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2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

House Republicans To Unveil Budget Plan

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This morning, House Republicans unveiled a new budget plan on Capitol Hill. And like President Obama's budget document last month, the GOP's version is as much a political statement as an actual road map. NPR's Tamara Keith has that story.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: In some ways, this budget is a sequel. This time last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a controversial budget document that passed the House with strong GOP support.

(SOUNDBITE OF WEB VIDEO)

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U.S.
2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Florida Teen's Shooter Faces FBI Scrutiny

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We're following up now on the fatal shooting of a black teenager by an Hispanic neighborhood watch leader. That shooting took place three weeks ago in the central Florida town of Sanford. So far, no charges have been filed against George Zimmerman, who says he was acting in self-defense when he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The African-American community is frustrated. And yesterday student protestors were out in Sanford demanding the shooter be arrested. Mark Simpson of member station WMFE in Orlando has this report.

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Afghanistan
2:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Afghan Farmer Lost 11 Relatives In Shooting Rampage

Afghans gather outside a military base in the Panjwai district in Afghanistan on March 11, after 16 civilians were killed in a massacre allegedly carried out by a U.S. soldier.
Allauddin Khan AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 3:49 pm

Afghans say they're so inured to civilians killed in wars that they bury their dead and move on. That's not so easy for Muhammad Wazir. He lost his mother, his wife, a sister-in-law, a brother, a nephew, his four daughters and two of his sons in last week's mass shooting in two villages.

"My little boy, Habib Shah, is the only one left alive, and I love him very much," says Wazir.

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Energy
1:57 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Native Alaskans Divided On State's Oil Drilling Debate

A drilling rig sits on Oooguruk Island off the coast of Alaska's North Slope. The 6-acre island was built by Pioneer Natural Resources so it could drill for oil on the Arctic Ocean.
Steve Quinn AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 7:06 am

Shell Oil plans to explore for petroleum off Alaska's north coast this summer. The native people of Alaska have a big stake in both oil revenue and environmental protection. That conflict has played out in recent trips by Inupiats to Washington, D.C., to argue their case.

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Author Interviews
1:49 am
Tue March 20, 2012

That's All, Folks: Kevin Smith On Leaving Filmmaking

Courtesy Penguin

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:40 am

When 21-year-old Kevin Smith decided he wanted to be a filmmaker, his sister gave him some advice: "Don't say you want to be a filmmaker; just be one." So he did. He made his first film, Clerks, on a shoestring, shooting at the convenience store where he worked.

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Election 2012
1:41 am
Tue March 20, 2012

For A Personal Cause, Casino Owner Bets On Gingrich

Sheldon Adelson speaks at the 2008 "Facing Tomorrow" Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
David Silverman Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 7:05 am

One of the defining elements of the 2012 presidential campaign is money. Not that the candidates themselves have raised all that much; except for President Obama, they haven't. But two dozen wealthy Americans have put in at least $1 million each.

Mostly, they're a mix of Wall Street financiers and entrepreneurs. One of the biggest donors is Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who is worth about $25 billion.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Lawyer Of Soldier Suspected In Massacre Begins Mounting Defense

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during an August 2011 training exercise at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

Attorney John Henry Browne said the meeting he had with his client Robert Bales, the Army sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, was "just really emotional."

Browne also corrected some details of Bales' story that he had released earlier. According to the AP:

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It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Romney's Offshore Dominance Negates Santorum's Southern Wins

Despite losses in Alabama and Mississippi, Mitt Romney lost little ground to Rick Santorum in the delegate chase last week — thanks primarily to wins in offshore territories, whose residents will not be allowed to vote for president come November.

Santorum had his best delegate week between his victory in the Kansas caucuses March 10 and his wins in the Deep South on March 13. The week ended Sunday with a primary in Puerto Rico.

In nine contests between March 10 and March 18, Santorum picked up 73 delegates, while Romney won 69.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

U.S. Makes $25 Billion In Mortgage-Backed Securities Sale

The U.S. Treasury said today that it had made $25 billion from the sale of mortgage-backed securities it bought back during the financial crisis. The Treasury said the sale was part of its effort to wind down the bailout programs.

The AP reports:

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U.S.
3:36 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Wyoming Tribe Wins Right To Hunt Two Bald Eagles

A bald eagle in flight. The Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming has won an unprecedented permit to hunt two bald eagles for use in religious ceremonies.
iStockphoto.com

Most Americans have little difficulty practicing their religion. But for Native Americans, performing traditional religious ceremonies isn't always so simple. Many rites often involve heavy regulation by federal authorities — especially when it comes to using sacred items like eagle feathers.

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It's All Politics
3:21 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

New Jersey As Good-Government Leader? Believe It

Who knew New Jersey's famous turnpike traverses the state with the nation's most accountable government?
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:31 am

New Jersey isn't normally the first state that springs to mind when you're searching for an example of good government. Not even close. In fact, just the opposite.

But the Garden State can now boast that, compared to most other states, it is a democratic (small "d") oasis.

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Election 2012
3:18 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

In Illinois, Candidates Make A Final Delegate Dash

Standing in front of a statue of Ronald Reagan on horseback, Rick Santorum speaks at a campaign rally Monday in Dixon, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 10:04 pm

It's another furious dash to the finish line as delegate-rich Illinois holds its Republican presidential primary Tuesday.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is looking to increase his delegate lead. And he's still searching for that decisive win over his main rival, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

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Author Interviews
3:17 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

'How Creativity Works': It's All In Your Imagination

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 9:22 am

What makes people creative? What gives some of us the ability to create work that captivates the eyes, minds and hearts of others? Jonah Lehrer, a writer specializing in neuroscience, addresses that question in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works.

Lehrer defines creativity broadly, considering everything from the invention of masking tape to breakthroughs in mathematics; from memorable ad campaigns to Shakespearean tragedies. He finds that the conditions that favor creativity — our brains, our times, our buildings, our cities — are equally broad.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Trayvon Martin Killing Puts 'Stand Your Ground' Law In Spotlight

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 4:35 pm

Police didn't arrest George Zimmerman. They didn't arrest him after he got off his car, shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed and on his way back from the store after buying some snacks. They didn't arrest him after 9-11 calls emerged in which police advise Zimmerman, who was on Neighborhood Watch patrol, not to follow Martin.

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Law
2:59 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Justices Weigh IVF Technology Against 1939 Law

Justices heard arguments Monday in a case that attempts to reconcile modern in vitro fertilization technology with a 1939 law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 5:19 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case testing whether children conceived through in vitro fertilization after the death of a parent are eligible for Social Security survivors benefits.

The case before the court began in 2001 when Robert Capato was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Before beginning treatments, he deposited sperm at a fertility clinic, and after he died, his wife, Karen, carried out the couple's plan to conceive using Robert's sperm.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:58 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Health Care In America: Follow The Money

Julia Ro / NPR

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 7:25 pm

The Supreme Court takes up the Affordable Care Act next week, and NPR will be exploring the questions surrounding health care in America beforehand. Many of the publicly debated issues in the act hinge on money. How much is spent on our health? Who spends it? How?

Some know how much we pay for our own medical care, but many aren't aware of how immense an industry health care is in the U.S. Our trips to the doctor employ a lot of people, and our schools play an important role in preparing those people to take care of us.

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All Tech Considered
2:06 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Flush With Cash, Apple's Gains Show Few Signs Of Slowing

Customers talk with Apple employees, in blue, inside a San Francisco Apple store on Friday, the first day of the launch of the new iPad.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:39 pm

At the end of 2011, Apple had a very enviable problem. It's not too many companies that have more cash than they know what to do with, and for the electronics giant, that amounted to nearly $100 billion burning a hole in its pocket.

So it certainly pleased current and potential investors when Apple announced that, for the first time since the mid-1990s, the company will start paying a dividend.

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All Tech Considered
1:41 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Digital Technologies Give Dying Languages New Life

In an undated photo, members of the Siletz tribe gather for the Siletz Feather Dance in Newport, Ore. The tribe is using digital tools to help preserve its native language.
Courtesy of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 6:45 pm

There are some 7,000 spoken languages in the world, and linguists project that as many as half may disappear by the end of the century. That works out to one language going extinct about every two weeks. Now, digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of those ancient tongues.

Members of the Native American Siletz tribe in Oregon say their native language, also called "Siletz," "is as old as time itself." But today, you can count the number of fluent speakers on one hand. Siletz Tribal Council Vice Chairman Bud Lane is one of them.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:40 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

One Nation, Two Health Care Extremes

A patient waits for a room to open up in the emergency room of Houston's Ben Taub General Hospital on July 27, 2009. Nationwide, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 8:59 am

The U.S. spent $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010 — more than the entire economy of France or Britain. But the amount spent and how it's used varies from state to state.

And no two states are more different than Texas and Massachusetts. At 25 percent, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation. Massachusetts, where a 2006 law made coverage mandatory, has the lowest rate — fewer than 2 percent of people are uninsured.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Brilliant Idea: More Than 80,000 Of Einstein's Documents Going Online

A detail from what is thought to be one of only three existing manuscripts containing Einstein's most famous formula about the relationship between energy, mass and the speed of light — in his handwriting.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 10:04 pm

More than 80,000 of Albert Einstein's papers, including his most famous formula — E=mc² — and letters to and from his former mistresses, are going online at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

As NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro says on All Things Considered, "what the trove uncovers is a picture of complex man who was concerned about the human condition" as well as the mysteries of science.

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It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan Stokes New Medicare Fight, This Time In Election Year

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

It seems like only yesterday when House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin introduced a federal budget that would change Medicare as we know it.

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The Salt
12:56 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Meat Substitute Market Beefs Up

Meat substitutes like seitan made from wheat gluten are becoming more palatable.
Richard Waller iStockphoto.com

When Michael Weber gave up animal products in 2003, the packaged food industry didn't have much to sell him.

"That early vegan food was either really hippy-ish or really processed," Weber tells The Salt. "It wasn't that high quality."

Nowadays, a stroll through a grocery store might just lead you to a freezer or cooler jammed with dozens of flavors of veggie burgers, meatless buffalo wings, dairy-free cheese and ice cream, and maple bacon tempeh.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:37 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Kids Exposed To Meth In Womb Can Struggle With Behavior Problems

Children exposed to meth may have more problems with anxiety and depression.
iStockphoto.com

Children who are exposed to methamphetamine before birth can have behavior problems as young as age 3, a new study finds. But those problems are manageable, the researchers say, especially if the children and their parents get help early on.

"These kids are not cracked and broken," says Linda LaGasse, an associate professor of pediatrics and Brown University Medical School, and lead author of the study. "But they do have problems that are worthy of note."

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Music Reviews
12:37 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Zieti: Music As An Act Of Resistance

Zieti member Tiende Djos Laurent with drum.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 9:24 am

From its start in the late '90s, Zieti faced tough odds. Arranging gigs in Abidjan, Ivory Coast was a high-risk, do-it-yourself affair for the band. And that was before the country underwent a military coup, a rigged election and a brush with civil war. Zemelewa was recorded by 15 musicians in four studios on two continents. For all that, you can sense the band's solidarity, as if merely making this record was an act of resistance.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

As Pope Visit Nears, Cuba Detains Dissidents, Mexican Cartel Calls For Truce

In this Feb. 29, 2012 photo, people riding on a bus pass a banner of Pope Benedict XVI on the wall of a church in Leon, Mexico.
Dario Lopez-Mills AP

Pope Benedict XVI is set to begin his tour to Mexico and Cuba on Friday. It will mark the pope's first visit to Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.

With his visit, there have been two interesting developments:

-- First comes news that over the weekend, the Knights Templars Cartel in Mexico called for a temporary halt in the violence while the pope is in town.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Ahead Of Another 'Key' Primary, Romney Leads Illinois Polls

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Springfield, Ill., today.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

This week the action in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is in Illinois, which holds its primary Tuesday.

In advance of that contest, Public Policy Polling is out with a new survey that it says shows "Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory." It has the former Massachusetts governor ahead of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 45 percent to 30 percent (with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul trailing far behind).

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Middle East
11:39 am
Mon March 19, 2012

New Sanction Severely Limits Iran's Global Commerce

Iran has been denied access to the worldwide messaging system used to arrange money transfers, a move that is expected to affect Iran's oil exports and economy. The South Pars gas field in Assalouyeh, Iran, is shown here in 2010.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 1:16 pm

Iran has faced international sanctions for more than three decades, which have hurt, but never crippled its economy.

Now, a new move by a relatively obscure financial institution in Europe could make it much more difficult for Iran to do basic things crucial to its economy, such as selling oil and obtaining hard currency.

As of Saturday, many Iranian banks, including the Central Bank, have been refused access to a worldwide financial messaging system that's used to arrange transfers of money.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Reports: Peyton Manning Headed To The Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning, who may soon trade that Colts blue for Broncos red.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Peyton Manning, one of the two or three best quarterbacks in recent years and one of the greatest ever, is close to signing a contract to play for the NFL's Denver Broncos, according to multiple reports.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter say the deal is done "barring a snag during intensified contract negotiations" between the team and Manning's agent, Tom Condon. They cite "multiple sources."

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Europe
11:03 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Young Russian Politician Fights From The Bottom Up

Maxim Motin, 28, was elected to a municipal council in Pechatniki, his working class district in Moscow.
Martha Wexler NPR

Russians continue to take to the streets to air their grievances against the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. But now, after Putin's election this month to a six-year term as president, the crowds number only in the hundreds — not the tens of thousands that turned out before the vote.

In the words of writer Boris Akunin, a popular speaker at the earlier rallies: "The civic movement has entered a new phase. The first phase, romantic and euphoric, is over."

Now is the time, Akunin says, for power to develop from the bottom up.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Winter's Last Stand: Arizona Is Pummeled By Snow

While most of the country has been enjoying spring-like temperatures for weeks now, parts of Arizona got a pretty significant visit from a waning winter: CNN reports that "the city of Flagstaff is still digging out of 10 to 14 inches of snow from the weekend, which prompted school closings in the city for Monday. The city of Prescott received 8 to 12 inches."

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