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American Dreams: Then And Now
1:50 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Native American Comic Living The 'Indigenous Dream'

Comedian Charlie Hill says he's achieved the American dream, but that it's been out of reach for many fellow Native Americans.
Courtesy of Charlie Hill

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 7:53 am

Native American comedian Charlie Hill says he's living the American dream.

Actually, make that the "indigenous dream," which he prefers to call it.

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Asia
1:36 am
Thu June 21, 2012

In Pakistan's Anti-Corruption War, A Lonely Warrior

Retired senior police investigator Zafar Qureshi, 59, stands outside his home in Lahore, Pakistan, where security guards are stationed 24 hours a day. The former police official has probed some of the highest profile cases of official misconduct in Pakistan, and says he fears for his safety and that of his children in a country that he says is steeped in a "culture of corruption."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:35 pm

Pakistan's National Assembly has been summoned to elect a new prime minister for the fragile coalition of President Asif Ali Zardari. A consensus candidate, current Textile Industry Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, emerged soon after the Supreme Court's dramatic firing of outgoing Premier Yusuf Reza Gilani.

The court disqualified Gilani from office this week for defying court orders to pursue dormant corruption charges against President Zardari.

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Latin America
11:31 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Mexico's Youth Make Voices Heard Ahead Of Vote

A man wearing a mask holds up a machete during a protest in May against a possible return of the old ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party in Mexico City.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 5:55 am

Mexicans go to the polls July 1 to choose their next president, and polls show that voters seem inclined to embrace the past. The center-left Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled the country for more than seven decades before being ousted 12 years ago, holds a solid lead.

But Mexico's young are making their voices heard: Some fear a return of authoritarian rule; others simply want jobs.

Making Noise

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

On The First Day Of Summer, It's Blazing Hot In The Northeast

Four-year-old Solaris Arias, of Providence, R.I., right, jumps through water spraying from an open fire hydrant on Wednesday.
Steven Senne AP

Today is the summer solstice in the western hemisphere: It marks the longest day of the year and also marks the first day of summer.

That's pretty obvious in the northeast today. Here in Washington, D.C., it's still 97 degrees and it's almost 7 p.m. The AP reports that New York City, Boston and Philadelphia all hit the 90s.

The AP adds:

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Religion
4:31 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Bishops Launch 2-Week Campaign Against Health Law

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, shown speaking at the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn., in 2009, is the head of the U.S. bishops' Fortnight for Freedom campaign.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 7:40 am

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops launches what it's calling the "Fortnight for Freedom" on Thursday — two weeks of praying and fasting because the bishops believe the church's religious freedom is being threatened by the Obama administration's health care policies.

"This is the first time that I've felt personally attacked by my government," parishioner Kathleen Burke says after a service at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bethesda, Md.

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Election 2012
4:24 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Hill Republicans Tight-Lipped On Immigration Change

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (left) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Capitol Hill in February. Republicans have been quick to criticize the president for bypassing Congress with his immigration action, but they've been unusually silent on the policy itself.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 6:00 pm

Nearly a week has gone by since President Obama announced a new immigration policy that could halt the deportation of some 800,000 young people brought to the country illegally.

While Republicans on Capitol Hill were quick to criticize the president for bypassing Congress, they've been unusually silent on the question of whether these illegal immigrants should be getting such a break.

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Economy
4:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Fed Extends 'Operation Twist' — So What Is It?

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, if like me, you're more than a little mystified by Operation Twist, the Federal Reserve policy that's being extended, join me now for a four-minute tutorial. We've got a very classy tutor, economics professor Alan Blinder of Princeton, who is a former Fed vice chairman. Welcome back to the program.

ALAN BLINDER: Thanks very much, Robert.

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World
4:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Time At Oxford Spurred Suu Kyi's Burma Activism

Aung San Suu Kyi finally received her honorary degree from Oxford University after it was initially awarded in 1993. In her speech, Suu Kyi praised Oxford for helping her see humankind at its best during her long years under house arrest in Myanmar.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 7:16 pm

Aung San Suu Kyi would probably not be the symbol of Burma's quest for democracy without her experiences at Oxford University. She studied there in the 1960s and raised a family there in the '70s.

Suu Kyi returned to her alma mater Wednesday to receive the honorary degree she was unable to collect for more than a decade while under house arrest.

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Politics
4:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

House Cites Attorney General Holder For Contempt

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted today to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. He's accused of refusing to turn over certain documents related to the controversial gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious.

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Politics
4:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Program On Ariz. Immigration Part News, Advocacy

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to rule on Arizona's controversial immigration law and a lot of people in that state are watching closely. Tonight, nearly two dozen Spanish language radio and TV stations in Arizona are scheduled to run the same program about the immigration law. As NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, they're walking a fine line between journalism and advocacy.

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Energy
4:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Offline Nuclear Plant Squeezes Energy Access In Calif.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

One power plant in particular is on the minds of many here in Southern California. It's the San Onofre nuclear plant, roughly 60 miles south of Los Angeles. The plant was shut down back in January because of a leak that released a small amount of radioactive steam. It's been off-line ever since. And this week, nuclear regulators called what led to the leak, a significant, serious safety issue.

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Politics
4:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Economy One Of Biggest Issues For Latino Voters

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Immigration is, of course, an issue of concern to all Americans, but it's of special concern to Latinos. As David Welna just reported, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials - or NALEO - is holding its annual convention in Orlando. Mitt Romney will speak to the group tomorrow, about his views on immigration policy. And the other headlining speakers? President Obama, Jeb Bush, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Sen. Marco Rubio are all likely to address the issue.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Energy
4:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Senate Votes To Keep Mercury Limits On Power Plants

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The Senate has narrowly rejected an effort to scrap tough limits on mercury emitted from power plants. The Obama administration has trumpeted the rules affecting coal-burning power plants as an environmental triumph. But to industry groups, and many Republicans, these rules are the latest salvo in a war against coal. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

PHOTOS: A Scene From A Greek Wildfire

A Roma boy stands at a burnt Roma encampment, where the fire broke out in the industrial zone of Athens on Wednesday.
Angelos Tzortzinis AFP/Getty Images

We were stunned by the photographs coming out of a wildfire near Athens today. They were taken by Angelos Tzortzinis after a fire that burned inside an air force base.

The AP moved a story about it, earlier today. But Tzortzinis found that the fire had also affected an encampment of Romas and took these haunting images for the Agence France Presse:

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Some Zoo Animals Drown Because Of Flooding In Minnesota

Minnesota is seing the worst flooding in decades. Heavy flooding in Duluth caused the evacuations of homes and also caused the death 11 zoo animals at the Superior Zoo in Duluth.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that two seals escaped from their exhibits. MPR reports:

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Economy
3:34 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Federal Reserve Cuts Back U.S. Growth Forecast

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel in Washington, D.C.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Food
3:33 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Pizza Coalition Protests Menu Labeling Proposal

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: Well, actually, in Washington...

BLOCK: Where franchisee meets lawmaker...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: Yes, that's right. Some of the nation's largest pizza chains are lobbying on Capitol Hill to deliver a piping hot message.

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History
3:33 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Pakistan's 'Burushaski' Language Finds New Relatives

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's like discovering a distant cousin, a really distant cousin. It's like learning that someone you had barely heard of is actually part of the family. In this case, the family is the Indo-European family of languages. And the umpteenth cousin is a language called Burushaski. It's spoken by about 90,000 people, the Burusho people, and nearly all of them live in Pakistan. A few hundred live in India.

Just to give a sense of what it sounds like, here's a joke in Burushaski that we came across online.

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U.S.
3:21 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

In Indiana, A U.S. Superhighway May Hit The Skids

Construction of I-69 is under way across much of southwestern Indiana, but funding to finish the project, which ultimately will stretch between Canada and Mexico, is dwindling.
Wes Akers

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 11:18 am

The story of the so-called NAFTA Superhighway is long and winding — and without a new influx of funds, the end of the road may still be a long way off.

When complete, Interstate 69 would pass through eight states and provide a direct route through the Midwest between Canada and Mexico.

Most of the states along the route are upgrading existing roads to interstate standards. Indiana, in contrast, must build almost 100 miles of entirely new road for its portion of the project.

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The Salt
2:47 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Survey Says Apple Pie Rules, But There's Lots Of Room For Variety

Pies, before and after the NPR pie contest on Tuesday.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 7:52 am

We are a nation that puts apple pie above all other pies, and yesterday's survey confirms our audience falls right in line when it comes to the forbidden fruit. But that's not the whole scoop on popular pies.

As we reported yesterday, top American pies bought in the store are apple, pumpkin, cherry, blueberry, and Dutch apple.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:47 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

When 'Madagascar' Meets Children's Claritin

One of the Madagascar 3-themed activities for kids touted on Merck's Claritin Facebook page.
Facebook

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 3:23 pm

Merck is catching flak for marketing Children's Claritin with cute cartoon characters from the latest installment in the Madagascar movie series.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

House Committee Cites Attorney General Holder For Contempt

Attorney General Eric Holder during congressional testimony in 2011.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 2:46 pm

Acting along partisan lines, with a vote of 23 to 17, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted this afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Republicans, who control the committee, say Holder's Justice Department has not turned over all the documents that the committee needs to see as it probes the so-called Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation.

And they want to know more about why the Justice Department initially told a senator that it had not pursued such an operation.

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Around the Nation
2:14 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Saving Calif. State Parks: The End Of Public Funding?

Brad Beadell (right) takes his 11-year-old son, William, on his first backpacking trip through Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:23 pm

On July 1, 15 California state parks are slated to be closed permanently to the public — the first such closures in the state's history. They're the victim of budget cuts in a state with a $16 billion shortfall.

Over the past year, park enthusiasts have scrambled to save dozens of parks from closure, including Henry W. Coe State Park, California's second-biggest state park, located about 30 miles south of San Jose.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Death Toll In Nigeria Reaches 98 After Church Attacks, Reprisals

Reprisals after three church bombings on Sunday have continued in Nigeria, and The Associated Press reports the death toll has reached 98.

The AP adds:

"A rescue services official said more than 98 people have died since Sunday after a trio of church bombings sparked reprisals in Kaduna state. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

No iPads Or iPhones For You, Apple Store Clerk Tells Iranians

The scene at an Apple store.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Sahar Sabet of Alpharetta, Ga., says that when she was in an Apple store at the local North Pointe Mall last week to buy an iPad and an iPhone, she and her uncle were overheard by a clerk.

The sales rep asked what language they were speaking and where they were from. When they said they were speaking Farsi and originally from Iran, Sabet tells Atlanta's WSB-TV, the clerk's response was a shock:

"I can't sell this to you."

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Bernanke: Federal Reserve Expects 'Slow Progress' On Unemployment

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference on Wednesday in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 1:51 pm

The Federal Reserve is ready to take further action — including the purchase of Treasury bonds — "to provide support for the economy," the Chairman of the Fed Ben Bernanke said during a press conference.

Bernanke also said that the members of the Federal Open Market Committee had "marked down" their outlooks on the economy.

Most expect there to be little change in the unemployment rate through the end of the year. The consensus, said Bernanke, is that the Fed expects "slow progress" on unemployment and most opinions are "weighted toward slower growth" on the GDP.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Survey: Insiders Think Supreme Court Will Strike Health Care Mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on June 18.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

A new survey of 38 former clerks of current Supreme Court justices and 18 attorneys who have argued cases before the high court found that most of them think the court will rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The mandate is the centerpiece of the Obama administration's signature health care law and it is unknown whether the law can survive without that piece.

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It's All Politics
11:16 am
Wed June 20, 2012

In Vice Presidential Buzz, Pawlenty Is Up While Rubio's Status Is Muddled

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stands with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty during a campaign stop Saturday in Cornwall, Pa.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 3:07 pm

Back in April when NPR looked at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's potential running-mate picks, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and GOP Govs. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia were on our short list.

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The Salt
10:58 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Seattle Forager Inspires Others To Learn About Wild, Forgotten Foods

Langdon Cook shows off the morel and porcini mushrooms he's foraged and stored in the trunk of his car.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 7:17 pm

For Langdon Cook, a walk in the woods isn't that different from a walk through the produce section of the supermarket. He's a writer, blogger and all-around outdoorsy type, but in outdoorsy Seattle, he's made his name primarily as a forager.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:39 am
Wed June 20, 2012

A Few Drinks While Pregnant May Be OK

How risky is a drink during pregnancy?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 5:15 pm

When a woman drinks heavily during pregnancy, it can cause profound damage to her unborn child.

Nobody knows how much alcohol, if any, is safe, so the U.S. surgeon general and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise women to abstain from drinking throughout pregnancy to avoid physical and mental birth defects.

But here and elsewhere, even conscientious pregnant women have been known to have an occasional beer or glass of wine while carrying a child. How risky is that?

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