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11:57 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Four Years Into Recovery, Are We Well Yet?

Jeff Caldwell checks a vehicle on the assembly line at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit in May. U.S. auto sales rose last month to their fastest pace since 2007.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 3:30 pm

The next couple of days will bring fireworks, hot dogs — and a new unemployment report.

At least the first two will be fun.

As for Friday's job-market assessment, the Labor Department report likely will show little or no change in the 7.6 percent unemployment rate. "There is still a general weakness in the labor market," says Daniel North, economist with Euler Hermes, a credit insurance company.

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Law
11:56 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Ex-FISA Court Judge Reflects: After 9/11, 'Bloodcurdling' Briefings

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:52 pm

Over 25 years as a federal judge, Royce Lamberth has touched some of the biggest and most contentious issues in the country. He led the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court after the Sept. 11 attacks, reviewed petitions from detainees at the Guantanamo prison, and gave a boost to Native Americans suing the federal government.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Accused Cleveland Kidnapper Is Ruled Competent For Trial

Ariel Castro sits with his defense attorneys Craig Weintraub (left) and Jaye Schlachet during Wednesday's hearing, at which he was found mentally competent to stand trial.
Jason Miller AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 12:40 pm

Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping and raping three women while he held them prisoner in his house for about 10 years, has been declared mentally competent to stand trial. The finding comes one week after a Cleveland judge ordered Castro to undergo an evaluation.

The results of that analysis were presented at a court hearing this morning.

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Code Switch
10:56 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Take The Code Switch Visitor Survey

Clearly, our genius use of stock photos is one of your favorite aspects of Code Switch, and we expect this fact will be reflected in your survey responses.
iStockphoto.com

Code Switch has been up and running for almost three months. We launched on April 8, with a series of stories about code-switching itself.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Heartbeats Could Replace Passwords

(Its.MJ/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 10:22 am

The average person has 30 to 50 accounts requiring a password, but uses only about five different passwords. And the most common password is still “password.”

Security experts say people should use a different password for each account, with each password at least 14 characters long.

Instead of memorizing all those passwords, what if the key to unlocking everything could be linked to something unique about you — like the rhythm of your heart?

That’s what biometric researchers in Toronto have come up with.

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Wed July 3, 2013

As Mandela Lies In Hospital, Family Fights Over Kin's Graves

In 1990, Nelson Mandela (wearing a dark suit, pointing down) visited the graves of family members in Qunu, South Africa. A grandson's 2011 decision to move some relatives' remains to another site was followed by a lawsuit and court action.
Juda Ngenya Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 7:25 pm

Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in stable but critical condition at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been since June 8 for treatment of a serious lung infection.

The anti-apartheid hero, who survived 27 years in jail and decades of oppression, is 15 days shy of his 95th birthday.

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NPR Story
10:22 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Wedding Films Are About More Than Getting Married

A scene from the film "Four Weddings and a Funeral." (PolyGram Filmed Entertainment)

With the Supreme Court weighing in on gay marriage, can Hollywood be far behind?

Filmmakers often use wedding movies to address issues like commitment and family dysfunction, says Los Angeles Times film writer Steven Zeitchik.

We talk to Zeitchik about movies including “The Wedding Banquet,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Bridesmaids,” “Father of the Bride,” “Rachel Getting Married” and “The Graduate.”

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NPR Story
10:22 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Why Google Pulled The Plug On Google Reader

Google has pulled the plug on its RSS service, Google Reader.

Launched in 2005, it was designed to help people organize information on the Internet by sorting content into a manageable, constantly updated feed.

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Code Switch
10:05 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Chinatown 'Blessing Scams' Target Elderly Women

More than 50 people have reported being victims to the "blessing scams" in San Francisco over the last year. Their losses topped $1.5 million.
San Francisco district attorney's office

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:13 pm

In Chinatowns around the country — in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York — a peculiar financial scam is targeting elderly Chinese women.

This so-called "blessing scam" isn't much of a blessing. By asking lots of personal questions, the scammers convince their targets that they face terrible tragedy that they can only avoid if they place their valuables in a bag — and then pray over it. Usually, the victims place their jewelry and money in a bag that the thieves swap out for an identical one. And then the thieves tell the women not to open the bag for days.

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Shots - Health News
9:14 am
Wed July 3, 2013

How To Make Disease Prevention An Easier Sell

We'd all like a medical genius like TV's Dr. Gregory House to rescue us from a life-threatening crisis. But what can he do to prevent diabetes?
Adam Taylor/Fox AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 4:30 pm

It's much better to prevent illness than to treat it: less time, less money, less suffering. But prevention is a surprisingly hard sell with doctors and the public. That's true even though preventable chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease are the most common causes of disability and premature death in the U.S.

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