4:55am

Wed July 18, 2012
Around the Nation

Following Up On Feline Mayor Story From Tuesday

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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4:48am

Wed July 18, 2012
Media

Gotcha Story Idea Backfires On Conservative Blogger

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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4:23am

Wed July 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Defense Minister Killed In Explosion, State TV Says

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:49 am

Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Dawoud Rajha last September.
Syrian Arab News Agency AFP/Getty Images

The uprising in Syria against the regime of President Bashar Assad took a dramatic turn today when an explosion at a government building in Damascus killed the country's defense minister and a brother-in-law of the president.

Syrian state TV, which is reporting the deaths, has blamed a suicide bomber. There have been at least two claims of responsiblity from groups opposed to the Assad regime. There are also reports that the bomber was a member of the Assad inner circle's security team.

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4:20am

Wed July 18, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Indian Atheltes Want A Medal And A Government Job

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 5:18 pm

India's Sandeep Sejwal swims his way to gold in the 100-meter men's breaststroke at the 2006 South Asian Games in Sri Lanka. Sejwal, who competed in the Beijing Olympics two years later, has a government job with India's railway that accommodates his heavy training schedule.
AP

For athletes anywhere, just qualifying for the Olympics can be a full-time job. But in India, training full-time is a luxury few can afford. That means many athletes work part-time government jobs. And for some, it can result in a job for life.

In return for putting in an appearance at the office, athletes like shooter Suma Shirur get a monthly salary and time to train.

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2:28am

Wed July 18, 2012
Business

Are Pagers Obsolete?

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story is for people who go for old-school technology. If you're the kind of person who owns a tube television - not one of those flat screens - nothing wrong with that. Or maybe you're the kind of person who has an old Walkman with cassette tapes hiding in a drawer somewhere. Maybe you even still use it. And if you're holding on to technology that others have deemed obsolete, you are not alone.

Reporter Tracey Samuelson found some dated devices in a place that might surprise you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEPING)

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2:17am

Wed July 18, 2012
Business

Would-Be Homebuyers Appear To Be More Confident

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the nation's homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have since March, 2007, just before the beginning of the Great Recession. What's more, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index has posted its largest one-month gain in roughly a decade.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: David Crowe, the chief economist at the Home Builders Association says things are definitely looking up. It's a trend that began last September.

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1:33am

Wed July 18, 2012
Business

Business News

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some surprise earnings are at the top of NPR's business news.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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1:33am

Wed July 18, 2012
Around the Nation

Politics Weighs Down San Bernardino's Economic Problems

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:41 am

The city of San Bernardino, Calif., is expected to declare a fiscal emergency, and officially file for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The declaration would be the third by a California city in recent weeks. Some analysts believe San Bernardino's problems may be more about its dysfunctional local politics.

1:33am

Wed July 18, 2012
Economy

Economic Update

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 2:58 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If Ben Bernanke is frustrated by the economy, as he seems to be, he might look at a recent issue of The Economist magazine. Editors there see enough strength that they saw fit to print an illustration of Uncle Sam as a bare-chested muscleman.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk about that and more with regular guests on this program, Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist. Welcome back to the program.

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES: Nice to be here.

INSKEEP: And David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal. Hi, David.

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1:03am

Wed July 18, 2012
Human Tissue Donation

Little Regulation Poses Problems Tracking Tissue

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:16 pm

Unlike organs, tissue doesn't need to be transplanted immediately. Storage facilities like Tissue Banks International in San Rafael, Calif., process and store donated tissue for later use in medical products or as transplants.
Noah Berger AP

Part 2 of a four-part series

Two winters ago, Lynnette Bellin tore her knee while skiing with her 5-year-old daughter.

"I felt the trademark pop ... and instantly knew I had injured my knee," she says.

But within a year, she was back to her athletic life.

"Recently in one week, I skied, ran, kayaked, standup paddle-boarded, swam and hiked. At the end of that week, I looked back in awe from where I have come from," she says.

Bellin healed quickly after receiving a tendon from a cadaver, which helped to repair her torn ACL.

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