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Africa
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

U.S. Offers Aid In Search For Nigerian Girls, But Is It Too Late?

Protesters march in front of the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in support of the girls kidnapped by members of the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Nigeria is offering a $300,000 reward for anyone who can find the more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist group Boko Haram. The U.S. is also pitching in with hostage negotiators and intelligence experts. President Obama says the U.S. will do everything it can to provide assistance to Nigeria.

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World
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Peace Talks On Pause: What Went Wrong?

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Now, the moribund Middle East peace process. People who follow that decades-long U.S. diplomatic effort, remember a moment in 1990. A frustrated U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker, fed up with the intransigence of Palestinians and Israelis made this memorable declaration to in testimony to Congress.

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World
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Kinder Words From Putin, But They Come With A Cost

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the conflict in Ukraine. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin made some conciliatory sounding statements. He called on the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone their planned referendum on autonomy. That vote is currently scheduled for Sunday. Putin also said that Russian troops had withdrawn from the Ukrainian border and that Russia is ready for more talks on ways to resolve the crisis.

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World
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Syrian Rebels Cede Stronghold After Over A Year Under Siege

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There's a development today in Syria's civil war. Syrian rebels surrendered control of an important piece of ground, the city of Homs. That's been the heart of uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hundreds of rebel fighters abandoned the city's central district. They left in rickety green buses, escorted by the United Nations. The rebels had been under siege and were running out of ammunition and food.

For more on the story, we're joined by NPR's Alice Fordham. She's in Beirut.

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Vermont's GMO Bill Expected To Face Major Legal Challenges

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin will sign a landmark bill into law on Thursday, making the state the first to require food producers to label products made with genetic engineering.

The law won't go into effect for two years, but it's already become a hot topic at the first outdoor farmers market of the season in the capital city of Montpelier.

"Finally we have a vote," says Laini Fondilier, who runs the Lazy Lady Farm stand. "We haven't been able to vote on this by our purchases."

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Education
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Department Of Education Brings Home A Disappointing Report Card

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Flat, stagnant, static, those are words that the U.S. Department of Education has used to describe the latest reading and math scores for the nation's 12th graders.

As NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, most high school seniors appear to be graduating without the skills they need to succeed in college or work.

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U.S.
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

VA Secretary Responds To Call For His Resignation

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour with the head of the department of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki. I sat down with him at his office today. The secretary is at the center of a roiling controversy over medical care for former service men and women and he's facing calls for his resignation.

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

For Many, Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living

Miller with one of his cows.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture carries out a census of farmers: who they are, and what they are doing on their farms.

The agency just released the latest one, and it's a feast for all ag geeks. And here's the very first, most basic piece of new information: There are 2,109,303 farmers in this country.

But look a little closer at that number, and you can see that it's not quite what it seems. Most of those farmers are not actually making a living by farming.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Shinseki: Swift Action If Problems At VA Hospital Are True

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, flanked by President Obama and Vice President Biden, at the White House last month.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:54 pm

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki tells NPR that he's determined to get to the bottom of allegations that veterans may have died at a Phoenix VA hospital while waiting for care.

The accusations of extended delays in providing health care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system surfaced last month. The facility reportedly kept two lists of veterans waiting for care, one it shared with Washington and another, secret list of wait times that sometimes lasted more than a year.

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A Blog Supreme
2:21 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

The First African-American Piano Manufacturer

The high-end Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York, now called Langham Place, took in one of Warren Shadd's pianos.
Courtesy of Warren Shadd

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 9:20 am

At the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February, one couldn't help but notice the striking new grand piano on the main stage, emblazoned with the name SHADD. When the many accomplished pianists that wee­­kend sat down to strike those keys, it was equally easy to spot their delight in the instrument.

That piano was the product of a trailblazer in his field. The Shadd in question is jazz drummer Warren Shadd, the first African-American piano manufacturer. That makes him the first large-scale commercial African-American instrument manufacturer, period.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Seeking Better Ways To Tell If Surgery Is Too Risky

Just because surgery is possible doesn't mean it's a good idea, especially for frail older people.
Sam Edwards Getty Images/OJO Images RF

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:02 am

Older people face higher risks in surgery, but not all 85-year-olds are alike. One may celebrate his birthday skydiving, like former president George H.W. Bush, while another may be unable to stand without help.

Since half of all surgery in the United States is performed on people 65 and older, figuring out an individual's risk is key. Measuring frailty beforehand more accurately predicts who will do well after surgery, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Author Farley Mowat, Who Wrote 'Never Cry Wolf,' Dies At 92

Farley Mowat arrives on the Red Carpet outside the Canon Theatre during the 2010 Canada Walk of Fame Tribute in downtown Toronto, Ontario, in October 2010. Mowat died Tuesday at age 92.
Heinz Ruckemann UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 4:45 am

Farley Mowat, the Canadian author of the nature classic Never Cry Wolf, has died at age 92, Canadian media report.

The Star quotes Mowat's brother, John, as saying the acclaimed writer and environmentalist died Tuesday, just a few days shy of his 93rd birthday.

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Shots - Health News
12:18 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet

Being able to insert the two man-made letters into DNA, alongside the usual four-letter alphabet, could teach old cells new tricks and lead to better drugs, researchers say.
courtesy of Synthorx

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

For the first time, scientists have expanded life's genetic alphabet, by inserting two unnatural, man-made "letters" into a bacterium's DNA, and by showing that the cell's machinery can copy them.

The advance means that scientists have a new tool for exploring how life encodes information, which could help them understand life's origins.

What's more, this is a step towards giving living cells new abilities, like being able to make more and better medicines, cheaper and faster.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Putin Tells Separatists In Ukraine To Postpone May 11 Referendum

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, addressed the media Wednesday along with the head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter.
ALEXEY DRUZHININ AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 3:42 pm

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine should wait to hold a referendum on secession, Russia's President Vladimir Putin says.

The vote is currently planned for this Sunday. Putin's comments coincide with discussions he had today with the leader of the European group that has stationed military observers in Ukraine.

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It's All Politics
11:47 am
Wed May 7, 2014

She's A Doctor, Mom, and Republican - But Conservative Enough?

Oregon Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby, right, talks to supporter Marvin Hausman in Lake Oswego, Ore. Wehby has drawn national attention and money in her effort to win her party's nomination.
Jonathan J. Cooper AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 1:04 am

Monica Wehby is the Senate candidate Republicans have been waiting for: a camera-ready pediatric neurosurgeon, mother of four, in a party that desperately needs to elect more women.

Make that a candidate some Republicans have been waiting for.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Wed May 7, 2014

A Symbol Of Syria's Uprising, Homs Reverts To Assad's Control

Rebels leave in green buses from the old city of Homs.
GhassanNajjar Twitter

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 4:43 am

The beginning of the end of the two-year siege of Old Homs came as green buses full of fighters bounced down uneven streets Wednesday — a scene that was captured in a photo that was retweeted hundreds of times.

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The Salt
10:46 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Move Over Chickens, Here's Something Duckier For The Backyard

Daniel Paduano's Pekin ducks search the grass for slugs, snails and insects, which make up a big part of their diet.
courtesy of Daniel Paduano

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

When we did our egg taste test back in April, comparing chicken, quail, duck and goose, I confessed to how partial I've become to duck eggs. Ever since I tasted them at Abounding Harvest Mountain Farm in Los Gatos, Calif., in March, I've been extolling their custardy texture and flavor to anyone who will listen.

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Television
10:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

'Hill Street Blues' Created Two Eras For TV Drama: Before And After

Among Hill Street Blues' many innovations, says David Bianculli, was focusing on a large ensemble cast instead of one or two central stars. Pictured here: Veronica Hamel as Joyce Davenport, Daniel J. Travanti as Capt. Frank Furillo and Robert Prosky as Sgt. Stan Jablonski.
David Sutton NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 12:49 pm

It's very easy, and not at all inaccurate, to divide dramatic series television into two eras: before Hill Street Blues — which has just been released on DVD in its entirety for the first time -- and after. Before NBC televised Hill Street in 1981, most continuing drama series were presented as stand-alone, interchangeable hours starring the same characters. Every week, TV detectives Joe Mannix or Theo Kojak or Tony Baretta would investigate a crime, catch the villains and wait for next week to do it again.

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Author Interviews
10:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

From Poker Amateur To World Series Competitor In 'The Noble Hustle'

Poker players take part in the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament in Las Vegas.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:37 am

When the World Series of Poker began in 1970, it was a pretty modest affair — seven veterans of the game competing for just the honor, no prize money. Today, more than 6,000 players pay the $10,000 entrance fee for the No-Limit Texas Hold 'em Tournament. ESPN televises the final table, and last year the winner took home more than $8 million in prize money.

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Education
10:40 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Sexual Assault On Campus Challenges Students

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR news. We'd like to turn now to something you or a student or a family you know might have been talking about lately - a lot of educators and officials seem to be talking a lot more about the subject lately. It's the issue of sexual violence on college campuses or involving college students.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Wed May 7, 2014

DEA Raids Target Synthetic Drugs' Makers And Sellers

Makers and sellers of synthetic drugs were targeted in at least 25 states Wednesday, as federal agents made arrests and conducted searches. Authorities say profits from the synthetics could be aiding terrorist and criminal groups in the Middle East.

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Education
10:22 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Professor Launches Academic Boot Camp

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:40 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's turn to another subject that interests us very much which is education. And we've talked on this program before about how more students are graduating from high school today without basic skills in subjects like reading and math. And some students have to take years of remedial courses so that they can catch up, and that's in college. And that can be discouraging and expensive.

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Africa
10:18 am
Wed May 7, 2014

South Africa's 'Born-Frees' Look Beyond Mandela's Party

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:40 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's turn now to South Africa, where elections are being held today. Twenty years ago, the country went to the polls for the first democratic elections after the end of apartheid.

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Law
10:16 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Justice Delayed Brings Freedom For Missouri Man

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 9:55 am

Mike Anderson has been reunited with his family after spending almost a year behind bars. A clerical error left him free after he'd been sentenced to 13 years in prison. Anderson shares his story.

The Two-Way
9:24 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Stanford University Says No To Coal Investments

Stanford University's trustees says the school will rid itself of any investments it has made in coal-producing companies. A 2013 file photo shows coal being loaded onto a truck at a mine near Decker, Montana.
Matthew Brown AP

Stanford's trustees say the school will no longer invest in companies that mine coal, joining about a dozen other colleges that have taken the step. The decision cited alternate energy sources that emit less greenhouse gases.

Stanford will liquidate any current holdings in coal-producing companies, the school says. Of the schools that have divested, it's by far the largest.

"Stanford wouldn't say how much it currently invests in coal companies," NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports. "Its total endowment was just shy of $19 billion last year."

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All Songs Considered
8:55 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Black Keys 'Turn Blue': The All Songs Interview

Patrick Carney (left) and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 7:54 pm

  • Listen To The Black Keys On All Songs

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Brunei's Shariah Law Spurs Boycott Of Beverly Hills Hotel

People protest outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, over the country's Shariah law penal code in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Monday.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 2:20 pm

The Beverly Hills City Council voted Tuesday night to ask the government of Brunei to divest itself of the famed Beverly Hills Hotel.

At issue: Shariah, or Islamic, law. Last week, Brunei, a tiny oil-rich kingdom in southeast Asia, adopted Shariah as part of its penal code. The law, which will be introduced in phases, makes abortion, adultery and gay relationships punishable by flogging and stoning.

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Pop Culture
8:11 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Pomade, The New Old Grooming Product for Manly Men

Getty Images Getty Images/Cultura RF

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 2:56 pm

"Hot towel!"

With a nod, the requested towel is tossed to a waiting barber. He gingerly places it on the temples and neck of his customer, already bowed in position. Hot shaving cream is applied to the customer's neck, then deftly whisked off by Javi Olmedo, a tall, tattooed barber clad in black.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Reported $147 Million Home Price Would Set New U.S. Record

A satellite image depicts a beachfront estate that reportedly sold for $147 million in East Hampton, N.Y.
Google Maps

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 2:12 pm

The stock market has been on a winning streak — and that means these are busy times in exclusive U.S. housing markets. How else to explain three homes that each reportedly sold for more than $100 million in the past three months?

News that hedge fund founder Barry Rosenstein is buying an East Hampton, N.Y., property for $147 million prompted Bloomberg News to declare, "The U.S. trophy-home market is shattering price records this year."

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Nation's Report Card Shows Stagnant Scores For Reading, Math

In the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, 26 percent of high school seniors scored at or above grade level in math compared with 38 percent in reading.
Chad McDermott iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:26 am

The government released the latest national test scores on Wednesday, and the news isn't good: 12th-graders are headed toward graduation, but many don't have the skills they need to succeed in college or work.

The test is the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often referred to as "the nation's report card."

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