NPR News

The Two-Way
7:08 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Indian Court Blocks Exxon Valdez From Entering Scrap Yard

April 5, 1989: Tugboats tow the Exxon Valdez off Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
Chris Wilkins AFP/Getty Images

One of the most infamous ships still sailing can't dock at its final resting place just yet.

India's Supreme court has ruled that the Exxon Valdez (now called the Oriental Nicety) cannot enter a scrap yard in the western state of Gujarat until its owners can prove the tanker has been cleaned of mercury, arsenic, asbestos, residual oil and other potential contaminants.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Russian Plane Missing In Indonesia; New Jet Was On Demonstration Flight

A Sukhoi Superjet 100 during a flight above the Paris Air Show on June 22, 2011.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

"A Sukhoi SuperJet 100, the first new Russian passenger plane in more than two decades" has gone missing while on a "demonstration flight" in Indonesia, Bloomberg News writes.

Russia's RT News adds that "hijacking and a high-altitude crash into a mountain have not been ruled out." A search is underway.

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Inmate Polls Well Against Obama In West Virginia Primary

Keith Judd, federal prisoner and presidential candidate, in 2008.
Beaumont Enterprise, courtesy of Keith Judd AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 6:19 am

Along with the headlines about Sen. Richard Lugar's loss in Indiana's Republican primary and passage of a ban on gay marriage in North Carolina, there's this news from Tuesday's voting:

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Around the Nation
5:48 am
Wed May 9, 2012

French Artist's Painting Sells for $36 Million

Yves Klein made his project "FC1" with water, a blowtorch and two models. The women pressed their wet figures against a fire-resistant board, then stepped away. Afterward, Klein torched the board — an effect that left behind blurry silhouettes of models.

Sports
5:38 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton Hits 4 Homers In 1 Game

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

In the history of Major League Baseball, only 15 players have hit four homeruns in a single game. Well, last night, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton became Number 16. He hit four balls out of the park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Orioles' fans weren't happy. Hamilton's Rangers were trouncing their team. Still, they gave Hamilton a standing ovation as he took his place in center field in the eighth inning. As Hamilton put it, that let's you know they are true baseball fans.

The Two-Way
5:20 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Double Agent In Underwear Bomb Plot Produced Intelligence Coups

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:09 pm

  • Dina Temple-Raston talks with David Greene

More details are emerging about the plot to put another "underwear bomber" aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet and what the CIA says was its successful foiling of the operation:

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported on Morning Edition:

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Election 2012
4:21 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Road To The White House Goes Through Michigan

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

George Orwell once said that those who control the past, control the future. If you can revise history to fit your point of view, it gives you power. So, it should be no surprise that presidential candidates are struggling over some recent history - the auto bailout.

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Middle East
3:04 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Annan Gives Bleak Assessment Of Syrian Ceasefire

Special envoy Kofi Annan says unacceptable levels of violence and abuse are continuing in Syria. He said military activities have declined somewhat but the level of violence is still too high. Annan warned about the devastating repercussions if the fragile peace plan failed.

Remembrances
3:01 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Violin Virtuoso Roman Totenberg Dies At 101

Violinist and music educator Roman Totenberg had a long and distinguished career as a concert violinist, and taught for many years at Boston University and other schools. He was also the father of NPR's Nina Totenberg. He died Tuesday at the age of 101.

Politics
2:42 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Mayor Barrett To Face Gov. Walker In Recall Election

Voters in Wisconsin Tuesday, chose the Democrat who will face Republican Governor Scott Walker in next month's gubernatorial recall election. The winning Democrat was Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Politics
2:35 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Sen. Lugar's 36-Year Career Ends With Primary Loss

Republican Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana has lost his bid for re-election. In Tuesday's primary, he was defeated by Tea Party challenger Richard Mourdock.

Politics
2:22 am
Wed May 9, 2012

N.C. Voters Pass Gay Marriage Ban

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 2:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

North Carolina has become the 30th state to approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. State law already prohibits same-sex marriage, but supporters of this amendment say they wanted extra protection. Jessica Jones reports from North Carolina Public Radio.

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National Security
2:22 am
Wed May 9, 2012

CIA Informant Foil Underwear Bomb Plot

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 1:59 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. There are new developments this morning in the story of the al-Qaida plot to bomb an airplane heading to the United States. It turns out that the man who was thought to be the bomber was actually a double agent - that, according to U.S. officials.

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Afghanistan
2:22 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Interview With Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:46 am

Reporting from the Afghan capital Kabul, Morning Edition's Renee Montagne talks to Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin about the strategic partnership recently negotiated between the U.S., and the case Afghanistan will be making for future economic support.

Afghanistan
2:22 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Afghan Operation Update

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now we go to southern Afghanistan for an update on an incident that threatened to undermine America's mission in this country. In March, an American soldier massacred villagers near a remote outpost west of Kandahar. An Army sergeant, Robert Bales, is in custody, accused of that crime.

I reached NPR's Tom Bowman who is in Kandahar now, just back from the area where Sgt. Bales was assigned.

And Tom, I understand you were just a mile or two from where those killings took place.

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Sweetness And Light
1:43 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Mind Games: Football And Head Injuries

Attorney William T. Gibbs (left), and Tregg Duerson, son of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson, announce the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL on Feb. 23 in Chicago. The lawsuit accuses the NFL of negligently causing the brain damage that led Duerson to take his own life at 50, by not warning him of the negative effects of concussions.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 6:14 am

Even as the great, sad Junior Seau killed himself, more and more other old football players are joining in class action to sue the National Football League. They're claiming, generally, that while the NFL understood — for years — how vulnerable its players were to head injuries, the league did not sufficiently warn players about the danger of concussions.

Nor did the teams first do no harm — instead, allowing players to go back into games when they should have been kept out of the action.

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It's All Politics
1:42 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Partisan Psychology: Why Are People Partial To Political Loyalties Over Facts?

President Bush and then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry shake hands at the end of a presidential debate in 2004 in St. Louis. Researchers want to better understand why partisans' views of the facts change in light of their political loyalties.
Charlie Reidel AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:32 am

When pollsters ask Republicans and Democrats whether the president can do anything about high gas prices, the answers reflect the usual partisan divisions in the country. About two-thirds of Republicans say the president can do something about high gas prices, and about two-thirds of Democrats say he can't.

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Law
1:37 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Fla. Court To Rule: Can A Lawyer Be Undocumented?

Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented immigrant, passed the Florida bar exam in 2011. Now, the bar says it will admit him only with approval from the state Supreme Court.
Kathleen Flynn

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 2:22 am

It sounds like a typical American success story: A young boy becomes an academic standout, an Eagle Scout and high school valedictorian. Later, he attends college and then law school, all on full scholarships.

But Jose Godinez-Samperio's story is not typical. He's an undocumented immigrant from Mexico — and now he's fighting to be admitted to the Florida bar.

Godinez-Samperio was just 9 years old when he came to the U.S. with his parents. They entered the country legally, but overstayed their visas and settled in the Tampa area.

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It's All Politics
12:24 am
Wed May 9, 2012

America's Dairyland Doubles As Test Site For Political Civil War

Protesters march outside the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Hotel where Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is speaking to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce on April 17 in Springfield, Ill. Walker faces Democrat Tom Barrett in a recall election June 5. The events in the state over the next four weeks could be a sign of where the U.S. is headed in the months ahea
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:15 am

Back before the conflagration that was World War II, some of Europe's great powers engaged in a surrogate struggle by arming the warring factions in the Spanish Civil War. It was a great way to test their latest weapons and tactics.

Here in our country and in our time, the role of Spain is being played by the state of Wisconsin, where a political civil war has raged for nearly 18 months — presaging the fierce national politics of this presidential year.

Watch Wisconsin over the next four weeks, and you will see where we are headed as a nation in the months ahead.

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It's All Politics
5:44 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Gay Marriage Referendum Drives High Turnout In North Carolina

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:37 am

North Carolina voters decided to rewrite the state constitution, passing an amendment that makes the only recognized, domestic legal union a marriage between a man and a woman.

The AP made that projection based on an actual tally of votes. With 35 percent of the vote counted, 58 percent of those casting ballots voted in favor of the amendment, making North Carolina the 30th state to adopt such a measure.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

CIA Informant Posed As A Would-Be Bomber To Foil Underwear Bomb Plot

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:05 pm

A new key detail has emerged in the foiled underwear bomb plot: NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports that a CIA informant posed as a suicide bomber in order to persuade the al-Qaida branch in Yemen to hand over a new, more sophisticated underwear bomb.

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Facing A Tough Primary, Lugar Encourages Everyone To Vote

Sen. Richard Lugar talks with Joe Purichia before voting on Tuesday in Greenwood, Ind.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:37 am

The nearly four-decade career of Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar has come to an end. The Republican elder statesman, well known as an internationalist and as a moderate willing to reach across the aisle, lost his primary battle to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a conservative upstart backed by the Tea Party.

"My public service is not concluded," Lugar said during his concession speech, according to Reuters. "I look forward to what can be achieved in the Senate in the next eight months despite a very difficult national election atmosphere."

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Children's Health
4:09 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

A Daughter With Down Syndrome Is The Perfect Sister

Kelle Hampton's daughter, Lainey, loved her little sister, Nella, before she even met her.
Kelle Hampton

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:07 pm

Kelle Hampton is the author of the memoir Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected.

"See that right there?" the obstetrician asked as she glided the sonogram wand across my middle and pointed to a blurry image on the monitor. "It's a girl," she announced.

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Remembrances
3:36 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Roman Totenberg's Remarkable Life And Death

Totenberg teaches student Letitia Hom in his classroom at Boston University. Totenberg made his debut as a soloist with the Warsaw Philharmonic at age 11.
David L. Ryan The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 11:20 am

My father, world-renowned virtuoso violinist and teacher Roman Totenberg, whose professional career spanned nine decades and four continents, died early Tuesday morning at the age of 101.

His death was as remarkable as his life. He made his debut as a soloist with the Warsaw Philharmonic at age 11, performed his last concert when he was in his mid-90s, and was still teaching, literally, on his deathbed. This week, as word flew around the musical world that he was in renal failure, former students flocked to his home in Newton, Mass., to see the beloved "maestro."

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Europe
3:18 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Greece's Left Wing Tries To Form A Government

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, speaks to the press in Athens on Tuesday, May 8, after the Greek president gave him a mandate to form a government. Tsipras has three days to put together a coalition. An attempt by a conservative party has already failed.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:07 pm

In debt-burdened Greece, the president has given a left-wing coalition a mandate to form a new government, but it faces an uphill battle following an election in which no single party was dominant.

The Coalition of the Radical Left, known as Syriza, vehemently opposes the austerity program imposed by international creditors.

Syriza finished second in the vote Sunday, when Greek voters decisively rejected the tough conditions for international bailouts.

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World Cafe
3:13 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

First Aid Kit On World Cafe

First Aid Kit.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 4:15 pm

Named as a World Cafe: Next artist just this past March, the charming sister duo First Aid Kit returns with a full-length World Cafe session. Swedish siblings Johanna and Klara Söderberg are barely into their twenties, but they already have an international reputation for their rich harmonies and simple, rousing folk songs.

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The Salt
3:08 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

From Weed To Whimsy: Chefs Conquer Wild Foods With Butter And Oil

In another era, this plate of Spanish mackerel topped with wild tamarack, basswood leaves, garlic mustard, fiddlehead ferns, and knotweed might seem cheap. Not anymore.
Courtesy of Leif Hedendal

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 3:58 pm

At 8:30 p.m. last Friday, Mark Andrew Gravel was watching nervously as 40-odd assembled diners in the exposed brick basement of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn plunged their forks into a plate of food he had just served.

This plate was piled with a curious combination of sunchoke (known to some as Jerusalem artichoke), olive, cattail heart, buttermilk, and whey.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

A Presidential Debate, A Plunging Neckline And An Apology In Mexico

In this screen grab taken from Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute's YouTube channel, Julia Orayen, second from right, carries a box from which candidates will select a speaking order.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 2:55 pm

It's no secret that Mexico has many very important problems, not the least of which is a drug war that has killed more than 47,000 people since President Felipe Calderón began his assault against cartels in 2006.

But during the first of two debates in run up to the July 1 presidential elections, the talk of the country is not policy differences. Instead, the talk since Sunday night has been the busty hostess who made her way on stage to hand out cards assigning the candidates a speaking order. Julia Orayen was wearing a long white dress with a plunging neckline.

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Election 2012
2:30 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Enthusiasm For Romney Runs Low In Fla. Panhandle

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a rally in Pensacola, Fla., in January.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:07 pm

Now that former candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are endorsing Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee for president, the GOP is working to get the rank and file to fall in line.

That's especially important in swing states like Florida. But in the primary, Romney struggled in the Panhandle of the Sunshine State — a bastion of conservative voters. And it might take more convincing for them to really get behind the former Massachusetts governor.

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Israeli-Palestinian Coverage
2:30 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Palestinians Rally Around Prisoners On Hunger Strike

Palestinian protesters rally in east Jerusalem on May 5, 2012 to demand the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, many of whom are currently on hunger strike.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 6:28 am

At least 1,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are on hunger strike in a growing protest movement that has captured the imagination of the Palestinian public. Daily demonstrations are taking place in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in solidarity with the hunger strikers.

The protest outside the West Bank's Ofer prison this past weekend is now familiar scene. For the past two weeks there have been daily rallies there, and across the West Bank. Some joke that holding the protests close to the prison makes it easy for Israeli authorities to arrest and detain them.

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