Fri August 5, 2011

Will The Budget 'Supercommittee' Accomplish Anything?

This Aug. 16, 12 lawmakers — six Democrats and six Republicans from both houses of Congress — will become among the most influential figures in Washington.

The lawmakers will be part of a bipartisan joint committee formed under the recent debt-ceiling deal, the result of nearly three months of unending gridlock on Capitol Hill.

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Fri August 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Small Beer Brewers Hit With '50 Percent Local' Rule In Massachusetts

Cellarman Cooper Reid packs cases of beer at the Ipswich Ale Brewery in July. New rules put out by the state's alcohol commission require "farmer-brewers" like Ipswich to grow 50 percent of their own grains and hops, or get it from domestic farms.
Boston Globe Boston Globe via Getty Images

Small beer brewers in Massachusetts were shocked this week, when the state alcohol commission announced a new rule that any "farmer-brewers" in the state must grow at least 50 percent of their beer's hops and grain themselves, or get them from a domestic farm they've contracted with for the purpose.

When it announced the advisory, the commission emphasized that farmer-brewer licenses were created to encourage development of the state's domestic farms. But the license also costs far less money than a full "manufacturer" permit.

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Fri August 5, 2011

Heat Wave Tests Muslims During Ramadan

Muslims pray together on the evening of the first day of Ramadan at the Islamic Center of Greater Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

As a heat wave grips large parts of the country, ask yourself this: Would you turn down a glass of water? If you're Muslim, you probably would, because it is the month of Ramadan, when Muslims can't eat or drink from sunup to sundown.

It's a bit of a challenge, says Omar Shahin, an imam in Phoenix. At that moment, it was 105 degrees outside, and he was cleaning the pool in his backyard. The water was so close, yet so far.

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Fri August 5, 2011
Culture And Traditions

In Bolivia, Strollers Compete With Baby Slings

A young child wrapped in an aguayo, a traditional sling, on mother's back in La Paz, Bolivia.
Anthony Cassidy Getty Images

In the U.S., fabric baby slings that carry an infant close to a mother's body are increasingly popular.

Indigenous Bolivian women have been using the technique for centuries — and many embrace it as a connection to their past.

But today, some young women in Bolivia have mixed feelings about the bundles, known as aguayos, and sometimes they cause tension between mothers and daughters.

A Desire To Be 'Western'

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Fri August 5, 2011
The Two-Way

$8 Billion: What This Week's Market Losses Cost The World's Richest Man

Anyone who has a 401K knows that market fluctuations of the kind that have rattled world markets this past week show up significantly on quarterly statements.

Well, imagine what it does to the wealth of the wealthiest man in the world. According to analysis conducted by Bloomberg, Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom magnate, lost $8 billion in past four days. Bloomberg reports:

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Fri August 5, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Americans Support Bans On Food Allergens In Public Places

Peanuts were a problem for 9 percent of households that reported someone with a food allergy or intolerance.

If some foods really don't agree with you or someone you live with, you've got plenty of company.

In the latest NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll, we asked people across the country about food allergies and intolerance. The bottom line: 1 in 5 households across the country has at least one person who is allergic or intolerant to at least one food.

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Fri August 5, 2011
Middle East

In Syria, Hama Residents Document Fierce Crackdown

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:35 am

A screen grab of a YouTube video shows smoke rising in what appears to be a contested part of Hama, Syria.
YouTube user "revosyria"

The residents of Hama, a religiously conservative city in central Syria, have a bitter history with the Assad family that has ruled the country for four decades.

Government opponents rose up in 1982 against Hafez Assad, the former president, and he responded with massive military force that reduced parts of the city to rubble. It took weeks for details to reach the wider world, and there has never been a full accounting. But human-rights groups estimate that anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 people were killed.

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Fri August 5, 2011

CNN's Morgan Under Pressure Amid Hacking Scandal

CNN's Piers Morgan is under growing pressure to return to the U.K. to face questions about whether the Daily Mirror engaged in hacking voicemails while he was editor.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

For years, CNN's Piers Morgan has alternately prospered and flopped on the basis of how readily his roguish charm could get him out of scrapes.

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Fri August 5, 2011
NPR Story

Unemployment Drops To 9.1 Percent

Job growth has faltered significantly in recent months. But, according to the Labor Department, there was a slight decrease in unemployment last month, falling to 9.1 percent. At the same time, employers added more new jobs than expected.


Fri August 5, 2011
Planet Money

Why Are Wedding Dresses So Expensive?

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 3:45 pm

New York International Bridal Week

Shopping for a wedding dress is strange. You have to make an appointment. You're expected to bring family and friends. The salespeople say things like, "You'll remember this forever."

When I bought my dress a few months ago, I couldn't stop thinking about how emotional it all was — and how expensive.

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