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Reporter's Notebook
5:15 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Iowa Town Braces For New Reality In Factory Closure's Wake

Main Street in Webster City, Iowa, has so far survived the 2011 closure of an Electrolux factory. But retraining funds and unemployment are running out for former workers, leaving businesses worried that a serious downturn is ahead.
Andrea Hsu NPR

What becomes of a city of 8,000 people when its main employer leaves town? What does it look like, and what does it feel like? I set out to answer those questions on a trip to Webster City, Iowa, last month, as part of my report on the Swedish appliance maker Electrolux.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

His Makeover Strategy In Shambles, J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson Is Out

A J.C. Penney story in Plano, Texas.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:13 pm

After an unsuccessful makeover of the retailer J.C. Penney, Ron Johnson, the company's chief executive, is out.

In a press release, the company said Myron "Mike" Ullman, who was the company's previous CEO, is retaking the reins.

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The Salt
4:54 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Reduced Guilt? Chocolate Gets A Healthy, Fruity Makeover

You could cut up to half the fat from chocolate without sacrificing taste by infusing it with fruit juice, scientists say.
iStockphoto

Chocoholics, rejoice!

British scientists have developed a new fruit-juice-infused chocolate that they say has up to 50 percent less fat than the regular stuff. And it's tasty, too.

The scientists, led by University of Warwick's Stefan Bon, created the hybrid chocolate using a blender to generate microscopic droplets of fruit juice fine enough to blend into molten chocolate.

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Shots - Health News
4:44 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Would Angry Teens Chill Out If They Saw More Happy Faces?

Researchers say that aggressive people tend to interpret ambiguous faces as reflecting hostility.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:59 pm

All day long we're surrounded by faces. We see them on the subway sitting two by two, pass them on the sidewalk as we make our way to work, then nod to them in the elevator.

But most of those faces don't tell us much about the emotional life of the person behind the face.

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Monkey See
4:43 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

A Tip Of The Mouse Ears To Annette Funicello, 1942-2013

The American actress and singer Annette Funicello, photographed here circa 1960, died April 8, more than two decades after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Henry Gris, FPG Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:59 pm

Now it's time to say goodbye to former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. The singer, dancer and actress died April 8 at the age of 70, having battled multiple sclerosis for more than two decades.

Throughout her career, she was devoted to Walt Disney, who famously discovered her during a Swan Lake dance recital when she was just 12 years old.

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It's All Politics
4:25 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Sequester Uncertainty Surrounds Section 8 Housing Program

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees protest mandatory federal budget cuts during a rally March 20 in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 5:16 pm

Last week, several media outlets and advocacy groups began circulating the same sad story: Because of sequestration, 60 low-income families in Dane County, Wis., were soon to be homeless.

But the truth is more complicated.

The story began with a blog post written in February by Dane County Housing Authority Executive Director Rob Dicke.

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Business
4:21 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

One Manufacturing Giant Creates Winners And Losers

Electrolux's new plant in Memphis, Tenn., is the Swedish appliance company's most modern and high-tech facility. The factory will open this summer while an Electrolux plant in Quebec, Canada, is being shuttered.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:59 pm

The United States lost close to 6 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2009. Now, slowly, some of those jobs are coming back. Over the past three years, the U.S. economy has gained a half-million manufacturing jobs.

But even with the manufacturing recovery, there are both winners and losers — and sometimes they're created by the same company.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Climate Change Could Equal Teeth-Rattling Flights

Fly the bumpier skies?
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 5:23 pm

Buckle up — climate change could make this a bumpy flight.

That's according to a newly published study by two British scientists who say increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will make "clear air turbulence" — which can't be easily spotted by pilots or satellites — more common over the North Atlantic. That means the potential for gut-wrenching flights between the U.S., Europe and points east.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

U.S. Will Deploy Solid-Sate Laser Weapon On Ship Headed To Persian Gulf

The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey in San Diego, Calif.
John F. Williams U.S. Navy

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 5:54 pm

For the first time ever, the United States is deploying a solid-state laser weapon. The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) successfully destroyed a drone in flight during a test run and will head to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Ponce as part of what the military is calling an "at-sea demonstration."

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Around the Nation
2:55 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Struggling W.Va. Town Hopes Boy Scout Camp Brings New Life

Mount Hope, W.Va., population 1,400, was once a thriving coal town. Today, many of the storefronts in its tiny downtown sit empty.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:59 pm

Picture a tiny town set along a creek in West Virginia. A mountain rises from the town's eastern edge, overlooking the 1,400 people living below. Then, July comes — and 50,000 people arrive on that mountain for the National Scout Jamboree.

The town is called Mount Hope. I've heard some call it "Mount Hopeless." The town went through the long, downward slump from the boom days of deep-mine coal, when it was a grand, small-town capital of coal mining.

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