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Planet Money
1:20 am
Fri May 18, 2012

The Long, Long, Long Road To New Rules For Banks

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

Would that big, bad JPMorgan Chase trade have violated the Volcker Rule?

It's too soon to say, despite the fact that the rule is part of a two-year-old law.

The Volcker Rule bans deposit-taking banks from making speculative bets. But it allows banks to make investments to hedge risks.

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Africa
1:18 am
Fri May 18, 2012

U.S. Serves Up New Food Security Effort In Africa

A woman refills her bucket from a well in the south of Mauritania. The Sahel region, south of the Sahara, is facing a third season of drought.
Pablo Tosco AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

The Obama administration is announcing a major new initiative to boost investments in rural Africa in hopes of lifting millions out of poverty. Several African leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the announcement, which comes as President Obama hosts leaders of the Group of Eight in Maryland. Food security is a key agenda item.

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Around the Nation
1:17 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Son Fulfills Dream Racism Denied To His Mother

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

When Terry Walls of Springfield, Mo., decided to go back to college at age 52, he wanted to put to rest a family rumor. He had heard his mother was denied admission to Missouri State University, and he was pointed toward Meyer Library on the MSU campus for answers.

There, he discovered an eloquent letter typed on fragile, onion-skin paper and signed with his mother's maiden name: Mary Jean Price. It was dated Oct. 2, 1950, and it was addressed to the university registrar:

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The Two-Way
1:16 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Bike To Work Day: Your Photos, And Riding Advice From Grant Petersen

Jennifer Drake and her daughter, Alex, pause before their morning ride. "My daughter and I bike to school (her work) 3 miles roundtrip daily," Drake writes.
@JennLDrake

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 8:18 pm

For many people, Bike to Work Day (which is today) is a reason to put air in their bike's tires and see if their chain is too rusty to get them to work on time. And as a growing list of photographs shows, many people who follow NPR online also ride to work.

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Space
1:13 am
Fri May 18, 2012

NASA, SpaceX Aim To Launch Private Era In Orbit

NASA and SpaceX partnered closely to make the mission to the International Space Station possible. Above, the SpaceX control room.
SpaceX

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

A private spaceship owned by a company called SpaceX is scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida early Saturday morning.

If all goes well, the unmanned capsule will rocket up on a mission to deliver food and other supplies to the International Space Station, becoming the first commercial spacecraft to visit the outpost.

The highly anticipated mission could mark the beginning of what some say could be a new era in spaceflight, with private companies operating taxi services that could start taking people to orbit in just a few years.

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StoryCorps
9:09 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Love At First Punch: Still Going Strong After 75 Years

The Dubrow's Cafeteria on Eastern Parkway in New York, circa 1945. Van and Shirley Harris were regulars at the restaurant, along with a colorful cast of characters.
Brian Merlis and Eve Lyons

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

Van Harris and his wife, Shirley, grew up in the same Brooklyn neighborhood. They lived about a block away from each other. At StoryCorps, they talked of how they first met — 75 years ago.

Van, 87, recalls the day that he first noticed Shirley, 85.

"I met her when she was about 10 years old, and she was beating up a couple of guys," he says. "The boys had taken her hat off her head, and they were tossing it around."

Shirley kept asking the boys to give her hat back, but they wouldn't do it.

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Law
6:18 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Clemens' Former Trainer Admits Changing Testimony

Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens' one-time trainer, leaves federal court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

The prosecution's star witness underwent a withering cross-examination on Thursday at Roger Clemens' perjury trial. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is charged with lying to Congress when he testified that he never used performance-enhancing drugs. Brian McNamee, his one-time trainer, is the only witness who has firsthand evidence that contradicts the baseball-pitching ace.

Earlier this week, guided by the prosecution, McNamee testified in agonizing and repetitive detail about how he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001.

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Law
5:16 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

New Documents Released In Trayvon Martin Case

Documents have been released in the investigation of George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, shot Martin, an unarmed teen. He's claiming self-defense. Robert Siegel talks to Greg Allen.

The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers
3:55 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Pennsylvania Doctors Worry Over Fracking 'Gag Rule'

Plastic surgeon Amy Pare says it's important for doctors to know what kind of substances patients she's treating might have been exposed to.
Susan Philips WHYY

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:30 pm

From WHYY

A new law in Pennsylvania has doctors nervous.

The law grants physicians access to information about trade-secret chemicals used in natural gas drilling. Doctors say they need to know what's in those formulas in order to treat patients who may have been exposed to the chemicals.

But the new law also says that doctors can't tell anyone else — not even other doctors — what's in those formulas. It's being called the "doctor gag rule."

'I Don't Know If It's Due To Exposure'

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

New Evidence Released: Trayvon Martin Had Traces Of Pot In System

A photocopy of a picture of George Zimmerman taken the night of the shooting.
Sanford Police

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 8:06 pm

A huge trove of documents has been released by prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case. Among the biggest revelations so far is that the autopsy reveals Martin had THC in his system. But police said the shooting was "ultimately avoidable."

ABC News, which is digging through the documents, reports:

"The autopsy report shows traces of the drug THC, which is found in marijuana, in Martin's blood and urine.

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The Record
3:29 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

The Many Voices Of Donna Summer

"Queen of Disco" Donna Summer performs in 1979. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:36 pm

Pop singer Donna Summer, whose long career began in the 1960s and reached its apex in the disco era of the '70s, died of cancer on Thursday at her home in Naples, Florida. Summer was 63 years old. According to Billboard magazine, the singer born LaDonna Gaines had 32 singles that charted in the Hot 100. Fourteen of them made it into the top 10. To hear Sami Yenigun's appreciation of Donna Summer's life and career, as heard on All Things Considered, click the audio link.

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Billionaire Donor Joe Ricketts: From Behind The Scenes To Center Stage

Joe Ricketts, whose American Film Company produced The Conspirator, arrives at the film's premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 7:04 am

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Research News
3:10 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Ancient Deep-Sea Bacteria Are In No Hurry To Eat

Researcher Hans Roy opens a core sample taken from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. A core sample like this one contained bacteria that settled on the seafloor 86 million years ago.
Bo Barker Jorgensen Science/AAAS

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Back when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth, some hardy bacteria took up residence at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Eighty six million years later, they're still there. And a new study says they're living out the most Spartan lifestyle known on this planet.

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Music News
2:45 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Cecil Taylor: The Pianist Who's Also An Orchestra

Cecil Taylor, 83, is being feted in a two-week celebration of his music in New York City.
Peter Gannushkin downtownmusic.net

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

When you hear Cecil Taylor perform, you never forget it. He's a force of nature at the piano, with a furious attack and a sound all his own.

"His piano is an orchestra," says Ben Ratliff, music critic for The New York Times. "Cecil has been with us for so long. And every once in a while he does these amazing, galvanizing solo piano performances. And you go see them, and you think, like, 'Wow. What was that? That was amazing.' And I can't get that anywhere else in the world. And that's unique."

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Facebook Stock Priced at $38 A Share Ahead of Friday IPO

The Facebook thumb.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:55 am

When Facebook makes its initial public offering Friday on the NASDAQ, the stock will be priced at $38 per share, a price that's expected to bring in between $16 billion and $18.4 billion to the company. CNBC reports:

"[The price makes] it one of the most lucrative offerings the Street has ever seen. With that valuation taken into consideration, Facebook goes public with the highest valuation — in the $100 billion range — of any company on record at the time of its IPO."

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

N.C. Politicos Pan Proposed Rev. Wright, Anti-Obama Ad Idea

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright addresses the National Press Club in Washington in 2008.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:42 pm

Battleground states like North Carolina are where the action is when it comes to presidential contests. Thus, they are where political tactics like, say, the anti-Obama ad campaign featuring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, first reported by The New York Times Thursday (and now disowned by virtually everyone the Times linked to it), are most likely to be rolled out.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Reports: Hewlett-Packard Plans To Announce About 25,000 Job Cuts

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:37 pm

Several news outlets are reporting that computer giant Hewlett-Packard will announce the elimination of 25,000 to 30,000 jobs. All Things D reports that the announcement will come from CEO Meg Whitman when the company announces its quarterly earnings next Wednesday.

All Things D reports:

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Afghanistan
2:17 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

An Afghan Shoots, A Marine Dies, Mistrust Grows

A Marine Corps team carries the remains of Marine Sgt. J.P. Huling, 25, of West Chester, Ohio, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on May 9. Huling was killed three days earlier by an Afghan soldier in southern Afghanistan, one of a growing number of such shootings.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Sgt. J.P. Huling, a Marine from Ohio, was killed this month in southern Afghanistan.

It wasn't a roadside bomb or a Taliban sniper that killed him. It was another sergeant — an Afghan soldier known as Sgt. Zabitollah, who like many Afghans went by one name.

It was a grim coincidence that brought these two sergeants together on May 6, a Sunday afternoon, at a mud-walled compound along a desolate stretch of road in a remote corner of Afghanistan.

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Opinion
2:05 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Two Gray Titles, One Sexy Mix Up

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:46 pm

Ruta Sepetys is the author of Between Shades of Gray.

"You are an erotic phenomenon."

That's what the stranger seated next to me on the plane whispered. We had exchanged the basic bios of airline chitchat, and he had inquired about the title of my recent book.

"Erotic phenomenon, oh no, that's not me," I quickly tried to explain.

"Well, OK, it's not really you. It's your character. That's what you tell people," grinned the stranger.

That's not what I tell people.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Head Of Syrian Opposition Group Says He Will Resign

The Syrian opposition is in disarray, the AP reports.

The head of the Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said he would resign and some members of the group threatened to leave it "amid rampant infighting."

The AP reports:

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The Salt
1:21 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

The Secret Life Of California's World-Class Strawberries

Strawberry research fields in Watsonville, Calif.
courtesy California Strawberry Commission

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

May is the month we see strawberries explode in the market. There are strawberry festivals in every corner of the nation celebrating the juicy ruby beauties, and Strawberry Queens crowned galore. Those traditional harvest time festivals make us think our strawberries are mostly grown on the farm just down the road.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Diplomat: U.S. Has Military Option Ready, If Needed, To Deal With Iran

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 6:43 am

President Obama has said "I don't bluff," when it comes to opposing any effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons (which that nation says it is not trying to do). And, he told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg in March, "all options are on the table."

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Shots - Health Blog
12:58 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

For Athletes, Dealing With Pain May Be A Big Gain

If you run more, you may hurt less.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 4:19 pm

Ever wonder why some people can run a 50-mile ultramarathon while for others even the thought of such endurance sports borders on torture?

Exceptional physical fitness, of course, sets the ultramarathoners apart from the rest of us. But scientists say what might be more important is athletes' excellent ability — both psychologically and physically — to cope with pain.

It turns out that most athletes' high tolerance for pain while exercising may also help them deal with it when they're at rest.

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Europe
12:38 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

If Greece Starts Dominoes Falling, What's Next?

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. New elections are now set for June 17 after a failure to form a government in Athens earlier this week, but some worry that Greece might be out of the eurozone before votes can be cast. While the great majority of Greeks say they want to keep the euro, opinions polls also show anti-austerity sentiment rising.

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Remembrances
12:16 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

One 'Last Dance' With Disco Queen Donna Summer

Donna Summer, who sang some of the most memorable anthems of the disco era from "Love to Love You Baby" to "Bad Girls," has died after a long battle with cancer. She had a top 40 hit every year from 1976 to 1984, including the song she once told NPR she'd perform till the very end, "Last Dance."

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Truvada And At-Home Test Join Fight Against HIV

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 12:23 pm

Truvada is a pill that's already used to treat people with HIV. A daily dose can also significantly reduce the risk of new infection. And a panel recommended the FDA approve an over-the-counter HIV test, OraQuick. Users could test and interpret their results at home in as little as 20 minutes.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Non-White Birth Rate May Inspire Policy Changes

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 12:33 pm

The Census Bureau announced that for the first time non-whites now make up the majority of births in the U.S. The demographic shift raises questions about how this trend will affect policy in the country, particularly with regard to education and social programs.

Digital Life
12:00 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Facebook Users Should Expect Changes After IPO

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 12:40 pm

Facebook hopes to raise more than $100 billion in its initial public stock offering. In a piece at Slate.com, tech columnist Farhad Manjoo warns that Facebook users can expect to see changes, including lots more ads. But he warns the company must balance profit seeking with the desires of users.

The Two-Way
11:37 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Senators Propose Barring Those Who Drop Citizenship From Reentering U.S.

Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook.
Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:39 pm

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who renounced his U.S. citizenship, is now facing backlash from politicians: Two U.S. senators are proposing a plan that would prevent people like Saverin from reentering the country.

As we reported yesterday, by some estimates Saverin may save $67 million in taxes by giving up his citizenship.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Donna Summer, The Queen Of Disco, Dies At 63

Disco singer Donna Summer singing on stage around 1975.
Fotos International Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 5:46 am

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