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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Roof Of Seattle's Space Needle Goes Retro

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 11:52 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Lynn Neary. The Seattle Space Needle is going retro. Built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, the Space Needle was meant to be a beacon of the future. At first, it was not universally well received. Prince Charles even scorned the landmark's original color. But to celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, the Space Needle's sloped roof is being repainted that same shade. Some call it sienna. Designers call it Galaxy Gold. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Europe
3:03 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Britons Revel In Their Sporting Inventions

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:50 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

It's a mere one hundred days remain before the opening of the Olympic Games in London. From time to time, MORNING EDITION has been getting dispatches from NPR's London-based correspondent Philip Reeves, about the preparations. In his latest, Reeves says the British are gearing themselves up for this great contest, both physically and mentally.

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NPR Story
2:42 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Egypt's Banned Candidates Vow Not To Go Quietly

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat el-Shater talks to reporters in Cairo on Tuesday. The elections commission has disqualified 10 presidential hopefuls, including el-Shater.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:48 am

Egyptian election officials upheld their ban of nearly half of the presidential candidates running in next month's contest. Among them are two leading Islamist candidates and the intelligence chief for former President Hosni Mubarak. The decision radically alters the race for a post that will shape Egypt's political landscape.

Minutes after official news outlets announced the election commission ruling, candidate Hazem Abu Ismail took to the airwaves to denounce it as a conspiracy.

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Asia
2:42 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Chinese Journalist: Bo Xilai Had History Of Bribes

Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai attended a plenary session of the National People's Congress last month in Beijing, shortly before he was stripped of all his Politburo positions.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 12:10 pm

China is gripped by a tale of murder, betrayal, flight and intrigue that threatens the stability of the entire nation. At its heart is the death of a 41-year-old British businessman in a hotel room in the city of Chongqing last fall. The scandal has brought down a high-flying Chinese politician, Chongqing's party secretary Bo Xilai, and his wife, with China's state-run media hinting at their corruption and abuse of power.

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Humans
1:04 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Can You Think Your Way To That Hole-In-One?

Bo Van Pelt celebrates his hole-in-one during the final round of the Masters on April 8. New research suggests that golfers may be able to improve their games by believing the hole they're aiming for is larger than it really is.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:50 am

Psychologists at Purdue University have come up with an interesting twist on the old notion of the power of positive thinking. Call it the power of positive perception: They've shown that you may be able to improve your golf game by believing the hole you're aiming for is larger than it really is.

Jessica Witt, who studies how perception and performance are related, decided to look at golf — specifically, how the appearance of the hole changes depending on whether you're playing well or poorly.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:03 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Unusual Alliances Form In Nebraska's Prenatal Care Debate

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman vetoed a bill that would spend government funds on prenatal care to illegal immigrants. He has that service for illegal immigrants should be provided by churches and private organizations, not with taxpayer money.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 8:39 am

In Republican-dominated Nebraska, government leaders often line up together, but lately a political tornado has ripped through this orderly scene.

A political showdown over taxpayer funding of prenatal care for illegal immigrants has produced some unusual political splits and alliances in the statehouse of the Cornhusker State.

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All Tech Considered
12:58 am
Wed April 18, 2012

From Silicon Valley, A New Approach To Education

Four major universities are joining forces with Coursera, a Silicon Valley startup, to offer free online classes in more than three-dozen subjects.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:30 pm

Last year when Andrew Ng, a computer science professor at Stanford University, put his machine-learning class online and opened enrollment to the world, more than 100,000 students signed up.

"I think all of us were surprised," he says.

Ng had posted lectures online before, but this class was different.

"This was actually a class where you can participate as a student and get homework and assessments," he said.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Those Wild And Crazy Miami Marlins

Billy the Marlin cheers during a game between the Miami Marlins and the Houston Astros at Marlins Park in Miami.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:59 am

Can I give you a word I love that you just don't hear anymore?

Zany.

It used to be that all kinds of stuff was described as "zany," but it seems to have mostly gone out for fancier words like "dysfunctional."

Now, I bring this up because most sports franchises are pretty standard issue. Oh, some are rich, some poor, some win, some lose, but only one currently, to my mind, descends to the dear old level of zany. That is the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins, or, now, as I like to call them, given their location in Little Havana, Los Zany-os.

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

The Band Drummer Levon Helm In Final Stages Of Cancer

In this Dec. 3, 2007, photo, musician Levon Helm appears on Imus in the Morning in New York. The 71-year-old musician's family said Tuesday that he was in the final stages of cancer.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:18 am

Sad news for fans of drummer Levon Helm: The longtime member of The Band is in the final stages of cancer, his family said Tuesday.

"Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey," his wife and daughter wrote on the 71-year-old singer's website.

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Governing
4:08 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

If You Hate Tax Day, Just Wait Until Next Year

A tax service company in Brooklyn, N.Y, on Tuesday, the filing deadline for federal taxes.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:56 pm

More than 99 million federal taxpayers had filed their returns as of Tuesday, with more than 80 million of those expecting a refund.

People who file at the last minute — and Tuesday is this year's deadline — are somewhat more likely to owe money to the government. And if Congress and the president don't act, next year could see many more Americans paying higher taxes.

That's not because either President Obama or presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney advocate a tax increase for most Americans.

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History
3:38 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

How America 'Struck Back': Doolittle Raid Turns 70

U.S. Navy crewmen watch a B-25 bomber take off from the USS Hornet for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942.
AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:37 pm

It's just after sunrise outside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, when 20 B-25 bombers start showing up in the western sky.

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Law
3:38 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

New Information Emerges In Secret Service Scandal

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We have new information now in the investigation of Secret Service misconduct. Agents are alleged to have hired prostitutes before President Obama's visit to South America last week. The Secret Service director has been talking with members of Congress, and NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us now to tell us what he's hearing. Hey there, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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It's All Politics
3:33 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Former Romney Adviser: Veep Hunt Could Lead To Portman

Republican strategist Mike Murphy, November 2007.
Alex Wong AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 3:34 pm

Mike Murphy, the very quotable Republican political consultant who has listed some of his party's biggest names as clients, including John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger, has some advice on picking a vice presidential running mate.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Warren Buffett Has Prostate Cancer; Detected At Early Stage, He Says

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced that the billionaire investor has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Seth Wenig AP

Warren Buffett, 81, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, his Berkshire Hathaway company announced Tuesday afternoon. The cancer is at Stage 1, according to MarketWatch. The billionaire investor's condition is not life-threatening, he says.

Buffett send a letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to inform and reassure them. Here's the text of that letter:

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Presidential Race
3:16 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

The Obama-Romney Poll-A-Palooza: What's It Mean?

Some voters may be choosing campaign buttons now, but most polling experts agree it's too early to predict November's winner.
Daniel Acker Landov

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:25 am

President Obama is leading presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney big in recent national polls.

No, wait. Polls show he's trailing Romney by a couple of percentage points.

Oh — this just in: Obama is actually leading Romney, but the race is tightening.

It's a general election poll-a-palooza out there, people.

But what do all the numbers mean?

"I have friends who support Obama, and friends who support Mitt Romney," says Scott Keeter, survey research director at Pew Research Center. "I tell them not to get too excited or too depressed at this point."

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Million-Dollar Donors
2:59 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

SuperDonor Backs Romney — And Gay Marriage

Hedge fund manager Paul Singer of Elliott Management has donated $1 million to Mitt Romney's superPAC.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

When it comes to campaign money, there's one industry GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney can count on: finance.

Some of the single largest checks to the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future come from hedge fund managers. People at securities and investment firms have contributed more than $16 million.

Paul Singer, the man behind the hedge fund Elliott Management, has contributed $1 million.

As of Dec. 31, Elliott Management had $19.2 billion in assets, making it one of the nation's largest hedge funds.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:36 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Seniors In Medicare 'Doughnut Hole' More Likely To Stop Heart Drugs

Falling into the "doughnut hole" of Medicare drug coverage led people to stop taking medicines more often than to search for cheaper alternatives.
iStockphoto.com

Medicare patients who reach the annual gap in coverage for prescription drugs known as the "doughnut hole" are 57 percent more likely than those with continuous insurance coverage to stop taking drugs for heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

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Planet Money
2:34 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Pay Your Taxes: A Cautionary Tale

Young Buck, 2004
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

When IRS agents raided the house of rapper Young Buck, they seized all his things: his white leather dining chairs, his watches, his craps table, his tattoo kit. Even his refrigerator. The Nashville artist, who was once part of 50 Cent's G-Unit, owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

His lawyer, Robin Mitchell Joyce, said he thought Young Buck's taxes were being handled by his business manager. They weren't.

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Making Babies: 21st Century Families
2:28 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Carrying 'Dreams': Why Women Become Surrogates

Ian Waldie Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:24 pm

Last in a four-part report

Surrogacy is an idea as old as the biblical story of Sarah and Abraham in the book of Genesis. Sarah was infertile, so Abraham fathered children with the couple's maid. Today, there are many more options for people who want to grow their families — and for the would-be surrogates who want to help.

Macy Widofsky, 40, is eager to be a surrogate.

"I have very easy pregnancies. All three times have been flawlessly healthy, and I wanted to repeat the process," she says, "and my husband and I won't be having more children of our own."

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Music Interviews
2:11 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Kat Edmonson 'Just Wasn't Made For These Times'

"As usual, the party in my imagination is much grander than the actual one," Kat Edmonson says of the song "Champagne."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:30 pm

A lot of the songs on Kat Edmonson's new album, Way Down Low, have a timeless sound, due in part to her own timeless-sounding voice. But she isn't above revealing her influences: The song "Champagne," she admits, was crafted with a particular American songsmith in mind.

"I was trying to write a song like Cole Porter," Edmonson tells NPR's Melissa Block. "Me and a million other people are trying to write a song like Cole Porter."

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Prosecutors Knew Of Forensics Flaws For Years, 'The Post' Reports

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:27 pm

For years, the U.S. Department of Justice has known that flawed forensic work by FBI experts may have led to the convictions of innocent people, but prosecutors rarely told defendants or their attorneys, according to an investigative report in The Washington Post.

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Making Babies: 21st Century Families
2:03 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Gifting Birth: A Woman Helps Build Other Families

Charity Lovas has given birth to eight children, three of whom are her own.
Courtesy of Charity Lovas

For most mothers, there is no event in life bigger than giving birth to a child. Charity Lovas has given birth to eight children, yet only three of those children are her own.

It all began in 2002, when she and her family were living in Indianapolis. She says she was reading the Sunday newspaper and spotted an ad for ovum donors. She had never heard about it. She was curious.

She called the number in the ad. A woman at the other end of the line explained the egg donor program, and said they had a surrogate program, too.

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Europe
2:03 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Spain Scrambles To Avoid A Financial Bailout

A broker sits in the stock exchange in Madrid. Worries about Spain's finances intensified last week as the country's bond yields rose on international markets, making it more expensive for Spain to borrow money.
Paul White AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 3:54 pm

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visited Poland last week and tried to assure international markets that Spain would not join the list of European nations needing a bailout.

"Spain will not be rescued," he said at a news conference. "It's not possible to rescue Spain. There's no intention of it, and we don't need it."

However, Spain's borrowing costs are nearing levels that were followed by bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Pranksters Put Fake Ensign's Portrait On Pentagon Wall; It Stayed For Months

U.S. Naval Institute

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

The must-read story of the day if you're into practical jokes has to be The Wall Street Journal's piece headlined "Walk The Prank: Secret Story Of Mysterious Portrait At Pentagon."

As Melissa Block and Audie Cornish will explain later on All Things Considered, last year some pranksters hung a portrait on a hall in the Pentagon with a plaque saying it was "Ensign Chuck Hord. USNA circa 1898. Lost at sea 1908."

There is no such person.

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U.S.
12:23 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Scandal Puts Secret Service Culture In The Spotlight

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 11:06 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Over the weekend, scandal overshadowed the president's visit to a hemispheric summit in Colombia. Reports accused 11 U.S. Secret Service agents of cavorting with prostitutes ahead of the president's arrival.

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World Cafe
11:26 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Geographer On World Cafe

Geographer's second album, Myths, was released in February.
Victoria Smith

Geographer's glittery, electronic pop-rock sound has been winning over fans on the West Coast for years. The trio formed in 2008 and released its first full-length album, Innocent Ghosts, a few months later. Now, four years after its debut, Geographer has finally returned with a new set of earnest, sonically sugar-coated songs.

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All Tech Considered
11:10 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Greenpeace: How Clean (And Green) Is Your Cloud?

Greenpeace's annual report ranks Internet companies based on the efficiency of their cloud facilities.
szaz iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 1:22 pm

Greenpeace released its latest report today asking, "How clean is your cloud?"

The annual report examines the server farms built by the largest Internet companies — including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo — and ranks them according to how efficient their cloud facilities are, and where they get their electricity.

Yahoo — which has struggled to please investors in recent years — was the only major Internet company in the study to get most of its electricity from renewable or clean energy sources, according to the report.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Tue April 17, 2012

At Scandal-Ridden Federal Agency, All Sorts Of Abuses

How bad are things at the General Services Administration, where the scandal over extravagant spending at a Las Vegas conference has led to resignations, firings and could end up with criminal charges for some officials?

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Former 'Car Czar' Rattner Gives Dodd-Frank A Qualified Endorsement

Steven Rattner — the "car czar" when the Obama administration was restructuring the auto industry in 2009 — today spoke in favor of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

But it wasn't exactly a double thumbs up.

On a panel at an ideas conference in New York City, Rattner noted that before the financial crisis began in 2008, Wall Street was the "global leader in finance. ... But of course, it got out of control."

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Around the Nation
10:12 am
Tue April 17, 2012

War Of The Worlds: When Science, Politics Collide

In 1925, people lined up to buy anti-evolution books in Dayton, Tenn., where the "monkey trial" of teacher John T. Scopes took place. Tennessee recently enacted a law encouraging teachers to question accepted science on evolution and other issues.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:36 pm

Roger Cone is a microbiologist, not a politician. He struggles with a basic truth: For all the scientific acceptance of evolution, many Americans simply don't believe it is factually accurate.

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