David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.

In his years at NPR, David has covered science's discoveries and its darker side, including the Northeast blackout, the anthrax attacks and the collapse of the New Orleans levees. He has also reported on energy issues, particularly nuclear and climate change.

David has won awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Robert Benincasa is a computer-assisted reporting producer in NPR's Investigations Unit.

Since joining NPR in 2008, Benincasa has been reporting on NPR Investigations stories, analyzing data for investigations, and developing data visualizations and interactive applications for NPR.org. He has worked on numerous groundbreaking stories, including an exclusive on the independence level of nursing home residents, the safety of automated aircraft, and a government mandate to produce $1 coins that Americans don't want.

Prior to NPR, Benincasa served as the database editor for the Gannett News Service Washington Bureau for a decade. In 1995, he joined the Burlington VT Free Press as a staff writer.

Planet Money
9:24 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Where Dollars Are Born

Robert Benincasa NPR

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 4:05 am

DALTON, Mass. – If you were driving through this small town along the Housatonic River in the Berkshires, here's something you might not think about: All the bills in your wallet are visiting their birthplace.

The paper for U.S. currency, the substrate of everyday commerce, has been made here since 1879 by the Crane family.

Crane & Co. vice president Doug Crane represents the eighth generation descended from Stephen Crane, who was making paper before the American Revolution.

He gave NPR reporters a behind-the-scenes tour and talked about his company.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Arizona's Top Elections Official Considers 'Birther' Issue Closed

In all likelihood it won't change the minds of those who believe President Obama is ineligible to be president, but today Arizona's top elections official said he had put the "birther" issue to rest, when Hawaii sent him confirmation that Obama's birth certificate is legitimate.

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It's All Politics
8:21 am
Wed May 23, 2012

At Auction, Reagan's Blood Is Pricey But A Bargain Versus Fidel-Signed Flag

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:30 am

It's safe to say that when it comes to recent presidents, Ronald Reagan is the most venerated, especially among Republicans but not exclusively so. Some even accuse conservatives of beatifying the 40th president as though he were on the road to sainthood.

So it's not surprising there would be a Reagan relic out there, specifically a medical-lab vial purportedly containing the dried remains of a blood sample taken from the president on the day he was nearly assassinated in March 1981.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:21 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Compensating Organ Donors Becomes 'Talk Of The Nation'

iStockphoto.com

When we first kicked around the idea of asking people to share their opinions about compensating organ donors, it was pretty clear that we were on to something. Everybody in the newsroom seemed to have a strong feeling about it.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg: Immigration May Be Only Solution For Crumbling Cities

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Lucas Jackson AP

For the most part, we don't hear novel arguments in favor or against the controversial issue of immigration. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been one of the few to take a different view. Last year, he advocated opening the door to new immigrants if they all moved to Detroit.

At the time, it was derided as weird.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Patrick Fitzgerald, High-Profile Prosecutor, Stepping Down

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald.
John Gress Getty Images

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who obtained the conviction of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff for lying to authorities about the leaking of a CIA officer's name and who sent former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to jail on corruption charges, is stepping down from his post.

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Election 2012
7:52 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Get Ready For The First Robot President

While American politicians may be scripted, they're not this robotic. But whoever wins the presidency this year will preside over a U.S. economy where automation is becoming increasingly important.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:48 am

As many folks know, Bill Clinton was called the First Black President by Toni Morrison in The New Yorker.

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The Salt
7:42 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Sodexo Has A Beef With Food Certification Programs

Think these labels we found on foods inside an NPR refrigerator are a lot to digest? Try balancing these considerations with the demands of 50 million diners a day.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Surely you've noticed the proliferation of certifications advertising farmers' and food companies' virtuous commitments to fix the environment or promote health. These seals can reassure, but the sheer volume of them can also confound. How to choose between grass-fed, organic, hormone-free or free range?

Now imagine that you have to feed 50 million people a day in 80 countries around the world. And every day more of those people are demanding that the food you serve them be organic, gluten-free, or fair trade.

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