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latest show August 4, 1999

All Things Considered
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Buy Back -- President Clinton talked about tax cuts and his childhood today. In a rose garden appearance, the President announced a new plan to buy back a portion of the national debt. The debt will go down automatically as long as the federal government runs a budget surplus. But the Treasury Department wants to accelerate the process by offering to purchase Treasury bills held by the public. The president ALSO spoke for the first time about a recent interview in which his WIFE talked about HIS childhood abuse and his ADULT "weaknesses." NPR's Mara Liasson reports. (4:00)
 
8-Percent Mortgages -- NPR's Elaine Korry reports that mortgage rates have shot up to their highest level in more than two years. The average for a traditional 30 year loan with one point is now just over 8 percent. Analysts are starting to wonder whether the rising rates will undercut the housing boom. (2:30)
 
Housing - Economic Engine -- Linda speaks with Michael Carliner, an economist at the National Association of Homebuilders, about the role of housing in the economy. Carliner says the building of new homes creates jobs in many sectors of the economy; not only in construction, but also manufacturing, transportation, and mining. Housing construction grew faster than the economy last year, but Carliner expects it will slow down this year. (4:30)
 
NASDAQ -- Robert notes that as of today, the NASDAQ stock index has fallen 10-percent off its all-time high. (:30)
 
Music -- Artist: DAVID FRIEDMAN, Title: BEHIND BARS
 
Music -- Artist: Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues, Title: Pizzicato Blue
 
SAMs - Yugoslavia -- Robert talks to Paul Beaver, a writer for the British publication Jane's Defence Weekly, about his story in today's issue on Russian missiles in Serbia. Sources told Beaver and correspondent Zoran Kusovac that parts of the Russian missile system arrived by rail wagons carrying scrap iron in early 1999. Russian officials deny they violated the arms embargo against Yugoslavia. (4:00)
 
Kosovo - Integration -- NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says that, despite the presence of NATO peacekeepers, the vision of an ethnically integrated Kosovo is slipping away. (3:00)
 
Music -- Artist: , Title:
 
Fetal Surgery -- Jane Allen was 18 weeks pregnant when she got the news that her baby had Spina Bifida. This congenital defect results in a tiny hole in the spine which can lead to paralysis and even brain damage. Jane Allen chose to undergo a new, experimental procedure to try to correct her baby's defect before birth. NPR's Vicky Que takes us into the operating room to tell us about this new fetal surgery and how it's forcing parents to make some very difficult decisions. (12:30)
Spina Bifida Assoc. of America
Fetal Diagnosis, Children's Hospital of Phil.
Fetal Diagnosis Therapy Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Federal Folic Acid Campaign
 
Music -- Artist: HYPER CIVILIZADO, Title: Q SAMBA DUB MIX
 
Racial Slurs Suit -- NPR's Richard Gonzalez reports on a ruling by the California Supreme Court that allows lower courts to ban racial slurs in the workplace. The decision deeply divides legal scholars. Even the justices on the Court were divided on the ruling. (4:00)
 
Veloso -- Tom Moon reviews the CD "Livro" by Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso. Caetano Veloso was one of the musical pioneers who created the Tropicalia style in the late 60's. Tropicalia combines traditional Brazillian rhythms with contemporary popular songwriting. Moon says that Veloso offers an update on the Tropicalia style on his new CD. (3:30)
 
Music -- Artist: LENNIE TRISTANO, Title: YOU GO TO MY HEAD
 
Tax Bill -- NPR's Brian Naylor reports on the status of the $792 billion tax-cut bill that congressional Republicans agreed to last night. The deal, which resolved differences in House and Senate versions of the measure and which was made without Democratic input, must now be approved by both houses of Congress. GOP leaders are buoyant about the measure, which faces an almost certain presidential veto. (4:00)
 
Race at Harvard and Michigan -- NPR's Tovia Smith reports on reaction to a new survey which supports the idea that a diverse student body adds quality to a student's education. A poll of 1,820 law school students at Harvard and University of Michigan found a majority of students - most of whom were white - found that having classmates of a different race had enhanced their learning. But some experts question whether such a poll is a reliable measure. (4:30)
 
Chemicals Merger -- NPR's Jim Zarroli reports that Dow Chemical has announced it is acquiring Union Carbide in a stock deal valued at nine-point-three-billion dollars. The deal must still win approval from shareholders and regulators. If it goes through, Dow becomes the second largest chemical company behind Dupont. (3:30)
 
Music -- Artist: JOHN ARPIN, Title: CATERINA
 
Music -- Artist: Lounge Brigade, Title: Touch of Grey
 
Boy Scouts -- Eugene Sonn reports that New Jersey's Supreme Court today ruled against the Boy Scouts of America in a case involving a gay scout leader. The justices ruled the Scouts violated a New Jersey law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation when they fired James Dale. But an attorney for the Scouts hopes to take the case to the US Supreme Court. (3:00)
 
Sex Survey -- Linda speaks with Constance Swank, Research Director of the AARP, about the survey of people 45 years of age and older about sex. Most people report that they still find their partners sexually attractive as they get older, and that sex is an important part of their lives. Loss of a partner and loss of good health are the two biggest obstacles to the respondents' sex lives. (4:30)
 
Atlanta Memorial -- Joshua Levs of member station WABE reports a memorial service was held today in Atlanta in memory of those people killed in last Thursday's shooting rampage by Mark Barton. Candles were also lit for six members of a south Atlanta family who were shot dead in their home three weeks ago, and for two police officers killed by a gunman last week. Political and religious leaders at the service called on the city to join together to prevent more violence and bring healing. (4:00)
 
Music -- Artist: EDGAR MEYER & THE EMERSON STRING QUARTET, Title: QUINTET
 
Plants -- NPR's Richard Harris reports on new research that could force an upheaval in the world of botany. Scientists studying the evolution of plants say as many as half of all plants need to be reclassified and at least partly renamed. But other botanists say, if this isn't done with great care, it could create chaos in the garden, the nursery and the whole field of botany. The issue is a major point of contention at the International Botanic Congress taking place in St. Louis. (6:00)
 
Music -- Artist: HANK JONES, Title: HONEYSUCKLE ROSE
 
Music -- Artist: HANK JONES, Title: THE JITTERBUG WALTZ
 
Broke Heart Blues -- Joyce Carol Oates takes reader back to high school in the sixties in her new novel set, as many of her books, in western New York. This one is entitled Broke Heart Blues. Alan Cheuse has a review. (2:00)
 
Databases -- The House Commerce Committee is set to approve a bill that would protect computer databases and certain collections of information from piracy. Stock exchanges and publishers of legal opinions say the Internet and computer technology are threatening the investments they've made in providing quick access to this information. But on-line trading firms and researchers are worried the law could block access to public information, and are fighting against the strictest controls. NPR's Larry Abramson reports. (3:30)
 
Necklace -- Commentator Marion Winik tells the story of losing a necklace belonging to her son. He is in the fifth grade, and it was important because it was given to him by a friend "who is a girl." The loss turned life upside down. (4:00)
 
Music -- Artist: FAREED HAQUE, Title: TEACH YOUR CHILDREN
 
Music -- Artist: GERT WILDEN & ORCHESTRA, Title: FOLLOW ME
 

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