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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

S&P Accuses U.S. Of Suing To Retaliate For Credit Downgrade

The Justice Department claims Standard & Poor's knew that billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities were junk but still gave them positive ratings.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 4:03 pm

In a court filing, Standard & Poor's is accusing the U.S. government of using the Justice Department to retaliate for the agency's decision to downgrade U.S. debt in 2011.

The accusation by S&P was made while it tried to defend itself in a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. government, which alleges S&P knew that billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities were junk, but still gave them positive ratings.

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Parallels
12:31 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

How Syria's Neighbors View A Possible Military Strike

Syrian refugees stand in line for food at Kawergost refugee camp in Irbil, Iraq, on Aug. 21. The Syrian civil war has already sparked a refugee crisis in the region. Now, many countries are waiting to see the effects of a possible U.S. military strike.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:12 am

Syria's neighbors have all felt the impact of the country's war, and they will be keeping a close eye on any U.S. military action against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

But, says Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "the reality is that they don't particularly see this [military action] by itself as being that critical."

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Planet Money
12:07 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

The Nobel Laureate Who Figured Out How To Deal With Annoying People

"I've been wrong so often I don't find it extraordinary at all," Ronald Coase told us last year.
University of Chicago

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:22 pm

Update, Sept. 4: We added the audio for David Kestenbaum's radio obituary of Ronald Coase.

If you created the world as a simple economic thought experiment, companies wouldn't exist. Instead, everybody would work for themselves, and they'd be constantly selling their labor (or the fruits of their labor, or use of their tools, or whatever) to the highest bidder. Wages would rise and fall every day (every hour! every second!) depending on supply and demand. That's how the market works, after all.

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Music News
11:57 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Everybody Loves John Fogerty

John Fogerty teams up with Brad Paisley, whom he calls one of the greatest guitarists alive, in "Hot Rod Heart" on his new album, Wrote a Song for Everyone.
Benjamin Enos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:22 pm

Imagine you wrote some of the most enduring songs in 1960s rock, but then got so mired in legal and financial issues with those same songs that you felt you couldn't play them.

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Book Reviews
11:30 am
Wed September 4, 2013

From McDermott, An Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 'Someone'

The main character of Alice McDermott's Someone grew up in 1920s and '30s New York.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 1:27 pm

Endurance, going the distance, sucking up the solitude and the brine: I'm not talking about the glorious Diana Nyad and her instantly historic swim from Cuba to Key West, but of the ordinary heroine whose life is the subject of Alice McDermott's latest novel, Someone. "Ordinary" is a word that's used a lot to describe McDermott's characters, mostly Irish and working class, mostly un-heroic in any splashy way.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Wed September 4, 2013

As Pentagon Adds Bombing Options, Kerry Warns Assad

As Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, "Code Pink" protesters behind him held up "bloody hands" to express their opposition to the prospect of U.S. military strikes on Syria.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 11:24 am

"We are not asking America to go to war," Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee early Wednesday afternoon, as he and other top administration officials continued to push Congress to support President Obama's call for military strikes aimed at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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Parallels
11:14 am
Wed September 4, 2013

'We Are Next': Greek Jews Fear Rise Of Far-Right Party

Mois Yussuroum, a 94-year-old retired dentist, fought the Nazis as part of the Greek resistance during World War II. "Of the 650 Greek Jews who fought in the resistance, I'm the only one still alive," he says.
Joanna Kakissis/NPR

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:22 pm

No one has ever doubted Mois Yussuroum's patriotism. As part of the Greek resistance during World War II, he fought Benito Mussolini's fascist army and then the Nazis.

"The other resistance fighters didn't know I was Jewish," he says, since he used the name "Yiorgos Gazis" in case he was captured. "But my superiors did know, and they gave me many responsibilities, including making me a garrison commander."

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U.S.
11:04 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Program Fights Gun Violence Bravado With 'Story Of Suffering'

Dr. Amy Goldberg explains the medical treatment Adams received after he was shot. Part of her demonstration involves placing stickers on a student volunteer to mark bullet entry and exit points.
Courtesy Jessica Kourkounis

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 3:06 pm

In 2004, 16-year-old Lamont Adams was shot more than a dozen times near his home in North Philadelphia. He was taken to Philadelphia's Temple University Hospital, where trauma unit head Dr. Amy Goldberg fought to save his life. Goldberg lost that battle and Lamont died shortly after arriving at the hospital, but after treating so many gun injuries and watching so many victims die, Goldberg decided to make a change.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Lights Out In Venezuela; President Blames Opposition Saboteurs

Fans wait for play to resume Tuesday at a FIBA World Cup qualifying basketball game in Caracas, Venezuela. A blackout left about 70 percent of the country without electricity.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 3:57 pm

Venezuela's President Nicholas Maduro said a massive power outage that plunged most of the country into darkness Tuesday, causing traffic chaos in the bustling capital of Caracas, was due to sabotage.

Officials said 70 percent of the country was without electricity, shutting down traffic lights and partially disrupting the underground transport system.

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Parallels
10:40 am
Wed September 4, 2013

U.S. Competitiveness Up, Ranking Fifth, Survey Says

As the economy continues its recovery, the World Economic Forum's latest survey said U.S. global competitiveness is up after four years of decline.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:44 pm

U.S. competitiveness among global economies suffered after the 2008 global economic crisis. Four years after the crisis, the U.S. slipped in the World Economic Forum's annual competitiveness ranking. This year it's back up a bit: The U.S. rose to fifth position overall from seventh last year, in the forum's latest survey, which was released Wednesday.

Here's what the survey says about the U.S., the world's largest economy:

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