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2:50pm

Thu October 6, 2011
Latin America

U.S. Troops Increase Aid To Mexico In Drug War

A Mexican soldier carries a marijuana plant that was found on a large plantation in Baja California state, near the border with the U.S., on July 15. The U.S. military has been stepping up its assistance to Mexico in the fight against drug cartels.

Antonio Nava AFP/Getty Images

MEXICO CITY — When a young corporal in the Mexican marines was ambushed by drug cartel gunmen in the state of Tamaulipas, his first thoughts were for his pregnant wife and unborn child.

But within a split second, he was focused on combat, as his unit took defensive positions around their convoy to return fire.

They managed to shoot dead four attackers while only suffering two injuries.

The victory — one of many by Mexico's marines — was helped largely by U.S.-supplied equipment and training with the U.S. Northern Command in Colorado.

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2:49pm

Thu October 6, 2011
Planet Money

Why 158 Acres Of Corn Costs $1.5 Million

Originally published on Fri October 7, 2011 9:16 am

Yours for $1.5 million.

Robert Smith NPR

I went looking for a bubble the other day. I'd heard that prices for American farmland were spiking – up thirty percent over the past year, and double what people were paying five or six years ago. It sounded like irrational exuberance.

I flew to Iowa, drove to the town of Colo, an hour north of Des Moines, and dropped in on a land auction. It was a great scene: A hushed crowd of farmers, an auctioneer with a voice made for opera, and a climactic duel between rival bidders, one of whom raised the price with a wink, the other with a slight nod.

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2:33pm

Thu October 6, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Despite His Public Prominence, Jobs Waged Health Battle Privately

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 9:36 am

Three file photos, from left, Jan. 2010, July 2010 and Oct. 2010, show Apple CEO Steve Jobs. ON Â Jan. 17, 2011, Jobs took a medical leave of absence for the second time in two years.

Paul Sakuma AP

Even now, after Steve Jobs' death, there's more we don't know about his health problems than we do know.

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2:16pm

Thu October 6, 2011
World Cafe

World Cafe Looks Back: '90s Singer-Songwriters

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 5:54 pm

Left to right: Aimee Mann, Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega.

Frank Micelotta ImageDirect/Getty Images/Hulton Archive

On today's jam-packed session, host David Dye takes us on a journey through the singer-songwriter movement of the 1990s, with artists who were at the forefront of the World Cafe program in its infancy.

We hear from Suzanne Vega, seen by many as the standard-bearer for this moment in music with her impeccable knack for storytelling in a neo-folk style. She stopped by the studio in 1993, in the wake of "Tom's Diner," one of her most popular hits.

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2:03pm

Thu October 6, 2011
The Two-Way

Banned U.S. Sprinter Wins Olympics Appeal; Other Cases May Follow

LaShawn Merritt crosses the finish line first, in the men's 4x400-meter relay at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Sept. 2. Once banned for doping, Merritt has been cleared to run in London next summer.

Mark Dadswell Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee says it will fight a court's decision that overturns its rule barring athletes suspended for doping from the next Olympics. The rule, which applied to anyone suspended for more than six months, was challenged by U.S. sprinter LaShawn Merritt, with the support of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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