NPR News

The Salt
12:55 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

How To Grow The Tastiest Tomato? One Secret's In The Soil

A tomato expert recommends planting seedlings in rich soil with lots of organic matter and a steady slow-release fertilizer.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 1:57 pm

It's tomato time here in the mid-Atlantic – the critical moment when those of us eager to pull fat, bright fruit off our own backyard vines in a couple months are scurrying to get tender little plants in the ground.

But as anyone who's spent a few summers of kneeling in the dirt can tell you, healthy-looking vines will not necessarily get you a mind-blowingly delicious tomato. And why?

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

'Help' Hizzoner: Tell Bloomberg What To Ban Next

What's he got his eye on now? New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 3:59 pm

So, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) wants to ban nearly all sales of big, sugary drinks.

Goodbye Big Gulp.

This comes after his earlier campaigns to stamp out smoking and trans fats.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

First-Edition Book Of Mormon Goes Missing From Ariz. Store

An 1830 first-edition Book of Mormon owned by retired bookstore owner Helen Schlie.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 12:34 pm

The first-edition Book of Mormon brought faithful from around the country to a book store in Mesa, Ariz.

As the AP describes it, the book is one of 5,000 printed "after Joseph Smith found the gold plates that he translated into the Book of Mormon, which members of the faith consider to be scripture alongside the Bible."

So when people came to take pictures with the book Helen Schlie, a converted Mormon, would always oblige, telling people when they touched the book they shared "their DNA with Joseph Smith himself."

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Monkey See
11:44 am
Fri June 1, 2012

John Edwards: Once More With (Or Without) Feeling, He Takes Full Responsibility

Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards addresses the media alongside his daughter Cate Edwards and his parents Wallace and Bobbie Edwards yesterday after the conclusion of his trial on campaign finance charges.
Sara D. Davis Getty Images

Yesterday, after being acquitted of one of six campaign finance fraud charges against him and seeing the jury deadlock on the other five, John Edwards held a brief press conference in which he said this:

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It's All Politics
11:44 am
Fri June 1, 2012

May Jobless Report Keeps Obama On Defensive, Aids Romney's Offense

Military veterans Kris Hummel (l) and Shane Foley, speak with a TSA representative at a May 15, 2012 job fair in Utica, NY.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 1:04 pm

How to convince voters that while the economy isn't roaring, the situation is still improving?

That's President Obama's challenge, made more difficult with every passing month where the jobs report disappoints, as on Friday. The latest Labor Department report informed us that only 69,000 jobs were created in May, less than half what analysts had forecast. Meanwhile, the jobless rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Nation's Worst Dressers Are In Anchorage, Survey Says

High fashion in Anchorage. (Just kidding! It's a photo from the 2011 Iditarod.)
Michael Dinneen AP

Which U.S. city has the worst-dressed citizens?

According to readers of Travel and Leisure magazine, it's Anchorage.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Catholic Nun Group Rejects Vatican Report That Found Them Afoul Of Doctrine

American nuns attend Mass at Sant'Apollinare in Rome.
Andrew Medichini AP

The board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents most nuns in the United States, rejected a report from the Vatican that found they were running afoul of church doctrine.

The report, which among other things expressed concerned about the group's "radical feminism," was issued in April and ruled that an American archbishop would bring the nuns back in line.

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Medical Treatments
11:18 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Paralyzed Rats Walk, Even Sprint After Rehab

Reporting in Science, researchers write that a combination of therapies, willpower and chocolate helped rats with severe spinal cord injuries learn to walk and even run again. Neurobiologist Moses Chao, not affiliated with the study, discusses the rehab method and whether it could work in humans.

The Two-Way
10:38 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Russia Is Not Propping Up Syrian Regime, Putin Says

President of Russia Vladimir Putin arrives for a meeting with German President Joachim Gauck, not seen, at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany on Friday.
Markus Schreiber AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied claims made by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that Russia is "in effect, propping up" the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"We don't supply weapons that can be used in civil conflicts," Putin told reporters in Berlin after he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Music Reviews
9:40 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Diamond Rugs: Carefully Constructed Drinking Tunes

Diamond Rugs.
Amie Ledford

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 11:11 am

Diamond Rugs is one those bands that wants you to think it prizes spontaneity and sloppy good fun more than careful song construction and technical polish. And the album, also titled Diamond Rugs, almost succeeds in convincing you of its sloppy aesthetic, dispensing songs about drinking and carousing only to be left morose, in one's cups.

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World Cafe
9:26 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Lana Del Rey On World Cafe

Nicole Nodland

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 9:19 am

Lana Del Rey got her start at 18, when she was still known as Lizzy Grant and moved from Lake Placid to New York City to write songs and perform in clubs. In 2008, under her given name, she produced and released the EP Kill Kill independently. In 2010, her first album — the doubly eponymous Lana Del Ray [sic] a.k.a. Lizzy Grant — came out and was quickly pulled from circulation, though it'll be reissued this summer.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:16 am
Fri June 1, 2012

It's All Politics, May 31, 2012

Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 9:44 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

Mitt Romney gets enough delegates, in some counts, to go over the top in his bid for the GOP nomination. But his celebration gets distracted by more Donald Trump "birtherism." Plus, the Texas GOP goes into overtime to find a Senate nominee, Rep. Thad McCotter plans a write-in campaign in Michigan in hopes of keeping his own job, and a look ahead to the Wisconsin recall.

NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving have the latest political news in this week's roundup.

Shots - Health Blog
9:08 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Planned Parenthood Controversy Hangs Over Komen's Fundraising Races

An estimated 45,000 people took part in the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure in Little Rock, Ark., in Oct. 2010. But after a controversy involving potential cuts to funding of Planned Parenthood earlier this year, participation in fundraising races has dropped.
Brian Chilson AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 9:12 am

On Saturday, the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure will be run and walked in Washington. This year, the field won't be so crowded.

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It's All Politics
9:07 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Judge, Justice Department Weigh In On Who Can Vote In Florida

"I Voted" stickers are left ready for voters at a polling station on Jan. 31, the day of Florida's presidential primary, in Tampa.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 11:34 am

In Florida, a battle is heating up on several fronts over who will be allowed to vote in the upcoming primary and the November general election.

In Tallahassee, a federal judge has blocked state elections officials from enforcing tough restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives.

And in Washington, the Justice Department has sent a letter to Florida telling it to immediately halt efforts to purge from the voting rolls people suspected of being noncitizens.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Crazy For The Queen's Diamond Jubilee? Here's A Guide To The Guides

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in London on Wednesday.
Lewis Whyld AFP/Getty Images

If royal watching's your kind of thing, the next four days are going to be a treat.

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebration — marking 60 years on the throne — looks like it will be quite a show. Sunday's huge flotilla alone is predicted to be "the most spectacular nautical event seen in London for 350 years."

Want to know when to tune in?

The official website of the British Monarchy, of course, has a ton of information.

For broadcast schedules, though, you need to look elsewhere.

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Obama 'Sped Up Wave Of Cyberattacks Against Iran,' Says 'NYT'

This morning's talker:

"From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America's first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Fri June 1, 2012

'Hero' Of Seattle Shootings: 'I Just Threw The Frigging Stool' At Gunman

Left to right: Karen Eides, Tim Torres and David Gordon embrace as they kneel in front of a makeshift memorial outside the cafe in Seattle where a gunman killed four people.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Lawrence Adams doesn't want to be called a hero, but many in Seattle are saying that's just what he is.

As The Seattle Times reports this morning, police believe Adams saved the lives of at least three people on Wednesday when he picked up a stool at a cafe and threw it at a gunman who killed four people there. Adams' action distracted the gunman, identified as Ian Stawicki, and allowed Adams and some others to escape.

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Around the Nation
5:41 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Rare Double Egg Laid In Abilene, Texas

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 7:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Remembrances
5:34 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Voice Of Speedy Alka-Seltzer Dick Beals Dies At 85

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 7:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene with a remembrance of Dick Beals, the man whose voice gave lie to Gumby. A glandular condition gave Beals his small stature and youthful voice, a voice that was used in more than 3,000 commercials. Beals played a wide range of roles - babies, teenagers, chipmunks. Perhaps most notably the Speedy Alka-Seltzer character.

(SOUNDBITE OF ADVERTISEMENT)

DICK BEALS: (Singing) Alka-Seltzer, plop, plop, fizz, fizz - oh, what a relief it is.

Law
3:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Fla. Judge Blocks Parts Of Voter Registration Law

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 12:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn now to Florida, where a federal judge has blocked portions of a new election law that was causing a lot of debate. That law had put tough restrictions on groups conducting voter registration drives. Because of the restrictions, the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote stopped registering votes(ph) in the state. Those groups challenged the new law in court. And yesterday, Judge Robert Hinkle sided with the groups. He called the rules onerous and unconstitutional.

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Law
3:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Court Rules Against Part Of Marriage Act

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 7:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, it is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

In a unanimous ruling, a federal appeals court has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The First Circuit Court of Appeals, in Boston, ruled the 1996 law unconstitutional because it denies giving gay couples the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples. As NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, the ruling sets the stage for a potential battle at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Politics
3:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Gubernatorial Recall Election Polarizes Wis. Voters

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 7:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's been more than a year since Wisconsin Democrats began talking about recalling the state's governor, Scott Walker. Next week they'll get their chance to do it. Last night, Walker and his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, traded barbs in their final debate before Tuesday's vote. Turnout is expected to be very high, as the recall is sharply dividing voters in Wisconsin, so much so, some have just stopped talking to each other. NPR's David Schaper has the latest from Milwaukee.

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Iraq
1:00 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Ignoring Critics, Iraq's Leader Consolidates Power

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (center) arrives on May 8 at Kirkuk airport in northern Iraq, on his first visit to the multi-ethnic city since taking office.
Marwan Ibrahim AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:30 pm

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently held one of his traveling Cabinet meetings in the disputed city of Kirkuk in an effort to show Iraqi Arabs on the edge of the Kurdish-controlled north that he's working on their behalf, too.

But the fact that he felt obliged to bring in large numbers of heavily armed troops for the event illustrated the tension plaguing Iraqi politics.

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Planet Money
12:59 am
Fri June 1, 2012

A Front-Row Seat At A Bank Run

Petros Giannakouris ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 7:04 am

A decade ago, investors thought Greece would flourish on the euro. Money poured in, and banks started lending it out. Thefilos Papacostakis, a bank teller at Alpha Bank in Thessaloniki, got to hand out a lot of that money.

Last month, Thefilos says, his bosses called him in for a meeting. They told him things were about to get worse. When countries are in this kind of trouble, the bosses said, people panic and pull their money out of banks.

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StoryCorps
12:57 am
Fri June 1, 2012

When Mom Is Right, And Tells Police They're Wrong

Robert Holmes, 67, is a professor at Rutgers University.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 11:28 am

When Robert Holmes' parents moved to Edison, N.J., in 1956, they were one of the first African-American families to integrate the neighborhood.

"After we'd moved to Edison, there was a resentment that we had broken into the community," Holmes says.

Even at the age of 13, Holmes felt the animosity. The neighborhood had a private swim club that opened up to anyone who participated in the Memorial Day parade. Holmes was in the band.

"I arrived at the pool on Memorial Day having marched in the parade with my uniform still on, and they called the police," he says.

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NPR Story
8:57 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Ethics Group Head On Edwards Verdict

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

A jury found former Democratic Sen. John Edwards not guilty on one count of campaign finance fraud and was deadlocked on five other counts. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., filed an amicus brief in the Edwards corruption case, asking that it be thrown out. Melanie Sloan, executive director of the group, offers her insight.

Election 2012
5:09 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Boston Takes Center Stage In Fight For White House

Mitt Romney shakes hands as he walks into the House Chambers during inaugural ceremonies at the State House in Boston in 2003. the Obama campaign sought to focus attention on Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

President Obama's re-election campaign is training some of its heaviest guns on a new target — the four years that GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney served as governor of Massachusetts.

In Boston Thursday, David Axelrod, a top Obama campaign adviser, joined Democratic state legislators and mayors on the steps of the State House to lampoon Romney's record there as governor between 2003 and 2007.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

LIVE BLOG: The National Bee Casts Its Spell

Sam Lowery, of Charlestown, Mass., spells his word in the air during Round 2 of the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., on Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 4:45 am

Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego has been crowned the champion in the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Her winning word was "guetapens," a French-derived word for "an ambush, snare or trap."

A very calm Snigdha beat eight other finalists, including her last competitor, Stuti Mishra, 14, of West Melbourne, Fla. Stuti got tripped up on the word "schwarmerei."

The winner got $30,000 in cash, a trophy, a $2,500 savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica and an online language course.

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It's All Politics
4:45 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

John Edwards' Might've Walked But Trial Still A Warning For Politicians

Former Democratic U.S. Sen. John Edwards (center) and his daughter Cate Edwards leave the federal court Thursday.
Sara D. Davis Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 4:48 pm

With a not guilty verdict on one count and the jury deadlocked on five others, it appears John Edwards' federal trial on campaign-finance charges ended with a whimper, certainly from the Justice Department's point of view.

At first blush, it can be argued that how the trial of the former U.S. senator from North Carolina ended may do little to deter politicians. They'll still be able to go forward and rake in money from supporters and, with some sleight of hand, spend that cash on practically anything.

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Law
4:29 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Mistrial Declared In John Edwards Corruption Case

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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