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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

City Of Stockton's Looming Bankruptcy: Pictures Tell The Story

Among the projects that have helped put Stockton in the red: this downtown multiplex, which opened in 2003 and cost $15 million in public and private money.
Ian Hill KQED

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:19 am

Stockton, Calif., is on the verge of becoming the largest city in the nation to declare bankruptcy after its city council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to approve a spending plan that's essentially "a day-to-day survival budget," as the Los Angeles Times puts it.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Orders For Durable Goods Rose In May

There was a 1.1 percent increase in new orders for so-called durable goods in May from April, the Census Bureau says. That's more than economists had forecast, Bloomberg News reports. According to Reuters, economists thought Census would say orders went up about 0.4 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Sign Of Peace: Queen Elizabeth Shakes Hand Of Former IRA Commander

Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness today in Belfast. McGuinness is a former senior member of the IRA.
Paul Faith WPA Pool/Getty Images

Something that was "unimaginable a couple of decades ago" happened today in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when Queen Elizabeth II shook the hand of former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk.

As Philip adds:

"McGuinness used to be a senior member of the IRA, the group that killed the queen's cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. ... The handshake signals times have greatly changed since the end of the conflict, which claimed more than 3,500 lives, though some tensions remain."

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Business
7:55 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Banks Face July 1 Living Wills Deadline

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business starts with living wills for banks.

The nation's biggest banks are getting ready to file plans with the government for how they would unwind their assets if they were to fail. The plans are called living wills. Regulators want to avoid the type of damage the collapse of Lehman Brothers had on the financial system. Big banks have a July 1st deadline to submit their living wills to the Federal Reserve and FDIC. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:44 am
Wed June 27, 2012

On The Left, Rangel Survives; On The Right, Hatch Easily Wins

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., at his victory party Tuesday night.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Two high-profile, veteran lawmakers — one from the left side of the aisle and the other from the right — overcame primary challengers Tuesday. One had a much easier time than the other.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

'Epic' Wildfire Sends Tens Of Thousands Scrambling For Safety In Colorado

Flames from the Waldo Canyon Fire glowed on the western side of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday night.
Bryan Oller AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:17 pm

"A firestorm of epic proportions" continues to threaten Colorado Springs, Colo., as more than 1,000 firefighters battle flames that by midday had forced more than 26,000 people to flee their homes.

It was local Fire Chief Rich Brown who called the inferno epic Tuesday night. Today, Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said it's an event "that is certainly unprecedented in this city," The Denver Post reports.

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World
7:03 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Beyonce's Daughter Named Honorary Citizen Of Hvar

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Off the coast of Croatia is an island where the mayor dines with Eric Clapton, offers to rename an island Facebook Island if Mark Zuckerberg comes to visit, and just gave honorary citizenship to a celebrity baby. The baby is Blue Ivy, daughter of Beyonce' and Jay Z. Her name was apparently inspired by a tree covered in Blue Ivy at a resort on the island, Hvar. the mayor says the publicity has been great for tourism. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Around the Nation
6:53 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Nordstrom Worker Accused Of Selling Stolen Items

A Nordstrom warehouse worker created a mini department store in his living room — displaying fancy watches and hand bags at very good prices. He even took orders. Police noticed him when he wore a bulky winter coat to work on a hot summer day and made lots of trips to his car.

Business
6:34 am
Wed June 27, 2012

FBI Op Targets Cyber Criminals Stealing Credit Cards

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Two dozen people on four continents have been charged with trafficking in stolen credit cards and bank account numbers. Eleven of the defendants were arrested in the U.S. They were caught after allegedly using a website set up by the FBI as part of a sting operation.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: FBI officials said the arrests yesterday amounted to the largest coordinated international law enforcement action in history. It involved 13 countries in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

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Analysis
5:43 am
Wed June 27, 2012

How Justices Decide Big Cases Such As Health Care

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:34 am

In advance of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Obama health care law, Renee Montagne talks to Jamal Greene — associate professor at Columbia Law School and former clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens — about how the Supreme Court thinks through momentous cases.

Media
5:31 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Splitting Outlets Could Help News. Corp. Investors

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:49 pm

News Corp. executives have confirmed they are considering dividing the company in two. One new company would hold all of News Corp.'s profitable entertainment and television outlets. The other would hold all of its newspaper and publishing outlets. The move is seen as a way for the Murdoch family to hang on to its less profitable and troubled newspapers while pleasing investors with a newly independent and far more profitable entertainment company.

Around the Nation
5:29 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Debby Unleashes Floods On Fla. Panhandle

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:34 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Debby has now weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression, but it's still bringing flash floods and the threat of tornadoes to Florida cities, including Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville. Debby first formed in the Gulf of Mexico last weekend. Jessica Palombo of Florida Public Radio has more.

(SOUNDBITE OF RAIN)

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Business
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Limits Put On Nonprofit Hospital Debt Collection

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:34 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's turn now to proposed rules to protect patients from abusive debt-collection practices, specifically at nonprofit hospitals. The rules come from the Treasury Department. They were required by the 2010 federal health law. Jenny Gold, of our partner Kaiser Health News, has more.

JENNY GOLD, BYLINE: When Deb Waldin arrived at the emergency room of Fairview Health Services, a nonprofit hospital system in Minnesota, on a scale of one to 10, she says her pain was a 12.

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Africa
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Egypt's Military Has More Power Than Civilian President

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer, in for Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In Egypt, a small victory for civil rights: A court there suspended a decree that allowed the military to arrest civilians. Other moves to amass power by the ruling military council, including dissolving Egypt's elected parliament, are still in effect.

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Business
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Musical Based On Spice Girls To Open In London

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is a blast from the '90s.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPICE GIRLS IF YOU WANNA BE MY LOVER")

SPICE GIRLS: (Singing) Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want. So tell me what you want, what you really, really want. I'll tell you what I want...

MONTAGNE: The word is "Viva Forever." That's the name of a new musical based on songs from the Spice Girls, which, clearly, producers are hoping is what fans want - really, really want.

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Sports
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

College Presidents Approve Switch To Football Playoff System

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

College football fans are belting out a one word chant this morning: Finally. As in finally, there's a post-season playoff at the sport's highest level. Yesterday, a committee of college presidents approved a four-team, three game plan. When it starts in 2014, it'll end major college football's isolation as the only big time team sport that does not decide its championship with a playoff. NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

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Africa
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Can There Be Shared Power In Egypt?

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 11:48 am

"The election of muslim brotherhood presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi is another step in the balance of power counter-revolutionary process that many wrongly characterized as a revolution eighteen months ago.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Middle East
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

State-Run TV Station In Syria Attacked

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:45 am

Over the past 24 hours, the Syrian regime has engaged in escalating fighting with rebel fighters, who took on an elite unit of the army and attacked a pro-Assad television station.

The Salt
3:03 am
Wed June 27, 2012

A Nation Of Meat Eaters: See How It All Adds Up

Only Luxembourgers eat more meat per person than Americans.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 9:59 am

As Allison Aubrey and Dan Charles reported today on Morning Edition, meat has more of an impact on the environment than any other food we eat. That's because livestock require so much more food, water, land, and energy than plants to raise and transport. (Listen to the audio above for their conversation with Morning Edition's Linda Wertheimer.)

Take a look here at what goes into just one quarter-pound of hamburger meat.

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Law
3:01 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Exhale, Chicago, A Little Pot May Be Fine(d)

In Chicago, nearly nine out of 10 low-level marijuana busts result in a dismissal.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 3:00 pm

In Chicago, a new policy on marijuana possession would mean adults who are caught with a small amount of the illegal drug would receive a fine instead of being arrested.

It's mostly about money and how best to use police resources.

Under current Illinois law, anyone found with less than about 1 ounce of marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor. If found guilty, they face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
3:00 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Morale Takes A Hit At Beleaguered Fannie, Freddie

Created by the federal government during the Great Depression, Fannie Mae became a Washington powerhouse: a highly profitable, private company, protected by the government and boasting huge lobbying clout. But today, Fannie Mae has essentially become a ward of the state.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:47 pm

The collapse of the housing market has led to plenty of finger-pointing in Washington. Two easy targets are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

These government-backed mortgage giants had to be rescued by taxpayers and now owe the government $188 billion. Still, Fannie and Freddie, which currently make the vast majority of home loans possible, are crucial to supporting the housing market right now.

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Remembrances
11:00 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Ephron: From 'Silkwood' To 'Sally,' A Singular Voice

Author and screenwriter Nora Ephron died Tuesday in New York. She was 71.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:59 pm

Nora Ephron brought us two of the most indelible scenes in contemporary cinema — and they're startlingly different.

There's the infamous "Silkwood shower," from the 1983 movie, with Meryl Streep as a terrified worker at a nuclear power plant, being frantically scrubbed after exposure to radiation.

Then there's the scene in which Meg Ryan drives home a point to Billy Crystal at Katz's Deli, in 1989's When Harry Met Sally. You know — the one that ends with "I'll have what she's having."

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

The Man Who Painted Sport, Bright and Beautiful

Artist LeRoy Neiman, who died last week at 91, signs serigraphs of baseball's Mike Piazza (left) in 2000.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 12:44 pm

Framed in my library is a sketch that LeRoy Neiman dashed off of me on the back of a menu, when he was watching me speak several years ago. LeRoy, who died the other day, was somewhat better known for another sketch, the "nymphette" that has appeared in Playboy since 1955 — but, of course, he's ever famous for simply being our most celebrated sports artist.

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Remembrances
9:06 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron, Filmmaker, Is Dead at 71

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:41 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The writer Nora Ephron has died. Over the course of six decades, she chronicled the lives of women in newsprint, in books, on the stage and on screen. She was 71 years old, and died of complications from a blood disorder. She's best known for romantic comedies such as "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally," but she also brought to the big screen Karen Silkwood and Julia Child.

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U.S.
7:27 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Future Murky For Arizona's Immigration Law

A defiant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio answers questions about the Justice Department's lawsuit against him during a news conference in Phoenix last month.
Ross D. Franklin AP

As Arizona officials prepare to apply the one provision of the state's immigration law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, some local authorities doubt they can properly enforce it.

"We will do our best to enforce the law. But we are in uncharted territory on this issue," Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said in a statement released by the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit organization of police chiefs. The group says the law "will seriously undermine local law enforcement."

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Sports
7:18 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

BCS Presidents Approve Four-Team College Football Playoff

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

At long last, big-time college football has a playoff, if you want to call four teams a playoff. Today, a committee of university presidents agreed to a system that replaces the current Bowl Championship Series beginning in 2014.

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me now. And, Tom, this is something that college football fans have wanted for years. President Obama has said he wants this championship game. What do you know about the deal?

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The Two-Way
7:01 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

'Guardian' Publishes More Allegations Of Collusion In Mexican Presidential Race

Student protesters stage a demonstration front of Mexico's Federal Election Commission on Tuesday in Mexico City.
John Moore Getty Images

Two big pieces of news in Mexico's presidential race today:

-- A new poll finds that the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto has maintained a big lead over his rivals Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Josefina Vázquez Mota. The election is this Sunday and a few polls before this one showed Obrador had narrowed the gap.

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The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

BCS Presidents Approve Four-Team College Football Playoff

The Coaches' Trophy is displayed before the BCS National Championship game between the LSU and Alabama in New Orleans. College football will finally have a playoff.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:40 pm

The college football champion will be decided by a playoff beginning after the 2014 season.

The AP reports:

"Come 2014, the BCS is dead. A committee of university presidents on Tuesday approved the BCS commissioners' plan for a four-team playoff to start in the 2014 season.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:59 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Dementia Complicates Romance In Nursing Homes

Holding hands is the easy part.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 8:45 am

Relationships are never easy.

If the partners in love happen to be living in a nursing home, there are even more challenges. And if they're showing signs of dementia, then things get really tricky.

Although no law forbids intimate relationships between people with dementia in nursing homes, staff and family members often discourage residents from expressing their sexuality, says a recent report in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Politics
5:40 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Congress Taking Student Loans, Highway Bill To Wire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Congressional leaders on Tuesday said they were close to a deal to solve two big issues facing lawmakers — student loan interest rates and federal highway funding.

Both issues with looming deadlines have high stakes for middle-income Americans: If Congress fails to reach agreements by this weekend, the federal highway program would come to a halt, and student loan interest rates would double, to 6.8 percent.

Student Loans

President Obama has been hammering on the issue of student loans for days.

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