2:39pm

Mon December 10, 2012
National Security

The World In 2030: Asia Rises, The West Declines

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:44 pm

The National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2030 report predicts that by the year 2030, a majority of the world's population will be out of poverty.
iStockphoto

By the year 2030, for the first time in history, a majority of the world's population will be out of poverty. Middle classes will be the most important social and economic sector. Asia will enjoy the global power status it last had in the Middle Ages, while the 350-year rise of the West will be largely reversed. Global leadership may be shared, and the world is likely to be democratizing.

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2:01pm

Mon December 10, 2012
All Tech Considered

Forget The Register: Stores Use Mobile To Make Sales On The Spot

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:44 pm

A Nordstrom salesperson shows a customer an online selection of shoes on an in-store iPad. Like some other retailers, Nordstrom is using mobile devices to make on-the-spot sales and check companywide product inventory instantly.
Courtesy of Nordstrom

The women's shoe department at Nordstrom's flagship store in Seattle is bustling. Shoppers are trying on everything from stilettos to rain boots — and when they're ready to buy, they can pay up right where they are.

The sales associate simply whips out a modified iPod Touch and scans the shoe box's bar code. The handheld device contains a credit card reader, too, so the customer can just hand over the plastic and sign with a fingertip. There's no trek to the cash register and no line to wait in.

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1:37pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Shots - Health News

What Porcupines Can Teach Engineers

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:04 am

The barbs on porcupine quills make it easier from them to penetrate the skin.
National Park Service

Pulling out a porcupine quill is painful and slow, as many a dog discovers to its dismay after tangling with the big rodent. But those tenacious quills are inspiring efforts to develop better medical devices, including less painful needles.

It turns out that no one had really picked apart why it's so hard to remove a porcupine quill. Barbs, sure. But the barbs not only stick like mad. They also make it much easier for the quill to pierce skin and flesh.

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1:33pm

Mon December 10, 2012
The Two-Way

After Students Are Killed, Protests In Sudan's Capital

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 1:51 pm

Sudanese students demonstrate in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan on Sunday. They were protesting after four students, originally from the Darfur region, were killed last week.
AFP/Getty Images

In the third straight day of demonstrations, hundreds of Sudanese students in the capital Khartoum rallied to protest the deaths of four university students last week.

While the recent deaths sparked the protests, some students are also calling for the ouster of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

"Revolution, revolution until victory!" has become the battle cry of the students.

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12:42pm

Mon December 10, 2012
The Two-Way

The Feds Can Tell Ernest Hemingway's Cats What To Do; Here's Why

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:06 am

Cats were everywhere. Fifty or so of them. In the house. On the lawn. Sunning themselves on the wall surrounding the property.

Most were six-toed — making them polydactyls. That's different. The cats you usually see have five toes on each paw in the front. Four on each in the back.

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12:04pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Shots - Health News

How A Superbug Traveled The World

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:06 am

Clostridium difficile bacteria produce a toxin that damages the intestine and causes severe diarrhea.
Courtesy of David Goudling/Nature Genetics.

Just as the name implies, Clostridium difficile is a difficult pathogen to beat. It causes a nasty infection in your gut, and it's often resistant to many antibiotics.

But C. difficile got even more troublesome about 10 years ago when a particularly virulent form of the bug cropped up in hospitals across the U.S and was no longer vulnerable to one of the most common classes of antibiotics.

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11:52am

Mon December 10, 2012
Asia

Hunger Still Haunts North Korea, Citizens Say

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:44 pm

The U.N. says food supplies in North Korea have increased, but citizens who spoke to NPR say many people are going hungry. In this photo from Aug. 13, workers stand next to a field that was damaged by flooding in Songchon County, North Korea.
David Guttenfelder AP

While North Korea has long struggled with dire food shortages, the United Nations now assesses its food situation as being the best in many years. But NPR has had unusual access to five North Koreans in China, who paint a dramatically different, and alarming, picture.

Even as North Korea mourned its leader Kim Jong Il last December, one surprising thing was on people's minds: fish. State-run television showed people lining up in shops; the dear leader's last wish, apparently, was to provide fish to his people.

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11:45am

Mon December 10, 2012
Sports

Russia's Hockey Glad To Have NHL-Lockout Orphans

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 12:43 am

Erik Christensen, right, from Lev Praha challenges Alexander Ovechkin from Dynamo Moscow during their KHL ice hockey match in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 9. Ovechkin is among those NHL players who were signed by European clubs because of the NHL lockout.
Petr David Josek AP

As the National Hockey League lockout drags into its 86th day, which featured news that more games have been cancelled including the All-Star game, some of the league's biggest stars are getting plenty of action back in their home countries.

In Russia, major NHL players such as Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are giving a boost to the fledgling KHL—the Kontinental Hockey League.

Russian NHL players are scattered throughout the KHL teams that still carry names from the Soviet era when Russia dominated world hockey.

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11:20am

Mon December 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Navy SEAL Killed During Afghan Rescue Is Identified

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:44 pm

The member of Navy SEAL Team 6 killed during this weekend's rescue in Afghanistan of an American doctor was Petty Officer 1st Class Nicholas Checque, 28, of Monroeville, Pa.

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10:35am

Mon December 10, 2012
The Picture Show

A Black And White 1860s Fundraiser

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 2:05 pm

Rosa, Charley and Rebecca are three of eight freed slaves who sat for portraits in 1863-1864 that were sold to raise money to fund schools for emancipated slaves in Louisiana. The three were chosen because it was believed their near-white complexions would draw more sympathy — and support — from a country torn apart by slavery and civil war.
Charles Paxson Library of Congress

They look like any other 19th century vignettes and portraits of children kneeling in prayer or cloaked in the U.S. flag.

But these cartes de visite (a calling card with a portrait mounted on it that was all the rage during the 1860s) featured Charles, Rebecca and Rosa — former slave children who looked white.

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