The Salt
6:08 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Are Agriculture's Most Popular Insecticides Killing Our Bees?

Workers clear honey from dead beehives at a bee farm east of Merced, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:42 am

Environmentalists and beekeepers are calling on the government to ban some of the country's most widely used insect-killing chemicals.

The pesticides, called neonicotinoids, became popular among farmers during the 1990s. They're used to coat the seeds of many agricultural crops, including the biggest crop of all: corn. Neonics, as they're called, protect those crops from insect pests.

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Author Interviews
5:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

In A World That's Always On, We Are Trapped In The 'Present'

Erikona iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

By now, you've probably heard people call themselves "slaves" to their phones or their computers. We all know what that means — but why are we allowing ourselves to be slaves to the very instruments of technology we've created?

Douglas Rushkoff, who spends his days thinking, writing and teaching about media culture, says it's time for people to stop chasing every ping and start using technology in a way that makes us feel more free. Rushkoff's latest work is called Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. He joined NPR's Audie Cornish to talk about the book.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
5:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

How Ellen DeGeneres Helped Change The Conversation About Gays

Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011 in Burbank, Calif.
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros. AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

In 2008, during the brief window when it was legal for same-sex couples to get married in California, perhaps no couple drew more attention than Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

After their wedding, photos of the couple were everywhere; DeGeneres, beaming, in a white suit and holding hands with de Rossi, the very picture of the princess bride so many young girls dream of being one day. It was a cultural touchstone, and Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin, says it was neither the first nor the last time DeGeneres has played that role.

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The Salt
5:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Forget Fish Fridays: In Louisiana, Gator Is On The Lenten Menu

Tastes like chicken, but it's OK for Lent: Fried alligator, as served at New Orleans' Cochon restaurant.
Chris Granger Courtesy of Cochon

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

Is it OK to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent? That question isn't just rhetorical in Louisiana, which has large populations of both Catholics and gators.

"Alligator's such a natural for New Orleans," says Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Bakery, which serves a mean alligator sausage po boy sandwich. "Alligator gumbo, jambalaya. I mean, it's a wonder that alligator isn't our mascot, you know?"

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Heavy Rotation
3:55 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Tame Impala.
Maciek Pozoga Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Our panel of public-radio music obsessives has five more favorites to share. KCRW music director Jason Bentley can't get enough of the new Frightened Rabbit album. Alisa Ali, a DJ for New York's The Alternate Side indie-rock channel, picked a great new track by the promising Glasgow act CHVRCHES. Baltimore's Friday-night hip-hop show Strictly Hip Hop highlighted the new jam by Joey Bada$$.

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3:07 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Mattawan teacher union dues agreement in limbo

Lead in text: 
While most teacher contracts in southwest Michigan run out this year, the contract for teachers in the Kalamazoo Public Schools doesn't expire until 2015.
MATTAWAN, MI -- Officials at Mattawan Consolidated Schools are backing off a tentative agreement with the Mattawan Education Association to mandate union dues for teachers through June 2016. Mattawan teachers already had approved an agreement to maintain so-called "agency-shop" status for the MEA, and needed the school board's approval of the pact before Michigan's new right-to-work law takes effect this Thursday.
Africa
2:44 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Islamists Say They Are Filling Vacuum Left By Egyptian State

Egyptian men and boys pray at a mosque in Assiut, southern Egypt, that serves as the headquarters for Gamaa al-Islamiya, a group that once waged a bloody insurgency, attacking police and Christians in a campaign to create an Islamic state. Now the Islamist group says it's determined to ensure law and order in the area.
Nariman El-Mofty AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

In the lush Nile Valley city of Assiut, the police went on strike earlier this month, along with thousands of other cops across the country. They demanded the ouster of the minister of interior, and more guns and equipment to deal with anti-government protests.

A group of hard-line Islamists then stunned the city, which is south of Cairo, by promising to handle security during the strike. The next day, the policemen were back at work.

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WMUK News
2:43 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Kalamazoo TOAD rides on two wheels

TOAD's Macallister Armstrong fixes a wheel
Credit WMUK

If you live in Kalamazoo there’s a TOAD in your backyard but it’s no amphibian. It's the TOAD Bicycle Cooperative in the Vine neighborhood where rusty chains and broken frames are dragged in and functional bikes glide out.

Sean Cleary helped start TOAD three years ago. He says, “It’s fifty percent working on bikes and helping people get on the road, and fifty percent doing big rides and having fun, and just having a party on wheels.”

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Mental Health
2:28 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Amid Syria's Crisis, Mental Health Care For Refugees

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. More than 1 million people have fled to safety across Syria's borders. Many live in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, which too often struggle to meet basic needs such as shelter, food and clean water. Some arrive wounded, and need medical care. Many suffer from the invisible wounds of trauma - everything from shelling or crossfire to the loss of a loved one, even torture. All of them have lost their homes.

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Opinion
2:24 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Op-Ed: The Battles Ahead Over Driverless Cars

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

'Mary T. and Lizzy K.': History's Unlikely Friendship

Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris plays Elizabeth Keckly and Naomi Jacobson plays Mary Todd Lincoln in Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater's production of Mary T. & Lizzy K.
Scott Suchman

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 5:03 pm

More than a century before Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln offered an intimate portrait of the 16th president and his family, a memoir from the first lady's dressmaker offered a glimpse into the Lincoln White House.

Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress and maybe her closest friend, told her story of slavery and self-emancipation, and her relationship with the Lincolns in a tell-all memoir called Behind The Scenes.

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12:53 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

US Supreme Court to hear Michigan affirmative action case

Lead in text: 
The high court will hear the case when its new term begins this fall.
At issue in the Michigan affirmative action case is whether states are free to replace race-conscious affirmative action admissions plans with race-neutral alternatives. The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine whether a 2006 ballot initiative banning affirmative action at public universities in Michigan violates the equal protection rights of minorities.
Fresh Air Interviews
12:39 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Remembering Chinua Achebe And The Importance Of Struggle

To remember Chinua Achebe who died last Thursday, Fresh Air listens back to an interview with the great African writer that originally aired on May 10, 1988. In it, Achebe talks about the literary trope of the white explorer or missionary living amongst the savages, and the importance of struggle.

Fresh Air Interviews
12:39 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

How And Why The Hollywood Star Machine Made 'Gods Like Us'

promo image
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:25 pm

As a film critic for The Boston Globe, Ty Burr has met a lot of movie stars and is often asked what they're really like. What he has realized is that often, the actor's image has little to do with their actual personality, but that's not what interests him; Burr is more curious about why we ask that question to begin with. Burr wants to know "why we respond to these people who we think are larger than life [and] that are — especially in the classic days — manufactured and all their irregularities sanded off and presented to us as some kind of perfection."

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NPR Story
12:25 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Will Obama's Visit Shape A New Middle East?

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 8:24 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TMM from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in this hour we'll talk about why gender matters in matters of health and issues such as drug effectiveness and even how your eyes work. We'll speak with the head of Women's Health Research at the National Institutes of Health in just a minute. That's part of our coverage of Women's History Month.

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NPR Story
12:25 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Observing Passover in Prison

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, you probably know that Passover begins today at sundown. The holiday, one of the most important in the Jewish calendar, commemorates the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. But the holiday resonates beyond Judaism because it is also a celebration of freedom, and that caused us to wonder how the celebration of Passover is complicated by those who are unfree, those who are in prison, for example.

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NPR Story
12:25 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Women's Health: More Than 'Bikini Medicine'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will talk about Passover, which begins at sundown tonight. It commemorates the Jewish people's escape from slavery in Egypt to freedom.

We were wondering what it's like to observe when you are not free, so we'll speak with the former lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, about that. You might remember that he served more than three years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. He'll be with us in just a few minutes.

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National Security
11:02 am
Mon March 25, 2013

As Qualified Men Dwindle, Military Looks For A Few Good Women

Army recruits perform exercises as part of a demonstration for tourists in front of the military-recruiting station in New York's Times Square.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

When the Pentagon said earlier this year that it would open ground combat jobs to women, it was cast in terms of giving women equal opportunities in the workplace — the military workplace.

But the move has practical considerations, too. The military needs qualified people to fill its ranks, and it's increasingly harder to find them among men.

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WMUK News
10:53 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Does the Internet promote democracy?

Credit Tara Todras-Whitehill / AP Photo

Imagine if, only a few minutes after visiting your favorite political Web page, the police knocked on your door and they took you to jail. People in some countries don’t have to imagine it because they see it happen. So say two journalists who will speak Tuesday, March 26th, at Western Michigan University about the Internet and the fight for democracy. The event starts at 6 p.m. in Room 1920 in Sangren Hall.

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Afghanistan
8:34 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Kerry Stops In Afghanistan On Diplomatic Mission

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad and today he made an announced trip to Afghanistan to try to smooth over the latest disputes with President Hamid Karzai. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with the secretary and joins us now from Kabul. Hey, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

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7:44 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Protests expected as Emergency Manager begins work in Detroit

Lead in text: 
Monday is first day on job as emergency manager for Kevyn Orr
DETROIT -Rev. Jesse Jackson on Friday called for mass protests in response to Gov. Rick Snyder's appointment of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, and it appears he may get his wish. Rev. Charles Williams II, pastor of King Solomon Baptist church and the Michigan leader of Al Sharpton's National Action Network, said 657 people, according to the sign-in sheet, attended a emergency manager mobilization meeting at his church Saturday.
Europe
7:31 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Pope Calls To Cancel His Newspaper Subscription

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. We've been hearing a lot of stories of the new pope's modesty, and now this. The pope called a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk to cancel his own subscription. The shocked kiosk owner thought it was a joke until his holiest customer said, seriously, I'm calling you from Rome. The news vendor told an Argentine daily of another humble habit. The then-cardinal always collected and once a month returned the rubber bands from his newspapers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

7:29 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Survey finds Holland and Zeeland manufacturers more optimistic than state and nation

Lead in text: 
Survey by Lakeshore Advantage finds many plan to expand operations over the next three years
HOLLAND -Survey data shows manufacturers in the Holland-Zeeland area performed well in 2012, compared to their peers in the Midwest and around the nation, and look forward to more growth in the next few years. Of the more than 200 companies whose executives were interviewed by Lakeshore Advantage last year, 77 percent said their sales were growing and 22 percent reported stable sales.
Read More: http://mibiz.com
Michigan autism plan
7:18 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Report calls for better screening, establishing best practices for treating autism

File photo of Lt. Governor Brian Calley discussing insurance reform for autism in 2012. Calley's daughter has autistim
Credit The Associated Press

A new report recommends creating a state Autism Council made up of professionals, parents and others. The Michigan Autism Spectrum Disorders State Plan also recommends broad access to comprehensive diagnosis to allow for early screening and establishing best practices for educators and service providers. Mary Connors of Kalamazoo is one of the committee members who helped create the report.

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Around the Nation
7:16 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Golfer Sergio Garcia Climbs Tree To Avoid Penalty

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Pro golfer Sergio Garcia hit a ball into a tree at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend. The easy choice: Just take a one-stroke penalty. Drop the ball to the ground. But Garcia did it the hard way. He climbed 15 feet up the tree and played the ball from there. Balancing himself with one hand on the club, he somehow knocked the ball onto the fairway. Well, what is the best club in such a situation? One PGA announcer suggested a tree iron.

6:44 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Low lake levels could mean loss of millions for coastal communities

Lead in text: 
South Haven harbormaster is among those that expect lost revenue because of record low water levels in Great Lakes
Michigan's coastal communities could lose millions of dollars this year, after water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron hit record lows over the winter. Whether via slip fees, shipping, commercial fishing, licenses, real estate or tourism, the state's $7-billion boating economy, which includes about 800,000 licensed boats and about 500,000 jobs, is bracing to take hits.
6:36 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Federal funds help in battle against blight in Battle Creek

Lead in text: 
$12.2-million in federal grant money since 2009 has helped pay for demolishing 350 homes across the city
Melissa and Eric Gray are settling into their north side Battle Creek home thanks in large part to a government program that removed hundreds of rundown houses from city neighborhoods and fixed up dozens more for families like theirs.
6:26 am
Mon March 25, 2013

WMU hockey season ends, Broncos miss NCAA tournament

Lead in text: 
Broncos made the NCAA tournament last two years, begin play in new National Collegiate Hockey Conference next season
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI -- Western Michigan University will finish the season in the top 16 of the Pairwise rankings, but the Broncos will not be one of the 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos will be bumped out by Canisius College, which was not a Team Under Consideration in the Pairwise but claimed an automatic bid by winning the Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament on Saturday.
Water main break
6:20 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Loy Norrix High School closed due to water main break

Credit WMUK

Kalamazoo Public Schools reports that Loy Norrix High School is closed Monday because of a water main break. 

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Europe
4:47 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Exiled Russian Oligarch's Death Launches British Probe

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And police in Britain are piecing together the final days in the life of a Russian oligarch named Boris Berezovsky. They hope this may shed light on his sudden death this last weekend. Berezovsky used to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia. Then he fell out with the Kremlin and sought asylum in Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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