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It's All Politics
7:34 am
Wed June 19, 2013

IRS Staffer: 'What I Did Was Not Targeting'

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (right) speaks with the committee's ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, earlier this month, during a hearing on IRS conference spending.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:18 am

Another interview with a key IRS employee, another oblique connection to Washington, D.C., and yet still no explosive revelations in the scandal surrounding the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups.

That, it seems, was precisely the point of Rep. Elijah Cummings' decision to release 205 pages of redacted interview transcripts Tuesday (here and here).

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed June 19, 2013

In Germany, Obama Defends NSA Surveillance Programs

President Obama speaks on the Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday in Berlin.
Timur Emek Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:45 am

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. 'Peace With Justice':

Speaking at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin — near the spot where John F. Kennedy made his famous speech almost 50 years ago — President Obama on Wednesday called on the global community to fight for democracy and freedom everywhere.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed June 19, 2013

In Brazil, Protests Continue As Some Cities Cut Bus Fares

Students block an avenue in São Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday night, during a protest against a recent rise in public bus and subway fare.
Daniel Guimaraen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:33 am

For a second night in a row, tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets to protest everything from the cost of living to government corruption.

The AP reports that during Tuesday's demonstrations:

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Monkey See
6:47 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Bait And Twitch: Vice Magazine, Suicide Glamour, And Not Staying Quiet

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:48 pm

This week, Vice magazine unveiled a fashion spread featuring images based on famous female writers who killed themselves. To call it merely tasteless would be to understate how calculated it was, as well as how revolting it was — it literally created an image based on a real writer who really hanged herself with a pair of stockings, and then it told you where to buy the stockings.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Top Stories: NATO Attacked In Afghanistan; NBA's Game 6 Final

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:16 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Afghan Govt. Suspends Talks; Taliban Attack Kills 4 Soldiers.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Book News: Kim Jong Un Reportedly Gave 'Mein Kampf' As Gifts

Kim Jong Un (center) watched a performance celebrating the anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Yao Dawei Associated Press

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:52 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Heat, Spurs Headed To Game 7 After Stunning Game 6

LeBron James (right) of the Miami Heat snatches the ball from Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during overtime in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:14 am

We'll let LeBron James do the talking. He said about the sixth game of the NBA finals between the Heat and Spurs:

"It's by far the best game I've ever been a part of."

And it certainly was a stunner: The Heat's Ray Allen hit a three-pointer with just 5.2 seconds on the clock to tie the game, denying the Spurs their fifth NBA title. The game went into overtime and remained airtight, but eventually the Heat prevailed 103 to 100.

ESPN has highlights:

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World
5:09 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Just Washed Your Car? Try Speeding To Dry It

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Canadian man was a bit wilder than his country's reputation. Police say he was driving 112 miles per hour on a highway south of Black Diamond, Alberta. When they got a look at the man, they found he was 67 - possibly old enough to know better. But by the time the suspect got to court, he had his story straight.

Around the Nation
5:04 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Banner Misspells College World Series

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene with news from the College World Series. No, I didn't get stuck there. It's just this huge banner over the third-base dugout spelled the name of the tournament incorrectly. College had three Ls. Organizers of the tournament were embarrassed, especially because they had to hold off on fixing the problem until there was a break in play. Some had an idea about what that extra L stood for, because both teams who used that third-base dugout lost.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 19, 2013

A Family's Secrets And Sorrows Surface In 'Heatwave'

British writer Maggie O'Farrell, born in Northern Ireland, is less well-known in the U.S. than she should be. Her mesmerizing, tautly plotted novels often revolve around long-standing, ugly family secrets and feature nonconformist women who rebel against their strict Irish Catholic upbringing. Her most recent books, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2006) and The Hand That First Held Mine (2010), offer the sort of spellbinding reads that can make you miss your flight announcement.

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The Two-Way
4:48 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Taliban Attack Kills 4 Coalition Soldiers; Afghan Govt. Suspends Talks

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a ceremony Tuesday at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:17 am

In the hours following an announcement by the Taliban and the United States saying they were ready to begin peace talks, we received reminders of just how tenuous that situation is: On Tuesday night the Taliban said they fired two rockets near Bagram airbase in Kabul. The International Security Assistance Force said four service members were killed by "an indirect fire attack."

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Race
3:30 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Survey: African Americans Fearful Of U.S. Economy

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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Around the Nation
3:27 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Bay Area Residents Forced To Wait For Bridge Repairs

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's go next to California, where the largest public works project in the history of that state is running over budget, over time, and has lost the public's confidence. The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, with a price tag of $6.4 billion, was scheduled to open on Labor Day. There's still time, but that deadline is in doubt, as questions are raised about safety.

NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.

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Europe
3:27 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Obama To Renew Call To Reduce Nuclear Weapons

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday before giving a speech at Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate. Fifty years ago next week, President Kennedy declared his support for the citizens of West Germany in his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.

National Security
3:14 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Secret Surveillance Credited With Preventing Terror Acts

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The president's administration has plenty to occupy it here at home. The director of the National Security Agency was on Capitol Hill yesterday, defending the surveillance program that's received so much attention in recent in recent days. General Keith Alexander told the House Intelligence Committee that the NSA programs in question have stopped dozens of terrorist attacks, here and abroad. Here's NPR's Ailsa Chang.

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Politics
3:14 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Liberal Groups Say They Received IRS Scrutiny Too

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 11:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news: We have a more complicated view, this morning, of the scandal at the IRS. An inspector general critiqued the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups, many of them linked with the Tea Party movement. We knew that much.

And now, it's become apparent that more liberal or progressive groups were also targeted. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

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Business
3:14 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Disney World Raises Entrance Price For Magic Kingdom

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some of the magic at Disney was always that you could pick a theme park - any theme park - and the price for a day pass would be the same. Well, no more. This month for the first time, Disney began charging more for a day in Magic Kingdom in Orlando than for its other parks.

Matthew Peddie, from member station WMFE, explains why.

MATTHEW PEDDIE, BYLINE: A one-day pass to the Magic Kingdom now costs $95 - compared to $90 for entrance to its other parks: Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.

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Commentary
3:14 am
Wed June 19, 2013

TV, Movie Streaming Services Want To Grow With Kids

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Netflix offers children's programs which can be screened on computers or TVs. And it says streaming of those programs goes up over the summer, about 30 percent. It's not hard to figure out why - school's out. Screens are on. This month we're focusing on media for kids, and our media critic Eric Deggans says that Netflix - as well as its rival, Prime Instant Video from Amazon - are both trying to capture a big and growing market.

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Business
3:14 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We'll kick off NPR's business news with Chrysler making a U-Turn.

The Detroit automaker is now recalling more than a million and a half Jeeps, after earlier refusing to carry out that move.

In early June, the government told Chrysler to recall almost three million Jeeps made in the 1990s and 2000, saying fuel tanks in the vehicles could explode in rear end collisions.

Middle East
3:14 am
Wed June 19, 2013

U.S. To Test The Waters With Iran's New President Rohani

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When Barack Obama became president and offered his hand to Iran, that country's elites reacted skeptically. Many said he was a new face, but still represented Iran's great enemy. Now, Iran will have a new face, winner of last week's presidential election, Hassan Rohani. He says he wants better relations with the outside world, so it's America's turn to wonder just how much Rohani could really change in Iran's confrontation with the U.S. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on the evidence so far.

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Sports
3:14 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Miami Heat Force Game 7 In NBA Finals

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It sure looked like the NBA season was coming to an end last night. World champions San Antonio Spurs - no, not so fast. The Miami Heat were not ready to give in. After a thrilling, improbable comeback, the Heat are still alive, pushing their NBA final series with the Spurs to the brink; a decisive Game 7 tomorrow.

Last night, the Heat were down by five points with just over 20 seconds remaining. They came back, forced overtime - and won. Final score: 103-to-100. One of the people in the crowd was NPR's Mike Pesca.

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Animals
1:55 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Animal CSI: Inside The Smithsonian's Feather Forensics Lab

The ornithologist works through the feathers of the stuffed birds to find one that matches her sample.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Carla Dove smiles as she tears open a small, flat cardboard box. She is sitting at a lab bench in her office at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

"It's kind of like Christmas for me because I never know what's going to be in the packages," she says.

Inside the box are a bunch of sealed sandwich-size bags. Dove counts the bags.

"Eight samples today," she notes. Each sample consists of grayish pieces of feathers, and sometimes bones, all from inside the stomachs and intestines of Burmese pythons.

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Sweetness And Light
1:23 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Tick Tock: Make The Serve, Pitch, Putt Or Shot

Two fans catch a nap during a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals last month in Milwaukee.
Tom Lynn Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

In Milwaukee, cartoon characters dressed up like various sausages race at each Brewers' game; in Washington, five of our beloved presidents do their own bratwurst ramble. But the character I want to appear at every baseball game –– and at a couple of other sports, too, is ...

tick-tock,tick-tock

... the crocodile from Peter Pan who swallowed a clock and shadows a terrified Capt. Hook.

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Business
1:21 am
Wed June 19, 2013

U.S. Automakers Are On A Roll, But Hiring Is Slow And Steady

A worker installs parts on a Chrysler SUV engine at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Plants in the U.S. are now operating above 90 percent capacity, but automakers are wary of adding large numbers of new workers.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?

"People ask a lot, is the auto industry back?" says Kristin Dziczek, a director at the Center for Automotive Research. "And it depends on what scale you want to look at."

So if we're looking at scales, let's start with productivity. In this case, how many work hours it takes to build a car. Productivity in U.S. plants is 39 percent higher than it was in 2000. "Productivity has never been this high," Dziczek says.

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Parallels
1:20 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Fashion's Victims: An Artist's Focus On Garment Workers

A woman tries on a jacket at a Zara store in Madrid. Zara's parent company, Inditex, was among Spanish companies to sign fire and building safety agreements for their factories in Bangladesh following a deadly factory collapse in April, though Inditex was not directly involved in that incident.
Susana Vera Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:35 pm

On Madrid's posh Gran Vía, thousands of shoppers and tourists visit the flagship stores of some of the biggest names in European fast fashion — Zara, Mango and H&M.

Suddenly, the hordes of bargain-hunters stop dead in their tracks.

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Politics
1:19 am
Wed June 19, 2013

How A Merger Could Affect Congress' Favorite Airport

A jet takes off from Reagan National Airport, near the Capitol.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

If the US Airways-American Airlines merger announced earlier this year is approved, the combined airline would control two-thirds of the takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National Airport, outside Washington, D.C.

The government could force the airline to give up some of those slots as a condition of the merger. But lawmakers warn that could have consequences for some small- and medium-sized cities. And, not coincidentally, it could affect flight plans for lawmakers themselves.

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Parallels
1:18 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Parvum Opus: Followers Flock To Pope's Latin Twitter Feed

Monsignor Daniel Gallagher, a Latin expert at the Vatican, says people from all walks of life are following the pope's Twitter feed in Latin.
Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

Against all Vatican expectations, the pope's Twitter account in Latin has gained more than 100,000 followers in six months and continues to grow.

Followers are not exclusively Roman Catholics or Latin scholars, but represent a wide variety of professions and religions from all over the world. Some go so far as to claim that the language of the ancient Romans is perfectly suited to 21st-century social media.

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Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing
1:17 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The Art Of Investing: The Rewards Aren't Always Financial

Flower Study #14 by Vladimir Kryloff, the painting NPR's Uri Berliner bought as an investment for $450.
Vladimir Kryloff

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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Kitchen Window
10:13 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Stalking The Elusive, Worthy Apricot

Domenica Marchetti for NPR

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:39 am

Apricots are the finest of summer's fruits, with dense, juicy flesh and delicate, velvety skins. Piled in baskets in farmers market stalls, they seem to glow in the early morning light. The prettiest ones have a celestial blush and a sweet, floral fragrance.

That's why it is so disheartening when you bite into one only to find it is mealy and flavorless. I can't count the number of times this apricot lover has been the victim of just such an injustice. You probably have been, too.

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Shots - Health News
6:29 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

House Passes Bill That Would Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., was chosen by House Republican leaders to manage a bill that would ban many abortions.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:43 pm

The House has passed one of the most far-reaching abortion bills in decades. But it's unlikely to ever become law.

By a mostly party-line vote Tuesday of 228-196, lawmakers passed the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," which would ban nearly all abortions starting 20 weeks after fertilization.

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