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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 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:

Mitt Romney continued his dogged, incremental pursuit of the White House, dominating the GOP presidential debate on the economy Tuesday night. The man once touted as his most formidable opponent was barely a factor.

It was a very bad night for that opponent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose plan to revive the distressed American economy essentially boiled down to "drill, baby, drill."

Israel, Hamas Prisoner-Swap Deal: The Ripple Effects

Oct 12, 2011

What does the deal reached by Israel and Hamas to exchange long-held Sgt. Gilad Schalit for about 1,000 Palestinian prisoners mean for the seemingly never-ending Mideast peace process and politics in the region?

Follow along, if you will:

"Slovakia Rejects Expanded Eurozone Bailout Fund."

Bad news, right?

Maybe not:

"Markets Buoyed By Slovakia Revote Hopes."

How come?

BlackBerry Outages Continue, Spread To North America

Oct 12, 2011

The focus remains on "Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India," where millions of BlackBerry users are without text services for a third straight day, Reuters reports, but there's word now that the problems are also affecting folks in North America.

Good morning.

Our early headline today was a follow to the news about an alleged plan by two Iranians to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.:

Alleged Terror Plot: 'Brazen And Bizarre'

As for other stories making headlines (and we'll have more about some of them later), they include:

Alleged Terror Plot: 'Brazen And Bizarre'

Oct 12, 2011

Two words — brazen and bizarre — come to mind about the alleged plot by two Iranians to hire members of a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and possibly bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, NPR's Tom Gjelten said earlier today on Morning Edition.

Corn Maze Baffles Family Of Four

Oct 12, 2011

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Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And there are more kids like Victor than ever before because the Hispanic population is now growing more because of births than immigration, which means there are now more children of Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. than immigrants.


Business News

Oct 12, 2011

Renee Montagne has business news.

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Let's remember, now, a pioneer for gay rights. Yesterday, on National Coming Out Day, Frank Kameny died.


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Hamas, Israel Reach Deal To Swap Prisoners

Oct 12, 2011

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Famine-Stricken Somalia Suffers From Aid Drought

Oct 12, 2011

Humanitarian groups are increasingly worried about the looming budget cuts in U.S. foreign assistance. They argue that lives are at stake in places like the Horn of Africa, which is suffering its worst drought in decades.

Raising public and private money for that crisis been a challenge in the current economic environment.

Hollywood stars and politicians have resorted to using the F word — in this case "famine" — to get the attention of Americans about the humanitarian emergency in Somalia.

On a weekend in East Los Angeles, kids do what they do anywhere else — play games, hang out in restaurants. But in this immigrant neighborhood, many of them have grown-up responsibilities. Fifteen-year-old Gonzalo Cruz says his parents depend on him for help online.

"When they need to look up a place, like a doctor's appointment, I show them," Cruz says. "Computers right now, in our country, they're just English. You have to use them a certain way, and they didn't learn to do that when they were little."

Richard Larrick has been bothered by something for two decades.

"Twenty years ago, I'd done a paper with some graduate students just showing that in hotter temperatures, pitchers are more likely to hit batters with pitches," says Larrick, a professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Was it because they would sweat more, and the ball might get slippery and hard to control? Or was it something intentional?

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing whether prison guards may constitutionally strip-search even minor traffic offenders when they are arrested and taken to jail.

For decades, most courts did not allow such blanket strip searches, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way.

As political unrest and a government crackdown in Syria continue to simmer, more than 7,500 Syrian refugees have fled to camps in southeastern Turkey, and Syrians say many more would come if they could get past the Syrian army.

One of these camps, Altinozu, lies deep in the farm fields of Turkey's Hatay province. It appears to be well-planned and well-run, right down to the asphalt laid between the rows of white tents.

Football Uber Alles. Uber Alles, Football

Oct 11, 2011

Football is real big. Everybody knows that. But it is getting bigger. Football is now gigantic, monstrous, humongous. Sure, it was years ago that it passed baseball as our most popular sport, but by now it simply looms alone above the American sportscape.

I would rank the U.S. sports entities this way:

  1. The NFL
  2. College football
  3. Fantasy football
  4. Major League Baseball
  5. High school football
  6. The NBA

A Pakistani court has decided to hear the appeal of the confessed-killer Mumtaz Qadri, who was sentenced to death this month for killing the Governor of Punjab earlier this year. The court's decision means that Qadri's death sentence has been suspended, until the high court rules on the appeal.

From Islamabad, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that hundreds of his supporters rallied outside the courthouse, saying Qadri killed in support of Pakistan's blasphemy laws: