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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't have to look far for a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of jumping into the presidential contest late, with great expectations, but little vetting beyond the relatively comfortable confines of one's home state.

As Christie continues to deliberate about entering the Republican presidential nomination fray, he has no doubt followed the supremely lousy weeks Texas Gov. Rick Perry has had since he got in, relatively late, with great fanfare, and largely untested on a national stage.

Apple's iPhone may be the most talked about smartphone on the market, but there are far more phones using Google's Android operating system — 40 percent of the U.S. market. Microsoft's Windows for Mobile comes in near the bottom, with around 5 percent.

But Microsoft says Android steps all over its patents.

Syrian exiles have been harassed and monitored at anti-government protests abroad, and their families back home have been threatened, according to a new report by Amnesty International.

Sometimes when parents skip vaccinations for their kids, it's more a matter of delay than total refusal, a new survey finds.

More than 1 in 10 parent parents of young kids follow an alternative schedule of vaccinations that doesn't fit with the recommendations of doctors and public health officials. The results published in Pediatrics come from a national survey conducted online.

"Public radio needs to do a better job of making the case" for public funding as one of its revenue sources, the incoming CEO and president of NPR said this afternoon.

Financial markets in Europe and the United States slumped badly Monday after Greece conceded it will not meet its deficit reduction goals for this year — or next — despite its austerity measures.

Stocks indexes in the U.S., France, Germany and Spain all fell about 2 percent.

Who Are The Haqqanis?

Oct 3, 2011

Many U.S. officials have believed for years that Pakistan protects and supports terrorist groups to use as proxies against India, in Kashmir, and against the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan. When Adm. Michael Mullen went before Congress last month and described the Haqqani network as a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), he was gave voice to those concerns. Pakistani officials were outraged.

Amanda Knox has won her freedom after appealing her murder conviction, for which the American had been serving a 26-year prison sentence. In 2009, Knox, who came to Perugia, Italy, as an exchange student, was found guilty in the November 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

One key Republican criticism of President Obama's proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy is that it would harm small businesses whose owners who make over $250,000 in taxable income. Rep. Paul Ryan put it this way last week in an interview with NPR's Michele Norris:

Denmark Taxes Butter And Fat, But Will It Work?

Oct 3, 2011

Denmark, the land of luscious lardy pork ribs and those famous blue butter cookie tins, is not known for having a major obesity problem.

"E-Mails Reveal Early White House Worries Over Solyndra," reads the headline on the lead story at NYTimes.com this hour.

"Donor, Officials Warned Obama Not To Visit Solyndra After Financial Warnings," says WashingtonPost.com.

The maker of Four Loko has agreed to make the alcohol content of its big cans a lot easier to figure out.

Soon the alcohol inside will be expressed in the equivalent number of regular beers. The equation: A 23 1/2 ounce cans of Four Loko = 4 1/2 beers.

The new labels, plus a resealable opening so the alcohol-laced drink doesn't have to be consumed in one sitting, came as the Federal Trade Commission alleged that Phusion Projects had understated the amount of alcohol in some of its products.

SpaceWeather.com says most solar physicists would likely say that a "puny comet" couldn't set off a "coronal mass ejection" of solar particles.

But check out this video from over the weekend, when a comet struck the sun. The images were animated by Helioviewer.org, "an open-source project for the visualization of solar and heliospheric data" that is funded by the European Space Agency and NASA.

Some 2,000 rabbits have "overrun" the Canadian town of Canmore, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The bunnies are believed to be the progeny of pets — and their number has doubled in the past four years, according to Canada's CTV.

"There's often about eight on our lawn," one Canmore resident tells CTV. "They're everywhere."

But the same woman also added, "We think they're cute."

The Obama administration is floating the idea of increasing taxes on families earning more than $250,000 a year.

Last year, the state of Oregon did something similar.

It didn't generate quite as much money as expected — but it did generate plenty of resentment.

'A Pretty Historic Win'

Cheap Marketing Techniques Help Kids Choose More Fruit

Oct 3, 2011

Kids will choose to take a step towards healthier eating by choosing fresh fruit — if you give them a little nudge.

Researchers at Cornell's Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs went into three school cafeterias that had been keeping their fruit in stainless-steel bins behind sneeze guards in the lunch line where kids could barely see it. And they did some strategic rearranging. They moved the fruit into colorful bowls or attractive baskets, and placed them near the cash register.

"General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC posted double-digit sales increases in September, defying the prevailing malaise in the economy," The Detroit News reports. "GM reported U.S. sales of 207,145 vehicles last month, a 20 percent increase over September 2010. Chrysler's domestic sales were up 27 percent."

The U.S. Supreme Court opens its 2011-2012 session Monday, in what could prove to be one of the most notable terms in years. The court is expected to hear cases about immigration, Medicaid and President Obama's landmark health care law. Michel Martin discusses the cases with George Washington University Law Professor Paul Butler and Eva Rodriguez, a Washington Post editorial writer who specializes in legal affairs.

South Carolina will hold its Republican presidential primary Jan. 21, moving the date forward to stay ahead of Florida.

Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada are all expected to now move their caucuses and primaries up as well to maintain their traditional early spots in the presidential-nominee selection process calendar.

A new charismatic Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and Jesus' return is becoming more of a presence in American politics. The leaders are considered apostles and prophets, gifted by God for this role. Several apostles affiliated with the movement helped organize or spoke at Rick Perry's August prayer rally, The Response.

Ever wonder where your food came from? No, I mean where it really came from — as in, where did humans first find the plants that we now depend on for survival, like potatoes or wheat or corn, and what made those plants such generous providers of food, anyway?

Neither reports signals a sharp turnaround for the sluggish economy, but:

-- The manufacturing sector "expanded in September for the 26th consecutive month," the Institute for Supply Management says. An index it calculates that measures such things as orders, production and employment stood at 51.6 in September vs. 50.6 in August. A reading above 50 is supposed to signal an expanding factory sector. The index has been at 50 or above for those 26 months.

ABC News and Yahoo! announced today that they are teaming up in a "strategic online news alliance" they hope will reach 100 million U.S. users a month. And they're not starting small: George Stephanopoulos will interview President Obama at 2:35 this afternoon for a webcast on ABCNews.com and Yahoo.com. The partnership will make ABC News, according to the press release, "the premier news provider on Yahoo! News." The press release says that Yahoo!

Linda Holmes over at Monkey See will be looking at the pluses, minuses and other issues related to the news that Yahoo and ABC News are launching "a strategic online news alliance."

If there's been a worse week and a half for a presidential candidate, it's hard to remember when.

"Work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for an award. If, however, a prizewinner dies before he has received the prize, then the prize may be presented."

That's one of the rules in the Statues of the Nobel Foundation, and it's suddenly pertinent because it's just been announced that Rockefeller University scientist Ralph Steinman died on Friday.

Sunday night, 92-year-old Andy Rooney bid farewell to his regular weekly segments on 60 Minutes, explaining that he sees himself as a writer and not a "television personality," and after all, "writers don't retire," but he's no longer going to be talking on television every week about fruit or the post office or whatever other nagging matter has his attention.

Working with grasshoppers, fruit flies, mice and human cells, the three scientists who won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine opened important windows on how all these creatures defend themselves against microbial invaders and refrain from attacking their own cells – except when they don't.

It's intricate and complicated stuff, but the two main concepts you need to know are: innate immunity and adaptive immunity.

The "Occupy Wall Street" protests "appears to be settling in for the long term," NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

And as Jeff said on Weekend Edition Sunday:

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