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Shots - Health Blog
8:29 am
Fri March 30, 2012

New York Bans 'Synthetic Marijuana'

A package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals sometimes called synthetic marijuana. New York moved to ban a wide range of products like these this week.
Kelley McCall AP

There will be no more "Mr. Nice Guy" in New York. No more "K2," "Skunk" or "Zohai" either.

The New York State Health Department banned the sale of synthetic marijuana products like those on Thursday. So all kinds of wacky stuff that's made to get people high — but is often disguised as potpourri, incense or some mixture of herbs — is now verboten.

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Author Interviews
8:02 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Harry Crews On Writing And Feeling Like A 'Freak'

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 10:20 am

This interview was originally broadcast on May 23, 1988.

Writer Harry Crews had a hard life and didn't made it any easier for the characters in his novels. He died Wednesday at age 76.

Crews' novels were filled with freaks and losers with unusual gifts. In Naked in Garden Hills, there was the 600-pound man with a penchant for dietary supplements. The Gospel Singer featured lunatics and carnival characters. Car showcased a man who literally ate a Ford Maverick, several ounces at a time.

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It's All Politics
7:33 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Friday Political Grab Bag: Rep. Paul Ryan Endorses Mitt Romney Etc

Rep. Paul Ryan gave Mitt Romney the thumbs up Friday. Photo is of Ryan on Thursday, March 29, 2012 on Capitol Hill.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 8:21 am

Rep. Paul Ryan's endorsed Mitt Romney Friday just ahead of Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ryan said: "I think he deserves to be the nominee. I think he earned it. He has emerged as the best candidate." Ryan, a rising star in the party who many wanted to run for president and who is seen as a vice presidential possibility, said a further protracted primary would weaken the party's chances of beating President Obama in November.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Brother: George Zimmerman Would Be Dead If He Hadn't Defended Himself

Robert Zimmerman Jr., brother of George Zimmerman, during his interview with CNN's Piers Morgan.Â
CNN.com

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 7:31 am

"There would have been George dead had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed," the brother of George Zimmerman told CNN's Piers Morgan last night in one of the most extensive interviews yet with someone from the family of the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.

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It's All Politics
6:56 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Wisconsin Voters Face Onslaught Of 'Negative, Negative, Negative' Ads

Supporters listen to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum at The Ravine in Bellevue, Wis., on March 24. Some voters in the state are complaining about a barrage of negative ads in advance of Tuesday's primary.
Darren Hauck Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 2:03 pm

  • Listen to the Story on Morning Edition

With a GOP presidential primary coming up on April 3, Wisconsin voters have found themselves besieged by political ads, reports NPR's David Schaper on Friday's Morning Edition.

Talking to voters in La Crosse, Schaper found that residents have grown weary of the onslaught. It has been massive: The Red, White And Blue Fund — the superPAC supporting Rick Santorum — has so far spent almost a half-million dollars on ads attacking front-runner Mitt Romney.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Consumer Spending Jumped Up In February, Incomes Rose Just A Little

There was a 0.8 percent rise in personal spending in February from January, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported. It was the strongest gain in seven months, according to The Associated Press.

But personal income rose just 0.2 percent, the bureau adds. And "disposable personal income," what's left after personal taxes, also rose only 0.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Rep. Ryan Endorses Romney

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at NPR headquarters in May 2011.
Erin Schwartz NPR

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 1:10 pm

One day after fellow Republicans in the House ensured passage of his version of a 2013 federal budget, there are reports that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is about to endorse Mitt Romney's bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

The Associated Press says it has been told by two Republican officials that "Ryan's endorsement could come as soon as Friday, when Romney is scheduled to give an economic speech in Appleton, Wis."

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Mega Millions Mania: What If You Win? Then What Do You Do?

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 10:27 am

Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)

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Animals
5:29 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Elephant Escapes From Traveling Circus In Ireland

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Europe
5:22 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Rome Drives Away Photogenic Gladiators

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with bad news for gladiators. Nowadays performers in Rome who dress like those ancient combatants earn money by posing in photos with tourists. As of today, they've been driven away from the Coliseum. Roman officials say gladiators will no longer be able to peddle pictures outside their classic arena. The no-pay rule only applies around the Coliseum. Still, it's not hard to tell how gladiators will react - thumbs down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Negative Political Ads Work On Undecided Voters

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Ask almost anyone about negative political ads, you'll likely get a negative response. They're widely disliked, yet campaigns keep airing them over and over and over again. That's especially true right now in the state of Wisconsin, ahead of next week's Republican primary.

NPR's David Schaper reports that as hated as these ads are, they are seen as effective.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Flip on the TV anywhere in Wisconsin this week and it won't be long until you hear this...

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

When It Comes To Race, Obama Walks A Tightrope

After a reporter asked President Obama about the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., GOP opponents said the president was being divisive by bringing up racial issues. David Greene talks to Lester Spence, an assistant professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, about race and politics.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

'Bully' Examines Students Targeted By Their Peers

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

A documentary that has been stirring up headlines for weeks finally opens today. "Bully," from producer Harvey Weinstein, has made news for its controversial R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. Weinstein argues the R rating prevents the movie's intended audience - children - from seeing it, and so he decided to release "Bully" unrated.

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Asia
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Apple, Foxconn To Improve Factory Conditions

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 4:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Apple has been under scrutiny for working conditions in factories in China, factories that make its iPhones and iPads. And it responded by enlisting a workers' rights group. Now, the Fair Labor Association has released its audit of Apple's largest supplier, Foxconn. It found more than 50 violations of both its code of conduct and Chinese labor laws, at three Foxconn factories. NPR's Steve Henn reports.

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Movies
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Bullying Movie Is Released With No Rating

The Motion Picture Association of America was going to give Bully an R rating for language, but the movie's producer decided to send it out with no rating. The nation's second-largest cinema chain AMC will show it, but Cinemark, the third-largest chain will not.

Business
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Best Buy Rethinks Big-Box Model

This Best Buy store in Richfield, Minn., near the retailer's corporate headquarters, is getting remodeled as part of a pilot project in the Twin Cities and San Antonio, Texas. The new store, part of Best Buy's "connected store" concept, will be smaller and emphasize portable electronics, such as tablets and e-readers.
Annie Baxter/NPR

Best Buy is trying to wriggle out of the big box. The electronics retailer has a lot of real estate in its giant blue stores, but it isn't profitable space: In its most recent quarter, the company reported a $1.7 billion loss. So it's shedding stores and workers — and rethinking its big-box concept.

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Business
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Intrigue For Monday's Show: Mystery Powders

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is, can you eat that?

You've heard of mystery meats, right? Well, how about mystery powders - courtesy of the ever-innovative food industry?

NPR science correspondent Allison Aubrey asked me to come up and have a sneak peek at what she's cooking up for Monday's MORNING EDITION.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Allison Aubrey, you always get me into trouble somehow. Why am I up here at your desk?

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Anything standing out here?

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Election 2012
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

George H.W. Bush: It's Time To Get Behind Romney

In Houston Thursday, former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Mitt Romney's run for the Republican presidential nomination. Bush's endorsement is one more signal from the Republican establishment for the party to close ranks behind Romney.

Science
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

How Much BPA Exposure Is Dangerous?

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 9:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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Business
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

BlackBerry Maker To Focus On Corporate Customers

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 4:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with BlackBerry backpedaling.

Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, says it's turning its focus back to corporate customers. This follows its failure to break into consumer markets dominated by iPhones and androids. Last quarter, the company lost $125 million. Analysts say BlackBerry's main problem is its trouble running third-party applications. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Stopgap Bill Keeps Transportation Projects Going

President Obama is expected to sign another stopgap funding bill that avoids a weekend shutdown of thousands of transportation construction projects. The measure gives a 90-day funding extension for road, bridge and rail construction projects.

Education
1:53 am
Fri March 30, 2012

In Bullying Programs, A Call For Bystanders To Act

Alyssa Rodemeyer, 16, talks about her younger brother Jamey at an anti-bullying rally in San Francisco. Jamey committed suicide in September 2011 after being bullied. More schools are looking for ways to combat bullying among students.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

The documentary Bully opens in theaters Thursday, and the heated controversy over the appropriate rating for the film has frustrated many schools hoping to use it as a teaching tool.

Administrators have struggled to find effective ways to help curb bullying in their schools in recent years, and a growing number of bullying prevention programs have emerged to meet the demand.

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Science
1:50 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Policy On High-Risk Biological Research Tightened

The Obama administration has announced a new policy to handle the risks posed by legitimate biological research that could, in the wrong hands, threaten the public.

The move comes in response to a huge debate over recent experiments on bird flu virus that got funding from the National Institutes of Health. Critics say the work created mutant viruses that could potentially be dangerous for people, or give terrorists a road map for making a bioweapon.

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Planet Money
1:48 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Senator By Day, Telemarketer By Night

"I think most Americans would be shocked..." - Sen. Dick Durbin.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

This is the first story in a Planet Money series on money in politics. We'll have more this afternoon on All Things Considered, and this weekend on This American Life.

We think of lawmakers having one job: making laws. But there's a second job most lawmakers have to do. And it's a big job.

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Europe
1:35 am
Fri March 30, 2012

French Killings Spark National Soul-Searching

Hundreds of people gather on March 23 on the main public square in Toulouse, France, to pay homage to the seven victims of self-proclaimed al-Qaida militant Mohamed Merah.
Eric Cabanis AFP/Getty Images

The killings in France of three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers of North African descent came during a presidential campaign in which immigration has dominated campaign rhetoric. The Toulouse gunman, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, was shot dead by police, but the tragedy has prompted national soul-searching.

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Asia
1:27 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Myanmar's Election Seen As A Test Of Reforms

Myanmar opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to supporters on Saturday. Voting in parliamentary elections this Sunday is considered a test of the political reforms that Myanmar's rulers have introduced over the past year.
Khin Maung Win AP

Myanmar has an election this Sunday where only a small fraction of the parliamentary seats are at stakes — and yet the ballot is commanding international attention.

The closely watched election is seen as a test of whether the country's rulers are sincere about reforms they have been introducing over the past year.

If the vote is seen as free and fair, it could prompt Western governments to begin lifting sanctions imposed during the half-century of military rule in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

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Movie Interviews
1:19 am
Fri March 30, 2012

James Cameron: Diving Deep, Dredging Up Titanic

The Deepsea Challenger submersible begins its first test dive off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
Mark Thiessen AP

Titanic is back. The 1997 blockbuster featuring star-crossed lovers Jack and Rose is being released in 3-D. Starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic was the highest-grossing movie in history — until Avatar.

Both films were directed by James Cameron, who has just returned from a landmark expedition to the deepest point in the ocean: a spot in the far western Pacific called the Challenger Deep.

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StoryCorps
8:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

As A Life's End Draws Near, A Father And Son Talk

"For me, dying — it's very enlightening and certainly rewarding," David Plant (left) tells Frank Lilley. "Look at the opportunity to talk, for example. It's just incredible."
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:49 am

In 2010, David Plant was diagnosed with skin cancer. The cancer has since metastasized to other parts of his body, and David is now contemplating the end of his life. So, just before his 81st birthday, he sat down with his stepson to talk about their life together.

As Frank Lilley explains, "David is my stepfather, but I certainly consider him my father."

The two spoke in in New London, N.H. And Frank began with a question.

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Technology
4:39 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Group Finds 'Significant Issues' At Foxconn Factories

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 6:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The Fair Labor Association, a labor rights group, has released its audit of Apple's largest supplier in China, Foxconn. The group found what it calls significant issues with working conditions at three factories there, including more than 50 violations of the FLA's code of conduct and Chinese labor law.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:33 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Thinking The Unthinkable: What If The Whole Affordable Care Act Goes Down?

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 6:09 pm

After this week's oral arguments at the Supreme Court, lawmakers and health policy experts are starting to ponder what had — until recently — been unthinkable to many: What if the court strikes down the entire Affordable Care Act?

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