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3:14pm

Wed August 24, 2011
Technology

Child Pornography Bill Makes Privacy Experts Skittish

Late last month, while Washington, D.C., was focused on the debt ceiling, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that could have long-term consequences on Internet privacy.

The bill requires all Internet service providers to save their customers' IP addresses — or online identity numbers — for a year. The bill's stated purpose is to help police find child pornographers, but critics say that's just an excuse for another step toward Big Brother.

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3:10pm

Wed August 24, 2011
It's All Politics

Romney To Skip DeMint's S. Carolina Labor Day Candidates' Forum

Mitt Romney signaled Wednesday that he doesn't see South Carolina as key to the presidential nomination. His campaign said he won't attend Sen. Jim DeMint's South Carolina Labor Day forum for presidential candidates.

A Romney spokesman cited scheduling conflicts. But by not attending the South Carolina event, Romney fuels speculation that his strategy may be to invest significantly less of himself in the Palmetto State than he did in 2008.

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2:33pm

Wed August 24, 2011
Space

Russian Cargo Spacecraft Fails To Reach Orbit

An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft taking cargo to the International Space Station encountered a malfunction minutes after launch Wednesday and pieces of it crashed back to Earth.

The Progress was loaded with nearly three tons of food, fuel and other supplies as it lifted off right on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. But Russian flight control teams lost communications with the vehicle about five minutes into the flight.

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2:25pm

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Panel: Carrier Commander Who Made Raunchy Videos Can Keep Serving

You remember Owen P. Honors? He was the commanding officer of the USS Enterprise who was relieved of command back in January after producing what even he said were offensive videos.

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2:09pm

Wed August 24, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Got High Blood Pressure? It Might Take 24 Hours To Know For Sure

The standard technique for measuring blood pressure may not be good enough.
iStockphoto.com

A blood pressure check may well be the world's most common medical procedure. Measuring blood pressure is quick, painless, and provides a pretty good clue to risks for future heart attacks and strokes. But some researchers now say that the classic cuff test can be misleading.

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1:38pm

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Libya's Foreign Minister: 'It's Over' For Gadhafi

In an interview with Britain's Channel 4, Libya's foreign minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi said the rule of Col. Moammar Gadhafi was over.

Al-Obeidi said if he was in charge of the loyalists still fighting in Tripoli, he would tell them to "lay down their arms."

Al-Obeidi was talking to Channel 4 from him home in Tripoli and confirmed that the regime had collapsed.

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1:01pm

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

WikiLeaks Makes Cache Of Diplomatic Cables Public

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 2:31 pm

WikiLeaks logo.
WikiLeaks

Earlier today, WikiLeaks made public 5,523 diplomatic cables. While WikiLeaks claimed on its Twitter account that the cables were "new," they've actually been in the hands of news organizations like The New York Times and The Guardian since November.

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12:27pm

Wed August 24, 2011
It's All Politics

Most U.S. House Members Not Doing Town Hall Meetings

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 12:57 pm

A Royal Caribbean recruiter (c) hands out an application at a Congressional Black Caucus jobs fair in Miami, Aug. 23, 2011.
Lynne Sladky AP

If your member of Congress is holding town-hall meetings during their summer recess to discuss the great issues of the day with you and their other constituents, he or she is in the minority.

The non-partisan group No Labels, created as a refuge for voters favoring pragmatic, less ideological solutions to the nation's problems, surveyed U.S. House members and found that 60 percent weren't holding town hall meetings this summer.

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12:00pm

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

'Hearing Something We Can't Hear:' How Animals Foretold The Earthquake

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 2:16 pm

The National Zoo's 23-year-old male red-ruffed lemur, Joven.
Mehgan Murphy Smithsonian Institution

We know how humans first sensed Tuesday's earthquake. We felt the shake, then the rattle, and then the urge to flee.

But what about the region's animals?

Did they sense the rare 5.8-magnitude temblor before the shaking started?

We checked in with the folks at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, one of the most popular attractions in the nation's capital, to see what they could tell us.

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11:58am

Wed August 24, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Google Forking Over $500 Million In Online Pharmacy Ad Settlement

Bluestocking iStockphoto.com

It's official. Google has agreed to settle a federal probe into ads it ran for online Canadian pharmacies by forfeiting $500 million.

The settlement had been widely anticipated since May, when the online powerhouse disclosed it had set aside that amount "in connection with a potential resolution of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers."

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11:50am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Earth May Be Home To 8.7M Species, Give Or Take A Million Or So

Figuring that one of the basic things we should know about the Earth is how many species of life we're surrounded by, a team of researchers has come up with a new estimate:

-- 8.7 million, "with a standard error of +/- 1.3 million."

Or, that is, somewhere between 7.4 million and 10 million. And so far, experts say, we've only discovered about 15 percent of them.

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11:17am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Journalists Are Freed From Libyan Hotel

Foreign journalists in protective gear climb the stairs at the Rixos hotel where they were confined, as rebel forces overran Gadhafi's Bab al-Azizya headquarters in Tripoli.
Imed Lamloum AFP/Getty Images

CNN's Matthew Chance reports on Twitter that journalists have been allowed to leave the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli, where many foreign journalists have stayed throughout the 6-month civil war.

For the past few days, journalists have been held in the hotel at gunpoint. As we've reported, the hotel is where Saif al-Islam Gadhafi made his surprise appearance Monday night and is a place very close to Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

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11:17am

Wed August 24, 2011
Arts & Life

King's Son And Friend Moved By Memorial Dedication

Countless members of the public visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on Tuesday August 23, 2011.
Amy Ta NPR

The national monument honoring Civil Rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the only monument to an African-American on the National Mall, and the only one on that side of the Mall honoring a non-presidential figure. It shows King emerging from a stone extracted from a mountain, which is inspired by a line from his famous "I Have a Dream" speech:

"With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

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11:15am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

One Of World's 'Most Feared Pests' Keeps Showing Up At Customs

The Khapra beetle. If you see one, tell the authorities.
acgov.org

This headline from the Chicago Tribune got our attention:

'Most feared' pest found in shipment at O'Hare.

According to the story, "a cast skin and larva" later identified as Khapra beetles were discovered in two 10-pound bags of rice last week.

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10:51am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

CBO: Economy Remains In 'Severe Slump'

CBO

The Congressional Budget Office has just released the summer update of its Budget and Economic Outlook. The non-partisan government agency took in to account the recently enacted Budget Control Act, but not the recent market volatility.

If you were looking for good economic news, this report is not it. Here's the bottom line as Director Douglas W. Elmendorf puts it in his blog:

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10:00am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Joey Vento, Famed For Cheesesteaks And 'Speak English,' Has Died

He was "the impresario of cheesesteaks whose 'speak English' sign at his South Philly sandwich shop made him famous to some, infamous to others," The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

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9:20am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Rise In Order For Durable Goods Lifts Spirits On Wall Street

This just in from Bloomberg News:

"U.S. stock futures pared losses, erasing most of a 1.4 percent decline, as a bigger-than-expected increase in orders for durable goods offset concern yesterday's rally went too far, too fast."

Translation: Wall Street may have an OK day. The futures are signalling that the market's likely to head higher.

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9:00am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Terror Fears Made East Coast Earthquake Especially Unsettling

There was supposedly some "snickering" from jaded folks on the West Coast of the U.S. on Tuesday as they watched many on the East Coast express alarm and surprise over the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook things from the Carolina's to New England.

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8:15am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

In Libya: Last Battle Of 'Bitter, Brutal Civil War'

The dramatic scenes Tuesday of joy and looting at what was Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's main compound in Tripoli have again raised the prospect that "the war is almost over," NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reported on Morning Edition earlier today.

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7:35am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Irene Likely To Be 'Major Hurricane Later Today;' Mid-Atlantic Bracing

Here she comes. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite photo of Hurricane Irene, taken Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2011). Cuba and Florida are to the left.
AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Irene "continues to strengthen as it pounds the southeastern Bahamas," the National Hurricane Center reports, and "will likely become a major hurricane later today."

Irene is a "category two" hurricane at this moment. The Hurricane Center expects it will be upgraded to "category three," with winds of more than 111 mph, today.

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7:00am

Wed August 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Gadhafi Vows To Fight; Irene Strengthens; East Coast Picks Up After Quake

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 7:06 am

Opposition fighters flashed the V-sign for victory during celebrations in Tripoli's newly named Martyrs Square, formerly known as Green Square, on Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2011).
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

We'll have more on each of these topics shortly, but first we want to quickly pass on the main headlines related to the day's three major stories:

-- Libya: "From Hiding, Gadhafi Tells Libyans To Free Tripoli."

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5:30am

Wed August 24, 2011
Law

NYPD Intelligence Unit Seen Pushing Rights Limits

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Police Department has become one of America's most aggressive gatherers of domestic intelligence. Its intelligence unit, directed by a retired CIA veteran, dispatches undercover officers to keep tabs on ethnic neighborhoods — sometimes in areas far outside their jurisdiction.

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4:36am

Wed August 24, 2011
Africa

From Hiding, Gadhafi Tells Libyans To Free Tripoli

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:31 am

A Libyan rebel stands with his weapon at the Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli a day after it was captured by rebel forces.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Libyan loyalists launched counteroffensives throughout the capital on Wednesday, seemingly taking their cues from leader Moammar Gadhafi, who called on them from hiding to drive the "devils and traitors" from Tripoli.

Clashes erupted in a neighborhood next to Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound a day after the sprawling command-and-control center was overrun by thousands of rebel fighters. Pro-regime fighters attacked with shells and assault rifles in the Abu Salim area, which is home to a notorious prison and thought to be one of the last remaining regime strongholds in Tripoli.

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12:01am

Wed August 24, 2011
Sweetness And Light

The Goal(post)-Oriented Pilgrimage

On his 56-year quest, Dick Wessels visited all the stadiums of all the Division One college football teams.
David Lee iStockphoto.com

All right, so the University of Miami's been caught in a humongous football scandal following Ohio State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oregon, and, as the King of Siam used to say: "Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera."

What's more to add? The sport is totally out of control, and neither the college presidents nor the NCAA can do anything but make dopey, empty promises. So why bother? Let me, instead, tell you a nice college football story.

It is about a quest.

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12:01am

Wed August 24, 2011
Planet Money

What Is Bitcoin?

The U.S. has the dollar. Japan has the yen. Now some people are trying to invent a new currency that's not tied to any country or government. It's called bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a lot like cash — for the online universe. It doesn't actually exist in the physical world. You can't hold bitcoins in your hand because they just live on computers and the Internet.

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12:01am

Wed August 24, 2011
Asia

After Quake, Japanese Fishing Port Remains At Risk

Most of Kesennuma's large fishing boats either survived the tsunami or have been repaired. But many do not move from the dock, because most of the city's fish-processing factories still lie in ruins.
Frank Langfitt NPR

At first glance, the Japanese fishing port of Kesennuma looks like it's making a comeback from last March's devastating tsunami. A half-dozen fishing boats arrive one morning in this city of 70,000 and unload tons of bonito onto a partially rebuilt port.

The fish roll down a conveyor, beneath a fresh-water shower, and splash into plastic bins filled with ice water. Mitsuo Iwabuchi, a wholesaler bidding on the catch, says the port is improving, but the infrastructure that drives it, including scores of fish-processing and ice-making factories, still lies in ruins.

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12:01am

Wed August 24, 2011
Around the Nation

Ala. Businesses Riled By State's New Immigration Law

The dispute over immigration policy is being fought in an Alabama federal court Wednesday.

The state's Republican leaders say they passed the toughest immigration bill in the country to preserve jobs for Alabamians. But critics say the law goes too far, criminalizing all kinds of contact with undocumented residents and putting an extra burden on small business.

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7:07pm

Tue August 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Legendary Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt Diagnosed With Alzheimer's

Pat Summitt, college basketball's winningest coach, said in an interview that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

The legendary coach, who has 1,071 career victories and eight national championships as the University of Tennessee's women's basketball coach, also said she would continue coaching.

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6:08pm

Tue August 23, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Medicare Trying Bundled Payments To Save Money, Improve Care

iStockphoto.com

For all those who say there's nothing in the Affordable Care Act that could reduce health care spending, this one's for you.

Medicare officials have unveiled the latest initiative to spring from last year's overhaul, and it's one some health economists have been lusting after for years: Bundling payments so that hospitals, doctors, and even post-hospital caregivers all have the same financial incentive to both work together and provide cost-effective care.

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5:51pm

Tue August 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Why A Quake In Virginia Isn't As Rare As It Sounds

Nelson Hsu NPR

The earthquake that rattled the East Coast Tuesday afternoon, from its Virginia epicenter to Washington and the islands off Massachusetts, was, indeed, rare, geologists say.

But only because of its size; at a magnitude of 5.8, it was the largest temblor to hit Virginia since 1897, when the largest quake on record, a 5.9 quake, struck.

"Earthquakes in central Virginia are not very unusual," says David Spears, Virginia's state geologist. "We have them every few years, but they're usually in the two-to-four magnitude range."

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