12:01am

Thu February 9, 2012
Planet Money

What Do The Dow's Daily Swings Mean? Not Much.

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:22 pm

Mario Tama Getty Images

Turn on the news on any given day, and you're likely to hear about the Dow Jones industrial average. It is the most frequently checked, and cited, proxy of U.S. economic health. But a lot of people — maybe most — don't even know what it is. It's just the stock prices of 30 big companies, summed up and roughly averaged. That's it.

And what does the daily movement of this number have to do with the lives of most Americans? Not much.

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6:30pm

Wed February 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Fabio Capello Quits As Manager Of England's National Soccer Team

England's Italian manager Fabio Capello attends a training session at London Colney, England in May of 2011.
Glyn Kirk AFP/Getty Images

In a surprise twist for one of the world's premiere national soccer teams, Fabio Capello resigned as England coach, today.

The resignation followed an hour-long meeting with top Football Association officials. The association made the news official in a press release posted on its website. The statement read in part:

"The discussions focused on The FA Board's decision to remove the England team captaincy from John Terry, and Fabio Capello's response through an Italian broadcast interview.

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6:17pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

'Congress Will Act': Fight Over Birth Control Coverage Moves To The Hill

House Speaker John Boehner says Congress will intervene if President Obama doesn't reconsider a decision to compel church-affiliated employers to cover birth control in their health care plans.
Pete Marovich Getty Images

You didn't have to look hard to see this one coming.

Catholics and GOP candidates have attacked the Obama administration's plans to require most employers — including religious hospitals and schools — to provide coverage of prescription contraceptives. Now the debate is moving to Capitol Hill.

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6:12pm

Wed February 8, 2012
The Salt

Does Offering Smaller Portions At Restaurants Help People Eat Less?

About one-third of diners who were offered a smaller portion of noodles or rice at a Chinese takeout restaurant chose it.
iStockphoto.com

A server offers you the option to downsize the fried rice side in your Chinese takeout order by half. She tells you that if you accept her offer, you'll save at least 200 calories.

Do you take it?

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6:06pm

Wed February 8, 2012
It's All Politics

Buoyant Santorum Takes Campaign To Texas — And Corrals Some Perry People

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 7:09 pm

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the Bella Donna Chapel in McKinney, Texas, on Wednesday.
Rex C. Curry Associated Press

Fresh off his hat trick in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum campaigned in Texas on Wednesday, speaking to a group of pastors at Bella Donna Chapel in the town of McKinney.

Forty miles north of Dallas, where black prairie dirt meets the fresh poured concrete of suburbia, this is Rick Santorum country.

This used to be Texas Gov. Rick Perry country.

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5:38pm

Wed February 8, 2012
National Security

A New Weapon Against Nukes: Social Media

This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe, taken in 2010, shows the Yongbyon nuclear complex in North Korea. The Institute for Science and International Security monitors satellite images for updates to nuclear facilities.
DigtialGlobe AP

Here are two things you don't often hear mentioned in the same sentence: social media and nuclear weapons.

Rose Gottemoeller, acting undersecretary of state for arms control, quickly links those two unlikely partners in conversation. She's behind a campaign to discover how new communications tools can help rid the world of some of the dangers of nuclear weapons.

Crowdsourcing Nuclear Problems

Gottemoeller is an avid user of Twitter, and it made her wonder how Twitter and other methods of crowdsourcing a problem can help her in her work.

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5:05pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Gray Appoints City's First Planning Commisioner

The city of Lexington will have its first commissioner dedicated primarily to planning, if the Urban County Council approves Mayor Jim Gray's appointment next week. Dr. Derek Paulsen, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University, has been named as the city's first planning commissioner - a position Mayor Jim Gray envisioned as part of his "Fresh Start Plan" during his campaign. 

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5:05pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Music Interviews

A Ballet Dancer's Workout Music? Classical, Of Course

Jared Angle and Janie Taylor perform in George Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements.
Paul Kolnik

Morning Edition has been asking people what music makes them move, in order to create The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix. The mix already includes a good selection of Kanye West, 2Pac and Madonna — which is just fine for some people.

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5:05pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Asia

Home Of Noted Beijing Architect Reduced To Rubble

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 7:09 pm

Liang Sicheng, known as the father of modern Chinese architecture, lobbied Mao Zedong to preserve ancient buildings in Beijing. Despite efforts to have his former courtyard home in Beijing preserved as a cultural relic, it was recently demolished.
Louisa Lim NPR

Down a quiet Beijing alleyway on a recent day, as the winter wind whistles, two men stand guard over a pile of bricks hidden behind a corrugated iron fence.

The pile of rubble was once the home of the man known as the father of modern Chinese architecture, Liang Sicheng. The Orwellian reason for its demolition? "For maintenance," according to a Xinhua news agency report, citing the developer, Fuheng Real Estate company.

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5:02pm

Wed February 8, 2012
All Politics are Local

Stumbo Comments on Redistricting

Efforts to redraw Kentucky’s U.S. House districts are dead in the General Assembly. State House Speaker Greg Stumbo made that declaration after the state Senate could not agree to the latest compromise on district maps. “I think that ship has sailed, that bell’s rung,” Stumbo said. “I think the Secretary of State will have to certify those folks as the candidates and so the current status of law is that in my opinion they would run in the current Congressional district.”

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