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Don't Look Now! How Your Devices Hurt Your Productivity

Oct 19, 2016

I'll admit it. I even take my phone with me when I head to the restroom, to fire off a few texts. Or I'll scroll through my email when I leave the office for lunch. My eyes are often glued to my phone from the moment I wake up, but I often reach the end of my days wondering what I've accomplished.

After a seven-month voyage through space and a three-day cruise to approach Mars, the European Space Agency's Schiaparelli lander is getting ready for the final leg of its journey: a six-minute trip through the red planet's atmosphere.

It's the make-it-or-crash-land-it moment for the probe, which is designed to collect data on Mars' atmosphere and dust storms. If it succeeds, it would be Europe's first successful Mars landing.

Schiaparelli was expected to enter the atmosphere at 10:42 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and make its landing at 10:48.

Outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila, a protest against the U.S. military presence in the Philippines ended with a violent police crackdown, including a police van ramming into protesters.

Police also used tear gas against the crowds and arrested dozens of protesters, according to NPR's Anthony Kuhn.

The Associated Press reports that several demonstrators were taken to the hospital after they were struck by a police van — reportedly driven by a Philippine police officer — that rammed into the protest:

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump meet for their third and final debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday — the only one held in the West — they'll be sparring in an important swing state where six electoral votes are up for grabs.

But there's another number you should know about that likely won't get much attention, even though it's hugely important to many Westerners: 81 percent. That's the amount of land in Nevada that's currently owned, operated and controlled by the federal government.

Brent Harger of Washoe County, Nev., says he has always voted, but until this year, he'd never really gotten involved in politics.

"I've always been told my voice means nothing. I don't believe that," Harger says. "And there's a lot of people that are scared to even say anything today because they don't think their voice means anything."

The ancient Greek and Indian philosophers who first conjectured that matter was made of tiny little bits of stuff would not believe that now, more than 25 centuries later, we can actually see them.

Granted, modern atoms are quite different from their old counterparts, given that they are actually not indivisible but, instead, made of electrons orbiting a positively-charged nucleus. Still, visualizing such tiny structures has remained a challenge since the idea took hold in modern times, during the turn of the 20th century.

Many travelers have resigned themselves to paying $25 or more to check a bag when flying. But that fee becomes especially onerous when the bag doesn't show up on the carousel at baggage claim.

The White House is proposing a new rule that would require airlines to refund the checked baggage fee if luggage is "substantially delayed," though it does not define "substantially."

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The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. It's the last chance either candidate will have to make a closing argument before tens of millions of voters.

It follows yet another unprecedented week in the campaign, in which Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election, predicting that it will be stolen from him through media bias and massive voter fraud.

The unemployment rate for transgender people is double that of the general population. Now, California has set up the nation's first ever large-scale program to help transgender people find jobs.

And it's all because of Michaela Mendelsohn, a trans woman who's employed trans people at her restaurants for years.

'I'm A Trans Owner Supporting Trans People'

At a hearing last month on the possible hacking of voting machines, Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler said he was more worried about something else. The real threat on Election Day, said Schedler, is violence at the polls.

Ecuador acknowledges it restricted the Internet access of Julian Assange, who has lived at the country's London embassy for more than four years.

The government of President Rafael Correa released a statement that notes Assange's WikiLeaks website has published "a wealth of documents, impacting on the U.S. election campaign." The statement says the website released those documents on its own, and Ecuador "respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states."

Chuck Berry turns 90 Tuesday. I know he's a very important person in music history, but he's never been a guy I listened to much. I mean, I've heard hits like "Maybellene" from 1955, but I wanted to learn more.

So I called Tony Trov. He's an artist out of Philadelphia, but more important, he plays in a Chuck Berry cover band called It's Marvin, Your Cousin Marvin Berry, a reference to a memorable scene in Back to the Future.

Nobody loves pesticides, exactly. But one kind of pesticide, called neonicotinoids, is provoking a particularly bitter debate right now between environmentalists and farmers. The chemicals are highly toxic to bees. Some scientists think they are partly to blame for the decline in pollinators.

For the past year, the province of Ontario, in Canada, has responded to the controversy with a novel experiment. Ontario's government is asking farmers to prove that they actually need neonicotinoids, often called neonics. It turns out that "need" is a word that's hard to define.

An Iranian-American father and son have been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran, according to the Iranian state-run judicial news agency. The State Department is calling for their immediate release and says they are "unjustly detained."

Siamak and Baquer Namazi were convicted of "cooperating with the U.S government against Iran," NPR's Michele Kelemen tells All Things Considered.

How would Donald Trump "drain the swamp" in Washington as he puts it? Two words: term limits.

At a rally in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday, Trump said if elected in November he will "push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress."

The Obama administration is announcing a series of recommendations for ensuring the safety of the nation's more than 400 underground natural gas storage wells.

In coal country, thousands of miners have lost jobs. While there aren't any easy solutions, in West Virginia, two farmers are doing what they can to keep wealth in their community and provide healthy food to more people.

In the parking lot of the Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Bank in McDowell County, squash and basil are growing in 18 tall white towers without any dirt. It's a farming method called hydroponics. The vegetables sprout from tiny holes as water and nutrients flood the roots.

The most expensive race for governor in the country is going on in Missouri. In fact, it's not even close: The more than $50 million spent in Missouri's governor race is more than the combined spending in the Indiana and North Carolina gubernatorial contests, according to the National Institute of Money in State Politics.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was imprisoned by the United States in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than 14 years, was released on Monday, according to the Pentagon.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit