The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

New Consumer Czar: 'This Is A Valid Appointment'

Richard Cordray, incoming head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, stands offstage after President Obama spoke about the economy in Ohio on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Richard Cordray, the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, defended his appointment in an interview with All Things Considered today.

"This is a valid appointment," he told NPR's Robert Siegel. "But, again, I'm not going to be distracted by the details of that. My job is to be the director of this consumer bureau, to look out for consumers across the country and I'm going to focus 100 percent on that job."

Robert asked if he was just going to "ignore whatever litigation might develop from that" and Cordray said, "that's correct."

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Animals
5:11 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Zoo Crafts Love Nest To Save Ozark's Salamanders

An adult Ozark hellbender is typically brown or green with black markings that help it blend in with its rocky river-bottom habitat.
Jeff Briggler Missouri Department of Conservation

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 6:27 pm

It's flat. It's slimy. And it hides under rocks on the river bottom. It's the Ozark hellbender, and at up to two feet in length, it's one of the world's largest salamanders.

But Ozark hellbenders are disappearing: Fewer than 600 are left in the rivers of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Scientists have been making a huge effort to get them to breed in captivity. And now, thanks to a major effort at the Saint Louis Zoo, 2012 could be the year of new hope for hellbenders.

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Europe
4:40 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Fears Grow Over Faulty French-Made Breast Implants

French-made breast implants produced by the Poly Implant Prothese company have been found to be faulty and are at the heart of a growing health scandal.
Sebastien Nogier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 6:27 pm

A scandal involving French-made breast implants continues to widen.

The implants contain industrial-grade silicone that causes abnormally high rupture rates, according to critics. They have been sold in many countries in Europe and beyond, though not in the United States. Now, the French government has opened a criminal investigation into the company.

French television showed footage on Thursday of investigators and a judge searching the factory of the Poly Implant Prothese company, or PIP, in southern France.

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Animals
4:35 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Dog Trained As Ultimate Whale Pooper Snooper

Trainer Liz Seely looks on as Tucker takes to the bow and sniffs the waves.
Ashley Ahearn KUOW

Originally published on Sat January 7, 2012 6:33 pm

Killer whales in Puget Sound aren't doing very well. They were placed on the endangered species list in 2005, and there are several hypotheses for why they're not recovering.

In Puget Sound, a team of researchers is relying on a secret weapon with a killer nose to figure out what's wrong with the orcas in Northwestern waters.

'A Treasure Trove Of Information'

Scientists suspect lack of food, boat traffic and pollution are to blame, but no one knows for sure. Some think the answer might be found in the whales' wake — specifically, their poop.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Calif. Woman Takes Honda To Small Claims Court Over Hybrid Mileage

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 6:27 pm

A California woman is taking Honda to small claims court, claiming her Civic hybrid never gave her the 50 miles per gallon advertised.

All Things Considered's Melissa Block spoke to Andrea Chang, a Los Angeles Times business reporter who was in court on Tuesday as Heather Peters made her case.

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Business
4:08 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

GM To Modify Chevy Volt To Protect Battery

General Motors is advising Chevrolet Volt owners to return their electric cars to dealers for repairs that will better protect the vehicles' batteries, which have caught fire after crash tests.

The repairs fall under a "customer service campaign," which is similar to a safety recall but allows GM to avoid the bad publicity and federal monitoring that come with a formal recall.

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Digital Life
3:58 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

This Tea Party ROCKS! And Wants To Cash In

On The Tea Party's Facebook page, bassist Stuart Chatwood, guitarist Jeff Martin and drummer Jeff Burrows describe their music as having "blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences."
Dave Torbett

If you direct your browser to TeaParty.com, you will not find a site devoted to the political movement of the same name. What you will find is the Internet home of The Tea Party, a Canadian rock band that has owned the domain name since the early '90s.

Now, with seemingly no shortage of would-be buyers, the band is hoping to cash in.

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It's All Politics
3:44 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Facing Recall, Defiant Wis. Governor Says 'I'm Not Afraid Of Losing'

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, seen here in Maple Bluff, Wis. in December, expects opponents to force a recall election against him.
Scott Bauer AP

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 4:57 pm

Facing the prospect of a recall election in June, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came to Washington on Thursday to talk up the merits of the anti-union legislation that has landed him in hot water — and to raise funds to save his job.

Walker said he's certain his opponents will gather the 540,000 signatures they need in time for the Jan. 17 deadline, setting up a recall election in June.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:33 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Get The Lead Out: Panel Wants Kids' Limits Halved

Old paint is the chief source of lead poisoning in children.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 5:25 pm

How much lead does it take to ruin a brain? Not much, according to a new standard proposed for lead poisoning in children.

The amount of lead in a child's blood that determines dangerous lead exposure should be cut in half, from the current standard of 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood to 5 micrograms for ages 5 and below, a federal advisory committee said Wednesday.

That in itself would be a big step, and would double the number of young children in the United States officially considered to have lead poisoning to almost 500,000.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Report Details A Heated Battle Between Miami Police, State Troopers

A screenshot of a dash-cam video.
Florida Highway Patrol

This is, no doubt, a local story. But bear with us because it's pretty fascinating. Yesterday, the Florida Highway Patrol issued a final report on an incident that sparked a battle between the state troopers and Miami-Dade Police.

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