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Business
2:21 am
Wed June 19, 2013

U.S. Automakers Are On A Roll, But Hiring Is Slow And Steady

A worker installs parts on a Chrysler SUV engine at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Plants in the U.S. are now operating above 90 percent capacity, but automakers are wary of adding large numbers of new workers.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?

"People ask a lot, is the auto industry back?" says Kristin Dziczek, a director at the Center for Automotive Research. "And it depends on what scale you want to look at."

So if we're looking at scales, let's start with productivity. In this case, how many work hours it takes to build a car. Productivity in U.S. plants is 39 percent higher than it was in 2000. "Productivity has never been this high," Dziczek says.

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Parallels
2:20 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Fashion's Victims: An Artist's Focus On Garment Workers

A woman tries on a jacket at a Zara store in Madrid. Zara's parent company, Inditex, was among Spanish companies to sign fire and building safety agreements for their factories in Bangladesh following a deadly factory collapse in April, though Inditex was not directly involved in that incident.
Susana Vera Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 1:35 pm

On Madrid's posh Gran Vía, thousands of shoppers and tourists visit the flagship stores of some of the biggest names in European fast fashion — Zara, Mango and H&M.

Suddenly, the hordes of bargain-hunters stop dead in their tracks.

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Politics
2:19 am
Wed June 19, 2013

How A Merger Could Affect Congress' Favorite Airport

A jet takes off from Reagan National Airport, near the Capitol.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

If the US Airways-American Airlines merger announced earlier this year is approved, the combined airline would control two-thirds of the takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National Airport, outside Washington, D.C.

The government could force the airline to give up some of those slots as a condition of the merger. But lawmakers warn that could have consequences for some small- and medium-sized cities. And, not coincidentally, it could affect flight plans for lawmakers themselves.

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Parallels
2:18 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Parvum Opus: Followers Flock To Pope's Latin Twitter Feed

Monsignor Daniel Gallagher, a Latin expert at the Vatican, says people from all walks of life are following the pope's Twitter feed in Latin.
Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

Against all Vatican expectations, the pope's Twitter account in Latin has gained more than 100,000 followers in six months and continues to grow.

Followers are not exclusively Roman Catholics or Latin scholars, but represent a wide variety of professions and religions from all over the world. Some go so far as to claim that the language of the ancient Romans is perfectly suited to 21st-century social media.

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Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing
2:17 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The Art Of Investing: The Rewards Aren't Always Financial

Flower Study #14 by Vladimir Kryloff, the painting NPR's Uri Berliner bought as an investment for $450.
Vladimir Kryloff

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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Animals
2:16 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Animal CSI: Inside The Smithsonian's Feather Forensics Lab

The ornithologist works through the feathers of the stuffed birds to find one that matches her sample.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

Carla Dove smiles as she tears open a small, flat cardboard box. She is sitting at a lab bench in her office at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

"It's kind of like Christmas for me because I never know what's going to be in the packages," she says.

Inside the box are a bunch of sealed sandwich-size bags. Dove counts the bags.

"Eight samples today," she notes. Each sample consists of grayish pieces of feathers, and sometimes bones, all from inside the stomachs and intestines of Burmese pythons.

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Shots - Health News
7:11 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

House Passes Bill That Would Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., was chosen by House Republican leaders to manage a bill that would ban many abortions.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 7:43 pm

The House has passed one of the most far-reaching abortion bills in decades. But it's unlikely to ever become law.

By a mostly party-line vote Tuesday of 228-196, lawmakers passed the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," which would ban nearly all abortions starting 20 weeks after fertilization.

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Code Switch
7:08 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

How The Civil Rights Movement Was Covered In Birmingham

A 17-year-old Civil Rights demonstrator is attacked by a police dog in Birmingham, Ala., on May 3, 1963. This image led the front page of the next day's New York Times.
Bill Hudson ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:47 pm

As the Civil Rights Movement was unfolding across the US in 1963, the entire nation had its eyes on climactic events taking place in Southern cities like Birmingham, Ala., and Jackson, Miss. But there's a stark difference between how the national press covered the events in Birmingham and how Birmingham's papers covered their own city.

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It's All Politics
5:50 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Boehner Seeks To Reassure House GOP On Immigration

House Speaker John Boehner is getting flak from fellow Republicans over immigration legislation.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 9:29 pm

Faced with the threat of mutiny for what seems like the umpteenth time during his speakership, John Boehner moved to mollify fellow Republicans on Tuesday, saying immigration legislation would need the support of a majority of the House GOP before it could be brought to a floor vote.

After emerging from a meeting with House Republicans, following days of warnings by conservatives that the Ohio Republican had better not try to pass an immigration bill with mostly Democratic votes, Boehner sought to calm the roiling Republican waters.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Google Files First-Amendment Request With FISA Court

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:17 am

Google has filed a legal motion asserting its "First Amendment right to publish aggregate information about FISA orders," asking the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to remove the gag order that keeps the company from issuing that information. Google and other big U.S. tech companies have been under fire after it was reported that they allowed the National Security Agency to mine customer data, in a government program called PRISM.

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