NPR News

It's All Politics
12:26 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Read The Tea Leaves, But Justices (And Their Clerks) Aren't Telling

The U.S. Supreme Court
Alex Wong Getty Images

Several dozen people know how the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. And it'll stay that way until sometime after 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, when the court releases its opinion to the rest of us.

The decision will have broad societal, economic and legal ramifications, and will play a featured role in the November presidential election. But the justices and their young law clerks — the only ones privy to the deliberations — don't leak opinions. It's virtually unheard of.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Puny Humans: Robot Plays Rock, Paper, Scissors With 100 Percent Accuracy

A robot hand playing rock, paper, scissor.
Ishikawa Oku Laboratory

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Here's How To Learn What The Supreme Court Says About Health Care

The U.S. Supreme Court, which will be in the news on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 12:15 pm

The biggest surprise Thursday morning at the Supreme Court will be if the justices do not issue their most-anticipated decision of the year — on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act; the health care overhaul enacted in 2010.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:42 am
Wed June 27, 2012

FDA Approves First New Weight-Loss Drug In More Than A Decade

Belviq, the first new prescription drug in years to help people lose weight, is expected to be available in four to six months.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 10:34 am

For the first time in 13 years, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to help people lose weight.

The FDA gave the green light to Arena Pharmaceuticals to sell Belviq, or lorcaserin generically, a twice-a-day pill that suppresses appetite and appears to affect metabolism by influencing levels of the brain chemical serotonin.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:41 am
Wed June 27, 2012

A Guide To The Cleanest And Filthiest U.S. Beaches

San Juan Creek meets the Pacific Ocean at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, Calif. The poor water quality off Doheny State Beach put in a list of worst beaches in the U.S.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 7:58 am

If you thought sharks were the scariest threat at the beach, you might consider the lowly bacteria lurking in shore waters instead.

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It's All Politics
10:27 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Where's The Bathroom? Half Of All State Lawmakers Will Be New On The Job

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 4:26 am

In the land of legislative freshmen, sophomores can be kings.

That's a dynamic that will play out around much of the country after the fall elections. Come January, about half the nation's roughly 7,400 legislators will be totally new on the job or have only two years' experience, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Wed June 27, 2012

ACLU Will Defend KKK In Bid To Adopt Stretch Of Ga. Highway

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 11:08 am

Considering it a First Amendment case, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has decided to defend a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in its bid to adopt a stretch of Georgia highway.

As Korva reported earlier this month, Georgia transportation officials turned down the group's request, saying "encountering signage and members of the KKK along a roadway would create a definite distraction to motorists."

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Election 2012
9:50 am
Wed June 27, 2012

What Issues Really Matter To Latinos?

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 1:45 pm

Transcript

VIVIANA HURTADO, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Viviana Hurtado. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, a recent survey shows finances are the most common source of conflict for U.S. couples. We talked to one of our regular money coaches to help you and your significant other maybe avoid an argument before it starts.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Violence In Syria Is As Bad, Or Worse, Than Before Ceasefire, U.N. Says

May 26, 2012: In this picture provided by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network, people watch the mass burial of victims in Houla.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 11:50 am

From The Associated Press:

"The U.N.'s deputy envoy for Syria, Jean-Marie Guehenno, [has] told the U.N. Human Rights Council that the violence in Syria has 'reached or even surpassed' levels seen before the April 12 ceasefire agreement and that a six-point peace plan forged by his boss, U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, 'is clearly not being implemented.' "

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Shots - Health Blog
8:36 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Feds Move To Curb Abusive Debt Collection By Nonprofit Hospitals

Deb Waldin testifies about her experience with a debt collector at a Minnesota hospital during a hearing led by Sen. Al Franken in St. Paul, Minn., in late May.
Minnesota Public Radio/Jeffrey Thompson

Deb Waldin was in agony when she arrived at the emergency room of Fairview Southdale, a nonprofit hospital in suburban Minneapolis. On a scale of 1 to 10, she says her pain was at 12.

She turned out to have kidney stones. But before she got the diagnosis, while she was still lying on a gurney waiting to see a doctor, she was approached by a debt collector from a company called Accretive Health.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

City Of Stockton's Looming Bankruptcy: Pictures Tell The Story

Among the projects that have helped put Stockton in the red: this downtown multiplex, which opened in 2003 and cost $15 million in public and private money.
Ian Hill KQED

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 8:19 am

Stockton, Calif., is on the verge of becoming the largest city in the nation to declare bankruptcy after its city council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to approve a spending plan that's essentially "a day-to-day survival budget," as the Los Angeles Times puts it.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Sign Of Peace: Queen Elizabeth Shakes Hand Of Former IRA Commander

Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness today in Belfast. McGuinness is a former senior member of the IRA.
Paul Faith WPA Pool/Getty Images

Something that was "unimaginable a couple of decades ago" happened today in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when Queen Elizabeth II shook the hand of former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk.

As Philip adds:

"McGuinness used to be a senior member of the IRA, the group that killed the queen's cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. ... The handshake signals times have greatly changed since the end of the conflict, which claimed more than 3,500 lives, though some tensions remain."

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Wed June 27, 2012

On The Left, Rangel Survives; On The Right, Hatch Easily Wins

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., at his victory party Tuesday night.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Two high-profile, veteran lawmakers — one from the left side of the aisle and the other from the right — overcame primary challengers Tuesday. One had a much easier time than the other.

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Africa
5:40 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Islamist President Faces Balancing Act In Egypt

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer, in for Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In Egypt, a small victory for civil rights: A court there suspended a decree that allowed the military to arrest civilians. Other moves to amass power by the ruling military council, including dissolving Egypt's elected parliament, are still in effect.

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Africa
5:33 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Can There Be Shared Power In Egypt?

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 9:48 am

"The election of muslim brotherhood presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi is another step in the balance of power counter-revolutionary process that many wrongly characterized as a revolution eighteen months ago.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

'Epic' Wildfire Sends Tens Of Thousands Scrambling For Safety In Colorado

Flames from the Waldo Canyon Fire glowed on the western side of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday night.
Bryan Oller AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:17 pm

"A firestorm of epic proportions" continues to threaten Colorado Springs, Colo., as more than 1,000 firefighters battle flames that by midday had forced more than 26,000 people to flee their homes.

It was local Fire Chief Rich Brown who called the inferno epic Tuesday night. Today, Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said it's an event "that is certainly unprecedented in this city," The Denver Post reports.

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World
5:03 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Beyonce's Daughter Named Honorary Citizen Of Hvar

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Off the coast of Croatia is an island where the mayor dines with Eric Clapton, offers to rename an island Facebook Island if Mark Zuckerberg comes to visit, and just gave honorary citizenship to a celebrity baby. The baby is Blue Ivy, daughter of Beyonce' and Jay Z. Her name was apparently inspired by a tree covered in Blue Ivy at a resort on the island, Hvar. the mayor says the publicity has been great for tourism. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Around the Nation
4:53 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Nordstrom Worker Accused Of Selling Stolen Items

A Nordstrom warehouse worker created a mini department store in his living room — displaying fancy watches and hand bags at very good prices. He even took orders. Police noticed him when he wore a bulky winter coat to work on a hot summer day and made lots of trips to his car.

Around the Nation
4:34 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Debby Unleashes Floods On Fla. Panhandle

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Debby has now weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression, but it's still bringing flash floods and the threat of tornadoes to Florida cities, including Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville. Debby first formed in the Gulf of Mexico last weekend. Jessica Palombo of Florida Public Radio has more.

(SOUNDBITE OF RAIN)

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Analysis
3:43 am
Wed June 27, 2012

How Justices Decide Big Cases Such As Health Care

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:34 am

In advance of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Obama health care law, Renee Montagne talks to Jamal Greene — associate professor at Columbia Law School and former clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens — about how the Supreme Court thinks through momentous cases.

Around the Nation
3:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

UVa Board Reverses Itself, Reinstates President

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:15 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Olympic Preview: Rowing

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're counting down to the London Olympics. And this morning, we're going to meet two rowing competitors. American women have been dominant in the eights in international competition; that's boats with eight rowers and a coxswain. They've won the last six world and Olympic championships. In fact, the American team is so strong and so deep that many talented athletes are forced to look for spots in other rowing events.

Qualifying for women's pairs was recently held in Princeton, New Jersey. NPR's Mike Pesca was there.

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Sports
3:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

College Presidents Approve Switch To Football Playoff System

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

College football fans are belting out a one word chant this morning: Finally. As in finally, there's a post-season playoff at the sport's highest level. Yesterday, a committee of college presidents approved a four-team, three game plan. When it starts in 2014, it'll end major college football's isolation as the only big time team sport that does not decide its championship with a playoff. NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

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Law
1:01 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Exhale, Chicago, A Little Pot May Be Fine(d)

In Chicago, nearly nine out of 10 low-level marijuana busts result in a dismissal.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 1:00 pm

In Chicago, a new policy on marijuana possession would mean adults who are caught with a small amount of the illegal drug would receive a fine instead of being arrested.

It's mostly about money and how best to use police resources.

Under current Illinois law, anyone found with less than about 1 ounce of marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor. If found guilty, they face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

The Man Who Painted Sport, Bright and Beautiful

Artist LeRoy Neiman, who died last week at 91, signs serigraphs of baseball's Mike Piazza (left) in 2000.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:44 am

Framed in my library is a sketch that LeRoy Neiman dashed off of me on the back of a menu, when he was watching me speak several years ago. LeRoy, who died the other day, was somewhat better known for another sketch, the "nymphette" that has appeared in Playboy since 1955 — but, of course, he's ever famous for simply being our most celebrated sports artist.

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Remembrances
7:06 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron, Filmmaker, Is Dead at 71

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:41 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The writer Nora Ephron has died. Over the course of six decades, she chronicled the lives of women in newsprint, in books, on the stage and on screen. She was 71 years old, and died of complications from a blood disorder. She's best known for romantic comedies such as "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally," but she also brought to the big screen Karen Silkwood and Julia Child.

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U.S.
5:27 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Future Murky For Arizona's Immigration Law

A defiant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio answers questions about the Justice Department's lawsuit against him during a news conference in Phoenix last month.
Ross D. Franklin AP

As Arizona officials prepare to apply the one provision of the state's immigration law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, some local authorities doubt they can properly enforce it.

"We will do our best to enforce the law. But we are in uncharted territory on this issue," Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said in a statement released by the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit organization of police chiefs. The group says the law "will seriously undermine local law enforcement."

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Sports
5:18 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

BCS Presidents Approve Four-Team College Football Playoff

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

At long last, big-time college football has a playoff, if you want to call four teams a playoff. Today, a committee of university presidents agreed to a system that replaces the current Bowl Championship Series beginning in 2014.

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me now. And, Tom, this is something that college football fans have wanted for years. President Obama has said he wants this championship game. What do you know about the deal?

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

'Guardian' Publishes More Allegations Of Collusion In Mexican Presidential Race

Student protesters stage a demonstration front of Mexico's Federal Election Commission on Tuesday in Mexico City.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 5:01 pm

Two big pieces of news in Mexico's presidential race today:

-- A new poll finds that the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto has maintained a big lead over his rivals Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Josefina Vázquez Mota. The election is this Sunday and a few polls before this one showed Obrador had narrowed the gap.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

BCS Presidents Approve Four-Team College Football Playoff

The Coaches' Trophy is displayed before the BCS National Championship game between the LSU and Alabama in New Orleans. College football will finally have a playoff.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 4:40 pm

The college football champion will be decided by a playoff beginning after the 2014 season.

The AP reports:

"Come 2014, the BCS is dead. A committee of university presidents on Tuesday approved the BCS commissioners' plan for a four-team playoff to start in the 2014 season.

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