NPR News

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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The Salt
4:08 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Antibiotic-Free Meat Business Is Booming, Thanks To Chipotle

The antibiotic-free pigs roam freely on Niman Ranch in Iowa.
Sarah Willis courtesy Niman Ranch

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 5:12 pm

It's no longer just foodies at farm markets or Whole Foods buying antibiotic-free, pasture-raised meats.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Brian Banks, Who Was Cleared Of Rape Conviction, Will Get Shot At NFL Tryout

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Earlier this month, we told you the story of Brian Banks, who served five years in prison and then five years probation for a rape conviction that was thrown out.

As Mark wrote, he had to endure the "shame of being a registered sex offender and "not being able to get a job." And he thought his dream of playing in NFL was destroyed.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:11 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

More Americans Are Checking Prices Before Getting Health Care

How much will that cost, doc?
iStockphoto.com

Do you shop around for the best price on a visit to the doctor, a CT scan or surgery at a hospital? If so, it looks like you've got a little more company.

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Mitt Romney
2:54 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Romney's Foreign Policy Views Comfort, Unsettle GOP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

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

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked up two big endorsements this week from GOP foreign policy luminaries: former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

At this point in the presidential race, endorsements are pretty routine. But these particular endorsements are important, since Romney has encountered some skepticism from foreign policy experts in his party.

Some Republicans expected the long, bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to alter their party's traditional interventionist view. Those Republicans are disappointed in Romney.

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Music Interviews
2:38 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Brandi Carlile: Bending Notes Until They Break

Brandi Carlile performs live in NPR's Studio 4A.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:17 am

What is it about Brandi Carlile's voice that gets right inside you? The power? Her range? It may be the way she can crack open a note, as she does in her best-known song, "The Story," which was prominently featured on Grey's Anatomy.

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Law
2:13 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

When The Jury Becomes The Story

Former Sen. John Edwards leaves the federal courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday.
Chuck Liddy MCT/Landov

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

They were called the "giggle gang" — four alternate jurors in the John Edwards trial who wore the same-colored shirt to court on several days.

During nine days of deliberations, much attention was given to the merry band of alternates in the high-profile campaign finance case.

On Thursday, attention swung back to the jury itself, which found Edwards not guilty on one count. The judge declared a mistrial on the other five charges.

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It's All Politics
2:04 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Romney's Week: Upstaged Time And Again

Former President George W. Bush winks in the East Room of the White House on Thursday during a ceremony to unveil his portrait.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 2:31 pm

What a week it was to have been for Mitt Romney.

But what a week it wasn't.

Poised to triumphantly clinch the Republican nomination for president, Romney instead was upstaged Tuesday by supporter Donald Trump's new birther-on-steroids shtick that stole the headlines and the candidate's big moment.

Then on Thursday, ready to embarrass President Obama by holding a "surprise" press event in front of Solyndra, the Obama-touted California solar energy company that failed after getting a $535 million government loan guarantee, Romney was upstaged yet again.

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Music Reviews
2:01 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Melody Gardot Aims For The Space Between Notes

Melody Gardot takes an understated approach to Brazilian music on her new album, The Absence.
Fabrizio Ferri

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:39 am

The other day, I had a conversation with Melody Gardot about space. Not outer space, but the space between notes in her music. These days, there's lots of it.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

For Many Teens, Summer Jobs May Be Thing Of The Past

Tom Auffhammer, 17 (right) scoops ice cream in Syracuse, N.Y. Teens continue to face stiff competition for summer jobs, but a downward trend in summer hiring for teens actually predates the recession.
Michelle Gabel The Post-Standard/Landov

The school year's winding down, meaning teenagers around the country will soon be trying to pull in some extra cash scooping ice cream or manning those kiosks at the mall.

But with the job market still weak, teens are facing stiff competition landing summer jobs. And while the downturn has hit young job seekers particularly hard, it's not just the lingering effects of the Great Recession working against them: the drop-off in teen summer hiring actually began long before 2007.

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It's All Politics
1:42 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Bloomberg Becomes Nanny-State Epitome For Some, Giving Obama A Breather

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sugary drinks was so hard to swallow it caused some to call him a fascist, a word more often hurled at President Obama.
EMMANUEL DUNAND AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 2:29 pm

If nothing else, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently done President Obama a favor.

His Honor's proposed ban on the sale of supersized sugary fountain drinks in his city made the mayor, at least for some, the epitome of Big Government excess, a place many critics, particularly conservatives, typically reserve for the Obama.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Jury Has Reached A Verdict In The John Edwards Trial

John Edwards leaves a federal courthouse during the ninth day of jury deliberations in his trial on charges of campaign corruption in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 4:02 pm

Update at 4:24 p.m. ET. Not Guilty:

A jury in Greensboro, N.C. has found John Edwards not guilty on one count and the judge has declared a mistrial on the other five charges, the AP reports.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Thu May 31, 2012

President Obama Hosts President Bush For Unveiling Of Official Portraits

Meetings of current, former and future presidents are uncommon, and this one, on Jan. 7, 2009, was a once-in-28-years affair. From left, George H.W. Bush joins then-President-elect Obama, then-President George W. Bush and fellow former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for lunch. It was the first time since 1981 that all living presidents had been together at the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 3:06 pm

In a rare moment of harmony in Washington, President Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of the couple's official portraits.

It's a tradition that dates back to 1800, when the White House acquired its first work of art: a full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.

During a ceremony in East Room of the White House, President Obama noted that fact saying that while Washington is constantly engulfed in partisan bickering, the "Presidency transcends those differences."

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Russia Is 'Propping Up' The Assad Regime, Secretary Clinton Says

By resisting efforts at the United Nations to bring concerted pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the killing in his country, Russia is "in effect, propping up the [Assad] regime at a time when we should be working on a political transition," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said earlier today in Copenhagen.

Clinton also told an audience that Russia's implicit support for Assad could "help contribute to a civil war" in Syria, The Associated Press reports.

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World Cafe
11:34 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Latin Roots: The Underground Beat Of Reggaeton

Tego Calderon, one of Reggaeton's top artists and producers, performs for fans in New York City.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 1:59 pm

Today on Latin Roots from World Cafe, NPR's Jasmine Garsd discusses the history of Reggaeton. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Garsd spent her teenage years hooked on Argentine rock. Garsd moved to the U.S. after high school and quickly encountered an eclectic mix of American music; now, she co-hosts NPR's Alt.Latino with Felix Contreras.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Elizabeth Warren Says She Told Schools Of Native American Heritage

Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:36 am

Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who is in a tight Senate race in Massachusetts against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, acknowledged for the first time that she told the law schools at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania of her Native American heritage.

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World Cafe
10:50 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt On World Cafe

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 1:59 pm

The Magnetic Fields' music provides one of several outlets for frontman Stephin Merritt's inspired songwriting. The band began recording a string of eclectic albums in 1993, and finally found mainstream recognition with 1999's three-disc 69 Love Songs.

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