NPR News

The Two-Way
8:58 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Obamas And Bidens Release 2011 Tax Returns

The White House just posted word that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama filed 2011 tax returns showing an "adjusted gross income of $789,674" and that they paid "$162,074 in total [federal] tax." That works out to about 20.5 percent of the AGI.

About half of the first family's income was from the president's salary. The rest came from royalties generated by his books. According to the White House:

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Slain New Hampshire Police Chief Was One Week From Retirement

Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, who was killed Thursday.
Greenland N.H. Police Department AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:41 am

One week from today, Chief Michael Maloney was due to retire from the Greenland, N.H., police department.

Thursday night, he was killed during a drug bust in which four officers were also wounded. The man authorities were trying to arrest, and a female acquaintance, were later found dead inside the home where the raid took place. Authorities believe they may have died in a murder-suicide.

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Monkey See
8:21 am
Fri April 13, 2012

I Died On The Titanic

The cast and crew of Titanic, as pictured in my 2001-2002 yearbook. I'm standing in the third row back on the right side, in front of the "captain."
Courtesy of Dana Farrington

I died on the Titanic — in the musical, that is. Titanic opened on Broadway in 1997 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

My small California middle school performed the show in grand fashion. Goodness knows why it hadn't been done before at the school, but the curtains rose on our stage in February 2002.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Today's Hero: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, For Going Into A Burning Building

Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 10:11 am

  • Mayor Cory Booker on 'Tell Me More'

"When Chuck Norris has nightmares, Cory Booker turns on the light & sits with him until he falls back asleep."

That's just one of many funny tweets showing up this morning attached to the hashtag #corybookerstories.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Tame Inflation Report Gives Federal Reserve Reason To Stay Easy

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 7:08 am

The news that consumer prices rose a relatively modest 0.3 percent in March from February supports "the view the U.S. Federal Reserve has room to provide more support for the economy if needed," Reuters concludes. It adds that:

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Fri April 13, 2012

It's Friday The 13th, So Say It All Together: 'Paraskevidekatriaphobia'

There's one more Friday the 13th this year, in July.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 6:52 am

You can't say we haven't warned you about Friday the 13ths, and offered a tip for how to get over any fear of such supposedly scary days.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Syrian Activists Claim Regime Is Using Force To Break Up Demonstrations

On Day Two of the fragile ceasefire in Syria, activists say that government forces have fired on some anti-Assad regime demonstrators in various parts of the nation.

Reporting from Beirut, NPR's Grant Clark tells our Newscast Desk that activists say security forces began massing outside mosques during Friday prayers, just before the start of protests.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Holy Hail! Photos, Videos Show Texas Storm's Fury; Drifts 4-Feet Deep

This photo provided by the Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management shows Potter County firefighter Matt Dryden standing next to a wall of hail on Wednesday near Amarillo, Texas. The hail was pushed into drifts of up to 4-feet.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 5:46 am

Photos and videos from Wednesday's hail storm that hit part of the Texas panhandle tell a pretty amazing story.

Nickel-sized hailstones fell so fast and so furiously that they were pushed into drifts that in some places ended up about 4-feet high.

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History
5:39 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Utah Man Has Titanic Interest In Ship's Sinking

Jeff Jensen got interested in the Titanic when he was just nine years old. Later, his father bought him a replica of the ship that was made from 50,000 matchsticks.

Around the Nation
5:19 am
Fri April 13, 2012

La. Town Named 'Boudin Capital Of The World'

Boudin is a Cajun specialty — sausage filled with rice, pork and herbs. And since Scott, La., is starting a Boudin festival, the state legislature crowned it the "Boudin Capital of the World." Nevermind there are two other Boudin capitals of the world. But Jennings, La., trumps them all. Years ago, it was crowned the "Boudin Capital of the Universe."

It's All Politics
5:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Voters Who Rejected Romney Now His Most Certain Votes

Mitt Romney must now appeal to voters beyond his party's base. On Wednesday, he criticized President Obama's record on women in the workforce during a campaign stop in Hartford, Conn.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Throughout the GOP primary season, Mitt Romney struggled among voters who make up many of the party's key constituencies, including Southerners, evangelicals, those living in rural areas and members of the white working class.

Now that he has the Republican presidential nomination all but sewn up, such voters are the least of Romney's worries.

In fact, the type of Republican voters who were most skeptical about the former Massachusetts governor may end up being among his most certain supporters.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Failed Missile Test May Make North Korea More Belligerent

Prior to today's launch, a North Korean soldier stood guard.
Pedro Ugarte AFP/Getty Images
  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

The disintegration of North Korea's latest long-range missile shortly after liftoff today may just make that communist nation even more belligerent and more likely to test a nuclear weapon or take other provocative actions, NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Seoul.

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Asia
2:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

North Korea Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

North Korea has failed in its attempt to send a satellite into space. U.S. military officials say the rocket broke apart shortly after launch on Friday.

The Salt
1:07 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Advice For Diet Soda Lovers: Skip The Chips

It's not clear if diet soft drinks are the healthiest choice.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 5:47 am

Got a Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi habit? Lots of Americans do. Consumption of all types of diet soft drinks has been on the rise. And as a nation, we drink an estimated 20 percent more of diet drinks now than we did 15 years ago.

So, is it good for us? A new study finds the answer to that question may depend a lot on, well, what you eat.

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Asia
6:00 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

North Korean Rocket Launch Reportedly Fails

Robert Siegel talks to Louisa Lim in Seoul about North Korea's rocket launch on Friday morning.

The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

In Interview, Zimmerman's Lawyer Says Trial Won't Happen In 2012

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara (left) stands with his client, George Zimmerman, at a hearing related to second-degree murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
Pool Getty Images

When he appeared in court on second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman was accompanied by his new defense attorney, Mark O'Mara. Hours after the hearing, O'Mara told NPR that he doubts the case will go to trial in 2012.

But in the meantime, O'Mara tells Tell Me More host Michel Martin, he'd like to get his client out of jail.

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Latin America
3:55 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Some Latin Leaders Want New Approach To Drug War

Some Latin American leaders want to talk about the possibility of legalizing some drugs, a move the U.S. strongly opposes. Here, a Mexican soldier stands guard at a huge marijuana plantation that was uncovered in San Quintin, Baja California state, near the U.S. border, last year.
Antonio Nava AFP/Getty Images

When President Obama travels to Colombia this weekend for the Summit of the Americas, he'll be stepping into a vigorous debate about the drug war that could be awkward for the United States.

Some Latin American leaders, who also happen to be strong U.S. allies, say the American-sponsored war on drugs is failing and that new options need to be considered.

One proposal they want to discuss is legalizing some drugs — a move the U.S. strongly opposes.

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World Cafe
11:23 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Fanfarlo On World Cafe

Fanfarlo's new second album is titled Rooms Filled With Light.
Deidre O'Callaghan

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 2:00 pm

Named after a French novella by poet Charles Baudelaire, Fanfarlo is a pop band from London with a wide range of instrumentation: mandolin, glockenspiel, musical saw, melodica, sax, clarinet and the usual drums, bass and guitar. With its beguiling and uplifting pop-folk, the quintet makes music that's accessible, refreshing and whimsical.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Trayvon's Mother Wants Justice, But Also Believes Death 'Was An Accident'

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 11:17 am

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET, April 13: Since we first published this post, Sybrina Fulton has gone on other news programs to clarify her comments. We have a new post here, headlined "Trayvon's Mother: Encounter Was An Accident, Shooting Was Not."

Our original post:

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Around the Nation
8:31 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Sue Me? Not A Chance This Year

In Iowa, cutbacks in the state's judicial staff have led to long waits for retrieving documents from courthouses like this one in Muscatine.
Shen Hong Xinhua /Landov

If you feel like suing somebody, you'd better be patient.

Due to state budget woes, courts all across the country are cutting back on personnel and the number of hours or even days that they're open. That's causing long delays, especially when it comes to civil litigation.

"There's no question that there's been a pretty devastating impact in lots of states in how we deliver services," says Kevin Burke, president of the American Judges Association.

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U.S.
8:24 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Where Does America Get Oil? You May Be Surprised

The U.S. now imports far more oil from Canada than from any other country. Persian Gulf imports now account for less than 15 percent of the oil consumed in the U.S. This photo shows the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in 2009.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1960s and 70s, it's been conventional wisdom to talk about American dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf. But the global oil market has changed dramatically since then.

Today, the U.S. actually gets most of its imported oil from Canada and Latin America.

And many Americans might be surprised to learn that the U.S. now imports roughly the same amount of oil from Africa as it does from the Persian Gulf. African imports were a bit higher in 2010, while Persian Gulf oil accounted for a bit more last year.

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Politics
8:16 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Welfare Overhaul's Impact On America's Poorest

In August 1996, President Clinton prepares to sign legislation overhauling America's welfare system in the Rose Garden of the White House.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 7:03 pm

The welfare program that operated in the United States between the Franklin Roosevelt administration and the Clinton administration offered poor families assistance with few requirements or time frames. States could enroll as many people as they wanted in the program, and the federal government would match their funds.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

'Fox Mole' At Gawker Is Revealed, Suspended

The Fox Mole, before his suspension.
Gawker

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 8:56 am

We had steered clear of this topic the past few days because his posts certainly haven't been family-friendly material.

But now "The Fox Mole" who was filing dispatches for Gawker from inside Fox News Channel's operations in New York City has been uncovered.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Reporter's Dream: A Mansion Straight Out Of 'Please Don't Eat the Daisies'

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 9:26 am

There was something romantic about the 1960's movie and TV show Please Don't Eat the Daisies. In the film, Doris Day and her husband, played by David Niven, move into a suburban mansion/castle with their four children and their giant dog — and comedy breaks out.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose By 13,000 Last Week

There were 13,000 more first-time claims for jobless benefits last week than the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

The agency says there were 380,000 such applications, up from 367,000 (a number that has been revised upward; previously, the agency had estimated there were 357,000 claims in the week ended March 31).

Claims had been running at the lowest pace since March and April 2008. At 380,000, the pace is the lowest since June 2008.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Suspect In USS Cole Bombing Wins One Legal Battle

Al-Nashiri, pictured in 2002, is being held at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 6:04 am

The man accused of masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, won a key battle at Guantanamo on Wednesday — a judge said he could meet with his lawyers without having to wear restraints.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Prosecution's Choice Of Charge Complicates Case Against Zimmerman

Authorities released this "booking photo" of George Zimmerman after his arrest Wednesday.
John E. Polk Correctional Facility

By charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder rather than manslaughter, prosecutors have chosen a path that presents them with some steep legal hurdles, experts tell The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Troops And Tanks Remain, But Truce Begins In Syria

The early word from Syria is that "flashpoints of the 13-month uprising against President Bashar Assad were quiet Thursday ... suggesting a U.N.-brokered truce was starting to take hold and the regime was keeping a pledge to halt its assault on opposition strongholds," The Associated Press reports.

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Animals
4:41 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Record Sturgeon Caught In Wisconsin

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with the catch of the day. Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources captured, tagged and released a sturgeon weighing over 240 pounds. That makes this fish, a female, the largest on record for the state. One scientist estimates she's 125 years old. The sturgeon is old enough to have been around when Grover Cleveland was president, but a few years too young to remember a first edition of "Moby Dick." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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