Planet Money
4:10 am
Fri September 21, 2012

The Downside Of Tax Havens? Paperwork.

Unbelizable and Delawho? company documents, along with our official company stamp.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:44 pm

We were curious how hard it would be to set up an offshore company, so this summer we bought two. We at Planet Money are now the proud owners of "Unbelizable Inc." in Belize and "Delawho? LLC" in Delaware. The whole process was quick and easy.

At least that's how it seemed at first — until we got an email from David Buckley, a tax lawyer at Rogin Nassau, telling us we had just walked into an IRS sinkhole.

Buckley described it as "a minefield of U.S. tax obligations," and he said he was worried about me. (The companies are in my name.)

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Shots - Health Blog
3:36 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Swedes Perform Pioneering Uterine Transplants; Americans Not Far Behind

A surgical team with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, performs the first mother-to-daughter uterine transplant.
Johan Wingborg University of Gothenburg

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:39 am

A Swedish medical team has transplanted uteruses from two women in their 50s to their daughters. Meanwhile, Shots has learned that an Indiana group is recruiting women willing to undergo womb transplants in this country.

"We could go ahead tomorrow if we found the perfect candidate," Dr. Giuseppe Del Priore told Shots.

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Europe
3:35 am
Fri September 21, 2012

A Stiletto, A Lamppost And The Soul Of Berlin

Berlin's lampposts bristle with fliers and notices, and Berliners read them avidly. For one resident, the lamps were a natural place to turn when she lost a beloved shoe.
Esme Nicholson NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:09 pm

Something horrible has happened in Berlin.

You won't see it on TV or in the newspaper, but I know about it. So do my neighbors.

That's because there's a lamppost on our street, festooned with a note that reads, "A HORRIBLE ACCIDENT HAS HAPPENED." And naturally, once you see a note like that, you have to find out more.

As it turns out, the note was written by 29-year-old Maira Becke. But before I reveal her calamity, I must first explain the significance of lamp posts here in Berlin.

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It's All Politics
3:34 am
Fri September 21, 2012

You've Got Mail: Campaigns Still Rely On Snail Mail

A collection of political direct-mail pamphlets produced by the Mammen Group.
Lauren Rock NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:08 pm

For those of you who feel you've had quite enough of the political ads airing every night on your TV screens, well, get ready for another sort of deluge.

In the coming weeks, candidates will bombard your mailboxes with ads. It may seem old-fashioned, but the consultants who devise direct-mail campaigns have become sophisticated about knowing whom to reach and what to say.

"It's almost because of the changing media landscape that direct mail remains relevant," says Anil Mammen, who runs a small direct-mail shop in Washington, D.C.

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StoryCorps
2:16 am
Fri September 21, 2012

College Student Recalls High School Homelessness

John Horan was dean at the charter school where Tierra Jackson was a struggling student. Part of the reason she struggled: Jackson was homeless.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:04 am

When Tierra Jackson was in high school, she was struggling. She kept getting yelled at for being late to school.

What most of her teachers and administrators didn't know was the reason for her tardiness: Jackson was homeless. Her mother was in and out of prison. She and her brother were living with her aunt and cousins. All seven of them shared a single room in one of Chicago's homeless shelters, a long bus ride from her school.

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The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands In California

Space Shuttle Endeavour sits atop the shuttle aircraft carrier, flies over downtown Austin, Texas early Thursday.
Marco Hanson AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:59 pm

The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed in the Mojave Desert today. In truth, tomorrow will be the spectacular day, when it flies across the California coast, and across the landmarks of San Francisco and Los Angeles, where it will find its new, permanent home at the California Science Center.

Still, the retired shuttle had a poignant day today, taking off from Houston, flying low through Austin and making a special flyover in Tucson, Arizona in honor of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose husband Mark Kelly was in command during its last mission in May 2011.

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Africa
6:07 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Militiaman Says He Warned U.S. Of Dangers

U.S. officials and Libyan militiamen met to discuss the deteriorating security in Benghazi just two days before the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Stevens is shown here at the consulate in June.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:15 pm

Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.

In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.

Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.

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Election 2012
6:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Race Tough To Call As Wisconsin Swings

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin sits with state delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5.
David Goldman AP

Republicans hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November's elections are banking on Wisconsin where they want to flip the seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who's retiring.

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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Report: Multinationals, Including Microsoft, Avoided Billions In Taxes

Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP

According to a Senate investigations subcommittee, Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and other multinational corporations took advantage of an ambiguous U.S. tax code to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

Here's how Bloomberg wraps it up:

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Election 2012
6:04 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Parties Debate Meaning, Value Of 'Redistribution'

Mitt Romney speaks in Miami on Wednesday.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:19 pm

Cuban-Americans know a thing or two about what can happen when a government seizes wealth and redistributes it, as Fidel Castro's regime did five decades ago in Cuba.

So Mitt Romney had an especially receptive audience Wednesday night at a rally of Cuban-Americans in Miami, when he launched his campaign's latest line of attack on President Obama.

"He said some years ago something which we're hearing about today on the Internet," Romney told the crowd. "He said that he believes in redistribution."

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