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The Salt
3:53 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man Wins $7 Million In Suit Claiming Microwave Popcorn Caused Lung Disease

Wayne Watson, who just won a $7 million lawsuit, explains how a bag of popcorn would "whoof" when opened, releasing steam and flavor.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:04 pm

A federal court has awarded a Denver man $7.2 million in a lawsuit he filed against a popcorn maker and a grocery store for selling him microwaved popcorn that made him sick.

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World Cafe
3:52 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Latin Roots: The Sound Of Africa In Cuba

The Afro-Cuban progressive rock group Síntesis.
Courtesy of the artist

In this installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, Carlos Alfonso, one of the vocalists and principal songwriters of the Cuban progressive-rock band Síntesis, talks with host David Dye about the relationships connecting Cuban music, Yoruba music from Nigeria and Arara music out of Benin.

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World Cafe
3:52 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Síntesis On World Cafe

WXPN

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:25 am

All month, World Cafe invites listeners to discover the music of Havana, Cuba, with the series Sense of Place.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:25 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Could Genes For Stripes Help Kitty Fight Disease?

The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans.
kennymatic via Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:04 pm

At this point it's just an interesting hypothesis, but it's possible that understanding cat coloration could help scientists understand resistance to infectious diseases.

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Planet Money
3:01 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Are Chinese Exporters Cheating?

Workers assemble one of the many car models at Chinese carmaker's Chery Automobile plant in Wuhu, east China's Anhui province.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 2:35 pm

The Obama administration filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization this week alleging that China is illegally subsidizing its auto industry.

The US says China provides cheap loans and grants and other incentives to their car industry, and that these favors go to companies who are already successful exporters. That, says US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, is unfair.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Leader Of Amish Sect, 15 Others Found Guilty Of Hate Crimes In Beard Cuttings

Samuel Mullet outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011.
Amy Sancetta AP

Fifteen members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio "have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, a jury today "also found the sect's leader, 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr., "guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio. ... They all face prison terms of 10 years or more."

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Author Interviews
2:50 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print'

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 2:20 pm

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

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History
2:20 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Civil War Buff Takes On McClellan's Critics

Gen. George McClellan's Union forces narrowly won the battle of Antietam, but he has long been blamed by historians and politicians for botching an opportunity to destroy Gen. Robert E. Lee's army and bring an early end to the Civil War. Cartographer Gene Thorp argues his critics have it wrong.

Television
2:19 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Kelly Macdonald: Strong Woman On The 'Boardwalk'

In Boardwalk Empire, Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) is married to corrupt political boss "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi.)
Macall B. Polay HBO

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:24 pm

When Kelly Macdonald landed her first acting gig in Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed 1996 film, Trainspotting, her lack of experience made it hard for her to relax on set.

"I don't think I spoke very much — I was very, very shy," Macdonald tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I kind of hid in the toilets most of the time when we weren't required on set."

Before Trainspotting, Macdonald was working at a bar in Glasgow, Scotland. After two friends separately handed her fliers for the movie's open casting call, she decided to audition.

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The Salt
2:16 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Billionaires Fund A 'Manhattan Project' For Nutrition And Obesity

Billionaires John and Laura Arnold are betting that the country's top nutrition researchers can get to the bottom of the obesity epidemic.
Courtesy of the John and Laura Arnold Foundation

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:46 am

Why would a billionaire energy trader-turned-philanthropist throw his foundation's dough behind a new think tank that wants to challenge scientific assumptions about obesity?

John Arnold, 38, whose move from Enron to a spectacularly successful hedge fund got him on the list of wealthiest Americans, isn't crazy about talking to the press. But certainly his decision with his wife Laura to back a newly launched operation called the Nutrition Science Initiative, or NuSI, is an intriguing one.

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World
2:14 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Americans Abroad, Working Under Fire

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Anti-American tensions flared in many countries over the past two weeks, and it's been difficult for Japanese in China, too, amid protests over disputed islands. In such a situation, what's it like for the businesspeople, diplomats and volunteers who get caught up in the crisis, when they suddenly find their home country the target of violence and outrage?

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

White House: 'Self-Evident' Attack On Consulate 'Was A Terrorist Attack'

The Obama administration continued walking a fine line today when describing the attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

"It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," White House spokesman Jay Carney said aboard Air Force One, according to Reuters. "Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials. So, again, that's self-evident."

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Around the Nation
1:59 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Katrina Survivor Explains How To Weather Disaster

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 4:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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Religion
1:59 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Atonement In Judaism, Christianity And Islam

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, begins at sundown next Tuesday. It's one of the holiest days of the year and marks a time for reflection and repentance. People of many faith backgrounds, and also those who are not especially religious, think about atonement, what it takes to achieve it, and how it affects their lives.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Justice Ginsburg Predicts Gay Marriage Question Headed To High Court

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a bit of news during an appearance at the University of Colorado, yesterday. When she was asked a question about the issue of gay marriage, she smiled and declined to answer, the AP reports. She said the issue is likely to come up before the court, so she couldn't adress it.

"I think it's most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term," she said.

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