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NPR Story
2:34 am
Wed April 25, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

The town of Boring, Oregon, is twinning with the village of Dull, Scotland. The idea came after a Scottish cyclist passed through Boring. She thought Dull would make a great sister community. Scotland's tourism agency says the partnership could attract visitors to Dull.

NPR Story
2:34 am
Wed April 25, 2012

'Bittersweet Season' Details Caring For Aging Mom

Jane Gross, author of A Bittersweet Season
Michael Lionstar

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:38 am

As part of Morning Edition's Family Matters financial literacy series, Renee Montagne talks to Jane Gross, author of A Bittersweet Season, about caring for her aging mother, and what she wishes she had known before she started.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Economy
1:05 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Fed Chief Bernanke To Discuss Sluggish Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has issued cautions about the economy.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:34 am

Policymakers at the Federal Reserve wrap up a two-day meeting Wednesday and will explain what they plan to do about interest rates. The consensus seems to be they'll keep short-term rates near zero to help support the lagging economy.

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Sweetness And Light
1:04 am
Wed April 25, 2012

U.S. Women In Golf, Tennis: Where Are You?

Yani Tseng of Taiwan hits a bunker shot to the ninth green during the second round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii.
Jeff Gross Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

Here's today's sports question: Who are Victoria Azarenka and Yani Tseng?

Give up? Well, they only happen to be the No. 1 women's tennis player and golfer in the world. If you don't know them, you're obviously a sexist fantasy football zealot.

No, no, I'll give you a pass.

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Around the Nation
1:03 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Holder Vows 'Zero Tolerance' To Human Trafficking

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said human trafficking will not be tolerated in the U.S. during a speech at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Ark., on Tuesday.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:13 am

Forced labor and underage prostitution are hiding in plain sight in cities all over the U.S. and are no longer problems confined to the developing world, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.

In a major speech on human trafficking Tuesday in Little Rock, Ark., Holder said far too many reports of abuse cross his desk each week, more than 40 percent of them involving children.

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World
1:02 am
Wed April 25, 2012

VA Struggles To Provide Vets With Mental Health Care

A veteran of the Iraq War with post-traumatic stress disorder talks to physical therapist Nicole Bormann before a session in the VA Medical Center in St. Louis.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

Over the past five years, the Department of Veterans Affairs says, the number of former service members seeking mental health services has climbed by a third. In response, the agency has boosted funding and tightened standards.

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Asia
1:01 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Carmakers In China Rev Up As Industry Shifts East

China is now the world's largest market for cars, and the Auto China 2012 car show is now taking place in Beijing. Here, the Denza electric car, a joint creation by Daimler and Chinese manufacturer BYD, is unveiled Monday.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 4:24 pm

The Beijing auto show runs this week in what is now the world's largest car market, and a crucial one for Detroit companies.

General Motors just announced it will open 600 more dealerships in China, where it sells more cars than it does in the U.S. Last week, Ford announced construction of its fourth Chinese assembly plant.

For longtime American auto executives in China, witnessing the shift in the global auto industry is dramatic.

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Education
11:36 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Negotiating The College Funding Labyrinth

About 7 out of 10 students borrow money to pay for college. Here, a Stanford University student walks through the campus in Palo Alto, Calif.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:16 am

Now that your child has gotten into college, have you figured out how much it's actually going to cost — and who's going to pay for it?

These questions are hitting college-bound students and their parents right about now, along with the other million questions that nobody seems to have straight answers for. Paying for college can be complicated, if not mind-boggling.

Roughly 7 out of 10 students borrow money to pay for college, and for many, the process might as well be a mystery wrapped in a riddle.

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Law
4:47 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Controversial Arizona Law Reaches Supreme Court

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies check the shoes of a suspect arrested during a crime suppression sweep in Phoenix in 2010. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration and crime sweep came after hundreds of immigrant-rights supporters delayed the effort with a rally at a downtown jail, in opposition to Arizona's immigration law SB 1070.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

The U.S. Supreme Court takes up yet another incendiary election issue Wednesday when it hears arguments on a controversial Arizona law that targets illegal immigrants.

As with last month's test of the Obama health care overhaul, the case pits the federal government's assertion of power against some states, and with some exceptions, it pits Democrats against Republicans.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Syria Envoy Kofi Annan Says Situation In Syria 'Bleak'

International envoy to Syria Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council that the situation in the country is "bleak." That's according to the AP, which obtained a copy of the closed briefing.

"He echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in calling the current situation 'unacceptable' and called on the Syrian government to immediately implement his six-point peace-plan," the AP added.

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Space
3:37 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Tech Entrepreneurs Bet Big On Asteroid Mining

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, a group of entrepreneurs unveiled a new company that aims to mine precious metals and other resources from asteroids. The idea of exploiting the natural resources on asteroids has been around for more than a century, and this is not the first company to lay out such grand plans.

But as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, this one does have the financial backing of some big names in high tech.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

VIDEO: Northern Lights Seen In Minnesota

The Northern Lights in Minnesota.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:02 am

Last night was pretty spectacular in some parts of Minnesota.

Fergus Falls, for example, got a rare showing of the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights. Douglas Kiesling, of Storm Chasing Video, posted this video of them on YouTube:

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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

As The Campaign Hits Cruising Altitude, Critics Again Target Presidential Travel

President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, en route to Florida, on April 10. Whenever a president runs for re-election, his travel tends to become a political issue.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

The White House has been fielding questions lately about President Obama's travel — what's official, what's political and whether taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill. It's the same issue that rolls around every time a president runs for re-election.

Take President Obama's trip to Florida earlier this month. It featured an official presidential speech on the economy at Florida Atlantic University. On the same trip, the president hit two fundraisers.

How do you sort that out?

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Animals
2:57 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

A Bug's Life: Store Caters To Collectors Of Crawly Pets

The Poecilotheria metallica is a species of tarantula that reflects a metallic blue color. It is just one of many tarantulas for sale in Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil's pet store. Price: $200.
Kenthebugguy.com

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:49 pm

If you're the kind of person who screams at the sight of an insect or spider — or worse, steps on it — then a new store in Tucson, Ariz., might not be the best place for you to pick up a new family pet.

Owner Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil says his store is the only retail pet shop in the country devoted to insects and other arthropods. Judging from the recent opening day crowd at the store, plenty of people think the critters make great pets.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
2:52 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Olympian's Arc: From 'Ninja Turtles' To London

Terrence Jennings (right) lands a kick during a taekwondo match last fall. Jennings, who says his love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drew him to the sport, will compete in his first Olympics this summer.
Martin Mejia AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Taekwondo is fairly new to the Olympics; it was first officially included in 2000. But in just a few years, the Olympics have become the pinnacle event of the Korean martial art. And the odds of earning a spot competing on that stage are incredibly slim. There are only four slots for Americans — two for men, and two for women.

Terrence Jennings has beaten those odds, by defeating opponents over months of qualifying matches. In July, he'll head to London for his first Olympics.

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Newt Gingrich
2:30 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Through Debt And Derision, Gingrich Keeps Running

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:38 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to win all five of the Republican presidential primaries being held Tuesday. The GOP front-runner hasn't had to worry about real competition since Rick Santorum dropped out of the race earlier this month.

But former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is still running for president, even though he's short on money and lagging far back in the polls.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Obama Calls Secret Service Employees In Prostitution Scandal 'Knuckleheads'

President Barack Obama laughs with Jimmy Fallon during commercial break as he participates in a taping of the Jimmy Fallon Show on Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:42 pm

In his first public comments about the prostitution scandal that has engulfed the Secret Service, President Obama praised the agency and said those implicated in the scandal should not the diminish the work of everyone else.

"The Secret Service, these guys are incredible," Obama said according to Politico. "They protect me, they protect our girls... A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do."

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Law
2:15 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Firm Leaves Miss. After Its Prison Is Called 'Cesspool'

In 2010, former inmate Ross Walton describes mistreatment he says inmates received from guards. Faced with a court order to reform the Walnut Grove juvenile prison, the company managing the prison is leaving Mississippi.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 6:06 pm

One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison is out. A report by the Justice Department describes "systemic, egregious and dangerous practices" at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

As those words imply, the official report is scathing.

Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk."

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NPR Story
2:05 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Student Loan Debt Exceeds One Trillion Dollars

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

President Obama wants Congress to extend the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which would freeze interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans for one year. Melissa Block speaks with Mark Kantrowitz, a student loan expert and publisher of FinAid.org for a primer on student loans and repayments.

NPR Story
2:05 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Senate Democrats Blast Arizona Immigration Law

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

On the eve of oral arguments in an important immigration case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue came to Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer convened a Senate hearing on the controversial Arizona law.

Shots - Health Blog
1:40 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Los Angeles Bets On Crusading Doctor To Turn Around Public Health System

Dr. Mitch Katz rides his bike to work, defying the commuting norm in Los Angeles.
Michael Wilson L.A.County Health Services Dept.

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 7:24 pm

It would be easy to confuse Dr. Mitch Katz with any other doctor at the Roybal Comprehensive Health Center in East Los Angeles. His desk in a closet-sized, windowless office is littered with patient records, X-rays and cans of Diet Coke.

His everyman demeanor belies his stature. As director of the county's Department of Health Services, Katz, 52, oversees Los Angeles' public hospitals and clinics, the health care of last resort for millions of low-income Angelenos. He oversees 22,000 employees and a $3.7 billion-dollar budget.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

USDA: New Case Of Mad Cow Disease Confirmed In California

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:25 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has confirmed a case of Mad Cow disease in a cow in central California. It is the fourth case found in the country in recent years.

The animal was a dairy cow and "at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health," U.S.D.A. Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Cardboard Prom Dress Is Just The Right Fit For This Young Woman

Maura Pozek in her latest creation.
Steve Pozek (her dad)

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:51 am

Why did Missouri teen Maura Pozek make her prom dress out of cardboard and paper bags?

Because after fashioning the previous two years' outfits out of Doritos bags and soda can tabs, "I had to top myself somehow."

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

With 'Drive,' Google Joins The Cloud Storage War

Google Drive.
Google

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 12:44 pm

After years of speculation and rumor, today Google announced Google Drive, a new service that allows users to store data on the cloud.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:25 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Bird Flu Scientist Has Applied For Permit To Export Research

The Dutch scientist at the center of the controversy over recent bird flu experiments says that his team applied for government permission today to submit a paper describing their research to a science journal.

The Dutch government has asserted that the studies, which describe how to make bird flu virus more contagious, fall under regulations that control the export of weapons technology.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:07 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Americans' Cholesterol Levels Shrink, Even As Waistlines Expand

Americans are heavier than ever, yet the amount of cholesterol in our blood is on the decline.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:47 am

A curious — and good — thing has happened on the road to Obesity Nation: the share of the U.S. adult population with high cholesterol has dropped.

Data just out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that only 13.4 percent of adults in this country have high cholesterol, according to data collected in 2009 and 2010.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Cuban Actors, In Movie About Defecting, Appear To Have Defected

As many news outlets have put it, this might be a perfect case of life imitating art: Two Cuban actors, who star in a movie about about teenagers who decide to defect to the United States, have gone missing shortly after arriving in the United States for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Una Noche.

Six days later, Javier Núñez Florián and Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre are still missing and assumed to have defected.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue April 24, 2012

George Zimmerman Has Pleaded Not Guilty In Trayvon Martin Case

George Zimmerman during his bond hearing in a Seminole County, Fla., courtroom on April 20.
Gary Green Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images

On the day after he was arrested, George Zimmerman officially entered a "not guilty" plea to the charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Trayvon Martin, according to court records now posted online by Florida's 18th Circuit Court.

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It's All Politics
11:29 am
Tue April 24, 2012

3 Things To Watch For In Tuesday's Primaries

A man prepares to put in place an informational sign for voters on primary day 2012 in North Greenbush, N.Y.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 12:15 pm

(Revised at 2:03 pm ET with new Ron Paul-Pennsylvania material.)

The contest for the Republican presidential nomination may be over for all practical purposes, with Mitt Romney the all-but-certain GOP nominee. But that doesn't mean there's nothing of interest in Tuesday's primaries.

Voters are going to polls in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and New York, though turnout is expected to be low. Still, here are four things to watch for.

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The Picture Show
11:07 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Bicycle Portraits: What Do Bikes Say About A Culture?

Jors Moentsabato: "It helps me a lot, this bicycle of mine. There where I go, I ride my bike. I bought this bike at the shop where they sell old stuff, I found it there."
Stan Engelbrecht

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:52 am

I have to admit I was a bit reluctant when I first saw this series of "Bicycle Portraits" because biking has, in some cases, become something of a cliche steeped in hipdom sprinkled with granola. Or mainly: For NPR to present a series of bicycle portraits just seemed too cute, too predictable.

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