new study found that education about the Civil Rights Movement is "dismal" across the United States.

The study assigned 35 states a grade of "F". Only three states — Alabama, New York and Florida — received an "A".

Here's how the study's authors sum it up:

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1:20pm

Wed September 28, 2011
The Two-Way

At Day 2 Of Trial, Promoter Says Michael Jackson Looked Healthy

From The Associated Press:

"Two days before he died, Michael Jackson appeared strong during one of the final rehearsals for his highly anticipated comeback concerts, a promoter told jurors Wednesday as the involuntary manslaughter trial of the pop superstar's physician entered its second day."

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1:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Politics

How Candidates Can Survive The Long Primary Season

The race for the GOP presidential nomination continues. How do you plan a campaign for such a long primary with straw polls, debates and finally caucuses and votes? NPR's Ken Rudin and former Mike Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman discuss how candidates can best weather the grueling races.

1:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Around the Nation

Former Housing Secretary Aids Latino Assimilation

Former housing secretary Henry Cisneros says churches, unions and other institutions once helped immigrants assimilate into American society. The diminished reach of those groups, he says, has hampered Latino integration. He's launched the organization Bridges and Pathways to help fill the gap.

1:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Around the Nation

The Life Of A Fashion Model: Grueling, Not Glitzy

Many little girls aspire to be fashion models when they grow up. But the lives of models are often far less glamorous than they appear. Fashion model-turned sociologist Ashley Mears shares her stories of the real nitty-gritty of modeling.

1:00pm

Wed September 28, 2011
NPR Story

Iraqi American Musician Sings The American Dream

Iraqi American Stephan Said once went by the name Stephan Smith — his mother's maiden name — after record label executives told him he would never make it in American with an Arabic name. In his album difrent, he reclaims his name and sings about freedom and social justice.

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