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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Wed June 5, 2013

U.S. Soldier Pleads Guilty In 2012 Afghan Shooting Rampage

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (left), the U.S. soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., on Aug. 23.
Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 12:34 pm

The United States soldier charged with the murder of 16 Afghan villagers entered a guilty plea on Wednesday during a court hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to 16 counts of premeditated murder, The Seattle Times reports, but he pleaded not guilty to "attempting to impede an investigation into the case by damaging a laptop computer."

The Times adds:

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Parallels
10:00 am
Wed June 5, 2013

A Small Farming Town Becomes Ground Zero In Syria's War

Syrian soldiers stand in the main square of the western city of Qusair. Government troops recaptured the town on Wednesday after rebels had held it for more than a year. It's seen as a significant victory for President Bashar Assad's government.
STR AFP/Getty images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 10:50 am

Qusair is a sleepy farming town not far from my hometown. I passed through it many times as a child and never imagined it would one day make international headlines as the focal point of Syria's civil war.

I wish it had remained a quiet place defined by the many agricultural fields of wheat and barley, along with apricot and apple trees, all of them well-watered by the Orontes River.

Less than 10 miles from the Lebanese border, Qusair was a mixed town of Christians, Sunnis and Shiites. Not anymore.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Death Toll In Philadelphia Building Collapse Rises to 6

Firefighters and rescue workers at the site of Wednesday's building collapse in Philadelphia.
Clem Murray MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:04 am

(Most recent update: 12:05 a.m. ET Thursday)

Firefighters have pulled a 14th survivor from the rubble of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Philadelphia, and from an adjacent store that was heavily damaged. According to The Associated Press, rescuers found a woman late Wednesday and she was taken to a nearby hospital. Deputy Fire Chief Robert Coyne said early Thursday that 61-year-old Myra Plekam was pulled from the debris more than 12 hours after a building collapsed and that she was awake and talking to rescuers.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Hilarious: Israeli Education Minister Can't Stop Laughing

Shai Piron.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 11:14 am

Tuesday was a funny day in the Israeli Knesset. According to Haaretz, Education Minister Shai Piron stood before the parliament set to deliver a speech about prison contraband.

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Monkey See
9:16 am
Wed June 5, 2013

The Critic, The Viewer And The Episode Dump

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 9:28 am

I have substantial affection for both Hollywood Reporter TV critic Tim Goodman and the Fox executive who tweets as "Masked Scheduler." They're both amusing, resolute grumps at times, but great fun to follow on Twitter. So you can imagine how uncomfortable it was to see them have a testy exchange about the new episodes of Arrested Development (which, remember, was on Fox and is now not). Tim liked them, and was reacting to early criticism of the first couple of episodes.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Chrysler 'Puts Reputation At Risk' By Rejecting Recall

Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 10:47 am

As The Associated Press writes, "a defiant Chrysler is refusing to recall about 2.7 million Jeeps the government says are at risk of a fuel tank fire in a rear-end collision."

The Detroit Free Press says the company has "put its reputation for safety and quality on the line" by initially saying "no" to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's request.

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Shots - Health News
8:57 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Komen Foundation Scales Back Fundraising Walks

The Susan Komen for the Cure Foundation is pulling back from some high-profile fundraising walks.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 2:36 pm

Fallout from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation's controversial and short-lived decision to halt funding for Planned Parenthood projects appears to still be piling up.

The group is pulling the plug on three-day events featuring fundraising walks in Washington, D.C., and six other cities in 2014. The Washington Post reported on the change Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Syrian Government Seizes Control Of The Key City Of Qusayr

Syrian army's soldiers walk in a street left in ruins on Wednesday in the city of Qusair in Syria's central Homs province.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 11:52 am

The Syrian government claimed an important victory today, wresting control of Qusair, a key city near the Lebanese border, from rebel fighters.

CNN reports:

"State-run TV credited an offensive 'that led to the annihilation of a number of terrorists,' the government's term for rebels.

" 'Our heroic armed forces are always determined to confront any aggression that our beloved homeland may face in the future,' an anchor on Syrian state television said.

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Political Junkie
8:39 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Lautenberg Death Complicates Christie's Road To November, And 2016

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie outlines plans for a special election to be held to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), who died on Tuesday, at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey. Christie did not disclose who would fill the vacant seat until the election scheduled for Oct. 16.
Jeff Zelevansky Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 2:14 pm

One of the last things Alaska Gov. Walter Hickel did before he resigned to join the Nixon Cabinet was to fill a Senate vacancy caused by the December 1968 death of E.L. Bartlett, a Democrat. Hickel picked a GOP state representative by the name of Ted Stevens. Stevens, who only months before lost a Republican primary bid for a different seat, went on to serve more than 40 years in the Senate, longer than any Republican in history. Appointing Stevens was by any definition a good move.

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Business
7:40 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Jobs Outlook Is Brighter For Class Of 2013

Graduates of Bowie State University wave to friends and family at the school's graduation ceremony in College Park, Md., on May 17. This year's graduates are finding better job prospects than at any time since 2008.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:54 am

For the last five years, graduation day has been as much a time for apprehension as for celebration.

Even now, with the Great Recession over, many recent graduates are still struggling to turn their high school and college diplomas into tickets for a better life. The unemployment rate for Americans under age 25 remains more than double the overall rate of 7.5 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Job Growth Stayed Slow In May, Report Signals

The scene at a jobs fair in Gainesville, Fla., on April 27.
Matt Stamey Gainesville Sun /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:04 am

There were 135,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in May, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report, which was released Wednesday morning.

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U.S.
7:20 am
Wed June 5, 2013

National Security Adviser Donilon Resigns; Rice To Take Over

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The Whitehouse has announced that President Obama's National Security Advisor is resigning and he will be replaced by Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. NPR's Ron Elving is here to tell us more. Ron, some months ago, Ms. Rice was rumored to be nominated Secretary of State - that, of course, did not happen. So why don't you give us a quick fill on the back story.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Wed June 5, 2013

British Phone Hacking Scandal: Rebekah Brooks Pleads Not Guilty

Rebekah Brooks, left, the former Chief Executive of News International, and her husband Charlie Brooks leave Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday in London, England.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 11:04 am

Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive and former top editor at the tabloid News of the World, pleaded not guilty to five charges related to the phone hacking scandal that has rocked England.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed June 5, 2013

First Lady Gets Face-To-Face With Heckler

First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on May 9.
John Stillwell / pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 7:27 am

Update at 9:15 a.m. ET, May 6. Video:

CNN has posted clips from a video taken by GetEQUAL in which you can see and hear some of what happened when one of its activists heckled First Lady Michelle Obama at a private fundraiser this week.

Our original post and an earlier update:

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Monkey See
6:16 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Once Again, Elizabeth Taylor And Richard Burton Get A TV Movie

Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter in BBC America's Burton And Taylor.
BBC America

On the heels of Liz & Dick, Lifetime's campy take on the love story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that starred none other than Lindsay Lohan, BBC America will be delivering another made-for-TV version this fall. Because they couldn't call it Liz & Dick, this one is called ... Burton And Taylor. (Innovation!)

This one stars Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter, and the first photo was released yesterday.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Shakeup: Susan Rice To Be Obama's National Security Adviser

Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
Mark Garten / U.N. UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 6:42 am

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, a lightning rod for Republican critics of the Obama administration's handling of the September 2012 attack on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, is moving into the post of national security adviser at the White House.

That's what a White House official tells NPR's Ari Shapiro — echoing reports earlier Wednesday morning from The Associated Press and other news outlets.

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

Book News: Germany's Longest Word Gets The Ax

Cuts of beef and pork lie in a display counter at a supermarket in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

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

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Around the Nation
5:32 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Young Bicyclists Rewarded For Wearing Helmets

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It seemed like an odd move. An Ohio police chief publicly directed his officers to target a certain group for ticketing. He set a quota for the officers of Brimfield Township: at least one ticket per shift. And the targeted group? Kids under the age of 12 riding their bikes wearing helmets. Ah, but the fine was a free ice cream cone. Just bicycle safely over to Frank's Drive-In. Tickets good for the summer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Reports: 20 Major League Baseball Players May Be Suspended

Dark clouds hang over Major League Baseball. There are reports that about 20 players may be suspended because of their connections to a Miami clinic that dispensed performance-enhancing drugs. (Photo taken Sunday at Yankee Stadium.)
Jason Szenes EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 9:27 am

"Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks," ESPN's Outside the Lines reports.

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Around the Nation
5:18 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Film Crew To Search Landfill For Atari Games

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer with an archeological expedition to recover ancient relics from the '80s.

The Fuel entertainment company plans to sift through a New Mexico landfill in search of Atari video games. According ancient legend, that's where Atari dumped millions of copies of "E.T." The movie-based video game did not sell well in 1982. But now folks are ready to pay for Atari's remains.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
4:57 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Witnesses At Whitey Bulger's Trial Won't Be Choirboys

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 6:32 am

There's an old expression, Boston College Law School professor Michael Cassidy said Wednesday on Morning Edition:

"When you want to get the devil, you have to go to hell to get your witnesses."

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Book Reviews
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

For A Girl And Her Horses, A Bumpy Ride To Adulthood

iStockphoto.com

Anton DiSclafani's debut novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, is a painstakingly constructed ode to a young girl's sexual awakening — just ladylike enough to be more bodice unbuttoner than bodice ripper. Like Rumer Godden's classic 1958 novel, The Greengage Summer, this is perhaps one of the classier books a young teen would hide under her covers to read with a flashlight. It features a 15-year-old narrator, Theodora "Thea" Atwell, whose family banishes her to a North Carolina equestrian boarding school in 1930. There's been a scandal.

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Business
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Halo To Leap From Computer Screens To Mobile Phones

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Blockbuster console game franchise Halo is going to have a new installment for mobile phones. Microsoft made the announcement Tuesday. It's a confirmation of the way the gaming industry is going, away from relying on $60 console games and closer to mobile and micropayments.

Business
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

U.S. Trade Commission Rules Apple Violated Samsung Patents

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Apple could face problems with some of its older models of iPhones and iPads in the U.S. This, after the U.S. Trade Commission ruled yesterday that the devices violated a patent owned by Apple's archrival, Samsung.

The ruling is unlikely to have a big impact on Apple's earnings. But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, the decision raises more questions about how the U.S. patent system can be used.

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Business
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Report: IRS Fails To Track Many Conference Expenses

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now we turn to a scathing report on expensive conferences held by the IRS. The report by the agency's own inspector general noted the IRS spent about $50 million on employee meetings between 2010 and 2012.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Some of the most egregious examples of questionable spending occurred at a 2010 gathering in Southern California. The IRS paid dearly for some lavish hotel rooms, and spent $34,000 for lodging and related expenses for employees who lived nearby.

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Business
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Job Market Remains Challenging For 2013 Graduates

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:52 am

For the past five years, graduation day has been a time of apprehension as much as celebration. Prospects for those entering the workforce for the first time were bleak. The class of 2013 — whether from high school or college — has cause for more optimism than previous classes.

Business
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a big no from Chrysler.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The Detroit automaker is taking the unusual step of defying the government by refusing to recall some 2.7 million of its vehicles. Federal safety officials say 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and the 2002 to 2007 Jeep Liberties are dangerous and should be taken off the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says rear-mounted gas tanks in those vehicles are vulnerable to leaking and catching fire in rear-end collisions.

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Business
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:58 am

Domino's Pizza has developed a prototype for aerial pizza delivery. A promotional video follows a custom-built, remote-controlled helicopter as it soars above the countryside carrying two large pizzas. But aviation rules make it unlikely that drone delivery will arrive anytime soon.

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Middle East
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Egyptian Court Verdict Complicates Relations With Washington

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Obama administration is expressing deep concern about guilty verdicts in Egypt against 43 people who were working on democracy programs in the country. Sixteen of them are Americans, though most left Egypt when the charges were brought against them. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that issue is one of many complicating Washington's relations with Cairo.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Charles Dunne wasn't even in Egypt when he first heard about the charges against him and he never received anything official from the court.

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Sports
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Quelle Surprise! Federer. Out At French Open

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:20 am

Renee Montagne talks to Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated about the second week of the French Open tennis tournament. In quarterfinal action Tuesday, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated veteran champ Roger Federer in straight sets.

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