5:03pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

This Past September Ranks As Hottest On Record, NOAA Says

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:34 pm

Four months in 2014 have already been the warmest on record.
NOAA

This past September was, on average, the hottest on record, meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.30 F hotter than the century average.

The AP reports:

"It was the fourth monthly record set this year, along with May, June and August.

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4:48pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Shots - Health News

When Reassuring Isn't: Needless Rush To Test For Ebola On Cruise

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:38 pm

The cruise ship Carnival Magic floats behind a catamaran off Cozumel, Mexico on Oct. 17. The ship skipped a planned stop there Friday, the cruise line says, after Mexican authorities delayed granting permission to dock.
Reuters/Landov

Here's a question about the fine line between a prudent response and panic: Is the sight of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hovering over a cruise ship to pick up a blood sample (that's to be tested for Ebola) a sight that should inspire feelings of reassurance or a nagging sense that something is not quite right?

The question is still in the air after the weekend's effort to airlift a blood sample from a passenger who was aboard what is now being called the Ebola Cruise.

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3:59pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Toyota Becomes Latest Automaker To Issue Recalls Over Faulty Airbags

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Parts of pyro-electric airbag initiators lie in a production line at the international automotive supplier Takata Ignition Systems GmbH in Schoenebeck, Germany, Thursday, April 17.
Jens Meyer AP

A massive auto recall on defective airbags was given fresh urgency on Monday, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encouraged the owners of nearly 5 million cars to get them fixed "immediately." Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton told our Newscast unit some deaths have been tied to the defect:

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3:44pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Book News & Features

'Lila' Sets The Stage For Marilynn Robinson's Earlier Works

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:44pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Author Interviews

From Sizzling Fajitas To The Super Bowl, How Sounds Help Sell

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:11 pm

cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Joel Beckerman believes we are living in a golden age of sound: "We have these amazing opportunities to both set the tone and experiences for people, give them information in an instant," he tells NPR's Audie Cornish.

Beckerman is a composer who specializes in sonic branding — and we're not just talking about jingles. These are the sonic cues in commercials, the ambient music in coffee shops, in the beeps, dings and whoosh that occasionally flies from your cellphone. And companies are embracing it.

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3:44pm

Mon October 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tunisia's Emerging Tech Sector Hampered By Old Policies

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:17 pm

Ramzi El-Fekih, CEO of Creova, stands in his server room in Tunis. He has built a mobile payments company, but because of banking restrictions, Tunisians can use his product only for domestic purchases.
Aarti Shahani NPR

This Sunday, Tunisia — the country that gave birth to Arab Spring — will elect a Parliament. Millions of citizens will vote at the polls, and thousands will run for office.

It's a sea change since the days of ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. But behind the political gains, there is a sad fact: The new democracy is at an economic standstill. The technology sector — which many say could deliver jobs to unemployed young people — is victim to political inertia.

Startups In A Closed Economy

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3:16pm

Mon October 20, 2014
Shots - Health News

Parkinson's Drugs Can Be A Gateway To Sin

Drugs that are commonly prescribed to help people cope with Parkinson's disease have been linked to bizarre changes in behavior that patients and doctors should be on guard against, researchers say.

The disturbing side effects include compulsive gambling, uncontrollable shopping and a sudden obsession with sex.

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2:53pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Salt

Climate Change Has Coffee Growers In Haiti Seeking Higher Ground

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:57 pm

A Haitian woman holds cherries from a coffee tree. Haiti's coffee trade was once a flourishing industry, but it has been crippled by decades of deforestation, political chaos and now, climate change.
Patrick Farrell MCT /Landov

Haiti once produced half the world's coffee. The lush, shade-covered mountainsides provided an ideal environment for imported Arabica trees.

Today, Haitian coffee barely registers in global surveys. Trade embargoes, deforestation and the rise of global coffee powerhouses such as Brazil and Indonesia are just a few of the reasons. And now, there's climate change.

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2:42pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: The Primanti Bros. Pitts-burger

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:35 pm

It's smiling at you. I guess it doesn't know what's about to happen.
NPR

If you do a regular blog post about sandwiches, you will frequently hear from people telling you to try Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh, or that the sandwich you just ate is a ripoff of something Primanti Bros. has been doing for years. Also, if you do a regular blog post about sandwiches, you probably regularly hear from your parents wanting to know what on earth you went to college for.

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2:36pm

Mon October 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Judge Says 1,000 Potential Jurors May Be Screened For Boston Bombing Trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

A judge in Boston says that some 1,000 pre-trial jurors may be asked to complete a questionnaire for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in January.

The Boston Herald reports U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. made the announcement at a status conference on Monday.

The Herald adds:

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