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Politics
5:34 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Pay-To-Play Laws Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during an April 17 news conference in New York.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 pm

While the Supreme Court this month took another step in freeing up big political donors, another set of federal restrictions on political money is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The so-called pay-to-play rules — enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission — are a narrow but powerful way to control political cash.

Think "pay to play" and you might think of video games or high school sports. But in politics, "pay to play" refers to something totally different — a particular kind of political corruption.

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The Salt
5:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Rum Renaissance Revives The Spirit's Rough Reputation

Ian Burrell, a rum ambassador from the U.K., samples the liquor at the Miami Rum Festival.
Tatu Kaarlas Courtesy of Miami Rum Festival

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 11:31 am

There was a time when rum was considered rotgut. Blackbeard the pirate liked to mix his cane alcohol with gunpowder and light it — rum and croak.

Fast-forward a few centuries to rum respectability — specifically, to Rob Burr's patio deck in Coral Gables, in South Florida.

From the waterfall pond to the tiki bar, Burr's deck sets a mood not for swilling rum, but for tasting it. Not the way spring-breakers chug Captain Morgan, but the way cognac drinkers sip Napoleon: Not with Coke (or gunpowder) but neat, in a snifter.

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Media
5:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

So Much For Scoops: Newspapers Turn To Data-Crunching And Context

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Verticals, context blogs, explainers, those are the buzzwords of the news business. From some of the nation's oldest papers to the newest digital news startups, there's a rush to create sites that emphasize context rather than good old-fashioned scoops. The focus now is to blend fresh writing, number crunching and striking graphics. NPR's David Folkenflik reports on this evolution.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:36 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Valentina Lisitsa: Chasing Pianos And YouTube Fans

Valentina Lisitsa's new album, Chasing Pianos, features music from Michael Nyman's score to the 1993 film The Piano.
Alexei Kuznetsoff Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 pm

Born in Kiev a little more than 40 years ago, Valentina Lisitsa came to America in the early '90s to work as a concert pianist.

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Education
4:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Wash. Loses 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver Over Teacher Evaluations

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Washington has become the first state to lose its waiver to the No Child Left Behind Act. Most states have waivers to some of the more stringent requirements of the 2001 federal law but those waivers come with conditions. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, Washington is being punished because it didn't fulfill a condition that is very dear to the Obama administration.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: What the administration wants is simple. Teachers should be evaluated, in part, on how their students do on standardized tests.

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