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Middle East
3:06 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Tiny Nation Played Pivotal Role In Americans' Release

The two American men who stepped out of an Iranian prison Wednesday after spending more than two years in custody may have a tiny Persian Gulf nation to thank for greasing the wheels of their release.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 29, had been accused of espionage along with fellow American Sarah Shourd and sentenced to eight years in prison. They were freed in exchange for $1 million dollars and flown to Oman.

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Conflict In Libya
2:48 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

What Role Will Islamists Play In Libya?

Libyan rebels pray before going out on patrol outside the port city of Misrata on April 30. Religion plays a major role in Libyan life, and Islamist groups want to be part of the new government.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

As Libyans work to form an interim government, some of those competing for power are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, raising fears that Islamist radicals may try to hijack the revolution. But many Libyans say those fears are mostly in the minds of Westerners.

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi banned the Muslim Brotherhood. The group attempted to overthrow Gadhafi in the 1990s, and he responded with a ferocious crackdown that put many of its members in jail.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Billy, Giants' Missing Fan Is Found, Says 'I'm Fine... Just Broke Right Now'

Billy (left) poses for a photo with San Francisco Giants' Pitcher Matt Cain.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Giants

Earlier this month, we reported a heartbreaking story about Billy, a San Francisco Giants fan, who showed up to every game for years, until one day he just stopped coming. The Giants went searching. Giants manager Bruce Bochy told NPR's All Things Considered that he was worried, "hoping to get some good news."

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The Salt
2:30 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

'Biggest Loser' Nudges Many Viewers To Think Thin

Contestants from NBC's "The Biggest Loser" do yoga in Auckland, New Zealand.
TRAE PATTON PR NEWSWIRE

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 2:33 pm

Contestants on the Season 12 Premiere of TV's The Biggest Loser last night may not be the only people motivated to lose weight. Viewers are influenced by weight-loss reality shows, too.

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Asia
2:29 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

The Curious Case Of The Vanishing Chinese City

Chinese officials announced on Aug. 22 that the large city of Chaohu in eastern China no longer existed. The move caught residents by surprise. Chaohu's museum, shown here, houses a Han dynasty tomb, and the city is known for its huge freshwater lake.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 7:20 pm

Imagine a city like Los Angeles disappearing from the map completely. That's exactly what happened to Chaohu, a city in eastern China's Anhui province with a similar population — about 4 million. The people have remained, but the city has vanished in an administrative sleight of hand.

That was the Kafkaesque reality for Chaohu's inhabitants, who went to bed one night and woke up the morning of Aug. 22 to find out that their city no longer existed. For many, their first inkling that something had changed was from the local news.

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The Salt
2:17 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

What's In That Wine Glass May Not Prevent Aging After All

Red wine's rep as a fountain of youth is facing a challenge.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 4:43 pm

If you've been counting on your daily dose of merlot to stave off mortality, you might want to consider Plan B.

The links between red wine and longevity aren't nearly as strong as they once seemed, according to new research in the journal Nature. In fact, the research calls into question the whole mechanism used to explain wine's power to extend life.

Sorry, oenophiles.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:33 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Nearly 1 Million Young Adults Get Insurance Under Health Law

Nearly a million young adults got health coverage this year following the passage of the health overhaul law, which lets them stay on their parents' insurance up to age 26.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Federal Reserve Confirms It Plans To 'Twist' In Bid To Bring Down Rates

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 1:34 pm

"To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the dual mandate, the Committee decided today to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities."

That sentence from a statement just released by the Federal Reserve confirms that the central bank's policymakers have indeed decided to launch what's being referred to as "Operation Twist."

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The Salt
1:06 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

So What Is The Salt?

The key condiment on every counter
Mario Tama Getty Images

Welcome to The Salt, NPR's shiny new food blog, brought to you by NPR's Science Desk. But it's not just any food blog.

This blog is about what we eat and why we eat it.

We'll be serving up culture and science, farming and business, along with a side of skepticism and a dash of panache.

We'll celebrate food, but also take a hard look at where it comes from, how it gets here, and what it does to us and the planet.

We want to know not just the good, but the bad and the ugly stuff, too.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

ATF Says Bomb Behind Michigan Car Explosion

A screen shot of the burning car.
screenshot Monroe News via YouTube

This is not news you hear everyday:

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