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Goodbye, Google+ — We Forgot You Existed

Oct 9, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


This week, Google disclosed a data breach, one that potentially affected hundreds of thousands of users. It was on the company's social media platform Google+.


Passwords that took seconds to guess, or were never changed from their factory settings. Cyber vulnerabilities that were known, but never fixed. Those are two common problems plaguing some of the Department of Defense's newest weapons systems, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The flaws are highlighted in a new GAO report, which found the Pentagon is "just beginning to grapple" with the scale of vulnerabilities in its weapons systems.

Who can you trust? How can you tell whether someone who borrows money from you will pay it back? In the U.S., we have a credit score to help make these calls. But in China, no such system exists.

So the government came up with its own equivalent: it will score peoples' trustworthiness using not just court and bank records, but also data from the online shopping companies. Today on the Indicator: China's social credit system and what it might mean for citizens.

A Romanian man was briefly detained on Tuesday in connection with Saturday's high-profile rape and killing of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, but after questioning, a Bulgarian official said the unidentified man would be released without charge.

Marinova's beaten and strangled body was found in the bushes by the banks of the Danube River in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse, police said.

If you're a first-time mother and you opt for epidural anesthesia during labor, your doctor may suggest you wait about an hour after your cervix is completely dilated before you start trying to push the baby down the birth canal.

But a study published Tuesday in JAMA, the flagship journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that might not be the best advice.

R.I.P., Google Plus

Oct 9, 2018

We hardly used ye. Google is phasing out its social platform Google Plus after a massive data breach. We look at how this could affect Google’s business model. Also on today's show, the International Monetary Fund predicted in its global economic forecast that trade disputes and turbulent emerging markets will slow global economic growth. And, are electric scooters all that bad, or are they a sign of where our transportation system is headed? A report on the electric scooter craze from Los Angeles.

Credit card interest rates are rising

Oct 9, 2018

A report out today from shows that credit card interest rates are on the rise. The average rate is just over 17 percent, up from about 16.15 percent this time last year and 15.22 percent in 2016.

The reason? The Federal Reserve has been hiking interest rates since 2015. That means banks have been paying more to borrow money, and they’re passing that cost on to their customers, including credit card borrowers, said Lucia Dunn, professor emeritus at Ohio State University.

Google plans to shutter its Google+ social network for consumers, citing its limited adoption with users. The tech giant announced the decision at the same time that it disclosed that the privacy of up to a half-million Google+ accounts could have been affected by a "bug."

The company says it discovered and patched the issue in March but decided not to disclose it immediately. It said it had no evidence that any third-party developer was aware of the bug or had misused profile data.

R. Kelly's ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, has now accused the R&B singer of multiple incidents of physical abuse. The woman, who was married to R. Kelly from 1996 to 2009, made her allegations on an episode of the ABC talk show The View last Thursday.

The National Security Agency's Rob Storch is a talkative guy at a place that specializes in eavesdropping.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2019 nominees on Tuesday, and in what has become an annual tradition, the list came with the Hall's usual heap of opacity and a dash of acrimony.

One nominee has already been inducted, two are receiving their fifth nominations, and one previously said it would decline the honor before changing its, ahem, tune on Tuesday morning.

The Mystery Trees Of The American West

Oct 9, 2018

Walking through forests across the American West, you might see ancient Pine and Cedar trees that have had their bark peeled off in a special way.

Every day, more than 100 refugees and migrants arrive in rickety boats on the Greek island of Lesbos. The first faces they see are those of humanitarian aid workers. That means the workers witness trauma up close, nearly every day, for months, which can take a toll. The George Washington University Global Mental Health Program has drawn up a version of the Hippocratic Oath for aid workers to address the problem. Dr. Philip J.

Google Latest To Admit Privacy Breach

Oct 9, 2018

Google is shutting down Google Plus after the Wall Street Journal reported a flaw that exposed user data. Google discovered the issue several months ago, but didn’t report it at the time.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd is joined by WBUR’s Callum Borchers (@callumborchers).

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


85: Expl4inathon

Oct 9, 2018

It's time for another Explainathon, the biannual tradition when we put Kai and Molly to the test: In 30 minutes, they'll try to answer as many of your questions as possible. It's going to be tough, because this might just be our widest-ranging 'thon yet: Gamers! Trade wars! Gas prices! Bots on the trading floor! Plus, Kai and Molly will try to stump each other.

People living along the Florida Panhandle are prepping for Hurricane Michael, with some counties issuing evacuation orders and opening shelters. The storm is expected to make landfall Wednesday as a major hurricane.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with  Jeff Huffman (@huffmanheadsup), director and chief meteorologist of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

Faces of NPR: J.C. Howard

Oct 9, 2018

Faces Of NPR is a weekly feature that showcases the people behind NPR, from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. You'll find out about what they do and what they're inspired by on the daily. This week's post features How I Built This' News Assistant, J.C. Howard.

The Basics:

Name: J.C. Howard

Twitter Handle: @TheJCHoward

October 9, 2018: Hour 1

Oct 9, 2018

Nikki Haley is resigning from her post as United Nations Ambassador. Speaking to reporters Tuesday morning, President Trump praised Haley and said she would step down at the end of the year. Also, the White House has said little about a major report released Monday concluding that greenhouse gas emissions are raising global temperatures more quickly than once thought and that without aggressive action to curb them, severe consequences will be felt by 2040. And who is the anonymous British street artist Banksy?

With 20 people dead in upstate New York following a horrific crash over the weekend, there are still many unanswered questions about the safety and regulation of stretch limousines.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Raul Arbelaez, vice president and engineer with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Facebook is launching a video chat device called Portal, but not everyone is confident the company can handle the intimate new service, given recent revelations about a security breach involving 50 million Facebook accounts.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with  Kurt Wagner (@KurtWagner8), senior editor at Recode.

Everyone is familiar with the official film genres, like the Western or the romantic comedy. But most of us divide movies into less intellectual categories.

There are movies that everybody has to see, like A Star is Born. There are movies you couldn't pay me to see; in my case, that's anything with the word "Saw" in its title. And then there are movies we know we ought to see but dread having to go.

The Trump administration is facing six lawsuits over a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Numerous states and cities have argued the question could undermine the accuracy of the census. The White House has attempted to prevent document requests and depositions in the case. Now, the Justice Department is bringing its appeal to the Supreme Court, where the newly-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh may weigh in on the issue.

Coin-operated gumball machines aren't as common as they used to be. With sales slowly dwindling over the years and high domestic sugar prices, America's sole remaining gumball maker has been branching out to stay afloat.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(Markets Edition) New numbers show the benefits of aggressively helping young people finish school and find jobs. A study followed two groups, both ages 16 to 24, on their journeys. Then we dive into the markets, where the latter half of this week signals the beginning of a new season of sorts for market participants. Also, we check in on the last American gumball company standing, Ford Gum and Machine Company, which has been around for more than a century.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has resigned from her post. This morning, she joined President Trump at the White House, and the two held a joint news conference. Here's some of what Haley had to say.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is stepping down from her post. I'm here now with NPR's diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen. Good morning, Michele.


Nikki Haley Steps Down As U.N. Ambassador

Oct 9, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is stepping down from her post. I'm here now with NPR's diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen.

Good morning, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Good morning, Noel.