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Asia
12:55 am
Thu May 10, 2012

After The Quake, Japanese Shop For Survival

Store manager Naoto Higashi models a helmet, a fully stocked kit in his backpack, and a windup flashlight. Such items have become popular in Japan following last year's huge earthquake and tsunami.
Lucy Craft for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

Walk into any large Japanese retailer nowadays, and you might think Japan had become a nation of survivalists.

Aeon, a Wal-Mart-like chain of stores, devotes a sizable chunk of floor space to something called bosai-yohin, or "disaster-protection gear."

Naoto Higashi, a manager at one of the Tokyo stores, demonstrates some of their best-sellers, flashlights that have become the Swiss Army knives of anti-earthquake gear.

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Economy
12:54 am
Thu May 10, 2012

College Grads Struggle To Gain Financial Footing

Graduates of the University of Alabama's class of 2011. The economic downturn has hit recent college grads hard. New data show only half of those who graduated from 2006 to 2011 are working full time.
Butch Dill AP

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

Most of the estimated 1.5 million people graduating from a four-year college this spring will soon be looking for a job.

If the experiences of other recent college grads are any guide, many will be disappointed.

A new Rutgers University survey of those who graduated from college between 2006 and 2011 finds that just half of those grads are working full time.

Settling For Part Time

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Afghanistan
12:53 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Afghan Goal: Toning Down The Radical Preachers

The Afghan government wants Muslim preachers to tone down sermons that often criticize the presence of American troops and praise the Taliban. Here, an Afghan youth drags his sheep past a group of men praying at a mosque in Kabul in November 2011.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 am

The ministry that governs religious affairs in Afghanistan has announced what some are calling a "three strikes" policy.

It's a warning directed at Muslim clerics, or imams, accused of inciting violence in their Friday sermons. Imams across the country routinely condemn the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and speak in favor of the Taliban.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:52 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Feds Join Fight Against Whooping Cough In Washington

Nurse Susan Peel gives a whooping cough vaccination to a high school student in Sacramento, Calif. The whooping cough vaccine given to babies and toddlers loses much of its effectiveness after by the time people reach their teens and early adulthood.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 5:50 am

Washington state is in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. The state has more than 1,100 confirmed cases so far this year — that's 10 times as many as this time last year, and health officials fear the number may rise.

The state is desperately trying to raise awareness of the epidemic. Take this public service announcement featuring a mother whose baby contracted the disease.

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Politics
11:55 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

House To Vote On GOP Bill Framed As Guns Vs. Butter

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 6:49 am

Republicans who control the House want to block some $55 billion worth of automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget next year. Instead, they want to cut funding for social programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. It's a choice that has been framed as guns versus butter, and this time, guns are expected to win.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto the legislation, which the House votes on Thursday. But the president is willing to leave the Pentagon cuts in place for now, in hopes of bringing Republicans back to the bargaining table.

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