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The Government Shutdown
4:51 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The 'Faux Friday' Jobs Report: What Economists Can Guesstimate

Even without official Labor Department data, economists estimated jobs grew moderately last month.
Andrey Popov iStockphoto.com

Thanks to the federal government's partial shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics skipped its monthly Big Reveal at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

There was no September employment report.

Without access to the BLS numbers, data junkies were left to scrounge around for lesser reports. Maybe if they could suck in enough small hits of other statistics, they could feel that old familiar rush?

Nope. Nothing can replace that BLS high.

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Religion
4:37 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents'

Andrew Hamblin preaches while holding a snake above his head, LaFollette, Tenn.
Ciaran Flannery NGT

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:35 pm

Snake handlers dwell at the edge of the spiritual frontier — a community of people who are willing to die for their faith three times a week in church. Members of the Pentecostal Holiness Church take up venomous serpents to prove their faith in God. The practice is still widespread in Appalachia, though mostly hidden.

Pastor Jamie Coots warns about the scent in the snake room behind his house in Middlesboro, Ky.

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Europe
4:36 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Tories Tell Jobless Brits: It's Time To Work For Your Dole

Job seekers line up outside a work support office in London in 2009. New measures proposed by the Conservative-led government will require recipients of unemployment benefits to do unpaid community work, spend workdays at a job center or participate in intensive programs to help solve personal issues that prevent them from working.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:18 pm

Britain's Conservative-led government delivered a one-two punch to more pillars of Britain's social benefits system this week. It announced more cuts to the country's social welfare programs — moving ever closer to "workfare."

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Shots - Health News
4:35 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Want To Read Others' Thoughts? Try Reading Literary Fiction

Would time spent with Anton Chekov, famed for his subtle, flawed characters, make you a better judge of human nature?
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 9:33 am

Your ability to "read" the thoughts and feelings of others could be affected by the kind of fiction you read.

That's the conclusion of a study in the journal Science that gave tests of social perception to people who were randomly assigned to read excerpts from literary fiction, popular fiction or nonfiction.

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All Tech Considered
4:30 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

New E-Book Lending Service Aims To Be Netflix For Books

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:24 pm

Movie lovers have Netflix, music lovers have Spotify — and book lovers (whether they read literary fiction or best-selling potboilers) now have Scribd. The document sharing website has been around since 2007, but this week it launched a subscription service for e-book lending.

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Planet Money
4:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Is Welfare 'A Rational Alternative To Work'?

"Every day I go out and push my son around and fill out applications," Tonilyn Rowe said. "But obviously it's not a good look to walk into a job with a stroller."
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

For many people, says Michael Tanner, it pays not to work. People on welfare — that's everything from food stamps to Medicaid to heating assistance — can make more in 35 states than they would if they had a minimum wage job, according to Tanner.

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Asia
4:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Vietnamese General Who Was Key Architect Of Tet Offensive Dies

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 4:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The general who helped end French colonial rule in Vietnam has died. Vo Nguyen Giap was 102. He famously surprised and overwhelmed French troops at Dien Bien Phu. Later in 1968, Giap led the Tet offensive, catching U.S. commanders and the American public by surprise. After Tet, many wondered is victory in Vietnam even possible? Michael Sullivan has this look back at a man considered one of history's greatest military tacticians.

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Sports
4:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

NFL Commissioner Pens Open Letter Amid Brain Damage Scandal

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday sent a letter to 10 million of his closest friends, fans of the country's most popular sports league. Was this Goodell's attempt at finding new pen pals? Well, to explain what the letter was about and other NFL related matters, we're joined by sportswriter, Stefan Fatsis. Hey there.

STEFAN FATSIS: Hey Audie.

CORNISH: So what was on Roger Goodell's mind?

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It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Obama's Lunch: Sandwich With A Side Of Shutdown Messaging

President Obama and Vice President Biden at Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop near the White House on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:59 pm

Before President Obama canceled his Asia trip, some of us wondered how he could possibly leave the U.S., especially for the exotic resort island of Bali, during the federal government shutdown.

Forget the logistical complications caused by having so many staffers unable to work the trip. What about the optics of having the president at a lush tourist destination while hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed and worried about missing paychecks?

Obama solved that potential problem by canceling his overseas trip, which would have started Saturday evening.

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Shots - Health News
4:19 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

The Last Word On Hormone Therapy From the Women's Health Initiative

Once hailed as a feminine fountain of youth, then vilified, hormone replacement therapy may finally be finding its place as a short-term treatment for menopause symptoms.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 7:37 pm

Back in 2002, a research study blew apart the widely held belief that hormone replacement therapy protected women from heart disease and other chronic ills.

Instead, the Women's Health Initiative study found that taking estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy — HRT — actually increased a woman's risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

The study had a huge effect: Within months the number of women using HRT dropped by almost half.

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