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10:01pm

Thu August 25, 2011
Technology

Patent Wars Could Dull Tech's Cutting Edge

Some call it an international patent arms race: Tech companies like Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Google are launching lawsuits over competing patent claims related to smartphones and tablets.

As NPR's Laura Sydell tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, companies are mounting takeovers aimed at gaining control of thousands of patents.

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10:01pm

Thu August 25, 2011
Science

Big-Box Stores' Hurricane Prep Starts Early

A convoy of Walmart trucks waited to enter New Orleans on Sept. 1, 2005, after the city was battered by Hurricane Katrina. Government agencies said the massive storm taught them that big-box retailers need to be an integral part of hurricane preparation and relief efforts.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Forecasters don't expect Hurricane Irene to make landfall until Saturday. But for nearly a week now, big-box retailers like Walmart and Home Depot have been getting ready.

They've deployed hundreds of trucks carrying everything from plywood to Pop-Tarts to stores in the storm's path. It's all possible because these retailers have turned hurricane preparation into a science — one that government emergency agencies have begun to embrace.

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10:01pm

Thu August 25, 2011
Around the Nation

Drought Puts Texas Ranchers, And Cattle, At Risk

A severe drought has caused shortages of grass, hay and water in most of Texas, forcing ranchers to thin their herds or risk losing their cattle to the drought. Cattle use a tree for shade in late July, as temperatures rose above 100 degrees near Canadian, Texas.
Scott Olson Getty Images

In the cattle town of Emory in East Texas, the worst drought in state history is threatening a way of life. Scorching temperatures and no rain have forced many ranchers to sell off their stock.

Normally before being brought to market, cattle are penned in a rancher's best pasture to be fattened. The heavier the cow, the more the buyer pays.

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10:01pm

Thu August 25, 2011
Middle East

Western Sanctions May Put Slow Squeeze On Syria

Syrian street vendors display their goods in downtown Damascus on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Syria's economy was hit hard initially by the anti-government uprising. It has bounced back, but now the U.S. is urging the E.U. to join in banning import of crude oil from Syria.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian economy has so far weathered the mass protests and widespread violence that have rocked most every major city. But in a move that could increase the pressure, the European Union is considering a ban on imported Syrian oil, similar to sanctions the U.S. imposed earlier this month.

Western governments say the Syrian regime's harsh response to an anti-government uprising has demonstrated that it is not fit to lead.

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10:01pm

Thu August 25, 2011
Sports

Woman Reaches K2's Summit, And A Place In History

Climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner sits with her husband, Ralf Dujmovits, in this file photo from 2009. This week, Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to climb all the world's 14 tallest peaks without using supplementary oxygen.
Ralf Dujmovits dapd

At more than 28,000 feet, K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world. And when Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner reached its summit this week, she became the first woman to climb all 14 of the world's tallest peaks without using any supplementary oxygen.

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