The Salt
3:13 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Restaurant Discounts For Gastric Bypass Patients May Send Mixed Messages

People who have had gastric bypass surgery qualify for discounts at popular restaurants, including buffets.
coolmikeol Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:31 am

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans turn to stomach-shrinking bariatric procedures, hoping for extreme weight loss.

All of these reduced appetites might seem like bad news for the restaurant business, but surgeon-distributed food discount cards aim to make dining out cheaper and more practical for gastric bypass patients.

But is this kind of encouragement really a good idea?

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Planet Money
3:02 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

NYT Excerpt: What Undecided Voters Agree On

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:29 am

In his New York Times Magazine column this week, Adam Davidson talks to swing voters across the country.

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It's All Politics
2:57 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Study: Unemployment Discussion Differs By Swing State

Job seekers line up to register at a Miami job fair in January. A new study shows that Florida voters discuss joblessness in ways quite different from those in Ohio and Virginia, two other presidential battleground states.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 4:21 pm

Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, which uses demographic, voting and cultural data to study communities. It is part of the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Jefferson Institute, which teamed with NPR to examine what can be learned about different communities through online text analysis. The project had Knight Foundation funding.


Since the beginning of the Great Recession, unemployment has driven much of the national conversation, and with good reason.

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Mountain Stage
2:56 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Tift Merritt On Mountain Stage

Todd Paris Mountain Stage

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 11:59 am

Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt makes her fourth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Unlike many country-influenced songwriters, Merritt made a conscious decision to eschew Nashville for New York City — which might come as surprise upon hearing the honeyed twang in her speaking voice.

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It's All Politics
2:38 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Young 'Nones' Set To Transform The Political Landscape

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:50 pm

Culture warriors on the left and right would be wise to carefully examine a new survey from the Pew Research Center showing that a growing number of Americans are moving away from religious labels.

The study, titled "Nones" on the Rise, indicates that 1 in 5 Americans now identifies as "religiously unaffiliated," a group that includes those who say they have no particular religion, as well as atheists and agnostics.

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Music Reviews
2:24 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Shemekia Copeland Embodies The Blues On '33 1/3'

Shemekia Copeland's new album is titled 33 1/3.
Sandrine Lee Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:25 pm

Shemekia Copeland says she didn't really find her singing voice until her teen years, when her father, the late blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, began suffering from health issues. On her new album, 33 1/3, she finds a different kind of voice — one that's eager to participate in a national dialogue.

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Mexican Official: Zeta Leader's Body Was Stolen From Funeral Home

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano in an undated photo.
AP

A prosecutor from the Mexican state of Coahuila dropped a bombshell today: The body of Zeta founder and leader Heriberto "El Lazca" Lazcano was stolen from a funeral home.

This is big news because the Mexican government has on at least one other occasion claimed to have captured a big fish in the war on drugs only to have to walk it back, when questions arose.

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Europe
1:58 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

German Catholics' Path To Heaven Comes With Taxes

Bavarian bishops walk in a procession to the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers near Bad Staffelstein, Germany, in May. A decree by the German bishops' conference warns that German Catholics who do not pay a state church tax will be denied sacraments.
Daniel Karmann EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:02 pm

Germany's bishops have a clear message for the country's 25 million Catholics: The road to heaven requires more than faith and good intentions; it requires tax payments, too.

Last month, German bishops warned that if members of the Catholic Church don't pay the country's church tax, they'll be denied the sacraments — including baptisms, weddings and funerals.

In increasingly secular Europe, Germany is one of the few countries where the state collects a special levy from tax-registered believers and hands it over to three organized faiths.

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Marine General Expected To Be Next Commander In Afghanistan

Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Marines.mil

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce during a meeting of NATO defense leaders in Brussels Wednesday that Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford will be nominated to succeed Gen. John Allen as the top commander in Afghanistan, according to a defense official familiar with the decision.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
1:51 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Poison And Petticoats: The Incomplete Jane Austen

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:13 pm

Rebecca Harrington is the author of the book Penelope.

As a young child, I was very much enamored with romance (my Barbies were subjected to appallingly long balls — Ken was very urbane in his own way). So it was with a kind of relief that I first discovered Jane Austen. I was 9 years old when I stole my mother's copy of Pride and Prejudice and read it very late at night. I didn't really understand much or even who was speaking (old J.A. was never one for attribution) but I knew it was extremely romantic and that was all I needed.

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