8:10 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Poll finds majority of Michigan residents support legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana

Lead in text: 
Poll commissioned by group supporting pot legalization
LANSING, MI -- A majority of Michigan voters now support legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana in some capacity, according to the results of a new statewide poll. EPIC-MRA of Lansing conducted a live-operator survey from September 7 to 10, asking 600 likely voters what they thought about Michigan's current marijuana laws.
Animals
7:52 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Earwax From Whales Keeps Record Of Ocean Contaminants

A blue whale (and human diver) swimming off the coast of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, in April 2011.
Amos Nachoun Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 8:07 am

How often do whales clean their ears? Well, never. And so, year after year, their earwax builds up, layer upon layer. According to a study published Monday, these columns of earwax contain a record of chemical pollution in the oceans.

The study used the earwax extracted from the carcass of a blue whale that washed ashore on a California beach back in 2007. Scientists at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History collected the wax from inside the skull of the dead whale and preserved it. The column of wax was almost a foot long.

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Energy
5:55 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Natural Gas May Be Easier On Climate Than Coal, Despite Methane Leaks

A rig drills a hydraulic fracturing well for natural gas outside Rifle, Colo., in March.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 7:11 pm

From the standpoint of global warming, burning natural gas can be better than burning coal, a study published this week suggests.

This is a contentious issue among people who are opposed to the natural gas drilling practice known as fracking. That technique involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to release far more gas than conventional drilling can. Opponents of fracking have been concerned not only about local environmental issues, but also about the potential for methane leaks to make global warming worse.

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Shots - Health News
5:15 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

How Smartphones Became Vital Tools Against Dengue In Pakistan

Inspector Mohammad Saleem Taqi takes a photo of sanitation workers as they clear out debris in sewers. The government feeds the photos into a map to track the city's effort to stop dengue fever.
Beenish Ahmed NPR

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 2:14 pm

A line of men in black rain boots push trash carts through the alleys of Lahore, Pakistan. They stop at an open sewer along a neighborhood street and start to pull up shoes, bricks, plates and any other trash that might block the flow of wastewater.

Standing water is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. And the local government in Lahore is on a focused mission: Stop the spread of dengue fever by mosquitoes.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Costa Concordia Clear Of Pollution And Delicate Reefs

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's being called the largest marine salvage operation ever. Off the coast of west Italy, engineers are attempting to rotate the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner to an upright position. The massive ship is now clear of the reef that had penetrated the hull. And apparently, no pollutants are spilling from the ship.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us now from the island of Giglio. And, Sylvia, describe where you are now and whether there's been any visible progress toward riding the ship.

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Planet Money
4:44 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

The Poverty Rate Ignores Programs That Fight Poverty

Ann Valdez lives with her teenage son in Coney Island, Brooklyn
Pam Fessler / NPR

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 6:49 pm

New U.S. poverty numbers come out on Tuesday. But what, exactly, do those numbers measure?

Consider the case of Ann Valdez. She's a 47-year-old single mom who lives in an apartment in Brooklyn with her teenage son. She doesn't have a job. She gets a cash payment of about $130 every two weeks from the government. That's all that's counted for her income in the government's poverty measure.

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Books News & Features
4:44 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

National Book Awards Look To Raise Profile ... And It's Not The First Time

Click here to see the full list." href="/post/national-book-awards-look-raise-profile-and-its-not-first-time" class="noexit lightbox">
The 2013 National Book Award long list for Young People's Literature was announced Monday. Click here to see the full list.
nationalbook.org

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 2:19 pm

You may be hearing a lot about the National Book Awards this week — at least that's what the National Book Foundation hopes. That's because they've made some changes to the awards that they hope will get more people talking about them. Over four days starting Monday, they will roll out their nominees in four different categories — beginning with Young People's Literature and ending Thursday with Fiction.

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SW Michigan
3:36 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Republican decides against U.S. Senate bid

Credit WMUK

Another potential Republican candidate has bowed out of next year's U.S. Senate race in Michigan.

The Gongwer News Service says Oakland County District Judge Kimberly Small has decided not to enter the race for the seat now held by retiring Democrat Carl Levin. That leaves former Michigan secretary of state Terri Lynn Land as the only announced GOP candidate.

Two other Republicans, including Congressman Justin Amash of Grand Rapids, are still thinking about running.

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3:28 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Michigan Medicaid expansion becomes law

Lead in text: 
Gov. Snyder signed the legislation in a ceremony Monday.
Dearborn - Governor Rick Snyder is expected to sign legislation Monday morning which would make Michigan the 25th state to join the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. By signing the bill, the governor would add more than 470,000 Michiganians to the Medicaid rolls.
3:24 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Law enforcement officials tout preschools

Lead in text: 
The "Fight Crime: Invest in Kids" coalition says Michigan could save more than $200 million a year and keep thousands of people out of prison through a proposed federal-state early childhood education initiative.
KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Kalamazoo County Jail holds 327 inmates, but Sheriff Richard Fuller says the department regularly supervises more than 400 inmates a day. In an effort to cut down on jail overcrowding and the crime rate, Fuller is helping to push for a state-federal partnership to expand early childhood education across the country.
Around the Nation
1:39 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Ray Suarez On Latino Americans: Past Is Prologue?

Over 50 million Latin Americans live in the United States. Host Michel Martin speaks with veteran reporter Ray Suarez about his new book Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped A Nation.

World
1:39 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Syria: Does The U.S. And Russia Deal Go Far Enough?

The world watches and waits to hear if the Assad government will give up Syria's chemical weapons stock. In the meantime, George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace talks with host Michel Martin about Israel's view on the Syrian conflict.

History
1:39 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Birmingham Bombing: 50 Years Later, A Different America?

It's been half a century since the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed. The blast killed four little girls and was a turning point in the civil rights movement. Host Michel Martin revisits that era with historian Taylor Branch.

Author Interviews
1:38 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Barnard President: Today's 'Wonder Women' Must Reframe Feminism

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 4:06 pm

There was a time when Debora Spar was used to being the only woman in the room. As a professor at Harvard Business School, she was surrounded by what she describes as "alpha men of the academic sort — men with big egos and big attitudes and an awful lot of testosterone."

Then, in 2008, she found herself in the opposite situation: She became the president of Barnard College, the women's college affiliated with Columbia University, where "there was barely a male in sight."

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Book Reviews
1:16 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Introducing 'Miss Anne,' The White Women Of A Black Renaissance

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 12:16 pm

Ten years ago, literary scholar Carla Kaplan released an acclaimed edition of the letters of Zora Neale Hurston. In the course of researching Hurston's life, Kaplan became curious about the white women who were in Harlem in the same period as Hurston, women who risked family exile and social ostracism to be part of the artistic and political movements of the Harlem Renaissance. Now, Kaplan has published a cultural history of those women called Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance.

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Parallels
1:05 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Brazilian Believers Of Hidden Religion Step Out Of Shadows

Men possessed by orixas dance before getting dressed in orixa costumes. They are participating in an Olubaje party, a Candomblé ritual for cleansing life of bad things and healing. The main god at the party is Omulu (the one with straws), known for healing diseases.
Marcello Vitorino Fullpress for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:45 pm

Amid chanting and drumming, a crowd gathers in Sao Paulo and waits for the gods to come to them from the spirit world.

They are celebrating a sacred festival day in honor of Omulu, a deity of life and death. The women wear white dresses with crinolines, colorful belts and headdresses. The men wear lace, pajama-style suits. They sing and dance in a circle for hours; the room gets warmer, the chanting more intense.

Suddenly, they are here: Orixas have possessed the chosen among the faithful. They are spirit gods, the deified ancestors who link humans to the other world.

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Music Reviews
11:41 am
Mon September 16, 2013

The Masters At His Fingertips, Art Hodes Pays Tribute To Bessie Smith

Art Hodes performs at the Ole South in New York City circa 1946.
William Gottlieb Library of Congress via Flickr

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Jazz pianist Art Hodes, born in Russia in 1904, grew up near Chicago. His recording career really took off in the 1940s in New York, where he also hosted a radio show and wrote for the magazine The Jazz Record. Later, he moved back to Chicago and the atmosphere that nurtured him.

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Culture
11:26 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Native Americans not just a page in history, says Nokomis Learning Center

A display at the Nokomis Learning Center.
Credit Nancy Camden

The word Nokomis means grandmother in Anishinaabe. The Nokomis Learning Center in Okemos, Michigan does what grandparents do in native culture; they pass down the education, the wisdom and the traditions.

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Around the Nation
10:57 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Several Reported Dead In Shooting At Navy Yard In Washington

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 12:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We will go to NPR's business news in a moment. Right now, let's get an update on what we do know about a shooting at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. today. We have to begin by being frank. What we do not know exceeds what we do. NPR's Jennifer Ludden is on the scene of that shooting today - or near it - and she's on line. And Jennifer, what have you been learning?

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Business
7:08 am
Mon September 16, 2013

United To Honor Free Tickets Generated During Glitch

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:02 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Mansfield Waits 121 Years For 2nd Night Game

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 7:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

In 1892, Mansfield University held the first night football game. Brand-new electric lights illuminated the field, just not very well. Squinting in the darkness, players tackled their own teammates and even the ref. Mansfield abandoned night games until this past Saturday, then the Pennsylvania school defeated Princeton. The athletic director says the 121-year pause between night games allowed time to work out the bugs.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Middle East
4:12 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Weapons Inspector Points Out Challenges Facing Deal On Syria

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 7:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's get an assessment of the weekend deal between the United States and Russia on chemical weapons in Syria.

GREENE: David Kay inspected Iraq for weapons of mass destruction once after the Gulf War in 1991, and a second time after the U.S. invasion in 2003.

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Europe
4:12 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Engineers Begin Righting Wrecked Cruise Ship

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 7:09 am

The Costa Concordia is lying on its side in shallow waters off the west coast of Italy. It struck a reef 20 months ago when the captain steered too close to land. Thirty-two people died. On Monday, the task is to begin to slowly rotate the ship to an upright position, using a complex system of chains and underwater platforms and cables.

Movies
4:12 am
Mon September 16, 2013

'The Muslims Are Coming!' To Middle America

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 7:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A group of Muslim comics went on tour through parts of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, as well as Arizona. Their mission was to help Americans equate Islam with funny, rather than fundamentalist. And that is the topic of a new documentary called, "The Muslims Are Coming."

NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji met up with the directors.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, BYLINE: Here's a quick taste of what happens when Muslim comics invade Middle America.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING")

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Parallels
3:35 am
Mon September 16, 2013

With A Card Game, The Portuguese Get Back At Their Creditors

Carlos Mesquita (left) and Filipe Preto invented Vem aí a Troika (Here Comes the Troika), a satirical card game that pokes fun at Portugal's economic crisis and its creditors.
Lauren Frayer

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:39 pm

In a typical cafe in downtown Lisbon, old men play cards or dominoes over cups of milky coffee or cold glasses of vinho verde and commiserate about the economy.

One of their favorite ways to do this is through a new card game that's all the rage in Lisbon these days. Vem Aí a Troika, or Here Comes the Troika, is a satirical cross between Monopoly and Old Maid, in which players try to stash away savings in offshore accounts, win elections — and avoid the dreaded troika card.

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All Tech Considered
3:35 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Dear Apple: Good Luck Against The Smartphone Black Market

Apple's fingerprint technology is an effort to combat smartphone theft.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:09 pm

Last week, Apple introduced two new iPhones with new features, including fingerprint recognition on one model, and extra password protections. But the new technology is up against a sophisticated black market that has had years to grow and adapt to meet the world's desire for smartphones.

To call smartphone-related crime an epidemic is not an exaggeration. By one estimate, more than 4,000 phones are stolen every day in the United States.

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Shots - Health News
3:22 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Calling Obesity A Disease May Make It Easier To Get Help

Differences in brain chemistry can affect an individual's likelihood of weight gain.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:04 am

Under the Affordable Care Act, more insurance plans are expected to start covering the cost of obesity treatments, including counseling on diet and exercise as well as medications and surgery. These are treatments that most insurance companies don't cover now.

The move is a response to the increasing number of health advocates and medical groups that say obesity should be classified as a disease.

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Shots - Health News
3:21 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Getting Personal With Your Health Insurance Exchange Questions

The final countdown: It's time to figure out how insurance through the health exchanges will work for you.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 11:15 am

With the launch of new health insurance exchanges just about two weeks away, many of the questions in this month's mailbag focused less on the big picture and more on exactly how the law will operate for individuals.

We can't answer every question we get. But here is a sampling of questions that were really popular, or that would apply to a lot of people.

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10:44 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Fund would help schools change to year around calendar

Lead in text: 
Several school districts in Michigan have experimented with alternative calendar
LANSING -- A new proposal in the Michigan House of Representatives would set aside $10 million in state funds to help schools transition to a "year-round" calendar where students do not have the traditional lengthy summer break.
Tea Party
10:27 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Bridge Magazine looks at the Tea Party's influence in Michigan

Tea Party Alliance members Gene Clem (right) and Sharon Lollio in photo from Bridge Magazine story
Credit Pat Schellenbarger, Bridge Magazine

Interview with Pat Schellenbarger

Bridge Magazine contribute Pat Schellenbarger says the Tea Party is better at blocking things they're opposed to rather than getting something passed. 

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