NPR News

Politics
3:06 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Conservative Group Criticized For Tax-Exempt Status

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm

Yum Brands, the company that owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, says it's the latest corporation to break ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council — a group that brings state lawmakers and corporate lobbyists together to write legislation.

Liberal groups are pressuring corporations to abandon ALEC, and a dozen companies have now dropped out.

This week, ALEC did some damage control. It said it is shutting down its task force on public safety and elections, which wrote controversial measures on voter ID, "stand your ground" and immigration reform.

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Education
3:06 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Alabama School Strife Strikes Outside Of Class

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm

Alabama is near the bottom of the country's academic rankings. The state has problems with test scores, school improvement ratings and dropouts. But the district in Birmingham has a different kind of issue. The state recently took over the school board because of infighting on the board. The move has triggered cries of racism.

Shots - Health Blog
3:05 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Doctors Group Tells Patients To Go For Cheaper, High-Value Treatments

Got a backache? You can probably skip that pricey scan.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 8:30 am

The American College of Physicians is urging patients with newly diagnosed diabetes and back pain not to opt for the latest-and-supposedly-greatest.

It's part of a new campaign to steer patients (and their doctors) to what the College of Physicians calls "high value care," and away from expensive tests and treatments that aren't any better — and often are worse.

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Sports
2:49 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Bahrain Prepares Grand Prix Despite Expected Protests

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Another country hoping to revive one of its marquee sporting events is Bahrain. Formula 1's Bahrain Grand Prix was called off last year during the Arab Spring demonstrations. The international racing event brings in half a billion dollars to Bahrain and draws more than 100 million TV viewers around the world. This year's race is set for Sunday despite plans by anti-government protesters to target the event. For more, I'm joined by Ryan McGee. He's a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Hey there, Ryan.

RYAN MCGEE: Hi. How are you?

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Presidential Race
2:41 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Romney, Obama Give Dueling Speeches In Ohio

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Lorain County, Ohio, is getting a lot of political love this week. Yesterday, President Obama spoke at a community college there, and today, it was Mitt Romney's turn. He spoke at a shuttered gypsum factory. NPR's Ari Shapiro joins me now from Lorain County. And, Ari, why Lorain? What's so special about it?

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Religion
2:31 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Vatican Criticizes Nuns' Stance On Social Issues

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Vatican has clamped down on the largest group of Catholic nuns in the U.S., citing what it calls grave concerns about serious doctrinal problems. The Holy See says the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR, has promoted radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some programs. And it has named an archbishop to oversee the nuns and approve their work. In a statement, the LCWR says it is stunned by the Vatican's conclusions and will prepare a response.

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Asia
2:30 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

India Tests Long-Range Missile Launch

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

It's been less than a week since North Korea's failed rocket launch created an international furor. Well, today, India tested its own long-range missile. The new weapon is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to Beijing, and the test went off with little international comment. The Indian government called the successful launch a historic event in the country's development.

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The Salt
2:28 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

The Great Salad Microbe Hunt, California-Style

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 3:15 pm

When you tear open a bag of prewashed salad greens, do you worry that this superhealthful fast food could actually make you sick?

The companies that sold you that salad do worry about it. Because no matter how much they try to keep dangerous microbes out of that bag, they can't seem to guarantee that they've caught every one.

This week, for instance, Dole Foods recalled thousands of bags of lettuce after a few leaves from one of those bags turned up positive for Salmonella bacteria.

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Food
2:27 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

The Well-Dressed Salad: Tips For Keeping It Fresh

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 3:42 pm

Over on The Salt, NPR's Dan Charles has tracked the efforts of salad-green companies to keep dangerous microbes out of the lettuce you buy at the supermarket. But once they get that lettuce safely into your shopping cart, what's next? NPR's Audie Cornish asks Molly Wizenberg, of the award-winning blog Orangette, about the best way to go about making salad.

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Sports
1:53 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Russian Gymnasts Seek To Soar Once Again

Russian gymnast Victoria Komova competes in the balance beam final during the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Komova is one of Russia's top Olympic hopefuls.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:34 pm

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the women's gymnastics competition was highly predictable — the Soviet squad won the team gold medal at every Olympics it participated in.

Even when Nadia Comaneci was reeling off perfect 10s at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, she and her Romanian teammates had to settle for second in the team competition behind the legendary Olga Korbut and her Soviet comrades.

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Planet Money
1:53 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Should We Kill The Dollar Bill?

Robert Benincasa NPR

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 2:53 pm

Our story begins last month inside a busy Washington, D.C. subway station plastered with posters of giant dollar bills. One of them says: "Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill." Another asks: "Do you heart the dollar?"

Political fights in the nation's capital normally involve billions or even trillions, not single dollars. What's going on here?

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez Will Retire After A 23-Year Career

In this Sept. 13, 2009, photo, Texas Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez pauses during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Next Monday, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, considered one of Major League Baseball's greatest catchers, will announce his retirement.

The news was first reported by the AP and confirmed today by the Texas Rangers, the team where Rodriguez made his debut.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star, won a record 13 Gold Golves. The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Levon Helm, Legendary Drummer-Singer Of The Band, Dies

Levon Helm and the Levon Helm band perform during the Heros of Woodstock concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, N.Y. in 2009.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 6:30 am

After a long battle with cancer, Leon Helm died today. He was 71.

"Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon," a statement posted on his website read. "He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul."

Helm was the legendary drummer and singer of '60s rock act, The Band. Earlier this week, Helm's family announced that he was in the final stages of cancer.

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The Record
1:26 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Levon Helm, Drummer And Singer In The Band, Dies

Levon Helm performing with The Band in 1971.
Jan Persson Redferns

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 6:33 am

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Digital Life
11:58 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Young People Turn From Kony To Spooning Record

In 2010, more than 500 students at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., hit the campus green to break the world record for spooning. On Friday, students at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., plan to claim the record.
Maia Rodriguez Courtesy of Northfield.org

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 1:50 pm

Students at the College of William & Mary are talking about a big extracurricular event being held on their campus on Friday. Organized largely through social media, more than 600 students at the prestigious Virginia campus have signed up to participate.

It's not about Joseph Kony. It's an attempt to break the world record for spooning, set by Carleton College back in 2010.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:48 am
Thu April 19, 2012

When It Comes To A1C Blood Test For Diabetics, One Level No Longer Fits All

A person with diabetes may need to test blood glucose levels up to 10 times a day.
Isaac Santillan iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:38 pm

If there's one thing that people with diabetes get pounded into their heads, it's that they've got to keep their A1C level under control. That's the blood glucose measure that's used to decide how well a person is managing their diabetes.

But new diabetes management guidelines announced today will cut many people with diabetes some slack.

Where old guidelines from the American Diabetes Association said that people should maintain an A1C of 7, the new guidelines say that patients should work with their doctors to determine an appropriate A1C target.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Thu April 19, 2012

PHOTO: President Obama Sits In Rosa Parks Bus

President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum following an event in Dearborn, Mich. on Wednesday.
Pete Souza The White House

During his trip to Detroit, yesterday, President Obama visited the Henry Ford Museum and had the opportunity to sit in the bus where in 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to make way for a white customer. That moment sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and fueled the civil rights movement that made it possible for Barack Obama to become president.

Today, the White House's photographer Pete Souza tweeted a picture of the moment:

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Florida Governor Appoints Task Force To Review 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed a task force on Thursday charged with reviewing the state's gun laws, including the so-called "stand your ground law," that came into controversial focus after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

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World Cafe
10:49 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Latin Roots: The Lasting Fad Of Boogaloo

The Joe Cuba Sextet.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 2:01 pm

Today's episode of Latin Roots features Felix Contreras, co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's online music program about Latin Alternative music. Also a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, Contreras specializes in jazz, world music and Latino arts and culture. A part-time musician who plays Afro-Cuban percussion in several Latin and jazz bands, Contreras is uniquely qualified to discuss Latin Alternative music. In today's episode, he speaks about boogaloo, how it developed and how it impacts Latin music today.

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World Cafe
10:39 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Grimes On World Cafe

Grimes.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:49 am

Grimes is the one-woman project of Claire Boucher, a talented and eclectic Canadian singer. Born and raised in Vancouver, she moved to Montreal for college but left to pursue her craft when her work as Grimes began to take off. Marrying lo-fi punk with dreamy pop, Grimes quickly became a fixture in Montreal's underground music scene. Boucher incorporates elements of dance, video and still images into her live performances, creating otherworldly and entrancing multimedia experiences in the process.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Thu April 19, 2012

String Of Attacks Kills More Than 30 In Iraq

Iraqis inspect a car destroyed in a car bombing in Baghdad's Haifa Street, as dust creates a yellow haze across the city on Thursday.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

A string of bombings struck Baghdad today and left at least 30 people dead. It was the most violent day the city has seen in close to a month.

As The New York Times points out, while this kind of violence is common in the country, today's attacks were "a reminder, after weeks of relative calm, that an organized insurgency remained active."

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Shots - Health Blog
9:51 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Staying Active Fends Off Alzheimer's, Even In People Over 80

This would count. But even washing the dishes helps fend off dementia in old age.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:39 am

Activity cuts the risk of Alzheimer's disease and slows cognitive decline, even in the very old, according to a new study.

There's been plenty of evidence for the "use it or lose it" theory of brain capacity. But this study is one of the first to show that activity of all sorts benefits people over age 80, even if they're not "exercising."

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Politics
9:10 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Alberto Gonzales: GOP Turns Off Latinos From Party

The DREAM Act calls for a path to citizenship for some undocumented students. In the past, Republicans have opposed versions of the bill, but some prominent figures like former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales say the GOP needs to find its own voice on the issue. He speaks with host Michel Martin.

Music Reviews
9:10 am
Thu April 19, 2012

From Dominican Roots, Bachata Is Here To Stay

Joan Soriano.
Alicia Santistevan

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 9:39 am

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Shots - Health Blog
8:46 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Flossing Is Good For The Gums, But Doesn't Help The Heart

It's still a good idea. But it won't protect you against heart disease.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 8:24 am

Think flossing and brushing is helping to fight off heart disease and stroke? Think again.

An expert panel of dentists and cardiologists, writing in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, says there is no evidence that treating or preventing gum disease has any direct effect on heart health.

That's a big turnaround. For the past decade, the medical establishment has been telling people that cardiovascular disease can be caused by poor oral hygiene. Why the change?

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Middle East
8:22 am
Thu April 19, 2012

For Syria, A 'Lawrence Of Arabia' Moment

Syrians walk through a badly damaged neighborhood in the central city of Homs on Sunday. Despite a declared cease-fire, fighting has continued in a number of Syrian cities, and peace efforts are at risk of collapsing.
AP

In the final scenes of the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, the Arab rebel fighters are wrapped up with internal, petty squabbles in Damascus as the great powers maneuver for the future of Syria.

Now, nearly a century after the events depicted in that movie, there's a similar Lawrence of Arabia moment playing out in Syria.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Thu April 19, 2012

U.N. Chief: Syria Violating Cease-Fire Amid Apparent Deal On Observers

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:31 am

In a letter to the United Nations Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the Syrian government is not living up to its end of the bargain on a week-old cease-fire deal.

Ban says the government has failed to keep its pledge to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities, but adds that he still thinks there is "opportunity for progress."

The Secretary General's letter comes as the U.N. and Syria apparently worked out details of an observer mission to monitor the shaky deal meant to end more than a year of bloodshed that has killed an estimated 9,000 people.

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It's All Politics
6:37 am
Thu April 19, 2012

In Swing States, Obama Campaign Begins Push For Another Latino-Vote Landslide

President Obama's re-election campaign has released four new Spanish-language ads, each ending with the phrase: "Esta eleccion si importa," which in English means, "This election does matter."
barackobama.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 9:42 am

In 2008, Barack Obama captured two-thirds of the Hispanic vote, winning in crucial swing states with large Hispanic populations like Colorado, Nevada and Florida.

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Law
5:18 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Dutch Entertainer Sued Over Magic Trick

A Dutch magician has threatened to tell the secret behind one of Penn & Teller's most famous bits. In this shadow illusion, an untouched rose falls apart as Teller cuts at the shadow with a knife. Teller tried to make the offer disappear by paying the Dutchman the $3,000. When that was refused, Teller sued.

Around the Nation
5:04 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Is Nakedness Protected Political Speech?

John Brennan of Portland, Ore., was going through airport security when he was pulled aside for a closer look. So he removed all of his clothes, saying it was an act of protest. Facing charges, Brennan argues he was "nude but not lewd."

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