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Revitalizing Pakistan's Swat Valley

Nov 4, 2011

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Who knows? Maybe someday that traffic could include Indian tourists heading for the Swat Valley in Pakistan. That region has been in the news for several years because it was the scene of battles between Pakistan's army and the Taliban.

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On the U.S.-Mexico border, officials are dealing with the war on drugs. Towns there have been plagued with violence. Commentator Austin Bay is a retired colonel in the Army Reserve and a Texas native with his own memories of the area. He has a proposal to reduce the drug-related brutality.

Mexico's border cities weren't always war zones. At one time, Matamoros was a fine place to get a steak. The orphanage in Nuevo Laredo, where my friend Fred volunteered, was lively and the kids delightful.

Remembering even the smallest details of her life can be hard for Gweneviere Mann. She has suffered from short-term memory loss since 2008, caused by complications from an operation. But that's not enough to stop Mann and her boyfriend, Yasir Salem, from running a marathon — with a unique strategy.

Recently, Mann, 41, sat down with Salem, 34, to talk about her daily life.

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How much is a baby worth?

Let's set aside for a moment all those goo-goo feeelings about that big ball of cute chubba-chubba. A baby is also an economic investment.

Businesses get a new worker and a new consumer for products. Parents get someone who will support them in their old age. Governments get a taxpayer — and a guarantee that the country lives on.

Students are borrowing more money to pay for college than ever before. New data show that students who graduated in 2010 carried 5 percent more debt than in the previous year. And education debt is expect to grow in the coming years, as students struggle to pay higher tuition costs.

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Much of Mindy Kaling's humor is rooted in something that might seem unfeasible: using logic to explore American culture. But it works — and works well — because Kaling uses a type of circular logic that's all her own. Just consider this recent Tweet: "Can everyone buy my book please? I wanna quit the business and homeschool my kids real weird."

MF Global Files For Bankruptcy

Oct 31, 2011

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NPR's business news starts with bad bets and a big bankruptcy.

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Is Europe's Bailout 'A Gigantic Con Game'?

Oct 31, 2011

Italy needs the backing of Europe's bailout fund. But Italy's a huge economy — much, much bigger than Greece, Portugal, and Ireland combined. And the Europeans don't want to put enough money into their bailout fund to back Italy.

So they're getting creative.

The rest of Europe is likely offer investors insurance that will pay back the first 20 percent of any losses on new Italian bonds.

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

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Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

At 10 p.m. on Monday, NBC anchor Brian Williams will do something that hasn't been done in nearly 20 years: launch a new network TV newsmagazine.

Hosted live from NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters — thus the name, Rock Center — it's an ambitious attempt to showcase both Williams' serious news skills and his signature dry wit. And if it's going to succeed, he and NBC may have to reinvent the newsmagazine for a new age.

Giant Lego Man Washes Up On Florida Beach

Oct 28, 2011

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A Romance Sparked By Pepper Spray

Oct 28, 2011

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"What if" — two words that ignite the plot of Roland Emmerich's new movie Anonymous, which conjures up an Elizabethan England rife with dark motivations, political maneuverings and bold conspiracy, and dares to imagine a different identity for the world's most celebrated playwright. John Orloff wrote the screenplay for the movie, which starts with the premise that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare.

On Halloween 70 years ago, an iconic American monument was completed — Mount Rushmore. It took 14 years of blasting and chiseling granite to finish the work. And chief stone carver Luigi Del Bianco, an Italian immigrant, was there for most of them. Del Bianco was responsible for many of the finer details in Lincoln's face.

Del Bianco's daughter Gloria and her nephew, Lou, recently sat down at StoryCorps to share their memories of him and the work he did. The Mount Rushmore project began in 1927, when Del Bianco was 35. And it ended 14 years later.

Economy Shows Modest Growth

Oct 27, 2011

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NPR's business news starts with the economy still treading water.

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Long-Lost Pets Resurface

Oct 27, 2011

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For One Arizona Bride, Something Blew

Oct 27, 2011

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Part 3 of a three-part investigation

Dwayne Stenstrom is a professor of American history. His office is lined with towers of obscure books and poetry on the walls. There's even a copy of the Declaration of Independence in a binder.

He teaches this document like many other professors, beginning with, "We hold these truths to be self evident." But he stops on another phrase — "the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages."

Bangkok Residents Flee As Floodwaters Rise

Oct 27, 2011

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

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NPR's business news starts with the government's insider trading probe.

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Consumer Reports has come out with its ranking of car reliability. Toyota's Scion brand topped the list. Luxury carmaker Jaguar was at the bottom. Chrysler was rated most improved. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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