NPR News

Parallels
5:17 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

For Israel, Soccer Becomes A Geopolitical Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter kicks a ball during the inauguration of a football stadium in the village of Dura al-Qari near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday. Blatter said he is on a "mission of peace" to resolve tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian soccer federations.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 6:39 pm

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has moved to the soccer field. Next week, at the annual meeting of FIFA — the international body governing football — its 209 members are scheduled to vote on a proposal to suspend Israel from international play.

Palestinian soccer officials put the proposal on FIFA's agenda, saying Israeli policies hurt Palestinian players and the sport's development and break FIFA's own rules.

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The Salt
4:08 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

McMadness: Activists Pile On At McDonald's Shareholders Meeting

Demonstrators march on McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., on Wednesday, demanding a wage increase to $15 per hour.
Brian Kersey UPI /Landov

Whoa, I wouldn't want to be Steve Easterbrook right about now.

The newish CEO of McDonald's — who has pledged to turn the fast-food giant into a progressive burger chain — is getting an earful this week, as the company prepares to convene its annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.

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Middle East
3:34 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Netanyahu Cancels Palestinian-Only Bus Plan Just Before Scheduled Start

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 5:17 pm

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

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U.S.
3:34 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Often The Butt Of Jokes, S.C.'s Giant Peach Is Ripe For Renovation

The restoration of the landmark, popularized by a House of Cards episode, has some fans wondering whether the giant peach will lose its giggle-inducing appearance.
Michael Tomsic WFAE

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 5:17 pm

You can't miss it as you drive down I-85. The Peachoid, as it's called, is a massive peach-shape water tower near the North Carolina border.

When maintenance crews sandblasted the paint off the water tower recently, people were furious.

Just ask Claire Huminski, with the city of Gaffney.

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Maine Bill Aims To Make Abuse-Deterrent Painkillers More Affordable

Sales of prescription opioid painkillers have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 5:17 pm

The problem of opiate addiction in Maine is one that state Rep. Barry Hobbins knows something about. "One of my family members has been struggling with this dreaded addiction of opiates for six years," he says.

So when pharmaceutical company Pfizer — which makes opioids that have abuse-deterrent properties — asked Hobbins to sponsor a bill that would require insurance companies to cover these more expensive drugs at the same level as other opioids, he agreed.

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It's All Politics
3:34 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Immigrant Family's Hope On Hold After Promises From The President

Karla Rodriguez and her family: Evelia Beltran (from left), Aileen Orozco, Cesar Orozco, Karla Rodriguez, Evelyn Orozco, Brandon Orozco and Brenda Orozco.
Courtesy of Karla Rodriguez

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 6:40 pm

Six months ago, when President Obama announced sweeping and polarizing executive actions on immigration, immigrant families all over the country were watching his rare prime-time address.

But those actions have now fallen out of the headlines and the highest-profile changes are on hold.

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The Salt
3:28 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

FDA Wants To Pull Back The Curtain, Slightly, On Farm Antibiotics

Cattle that are grass-fed and free of antibiotics and growth hormones are seen at Kookoolan Farm in Yamhill, Ore.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 7:16 pm

Farmers and public health advocates have been arguing for many years now about the use of antibiotics on farm animals, yet that argument takes place in a fog of uncertainty, because a lot of information simply isn't available.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

An Author Of Paper About Changing Minds On Gay Marriage Seeks Retraction

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 4:41 pm

Late last year, the journal Science published a study that suggested door-to-door canvassing could increase support for same-sex marriage.

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Shots - Health News
2:47 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Terminally Ill California Mom Speaks Out Against Assisted Suicide

Stephanie and Brian Packer make lunch with their children, Brian, 11, Savannah, 5, Scarlett, 10, and Jacob, 8.
Stephanie O'Neill/KPCC

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:32 pm

Stephanie Packer was 29 when she found out she had a terminal lung disease.

That's the same age as Brittany Maynard, who last year was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Last fall, Maynard, of Northern California, opted to end her life with the help of a doctor in Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal.

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NPR Ed
2:37 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Is Harvard Showing Bias Against Asian-Americans?

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:42 pm

A group of more than 60 organizations has filed a complaint with the federal government claiming Harvard holds higher expectations for its Asian applicants than other minorities.

The coalition is made up of nonprofit organizations, including Chinese, Pakistani and Indian groups, and it claims Harvard uses racial quotas to control the number of Asian-Americans on campus.

"Asian-American applicants shouldn't be racially profiled in college admissions," says Swann Lee, a Chinese-American writer from Brookline, Mass. "Asian-Americans should have the playing field leveled."

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Parallels
2:37 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Desperate Rohingya Granted Temporary Shelter. But What Next?

A fishing boat carrying Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants is pulled to shore by Achenese fishermen off the coast of Julok, in Indonesia's Aceh province, on Wednesday.
Antara Foto/Syifa Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 5:17 pm

The governments of Indonesia and Malaysia agreed Wednesday to allow boats full of thousands of migrants stranded at sea to come ashore.

The news came as Indonesian fishermen rescued more than 400 people from a boat that first made the news last week — and finally got governments to act.

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Economy
2:37 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Los Angeles City Council Passes $15 Minimum Wage

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 5:17 pm

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

Iraq
2:37 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Fall Of Ramadi Highlights 'Fundamental Failure' Of U.S. Strategy In Iraq

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 5:17 pm

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

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It's All Politics
12:26 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Popular Health Exchange In Jeopardy After Surprise Republican Win

People line up outside the Kynect store at the Fayette Mall, in Lexington, Ky., in February to apply for health insurance through the state exchange.
Adam Beam AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 1:22 pm

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Becoming A Cop, As Police Protests Dominate Headlines

The squad of six, including Stephanie Schendel, pose after being pepper-sprayed. Instructor Russ Hicks said the recruits bond after that unpleasant experience. (Isolde Raftery/KUOW)

What motivates someone to become a police officer these days? And what is it like to be a recruit as images of police protests dominate the news? Amy Radil of Here & Now contributor station KUOW met some of Washington state’s newest recruits.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

'Finding The Good' Through Obituary Writing

About 2,000 people live in Haines, Alaska, where Heather Lende has been writing obituaries for 20 years for the Chilkat Valley News. (Andrei Taranchenko/Flickr)

Journalist Heather Lende lives in the small town of Haines, Alaska, where the population is about 2,000. She’s written obituaries for almost 20 years at the Chilkat Valley News.

In doing so, she’s learned to “find the good,” as she says, not only in the lives of people she writes about, but also in her own life. Lende told Here & Now’s Robin Young that a portrait of the town she lives in also comes through her work.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Five Banks To Pay Billions Over Currency Manipulation

This combination made from file photos shows signage for four banks, Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, that will pay $2.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to criminally manipulating global currency market going back to 2007. The banks conspired with one another to fix rates on U.S. dollars and euros traded in the huge global market for currencies, according to a settlement announced Wednesday, May 20, 2015, between the banks and U.S. Justice Department. (Lefteris Pitarakis, Nick Ut, Kathy Willens, Matt Dunham/AP)

JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Citigroup and UBS have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay more than $5 billion in total penalties relating to a U.S. investigation into whether the banks manipulated foreign currency rates.

The fines are on top of more than $4 billion in penalties that many of the same banks paid in November over similar charges. Matt Klein of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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It's All Politics
11:42 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Who Is Clinton Confidant Sidney Blumenthal?

Blumenthal was one of just four witnesses deposed by the U.S. Senate when it tried (and acquitted) Clinton on the impeachment charges early in 1999.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 11:57 am

Before there was George, there was Sid.

George Stephanopoulos is, of course, the ABC news anchor whose $75,000 in donations to the Clinton foundation have reminded the world of his longtime ties to Bill Clinton, for whom he worked from 1991 to 1997.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Nebraska Lawmakers Move Step Closer To Repealing Death Penalty

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 1:15 pm

Lawmakers in Nebraska have given final approval to a measure that would abolish the death penalty with enough votes to override a threatened veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The vote was 32-15. Conservative Nebraska has a unicameral Legislature and all bills go through three votes. In the previous round, the vote was 30-16; in the first, it was 30-13. It would take 30 votes to override a veto from Ricketts, a Republican. If that happens, Nebraska will become the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973.

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Shots - Health News
11:25 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Looks Good Enough To Smoke: Marijuana Gets Its Glamour Moment

Courtesy of Chronicle Books

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:15 am

When Erik Christiansen started smoking pot, he became fascinated by the look of different marijuana strains. But the photographs of marijuana he saw didn't capture the variety.

So he went to the hardware store and picked up two lights and a cardboard box. "I didn't even have a macro lens — I was shooting through a magnifying glass," he says.

The California-based photographer tinkered with his macro technique until he had created a consistent way to capture highly detailed images of marijuana.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Wed May 20, 2015

U.S. Releases Documents Seized From Osama Bin Laden's Compound

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, seen in Afghanistan in this undated photo, was killed in 2011 during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 12:28 pm

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Intelligence officials on Wednesday released a trove of newly declassified documents, books and magazines found during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. They're calling it "Bin Laden's Bookshelf."

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Shots - Health News
10:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Grassley To Justice Department: Crack Down On Medicare Advantage Overbilling

Sen. Chuck Grassley has questions about what the feds are doing to investigate allegations of Medicare Advantage fraud.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:31 am

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to tighten scrutiny of Medicare Advantage health plans suspected of overcharging the government, saying billions of tax dollars are at risk as the popular senior care program grows.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Rare Black Rhino Killed By U.S. Hunter Who Won Controversial Auction

An endangered black rhino is seen in this file photo from the Etosha National Park in norhern Namibia last year. An American hunter has killed one of the animals, under a special permit he bought for $350,000. While the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from shades of brown to gray.
Barbara Scheer DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:03 pm

A Texas hunter who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt a rare black rhino in Namibia has killed the animal. The hunt has drawn controversy and spurred debate over the best way to manage endangered wildlife.

Corey Knowlton won an auction last January for a hunting permit that would allow him to kill a black rhino weighing around 3,000 pounds.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Oil Spill Near Santa Barbara Fouls California Coastline

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, people walk on a beach with an oil slick from a broken pipeline off the central California coast near Santa Barbara on Tuesday.
Mike Eliason AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 4:51 pm

Updated at 6:49 p.m. ET

A nine-mile slick of spilled crude has fouled parts of the California coastline near Santa Barbara, officials say.

Mark Crossland, a captain with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said some wildlife will likely be affected because of the spill.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Indonesia, Malaysia Agree To Take In Stranded Rohingyas

A sick migrant is helped by friends to board a truck that is taking them to a local hospital upon arrival in Simpang Tiga, Indonesia on Wednesday.
Binsar Bakkara AP

Bringing an end to a two-week saga, Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to take in thousands of Rohingya "boat people" who had been stranded at sea in Southeast Asia.

The Muslim Rohingyas fled prosecution from the Buddhist-majority in Myanmar. The problem has been that Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have often turned many boats away, leaving the migrants adrift.

The New York Times reports that today there was finally some good news:

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Around the Nation
4:47 am
Wed May 20, 2015

It's David Letterman Day In Indianapolis

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 10:09 am

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

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:43 am
Wed May 20, 2015

In Speech, Obama Will Cast Climate Change As 'Immediate Risk' To U.S. Security

President Barack Obama speaks at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on Monday in Camden, N.J.
Chris LaChall AP

During a commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy today, President Obama will cast climate change as posing an "immediate risk to our national security."

NPR's Scott Horsley reports Obama is expected to tell graduates that the Coast Guard itself will have to adjust to the effects of rising sea levels. Scott filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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Around the Nation
4:18 am
Wed May 20, 2015

That's One Way To Deal With A Loose Tooth

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 10:09 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Eight-year-old Calvin Stanley of Montana was desperate to get rid of a loose tooth.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CALVIN STANLEY: My name is Calvin, and this is the Montana tooth pull.

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Iraq
3:19 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Ramadi's Fall To ISIS Revives Questions About U.S. Strategy

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:36 pm

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

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Law
3:18 am
Wed May 20, 2015

FTC And States File Suit Against 4 Sham Cancer Charities

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 10:09 am

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

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