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The Two-Way
6:21 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

GM Stays At The Top As U.S. Car Sales Surge In July

Sales of GM's cars slid by 3.8 percent from July 1013, but its light trucks and SUVs, like this Buick Enclave, more than made up for it, spiking 17.5 percent.
AP

Sales incentives helped U.S. auto sales rise in July, as major auto companies reported selling more than 120,000 more vehicles than the same month last year. GM retained its spot as the U.S. sales leader.

Sales of passenger cars rose by nearly 5 percent this July compared to last year, with sales of light trucks even higher, at 13.4 percent, according to data released Friday by research firm Autodata Corp.

GM sold 256,160 vehicles last month, beating Toyota's 215,802 and Ford's 211,467.

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Around the Nation
5:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

A Right Or A Privilege? Detroit Residents Split Over Water Shut-Offs

Demonstrators protest against the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department last month. Thousands of the city's customers are behind on their water payments.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 6:02 pm

In Detroit, protests continue over the city's massive effort to shut off water to thousands of customers who aren't paying their bills. Activists call the move a violation of a basic human need, while city officials call it an economic reality.

Detroit's Water and Sewerage Department has been accruing a massive debt for decades — in part because officials say there was only a token attempt to collect past-due bills. By this year, about half of all water customers were behind on payments, owing a combined $90 million.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Panel Says Plan To Cut Army Strength Goes Too Far

U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Platoon, G Troop, Task Force 1-35, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, move out on patrol in Iraq in 2008. A bipartisan panel says a Pentagon plan to cut Army strength go too far.
Sgt. Eric C. Hein AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:25 pm

A Pentagon plan to cut tens of thousands of soldiers from the U.S. Army's ranks in coming years goes too far given the growing global threats, including Russian aggression in Ukraine and unrest in Syria and Iraq, a bipartisan review panel says.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

NYC Man's Chokehold Death Was A Homicide, Medical Examiner Says

The death of Eric Garner in police custody has sparked controversy in New York City — and it's now been ruled a homicide. On Thursday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (center) sat with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton (left) and the Rev. Al Sharpton during a discussion on police-community relations.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 4:16 pm

Eric Garner, the unarmed man who died two weeks ago after police placed him in a chokehold, was a victim of homicide, says New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Garner's death was captured in a video that showed his confrontation with police on a Staten Island sidewalk.

The update on Garner's controversial death was announced Friday afternoon. Member station WNYC cites spokeswoman Julie Bolcer:

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Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Breast-Feeding Is Still Difficult For Many Moms

Amber Medel weighs her 3-week-old baby, Elijah, as lactation consultant Carol Chamblin takes note. Medel had problems breast-feeding and Chamblin encouraged her to use a breast pump to get the milk flowing more easily.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 4:03 pm

When Elizabeth O'Connell was expecting her first child, she knew she wanted to breast-feed. And, she says, she sort of expected it to just happen, naturally.

That's not quite how it panned out. "I was experiencing very tremendous pain," she says.

At first she figured that was normal — but soon it became too much to handle. "I was devastated," she says. "The reality is nursing is a wonderful bonding experience, but when you're in pain, you aren't really thinking about that."

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Parallels
3:44 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

As Flow Of Migrants Into Mexico Grows, So Do Claims Of Abuse

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 6:00 pm

Like the United States, Mexico is dealing with a substantial increase of Central Americans migrants, including unaccompanied minors, crossing its borders. Earlier this month, Mexico's president announced plans to crack down on the illegal flow and strengthen security along the southern border with Guatemala.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

WWI Diaries Of Poet Siegfried Sassoon Go Public For First Time

English poet and author Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) wearing his army uniform. His experiences in the First World War resulted in his hatred of war, which he expressed in much of his work.
George C. Beresford Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 5:29 pm

Nearly two dozen diaries and notebooks of Siegfried Sassoon — among a handful of prominent soldier-poets whose artistic sensibilities were forged in the trenches of World War I — are being published online for the first time by the Cambridge University Library.

Sassoon, who served in the British Army, was a "gifted diarist [who] ... kept a journal for most of his life," the library says.

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Business
3:14 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Some Public Pension Funds Making Big Bets On Hedge Funds

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 10:49 pm

Public pension funds have been doing something new in recent years — investing in hedge funds.

Hedge funds are often secretive investment firms led by supposedly supersmart fund managers. Though, sometimes they implode spectacularly — think Long-Term Capital Management. Another prominent firm, Galleon Group, recently got shut down for rampant insider trading.

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Global Health
3:10 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

As Ebola Outbreak Worsens, West Africa Turns To Quarantines

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 6:00 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

President Obama Slams Congress As He Welcomes Economy's Gains

President Barack Obama upbraided Congress Friday, saying that lawmakers haven't done enough to help America's economic recovery.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Touting rosy U.S. economic news that has come out this week, President Obama said America's recovery from a debilitating recession is well underway. But he also said the economy "could be doing even better" if Congress were working harder.

Citing the 200,000 jobs created in July – continuing a six-month streak of at least that level – Obama noted that it was "the first time that has happened since 1997."

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