Middle East
3:31 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Can Sanctions Force Iran To Change Its Policies?

Iranian workers make repairs to a unit at Tehran's oil refinery in November 2007. It's estimated that a Western oil embargo is costing Iran about $4.5 billion each month in lost revenue.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 8:17 am

Whether economic sanctions can force a government to change course is far from clear, but Iran should be a good test case.

A European Union embargo on Iranian oil took full effect this week, complementing U.S. measures that have grown much more severe in recent weeks. Other Western sanctions now in place target Iranian banks, foreign companies that provide shipping insurance for Iranian oil tankers, and foreign firms that invest in the Iranian oil industry.

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Science
3:30 am
Tue July 3, 2012

When Ice Cream Attacks: The Mystery Of Brain Freeze

NPR interns (from left) Angela Wong and Kevin Uhrmacher participate in an experiment to induce brain freeze.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 2:12 pm

If it hasn't happened to you, count yourself as lucky. For many people, eating ice cream or drinking an icy drink too fast can produce a really painful headache. It usually hits in the front of the brain, behind the forehead.

The technical name for this phenomenon is cold-stimulus headache, but people also refer to it as "ice cream headache" or "brain freeze."

The good news is that brain freeze is easy to prevent — just eat more slowly. The other bit of good news is these headaches don't last very long — a minute at the outside.

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Money & Politics
3:29 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Gay Donors Open Wallets On Both Sides Of The Aisle

President Obama is introduced by singer Ricky Martin at a fundraiser hosted by Martin and the LGBT Leadership Council at the Rubin Museum of Art on May 14 in New York.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 8:26 am

In politics, money talks. And money from gay and lesbian donors is talking louder than ever in this election cycle.

That's partly a result of President Obama endorsing same-sex marriage, and it's partly because Republicans are starting to see contributions as well.

That's a huge change from just a few decades ago.

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Space
3:28 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Fledgling NASA Nonprofit Starts To Liftoff

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 10:24 am

A new nonprofit organization that's supposed to take charge of expanding scientific research on the International Space Station has had a rocky first year but now is starting to show what it can do.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space just signed one agreement with a company not traditionally linked to research in space: the sporting goods company Cobra Puma Golf.

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Asia
3:19 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Cheered In Europe, Suu Kyi Faces Crises In Myanmar

Rohingya Muslims, trying to cross the Naf river into Bangladesh to escape sectarian violence in Myanmar, look on from an intercepted boat in Teknaf, June 13. The plight of the Rohingya minority is one of the tests Suu Kyi faces at home.
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 10:23 am

There are few opposition leaders who are welcomed abroad with the same pomp and ceremony as heads of state. But that's the sort of star treatment lavished on Aung San Suu Kyi, opposition leader of Myanmar, also known as Burma, on her three-week tour of Europe.

But pressure is increasing on her to address simmering political crises at home, and to move her country's democratic changes forward.

In Geneva, Oslo, Dublin, London and Paris, Suu Kyi issued eloquent pleas for ethical foreign investment in Myanmar and foreign support for her country's ongoing reforms.

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The Two-Way
7:15 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

From Our Readers: If A Tweet Is Sent In The Forest...

When Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. ruled that Twitter owns tweets made by OWS protester Malcolm Harris, and, furthermore, that these tweets would not be considered private in the eyes of the law, his opinion invoked the following metaphor:

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The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Turkey Says Syrian General, 85 Soldiers Have Defected

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on Monday shows a girl flashing the sign for victory in a destroyed street flooded with water in the restive central city of Homs.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 7:10 pm

Turkey's state TV is reporting that a Syrian general and 85 soldiers have defected and are seeking refuge in Turkey.

The AP reports that this just adds to a growing wave of defections. The AP adds:

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Adam Davidson is co-founder and co-host of Planet Money, a co-production of NPR and This American Life. He also writes the weekly "It's the Economy" column for the New York Times Magazine.

His work has won several major awards including the Peabody, DuPont-Columbia, and the Polk. His radio documentary on the housing crisis, "The Giant Pool of Money," which he co-reported and produced with Alex Blumberg, was named one of the top ten works of journalism of the decade by the Arthur L. Carter of Journalism Institute at New York University. It was widely recognized as the clearest and most entertaining explanation of the roots of the financial crisis in any media.

Planet Money
5:51 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Scandal That Cost Barclays Chairman His Job Threatens To Spread

London-based Barclays Bank agreed to pay a $453 million fine over charges it manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate — LIBOR — a key global interest rate.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 12:24 pm

Every day at 11 a.m., a few big banks tell the British Bankers' Association what it costs them to borrow. Out of that comes LIBOR — the London Interbank Offered Rate, a dull but vital interest rate that underpins trillions of dollars of transactions globally, from home mortgages and personal credit cards to major corporate lending.

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Noah Adams, long-time co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, brings more than three decades of radio experience to his current job as a contributing correspondent for NPR's National Desk., focusing on the low-wage workforce, farm issues, and the Katrina aftermath. Now based in Ohio, he travels extensively for his reporting assignments, a position he's held since 2003.

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