NPR News

The Two-Way
7:15 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Scientists Discover Evidence of a 435,000-Year-Old Murder

A team of scientists say they've discovered evidence of a 435,000 year old murder, based on evidence from the injuries on this skull.
Javier Trueba Madrid Scientific Films

Two episodes of "localized blunt force trauma" to the skull with "an intention to kill." 3-D imaging to recreate the injuries. Bodies dropped down a 43-foot-deep vertical shaft into a mass grave. A murder case — more than 435,000 years old.

It's all detailed in a study in the journal PLOS One called "Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene," and its authors say it's evidence of one of the earliest murders on record.

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It's All Politics
6:10 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Fact Check: 3 Questions Answered About Bill Clinton's LLC

Bill Clinton and his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, are facing renewed questions about their finances.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Another day, another inquiry into the finances of Hillary and Bill Clinton.

This one starts with an Associated Press report that a limited liability company — WJC, LLC — has served as a platform for the former president's career as a consultant. Revenues flow through it to the Clintons. It has never appeared in Hillary Clinton's official financial disclosures.

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Tracy Morgan, Wal-Mart Settle Lawsuit Over Truck-Limousine Crash

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 6:27 pm

Actor Tracy Morgan has settled his lawsuit against Wal-Mart over a deadly highway crash last year involving a Wal-Mart truck that left the comedian seriously hurt.

The Associated Press reports:

"A filing in federal court in Newark on Wednesday referred to a confidential settlement reached by the two sides.

"Morgan's lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said he and Walmart worked diligently to reach the settlement for the plaintiffs and their families.

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The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Danish Broadcaster Says Killing Of Rabbit On Air Highlighted Hypocrisy

This rabbit wasn't the one killed in Denmark.
Dean Fosdick AP

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:49 pm

A Danish radio station says a host who killed a 9-week-old rabbit during a live debate on animal welfare and later cooked and ate it wanted to "stir a debate about the hypocrisy when it comes to perceptions of cruelty towards animals." But not everyone is buying that argument amid demands for Asger Juhl, the host, to be fired for "shameless self-promotion."

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Business
4:20 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

On The Road To Recovery, Detroit Property Taxes Aren't Helping

Detroit is attracting entrepreneurs who like the relatively cheap workspaces. But real estate developers and business owners like Sean Harrington, who turned the Iodent Building into an apartment complex, are paying the price in property taxes.
Jason Margolis NPR

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:48 pm

With new businesses sprouting up left and right, there's a lot of talk these days about Detroit being on the comeback trail.

A great thing about the city is that it's easy to become a real estate mogul. But some entrepreneurs might have reason to pause.

A new study released Tuesday shows that Detroit's commercial property taxes are the highest of any city in the nation.

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It's All Politics
4:08 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Map: Where (And How) The Government Can Execute People

NPR's map of death penalty laws.
NPR/Christopher Groskopf

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:35 pm

The Nebraska state Legislature voted Wednesday to repeal the death penalty in the state. The 30-19 vote overrides Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of a law the Legislature passed last week getting rid of the policy.

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Music Interviews
4:08 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

When This 9-Year-Old Pianist Plays, He Feels The Music

Oscar Paz Suaznabar started playing keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The now 9-year-old pianist has played at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Courtesy Oscar Paz Suaznabar

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 6:16 pm

When Oscar Paz Suaznabar plays the piano, he does so with feeling.

The Alexandria, Va., resident has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and on the NPR show From the Top. He is 9 years old.

Oscar started playing his older sister's keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The sorrow he conveys when he plays "The Lark" by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka is drawn from the kind of loss any 9-year-old can understand.

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Politics
4:06 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Nebraska Legislators Overturn Governor's Veto Of Death Penalty Repeal

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:11 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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It's All Politics
3:52 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Nebraska Repeals Death Penalty, But U.S. Isn't Quite Ready To Abandon It

A view of the death chamber from the witness room at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shows an electric chair and gurney on Aug. 29, 2001, in Lucasville, Ohio.
Mike Simons Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:31 pm

Nebraska's Legislature voted Wednesday to abolish the death penalty, overturning Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto. The state's unicameral legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure in a series of three previous votes.

The repeal comes as other states have experienced complications with new lethal-injection cocktails. But Americans overall still support the practice.

Support for the death penalty has slowly fallen over the past couple of decades, from a high of 80 percent in favor in the mid-1990s to just over 60 percent currently, according to Gallup.

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The Salt
3:47 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Bugs: Not What's For Dinner — Until They're Tastier, Maybe

Matt Schnarr bites into a mealworm lollipop at the Pestaurant event in Washington, D.C., in 2014.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 4:04 pm

In the last couple of years, we've detected a faint buzz about crispy crickets and crunchy mealworms. Companies pedaling scorpion lollipops and peanut butter-and-jelly protein bars made with cricket flour have thrust their wares into our hands and mailboxes.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Rick Santorum Announces Presidential Run

Rick Santorum speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 24, 2012. The Republican announced Wednesday that he is running for president.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

Republican Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, announced Wednesday that he is running for president.

"Working families don't need another president tied to big government or big money," he said in Cabot, Pa.. "And today is the day we're going to begin to fight back."

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Around the Nation
3:32 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Oklahoma Hangs On As Heavy Rain Continues To Soak Region

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:11 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
3:31 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

For Next President, The Fight Against Extremism Will Hit Closer To Home

A member of Iraq's government forces battling Islamic State fighters in Anbar province earlier this month.
Haidar Hamdani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:12 pm

As candidates hit the campaign trail, NPR looks at four major issues the next president will face from Day 1 in office.

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It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

How Politics Is Shaping Language: 'Dark Money' Added To Dictionary

Super PACs like Ready for Hillary — and the dark money that often comes with them — have inspired new dictionary entries. Here, volunteers for the Ready for Hillary Clinton for President 2016 Super PAC canvas people waiting in line to see Clinton discuss her new book, 'Hard Choices: A Memoir,' at the Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University June 13, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:33 pm

Merriam-Webster has released its latest list of new entries, and unsurprisingly, a good share of the words are the products of the internet ("NSFW," "meme," and "clickbait" are among this year's rookie entries). But most years, politics and current events popularize new concepts enough to drag them into the official lexicon.

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Back At Base
2:45 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Women Fight Their Way Through Army's Grueling Ranger School

Soldiers participate in close arm combative training during the Ranger Course at Ft. Benning.
Spc. Nikayla Shodeen U.S. Army

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 7:44 pm

At Georgia's Fort Benning, female soldiers are fighting a two-month battle. Their enemies? Hunger, fatigue, even hallucination. They're fighting their way through the Army's notoriously hard Ranger School, trying to make history by becoming the first women to graduate from it.

It's one of several Pentagon experiments to see how best to move women into ground combat roles. And it's a test that thousands of men before them have failed.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

A Top Medical School Revamps Requirements To Lure English Majors

Dr. David Muller, dean of medical education at Mount Sinai, believes that including in each medical school class some students who have a strong background in the humanities makes traditional science students better doctors, too.
Cindy Carpien for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:11 pm

You can't tell by looking which students at Mount Sinai's school of medicine in New York City were traditional pre-meds as undergraduates and which weren't. And that's exactly the point.

Most of the class majored in biology or chemistry, crammed for the medical college admission test and got flawless grades and scores.

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Around the Nation
2:45 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

MacArthur Foundation Launches Grant Program To Reduce Jail Populations

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:11 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Music
2:45 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Road Trip Playlist Sends You On Your Way With These Songs About Driving

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
2:25 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Iowa Group Divorces Itself From Controversial Marriage Pledge

Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats said he does not want to see the "Marriage Vow" pledge used as a weapon against the candidates they might support.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Four years ago, pledges were en vogue in the early going of the Republican presidential primary. But a prominent one, that landed some of the candidates in hot water, is being nixed this time around.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Research Chimps Get Their Day In Court In New York

Should chimps have the same legal rights as these lawyers? Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Foundation, who is representing research chimps Hercules and Leo, says yes. Assistant Attorney General Christopher Coulston disagrees. They both made their arguments Wednesday in Manhattan State Supreme Court in New York.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 2:02 pm

Two research chimps got their day in court — though they weren't actually present in the courtroom.

Steven Wise, an attorney with the Nonhuman Rights Project, told Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe that Hercules and Leo, the 8-year-old research chimps at Stony Brook University on Long Island, are "autonomous and self-determining beings" who should be granted a writ of habeas corpus, which would effectively recognize them as legal persons. The chimps, he argued, should be moved from the university to a sanctuary in Florida.

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NPR Story
12:29 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

In India, Heat Kills As Monsoon Season Approaches

The front page of the Hindustan Times carried this photo of asphalt melting in Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times)

A heat wave in India has left over 1,100 people dead over the past month. In the capital New Delhi, 113 degree Fahrenheit temperatures have melted roadway crosswalks.

The sweltering heat will continue for at least another week when the annual monsoon rains begin. The BBC’s Delhi correspondent Zubair Ahmad joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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NPR Story
12:29 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Parched Rivers, Grasslands Choke California Wildlife

The giant kangaroo rat plays a big role in California’s ecosystem. (John Roser/University of California at Berkeley)

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:14 pm

Torrential rains this week in Texas have helped ease the drought in that state, but in California there is no relief in sight. Ranchers in San Luis Obispo County have sold off 75 percent of their cattle in the past four years. There’s not enough water or food to sustain them. And as Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd reports, in the wild, other animals important to the state’s economy and ecosystem are dying off.

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NPR Story
12:29 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Texas Lake Slowly Recovers From Drought

This photo taken by John Williams' daughter Tiffany Jowers shows the creek bottom, where the water is normally 20 to 25 feet deep. Right now, it's about 6 inches deep, but John says "we're glad it is flowing." (Tiffany Jowers)

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 2:07 pm

It continues to rain today in South Central Texas, which was hit hard by devastating flooding this week. The heavy rains have brought an end to the extreme drought there, which began in 2010.

In September 2013, John Williams, who owns Thunderbird Lodge and Resort on Lake Buchanan in Central Texas, spoke with Here & Now. The lake had shrunk to about one-third capacity.

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Shots - Health News
11:43 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Supreme Court Says Locals Can Make Pill-Makers Pay For Drug Disposal

Tuesday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to not review an ordinance passed by Alameda County, California, means that drug makers will now need to pay for collection and disposal of unused drugs in the county.
iStockphoto

Many of us have old prescription drugs sitting around in medicine cabinets — so what's the best way to get rid of them?

Some folks simply toss old pills in the garbage, or down the toilet.

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It's All Politics
11:02 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Scott Walker Says Ultrasounds Are 'Just A Cool Thing'

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin speaking to reporters in West Des Moines, Iowa, earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 2:11 pm

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

Republican Scott Walker dismissed any controversy over a law he signed in Wisconsin requiring women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound, referring to ultrasounds in an interview on a conservative radio show as "just a cool thing out there."

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Nebraska Lawmakers Override Governor's Veto Of Death Penalty Repeal

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 3:55 pm

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

Lawmakers in Nebraska overrode Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of their vote to repeal the death penalty, making it the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973. The vote was 30-19.

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Shots - Health News
9:16 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Paralyzed By Doubt? Here's A Guide For The Worrier In Us All

A Worrier's Guide To Life
Courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:03 pm

Feeling anxious? A bit panicky? Fear not — cartoonist and self-proclaimed World Champion Overthinker Gemma Correll is here to help you laugh about it.

In A Worrier's Guide to Life, Correll dishes out her dubious and droll advice on everything from health and hypochondria to attaboy stickers for grownups. (Sample: "I did the laundry.")

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Wed May 27, 2015

More Severe Storms Possible For Flood-Hit Texas

A man walks along a section of the Blanco River on Tuesday where sweeping floodwaters overturned vehicles and knocked down trees in Wimberley, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:05 pm

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

Residents of southeastern Texas woke up Wednesday morning to another flash-flood warning, as a new round of thunderstorms rumbled across parts of the already flood-soaked state.

The National Weather Service forecasts more storms for Wednesday across the region, some of them possibly severe.

Near Dallas, the Padera Lake dam was breached for a time, forcing evacuations before officials drained the lake to reduce pressure on the earthen structure.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Arkansas Ban On Abortion After 12 Weeks

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 2:43 pm

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit has blocked an Arkansas law that bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The case was filed by two doctors on their own and their patients' behalf.

The court's ruling notes:

"By banning abortions after 12 weeks' gestation, the Act prohibits women from making the ultimate decision to terminate a pregnancy at a point before viability. Because the State made no attempt to refute the plaintiffs' assertions of fact, the district court's summary judgment order must be affirmed."

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Penn State Bounces Fraternity For 3 Years Over Nude Photo Scandal

After news broke in March of a private Facebook page that collected nude photos of women, protesters gathered outside Kappa Delta Rho fraternity at Penn State. The school has banned the chapter for three years.
Abby Drey TNS/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:13 pm

Tripling a penalty that was announced this spring, Penn State has shut down the school's Kappa Delta Rho fraternity chapter for three years, after an inquiry over a Facebook group page that collected pictures of nude women also uncovered other transgressions.

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