NPR News



Thu August 18, 2011

Obama's Jobs Problem: Government To The Rescue?

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:40 am

President Obama speaks Wednesday at a town hall-style meeting at Wyffels Hybrids Inc. in Atkinson, Ill. He is expected to unveil plans to stimulate the economy after Labor Day.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

As President Obama embarks on vacation, he leaves behind roiling domestic markets, dismal unemployment numbers and speculation about what he'll propose in a planned jobs-and-economy speech after Labor Day.

While he's expected to lay out some familiar strategies when he returns, from extending payroll tax cuts to new infrastructure spending, economists are looking for more — and for how Obama will balance election-year politics with the imperative to get something done and quickly in bitterly divided Washington.

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Thu August 18, 2011

Sweet Lessons From A South Carolina Peach Professor

Is It Ripe? "To pick a perfect peach, obviously you need to pick it off the tree yourself," says Clemson University peach specialist Desmond Layne. But for those of us who pick peaches in supermarkets and not in orchards, he has three simple suggestions: Smell it. Squeeze it. Look at where it's from.

Desmond Layne may just have the best job in America. He's a peach specialist at Clemson University in South Carolina — and a fruit video star. Layne posts weekly videos from out in the orchard, where he samples his peach pick of the week.

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Thu August 18, 2011

SEC Documents Destroyed, Employee Tells Congress

A staff member at the Securities and Exchange Commission has complained to Congress that thousands of investigative documents have been destroyed by the agency.

Longtime SEC staffer Darcy Flynn says some of those missing papers relate to huge investment banks under the spotlight for their role in the 2008 mortgage crisis.

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Thu August 18, 2011

On Location: The Frozen Ozarks Of 'Winter's Bone'

Jennifer Lawrence, as Ree Dolly in Winter's Bone, on the front porch of Frank Layson's house in southwestern Missouri. Layson's hand-built house served as the home for the Dolly children in the film.
Sebastian Mlynarski Roadside Attractions

Set in the Ozarks, in a small community where illegal methamphetamine trade flourishes in a devastated economy, Winter's Bone follows the travails of Ree Dolly, a 17-year-old girl who spends the length of the film trudging through the bleak chill of southwestern Missouri in its darkest season, with the trees black spikes and hills bleached silver and rust. Ree's father, a meth cooker, has gone missing while out on bail, but not before putting the house his three children live in up as collateral against his bond.

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Thu August 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Orange Goo At Alaskan Village Found To Be Fungal Spores, Not Eggs

This sample of orange goo has been identified as fungal spores.

The orange goo that took over the shore of a remote Alaskan village is actually a mass of fungal spores — not microscopic eggs, as scientists at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration first believed.

"At this point, the best identification we can give to as the origin of these spores is a rust fungus," says Steve Morton, Ph.D., who works in the NOAA lab in Charleston, S.C., that conducted the full analysis. "The spores are unlike others we and our network of specialists have examined; however, many rust fungi of the Arctic tundra have yet to be identified."

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