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Stories for November 29, 2012

A Life's Ministry Springs From A Dilemma Over AIDS

Nov. 29
NPR Staff / NPR
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For more than 20 years, the Rev. Eric Williams has educated people about AIDS and helped those who suffer from the disease. But the focus of Williams' ministry isn't something he could have predicted back in 1991.

Immigrant Women Lead Drop In U.S. Birth Rate

Nov. 29
By Jill Replogle
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The birth rate in the U.S. fell to the lowest rate last year since at least the 1920s. Births to immigrant women showed the biggest decline in recent years.

County Water Authority Approves 30-Year Contract For Desalinated Water

Nov. 29
By Alison St John and City News Service
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Despite opposition from environmentalists, the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors today overwhelmingly approved a 30-year deal to take desalinated water from a future plant in Carlsbad.

La Jolla Scientists To Send Fruit Flies Into Space

Nov. 29
City News Service
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Two scientists at the La Jolla-based Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute will send fruit flies to the International Space Station to study the impact of space travel on the human heart, the institute announced today.

In Wake Of Recession, Immigrant Births Plunge

Nov. 29
Jennifer Ludden / NPR

A new report finds the U.S. birth rate has dropped to its lowest level on record, led by a dramatic decline in births among immigrant women. The trend has been visible at La Clinica del Pueblo, a non-profit in Washington, D.C., that holds a weekly neonatal clinic.

A Bet Or A Prediction? Intrade's Purpose Is Debated

Nov. 29
Yuki Noguchi / NPR

The popular website Intrade allows its users to bet on the odds of almost anything -- like whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will get ousted by a certain date, or whether the movie Argo will win Best Picture at the Oscars.

San Diegans Asked Not To Drop Off Property Taxes

Nov. 29
City News Service

Landowners who routinely drop off property tax payments at the County Administration Building in downtown San Diego might want to think again this time because of construction in the area.

Demolition Begins To Make Way For Horton Plaza Park

Nov. 29
By Pat Finn, Peggy Pico and James R. Riffel, CITY NEWS SERVICE
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Work crews today began demolishing the old Robinsons- May/Planet Hollywood building at Westfield Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego to make room for a new public park.

Clinton Reveals Blueprint For An 'AIDS-Free Generation'

Nov. 29
Richard Knox, Michaeleen Doucleff

Before Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton passes the reins to her successor, she's got a few loose ends to tie up. One of them is mapping out the U.S.'s continuing efforts to combat AIDS around the world.

Tastier Winter Tomatoes, Thanks To A Boom In Greenhouse Growing

Nov. 29
Allison Aubrey / NPR

It may sound like an oxymoron: a delicious local, winter tomato -- especially if you happen to live in a cold climate.

Downton Abbey Revisited

Nov. 29
Downton Abbey Revisited  Tease photo

In this riveting special, savor great moments from the series’ first two seasons, along with cast interviews, rare behind-the-scenes footage and a sneak peek at what’s in store for the Crawleys as they enter the Roaring Twenties. What will become of Bates? What new mischief will villainous footman Thomas and scheming lady’s maid O’Brien instigate? Will wedding bells finally ring? And how will the formidable Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith) handle the arrival of Lady Grantham’s American mother (Shirley MacLaine)?

Blenko Glass: Behind The Scenes

Nov. 29
Blenko Glass: Behind The Scenes Tease photo

This brand new, high-definition program takes viewers into the heat and heart of the Blenko glassworks to see how the beautiful, all-handmade, glassware is created. Each piece is unique and so are the artisans and members of the Blenko family who continue this proud, 100 year tradition.

Unmanned International Border Crossing To Open Soon

Nov. 29
By John Rosman

There are rumblings that the unmanned international Boquillas crossing in Big Bend National Park will be re-opening soon.

19 San Diego County Districts Relied On Risky Lending

Nov. 29
By Kyla Calvert

Nearly half of San Diego County school and community college districts have used risky, long-term bonds to finance construction and maintenance spending.

Weekend Preview: Chilipalooza, '20 Hour' Ramen, And What's The BFD?

Nov. 29
Midday Edition
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Great neighborhoods, great food, and great fun are all ahead this weekend.

Troops Convicted Of Rape Could Face Automatic Discharge

Nov. 29
By Beth Ford Roth
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The U.S. Senate approved a measure on Wednesday that would require the military to automatically discharge service members convicted of rape, forcible sodomy, or sexual assault. Currently, troops convicted of these crimes are still able to remain in the military.

Great Performances: Sting: A Winter's Night

Nov. 29
Great Performances: Sting: A Winter's Night  Tease photo

Following his international success with "Songs from the Labyrinth," featuring the music of Elizabethan composer John Dowland, rock and pop superstar Sting welcomes the holidays with an atmospheric musical celebration of winter -- days of solitude and reflection, as well as re-birth and festivity. Recorded on location at the Durham Cathedral near his hometown of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in northern England, this program conjures the moods and spirits of the season with a diverse collection of songs, carols and lullabies spanning the centuries.

Military Families First To See White House Christmas Decorations (Video)

Nov. 29
By Beth Ford Roth
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Military families were guests at the White House for the first viewing of the residence's Christmas decorations. Many of the holiday decorations were made by the children of U.S. service members living overseas.

KPBS Hosts First Ever Convergence Boot Camp

Nov. 29
By KPBS
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KPBS announced plans to hold a two-day conference for public media stations looking to converge their organization and content to reach a wider audience. The Convergence Boot Camp will be held at KPBS in San Diego on February 7 and 8, 2013. Station leadership, management, and staff are invited to attend and learn how to implement similar strategies as KPBS -- with the goal of creating a successful and efficient organization.

Quinoa Craze Inspires North America To Start Growing Its Own

Nov. 29
Alastair Bland / NPR

The explosion in world popularity of quinoa in the past six years has quadrupled prices at retail outlets. But for all the demand from upscale grocery stores in America to keep their bulk bins filled with the ancient grain-like seed, almost no farmers outside of the arid mountains and coastal valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile grow it.

Longing For The 'Good Old Bad Days' In Chihuahua

Nov. 29
Lorne Matalon
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In northern Chihuahua, citizens explain their hopes for a new government and their yearning to live without terror.

Great Performances: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2013

Nov. 29
Great Performances: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2013  Tease photo

Always one of GREAT PERFORMANCES’ “favorite things,” the cherished tradition of ringing in the New Year with special host Julie Andrews and the Vienna Philharmonic continues. With guest conductor Franz Welser-Möst wielding the baton at the opulent Musikverein, the program features everyone’s favorite Strauss Family waltzes and the dancers of the Vienna City Ballet. In addition to the Musikverein setting, the broadcast features a range of picturesque Vienna landmarks.

Former President George H.W. Bush In Hospital

Nov. 29
NPR

"Former President George H.W. Bush remains in a Houston hospital, where he has been for seven days as doctors battle a lingering cough that has drawn concern," the Houston Chronicle writes.

Trayvon Martin Update: Zimmerman's Defense Fund Is Offering His Autograph

Nov. 29
NPR

"Thank You Cards ... personally signed by George," are now going to be sent to those who donate money to the man facing second-degree murder charges for the Feb. 26 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Pentagon Starts Brain Bank To Study Combat Injuries

Nov. 29
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Department of Defense has created a brain bank to study Traumatic Brain Injury and other wounds suffered by service members. TBI is often called the "signature wound" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senate Gives Green Light To Pentagon Investment In Green Energy

Nov. 29
Associated Press
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The Senate on Wednesday gave the green light to the Pentagon’s investment in green energy.

Key To E. Coli-Free Spinach May Be An Ultrasonic Spa Treatment

Nov. 29
Nancy Shute / NPR
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Salad producers haven't succeeded in banishing E. coli and other dangerous microbes from fresh greens, though they've tried hard. As we've reported before, it's a major challenge to both growers and the environment. But one scientist thinks he's making progress - with a spinach spa that zaps bad bugs with ultrasound.

Historic Desalination Vote Today

Nov. 29
By Alison St John
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Today could mark an historic vote, as San Diego’s 24 water agencies decide whether to commit to buy water from the largest desalination plant to be built in the United States. The project has reached a critical point, but today’s vote is not a slam dunk.

Invasive Beetle Devouring San Diego's Oak Trees

Nov. 29
By Susan Murphy
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A bug the size of a grain of rice is killing massive 150-year-old oak trees in San Diego County, and researchers are worried the devastation could spread throughout the state.

Young Choir Prevails Despite Orchestra Nova's Troubles

Nov. 29
By Angela Carone
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When the chamber group Orchestra Nova canceled its season this fall, it wasn’t only the audience who lost out. Smaller music groups scheduled to partner with the orchestra suddenly faced a gaping hole in their own season. KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone looks at how one choir regrouped to present a holiday classic.

Labor Trafficking Of Undocumented Migrants 'Rampant' In San Diego

Nov. 29
Midday Edition
By Jill Replogle
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Reports on human trafficking tend to focus on the sex trade. But a researcher at San Diego State University found that labor trafficking of undocumented immigrants in sectors like construction and janitorial services is rampant in San Diego County.

A Huge Pay Cut For Doctors Is Hiding In The Fiscal Cliff

Nov. 29
Chana Joffe-Walt / NPR
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Yesterday, in the Bronx, Chris Veres took his grandfather to see Dr. Bob Murrow. He was worried about his grandfather's heart. Dr. Murrow talked to the family and ordered a cardiogram, which came back normal.

Winning Powerball Tickets Sold In Arizona And Missouri; Who Bought Them?

Nov. 29
Mark Memmott / NPR

After all the hype and hoopla, millions of Americans (including us) are waking up this morning to learn that they aren't sudden millionaires.

Behind The Scenes: 'Street Art Prophets'

Nov. 29
Midday Edition
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Circle Circle dot dot describes itself as community based theater. It kicks off its second season tonight by focusing on a community of artists often relegated to the fringes. Go behind the scenes for the evolution of "Street Art Prophets" (running November 29 through December 15 at 10th Avenue Theater).

The Hidden Costs Of Raising The Medicare Age

Nov. 29
Julie Rovner / NPR
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Whenever the discussion turns to saving money in Medicare, the idea of raising the eligibility age often comes up.

The 'Not Too Crazy' Pulls Ahead In Car Race

Nov. 29
Sonari Glinton / NPR
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Once upon a time when a car company introduced a new car, it was a new new car.