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Environment
3:03 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Pollution, Not Rising Temperatures, May Have Melted Alpine Glaciers

The Alps' largest glacier, Aletsch Glacier, extends more than 14 miles and covers more than 46 square miles.
Wikimedia.org

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:28 am

Glaciers in the Alps of Europe pose a scientific mystery. They started melting rapidly back in the 1860s. In a span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers had retreated more than half a mile.

But nobody could explain the glacier's rapid decline. Now, a new study from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory uncovers a possible clue to why the glaciers melted before temperatures started rising: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice.

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Law
3:02 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Justice Department Tackles Quality Of Defense For The Poor

People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in February. In a landmark decision half a century ago, the justices guaranteed a lawyer for criminal defendants who are too poor to afford one.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:37 am

All over the country, lawyers who defend poor people in criminal cases have been sharing their stories about painful budget cuts. Some federal public defenders have shut their doors to new clients after big layoffs. And in many states, the public defense system has operated in crisis for years.

But an unprecedented recent court filing from the Justice Department has cheered the typically overburdened attorneys who represent the poor and could have dramatic implications for the representation of indigent defendants.

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Books
3:01 am
Tue September 3, 2013

For F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald, A Dark Chapter In Asheville, N.C.

Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald pose for a photo at the Sayre home in Montgomery, Ala., in 1919, the year before they married.
Bettmann Corbis

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 3:30 pm

Asheville, a mountain town in North Carolina, is known for at least two important native sons: writers Thomas Wolfe, whose 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel eviscerated some locals, and Charles Frazier, whose 1997 civil war novel Cold Mountain is set in the nearby hills. But there is also a little-known story of another writer — F. Scott Fitzgerald — who, along with his wife Zelda, had devastating connections to the town.

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Animals
2:59 am
Tue September 3, 2013

The Latest In Scientific Field Equipment? Fido's Nose

Rob Finch

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:25 pm

Dave Vesely is busy training his dog, Sharpy. She isn't learning to sit or fetch or even herd sheep; Sharpy is learning to find the nests of western pond turtles.

These turtles are sneaky. After laying their eggs in a small hole, they knead together dirt, leaves and their own urine to plug the opening. Once this mud dries, the nest looks like an unremarkable patch of ground.

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NPR Story
7:11 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Coal Industry Takes Teachers For A Class In Mining

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 12:25 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The coal industry is trying to buff up its image in Texas. Texas is known for oil and gas, but it's also a big coal producer. And mining companies are paying for a boot camp for science teachers that has some educators and parents upset.

Laura Isensee, of member station KUHF in Houston, has more.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)

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The Salt
4:50 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Tlacoyos: A Mexican Grilled Snack That Tempted The Conquistadors

Tlacoyos can be filled with beans, potatoes, mushrooms or cheese and are often topped with grilled cactus, onions, cilantro, and salsa.
Jasmine Garsd for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 2:10 pm

For the last in a summer series of grilled food from around the world, we head to Mexico, where a small doughy treat is found everywhere from street corner grills to high-end restaurants. It's called a tlacoyo (pronounced tla-COY-yo) and although it may sound novel, it's an ancient food that's older than Hernan Cortes.

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NPR Story
4:50 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

On Fifth Try, Diana Nyad Completes Cuba-Florida Swim

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:48 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

After years of unwavering tenacity, Diana Nyad has completed her quest. At 64 years of age, she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective shark cage. That is more than a hundred miles of water full of sharks, venomous box jellyfish and treacherous currents.

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NPR Story
4:50 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Verizon To Pay $130 Billion For Stake In Vodafone

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 7:11 pm

Verizon Communications is paying $130 billion to buy part of its wireless unit from the British company Vodafone. It's one of the biggest deals in the history of the telecommunications business and underscores the growing profitability of wireless. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Jim Zarroli about the deal.

The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Syria's Bashar Assad: Show Me The Evidence

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:11 am

A defiant Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday that the international community has not produced evidence to substantiate claims that his regime used chemical weapons in a deadly attack last month.

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Author Interviews
4:14 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

From Peace To Patriotism: The Shifting Identity Of 'God Bless America'

American composer Irving Berlin sings his song "God Bless America" in front of Boy Scouts troop members and spectators gathered at a tent in Monticello, New York in 1940. Instead of collecting royalties from "God Bless America," Berlin created a fund that collected and distributed them to the Boy and Girl Scouts.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:47 am

In the fall of 1938, radio was huge. That Halloween, Orson Welles scared listeners out of their wits with his War of the Worlds. And on November 10, 1938 — the eve of the holiday that was known then as Armistice Day — the popular singer Kate Smith made history on her radio show. She sang a song that had never been sung before, written by the composer Irving Berlin.

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