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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 β€” 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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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Gas Prices Fall To 6-Month Low Nationally; Under $3 In South Carolina

Fuel is pumped into a vehicle Thursday in Miami.
Lynne Sladky AP

The average price for a gallon of gasoline hit a six-month low today.

According to AAA, national survey of more than 100,000 gas stations today's average is $3.41. The AP reports that in South Carolina gas is now below $3.

The AP adds:

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Sports
5:06 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Ready, Set, Sail: America's Cup Back In Rhode Island

The Oracle Racing AC45 catamarans practice in the San Francisco Bay in February. The AC45 is a smaller version of the AC72, which teams will race in next year's America's Cup Finals in 2013.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

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

An America's Cup sailing event is being held to Newport, R.I., for the first time in 29 years. Sailors began arriving in Newport last week for the final leg of the America's Cup World Series regatta, which has been held at stops all across the world to gin up excitement for the official America's Cup next year in San Francisco.

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U.S.
4:40 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Lake Lures Fishermen ... And Drug Traffickers

James Bendele runs the Falcon Lake Tackle Shop in Zapata, Texas. Bass fishermen flock to the lake, despite the presence of a Mexican drug cartel.
Wade Goodwyn

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 10:32 pm

On the long drive to Falcon Lake, it slowly becomes apparent why it's ranked the No. 1 bass fishing lake in America: It's in the middle of nowhere.

The lake straddles the Texas-Mexico border, and San Antonio, the closest city, is a four-hour drive away.

A fisherman has to have some serious "want to" to take on Falcon Lake, as they say around here.

But plenty of anglers do. And the trek pays off, because the bass here are big. Very big.

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Around the Nation
4:40 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Stockton Clearing Path For City's Bankruptcy

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We're going to begin this hour in the city of Stockton, in California's Central Valley. Stockton has suffered badly in the housing crisis and tonight, the city council is set to approve a plan that will lead to bankruptcy. Stockton, home to 290,000 people, will become the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. As NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, it's a bitter pill for a city many felt was on the mend.

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From Our Listeners
4:40 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Letters: Sports

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's time for your letters and, today, they're all about sports.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Last week, we aired a story about the 40th anniversary of Title IX. We referred to the golf adage, hit the ball, Alice, as a sexist insult about a weak putt. Well, several of you, including Kenneth Gookin(ph) of Dallas, say Alice isn't who we think she is.

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NPR Story
4:38 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Orbitz Targets Mac Users For Pricier Hotels

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You know the ads that poke fun at the hapless, square PC compared with the hip and clever Mac?

(SOUNDBITE OF AN AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Hello, I'm a Mac.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: And I'm a PC. And I feel inadequate.

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NPR Story
4:29 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

'Steeplechase Queen' Hopes To Score Big In London

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

At this week's Olympic trials, middle distance runner Jenny Simpson will find out if she's going to the Olympics. Simpson is the current world champion in the 1,500 meters, but as we hear from NPR's Allison Keyes, she's had some setbacks recently, and she and her coach are making last-minute tweaks to her training routine.

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It's All Politics
4:24 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Romney Tries To Turn The Outsourcing Table On Obama

Mitt Romney greeted supporters in Salem, Va., Tuesday, as his campaign tried to frame President Obama as the real outsourcer of U.S. jobs.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:43 pm

Mitt Romney's campaign has an obvious challenge: how best to combat charges from the Obama campaign that when the all-but-official Republican nominee was in the private sector, he was heavily involved in offshoring the jobs of U.S. workers?

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NPR Story
4:23 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Facebook's E-mail Change Rankles Users

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:52 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

What do your friends see on Facebook when they look for your email address? It might not be what you think. In the past few days, Facebook automatically changed the email contacts it displays without clearly notifying users about what it was doing.

As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, lots of people on Facebook are not happy.

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Latin America
4:20 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Mexico Picks A President Amid Drug War, Weak Economy

PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto campaigns in Mexico City. Pena Nieto is heavily favored in Mexico's presidential election on Sunday. He says his party, which has been out of power for 12 years after ruling for seven decades, has changed its ways.
John Moore Getty Images

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

The clear front-runner in Mexico's poll on Sunday is Enrique Pena Nieto, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ran Mexico for 71 years until ousted from power in 2000.

Pena Nieto, 45, insists his party has changed its old authoritarian ways, and he's promised a new approach in the drug war, while saying he will take care of the country's failing education system and boost the salaries of hard-working Mexicans.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:20 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Sinking Under A $10,000 Monthly Mortgage Payment

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:50 pm

The nation's housing crisis has touched countless people. Increasingly, the well-off are among them.

Housing counselors around the country say they are seeing more people struggling to keep their million-dollar homes. It's a twist on a familiar story of hardship β€” but one that involves some very big numbers.

Moving Up, Falling Down

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

University Of Virginia Reinstates President, After Public Outcry

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:27 pm

The governing board of the University of Virginia decided to reinstate the president it had ousted earlier this month.

The AP reports the 15-member board voted unanimously to give Teresa Sullivan her job back, after it faced scathing criticism for its original decision, which students and faculty thought had been reached in a secretive manner.

"I want to partner with you in bringing about what's best for the university," Sullivan said after the vote.

The AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:58 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Swine Flu May Have Killed Far More People Than Thought

Cambodian women wear masks as they walk in a market in Phnom Penh in Oct. 2009. That month a second Cambodian died from swine flu, health officials said.
Tang Chhin Sothy AFP/Getty Images

The swine flu pandemic that raced around the world in 2009 seems like ancient history now.

One reason it's easy to forget is that the H1N1 strain of flu virus turned out to be milder than was originally feared. Still, there's no doubt the flu killed a lot of people around the world. But how many?

The answer isn't so easy to come up with. Only a small fraction of cases were actually confirmed with lab tests, even in highly developed countries like the U.S.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Egyptian Court Overturns Military's Power To Arrest Civilians

An Egyptian court decided today that the military should not have continued power to arrest civilians.

Reuters reports:

"The Muslim Brotherhood and other opponents of military rule were furious when the army-backed interim government empowered soldiers to arrest civilians, effectively reinstating Hosni Mubarak's hated state of emergency, which lapsed on May 31.

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Author Interviews
2:28 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Author Chronicles Ever-Changing Life On The Border

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Over the past couple of weeks we've seen some important changes on immigration - the president announced a new plan to defer deportation for some young undocumented immigrants, and yesterday the Supreme Court decision on Arizona's controversial immigration law. Much of writer Luis Alberto Urrea's career has focused on life along the U.S.-Mexican border and on the lives of the people who cross it. Now those stories are beginning to change a bit.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

How Do They Know Those Sprinters Finished In A Dead Heat?

In this handout photo provided by the USATF, Jeneba Tarmoh (bottom, lane 1) and Allyson Felix cross the finish line at exactly the same time in the women's 100 meter dash final during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on Saturday in Eugene, Ore. It's their torsos, not head, hands, feet or arms, that matter.
USATF Getty Images

As we wait to hear whether sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will flip a coin or race again to determine who gets the third and final slot in the 100 meters for Team USA at the London Olympics, we've been wondering:

Just how do officials determine exactly how fast world-class sprinters are and just who has finished first, second or third when they're flashing past?

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Obama's Baseball Taunt Gets Boos From Donors, Or Were They 'Yoooooks'?

New Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is shown during pre-game warmups prior to a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Monday.
AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 3:05 pm

There's a bit of a silly argument going on in Washington today.

It revolves around a speech President Obama gave during a Boston fundraisers last night.

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Middle East
1:53 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Syrian Youth Lead Rebellion, And Teach Their Elders

A Syrian youth flashes the victory sign as he stands in front of a building that was covered with anti-government graffiti β€” though local authorities painted over it β€” in the town of Duma, outside Damascus, in February.
AFP/Getty Images

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

The uprising in Syria began in the spring of 2011 when rebellious teenagers scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall in the southern city of Daraa.

The protest against their arrest, and the regime's brutal response, sparked the wider revolt. Throughout the unrest, the country's younger generation has been at the forefront of efforts to end the repressive regime of President Bashar Assad.

At a cafe in the heart of Damascus recently, a young man flips open his cellphone to show pictures of people killed in the uprising.

"Actually, they are my friends," he says.

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

As Colorado River Dries Up, The West Feels The Pain

Fifty miles south of the U.S.- Mexico border, the Colorado River Delta and its once-rich estuary wetlands --€” reduced by 95 percent since the river was restricted by dams --€” are now as parched as the surrounding Sonoran Desert.
Peter McBride

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 9:51 am

The Colorado River touches the lives of Americans coast to coast. The river begins in the Rocky Mountains and flows into Mexico's Sea of Cortez. Along the way, it feeds over a dozen tributaries across the American Southwest.

Many in the West rely on the Colorado for drinking water, and farmers depend on it to irrigate millions of acres of farmland. And if you've ever felt the cool relief of air conditioning in Las Vegas, there's a good chance the electricity was provided by the "mighty Colorado."

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Colum McCann Links Communities With Storytelling

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 2:16 pm

When Colum McCann came to the U.S. from Ireland in the early 1980s, he set out on a cross-country bicycle trip to get to know his new country and its stories. He's spent the years since telling those tales through prose. With his project, Story Swap, he's helping diverse communities better understand each other by sharing their own stories.

NPR Story
1:37 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Writers Offer Alternate Lens On Modern Middle East

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 3:57 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at the Aspen Institute. News from the Middle East often focuses on problems: violence in Syria; political infighting in Egypt; bombs in the new Iraq; nuclear facilities in Iran; ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

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Education
1:17 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

What's Driving College Costs Higher?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:47 am

Just days before student loan rates are set to double for millions of Americans, President Obama and congressional leaders haven't reached an agreement on legislation to keep those rates at 3.4 percent.

The debate reflects the growing concern over the debt burden many take on to get a college education. About two-thirds of bachelor's degree recipients borrow money to attend college, and collectively, student debt has topped $1 trillion.

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Music Reviews
12:53 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Fiona Apple's 'Wheel' Of Extravagant Emotions

Known for brevity's sake as The Idler Wheel..., Fiona Apple's new album is her first in seven years.
Lionel Deluy

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:49 am

"These ideas of mine / percolate the mind," Fiona Apple sings in "Every Single Night," the song that opens her new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. Some people are going to listen to the entire record and come away with the feeling that the percolation in Apple's mind has bubbled over like a coffee pot left on a stove too long. But for me and perhaps for you, Apple's bubbling thoughts, words and music are thrilling β€” eager and direct, heedless about being judged or misunderstood.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Issa: Executive Privilege Implies White House 'Fast And Furious' Involvement

This December 7, 2010 file photo shows U.S. Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 4:24 pm

In a seven-page letter (pdf) to President Obama, Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chair of the House oversight committee, says that President Obama's claim of executive privilege implies high level involvement the "Fast and Furious" scandal.

Fast and Furious is the failed gunrunning operation that sold weapons to drug cartels in Mexico. One of the victims of one of those guns was U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down in Arizona.

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World
12:32 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Arab-Jewish Tensions Creep Into 'Peace Village'

A boy walks past spray-painted graffiti that reads in Hebrew, "Death to Arabs" and "Revenge." The vandalism took place earlier this month in the mixed Arab-Jewish community of Neve Shalom in Israel.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 10:28 pm

The Israeli village of Neve Shalom was founded decades ago as a place where Arabs and Jews could coexist in the volatile Middle East. The area has weathered regional wars and uprisings, but earlier this month, vandals targeted it and spray-painted anti-Arab epithets on the school's walls.

"We discovered first of all that a number of tires had been punctured, and then we noticed the damage at the school, slogans painted on the walls saying 'Death to the Arabs,' " says Howard Shippin, a longtime resident of Neve Shalom village. "Of course it's very disturbing."

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The Salt
12:07 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Why Protesting Postal Workers Chose A Hunger Strike

Postal workers and activists make signs for their hunger strike in front of the Rayburn House Office building in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Despite reports that a bit of starvation is just what the doctor ordered, a few of the postal workers expressing their dismay at Congress with a hunger strike are a little nervous.

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Middle East
11:33 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Are Women Worried About New Egyptian President?

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 12:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we look at another significant decision from the Supreme Court that might have been overshadowed by the ruling on immigration enforcement. The justices said life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders is cruel and unusual punishment. We'll talk with law professor Paul Butler about what that means for young people behind bars in this country.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue June 26, 2012

If News Corp. Splits Its Businesses, Many Investors Would Be Pleased

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 8:15 am

With a simple statement saying that "it is considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies," News Corp. this morning confirmed the thrust of a story reported by its own Wall Street Journal, NPR's David Folkenflik tells us.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:00 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Convenience And Efficiency Fuel Boom In Retail Clinics

Shanda Johnson, right, a nurse practitioner, interviews patient Bill Gilligan at a MinuteClinic at the CVS drug store in North Brunswick, N.J.
Mike Derer AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:27 am

For years, there's been a debate about how walk-in clinics at stores fit into the health care mix. Are they an adequate substitute for a visit to the doctor?

Through it all, the number of clinics has kept growing, numbering 1,355 at the beginning of 2012, a 10.4 percent annual increase, according to consultants Merchant Medicine.

MinuteClinic, a division of CVS Caremark and the largest clinic operator by far, is on track to nearly double the number of clinics it operates to 1,000 by 2016.

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