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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:48 am
Fri April 6, 2012

It's All Politics, April 5, 2012

Steven Senne ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mitt Romney's sweep in Tuesday's primaries essentially signals the beginning of the general election campaign. And President Obama joins the fray, attacking Romney by name in a speech to news editors; the former Massachusetts governor returns the favor a day later. Paul Ryan draws attention from the president as well as those speculating on the GOP ticket. NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin have the latest in this week's political roundup.

The Two-Way
9:35 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Check It Out: St. Louis Keeps Adding To Its Chess Prowess

When it comes to chess, St. Louis is in the game.
Tom Gannam AP

We're seeing headlines today about an entire college championship team moving from one school to another. And though the story's about two months old, it's still so unusual and has enough interesting angles to warrant passing along.

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Education
9:10 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Fractions Curriculum Strikes Right Note In California

A student at Allen Elementary fills out a worksheet where music notes are converted into fractions.
Caitlin Esch KQED

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 6:03 am

Math teachers know that fractions can be hard for the average third-grader. Teachers at a public school in San Bruno, Calif., just south of San Francisco, are trying something new. They're teaching difficult math concepts through music, and they're getting remarkable results.

At Allen Elementary School, a roomful of third-graders sits facing music instructor Endre Balogh, their backs straight, eyes ahead, beating a mouse pad with drumsticks. As Balogh taps a rhythm, the students follow.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:00 am
Fri April 6, 2012

No Need For The Knife? Antibiotics May Suffice In Some Appendicitis Cases

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 10:04 am

Acute appendicitis generally means a speedy trip to the hospital for surgery. But British researchers say antibiotics might be a safe and effective alternative in uncomplicated cases.

"The general consensus was that the appendix has to be taken out the moment you feel it was inflamed," Dr. Dileep Lobo, professor of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Nottingham and Queen's Medical Centre, tells Shots.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Life In Prison For Man Who Planted Pipe Bomb In Colorado Mall

An undated photo, released by the Denver FBI, of Earl Albert Moore.
AP

Earl Albert Moore, who in April 2011 on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine school shootings placed a pipe bomb in a nearby Colorado shopping mall, has been sentenced to life in prison.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Just 120,000 Jobs Added, But Jobless Rate Dips To 8.2 Percent

The changes in payroll employment over the past two years.
NPR

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 8:37 am

The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent in February, but only 120,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this morning in a report that was less positive about the labor market's health than economists had expected.

Prior to the news, forecasters had predicted BLS would say about 200,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Coast Guard Sinks Japanese 'Ghost Ship' Set Adrift By Tsunami

The Ryou-Un Maru after being fired upon and before it sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Alaska.
U.S. Coast Guard

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Barack Obama
5:31 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Obama Is The Best And The Worst President. Discuss

President Obama inspires strong feelings, some positive, some negative. This composite image shows Obama at two separate events.
AP and Getty Images NPR

Close your books, America. It's time for a pop quiz.

Do you believe Barack Obama is:

a) The best of presidents? A blogger who goes by the name Troubadour on Daily Kos, Brian Altmeyer, pretty much makes the claim in a recent post: "Barack Obama is either the best President we've ever had, or more humbly, equal to the best Presidents we've ever had (and thereby one of their number)."

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Board Recommends Marine Be Discharged For Comments About Obama

Sgt. Gary Stein.
Facebook.com

A U.S. Marine sergeant who posted "contemptuous" comments and images about President Obama on the Web should be dismissed and given an other-than-honorable discharge, a Marine Corps administrative board recommended late Thursday evening.

The case against Sgt. Gary Stein, 26, has raised questions about how far the military can go to restrict the First Amendment rights of its personnel.

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Jobless Rate Likely Held Steady At 8.3 Percent In March, Economists Say

The morning's major news, if all goes as planned, will be the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the March jobs and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to Reuters, economists expect we'll hear that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent and that private and public employers added about 200,000 jobs to their payrolls. The jobless rate's recent peak was 10 percent, in October 2009.

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Around the Nation
1:25 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Bears Stuffing Themselves Near Massachusetts Homes

A black bear enjoys the landscaping of a Northampton, Mass., resident's yard. Northampton has been dealing with an unusual number of bears this year.
Courtesy of Alan Seewald

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 5:33 pm

The mild New England winter means that more bears are up and about, looking for food โ€” and not just in the woods. They're also exploring urban backyards and residential streets. The small town of Northampton, Mass., has more than its share of furry visitors.

In Northampton, a call on a neighborhood email list for tales of recent bear encounters netted about about a dozen responses in an hour. Almost everyone, it seems, has a bear story.

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Middle East
5:53 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood Attempts To Charm U.S. Skeptics

Khairat el-Shater, a leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, leaves the election committee headquarters in Cairo on Thursday after registering for the presidential election next month. A delegation from the Brotherhood is currently visiting Washington to talk about the group's plans for Egypt's future.
Mohammed Hossam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 10:01 pm

The political ascent of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has created some unease in Washington, and in an attempt to counter that, the group dispatched a delegation to the U.S. capital this week for meetings that range from administration officials to think tanks and universities.

The Brotherhood has rapidly evolved into a powerful political force since former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in February of last year.

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The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Assailing 'Disobedience,' Pope Says Women Will Not Be Ordained

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves at the end of the Chrismal mass in the morning of Holy Thursday on Thursday.
Vicenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

In a Mass today at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a scathing homily that reiterated the Catholic Church's ban on female priests.

He also criticized a group of priests who have called on their colleagues to ignore Rome. NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Obama's Signing Of JOBS Act Likely Won't Dim GOP Charge He's Anti-Jobs

By signing the JOBS Act, President Obama likely didn't buy himself much relief from GOP charges he's hurt job creation.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (or JOBS) Act into law Thursday, legislation meant to make it easier for entrepreneurs to get investor financing that helps them add workers. Does that mean it will be harder for Republicans to frame Obama as anti-jobs?

"Well, if it works, it will make it harder," said Craig Shirley, a longtime conservative political strategist and writer who runs a Washington, D.C.-area public-affairs firm.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:10 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

New Type Of Resistant Malaria Appears On Thai-Burmese Border

A micrograph shows red blood cells infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
John C. Tan AP

Malaria experts have been holding their breath and hoping it wouldn't happen. But it has.

Malaria parasites resistant to the last, best drug treatment, called artemisinin combination therapy, or ACT, are infecting people along the border of Thailand and Myanmar.

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

'Enforcer' For Violent Mexican Drug Cartel Faces Life Sentence

The self described enforcer for a violent Juarez, Mexico, drug cartel has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, racketeering and murder charges that could send him away for the rest of his life.

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It's All Politics
3:39 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Conservative Leaders, Santorum Meet To Discuss Path Forward

Rick Santorum speaks Wednesday in Hollidaysburg, Pa., holding boxing gloves given to him by Pennsylvania State Sen. John Eichelberger (left). On Thursday, Santorum met in private with a group of conservative leaders to discuss next steps in his campaign.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum met with a group of conservative leaders Thursday behind closed doors at an office in Northern Virginia. They discussed the road ahead for Santorum's Republican presidential campaign as the polls tighten in his home state of Pennsylvania, which holds its primary on April 24.

The meeting included "strategic conversations about how to get the conservative ranks to coalesce around Rick," Santorum campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley told NPR.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Former CIA Officer Indicted On Charges Of Sharing Secrets With Reporters

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, leaves federal court in Alexandria, Va., in January.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 4:49 pm

A federal grand jury in Virginia has indicted former CIA officer John Kiriakou on charges that he violated the Espionage Act by allegedly sharing secret information about some of his colleagues with reporters.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Obama, Romney Agree On One Thing: Women Should Be Allowed In Augusta

Patrons watch as Henrik Stenson of Sweden, Alvaro Quiros of Spain and Gary Woodland of the United States play the 16th green during the first round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 3:07 pm

Maybe this bipartisan thing will become a trend: As we noted, earlier today President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law flanked by Republican Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor.

And, now there's news that both President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on one thing: They both think women should be allowed to join the Augusta National Golf Club.

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Media
2:31 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Murdoch's Unrivaled Hold On The Australian Press

Between 6 and 7 of every 10 copies of national and metro papers sold in Australia are owned by News Ltd., News Corp.'s Australian newspaper arm. The company owns The Australian and The Daily Telegraph; while The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald are owned by rival Fairfax Media.
Rick Rycroft AP

Step up to any newsstand in Australia, like the one in Melbourne's Central Business District, and ask who Rupert Murdoch is, and you might get an appraisal like this one from Tom Baxter, an officer with a local disability foundation: "Long time in newspapers, ruthless; dedicated to their craft; a global citizen."

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It's All Politics
2:02 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

South Carolina Gov. Haley: Ann Romney Is Mitt's 'Golden Ticket'

Mitt Romney laughs with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (right) during a campaign event in Greenville, S.C., on Jan. 20. Haley says Ann Romney (left) will be important in helping the former Massachusetts governor appeal to female voters.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 6:11 am

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has some unsolicited advice for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on appealing to female voters.

"The golden ticket that people need to see and see more of is Ann Romney," Haley told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview set to air on Friday's Morning Edition. Haley was responding to a question about polls that show strengthening support among women for President Obama.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Grammy-Winning Singer Youssou N'Dour Appointed Senegal's Culture Minister

Youssou N'dour speaks during a united opposition rally in February.
Gabriela Barnuevo AP

Youssou N'Dour, the Grammy-Award-winning artist best known for his singing in Peter Gabriel's hit In Your Eyes, has been appointed culture minister by Senegal's new government.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that N'Dour was disqualified from running from president so he threw his support to the incoming president. Reporting from Bamako in Mali, Ofeibea filed this report:

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The Salt
1:52 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Some Jews Say Bugs Have No Place At The Seder Table

The Passover Seder plate with symbolic foods (clockwise, from top center): horseradish; a shank bone; a mixture of fruit, wine and nuts called haroset; lettuce, parsley and an egg.
Dan Goodman AP

At this week's Passover Seders, Jews around the world lay out ceremonial meals. There's parsley or radishes to represent spring rebirth, and horseradish to show the bitterness of slavery.

As Orthodox Rabbi Tzvi Fischer shows me at the People's Farmer's Market in southeast Portland, Ore., those vegetables, and the critters inside them, bring their own theological issues.

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Middle East
1:50 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

With A Dose Of Caution, Kurds Oppose Syrian Regime

Kurds in Syria overwhelmingly oppose the current Syrian regime but have been hesitant to join in the fighting. Here, Kurds wave the Kurdish flag as they rally against the government in the northern city of Qamishli, Syria, on March 21.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 9:38 pm

When protesters took to the streets of Syria last year, one of those who joined in was Abu Azad โ€” a pseudonym he uses to protect his safety.

A member of the Kurdish ethnic group, Abu Azad helped organize protests in Kurdish areas, calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. But Abu Azad recently found out he was wanted by Syrian authorities.

"They were chasing me and they want to kill me," he says.

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Animals
1:39 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

A 'Warm And Fuzzy' Dino? (Yes, But Mind The Teeth)

An artist's impression of a group of Yutyrannus. The 30-foot-long dinosaurs were covered with downy feathers โ€” likely to keep the animals warm.
Dr. Brian Choo Nature

Thirty feet long and weighing in at around 3,000 pounds, Yutyrannus huali goes by the nickname "beautiful feathered tyrant." Yutyrannus earned the name "tyrant" because it casually ripped its prey to pieces. But it was also a snappy dresser: The huge predator was covered in downy feathers.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

President Obama Signs JOBS Act Into Law

"This bill represents exactly the kind of bipartisan action we should be taking in Washington to help our economy," said President Obama before signing the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act into law.

It was a rare bipartisan moment in Washington. Just look at this picture:

The Democratic president is flanked by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia and Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democratic delegate from the District of Columbia.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:18 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Fox In Socks! Dartmouth Names Its Medical School After Dr. Seuss

An imagined new facade for Dartmouth's school of medicine (with apologies to Dr. Seuss).
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 3:04 pm

At the college of Dartmouth, in the year '24
There lived a young humorist named Theodor.
Though boozing was banned as a crime and a sin,
Theo hosted a party with plenty of gin.
But then in through the door without even a knock
Burst the grinch who stole gin-mas: Dean Craven Laycock.

The dean started shouting. His face turned bright red.
"Put down your tumbler and listen up, Ted!
I'm kicking you out of those clubs that you're in.
Your work won't be published at Dartmouth again!"

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It's All Politics
1:16 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Craigslist Founder Takes On Voter ID Laws By Infographic

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 1:19 pm

It's about a week after it became available on the Internet but no less interesting now than it was then is the infographic by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, which skewers voter ID laws cropping up in various states. One of his points โ€” the cure is far worse than the disease.

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Animals
1:01 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

White-Nose Syndrome: A Scourge In The Bat Caves

A little brown bat with white-nose syndrome hangs in Greeley Mine, Vt., in March 2009. The disease is spreading across the country, currently affecting bat populations in 19 states.
Marvin Moriarty U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

A disease that has killed more than 5.5 million bats in the eastern United States and Canada is making its way west. White-nose syndrome has now been diagnosed in three Missouri bats โ€” the first confirmed cases west of the Mississippi. And scientists say it won't stop there.

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