NPR News

Presidential Race
11:41 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Obama: Focus On The Next 4 Years, Not The Last Ones

President Obama speaks during a campaign rally at Ohio State University, Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 6:39 pm

President Obama says the country has come too far in the last four years to change course now. He kicked off his re-election campaign Saturday with a pair of high-profile rallies in two pivotal states, Ohio and Virginia.

Obama acknowledged the economic recovery still has a long way to go. Yet he argued his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, would move the country backward, not forward.

Unsatisfied With Unemployment

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Sports
3:11 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Ex-NFL Player To Draft Picks: 'Your Privacy Is Gone'

After the lights turn elsewhere, former NFL player Nate Jackson warns top draft picks Robert Griffin III, left, and Andrew Luck that their every breath will be a public affair.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 4:42 pm

Former Denver Bronco's tight end Nate Jackson posted an open letter on Buzzfeed.com this week to Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the NFL's top two draft picks this year.

It begins, "You have been mentioned in the same breath for the last several months. But once you get drafted and shake hands with Darth Vader, your lives will diverge and you will be immersed fully in the identity of your new employers."

The story doesn't get much better, Jackson continues.

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National Security
3:09 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Delays And Disarray At 9/11 Case Arraignment

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed reads a document during his arraignment at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.
Janet Hamlin AP

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 5:53 am

The alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other men charged with helping launch those attacks ended their first day in a military commission arraignment by saying they would wait to enter their pleas.

The day was contentious. The men refused to answer routine questions from Judge James Pohl, refused to participate in the proceedings, and even refused to listen to the simultaneous Arabic translation of what was going on all around them.

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NPR Story
2:57 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

President Obama Officially Kicks Off Campaign

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 4:42 pm

President Obama held a pair of campaign rallies today, his first big public events of the 2012 election. He targeted two key battleground states: Ohio and Virginia. NPR's Scott Horsley is traveling with the president and joins weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz to talk about the events.

The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Defendents Delay And Disrupt Guantanamo Hearing

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 4:43 am

It wasn't a wild scene in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom where the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and four others were being arraigned on Saturday, but it was certainly in disarray.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the rest of the defendants repeatedly refused to answer the judge's questions and employed other distractions to bog down the proceedings, as the AP reports.

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Asia
2:36 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

For Dissidents, Escape Means Fighting From Afar

This undated handout image provided by ChinaAid shows Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, whose escape from house arrest spurred a delicate dance of U.S.-China relations.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 4:42 pm

The case of Chen Guancheng, the blind Chinese dissident who sought refuge at the U.S. embassy in Beijing last week, could soon be resolved.

Chen was released into Chinese custody earlier this week after six days at the embassy. He's now recovering at a Beijing hospital from injuries he suffered during his escape from house arrest.

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The Picture Show
2:26 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Defendents Delay And Disrupt Guantanamo Hearing

It wasn't a wild scene in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom where the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and four others were being arraigned on Saturday, but it was certainly in disarray.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the rest of the defendants repeatedly refused to answer the judge's questions and employed other distractions to bog down the proceedings, as the AP reports.

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Music Interviews
2:03 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Jason Mraz: A Breakup Record, Served With A Smile

Jason Mraz's latest album is Love Is a Four Letter Word.
Emily Shur

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 4:39 pm

Jason Mraz's 2008 single "I'm Yours" was a multiplatinum global hit. In fact, it set a record by staying on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for 76 weeks — more than any other song in the magazine's 51-year history.

Although Mraz's new record, Love Is a Four Letter Word, was written on the heels of a breakup, the songs are mostly sunny and positive. Mraz says he was more interested in making something relatable than in zeroing in on his own experiences.

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Around the Nation
1:45 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Sandusky May Have More Accusers Than Thought

Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky have filed papers that suggest there may be more people claiming he sexually abused them than originally thought, as NPR's Joel Rose tells our Newscast Desk:

The former Penn State assistant football coach is charged with more than 50 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys identified only as victims 1 through 10.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:41 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Fireworks From Cuba, And Schubert That Grooves: New Classical Albums

The new album by The Knights, A Second of Silence, celebrates Schubert and more modern but like-minded composers.
Ancalagon Records

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 5:37 pm

Although it always seems fashionable to forecast the downfall of classical music, enterprising musicians both young and not so young continue to make deeply satisfying recordings. For this visit to weekends on All Things Considered, I was delighted to uncover the little known (at least in this country) Jorge Luis Prats, a terrifically talented Cuban pianist whose once uncertain career appears to be resurging — at 55, he has signed a handsome record deal. Then there's The Knights, a young chamber orchestra with a postmodern take on Schubert.

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NPR Story
10:52 am
Sat May 5, 2012

French Election Marks A Fork In The Road

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The French presidential runoff is tomorrow. President Nicolas Sarkozy and his opponent Socialist candidate Francois Hollande represent two different visions for their country.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Ariz. Bars Funding For Groups Providing Abortions

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed legislation Friday that bans state funding from groups that provide abortions, barring federal requirements.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 10:43 pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation late Friday that blocks state funds — in most cases — from reaching groups that provide abortions. As The Arizona Republic reports:

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Presidential Race
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

The Race Is On: Obama Heads To Battleground States

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama tried to best the face on yesterday's jobs report. He told students at a Virginia high school that private employers have added more than four million jobs over the last two years, but he acknowledge recovery is not happening fast enough.

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Media
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

News Corp. Fallout: The Implication Of Being 'Unfit'

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, the British Parliamentary committee that was convened to investigate accusations of phone hacking and executive misconduct at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., delivered its findings. And the headlines it created make uncomfortable reading for a media magnate who has been under the microscope for 18 months now.

MPs accused News Corp. as a whole of what they call willful blindness. And they went on to make some further damning observations on Rupert Murdoch's own competency.

Here's Labour Member of Parliament Tom Watson.

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Sports
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Sports: Real Losses And Potential Downslides

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Another football tragedy this week renews questions about the safety of the game that made many stars rich, but at some cost. Also, it may be closing time for one of the all-time greats. Over in hockey playoffs, are they going Hollywood? Host Scott Simon talks with Howard Bryant of ESPN.

From Our Listeners
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Your Letters: A Tale Of Injustice

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 4:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: The name that kept popping up in our email box this week was Michael Morton. He was the subject of a report last Saturday by NPR's Wade Goodwyn, who told the story of how Mr. Morton was convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife, Christine, near Austin, Texas. He was innocent, but served almost 25 years in prison.

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Space
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Look Up: Tonight, 'Supermoon' Is Closer To Earth

The statue of Freedom, atop of the U.S. Capitol Building, is pictured against a "supermoon" on March 19, 2011.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 am

Head outside at sunset tonight and look up at the sky. If the full moon seems a tad larger than normal to you, that means one of two things: You are exceptionally perceptive, or you were already expecting to be dazzled, after hearing some of the buzz about this year's "supermoon."

It turns out that all full moons are not created equal. That's because the moon's orbit around the Earth isn't a perfect circle — it's an ellipse. And tonight, we're in luck.

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House & Senate Races
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Lugar Struggles In Race Flooded By Outside Spending

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., speaks to reporters on Monday in South Bend, Ind.
James Brosher AP

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Clinton Leaves China, But Activist's Story Isn't Over

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left China after a diplomatic roller coaster of a trip fraught with human drama. Now, this revolved around the fate of Chen Guangcheng, the blind dissident who is still in a Beijing hospital. But last night, China indicated that it would let Mr. Chen apply for permission to study overseas, hinting at a way out of the crisis that had overshadowed the summit Secretary Clinton had gone to China to attend. Our Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim joins us. Louisa, thanks for being with us.

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Adam Yauch Gave Distinct Sound To Genre-Bending Band

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A famous trio has lost a member. Whether you knew him as Adam Yauch, Nathanial Hornblower or MCA, he brought a distinct sound to a genre-bending band.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

BEASTIE BOYS: (Singing) ...if what you get is what you see, c'mon...

SIMON: MCA was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, a band that helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now, before they rapped, the Beastie Boys were just punks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME FOR LIVIN' ")

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Testimony In John Edwards' Trial Gets Personal

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The federal corruption trial of John Edwards continued this week in Greensboro, North Carolina. Government witnesses painted an ugly portrait of the former senator and presidential candidate. But the prosecution may have been less successful in making the case that he deliberately violated campaign finance law. North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii was in the courtroom.

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Europe
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

With Greek Elections, 'A Period Of Great Confusion'?

Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy Party, addresses an election rally in Thessaloniki Wednesday. One of two dominant parties in Greek politics, New Democracy has lost support to a new nationalist party.
Nikolas Giakoumidis AP

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

It's anyone's guess what the Greek government will look like on Monday, but analysts predict a fragile coalition that must still stick to austerity to keep getting international bailout loans.

The country's early parliamentary elections Sunday are set to be the most divisive in recent history. Voters who are tired of austerity measures are rejecting mainstream politics and turning instead to fringe parties.

The conservative New Democracy Party and the Socialist Party, PASOK, have dominated Greek politics for three decades. This election, enthusiasm is waning.

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National Security
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

For Alleged 9/11 Plotter, Attacks Were Family Affair

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who goes before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Saturday, has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and multiple attempted attacks against the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

The appearance of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other men in a military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ends a nearly decade-long back and forth over how best to try the men the U.S. says helped plan, pay for and execute the Sept. 11 attacks.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — or KSM, as he is known — has claimed that he was the mastermind of the attacks "from A to Z." But his ties to terrorism, by his own admission, go beyond that one plot. KSM saw himself as the sun around which his network revolved.

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Sports
3:03 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Called To The Post, Derby Starters Pack 'Em In

Derby entry El Padrino bites his shank during a bath ahead of the 138th Kentucky Derby this week.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

When the gates fly open at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, all eyes will be on the 20 racehorses that launch themselves into the 138th Kentucky Derby. That's a lot of horses, and a special challenge for the men charged with getting them into the starting gate safely.

Caleb Hayes, 24, has been part of the 12-man start crew for the past six years. The 9-to-5 life isn't for him, he says — he loves his job and likes working the gate side by side with the older guys.

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Fresh Air Weekend
1:13 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Sissy Spacek, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Sissy Spacek received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 9:32 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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

Vogue Says It Will Only Work With 'Healthy' Models

In this Feb. 15, 2012, file photo, models have their make-up finalized under runway light before the J. Mendel Fall 2012 collection is modeled during Fashion Week, in New York.
Richard Drew AP

In an effort to promote a healthy body image among its readers, the editors of 19 global editions of Vogue magazine agreed to some changes.

NPR's David Folkenflik filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"From June on, no models will appear in Vogue's pages who are under 16 or who appear to suffer from any eating disorder

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Pop Culture
4:29 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Alcoholidays In America: ¡Viva El Tequila Julep!

The infield at Churchill Downs can get pretty beer-soaked, as this scene from the 2011 Kentucky Derby proves. But this year, things could get even more crazy: The Derby falls on another of America's favorite "alcoholidays," Cinco de Mayo.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:20 pm

America is not a two-party country — it's a multiparty extravaganza.

We turn every possible pause from work into a party: New Year's Day, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

And on Saturday, many Americans will play overtime by reveling in a pair of nationwide celebrations — Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. Establishments everywhere will be mashing up Mexico and the Bluegrass State.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

5 Pa. Priests Ousted After Sex Abuse Inquiry

Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput listens during a news conference on Friday in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:39 am

The archbishop of Philadelphia announced that five priests were "not suitable for ministry." It was the Catholic Church's first action since it suspended 27 priests last year when a grand jury report accused church officials of ignoring allegations of sex abuse.

The AP reports that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said three other priests would return to the ministry and that one priest died in the process of the investigation. Chaput did not immediately announce the fate of the 17 others investigated.

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The Picture Show
3:33 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

The Power Of Flower Photos

Darryl Pitt

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 8:39 am

I can't remember exactly when I received the first flower email, but I do remember it was sometime in 2005.

At the time, I had no idea why my old friend Darryl Pitt had sent it, but I didn't think too much about it. A flower. OK. That's nice. But then the flowers continued to arrive day after day after day — and soon a modest digital bouquet turned into a meadow, and that meadow into a hillside of, as always, flowers.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
3:10 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

A Need For Speed: Inside Jamaica's Sprint Factory

Jamaica's Usain Bolt shattered world records in the 100 and 200 meter races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Shown here in the 200 meters at Beijing, he's looking to repeat this summer at the London Olympics and add another chapter to Jamaica's great tradition of sprinting.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:09 pm

When it comes to sprinting, Jamaica reigns supreme.

At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, a Jamaican man — Usain Bolt — and a woman — Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — took home the golds in the 100-meter race, and at this summer's London games, they're hoping to do it again.

If you visit the Caribbean island nation, you'll hear a lot of explanations for why they're so good, but let's start with the obvious: In Jamaica, kids really like to run.

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