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7:04 am
Wed May 16, 2012

A Fleeting Memory Of Carlos Fuentes

Mexican write Carlos Fuentes at the Hay Festival Cartagena in January.
Claudio Rubio AP

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 2:43 pm

When I heard that the Mexican literary legend Carlos Fuentes died Tuesday at 83, I remembered a long, easygoing interview I did with him years ago. We talked about many things — including what epitaph he wanted carved on his tombstone.

It was the autumn of 1995 and I was a reporter at The Washington Post, assigned to write a profile of the elegant, eloquent Fuentes. I draw on that story now, for twice-told tales worth telling.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Wed May 16, 2012

At Trial, Serb Gen. Mladic Taunts Survivors With Throat-Cutting Gesture

Former Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague earlier today.
Toussaint Kluiters AFP/Getty Images

"Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic taunted Srebrenica survivors on Wednesday at the start of his trial for genocide, running his hand across his throat in a gesture of defiance to relatives of the worst massacre in Europe since World War II," Reuters writes from The Hague.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Is Housing Sector Getting Better? Increase In Starts May Signal It Is

A home construction site in Westport, Conn., last December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There was a 2.6 percent increase in housing starts in April from March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Greece Sets New Election For June 17; Fear Of Bank Runs Reported

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 6:22 am

With "the shockwaves from Greece's failure to form a coalition government" continuing to roil financial markets around the world, there's word from the BBC that Greece has now scheduled a new set of elections for June 17.

And there's also this:

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Folks Seem To Like It, So Facebook Boosts Size Of Stock Offering By 25 Percent

Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 6:20 am

The hoopla continues over Facebook's initial public offering of stock, with word that the social media giant has increased the size of Friday's IPO by 25 percent.

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Business
5:18 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Bershire Hathaway Buy 10 Million Shares Of GM

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a sign of confidence in the U.S. auto industry.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Berkshire Hathaway has bought 10 million shares of General Motors. The company owned by the billionaire investor Warren Buffett spent just over $200 million for that stake in GM. It is the first time Berkshire has invested in an American automaker.

The Two-Way
5:13 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Medical Report Details George Zimmerman's Injuries, ABC News Says

George Zimmerman during a court appearance on April 20.
Gary W. Green AP
  • Cheryl Corley, reporting for the NPR Newscast

George Zimmerman had a broken nose, black eyes, cuts on the back of his head and a minor back injury the day after he shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, according to medical records compiled by his doctor, ABC News reports.

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Law
4:54 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Juror Booted From Clemens Trial For Sleeping

At the perjury trial of pitching great Roger Clemens Tuesday, a judge sent a jury member home after saying she was "obviously sleeping." She's the second juror to fall asleep and be ordered to leave.

Around the Nation
4:47 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Restaurant Runs Out Of All-You-Can-Eat Fish

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
4:47 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Fischer, Kerrey Win Senate Primary In Nebraska

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news. Yesterday was primary day in Nebraska and voters delivered a surprise. Both parties were choosing candidates for a Senate race.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And the Republican primary started with a pattern that has become familiar. The leading candidate was backed by traditional Republican leaders but was challenged by another candidate with Tea Party support and a lot of outside money.

INSKEEP: It became a fierce campaign, but here's where the pattern was broken. Neither contender won.

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Around the Nation
4:47 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Will Edwards Take The Stand On His Own Behalf?

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In North Carolina, now this could be the last day of testimony in the John Edwards trial. At a federal courthouse, the former presidential candidate is being tried on six counts of campaign finance violations. Prosecutors say Edwards used nearly a million dollars to conceal an affair and hide the child he fathered with a mistress. The defense says Edwards wasn't fully aware of the cover-up and that any money connected with it did not come from campaign contributions.

Jeff Tiberii of North Carolina Public Radio has more.

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Business
3:23 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Majority Of Shareholders Still Support JPMorgan Chase

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 am

JPMorgan Chase hosted its annual shareholder meeting in Tampa Tuesday, and it was the first chance for shareholders to weigh in on the banks problems. News the bank lost at least $2 billion in a botched trading strategy gave fresh fodder to critics who want banks to be more tightly regulated.

Around the Nation
3:23 am
Wed May 16, 2012

International Travelers Welcome Atlanta's New Air Terminal

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A new international terminal opens today at the Atlanta Airport. Hartsfield-Jackson International is already the busiest airport in the world. And the new terminal reflects a big by the business capital of the South to become a bigger global player. Georgia wants to attract more international business. NPR's Kathy Lohr has the story.

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NPR Story
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Certain Ford Retirees Face Major Pension Decision

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 7:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now to big money that's tied up in a company's pension fund. Tens of thousands of white-collar Ford retirees will soon have a big decision to make: Should they stay in the auto company's pension plan, or take their chances with a lump sum payout instead? The offer is believed to be the first of its kind for such a large, ongoing pension fund.

Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith reports.

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NPR Story
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 5:25 am

Fragrances for the man candles include Riding Mower, which smells like freshly cut grass, and First Down, which has the smell of orange and leather.

NPR Story
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

'Cloud City': Like Walking Inside A Kaleidoscope

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 5:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In New York City, there's a new structure taking shape high above Central Park.

ANNE STRAUSS: Once we started to hoist the modules with an enormous crane, people became aware of it. You can see if from great distances.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's Anne Strauss, an associate curator at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. She's talking about a new exhibit in the Met's rooftop garden called "Cloud City."

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Law
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Appeals Court Moves Toward Identifying Donors

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. So that's the budget money. Let's talk about political contributions. The laws governing political money have just become a little bit more convoluted. But this time, the new twist could actually mean more disclosure. We'd find out the names of the big donors who finance attack ads.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Economy
2:52 am
Wed May 16, 2012

The Latest On Greece's Financial Crisis

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 am

Greece will hold new elections next month after leaders failed to form a government this week. The political uncertainty has raised fears that the heavily indebted country will be forced to exit the eurozone.

Planet Money
1:20 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Pizza Delicious Bought An Ad On Facebook. How'd It Do?

Pizza Delicious
Nick Sherman Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:38 am

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The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers
1:04 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Medical Records Could Yield Answers On Fracking

William Reigle has fibrosis, a disease that may be aggravated by nearby fracking. He's one of more than 2 million Pennsylvanians who get their health care from Geisinger Health System. The system wants to use its extensive database of patient records to study the health impact of natural gas production.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:50 am

A proposed study of people in northern Pennsylvania could help resolve a national debate about whether the natural gas boom is making people sick.

The study would look at detailed health histories on hundreds of thousands of people who live near the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation in which energy companies have already drilled about 5,000 natural gas wells.

If the study goes forward, it would be the first large-scale, scientifically rigorous assessment of the health effects of gas production.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
1:03 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Gymnast's Journey: Toddler Tumbler To Golden Girl

Aly Raisman practices on the balance beam at the 2012 American Cup at Madison Square Garden in New York. She placed second in the all-around portion of the event.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 am

Aly Raisman started gymnastics like millions of other children — in a toddler tumbling class. Now 17, the Massachusetts athlete is considered one of the best tumblers in the world. And she's on track to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.

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House & Senate Races
1:02 am
Wed May 16, 2012

'Joe The Plumber' Race A 'Microcosm' Of 2012 Politics

Republican congressional candidate Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as "Joe the Plumber," talks with supporters in Rocky River, Ohio, in February.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 am

In Ohio, a new congressional district that stretches along Lake Erie between Toledo and Cleveland has become a political portrait of polarized America.

The 9th District is one of the results of Ohio's loss of two representatives following the last census. The primary for the redrawn district pitted two longtime Democratic incumbents against each other. Now the victor, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, is taking on a Republican known for his role in the 2008 presidential election.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:02 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Poll: Americans Show Support For Compensation Of Organ Donors

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 am

The shortage of organs for transplant continues to grow, despite years of work to get more donors on board.

Facebook jumped in this month by making organ-donation status something you could add to your profile. And the social media giant made it easy to connect with a registry to sign up as a donor.

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It's All Politics
1:00 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Coming To A Political Campaign Near You: Outside Money, And Lots Of It

Yard signs supporting U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock in Columbus, Ind., on April 23. Mourdock went on to beat incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar in a primary race that received national attention, and a flood of money from outside Indiana.
Curtis Tate MCT /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:29 am

It's happening in several congressional races, in states like Nebraska, Montana and Ohio — millions of dollars from out-of-state donors and outside groups are fueling candidates' war chests.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

The American Way: Winners And Losers, And No Ties

Real Salt Lake's Jonny Steele (right) trips Chicago Fire's Sebastian Grazzini during a Major League Soccer matchup. The game ended without a score — one of 11 ties each MLS team is likely to record this season.
John Smierciak AP

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 6:13 am

Politicians love to boast about American exceptionalism: how special we are from all the merely ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill countries around the globe. I would say that what sets us apart, more all the time, is that we Americans don't like ties.

I don't mean four-in-hands or bow ties, but the ties in games, the ones that somebody once said are "like kissing your sister." Boy, do I agree — and I never even had a sister. Nothing about me is more American than that I don't like ties.

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Remembrances
7:48 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

In Writing, Fuentes Shed Light On Poverty, Inequality

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 Wed May 16, 2012 8:08 am

Carlos Fuentes was the son of a Mexican diplomat and spent years living abroad, including in the United States. But Mexico — the country, its people and politics — was central to his writing.

Fuentes, one of the most influential Latin American writers, died Tuesday at a hospital in Mexico City at the age of 83. He was instrumental in bringing Latin American literature to an international audience, and he used his fiction to address what he saw as real-world injustices.

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Remembrances
5:32 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Carlos Fuentes Was A 'Renaissance Man'

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One of Mexico's greatest writers has died: Carlos Fuentes. He was 83. Fuentes was a central figure in the Latin American literary boom of the 1960s and '70s. And he was publishing fiction and essays until the end, including an essay published today in the Mexican newspaper Reforma. I'm joined by Ilan Stavans, professor of Latino Studies at Amherst College. And, Professor Stavans, give us a sense of the broad sweep of Fuentes' career and what made his work so important.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Report: GM Will No Longer Buy Ads On Facebook

The Facebook thumb.
Paul Sakuma AP

According to The Wall Street Journal and CBS News, General Motors is planning to pull its ads from Facebook.

That would be a big move because GM has spent about $10 million in Facebook ads and the news comes just days before Facebook goes public on Friday.

The Journal reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
4:10 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

U.S. Funding Of HIV/AIDS Fight Overseas Carries Other Benefits

A mother and child wait to receive treatment at the HIV clinic in Nyagasambu, Rwanda, in Feb. 2008. The clinic was built by the Washington-based Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation with a grant from the PEPFAR program.
Shashank Bengali MCT/Landov

U.S. government spending to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries is also preventing death from other diseases, a new study finds.

Some experts worry the billions of dollars the United States spends to treat people with HIV in poor countries may crowd out prevention and treatment of other illnesses.

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Business
3:46 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Shareholders Press JPMorgan Over Risk-Taking

Protesters are seen behind a banner with a picture of JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon outside a shareholders meeting Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase faced more critics Tuesday, this time from some of its own shareholders at its annual meeting in Tampa, Fla. This comes after the bank disclosed it lost at least $2 billion last week in a bungled trading strategy.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into the surprise loss, and the Justice Department has now reportedly opened a preliminary probe.

JPMorgan executives let shareholders do some venting at Tuesday's meeting.

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