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It's All Politics
11:57 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Presidential Debates: The One Area Where Campaigns Pitch Their Weakness

Sen. John McCain and then-Sen. Barack Obama, at one of their 2008 presidential debates.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:19 pm

An oddity of U.S. presidential politics is that candidates and their campaigns spend nearly all their time telling voters how superior they are to their rivals in virtually every area: the wisdom of their policy proposals; the soundness of their characters and judgments — everything, really.

Except for debating.

It's the old game of setting the bar high for your opponent and lower for your candidate, of course. That way, anything short of a disastrous debate performance can be claimed as a knockout victory.

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Planet Money
11:55 am
Fri September 28, 2012

The Weird Story Of Why Helium Prices Are Going Through The Roof

A man selling helium balloons at a local festival on Feb. 19, in Athens, Greece.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:51 am

For More: Pork, Helium, Maple Syrup: Our Favorite Strategic Reserves

Back in the 1920s, the U.S. government thought blimps might be the next big thing in warfare. So the government started producing helium. And they created the Federal Helium Reserve, a vast store of helium that sits underground in the Texas panhandle.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:50 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Holy Bat Virus! Genome Hints At Origin Of SARS-Like Virus

Bats harbor many types of coronaviruses and were probably the original source of the new coronavirus that appeared in the Middle East.
iStockphoto.com

On the surface, the new coronavirus detected in the Middle East this month looks quite similar to SARS. It apparently causes severe respiratory problems, and can be lethal.

But with viruses, the devil is in their details — the genetic details.

Dutch virologists have just published the whole genome of the new coronavirus — all 30,118 letters of its code. And, the sequence reveals that the mystery virus is most closely related to coronaviruses that infect bats in Southeast Asia.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Fri September 28, 2012

On Iran: Obama, Netanyahu In 'Full Agreement' About Goal, White House Says

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:50 am

Here's what the White House says the conversation was like when President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone today:

"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke today as part of their regular consultations, and to follow up on Secretary Clinton's meeting with the prime minister.

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Interviews
11:13 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Steve Martin: From Standup To Movie Star And Writer

Steve Martin at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

This interview is an combination of broadcasts from Oct. 22, 2008 and Oct. 6, 2003. His early standup routines, TV specials and other TV appearances have been released in a new DVD box set.

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