NPR News

Animals
3:54 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

'Frankenfish': It's What's For Dinner

John Odenkirk holds up a snakehead. The fish can survive for long periods of time out of water as long as they're kept moist. They breathe air by gulping it, so they don't need to stay submerged.
Sabri Ben-Achour for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:19 pm

More people on the East Coast are acquiring a taste for snakehead, an exotic fish that's moved here from Asia. But the fish are still multiplying and spreading.

Snakehead came to Maryland almost 10 years ago. The so-called "Frankenfish" looks like its namesake and has multiple rows of teeth. Someone released it here — and then there was a documentary and an unbelievably bad movie.

Creating A Market

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Vidal Sassoon, Hairstyling Icon, Dies At Age 84

Clothes designer Mary Quant, one of the leading lights of the British fashion scene in the 1960's, having her hair cut by another fashion icon, hairdresser Vidal Sassoon in 1964.
Ronald Dumont Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:05 pm

Vidal Sassoon, who's hair styles and products are used by millions worldwide, has died. He was 84 and died of natural causes.

Sassoon started his career as a shampoo boy in the 1950s. As the AP reports, he became a hair styling icon when he freed women of 1950s hair in favor of a hair cut that needed little styling.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Andrew Sullivan On Obama's Support Of Gay Marriage

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For reaction now, we turn to writer and political blogger Andrew Sullivan. He is gay and married, and for years has been a leading advocate of same-sex marriage. He's the editor of the blog "The Dish" at The Daily Beast website. And, Andrew, I take it from what I've seen on your blog this afternoon you have mixed feelings about this development.

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Music Interviews
3:24 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Paul Thorn: Music From The Margins

Paul Thorn's new, all-covers album is called What the Hell Is Goin' On?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:19 pm

Before Paul Thorn made his living as a singer, he was a professional boxer. He also spent 12 years working at a furniture factory in his hometown of Tupelo, Miss.

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Election 2012
2:59 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Romney's 1996 Help To Colleague Hits Airwaves Again

Mitt Romney speaks at a March 3 rally in Dayton, Ohio, where he told the story of the 1996 disappearance of the daughter of a colleague.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:19 pm

For the past few days, Mitt Romney's superPAC has begun to flex its considerable financial muscle in nine key swing states. Restore Our Future is spending upward of $4 million on TV ads in its first major media buy of the general election.

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National Security
2:50 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Bomb Plot: Secrets Didn't Stay Secret For Long

Information about CIA operations often leaks quickly, and analysts say this can complicate future efforts.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:13 pm

Once upon a time, CIA operations were secret.

But as the latest bomb plot in Yemen shows, little stays hidden for long these days.

In the post-Sept. 11 world, even the most sensitive intelligence operations quickly become daily fodder as the 24-hour news cycle, the Internet and media-friendly politicians give the story momentum. And it's often senior government officials and the intelligence community who spread the juiciest details.

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The Salt
2:24 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Hospital Food So Fresh, Even The Healthy Come To Dine

Executive chef Tony DeWalt picks some lettuce from the Fauquier Hospital's culinary healing garden.
John Rose

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

Twice a week, local seniors in Warrenton, Virginia, flock to a hip new dinner spot called the Bistro on the Hill for good food, a great view, and musical accompaniment by a retired piano player from a nearby Nordstrom's.

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News
1:57 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Government Job Cuts Threaten Black Middle Class

An employee loads flat trays onto a truck at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Merrifield, Va. The USPS, which is projecting a $14.1 billion loss this fiscal year, is discussing restructuring options with potential advisers.
Andrew Harrier Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 2:58 pm

The planned downsizing of the U.S. Postal Service, which wants to shed thousands of jobs and reduce hours at post offices, struck Baltimore native Eric Easter at his core.

For him, it will mark the end of an era in which a post office job has meant stability and a path to a better life, as it did for him and his six siblings living in public housing in the 1960s.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

President Obama: Same-Sex Couples Should Be Able To Wed

President Barack Obama is seen on a monitor in the White House briefing room in Washington, Wednesday. President Barack Obama told an ABC interviewer that he supports gay marriage.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 3:19 pm

In an interview with ABC News, President Obama declared his support for gay marriage. This marks a departure from the president's previous stance, which has repeatedly been described as "evolving."

Here's the money quote from ABC's OTUS blog:

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Agent, Double Agent Or Mole? Which Was The Underwear Bomb Character?

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:45 pm

Many headlines and stories (including some of ours) have been saying that a "double agent" infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and foiled a plot to get another underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet.

But we've been looking at definitions of spy terms and think that based on what we have been told so far, the person at the center of the story wasn't a double agent.

That character was at least an "agent."

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The Salt
12:37 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

What Our Gut Microbes Say About Us

The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis is a beautiful example of a gut microbe.
National Institutes of Health

What if it's not just our genes or our lifestyle, exactly, that makes us skinny or fat, healthy or sick? What if it's also the makeup of the bacterial ecosystem that inhabits our gut?

A growing pile of scientific studies is pointing us in that direction. Researchers in this hot new field describe the microbes in our gut as a vital organ that's as essential as our liver or kidneys. They're finding that this organ, which they call the "microbiome," varies greatly from person to person.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Study: Plastic Garbage In Pacific Ocean Has Increased 100-Fold In 40 Years

An insect known as a "sea skater." Scientists say the abundance of floating plastic has led to an increase of these creatures.
Scripp Institution of Oceanography

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 12:31 pm

The amount of plastic debris in the part of the Pacific Ocean known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has grown 100-fold in the past 40 years.

In a paper published today by the journal Biology Letters, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography report that most of that plastic has degraded into pieces no bigger than a fingernail. But that wasn't the major finding the scientists are reporting.

The scientists have found that all those pieces of plastic have provided ample opportunity for insects called "sea skaters" to breed.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed May 9, 2012

County Judge Overturns Small Claims Hybrid Judgment Against Honda

Heather Peters and her 2006 Honda Civic hybrid. She went to court over its disappointing mileage.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:23 am

It was a story about the little guy taking on the big, multinational corporation on equal footing: Heather Peters, a California woman, took Honda to small claims court claiming her hybrid Civic wasn't getting the gas mileage promised on the window sticker.

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Latin America
11:03 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Mexican Crime Reporters Risk Becoming The Story

A woman lights a candle during a tribute to slain Mexican journalists at the Monument of Independence in Mexico City on May 5. The vigil took place to protest violence against the press after the brutal murders of four journalists in Veracruz state.
Sashenka Gutierrez EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 7:37 am

Mexico is reeling from another round of brutal murders of journalists. Four journalists and photographers who covered the police beat have been killed in eastern Mexico's crime-ridden state of Veracruz.

There's a new call for the federal government to take measures to protect journalists in a country where more and more reporters censor themselves out of fear.

The ceremony to remember the most recent killings took place last weekend in Mexico City on the steps of the Monument of Independence between statues depicting peace and law.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:38 am
Wed May 9, 2012

FDA Leans On Device Makers To Cut X-Ray Doses For Kids

Easy does it on the X-ray doses for kids.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:58 am

The Food and Drug Administration has a proposition for the companies that make X-ray machines.

Make sure your new equipment has settings and instructions that minimize radiation hazards for kids, or the agency will look to slap a label on the machines that recommends they not be used for children at all.

The agency proposed the approach today (details in the Federal Register); it's the latest move to curb radiation hazards from imaging equipment.

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Science
9:55 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Memphis 'Fly Boys' Soar Into Rocketry Finals

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:18 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we want to turn to a high school competition that is taking off this weekend, and no, we are not talking football or cheerleading. This is the finals of the nation's largest rocketry tournament. One hundred teens will gather for the Team America Rocketry Challenge this weekend in Washington, D.C.

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Election 2012
9:51 am
Wed May 9, 2012

What Do Tuesday Night's Brawls Mean For November?

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:18 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, there's a new report from a top U.N. official that looks at living conditions of Native Americans in this country. We'll hear from that official in just a few minutes. But first we turn to domestic politics. The general election is still months away but on Tuesday voters around the country cast ballots that could have a national impact.

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Around the Nation
9:51 am
Wed May 9, 2012

UN Explores Native American Rights In US

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:18 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, as a child, did you ever build a rocket? Well, how about one that can take two raw eggs 800 feet up and bring them back safely again? That's exactly what students from Memphis' Wooddale High School managed to do, and now they're competing in a national competition this weekend. We'll hear their inspiring story in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Why Chen's Blindness Is 'The Central Fact' Of The Chinese Activist's Life

Chen Guangcheng, in an undated photo.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:38 am

For two weeks now, the world has been following the story of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng. And in nearly all reports, the phrase "blind activist" is used at least once.

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It's All Politics
9:09 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Life Without Lugar: Democrats See An Opportunity In Indiana

Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock makes a victory speech Tuesday in Indianapolis, after defeating Sen. Richard Lugar in the Republican primary.
AJ Mast AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:40 am

Six years ago, Indiana Democrats didn't bother fielding a candidate against Sen. Richard Lugar. But with his loss in Tuesday's Republican primary, they think they have a real chance to take Lugar's seat.

Democrats argue that the new GOP nominee, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, will prove too conservative even for the Republican-leaning state.

"There's a lot of animus here because of the way Mourdock has campaigned," says Ann DeLaney, a former Indiana Democratic Party official.

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World Cafe
8:35 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Allo Darlin' On World Cafe

Allo Darlin'.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 12:03 pm

Allo Darlin' crafts quirky, personal rock, driven by lap steel, ukulele and charming four-part harmonies. The band formed in 2009 under the guidance of singer-songwriter Elizabeth Morris, whose voice meshes beautifully with those of Paul Rains, Bill Botting and Mikey Collins. Together, they spent two years touring in support of their gorgeous 2010 debut.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Josh Hamilton's Remarkable Story Continues: Four Home Runs In One Game

There goes No. 2: Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers as he hit the second of his four home runs Tuesday night in a game vs. the Baltimore Orioles.
Mitchell Layton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:14 am

It's incredible enough that Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton hit four home runs in one game Tuesday night — something that's only been done by 15 other major league players.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:54 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Shopping Bags Can Also Carry Stomach Flu Virus

An electron micrograph of human norovirus.
Charles D. Humphrey CDC Public Health Image Library ID 10708

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 7:48 am

Think you're safe from norovirus, the nasty bug behind the stomach flu, if you steer clear of someone who has it?

Think again. Researchers in Oregon investigating an outbreak of stomach flu among some young soccer players learned the virus can hitch a ride on those reusable plastic bags many of us have gotten accustomed to carrying to and from the store.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Indian Court Blocks Exxon Valdez From Entering Scrap Yard

April 5, 1989: Tugboats tow the Exxon Valdez off Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
Chris Wilkins AFP/Getty Images

One of the most infamous ships still sailing can't dock at its final resting place just yet.

India's Supreme court has ruled that the Exxon Valdez (now called the Oriental Nicety) cannot enter a scrap yard in the western state of Gujarat until its owners can prove the tanker has been cleaned of mercury, arsenic, asbestos, residual oil and other potential contaminants.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Russian Plane Missing In Indonesia; New Jet Was On Demonstration Flight

A Sukhoi Superjet 100 during a flight above the Paris Air Show on June 22, 2011.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

"A Sukhoi SuperJet 100, the first new Russian passenger plane in more than two decades" has gone missing while on a "demonstration flight" in Indonesia, Bloomberg News writes.

Russia's RT News adds that "hijacking and a high-altitude crash into a mountain have not been ruled out." A search is underway.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Inmate Polls Well Against Obama In West Virginia Primary

Keith Judd, federal prisoner and presidential candidate, in 2008.
Beaumont Enterprise, courtesy of Keith Judd AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 6:19 am

Along with the headlines about Sen. Richard Lugar's loss in Indiana's Republican primary and passage of a ban on gay marriage in North Carolina, there's this news from Tuesday's voting:

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Around the Nation
5:48 am
Wed May 9, 2012

French Artist's Painting Sells for $36 Million

Yves Klein made his project "FC1" with water, a blowtorch and two models. The women pressed their wet figures against a fire-resistant board, then stepped away. Afterward, Klein torched the board — an effect that left behind blurry silhouettes of models.

Sports
5:38 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton Hits 4 Homers In 1 Game

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

In the history of Major League Baseball, only 15 players have hit four homeruns in a single game. Well, last night, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton became Number 16. He hit four balls out of the park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Orioles' fans weren't happy. Hamilton's Rangers were trouncing their team. Still, they gave Hamilton a standing ovation as he took his place in center field in the eighth inning. As Hamilton put it, that let's you know they are true baseball fans.

The Two-Way
5:20 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Double Agent In Underwear Bomb Plot Produced Intelligence Coups

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:09 pm

More details are emerging about the plot to put another "underwear bomber" aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet and what the CIA says was its successful foiling of the operation:

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported on Morning Edition:

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Election 2012
4:21 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Road To The White House Goes Through Michigan

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

George Orwell once said that those who control the past, control the future. If you can revise history to fit your point of view, it gives you power. So, it should be no surprise that presidential candidates are struggling over some recent history - the auto bailout.

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