Morning Edition for Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sagging power lines and computer glitches lead to a power outage that left 50 million people across the Northeast U.S. and part of Canada in darkness on Aug. 14, 2003. New sensors have been installed. and operator training and computer systems have been upgraded. But is that enough to prevent another massive blackout?

Complex Networks Make Up U.S. Power Grid

As Morning Edition looks back on the blackout of 2003, David Greene talks to Steven Weissman, the director of the Energy Program at the University of California Berkeley, about how the country's electrical systems work, and how to manage them in the future.
Renee Montagne talks with Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast, for the Morning Edition regular feature, "Word of Mouth." Brown has three reads looking at the dark side to notions of innovation and progress.
The contaminated fruit that killed 33 people and sickened at least 147 others in 2011 came from a farm 90 miles from Rocky Ford, Colo. But the town's many melon farmers took a huge hit nonetheless, and are still trying to convince the public their cantaloupes are safe.

Brazilians Flood To U.S. On Massive Shopping Sprees

Growing numbers of Brazilians are visiting the U.S.; last year, they spent $9 billion. It's a sign of a changing Brazil — more affluent, more outward looking. Most of those getting visas to the U.S. are going to shop or do business, and the economic impact has been palpable.
Brazilians are helping shape a new condo boom that caters to foreign buyers. More than 20 residential condo projects are underway in South Florida — all with Brazilians and other foreign buyers in mind.

Eurozone Shows Signs Of Economic Improvement

Economic indicators suggest the recession is over in the eurozone. It will, however, take time and stronger growth to reverse the high unemployment in many countries. Politicians are hailing the figures as an end to the grim years.
Steinway Musical Instruments is on the auction block and a mystery bidder, rumored to be hedge fund manager John Paulson, appears to have the winning bid at 1458. Ilya Marritz explains why the fairly healthy company is seeking a buyout in the first place.

Does More Vacation Mean Happier Workers?

August means many parts of the world are virtually shut down with many workers off on summer holiday. A recent blog post in The Atlantic took on the question: Does more vacation mean happier workers? Some data suggests not so much.

Security Forces Move In On Egyptian Protests

After days of tense standoff in Cairo, Egyptian security forces began clearing two sit-in camps by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. The Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police, warned in a statement that the forces would deal firmly with protesters acting "irresponsibly."

After 5 Years, Mideast Peace Talks To Resume

Israel has released 26 Palestinian inmates — one day before the scheduled resumption of Mideast peace talks in Jerusalem. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has spent months persuading the two sides to sit down with each other.
In August 1963, Robert Avery of Gadsden, Ala., was 15 and active in the civil rights movement. He and two friends were bent on participating in the March on Washington, but with little money, they had no choice but to hitchhike — on Southern roads that could be dangerous for segregation opponents.
Eighteen sailors are feared trapped in a submarine that caught fire after a massive explosion in Mumbai. The smoldering ship is in its berth at a highly secured naval base, with only a portion visible above the surface. This incident comes as a setback for India, just as the country is trying to beef up its military.

Feds Sue To Block Proposed Airline Merger

The U.S. Justice Department is suing to stop the proposed merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways. The government says the merger would hurt competition and raise costs for consumers.
Security forces in Cairo have begun to forcibly disband two massive protest camps there. Supporters of ousted Islamist President Morsi have been conducting a sit-in for weeks amid threats of a government crackdown. For details, Renee Montagne talks to Michael Wahid Hanna, an analyst with The Century Foundation.

The Vintage Cadillac With The Memphis Soundtrack

Tad Pierson has made a career out of his love for cars and American music. He says there are "fewer and fewer real-deal places to go and hear the real stuff," but it's his job to find and share it — one carload of listeners at a time.
Don't you think that sometimes, even in baseball, with all its sacred statistics, you can round numbers off and call it equal, plus or minus a margin of admiration?
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