Morning Edition for Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Obama Puts Military Strike In Syria On Hold

President Obama addressed a skeptical nation Tuesday night, trying to make the case for military strikes on Syria. At the same time, the White House is exploring a possible diplomatic alternative that involves putting Syria's chemical weapons under international control.
The international focus on military action in Syria is further straining Turkey's war-stressed border villages. Syrian mortars continue to kill and wound civilians on the Turkish side. Displaced Syrians are still lining up on the Syrian side, waiting for permission to enter Turkey.

What Does A Song That Costs $5 Sound Like?

The label run by engineer Cookie Marenco sells super high quality downloads — a development even she thought impossible 15 years ago.

Good Work Comes Out Of The Sept. 11 Tragedies

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Over the last several years, a group of family members have created a movement to turn the anniversary into a national day of service. This year more than 30 million people will be involved, and they claim it's the largest day of service in the country.

Why Women (Like Me) Choose Lower-Paying Jobs

I majored in applied math, I have an MBA, and I'm working as a reporter at NPR. An economist just told me I'm leaving millions of dollars on the table.

Four-Legged Impostors Give Service Dog Owners Pause

People who lack special needs but simply want to keep their pets with them all the time can easily find fake "service animal" certifications on the Web. But those phony credentials can create problems for people with disabilities who legitimately need trained service dogs.

Dow Jones Changes Up Index

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is swapping out three of its blue chip companies, in what's being called the biggest shake up of the index in almost a decade. Standard & Poor's announced it's dropping Hewlett Packard, Alcoa and Bank of America at the end of next week. Sliding into their places: Visa, Nike and Goldman Sachs.

Key To Unlocking Your Phone? Give It The Finger(print)

Passwords are a pain to remember, and they're only partially effective in securing your devices. Now, with a fingerprint scanner built into the new iPhone 5s' home button, biometrics is taking a big step into a much bigger ecosystem. But such scanners raise security and privacy concerns of their own.

Price Of New iPhone May Be Too Expensive For China Market

In a sign of China's growing importance as a market for Apple, the company will be rolling out its new iPhones simultaneously in the U.S. and China for the first time later this month. There are a few signs, however, that the new models will not find the sort of frenzied demand as before.

World's Largest Ferris Wheel Will Be In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is adding an eye-catching tourist attraction, in the form of a huge wheel that can take more than 1,000 people on a ride 550 feet into the sky over the city's famed Strip. The main construction of the wheel, called the High Roller, is nearly finished; it is expected to open in early 2014.

Will Military Threat Keep Diplomacy Working In Syria?

Secretary of State John Kerry will go to Geneva to meet with his Russian counterpart to discuss the diplomatic alternative in which Syria would turn over its chemical weapons. For analysis on that proposal, Steve Inskeep talks to former state department official and ambassador Nicholas Burns. He is now a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Diplomatic Solution In Syria Is Rife With Complications

Diplomats continue to consider a Russian plan to get Syria to hand over its chemical weapons to international control. If nations can agree on the details, the plan could avert a U.S. strike against Syrian targets. But accounting for and destroying Syria's chemical arsenal is a complicated undertaking.

Victims of Sept. 11 To Be Remembered

The country will pause Wednesday morning to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. At the site of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, the names of all the victims will be read, along with the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Hitting Terrorists Where It Hurts: Their Wallet

Since Sept. 11, one of the most effective ways the United States has found to weaken terrorist groups has been to go after their finances. Renee Montagne talks to former Treasury official Juan Zarate, who's new book is: Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.

Getting College Credit For What You Already Know

The University of Wisconsin System will soon offer a new option for working adults who want to complete their bachelor's degree. Under the Flexible Option, students can earn credits and a degree, by proving they've mastered competencies. The Flex Option is aimed at helping more than 700,000 residents who have college credit but no degree, and adults who don't have time to attend classes.

Documents Show NSA Violated Court Restrictions

The National Security Agency violated special court restrictions on the use of a database of telephone calls, but the NSA says it fixed those problems. That's the bottom line from more documents declassified by the director of National Intelligence. The document dump is part of an effort to share more details about NSA surveillance activities that were uncovered by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

Tech Visionary Focuses Now On Biological Weapons Threat

Nathan Myhrvold, who made his name with inventions at Microsoft, is focusing these days on a different kind of technological advance: the threat from biological weapons. Myhrvold's in Washington this week to meet with national security leaders. He wants to convince them to spend time and energy on terrorist attacks that could cause the greatest damage.
America's Cup yachts can gracefully skim above water at better than 40 mph, but Frank Deford says when he looks back at the seven seas in 2013 he'll remember 64-year-old Nyad "plowing, all by herself, freestyle, through 100 miles of surf from Havana to Key West."

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Download new music from orchestral indie-folk acts San Fermin and Typhoon, rising hip-hop artist Rapsody, Ethiopian legend Mulatu Astatke, French synth band La Femme, Americana star Amanda Shires and more.

Cave Explorers Find Wallet Lost 17 Years Ago

Joseph Sweet and a friend got lost in a cave in Watertown, N.Y., nearly 20 years ago. They grew so desperate for light that Sweet made little torches out of the only fuel he had, taking dollar bills from his wallet and setting them on fire. The good news: he got rescued. The bad news: he lost his wallet.

Authorities Discover Vodka Vending Machine

For a dollar, patrons in one Ukrainian town could enjoy a shot of vodka. Mixers were also available. That is until the authorities discovered the converted coffee machine.
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