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Politics
2:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

A Clash Of Styles As GOP Factions Fight For Alabama District

Republican candidates Bradley Byrne and Dean Young are running in a special runoff election Tuesday to fill Alabama's 1st congressional district seat.
Phillip Rawls and Campaign of Dean Young AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:01 pm

Voters in Alabama's 1st congressional district are getting a glimpse of the factions vying for control of the Republican Party as two GOP candidates face off in a special election Tuesday.

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The Salt
2:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Heat, Drought Draw Farmers Back To Sorghum, The 'Camel Of Crops'

A test field of sorghum outside Manhattan, Kan., planted by Kansas State University.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:07 pm

Much of the world is turning hotter and dryer these days, and it's opening new doors for a water-saving cereal that's been called "the camel of crops": sorghum. In an odd twist, this old-fashioned crop even seems to be catching on among consumers who are looking for "ancient grains" that have been relatively untouched by modern agriculture.

Sorghum isn't nearly as famous as the big three of global agriculture: corn, rice and wheat. But maybe it should be. It's a plant for tough times, and tough places.

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Code Switch
2:07 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

What's So 'Chinese' About A Chinese Fire Drill?

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:09 pm

Enter the phrase "Chinese fire drill" into YouTube and you'll find page upon page of videos of a classic car prank that's been popular since the 1960s.

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Law
1:50 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Federal Court To Weigh Ohio's Execution Drug Cocktail

Ronald Phillips, convicted of the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl, is scheduled to be executed Nov. 14. A court hearing may decide whether the new drug cocktail can be used.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:51 pm

In Ohio on Friday, a hearing in federal court could decide whether that state will become the first to use a particular cocktail of deadly drugs to execute an inmate. It's the latest chapter in what's become a troubled history of capital punishment in that state.

While Texas is far and away the busiest state in the nation for executions, Ohio is just seven spots behind it. It has carried out 52 executions since 1999 and three so far this year, with another one scheduled in two weeks. And that one, the execution of Ronald Phillips, could use a new drug cocktail.

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Economy
1:50 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Economic, Political Volatility Cloud Housing Recovery

Despite a strong housing market this year, experts say the recent economic drama has contributed to less stability in real estate.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:30 pm

Housing has been one of the bright spots in the economy this year. This week, a report showed that home prices in the top 20 cities continued their robust upward march in August. There are also far fewer foreclosure sales and other signs of distress in the market.

But the Federal Reserve expressed concern Wednesday about the slowing housing market. Pending home sales fell far more than expected. And housing experts are bracing for some volatility.

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Education
1:50 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Turning The Page On Illiteracy, Adults Go Back To Class

Marilyn Block tutors Jason White at a local library during a one-on-one session that is part of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, in Maryland.
Kavitha Cardoza WAMU

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:33 pm

This is the first report of a four-part series on adult education.

The national debate around education usually focuses on children in school. But there are 30 million adults in the U.S. who have trouble with basic literacy — they struggle to read a menu, a pay stub or a bus schedule.

It also means it's difficult for them to get and hold onto the most basic jobs.

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Parallels
1:50 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

The Billionaire Who Personified Brazil's Boom Goes Bust

Batista appears with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during a ceremony in celebration of the start of oil production by OGX, Batista's oil and gas company, in 2012. The company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.
Ricardo Moraes Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:14 pm

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Movie Interviews
1:50 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Four Decades On, 'The Exorcist' Is Still A Head-Turner

Director William Friedkin, shown here with Blair during shooting, says the film is more about questions of faith than it is about horror.
Warner Brothers/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:01 pm

The Exorcist was the story of one girl's demonic possession and the priest who saved her. It was engaging, terrifying and masterful — and it gave new meaning to the phrase "a real head-turner."

William Peter Blatty wrote the screenplay, adapting his own best-selling book. The film starred Ellen Burstyn and a very young Linda Blair — barely 12 years old when shooting began. William Friedkin, who had recently won an Academy Award for The French Connection, was the director.

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Africa
1:49 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Protesters Call For Justice In Brutal Gang Rape In Kenya

Hundreds take to the streets in Nairobi on Thursday, calling for justice for a 16-year-old girl dubbed "Liz," who was gang raped in rural Kenya. The men were caught by the police and let go after their punishment — cutting the grass at the police station.
Daniel Irungu EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 7:50 am

The gang rape of a 16-year-old Kenyan schoolgirl — and the lack of punishment given to the alleged rapists — has sparked outrage in the country and beyond.

The attack was so violent it left the girl in a wheelchair with a severe back injury. She identified some of her attackers, who police apprehended — only to let go after they were ordered to cut the lawn at the police station.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Wrongful Death Verdict Reversed In Virginia Tech Case

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:28 pm

A wrongful death verdict related to the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech has been overturned after the Virginia Supreme Court found that school officials could not have foreseen that 32 people would die in an attack on its campus.

The ruling overturns the findings of a circuit court jury, which had said the school had not done enough to warn students and staff on campus of the threat posed by Seung-Hui Cho — specifically, during a gap of some two hours between attacks on April 16, 2007.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Wally Lamb Mines Childhood Memories For New Novel

Wally Lamb, whose latest book is "We Are Water," is pictured in the Here & Now studios. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:35 pm

In novels such as “I Know This Much is True” and “The Hour I First Believed,” best-selling author Wally Lamb explores how a traumatic incident continues to reverberate years afterward.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

'Spinning Plates' Documentary Explores Restaurants

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:35 pm

The new foodie documentary “Spinning Plates” takes us inside three extraordinary restaurants and introduces us to the teams that keep them running.

And though the title might suggest the chaos of a busy kitchen, the documentary is warm and gentle, and anything but hectic.

NPR’s Trey Graham has this review.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Senate Democrats Pledge Support For Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Get Equal, a LGBT rights group, holds a march to pass ENDA in 2010. The bill has languished in Congress, but the Senate will take a vote on it as early as next week. (Matt Baume/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:35 pm

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says he’ll vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, making him the latest Senate Democrat to throw his support behind the law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace.

The bill is now only one vote shy of a filibuster-proof majority. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said earlier this week that he will push for a vote as early as next week.

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Book Reviews
12:39 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Dickensian Ambition And Emotion Make 'Goldfinch' Worth The Wait

"Dickensian" is one of those literary modifiers that's overused. But before I officially retire this ruined adjective (or exile it to Australia, as Dickens himself would have done), I want to give it one final outing, because no other word will do. Here goes: Donna Tartt's grand new novel, The Goldfinch, is Dickensian both in the ambition of its jumbo, coincidence-laced plot, as well as in its symphonic range of emotions.

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Movie Interviews
12:25 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Jared Leto Was 'Seduced' By Role Of Rayon In 'Buyers Club'

In Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto plays Rayon, a transgender woman who is HIV-positive and struggling with a drug habit. "I always saw Rayon as someone who wanted to live ... life as a woman, not just someone who enjoyed putting on women's clothing," Leto says.
Anne Marie Fox Focus Features

Dallas Buyers Club is based on the story of Ron Woodroof, a rodeo cowboy and electrician, who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1985. With the latest drugs still in the trial phase, he was told he didn't have long to live. Without access to possibly life-prolonging drugs, he sought out alternative treatments in Mexico and smuggled those drugs into the U.S., forming a buyers club for fellow HIV patients.

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