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4:00am

Sat October 29, 2011
The Salt

Eating Your Way To A Healthy Heart (If You're A Python)

Pythons' huge meals strengthen their hearts, and scientists hope it will help them learn how to treat human heart diseases.

Gabriel Bouys Getty Images/AFP

It's a huckster's dream: "Try the new Burmese Python Diet. No calorie counting or special foods. Eat whatever comes along, up to a quarter of your body weight. Not only is it good for your waistline; it's good for your heart."

Trouble is, what works in pythons probably won't work for humans.

Pythons employ what scientists call a "sit and wait foraging tactic." In other words, they lie around in a Burmese jungle and wait for the food to come to them. And of course, this can mean months between meals.

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3:33am

Sat October 29, 2011
Around the Nation

Unions Assume A Support Role For Occupy Movement

Union posters can be found all over the Occupy Philadelphia protest site near City Hall. Protesters and local union leaders meet regularly to discuss tactics and how to involve labor.

Jeff Brady NPR

Attend just about any of the Occupy Wall Street-inspired protests across the country and you're likely to see a group of people dressed in matching union T-shirts somewhere in the crowd. Typically, they're older than your average Occupy protester but no less enthusiastic in their chanting.

"I've been doing this [protesting] for five decades," said Mike Wisniewski at a recent Occupy Philadelphia protest at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Wisniewski says he's a university library employee and has been a union member since 1972.

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3:22am

Sat October 29, 2011
Author Interviews

After 40 Years, Grisly 'Exorcist' Book Gets A Rewrite

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 11:10 am

'I'm Not Regan': Linda Blair played the young Regan MacNeil in the 1973 film adaptation of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist. In the book, Regan becomes possessed by a malevolent demon who makes her head turn 360 degrees.

AP Warner Bros. Entertainment

In 1971, a novel set off a frenzy that soon inspired a film — and then a firestorm.

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3:00am

Sat October 29, 2011
Afghanistan

NATO: Troops, Afghans Among Bomb Casualties

A suicide car bomber struck a NATO convoy on the outskirts of Kabul on Saturday, causing casualties among the NATO service members and Afghan civilians, the U.S.-led coalition said. Afghan officials said three civilians and one policeman were killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred near Darulaman Palace, the bombed-out seat of former Afghan kings on the southwest outskirts of the capital. It was one of three attacks in the day that targeted either the U.S.-led coalition or Afghan government offices in the country.

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2:29am

Sat October 29, 2011
Latin America

Small And Isolated, Belize Attracts Drug Traffickers

Special forces troops in Belize march through jungle looking for any sign of marijuana or drug smugglers. Drug traffickers have become increasingly active in Belize and other small nations in Central America.

Nick Miroff for NPR

A couple of decades ago, Colombian drug cartels dominated smuggling operations into the United States. In recent years, the Mexican cartels have taken over.

But Mexico's brutal drug war over the past five years is now pushing some of the drug trade into the smaller, weaker nations of Central America. And the traffickers are increasingly active in the region's least-populated and most vulnerable country, Belize.

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