NPR News

Middle East
5:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Egypt's Elections Stamp The Arab Spring Timeline

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This week in Egypt, a nation that has been ruled for thousands of years by pharaohs, colonial rulers, military regimes and dictators held its first free election for a national leader. Egyptians went to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday, and though the official results are not yet in, the election is certainly a milestone in the democratic awakening known as the Arab Spring. Here's a selection of voices from Cairo in the week that Egypt voted.

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Media
5:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Residents Expect New Orleans Paper Cut To Hurt

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

New Orleans had endured so much - the Civil War, yellow fever, the Depression and a string of spectacular political shenanigans, but its award-winning daily newspaper, the Times-Picayune, has not been able to survive as a daily. Eileen Fleming of member station WWNO reports now on the diminution of a paper that's continued reporting during the darkest days of Hurricane Katrina.

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Politics
5:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Reading Between The Polls: What Voters Should Watch

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As we just heard from Ari, early polling can do much to shape political campaigns, but voters who are just trying to follow the debate, polls and surveys can seem contradictory and confusing. To help us see through some of the fog of polling, we're joined now by Michael Dimock. He's the associate director for research at the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. Thanks for being with us.

MICHAEL DIMOCK: Thank you.

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Politics
5:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Harvard Diversity Stats Put Warren In Hot Seat Again

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate and Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren continues to be dogged by the question of if she has claimed American Indian heritage. Yesterday, in the wake of new allegations, Republican Senator Scott Brown accused Professor Warren of misleading Harvard about her Native American ethnicity. From member station WBUR in Boston, Fred Thys reports.

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Europe
5:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

At Eurovision 2012, Politics Take The Stage

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The annual kitsch contest known as the Eurovision Song Contest takes place later today. It's always held in the home country of the previous year's winner. This time, it's authoritarian Azerbaijan in central Asia. So it's been hard to avoid politics at what's supposed to be a nonpolitical event. Vicki Barker reports on both the contest and the context.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WATERLINE")

JEDWARD: (Singing) Oh, I am close to the waterline.

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Sports
5:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Sports: Ice, Hoops And Rackets

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And I wait all week to say: time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The Stanley Cup finals are set - left versus right, a frequent flier bonanza. The NBA playoffs feature a thrilling matchup between Texas and Oklahoma, the Old Hands versus the Young Guns. And tennis, red, dusty and with a side of frites - the French Open opens. Here to talk about all of it, NPR Tom Goldman,

Morning, Tom.

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The Salt
5:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Soft-Shell Lobsters So Soon? It's A Mystery In Maine

Lobster boats in Maine have been pulling up soft-shell lobsters strangely early in the season.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

April and May are fairly quiet times for Maine lobstermen and women, with the height of the summer season still a couple of months away. This year, strange things are happening on the ocean floor. Many of the lobsters have prematurely shed their hard shells, and lobstermen are hauling large numbers of soft-shelled lobsters much earlier than usual.

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The Salt
5:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Clean Your Grill, And Other Hot Holiday Tips From Food Network's Alton Brown

Food science guy Alton Brown says the last thing you want to see is flames touching food on the grill.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 1:40 pm

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon in the kick-off segment of Weekend Edition's "Taste of Summer" series.

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Election 2012
4:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Can May Polls Predict A November Winner?

Mitt Romney greets guests after addressing the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

A Quinnipiac University poll out this week found Mitt Romney with a 6-point lead over President Obama in Florida. That would seem to be very good news for the presumptive Republican nominee in what may be the biggest swing state this fall.

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Music Interviews
4:17 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Cadence Weapon: A Poet Hones A Musical Personality

Hope in Dirt City is the third album by Cadence Weapon, the performing name of Canadian poet Rollie Pemberton.
Evan Prosofsky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Rollie Pemberton is a poet — in fact, he was poet laureate of his hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, for a couple of years. That meant he was expected to write three poems a year about events in a town sometimes nicknamed "Dirt City." But outside of Edmonton, Pemberton is better known under a different name: Cadence Weapon, the hip-hop artist.

In poetry and song, Pemberton finds inspiration, tough and otherwise, in his Edmonton roots. The latest Cadence Weapon album, his third, is called Hope in Dirt City.

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Latin America
4:17 am
Sat May 26, 2012

From Canada Down To Argentina, The Oil Flows

Like countries throughout the Americas, Argentina is feverishly drilling for oil and gas. Workers are shown here at a derrick in the desert in southern Argentina.
Juan Forero for NPR

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 7:12 pm

As the wind whips across the scrub grass in southern Argentina, a crane unloads huge bags of artificial sand for oil workers preparing for the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of a well.

Water mixed with chemicals and tiny ceramic beads are then blasted underground at high pressure. This mixture helps create fissures, allowing oil and natural gas to flow.

Energy analysts believe there are billions of barrels of oil and gas buried in a desert-like patch in Patagonia.

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Europe
4:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Even Soccer Teams Are Feeling The Pinch In Spain

Spain's soccer teams are feeling the crunch of debt, too. But rich, winning teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona — seen here playing in April — are the most likely to stay in the game.
Denis Doyle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 1:32 pm

One of the ways Spaniards console themselves amid their failing economy is with their beloved sport of soccer. If you can't afford tickets to a game, it's always on TV in your local bar.

"For an escape from work, economic problems — just enjoy it and support your team," says soccer fan Ivan Rassuli, who's having a beer as he watches a match at a bar. "Everybody likes football. Maybe like the NBA or baseball in the United States."

But futbol, as Spaniards call soccer, has followed the same sorry trajectory as Spain's economy.

Failure To Pay Taxes

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Around the Nation
4:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Chicago Ward Gives Budgetary Power To The People

In Chicago's Rogers Park, Alderman Joe Moore handed the purse strings over to his constituents.
Melissa Beck Groundwork

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 1:53 pm

Chicago's 49th Ward is better known as Rogers Park. It's a neighborhood of middle-class houses and apartment buildings, home to Loyola University. It's known for diversity and an affordable, laid-back kind of cool.

But the 49th has a new claim to fame: In 2009, the ward's alderman, Joe Moore, became the first elected official in the country to hand over the purse strings to his constituents. Three years later, the experiment is still attracting new residents to planning meetings.

Forming Ideas

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Law
4:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Chicago Outsider Busted Crime With Apolitical Flare

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald speaks to reporters during a news conference Thursday in Chicago. Fitzgerald announced he would step down.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 12:16 pm

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who went after the Gambino crime family, al-Qaida and even the White House in court — not to mention several Illinois politicians — is leaving his job as U.S. attorney in Chicago.

The career prosecutor, known as "Eliot Ness with a Harvard degree," will leave a legacy as a tenacious corruption buster, though some criticize his style as overzealous.

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U.S.
4:15 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Delayed At The Airport? They're Working On It

An air traffic controller works at the Atlanta TRACON, or terminal radar approach control, facility in Peachtree City, Ga. The FAA's NextGen program will modernize the air traffic control system, transforming it from radar to GPS-based technology.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

When the summer travel season begins, airline passengers typically brace for delays as vacationers fly in larger numbers and the inevitable weather-related disruptions occur.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the nationwide system of air traffic control, is hoping to make some of those delays a thing of the past. It's developing what it calls "Next Generation" technology. The NextGen program will modernize the air traffic control system, transforming it from radar to GPS-based technology.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Observing Memorial Day

People walk through a portion of the Boston Common covered with American flags on Wednesday.
Steven Senne AP

Like many Americans, we plan to take Memorial Day off. And while a three-day weekend is always fun, this holiday is a somber one.

We were reminded of that reading an Op-Ed from Tom Manion in today's Wall Street Journal. Manion served in the military for 30 years and his son, Travis Manion, was killed in Iraq when he was just 26-years-old.

Manion delivers an emotional piece that attempts to answer a complex question: Why do they serve?

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The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

What's In A Smile? Turns Out Computers Best Humans At Parsing What's Genuine

A study participant smiles for different reasons.
MIT

Did you know most people smile when they are frustrated?

Look at this picture:

The one on the right came from frustration; the one on the left is genuine.

But when researchers asked participants to act frustrated, 90 percent didn't smile; however, when researchers made participants frustrated, 90 percent smiled.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

CBS, NBC, Fox Battle Dish Network In Court Over Ad-Skipping DVR

This image provided by Dish Network shows a screen message of the AutoHop feature, which allows customers to skip over commercials.
AP

Does Dish Network have the right to offer a commercial-free experience for its customers? Or does that infringe on broadcasters' copyrights?

As you might expect, CBS, NBC and Fox are not very happy at the prospect and filed suit yesterday against the TV provider to stop it from rolling out its "AutoHop" service.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:41 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Keep Kids Away From Laundry Detergent Packs

A label on a package of Tide laundry detergent packets warns parents to keep them away from children. Nearly 250 cases of illness from such packets have been reported to poison control centers this year.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 9:19 am

Something that looks good enough to eat can sometimes turns out to be a really big mistake.

Take those small, brightly colored single-use packs of laundry detergent that are becoming popular. To a curious toddler or small child, they look like candy.

But once inside childrens' mouths, the tempting packs can burst, releasing a concentrated blast of irriitating detergent. Already this year there have been at least 250 cases of illness from the packs reported to poison control centers across the country.

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The Impact of War
2:37 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Putting The Post-Deployment Family Back Together

Kevin Ross, 31, says the ADAPT parenting program has helped him and his family communicate more effectively.
Jeffrey Thompson MPR

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

When parents deploy to a war zone overseas, their absence can have ripple effects that are felt long after they return. Parents and their children often struggle to figure out how to be a family again after leading separate lives for months or years. Now, there's an effort to make the transition from combat life to home life less rocky.

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Music Reviews
2:29 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Big K.R.I.T.: Big Heart, Thick Drawl

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 27, 2012 9:11 pm

Big K.R.I.T. will turn 26 in August and seems halfway to stardom. His Def Jam debut, Live from the Underground, will feature a B.B. King cameo and is scheduled for a June 5 release. It should hit the charts high.

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Parallel Lives
2:28 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Obama, Romney On Health Care: So Close, Yet So Far

President Obama is applauded after signing the health care overhaul during a ceremony in the White House on March 23, 2010. Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs a Massachusetts health care overhaul at Faneuil Hall in Boston on April 12, 2006.
Win McNamee/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at one of those similarities: They both signed health care overhaul laws based on an individual mandate.

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Asia
2:24 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

A Tweet, A Year In A Labor Camp, And Now An Appeal

Fang Hong is seeking compensation for the year he spent in a Chinese labor camp — his sentence for a scatological tweet that mocked politician Bo Xilai and Police Chief Wang Lijun.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

This is the tale of a single tweet and its far-reaching consequences in China.

In April 2011, retired forestry official Fang Hong posted a scatological tweet, mocking a powerful Chinese politician, Bo Xilai, the Chongqing party secretary.

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World Cafe
2:19 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

John Mayer On World Cafe

John Mayer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 3:11 pm

Becoming a rock star has major implications — just ask John Mayer. The singer-songwriter's personal history and relationships are all public knowledge, thanks to the enormous media attention that the 34-year-old attracts. The attention in turn attracts trouble, but Mayer, who has just released his fifth solo studio album, tries to take it all in stride.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Spanish Lender Requests $24 Billion Bailout

Spanish bank Bankia's headquarters in Madrid. Spain's fourth-biggest bank, Bankia asked the government for a 19 billion euro bailout.
Pierre-Phillippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 6:44 pm

A troubled Spanish lender has asked the government for 19 billion euros ($24 billion) of public money to keep the bank from collapsing.

As The New York Times reports, this is far beyond what the government was expecting when it took over Bankia and "its portfolio of delinquent real estate loans."

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

U.N. Nuclear Watchdog Finds Traces Of More Highly Enriched Uranium In Iran

In its periodic report on Iran's nuclear program, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog said it found traces of uranium enriched to a level higher than it had previously reported.

NPR's Mike Shuster filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"When International Atomic Energy Agency monitors carry out routine inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, they take environmental samples to help them determine the nature of uranium enrichment underway.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:27 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Backers Of Cost-Free Coverage For Birth Control Fault Legal Challenges

Andrew Shaw iStockphoto.com

You know all those lawsuits now pending around the country charging that the Obama administration's rule requiring most health insurance plans to offer no-cost contraception is a violation of religious freedom?

Well, a whole bunch of supporters of the rule are chiming in now to say that argument has no legal merit.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:58 am
Fri May 25, 2012

MIT Builds A Needle-Free Drug Injector

MIT

The needle and syringe are icons of modern medicine.

But a device developed at MIT to squirt medicines quickly and pretty much painlessly through the skin suggests that the future of medicine could be needle-free.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
11:56 am
Fri May 25, 2012

It's All Politics, May 24, 2012

John Moore Getty Images

This week, Ken Rudin and Ron Elving discuss Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker criticizing the president's tactics on Bain Capital, the Tea Party's goals in next week's Texas Senate primary, and general dysfunction in D.C. In other words, it's the Booker "Tea" Washington edition of the podcast.

The Two-Way
11:43 am
Fri May 25, 2012

'Football To Fight Against War': South Sudan Joins FIFA

After decades of war, football signals hope. In this photo, South Sudanese soldiers travel by truck near the frontline with Sudan on April 24.
Goran Tomasevic Reuters/Landov

For South Sudan, 2011 was monumental. After decades of war, South Sudan became its own nation.

But as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has told us, that process of emerging from a conflict with its northern neighbor that left it poor and isolated, has been fraught with more fighting.

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