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2:57 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Obama Lures Donors With A Hollywood Sweepstakes

President Obama talks with actor George Clooney during a White House meeting about Sudan in 2010. The president is attending a fundraiser at Clooney's house Thursday, along with a few sweepstakes winners.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:50 pm

President Obama is attending a fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney in Studio City, Calif., on Thursday evening, along with about 150 guests. Almost anyone can attend, if they pony up $40,000.

But for a few sweepstakes winners, the price of admission is about $3. It's the latest innovation in political fundraising.

Marketing-wise, there's nothing more old school than a sweepstakes.

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Europe
2:42 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Trying To Avoid Bailout, Spain Takes On Ailing Banks

The Spanish government took a controlling stake in Bankia, the country's fourth-largest bank and largest real estate lender, on Wednesday.
Paul Hanna Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:50 pm

Spain nationalized its largest real estate lender Wednesday night and plans to announce an overhaul of the country's entire banking system Friday.

The country is scrambling to prevent its troubled banks — weighed down by property debts — from sabotaging the whole economy. The Spanish government has only to look northward to Ireland to see what could happen if it fails.

Lessons From Ireland

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It's All Politics
2:34 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Black Voters Likely To Stick With Obama Despite Gay Marriage Stance

Dr. Patrick Wooden, senior pastor of the Upper Room Church of God In Christ and his wife, Pamela Wooden, celebrate early returns that show strong support for Amendment One during an election night party at the North Raleigh Hilton on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. The Amendment would ban gay marriage in the state. (Robert Willett/Raleigh News
Robert Willett Raleigh News

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 3:45 pm

By now, most news organizations and the Twitter world are debating whether President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage will turn off African-Americans — his most loyal supporters.

It's a legitimate question because blacks, compared with other groups that make up the Democratic political base, have been the most resistant to an expansion of gay rights.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Agent Who Helped Thwart Underwear Bomb Plot Was British Citizen

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:52 pm

The undercover agent who helped thwart the latest underwear bomb plot was a British citizen, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston has learned.

"The undercover operation was being directed by British intelligence with help from other international intelligence agencies," Dina tells us. "The British had put some pressure on the Obama administration not to reveal their role in the secret mission."

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Author Interviews
2:21 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

'Freeman': A Liberated Slave In Search Of Family

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:50 pm

A new novel from writer Leonard Pitts Jr. jolts you back to the chaos of post-Civil War America. At a time when families of slaves were freed — but not necessarily together.

In hope of reuniting with their families, some freed slaves placed classified ads in newspapers:

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Shots - Health Blog
1:41 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Use Of Tanning Beds Common, Despite Cancer Risks

Jodi Duke, a 35-year-old melanoma survivor living in Aurora, Colo., shows the scar left on her arm from melanoma. She used tanning beds as a teen and advocated for a bill to regulate tanning in the state that failed in 2007.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 1:48 pm

Who's really hooked on tanning beds?

Odds are she's young, white and lives in the Midwest.

Figures just published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report paint a detailed picture of indoor tanning habits across the country.

Overall, in 2010 about 5.6 percent of adults used a tanning bed, or other device that blasts UV rays at skin to darken it. Tanning sprays didn't count.

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Election 2012
1:35 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Mourdock's Demeanor Masks Conservative Fervor

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 3:08 pm

Richard Mourdock is the first to admit he's lacking in the political flash-and-dash department.

"I never got hit with the charisma stick when I was lying there in the nursery," the newly crowned Indiana Republican Senate candidate told NPR in a recent interview.

But Mourdock, 60, who on Tuesday toppled six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in a GOP primary, is a determined if not dynamic campaigner, those who know him say, and no newcomer to the trail.

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The Salt
1:32 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Thomas Jefferson's Vegetable Garden: A Thing Of Beauty And Science

Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello served as an experimental laboratory for garden vegetables from around the world.
Leonard Phillips Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:48 am

When you listen to All Things Considered host Melissa Block's story about Thomas Jefferson's garden, you'll hear how he cared about putting peas on the table and sharing seeds with his friends. He also set loftier goals for his vegetable garden: Monticello's south-facing expanse was a living laboratory for a lifelong tinkerer and almost obsessive record keeper. Jefferson was, in many ways, a crop scientist.

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Middle East
1:26 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

As Syrian Peace Plan Crumbles, What's Next?

Norwegian Maj. Gen. Robert Mood (center), head of the U.N. observers mission in Syria, arrives to inspect the site of twin blasts.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 9:03 pm

The international peace plan for Syria is nearly a month old, and signs are pointing to a conflict that is becoming even more entrenched.

In the latest blow, two massive explosions rocked the outskirts of Syria's capital, Damascus, on Thursday, killing at least 55 people and injuring hundreds more.

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Around the Nation
1:20 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Hear That? Annoying Hum Has Canada Making Noise

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:50 pm

Thousands of people in Windsor, Ontario, say they are being invaded by an obnoxious noise emanating from outside Detroit. They call it the "Windsor Hum," and it's really two sounds — a deep, very low-frequency hum, like a diesel truck idling in your driveway, and a deep, vibrating pulse that you feel more than you hear.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Dawn Mission Provides Evidence That Asteroid Vesta Is Indeed A Protoplanet

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on July 24, 2011. It was taken from a distance of about 3,200 miles.
NASA

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 1:20 pm

Data from a mission to the second largest body in the asteroid belt that's between Mars and Jupiter seems to confirm that Vesta is indeed a protoplanet that dates back to the early days of our solar system.

Space.com reports that scientists theorized that Vesta had started down the path toward becoming a planet and data from the Dawn Mission confirms those suspicions. Space.com reports:

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Rare Calico Lobster Turns Heads, And Escapes Dinner Menu

The calico lobster known as Calvin is shown in this photo provided by Boston's New England Aquarium. The lobster is dark with bright orange and yellow spots.
Tony LaCasse New England Aquarium

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:29 pm

A calico lobster that had been living in obscurity off the coast of Maine has now been catapulted into a sort of celebrity, thanks to its rare coloring: a calico mix of orange and yellow spots. Researchers say it could be a 1 in 30 million specimen.

The invertebrate was caught off Winter Harbor, Maine; it was saved from the cooking pot at Jasper White's Summer Shack restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., after the staff noticed its striking coloration.

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Movie Interviews
12:49 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

'Where Do We Go?' Lebanese Women Pave The Way

Muslim and Christian women team up to try everything imaginable to distract their men from war in the Lebanese film Where Do We Go Now? Director and actress Nadine Labaki plays the lead role of Amale.
Rudy Bou Chebel Sony Pictures Classic

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:50 pm

Where Do We Go Now? is the brainchild of bloodshed. The film, which has been a megahit in the Middle East, is a bittersweet comedy about a group of women determined to stop their hotheaded men from starting a religious war. It's the second feature film from Lebanese director Nadine Labaki.

When violence erupted on the streets of Beirut in 2008, Labaki saw neighbors, friends, people who were practically brothers turn against each another. As the world around her spiraled out of control, Labaki discovered she was having a baby.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Russian Agency Says It Foiled Potential Attack On Sochi, 2014 Olympics Host City

A Russian anti-terrorism agency says that its secret service agents have thwarted a planned attack on Sochi, the city slated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Russia's FSB security service says it found 10 caches of weapons that it believes were meant to be used during either preparations for the Olympics or in an attack during the Games themselves.

From Moscosw, Jessica Golloher filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

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It's All Politics
11:46 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Reaction To Obama's Same-Sex Marriage Suppport: From Sublime To Silly

Reaction to President Obama's bombshell that he now supports gay marriage ran the gamut from profound to lighthearted.
The White House Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 8:06 am

(This post has been revised.)

If anything could predictably induce torrents of Internet reaction, it would be a U.S. president making the surprise disclosure that he supports same-sex marriage. And so it has been following President Obama's Wednesday ABC News interview in which he said he personally backs gay marriage.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Survey: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Defense Cuts

A U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay in 2011.
U.S. Navy Getty Images

As Congress struggles to rein in the federal deficit, a new survey finds Americans preferred to cut defense spending more than any other program.

In a new survey that not only asked for opinion, but also briefed the respondents on the federal budget, Americans came to a bipartisan conclusion: 67 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats supported cutting the defense budget.

And by quite a bit.

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The Salt
10:54 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Why It Matters That California Teens Eat Less Than Their Peers

California teens are getting fewer calories because of restrictions on school snacks, a study says
Darko Radanovic iStockphoto.com

The California sunshine can't hurt. It may help keep teens outdoors where they're less likely to snack, and more likely to move around.

But this isn't the explanation for why teens in the Golden State eat 158 fewer calories a day than kids in other states.

California teens, it turns out, are eating less at school, according to a new study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. And that little bit less per kid can add up to big calorie savings over time, nutrition experts say.

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Around the Nation
10:42 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Horse Racing: America's Most Dangerous Game?

Eight Belles (far left) broke both of her front ankles after finishing second in the 134th Kentucky Derby in May 2008. She was later euthanized.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 1:16 pm

In 2008, a horse named Eight Belles collapsed with two broken ankles just after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby. She was euthanized directly on the track. After her death, the thoroughbred industry organized safety and drug testing committees to make the sport safer.

But industry practices continue to put both horses and riders in harm's way. On average, 24 horses a week die at racetracks in the United States. Many horses that break down run with injuries masked by injected painkillers.

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It's All Politics
10:37 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Obama Heads To Hollywood; Conservative Group Mocks 'Celebrity President'

President Obama meets with actor George Clooney, U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Princeton N. Lyman, and human rights activist John Prendergast (far left) at the White House on March 15.
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 11:39 am

On Thursday, some of Hollywood's top stars and deepest pockets will congregate at the Studio City, Calif., home of actor George Clooney to mingle with President Obama and raise money for his re-election campaign.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Thu May 10, 2012

And Now For The Weather, Let's Go To Prince Charles

Prince Charles presented the weather report on a BBC Scotland newscast, surprising many viewers.
BBC Scotland

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 10:39 am

In Scotland, viewers of a nightly BBC news program got a surprise Thursday, when Prince Charles stood in front of a weather map to tell them about all the rain and cold they'd soon experience.

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It's All Politics
10:16 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Romney: 'Back In High School, I Did Some Dumb Things'

Mitt Romney, then 14, with his father, George, and mother, Lenore, in 1962.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 10:41 am

In a hastily arranged radio interview, Mitt Romney apologized Thursday for pranks he played in high school that "might have gone too far."

The interview came a few hours after The Washington Post published a detailed story recounting incidents from Romney's years at Michigan's prestigious Cranbrook prep school in the 1960s.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Justice Department Will Sue Ariz. Sheriff Arpaio

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2011.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 11:28 am

America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff is facing a lawsuit from the federal government.

Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff, became a controversial national figure for his tough stance on immigrants. The Justice Department had previously warned Arpaio that his department had engaged in a pattern of misconduct, violating the civil rights of the Latino community in his district.

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Religion
9:59 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Will Same-Sex Marriage Rile Faith Leaders?

President Obama says he supports same-sex marriage, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to come out in favor of the issue. Host Michel Martin looks at what it means for the November elections, and for an issue that many Americans view in religious or moral terms. Martin speaks with two religion reporters: Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches and David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Politics
9:59 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Why Mayor Barrett Wants To Defeat His Governor

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett won the Democratic primary earlier this week, earning the chance to challenge Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at the polls. Barrett lost a race for the governor's seat to Walker in 2010. Host Michel Martin speaks with Barrett about whether the outrage over Walker's cuts to collective bargaining rights will be enough for him to win this rematch.

Planet Money
9:48 am
Thu May 10, 2012

The Ideas America Sells To The World

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 3:13 pm

The U.S. sells over $1 trillion worth of goods to the world every year. We also export hundreds of billions of dollars worth of services — legal and financial advice, plane tickets, etc.

After we ran the chart above earlier this year, one category in particular piqued our interest: Royalties and licensing. That category is, essentially, ideas America sells to the world.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Mars Rover Opportunity Emerges From Winter Doldrums, Gets Back On Move

A mosaic of images taken in January 2012 shows Opportunity's vista north (left) and northeast (right), in an outcrop known as "Greeley Haven," where the rover spent its fifth Martian winter. The image released by NASA is presented in "false color," to make differences in the landscape easier to see.
NASA

With the darkest days of the Martian winter now over, NASA took its Opportunity Mars Rover for a drive this week. The rover had been stationary while its solar panels lacked enough sunlight to power its batteries.

The rover's drive Tuesday was a short one: "about 12 feet northwest and downhill," according to NASA. The agency says Opportunity has driven 21.4 miles since it landed on Mars in January of 2004.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:43 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Recalculating The Health Bill In McAllen, Texas

Branded: Hospitals in McAllen, Texas, may not be as costly as first thought.
iStockphoto.com

Remember McAllen? It's the Texas border town that became synonymous with wasteful medical spending during the nation's big health care debate. Even Barack Obama was talking about it.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Hero Pilot In 1989 United Crash Dies

National Transportation Safety Board investigators check over the burnt remains of a jet engine from the DC-10.
Ed Porter AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:13 am

[Editor's Note: NPR's Howard Berkes covered the 1989 crash landing of United Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa.]

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Putin Cancels Visit To U.S., Meeting With Obama

Russia's newly reinstalled President Vladimir Putin will be too busy with affairs at home to make a planned visit to the United States this month, where he was to have a high-profile tête-à-tête with President Obama and attend the G8 summit.

In his place, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who swapped places with Putin in recent elections, will go to the global economic summit.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Chinese Activist Tells Of 'Crazy Retaliation' Against His Family

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 6:10 am

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says his family is being hounded by local authorities in his Shandong, his home province, with his brother and sister-in-law placed under house arrest and his nephew detained.

Chen's flight last month from house arrest and his request for refuge from U.S. diplomats has caused considerable embarrassment for Chinese authorities and threatened to damage U.S.-Sino relations. Since then, Beijing has agreed in a face-saving move to allow the blind, self-taught legal activist and his immediate family to study in the United States.

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