NPR News

Election 2012
5:41 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

As GOP Cashes In, Democrats Search For Billionaires

President Obama at a Democratic Party election fundraiser in Chicago on June 1.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:02 pm

The big story of this year's election campaign is big money. Since the Supreme Court, through its Citizens United ruling, has made it easier for corporations, unions and rich individuals to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, Republicans have seized the advantage.

Right now, an analysis by NPR finds that Republican allied groups are outspending their Democratic counterparts by 8 to 1.

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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

From Our Readers: Less Hedginess, More Neology

Our use of the term "hedginess," coined by finance criminologist Bill Black, inspired commenter "Tim Myers" to engage in some neology of his own in order to prove his point:

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The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Dimon Will Tell Congress JPMorgan 'Let People Down' With Trading Loss

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 8:00 am

"This portfolio morphed into something that, rather than protect the firm, created new and potentially larger risks. As a result, we have let a lot of people down, and we are sorry for it."

That's part of JPMorgan Chase President and CEO Jamie Dimon will tell the Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs tomorrow, when it looks into the botched trades that lost the bank $2 billion. Chase released Dimon's prepared remarks this afternoon.

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Latin America
4:50 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Venezuela's Chavez Aims To Beat Cancer, Election Foe

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez arrives atop a truck at the elections office in Caracas on Monday. Chavez addressed thousands of supporters as he formalized his re-election bid. Chavez's younger daughter Rosines is by his side, and on his right is his brother Adan.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 8:38 am

The crowds came out by the thousands in Venezuela on Monday, flooding the streets of Caracas in red T-shirts just as the nation's populist government had promised.

Hugo Chavez — the country's 57-year-old, bigger-than-life leader — then took the stage. He had arrived in an open truck, minutes after registering as a candidate for the Oct. 7 election.

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Your Money
4:42 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Credit Card Debt Cut: The Reason May Surprise You

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:17 pm

A Federal Reserve study showing that Americans lost wealth in the Great Recession turned up another, perhaps more surprising, result: Credit card debt fell sharply.

"The percentage of families using credit cards for borrowing dropped over the period; the median balance on their accounts fell 16.1 percent" between 2007 and 2010, the report concluded.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Feds Say Mexican Cartel Used American Quarter Horse Racing To Launder Money

Mr. Piloto, which federal authorities are trying confiscate, is offered on a website for sire services.
Southwest Stallion Station

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Federal authorities arrested seven people, today, in connection with what authorities say was a multi-million dollar money laundering operation run by Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas.

The scheme allegedly used the millions earned through the illicit drug trade to purchase, train, breed and race American quarter horses in the United States. The Department of Justice said 14 had been indicted; among them is Zetas leader Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales and his brothers Oscar Omar Treviño Morales and José Treviño-Morales.

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Middle East
3:55 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

At Syrian Military Hospital, The Casualties Mount

Members of the U.N. observers mission in Syria visit wounded soldiers and policemen at Tishreen Military Hospital in Damascus on May 23. Casualties among Syrian government forces are rising sharply.
SANA /Handout EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:02 pm

Syrian activists have posted thousands of videos of civilians killed and wounded in the 15-month-old conflict. But there have been many casualties on the government side as well, and they are on display at a military hospital in the capital, Damascus.

For Abdul Kareem Mustapha, a 51-year-old colonel in the Syrian army, the war came for him at 8:15 a.m. on his way to his military post.

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It's All Politics
3:55 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Justice Department Sues Florida As Voter Battle Intensifies

A Republican primary voter walks to her polling precinct in January in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:02 pm

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Florida on Tuesday to stop it from trying to remove noncitizens from its voter registration rolls.

The department says the way the state is going about doing this violates federal law. Florida says it's partly the federal government's fault for not sharing citizenship data with the state.

It's all part of the escalating battle between the Obama administration and Republican-led states over voting laws.

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Politics
3:55 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Where Are The Democratic Billionaires?

Democrats knew that they would be disadvantaged under the new campaign finance rules created by the Supreme Court. But the disparity between the amount of money Republicans can raise in unlimited anonymous donations and what the Democrats have been able to raise is huge.

Planet Money
3:55 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Remembering Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Laureate

Elinor Ostrom in January 2011.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 9:08 am

Elinor Ostrom, the only woman ever to win an economics Nobel, died today at age 78.

She was famous for challenging an idea known as the tragedy of the commons — the theory that, in the absence of government intervention, people will inevitably overuse a shared resource.

So, for example, if a village shares a pasture, it's in the individual interest of each farmer to graze his cattle as much as possible on the pasture even though, in the long run, overgrazing may ruin the pasture for everyone.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Five Keys To The NBA's Elemental Finals: Thunder Vs. Heat

The Miami Heat's LeBron James and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder (shown during an April game) will match up again tonight in the first game of the NBA Finals.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 4:18 pm

Think of tonight's NBA Finals tipoff as an atmospheric game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Does Heat smother Thunder, or does Thunder storm past Heat?

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The Record
2:56 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Diplo: Building A Bridge From The Underground To The Mainstream

The DJ and producer Diplo, who also records as Major Lazer, has produced songs for M.I.A., Beyonce and Usher.
Jordan Strauss Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:41 pm

The music made by Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known by his stage name, Diplo, is one part club-music mashup and one part pop music forecast. In 2009, he took bubblin' — a syncopated house style born in the clubs of Holland — as inspiration and collaborated with fellow DJ Switch, his partner in the group Major Lazer, to make the dance-floor hit "Pon de Floor." But he wasn't done with the bubblin' sound yet. In 2011, he used that song as basis for "Run the World (Girls)," a single by the pop star Beyonce.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

George Zimmerman's Wife Charged With Perjury

In this handout from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, Shellie Zimmerman, wife of George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting Trayvon Martin, is seen in a police mug shot on Tuesday in Sanford, Florida.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 7:07 am

Shellie Zimmerman, the wife of George Zimmerman, has been charged with one count of perjury.

According to court documents, Shellie was charged for knowingly making a false statement during the bond hearing of George Zimmerman.

George Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, has claimed he acted in self defense.

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World Cafe
2:16 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Sense Of Place: Trombone Shorty's Raging Parade

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue perform at the famous New Orleans jazz bar Tipitina's.
Rick Diamond Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:39 am

This week, World Cafe invites listeners to discover the music of New Orleans with the series Sense of Place.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Vatican Says American Sisters Are Under 'Supreme Direction' Of Holy See

Leaders of a group that represents most Catholic sisters in the United States meet with Vatican officials in Rome today. As we've reported, the sisters went to Rome to talk to the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about a report that found the group was running afoul of church doctrine.

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It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Romney Puts Distance Between Him And Himself On Public-Worker Hiring

Fox News screen grab

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 4:22 pm

Mitt Romney seemed pretty adamant last week when he said taxpayers didn't want any more teachers, firefighters and police officers, suggesting that they wanted to see government at all levels shrink.

But given the chance during a Fox News appearance Tuesday to repeat the bold statement of just a few days ago, the all-but-official presidential nominee essentially took a pass.

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Asia
1:54 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

A Nobel Acceptance Speech — Two Decades Overdue

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi is heading to Europe for the first time in more than two decades and will be giving a series of high-profile speeches She's shown here on June 2 meeting with Myanmarese refugees who are living in camps in Thailand.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 8:49 pm

Aung San Suu Kyi heads to Europe Wednesday, where she'll deliver a speech she was invited to give more than two decades ago: the one for her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, which she was unable to collect while under house arrest.

In Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, at the headquarters of Suu Kyi's party, spokesman U Nyan Win says she is busy writing speeches for her extended trip to Europe, including the visit to Oslo for the belated Nobel address this weekend.

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The Salt
1:52 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Will Beer And Brats Break Through Wisconsin's Partisan Divide?

Democrats may not bite at the brats and beer Gov. Walker is offering.
SaucyGlo Flickr.com

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker beat back Democrats' efforts to kick him out of office last week in an election widely seen as a national referendum on labor policies.

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The Impact of War
1:45 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

To Rehabilitate Young Vets, Go Hunting

Jake Dobberke, 26, a Marine who lost his legs in Afghanistan, watches for turkeys in Potter County, Pa. The LEEK Hunting and Mountain Preserve helps healing young vets explore the wilderness in adaptive hunting gear.
Jenelle Pifer WESA

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:02 pm

Recreational rehabilitation programs have long been a favorite for helping disabled veterans acclimate after war, and the number of young and disabled vets returning who need those services is on the rise.

Two brothers — with nearly 60 years of military service between them — are trying to help with a unique retreat that's free for young vets. The program gets them out of their hospital beds for a few days to hunt in rural Pennsylvania.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Assistant Penn State Coach McQueary Takes the Stand In Sandusky Trial

Penn State University assistant football coach Mike McQueary arrives at the Centre County Courthouse to testify in the child sexual abuse trial of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in Bellefonte, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:58 pm

(Note: There is graphic testimony about the alleged sexual abuse of a young boy in this post.)

Mike McQueary, a key witness in the case against Jerry Sandusky, testified that he saw the former Penn State assistant football coach engaged in a "clear" "sex act" with a young boy at a campus shower, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Russia Is Sending Syria Helicopters, Clinton Says

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 5:28 am

Russia is sending attack helicopters to Syria for President Bashar Assad's regime to use in its campaign to stamp out opposition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today.

She warned that such action "will escalate the conflict quite dramatically."

The U.S. and Russia have been at odds over how hard to squeeze the regime in an effort to end its harsh crackdown on anti-Assad protests — a crackdown that the U.N. says has killed more than 10,000 people since March 2011, mostly civilians.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

'Whitey' Bulger's Girlfriend Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison

This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of Whitey Bulger.
AP

The girlfriend of the notorious mob boss James J. 'Whitey' Bulger has been sentenced to 8 years in prison, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Former British PM John Major Says Murdoch Tried To Influence Policy

Former British Prime Minister John Major arrives to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics at the High Court in London, on Tuesday.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Former British Prime Minister John Major told an inquiry that Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul, tried to influence the country's politics during a private dinner in 1997. Major said that Murdoch even hinted that the Prime Minister could lose his media empire's support if he didn't change the way he was dealing with the European Union.

The AP explains:

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It's All Politics
11:24 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Liberal Group Excitedly Eyes Millions Of Potential Latino Voters

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:40 am

It's a given that Latino voters are viewed by both political parties as critical to the the 2012 general election and that polling shows President Obama, and Democrats generally, enjoying a significant advantage with that such voters.

That reality prompted Mitt Romney to tell donors at a closed-door Palm Beach, Fla. fundraiser in April, in remarks overheard by reporters:

"We have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party." He suggested that if the GOP failed to draw significant numbers of Latino voters away from the Democratic Party "that spells doom for us."

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Tue June 12, 2012

World Is 'Hellish Nightmare' In Player's 10-Year Long Strategy Game

If you're a fan of Waterworld, then the vision of the future in the Civilization II game played by "Lycerius" may be to your liking. (Kevin Costner in a scene from that 1995 movie.)
Getty Images

"The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation." Ninety percent of the population has died from nuclear annihilation or famine. "Three superpowers have been locked in a 1,700-year war" that's "an eternal death struggle."

On Reddit earlier today, a gamer called Lycerius posted those apocalyptic notes about what the year 3991 is like in his decade-long game of Civilization II.

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Music Reviews
11:00 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Edmar Castaneda's 'Double Portion' Of Harp

Edmar Castañeda's new album is titled Double Portion.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:46 am

The Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda was born in Bogotá, and began playing at 13. A few years later, in the mid-1990s, he moved to New York, where he studied jazz trumpet. Then he returned to the harp with a new perspective and set of skills.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:42 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Panel Questions Benefits Of Vitamin D Supplements

A woman pours two tablets into her hand from a pill bottle.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 6:35 am

An influential panel of experts questioned two big reasons people take vitamin D supplements.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded in draft recommendations released Tuesday that taking less than 400 international units of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day doesn't reduce the risk for bone fractures among postmenopausal women. And so the task force recommended against doing that.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Blood, Smoke, Fear: U.N. Video From Syria

"We are not animals!" this man told U.N. monitors in Syria.
United Nations

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:36 am

Stay with this video from the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria. After scenes of smoke rising above Homs and scared-looking families trying to cross highways, it takes viewers inside Talbiseh and al-Rastan — where the monitors were shown blood-stained ruins and where a man angrily declares:

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Shots - Health Blog
9:28 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Doctors Have Trouble Keeping Up With Painkiller Abusers

A pharmacy technician counts generic Vicodin tablets at Oklahoma Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Edmond, Okla.
Sue Ogrocki AP

The growing awareness about the abuse of prescription painkillers hasn't kept the problem from skyrocketing. In 2008, 14,800 people died of an overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than overdose deaths from cocaine and heroin combined.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Elinor Ostrom, First Woman To Win Nobel In Economics, Dies

Elinor Ostrom in January 2011.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:10 pm

  • Elinor Ostrom, speaking with Michele Norris

Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, died this morning at Indiana University's Health Bloomington Hospital.

The university says that the 78-year-old distinguished professor succumbed to cancer.

Ostrom shared the 2009 Nobel. As the prize committee said at the time:

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