World
5:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Panama Searches Impounded North Korean Cargo Ship

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

As of this morning, Panama still doesn't know quite what to do with that North Korean cargo ship its impounded. The ship was going through the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to North Korea. And when Panamanian authorities looked inside under thousands of bags of Cuban sugar, they found parts for missiles, jets and radar systems.

Here to help sort out this discovery is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.

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Politics
5:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Congress Takes Renewed Aim At Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For the first time since the housing crash, lawmakers are getting serious about dismantling the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were rescued with $190 million bailout. Two prominent senators - a Democrat and a Republican - have a bill that's attracting some bipartisan support. A separate Republican bill is being introduced in the House today and a third may soon come from Democrats. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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Asia
5:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Police In India Probe Poisoning Of School Children

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Parallels
3:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

As Nelson Mandela Turns 95, South Africa Celebrates

Supporters of Nelson Mandela rally outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, where he has been treated for more than a month. The anti-apartheid icon turned 95 on Thursday.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:39 am

While South Africa celebrates the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela on Thursday, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate remains at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been hospitalized since June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

President Jacob Zuma's office has said that Mandela is in "critical but stable" condition, though Mandela's daughter Zindzi said Wednesday that her father was making "remarkable progress" and could be released soon.

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Code Switch
3:20 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Comedian Hari Kondabolu On Diversity, Race And Burger King

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:20 pm

Hari Kondabolu is a brainy comedian who cuts through the polite talk around race and gender. He's made a lot of key people laugh with his incisive anecdotes, including Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien and John Oliver.

A full-time writer on the FX show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, he recently did a comedy bit on the National Spelling Bee, or "as I like to call it," he joked, "the Indian Super Bowl."

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Parallels
3:19 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Al-Jazeera Under Fire For Its Coverage Of Egypt

Posters in Cairo show Al-Jazeera's logo in red with a bloody hand scratching at it. A bullet can kill a man, the poster says, but a lying camera can kill a nation.
Kelly McEvers NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:45 am

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9:08 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Holland Board of Public Works picks site for natural gas plant

Lead in text: 
Will pay $1.6-million for site
The industrial parcel of Fairbanks Avenue and Fifth Street has been chosen as the site of the Holland Board of Public Works new combined cycle natural gas power plant.
9:03 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Michigan's unemployment rate up despite more jobs in June

Lead in text: 
More people looking for work helped cause slight increase in jobless rate
LANSING - Michigan's unemployment rate ticked up to 8.7 percent in June as more people entered the job market. The rate increased from 8.5 percent in May, but is down from the revised June 2012 rate of 9.3 percent, according to data released Wednesday from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
8:59 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Study says Palisades among nuclear power plants most at risk of being shut down

Lead in text: 
Report finds economics challenges face many nuclear power plants
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
COVERT TOWNSHIP, MI -- With a study out Thursday placing Palisades on a list of 12 U.S. nuclear power plants most at risk for shutting down, Entergy Corp. declined to comment on the Covert Township plant's financial performance but said it believed that nuclear power would remain an important source of power for the country in the long term.
The Two-Way
6:27 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

EPA Building Named For Bill Clinton; He Says That's Fitting

Former President Bill Clinton hugs House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California as another Democrat, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, looks on at Wednesday's ceremony naming the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters for him.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

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Arts & Life
5:53 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

For Actress Ruby Keeler, Another Opening, Another Show

Broadway performer Ruby Keeler was a source of optimism for many during the Depression era, and nostalgia hit audiences hard when she returned to the stage decades later.
General Photographic Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

Ruby Keeler was an unknown actress when she starred in the 1933 production of Busby Berkeley's 42nd Street.

But the movie was so popular she was able to land two more splashy musicals that same year — and seven more by the end of the decade. There was nothing extraordinary about her talents as a vocalist or as an actress, but audiences of the Depression era really bought into Keeler's "innocent" onstage persona. In fact, they craved it.

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Politics
5:22 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congress Debates Taking A Step Back From The Mortgage Market

The government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae (seen in 2010) and Freddie Mac in 2008, during the worst of the housing crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

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Zoe Chace explains the mysteries of the global economy for NPR's Planet Money. As a reporter for the team, Chace knows how to find compelling stories in unlikely places, including a lollipop factory in Ohio struggling to stay open, a pasta plant in Italy where everyone calls in sick, and a recording studio in New York mixing Rihanna's next hit.

In 2008, Chace came to NPR to work as an intern on Weekend Edition Saturday. As a production assistant on NPR's Arts Desk, she developed a beat covering popular music and co-created Pop Off, a regular feature about hit songs for Morning Edition. Chace shocked the music industry when she convinced the famously reclusive Lauryn Hill to sit down for an interview.

Planet Money
4:59 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The 'Ask Your Uncle' Approach To Economics

The Federal Reserve, home of the Beige Book.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

The Beige Book is weird. It's an economic report released by the Federal Reserve every few months, but it doesn't have many numbers in it. Mostly, it's a bunch of stories gathered by talking to businesses around the country. A Fed economist once described it as the "Ask Your Uncle" approach to figuring out what's going on in the economy.

In the Beige Book released today, for example, we learned that:

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

'We're Here To Stay' Says Newly Confirmed Consumer Watchdog

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ron Sachs/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

One day after his two years in limbo ended and he was confirmed by the Senate as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray told NPR that though political bickering held up his nomination he now believes he has bipartisan support for the bureau's work.

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Economy
4:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Bernanke Gives Economic Road Map With Uncertain Timeline

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

One month ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke introduced the idea of winding down the Fed's massive stimulus programs. On that announcement, the markets tanked. Today, Bernanke said pretty much the same thing. But this time, the markets yawned.

As NPR's John Ydstie explains, the Fed chairman appears to have finally found the formula to ease Wall Street's concerns.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Rolling Stone's Tsarnaev Cover: What's Stirring Such Passion?

Rolling Stone's latest cover.
Rolling Stone

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:42 am

(Click here to see an excerpt from the Rolling Stone story.)

Even before it hit newsstands, Rolling Stone's latest cover caused controversy: It features a full-page photograph of alleged Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sulking, his curly hair messily tossed in front of his eyes.

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3:22 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Medicaid expansion stalls in the Senate

Lead in text: 
The measure would provide health care for more than 400,000 additional residents.
LANSING - The Medicaid expansion debate in the Senate will have to wait for at least a couple of weeks. The Senate work group is meeting privately twice a week to look at and tweak the expansion bill passed by the House of Representatives in June.
The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Newly Discovered Dinosaur Sure Had One 'Supersize Schnoz'

An artist's image of Nasutoceratops titusi.
Lukas Panzarin for the Natural History Museum of Utah

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

The Proceedings of the Royal Society politely refers to it as a "short-snouted horned dinosaur."

National Geographic is less reserved and gets right to the obvious point: "Paleontologists have discovered a new dinosaur, a Triceratops relative with a supersize schnoz that once roamed present-day Utah."

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All Tech Considered
2:51 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Clever Hacks Give Google Glass Many Unintended Powers

Stephen Balaban has re-engineered his Google Glass to allow for facial recognition.
Courtesy of Stephen Balaban

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 8:55 pm

At Philz Coffee in Palo Alto, Calif., a kid who looks like he should still be in high school is sitting across from me. He's wearing Google Glass. As I stare into the device's cyborg eye, I'm waiting for its tiny screen to light up.

Then, I wait for a signal that Google Glass has recognized my face.

It isn't supposed to do that, but Stephen Balaban has hacked it.

"Essentially what I am building is an alternative operating system that runs on Glass but is not controlled by Google," he said.

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Music Interviews
2:25 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Jason Isbell Locates His Musical Compass On 'Southeastern'

Jason Isbell was previously a member of Drive-By Truckers. His solo albums include Sirens of the Ditch and Here We Rest.
Eric England Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:38 am

When singer-songwriter Jason Isbell used to get drunk, he'd sometimes tell his then-girlfriend, the musician Amanda Shires, that he needed to quit the bottle — and that if it was going to take, he'd have to go to rehab. Eventually, she said the next time he told her that, she'd hold him to it. And she did. And he went. And, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "The jury is still out on whether or not it worked, but it worked today and all the days leading up to this."

Initially, he says he was scared about what sobriety would do to his personality and his creativity.

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Beauty Shop
11:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

How Did Zimmerman Trial Interviewees Come Across On TV?

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, my regular "Can I Just Tell You?" essay, and a mid-week treat for you. The a capella singing group Traces of Blue will be here. That is coming up. But first, we take a visit to the "Beauty Shop." That's where our roundtable of women writers, journalists and commentators talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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Can I Just Tell You?
11:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Is It Time To See Each Other's Tears?

Rachel Jeantel, the witness who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just before he was killed, gives her testimony during George Zimmerman's trial in Sanford, Fla., last month.
Jacob Langston AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:18 pm

As I was heading home the other day, I was thinking about a situation I encountered a while ago when I landed back in the Washington, D.C., area after a trip.

I was hungry and saw that one of my favorite lunch spots had opened an outpost at the airport. So I ducked in there and was just about to order when I realized that a young woman standing next to me was having some sort of confrontation. It was loud, and getting louder.

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Music
11:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Howard Students Go From 'The Sing-Off' To Success

The a cappella group Traces of Blue joins host Michel Martin for an in-studio performance.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:33 pm

Traces of Blue isn't quite a household name just yet, but if you're familiar with NBC's The Sing-Off, you might remember them by their old name, Afro-Blue, the a cappella jazz group hailing from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

They recently took a break from working on their debut EP to stop by NPR's D.C. studios for a special performance.

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WMUK News
11:39 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Going coast-to-coast by bicycle

Kalamazoo bicyclist Mel Church on the road
Credit Mel Church

Fifty-nine-year old Mel Church of Kalamazoo has averaged 55 miles-a-day bicycling coast to coast this summer. He began June 4th on the Pacific coast and reached Colorado on Tuesday, July 16th. Except for the ‘friends’ he meets along the way, he is on his own. From Lander, Wyoming, he phoned in to report on his trip so far.

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Economy
10:28 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Market Mood Improves After Bernanke Remarks

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ben Bernanke's latest comments are at the top of NPR's business news.

Stock and bond markets reacted positively to the Federal Reserve chairman's latest remarks on the economy this morning. Ben Bernanke is on Capitol Hill delivering the Fed's twice-yearly update on the economy and Fed policy before the House Financial Services Committee. NPR's John Ydstie joins us now to talk about it. And John, what was it that Bernanke said that impressed the market?

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7:33 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Benton Harbor library officials want Benton Township voters to approve tax

Lead in text: 
Benton Township trustees ended their contribution to the library because of dwindling revenue
BENTON HARBOR - Benton Harbor library officials want Benton Township voters to support a library tax. The Benton Harbor Library Board is facing a more than $300,000 drop in revenue in the next fiscal year because Benton Township is dropping its annual contribution.
7:27 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Secretary of State says Michigan ready for online registration, no reason absentee voting

Lead in text: 
Michigan law currently requires voters to give a "valid excuse" to get an absentee ballot
LANSING, MI -- If the legislature is willing, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says Michigan is ready for online registration and no-reason absentee voting. Johnson, who joined MLive Media Group for a live chat Tuesday in our downtown Lansing hub, said that existing technology and security measures within her office could allow for expanded voter access without jeopardizing election integrity.
7:22 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Battle Creek officials weigh possible public safety changes

Lead in text: 
City currently searching for a new fire chief to replace the retired Larry Hausman
City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama said after being pressed by some Battle Creek city commissioners that he has not moved forward with any plans to create a public safety director position but is currently "leaving the door open" on the idea.
Asia
7:11 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Chinese Museum Closes Because Of Fakes

A visiting writer noticed some of the fakes. Like an ancient artifact bearing Chinese characters that first appeared in the 20th century. And an ancient vase bearing modern looking cartoon animals.

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