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It's All Politics
1:17 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Michelle Obama Steps Into Gun Control Debate

First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday speaks about 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago earlier this year.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:19 pm

First lady Michelle Obama gave a personal and emotional speech Wednesday in Chicago as she stepped into the debate over gun control.

"Right now, my husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common-sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence," she said.

The first lady was in her hometown to encourage business leaders to donate millions of dollars to programs for at-risk youth.

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Education
12:50 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

El Paso Schools Cheating Scandal: Who's Accountable?

Former El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is escorted by his attorneys into a Texas courthouse. He was found guilty of fiddling with El Paso schools' test scores for his own financial gain.
Ruben R. Ramirez/The El Paso Times AP

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:29 am

No one knows if Atlanta's school superintendent or any of the people accused of falsifying test results will go to jail, but they wouldn't be the first if they do.

Lorenzo Garcia, the former superintendent of schools in El Paso, Texas, has been sitting in a federal prison since last year. He's the nation's first superintendent convicted of fraud and reporting bogus test scores for financial gain.

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The Salt
12:22 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Cities Turn Sewage Into 'Black Gold' For Local Farms

Thick jets of processed sewage arc out 30 to 40 feet from giant moving spreaders at Birmingham Farm in Kansas City, Mo.
Frank Morris for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 7:07 am

On a normal day, Kansas City, Mo., processes more than 70 million gallons of raw sewage. This sewage used to be a nuisance, but Kansas City, and a lot of municipalities around the country, are now turning it into a resource for city farmers hard up for fertilizer.

After the sewage has been processed at a treatment plant, it's piped out to Birmingham Farm on the north side of the Missouri River.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Wed April 10, 2013

A 'Transformational Gift': New York's Met Will Receive $1 Billion Cubism Collection

Fernand Léger's Composition (Le typographe) (Composition [The Typographer]).
Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection; 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:19 pm

The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art will receive what its director calls a "truly transformational" gift: Leonard A. Lauder's collection of 78 cubist works.

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It's All Politics
11:34 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Some States Hike Gas Tax; Va. Tries New Route To Fund Roads

Drivers travel on Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, near Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va., in November, just days before the opening of four new express lanes. Virginia is among 19 states that have approved or are considering legislation to increase transportation funding, according to Transportation for America.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:19 pm

It's no secret that many of the nation's roads are in pretty bad shape. In the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the condition of America's highways rated a grade of D.

Congestion is a big problem, and so is upkeep. Most states rely on gas taxes to raise the money for repairs and new construction, but that funding source is not the stream it used to be, says James Corless of Transportation for America.

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The Salt
11:29 am
Wed April 10, 2013

As Promised: Obama Wants To Overhaul Global Anti-Hunger Efforts

Palestinians unload bags of flour donated by USAID, or the United States Agency for International Development, at a depot in the West Bank village of Anin in 2008.
Mohammed Ballas AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:10 pm

The White House unveiled its proposal Wednesday for drastic changes in government programs that donate food to fight hunger abroad — and surprised no one.

As we reported last week, rumors of such an overhaul had been circulating for weeks, arousing both hope and anger among organizations involved in global anti-hunger programs.

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It's All Politics
11:26 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Howard Students Question Rand Paul's Vision Of GOP

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shown Tuesday on Capitol Hill, told students at historically black Howard University on Wednesday that the GOP has worked to protect civil rights.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to school students on who founded the NAACP?

Priceless.

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to make a case for his Republican Party as a historic and continuing defender of the civil rights of African-Americans?

Not boring.

And, judging from the reaction the Kentucky senator received Wednesday at Washington's Howard University, less than persuasive.

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Law
11:25 am
Wed April 10, 2013

A Mother's Fight Against 3 Strikes Law 'A Way of Life'

Sue Reams campaigned to change California's three-strikes law and help set free her son, Shane.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:19 pm

Since the November election, 240 California prisoners facing potential life sentences have been set free. That's because voters changed California's tough three strikes sentencing law.

As NPR reported in 2009, that law sent thousands of people to prison for terms of 25 years to life for minor, nonviolent crimes. Now those prisoners can ask the court to have their sentences reduced.

One of those set free under the new law is Shane Reams. He owes his freedom in no small part to his mother Sue's 17-year campaign to change the law.

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Latin America
11:22 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Venezuelan Candidates Campaign In Chavez's Long Shadow

Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Valencia, Venezuela, on Tuesday. The country's voters go to the polls this weekend to choose a successor to longtime leader Hugo Chavez, who died last month.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 3:16 pm

For the first time in 14 years, Hugo Chavez is not on the ballot for a presidential election in Venezuela. The firebrand leftist died last month at 58 after a long fight with cancer.

Pollsters say the sympathy vote and the state's huge resources will translate into a big victory in Sunday's election for Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver turned government minister who had been a Chavez loyalist for 20 years.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Wed April 10, 2013

American Tribe Fights To Halt Artifact Auction In Paris

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:37 am

An auction of sacred Native American artifacts scheduled for Friday in Paris is stirring up controversy on both sides of the Atlantic

Seventy Hopi "visages and headdresses" — some more than 100 years old — will go on the block at the Neret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou auction house, which estimates the sale will bring in about $1 million, according to The New York Times.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Dealer Says He Doctored Most Valuable Baseball Card Ever Sold

A rare example of the 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card. In 2007, one of them fetched a whopping $2.8 million.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:17 pm

A judge has rejected a plea agreement from the former head of a sports memorabilia auction house who admitted to using shill bidders to drive up prices and to altering the most valuable baseball card ever sold.

William Mastro of Mastro Auctions admitted to doctoring the 1909 Honus Wagner cigarette card that was once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky. The card sold for $2.8 million in 2007.

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Shots - Health News
10:15 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Feds Fault Preemie Researchers For Ethical Lapses

How much oxygen should severely premature infants receive? A study that sought to answer the question has been criticized for not fully informing parents about the risks to their children.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:04 am

Federal officials say a large study of premature infants was ethically flawed because doctors didn't inform the babies' parents about increased risks of blindness, brain damage and death.

The study involved more than 1,300 severely premature infants at nearly two dozen medical institutions between 2004 and 2009. The infants were randomly assigned to receive two different levels of oxygen to see which was better at preventing blindness without increasing the risk of neurologic damage or death.

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The Salt
9:52 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Earliest Cookware Was Used To Make Fish Soup

Pots like this 15,000-year-old vessel from Japan are among the world's earliest cookware.
Tokamachi City Museum

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 11:37 am

Roasted fish on a stick is OK, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to cook up some fish soup?

That's what might have crossed the minds of hunter-gatherers who made the world's first cooking pots. A new analysis of pottery made 15,000 years ago in what's now Japan reveals that it was used to cook seafood, probably salmon.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Test-Tube Baby Pioneer Dies

Dr. Robert Edwards holds the world's first "test-tube baby," Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978. A midwife stands in the center, with gynecologist Patrick Steptoe on the right.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:27 am

The man whose research led to the world's first test-tube baby more than three decades ago, has died at age 87.

Robert Edwards, who later won the Nobel Prize, began experimenting with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, in the late 1960s. His work, controversial at the time, eventually led to the birth of the world's first "test tube baby," Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978.

Since then, IVF has resulted in about 5 million babies worldwide, according to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.

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Shots - Health News
8:22 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Patent Medicines Get A Belated Chemical Checkup

Dr. Sawen's Magic Nervine Pills contained calcium, iron, copper and potassium. Despite advertising claiming they were free of lead and mercury, both elements were found in the pills.
Courtesy of Mark Benvenuto

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:04 am

The patent medicines sold in days gone by may, contrary to the name, not have had real government patents. But that didn't stop their makers from claiming the concoctions could cure ailments ranging from indigestion to jaundice and fever.

Now, researchers have put some of these old elixirs and pills in the Henry Ford Museum's large collection of patent medicines to a modern test. They found a mix of potentially harmful metals like lead and mercury along with benign ingredients, including calcium and iron.

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The Salt
7:33 am
Wed April 10, 2013

A Battle Over Antibiotics In Organic Apple And Pear Farming

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 6:31 am

Note: We've updated the headline on this post for the sake of clarity. To be clear, it's the apple and pear tree blossoms that get sprayed with antibiotics, not the fruit itself.

Apples and especially pears are vulnerable to a nasty bacterial infection called fire blight that, left unchecked, can spread quickly, killing fruit trees and sometimes devastating whole orchards.

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Wed April 10, 2013

She Won $40,000! No, It Was $40 Million! Happy Dance Time!

The Windsor Star shows." href="/post/she-won-40000-no-it-was-40-million-happy-dance-time" class="noexit lightbox">
When Maria Carreiro found out she had won $40 million, she danced with joy. She recreated her "happy dance" for reporters, as a video posted by The Windsor Star shows.
The Windsor Star

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:58 am

Maria Carreiro of Toronto was thrilled when she thought she had won $40,000 (Canadian).

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Race
7:08 am
Wed April 10, 2013

New Report On Black America Reveals 'A Tale of Two Truths'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, can I tell you how great you look? No? Well, that's my Can I Just Tell You essay and it's coming up in a few minutes.

But first, we are focusing on the economic progress or lack thereof facing African-Americans. This year marks the 50th anniversary of a number of important dates in civil rights history, including the march on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.

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Politics
7:02 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Gun Control: Why We Can't All Just Get Along

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we are going to talk about some provocative new research that sheds some light on how personal relationships play a role in getting a job and we'll talk about how that plays out differently or may play out differently for whites and minorities. That's coming up later in the program.

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Sports
7:02 am
Wed April 10, 2013

UConn Sank Louisville In Women's NCAA Matchup

An exciting women's NCAA basketball tournament ended with a dominant win by UConn in Tuesday's final game. ESPN's Pablo Torre talks with host Michel Martin about the game and other sports news.

The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Postal Service Will Keep Saturday Mail Delivery After All

A Chicago postal worker protests in support of Saturday mail delivery in February.
John Gress Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:50 am

The U.S. Postal Service has backed off a plan to halt Saturday mail delivery, saying that Congress has forced it to continue the service despite massive cost overruns.

In a statement released Wednesday, the USPS Board of Governors said restrictive language included in the latest Continuing Resolution, which keeps the government operating until September in lieu of a budget, prevents it from going ahead with the plan.

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Wed April 10, 2013

For Some Britons, Thatcher's Death Provokes Celebrations

Margaret Thatcher provoked great divisions and her critics have spoken out following her death. These graffiti appeared in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday, a day after she died.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:41 am

A young man is parading the streets of the city of Glasgow with a slogan daubed onto the back of his black leather jacket in big, freshly painted white letters. "We're havin' a party," it declares. "Thatcher's dead."

In what was the coal belt of northern England, a burly former miner lights up an enormous cigar and takes a satisfied puff. He says he's looking forward to a few celebratory drinks.

Hundreds of miles to the south, in Brixton, south London, a boisterous crowd prances around, joyously boozing and setting off fireworks under the wary gaze of police in riot gear.

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National Security
6:07 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'The Way Of The Knife': Soldiers, Spies And Shadow Wars

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:10 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The CIA and the military have been transformed in ways that have blurred the boundaries between them. The shape of the new military intelligence complex is the subject of my guest Mark Mazzetti's new book, "The Way of the Knife." He writes: The CIA is no longer a traditional espionage service, devoted to stealing the secrets of foreign governments. The CIA has become a killing machine, an organization consumed with man-hunting.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Russian Parliament Moves Ahead On Anti-Blasphemy Law

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in November.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:14 am

Russia's parliament has given preliminary approval to an anti-blasphemy bill that would make it a crime to offend religious feelings.

The BBC reports that the bill was drafted last year after members of the punk band Pussy Riot used Moscow's main Russian Orthodox cathedral to perform a protest song against President Vladimir Putin.

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Monkey See
5:51 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Thank G-O-O-D-N-E-S-S: The National Spelling Bee Adds Meaning

Spellers wait to participate in the semi-finals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

As Eyder Peralta reported last night, the National Spelling Bee has made a big change to its rules.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'Friends And Neighbors' Exception Part Of Deal On Gun Checks

The scene at a gun show in Alabama last month.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:52 am

We last updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET:

Saying "this is a start and it's not the end of our work," Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia confirmed Wednesday morning that he and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have put together a bipartisan plan that they believe will "keep guns out of dangerous hands."

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The Two-Way
4:35 am
Wed April 10, 2013

New White House Budget Has Something For Everyone To Dislike

Senate Budget Committee staffers unpack boxes of President Obama's 2014 budget proposal on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:46 am

UPDATE at 11:05 a.m. ET: Obama: Growing Economy, Shrinking Deficits Both Possible

President Obama unveiled his 2014 budget proposal Wednesday, calling it a "fiscally responsible blueprint" that can help grow the economy and shrink deficits.

The president said his plan addresses the debate about how to expand the economy while reducing government red ink: "This budget answers that argument because we can do both," he said at the Rose Garden.

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The Two-Way
4:30 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Anthony Weiner Is Eyeing A Return To Politics

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., at a Brooklyn Nets basketball game in November 2012.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:50 am

Just under two years after his once-rising political career went up in flames because of an extramarital sexting scandal, former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner is plotting a possible comeback.

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The Two-Way
3:47 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Top Stories: North Korea; Obama's Budget; Gun Legislation

The Two-Way
3:10 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Students Stopped The Stabbing Suspect At Texas College

Dylan Quick, who is accused in the stabbings at Lone Star College, in a photo supplied to the news media Wednesday by the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff's Office.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:19 am

"My first thought was I need to go catch him."

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