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Ex-Mossad Chief Supports Iran Nuclear Deal

Jul 31, 2015
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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When engineers at Ford want to see how a new car handles, they take it to a large track with loops and straightaways. But that traditional testing ground isn't much help to Randy Visintainer, director of Ford's autonomous vehicles program.

It's 5:45 in the morning, and in a training field outside Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, Cambodia's demining rats are already hard at work. Their noses are close to the wet grass, darting from side to side, as they try to detect explosives buried just beneath the ground.

Each rat is responsible for clearing a 200-square-meter (239-square-yard) patch of land. Their Cambodian supervisor, Hulsok Heng, says they're good at it.

In the weeks since Donald Trump launched his self-financed bid for president, the multibillionaire's hard-edged rhetoric has gotten far more attention than the potential impact of his massive wealth.

Trump has several times said his net worth is or exceeds $10 billion, providing all the money he needs to run.

"I don't need anybody's money," he said as he announced his candidacy in June. "I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists. I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich."

Members of the Black Lives Matter movement are making sure the presidential candidates don't take their votes or their concerns for granted. The candidates are being confronted with activists who are responding to a string of deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police.

Democrats have traditionally won strong margins with black voters and that is unlikely to change in 2016. But in recent weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has been a stumbling block for the Democratic candidates.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the winner is...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The International Olympic Committee has the honor to announce the host city of the Olympic Winter Games 2022 - Beijing.

(APPLAUSE)

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For this next story, you can congratulate Renee.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Me?

Tractor-trailers have 18 wheels. But under current federal law, you can't be 18 years old and drive one across state lines. You have to be 21. The highway bill working its way through the Senate, though, would change that.

Recommended Dose, our monthly column of the best in underground dance music, took June off while we argued over our favorite tracks of the first half of 2015. (You can see them here and listen to them here.) So we broke the rules and included a few cuts from June that we didn't hear while hunkered down in the NPR Music war room.

PODCAST: Tuning with the push of a button

Jul 31, 2015
David Brancaccio

With another deadline on Monday for Puerto Rico to repay $60 million to bond holders, we take a look at the economic challenges for the commonwealth as tourism dips. Plus, we'll talk about Wall Streets' workout — two major fitness companies are planning IPOs. And a Nashville instrument maker has spent millions of dollars over the course of a decade trying to perfect the self-tuning guitar. But this year, Gibson started making automatic tuners a standard feature on most of its electric guitars.

Oceanliners cruise to better results

Jul 31, 2015
Mitchell Hartman

Royal Caribbean, one of the leading global cruise operators, reported profits Friday that beat expectations. Morningstar reports the Wall Street consensus for earnings per share at 72 cents, contrasted with the company’s earnings of 66 cents per share for the same period last year.

While my guitar gently tunes itself

Jul 31, 2015
Emil Moffatt

Gibson has spent millions of dollars over the course of a decade trying to perfect the self-tuning guitar. But it wasn’t until this year the brand behind the iconic Les Paul started making automatic tuners a standard feature on most of its electric guitars.

With one press of a button, tiny motors twist the tuning pegs and within seconds, the guitar is ready to play. The tuner is a small black box tucked out of sight, above the neck at the head of the guitar.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, July 31, 2015

Jul 31, 2015
Marketplace

Airing on Friday, July 31, 2015: First up, we'll talk to Stephen Cobb, security researcher at ESET North America, about the Black Hat hacking conference. Plus, Annalee Newitz, Editor-in-Chief at Gizmodo, joins us to talk about the death of Google Plus. And how well have you kept up with the week in tech news? It's time for Silicon Tally! This week, host Ben Johnson takes on Aaron Harris, a partner at Y Combinator and host of Startup School Radio.

Andy Uhler

Puerto Rico has debt problems; it's even been called the "Greece of the Americas." On Monday, the Puerto Rican government is due to repay another $60 million to bond holders, and the government is already preparing statements, assuming it won’t have the cash.  

It wouldn’t technically be a default. These are moral obligation bonds, so they don’t have legal repercussions for nonpayment. But it’s not just banks and bondholders who are affected.

McDonald's makes a move on moms

Jul 31, 2015
Marketplace staff

5 years

That's how long negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership have dragged on, as negotiators have tried to work out the details of various sticking points, like sugar, dairy and state-owned enterprises. What has been called the final round of negotiations will wrap up Friday in Maui, Hawaii.

100

American college campuses are increasingly patrolled by armed police officers — and it's a trend that burst into public view Wednesday, when a University of Cincinnati officer was charged with murder in the shooting death of a black motorist during a traffic stop. But this arming of college cops is causing some worries.

When prosecutor Joe Deters announced the indictment of University of Cincinnati Officer Ray Tensing on Wednesday, he had harsh words about the officer's competence, saying he should never have been a cop.

Beirut is usually one of the pleasanter places in the Middle East — a bright, cosmopolitan city squeezed between the Mediterranean Sea and a green ridge of mountains. But for the past two weeks or so, the stench from mounds of festering garbage has filled its gaudy streets.

"The trash is climbing up, the mountain is getting higher and higher," says one immaculately dressed, middle-aged woman with a perfect bouffant, wrinkling her nose. She wouldn't give her name because she criticizes powerful people — Lebanon's politicians, whom she holds responsible for the garbage crisis.

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei says he was denied a six-month visa to the U.K. because British officials said he didn't list a criminal conviction on his application.

Ai applied for the six-month business visa, but was instead restricted to a 20-day travel visa from Sept. 9-29.

True, I never basked in the glow of the high school stage. But I have fond memories of working behind the scenes, as stage crew. Dressed in black, I rushed the bed onstage for Tevye's dream sequence in Fiddler on the Roof.

I've also spoken with many people who weren't involved in theater at all but can still — for some reason — remember the shows their schools performed.

There's just something about the high school stage.

Ruvan Wijesooriya

You'd expect Aziz Ansari to know his way around a joke. But who would have suspected he's an avid sociologist, and now something of an expert on the global online single's scene. Just ask him about his research on the cyber habits of Japanese youth, who don't feature images of themselves in their dating profiles.

"They'll post a photo of maybe their cat or a rice cooker,'" he says. "A guy's like, 'Hey, I can make rice. Let's do this!'" 

Syrian musician Zimo calls his music project "Hello Psychaleppo" — as in the Syrian city of Aleppo, but in a psychedelic way.

Zimo's real name is Samer Saem Eldahr. Zimo says Hello Psychaleppo is about "Arab heritage music and electronic sounds." And he believes in the power of music to express a sense of place.

In this track "Tobayabooya," he samples the late Eygptian crooner Abdel Halim Hafez.

Courtesy of Maryam Abolfazli.

Maryam Abolfazli visited Iran for the first time in 2003. She was born in the US to Iranian parents who had become "very Americanized."

Her visit came at a time when Iran was going through an opening in its domestic and international politics. The reformists were in power and things had opened up, to an extent.

"We were hearing [about] and seeing this fun party scene and this alternative, pushing-the-edges style on the streets," she says.

Chimpanzees are like us in many ways. They can cook, they enjoy a good drink here and there, they share about 95 percent of our DNA.

Jason Isbell is riding high this week: His new album Something More Than Free is number one on Billboard's country, rock and folk charts. The musician from rural Alabama got his start with the Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers, and then went solo. For the past few years, he's been sober, after drinking brought him "close to the point of no return."

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, a hunting enthusiast who has been identified as the person who illegally poached Zimbabwe's famous "Cecil the Lion."

But officials are asking the public for help in locating Palmer, who has apparently gone into hiding after his identity was made public and social media lit up with scorn and vitriol.

When it comes to getting the HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer, teens below the poverty line are doing better than the rest.

Among teenage girls ages 13 to 17 whose total family income was less than the federal poverty level for their family size, 67.2 percent have received the first dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine, compared to 57.7 percent for those at or above the poverty line. For teen boys, it's 51.6 percent compared to 39.5 percent.

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