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Planet Money
3:30 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Four Signs Your Awesome Investment May Actually Be A Ponzi Scheme

Spotting a con artist isn't usually this easy. Allen Stanford was recently sentenced to 110 years in a $7-billion fraud, but a new book suggests the Ponzi business continues to thrive.
Dave Einsel Getty Images

Ponzi schemes get a lot of attention when big ones go bust. Bernie Madoff, of course, got a ton of attention when his $20-billion con collapsed in late 2008. So did Allen Stanford, who was recently sentenced to 110 years in prison for scamming investors out of more than $7 billion over two decades.

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3:29 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

India's Huge Blackout Leaves Millions Without Power

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 4:46 pm

A massive power cut in India left more than 300 million people — about a quarter of the population — without electricity on Monday. The cause of the collapse of the northern Indian power grid is still being investigated, but resulted in blackouts across at least eight Indian states. With no lights or hot water at home, millions of Indians then had to face a long struggle to get to work because trains were stopped and roads were jammed by lack of power for stop lights.

Middle East
3:22 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Jihadists Play Growing Role In Syrian Conflict

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 4:46 pm

Audie Cornish speaks with Seth Jones of the RAND Corporation about the increasing role that jihadists and foreign fighters are playing in the Syrian conflict.

It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Could Be Official Democratic Stance

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 8:45 am

Democrats are on the path to including an endorsement of same-sex marriage for the first time in their official party platform.

NPR's Ari Shapiro reported Monday that the proposal has made it through an important Democratic committee.

The 15 Democrats who serve on the party's platform drafting committee voted unanimously to endorse same-sex marriage in the party's official agenda, says Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who serves on the committee.

Frank recently married his partner.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:49 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

What Does The Future Hold For Bird Flu Research?

A government official in Bali, Indonesia, holds a chicken before administering an injection to cull it as a precautionary measure in April to prevent the spread of bird flu.
Firdia Lisnawati AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:43 pm

In a hotel ballroom in New York City, a couple hundred flu researchers watched with interest Monday as a government official ran down a list of seven kinds of experiments that could raise special security risks.

The official noted that one item on the list was any experiment that could make an infectious agent more transmissible, or contagious. "It wouldn't take long for this audience to come up with an example of that," he noted wryly.

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