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Politics
5:28 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Can Congress Figure Out How To Rescue The Post Office?

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Jamesa Euler delivers mail in the rain in Atlanta in February.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:56 pm

The U.S. Postal Service lost some $16 billion last year and continues to bleed red ink. Congress has been unable to agree on a rescue plan.

The latest proposal would allow the post office to end Saturday delivery in a year and enable it to ship wine and beer.

The Postal Service's woes are familiar: People don't really send letters anymore, so first-class mail is down, and Congress makes the post office prepay future retiree benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion a year.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

MLB Warns Of 'Absurd' Results Of San Jose's Antitrust Suit

In its efforts to get the Oakland A's to relocate to their city, San Jose officials filed an antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball this year. The Oakland stadium is seen here in a file photo.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:20 pm

Calling a lawsuit's potential results "absurd" for cities around the United States, Major League Baseball asked a federal judge to dismiss a challenge to its antitrust exemption filed by San Jose, Calif. The city filed the suit to press its case for relocating the Oakland A's there.

NPR's Richard Gonzales filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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Television
5:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Why Hasn't The Internet Blown Up Cable TV's Business Model?

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Since Friday, CBS has been off the air for millions of Time Warner Cable customers. The two sides are fighting over how much Time Warner pays to carry CBS. Then a remarkable thing happened. Time Warner offered to unbundle the TV network, meaning only customers who want it would pay for it. That's close to blasphemy in the cable business and CBS quickly shot down the idea.

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Business
5:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Fannie Mae Posts $10 Billion Profit In Second Quarter

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Today, mortgage giant Fannie Mae announced it made a $10 billion profit this past spring. That's a remarkable turnaround considering the government had to bail out Fannie Mae, along with Freddie Mac, when the housing bubble burst five years ago. It's certainly good news for taxpayers. It's also good news for homebuyers who count on the two companies to back most of the country's home loans.

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Yemen Official: New Round Of Drone Strikes Target Al-Qaida

A Yemeni soldier speaks with a motorcyclist amid tightened security near Sanaa International Airport on Tuesday.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:41 pm

A Yemeni official says 12 suspected al-Qaida militants have been killed in the Arab country in three separate U.S. drone strikes Thursday.

The Associated Press quotes the official as saying that the first drone attack killed six alleged militants in central Marib province, while the second and third killed six more in Hadramaut province.

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Energy
5:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Leaking 300 Tons Of Tainted Water Daily

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Environment
5:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Swinging CO2 Levels Show The Earth Is 'Breathing' More Deeply

Plants accumulate carbon in the spring and summer, and they release it back into the atmosphere in the fall in winter. And a change in the landscape of the Arctic tundra, seen here, means that shrubs hold onto snow better, which keeps the organic-rich soils warmer and more likely to release carbon dioxide that's stored there.
Jean-Erick Pasquier Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 9:34 pm

Plant life on our planet soaks up a fair amount of the carbon dioxide that pours out of our tailpipes and smokestacks. Plants take it up during the summer and return some of it to the air in the winter. And a new study shows that those "breaths" have gotten deeper over the past 50 years.

This isn't just a curiosity. Plant life is helping to reduce the speed at which carbon dioxide is building up in our atmosphere. That's slowing the global warming, at least marginally, so scientists are eager to understand how this process works. The new study provides some clues.

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Sports
5:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Minn. Minor League Baseball Team Goes Atheist For One Night

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:56 pm

Melissa Block speaks with the St. Paul Saints' Executive Vice President and General Manager Derek Sharrer about the game that will be sponsored by the Minnesota Atheists. The team will go by the name "Mr. Paul Aints" for the game.

Education
5:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Common Core Curriculum Brings Big Shifts To Math Instruction

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

To big changes now in the classroom. Most states have adopted new math and literacy guidelines for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. They're called the Common Core standards, and they rewrite the rules of what students should know grade by grade. When it comes to math, not only are the standards changing, some of the work kids will be doing and bringing home will actually look different.

To explain, here's NPR's Cory Turner.

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Around the Nation
5:13 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Laid To Rest: A Proper Burial For The Poor

In lieu of names, this headstone was engraved with a quote: "We grow afraid of what we might forget. We will find peace and value through community in knowing that we belong to each other. Dedicated to the Citizens of Bernalillo County."
Carrie Jung KUNM

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:56 pm

On a blisteringly hot summer afternoon, about 40 people gather at the Evangelico Cemetery in southwestern Albuquerque. Deacon Pablo Lefebre leads the service and begins with a prayer

"Because God has chosen to call our brothers and our sisters from this life to himself," he says, "we commit their bodies to the earth, its resting place. For we are dust, and to dust we shall return."

This isn't your average funeral. The light gray casket about to be lowered into the ground is filled with the cremated remains of 87 county residents.

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