Law
4:54 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Drug-Sniffing Dogs Take Center Stage At High Court

Miami-Dade Detective Douglas Bartelt and narcotics detector canine Franky give a demonstration in Miami in 2011.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:53 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases Wednesday testing what, if any, limits there are to the police using drug-sniffing dogs. By the close of two hours of argument, it looked very much as though the court would rule against the use of drug-sniffing dogs without a warrant in one case, but not the other.

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Success Factors: Rich, Poor And Everybody Else
4:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

At The Economy's Bottom Rungs, Striving To Climb Up

Johnita Ellerby, a single mother of four, is studying social work while working full time.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:53 pm

As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.

While it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?

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Around the Nation
4:40 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

The Industrious Lives Of Halloween's Ghouls

Being a monster — or creepy clown — in a haunted house can be downright strenuous with all the jumping and running. And if the scares are too real, it can get physical.
Courtesy of Nick Markoff

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:22 pm

Halloween might be the best day of the year for kids who love candy and grown-ups who love to be scared, but it is also the last day of work for thousands of ghouls and clowns.

Every year, people from all walks of life — firefighters, students, preschool teachers — adopt the rather unconventional part-time job of scaring at haunted attractions. They spend a month caking their faces with makeup, dipping their bodies in jelly-like substances that resemble blood and practicing chilling screams and creepy laughs until they're pitch perfect.

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Mysterious Anti-Obama Spam Texts Linked To Republican Consulting Group

A screenshot of an anti-Obama text message received Tuesday evening.
NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:53 pm

If you're using social media to follow the presidential campaign or even if you're related to someone else who's doing that, there's a good chance your cellphone got spammed Tuesday night with an anti-Obama text message.

The messages went out between 7:30 and 10 p.m. They were anonymous but quickly traced to a Republican consulting firm in Northern Virginia.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy: A Voice From Union Beach, N.J.

Yesterday, we brought you a voice from Breezy Point, N.Y., the Queens neighborhood ravaged by fire.

Today, our Newscast unit spoke to Doug Doyle, the news director of NPR member station WGBO. Doug was making his way back to his apartment in Union Beach, N.J.

Except whole sections of shore city were destroyed by the storm surge. Doug was escorted to his apartment by emergency crews and he was fully expecting to find everything in tatters.

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Science
4:34 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

High-Def Storm Models Yielded Accurate Predictions

These computer models from Oct. 26 of then-Hurricane Sandy show different predictions for the storm's path.
NOAA

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:53 pm

Better satellites, smarter computer models and faster computers helped government forecasters correctly predict the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, scientists say.

It's unlikely the forecast would have been nearly as accurate just a couple of decades ago, they say.

"The National Hurricane Center did a fantastic job, particularly with the track forecast and the intensity forecast as it was moving toward the Northeast," says Sharan Majumdar, an associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami.

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Arts & Life
4:08 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

A 'Witch Queen' Who Casts Her Spells Year-Round

Courtesy of Faith in the Five Boroughs

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 2:53 pm

Lady Rhea is not the kind of witch you'll find in a pointy hat this Halloween. She is a real workaday witch, grinding out a living selling magic products in a booth at Original Products, a grocery store-sized botanica in the Bronx. She's been a practicing Wiccan for nearly four decades, making her one of the longest-serving high priestesses in New York City.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

To Stem Mumps Outbreak, Doctors Try An Extra Vaccination

Two boys study together at a Chicago yeshiva in 2009. Public health officials say this type of close physical contact caused a mumps outbreak to spread throughout several orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:39 pm

On June 17, 2009, an 11-year-old boy returned home from the U.K., which was experiencing a large number of mumps cases at the time. He then went to a summer camp for Orthodox Jews in upstate New York.

This turned out to be the spark that led to an outbreak of mumps among Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City. Ultimately, more than 3,500 people got sick.

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Karen Grigsby Bates is the Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News. Bates contributed commentaries to All Things Considered for about 10 years before she joined NPR in 2002 as the first correspondent and alternate host for The Tavis Smiley Show. In addition to general reporting and substitute hosting, she increased the show's coverage of international issues and its cultural coverage, especially in the field of literature and the arts.

Digital Life
3:33 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

A Mohawk Hero In The Not-So-Diverse Gaming World

For the latest installment of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series, set in Colonial America, the hooded main character is part Mohawk. The company brought in a Mohawk consultant and hired a Native actor to play the role.
Courtesy of Ubisoft

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 4:49 pm

The Assassin's Creed video game series has become a megahit for gaming enthusiasts. The story line follows a bloody war between Assassins and the Knights Templar, first during the Crusades and then in Renaissance Italy.

The newly released Assassins Creed III crosses the ocean and a couple of centuries so the action could take place during the Revolutionary War and would be wildly anticipated on its own.

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