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Planet Money
3:12 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Episode 474: The North Korea Files

Office of Foreign Assets Control

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 8:47 am

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U.S. citizens who want to buy stuff from North Korea have to write a letter to the U.S. government asking for special permission. As regular listeners know, we're sort of obsessed with North Korea. So we decided to try to get those letters.

Several months ago, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request. It worked! We recently got a stack of heavily redacted letters.

On today's show: we try to figure out who sent the letters, why they wanted to do business with North Korea, and what that tells us about the North Korean economy.

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

As Obama Renews Economic Call, Partisan Stalemate Seems Certain

President Obama will take a swing at changing the dynamics in Washington's fiscal debates in a series of speeches about the economy. But his odds of striking out are high.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 10:15 am

In the lead-up to the start of President Obama's series of speeches laying out his view of how to strengthen the economy, some of the Washington-based challenges facing that very economy were on full display.

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This Is NPR
3:12 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Miranda July Hearts NPR

Melissa Kuypers NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 5:01 pm

Director, author and artist Miranda July came to NPR West for an interview with Linda Wertheimer for Weekend Edition Saturday about her new project called We Think Alone. It's an art project that sends out the personal emails of ten notable people to anyone who has signed up to receive them.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:11 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Can You Trust A Robot? Let's Find Out

While Hollywood has firmly planted the idea in our minds that robots may very well turn out to be evil, academic research into dangerous interactions between humans and robots has only just begun.
The Halcyon Company The Halcyon Company

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 3:47 pm

When they come — and they are coming — will the robots we deploy into human culture be capable of evil? Well, perhaps "evil" is too strong a word. Will they be capable of inflicting harm on human beings in ways that go beyond their programing?

While this may seem like a question for the next installment of The Terminator franchise (or The Matrix or whatever, pick your favorite), it's a serious question in robotics and it's being taken up by researchers now.

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All Tech Considered
3:11 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Apps Block Social Media Because Users Can't Stop Themselves

Need to focus? Apps are available to block you from distraction.
toolstop Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 3:48 pm

Social media sites have gotten so difficult to ignore that millions of people are using apps to stop them from wasting time on the Internet. So if you lack self-control, no problem. Just download SelfControl — the app.

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The Picture Show
3:10 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

A Hotshot Bit By The Shutter Bug

Wildland firefighter and photographer Gregg Boydston in Arizona.
Courtesy of Gregg Boydston

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:01 pm

Several years ago, I was driving through Northern California when an eerie orange hue flooded the landscape. It took several more miles to see the plumes of smoke in the distance, the charred hillsides — and the occasional firefighter seeking some shade near the road.

"What is life like for those guys?" I wondered.

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Planet Money
3:10 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

NYT Excerpt: What If Manhattan Got Rid Of Rent Control?

Payton Chung

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 12:43 pm

In his New York Times Magazine column this week, Adam Davidson writes about the housing market in New York City. Here's an excerpt.

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NPR Ombudsman
3:10 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

The 'Hot' Female Senator and the Rule of Reversibility

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 11:55 am

I wanted to spark a debate and got an earful.

Still, the many comments I received to my July 9 column on referring to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as "perky" and speaking with a "girlie" voice were so generally insightful that I thought I might pick up on them here.

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All Songs Considered
3:07 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

New Music: Sebadoh, Moderat, Typhoon, The Civil Wars And More

Clockwise, from upper left: Sebadoh, Lucy Schwartz, Moderat and Kyle Morton of the band Typhoon
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 3:14 pm

On this week's episode of All Songs Considered: Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up huge premieres, including a preview of '90s lo-fi rock pioneer Sebadoh's first new album in 14 years. There's also new music from folk duo The Civil Wars, which finished its new album just before going on hiatus, and pianist singer Lucy Schwartz.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Facebook Debuts New Anti-Bullying Features

A screenshot of one of the new messages geared toward teenage Facebook users who might be experiencing bullying. (Facebook)

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 2:08 pm

Child psychologist Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, is working with Facebook to develop what he says is the first emotionally-intelligent bullying prevention system on a social network.

Brackett says that if young teenagers — 13 and 14-year-olds — encounter posts they think are a problem, they will see icons designed specially for them that say “this post is a problem,” and they will be guided through screens that help them sort through their emotions and how best to respond.

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