1:57am

Fri August 17, 2012
Animals

Swarming Up A Storm: Why Animals School And Flock

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:06 am

A school of Blue Tang fish swimming together off the Caribbean island of Bonaire. It has long been assumed that the schooling behavior of fish evolved in part to protect animals from being attacked by predators.
David J. Phillip AP

By tricking live fish into attacking computer-generated "prey," scientists have learned that animals like birds and fish may indeed have evolved to swarm together to protect themselves from the threat of predators.

"Effectively, what we're doing here is we're getting predatory fish to play a video game," says Iain Couzin, who studies collective animal behavior at Princeton University. "And through playing that game, through seeing which virtual prey items they attack, we can get a very deep understanding of as to how behavioral interactions among prey affect their survival."

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1:57am

Fri August 17, 2012
Dead Stop

How Congressional Cemetery Got Its Name

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:06 am

Congressional Cemetery was founded in 1807, when Washington, D.C., was a new town. The 35-acre historic burial ground is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, overlooking the Anacostia River.
Blake Lipthratt NPR

Back at the turn of the 19th century, Uriah Tracey was something of a trendsetter. The Connecticut senator was one of the first to fight in the Revolutionary War — and then one of the first to attempt secession from the Union. And in 1807, he was the first member of Congress buried in what later became known as Congressional Cemetery, in Washington, D.C.

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1:47am

Fri August 17, 2012
Law

When The Lawyer Becomes The Object Of Prosecution

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:06 am

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer says Charles Daum, a longtime lawyer, betrayed his profession.
Alex Wong Getty Images

For more than 30 years, Charles Daum made a living by defending people accused of run-of-the-mill crimes. Then he met a charismatic Washington, D.C.-area man charged with distributing cocaine.

What happened next is a plot worthy of a television crime drama.

The accused drug dealer, Delante White, turned the tables and helped convict his own defense lawyer of manufacturing evidence and putting on false testimony to help the drug dealer's case.

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1:46am

Fri August 17, 2012
Economy

Low Mortgage Rates Boost 'Serial Refinancers'

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:35 pm

Refinance activity continues to boom, fueling the home-loan market. Low interest rates have created a class of "serial refinancers" — those lucky enough to borrow at lower rates — and given them new opportunities to spend their freed up cash.

Settlement attorney Robert Gratz never used to be on a first-name basis with his clients.

"In the past, our practice was such that you'd see people, and that was the end of it," he says.

Gratz now sees the same faces all the time, of clients refinancing again and again — these days in the mid-3 percent range.

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1:44am

Fri August 17, 2012
Planet Money

Competing Against The Nicest Guy In Town

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:36 pm

Hondo (left) and Dizz.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

For more: Why does the government subsidize crop insurance in the first place? We try to answer that question in our latest podcast.

The federal government spends about $7 billion a year on crop insurance for U.S. farmers. Policies are sold by private companies, but the government sets the rates, so the companies can't compete on price.

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1:42am

Fri August 17, 2012
Europe

Belgian Town May Sue Over Soggy Weather Forecasts

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:06 am

People enjoy a sunny day on the beach in Knokke, on Belgium's North Sea coast, in April 2011. This summer, the weather hasn't been as nice — and resort owners and officials are feeling litigious over a pessimistic weather forecast.
Nicolas Maeterlinck EPA /Landov

Parts of Europe are experiencing extremely rainy weather this summer. But some tourist towns in Belgium and the Netherlands say their season has been blighted too — not by bad weather but by bad weather forecasting.

The mayor of the Belgian seaside resort of Knokke says it's a crime that tourism there is down this year. He means that literally.

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8:00pm

Thu August 16, 2012
Cultural, Community, Information

Savannah Music Festival: The All-Star 'Swing Summit'

Airs Thursday, August 16 at 8:00 p.m. This episode of the Savannah Music Festival Live features highlights from a specially conceived concert in which the esteemed faculty of our Swing Central High School Jazz Band Competition & Workshop performs for the students and the general public.  Each Spring, twelve of the top high school jazz bands from across the nation travel to Savannah to spend three days studying with a handpicked set of instructors who, individually, are some of the greatest jazz musicians of our time.

5:56pm

Thu August 16, 2012
The Two-Way

To Combat West Nile, Dallas Will Spray Pesticide From Planes

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, center, holds a news conference in front of a plane that will be used for aerial spraying in Dallas.
LM Otero AP

Residents of Dallas received this robo call today:

According to The Dallas Morning News, that's Dallas City Hall Spokesman Jose Luis Torres warning residents to stay inside this evening, because the city has decided to spray pesticides from airplanes.

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5:50pm

Thu August 16, 2012
The Two-Way

South African Police Open Fire On Striking Miners, More Than 30 Killed

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 am

Police surround miners killed in Marikana, South Africa, on Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

Update at 7 a.m. ET, Aug. 17. Death Toll Increased:

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5:33pm

Thu August 16, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Global Smoking Survey Paints A Grim Picture

A man smokes a bidi on "No Tobacco Day," May 31, in Allahabad, India. These small, hand-rolled cigarettes are popular in India and Bangladesh because they are far cheaper than regular cigarettes.
Rajesh Kumar AP

Today we have a fresh look at smoking rates around the world, and the news isn't good.

A survey covering 60 percent of the world's population shows high rates of tobacco use in some countries, with more than 50 percent of men in Russia, China and Ukraine smoking between 2008 and 2010.

Although the statistics for women are better — only 11 percent of woman reported using tobacco — the number of people quitting is shockingly low, dropping below 20 percent in China and India.

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