The Salt
2:11 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Sneaking A Bite During Ramadan's Long, Hot Days

Palestinians order food at a coffee shop in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday.
Tara Todras-Whitehill Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:01 am

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has fallen on the longest and hottest days of the year, which means up to 15 hours of fasting in soaring temperatures.

This seems to have increased the number of Muslims who aren't fully observing the fast, and may be sneaking a bite or a drink — though no one wants to say so on the record.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
2:10 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Scorching Phoenix Plans For An Even Hotter Future

A Metro Light Rail train rolls by the Devine Legacy apartment building along Central Avenue in Phoenix. The energy-efficient complex includes 65 "urban style" apartments.
Courtesy of Mica Thomas Mulloy

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 3:37 pm

It's been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter.

A hotter future may mean a more volatile environment — and along with it, natural disasters, greater pressure on infrastructure, and an increased physical toll on city residents.

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It's All Politics
1:49 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Ryan's Mission For Fed: Focus On Prices, Not Unemployment

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the close of the committee's hearing on the state of the economy in February 2011.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:07 am

Mitt Romney's new running mate has authored some provocative policy proposals to cut budget deficits and overhaul Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But Rep. Paul Ryan has also been an advocate for a different course for the central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve.

For the past 35 years, the Fed has had a dual mandate from Congress: to set interest rates at levels that will both foster maximum employment and keep prices stable. Put another way, the Fed's goals are to get unemployment as low as possible while keeping inflation in check.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

British Bank Agrees To $340 Million Settlement Over Laundering Charges

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:27 pm

Britain's fifth-largest bank has agreed to pay $340 million to settle charges by New York regulators that it laundered money for Iranian clients.

NPR's Chris Arnold filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"In court documents, the regulator alleged that for 10 years Standard Chartered Bank quote 'schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions... involving $250 billion dollars and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for the bank.'

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Science
1:30 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Swiss Scientists Generate 5.5 Trillion Degree Heat

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:04 pm

In light of this summer's record high temperatures, we find perspective on really hot temperatures. In an experiment, scientists at Europe's CERN laboratory claim to have achieved the highest temperature ever produced by humans — about 5.5 trillion degrees. Audie Cornish and Melissa Block have more.

Europe
1:30 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

British Bank Settles After Hiding Iranian Transactions

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:04 pm

The British bank accused of using its New York branch to launder money from international transaction has agreed to pay New York's top banking regulator $340 million. Regulators said the bank schemed to hide more than 60,000 financial transactions totaling $250 billion for Iranian clients. The bank denied the charges. Audie Cornish talks with Jim Zarroli.

U.S.
1:30 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

What Goes Into Timing Traffic Lights?

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:04 pm

As part of the NPR Cities Project, we're exploring some "gee-whiz" questions about how cities work. Melissa Block talks to Gideon Berger, Fellowship Director for the Urban Land Institute, on the street in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown. They talk about the trickiness of timing traffic lights

It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Candidates Trade Fire Over Coal In Ohio

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets coal miners during a campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:32 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in far eastern Ohio on Tuesday — seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

But Beallsville is in the middle of coal country, and this site was carefully chosen. There's a battle over messaging on coal in Ohio, a state with huge coal reserves and an important but troubled coal industry.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

First Openly Gay General: DADT Repeal Is More About Recognition Of Family

Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith (right) with her wife, Tracey Hepner.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:10 pm

Last Friday, when Tammy Smith was promoted to Army brigadier general, her wife, Tracey Hepner, was the one who pinned her star on her uniform.

With that, Smith became the first openly gay general in the country. When Smith joined the military 26 years ago, the moment would have been unthinkable. But she explains the historic moment by focusing on its simplicity.

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The Salt
12:40 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Secret Side Of The Drought: Many Corn Farmers Will Benefit

President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (second from right) inspect drought-damaged corn on the McIntosh farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:28 am

You've all heard a lot about this year's devastating drought in the Midwest, right? The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last Friday that the average U.S. cornfield this year will yield less per acre than it has since 1995. Soybean yields are down, too.

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