NPR News

The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Sheriff Arpaio Sends Publicly Funded Deputy To Hawaii On 'Birther' Hunt

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2011.
Ross D. Franklin AP

It seems there's not a month that goes by that Maricopa (Ariz.) County Sheriff Joe Arpaio isn't involved in one controversy or another.

As we've reported, Arpaio is already facing a federal civil rights lawsuit.

But now there's news that Arpaio is using public money on his quest to investigate President Obama's birth certificate. Both the Arizona Republic and Honolulu Star Advertiser report that Arpaio sent his deputy, Brian Mackiewcz, to Hawaii in part because of what Arpaio said were "security issues," related to the investigation.

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U.S.
4:26 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Blacks, Gays And The Church: A Complex Relationship

The Apostolic Tabernacle Mass Choir performs in Oakland, Calif., in 2010.
Christopher Polk WireImage via Getty Image

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 5:14 pm

Fairly or not, African-Americans have become the public face of resistance to same-sex marriage, owing to their religious beliefs and the outspoken opposition of many black pastors.

Yet the presence of gays and lesbians in black churches is common. And the fact that they often hold leadership positions in their congregations is the worst kept secret in black America.

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The Salt
4:09 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Judge Sours On POM Wonderful's Erectile Dysfunction & Heart Disease Claims

POM Wonderful

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 6:42 am

Pom Wonderful Pomegranate products may be loaded with antioxidants, but there's not sufficient evidence that it can treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of specific conditions such as heart disease or erectile dysfunction according to a ruling handed down by Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:01 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Easier Colon Cancer Test Works Well, But Colonoscopy's Still King

A big study of a colon cancer test called flexible sigmoidoscopy may provide a good example of how a cheaper, easier-on-the-patient and possibly better technology isn't always the one American doctors choose to use.

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World Cafe
3:31 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Next: John Fullbright

Courtesy of the Jesse Costa/WBUR

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 8:09 am

  • Hear two new tracks by John Fullbright

Hailing from Okemah, Okla., with a serious talent for writing Americana music, John Fullbright is often compared to Woody Guthrie. But Fullbright isn't riding on the coattails of the great folk artists who came before him; in fact, he describes himself as a songwriter, not just a musician, because he's determined to play his own music.

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Middle East
3:28 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Egyptians Prepare For Historic Presidential Vote

An Egyptian woman walks under a campaign banner in Cairo on Tuesday. Egypt holds its first competitive presidential election on Wednesday and Thursday, with a dozen candidates in the race.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 6:46 pm

The first free presidential election in Egypt begins Wednesday.

Twelve candidates are running for the top spot vacated by Hosni Mubarak during last year's revolution. But none is expected to get an outright majority, and if that proves true, then a runoff will take place next month between the two leading vote-getters.

Many Egyptian voters say they are excited about the presidential election, which the country's ruling generals promise will be fair.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:19 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Woman Charged In Death Of Fetus Is Out Of Jail

Bei Bei Shuai, seen in a file photo, was charged with murder in the Jan. 2, 2011, death of her 3-day-old daughter Angel Shuai, after eating rat poison.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Dept. AP

Bei Bei Shuai is out of jail for the first time since March 2011.

Shuai, a Chinese immigrant who lives in Indiana, is still facing charges of murder and feticide following a failed suicide attempt in December 2010, when she was 33 weeks pregnant.

She was released today after posting a $5,000 bond.

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It's All Politics
3:18 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

In Fundraising, Romney And Various GOP-Linked Committees Close Gap

Mitt Romney greets the crowd during a campaign stop last week in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 3:36 pm

With the latest campaign dollar totals officially on the Federal Election Commission books, at least one thing is certain: President Obama will not have the huge spending advantage this November that he did four years ago.

Obama and his various committees reported raising $43.6 million in April, while presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney's campaign announced pulling in $40 million in that same period.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Race, Art, Free Speech: Portrait Of South African President Vandalized

The controversial portrait of South African President Jacob Zuma painted by Brett Murray stands defaced at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday.
Jerome Delay AP

A story that had already been controversial, just received another dose of scandal: Two men showed up at an art gallery in South Africa and vandalized a painting of the country's president.

How controversial is "The Spear?" President Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress were suing to have the painting and the pictures of it published on a newspaper removed.

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It's All Politics
2:26 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Mitt Romney Vs. Rand Paul In 2016?

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., talk at a campaign event for the elder Paul in Des Moines, Iowa, last August.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 3:07 pm

As sort-of-still-a-presidential-candidate Ron Paul continues to collect delegates at state Republican Party conventions, the question of what the libertarian Texas congressman wants has become more urgent in GOP circles.

A speaking role at the Republican convention, where Mitt Romney is expected to accept the nomination?

A seat at the party's rule-making table to advocate making it easier for non-mainstream candidates to compete in future GOP nominating contests?

Well, yes, as a start.

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World Cafe
2:24 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Neal Casal On World Cafe

Neal Casal.
Courtesy of the artist

Many fans of American rock love Neal Casal's guitar work, whether they know his solo music or not. Primarily a solo artist and guitarist for Ryan Adams' backing band The Cardinals, Casal built his career on country-rock sensibilities and tireless output. His first solo album came out in 1995, and since then, he's kept up his solo work while playing with The Cardinals, Chris Robinson of Black Crowes and countless others.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

As Egyptians Prepare To Vote, Jimmy Carter Watches 'Complete Transformation'

In Cairo on Monday, Egyptian Parliament Speaker Saad al-Katatni (left) met with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:44 pm

On All Things Considered today, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson will look ahead to Egypt's first free presidential election — voting begins Wednesday and is expected to lead to a mid-June runoff — and how some Egyptians who played roles in last year's revolution there are refusing to take part because they don't trust the military leaders who run the country.

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Afghanistan
1:38 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Former Taliban Stronghold Faces The Post-U.S. Future

Afghan local police officers wait outside a classroom at a training facility in Marjah. U.S. Marines are training local security forces how to maintain calm in the region.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 9:15 am

If there was a place in Afghanistan synonymous with the Taliban, it was the district of Marjah in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.

Two years ago, thousands of U.S. Marines and British and Afghan forces descended on this checkerboard of villages, canals and fields. They pushed out the insurgents — but at a heavy cost.

Now, with U.S. combat forces on track to depart in the coming months, many are asking whether Marjah's relative peace will last after the Marines are gone.

'We Have Good Security Here'

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It's All Politics
1:24 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Under Obama, U.S. Gov't Spends At Lowest Rate In Decades, Says Journalist

President Obama is getting a bum rap on the pace of federal spending, a journalist writes.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 9:39 am

(Updated on 5/23/12 @ 11:55 am. See end of post for Romney campaign response.)

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

In Italy, A Comedian Upends Local Elections

Italian comedian Beppe Grillo poses during an interview at his home in Genoa.
Giuseppe Cacace AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 1:16 pm

Signs of global discontent are everywhere. States side it's represented by the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements. In Italy, it's the Cinque Stelle (Five Star) movement, founded by comedian and satirist Beppe Grillo.

Grillo's movement upset the Italian political establishment in yesterday's local elections. This wrap from Reuters will sound terribly familiar:

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Shots - Health Blog
12:29 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Shoddy Drugs Threaten Malaria Treatment

The Anopheles stephensi mosquito transmits the malarial parasite while dining on human blood. You can find this type of mosquito in Afghanistan, China, India, Thailand and the Middle East.
CDC

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 12:50 pm

A look at malaria drugs being used in places that are hotbeds for the mosquito-borne illness finds that many of them are substandard or even fake.

And that's a big problem. Combinations of well-made drugs, including those that contain arteminisin, are a cornerstone of malaria treatment. But when some of the drugs are of poor quality or are outright fakes, people don't get well. Ineffective combinations can promote drug-resistant malaria.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

We Should Have Known: Megaseconds Are Much Longer Than Milliseconds

Typos and mistakes are part of the news business — as anyone who regularly reads this blogger surely knows. We don't want them to happen, but they do.

Sometimes they're kind of quirky and educational.

Check out this correction from The New York Times:

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue May 22, 2012

The Father Of The Couch Potato, Inventor Of Wireless Remote Dies At Age 96

This 1955 photo illustration provided by LG Electronics, shows an ad for a Zenith "Flash-Matic," the first wireless TV remote control.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 4:35 pm

Before you sink into your couch, before you flip through channels tonight when you get home, take a minute to think about the guy who made being a couch potato possible:

Back in 1955, Eugene J. Polley invented the "Flash-Matic," or the world's first wireless TV remote control. Back then, you held it like a gun and it acted like a flashlight using visible light to trigger photo cells on the TV to change channels.

Polley, whose engineering career with Zenith spanned 47 years, died on Sunday. He was 96.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Tue May 22, 2012

U.S.-Bound Passenger Jet Diverted Due To 'Security Issue' On Board

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 12:47 pm

There was a "security issue" aboard a US Airways flight from Paris to Charlotte, N.C., earlier today, and the plane was diverted to Maine's Bangor International Airport, where it landed around noon ET.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Mexican Police Arrest 'El Loco' In Beheading Of 49

Army soldiers flank Daniel Ramírez, alias "El Loco," during his presentation to the media in Mexico City on Monday.
Alexandre Meneghini AP

The Mexican military trotted out Daniel Jesus Elizondo Ramírez or "El Loco," yesterday, to face the media. They accused the Zeta leader of directing the mutilation and beheading of 49 people.

Earlier this month, the bodies were dumped at the entrance of the town of San Juan.

The AP reports that Ramírez was directed by the top Zeta leaders to dump the bodies and hang banners around the country that shunned responsibility.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Auction Of Reagan's Blood Draws Condemnation

March 30, 1981: President Ronald Reagan, moments before he was shot.
Mike Evens AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:06 pm

An online auction of a vial said to contain blood drawn from President Reagan on the day he was shot in 1981 is "a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," says a spokesman for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

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It's All Politics
10:00 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Voters Agree It's The Economy, But Split On Who Best To Fix Things

Don Meikle attends an April job fair in Portland, Ore. A new poll shows the economy remains the most important factor for Americans in deciding who to back for president, but with adults split over who would best lead the U.S. economy.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 11:21 am

President Obama and his expected Republican challenger are tied on the all-important question of who can best deal with the ailing economy, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Among registered voters, 47 percent said Obama and 47 percent said Mitt Romney when asked which candidate they trust to do a better job handling the economy.

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Law
9:53 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Lighter Sentence In Clementi Bullying Case

On Monday, Dharun Ravi was sentenced to a 30-day jail term for using a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi. Clementi was having an intimate encounter with another man in their dorm room, and a few days later, he committed suicide. Host Michel Martin discusses the sentence with Paul Butler, a law professor and former federal prosecutor.

The Salt
9:03 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Tracking The Junk Food The World Eats After Dark

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:40 pm

People around the world show remarkable similarity in their daily eating habits: meals start off healthy in the morning, but get progressively worse throughout the day – until by nightfall we're deep into junk food territory. Just take a look at these images from mobile startup Massive Health. Focus on the dots over North America in the upper left, which indicate the healthiness (green) or unhealthiness (red) of people's meals at different times of day.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:53 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Trained Interpreters Can Help Prevent Medical Errors

iStockphoto.com

When someone arrives at the hospital who doesn't speak English very well, it's common for workers at the hospital who are fluent in that language —doctors, nurses, even administrative staff — to step in and act as the patient's interpreter.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Existing Home Sales And Prices Both Rose In April

As sales of existing homes rose 3.4 percent in April from March, prices of those previously owned houses, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops also rose, the National Association of Realtors said this morning.

"The recovery appears to be extending to home prices," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says in a report issued earlier.

Sales were 10 percent above the level of April 2011, NAR adds. Last month's pace: a 4.62 million annual rate.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Europe's Crisis Threatens To Kill Global Economic Recovery, Experts Warn

Unless leaders in Europe act quickly, the financial crisis there could drag down the global economy and kill what appears to be a "fragile, extremely uneven" recovery, the multi-national Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned today.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Tue May 22, 2012

U.S. Ambassador To Afghanistan To Step Down, Reports Say

Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, last month in Kabul.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, "is expected to step down soon from his post," sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters and a few other news outlets.

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Let's Catch Two: Same Fan Grabs Back-To-Back Home Run Balls

Caleb Lloyd, with the ball in his left hand, celebrates after catching the first of the back-to-back home runs that came his way Monday night in Cincinnati.
MLB.com

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 4:02 pm

  • Caleb Lloyd speaking to NPR

"That's just crazy," Cincinnati Reds fan Caleb Lloyd said Monday night after he ended up snagging two home runs balls — from consecutive batters — during the Reds' 4-1 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Word Of Deal To Inspect Iran's Nuclear Program Raises Hopes For Broader Talks

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano earlier today in Vienna, after his return from talks in Tehran.
Dieter Nagl AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 3:50 pm

A deal has been agreed to that will facilitate international monitors' effort to investigate whether Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters in Vienna earlier today.

The Financial Times puts the news this way:

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