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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Hoax No. 2: 'Kindness In America' Memoir Writer Shot Himself

We were very tempted earlier this week to post about the guy who said he's writing a memoir called Kindness in America and had gotten shot while hitchhiking across the country. Many sites picked up that oh-so-ironic story.

Then we got distracted. Probably by our shoes.

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Politics
10:34 am
Fri June 15, 2012

In Washington, Leaking As A Way Of Life

President Richard Nixon tells reporters he will not allow his legal counsel, John Dean, to testify before Congress in the Watergate investigation, March 15, 1973. Leaks about the Watergate break-in eventually helped lead to Nixon's resignation. And his administration fought and lost a Supreme Court battle over leaking of the so-called Pentagon Papers about Vietnam.
Charles Tasnadi AP

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 12:27 pm

A leak — in a pipeline, at a nuclear plant, within a top-secret agency — can be dangerous, disastrous, deadly. But sometimes a leak can also be a good thing — drawing attention to a larger systemic problem.

The debate over news leaks bubbled up again this week after reports that The New York Times relied on information from top-tier and unnamed U.S. officials to reveal details about the U.S. cyberbattle against Iran.

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Planet Money
10:30 am
Fri June 15, 2012

An Austerity Wedding, With No Money For A Dress

Elias Tilligadas and Katerina Margeritou are getting married next week.
Nikolia Apostolou NPR

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:25 pm

Katerina Margaritou and Elias Tilligadas live in Athens. They're getting married next Wednesday — three days after the Greek election that has the global economy on edge.

Katerina is a chemist, and she works for a company whose main customer is the Greek government. The Greek government, of course, is broke. So Katerina hasn't been paid since last year.

"I'm very happy because I'm getting married," Katerina told me this week. "But I'm very sad because at the moment I cannot buy a dress. My boss promised me that he's going to give money to buy a dress. So I'm waiting."

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:16 am
Fri June 15, 2012

It's All Politics, June 14, 2012

David Karp AP

June already has brought a strong dose of bad news for President Obama, from the monthly jobs report to questions about his Cabinet. So, how much can an incumbent blame on his predecessor?

Plus, Gabby Giffords' annointed successor wins the House seat in Arizona's special election. NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin discuss.

The Two-Way
10:10 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Rajat Gupta Guilty In Insider Trading Case

Rajat Gupta on Wednesday as he arrived at the federal courthouse in Manhattan.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

"Rajat Gupta, who reached the pinnacle of corporate America as managing partner of McKinsey & Co. and was a director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Procter & Gamble, was convicted by a federal jury of leaking inside information to hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam," Bloomberg News writes.

The Associated Press recaps the case:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:09 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Insurers Wait For Verdict On Health Care Law And Their Bottom Line

Demonstrators both for and against the health care law turned out on the steps of the Supreme Court on March 27, the second day of oral arguments before the court.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:25 pm

All eyes these days are trained on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule sometime this month on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

But some people are waiting more anxiously for the court to rule than others. Among them are those with a major financial stake in whether the law goes forward or not and if so, in what form.

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Television
9:53 am
Fri June 15, 2012

'Car 54' Re-Release Drives An Old Fan To Reminisce

NYPD officers Gunther Toody (Joe E. Ross) and Francis Muldoon (Fred Gwynne) patrolled the Bronx in the 1960s sitcom Car 54, Where Are You?
Shanachie Entertainment

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:24 pm

I grew up in New York City, but I didn't watch Car 54, Where Are You? until I got hooked on it in syndication long after it was originally aired. So I was very happy to see the complete series of 60 episodes released on two DVD boxed sets. The episode in Season 2 titled "I Hate Capt. Block," about trying to teach a recalcitrant parrot to talk and the way people are not much smarter than parrots, is one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen on television, maybe as inspired as Sid Caesar's foreign film parodies or Carol Burnett's version of Gone with the Wind.

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Remembrances
9:53 am
Fri June 15, 2012

For 'Wiseguy' Henry Hill, Mobster 'Days Were Over'

Hill (left, with Ray Liotta, who played him in the movie GoodFellas) was the central figure in Wiseguy, the 1986 Nicholas Pileggi book that later became the Martin Scorsese-directed film.
Rebecca Sapp WireImage

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:29 pm

Henry Hill, the mobster-turned-informant portrayed by Ray Liotta in the film Goodfellas, died Tuesday at age 69. Hill's colorful life — he lived in Cincinnati; Omaha; Butte, Mont.; Independence, Ky.; and Topanga, Calif., among other places — was documented in crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi's 1986 book Wiseguy and then in Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas, which was based on Pileggi's book.

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Education
9:36 am
Fri June 15, 2012

FAMU President On Cleaning Up Band Culture

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 8:34 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, America's Catholic bishops are meeting in Atlanta this week. They're asking whether reforms meant to protect kids from sexual abuse are working and they're facing questions about whether they're crossing the line from principled to partisan in their fight against the Obama administration's contraception mandate. We'll talk about all of that in just a few minutes.

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Faith Matters
9:36 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Bishops Ask If Enough Done To Stop Sex Abuse

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 1:11 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we open up our mailbox and hear from you about the stories we've covered this week. That's called BackTalk, and it's in just a few minutes.

But, first, it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. And today, we talk about that big meeting of the American Catholic bishops. They're wrapping up their annual meeting in Atlanta today and they had a lot on their agenda.

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Around the Nation
8:55 am
Fri June 15, 2012

U.S. To Stop Deporting Some Young Illegal Immigrants

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Obama administration is announcing a major change in immigration policy this morning. It affects people who are brought to the U.S. as children illegally. Beginning immediately, these young people can avoid deportation and will be allowed to work in this country. The move could affect as many as 800,000 undocumented residents 30 years old or younger.

Joining us now to talk about the move is NPR's Scott Horsley. He's at the White House. And Scott, who exactly is affected?

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Deportations Of Law-Abiding, Younger Illegal Immigrants To Stop

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 2:56 pm

The Obama administration announced today that it will stop deporting younger illegal immigrants who came to the country as children and have no criminal history.

"It is not immunity; it is not amnesty. It is an exercise of discretion," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a press briefing.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Secret Service Releases Data On Accusations Against Its Personnel

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 1:44 pm

More than 200 pages worth of details about accusations made against Secret Service personnel since 2004 has been released. The accusations concern "claims of involvement with prostitutes, leaking sensitive information, publishing pornography, sexual assault, illegal wiretaps, improper use of weapons and drunken behavior," The Associated Press reports.

Important note: the list apparently deals with accusations, not confirmed cases of misconduct.

We'll pass along more about this as the story develops.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Central Banks 'On Standby' As Greek Elections Loom

The European Central Bank "is on standby to keep banks flush with liquidity" if Greeks effectively vote on Sunday to support politicians who want to reject austerity measures and pull the nation out of the eurozone, The Financial Times writes this morning.

The ECB joins "a global chorus of central bankers pledging support ahead of Sunday's elections," the FT adds.

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It's All Politics
7:05 am
Fri June 15, 2012

It's #FollowFriday: Some Political Tweeters You May Not Already Follow

Twitter unveiled an updated logo (right) on June 6 as the trademark symbol for the fast-growing company.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:31 pm

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Elise Hu (@elisewho), an NPR digital reporter who previously covered campaigns and statehouses in Texas, South Carolina and Missouri.

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Economy
6:44 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Three Frightening Phrases You Should Understand

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a press conference in Brussels.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 9:42 am

The economy has so much going for it: low inflation, low interest rates, affordable homes, falling gasoline prices and 27 straight months of job growth. Good times, no?

No.

The economy is slowing, but not because of current conditions. The slowdown reflects the fear of what may be coming next. Economists say employers and investors are paralyzed by the uncertainty surrounding three huge problems: one in the United States, another in Europe and the third in China.

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Middle East
6:36 am
Fri June 15, 2012

U.N. Sees 'Lack Of Willingness' For Peace In Syria

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

After a week of escalating violence in Syria, the chief U.N. official there in the country said today that efforts to resolve the conflict have had little effect. It was a bleak assessment from the man leading the United Nations observer mission for the past six months. NPR's Deborah Amos joins us from Damascus, where she has been out with observers assessing the situation.

And Deb, what was the message today from Major General Robert Mood?

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations

Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 6:29 am

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Strange News
5:37 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Haboob Haiku: Arizona Tweets About Storm Safety

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Summer dust storms in Arizona have a funny name - haboobs - but they can be deadly. This summer, Arizona transportation officials turned to poetry in their safety campaign, encouraging Twitter users to tweet haikus, like this one from Mindy Lee: Haboobs blow through town. In one instant it is dark. Pull over and wait. And here's Will Watson's: You're not a Jedi. This is not Tatooine, Luke. Pull over, man. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Last Suspect In 1995 Sarin Attack Arrested In Tokyo

Katsuya Takahashi, the last fugitive connected to the 1995 sarin attack on Tokyo's subway system, after his arrest today.
Jiji Press AFP/Getty Images

"Tokyo police have arrested the last fugitive member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, Katsuya Takahashi, who was on the run for 17 years," NHK WORLD reports.

The 54-year-old suspect was taken into custody today in Tokyo. As NHK says, "Takahashi was wanted in connection with the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in March, 1995 and other Aum-related crimes. He allegedly helped one of the perpetrators flee after the attack."

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Strange News
5:28 am
Fri June 15, 2012

AP Issues Style Guidelines On 'Jeggings,' 'Jorts'

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
4:54 am
Fri June 15, 2012

'Forest Boy' Is A Hoax, Police Say

He wasn't really a "forest boy," police say.
Berlin police

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:25 pm

We won't pretend to be surprised:

"The forest boy known previously as 'Ray' has been identified as Robin van Helsum. from the Dutch town of Hengelo, Dutch police confirmed Friday morning." (Germany's The Local)

It took only about two days from the time that police in Berlin released a photo of "Ray" for him to be identified by friends.

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Politics
4:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Romney Touts 2-Step Economic Plan In Cincinnati

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Here is a sneak preview of what we can expect a lot more of in the next few months: President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney carrying on a long-distance debate over the economy. In this case, the distance was just 250 miles. Both men were in Ohio. Mr. Obama was in the Democratic stronghold of Cleveland, up along the Great Lakes. Romney was down in Cincinnati, near the Kentucky border.

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Politics
4:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

In Ohio, Obama Calls For 'Shared Vision' On Economy

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama's Ohio speech yesterday was designed to draw a contrast between his economic vision and Mitt Romney's. It was also meant to argue that the state of the economy doesn't hand his rival the keys to the White House.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: As initial unemployment claims ticked up again this week, President Obama said he's reminded every day just how tough things still are for many Americans. But he also expressed confidence that by working together, those challenges can be overcome.

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Africa
4:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Battle For Power Coming To A Head In Egypt

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Egypt's transition to democracy has taken a blow, one so serious that opposition forces are calling it a coup. The country's Supreme Constitutional Court yesterday issued two rulings. One dissolved Egypt's first freely elected parliament, now filled mostly with Islamists. The other threw out a law that forbade members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's regime from running for high office.

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Europe
4:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Crisis Exposes Gaps In Greek Electorate

Torn Greek (left) and European Union flags fly at the entrance of an abandoned factory in the industrial zone of Komotini about 500 miles from Athens. Sunday's parliamentary election will go a long way toward determining whether Greece stays in the EU.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 5:35 pm

Greeks are headed back to the polls Sunday after last month's inconclusive parliamentary election left the country without a governing coalition. And like the last time, people are polarized over harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece as part of a large European economic bailout.

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The Two-Way
4:32 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Heart Surgery Goes 'Very Well' For 'Little Darth Vader'

In this screen shot provided by Volkswagen of America, Max Page stars as a "Little Darth Vader" who thinks he's used "the force" to start a VW Passat.
AP

We've got good news to pass along regarding the open heart surgery performed Thursday on seven-year-old Max Page, the child actor who captivated viewers as "Little Darth Vader" in a 2011 Volkswagen commercial.

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The Two-Way
4:18 am
Fri June 15, 2012

In Sports: Tiger Tied For Second, Miami Ties Up NBA Finals

LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant of the Thunder during Thursday's game in Oklahoma City.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

The two sports headlines that matter the most this morning.:

-- Tiger Woods Tied For Second At U.S. Open; Michael Thompson Leads By Three Strokes.

Golf's Open is being played at San Francisco's Olympic Club. ESPN's broadcast resumes at 9 a.m. ET.

-- Miami Wins Game Two Of The NBA Finals By Score Of 100-96; Series With Thunder Tied At 1-1.

The Heat and Thunder play next on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. ABC-TV is the broadcaster.

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The Two-Way
3:51 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Egypt's 'Smooth Military Coup' Protested

Egyptian anti-military protesters waved their shoes — a way of showing their extreme anger — as they demonstrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Thursday. More protests are planned for today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 9:36 am

People around the world are watching anxiously to see the reaction in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities to Thursday's "smooth military coup."

"Leftist and liberal Egyptian activists" have called for demonstrations, al-Jazeera reports, starting after midday prayers in that Muslim nation (Egypt is six hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast).

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All Songs Considered Blog
3:24 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Youssra El Hawary Scales A Wall With A Wink And A Smile

Egyptian singer/songwriter Youssra El Hawary.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 2:48 pm

I try my best to keep up on new sounds out of the Middle East and North Africa, but the name Youssra El Hawary was completely new to me until just a couple of weeks ago. But now, I'm totally hooked on music by this 28-year-old folkie-ish, indie-ish, chanson-ish singer/songwriter from Egypt armed not with a guitar, but ... an accordion.

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