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It's All Politics
1:23 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Obama Presses Congress On Student Loan Rates

President Obama, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan at his side, calls on Congress on June 21, 2012, to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling. He is going to make that appeal again Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:25 am

President Obama surrounded himself with college students at the White House on Friday and warned that the cost of student loans is about to go up.

Interest rates on government-backed college loans are set to double July 1 — unless Congress agrees on a fix before then. Obama has threatened to veto a House-passed bill that would let the cost of student loans go up and down with the market.

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Shots - Health News
1:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Proton Beam Therapy Sparks Hospital Arms Race

A construction worker paints walls at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in Baltimore. Each of the center's five rooms will contain a massive piece of equipment that will rotate around a cancer patient to deliver a special kind of radiation.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:41 am

When it comes to reining in health care spending, it still seems like each hospital administrator thinks the guy at the other hospital should do it.

Hospitals are still racing to offer expensive new technology — even when it hasn't been proved to work better than cheaper approaches. Case in point: proton beam therapy, a high-tech radiation treatment for cancer.

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The Salt
1:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Michigan Tracks Cattle From Birth To Plate

Whenever a steer or cow leaves a farm in Michigan or goes to a slaughterhouse, it passes by a tag reader, and its ID number goes to a central computer that keeps track of every animal's location.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 8:54 am

When you pick up a cut of beef at the store, would you like to know that animal's life history? The technology to do this does exist — at least in Michigan, where the state requires all cattle to carry electronic ear tags. It's the only state that requires such tags.

Michigan's cattle-tracking system was forced on farmers because of a crisis. Fifteen years ago, cattle in part of the state started catching tuberculosis from wild deer.

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Parallels
1:19 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Battling Deforestation In Indonesia, One Firm At A Time

This photo shows a heavily logged concession affiliated with Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, one of the world's largest papermakers, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2010.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:57 pm

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a backhoe stacks freshly cut trees to be made into pulp and paper. Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, is Indonesia's largest papermaker, and the company and its suppliers operate vast plantations of acacia trees here that have transformed the local landscape.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
12:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Field Trip! 10 Books That Will Send Kids Exploring

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

When I recommend books to kids or grown-ups, I can almost always get them interested if I add "Oh, and after you read this book, you could go on a field trip to the museum/zoo/baseball stadium/library ... or just take a little road trip!" Spring 2013 has been a very good year for children's books that spark the imagination and make kids (and grownups) want to do a little more exploring.

Books like these can be the start of amazing adventures. Enjoy!

Mara Alpert is a librarian in the Children's Literature Department at the Los Angeles Public Library.

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StoryCorps
12:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Cherishing The Gift Of Friendship Through A Cancer Bout

Peter Obetz (left) and Jeff Jarrett met in 1998 and are still close friends. Peter was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer in 2004. He was declared cancer-free in 2009. They visited StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

In 2004, Peter Obetz was in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

"Food would get stuck down my throat, and it got worse and worse, so I met with my doctor. I had a tumor on my esophagus wall," says Peter, 48, during a visit to StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

TSA: No More Graphic, Full-Body Airport Scans

A U.S. Transportation Security Administration employee demonstrates the less intrusive Automated Target Recognition software in 2011.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:40 pm

The Transportation Security Administration has told Congress that it's finished retrofitting airport scanners to blunt a widely criticized technology that shows graphic detail of a passenger's body as he or she goes through security checkpoints.

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Movie Reviews
4:32 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

'Now You See Me': An Unconvincing Con Job

Jesse Eisenberg plays J. Daniel Atlas, part of a team of thieving illusionists, in Now You See Me.
Barry Wetcher, SMPSP Courtesy Summit Entertainment

Magic is compelling when it actually amazes, accomplishing the difficult feat of freeing its viewers from disbelief and letting them bask in the wonder of seeing what they know is impossible. Movies work the same way, and part of the equation for both is developing the right expectations.

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It's All Politics
4:32 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

War Zone Visit A McCain Trademark

In this photo provided by Mouaz Moustafa and the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Sen. John McCain, accompanied by Moustafa (right) visits rebels in Syria on Monday. McCain, who slipped into the country for a surprise visit, favors providing arms to rebel forces in Syria.
Mouaz Moustafa AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:02 pm

There are risks aplenty for a U.S. lawmaker who makes a surprise visit to a war zone, as Sen. John McCain recently did when he crossed the border from Turkey into Syria.

The perils to life and limb go without saying. But there are also other risks: trying to tell the good guys from the bad guys; or being victimized by disinformation from unfriendly Middle Eastern interests.

While McCain got out unscathed from Syria, where he visited rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, he may have had less success navigating the other risks.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
3:54 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Baton Rouge's Corroded, Overpolluting Neighbor: Exxon Mobil

An evening view of the Exxon Mobil oil refinery complex in Baton Rouge, La.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 7:50 am

If you stand in front of Almena and Sidney Poray's house in Baton Rouge, La., and look straight down the street, past the other houses and the shade trees, you see more than a dozen plumes of exhaust in various hues of gray and white.

"That's something you see every day, the same thing if not more," says Almena Poray. "Sometimes it's a darker gray; sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

A Kiss Is But A Kiss, But To French Kiss Is 'Galocher'

French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault kisses his wife, actress Salma Hayek, in Paris in 2009.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:29 pm

It might come as a surprise that for centuries the French have been sans a term for "French kiss."

But, voila! The newest edition of the Petit Robert 2014 dictionary has rectified that with a new verb — "galocher," meaning "to kiss with tongues." It's a clever derivation of la galoche, a word for an ice-skating boot, and so evokes the idea of sliding around the ice — or the lips and tongue.

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U.S.
3:47 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Will Ill. Legalize Gay Marriage Before Legislature Adjourns?

Activists rally in support of gay marriage on March 25 in Chicago. The Illinois Senate has approved legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage, but it has stalled in the state House.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:04 pm

The clock is ticking for those who hope Illinois will become the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session Friday night, and the marriage equality bill still has not been called for a vote in the state House, where supporters are struggling to round up the 60 votes necessary to pass it.

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Shots - Health News
3:30 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Administration Touts Competition In Insurance Exchanges

The Obama administration is countering criticism that the new health insurance exchanges will be lacking in competition, though it's doing so a bit quietly.

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Around the Nation
3:17 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Congress Debates How Much Support To Give Farmers

An Illinois corn and soybean farmer walks to his tractor while cultivating his field.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:40 pm

For decades, farmers have been getting checks from the federal government as part of a safety net to help protect against, for instance, the financial ruin of drought or floods.

So last year when a big drought hit the Midwest, who paid for it? You did.

As my colleague Dan Charles has reported, payouts from crop insurance policies added up to about $16 billion, and much of it was paid by taxpayers.

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Business
3:09 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Kellogg's Agrees To Settlement In Frosted Mini-Wheats Suit

Robert Siegel speaks with Tim Blood, managing partner of the law firm Blood, Hurst & O'Reardon, about the class-action suit accusing Kellogg's of making false claims in its Frosted Mini-Wheats advertisements, as well as other cases he's pursued. Blood talks about what kind of people file these suits, and why.

Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Teenage 'Kings Of Summer' Rule A Predictable Sitcom World

The Kings Of Summer stars (from left) Gabriel Basso as Patrick, Moises Arias as Biaggio and Nick Robinson as Joe. The three teenagers escape from their constrictive parents to build a house of their own in the woods.
Courtesy Toy's House Productions

Like the recent Mud, The Kings of Summer is a tale of feral adolescent pals in search of freedom and adventure. The movies even share essentially the same awkwardly contrived climax. But of the two films, The Kings of Summer is more of a comedy, with a depiction of the eternal war between teen and parent that's downright farcical.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

The Political Becomes Personal In 'Shadow Dancer'

Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough star in Shadow Dancer, a thriller set in Belfast.
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:53 pm

James Marsh's Shadow Dancer opens with scenes depicting the lead ups to a pair of violent acts separated by 20 years. The events are connected, both by the involvement of Collette (Andrea Riseborough) and by the fact that guilt created by her role as a child bystander in the first fuels her involvement as an Irish Republican Army operative in the second.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Anarchists Tempt A 1 Percenter In 'The East'

Brit Marling plays Sarah, a former FBI agent working for a private intelligence agency in The East. Shiloh Fernandez plays Luca, a member of the environmentalist vigilante group that Sarah infiltrates.
Myles Aronowitz Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

In The East, a slightly batty, weirdly involving new thriller about corporate espionage and eco-terrorism, rising star Brit Marling (last seen as Richard Gere's daughter in the drama Arbitrage) plays Sarah, an ambitious young private intelligence operative and former FBI agent.

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

No, Frosted Mini-Wheats Won't Make Your Kids Smarter

YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:23 pm

  • Hear Robert Siegel's Interview With Attorney Tim Blood

If you thought sugar-coated pockets of shredded wheat could boost your brain power, we're here to break it to you gently: No, they can't. But a check in the mail may soon ease your disappointment.

Breakfast foods purveyor Kellogg has agreed to a $4 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit alleging it ran a deceptive marketing campaign for the sugary cereal.

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All Tech Considered
3:00 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Online College Courses Get A Big Boost, But Doubts Persist

The University of Tennessee became one of 10 state university systems teaming up with Coursera, a for-profit tech company.
Flickr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:01 pm

From New Mexico to New York, 10 state university systems have announced they are joining the ranks of elite institutions embracing the massive open online course, or MOOC, system.

On Thursday, they unveiled a landmark partnership with Coursera, a for-profit tech company with 3.5 million registered students. It's the biggest effort to catapult degree-granting institutions into the world of global education.

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Remembering Heroes Of The Second World War
2:59 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Public Servant Herman Boudreau, Heroic Under Enemy Fire

Herman Boudreau served in the U.S. Army in World War II, then rose to the rank of command sergeant major in the Maine Army National Guard.
Courtesy of the Boudreau family

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:51 pm

When Herman Boudreau joined the U.S. Army in 1941, he set in motion a lifetime of public service. Boudreau, who died in April at age 93, served in the Army in New Zealand and the South Pacific during World War II.

He spent more than two years fighting the Japanese, and years later shared many of his war experiences with his daughter, Nancie Smith. In one incident, she says, he had to secure an airfield while removing the last Japanese resistance on three occupied islands.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

The Survivor: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Outlasts Political, Legal Trouble

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America," is best-known for aggressively enforcing immigration laws.
Laura Segall Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:52 am

Update at 7:12 p.m. ET Recall Fails

The Associated Press reports that organizers of a petition to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio fell short of Thursday's deadline to collect 335,000 signatures.

Our original post:

Once again, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is at the center of political and legal controversies. Once again, it appears he will survive.

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Business
2:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Drive-Ins Soon Face Hollywood's Digital Switch

Many drive-ins and mom and pop theaters will soon have to make the switch from film to digital after putting it off because of the high cost of new projectors.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:48 pm

Pull into the Bourbon Drive-In just off U.S. Highway 68 near Paris, Ky., and it's like stepping back in time. Patricia and Lanny Earlywine own the 7-acre drive-in. It's been connected to the family since the theater opened in 1956. Even the popcorn machine is original.

"To do a drive-in, it sort of gets in your blood. You have to love it," Patricia says.

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Movie Interviews
2:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Michael Caine: 'I Spent My Life Doing Something That I Love'

These days, Caine gets smaller roles than he used to, but that doesn't bother him. Back when he did repertory theater, "I did a play a week," he says. "One week I'd be the lord, the next week I'd be the butler." He's pictured above in 1965.
Stephan C. Archetti Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:28 am

Over the course of his career, Michael Caine has played big parts and small parts, all of them memorable. His films include everything from Alfie to The Man Who Would Be King, from The Cider House Rules to The Dark Knight.

"I've been very fortunate," Caine tells NPR's Robert Siegel, "because I spent my life doing something that I love doing so much, I used to do it for nothing. So you can't have a better life than that."

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Business
2:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Retired Gen. David Petraeus Heads To Wall Street

Retired Gen. David Petraeus, former CIA chief, speaks at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 26. Petraeus announced Thursday that he was joining the private equity firm KKR.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:32 pm

Retired Gen. David Petraeus is headed to Wall Street where he will join Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a firm that invests globally in everything from real estate to coffee to biotech.

Over nearly four decades in the military, Petraeus traveled the world on diplomatic and intelligence missions. Even then, he says in a video posted Thursday on KKR's website, he occasionally viewed these trips through an investor's lens.

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World
2:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

El Salvador Upholds Abortion Rules In Highly Charged Case

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:22 pm

Melissa Block speaks with New York Times reporter Karla Zabludovsky about El Salvador's national policy restricting abortions under any circumstances — a decision that puts one 22-year-old at particularly high risk.

The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

U.S. Shot Putter Awarded Gold, Years After 2004 Olympics

Adam Nelson (left), has been awarded the gold medal in the men's shot put, after original winner Yuriy Bilonoh of Ukraine was found to have violated doping rules.
Nick Laham Getty Images

U.S. shot putter Adam Nelson has been awarded a gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics, after his rival at those games, Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, was stripped of the victory last December for violating doping rules. The International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Olympic Committee made the change official Thursday.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Father Of Chechen Killed In Florida Says His Son Was Executed

Abdul-Baki Todashev, father of Ibragim Todashev, shows pictures he says are of his son's bullet-riddled body, at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.
Andrey Smirnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:18 pm

The father of the Chechen immigrant who was killed in Florida during an FBI interrogation over his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects says his son was killed execution-style.

At a news conference in Moscow, Abdul-Baki Todashev showed reporters 16 photos he said were of his son, Ibragim, in a Florida morgue.

"I want justice. I want an investigation," Todashev said. "They come to your house like bandits, and they shoot you."

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Four Men In A Small Boat Face The Northwest Passage

A European Space Agency photo of the McClure Strait in the Canadian Arctic. The McClure Strait is the most direct route of the Northwest Passage and has been fully open since early August 2007.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 1:23 pm

Only a few years ago, even large commercial vessels wouldn't take on the ice-bound Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific via the Canadian north — but climate change has changed all that.

Now, a group of hearty adventurers hopes to be the first to row the 1,900-mile route this summer.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Ubuntu Marks 'Bug No. 1' As Fixed, After Nearly Nine Years

Since it was first filed in August of 2004, Ubuntu's Bug #1 attracted many comments. With comment number 1834, Mark Shuttleworth declared the issue fixed today.
Launchpad

In the more than eight years since it was written, the open-source operating system Ubuntu's "Bug #1" has been seen as a rallying call. After all, the bug's title is "Microsoft has a majority market share."

But the entry was officially closed Thursday, partly because the "broader market has healthy competition" as Ubuntu leader Mark Shuttleworth writes in his comments on closing the bug today.

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