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3:11 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Trayvon's Father: We Don't Want 'An Eye For An Eye'

Tracy Martin says of his son, "We're not saying that Trayvon was perfect. But what we are saying is, he was our child. He was a good kid. And he didn't deserve death."
Doriane Raiman NPR

The death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., has sparked headlines around the country, along with many discussions about race, the law, and the media.

Martin was killed as he returned from a trip to a convenience store. The man who shot him, George Zimmerman, has not been arrested; he says he acted in self-defense.

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It's All Politics
3:10 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Supreme Court Limits Damage Payments To Whistle-Blowers

Under Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling, whistle-blowers like Linda Tripp (seen here in 1998) have few options in suing the government for damages.
Mark Wilson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:14 pm

The Supreme Court has dealt privacy advocates a huge setback. By a 5-3 majority, the court ruled that people who sue the government for invading their privacy can only recover out-of-pocket damages. And whistle-blower lawyers say that leaves victims who suffer emotional trouble and smeared reputations with few if any options.

Justice Samuel Alito and all four of his conservative colleagues turned back a challenge from a pilot named Stan Cooper. (Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the case.)

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It's All Politics
3:06 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Oral Arguments Outside The Supreme Court, As Well ...

Robert Yochem, 45, of Baltimore
John Rose NPR

What happens when impassioned demonstrators come this close to each other?

Opponents and defenders of the new national health care law found out this week, sometimes facing off outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices inside heard three days of oral arguments on the law's constitutionality.

NPR discussed the experience with demonstrators from both sides of the debate, who traveled from other states or nearby cities to bring their voices to the steps of the high court.

Carolyn Weller, secretary:

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Battling 'Red Tide,' Scientists Map Toxic Algae To Prevent Shellfish Poisoning

An oyster shucker on Samish Island, Wash. on Puget Sound. The state is frequently forced to close beaches to oyster gatherers because of the risks of harmful algae blooms.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:14 pm

Public health officials have their hands full keeping your clam chowder and raw oysters safe. That's due, in part, to red tides.

Red tides happen nearly every year as coastal waters warm, killing fish and poisoning shellfish along U.S. coasts. They're not actually tides; they're huge blooms of naturally occurring toxic algae.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Despite Losses, Bank Of America CEO Receives Huge Raise

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.
Chuck Burton AP

Despite the fact that Bank of America lost 58 percent of its value in 2011, its CEO received a compensation package worth $7.5 million. That's a six fold increase from the year before. The AP reports that under Brian Moynihan, Bank of America also lost its title as the No. 1 bank by assets to JPMorgan Chase.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
2:50 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Spring Brings Some Green Shoots In Housing Market

A recently sold home in Palo Alto, Calif. Home inventory is declining nationwide, and real estate agents say they are seeing more interest among would-be buyers.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:14 pm

Housing prices are still declining, but many analysts see some signs for optimism in the housing market. The mild spring has brought buyers out earlier than usual, and real estate agents are busy.

Doug Azarian is one of them. One of his clients recently signed a deal on a $1.5 million house in Cape Cod, Mass. — a contemporary waterfront property with three bedrooms.

"The buyers came in, and they loved it from the minute they walked in the door," Azarian says.

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It's All Politics
2:48 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Rep. Bobby Rush's Hoodie Moment Recalls His Own Family Tragedy

Rep. Bobby Rush who, like Trayvon Martin's parents, lost a son to gun violence.
Anonymous AP

Rep. Bobby Rush made news Wednesday when he raised a hoodie during a House floor speech on the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

The Chicago Democrat was told by Rep. Gregg Harper, the Mississippi Republican presiding over the chamber that he was in violation of the House's rules as Harper repeatedly banged his gavel to get Rush to signal that Rush had gone too far.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Prosecutor Says A Desire To Win Led To Misconduct In Sen. Steven's Case

Special federal prosecutor Henry F. Schuelke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 2:26 pm

A special prosecutor who spent two years exploring Justice Department misconduct in the botched case against late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said "contest living" — the desire to win a big case — explained the failure to follow the rules in one of the biggest political corruption prosecutions in decades.

"[Lawyers] do not want to have to undermine our case if it can possibly be avoided," investigator Hank Schuelke told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. "That motive to win the case was the principal operative motive."

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Report: Student Loans For K-12 Are On The Rise

Anyone who watched Nursery University — a documentary about the trials and tribulations of getting your toddler in the "right" pre-school — won't be surprised by this story.

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Judging The Health Care Law
1:54 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO: Supreme Court: The Health Care Law And Medicaid Expansion

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 3:17 pm

  • Listen to Wednesday Afternoon's Supreme Court arguments

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the last of three days of oral arguments on the fate of President Obama's health care law. A transcript of Wednesday afternoon's arguments, as prepared by the court, follows.


CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will continue argument this afternoon in case 11-400 Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Clement. ORAL ARGUMENT OF PAUL D. CLEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER MR. CLEMENT: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

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Latin America
1:40 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Pope Wraps Up Cuba Visit With Mass, Castro Meeting

Pope Benedict meets with Fidel Castro in Havana on Wednesday as he wraps up his three-day visit to Cuba. A large crowd turned out for the Mass, though the pope did not meet with dissidents.
Osservatore Romano AP

In the last public event of his three-day visit to the island, Pope Benedict XVI called on Cuba, and the world, to change and choose a path of "love, reconciliation and brotherhood."

After the Mass, the pontiff met with Fidel Castro for a half-hour before departing for Rome, wrapping up a weeklong trip to Mexico and Cuba.

The pope did not meet with Cuban dissidents during his trip, however, drawing criticism from Castro opponents in Cuba and abroad.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:08 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet Day 3: Scalia Unplugged

Activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the court hears a third day of arguments on President Obama's health care law.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 2:43 pm

On the final morning of its three-day health care law extravaganza, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the question of whether parts of the 2010 federal statute can survive if the justices strike down its central tenet: the individual insurance requirement.

In other words, if the nine justices find the insurance mandate unconstitutional when they rule by June, would that mean that the entire law also fails the constitutionality test?

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Sign Of The (Wisconsin) Times: Gov. Scott Walker For President

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's future is a bigger deal to many in his state than Tuesday's presidential primary.
Don Gonyea NPR

There's a Republican presidential primary next Tuesday in Wisconsin. But as the accompanying photo taken by NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea in Delafield, Wisc. suggests, a lot of Wisconsinites have other political matters on their minds.

As Don writes in an e-mail:

"Note that the recall coming up on June is the big political story here. Not Tuesdays presidential primary."

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Arguments End, Deliberation Begins For Health Care Law

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melisa Block.

The case is submitted. With those words from the chief justice, the three-day marathon at the Supreme Court ended. Today, the justices heard two sets of arguments over the federal health care law. There were sessions in the morning and afternoon with two separate questions to consider.

NPR's Ari Shapiro is with me in the studio to describe what happened. And, Ari, let's start with the morning arguments, a key question there hinging on yesterday's arguments.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Fla. Teen's Shooter Still Free; Lack Of Evidence Cited

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:58 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Medicaid Expansion Caps Supreme Court Arguments

Supporters of the health care law rally in front of the Supreme Court Wednesday, the final day of arguments over its constitutionality.
Charles Dharapak AP

The last argument on the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court could have consequences far beyond health care.

The key issue is whether the health law's expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor unfairly compels the participation of states. Many considered this to be the weakest part of the states' challenge to the health law, and during Wednesday afternoon's arguments, that seemed to be the case.

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Mental Health
12:52 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Staff Sgt. Bales Case Shows Stigma, Paradox Of PTSD

The U.S. military is trying to improve treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. But many veterans say they're still under pressure to deny they have problems. Here, military personnel attend a presentation on PTSD at Fort Hamilton Army Garrison in Brooklyn, N.Y., in December 2009.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:14 pm

The case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier charged with killing 17 Afghan villagers, has led the Army to review how troops are screened for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs say they have invested heavily in the treatment of PTSD to deal with a growing caseload.

But the stigma associated with the disorder continues to complicate efforts to treat it. It has also fueled serious misconceptions about its effects — such as the notion that PTSD causes acts of extreme violence.

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Wrapping Up Oral Arguments, Justices Disagree On Medicaid Expansion

The AP says there was strong disagreement between liberal and conservative Supreme Court justices on the question of whether the expansion of Medicaid in the health care law passed in 2010 is constitutional. At issue is whether the federal government can demand that states expand their Medicaid program.

The court's liberal wing, reports the AP, made it clear they were OK with expansion of the program for low-income Americans.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

'He's Gone And We're Searching For Answers,' Says Trayvon Martin's Father

Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin's father, at a forum held Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

"I haven't even started grieving and I don't think I'll start grieving until I get justice for him."

That's Tracy Martin, father of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, moments ago in an interview with Tell Me More host Michel Martin (no relation).

During a conversation due for broadcast on Thursday's edition of Tell Me More, Tracy Martin also said:

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The Salt
12:18 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Why 'Pink Slime' Isn't That Different From Other Meat

As we reported earlier this week, the company that makes the lean finely textured beef that earned the notorious moniker "pink slime" is closing three out of its four plants.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Human Rights Group Says Cuba Arrests, Harasses Activists During Papal Visit

Amnesty International says the Cuban government has increased its harassment of opposition activists.

According to the human rights organization, the government has detained more 150 opponents and in other situations has surrounded some of the activists' homes to prevent them from "denouncing abuses during Pope Benedict's tour."

Amnesty adds that some human rights organizations and prominent activists have had their phones cut off.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Arab Ministers Call Syria To Enact U.N.-Backed Peace Plan

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 11:37 am

The peace plan backed by the United Nations got the support of Arab foreign ministers today.

The leaders, who were in Baghdad for an Arab League summit, endorsed the plan which calls for a cease fire, the release of political prisoners and dialogue with the opposition. The ministers said Syria should enact the plan.

Reuters reports:

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Judging The Health Care Law
11:23 am
Wed March 28, 2012

TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO: Supreme Court: The Health Care Law And Severability

  • Listen to Wednesday Morning's arguments

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the last of three days of oral arguments on the fate of President Obama's health care law. A transcript of Wednesday morning's arguments, as prepared by the court, follows.


CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will continue argument this morning in Case Number 11-393, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius and case 11-400, Florida v. The Department of HHS.

Mr. Clement. ORAL ARGUMENT OF PAUL D. CLEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONERS MR. CLEMENT: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Father Of Trayvon Martin: 'I Won't Rest' Until Son's Killer Is Prosecuted

Tracy Martin (left) and Sybrina Fulton appear at a forum held by Democratic members of Congress in Washington on Tuesday. Lawmakers discussed the death of the couple's son, Trayvon Martin, and racial profiling.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 4:39 pm

The parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin have been in Washington, D.C., the past two days, meeting with Democratic lawmakers and pleading for the arrest of George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watch volunteer who shot their son.

I talked today with the boy's father, Tracy Martin, 45, about the whirlwind of attention the case has drawn, the latest claims made about his son's role in the Feb. 26 incident in Sanford and his hopes for an arrest.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:36 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Supreme Court Mulls Whether Health Law Can Survive Without Mandate

People wait for tickets to attend the last day of arguments over the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

With the fate of the health law's insurance mandate in doubt, the last day of arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court became even more crucial to the future of the Obama administration's central legislative achievement.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Hoodie In The House Leads To Shouting In The Capitol

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., during his hooded statement on the House floor.
C-SPAN.org

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 1:45 pm

On the floor of the House this morning, Rep. Bobby Rush's effort to call attention to the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin turned into a contest of wills between the Illinois Democrat and the presiding officer because Rush donned a hoodie while speaking.

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Music Interviews
10:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

The Thomashefskys: Stars Of The Yiddish Stage

Bessie and Boris Thomashefsky were mega-stars in the Yiddish theater world. Their story is told in a new documentary, written and conducted by their grandson, Michael Tilson Thomas.
courtesy of Michael Tilson Thomas

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 12:10 pm

The names Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky may not sound familiar today, but at the height of their fame in the 1920s and '30s, the Thomashefskys were one of the most famous couples in New York City's burgeoning Yiddish theater scene.

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World
10:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

At Arab League Summit, High Stakes For Host Nation

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 4:16 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

I'm Jacki Lyden and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away this week. Coming up, there are a number of people in the U.S. who continue to insist that President Obama is Muslim, despite his Christian faith. But that begs the question: what does it matter? So what if he were? We'll talk about it what it means to be a Muslim in America in just a bit.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Justices Seem OK With Leaving Some Parts Of Healthcare Law Alone

Members of the anti-abortion group Bound4Life pray outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the third day of oral arguements over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:51 am

Update at 12:08 p.m. ET. Everyone Had A Hard Go Of It Today:

NPR's legal correspondent Nina Totenberg tells Ari Shapiro that both sides had a tough go of it today.

During the final day of arguments, Supreme Court justices seemed split on the idea of striking the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, if its the "individual mandate" centerpiece was also found unconstitutional.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Lorax Statue Stolen From Dr. Seuss' Garden, Family Hopes For Its Return

The Lorax, before he was taken away.
San Diego Police Department

The Grinch returned all those stolen presents.

Now the family of Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) is hoping that the person or persons who took a Lorax statue from the garden of the late, great author's home also has a change of heart.

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