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September 2, 2014 | NPR · At a Labor Day picnic in Milwaukee, the president accused the GOP of blocking economic initiatives. He urged the sympathetic union audience to turn their frustration into political action in November.
 
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September 2, 2014 | NPR · The city's plan to restructure its debt has been praised as a creative way to protect both pensioners and its art museum. But some creditors — and residents — feel like they're being railroaded.
 
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September 2, 2014 | NPR · A company called WTAS is reviving the defunct accounting firm's name and hoping clients have forgotten its associations with the Enron scandal.
 

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September 2, 2014 | NPR · The Islamist extremist group Islamic State has released a new video that purports to show the beheading of an American journalist named Steven Sotloff. Two weeks ago, the group threatened to kill Sotloff in a video depicting the beheading of James Foley, another American journalist.
 
September 2, 2014 | NPR · In response to unrest in eastern Ukraine, NATO is considering forming a rapid reaction force — a topic that will be discussed at a summit this week in Wales. But how will Russia react, and is this the right move for the alliance? To learn more, Audie Cornish speaks with Steven Pifer, the director of Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at the Brookings Institution.
 
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September 2, 2014 | NPR · The Pentagon has been transferring mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles to local police. Built to protect U.S. forces from roadside bomb blasts at war, these huge vehicles aren't always welcome.
 

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August 30, 2014 | NPR · Ukrainian forces are defending the port city of Novoazovsk from what they say is a Russian invasion. Scott Simon talks to correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson.
 

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August 31, 2014 | NPR · Immigration remains one of the most challenging issues for President Obama. Political correspondent Mara Liasson discusses the political cost of the choices before him with Linda Wertheimer.
 

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Epidemics

Nov 13, 2012 — In fiction, Ann Beattie channels first lady Pat Nixon, while Ben Marcus looks at the consequences of nasty rhetoric, and Jonathan Odell imagines a slave healer's life. In nonfiction, the creators of Portlandia offer a guided tour of Portland, Ore., and Ellen Forney reflects on her bipolar disorder.
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Jan 31, 2012 — In this eerie dystopian novel by Ben Marcus, the speech of children becomes (quite literally) toxic. Communication breaks down, but so do the metaphors, leaving the reader wondering what to take away from the book.
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Jan 17, 2012 — In this chilling dystopian novel by Ben Marcus, the speech of children begins poisoning adults, and a married couple must consider abandoning their teenage daughter to save themselves.
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Apr 5, 2011 — During the 1898-1904 pox epidemic, public health officials and policemen forced thousands of Americans to be vaccinated against their will. Historian Michael Willrich examines that epidemic's far-reaching implications for individual civil liberties in Pox: An American History.
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Feb 2, 2010 — Two new novels should keep science fiction fans happy through the winter: Charlie Huston's Sleepless, the story of an insomnia plague, and Douglas Preston's Impact, in which human beings find themselves threatened by strange bombardments from the direction of Mars.
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Jun 16, 2007 — "This is the kind of book you'll find yourself thinking about long after you've gone on to other novels," says librarian Nancy Pearl of The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier.
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Jul 11, 2006 — There are some books that are so good that you just can't get on with your life until you've turned the last page. Nancy Pearl offers books that make it tempting to call in sick just to be able to read to the end without stopping.
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Apr 17, 2006 — "I couldn't put it down," says Michigan listener Cyndi of Kevin Brockmeier's novel about an afterlife realm populated by the dead called The City.
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