The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Syrian Government Steps Up Assaults Against Protesters

A frame grab from a video posted on YouTube on November 4, shows two young boys sitting next to the body of a dead man identified as Yahya Hamad from Baba Amer neighborhood in Homs, where a rights watchdog has said that several victims were killed by Syrian security forces despite a Damascus pledge to withdraw forces from protest hubs.
AFP/Getty Images

More than 100 protesters have been killed in the past five days in clashes with government forces, Syrian activists said. Despite a ceasefire agreement with Arab League and despite protests from international governments, Bashar Asad's regime has continued its relentless assault against the opposition.

The New York Times reports on Homs, the country's third-largest city and the center of the uprising:

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Economy
4:39 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Why Is Food Stamp Usage Rising So Fast?

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 7:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The number of Americans who use food stamps is now close to 46 million, that's 15 percent of the population. The program is formally known as SNAP these days, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And the number of people who depend on it to buy groceries has grown substantially, even since the recession was officially declared over, back in June of 2009.

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The Salt
4:31 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Organic Isn't Always Safer When It Comes To Botulism

Gourmet and organic, yes. But also a source of deadly botulism.
Food and Drug Administration

Organic Italian olives are the unlikely suspects in a new botulism outbreak, which has sickened two people in Europe. The Food and Drug Administration has urged people not to eat Bio Gaudiano organic olives stuffed with almonds, and the United States distributor has recalled the product.

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U.S.
4:15 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

New Measure Shows Higher Poverty Rate In U.S.

Joseph Byrd, unemployed and living on disability, prepares to pick up groceries at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2010. The new experimental poverty measure takes into account cost of living associated with geographic differences.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 7:04 pm

The government released a new experimental poverty measure Monday that found that the poverty rate was 16 percent last year — slightly higher than previously thought.

The new measure won't replace the official one, but it is an effort to get a more accurate picture of who is and isn't poor.

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The Salt
2:53 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

When Taking The Pollen Out Of Honey Makes A Sticky Mess

A report says that pollen is often filtered out of honey sold in the U.S., which could make it hard to determine if the honey came from a safe place.
Ellen Webber/NPR

Allegedly, there's a tsunami washing up on American shores. It originates in Chinese beehives and the American beekeepers who've spotted it are hopping mad.

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Book Reviews
2:52 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Life Without Plot In 'Leaving The Atocha Station'

Ben Lerner's debut novel, Leaving the Atocha Station is one of the most compelling books about nothing I've ever read.

Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of this kind of spinning-one's-wheels-in-the-sand fiction. Austen and Dickens and Hammett got to me early and spoiled me: I like plot. But Lerner's offbeat little novel manages to convey what everyday life feels like before we impose the structure of plot on our experience.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

President Clinton: 'There's Very Little Talk About What Actually Works'

Former President Clinton and President Obama at the White House; December 10, 2010.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

As he listens to the current debate in Washington over the budget deficit, taxes and economic policy, former President Bill Clinton says the discussion lacks a lot.

"It's all about 'is the government good or bad or taxes always good or bad?' " he told Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep during an conversation that's scheduled to air Tuesday. "There's very little talk about what actually works."

That's why Clinton has a new book — Back to Work — with this subtitle: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy.

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Around the Nation
2:43 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

'Occupy' Presents Big Problems For Big-City Mayors

Amy Barnes protests as police move in to clear a downtown street during an Occupy Atlanta demonstration the first weekend in November.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 7:06 pm

The nationwide Occupy movement might be targeting Wall Street, but it's arguably municipal governments that have felt the biggest impact so far.

Protesters have staged weeks-long sit-ins at public spaces in cities from New York to Atlanta to Pittsburgh to Oakland, Calif. Although the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, hundreds of protesters have been arrested and there have been a handful of violent clashes with law enforcement.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Verdict Expected In Trial Of Michael Jackson's Doctor

Dr. Conrad Murray watches the testimony of paramedic Richard Senneff, during Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial at the Los Angeles Superior Court on Sept. 30 in Los Angeles.
Pool Getty Images

Update at 4:16 p.m. ET: A California jury has found Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of pop icon Michael Jackson.

As the clerk read the verdict, Murray looked on with a blank stare. When the clerk said guilty, an emotional shriek was heard in the courtroom.

As the judge read the jury more instructions, the Houston cardiologist sat next to his counsel without any visible emotion. Television images showed that Jackson fans outside the court house rejoiced.

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Law
2:23 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Can Passports List 'Jerusalem, Israel' As Birthplace?

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday in a case that combines the Middle East conflict with the dueling foreign policy roles of Congress and the president. Specifically, the question was whether Congress can force the executive branch to list Israel as the birthplace for United States citizens born in Jerusalem.

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