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Education
4:42 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Do The Data Exist To Make A College-Rating System Work?

President Obama delivers a speech on education at the University of Buffalo on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:46 pm

President Obama unveiled a plan on Thursday that would, for the first time, tie federal student aid to a new rating system for colleges and universities. While the president's message that higher education costs should be reined in was simple enough, the sweeping proposal is anything but.

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Business
4:42 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Is Government's Renewed Push On Mortgage Fraud Too Late?

Foreclosures increased dramatically as a result of risky subprime loans during the 2000s.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

"Remain aggressive." That's the message Attorney General Eric Holder says he has given to prosecutors around the country about pursuing wrongdoing by financial institutions — particularly, wrongdoing related to the financial crisis of 2008.

But as the five-year anniversary of the crisis approaches, the record of prosecutions against high-level Wall Street executives has been dismal.

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Research News
4:40 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The World's Most Precise Clock Could Prove Einstein Wrong

This may look like a mad scientist's garage sale, but it's actually the most precise clock ever built.
Jim Burrus NIST

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:00 pm

What a makes a good clock? Andrew Ludlow, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, says one of the most important criteria is stability.

"If you could imagine a grandfather clock and see the pendulum swinging back and forth, ideally that pendulum would swing back and forth very uniformly," Ludlow says. "Each swing would take exactly the same amount of time."

That's stability. But what if something perturbs the system, like a mischievous toddler?

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Environment
4:39 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

'Uncertain' Science: Judith Curry's Take On Climate Change

Judith Curry with her dogs, Rosie (left) and Bruno, in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. The climatologist focuses on the uncertainties of climate change far more than on the consensus of climate scientists.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:10 pm

While the Obama administration presses forward with plans to deal with climate change, Congress remains steadfast against taking action. It's not easy to find a scientist who will agree with that point of view. But Republicans have found an ally in a climate scientist by the name of Judith Curry.

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All Songs Considered
4:38 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The Good Listener: When Is It OK To Wear Headphones In Public?

As Melissa McCarthy's etiquette-minded character in Bridesmaids demonstrates, there's nothing wrong with wearing headphones on an airplane.
Suzanne Hanover Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:33 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the monthly bale of sunflower seeds we've decided to order from Amazon Prime via subscription is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for advice on when and where it's courteous to wear headphones in public.

Brian Bowen writes via Facebook: "When is it OK to wear headphones in public — in transit, at work, during events large or small, standing in line at the post office, etc.?"

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The Record
4:37 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The Blast Radius Of Kendrick Lamar's 'Control' Verse

Kendrick Lamar performing in the Netherlands three days before his verse shook up the rap world.
Greetsia Tent WireImage

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:23 pm

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NPR Story
4:34 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Trading Resumes On Nasdaq After 3-Hour Outage

The Nasdaq index is pictured at 1:25 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. A malfunction has halted trading. (Nasdaq.com)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

Update 3:28 p.m.: Trading has resumed on Nasdaq following three-hour outage caused by a technical glitch.

Nasdaq halted trading Thursday because of a technical problem, the latest glitch to affect the stock market.

The exchange sent out an alert to traders at 12:14 p.m. Eastern saying that trading was being halted until further notice because of problems with a quote dissemination system. More than an hour later, trading was still halted.

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NPR Story
4:33 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Former Egyptian Ruler Released From Prison

Egyptian medics share a laugh with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 85, as they escort him into an ambulance in, Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. Mubarak has been released from jail and taken to military hospital in Cairo. (Amr Nabil/AP)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former ruler who was forced from power by pro-democracy protesters, is in a military hospital after being released from prison today.

Mubarak’s ouster paved the way for the first-ever free elections in Egyptian history. His release adds to the volatility in the country.

More than 1,000 people have died in violence since last Wednesday, when government security forces violently cleared two encampments where supporters of another ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, had been holding mostly peaceful sit-ins.

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NPR Story
4:33 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

UPS Ends Health Benefits For Spouses, Blames Obamacare

A line of UPS trucks in New York City. (Jeremy Vandel/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

Package delivery giant UPS — the nation’s fourth-largest employer — will no longer offer health coverage for the spouses of non-unionized workers whose spouses can get insurance at their own jobs.

UPS says the move is due in part to rising health care costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare.

The move will affect coverage for the husbands and wives of about 15,000 employees and will save UPS $60 million per year.

Critics say the Affordable Care Act represents a negligible cost to big companies like UPS.

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NPR Story
4:32 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Gay Service Members Taking Leave To Get Married

Air Force Major Jeff Mueller, second from right, is pictured with his mother, grandmother and partner Eric Gustafson, at Mueller's promotion ceremony to Major at the Peterson Air Force Base Museum in Colorado Springs, September 26, 2011. (Courtesy of Jeff Mueller)

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

It’s been more than three months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which recognized marriage only between a man and a woman.

Now the Pentagon says it’s time to honor that repeal of DOMA by extending benefits to legally married gay service members.

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