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4:35am

Tue October 21, 2014
NPR Ed

The Short Shelf Life Of Urban School Superintendents

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:16 am

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement.
Damian Dovarganes AP

If you're a 12th-grader right now in the Los Angeles schools, that means you probably started kindergarten back in 2001. It also means that, as of this week, you've seen four superintendents come and go.

As we discussed today on Morning Edition, the ouster of John Deasy last week as the head of the nation's second-largest district has renewed a long-running debate about leadership of big-city schools, and particularly the challenges of raising achievement in such a politically charged environment.

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7:48pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Business

Unrest In Ferguson May Speed Up Decline Of Real Estate

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 1:09 pm

Children watch from their home in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 20 as people march about a mile to the police station to protest the shooting of Michael Brown. Brown's shooting in the middle of a street by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9 sparked protests, riots and looting in the St. Louis suburb. Some people are ready to leave the troubled city. Others say they will remain no matter what.
Charlie Riedel AP

A grand jury has yet to decide whether it will indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., this summer.

Protests over Brown's death are ongoing in Ferguson, though they are calmer than the sometimes violent clashes that happened immediately after the shooting.

Still, many residents there are worried about public reaction once the grand jury announces its decision, and some say they've had enough. They're planning to move. That could accelerate an already existing trend in the region.

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6:03pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

This Past September Ranks As Hottest On Record, NOAA Says

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:34 pm

Four months in 2014 have already been the warmest on record.
NOAA

This past September was, on average, the hottest on record, meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.30 F hotter than the century average.

The AP reports:

"It was the fourth monthly record set this year, along with May, June and August.

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5:48pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Shots - Health News

When Reassuring Isn't: The Rush To Test Cruise Passenger For Ebola

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 10:41 am

The cruise ship Carnival Magic floats behind a catamaran off Cozumel, Mexico on Oct. 17. The ship skipped a planned stop there Friday, the cruise line says, after Mexican authorities delayed granting permission to dock.
Reuters/Landov

Here's a question about the fine line between a prudent response and worrisome overkill: Is the sight of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hovering over a cruise ship to pick up a blood sample (which is to be tested for Ebola) a sight that should inspire feelings of reassurance, or a nagging sense that something is not quite right?

The question is still in the air after the weekend's effort to airlift a few milliliters of blood from a passenger who was on board what is now being called the Ebola Cruise.

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4:59pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Toyota Becomes Latest Automaker To Issue Recalls Over Faulty Airbags

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:33 pm

Parts of pyro-electric airbag initiators lie in a production line at the international automotive supplier Takata Ignition Systems GmbH in Schoenebeck, Germany, Thursday, April 17.
Jens Meyer AP

A massive auto recall on defective airbags was given fresh urgency on Monday, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encouraged the owners of nearly 5 million cars to get them fixed "immediately." Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton told our Newscast unit some deaths have been tied to the defect:

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4:44pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Book News & Features

'Lila' Sets The Stage For Marilynn Robinson's Earlier Works

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:44pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Author Interviews

From Sizzling Fajitas To The Super Bowl, How Sounds Help Sell

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:11 pm

cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Joel Beckerman believes we are living in a golden age of sound: "We have these amazing opportunities to both set the tone and experiences for people, give them information in an instant," he tells NPR's Audie Cornish.

Beckerman is a composer who specializes in sonic branding — and we're not just talking about jingles. These are the sonic cues in commercials, the ambient music in coffee shops, in the beeps, dings and whoosh that occasionally flies from your cellphone. And companies are embracing it.

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4:44pm

Mon October 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tunisia's Emerging Tech Sector Hampered By Old Policies

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 8:56 am

Ramzi El-Fekih, CEO of Creova, stands in his server room in Tunis. He has built a mobile payments company, but because of banking restrictions, Tunisians can use his product only for domestic purchases.
Aarti Shahani NPR

This Sunday, Tunisia — the country that gave birth to Arab Spring — will elect a Parliament. Millions of citizens will vote at the polls, and thousands will run for office.

It's a sea change since the days of ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. But behind the political gains, there is a sad fact: The new democracy is at an economic standstill. The technology sector — which many say could deliver jobs to unemployed young people — is victim to political inertia.

Startups In A Closed Economy

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4:16pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Shots - Health News

Parkinson's Drugs Can Be A Gateway To Sin

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:28 am

Drugs that are commonly prescribed to help people cope with Parkinson's disease have been linked to bizarre changes in behavior that patients and doctors should be on guard against, researchers say.

The disturbing side effects include compulsive gambling, uncontrollable shopping and a sudden obsession with sex.

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3:59pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Author Interviews

One Lawyer's Fight For Young Blacks And 'Just Mercy'

Bryan Stevenson takes on cases to exonerate people wrongfully convicted. "One of the things that pains me is we have so tragically underestimated the trauma, the hardship we create in this country when we treat people unfairly, when we incarcerate them unfairly, when we condemn them unfairly," he says.
Tracy King iStockphoto

When Bryan Stevenson was in his 20s, he lived in Atlanta and practiced law at the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee.

One evening, he was parked outside his apartment listening to the radio, when a police SWAT unit approached his car, shined a light inside and pulled a gun.

They yelled, "Move and I'll blow your head off!" according to Stevenson. Stevenson says the officers suspected him of theft and threatened him — because he is black.

The incident fueled Stevenson's drive to challenge racial bias and economic inequities in the U.S. justice system.

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3:53pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Salt

Climate Change Has Coffee Growers In Haiti Seeking Higher Ground

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:57 pm

A Haitian woman holds cherries from a coffee tree. Haiti's coffee trade was once a flourishing industry, but it has been crippled by decades of deforestation, political chaos and now, climate change.
Patrick Farrell MCT /Landov

Haiti once produced half the world's coffee. The lush, shade-covered mountainsides provided an ideal environment for imported Arabica trees.

Today, Haitian coffee barely registers in global surveys. Trade embargoes, deforestation and the rise of global coffee powerhouses such as Brazil and Indonesia are just a few of the reasons. And now, there's climate change.

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3:42pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: The Primanti Bros. Pitts-burger

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:35 pm

It's smiling at you. I guess it doesn't know what's about to happen.
NPR

If you do a regular blog post about sandwiches, you will frequently hear from people telling you to try Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh, or that the sandwich you just ate is a ripoff of something Primanti Bros. has been doing for years. Also, if you do a regular blog post about sandwiches, you probably regularly hear from your parents wanting to know what on earth you went to college for.

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3:36pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Judge Says 1,000 Potential Jurors May Be Screened For Boston Bombing Trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

A judge in Boston says that some 1,000 pre-trial jurors may be asked to complete a questionnaire for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in January.

The Boston Herald reports U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. made the announcement at a status conference on Monday.

The Herald adds:

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3:12pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Music

Ex Hex's 'Rips' Does What It Says On The Cover

Punk rock lives on the debut album by a new trio, Ex Hex. The album is called Rips, and it's at once a throwback to bands like the Ramones and the sound of something new. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says the three women who make up Ex Hex have created an exhilaratingly energetic piece of work.

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2:48pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Shots - Health News

Eye Phone? Your Next Eye Exam Might Be Done With Your Phone

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 10:54 am

Smartphones can now capture high-quality images of the front and back of an eye.
Courtesy of David Myung

Getting an eye exam typically involves big complicated machines. But eye doctors are trying to get the big and complicated out of the equation by using smartphones and tablets instead. That way, they figure, eye exams can be done just about anywhere — even a village in Nepal.

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1:59pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Parallels

The Artificial Boundary That Divides Iraq

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:03 pm

A family passes through Maktab Khaled in northern Iraq, the last Kurdish checkpoint before they make their way to Kirkuk. ISIS-controlled territory lies less than a mile away.
Leila Fadel NPR

Standing at the top of a dirt and gravel hill, past the sand-filled barriers that enclose a small base of Kurdish forces, a soldier looks through binoculars. One bridge and a body of water separate them from the so-called Islamic State or ISIS.

"Just across the river, under the bridge there is the checkpoint of ISIS," the soldier says.

We're at a checkpoint called Maktab Khaled about 12 miles south of Kirkuk, the disputed and oil-rich city in northern Iraq.

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1:03pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Goats and Soda

Plane Of Good Samaritans: Why Fly To (And From) West Africa

Yes, visitors are still coming — and they want to help fight the virus.
John Moore Getty Images

Flying into the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic is actually anti-climactic.

We landed on Friday night. And by Saturday morning, we realized that people around Monrovia, Liberia, are generally going about their business as usual — they're just washing their hands a lot more and trying not to touch each other.

The city of a million people is now reporting about 30 Ebola cases each day. On the surface, you really wouldn't know there was an epidemic of the world's scariest disease going on, except that every now and then an Ebola ambulance zooms past with its sirens on.

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12:40pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Nepal Ends Rescue Efforts After Deadly Avalanches In Himalayas

Nepal has ended rescue operations for people who may have been trapped or died in blizzards and avalanches last week throughout the foothills of Nepal's Himalayan mountain range. Locals and international tourists are among at least 39 people known to have died. Rescuers say those killed include four Canadians, two Poles, an Israeli, an Indian and a Nepali.

The Associated Press reports that officials believe no more people are stranded:

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12:37pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Indiana Officials Say Man Has Led Them To Multiple Bodies

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 7:06 pm

Police found one of seven women's bodies over the weekend at Motel 6 in Hammond, Ind.
M. Spencer Green AP

Update at 6:53 p.m. ET

Indiana prosecutor on Monday charged Darren Vann, a 43-year-old who pleaded guilty to a Texas rape in 2009, with murdering a woman in the Gary, Ind., area. Charges in at least six other murders are expected, The Associated Press reports.

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11:17am

Mon October 20, 2014
The Salt

In The Big Easy, Food Vendors Create A Little Honduras

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:31 pm

Taqueria La Delicia is a lonchera, or food truck, that parks near a Lowe's Home Improvement store in New Orleans. The owner is Honduran, and so are many of the day laborers who eat there.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson WWNO

Thanks to a quirk of history — and a love of bananas — New Orleans has had a Honduran population for more than a century. But that population exploded after Hurricane Katrina, when the jobs needed to rebuild the city drew waves of Honduran immigrants. Many of them stayed, and nearly a decade later, they've established a thriving — if somewhat underground — culinary community.

Signs of that community abound, if you know where to look.

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11:14am

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Sweden's Sub Hunt Evokes Cold War Memories

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 2:18 pm

Swedish corvette HMS Stockholm patrols Jungfrufjarden in the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden, on Monday. Swedish authorities say they've detected "foreign underwater activity" thought to be a possible Russian submarine.
Anders Wiklund EPA/Landov

The hunt for a possible Russian submarine operating clandestinely in Swedish waters might sound familiar to those of us who lived through the Cold War: That's because it bears striking similarities to a 1981 incident that made international headlines and proved a major embarrassment for Soviet authorities.

Here's what happened over the weekend, according to The Wall Street Journal:

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9:21am

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Hong Kong Leader Blames 'External Forces' For Joining Protests

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 10:46 am

Pro-democracy protesters gather during a rally of the ongoing Occupy Central movement in the Admiralty District of Hong Kong on Monday. The territory's leader has accused foreign elements of helping stoke unrest.
Jeon Heon-kyun EPA/Landov

Hong Kong's leader is blaming "external forces" for helping stoke student-led pro-democracy protests that have brought parts of the Chinese territory to a halt in recent weeks.

Leung Chun-ying's statement in a televised interview on Sunday marked the first time he blamed foreign involvement for the unrest, something that Beijing has said repeatedly during the three weeks of demonstrations, according to The Associated Press.

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8:39am

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Latest Developments In The Ebola Story

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:33 pm

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders (center) speaks with Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn (second from left) and British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond (right) during a round table meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. The ministers hope to raise 1 billion euros to fight Ebola.
Virginia Mayo AP

Updated at 5:31 p.m. ET

It's Monday, and Ebola still dominates the headlines. Here's a roundup of some of the latest developments:

Duncan's Family Completes 21-Day Quarantine:

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7:03am

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Turkey Says It's Helping Iraqi Kurds Join Fight For Kobani

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 8:30 am

Turkish Kurds watch the Syrian town of Kobani from a hill near the Mursitpinar border crossing on Monday.
Kai Pfaffensbach Reuters/Landov

Turkey says it is assisting Iraqi Kurdish fighters in crossing into Syria to aid their brethren in the embattled city of Kobani, where Kurds have fought a fierce defense action for weeks against besieging Islamic State militants.

"We are assisting peshmerga forces [Iraqi Kurds] to cross into Kobani," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara. He added: "We have no wish at all to see Kobani fall."

Cavusoglu offered no details.

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6:23am

Mon October 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Will Apple's Mobile Wallet Replace Your Leather Wallet?

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 8:57 am

Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

On Monday, Apple is rolling out a new way to pay: a digital wallet called Apple Pay. Millions of people with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be able to tap — rather than swipe — at the register.

The move could be a major change in how we shop. Or it could end up as a blip on the map that fades away, as other "mobile wallets" have in the past.

Here are some questions you might be asking:

I have a leather wallet in my back pocket. Am I going to have it a year from now, given this mobile-wallet revolution?

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5:07am

Mon October 20, 2014
Asia

Beijing Marathoners Powered Through Thick Smog

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 7:21 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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4:59am

Mon October 20, 2014
Strange News

Don't Sing It: San Francisco Giants Will 'Never Be Royals'

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 7:21 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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4:23am

Mon October 20, 2014
The Changing Lives Of Women

The Look Of Power: How Women Have Dressed For Success

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:22 am

A publicity still from the movie Working Girl, which prominently featured the beloved power suit.
20th Century Fox

Remember power suits? At the same time women were entering the corporate workplace in large numbers, the power suit began to pop up. It was usually a long jacket with the kind of big, padded shoulders Joan Crawford made famous, a straight skirt and, often, a floppy silk bow tie that Little Lord Fauntleroy would have been at home in. The 1980s power suit was designed to ignore a woman's shape so it didn't hinder her mobility as she worked her way up the corporate ladder.

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4:23am

Mon October 20, 2014
Goats and Soda

Ebola In Church: A Reverend's Quarantine Spreads The Word

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:26 am

The Rev. Herman Browne voluntarily quarantined himself for 21 days after his wife's friend tested positive for Ebola. On Sunday, he returned to his church, Trinity Cathedral, to preach to his congregation about Ebola prevention.
Jon Hamilton NPR

Night clubs have shut their doors. Soccer leagues have been suspended. And a strict curfew is keeping the streets empty at night.

But there's one place in Monrovia where people continue to gather despite the threat of Ebola: Sunday church service.

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4:23am

Mon October 20, 2014
Politics

This Political Ad Was Paid For By — Oh, Never Mind

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 6:42 pm

Among outside groups — that is, not candidates or party committees — more than half of this cycle's political ads are financed by secret donors.
iStockphoto

When you talk about "outside" money in politics, there's a good chance you'll talk about billionaire activists David and Charles Koch.

Especially if you're Harry Reid. The Senate majority leader regularly takes to the Senate floor to slam the Kochs for financing a network of conservative groups. Back in March, he said he was criticizing "two very wealthy brothers who intend to buy their own Congress, a Congress beholden to their money and bound to enact their radical philosophy."

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