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Law
3:52 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Official Admits 'Mistake' In Gun-Trafficking Case

U.S. Border Patrol vehicles drive from a checkpoint in December 2010, as teams of border officers comb the Arizona desert about 10 miles north of Mexico in search for a suspect in the fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in the rugged terrain in Rio Rico, Ariz.

Ross D. Franklin ASSOCIATED PRESS

A top political appointee in the Obama Justice Department says he made a "mistake" when he didn't flag questionable tactics used by federal agents in a gun-trafficking case for his superiors last year.

Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, told NPR he found out in April 2010 that agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had let more than 400 guns connected to suspicious buyers cross the Southwest border during the Bush years, but he didn't tell senior leadership at the Justice Department.

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Author Interviews
3:46 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Sorrowful 'Blue Nights': Didion Mourns Her Daughter

Quintana Roo Dunne takes in the ocean view with her parents, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion in Malibu in 1976. Quintana Roo fell ill in 2003, and her father had a fatal heart attack several days later. Blue Nights is Didion's elegy for her daughter who died in 2005 at age 39.

John Bryson Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion wrestled with the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne. The book was published in 2005, months after their daughter Quintana Roo Dunne — their only child — died at age 39. In her new book, Blue Nights, the 76-year-old author has pieced together literary snapshots, retrieved memories and unanswered queries about her daughter's life and death.

"It has not left my mind since it happened," Didion says. "I live with it, so naturally I can talk about it. ... I couldn't talk about it at first, but I can now."

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7 Billion And Counting
3:46 am
Tue November 1, 2011

As Population, Consumption Rise, Builder Goes Small

The world's population has just hit 7 billion people and continues to grow. Population experts are concerned about the rise in consumption that will accompany the increase in people. One California home builder, ZETA Communities, designs and builds small, highly energy-efficient homes.

Zeta Communities

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 11:33 am

The planet may not feel any different today, but there are now 7 billion people on it, according to the United Nations.

That number will continue to rise, of course, and global incomes are likely to rise as well. That means more cars and computers, and bigger homes: the kinds of things Americans take for granted. It's that rise in consumption that has population experts worried.

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Europe
3:00 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Greek Referendum Could Jeopardize Bailout Deal

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he will ask the public to vote in a referendum on last week's European debt deal. His surprise announcement could throw a wrench into the bailout agreement. The bankers holding Greek debt agreed to accept losses on Greek bonds on the assumption that the country would carry out austerity measures. For the latest, Steve Inskeep talks with reporter Joanna Kakissis in Athens.

Business
3:00 am
Tue November 1, 2011

MF Global A U.S. Casualty Of EU's Debt Crisis

MF Global, the securities firm run by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection Monday. The company, at Corzine's urging, made big investments in European sovereign debt. Those bets turned out to be losers. Analysts don't believe MF Global is a harbinger of bad things to come. It was much more exposed to European debt than most U.S. financial companies. Zoe Chace reports for NPR's Planet Money.

Africa
3:00 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Somali Militants Vow Payback For Kenya's Offensive

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 9:28 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Yet another foreign army has sent its troops into Somalia.

INSKEEP: Many years ago, American troops took positions there.

MONTAGNE: More recently, forces from neighboring Ethiopia, with U.S. backing, have moved against Islamist groups.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Halloween Chicago-Style: 'Da Mayor And 'Da Zombies

The mayor's message: Have a safe Halloween, zombies included.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 5:44 pm

Set aside your doubts about zombies and ignore the signs of Photoshopping (like that reflection in the window of a guy with a baseball cap).

Here's a photo/illustration that begs for some creative caption suggestions (and ChicagoNow.com has just such a contest going).

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Shots - Health Blog
5:29 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Controversial Cholesterol Pill Vytorin Shows Promise For Kidney Patients

Merck

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 11:03 am

Remember Grandpa Frank?

Way back in 2008, the ad above ran in heavy rotation on TV during the heyday of Vytorin, a cholesterol-lowering pill that claimed to fight both genetics and bad habits.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Supreme Court Reinstates Conviction Of Grandmother In Shaken Baby Case

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 6:05 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again rebuked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in California. This time, the court, by a 6-to-3 vote, reinstated the conviction of a California grandmother for shaking her baby grandson to death. The court's unsigned opinion, provoked a strong dissent from three of the justices, who accused the court majority of using a "tragic case" to "teach the Ninth Circut a lesson."

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Music Reviews
4:36 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Jeffrey Lewis: Cosmic And Tongue-In-Cheek 'Dream-Songs'

Prolific singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis has a new album, called A Turn in the Dream-Songs.

Courtesy of Beggars Group

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 8:38 pm

Jeffrey Lewis is my homeboy. The prolific anti-folk singer-songwriter has lived less than a mile from where I live on the Lower East Side since he was born in 1975. Difference is, I moved to Avenue B as an adult, while he's a native — his dad is a Brooklyn-born motorcycle mechanic who hung with local politicos and musicians.

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