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Stories for November 7, 2013

Airports Hold Silent Tribute For Slain TSA Officer

Nov. 7, 2013
Associated Press

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.

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A Live Chat About God And Beer

Nov. 7, 2013
Eliza Barclay / NPR

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, 2013
Max Pringle / Capital Public Radio

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, 2013
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

California’s High Speed Rail project continues to move forward, and it continues to cause controversy.

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San Diego High Classes Grow Into Sustainable Balboa Park Garden

Nov. 7, 2013
By Kyla Calvert

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, 2013
By Dwane Brown

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, 2013
NPR

"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.

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Star Of India Celebrates 150th Birthday Over Next Two Weekends

Nov. 7, 2013
By City News Service

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.

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School Named For Former KKK Leader Reconsiders Its Legacy

Nov. 7, 2013
Karen Feagins / NPR

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, 2013
By City News Service

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.

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How Kennedy's Assassination Changed The Secret Service

Nov. 7, 2013
Brian Naylor / NPR

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.

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

Nov. 7, 2013
S.V. DÁTE / NPR

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, 2013
Eric Westervelt / NPR

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, 2013
Nancy Shute / NPR

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.

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Here, Drink A Nice Glass of Sparkling Clean Wastewater

Nov. 7, 2013
Amy Standen / NPR

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.

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

Nov. 7, 2013
Adam Wollner / NPR

Jimmy Carter's grandson is running for Carter's old job -- governor of Georgia.

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

Nov. 7, 2013
Heidi Glenn / NPR

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.)

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

Nov. 7, 2013
By Beth Ford Roth

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...

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

Nov. 7, 2013
NPR Staff / NPR

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.

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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: JFK

Nov. 7, 2013
By Jennifer Robinson

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This 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.

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Stanford Professor Who Sounded Alert On Multitasking Has Died

Nov. 7, 2013
Bill Chappell / NPR

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.

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FDA Moves To Phase Out Remaining Trans Fats In Food Supply

Nov. 7, 2013
Dan Charles / NPR

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.

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Why Chris Christie's Popularity May Tear His Party Apart

Nov. 7, 2013
Alan Greenblatt / NPR

Chris Christie has become a national phenomenon.

Senate Approves ENDA, Adding Sexual Orientation To Work Protections

Nov. 7, 2013
Bill Chappell / NPR

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.

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

Nov. 7, 2013
By Beth Ford Roth

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?

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Breaking Down San Diego's Proposed Zero Waste Initiative

Nov. 7, 2013
By City News Service, Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane, Peggy Pico

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.

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Jared Diamond Compares Traditional Societies To WEIRD Nations

Nov. 7, 2013
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

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

Federal Judge To Decide Treatment Of Mentally Ill Inmates

Nov. 7, 2013
Associated Press

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.

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Why Doctors Are Testing An Epilepsy Drug For Alcoholism

Nov. 7, 2013
Maanvi Singh / NPR

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.

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

Nov. 7, 2013
Bill Chappell / NPR

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.

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

Nov. 7, 2013
Mark Memmott / NPR

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.

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New Report Argues Nation's Unemployment System Is Failing

Nov. 7, 2013
Kate Sheehy / Fronteras Desk

A report released this week shows the majority of states are using antiquated technology systems to process unemployment benefits.

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

Nov. 7, 2013
By Kyla Calvert

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.

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San Diego's Charm School For Scientists

Nov. 7, 2013
By Claire Trageser

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.

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Thursday Political Mix: Obama And Health Insurers Need Other

Nov. 7, 2013
Frank James / NPR

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, 2013
Alan Greenblatt / NPR

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

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Migrant Education Program Gives Farmworkers' Children A Boost

Nov. 7, 2013
By Jill Replogle

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, 2013
Associated Press

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.

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Why Obama Shouldn't Worry About His Lousy Poll Numbers

Nov. 7, 2013
Ari Shapiro / NPR

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, 2013
Associated Press

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.

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No Room For Erasers, As Technology Deletes Pen Businesses

Nov. 7, 2013
Erin Toner / NPR

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.