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4:20pm

Mon August 17, 2015
Remembrances

Route 29 Batman Dies After Being Struck On Md. Highway

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 7:48 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Lenny Robinson wasn't really Batman, but he was real enough to the scores of sick children he visited in the hospital dressed as the Caped Crusader over the years. Washington Post reporter Michael Rosenwald was friends with Robinson.

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4:20pm

Mon August 17, 2015
Around the Nation

Do Troops Killed In Oklahoma City Bombing Deserve A Combat Medal?

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 7:48 pm

Keepsakes of Airman 1st Class Lakesha Levy fill her mother's bungalow in New Orleans. Levy and five other military service members died in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Jesse Hardman WWNO

Constance Favorite looks over a table filled with mementos in the living room of her bungalow in New Orleans — shoes, a tattered combat boot, an American flag and three photos, each of a smiling young woman. It's her daughter, Airman 1st Class Lakesha Levy.

"If our day didn't look bright, she would brighten it up with her little jokes she would tell. I'd say, 'Lakesha, you really should be a comedian,' " Favorite says.

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4:20pm

Mon August 17, 2015
NPR Ed

'Disrupting' Tech's Diversity Problem With A Code Camp For Girls Of Color

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 3:11 pm

Teenage girls in San Francisco participate in a weeklong Black Girls CODE summer camp.
LA Johnson NPR

Silicon Valley is great at disrupting business norms — except when it comes to its own racial and gender diversity problem. In an open letter last week, the Rev.

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3:43pm

Mon August 17, 2015
The Two-Way

NLRB Denies Northwestern University Football Players' Bid To Unionize

Northwestern football players are reflected in a helmet during drills at a practice. On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board dismissed a petition that players be allowed to form a union.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

In a unanimous decision, the National Labor Relations Board has rejected Northwestern University football players' petition to form a union by declining to assert jurisdiction in the case.

The decision effectively overturns a 2014 ruling by an NLRB regional director that found the athletes meet the broad definitions of employees under federal law and thereby could form what would have been the nation's first student-athlete union.

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3:21pm

Mon August 17, 2015
Shots - Health News

Can You Teach A Computer To 'Feel' Suspense?

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 7:48 pm

Daniel Craig plays James Bond in the film Casino Royale. Dramatis, a computer program, can detect suspense from this scene and rates it even higher as the plot thickens.
MGM/United Artists/Sony/The Kobal Collection

Siri is just the beginning.

Soon enough — like it or not — we are all going to be talking a lot more with computers, at least according to Brian O'Neill, a professor of computer science at Western New England University. They will be tutoring our students and tending to us in our old age. And a big part of their job will be telling stories.

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3:03pm

Mon August 17, 2015
Shots - Health News

Microbe Mix May Play Role In Preterm Birth Risk

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 4:57 pm

Microbial diversity could be a factor in premature births.
iStockphoto

The assortment of microbes in a pregnant woman's vagina appears to play a role in her chances of giving birth prematurely, new research suggests.

The study of 49 pregnant women, published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that those who had a diverse array of microbes were more likely to give birth prematurely.

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2:45pm

Mon August 17, 2015
Theater

Lesbian Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Countered Dad's Secrecy By Being Out And Open

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 5:18 pm

Alison Bechdel is the author of the long-running syndicated comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For.
Elena Seibert Courtesy of O+M Co.

Since coming out as a lesbian in 1980 at the age of 19, graphic novelist Alison Bechdel has made it a point to be open about her sexuality. It was a decision she made consciously as a reaction to her father, who was gay and closeted, and who died four months after Bechdel came out.

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2:28pm

Mon August 17, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Steel To End Steelmaking Operations At Storied Alabama Plant

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 3:35 pm

Fairfield Works is located in Fairfield, a suburb of Birmingham, Ala.
Mark Almond AL.com/Landov

United States Steel Corp. says it is shutting down its blast furnace and steelmaking operations at its plant near Birmingham, Ala., this fall.

More than 1,000 U.S. Steel employees at Fairfield Works in the town of Fairfield will lose their jobs, NPR's Debbie Elliott reports. She adds:

"The nearly century-old plant once rolled steel used to build ships during World War I and was long the center of Birmingham's steel industry. It's located in the suburb of Fairfield, established by U.S. Steel as a planned company mill town in the early 1900s."

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1:55pm

Mon August 17, 2015
Shots - Health News

A Change To Out-Of-Pocket Health Insurance Limits Irks Employers

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 4:51 pm

One of the health law's key protections was putting a cap on how much people can be required to pay out of pocket for medical care each year. Now some employers say the administration is unfairly changing the rules that determine how those limits are applied and that the changes will be costly.

In addition, the employers and some Republicans on Capitol Hill are questioning whether federal officials have the authority to modify those rules.

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1:46pm

Mon August 17, 2015
The Two-Way

Maryland's 'Batman,' A Real-Life Superhero, Dies

Originally published on Thu August 20, 2015 9:10 am

Lenny B. Robinson dressed as Batman to cheer up sick kids.
Facebook.com

Lenny B. Robinson, a 51-year-old man who came to be known as a real-life superhero in a Batman costume, was killed in a traffic accident on Sunday.

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12:16pm

Mon August 17, 2015
It's All Politics

Bernie Sanders And The Size And Wisdom Of Crowds

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 8:38 am

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has gotten some of the biggest and most devoted crowds of the 2016 presidential race, including in Portland, Ore., this month, where he drew more than 19,000.
Troy Wayrynen AP

One measure of how impressive Bernie Sanders' crowds have been lately is the respect they get from Donald Trump, a man who clearly believes size matters.

"He's getting the biggest crowds, and I'm getting the biggest crowds," Trump said last week of Sanders in one of his innumerable TV interviews.

He meant it as a putdown of Hillary Clinton, but the left-handed salute to Sanders resonated. Because he has arguably drawn the very biggest crowds this summer, even more "biggest" than Trump's.

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11:18am

Mon August 17, 2015
The Two-Way

Deadly Explosion Rocks Thailand's Capital City

Originally published on Thu August 20, 2015 6:19 pm

Thai soldiers inspect the scene after a bomb exploded Monday evening near the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Update, 12:45 a.m.:

At least 22 people were killed and 123 injured in the explosion, authorities reported early Monday, according to CNN; the dead included Filipino Chinese, Singaporean and Malaysian nationals.

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10:55am

Mon August 17, 2015
The Two-Way

Cute And Cuddly? Think Again. Koala Terrifies Aussie Farmer

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 12:35 pm

A speedy koala caught up to this four-wheeler.
Ebony Churchill

You thought koalas were cute and cuddly, right?

Well, you should ask Ebony Churchill, an Australian dairy farmer, about that.

Churchill uploaded a video on Facebook over the weekend that shows a big koala chasing after her.

"They've got hard, sharp claws, and I didn't want to have him grabbing at my leg as I was on the bike," she told her local paper, The Advertiser.

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9:56am

Mon August 17, 2015
The Two-Way

Jeff Bezos Responds To 'New York Times' Report On Amazon's Workplace

Originally published on Thu August 20, 2015 6:18 pm

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appears at an event last year in Seattle for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone.
Ted S. Warren AP

Following a weekend New York Times feature that depicted an often harsh and unforgiving workplace culture at tech giant Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos has responded in a memo to employees.

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7:50am

Mon August 17, 2015
Around the Nation

New Jersey Brewery Crafts Beer For Pope's Visit

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 8:50 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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7:50am

Mon August 17, 2015
Around the Nation

New York City Council Considers Plan To Text 911

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 8:50 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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7:10am

Mon August 17, 2015
The Two-Way

Indonesian Authorities Spot Wreckage Thought To Be Of Missing Plane

A Trigana Air ATR-42 similar to the one missing in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province.
Bagus Indahono EPA/Landov

Indonesian authorities have spotted a wreckage, which they believe belongs to a missing Trigana Air Service turboprop plane, in a remote area of Papua.

The Financial Times reports:

"Search and rescue aircraft spotted the wreck in the Bintang Mountains, according to Reuters, and are heading to the site to look for any survivors.

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5:10am

Mon August 17, 2015
Animals

Decoding Nature: Identifying Sounds A Horned Owl Makes

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 12:29 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:10am

Mon August 17, 2015
History

Early Recording Found Of King's 'I Have A Dream' Speech

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 1:59 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In 1962, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., gave a speech in Rocky Mount, N.C.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR: I have a dream tonight. It is a dream rooted deeply in the American dream.

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5:10am

Mon August 17, 2015
NPR Story

Black Men Who Are Crime Victims Have Few Places To Turn

Originally published on Wed August 19, 2015 1:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

An advocate for victims of violent crime is asking a provocative question. Danielle Sered wonders, what if the young black men who died in police confrontations in Ferguson and Staten Island had actually survived, alive but injured?

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5:10am

Mon August 17, 2015
Economy

China Devaluates Currency; Multiple Effects On Global Economy

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 8:50 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:10am

Mon August 17, 2015
Politics

Politics In the News: Presidential Candidates Court Iowa

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 6:05 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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5:10am

Mon August 17, 2015
Environment

To Measure Drought's Reach, Researchers Scale The Mighty Sequoia

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 2:56 pm

UC Berkeley tree biologist Wendy Baxter is about to begin her ascent of a giant sequoia.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

The giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevada are one of America's treasures, but for the first time in Sequoia National Park's history, the trees are showing visible signs of exhaustion due to the drought.

On a hike last summer, a scientist noticed that the needles of the giant sequoias were browning and more sparse than usual. This finding got ecologists thinking: Did the drought cause this?

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5:10am

Mon August 17, 2015
Shots - Health News

'Play This Video Game And Call Me In The Morning'

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 4:57 pm

Can playing the Project Evo game really improve the brain's ability to deal with distractions? Its manufacturer thinks so.
Courtesy of Akili

I'm driving through a frozen world, where the roads are paved in ice. As I swerve left to avoid a miniature iceberg, a red fish flashes at the top of my screen. I'm supposed to tap all the red fish that pop up, but not the green fish or the blue. And I have to do this without crashing the car.

An unidentifiable, omnipresent game-meister says: "Doing one thing at a time is easy, but doing them both at the same time is where the magic happens!"

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5:01am

Mon August 17, 2015
The Two-Way

In Private Letter, Red Cross Tried To End Government Inquiry

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 10:16 am

The American Red Cross, which has often boasted of its transparency, attempted last year to halt a congressional inquiry into its disaster relief work, according to a private letter Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern wrote to Rep. Bennie Thompson.

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3:35am

Mon August 17, 2015
NPR Story

After Katrina, New Orleans' Public Housing Is A Mix Of Pastel And Promises

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 5:08 pm

Bobbie Jennings, 69, stands outside her home in the Harmony Oaks housing development in New Orleans. Jennings says that she misses the sense of community of the Magnolia projects, the nickname of the C.J. Peete projects that Harmony Oaks replaced.
Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

Hurricane Katrina caused widespread devastation and loss of life, and many of those whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged fled New Orleans.

In the months that followed, many of the city's poorest families got even more bad news: The public housing units they called home would be knocked down, even if undamaged by the storm.

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5:53pm

Sun August 16, 2015
Around the Nation

When A Budget Motel Is 'Home,' There's Little Room For Childhood

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 4:41 pm

Just a couple of blocks off the 210 Freeway in San Bernardino, Calif., about an hour east of LA, rest a whole row of cheap, rundown motels. Some people stay for a night or two, others just by the hour.

But some rooms house families with kids — and these families aren't just stopping in.

This is home for them, at least for now. They've run out of other options for a roof over their heads.

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5:53pm

Sun August 16, 2015
NPR Story

A Decade After Katrina, Hopes Of Recovery Remain Unfulfilled In Waveland, Miss.

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 3:17 pm

Mayor Mike Smith stands near a mural, created by residents, that depicts Waveland before and after Katrina.
Evelina Burnett MPB

Hurricane Katrina sent a 30-foot wall of water crashing into coastal Mississippi, and the small town of Waveland, Miss., near the Louisiana border, was one of the hardest-hit places. For 10 years now, its residents have struggled to rebuild in the face of multiple obstacles.

Standing on the second-floor balcony of Waveland City Hall, Mayor Mike Smith points out what used to be on Coleman Avenue, the main downtown thoroughfare: "There was a building right here on the corner, and then there was a drugstore and some shops on the right-hand side. ..."

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5:39pm

Sun August 16, 2015
Author Interviews

In Life After Life, 'Incarnations' Spins A Sinuous Tale Of Soul Mates

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 6:11 pm

Emily Bogle NPR

It all starts with a strange letter left for a Beijing cabdriver, tucked away in the sun visor of his taxi. In the months just before the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wang Jun is living with his wife and daughter — but the message, and those that follow, quickly tangle that quiet life in complications.

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5:07pm

Sun August 16, 2015
My Big Break

Alison Brie's Breakout Role On 'Mad Men' Looked Like A Bit Part

Originally published on Mon August 17, 2015 3:17 pm

Alison Brie (right) as Trudy Campbell on Mad Men.
Carin Baer/AMC

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Before donning polka dots, pencil skirts, plaid and stylish retro hairstyles on Mad Men, Alison Brie was sporting a far less glamorous look.

She worked the children's birthday party circuit as a clown.

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