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Stories for November 7, 2013

Airports Hold Silent Tribute For Slain TSA Officer

Nov. 7
Associated Press
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Airports around the nation have observed a moment of silence to honor the TSA officer killed by a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport a week ago.

A Live Chat About God And Beer

Nov. 7
Eliza Barclay / NPR
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A story we ran earlier this week about God and beer by NPR's John Burnett got an overwhelming response on social media. In case you missed it, it was called "To Stave Off Decline, Churches Attract New Members With Beer." You can listen and read it here. (It was paired with another post on the same topic: 5 Things You Might Not Have Known About God And Beer.)

New National Assessment Shows California Schools Improving But Lagging Behind Other States

Nov. 7
Max Pringle / Capital Public Radio
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A new national assessment shows California schools improving slightly, but still scoring below the national average on most subjects.

California High Speed Rail Causing Controversy In Kings County

Nov. 7
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio
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California’s High Speed Rail project continues to move forward, and it continues to cause controversy.

San Diego High Classes Grow Into Sustainable Balboa Park Garden

Nov. 7
By Kyla Calvert
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Students in San Diego High’s Green Tech program madeover the planter beds surrounding Balboa Park’s Automotive Museum on Thursday.

San Diegans Witness Meteor Shower's Bright Flash Across Sky

Nov. 7
By Dwane Brown
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People from Santa Barbara to San Diego reported seeing fireballs streaking across the sky Wednesday night. Experts say it was likely a meteor shower.

Obama Apologizes To Those Who Lost Health Plans

Nov. 7
NPR
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"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," President Obama said Thursday, speaking about Americans who will lose their current health insurance plans.

Star Of India Celebrates 150th Birthday Over Next Two Weekends

Nov. 7
By City News Service
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Star Of India Celebrates 150th Birthday Over Next Two Weekends Tease photo

The Star of India — the world's oldest active ship — will be taken out to sea Saturday, Sunday and Monday as part of its 150th birthday party.

School Named For Former KKK Leader Reconsiders Its Legacy

Nov. 7
Karen Feagins / NPR
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Duval County Public Schools is considering a name change for Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla. The school is named for a Confederate hero who was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan -- and after five decades of debate, there appears to be momentum for change.

UCSD Opens Resource Center For Student Veterans

Nov. 7
By City News Service
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The center will help former members of the armed forces connect with other groups and resources. More than 250 UC San Diego students were formerly in the military.

How Kennedy's Assassination Changed The Secret Service

Nov. 7
Brian Naylor / NPR
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Nov. 22 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, a moment that left an indelible mark on those who remember it.

AFL-CIO Lets GOP Speak For Itself In New Immigration Ads

Nov. 7
S.V. DÁTE / NPR
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The nation's biggest labor group is taking its support for an immigration overhaul to the TV airwaves, with Spanish-language ads that hammer Republican House members.

Trim Recess? Some Schools Hold On To Child's Play

Nov. 7
Eric Westervelt / NPR
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It's recess time at Ruby Bridges Elementary School and a third-grader is pummeling a plastic tetherball with focused intensity. He's playing at one of more than half-dozen recess play stations on the school's sprawling cement playground -- there's also wall ball, basketball, capture the flag, sharks and minnows, a jungle gym and tag.

Doctors Slow To Embrace Recommended HPV Testing

Nov. 7
Nancy Shute / NPR
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For decades the annual Pap test was women's chief protection against cervical cancer. That all changed when a test for human papillomavirus, the cause of most cervical cancer, was approved in 2003.

Here, Drink A Nice Glass of Sparkling Clean Wastewater

Nov. 7
Amy Standen / NPR
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In California's Silicon Valley, there will soon be a new source of water for residents. That may not sound like big news, but the source of this water - while certainly high-tech -- is raising some eyebrows.

All In The Family: Jimmy Carter's Grandson Runs For Governor

Nov. 7
Adam Wollner / NPR
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Jimmy Carter's grandson is running for Carter's old job -- governor of Georgia.

On Twitter's IPO Day, A Look At How 5 Tech Stocks Have Fared

Nov. 7
Heidi Glenn / NPR
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As eyes turned to the markets on Twitter's first day of trading, NPR wondered how some other tech stocks have performed since their IPOs. (Twitter closed at $44.90 Thursday, about 73 percent above its IPO price of $26 a share.)

Restaurants Offering Military Free 'Thank You' Meals On Veterans Day

Nov. 7
By Beth Ford Roth
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Veterans Day is Monday, a day when our country honors those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Many family-friendly restaurants are offering free or discounted meals to veterans and service members on Nov. 11. Home Post has the lowdown...

Nick Bilton On Twitter's Creation Myth & 'Forgotten Founder'

Nov. 7
NPR Staff / NPR
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On arguably the biggest day in Twitter's history, we wanted to look back to find out just how it all started, because like many Silicon Valley companies, its origin story is fraught.

American Experience: JFK

Nov. 7
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American Experience: JFK  Tease photo

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This new portrait offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments and his unfulfilled promise. Produced and directed by Susan Bellows, "JFK" features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, and Evan Thomas.

Stanford Professor Who Sounded Alert On Multitasking Has Died

Nov. 7
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Clifford Nass, the Stanford University sociologist who helped pioneer studies that undermined ideas about multitasking, has died at age 55. The man who dedicated his career to thinking about how humans live in a digital age died after taking part in a hike near Lake Tahoe Saturday.

FDA Moves To Phase Out Remaining Trans Fats In Food Supply

Nov. 7
Dan Charles / NPR
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If the Food and Drug Administration has its way, an era of food technology will soon end. The agency announced Thursday it is aiming to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products.

Why Chris Christie's Popularity May Tear His Party Apart

Nov. 7
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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Chris Christie has become a national phenomenon.

Senate Approves ENDA, Adding Sexual Orientation To Work Protections

Nov. 7
Bill Chappell / NPR
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The Senate has approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which gives workplace protections to workers and job applicants who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The bill would apply to any private employer that has more than 15 employees; it includes an exemption for religious groups.

Reports Of Military Sexual Assaults Up 46 Percent — But Why?

Nov. 7
By Beth Ford Roth
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New numbers released by the Department of Defense show reports of sexual assault have skyrocketed 46 percent during the last fiscal year. But is the sharp increase due to an actual increase in assaults, or the fact service members aren't as frightened to report them?

Breaking Down San Diego's Proposed Zero Waste Initiative

Nov. 7
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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A proposal before the San Diego City Council is calling for zero waste by 2040. We take a look at the plan to recycle, reuse and compost.

Jared Diamond Compares Traditional Societies To WEIRD Nations

Nov. 7
Midday Edition
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Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Guns, Germs and Steel" talks about his new book about what we can learn from traditional societies.

Why Doctors Are Testing An Epilepsy Drug For Alcoholism

Nov. 7
Maanvi Singh / NPR
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In the hunt for new ways to help people fight alcoholism, doctors are studying gabapentin, a generic drug that's commonly used to treat epilepsy and fibromyalgia.

Federal Judge To Decide Treatment Of Mentally Ill Inmates

Nov. 7
Associated Press
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A federal judge is set to decide whether the heavy use of pepper spray by state prison guards against mentally ill inmates violates prisoners' civil rights, with closing arguments in the case beginning Thursday.

Man In 1984 Airline Hijacking Will Appear In U.S. Court

Nov. 7
Bill Chappell / NPR
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An American man who hijacked a plane to Cuba nearly 30 years ago will be in a U.S. court Thursday. William Potts returned from Cuba on Wednesday, saying he wanted to resolve lingering legal issues around his actions. He was arrested immediately.

He's The One! Rubber Ducky Joins The Toy Hall Of Fame

Nov. 7
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Saying that "one toy stretches our gray matter; the other expands our sense of childhood wonder," the National Toy Hall of Fame announced Thursday that its 2013 inductees are the game of chess and the rubber duck.

New Report Argues Nation's Unemployment System Is Failing

Nov. 7
Kate Sheehy / Fronteras Desk
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A report released this week shows the majority of states are using antiquated technology systems to process unemployment benefits.

San Diego's Charm School For Scientists

Nov. 7
By Claire Trageser
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Science is not known as a career that attracts showboats, but scientists still need to be able to speak to a crowd. A local group helps them do that.

Teen 'Sexting' Could Result In Criminal Charges, San Diego Police Say

Nov. 7
By Kyla Calvert
17 Comments
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Schools legally can’t access student’s personal devices, so San Diego police say it’s up to parents to monitor how minors are using phones, social media and the Internet.

Thursday Political Mix: Obama And Health Insurers Need Other

Nov. 7
Frank James / NPR
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The assessments of the meaning of the 2013 off-year elections continue, with both parties trying to draw lessons from Election Day's outcomes, with the likely overinterpretation of some of them, though it wasn't always clear which.

With Three Years Left To Go, Obama Remains On Defense

Nov. 7
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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Just a year after he won re-election, President Obama's second term is already feeling long and fairly fruitless.

Migrant Education Program Gives Farmworkers' Children A Boost

Nov. 7
By Jill Replogle
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For nearly a half-century, the federal migrant education program has been helping farmworkers' children catch up and keep up with their peers. We look at one program in the Imperial Valley.

Calif. Legislative Hearing To Probe Transit Deaths

Nov. 7
Associated Press
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California lawmakers are convening to investigate the deaths of two Bay Area Rapid Transit track inspectors who were struck by a train during a recent strike.

Why Obama Shouldn't Worry About His Lousy Poll Numbers

Nov. 7
Ari Shapiro / NPR
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President Obama's poll numbers have hit just about the lowest point of his presidency.

3 Navy Officials Now Charged With Taking Bribes

Nov. 7
Associated Press
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The number of senior U.S. Navy officials accused of swapping secrets for bribes that included cash, prostitutes and high-end travel has grown to three.

No Room For Erasers, As Technology Deletes Pen Businesses

Nov. 7
Erin Toner / NPR
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We tweet. We text. We email. But how often do we really write anymore? Not much, if you look at the business of selling pens -- or "fine writing instruments," as shop owners call them. With their writing tools becoming obsolete, pen stores have folded, including a century-old shop in New York.