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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:08 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Let The Real Space Age Begin

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket stands ready for launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 5:14 pm

It was almost one year ago that the space shuttle Atlantis rose into the sky on a pillar of flame for the last time. The shuttle program ended forever with that mission. American astronauts were left to hitch rides on Russian space capsules, and American kids were left with no tangible direction forward for their dreams of a high-tech, space-happy future.

Tomorrow morning, the unmanned Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral so that supplies can reach the space station.

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The Salt
3:07 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

U.S. Craft Beer Brewers Thrive, Despite Small Share Of The Market

A row of taps highlights specialty and imported beers at Brouwerij Lane, in Brooklyn, New York. Craft brewers have found a way to thrive, even as the U.S. economy struggles.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 9:35 am

It's a good time to brew beer in America. According to beer expert Julia Herz, U.S. brewing isn't just on the upswing, it's on top. "We're now the No. 1 destination for beer, based on diversity and amount of beers," she says.

But if you want to see the strength of America's beer industry, you may want to look past beverage giants like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. According to the Brewers Association, nearly 2,000 American brewers operated during 2011 — the most since the 1880s.

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Middle East
2:51 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

In Change, Palestinians Now Seek High-Profile Visits

Egypt's grand mufti, Ali Gomaa (center, with scarf), visits the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in April. The Dome of the Rock, which is part of the same compound, is shown behind him. Many Muslims have boycotted the site because Israel claims sovereignty. But Palestinian religious figures now say they welcome such visits, a move that has sparked controversy.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 6:46 am

For decades, Muslims around the world have been unofficially boycotting Islam's third holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque Jerusalem.

Many Muslims believe that visiting legitimizes Israel's claim to the site, which also sits atop the holiest place in Judaism. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are seeking a state with a capital in east Jerusalem, where the mosque is located.

But Palestinian religious authorities at Al-Aqsa and Palestinian officials are now calling on Muslims to visit the shrine, a change that is creating controversy within the Palestinian community.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:16 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Bail Granted For Indiana Woman Charged In Attempted Feticide

Bei Bei Shuai, seen in a file photo, was charged with murder in the Jan. 2, 2011, death of her 3-day-old daughter Angel Shuai, after eating rat poison.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Dept. AP

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 11:21 am

Bei Bei Shuai is a step closer to leaving jail for the first time since March 2011, when she was arrested for the murder of her 3-day-old daughter Angel.

The girl, who was delivered by cesarean section, died after Shuai's unsuccessful suicide attempt in December 2010, while she was pregnant.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

On Two First-Class Seats, Olympic Torch Arrives In England

David Beckham holds the Olympic Flame as it arrives at RNAS Culdrose near Helston in Cornwall, England.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Flanked — literally and figuratively — by British royalty, the Olympic torch was flown from Greece to England, where it will begin a final 70-day journey before the 2012 London Olympics.

The Telegraph reports that after a rainy ceremony in Greece, the torch was taken aboard British Airways Flight 2012. The paper adds:

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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Haven't Registered To Vote Yet? They're Coming For You

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

If you're eligible to vote but aren't registered yet, watch out. They're coming to get you!

Campaigns, political parties and interest groups are all mounting massive voter registration campaigns this year to influence the outcome of the November elections.

The target is the millions of Americans — the Pew Center on the States estimates that number is 51 million — who are eligible to vote but not registered. The belief is that even a relative few of these voters could swing the election results.

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Around the Nation
1:36 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Will Population Shifts Alter Immigration Debate?

Hispanic residents walk by a law office in Union City, N.J., specializing in immigration in March. Union City is one of the state's largest cities, and has a Hispanic population of more than 80 percent.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court's expected ruling in June on Arizona's immigration law will set the blueprint for states where many officials say they face a crisis in trying to crack down on rising numbers of illegal residents.

Yet population changes and various research indicate that the great flow primarily of Latino illegal immigrants, which lasted at least two decades, ended several years ago.

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Energy
1:35 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Pipeline Flip Turns U.S. Oil World 'Upside Down'

The U.S. oil boom has created a glut of crude in Cushing, Okla., a major oil storage hub. This sign dubs the city the "Pipeline Crossroads of the World."
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

For years, Cushing, Okla., has been on the receiving end of a 500-mile pipeline funneling oil from the Gulf of Mexico to the American heartland.

Starting this weekend, that pipeline will start moving crude in the other direction. That flow reversal could soon have implications at gas pumps around the country.

"For 40 years, crude oil flowed north," says Philip Verleger, a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "Today, oil flows south. It's as if we turned the world upside down."

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Movie Reviews
1:23 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Coming Soon — To A Theater Nowhere Near You

A scene from Battleship, which opens this weekend in the U.S. Thanks to earlier releases abroad, the film has already grossed $215 million worldwide.
ILM/Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

The movie Battleship, based on the popular board game, opens today in the U.S. In most respects, it's a typical popcorn picture — the kind of effects-laden action movie that audiences often turn into a summer blockbuster.

And while it may not be any good, it is undeniably ours — American from the water up: a Universal Studios picture about an alien invasion, crammed with special effects from Industrial Light and Magic and set largely on American warships.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

What Facebook May Mean For Your Portfolio, Even If You Didn't Buy It

Facebook shares began trading on Nasdaq shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Friday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:25 pm

Don't worry if you missed out on Facebook's initial public offering. Chances are, if you own shares in a broad-based index fund, you'll be holding onto some Facebook soon enough.

Facebook is such a huge offering -– with an initial market capitalization of more than $100 billion, it instantly becomes one of the 25 largest "cap" stocks — that it could have a distorting effect on some funds, at least in the short term.

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Middle East
12:52 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Egypt's New President Could Come From Old Guard

Amr Moussa, a prominent figure during the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak, is the front-runner as Egyptians prepare to vote for president next week. He is shown here during a campaign event on the outskirts of Cairo on Wednesday.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:34 pm

In Egypt's historic presidential race, opinion polls place the oldest candidate with the most political experience far ahead of his 11 rivals.

Many opponents try to portray Amr Moussa as a holdover from the hated regime of Hosni Mubarak. Moussa was Egypt's foreign minister under Mubarak and later the secretary-general of the Arab League.

Yet many voters believe he is the only candidate who can end the country's growing insecurity and economic problems.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:36 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

CDC Tells Baby Boomers To Get Tested For Hepatitis C

Dr. Paul J. Pockros, a liver specialist at Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, talks with hepatitis C patient Loretta Roberts in Jan. 2011.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 12:41 pm

When it comes to hepatitis C, things that happened to baby boomers back in the day can make all the difference.

One in 30 baby boomers is infected with virus, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And most of them don't know it. So, the CDC is moving ahead with a proposal that all baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1965) get a blood test to check for the virus.

The current guidelines call for testing when someone has known risk factors.

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Insurers Paid $479 Million In Claims For Dog Bites Last Year

Matthew Weins of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles, works with Daisy on a demonstration aimed at showing that even small dogs can jump high to bite.
Damian Dovarganes AP

With National Dog Bite Prevention Week set to start Saturday, the Insurance Information Institute wants Americans to know that:

-- Insurers paid $479 million in home owner insurance claims involving dog bites last year, up 16.1 percent from the year before.

-- The number of such claims rose 3.3 percent, to 16,292.

-- The average cost per claim grew by 12.3 percent from the year before, to $29,296.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

President Of Malawi Vows To Overturn Gay Ban

President of Malawi Joyce Banda attends a protest against abuse of women in January 2012.
Thoko Chikondi AP

The president of Malawi vowed to overturn her country's ban on homosexual acts.

The BBC reports that President Joyce Banda made the vow in her first address to Parliament.

"Some laws which were duly passed by the August house... will be repealed as a matter of urgency... these include the provisions regarding indecent practices and unnatural acts," Banda said according to the BBC.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Again A Crime Victim

Breyer in 2011
Steve Helber ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:08 pm

It was just this February when Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's West Indies vacation home was broken into by a machete-wielding robber who stole $1,000. No one was hurt.

Now, the Washington Post reports that his D.C home was robbed of housewares:

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It's All Politics
11:56 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Romney Phones His Campaign Message Into Swing States

Following the release of what his campaign called his first ad of the general election, Romney participated in a "tele-town hall" with supporters in the swing states where the ad is running: Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa.

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Planet Money
11:25 am
Fri May 18, 2012

California's Facebook Windfall

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 9:21 am

Mark Zuckerberg is, among many other things, the highest-profile taxpayer on the planet today.

After today's Facebook IPO, Zuckerberg will owe nearly $200 million in California state taxes alone. That's "among the largest tax liabilities that a single individual has ever paid at a given point in time," says Jason Sisney of the California State Budget Legislative Analyst's Office.

Zuckerberg's profits will be taxed at a 10% rate in California. That's a much higher rate than in many other states.

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It's All Politics
10:57 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Negative Coattails: Could Obama Cost Arkansas Democrats The Legislature?

Arkansas Senate President Paul Bookout, a Democrat, speaks in the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Little Rock on April 5. In November, Arkansans will vote for every seat in the state Legislature.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 1:53 pm

President Obama's performance in Tuesday's Arkansas primary won't be as embarrassing as what happened in West Virginia two weeks ago, when he gave up 41 percent of the vote to someone who happened to be sitting in a federal prison in Texas for embezzlement.

But it may well do more lasting damage to his party.

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It's All Politics
10:49 am
Fri May 18, 2012

'President Romney's' First Day In Office: All About Reversing Obama Per Ad

Romney "Day One" ad

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 11:23 am

Challenging an incumbent president means finding ways to narrow the stature gap between the Oval Office occupant and would-be president.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Fri May 18, 2012

House Approves Continuation Of Indefinite Detention For Terror Suspects

A unlikely coalition failed to derail the government's practice of holding terror suspects for indefinite periods of time.

Some Democrats and Tea Party Republicans put the issue to a vote through an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have ended the practice but it ultimately failed, today, in the GOP-controlled house by a vote of 238 to 182.

The AP reports:

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Remembrances
10:30 am
Fri May 18, 2012

A Conversation With Author Carlos Fuentes

Mexican author Carlos Fuentes poses for a photo after a news conference in Mexico City on March 12. Fuentes died Tuesday at a hospital in Mexico City. He was 83.
Alexandre Meneghini AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:35 pm

Carlos Fuentes, one of the most influential writers in the Latin American world, died Tuesday at a hospital in Mexico City. He was 83. A prolific writer, Fuentes wrote novels, short stories and plays, as well as political nonfiction and essays that criticized the Mexican government during the 1980s and '90s.

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Remembrances
10:30 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Donna Summer, Queen Of Disco

Donna Summer, pictured above in 1976, died Thursday at age 63. She had cancer.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:34 pm

Donna Summer, the queen of disco, died Thursday at her home in Naples, Fla., after a long struggle with cancer. She was 63. Born LaDonna Andrea Gaines, she grew up in a large Boston family singing gospel music and became an icon of a powerful cultural movement, a celebrated sex queen and a staple of gay club life.

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Remembrances
9:59 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Remembering Vidal Sassoon, An Iconic Hairdresser

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:47 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 10, 2011.

The British hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, who created some of the most iconic hairstyles of the 20th century, died on May 9 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.

Sassoon's creations included the geometric, the Wash-and-Wear, the short bob Nancy Kwan wore in The World of Suzie Wong and Mia Farrow's famous pixie cut for Rosemary's Baby.

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Politics
9:57 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Romney Says No To Super PAC Smear Campaign

Mitt Romney releases his first general election campaign ad. Plus wealthy GOP investors say their super PAC won't run a smear campaign connecting controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright with President Obama. Host Michel Martin discusses the latest political developments with Lenny McAllister of Politic365.com and author Michael Fauntroy.

Law
9:57 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Trayvon Martin Case Evidence Raises More Questions

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, leaders of the G8 - that's the group of eight highly industrialized nations - are meeting at Camp David this weekend, but they're also joined by the leaders of some emerging African countries who will discuss the issue of food security on the continent. We'll talk more about that in a few minutes.

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World
9:57 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Why Does Hunger Still Exist In Africa?

Some of the world's fastest growing economies are in Africa. But hunger is still a widespread reality there, and will be a major topic at this weekend's G8 summit. Host Michel Martin discusses efforts to fight hunger on the continent with USAIDs Tjada McKenna and Mwiza Munthali of the advocacy group TransAfrica.

Business
8:50 am
Fri May 18, 2012

JPMorgan's Troubles And The Price Of Eggs

Do complex Wall Street transactions ever do anything to help average people? To answer that question, we consider the case of an imaginary company, Chickens LLC, that's looking to grow.
Joern Pollex Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:20 pm

Journalists have spent many days and millions of words hashing over the news that banking giant JPMorgan Chase lost billions of dollars trading "synthetic" derivatives.

I am one of those journalists who, more or less, can understand what the bank says it was trying to do, i.e., hedge against loan losses. But here's what I have a hard time explaining:

What does this kind of complex trading have to do with the price of eggs?

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Is It Fair That A Quarterback Set The Record For Paper Airplane Tossing?

Joe Ayoob (in red shirt) winding up for the record-breaking throw. Plane designer John Collins is behind him.
ThePaperAirplaneGuy

We'd seen the video of the world-record paper airplane toss — 226 feet, 10 inches.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:05 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Trash Can May Be Greenest Option For Unused Drugs

Surplus and expired drugs collected during the DEA's fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. New research suggests it might be better for the environment to dispose of drugs in household trash.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 8:21 am

American homes are filled with unused prescription drugs. Each year we squirrel away 200 million pounds of pharmaceuticals we don't need anymore, according to some estimates.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Updated: French President Sticks By Quicker Troop Withdrawal Schedule

President Barack Obama meets with French President Francois Hollande on Friday in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 11:36 am

Update at 1:17 p.m. ET. Support Afghanistan In 'Different Way':

During their meeting in the White House, President Francois Hollande, the new socialist leader of France, said he told President Obama that he was committed to withdrawing French troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

But, the AP reports, Hollande said he was committed to supporting Afghanistan in a "different way."

This was Obama's first meeting with Hollande.

The two leaders also said they wanted Greece to remain a part the European monetary union.

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