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4:15am

Sun July 31, 2011
U.S.

Debt Battle Leads To Layoffs In Aviation And Beyond

Many factors have been holding down job creation this summer — everything from the extremely hot weather in many regions to the weak housing market in just about every city. Another factor dampening job growth has been the political battle over the nation's debt.

One example of how the Washington debate is hurting workers involves aviation. Amid the bickering over the debt ceiling earlier in July, Congress failed to pass a short-term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration's budget.

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10:21pm

Sat July 30, 2011
Music Interviews

Harmonica Blues With A 'Brand' New Beat

Brandon Bailey demonstrates a distinctive approach to blues harmonica on his album, Memphis Grooves.
Tucker Walsh NPR

The harmonica is a staple of American blues, beginning with the Memphis jug bands of the 1920s. In the 1960s, blues-influenced artists like The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton brought the harmonica into the sound of mainstream rock and roll. These days, however, few young artists pick it up.

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6:13pm

Sat July 30, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

Hey, How About A Roll In The Hay?

On-Air Challenge: Each answer is a pair of homophones, which are words that sound alike but are spelled differently. You are given two words: One would precede one of the homophones, the other would follow the other, to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given the words "hay" and "jumper," the answer would be "bale" as in "hay bale" and "bail" as in "bail jumper."

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4:14pm

Sat July 30, 2011
It's All Politics

Negotiations On Debt Crisis Run Aground, Again

Your plan is dead. No your plan is dead.

Those were the messages exchanged by the Senate and House over the past 24 hours, and the events of Saturday left the debt crisis no closer to resolution.

In fact, it appeared to be getting further away.

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2:59pm

Sat July 30, 2011
Fine Art

The Theft That Made The 'Mona Lisa' A Masterpiece

A New York Times headline from August 11, 1911, reported the investigation into the disappearance of the "Mona Lisa."
The New York Times

If you were standing outside the Louvre in Paris on the morning of Aug. 21, 1911, you might have noticed three men hurrying out of the museum.

They would have been pretty conspicuous on a quiet Monday morning, writer and historian James Zug tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "Sunday night was a big social night in Paris," he says, "so a lot of people were hung over on Monday morning."

The men, three Italian handymen, were not hungover. But they might have been a little tired. They'd just spent the night in an art-supply closet.

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