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Planet Money
1:20 am
Fri May 18, 2012

The Long, Long, Long Road To New Rules For Banks

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

Would that big, bad JPMorgan Chase trade have violated the Volcker Rule?

It's too soon to say, despite the fact that the rule is part of a two-year-old law.

The Volcker Rule bans deposit-taking banks from making speculative bets. But it allows banks to make investments to hedge risks.

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Africa
1:18 am
Fri May 18, 2012

U.S. Serves Up New Food Security Effort In Africa

A woman refills her bucket from a well in the south of Mauritania. The Sahel region, south of the Sahara, is facing a third season of drought.
Pablo Tosco AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

The Obama administration is announcing a major new initiative to boost investments in rural Africa in hopes of lifting millions out of poverty. Several African leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the announcement, which comes as President Obama hosts leaders of the Group of Eight in Maryland. Food security is a key agenda item.

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Around the Nation
1:17 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Son Fulfills Dream Racism Denied To His Mother

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

When Terry Walls of Springfield, Mo., decided to go back to college at age 52, he wanted to put to rest a family rumor. He had heard his mother was denied admission to Missouri State University, and he was pointed toward Meyer Library on the MSU campus for answers.

There, he discovered an eloquent letter typed on fragile, onion-skin paper and signed with his mother's maiden name: Mary Jean Price. It was dated Oct. 2, 1950, and it was addressed to the university registrar:

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The Two-Way
1:16 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Bike To Work Day: Your Photos, And Riding Advice From Grant Petersen

Jennifer Drake and her daughter, Alex, pause before their morning ride. "My daughter and I bike to school (her work) 3 miles roundtrip daily," Drake writes.
@JennLDrake

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 8:18 pm

For many people, Bike to Work Day (which is today) is a reason to put air in their bike's tires and see if their chain is too rusty to get them to work on time. And as a growing list of photographs shows, many people who follow NPR online also ride to work.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:14 am
Fri May 18, 2012

150 Years Of 'Taps'

A lone bugler stands at attention in the rain at Wilmington National Cemetery in North Carolina, in 2009.
Logan Mock-Bunting Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

This Saturday, 200 buglers will assemble at Arlington National Cemetery to begin playing "Taps," a call written 150 years ago this year.

Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Jari Villanueva, a bugle player, says he started out as a Boy Scout bugler at about age 12. He went on to study trumpet at the Peabody Conservatory before being accepted into the United States Air Force Band — where one of his duties over the next 23 years was to sound that call at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Space
1:13 am
Fri May 18, 2012

NASA, SpaceX Aim To Launch Private Era In Orbit

NASA and SpaceX partnered closely to make the mission to the International Space Station possible. Above, the SpaceX control room.
SpaceX

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

A private spaceship owned by a company called SpaceX is scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida early Saturday morning.

If all goes well, the unmanned capsule will rocket up on a mission to deliver food and other supplies to the International Space Station, becoming the first commercial spacecraft to visit the outpost.

The highly anticipated mission could mark the beginning of what some say could be a new era in spaceflight, with private companies operating taxi services that could start taking people to orbit in just a few years.

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StoryCorps
9:09 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Love At First Punch: Still Going Strong After 75 Years

The Dubrow's Cafeteria on Eastern Parkway in New York, circa 1945. Van and Shirley Harris were regulars at the restaurant, along with a colorful cast of characters.
Brian Merlis and Eve Lyons

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

Van Harris and his wife, Shirley, grew up in the same Brooklyn neighborhood. They lived about a block away from each other. At StoryCorps, they talked of how they first met — 75 years ago.

Van, 87, recalls the day that he first noticed Shirley, 85.

"I met her when she was about 10 years old, and she was beating up a couple of guys," he says. "The boys had taken her hat off her head, and they were tossing it around."

Shirley kept asking the boys to give her hat back, but they wouldn't do it.

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Law
6:18 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Clemens' Former Trainer Admits Changing Testimony

Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens' one-time trainer, leaves federal court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:49 pm

The prosecution's star witness underwent a withering cross-examination on Thursday at Roger Clemens' perjury trial. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is charged with lying to Congress when he testified that he never used performance-enhancing drugs. Brian McNamee, his one-time trainer, is the only witness who has firsthand evidence that contradicts the baseball-pitching ace.

Earlier this week, guided by the prosecution, McNamee testified in agonizing and repetitive detail about how he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001.

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Law
5:16 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

New Documents Released In Trayvon Martin Case

Documents have been released in the investigation of George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, shot Martin, an unarmed teen. He's claiming self-defense. Robert Siegel talks to Greg Allen.

The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers
3:55 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Pennsylvania Doctors Worry Over Fracking 'Gag Rule'

Plastic surgeon Amy Pare says it's important for doctors to know what kind of substances patients she's treating might have been exposed to.
Susan Philips WHYY

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:30 pm

From WHYY

A new law in Pennsylvania has doctors nervous.

The law grants physicians access to information about trade-secret chemicals used in natural gas drilling. Doctors say they need to know what's in those formulas in order to treat patients who may have been exposed to the chemicals.

But the new law also says that doctors can't tell anyone else — not even other doctors — what's in those formulas. It's being called the "doctor gag rule."

'I Don't Know If It's Due To Exposure'

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

New Evidence Released: Trayvon Martin Had Traces Of Pot In System

A photocopy of a picture of George Zimmerman taken the night of the shooting.
Sanford Police

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 8:06 pm

A huge trove of documents has been released by prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case. Among the biggest revelations so far is that the autopsy reveals Martin had THC in his system. But police said the shooting was "ultimately avoidable."

ABC News, which is digging through the documents, reports:

"The autopsy report shows traces of the drug THC, which is found in marijuana, in Martin's blood and urine.

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The Record
3:29 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

The Many Voices Of Donna Summer

"Queen of Disco" Donna Summer performs in 1979. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:36 pm

Pop singer Donna Summer, whose long career began in the 1960s and reached its apex in the disco era of the '70s, died of cancer on Thursday at her home in Naples, Florida. Summer was 63 years old. According to Billboard magazine, the singer born LaDonna Gaines had 32 singles that charted in the Hot 100. Fourteen of them made it into the top 10. To hear Sami Yenigun's appreciation of Donna Summer's life and career, as heard on All Things Considered, click the audio link.

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Billionaire Donor Joe Ricketts: From Behind The Scenes To Center Stage

Joe Ricketts, whose American Film Company produced The Conspirator, arrives at the film's premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 7:04 am

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Research News
3:10 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Ancient Deep-Sea Bacteria Are In No Hurry To Eat

Researcher Hans Roy opens a core sample taken from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. A core sample like this one contained bacteria that settled on the seafloor 86 million years ago.
Bo Barker Jorgensen Science/AAAS

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Back when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth, some hardy bacteria took up residence at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Eighty six million years later, they're still there. And a new study says they're living out the most Spartan lifestyle known on this planet.

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Music News
2:45 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Cecil Taylor: The Pianist Who's Also An Orchestra

Cecil Taylor, 83, is being feted in a two-week celebration of his music in New York City.
Peter Gannushkin downtownmusic.net

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

When you hear Cecil Taylor perform, you never forget it. He's a force of nature at the piano, with a furious attack and a sound all his own.

"His piano is an orchestra," says Ben Ratliff, music critic for The New York Times. "Cecil has been with us for so long. And every once in a while he does these amazing, galvanizing solo piano performances. And you go see them, and you think, like, 'Wow. What was that? That was amazing.' And I can't get that anywhere else in the world. And that's unique."

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Facebook Stock Priced at $38 A Share Ahead of Friday IPO

The Facebook thumb.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:55 am

When Facebook makes its initial public offering Friday on the NASDAQ, the stock will be priced at $38 per share, a price that's expected to bring in between $16 billion and $18.4 billion to the company. CNBC reports:

"[The price makes] it one of the most lucrative offerings the Street has ever seen. With that valuation taken into consideration, Facebook goes public with the highest valuation — in the $100 billion range — of any company on record at the time of its IPO."

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

N.C. Politicos Pan Proposed Rev. Wright, Anti-Obama Ad Idea

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright addresses the National Press Club in Washington in 2008.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:42 pm

Battleground states like North Carolina are where the action is when it comes to presidential contests. Thus, they are where political tactics like, say, the anti-Obama ad campaign featuring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, first reported by The New York Times Thursday (and now disowned by virtually everyone the Times linked to it), are most likely to be rolled out.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Reports: Hewlett-Packard Plans To Announce About 25,000 Job Cuts

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:37 pm

Several news outlets are reporting that computer giant Hewlett-Packard will announce the elimination of 25,000 to 30,000 jobs. All Things D reports that the announcement will come from CEO Meg Whitman when the company announces its quarterly earnings next Wednesday.

All Things D reports:

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Afghanistan
2:17 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

An Afghan Shoots, A Marine Dies, Mistrust Grows

A Marine Corps team carries the remains of Marine Sgt. J.P. Huling, 25, of West Chester, Ohio, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on May 9. Huling was killed three days earlier by an Afghan soldier in southern Afghanistan, one of a growing number of such shootings.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Sgt. J.P. Huling, a Marine from Ohio, was killed this month in southern Afghanistan.

It wasn't a roadside bomb or a Taliban sniper that killed him. It was another sergeant — an Afghan soldier known as Sgt. Zabitollah, who like many Afghans went by one name.

It was a grim coincidence that brought these two sergeants together on May 6, a Sunday afternoon, at a mud-walled compound along a desolate stretch of road in a remote corner of Afghanistan.

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Opinion
2:05 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Two Gray Titles, One Sexy Mix Up

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 2:46 pm

Ruta Sepetys is the author of Between Shades of Gray.

"You are an erotic phenomenon."

That's what the stranger seated next to me on the plane whispered. We had exchanged the basic bios of airline chitchat, and he had inquired about the title of my recent book.

"Erotic phenomenon, oh no, that's not me," I quickly tried to explain.

"Well, OK, it's not really you. It's your character. That's what you tell people," grinned the stranger.

That's not what I tell people.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Head Of Syrian Opposition Group Says He Will Resign

The Syrian opposition is in disarray, the AP reports.

The head of the Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said he would resign and some members of the group threatened to leave it "amid rampant infighting."

The AP reports:

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The Salt
1:21 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

The Secret Life Of California's World-Class Strawberries

Strawberry research fields in Watsonville, Calif.
courtesy California Strawberry Commission

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 5:16 pm

May is the month we see strawberries explode in the market. There are strawberry festivals in every corner of the nation celebrating the juicy ruby beauties, and Strawberry Queens crowned galore. Those traditional harvest time festivals make us think our strawberries are mostly grown on the farm just down the road.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Diplomat: U.S. Has Military Option Ready, If Needed, To Deal With Iran

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 6:43 am

President Obama has said "I don't bluff," when it comes to opposing any effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons (which that nation says it is not trying to do). And, he told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg in March, "all options are on the table."

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Shots - Health Blog
12:58 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

For Athletes, Dealing With Pain May Be A Big Gain

If you run more, you may hurt less.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 4:19 pm

Ever wonder why some people can run a 50-mile ultramarathon while for others even the thought of such endurance sports borders on torture?

Exceptional physical fitness, of course, sets the ultramarathoners apart from the rest of us. But scientists say what might be more important is athletes' excellent ability — both psychologically and physically — to cope with pain.

It turns out that most athletes' high tolerance for pain while exercising may also help them deal with it when they're at rest.

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Senators Propose Barring Those Who Drop Citizenship From Reentering U.S.

Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook.
Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:39 pm

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who renounced his U.S. citizenship, is now facing backlash from politicians: Two U.S. senators are proposing a plan that would prevent people like Saverin from reentering the country.

As we reported yesterday, by some estimates Saverin may save $67 million in taxes by giving up his citizenship.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Donna Summer, The Queen Of Disco, Dies At 63

Disco singer Donna Summer singing on stage around 1975.
Fotos International Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 5:46 am

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Hot Pants Indeed: Rocks In Pocket Set Woman's Shorts On Fire

The look so harmless.
Win McNamee Getty Images

A 43-year-old woman in San Clemente, Calif., suffered second- and third-degree burns on her right leg and right arm Saturday after rocks in a pocket set her shorts on fire, The Orange County Register says.

Orange County Fire Authority officials tell the newspaper that the woman collected the rocks on a nearby beach, returned home and "was standing in her kitchen ... when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire."

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Politics
10:10 am
Thu May 17, 2012

GOP Defends Violence Against Women Act

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:33 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, you know award winning actress Glenn Close from her work in provocative movies like "Fatal Attraction" and "Albert Nobbs," but behind the scenes she's also become an outspoken advocate for mental health. We'll learn how mental illness has affected her own family in just a few minutes.

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Around the Nation
10:10 am
Thu May 17, 2012

A Year Later, Joplin Continues To Bounce Back

A year after a devastating tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, President Obama is set to go back and deliver Joplin High School's commencement speech. Host Michel Martin speaks with Joplin High Principal Kerry Sachetta for an update on how the school and the town are recovering.

Middle East
10:08 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Why The U.S. Is Aggressively Targeting Yemen

Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. "The United States is doubling down on its use of air power and drones, which are swiftly becoming the primary focus of Washington's counterterrorism operations," writes Jeremy Scahill.
Muhammad ud-Deen AP

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 11:46 am

U.S. intelligence officials announced last week that they had broken up a plan by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen to blow up a plane headed toward the United States.

U.S. officials are aggressively targeting terrorists in Yemen, which is now considered to be "the greatest external threat facing the U.S. homeland in terms of terrorism," says investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill.

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