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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop; Mortgage Rates Edge Up

New claims for unemployment benefits fell to 326,000 in the week that ended July 27 — the lowest level for initial jobless claims in more than five years, according to the Labor Department.

Employment data for the month of July is due to be released Friday. But for now, the weekly jobless claims numbers are being hailed as another sign that the U.S. economy is gaining strength.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Cleveland Kidnapper Sentenced To Life Plus 1,000 Years

Ariel Castro appears in court during the sentencing phase on Thursday in Cleveland. Castro pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts, including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 1:58 pm

This post was updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Michelle Knight, who was raped and tortured during more than a decade of captivity, faced her abuser, Ariel Castro, in court on Thursday, assuring him that while her hell was over, his had just begun.

"I spent 11 years in hell; now your hell is just beginning," she said, addressing Castro, who admitted to abducting Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, and subjecting them to years of sexual and emotional abuse in his Cleveland home.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Uruguay Gives Initial OK To State-Controlled Marijuana Industry

Young backers of a bill to legalize the production and trade of marijuana in Uruguay wait outside the Parliament building as lawmakers debate the bill Wednesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 12:32 pm

Uruguay is poised to create a state-licensed marijuana industry, after the country's lower house of Congress passed a controversial bill late Wednesday detailing how the government would regulate marijuana — from its production and import to marketing and distribution. The move would be a first.

NPR's South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast unit that the landmark bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to sail through.

Lourdes reports:

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

S&P 500 Index Passes 1,700 Mark For First Time

A chart shows the growth in the Standard & Poor's 500 index of large-capitalization U.S. stocks. The index passed the 1,700 mark for the first time Thursday.
S&P 500

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 12:06 pm

The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the benchmark of America's largest corporations, surpassed 1,700 points for the first time in early trading Thursday. The rise is being tied to a drop in weekly jobless claims, as well as assurances from central banks in the U.S. and Europe that they would continue to bolster their economies.

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Shots - Health News
9:53 am
Thu August 1, 2013

When Fleeing Zombies (Or Flu), Cooperation Saves Lives

Best to check with the neighbors and the health department if commuting during zombie attacks.
AMC-TV

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 11:01 am

How will humans survive the zombie apocalypse? Will it be each man for himself or will a coordinated effort be what saves us from ultimate doom?

An MIT professor is trying to answer this question for us mortals. "There is a price that society pays if everyone determines his behavior selfishly," Ruben Juanes says. And this cost of selfish behavior is what game theorists call the price of anarchy.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Beset San Diego Mayor Says He Didn't Get Harassment Training

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced at a news conference last week that he intended to seek professional help for sexual harassment issues.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 2:41 pm

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused by at least eight women of sexually harassing them, never received a mandated training course on sexual harassment from the city, according to his attorney.

Harvey Berger says the city failed to meet its legal requirement and therefore should foot the mayor's legal bills. Filner and the city of San Diego are being sued by the mayor's former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson.

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Economy
9:23 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Jobless Aid Falls To New Low

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with unemployment numbers.

No, this is not the big monthly jobs report. We'll get that tomorrow. But this morning one number from the Labor Department - the department announced that applications for jobless benefits fell to 326,000 last week. That is the lowest level since January of 2008. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
9:23 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Snowden Leaves Moscow Airport

Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum by Russia and has left the transit zone at Moscow's airport where he has been holed up for more than a month. Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Corey Flintoff in Moscow and Pentagon correspondent Larry Abramson.

The Two-Way
7:18 am
Thu August 1, 2013

U.S. 'Extremely Disappointed' At Russia's Asylum For Snowden

NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia. He left Moscow's airport Thursday for the first time in more than a month.
Tatyana Lokshina AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 3:31 pm

This post was last updated at 2 p.m. ET

The White House says it is "extremely disappointed" in Russia's decision to grant a temporary one-year asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Snowden left Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Thursday after spending more than a month holed up in its transit center. Anatoly Kucherena, a Russian lawyer who has been advising the former U.S. intelligence contractor, told Russian media that Snowden's whereabouts are being kept secret for security reasons.

The Obama administration's displeasure was clear:

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Book News: The Smell Of Chocolate Boosts Book Sales, Study Says

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 6:58 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Strange News
5:38 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Bland Meets Dull In Scotland

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Business
5:16 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Sony Plugs Back In To Profits

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Sony plugged into profits.

Sony reports that it's making money again. The Japanese company announced its second quarter earnings today. Most of its success though comes thanks to a favorable currency rate - a weak yen was key for Sony. Still, the company did see a little improvement in its smartphone sales and entertainment business. Net income for Sony's latest quarter was $35 million. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Pop Culture
4:39 am
Thu August 1, 2013

'Brony' Convention Takes Off Like Magical Winged Pony

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

In the '80s, My Little Pony was a toy line and TV franchise aimed at little girls. Well, today an expanding group of grown men are fans of the pastel-colored ponies. They call themselves Bronies. This weekend, thousands are heading to Baltimore for BronyCon 2013. There'll be music inspired by My Little Pony, Brony Dance-offs, even some academic pony panels. BronyCon began two years ago with a hundred attendees. Like a magical flying pony, the thing's taking off,

Politics
4:18 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Congress Sends Student Loan Bill To Obama

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

After a long political fight, Congress has passed a compromise on student loans. The bill is now waiting for President's Obama signature, just in time for students entering classes this fall.

As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the legislation will lower student interest rates in the short term, but those rates are expected to rise.

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NPR Story
3:49 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Who Will Be The Next Fed Chairman?

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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