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Around the Nation
4:06 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

More Than 160 People Injured In Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 8:26 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. We're learning a little more, today, about the devastation in the small town of West, in Texas. It was the scene of last night's massive explosion at a fertilizer plant. And while there's still no official word on the number of dead, authorities estimate that between five and 15 people were killed. More than 160 were injured.

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It's All Politics
3:01 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Newtown Residents: Senate Gun Votes 'A Slap In The Face'

Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Jesse Lewis, holds a picture of the two of them as he testifies during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:47 pm

Following the Senate's rejection Wednesday of a range of gun control measures, including universal background checks, many in Newtown, Conn., are reacting with surprise and disappointment. The town is still stricken with grief from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December that took the lives of 20 students and six adults.

On Thursday morning, Mike Cragin stopped by the Dunkin' Donuts in Newtown with his bulldog, Truman.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Ex-Justice Of The Peace Charged With Killings In North Texas

Texas authorities have charged Eric Williams, former justice of the peace, with the murders of the Kaufman County district attorney and his assistant.
Kaufman County Sheriff's Office AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 2:05 pm

"A former justice of the peace has been charged with murder in the slayings of a North Texas district attorney and his assistant who prosecuted him for theft, officials announced Thursday," The Associated Press reports. Eric Williams is also charged with the murder of the district attorney's wife.

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Shots - Health News
1:14 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Walking While Old: Seniors Face Greatest Death Risk

City centers can be risky for pedestrians, but age, race and gender matter, too.
iStockphoto.com

Parents worry a lot about the safety of children crossing the street. It looks like they should be worried about Grandpa, too.

Older people are at higher risk of being killed by a car while walking, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Going up against a 2,000-pound moving metal object is never a good idea. Pedestrians account for 13 percent of all motor-vehicle traffic deaths, even though walking accounts for 10.5 percent of trips.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
12:00 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Boston Brings Out The 'Crowdsleuthers'

One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon is investigated and guarded by police in the wake of Monday's attack.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 7:46 pm

If you were at the Boston Marathon wearing a backpack, chances are some citizen sleuth has pored over your photo in the hunt for possible suspects in Monday's blasts.

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U.S.
10:22 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Search And Rescue Ongoing After Texas Plant Explosion

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

We're learning more about last night's fire in the Texas town of West. The fire started in a fertilizer plant, and a father in a vehicle nearby was taking video of the flames when the plant exploded.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you OK?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You OK?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yeah. I can't hear.

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U.S.
10:04 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Obama Visits Boston Service As Investigation Continues

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. We're listening to a memorial service in Boston for victims of the Boston Marathon.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BOSTON CHILDREN'S CHORUS: (Singing in foreign language)

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Music
10:03 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Korean-American Rapper Changing The Face Of Hip-Hop

Korean-American rapper Dumbfoundead used to get the mic pulled out of his hands at rap battles. But the Los Angeles artist has steadily won fans and made a name for himself in the world of hip-hop. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR'S Karen Grigsby Bates about what his success says about the evolution of rap.

Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Thu April 18, 2013

FDA's Rejection Of Generic OxyContin May Have Side Effects

OxyContin's long-acting formulation makes it popular but also prone to abuse.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 2:08 pm

Banning cheaper, generic forms of a dangerous drug sounds like a worthy idea.

But the Food and Drug Administration's decision to bar generic OxyContin may also push patients towards less effective drugs without eliminating the risk of addiction, experts say.

"Obviously, there's a cost issue," says Lynn Webster, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. "Not having generics means this type of medication is going to be more expensive."

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U.S.
8:27 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Eyewitnesses To Texas Explosion Describe The Scene

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

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U.S.
8:20 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Police Say Fires Burning But Under Control After Texas Blast

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The nation's attention turns this morning to a tiny city in Texas. It's simply called West. It is the site of a fertilizer plant from which a message went out to police radio last night.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: There has been an explosion on the fire scene. There are firefighters down at this time. Again, there has been an explosion on the fire scene. There are firefighters down at this time.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Pop Culture
1:26 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Cleveland Celebrates Superman, Its Hometown Hero

Panels from Action Comics No. 1, the first Superman comic, adorn the site of illustrator Joe Shuster's former apartment building, long since demolished.
Brian Bull/WCPN

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:39 am

April 18, 2013, is a big day for Superman. The Man of Steel, more powerful than a locomotive, turns 75. Most of us know Superman's story — faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Less well-known is that the superhero is not native to the lost world of Krypton, nor the rural Kansas burg of Smallville. Superman is Cleveland's native son — at least as far as the city's residents are concerned.

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Supreme Court Backs Warrants For Blood Tests In DUI Cases

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:10 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before subjecting a drunken-driving suspect to a blood test. The vote was 8-to-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas the lone dissenter.

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Politics
4:38 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obama Criticizes Congress After Background Check Bill Fails

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From Boston now to the White House, where President Obama reacted angrily tonight to the failure of an effort in the Senate to expand background checks for gun purchases. The amendment, proposed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, got only 54 votes - six short of the necessary 60. President Obama spoke in the White House Rose Garden. He called this a pretty shameful day for Washington.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

More Prisoners Join Hunger Strike At Guantanamo

In this image reviewed by the U.S. military, Navy Capt. Robert Durand stands next to some of the makeshift weapons confiscated from detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison following a clash Saturday between prisoners and guards.
Ben Fox AP

The U.S. military says the number of prisoners on hunger strike at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has risen to 52 — up from 45 a day earlier. The news comes just days after guards raided a section of the facility to move prisoners to single cells from their communal holding area because the detainees had covered security cameras and engaged in other actions.

The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg had this tweet:

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Law
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Senate Rejects Compromise On Expanded Background Checks

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

The Senate has rejected a compromise background checks language pushed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey. It could mean the end of gun control legislation in Congress, at least for a while. Ailsa Chang joins Robert Siegel from the Capitol with the latest.

Religion
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Evangelicals Become Unlikely Supporters Of Immigration Reform

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And there was a big moment in the United States Senate today. It was barely morning, the wee hours, around 2:00 a.m. An immigration reform bill was filed, more than 800 pages of legislation. It would tighten security along the borders, expand worker visas and offer a 13-year path to citizenship to people who live in this country illegally.

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Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Letters To Mississippi Senator, Obama Show Signs Of Ricin

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And Tovia mentioned a different kind of attack, one that's the subject of a widening investigation here in Washington, D.C. A second letter thought to contain the poison ricin has been sent for further testing. That one was addressed to the White House. We heard yesterday about one addressed to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. Also today two Senate office buildings were locked down as the Capitol police investigated suspicious packages.

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Law
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Supreme Court Curbs Lawsuits Over Foreign Abuses

Nigerian widow Esther Kiobel, a plaintiff in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, cries as she speaks outside the Supreme Court in October 2012.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to human-rights advocates Wednesday, in a case that was closely watched globally by human-rights groups and foreign governments.

The court limited the reach of a 224-year-old federal law that in recent decades has been used to hold foreign corporations and individuals accountable in U.S. courts for human-rights abuses abroad.

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Law
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Arrests Made In Deaths Of Texas DA, His Wife And Prosecutor

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

In Texas, prosecutors have filed capital murder charges against the wife of a former Justice of the Peace in Kaufman County. Kim Williams is charged with the murder of the county District Attorney, his wife, and another prosecutor.

Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Gun Site Allows Felons To Purchase Firearms Online

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The Senate has voted down an effort to include background checks to include gun sales over the Internet. The amendment was an attempt to regulate what turns out to be a bustling marketplace for weapons, as The New York Times reports today.

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It's All Politics
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Immigration Proves A 'Rubik's Cube' For Many Republicans

Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol on April 10.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

While an immigration overhaul has drawn support from church groups, business, labor and even former opponents, there's still deep opposition — mostly centered in the Republican Party.

The last time a president tried to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul was in 2007, and George W. Bush's fellow Republicans in Congress killed his bill. Republican strategist Kevin Madden says a lot has changed since then — including the way the Republican Party is dealing with its own internal divisions.

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Education
3:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

More Than 50 Years Of Putting Kids' Creativity To The Test

E. Paul Torrance, shown here in the mid-'80s, spent most of his career studying and encouraging students' creativity.
Courtesy University of Georgia

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

This is the second in a three-part series about the intersection of education and the arts.

Let's start with a question from a standardized test: "How would the world be different if we all had a third eye in the back of our heads?"

It's not a typical standardized question, but as part of the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it's used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence. And it's not the only creativity test out there.

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

U.S. Budget Cuts Hit Maine's Acadia National Park

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:03 pm

Acadia National Park draws thousands of visitors every year and contributed $186 million to the state's economy in 2011 alone. But under sequestration cuts, the park is closing roads for an additional month and cutting back staff and programming, leaving area business owners nervous about the 2013 summer season.

The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales

President Obama makes a statement on gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and family members of Newtown, Conn., shooting victims look on at the White House Rose Garden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:36 pm

A bipartisan compromise that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases has been rejected by the Senate.

The defeat of the measure by a 54-46 vote — six votes shy of the number needed to clear the Senate — marks a major setback for gun-control advocates, many of whom had hoped that Congress would act to curb gun violence in the wake of December's Newtown elementary school massacre, where 20 students and six adults were killed.

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Around the Nation
12:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

'The Hell Of American Day Care': Expensive And 'Mediocre'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:49 pm

In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."

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U.S.
10:56 am
Wed April 17, 2013

What Boston Means To America

Faneuil Hall, in downtown Boston, was built in the 1740s.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:20 pm

As a city, Boston is at the crux of this country's past, present and future.

This was brought home on April 15 — Tax Day, Patriots Day, Marathon Day — when two deadly bombs exploded on historic Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.

The tragic blasts occurred so close to the Boston Public Library that the building — home to the personal book collection of Founding Father John Adams — is included in the crime scene.

The bombs struck at the very heart of the heart of America.

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Wednesday's Developments

Flowers, flags and balloons at a memorial in Boston near the site of Monday's explosions.
Wang Lei Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:50 am

(Note at 7:50 a.m. ET, April 18: We've begun a new post to track Thursday's developments.)

Investigators made progress Wednesday, as they tried to determine who planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and injuring about 180.

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Mental Health
3:15 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Boston Blasts Remind Us Of Fragility Of Life

Jillian Blenis, 30, of Boston reacts while stopping at a makeshift memorial to marathon bombing victims Wednesday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:33 pm

From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. The number of injured topped 100, and for those of us watching, it was a profound reminder of a reality we'd prefer to ignore.

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Animals
12:56 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Lionfish Attacking Atlantic Ocean Like A Living Oil Spill

Lionfish, like this one spotted in the Bahamas, are a nonnative predatory fish that can decimate native fish populations.
Cammy Clark MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:45 am

A gluttonous predator is power-eating its way through reefs from New York to Venezuela. It's the lionfish.

And although researchers are coming up with new ways to protect some reefs from the flamboyant maroon-striped fish, they have no hope of stopping its unparalleled invasion.

Lad Akins has scuba dived in the vibrant reefs of the Bahamas for many years. But when he returned a couple years ago, he saw almost no fish smaller than his hand.

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