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The Salt
3:51 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Greek Credit Crisis Forces Winemakers, Food Canners To Adapt

Winemakers like Stellios Boutaris, shown near his vineyard outside Naoussa, Greece, and other business leaders have been forced to pursue new financial tactics because credit is hard to come by.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

When the economic crisis erupted in Greece and the bottom fell out of the domestic wine market, the Kir-Yianni vineyard outside picturesque Naoussa decided to adapt. Like other wineries in Greece, it has increasingly tapped the export market, successfully marketing and selling wine in Europe, the United States and even China.

"If you ask me, this crisis has been good for us," says Stellios Boutaris, the son of the company's founder. "It's going to make us stronger."

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Asia
3:26 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Tokyo's Governor Stokes The Island Feud With China

China, Japan and Taiwan all claim the Senkaku-Diaoyu islands as sovereign territory. On Tuesday, coast guard vessels from Japan and Taiwan dueled with water cannons after dozens of Taiwanese boats escorted by patrol ships sailed into waters around the islands.
Yomiuri Shimbun AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 2:25 am

Japanese politicians are prone to vague pronouncements and a lot of bowing. But not Tokyo's flamboyant, ultraconservative governor, Shintaro Ishihara.

Ishihara, now in his fourth term, thrives on outrageous statements and sensational headlines, and is a central figure in the dispute between China and Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

The islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan, and Diaoyu in China, have become the worst foreign policy crisis to embroil the two Asian superpowers in decades, stoked by nationalist feelings on both sides.

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Animals
1:21 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Mammalian Surprise: African Mouse Can Regrow Skin

The African spiny mouse has the ability to regrow large patches of skin and hair without scarring.
Ashley W. Seifert Nature

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

Scientists have discovered that a mouse found in Africa can lose large patches of skin and then grow it back without scarring, perhaps as a way of escaping the clutches of a predator.

The finding challenges the conventional view that mammals have an extremely limited ability to replace injured body parts. There are lizards that can regrow lost tails, salamanders that can replace amputated legs, and fish that can generate new fins, but humans and other mammals generally patch up wounds with scar tissue.

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World
1:15 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Badger Battle: British Animal Lovers Protest Cull

Badgers have been blamed for spreading disease among cattle in Britain. But a campaign to cull the badgers has been met with opposition from prominent figures like Queen guitarist Brian May, who joined this rally in Bristol earlier this month.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

The badger, a stalwart of BBC nature programs, is one of Britain's most beloved animals and is a protected species.

To many English dairy farmers, though, this timid omnivore with the black and white stripes is a mobile biological weapon, exposing their cows to bovine tuberculosis through its urine and saliva.

And they've persuaded the British government to sanction extreme measures.

This month, the government issued licenses allowing trained marksmen to wipe out 70 percent of the badger populations in two pilot areas.

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Asia
6:10 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

A boy sits next to cooking fire at a Papua New Guinea village. Many villages re-create traditional dress and customs to cater to tourists and their search for an "authentic" experience.
Jake Warga for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Few places are more exotic in the imagination than Papua New Guinea. The romantic images it conjures up are the stuff of a National Geographic cover story, complete with deadly animals and, of course, cannibals.

But once I stepped off the plane, I entered a land that was wrestling with its past and its present.

The Sepik River basin, deep in the heart of the country, is a popular tourist destination. It's the perfect place for a jungle river tour, with dense greenery, massive birds and stops at tribal villages.

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It's All Politics
5:54 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Despite Pledge, Gloves Are Off In Massachusetts Senate Race

Bill Connell of Weymouth, Mass., who supports Republican Sen. Scott Brown, stands near signs supporting Brown's Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, before the candidates' first debate Thursday in Boston.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

The tight U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts is getting feistier. Republican Sen. Scott Brown is going on the offensive, running his first attack ad against his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren.

Yet going negative is risky, thanks to a pledge between the two candidates to keep out third-party attack ads.

A Brown TV ad that began airing Monday attacks Warren on an old issue in this race — how Warren identified herself as Native American during her academic career.

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It's All Politics
5:53 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Investigation Dims GOP's Hopes For Holding On To House Seat In Fla.

Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., speaks in Coral Gables in November 2010. Rivera is under investigation by state and federal authorities for allegedly misusing campaign funds.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:20 am

Democrats in Florida think they have a chance in November to take back some congressional seats now held by Republicans. Near the top of the list is the 26th Congressional District near Miami.

It's a largely Hispanic district currently represented by Republican David Rivera. Although just a freshman in Congress, Rivera is a well-known Miami politician. Before being elected to Congress, he served eight years in the Florida Legislature and shared a house with longtime friend Marco Rubio.

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Theater
5:44 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

A Broadway Mystery Worthy Of 'Rebecca'

The original Vienna production of a new musical based on the novel Rebecca didn't fall prey to the woes plaguing a planned New York staging.
VBW

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

There's a new mystery on Broadway — one about the musical Rebecca, based on the Daphne du Maurier novel.

You can't see it yet on the New York stage. In fact, it hasn't even started rehearsals. That's because the production is short $4.5 million after one of its investors died before he could hand over the money.

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Religion
5:08 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

For Hasidic Jews, A Slow, Steady Rebirth In Russia

Dovid Karpov has been the rabbi at the Darkei Shalom synagogue since it was built 15 years ago. Like many people in his congregation, Karpov grew up in a Soviet-era family that was not religious. He says he had to learn his faith for himself.
Sergei Sotnikov NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 4:24 pm

About a dozen men prayed recently at Darkei Shalom, a Hasidic Jewish synagogue in the working-class neighborhood of Otradnoye in north Moscow.

Except for the Star of David on its squat tower, the building is as plain and utilitarian as the linoleum on the floor. It sits — along with a Russian Orthodox church and a mosque — on a leafy stretch of land surrounded by towering apartment blocks.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:37 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Branding Health Care Exchanges To Make The Sale

Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange, discusses California's health care plans in Sacramento in July.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

As states work to comply with the federal health care law, many are designing their insurance exchanges, where people will be able to shop for coverage.

But just the word "exchange" sounds to many like off-putting government-speak, and some states are eager to come up with a more appealing name for these new marketplaces.

Peter Lee directs California's Health Benefit Exchange. It's up for a new name, and Lee says they want it to sound fresh, dynamic and innovative.

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