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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
8:11 am
Fri June 8, 2012

It's All Politics, June 7, 2012

Morry Gash AP

All the interpretations you ever wanted to hear about the Wisconsin recall results are in this week's podcast: what it means for labor, what it means for November, and, most importantly, what it means for NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin. Plus, a look at Tuesday's primaries in California and New Jersey. And what is Bill Clinton up to, anyway?

NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin bring you the latest in this week's roundup.

The Two-Way
7:46 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Obama: Congress Needs To Do More Than Talk About Jobs

President Obama during this morning's news conference at the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 10:58 am

President Obama used the White House press briefing room this morning to again make the case that Congress — and in particular the Republican-controlled House — needs to take up more of his ideas about how to boost job growth.

He also said it's "offensive" to suggest "my White House" may have leaked some secrets to gain political advantage.

We updated with highlights, so hit your "refresh" button to be sure you're seeing our latest.

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET. Romney Says Obama Is 'Out Of Touch':

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Chesapeake Energy CEO In Hot Seat Today

Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon.
Scott Detrow StateImpact/Pennsylvania

The NBA finals aren't the only big news in Oklahoma City.

This morning, shareholders of Chesapeake Energy, the natural gas driller at the center of the nation's hydraulic fracturing controversies, are meeting in Oklahoma City, where the company is headquartered. But the buzz at this gathering won't be about fracking or basketball. It will be about Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake's controversial CEO.

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Africa
5:55 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Dry Cleaner Opens In World's Most Dangerous City

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:53 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Reports Swirl That Spain Will Seek Bailout

The Banco de Espana (Bank of Spain) in Madrid.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

One day after seeing its sovereign debt downgraded to just above junk status, Spain is dealing with reports that it's about to ask the other eurozone nations for help in bailing out its beleaguered banks.

As The Guardian writes:

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Around the Nation
5:48 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Typo Spotted In Maryland County's Diplomas

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. High school students graduating in Prince George's County, Maryland, got a surprise on their diplomas: a typo. The diplomas celebrated that each of the 8,000 students had completed an approved "progam" of study.

The Washington Post reports that the school system has ordered new diplomas, and apologized. School officials had a pretty good excuse; they blamed vendor error. No word yet on whether a dog was somehow involved.

Middle East
5:06 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Annan Pleads For More Help Resolving Syrian Crisis

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. The U.N.'s envoy to Syria has not given up on his peace plan - even after another gruesome massacre of villagers; even after U.N. monitors were fired upon at a government checkpoint when they tried to investigate the latest killing. Instead, U.N. envoy Kofi Annan is asking for more help to stop the violence in Syria, from the West and from Syria's neighbors.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Blood, Flesh, Gore At Site Of Suspected Massacre In Syria

Late last month, people gathered near a home that had been destroyed by fighting in al-Latamneh, Hama Province, Syria.
Austin Tice MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 11:45 am

There was "blood on the floor ... pieces of flesh ... a tablecloth filled with gore" when U.N. monitors and journalists got to one home today in a tiny central Syrian village where activists say dozens of people were killed by pro-Assad forces this week.

That's the report from NPR's Deborah Amos, one of the journalists traveling with those U.N. monitors. She spoke with our Newscast Desk just after 9 a.m. ET, from that village.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Right On The Money: A 'Capital' Book For Our Times

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 4:59 pm

Lizzie Skurnick writes the "That Should Be a Word" column for the New York Times Magazine.

England has always reveled in its drawing-room dramas, from Jane Austen's social minefields to E.M. Forster's Howards End to Upstairs, Downstairs — and yes, the blockbuster Downton Abbey.

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Africa
3:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Revolutionary Road Trip Moves On To Libya

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our MORNING EDITION colleague Steve Inskeep is in the midst of a revolutionary road trip: a journey through North African nations at the center of the Arab Spring. Now, as Steve was preparing for his trip from Tunisia through Libya and to Cairo, he spoke with a journalist who has covered Libya for years.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Her name is Lindsey Hilsum, author of the new book, "Sandstorm," about last year's revolution that overthrew Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi. Hilsum pays particular attention to that country's women.

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Business
3:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Demands Outweighs Supply Of Spain's Bonds

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Spain's banking crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: What a roller coaster week it has been for Spain. There are fears that Spain lacks the money to rescue its own troubled banks and may need Europe's help.

Madrid did hold a successful bond auction Thursday and markets responded, but only until the Fitch ratings agency downgraded Spain's debt rating several hours later.

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Business
3:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

New Products Unveiled At Electronic Entertainment Expo

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here in Los Angeles this week, the video game industry gathered for its annual convention, the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3. Companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo unveiled new products and games.

For some highlights, we're joined by Harold Goldberg. He's a video game critic who was at the convention all week. Good morning.

HAROLD GOLDBERG: Good morning, Renee.

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Business
3:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 10:38 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Crispy and cheesy and really, really profitable.

You might remember when we introduced you to Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco a few months ago. It's a taco made with a shell of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Taco Bell's chief executive hailed it as a flavor pairing waiting to happen. And after a huge media rollout, taco lovers have spoken by buying 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos in about 10 weeks. That is a whole lot of tacos.

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Movies
3:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Will 'Prometheus' Top 'Alien' Or 'Blade Runner'?

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ridley Scott has made two of the most acclaimed science fiction films, "Alien" and "Blade Runner." Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review of the director's newest sci-fi effort, "Prometheus."

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Prometheus" ends up with less to say than it thinks it does. It's more involving than many of this year's summer blockbuster competition, but by the standards of the director's earlier films, it's a disappointment.

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Around the Nation
3:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Hollywood Palladium Is On The Market

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. Let's go from the futuristic to a show biz monument from the past. The Hollywood Palladium is up for sale, according to according to the Hollywood Reporter. It's well known as a concert venue, hosting musicians ranging from James Brown to the Rolling Stones to Jay-Z. But we want to bring you back to the Palladium's beginnings as a stylish art deco ballroom back in 1940.

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Middle East
3:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Russia Refuses To Change Its Position On Syria

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as we just heard, Russia has stood its ground refusing to join Western powers in their approach to Syria. But Moscow has indicated recently that it's not wedded to Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Mark Katz came by to talk more about this with us. He's a Russia expert and professor of government and politics at George Mason University's Department of Public and International Affairs.

Professor, welcome.

MARK KATZ: Thank you.

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Latin America
3:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Cancer-Stricken Chavez To Seek 4th Term

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Venezuela, the populist President Hugo Chavez says he'll register on Monday as a candidate for October's presidential election. It will be his forth campaign, going back to the late 1990s. But Chavez is badly hobbled. Cancer has invaded his body. And Venezuelans are wondering if he'll even make it to the October election. NPR's Juan Forero is in Caracas.

And Juan, I understand this is important weekend on the Venezuelan election calendar. Explain to us what's happening.

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The Record
1:50 am
Fri June 8, 2012

A Record Label With A Midas Touch

Adele performs in February.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:43 pm

In the past 15 years, Richard Russell, the owner of the British independent record company XL Recordings, has shepherded his label to more than its fair share of industry success.

Last year the label saw its greatest heights yet, though to be fair, no other label climbed anywhere near as high. That's because 2011 was the year of Adele, and XL is the singer's home. (In the United States, Adele's albums are promoted and distributed by Columbia Records, but she is signed to XL worldwide.)

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Law
1:03 am
Fri June 8, 2012

After NAACP Marriage Stance, Discord And Discussion

The Rev. Ralph Abernathy (from left), the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bayard Rustin leave the Montgomery (Ala.) County Courthouse in 1956. Rustin, who was gay, was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
Gene Herrick AP

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

The NAACP recently took what was for some in the organization a controversial step, when it endorsed same-sex marriage. That move has now led some local officers around the country to resign — including the group's most outspoken critic of gay marriage.

The NAACP board says it stands by its resolution calling for marriage equality. But as the nation's oldest civil rights group prepares for its national convention in July, some in the ranks say the resolution caught them by surprise, and that such an important decision deserved open debate.

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Business
1:03 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Despite Low Rates, Investors Rely On Treasurys

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee Thursday that the U.S. economy faces some significant risks, and Fed officials are still deciding what to do about it.

His remarks disappointed a lot of investors who want the Fed to do something to revive growth. Bernanke spoke at a time when interest rates on government debt are hitting lows not seen since the Great Depression.

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Election 2012
1:02 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Will Economy Push Washington To Make A Deal?

President Obama speaks with House Speaker John Boehner during a meeting at the White House in 2011. A slowdown in job growth and a looming tax deadline could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

The Obama administration is searching for a "sweet spot" in economic policy: measures that could increase job growth right now without worsening the federal deficit. That task gained new urgency this month when the Labor Department reported a sharp slowdown in job growth in May.

The challenge could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.

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Science
1:01 am
Fri June 8, 2012

'Eliminate Dengue' Team Has A Deep (Lab) Bench

Scott O'Neill is leading a global effort to rid the world of dengue fever. "Finding a way to manage a group of people who are all quite individualistic and having them work together towards this common goal is critical," he says.
Greg Ford

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Second of a two-part series. Read Part 1

Every profession has its symbols of success. For opera singers, it's performing at La Scala or the Met. For mountain climbers it's making it to the top of Everest. For scientists, if you get two papers published in the same issue of a prestigious journal like Nature, you're hot.

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Europe
1:00 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Soccer In Ukraine Brings Fans, Fear Of AIDS

A man plays soccer in Kiev on Thursday. The first games of the Euro 2012 tournament are on Friday.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Hundreds of thousands of soccer fans, most of them men, are set to arrive in Ukraine and Poland for Euro 2012, the monthlong European soccer championship that kicks off Friday.

But what's expected to take place off the field has health experts concerned. An estimated 360,000 Ukrainians — more than 1 percent of the population — are infected with AIDS or the virus that causes AIDS, the highest rate in Europe. Sex workers are one of the hardest-hit groups.

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StoryCorps
8:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Finding 'A Very Kind Way' To Lead Special Olympians

Jose Rodriguez and Charles Zelinsky at StoryCorps in Trenton, N.J. Jose is now a Special Olympics coach — he'll be overseeing games this weekend.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:03 pm

States around the country are hosting their regional Special Olympics games this summer. In New Jersey, the games' opening ceremonies begin Friday.

Jose Rodriguez participated in the New Jersey Special Olympics back in 2003, when he was 13. Special Olympics offers a chance for people with intellectual disabilities to pursue a sport. Jose has trouble learning — mostly through reading and writing.

Speaking at StoryCorps, Jose, 23, told his former basketball coach, Charles Zelinsky, 57, what his life was like before he found the games.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Issa To Holder: 'No, Mr. Attorney General You're Not A Good Witness'

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:53 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder faced a grilling today during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

Rep. Darrell Issa was the main questioner, asking Holder if his Justice Department knew of the tactics used in the flawed gunrunning operation known as Fast and Furious.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports Republicans also accused Holder of not coming clean and not complying with subpoenas. She sent this report to our Newscast unit about the four-hour long hearing:

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

In Syria, Some Places 'Are Already Living The Civil War'

A Syrian boy sits in the rubble of house which was destroyed during a military operation by the Syrian pro-Assad army in April in the town of Taftanaz, Syria.
AP

NPR's Deborah Amos has been covering the uprising in Syria since it began more than a year ago. Like other foreign reporters, she has had to cover much of the conflict from afar because the Syrian government has only rarely granted visas. She has just returned to Syria for the first time since last fall and sent this dispatch:

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It's All Politics
3:54 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

There's More Secret Money In Politics; Justice Kennedy Might Be Surprised

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the Citizens United opinion saying that corporations can pay for ads expressly promoting or attacking political candidates.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:39 pm

Federal election law has required the public disclosure of campaign donors for nearly 40 years.

But this year, outside groups are playing a powerful role in the presidential election. And some of them disclose nothing about their donors. That's despite what the Supreme Court said in its controversial Citizens United ruling two years ago.

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Music Reviews
3:54 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Music Review: 'Can You Canoe'

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

For many kids, summer means no homework, playing outdoors and, of course, traveling. Our children's music reviewer, Stefan Shepherd, tells us about a new album inspired by a trip down America's original interstate highway.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CAN YOU CANOE?")

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Youth Radio
3:42 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Calf. Schools Try Out A Gentler Form Of Discipline

A gavel rests in a makeshift courtroom at Richmond High School in Richmond, Calif. The local school district has cut the number of student suspensions in half in six years by adopting a youth court program and other new discipline methods.
Robyn Gee

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:57 pm

Each school year, more than 700,000 California students — predominantly black and Latino — are suspended or expelled.

Robert, a talkative sixth-grader in the city of Richmond, has been suspended three times from his elementary school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. If he gets suspended one more time, he says, he might get expelled. [NPR has withheld his last name because he is a minor.]

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Poetry
3:09 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

New U.S. Poet Laureate: A Southerner To The Core

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 3:54 pm

The United States named its 19th poet laureate today: Natasha Trethewey, a professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the nation's first poet laureate to hail from the South since the initial laureate — Robert Penn Warren — was named by the Library of Congress in 1986.

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