Wed August 3, 2011
The Two-Way

As FAA Shutdown Continues, Workers Miss Pay, Medical Coverage

The FAA's partial shutdown doesn't affect air traffic controllers (above). But the impasse has left some 47,000 workers without a paycheck.
John Moore Getty Images

The FAA's partial shutdown will be coming up on the two-week mark Saturday, and there's little sign of movement on the issue. Here's a collection of recent developments to keep you updated:

The shutdown doesn't include air traffic controllers. But it has left 4,000 FAA employees, and an additional 70,000 contractors, either furloughed or fired outright.

NPR's Richard Gonzales spoke to Richard Zemlok, an electrician in Oakland, Calif., who was one of those left without a paycheck:

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Wed August 3, 2011

Airport Contractors Feel Sting Of FAA Shutdown

Construction equipment sits idle at the work site of a half-completed 236-foot FAA control tower at Oakland International Airport.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The stalemate in Congress over funding for the Federal Aviation Administration means the suspension of more than 200 airport expansion and renovation projects around the country, which is putting tens of thousands of people out of work.

Electrician Richard Zemlok is one of 60 engineers and contractors who were laid off in Oakland, Calif., as a result of the dispute.

He's no stranger to layoffs. A taut, barrel-chested man in his 50s, Zemlok spent 22 years at a local Toyota assembly plant before it was shut down last year.

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Wed August 3, 2011

Your Songs For The Delivery Room

A pregnant woman wearing headphones, possibly working on her delivery playlist.
Richard Semík istockphoto.com

Last Friday, we heard a story about one woman's soundtrack to her son's birth. We then asked you to tell us about the music you listened to while you or your partner gave birth. The stories you sent in were moving-- and funny. "Push It" by Salt 'n' Pepa seems to be a clear favorite. One birth playlist included the Star Wars theme. And then there were the accidental soundtracks.

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Wed August 3, 2011

How Blood-Sucking Vampire Bats Aim Their Bites

Let's say you're a vampire bat, and you are trying to decide where to bite your victim. You want a spot rich in blood, right? But how do you find such a spot?

Turns out, vampire bats have a kind of remote sensing ability that can tell them where there is a warm patch of skin on a nearby animal. And a warm patch of skin means there are blood vessels just below the skin surface. And now scientists have identified the molecular basis for this remote sensing ability.

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Wed August 3, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Multiplying Media Make It Harder To Manage Kids' Screen Time

She's probably on her way to watch TV.

Watching a lot of TV makes for fatter kids, but media multitasking has taken the place of television in most kids' lives. So parents and pediatricians might want to rethink how they manage children's screen time.

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Wed August 3, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Rebel Leader's Death Puts Eastern Libya On Edge

Originally published on Thu August 11, 2011 1:07 pm

Libyans shout slogans at a rally in rebel-held Benghazi, in eastern Libya on July 31. The rally was held to pay respect to Abdel-Fattah Younis, the Libyan rebels' slain military chief. Now, his family, tribesmen and supporters are demanding answers from the rebel authorities about his death.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

In eastern Libya, the rebel stronghold of Benghazi is filled with tension following the murder last week of the rebels' top military commander.

Abdel-Fattah Younis was killed in mysterious circumstances. Now, members of his family and his tribe — one of the most powerful in Libya — are accusing the rebel authorities of dragging its feet in the investigation.

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Wed August 3, 2011
The Two-Way

Biologist Explain How An African Rat Makes Itself Poisonous

An African crested rat.

East Africans have always known that crested rats are poisonous. They know that the dogs that tend to attack the foot-long mammal end up viscously sick and deathly scared of the creature.

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Wed August 3, 2011

Procrastination Nation: The Out Years

President Barack Obama walks back to the Oval Office after speaking in Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 2, after the Senate passed the debt ceiling legislation.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Ah, the Out Years.

During the recent debt-ceiling debate, the phrase became a recurring motif. "You've got to look at the deficit not just in the next 10 years," White House political adviser David Plouffe told NPR, "but does it also produce savings in the out years."

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) told the Los Angeles Times that enforcement of the plan will be the key to its success, but "it's always in the out years and it never happens."

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Wed August 3, 2011

Despite Business Ties, Daley Struggled In Debt Talks

William Daley with President Obama when he was named White House chief of staff in January.

When White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley joined President Obama's team at the beginning of the year, he was expected to bring stability and a centrist approach to managing a sometimes chaotic White House.

His close connection to the business world was one of the strongest selling points as chief of staff. Daley built close friendships with business leaders during his years at JP Morgan Chase, and the White House hoped he could undo some of the bad blood that developed between Obama and business leaders during the first two years of the term.

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Wed August 3, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

The Miami-Beattyville Connection

The federal probe into drug trafficking from Florida to Owsley County expanded last week when eight more people were indicted. Molik Ali Alston, 41 of Miami Gardens, Fla., Josh Terry, 25 of Beattyville, Tony Gibson, 22, Cameron Herald, 31, Jesse Herald, 58, Jimmy Miller, 35, Phyllis Reed, 65, and John White, 21, all of Booneville were indicted Thursday, July 28, for allegedly conspiring “with each other and others to knowingly and intentionally distribute a quantity of pills containing oxycodone.”

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