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Taiwan might be known to most Americans for its export economy, but it's also been importing musical styles — from avant garde jazz to hip-hop. I first learned about Taiwan's thriving music scene from Joshua Samuel Brown. He's a travel writer who authored the last two editions of Lonely Planet: Taiwan.

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Cook County Investigates Gacy Cold Cases

Oct 12, 2011

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Christmas Day Bomber Pleads Guilty

Oct 12, 2011

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National Book Awards Finalists Announced

Oct 12, 2011

Our colleagues at Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud hosted today's announcement of the 20 finalists for this year's National Book Awards.

They report that the nominees are:

Decoded DNA Reveals Details Of Black Death Germ

Oct 12, 2011

Scientists have used DNA lurking inside the teeth of medieval Black Death victims to figure out the entire genetic code of the deadly bacterium that swept across Europe more than 600 years ago, killing an estimated half of the population.

The researchers didn't find any genetic feature that could explain why the plague was so virulent, according to a report just published in the journal Nature.

A tiny portion of a secret cable released last month by WikiLeaks is just now making its way to the United States. In the Sept. 2009 cable, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos tells the Obama administration that Japan doesn't think it's a good idea for President Obama to visit Hiroshima or to apologize for using an atomic bomb on two Japanese cities during World War II.

The contents of the cable were reported back in September by The Japan Times and ABC News picked it up, today.

Before Politics, Huntsman Aspired To Rock Star Fame

Oct 12, 2011

Third in a series

GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman says he is the most qualified Republican in the White House race, thanks to his background as governor of Utah, a corporate executive, and U.S. ambassador to China. But if Huntsman had lived out his youthful ambition, he would have been none of those things.

"My initial passion in life was to be a rock 'n' roll musician," Huntsman told graduates at the University of South Carolina in May.

The alleged plot by two Iranians to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, which U.S. investigators say had the support of some "factions" within Iran's government, marks a "dangerous escalation" in that nation's support for terrorism, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said this morning.

For a long time, the Irish economy airline Ryanair has been the leader in slashing costs. It's also been known as the airline that made the current nickle-and-dime model of charging for food and carry-on luggage popular.

At one point last year, Ryanair briefly considered charging passengers to use the toilet. Now, Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary has put another cost-saving plan on the table: Removing two of the three on-board lavatories to make room for more seats.

After a 4-3 vote by the Harrisburg, Pa., city council Tuesday night to file for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy protection, a council member delivered the necessary documents to court today.

But now, The Associated Press reports, Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson (D) is making the case that the council doesn't have the authority to seek bankruptcy.

A Picture Of Poaching: Baby Gorilla Rescued

Oct 12, 2011

The folks at Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, alerted news media this week about a baby gorilla rescued from the clutches of poachers. You can tell a lot about little Shamavu's recent ordeal from this photo. With less than 900 mountain gorillas remaining on Earth, according to Virunga National Park, one gorilla saved is an accomplishment.

Family Lost In Corn Maze Dials 911 For Help

Oct 12, 2011

Maybe they'd recently read or watched Children of the Corn:

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Debunking Black Marriage Myths

Oct 12, 2011

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Helping Marriages Go The Distance

Oct 12, 2011

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As Hispanic Heritage Month ends Saturday, Tell Me More is wrapping up its series celebrating the music of Latin America.

NPR's Alt. Latino podcast hosts, Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras, share an interesting and unexpected pairing: electronica and folk.

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Like it or not, there's a seeming inexorable movement in medicine toward guidelines to help the average doctor deliver care that's in line with the latest evidence.

Somebody has to come up with those guidelines. Somebodies, actually, and they usually are experts who sit on panels charged with the task of boiling down the evidence.

Breathing New Life Into Hank Williams' Lyrics

Oct 12, 2011

It's hard not to feel ambivalent about The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams. Yes, it does give us an opportunity to hear previously unreleased lyrics by one of the greatest songwriters country music has produced. But Williams didn't write the music that accompanies his words, and as sincere as these performers are, none of the words are framed the way Williams would have, had he completed the songwriting process.

The "Don't ask, don't tell" policy was still in effect when Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried helped start secret Facebook groups to connect active-duty gay and lesbian soldiers with each other online. Lieutenant Seefried also wrote for many publications — under the pseudonym J.D. Smith — about what it was like to be gay and an active-duty member of the military.

It's not often you see an image of a brain scan on the wall of an art exhibit. But among works by Monet and Sisley at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore hangs just that — a cross section of a human brain. It belongs to artist Lonni Sue Johnson.

The room is really two exhibits — the art Johnson created before she contracted viral encephalitis in 2007, which destroyed her hippocampus and parts of her left temporal lobe — and her work after.

Saying "it's time we know the whole truth" about the so-called Fast and Furious gun trafficking operation, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today followed through on his promise to issue subpoenas to Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-ranking Justice Department officials.

Better medical care and equipment means fewer troops are dying on the battlefield. But more troops are coming home severely wounded, with injuries that require lifelong care and cost millions of dollars in medical costs.

When it comes to meeting the goal of getting more local food into school lunch, a major challenge has always been finding the money. Thanks to the new school lunch law, more federal grants than ever are available.

But the problem is bigger than money. It takes a serious supply chain and dedicated labor to make it work, too.

In an interview for Wednesday's Morning Edition, Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact.com and Washington bureau chief for the St. Petersburg Times, talked with NPR's Steve Inskeep about how candidates at Tuesday night's GOP debate rated on PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter.

'Underwear Bomber' Pleads Guilty

Oct 12, 2011

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is this hour pleading guilty to attempting to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet on Christmas Day 2009.

The Detroit Free Press, which is live-blogging the court action, reports that attorney Anthony Chambers surprised the courtroom earlier by announcing that "his client plans to plead guilty." And it adds that:

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