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Statewide Races
4:50 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

N.C. Gay Marriage Amendment Has Unlikely Foes

Jennifer Cockrham, a nurse from Walkertown, N.C., holds her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance during a rally supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage Friday in Raleigh.
Allen Breed AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

North Carolina is the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But that could change next month.

On May 8, voters will decide whether to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Leading Republican lawmakers think it's one of the most important issues facing voters.

But some conservatives worry that the measure goes too far.

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Environment
4:48 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Countries Losing Steam On Climate Change Initiatives

Germany plans to take all of its nuclear power plants offline by 2022, which means coal-fired power plants like the Kraftwerk Westfalen, in Hamm, Germany, will be a key component of the country's energy infrastructure.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Energy ministers from around the world met in London this week and got a scolding. The International Energy Agency warned the ministers that they are falling way behind in their efforts to wean the world from dirty sources of energy. Nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change in the coming decades.

It turns out that right now, just about everything is conspiring to make it harder to clean up the world's energy supply.

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The Salt
4:15 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Stone Age Mediterranean Farmer ISO Hungry Nordic Hunter-Gatherer?

A family near Karsta, Sweden, in the 1930s. Did their ancient forebears hail from the Mediterranean?
Swedish Heritage Board

Farming transformed Europe when it arrived from the Near East about 6,000 years ago. But was it the agricultural know-how that traveled, or the farmers themselves?

By comparing DNA from Stone Age farmers and hunter-gatherers, Swedish researchers say it's clear that the farmers traveled north through Europe, bringing their agrarian skills with them.

How else would a farmer with Mediterranean DNA end up in Sweden?

I'm imagining suave dark-eyed farmers seeking out Nordic maidens tired of all that berry picking and hide scraping.

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Africa
4:06 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

At Last, Egypt Settles On Presidential Candidates

Amr Moussa, the front-runner in the Egyptian presidential race, speaks during a press conference in Cairo on Apr. 22. The country's election commission said Thursday that Moussa and 12 other candidates are eligible to compete in next month's election.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

After months of anticipation, and just a few weeks before the voting, Egypt now has a list of 13 officially approved presidential candidates.

Amr Moussa, the former secretary-general of the Arab League, is one of the 13, and he is ahead in most opinion surveys in advance of the May 23-24 election.

And in a reversal, Egyptian election officials agreed Thursday to let one of Hosni Mubarak's former prime ministers run for president.

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The Salt
3:56 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Nutella Maker May Settle Deceptive Ad Lawsuit For $3 Million

The fact that Nutella's parent company, Ferrero, is known for its chocolates might be a tip-off that the sweet hazelnut spread isn't exactly "health" food.
STEFANO RELLANDINI Reuters /Landov

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

PHOTO: Like Hawaii, Mars Has Coils Thought Formed By Volcanic Flow

This image provided by NASA shows lava flows in the shape of coils located near the equatorial region of Mars.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:52 pm

Take a look at this picture:

Those same coils — the ones that look like the side of a snail — are also found on the Big Island of Hawaii, which were formed by lava flows.

As Wired reports, the difference is that some of the Martian coils are 100 feet across — giant compared the Earth-bound ones.

Still scientists found that they are "morphologically consistent with terrestrial lava coils."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:50 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Colorado Extends Medicaid To Some Adults Without Kids

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless runs the Stout Street Clinic in Denver, helped Dale Miller get a CT scan.
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Dale Miller spends his days on the streets of downtown Denver selling a newspaper called The Homeless Voice. He's been having some health problems, but he can't afford to see a doctor on the $10 to $15 a day he makes selling papers.

A local charity clinic called the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless recently helped him get a CT scan at no cost to him. Miller fully understands, though, that someone has to pay for his care.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:34 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Health Insurers Set To Pay $1.3 Billion In Rebates

Come summer, mailboxes of 1 in 3 buyers of individual health insurance buyers could get rebate checks.
JS Callahan/tropicalpix iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:51 pm

If you buy your own health insurance, there's nearly a 1 in 3 chance that come this summer you'll get a nice little surprise in the mail: money back from your health insurance company.

At least that's the prediction from an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Court Says Florida Governor's Order To Drug Test Employees Is Unconstitutional

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:54 pm

A district judge ruled that Florida Gov. Rick Scott cannot mandate random drug testing for state employees.

CNN reports:

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The Record
2:27 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Marooned In L.A. For A Week, Coachella Bands Make Do

Ian St. Pe of the band Black Lips performs at this year's Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. Like many of the artists on the bill, the band agreed not to book other shows in Southern California within months of the event.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:51 am

The massive Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close in California on Sunday after two weekends worth of sold-out shows by over 150 artists.

One of those acts was the Austin, Texas, band Explosions in the Sky, which first played Coachella back in 2007 and has seen its profile grow since then.

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World
2:09 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

The Charles Taylor Case And International Justice

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 2:43 pm

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty by an international tribunal of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes during the 1990s. This marks the first time since World War II that a current or former head of state was convicted by a tribunal of crimes committed while in office.

NPR Story
2:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Ball Four': The Book That Changed Baseball

New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton holds two balls that his teammates hope will lead them to victory in the 1964 World Series.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:53 pm

Fifty years ago, a young pitcher won his first major league game for the New York Yankees. Jim Bouton went on to become a top-flight player.

But he became famous, or notorious, for Ball Four, a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team, as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use and the pain professional athletes endure.

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It's All Politics
2:02 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Some Campaign Donors Putting Their Money Where Their Mouth Isn't

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 2:09 pm

Much of the attention on money in politics this election cycle has been focused on the new superPACs, and with good reason.

Recent court rulings allow superPACs — which officially are independent of specific candidates — to raise and spend unlimited money to support their favorite politician or cause.

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NPR Story
1:59 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

America's 'Great Divergence' Is Relatively New

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Thirty years ago, CEOs of America's largest businesses earned an estimated 42 times as much as their average employee. These days, that number has jumped to more than 200 times as much, by many counts. Since the economic crisis of 2008, there has been much more focus on income inequality, not just from economists and social scientists, but also from politicians and from protesters who occupied Wall Street.

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Theater
1:56 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Best Man' John Larroquette Takes Broadway

Sen. Joseph Cantwell, played by Eric McCormack (left), is an ambitious striver who throws mud at his rival, Secretary William Russell, played by John Larroquette, who debates whether to use some dirt of his own in The Best Man.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:38 am

Perhaps most recognizable for his role as despicable but lovable lawyer Dan Fielding on Night Court, John Larroquette has recently taken to the stage. He earned a Tony Award for his role in the 2011 production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

With A Tweet, A's Player Unleashes Debate: Is 'Kiss Cam' Homophobic?

The video board at Busch Stadium is seen during a popular between-inning feature known as "Kiss Cam."
Jeff Roberson AP

Yesterday, in the San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Gwen Knapp hailed a tweet from an Oakland Athletics' player as the dawn of the "age of enlightenment."

In short, pitcher Brandon McCarthy sent out a tweet that suggested the "Kiss Cam" — a feature shown on scoreboards across the country in which a camera focuses on couples in hopes of a kiss — was anti-gay.

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The Salt
12:42 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Your 'Food Porn' Verdict? Keep The Photos Coming

NPR's Keith Jenkins has been known to document an especially tasty meal, like this pho tai from Pho DC.
Keith Jenkins NPR

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:25 am

Snarky comedians who mock people who share food photos on Facebook and Twitter (see this video) may be good for a chuckle, but they don't have the will of the people behind them.

That's what we've learned from our online survey this week, which asked: "Are your friends bombarding you with 'food porn'?"

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Education
11:45 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Boehner: House Will Vote On Student Loans

The House is set to vote Friday on a GOP proposal to keep some student loan interest rates at current levels. Many students have been concerned at news that the current 3.4 percent rate could double if Congress fails to extend the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Host Michel Martin talks with Jason Delisle of the New America Foundation.

Business
11:45 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Is Bribery 'Business As Usual' South Of Border?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we turn to a business scandal that could have repercussions on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Wal-Mart, America's biggest retailer, is also Mexico's largest retailer and there, the company has been accused of paying more than $24 million in bribes to Mexican officials to obtain construction permits to build new stores.

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Law
11:45 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Sybrina Fulton: 'I Can Wait A Year' For Justice

Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin, walk with attorney Benjamin Crump and others as they leave the Seminole County courthouse after the bond hearing for George Zimmerman.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Days after George Zimmerman was freed on bail to await a second-degree murder trial for shooting Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, says she's "willing to wait for justice to be served" in her son's case.

Speaking with Tell Me More host Michel Martin, Fulton also says that she feels like "I have a little hole in my heart. And that little hole is caused by the tragedy of Trayvon's death."

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Music Reviews
11:40 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Howlin' Wolf: A Blues Legend With An Earthy Sound

Howlin' Wolf's masters from the Chess label have just been released on a four-disc set titled Smokestack Lightning: The Complete Chess Masters 1931-1960.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Thu April 26, 2012

VIDEO: Norwegians Stand Up To Killer's Hate By Joining In Song

People gathered in Oslo today to sing Children of the Rainbow, in a demonstration against the views of killer Anders Behring Breivik.
Kyrre Lien AFP/Getty Images

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu April 26, 2012

New Allegations Surface Of Secret Service Misbehavior In El Salvador

U.S. Secret Service

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 1:24 pm

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano pledged on Wednesday the investigation into Secret Service agents who allegedly hired prostitutes this month in Cartagena, Colombia, "will be complete and thorough and we will leave no stone unturned."

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Book Reviews
10:57 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Lillian Hellman: A 'Difficult,' Vilified Woman

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 12:17 pm

"Difficult" is probably the most tactful word one could use in characterizing Lillian Hellman. If ever there were an author safer to meet through her art rather than in real life, she was the one. Born in New Orleans into a Jewish family, Hellman came of age in the Roaring '20s, liberated by flappers and Freud. Hellman drank like a fish, swore like a sailor and slept around like, well, like most of the men in her literary circle, chief among them Dashiell Hammett, with whom she had an open relationship spanning three decades. She was, recalled one observer, a "tough broad ...

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Author Interviews
10:35 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Following Garbage's Long Journey Around The Earth

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 12:03 pm

Americans generate more trash than anyone else on the planet: more than 7 pounds per person each day.

About 69 percent of that trash goes immediately into landfills. And most landfill trash is made up of containers and packaging — almost all of which should be recycled, says Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes,

"It's instant trash," he says. "We pay for this stuff, and it goes right into the waste bin, and we're not capturing it the way our recycling programs are intending us to capture it. We're just sticking it in the ground and building mountains out of it."

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Shots - Health Blog
10:10 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Evidence Mounts That Diet, Exercise Help Survivors Cut Cancer Risk

Staying fit and eating well can help cancer survivors, too, a review of the latest evidence shows.
Lucy Pemoni AP

Eat right and exercise is about as basic as medical advice gets.

Follow it, and you'll benefit from better overall fitness, improved quality of life, and a reduced risk for chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The American Cancer Society now says the evidence has piled up that diet and exercise can help cancer survivors manage, beat, and stay free of their disease, too.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Thu April 26, 2012

'Bring Andy Home:' Search For Missing Corgi Goes High Tech

Where's Andy?
The Bring Andy Home Facebook page

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:27 pm

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Almost No Change In Jobless Claims Last Week

There were 388,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down just 1,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

And in another sign that the labor market's recovery remains sluggish, the agency said "the 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week's revised average of 375,500." That measure is said by economists to be a better gauge of the underlying trend in claims.

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Europe
7:34 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Swedish Woman Gets Invitation Meant For Official

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 9:21 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:25 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Research Examines Newly-Drafted NFL Quarterbacks

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 9:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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