7:11pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Books

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'The Interview'

iStockphoto.com

The judging process for Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is now under way. NPR's Bob Mondello reads an excerpt from one standout story, The Interview, written by Georgia Mierswa. You can read the story in its entirety below, and read more stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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5:50pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Education

Online Education Grows Up, And For Now, It's Free

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:26 pm

Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller are computer science professors at Stanford University.
Jeff Chiu AP

Online education isn't particularly new. It has been around in some form since the 1990s, but what is new is the speed and scale in which online learning is growing.

In barely a year, many of the most prestigious research universities in the world – including Stanford, Caltech, Oxford and Princeton — have started to jump onto the online bandwagon.

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5:07pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Science

A Tiny Ocean World With A Mighty Important Future

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life and provide half of the oxygen on the planet. Scientists are working to figure out how climate change may be affecting these important microorganisms.
M. Ormestad Tara Oceans

As you take in your next breath of air, you can thank a form of microscopic marine life known as plankton.

They are so small as to be invisible, but taken together, actually dwarf massive creatures like whales. Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life.

"This invisible forest generates half of the oxygen generated on the planet," Chris Bowler, a marine biologist, tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

And, as climate change alters the temperature and acidity of our waters, this mysterious ocean world may be in jeopardy.

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4:49pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Interviews

The Man Who Jump-Started Presidential Debates

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

Vice President Richard Nixon listens as Sen. John F. Kennedy talks during their televised presidential race debate. This photo was made from a television screen in New York, Oct. 21, 1960.
AP

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are prepping for Wednesday's presidential debate. It's a well-worn tradition now, but it wasn't always that way.

The 1960 Kennedy-Nixon face-off wasn't just the first televised presidential debate, it was also the first presidential debate in more than a century.

Four years earlier, a young German emigre named Fred Kahn, a student at the University of Maryland, wanted to see whether the nominees — Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson — might want to engage with students.

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4:42pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Music

Son Jarocho, The Sound Of Veracruz

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 10:56 pm

Las Cafeteras, from Los Angeles, have made their own version of the classic son jarocho song "La Bamba."
Courtesy of the artist

Betto Arcos is the host of Global Village, a world music show on KPFK in Los Angeles, and a native of Xalapa, capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. He recently spoke with Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about son jarocho — a style of music played mostly in the south of his home state. He says the music is so vibrant because it comes from the Caribbean side of Mexico and has all the influences of that region: African, indigenous and Spanish.

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3:51pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Author Interviews

From Tea To T-Shirts: The History Of U.S.-China Trade

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:25 pm

You probably don't give much thought to the phrase "Made in China" when you see it written on the bottom of your coffee mug, or on the tag of your T-shirt, but Americans have traded with China for hundreds of years.

In his new book, When America First Met China, Eric Jay Dolin takes us back to the beginning of the long and complicated trade relationship between the two countries.

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2:43pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Politics

Being 'Better Off' May Not Be Enough To Win Colo.

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 2. He and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will have their first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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1:06pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

On The Road: Reporting On Lead Poisoning In Nigeria

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:20 pm

Four-wheel drive is no match for the mud on the road to a gold mine in northern Nigeria.
David Gilkey NPR

If you want to witness the health consequences of unsafe gold mining in northwestern Nigeria, the first thing you have to do is get to the mines

There's a crisis of severe lead poisoning near the mines that's killed hundreds of children and made thousands more sick.

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7:45am

Sun September 30, 2012
Afghanistan

Insider Attacks Hinder Transition Out Of Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The big headline out of the U.N. general assembly has been about the speech by the Israeli prime minister who warned of the dangers of a nuclear Iran. Other speakers didn't get nearly as much attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The assembly will hear an address by his Excellency Hamid Karzai, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

MARTIN: Hamid Karzai's address made little news, despite highlighting efforts to bring the Taliban back into mainstream Afghan society.

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7:45am

Sun September 30, 2012
Presidential Race

Candidates Push For Colo. To Swing In Their Favor

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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