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Afghanistan
5:07 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

With New Security Agreement, U.S. Mission In Afghanistan Continues

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:14 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Planet Money
5:07 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

How A Law From The Civil War Fights Modern-Day Fraud

Union soldiers found that gunpowder was sometimes mixed with sawdust.
Mathew B. Brady AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:14 pm

A law passed to protect the Union army in the Civil War is one of the key tools federal officials have used to collect tens of billion in corporate fines this year.

During the Civil War, the army relied heavily on private contractors for necessities like uniforms, shoes, and gunpowder. Those contractors often cut corners.

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Shots - Health News
5:07 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Proton Center Closure Doesn't Slow New Construction

Construction is continuing at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in downtown Baltimore. It's one of three such centers under development in the Washington, D.C., region.
Jenny Gold, KHN

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:14 pm

Proton beam radiation therapy has been touted as the next big thing in cancer care. The idea, enthusiasts say, is that doctors can deliver higher, more focused doses of radiation than they can in traditional therapy, with a lower risk of side effects. The massive machines, housed in facilities the size of football fields, have been sprouting up across the country for a decade.

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Asia
5:07 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Hong Kong Protests Offer A Revelation To Mainland Chinese

Pro-democracy protesters chant slogans as they gather next to the central government offices in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Alex Ogle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 12:57 am

The government of China has described the protests that have gripped Hong Kong for the past five days as illegal and chaotic. Any mention of the demonstrations is quickly erased from the Internet. At the same time, many mainland Chinese, in the territory for business or tourism, are observing the protests with interest and often amazement.

It's not hard to pick out the mainlanders in the crowd. They're usually the ones speaking Mandarin, instead of the dialect most Hong Kong residents speak: Cantonese.

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Science
5:07 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

When Can A Big Storm Or Drought Be Blamed On Climate Change?

Melbourne visitors and residents took to the waters of Australia's St. Kilda Beach in January 2013 to escape a fierce heat wave.
Scott Barbour Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:52 pm

Nowadays, when there's a killer heat wave or serious drought somewhere, people wonder: Is this climate change at work? It's a question scientists have struggled with for years. And now there's a new field of research that's providing some answers. It's called "attribution science" — a set of principles that allow scientists to determine when it's a change in climate that's altering weather events ... and when it isn't.

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It's All Politics
4:56 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

The White House Could Be Made A Fortress, But Should It Be?

Visitors take photos in front of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:46 am

It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.

Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.

But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Amid Scandal, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the White House perimeter breach during a hearing on Tuesday. Pierson stepped down from her position on Wednesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:17 pm

After a series of embarrassing incidents that called into question the efficacy of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, the service's director, has resigned.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Pierson offered her resignation today and he accepted it.

"I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation," Johnson said in a statement.

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Goats and Soda
3:52 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Take A New Test Aimed At The World's English-Language Learners

English-language students in China practice their blackboard skills.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:50 pm

It's tuff to master English. It's even tough for people born in America, who (or whom?) are often confused by too/to/two many konfusing things.

So you can only imagine how tough it is for non-English speakers trying to learn the tongue.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Hospital Official: Ebola Patient's Travel Not Relayed To Doctors

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 6:53 am

An official from the Texas hospital where an Ebola patient is being treated says a nurse using a checklist for the disease learned that he had traveled from West Africa, but that the information was "not communicated" to doctors making the diagnosis.

Dr. Martin Lester, of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, told reporters at a news conference this afternoon that as a result of the miscommunication, the team of physicians evaluating the patient concluded at the time he was first examined at the hospital on Friday that he suffered from a "low-grade common viral disease."

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Alleged White House Intruder Pleads Not Guilty

This 2009 photo provided by Jerry Murphy shows Omar Gonzalez, who was married to Murphy's mother, Samantha, until they divorced in 2012. Authorities have identified Gonzalez as the man who got into the White House after scaling a fence on Sept. 19.
AP

Omar Gonzalez, who was indicted on three charges stemming from allegations that he scaled a fence and then ran into the White House carrying a knife, pleaded not guilty in a federal court house on Wednesday.

NPR's Brian Naylor reports:

"Omar Gonzalez will remain in custody. The next hearing is scheduled for October 21.

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