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Updated: 16 min 41 sec ago

Episode 556: Some Assembly Required

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 5:41pm

Today we build our show from three short Planet Money stories. We look at when a dollar is not worth a dollar; publishing without a publisher; and, of course, Ikea.

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'I Love Your Country,' New House Member Tells U.S. Officials

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 5:32pm

Rep. Curt Clawson, a Republican from Florida, tells subcommittee witnesses from two U.S. agencies, "I'm familiar with your country; I love your country."

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In Which Colin Firth Debunks Some Myths About Working With Woody Allen

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 4:32pm

Allen doesn't rehearse, and he isn't a big talker. But Firth pooh-poohs claims that he doesn't direct. He says Allen was a "very involved and meticulous director" while making Magic in the Moonlight.

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Obama: U.S., Central America Share Responsibility For Influx Of Minors

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:57pm

The presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador met at the White House to discuss the steep uptick in unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Bill Allowing Americans To Unlock Cellphones Passes House, Heads To Obama

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:49pm

The bill also directs the Librarian of Congress to review whether the exemption should also apply to tablets and other devices.

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Keychain Breathalyzers May Make Quantified Drinking Easy

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:44pm

Some of us now monitor our steps, sleep and calorie intake with wristbands and apps. So why not track blood alcohol levels? We explore the next frontier in the self-measurement movement.

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Can Finishing A Big Bowl Of Ramen Make Dreams Come True?

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:42pm

At his ramen shop in Cambridge, Mass., chef Tsuyoshi Nishioka wants customers to follow their dreams. His philosophy? If you can finish a bowl of his ramen, you can accomplish anything in life.

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Fiction Explores The Push And Pull Of Arab-Israeli Identity

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:39pm

Sayed Kashua is an Arab who writes novels in Hebrew and a sitcom in Arabic. A contradiction? Maybe. But his newest book is a good look at an often-overlooked segment of the Israeli population.

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How Well Does A Drug Work? Look Beyond The Fine Print

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:35pm

A husband and wife who are doctors have been working on fact boxes for drugs that, like nutrition labels for foods, would more concisely convey a medicine's benefits and risks.

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Gurrumul, An Unlikely International Star, Reaches U.S. Ears

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:34pm

Despite being born blind and speaking a language that few on Earth understand, Australian singer-songwriter Gurrumul has become, as Rolling Stone puts it, the most important voice of his nation.

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As Political Disenchantment Soars, Lines At The Polls Grow Shorter

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:30pm

There has been record low turnout among voters in the 2014 primaries so far. Is it political dysfunction that's made voters lose interest? And what might this mean for November's general elections?

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If Dogs Feel Jealousy, It May Run Deeper In Us Than We'd Thought

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

Dr. Christine Harris co-authored a study that examined whether dogs exhibit jealous behavior, hoping to see if jealousy is an emotion unique to humans. Audie Cornish asks Harris: Does it take complex cognitions to trigger the emotion?

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Pa. Hospital Sees Gun Fight Between Psychiatrist And Patient

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

On Thursday, a psychiatric patient opened fire at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital outside Philadelphia, killing a caseworker and injuring his psychiatrist. The psychiatrist returned fire with a gun of his own, injuring the gunman. Both patient and psychiatrist survived the gun fight.

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In A Complex Web Of Tunnels, Israel Draws Its Red Line

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

Both the government and the people of Israel have been determined to continue the country's ground invasion in Gaza, despite a growing wave of international criticism. Israelis have been shaken by claims that Hamas has a heavily fortified network of tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

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Gaza Cease-Fire Still Just Out Of Reach: What Does Each Side Want?

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is trying again to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, as casualty counts rise inexorably higher. NPR's Emily Harris explains both sides' demands.

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In Gaza Conflict, Media Face An Old, Impossible Task: Covering It

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

Despite sweeping changes in the ways that the news media operate, one thing hasn't changed: the difficulties journalists face in covering the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Army War College Opens A Probe Into Sen. Walsh's Alleged Plagiarism

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

The U.S. Army War College has determined in a preliminary review that Sen. John Walsh of Montana appeared to have plagiarized his final paper to earn a master's degree. An investigative panel is reviewing the evidence.

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For Islamic State, Victories In Iraq Mean Momentum In Syria

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

The militant group that calls itself the Islamic State have begun a new round of fighting with the Syrian regime, surrounding a base outside its stronghold in Raqqa and launching offensives in Aleppo province and Kurdish regions. The death toll in Syria this week reportedly has reached 1,700, most of whom are combatants of one sort or another.

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Leading Ebola Doctor Stricken With The Disease Himself

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, the head doctor fighting the Ebola virus outbreak in Sierra Leone, has begun to exhibit symptoms of the disease. For more details on the situation, Audie Cornish speaks with Dr. Daniel G. Bausch, a colleague of Khan's and an associate professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

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Week In Politics: Violence In Gaza And Paul Ryan's Anti-Poverty Plan

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 3:15pm

Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times, discuss U.S. policy options in the Gaza Strip and Rep. Paul Ryan's anti-poverty plan.

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