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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

U.S. Job Market Seen As X Factor In Fed's Stimulus Plans

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Stocks rose in the moments after details of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting were released today.
Richard Drew AP

The Federal Reserve must ensure the U.S. job market is in full health before it begins to ease its aggressive bond-purchasing program, its top officials said at the Fed's latest policy meeting. This afternoon, the central bank released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting of June 18 and 19.

In that session, the officials cited a moderate pace of economic expansion, but said it was coupled with an unemployment rate that remains high.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Landmark Paris Mansion Is Damaged By Fire

Firemen battle flames at the 17th century Hotel Lambert early Wednesday in Paris.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:06 am

Paris' historic Hotel Lambert, once home to the likes of Voltaire and Chopin, was partly damaged by fire early Wednesday.

The BBC reports that the 17th-century structure lost a section of its roof and a central staircase and saw water and smoke damage to celebrated fresco paintings by Charles Le Brun, who also designed the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

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Author Interviews
2:47 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

'Blue Plate Special': A Generous Helping Of Life

Author Kate Christensen weaves her love of food and cooking into a new memoir.
Michael Sharkey Doubleday

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:56 pm

When novelist Kate Christensen was just a toddler, she witnessed her father beating her mother. It was a scene that would haunt Christensen for decades.

And so it's with a description of that morning that she chooses to begin her memoir Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites. The book that unfolds is an examination of the reverberations of her father's violence in her life, and a meditation on how her love of food helped her cope.

As a child, she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, she refused to identify with her mother in the scenario.

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The Salt
2:40 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

'Eating On The Wild Side:' A Field Guide To Nutritious Food

The cover of Eating on the Wild Side.
Little Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 10:17 am

We like to think that if we eat our recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, we're doing right by our bodies. Think again, says health writer Jo Robinson.

In her new book, Eating on the Wild Side, Robinson argues that our prehistoric ancestors picked and gathered wild plants that were in many ways far more healthful than the stuff we buy today at farmers' markets.

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Business
2:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Smithfield Says Pork Won't Change, But Some Aren't Buying It

A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:08 am

Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.

"It will be the same old Smithfield, only better," Pope said at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

But several senators weren't buying the bacon-will-be-unbroken story once Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings owns Smithfield.

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Parallels
2:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

That Blows: Cricket's Trumpet-Playing Superfan Silenced

Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott listens to Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper during the second test between New Zealand and England at Basin Reserve on March 15 in Wellington, New Zealand. Cooper's trumpet will be silent at Trent Bridge, in Nottingham, England, because the ground doesn't allow musical instruments.
Gareth Copley Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:42 pm

The English national character is an eternal mystery. But from time to time we get a glimpse of some of its components. The story of Billy The Trumpet is one such occasion.

Billy is the embodiment of English eccentricity. He belongs to a boisterous ragtag band of sports fans called the Barmy Army. They're considered "barmy" for very good reason: These people follow England's national cricket team everywhere.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Illinois Is 50th State To Legalize Carrying Concealed Weapons

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:23 pm

Illinois became the last state in the U.S. to legalize carrying concealed weapons after state lawmakers overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Tuesday's votes — 41-17 in the Senate and 77-31 in the House — came just before a federal appeals court deadline to pass a form of concealed-carry.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

DogTV, The Channel For Stay-At-Home Pups, Is Going National

Bleu, a French bulldog who lives in San Diego, watches DogTV during the network's initial months online and on cable outlets in Southern California, in April 2012.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:40 pm

Tell your best friend:

DogTV, which launched online in Southern California last year, says it's going national on DirecTV starting Aug. 1.

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Shots - Health News
1:43 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

When Choirs Sing, Many Hearts Beat As One

Members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir raise their voices in unison — and perhaps unify their heart rates, too.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:33 am

We open our hymnals to Hymn 379, and we begin to sing. "God is Love, let heav'n adore him / God is Love, let earth rejoice ..."

Lifting voices together in praise can be a transcendent experience, unifying a congregation in a way that is somehow both fervent and soothing. But is there actually a physical basis for those feelings?

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It's All Politics
1:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Once A Rising GOP Star, Virginia's Governor Hits The Skids

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell won one of two governorships that the GOP picked up in 2009.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:00 pm

Just last year, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was a hot Republican prospect, ranked among the nation's most respected state leaders, and was touted as prime vice presidential material.

Those heady days are long gone.

After a seemingly endless series of reports about alleged ethical lapses by the buttoned-down, fiscally conservative governor, no one talks about his political promise anymore.

Instead, the rumor mill generates talk of his impending resignation, with the governor's spokesman denying via Twitter a weekend blog report that he would step down from office.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Live From Mecca, It's Ramadan

Muslims circle the Kaaba as they pray inside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during last October's hajj pilgrimage.
Hassan Ammar AP

Live streaming views of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the holy city in Saudi Arabia that is closed to virtually all non-Muslim visitors, are playing online, depicting pilgrims' visits for the holy month of Ramadan. The video shows the faithful performing prayers and circumambulation around the Kaaba, the sacred cube at the mosque's center.

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The Salt
12:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Do Diet Drinks Mess Up Metabolisms?

Some researchers think that artificial sweeteners, most frequently consumed in diet drinks, may confuse the body.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 5:10 pm

It may seem counterintuitive, but there's a body of evidence to suggest that the millions of Americans with a diet soda habit may not be doing their waistlines — or their blood sugar — any favors.

As the consumption of diet drinks made with artificial sweeteners continues to rise, researchers are beginning to make some uncomfortable associations with weight gain and other diseases.

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It's All Politics
12:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Despite Youth Support, Democrats Having A Senior Moment

Vice President Biden (left) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada react to cheers from the crowd at a campaign rally on Oct. 18, 2012, in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 1:36 pm

Democrats aren't getting any younger. At least, their top leaders aren't.

Voters under the age of 30 were key to President Obama's electoral success. But Obama's going gray and his most prominent potential successors aren't paragons of youth.

Hillary Clinton, who would be the presumptive Democratic favorite for president the minute she decided to run, will be 69 in 2016. Vice President Biden is already 70.

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Race
12:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Zimmerman Trial In The Court Of Public Opinion

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:56 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Maybe it was fatigue, maybe it was the stress of a long trial, but last night came one of the most intense courtroom exchanges so far in the trial of George Zimmerman. It ended up with Judge Debra Nelson walking out of the courtroom.

(SOUNDBITE OF ZIMMERMAN TRIAL)

DEBRA NELSON: I'm not getting into this. Court is in recess. I will give my ruling in the morning. I'll see you at eight o'clock in the morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: Your Honor...

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Law
12:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Is The Zimmerman Prosecution Legally 'Weak?'

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:56 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has riveted people who are interested in criminal justice issues. But that's not all, the story has clearly touched many nerves, and has sparked all kinds of conversations. Certainly about race, but also about things like how we perceive people based on how they look and how they speak.

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