NPR News

Latin America
4:03 am
Sun April 15, 2012

At Americas Summit, Allies Nudge U.S. To Change

President Obama participates in a forum with the presidents of Brazil and Colombia at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama emphasized at a summit of leaders from across the Americas that the U.S. would not shift strategies in the war on drugs. His administration had, in recent weeks, faced criticism from some presidents who said the U.S. approach to the drugs trade had simply generated more violence in Latin America.

That wasn't the only thorny issue Obama faced in his trip to Colombia.

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Europe
4:02 am
Sun April 15, 2012

Norway 'Still Shattered' As Extremist Goes On Trial

Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing extremist who confessed to killing 77 people on July 22, 2011, will go to trial in Oslo, Norway, on Monday.
Lise Aserud AP

Norwegians will be confronted again this week with the terrible details and trauma of the worst peacetime attack in the country's history.

Police say last July 22, Anders Behring Breivik set off a car bomb in the center of Oslo near government offices. The blast killed eight people and spun residents and police into a state of chaotic alarm and confusion.

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The Two-Way
11:58 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

Tornadoes, Storms Swirl Through Midwest And Plains

A tornado forms and touches down north of Soloman, Kan., Saturday.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 7:29 am

The midsection of the U.S. was wracked by storms and tornadoes overnight, with the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center forecasting more severe weather to come. Five deaths have been confirmed in northwest Oklahoma, the state's Department of Emergency Management tells NPR.

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Election 2012
3:24 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

How Can Romney Win? GOP Women Have Some Ideas

To get to the White House, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will need to win over women voters.
Steven Senne AP

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will spend the next seven months convincing us to send him to the White House. To get there, he'll have to make a strong case to one very important voting bloc: women.

A poll out this week by ABC and the Washington Post shows President Obama with a 19-point lead over Romney with women voters. For Romney to win, he's got to make a significant dent in that margin.

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Education
3:11 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

New York Teacher Ratings Renew Evaluation Debate

Katherine Moloney, principal of P.S. 100 in Brooklyn, says that evaluating teachers on test scores alone is not enough.
Beth Fertig

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 4:49 pm

How do you measure who is an effective teacher?

More states are wrestling with that question, now that the Obama administration is encouraging schools to evaluate teachers with a combination of student test scores and classroom observations.

The question of whether teacher evaluations are reliable indicators for teacher effectiveness has long been controversial. But New York City reignited the debate when it rated thousands of teachers with test scores alone — and then released those ratings to the public.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

Storms Threaten Great Plains With Hail, Tornadoes

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 4:49 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, it's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

Our cover story today: the GOP's gender gap. We'll get to that in a few moments, but first to the severe weather in much of the Great Plains. The National Weather Service is warning that today's outbreak of tornadoes could be a, quote, "high-end, life-threatening event." Several confirmed tornadoes have already touched down across Kansas and Oklahoma, and more are expected in Nebraska and Iowa.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

The Week In News: A Rough Cycle For N. Korea, China

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 4:49 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It's simple. If you make more than $1 million every year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: President Obama from his weekly Saturday video address talking taxes and his proposal for a millionaire's tax, the so-called Buffett Rule. James Fallows of The Atlantic is with me now for more on this story and others we're following. Hello, Jim.

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Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

Arrest, Charges Push Trayvon Martin Case Forward

NPR's Joel Rose has a round-up of the week's news in the Trayvon Martin shooting case. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman is in jail and the legal case is moving forward.

NPR Story
9:15 am
Sat April 14, 2012

A Political Tempest In A Tweetpot

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Romney Talks Freedom At NRA Conference

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. After a long, turbulent primary season, Mitt Romney is now fully in general election mode. With Rick Santorum out of the race, Romney is trying to clarify the differences between himself and President Obama. He's also trying to nail down his support from the Republican base. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from St. Louis on Romney's speech yesterday, to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association.

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The Record
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Indian Record Label Hits The Road To Save Traditional Music

Sakar Khan with his kamancha in his home in Hamira, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. He's passed his favorite kamancha — the one he got from his father — to his son, Darra. But this one plays just fine, if he's the guy playing it.
Michael Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 2:24 pm

The number of major record labels is down to three. But that's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to promoting music that's out of the mainstream. A label called Amarrass Records, founded in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is dedicated to exposing and preserving indigenous folk music before it disappears.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

As Brazil Grows, U.S. Refits Relationship

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now that President Obama is in Cartagena, he'll begin the conversations about trade and business opportunities in Latin America. But the Summit of the Americas is not the first meeting this week for President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

On Monday, Rousseff visited the White House. And after this weekend's summit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will head to that Brazil's capital, Brasilia.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

World Powers Meet With Iran For Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 6:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Ahead Of Summit, Obama Underscores Growing Exports

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

President Obama is in Colombia today, along with 33 leaders, gathered for the Summit of the Americas. During his visit, the president hopes to highlight growing economic ties within the region. On his way to Colombia, Mr. Obama made a swing-state pit-stop in Tampa, Florida.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Secret Service Agents Recalled From Colombia

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As the Summit of the Americas gets under way today, there is one embarrassing incident which threatens to distract from international efforts to focus on trade and the economy. Twelve U.S. Secret Service agents have already been sent home for alleged misconduct involving prostitutes in Cartagena. The agents have been replaced and the Secret Service says its security plans at the summit has not been compromised.

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Philly Residents Compete To Tear Down Illegal Signs

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Spring cleaning usually means clearing out your closet. But, it's more than that in Philadelphia. Spring-Cleanup is a city-wide effort with residents headed out today to tidy up sidewalks, streets and even utility poles. Many of them are covered with so-called bandit signs, advertising cash for junk cars and the like. From member station WHYY in Philadelphia, Elizabeth Fiedler reports on a competition to tear down as many of these illegal signs as possible.

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Europe
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Greek Orthodox Easter In A Time Of Austerity

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Greek Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter at midnight tonight. It's traditionally the biggest holiday in Greece. But there is a cloud over the celebration. Reporter Joanna Kakissis sends us this postcard from Athens and the inner-city cathedral of Saint Lucas.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING)

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Sanford, Fla., Sighs In Relief And Looks Forward

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Spring Playoffs In Sports

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS THEME MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: Its spring and its playoffs, the march to the Stanley Cup is under way in hockey. NBA teams are still jostling for spots in their post-season.

Joining us to sort it all out is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman.

Hey, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

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Politics
4:42 am
Sat April 14, 2012

A Felon, But He'll Probably Be Re-Elected Anyway

Pennsylvania State Rep. Bill DeWeese (right) has been convicted of corruption but is running for re-election nonetheless.
Bradley C. Bower AP

It's been a rough stretch for Pennsylvania's state Legislature. Within the past two months, four onetime floor leaders have been sentenced, pleaded guilty or found guilty of corruption charges. But a jury verdict isn't stopping one of those legislators from running for re-election.

Former state House Speaker Bill DeWeese is campaigning for another term, though earlier this month, he gave a farewell address on the Pennsylvania House floor.

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Asia
3:55 am
Sat April 14, 2012

World Smolders As Smoke Clears Over N. Korea

South Koreans watch a TV showing a graphic of North Korea's rocket launch at a train station in Seoul on Friday.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 7:32 pm

North Korea's decision to launch a rocket early Friday drew swift and widespread condemnation by the international community. The White House suspended a shipment of 240,000 tons of food aid to North Korea, and the U.N. Security Council, which quickly met, called the launch deplorable and said it violated two council resolutions.

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The Two-Way
3:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Secret Service Agents Pulled From Summit For Alleged Misconduct

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 3:41 pm

A dozen Secret Service agents tasked with providing security for President Obama at a summit in Colombia have been sent home for alleged misconduct involving prostitution, The Washington Post reports.

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:42 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: R.A. Dickey, Carole King

Carole King was in a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines when she was a teenager.
Jim McCrary

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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It's All Politics
4:28 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

In Southwestern Pa., Two Conservative Democratic Incumbents Fight For One Seat

House Speaker John Boehner administers the House oath to Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., on Jan. 5, 2011.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:55 pm

To get elected in southwestern Pennsylvania as a Democrat, it helps to be a conservative one. And because of congressional reapportionment, two conservative Democratic incumbents are facing off for a single seat in their party's primary later this month.

Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Mark Critz, who are vying for the state's 12th District seat, each oppose abortion rights and favor gun rights. Their race on April 24 may come down to the few issues that do distinguish the two congressmen.

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Making Babies: 21st Century Families
3:32 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Ties That Bind: When Surrogate Meets Mom-To-Be

Surrogate Whitney Watts had her son, J.P., while her husband, Ray Watts, was at sea with the Navy. Surrogacy experts say it's crucial for surrogates to have their own children because they'd presumably understand the emotions involved in bearing a child. The couple for whom Whitney carried twins paid for all expenses during the pregnancy, including private health insurance.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:55 pm

Second in a four-part report

As she approached her sixth month of pregnancy last year, Whitney Watts' cervix had started to shorten. It's a common problem with twins. Watts was concerned, and was taking care not to overexert herself.

But it's probably fair to say her condition was far more frightening for Susan de Gruchy, the woman who had hired Watts to be a surrogate because she and her husband were unable to conceive. Nearly 400 miles away, de Gruchy was obsessed with worry.

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Music Interviews
3:04 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

The Magnetic Fields: 'Out Late At A Bar, Writing A Song'

Stephin Merritt (far left) has led The Magnetic Fields since the early 1990s, with a songwriting style that ranges from sincere to bitter to ironic.
Marcelo Krasilcic

For more than 20 years, the indie-pop group The Magnetic Fields has been singing songs about love, though not always in the traditional sense. With a style that ranges from bitter to sincere to ironic, Stephin Merritt — the group's frontman, writer and producer — has created a growing cast of characters surviving love's vicissitudes.

In his characteristic deadpan, Merritt tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer that he owes the inspiration for many of those characters to a particular ritual of his.

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It's All Politics
2:52 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Romney Wins Some Votes, If Not All Hearts, At NRA Meeting

Chris Patrie looks at the Benelli display of shotguns during the NRA annual meetings and exhibits Friday in St. Louis.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 3:27 pm

Some 70,000 people are attending the National Rifle Association's annual convention in St. Louis this weekend. It's hard to find any who support Barack Obama.

But that doesn't mean gun owners are completely sold on Mitt Romney. He may be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but many NRA members still harbor some doubts.

"I'd really like to see someone more pro-gun, but if he's all we got, he's all we got," said Kenny Hoehgesang, a retired power plant worker from Schnellville, Ind.

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Jazz
2:32 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Alfredo Rodriguez: 'Crossing The Border' To Meet A Legend

Alfredo Rodriguez's new album is titled Sounds of Space.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 4:06 pm

In 2009, jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez showed up in Laredo, Texas, with only a suitcase, some sheet music and one aim: to collaborate with Quincy Jones. A Cuban seeking amnesty in the U.S., Rodriguez ended up arrested by Mexican border officials. He says they questioned him for hours and demanded money.

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Making Babies: 21st Century Families
2:29 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Legal Debate Over Surrogacy Asks, Who Is A Parent?

William Stern holds his daughter, then known as Baby M, in 1987. The Sterns' surrogate tried to keep the baby after she was born. Their court battle became the first public debate about surrogacy.
M. Elizabeth Fulford AP

Third in a four-part report

These days it can take a village to create a child. Technology means someone who never thought they'd be able to conceive can use a sperm donor, an egg donor and a surrogate — a woman who bears a child for someone else. But the law has not kept pace with technology, and with so many people involved, a key question remains: Who is a legal parent?

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Europe
2:27 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Tough Cuts In Portugal May Be Exacting High Toll

Retiree Alfredo Silva, 67, wore a skeleton costume to an anti-austerity protest in Lisbon, Portugal, last month.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

After a financial bailout earlier this year, fees in Portugal's health system have risen substantially. As a result, nongovernmental organizations say, the poor and elderly in Western Europe's poorest country can no longer afford essential care. Some Portuguese fear that austerity measures are threatening not only their livelihoods, but their lives.

Alfredo Silva, 67, showed up at an anti-austerity protest in Lisbon last month dressed as a skeleton. He says the costume shows the effect of Portugal's $100 billion bailout on retirees like him.

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