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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week

There were 377,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 12,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

But in yet another mixed signal about how the economy's doing, that welcome dip is tempered by the fact that the "4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 376,000." Economists watch that average because it offers a slightly larger look at the trend.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Thu June 7, 2012

After Big Gain, Markets Look To Rise Again; All Eyes On Bernanke

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 10:21 am

Following up on one of the best rallies in months on Wednesday, stock index futures are pointing to a higher start today on Wall Street, Dow Jones Newswires says.

The Associated Press says there are "hopes that Europe is preparing to take action to tackle the region's financial crisis and that the Federal Reserve will consider additional support for the U.S. economy."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu June 7, 2012

U.S. Is Running Out Of Patience With Pakistan, Panetta Says

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier today in Kabul.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

American officials are "reaching the limits of our patience" with Pakistan because that nation continues to allow terrorists to use its territory "as a safety net in order to conduct ... attacks on our forces," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Associated Press also writes that:

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Thu June 7, 2012

New Massacre Reported In Syria; Clinton Condemns 'Unconscionable' Acts

With reports coming out of Syria about another massacre, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today used some of her sternest language yet about what she said is the Assad regime's "unconscionable" crackdown on the Syrian people. Reuters reports she said President Bashar Assad must cede all power and leave Syria.

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Middle East
2:56 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Planned E.U. Oil Embargo Looks Set To Squeeze Iran

Iranians line up at a gas station to fuel their motorcycles in central Tehran in February. Oil is the lifeblood of Iran's economy, but the planned EU boycott is expected to deal a major blow to Iranian oil exports.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 2:07 pm

On July 1, the European Union says it will stop buying oil from Iran. Europe is one of the most important markets for Iran's oil, and in anticipation of the boycott, Iranian oil exports worldwide are already down by more than 25 percent.

Iran's leaders say they can weather this pressure, and so far they have refused to budge on their controversial nuclear activities, ones that prompted a series of economic sanctions.

As a result, it appears as if Iran will only face even greater difficulties when it comes to exporting oil, the lifeblood of its economy.

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Education
2:54 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Computers Grade Essays Fast ... But Not Always Well

As schools look to cut costs, more are considering using computers to grade students' writing assignments and to provide writing help. The programs can assess large numbers of papers in seconds.
David L Ryan The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:04 am

Imagine a school where every child gets instant, personalized writing help for a fraction of the cost of hiring a human teacher — and where a computer, not a person, grades a student's essays.

It's not so far-fetched. Some schools around the country are already using computer programs to help teach students to write.

There are two big arguments for automated essay scoring: lower expenses and better test grading. Using computers instead of humans would certainly be cheaper, but not everyone agrees on argument No. 2.

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Science
2:52 am
Thu June 7, 2012

A Scientist's 20-Year Quest To Defeat Dengue Fever

Scott O'Neill wants to rid the world of dengue fever by infecting mosquitoes with bacteria so they can't carry the virus that causes the disease.
Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 3:26 pm

First of a two-part series

This summer, my big idea is to explore the big ideas of science. Instead of just reporting science as results — the stuff that's published in scientific journals and covered as news — I want to take you inside the world of science. I hope I'll make it easier to understand how science works, and just how cool the process of discovery and innovation really is.

A lot of science involves failure, but there are also the brilliant successes, successes that can lead to new inventions, new tools, new drugs — things that can change the world

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Revolutionary Road Trip
2:50 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Tunisia's Leader: Activist, Exile And Now President

Moncef Marzouki, the president of Tunisia, photographed in the presidential palace.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 2:26 pm

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In Tunisia, he sat down with the country's new president, Moncef Marzouki.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:57 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

CT Scans Boost Cancer Risks For Kids

Isabel Doran, 4, gets a CT scan at Children's National Medical Center with her mom, Veronica Doran. The X-ray radiation in CT scans raises the risks for cancer, including leukemia, a new study shows.
Dayna Smith The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:04 am

Children who get CT scans are at slightly increased risk for brain cancer and leukemia, according to a large international study released Tuesday.

CT scans create detailed images of the inside of the body. So they're great for diagnosing all sorts of medical problems — so great that their use has soared in recent years. More than 80 million are being done every year in the United States.

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World Cafe
6:47 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Rufus Wainwright On World Cafe

Rufus Wainwright.
Barry J. Holmes

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 12:09 pm

In this episode of World Café, Rufus Wainwright catches up with host Michaela Majoun, who first chatted with the singer-songwriter on World Cafe 14 years ago. Wainwright shares details about his seventh album, Out of the Game, as well as the emotional events that inspired the album's themes of mourning and celebration.

This episode originally aired on June 6, 2012.

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