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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
11:37 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Sequester Puts Some Needing Housing Aid 'Back To Square One'

Roger Bottomley of Fairfax, Va., has been homeless for 10 years. He expected to get a housing voucher, but then his appointment with the local housing authority was canceled because of sequestration. He keeps his belongings in a locker at a homeless day center.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:01 pm

Congress decided last week to ease the effects of the across-the-board federal spending cuts on travelers upset over airport delays. But low-income Americans who rely on government housing aid are still feeling the pain.

Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Many newly issued vouchers have been rescinded, leaving some people homeless or doubled up with family and friends.

And the cuts come at a time when there's a severe shortage of affordable housing across the country.

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Shots - Health News
11:24 am
Tue April 30, 2013

How Doctors Would Know If Syrians Were Hit With Nerve Gas

Doctors at a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, treat a boy injured in what the government said was a chemical weapons attack on March 19. Syria's government and rebels accused each other of firing a rocket loaded with chemical agents outside of Aleppo.
George Ourfalian Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:02 am

President Obama affirmed Tuesday that there's evidence Syrians have been attacked with chemical weapons — in particular, nerve gas.

But that's not the same as proof positive.

"We don't know how they were used, when they were used, who used them," Obama said. "We don't have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened."

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Spanish Judge Orders Bags Of Blood Destroyed In Doping Case

Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, left, arrives at a court house in Madrid on January 28, 2013.
Dani Pozo AFP/Getty Images

By all accounts, it was a less-than-spectacular end to one of Spain's biggest doping cases. El País, the country's biggest newspaper, summed up the trial of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes saying it ended without blood and without a sentence.

Fuentes was convicted of endangering public health and was given a one-year suspended sentence, a $6,000 fine and a four-year ban from practicing medicine. Most people sentenced under two years in Spain skip prison.

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The Salt
10:52 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Caffeine-Laced Gum Has Energized The FDA

Wrigley says its new Alert Energy Caffeine Gum gives consumers the power to control how much caffeine they get.
Wrigley Incorporated

The caffeinated chewing gum has pushed the FDA over the edge.

The federal agency held its tongue when caffeinated potato chips, jelly beans, chocolate, sunflower seeds and energy bars hit the market.

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Music Reviews
10:52 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Marc Ribot Isn't Trying To Comfort Anyone

Ceramic Dog is Marc Ribot, Ches Smith and Shahzad Ismaily.
Barbara Rigon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:01 pm

After six years as a sideman for many soul veterans, Marc Ribot made his name in 1985 with Rain Dogs, the album that marked Tom Waits' permanent transition from eccentric singer-songwriter to truly weird singer-songwriter. Ribot has held down straight gigs since then, but his work has tended toward the avant-garde. That's much less true on the song-oriented second album by the trio he calls Ceramic Dog.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Tue April 30, 2013

No More Politics For Pakistan's Musharraf, Court Orders

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is escorted from a courtroom on April 20.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:01 pm

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been banned for life from running for political office, a high court ruled on Tuesday.

The move by the Peshawar High Court appears to end the possibility that Musharraf, who returned to the country last month after four years in self-imposed exile, will stand in the May 11 parliamentary elections as he had hoped.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Qatar Covers Nude Statues, Greeks Take Them Back

This ancient Greek statue, from 520 B.C., is one of two nudes that were covered up in a Greek exhibit that went on display in Qatar. The statues were sent back to Greece.
Nimatallah / Art Resource, NY

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:43 am

The ancient statues depict young men, naked and muscled, in their physical prime. The two sculptures were supposed to celebrate the purity and kinetic beauty of ancient sport in a traveling exhibit, "The Olympics — Past and Present."

But when the Greek exhibit reached the conservative Muslim emirate of Qatar, the two statues were placed behind a screen of sheer black cloth.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Cyprus Passes Tough Financial Bailout Package

A Cypriot left-wing supporter sits in the shade during a protest outside the Parliament in Nicosia on Tuesday.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Cyprus approved a controversial $13 billion bailout from international lenders that's aimed at keeping the country from a messy default and withdrawal from the eurozone.

The agreement, which totals $30 billion when Cyprus' own contributions are included, passed 29-27 in the 56-seat Parliament.

The ruling center-right Democratic Rally party and its ally, the Democratic party, voted for the measure.

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U.S.
10:19 am
Tue April 30, 2013

On California Prisons, It's The Governor Vs. The Courts

Gov. Jerry Brown in January calls for federal judges to return control of California prisons to the state. This month, a federal appeals court denied Brown's request and ordered the state to reduce its prison population immediately.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:32 pm

California Gov. Jerry Brown is locked in a legal battle over control of his state's prison system. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the state to drastically reduce its prisoner population. Brown claims the state has made substantial progress, but the governor has stopped short of complying fully with the court order.

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The Salt
10:11 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Why An Immigration Deal Won't Solve The Farmworker Shortage

American farms like this iceberg lettuce field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods outside Salinas, Calif., are facing a dwindling supply of farmworkers from rural Mexico.
Kirk Siegler

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:01 pm

The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.

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Latin America
9:39 am
Tue April 30, 2013

As Youth Crime Spikes, Brazil Struggles For Answers

A youth smokes crack in the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. A crack epidemic is one factor contributing to the sharp rise in crime committed by Brazilian minors.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 4:34 am

In Rio de Janeiro, tourists are drawn to Copacabana for its wide beach and foliage-covered cliffs. But a month ago, not far from the tourist hub, an American woman and her French male companion were abducted. She was brutally gang-raped; he was beaten.

Perhaps what was most shocking to Brazilians, though, was the age of one of the alleged accomplices: He was barely in his teens.

"Why? That's what you ask yourself," says Sylvia Rumpoldt, who is walking with a friend at dusk by the sea in Rio. "It's horrible. It's criminal energy."

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Tue April 30, 2013

NBA Player Jason Collins Could Snag Endorsements, Speaking Gigs

Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards rebounds against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center earlier this month in Chicago.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:04 am

For Jason Collins, coming out just might prove a winning career strategy.

Before this week, the NBA center seemed like just another second-tier professional athlete, slouching toward retirement while still in his 30s. But all that changed overnight when Collins acknowledged he was gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine published Monday.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Hic, Hic, Hic: TV Weatherman Keeps Going Despite Hiccups

KHOU-TV's David Paul, hiccuping his way through his forecast Monday night.
KHOU.com

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:12 am

We admire KHOU-TV meteorologist David Paul's good-natured determination.

Check how he handled it when a case of the hiccups hit during his time on the air Monday evening.

And in the comments thread, please share any stories of a time when hiccups hit. Also: your surefire cure.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Teen's Punch Reportedly Lands Soccer Referee In Critical Condition

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:11 am

A soccer referee who was reportedly punched in the face by a teenager during a game is in critical condition in a Utah hospital, four days after the incident.

After sustaining what seemed to be minor injuries, the 46-year-old official later lost consciousness — leading doctors to find "far more serious head injuries than thought," The Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Just In Case: Cruise Line Insured Against Loch Ness Monster

This is an undated file photo of a shadowy shape that some people still claim is the Loch Ness monster in Scotland.
AP

There's word that a Scottish cruise line has taken out an insurance policy in case of a beastly disaster. Jacobite Cruises is now insured against damage from the Loch Ness Monster.

"We see it as keeping in line with good business practice," Freda Newton, managing director of Jacobite Cruises, tells The Scottish Sun. "There is so much going on — people have tried to hunt the Loch Ness Monster, people have tried to capture it. We just don't know what could happen. It's prudent."

The Sun reports:

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Shots - Health News
8:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Evening Primrose Oil No Match For Eczema's Itch

Evening primrose, also known as sundrops, may be more useful in the garden than in the medicine cabinet.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:22 am

Eczema is an itchy and, to some, an embarrassing skin ailment. Typical medial treatments like cortisone are less than ideal.

So some people have turned to evening primrose oil, a remedy made from the seeds of a yellow wildlflower that are rich in the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

4-Year-Old Rape Victim Dies In India

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:20 am

A young girl raped this month in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has died, according to several news reports. The 4-year-old child had been lured with chocolate by her alleged attacker, who later dumped her at a farm, as NPR's Julie McCarthy has reported.

The New York Times' India Ink blog says the girl's parents found her April 18, the day after the attack, and that she had been in a coma since. She sustained extensive brain and vaginal injuries.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Ontario's First Nation Struggles With Spike In Suicides

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:50 am

The Neskantaga First Nation is grappling with mental health and other issues in northern Ontario, Canada, where a high suicide rate prompted officials to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. With a population of about 400, the community has seen an average of about 10 suicide attempts a month in 2013, according to local officials.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:45 am
Tue April 30, 2013

The Boomerang Rocket Ship: Shoot It Up, Back It Comes

YouTube

What in heaven's name is happening here?

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The Salt
6:24 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Mon Dieu! Fast Food Now Rules In France

Fast times on the Champs-Elysees: People walk past a McDonald's on one of Paris' most storied avenues. But it's not just McD's that has caught French interest: Fast food now accounts for the majority of restaurant spending in the country.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 5:27 am

When it comes to culinary matters, France, in many minds, is synonymous with fine dining. So it might surprise you that, for the first time, sales at fast food chains have overtaken those at traditional restaurants in the country that gave us the word gastronomie.

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U.S.
6:19 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama Answers Questions On Syria, Guantanamo, More

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's talk about President Obama's news conference this morning on the 100th day of his second term. NPR's David Welna has been listening in this morning. Hi, David.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: The president was immediately asked about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Tue April 30, 2013

New Arizona Law: Guns From Buybacks Can't Be Destroyed

Detective Enrique Chavez logs weapons from a gun buyback in Miami. Arizona's new law requires municipalities to re-sell weapons recovered in such programs.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Cities in Arizona that conduct buyback programs to get guns off the street will now be required to re-sell those weapons, according to a new law signed by the governor.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation late Monday "preventing local governments from melting down the weapons obtained from these popular civic events. Before the new law, the state had allowed such firearms to be destroyed," according to Reuters.

The news agency says:

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Shots - Health News
5:05 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Consensus Builds For Universal HIV Testing

Katherine Tapp, 26, tries a rapid HIV test offered at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington, D.C., in June 2012. It's part of an effort to get more people screened.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:02 am

Everybody needs an HIV test, at least once.

That's the verdict from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has just joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a scrum of professional medical societies in calling for universal testing for the virus that causes AIDS.

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Tue April 30, 2013

In Japan: Running Out Of Places To Put Radioactive Water

As they inspected an underground storage pool near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose (4th from left) and other officials wore protective suits and masks. Radioactive water stored in some of the pits has leaked.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 4:56 am

Adding to reporting from NPR, The Associated Press and other news outlets, The New York Times writes Tuesday that:

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The Two-Way
4:41 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise Across The Nation

A home that was for sale earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:10 am

There were solid increases in home prices during the month of February across all 20 major cities where that data is tracked, according to the latest S&am

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The Two-Way
4:21 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Bombing In Syrian Capital Kills At Least 13 People

Syrian government security officers after a blast in the Marjeh district of Damascus on Tuesday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:15 am

Syrian state TV is reporting that a bomb blast in Damascus has killed at least 13 people, a day after the country's prime minister narrowly escaped a car bomb.

The Associated Press reports:

"The bombings appear to be part of an accelerated campaign by opposition forces seeking to topple President Bashar Assad to strike at his heavily protected seat of power. ...

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The Two-Way
4:11 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama: Rumors Of My Demise Are Exaggerated

President Obama during his news conference Tuesday at the White House.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:02 am

  • President Obama's April 30, 2013, news conference

(We updated the top of this post with a recap at 11:45 a.m. ET.)

Joking that a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he has "any juice" left to get things done in Washington made it sound like "I should just pack up and go home," President Obama paraphrased Mark Twain:

"Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated," the president said, as he predicted that an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will be among the things that get accomplished in his second term.

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The Two-Way
2:53 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Orange Is Everywhere As Dutch Welcome New King

New Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their daughters wave to the crowd Tuesday from the balcony of the royal palace in Amsterdam.
Patrick Van Katwijk DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:12 am

The signing ceremony looked rather simple, but the celebrations seemed joyous Tuesday in Amsterdam as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands handed over the crown to her son Willem-Alexander.

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Europe
2:50 am
Tue April 30, 2013

40,000-Piece Puzzle Has A Great Fall

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The day after British jigsaw puzzle maker Dave Evans finished his 40,000-piece puzzle, it was leaning on a wall and suddenly had a great fall. This biggest ever hand-cut wooden puzzle is a montage of images form the queen's jubilee and it's due to be displayed in one of the queen's ballrooms next week.

So Evans is asking for help, hoping that some of the queen's men and women can help him put it back together again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
2:49 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Book News: 'Winnie-The-Pooh' Author Wrote WWI Propaganda

British author A.A. Milne looks positively Bond-esque in this photo from 1952.
Associated Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:38 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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