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Planet Money
2:04 am
Wed November 6, 2013

I Applied For An Online Payday Loan. Here's What Happened Next

eTaxLoan.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:06 pm

Payday lenders made about $49 billion in high-interest loans last year. More than a third of those loans were made online. I wondered what happens when you apply for such a loan, so I decided to find out.

In the course of reporting a story earlier this year, I logged on to a site called eTaxLoan.com and filled out an application.

I asked for $500 and, to be safe, I made up an address, a name (Mary) and a Social Security number. The site asked for more sensitive stuff — a bank account number and a routing number — and I made that up, too.

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Sweetness And Light
2:02 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Root, Root, Root For The Home Team?

"In our world of global entertainment ... passports don't matter and ... taste trumps nationalism," says Frank Deford.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 8:01 am

Does a citizen of any country, not just the good ole U.S. of A., have an obligation to support its national teams? For goodness sake, it's just a game, not Horatius at the Bridge standing between us and national defeat.

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The Two-Way
1:30 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Toronto Mayor: 'Yes, I Have Smoked Crack Cocaine'

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford told members of the media to get off his property as he left his home in Toronto on Oct. 31.
Nathan Denette AP

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:26 am

"Yes I have smoked crack cocaine... Probably in one of my drunken stupors."

That's what embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford just dropped on the media during a surprise press conference just after noon ET on Tuesday.

According to The Toronto Star, Ford qualified:

" 'I am not an addict,' he told the media.

" 'I wasn't lying. You didn't ask the correct questions,' Ford explained to why the admission was so long in coming.

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Music
1:03 am
Wed November 6, 2013

No Instruments? For Pentatonix, It's No Problem

Pentatonix's album, PTX Vol. 2, is out now.
Brandon Lyon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:40 pm

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Around the Nation
4:42 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Silenced By Status, Farm Workers Face Rape, Sexual Abuse

Maricruz Ladino packs lettuce in a cooler in Salinas, Calif.
Grace Rubenstein Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:36 pm

This is part one of a two-part report about sexual assault of agricultural workers in the U.S.

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Code Switch
4:42 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Fla. School District Trying To Curb School-To-Prison Pipeline

In 2010 and 2011, there were more than 1,000 school-related arrests in Broward County. Nearly three-quarters of them were for non-violent misdemeanors.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 7:57 pm

In Florida, one of the nation's largest school districts has overhauled its discipline policies with a single purpose in mind — to reduce the number of children going into the juvenile justice system.

It's a move away from so-called "zero tolerance" policies that require schools to refer even minor misdemeanors to the police. Critics call it a "school to prison pipeline."

Civil rights and education activists say the policy can be a model for the nation.

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NPR Story
3:45 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Study Says 40 Billion Planets In Our Galaxy Could Support Life

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

As China and India race to Mars, we'll venture outside our solar system and consider this mind-expanding possibility: There could be 40 billion planets in our Milky Way galaxy that are orbiting stars in a habitable zone that could support life - 40 billion. Makes you kind of puny, doesn't it?

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NPR Story
3:45 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Beleaguered Florida Citrus Industry Hits New Snags

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Florida's citrus industry has a new problem. It's long wrestled with crop diseases like canker and greening. But the effort to halt greening has killed millions of bees, as growers have increased their use of pesticides.

And that, in turn, is straining relationships between citrus farmers and their longtime partners, beekeepers. Here's Ashley Lopez of member station WGCU.

ASHLEY LOPEZ, BYLINE: Harold Curtis runs an 1,100-acre grove in southwest Florida. He walks through the rows of trees, packed full of plump, juicy oranges.

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NPR Story
3:45 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Toronto Mayor Says He Doesn't Smoke Crack, But Admits He Has

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:19 pm

At a news conference Tuesday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted he has smoked crack cocaine. Melissa Block talks to Jamie Strashin of the CBC for the latest.

Author Interviews
2:47 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Sales Take Center Stage: To Boost Morale, Companies Burst Into Song

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Steve Young learned about industrial musicals when he started coming across compilations, like this one, in used record stores. (You definitely want to click to enlarge this.)
Courtesy of Blast Books

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:47 am

Why would someone write a sentimental ballad about a bathroom? For the same reason someone would write a rousing song about tractors: So the song could be used in what's called an industrial musical.

These musicals were like Broadway shows, but they were written and performed for corporate sales meetings and conventions from the 1950s to the 1980s. The lyrics were all about the products being sold and how to sell them. Some of them were lavish and costly, even though they'd be performed only once.

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