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12:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Furloughs Only The Latest Blow To Federal Worker Morale

Federal employees demonstrate against the U.S. budget sequester, outside New York's Federal Plaza on Tuesday.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 3:51 am

Federal workers say they don't have much to celebrate these days.

Furloughs began in April, exacerbating already low morale for many government agencies as budgets have tightened. Downsizing has meant more work for those who remain, and talk of further cuts has many worried about job security. This year is also the third that federal workers haven't received a pay increase, contributing to discontent.

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Death Toll Tops 800 In Bangladesh Factory Collapse

Bangladeshi rescue and army personnel on Wednesday continue recovery operations at the site of the building collapse near Dhaka.
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 7:19 am

Authorities in Bangladesh say the death toll in last month's collapse of an eight-story garment factory complex has surpassed 800 as dozens more bodies were pulled from the rubble on Wednesday.

The latest corpses to be recovered were so badly decomposed that they were being sent to a lab for DNA identification, police said, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Scientist Stephen Hawking To Boycott Israeli Conference

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:28 am

British physicist Stephen Hawking has stepped into a political black hole.

He announced this week that he was withdrawing from a conference in Israel to protest that country's treatment of Palestinians, throwing his weight behind an academic boycott of the Jewish state. The Guardian reports:

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Census: Black Voting Surpassed White in 2012

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at Cleveland Avenue Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 6, 2012.
Julie Denesha Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 8:46 pm

Black voters showed up at the polls at higher rates than whites in last year's presidential election, driving the rate of minority participation to historic levels, a new government report shows.

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It's All Politics
3:56 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

With Texas Trip, Obama Tries To Steer Focus Back To Economy

President Obama answers questions during a news conference on April 30.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 4:27 pm

President Obama turns his attention back to his economic agenda Thursday when he travels to Austin, Texas, where he will visit a technology high school and a company that makes the machines that make silicon chips.

The White House says the trip is part of Obama's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. It also appears to be an effort by the president to get back to the issues Americans care most about.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Enron's Jeffrey Skilling May See Sentence Reduced

Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling laughs outside the federal courthouse on April 24, 2006, in Houston. Under a deal announced Thursday, Skilling could have as many as 10 years cut from his 24-year prison sentence.
Pat Sullivan AP

Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling could have his more than 24-year prison sentence reduced by as many as 10 years under a deal announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.

The agreement with Skilling's lawyers, which still needs the approval of a federal judge, would reduce the former Enron chief's sentence to between 14 and 17 1/2 years.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Push To End Teens' Distracted Driving Targets Parents, Peers

A screengrab from Brittany Anne Devasure's winning Project Yellow Light video, aimed at discouraging distracted driving.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:55 pm

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Jodi Arias Found Guilty Of Murdering Boyfriend

Jodi Arias reacts during the reading of the verdict at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix on Wednesday.
Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 4:36 pm

Jurors on Wednesday found Jodi Arias, accused of killing her onetime boyfriend in a fit of rage, guilty of first-degree murder.

Arias, 32, initially denied involvement in the June 4, 2008, shooting death of Travis Alexander, blaming his death on two masked intruders. Two years later, she changed her story, saying she had killed him in self-defense.

Testimony began in January in the four-month trial in Phoenix that became a cable television sensation, with details of the couple's sexual escapades and photos of Alexander after his death presented as evidence.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Homebrewing: Soon To Be Legal In All 50 States

Home brewing will become legal in all 50 U.S. states, if Alabama's governor signs a recently passed bill. In March, Mississippi approved a bill that will take effect this summer.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 6:13 pm

The Alabama Legislature has approved a bill making it legal to brew beer at home, a practice that had been forbidden in the state. If Gov. Robert Bentley signs the bill, as is expected, home brewing will soon be legal in all 50 states.

Alabama lawmakers voted on the bill to legalize home brewing months after it was first introduced. And while it met with earlier debate and resistance, the arrival of the legislation — House Bill 9 — for a vote Tuesday night seems to have come to its supporters as a pleasant surprise.

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Books
2:50 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Fitzgerald Might Disagree With His 'No Second Acts' Line

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You've likely seen or heard a news story in recent years that began something like this: F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, there are no second acts in American lives. But Fitzgerald clearly never met - fill in the blank.

It seems a whole generation of American politicians has fallen from grace only to rise again and disprove the line: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Eliot Spitzer. And just last night, South Carolina's newest congressman, Mark Sanford.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Witnesses Relate Frustration Over Response To Benghazi Attack

Gregory Hicks testifies Wednesday about the Benghazi attack before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, while Mark Thompson, left, and Eric Nordstrom, listen.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:56 pm

Three witnesses billed as whistle-blowers appeared before a House committee Wednesday to challenge the Obama administration's explanation of what transpired on Sept. 11, 2012, as the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked and the ambassador and three others killed.

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Shots - Health News
2:36 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Not All Antioxidants Halt Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration accounts for more than half of all cases of blindness in the United States.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 4:04 pm

Age-related macular degeneration is the major cause of blindness in older people, and the culprit in more than half of all cases of blindness in the United States.

There's no cure for the condition, so scientists have been hard at work trying to come up with ways to hold it at bay.

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Shots - Health News
1:58 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Why Bill Gates Thinks Ending Polio Is Worth It

There's no better deal than getting polio cases down to zero, philanthropist Bill Gates says.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:28 pm

Some critics say that ending polio has become Bill Gates' "white whale."

Why not just settle for the huge drop in polio cases that we've seen over the past decade and then spend money on other things that kill so many more kids, like diarrhea and malnutrition?

"Polio is special," Gates tells NPR's Robert Siegel on All Things Considered. "Once you get it done, you save $2 billion a year that will be applied to those other activities. There's no better deal economically to getting to zero."

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Music Reviews
1:57 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

On Two New R&B Albums, An Old Soul Sound That Glows

Charles Bradley was signed by Daptone Records partly because of a James Brown act he used to perform. His new album is Victim of Love.
Darren Bastecky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:55 pm

It's tempting to describe the voices of Charles Bradley and

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Carnival Triumph Heads Back To Gulf Of Mexico, Under Power

The cruise ship Carnival Triumph, seen here as it arrived in Mobile, Ala., in February, has now disembarked for the Bahamas. The powerless ship was towed to port with 3,143 passengers aboard in February.
Dave Martin AP

The Carnival Cruise ship Triumph is traveling again, having left the terminal in Mobile, Ala., where it was forced to dock in February after severe problems with its engines led to its being towed across the Gulf of Mexico.

The odyssey of the ship, whose 3,143 passengers endured days without consistent running water and electrical services, attracted national attention as it drifted at sea before heading to the Alabama coast.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Several Dead After Ship Crashes Into Dock In Italy

Rescuers search what is left of the control tower of the port of Genoa, northern Italy, on Tuesday.
Francesco Pecoraro Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:42 pm

A cargo ship slammed into a dock in Genoa, Italy, on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and toppling the control tower at one of the country's busiest ports.

The Associated Press reports that divers had found seven bodies in the wreckage. Four others have been hospitalized and two were still unaccounted for, Luca Cari, a spokesman for the fire rescue teams at the scene, told The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Air Force Strips 17 Officers Of Nuclear Missile Launch Authority

A Minuteman III missile inside its silo about 60 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.
USAF Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Seventeen Air Force officers with control over nuclear missiles have had that authority suspended after receiving poor reviews on their mastery of launch operations, The Associated Press reports in an exclusive.

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NPR Story
12:11 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

The Role Of Trials In The Process Of Catharsis

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:33 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Music
12:04 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Randy Newman Becomes A Rock Star

Inductee Randy Newman performs on stage at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18, 2013.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:05 pm

Randy Newman never considered himself a rock star. He's had his hits like, "I Love LA" and "Short People," but may be better known for his work in TV show themes and film scores. His unmistakable voice has graced the soundtracks of dozens of films, including the Toy Story films, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc.

When the singer and composer got a call saying he'd be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was shocked. He told Rolling Stone, "I really thought maybe I'd have to die first."

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Hospital Costs Go Public: What Changes In Health Care?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. One hospital outside Dallas charges a little over 14 grand for pneumonia treatment. Another hospital a few miles down the same street charges more than twice as much, over $38,000. Why? Why has it taken so long for those prices to be made public? And now that they're out, how is that going to change health care?

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Economy
11:46 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Nearly Three Years After Dodd-Frank, Reforms Happen Slowly

loveguli iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:06 pm

On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as the Dodd-Frank bill. Reporter Gary Rivlin says "the passage of Dodd-Frank was something of a miracle." But to the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, a lobbying group that represents 100 of the country's largest financial institutions, it was just "halftime."

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Radio Diaries
11:28 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Teenage Diaries Revisited: From Kicking A Football To Kicking Meth

Frankie Lewchuk had been a high school football star whose picture was in his hometown newspaper every week. Now, after struggling with a crystal meth addiction, he is trying to repair his life.
Radio Diaries (left), David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:19 am

Name: Frankie Lewchuk

Hometown: Mentone, Ala.

Current city: Chattanooga, Tenn.

Occupation: Car stereo installer

Then:

"I used to be a wimp in school. ... Since I started playing football in 9th and 10th grade, all I did was get a haircut, start wearing decent clothes and play sports. Now I'm a popular person... and I want to keep it going that way."

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Police Chief: 'We Are Not Barbarians;' Bury Bombing Suspect

A video image showing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, before the April 15 bombings.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:16 pm

Saying that "we are not barbarians, we bury the dead," the police chief of Worcester, Mass., on Wednesday appealed for someone in authority to clear the way for the body of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev to be buried.

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The Salt
10:37 am
Wed May 8, 2013

With Warming Climes, How Long Will A Bordeaux Be A Bordeaux?

A worker harvests cabernet sauvignon grapes at a vineyard near Bordeaux, France, in September.
Caroline Blumberg EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 1:25 pm

Bordeauxs and Burgundys haven't changed much since the days when famous wine-lover Thomas Jefferson kept the cellars of his Parisian home well-stocked with both wines.

But now, some worry that the regional rules and traditions that have defined top winemaking regions like Champagne, Burgundy and Chianti for centuries could melt away as climate change takes effect.

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It's All Politics
10:34 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Poll: Obama Approval Up, Effectiveness Down; GOP In Doldrums

President Obama's job approval has inched up in recent weeks, but the percentage of Americans who say they believe he is effective has taken a hit, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.

And while the image of Republican leadership remains "deeply negative," and continues bearing the brunt of the blame for Washington gridlock, the survey found that the GOP runs even with Democrats on the key issues of the economy, immigration and guns.

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News
10:03 am
Wed May 8, 2013

The Missing Women Were Seemingly In Plain Sight

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we are going to talk about some controversies in hip hop recently that raise questions about just what crosses the line now between what's acceptable and what isn't and who decides that. That's coming up later in the program.

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Code Switch
9:53 am
Wed May 8, 2013

USC Students Allege Racial Profiling By LAPD

Mark Jones, a USC freshman, protests on Monday.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:43 am

The Los Angeles Police Department is under scrutiny again. This time it's for sending almost 80 officers to break up a college house party. Most of the partygoers were African-American students from the University of Southern California.

USC senior Nate Howard organized the party that was shut down by the police. At a protest on campus Monday he condemned the response.

"Seventy-plus officers?" he said. "What else was going on at that time in the community that you needed to be at a party of students getting ready to graduate?"

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Europe
9:37 am
Wed May 8, 2013

In France, A Renewed Push To Return Art Looted By Nazis

A photo taken by the Nazis during World War II shows a room filled with stolen art at the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris. Using improved technology and the Internet, the French government is making a renewed push to track down the rightful owners of art looted by the Nazis.
Courtesy of Archives des Musees Nationaux A Paris

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 7:55 pm

During World War II, the Nazis plundered tens of thousands of works of art from the private collections of European Jews, many living in France. About 75 percent of the artwork that came back to France from Germany at the end of the war has been returned to their rightful owners.

But there are still approximately 2,000 art objects that remain unclaimed. The French government has now begun one of its most extensive efforts ever to find the heirs and return the art.

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Movie Reviews
9:30 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Natalie Maines: A Country-Music Rebel Rocks On Her Own

Natalie Maines, former singer for the Dixie Chicks, placed the group at the center of controversy in 2003, when she publicly criticized George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:06 pm

Natalie Maines doesn't hesitate to make audacious moves, and wresting away "Mother" — Roger Waters' hymn to oppressive maternal authority figures from Pink Floyd — is the biggest one on her first solo album. Maines takes the "Mother" from Pink Floyd's The Wall and deconstructs it, emotional brick by emotional brick.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Kurdish Militants Begin Historic Withdrawal From Turkey

Today marks the beginning of the pullback of thousands of militant PKK fighters from Turkey back to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. It's an important milestone in a delicate effort to end nearly three decades of bloodshed that have killed an estimated 35,000 people since 1984.

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