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The Salt
8:42 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Food Stamps Helped Many Families Weather The Recession

Food stamps kept the carts rolling during the recession.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 9:26 am

Food stamps have long been a favorite whipping boy of politicians looking to beat up on government spending. But the massive food-assistance program does help keep people out of poverty, according to new research.

Food stamp benefits led to a decline of 4.4 percent in poverty from 2000 to 2009, according to a new report from the USDA's Economic Research Service.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Romney Has 2-Point Lead Over Obama As Gallup 'Tracking Poll' Begins

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday in Boston.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:30 pm

For those who can't get enough of polls about the presidential election, Gallup has fired up its "daily tracking" survey that will follow the levels of support for President Obama and presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

And it begins with:

-- Romney's support among registered voters at 47 percent.

-- Obama's support among registered voters at 45 percent.

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It's All Politics
6:50 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Other Options Gone, Tea Party Members Warm Up To Romney

Courting Tea Party voters in Philadelphia on Monday night, Mitt Romney speaks next to a large statue of Benjamin Franklin at the Franklin Institute.
Tim Shaffer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 10:26 am

Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. On Monday night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Housing Starts Drop, But Building Permits Are Up

There was a 5.8 percent drop in housing starts from February to March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

Bloomberg News says the decline was unexpected and left starts at a five-month low.

Still, the number of starts was up 10.3 percent from March 2011.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Fear Drives China's Oppressive Rule In Tibet, Dalai Lama Says

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Diptendu Dutta AFP/Getty Images

China's leaders continue to impose oppressive policies on the people of Tibet out of fear, the Dalai Lama said earlier today on Morning Edition.

They fear what might happen if Tibetans were allowed to live freely and others under Chinese rule started to demand more respect for their rights. That has meant, he said, that "they ignore ... reality and they impose their rules. ... That's the problem."

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Pulitzer Jurors Are Shocked That No Fiction Prize Was Awarded

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 7:50 am

One of the surprises from Monday's Pulitzer Prize announcements was the lack of an award in the fiction category. It's the first time since 1977 that the Pulitzer board hasn't given an award for fiction writing.

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World
5:16 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Cardboard To Be Used In Temporary Cathedral

The New Zealand town of Christchurch is rebuilding after an earthquake left its 19th century cathedral in ruins. Its replacement has been dubbed "the cardboard cathedral." It's a temporary fix while the permanent building is under construction.

The Two-Way
5:10 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery Is On Its Last Flight

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flies by the Washington Monument during a flyover of the nation's capital.
Win McNamee Getty Images

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

After 148 million miles and 365 days in orbit, space shuttle Discovery has completed its final mission. This morning it traveled atop a jumbo jet from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in the Northern Virginian suburbs of Washington, D.C., landing at its new home just after 11 a.m. ET.

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Around the Nation
5:06 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Couple Charges Rental Property Is Haunted

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Africa
3:09 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Crisis Between Sudan, South Sudan Intensifies

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 3:28 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The crisis between Sudan and South Sudan has intensified with the north branding its recently independent southern neighbor the enemy. This follows two weeks of bitter fighting in the disputed oil-producing border area between the two Sudans. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is monitoring developments from her base in Dakar, Senegal and joins us now.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Good morning, Ofeibea.

Greetings.

NEARY: Now, Ofeibea, just bring us up to date on what is happening in Sudan and South Sudan right now.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Tri-State Tea Party Welcomes Romney To Philly

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 7:27 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. Last night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. And as NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports, what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Why No Pulitzer Award For Fiction This Year?

The Pulitzer Prizes were awarded Monday, but not for fiction. The field had been narrowed to three finalists. Lynn Neary talks with Pulitzer fiction juror Susan Larson about why no prize was awarded in that category.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Senate Republicans Block Debate On Buffet Rule

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:48 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

President Obama's so-called Buffett rule has slammed into a wall of GOP opposition. On the eve of tax day, Senate Republicans voted yesterday to block a measure that would have made mega-investor Warren Buffett and billionaires and millionaires like him pay at least a 30 percent tax rate. Although Buffett endorses such a rule, Senate Republicans call it an election year gimmick. Their Democratic counterparts insist it's all about fairness. NPR's David Welna has our story.

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Politics
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Congressional Panels Probe Lavish GSA Spending

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:56 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.

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Religion
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

China's Policy On Tibet 'Must Be Realistic'

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're going to hear now from a religious leader revered by Tibetan Buddhists and admired by countless others - the 14th Dalai Lama. A year ago he stepped down as the political leader of Tibet's government in exile to devote himself to spreading a spiritual message of compassion and peace. Still, he's been drawn into talking about violence since a wave of deadly protests swept through the Tibetan areas of China.

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Business
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Tax Day Isn't Bad If You're Getting A Refund

The day that many dread is here: It's Tax Day. Of the 143 million federal tax returns filed last year, more than 80 percent qualified for a refund. Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about the economics of tax refunds.

Business
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:45 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

They say the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes. But half that statement appears to be under challenge by one late rap star and some special effects, which brings us to today's last word in business - virtual comeback.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CALIFORNIA LOVE")

TUPAC SHAKUR: (Singing) California love.

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Arts & Life
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Alec Baldwin Campaigns For More Arts Funding

Actor Alec Baldwin speaks at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
Paul Morigi Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The actor Alec Baldwin is in Washington, speaking in favor of the National Endowment for the Arts. The government-funded arts organization long ago supported the Sundance Film Festival and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In more recent years, the NEA has supported writers, arts education for kids, and everything from jazz musicians to urban design. It has also faced political controversy; most notably in the 1990s, when its funding was slashed.

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Space
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Shuttle Discovery To Be Flown To Washington

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

STEVE IINSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Around the Nation
1:01 am
Tue April 17, 2012

A Poem Store Open For Business, In The Open Air

Poet-for-hire Zach Houston works at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Houston says he is paid about $2 to $20 for each poem.
Ralph Wiedemeier NPR

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 7:43 am

Zach Houston runs his Poem Store (on any given sidewalk) with these items: a manual typewriter, a wooden folding chair, scraps of paper, and a white poster board that reads: "POEMS — Your Topic, Your Price."

Houston usually gets from $2 to $20 for a poem, he says. He's received a $100 bill more than once. The Oakland, Calif., resident has been composing spontaneous street poems in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2005. Five years ago, it became his main source of income.

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Presidential Race
1:01 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Did Obama's Policies Help, Or Hinder, The Economy?

President Obama signs the economic stimulus bill in February 2009, as Vice President Biden looks on. Experts disagree over the impact of the administration's economic policies on the recession.
Darin McGregor AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 3:14 am

The 2012 presidential election is approaching, and President Obama's fate may hinge on how well the economy fares over the coming months.

On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been highlighting the economy's weaknesses. The former Massachusetts governor has made a similar claim about the president, and the recession, at almost every campaign stop.

"I don't blame the president for the downturn," Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire earlier this year. "He didn't cause it. But he made it worse and made it last longer."

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Business
1:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

U.S. Has A Natural Gas Problem: Too Much Of It

Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom that the U.S. market is having trouble absorbing.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:43 am

There's a boom in natural gas production in the United States, a boom so big the market is having trouble absorbing it all.

The unusually warm weather this winter is one reason for the excess, since it reduced the need for people to burn gas to heat their homes. A bigger reason, however, is the huge increase in gas production made possible by new methods of coaxing gas out of shale rock formations.

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Afghanistan
12:59 am
Tue April 17, 2012

After The U.S. Leaves, Who Pays For Afghan Forces?

Afghan Army soldiers stand during a security transition ceremony in Mazar-e-Sharif, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 23, 2011. The Afghan government officially took control of security in the capital of the peaceful northern province of Balkh on July 23, as part of an effort to begin handing over all security responsibilities to Afghan forces by 2014.
S. Sabawoon AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 3:14 am

This week, NATO Cabinet ministers, including U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, will try to tackle the problem of Afghan security. The basic plan for bringing American troops home from Afghanistan is to let Afghan security forces fight for their own country. But there's a hitch — finding a way to pay for the Afghan army.

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Election 2012
12:53 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Democrat Bob Kerrey Faces Uphill Race In Nebraska

Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey campaigns at a Democratic caucus site on April 14 at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb. Kerrey has decided to run again for his old seat in the U.S. Senate.
Clay Masters for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

Former Nebraska Gov. and two-term Sen. Bob Kerrey, who faces long odds in reclaiming the seat left open by retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, is in his home state trying to get his old job back.

After a full of morning of shaking hands, smiling and trying to win over voters, Kerrey settles on lunch at the Taqueria Tijuana in south Omaha.

After lunch, he takes off walking down 24th Street, telling his staffers to catch up with him. He says things are different now from when he first sought public office in 1982.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
10:02 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

One Roof, Three Generations, Many Decisions

Ida Christian, who suffers from dementia, gets help from her granddaughter, Yolanda Hunter (left), in blowing out the candles on her birthday cake. Yolanda quit her lucrative job to become Ida's full-time caregiver.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

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

Part of the Family Matters series

The Great Recession slammed into all age groups, flattening the career dreams of young people and squeezing the retirement accounts of middle-aged savers. It financially crippled many elderly people who had thought they could stand on their own.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Still Mail Your Tax Returns? So Do Some Other Die-Hards

He'll trust the U.S. Post Office, not the Web, to handle his tax returns, Matt Peters says.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 4:45 pm

As we've reminded everyone, April 17 (Tuesday) is the deadline for filing federal income tax returns. It's also the deadline for filing income tax returns in most states. Our friend Alan Greenblatt tells about something he finds surprising:

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Research News
4:08 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Bigger, Taller, Stronger: Guns Change What You See

Survey participants in a UCLA study were asked to look at pictures of a hand holding different items and guess how tall, how big and how muscular the person connected to that hand actually was.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

A new study out of UCLA suggests that when people wield a gun, they don't just feel bigger and stronger — it makes others think they are bigger and stronger.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Last Mega Millions Jackpot Ticket Turned In

Lottery officials in Illinois say the third of the three winning tickets in last month's record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot has been turned in.

We'll learn who the winner is on Wednesday, The Associated Press says.

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Politics
3:55 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

House Investigator Issa Has Faced Allegations As Well

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House oversight committee, made news recently for going after the Justice Department's botched gun operation, known as Fast and Furious. Here, Issa listens during Attorney General Eric Holder's testimony in February.
Kevin LaMarque Reuters/Landov

The man driving the investigation into the General Services Administration, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, took the top seat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after the GOP won a majority in 2010.

Issa has led several splashy investigations since. But he's also been dogged by allegations of his own.

Issa has made news in recent months by threatening to subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder, and by calling a panel of only men to talk about women's contraception.

The Car Alarm Voice

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

7 'Great Locations' To See Space Shuttle Discovery Fly By On Tuesday

Discovery is sitting atop NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, which will fly the shuttle from Florida to Virginia.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

For those who will be in the Washington, D.C., area Tuesday morning and would like to see space shuttle Discovery on the "fly-in" to its retirement home outside the nation's capital, the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum recommends being in one of these seven "great locations" before 10 a.m. ET:

District of Columbia

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