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Around the Nation
2:09 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Proposed Minimum Sentencing Law In Illinois Faces Scrutiny

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says police have at least 108 examples of shootings or murders in 2013 alone that would not have happened if the proposed mandatory minimum sentencing law was in effect.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:45 am

In Illinois, you can face a prison term of one to three years if you use a weapon unlawfully. But you might serve only half that time, or you could get probation or even boot camp.

Chicago alone saw more than 500 murders last year, most by gunfire. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the current law is not what's needed to fight gun violence in the city.

"In fact, I would like to ... note that the same minimum penalty we have for a gun law is what we have for shoplifting," Emanuel has said.

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Around the Nation
2:09 am
Thu October 24, 2013

How One D.C. Suburb Set A Gold Standard For Commuting

Becca Bullard commutes every day from Arlington, Va., via Metro's Virginia Square station to her work in downtown Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Becca Bullard

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 10:33 am

It may come as a surprise to riders on Metro's Orange Line in Arlington, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., but the area sets the bar for suburban transit.

That's because a risky, expensive decision by local planners in the 1960s as the Washington subway system was about to be built helped this once-sleepy community come alive. It led to an increase in residents and decrease in traffic. Instead of having a line bypass these nearby Virginia suburbs aboveground, next to a highway, planners decided to run it underground and redevelop the neighborhoods above.

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The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Bank Of America Liable For Fraud In Countrywide Mortgages

The Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office in Glendale, Calif., in an April 2007 photo.
Damian Dovarganes AP

A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.

The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

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Business
5:35 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Partisan Squabbles Raise Questions Over U.S. Global Influence

The U.S. Capitol is shown at sunset on Oct. 15, the 15th day of a government shutdown that some analysts say damaged the U.S. reputation worldwide.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:39 pm

The U.S. performance on the global stage has looked a little rocky in the past few weeks.

The Obama administration had to let Russia take a lead in managing the security challenge in Syria. The United States was also embarrassed when allies like Germany, France and Brazil reacted angrily to the news that the National Security Agency had monitored their leaders' communications.

Finally, the government shutdown and the congressional fight over the debt ceiling prompted critical comments about U.S. political dysfunction.

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Environment
5:32 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Delegates To Debate Watered-Down Plan For Antarctic Marine Preserve

A lone emperor penguin makes his rounds, at the edge of an iceberg drift in the Antarctic's Ross Sea in 2006.
John Weller AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:57 pm

Less than 1 percent of the world's oceans are set aside as protected areas, but diplomats meeting now in Australia could substantially increase that figure.

Delegates from 24 nations and the European Union have convened to consider proposals to create vast new marine protected areas around Antarctica.

This same group met over the summer and didn't reach consensus, so it's now considering a scaled-back proposal.

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Netflix On The Moon? Broadband Makes It To Deep Space

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer probe, seen in this artist's rendering, is orbiting the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar surface.
Dana Berry NASA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:20 pm

Here's a funny quirk of the modern age: It takes just seconds to pull up a bad sci-fi movie about invaders from the moon and watch it in HD. But actual communications between the Earth and moon are just as static-filled as they were back in the 1960s.

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NPR Story
4:39 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Widespread Plague In Wildlife Threatens Western Ecosystems

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:26 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Most Americans' experience with plague is limited to history books. In the 14th century, it famously wiped out half of Europe's population. But right now, the bacteria is quietly ravaging wildlife in parts of the American West.

NPR's Elizabeth Shogren has the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF A PRAIRIE DOG)

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NPR Story
4:39 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

World War II Vet Awarded Medals 67 Years Later

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:43 pm

Phillip Coon, a 94-year-old World War II Army veteran, POW and Bataan Death March survivor, finally received medals for his service Monday. Coon was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Melissa Block speaks with Coon and his son, Michael, who is also an Army veteran.

All Tech Considered
4:37 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

U.K. Official Urges U.S. Government To Adopt A Digital Core

Mike Bracken is executive director of digital for the U.K. government.
Lisbon Council Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:43 pm

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Two Blond Children Taken From Roma Families In Ireland Are Returned

A newspaper vendor wears a vest displaying front page of The Herald on Wednesday in Dublin. Irish authorities were waiting for DNA test results in relation to a girl removed by Gardai from a Roma family in Dublin, days after a similar case in Greece. The test showed the girl was the biological daughter of the Roma family.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:33 pm

Over the past week, two children were taken from Roma families in Ireland. Authorities said they suspected the blond-haired and blue-eyed children might had been abducted because they did not look like their parents.

Today, we get news that after a DNA test and other proof was presented to authorities, the boy and the girl are back with their biological parents.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister Alan Shatter called for a report about how this happened.

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