The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

With Italy On Verge Of Crisis, Opposition Calls For Berlusconi to Step Down

We've been focusing on Greece, today, but Italy is facing its own crisis: President Silvio Berlusconi called for an emergency meeting to enact a series of reforms meant to keep his country from spiraling into a debt crisis.

The AFP reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
4:43 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Religious Groups Want Relief From Birth Control Mandate

Faith-based health providers got a chance to vent about new federal rules that require them to offer prescription contraceptives as part of their health insurance plans at a House subcommittee hearing today. They also proposed some changes.

But backers of the rules say the revisions sought by opponents would render the requirement meaningless.

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It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Third Woman Accuses Herman Cain Of Harassment; Witness Goes Public

Herman Cain's sexual harassment crisis worsened Wednesday with a third woman telling a news organization that he sexually harassed her when they both worked at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, in another stunning turn, a male Republican pollster went on the record with a news organization to say he actually witnessed Cain's alleged harassment of one of the former trade association employees and indicated that the Republican presidential candidate's behavior wasn't exactly a secret at the time.

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World Cafe
3:31 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Fool's Gold On World Cafe

Fool's Gold.

Jesse Fleming

The L.A. collective Fool's Gold visits World Cafe today to discuss its latest work, Leave No Trace. Under the artistic leadership of Lewis Pesacov and Luke Top, the band has become known for incorporating rhythms and sound textures — particularly in the guitar parts — from all over the globe, including Africa and the Middle East. For the current record, the group, once 12 members strong, has pared itself down to a quintet, in the process fine-tuning the detail in its songwriting.

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Around the Nation
3:30 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Climate Change Has Calif. Vintners Rethinking Grapes

At the University of California, Davis test vineyard, researchers grow familiar grapes like chardonnay and pinot noir, and some unfamiliar ones like Nero d'Avola and Negroamaro.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

Prime California wine country areas like the Napa Valley could soon be facing rising temperatures, according to climate change studies. So some wineries are thinking of switching to grapes that are better suited to a warmer climate. But when vineyards have staked their reputations on certain wines, adapting to climate change is a tough sell.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Hacker Group Backs Away From Threat To Mexican Cartel

A demonstrator wears a Guy Fawkes mask typically worn by followers of the cyberguerrilla group Anonymous during an Aug. 15 protest inside a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The group of hacker activists Anonymous made news last month when it announced an operation that targeted the Zetas, one of Mexico's most dangerous drug cartels. In the past Anonymous has gone after tech firms like Sony and authoritarian governments across North Africa.

Usually, they bring down websites by overwhelming them with requests. On occasion, they'll deface official sites and in on other occasions they will hack databases and release private information.

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Asia
2:53 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Will Cheap Computer Bridge India's Digital Divide?

Indian students pose with the supercheap Aakash tablet computers, which they received during the Oct. 5 product launch in New Delhi. The Indian government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to college students across India at a subsidized price of $35.
Gurinder Osan AP

India has unveiled what its government says is the world's cheapest tablet computer, along with a promise to make the device available to the country's college students, and possibly, to those in high school as well. The government says it's a major step toward bridging the country's gigantic digital divide.

The tablet is called "Aakash," the Hindi word for "sky," and boosters say it could give Internet access to billions of people.

The Aakash was developed for the government by Datawind, a London-based company founded by two brothers from India's Punjab state.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:16 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Rising Health Costs Lead Companies To Drop Part-Time Benefits

A man pushes carriages outside a Walmart store in Valley Stream, N.Y., early this year. The company is scaling back on health benefits for part-time workers.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Wal-Mart's recent decision to cut benefits for new, part-time employees may be part of a trend, as companies grapple with higher health costs.

That's the view of John Rother, the new president of the nonpartisan National Coalition on Health Care, who chatted with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel about the country's growing pack of part-time workers and why companies are rolling back their benefits.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Reports: Aid To Greece Won't Be Paid Without Reassurances

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the eve of the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, earlier today.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 6:40 pm

Update at 6:56 p.m. ET. French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that the next round of rescue loans will not be paid, until after Greeks vote on whether to accept the terms of the bailout package.

This is significant, because Greece has said it will run out of money some time this month and the referendum is so far slated for early December.

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Asia
2:07 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Japanese Town Hopes For Post-Tsunami Reinvention

A fishing boat washed ashore by the tsunami that hit Japan March 11 sits in the deserted port area in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in September. Residents of Kesennuma are now trying to rebuild their town from scratch.
Koji Ueda AP

Long before the March 11 tsunami swallowed downtown Kesennuma, the city of 70,000 on Japan's northeast coast was on the skids.

Kesennuma, in Miyagi Prefecture, built its fortunes around the sea: building, outfitting and repairing small boats; harvesting and processing seafood; even serving up shark fin and sushi to tourists.

But over the past decade, overfishing, soaring gas prices and an aging workforce have taken their toll. Shopkeepers watched their once-thriving town fade into irrelevance.

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