Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African-American to hold the nation's top law enforcement job — is in the homestretch of his first, and probably last, full term in the post.

And after more than three years on the job, Holder is in an unusually reflective mood. He's thinking about the country's ongoing struggle over civil rights and what he wants to accomplish in his last months of government service.

The spring sun is warming the fields and orchards along the Turkey-Syria border, and new refugee camps are sprouting as well.

Smugglers who have long worked these mountain border trails are now busy moving civilians out of Syria to the safety of Turkish camps. They're also moving medical and communications equipment and people into opposition-held neighborhoods in Syria. But recently, some say that's getting harder.

A smuggler known as Abu Ayham says Turkish guards, who used to permit nonlethal aid to pass freely, have suddenly grown much tougher on the smugglers.

Even before the hospital bills started coming, Lori Duff and her family were living paycheck to paycheck. So when the debt collector called the Columbus, Ohio, mother and demanded $1,800 for the prenatal visits she'd had while pregnant with her third son, she panicked.

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a rule requiring TV stations to post details online about the amount of advertising time political candidates and campaigns buy, as well as how much the stations charge for those ads.

TV stations already are required to keep such public records. But in most cases, the information has been accessible only to those who visit a TV station and physically look through paper files, NPR's Brian Naylor reported.

Lehman Bros., the Wall Street giant, collapsed in September 2008 in the nation's largest bankruptcy and arguably kicked off a financial meltdown that helped drag the economy into the Great Recession.

Choose Health Coverage Like An Economist

Apr 27, 2012

If you want to eat well, find out where the chefs go after they clock out.

If you're wondering how to deal with a health problem, ask your doctor what she'd do for her mom.

And if you're puzzling over which insurance plan to pick, take a look at how some health economists size them up.

Clever journalist Dinah Wisenberg Brin got some big names in the world of health economics to reveal details about their insurance status. And you might learn a thing or two from their thinking.

In an explosive interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, the former chief of the CIA's clandestine service describes waterboarding Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. (A Warning: The interview contains some offensive language.)

Blind Chinese Activist Flees House Arrest

Apr 27, 2012

A blind Chinese activist, one of the country's most prominent, has made an audacious escape from house arrest and is safe from Chinese authorities, according to his supporters.

Yet days after Chen Guangchen fled his home, it's not clear exactly where he is. A diplomatic source indicates that he is inside the U.S. embassy, but this has not been confirmed officially.

Chen has attracted international attention with his efforts to prevent forced illegal abortions in China. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken out in support of him.

Our Buggy Brain

Apr 27, 2012

"Most animals learn by trial and error. There's just one problem: error." — Dan Gilbert

Our amazing brain, with all of its harmonious functions, also performs any number of peculiar actions, which we might find unexpected and counterintuitive. What tricks do our minds play when we think it's okay to lie, cheat, or steal? How in control are we of our own decisions? And why do our brains systematically misjudge what will make us happy?

After tough criticism from Republicans, the Obama administration withdrew its proposal for new rules to limit child labor on farms.

The AP reports that yesterday, the Labor Department withdrew the proposed rules "that would ban children younger than 16 from using most power-driven farm equipment, including tractors. The rules also would prevent those younger than 18 from working in feed lots, grain bins and stockyards."

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KTOT, 89.5 FM, is likely to remain at reduced power for an indefinite period. Our Engineers are working on the problem. KZNZ, 91.5 FM, Elkhart, which repeats the KTOT signal is off the air.

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NPR Headlines

Miguel Diaz-Canel has been elected president of Cuba, officially ending the Castro family's nearly six-decade domination of the country's highest office. The Communist Party formally announced the presidency's transition from Raul Castro on Thursday, in what might better be described as a coronation than an election.

On Thursday evening, Alabama is set to execute an 83-year-old serial package bomber named Walter Leroy Moody.

Moody is the oldest inmate on Alabama's death row and would be the oldest inmate executed in the U.S. since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

It's getting easier to find top-notch, handcrafted whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and other spirits made in the U.S. With more than 1,500 craft distillers across the country, the American spirits movement is on the rise, and in Vermont, the industry is booming.

Over the past 15 years, the number of licensed distilleries in the Green Mountain State has increased nearly tenfold: from just three to more than 24, according to Vermont's Distilled Spirits Council.

Incomplete questionnaires for the 2020 census, including those that leave the controversial citizenship question unanswered, will still be included in the upcoming U.S. headcount, the Census Bureau's top official confirmed Wednesday to lawmakers.

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