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12:17 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

At 96, Historian Lewis Reflects On 'A Century'

What Went Wrong?" href="/post/96-historian-lewis-reflects-century" class="noexit lightbox">
Bernard Lewis is also the author of the best-selling What Went Wrong?
Alan Kolc

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 6:42 am

Over his long academic career, Bernard Lewis has arguably become the world's greatest historian of the Middle East. Now, at 96, Lewis turns his attention inward in a memoir that looks back on his life, work and legacy.

The linguist and scholar's career began before World War II, and in a new memoir he covers more than a few sensitive areas, from race and slavery in Islam, to the clash of civilizations and his long argument with scholar Edward Said, to his role as an adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

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Sports
12:07 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Fan Says Tear Down Wrigley To Save The Cubs

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Fans of the Chicago Cubs come up with all kinds of explanations for the team's epic ineptitude: the curse of the Billy Goat, Steve Bartman's 2003 foul ball catch, and generations of incompetent management. In the Wall Street Journal today, Rich Cohen comes to a different conclusion: Wrigley Field. Destroy it, annihilate it, he wrote. Implosion or explosion, get rid of it, not merely the structure but the ground on which it stands.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Bomb In Bogotá Kills At Least Two In Assassination Attempt

Police officers inspect the remains of vehicles on Tuesday after an explosion ripped through a crowded area of Bogotá injuring at least 10 people according to the mayor's office.
Guillermo Legaria AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 3:36 pm

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said a bomb detonated in the middle of Bogotá, the country's capital and largest city, was intended to kill former interior minister Ferdnando Londoño Hoyos.

El País reports that Santos condemned the attack, saying the bomb exploded next to the armored vehicle Londoño was travelling in.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Tue May 15, 2012

She's 100 (Almost) And Still Swimming: Another Centenarian To Admire

Marie Kelleher.
U.S. Masters Swimming

We have a fondness for stories about centenarians, we have to admit.

There was Fauja Singh, the 100-year-old "Turbaned Tornado," who finished the Toronto Marathon last year.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue May 15, 2012

NATO Invites Pakistani President To Chicago Summit

NATO has just asked the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to attend the May 20-21 summit in Chicago. The AP says the overture signals that the rift between NATO and Islamabad may be coming to a resolution.

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It's All Politics
11:02 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Ron Paul Spokesman: Candidate Unlikely To Ever Endorse Romney

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas (right), talks with chief strategist Jesse Benton in Ames, Iowa, on Aug. 13.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 11:31 am

Presidential candidate Ron Paul is not expected to ultimately endorse presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Paul's chief strategist said Tuesday.

"Never say never, but I don't believe that's likely," said Jesse Benton, during a half-hour-plus give-and-take with reporters.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Aletta Becomes Western Hemisphere's First Tropical Storm Of 2012

Aletta spins off the Mexican coast.
NOAA

Aletta — a modest tropical storm spinning of the western coast of Mexico with 40 mph winds — is already special because of two reasons: It the first tropical storm in the Western Hemisphere and it has now broken a 41-day streak in which Earth did not see a cyclone.

Jeff Masters at Weather Underground provides a little more detail:

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Asia
10:53 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Price Of A Swift Pigeon: Try $328,000

Xing Wei, who raises pigeons for lucrative races in China, is shown in Beijing with his favorite bird, Ike. He sells Ike's offspring to wealthy buyers for $15,000.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 3:46 pm

To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.

"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."

The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.

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It's All Politics
10:36 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Americans Elect Could Field Third-Party Candidate – But For The Candidate

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:15 am

Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.

What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.

So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.

But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Report: Justice Dept. Probing JPMorgan's Big Loss

Standing behind a banner with a picture of J.P. Morgan Chairman and CEO James Dimon, protesters gathered outside the bank's annual meeting today in Tampa.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 10:45 am

  • Two soundbites from CEO Jamie Dimon at today's shareholders meeting

The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.

The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."

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Education
9:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Why So Many Ph.D.s Are On Food Stamps

The number of people with graduate degrees — master's degrees and doctorates — who have had to apply for food stamps, unemployment or other assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 6:16 pm

With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.

What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.

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Economy
9:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Can The Government Help Young People Find Jobs?

The school year is winding down, and lots of young people are in the market for a summer job. But finding one in this economy can be hard, especially for teenagers. Host Michel Martin speaks with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about what the Obama Administration is trying to do to help.

The Two-Way
8:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Ron Paul Isn't Dropping Out, Spokesman Says

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Feb. 3.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 9:20 am

Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.

"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."

"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.

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Theater
8:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway

Audra McDonald.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:23 am

Audra McDonald has starred in stage classics and on TV, where she played a leading role on the ABC drama Private Practice for four seasons. But the actress might be better known for her stunning voice and for her performances in the Broadway productions of Carousel, Master Class and Ragtime, which helped her rack up three Tony Awards before the age of 30. She won a fourth Tony for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun, putting her in the company of Broadway greats Gwen Verdon and Mary Martin.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Questions About Another Texas Execution: Was Wrong Man Condemned?

Already in the spotlight over whether it executed one innocent man — Cameron Todd Willingham — in 2004, the state of Texas now faces questions about whether another man may have been wrongly condemned to death.

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Europe
7:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

'News Of The World' Editor Charged With Conspiracy

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks faces allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in the latest development in Britain's phone hacking scandal.

Shots - Health Blog
7:43 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Cost Of Cancer Pills Can Be Hard For Medicare Patients To Swallow

Taking a pill for cancer can cost patients more than getting chemotherapy by IV.
iStockphoto.com

If you've got cancer, chances are you'd rather take a pill to fight the cancer cells than sit for hours hooked up to an IV line as the chemotherapy drips slowly into you.

The difficulty is, many of the new cancer pills, which often target cancer cells for destruction but leave healthy cells intact, are pricey, costing tens of thousands of dollars for a course of treatment. And how some insurers pay for treatments means that pills can wind up costing a patient more than chemotherapy given by IV.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Consumer Prices, Consumer Spending Both Flat In April

Two bits of economic news this morning:

-- Consumer prices overall were unchanged in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, thanks in large part to a 2.6 percent drop in the price of gasoline.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Tue May 15, 2012

'Biggest Public Toilet In The World' Now Good To Go In Japan

The biggest public toilet in the world, officials claim. The flowers and plants will be put in the ground after the soil has settled properly, according to The Japan Times.
Ichihara City

It's only for women — and only for one woman at a time, it seems.

But officials in Ichihara City, Japan, claim they've created the "biggest public toilet in the world."

As The Japan Times reports, outside the city's train station there's now a fenced-in, "200-sq.-meter plot of land" with flowers, plants, pathways and — "smack in the middle" — a toilet enclosed in a glass box.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Facebook Ups Its Forecast: Says Shares Will Sell For $34 To $38

Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Strong demand for its first public sale of stock has led Facebook to raise its forecast for how much each share will sell for when the company goes public on Friday.

"We anticipate that the initial public offering price will be between $34.00 and $38.00 per share," the company says in a statement filed earlier today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Earlier, the social medial giant had expected shares would sell for $28 to $35 each.

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Around the Nation
5:39 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Amusement Park Rider Conquers Battle Of The Bulge

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. People who are overweight often say there was that final moment - that's it; I'm sick of it. I'm making a change.

For Nat Ambrose, it was last year at King's Dominion, the Virginia theme park. He tried to get on his favorite ride, Volcano the Blast Coaster, but the harness wouldn't fit his 300-pound frame. He lost 30 pounds in a month. Tried again, still couldn't squeeze in. Finally, nine months later, 105 pounds lighter, Nat Ambrose has conquered the Volcano.

Around the Nation
5:30 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Super Glue Helps Man Go For Fist-Pumping Record

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with congratulations to James Peterson who sought the world record for fist pumping. Yes. Mr. Peterson made this gesture of triumph for 16 hours. The Akron Beacon Journal says to maintain proper form he super glued his hand into a clenched fist. Yes. A video crew recorded this feat and sent it to the Guinness World Record people. If they do not accept the record we hesitate to think what gesture Mr. Peterson will try next. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Europe
5:22 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Stevenage: A Place Where You Can't Be From

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The town of Stevenage, England, 30 miles north of London, was once a small patch of farmland with a few thousand people. After World War II, the British government created a massive planned community there and hoped it would become a model for public housing for the world.

Gary Younge is a writer for the Guardian newspaper. He grew up in Stevenage and found it to be a mixed blessing. Younge wrote an essay about it for the spring issue of the literary magazine, Granta. We began our conversation by asking him to read us a passage.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Former Murdoch Editor Facing Criminal Charges In Hacking Scandal

Rebekah Brooks, last Friday in London.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 6:36 am

  • Philip Reeves reporting for the NPR Newscast

The first top editor from Rupert Murdoch's U.K. tabloids to face criminal charges related to the hacking scandal that has rocked his media empire is Rebekah Brooks, who prosecutors allege tried to "pervert the course of justice" last year by seeking to cover up what had been going on at Murdoch's News of the World.

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Around the Nation
4:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Calif. Voters Forced To Choose How To Ease Defict

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

California Governor Jerry Brown wants to convince voters to accept two things they don't like: higher taxes and deep spending cuts. The Democrat proposed a budget yesterday which would only be the start of the pain. The other part would come in November with a ballot measure to raise taxes and spare education. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports from Sacramento.

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Latin America
4:43 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Mexican Police Investigate Latest Atrocity

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

A news item last weekend reminded us that we live in a largely peaceful country right next door to a country at war with itself. In northern Mexico on Sunday, authorities found the bodies of 49 people. They were left on a highway outside Monterrey about 75 miles from Texas. They are described as victims of the Zetas crime syndicate. And the dumping of bodies like this is not unusual in Mexico.

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Economy
3:29 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Fact Checking Data On The Boomerang Generation

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The fact-checking organization PolitiFact looked into a shocking claim in a political ad. The ad said 85 percent of recent college graduates are moving back in with their parents. There was a reason for the ad to make that claim. PolitiFact found that 85 percent figure has been repeated by CNN, the New York Post, U.S. News, and more news organizations. The number fits the notion of a boomerang generation, thrown back home by the economy.

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Business
3:27 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Latest On JPMorgan Chase

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

JP Morgan Chase has long had the reputation of being one of the better managed big banks in the country. So how did it make a $2 billion blunder and what does it tell us about banking today, nearly five years after the onset of the financial crisis? When such questions are looming, we often turn to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

And, David, welcome back to the program.

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NPR Story
2:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Facebook Raises Anticipated Stock Price

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a price hike for Facebook shares.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: OK, they're not even on sale yet, but investor excitement over Facebook's upcoming initial public offering has prompted the company to raise the price range for its shares. Sources say the new range will be from $34 to $38 per share. That's up from a previous range of $28 to $35.

NPR Story
2:42 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Last Word In business

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business: the passenger door is now closed. Please make sure all your electronic devices have been switched off.

If you're sick of those rules on planes, well, they may be changing a bit. Virgin Atlantic has announced passengers on their new Airbus will soon be able to chat on their mobile phones.

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