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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Car Factories Turn Robots And Humans Into Co-Workers

A robot arm helps make engine components at a Volkswagen factory in Germany. For the first time, robots are working alongside humans without guards or other safety barriers between them.
Universal Robots

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:24 pm

Robots are working alongside humans on car production lines, taking what Technology Review calls "a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots" at car factories. Previously, robots had been seen as being too unsafe to place them shoulder-to-arm-joint with humans on the assembly line.

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The Two-Way
4:48 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Alleged Navy Yard Shooter Got Clearances Despite Troubled Past

Police say Aaron Alexis, who was killed Monday, gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.
FBI Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:44 pm

A day after police say a 34-year-old civilian contractor and ex-Navy reservist killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, questions are being asked about how a man with a troubled service record and signs of mental instability had clearance to be on base.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Stephen Hawking Backs Assisted Suicide For The Terminally Ill

British scientist Stephen Hawking appears during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games in London last year.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:54 pm

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who has lived for years with the progressive and debilitating motor neuron condition known as Lou Gehrig's disease, tells the BBC that he favors assisted suicide for people with terminal illnesses.

Hawking, 71, who uses a wheelchair and speaks through a computer speech synthesizer activated by his eye movements, said: "We don't let animals suffer, so why humans?"

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Code Switch
4:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

How Slavery Shaped America's Oldest And Most Elite Colleges

An early flier for an event at King's College --” which would later become Columbia University — included an advertisement for a slave auction.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:45 pm

A few years ago, Brown University commissioned a study of its own historical connection to the Atlantic slave trade. The report found that the Brown family — the wealthy Rhode Island merchants for whom the university was named — were "not major slave traders, but they were not strangers to the business either."

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Books
4:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

A Brazilian Writer's Love Letter To Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, shown just before sunrise.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:55 pm

While NPR's Melissa Block is in Brazil, we'll be showcasing the work of several Brazilian writers. Today: Tatiana Salem Levy, whose short story "Blazing Sun" was featured in the literary magazine Granta. Levy splits her time between Rio de Janeiro, where she's spent most of her life, and Lisbon, where she was born. She calls "Blazing Sun," which is excerpted below, her love letter to Rio.

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