From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Today, President Obama toured the Jersey shore, surveying the recovery work that's been done since Superstorm Sandy devastated the area seven months ago. The visit was also a reunion for the president and an unlikely political ally, the Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. NPR's Mara Liasson reports on their bipartisan relationship and the political benefits for both men.
In Sanford, Florida, a state judge has ruled that George Zimmerman will go to trial as scheduled early next month. Zimmerman is the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed teenager Treyvon Martin. His defense had asked for more time to prepare.
And that wasn't the only bad news for George Zimmerman today. The judge also prohibited his team from using in court several personal details from Martin's life, including evidence of drug use and trouble in school.
Perhaps you know what these artworks have in common: Van Gogh's "Portrait of the Postman Roulin," his ample beard falling in two symmetric lobes over the collar of his navy blue uniform; Brueghel the Elder's "Wedding Dance," in which some of the exuberant contact seems to go beyond dancing; Diego Rivera's fresco of workers on an assembly line: Detroit Industry, South Wall.
He can't see, and he's not very big — but as dogs go, Xander the pug is having a big impact on his community in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The blind pup has even made the front page of the local paper, for bringing empathy and happiness to people for whom such things are in short supply.
Woody Guthrie's relationship with his home state has always been complicated. The singer-songwriter left Oklahoma and traveled the nation, composing some of the best-known songs of his time and ours. But to many in the state, his progressive political views did not fit with a strong conservative streak during the Cold War period. His reputation there is now closer to a full restoration as Oklahoma opens his archives.
For an academic contest pitting young spellers against the dictionary, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has taken on the intensity of the fiercest athletic events. Feeling the warmth of television lights — not to mention nerves and distractions — all while sports commentators are analyzing your "style" and approach is something only a select club of young word-nerdy Americans gets to experience. How does that early experience affect these mostly middle-school-aged kids later in life?
For 20 years, Stephen King has had an image stuck in his head: It's a boy in a wheelchair flying a kite on a beach. "It wanted to be a story, but it wasn't a story," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. But little by little, the story took shape around the image — and focused on an amusement park called "Joyland" located just a little farther down the beach.
In the first Planned Parenthood defunding case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices have refused to disturb a lower court decision that barred Indiana from stripping Medicaid payments to the organization.
At least that's what you can glean from the latest Better Life Index issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which ranked Australia the world's happiest nation for a third year in a row.
Because we know you're wondering: The United States is ranked No. 6, behind Australia, Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland.
One of the suspects in the murder last week of British soldier Lee Rigby has been released from the hospital and is in police custody. Michael Adebowale, 22, received treatment after being shot by police following the brutal attack on Rigby in Woolwich, London. The other main suspect, Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains in the hospital.
As children, we are allowed to be confused, lost, and full of wonder. As adults in the age of Google, we are expected to project confidence, knowledge and understanding. Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic, talks about how learning a foreign language reignited his imagination.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. A small hole in the ground, that's all it looked like the other day in the photo of the Christian Science Monitor, published in its coverage of a tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, a small hole in the ground surrounded on all sides by the wreckage of totally flattened homes, right up to the very edge of that hole in the ground, which oddly is rectangular in shape in the photo and has a door attached to it, flung open.
A 9-year relationship is ending between athletic apparel giant Nike and Livestrong, the cancer charity founded by cyclist Lance Armstrong before his career imploded because of evidence that he had been doping for more than a decade.
The number of eyelid lifts paid for by Medicare more than tripled in a 10-year span, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity. The cost to U.S. taxpayers for the simple surgery rose to $80 million in 2011 from $20 million in 2001, according to the report.
Last month the Scottish electronic duo Boards Of Canada released a series of mysterious recordings of a voice reading a set of numbers. Clever fans soon realized that the numbers were a code that, once entered, in order, online, revealed a video announcing Tomorrow's Harvest, the group's first new album in eight years. On this week's All Songs Considered we finally get a preview of the album with a brand new Boards Of Canada song "Reach For The Dead."
Saying it was the world's largest international money laundering prosecution in history, authorities announced charges against the operators of Liberty Reserve, an online currency exchange that prosecutors say enabled more than a million people worldwide to launder about $6 billion.
Last night brought the premiere of the new season of The Bachelorette, in which Desiree, who was rejected by Sean on the last season of The Bachelor, was presented with 25 men from whom to choose. The theory is that if television producers choose 25 guys for you to pick from, surely one of them is your soul mate. Makes sense!
The Gallup Organization has reached "an agreement in principle" with the Justice Department to settle civil allegations that the polling company overbilled the U.S. government by providing inflated estimates for federal contracts, according to a new court filing.
A deal could be announced by mid-June, the court filing says, bringing an end to a costly and embarrassing episode that first came to light when a Gallup insider blew the whistle.
The New York City band Vampire Weekend has carved out a sense of immaculate melancholy for our era as surely as Steely Dan once did for Upstate New York in the '70s. Characterized most immediately by the earnest, concise, sometimes surprisingly expansive vocals of Ezra Koenig, Vampire Weekend makes atmospheric music.