Dead Stop
2:57 am
Fri August 17, 2012

How Congressional Cemetery Got Its Name

Congressional Cemetery was founded in 1807, when Washington, D.C., was a new town. The 35-acre historic burial ground is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, overlooking the Anacostia River.
Blake Lipthratt NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:06 am

Back at the turn of the 19th century, Uriah Tracey was something of a trendsetter. The Connecticut senator was one of the first to fight in the Revolutionary War — and then one of the first to attempt secession from the Union. And in 1807, he was the first member of Congress buried in what later became known as Congressional Cemetery, in Washington, D.C.

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Animals
2:57 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Swarming Up A Storm: Why Animals School And Flock

A school of Blue Tang fish swimming together off the Caribbean island of Bonaire. It has long been assumed that the schooling behavior of fish evolved in part to protect animals from being attacked by predators.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:06 am

By tricking live fish into attacking computer-generated "prey," scientists have learned that animals like birds and fish may indeed have evolved to swarm together to protect themselves from the threat of predators.

"Effectively, what we're doing here is we're getting predatory fish to play a video game," says Iain Couzin, who studies collective animal behavior at Princeton University. "And through playing that game, through seeing which virtual prey items they attack, we can get a very deep understanding of as to how behavioral interactions among prey affect their survival."

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Law
2:47 am
Fri August 17, 2012

When The Lawyer Becomes The Object Of Prosecution

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer says Charles Daum, a longtime lawyer, betrayed his profession.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:06 am

For more than 30 years, Charles Daum made a living by defending people accused of run-of-the-mill crimes. Then he met a charismatic Washington, D.C.-area man charged with distributing cocaine.

What happened next is a plot worthy of a television crime drama.

The accused drug dealer, Delante White, turned the tables and helped convict his own defense lawyer of manufacturing evidence and putting on false testimony to help the drug dealer's case.

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Economy
2:46 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Low Mortgage Rates Boost 'Serial Refinancers'

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 2:35 pm

Refinance activity continues to boom, fueling the home-loan market. Low interest rates have created a class of "serial refinancers" — those lucky enough to borrow at lower rates — and given them new opportunities to spend their freed up cash.

Settlement attorney Robert Gratz never used to be on a first-name basis with his clients.

"In the past, our practice was such that you'd see people, and that was the end of it," he says.

Gratz now sees the same faces all the time, of clients refinancing again and again — these days in the mid-3 percent range.

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Planet Money
2:44 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Competing Against The Nicest Guy In Town

Hondo (left) and Dizz.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 2:36 pm

For more: Why does the government subsidize crop insurance in the first place? We try to answer that question in our latest podcast.

The federal government spends about $7 billion a year on crop insurance for U.S. farmers. Policies are sold by private companies, but the government sets the rates, so the companies can't compete on price.

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Europe
2:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Belgian Town May Sue Over Soggy Weather Forecasts

People enjoy a sunny day on the beach in Knokke, on Belgium's North Sea coast, in April 2011. This summer, the weather hasn't been as nice — and resort owners and officials are feeling litigious over a pessimistic weather forecast.
Nicolas Maeterlinck EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:06 am

Parts of Europe are experiencing extremely rainy weather this summer. But some tourist towns in Belgium and the Netherlands say their season has been blighted too — not by bad weather but by bad weather forecasting.

The mayor of the Belgian seaside resort of Knokke says it's a crime that tourism there is down this year. He means that literally.

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Sports
12:00 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Checking In On The Long Shot Rookie

Bersin has been working out with the special teams as a kickoff and punt returner.

A little over a week ago we met a rookie wide receiver trying to earn a spot on the Carolina Panthers. His name is Brenton Bersin. He's a long shot from Charlotte who signed as a free agent, meaning he wasn't drafted by any team. His next big hurdle is to make it through the team's first cut on August 27. 

When we first met Brenton Bersin, he was catching kickoffs in the Panthers walk-through practices down in Spartanburg at Wofford College. 

Those surroundings were very familiar. He had been a stand-out wide receiver at Wofford and graduated back in May.

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Local News
12:00 am
Fri August 17, 2012

'Occupy' Protesters Acquitted

Jason Dow, Laura Brooks and Scottie Wingfield outside the Mecklenburg County Courthouse following their acquital.

Three Occupy Charlotte protesters were acquitted Thursday of charges they resisted arrest during a police eviction of their encampment at old City Hall in January.

Mecklenburg County Judge John Totten ruled that Laura Brooks, Scottie Wingfield and Jason Dow were not in violation of a city ordinance that prohibits camping on city property, because the tent they were arrested in was not being used for sleeping or storing personal belongings.

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Arts & Life
12:00 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Charlotte Considers Proposals For Carolina Theatre

The interior of the Carolina Theatre photographed in 2009.
danmachold/Flickr

The Charlotte Economic Development Committee is planning a trip to the theater. Committee members decided Thursday they need to go see the historic Carolina Theatre - and just how rundown it's become - to help them decide between two proposals to renovate it.

The Carolina Theatre used to be an old, Southern gem. Now, it’s just an old, empty building in a key spot uptown.

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Election 2012
12:00 am
Fri August 17, 2012

The Week In Politics: Running Mates, Cut And Paste Ads, And The 'Charlotte Curse'

It's been a busy week in politics: Mitt Romney has finally chosen his running mate: Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. The Romney/Ryan kickoff bus tour stopped in Mooresville over the weekend. WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer joined Duncan McFadyen to talk about all the focus North Carolina is getting in the campaign.

MCFADYEN: Let’s listen to something they [Rep. Ryan and Gov. Romney] said at that campaign stop:

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