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Around the Nation
7:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

A (Purchased) Haiku For You, Mom

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and a professor at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia has a gift idea. She has set up a booth on campus to craft custom haiku.

From member station WVTF, Sandy Hausman reports.

SANDY HAUSMAN, BYLINE: Fifteen students took turns at a long table outside the dining hall, notebooks and pens poised to honor mothers in that spare Japanese style. The haiku is 17 syllables - total. But University Registrar Scott Ditman was confident a small poem could hit big with the mother of his children.

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Around the Nation
7:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Rosa Parks Etched Into History, And D.C. Cathedral

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. is always a work in progress. Although it's more than a century old, and is being repaired from damage caused by last year's earthquake, it always makes room for new statues and carvings of people who inspire.

REVEREND DR. FRANCIS WADE: May God bless the eyes of all who see the likeness we dedicate this evening.

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Europe
7:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Europe, After The Vote Against Austerity

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Media
7:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

British Press Inquiry Sheds Light On P.M.'s Circle

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The British have been holding a public inquiry into press ethics for the last few months. The government is responding to the outcry over the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World. The inquiry's investing the way newspapers, the police and politicians may feed off each other and that means shining a light into the secluded world, in particular, of the prime minister's social set. NPR's Philip Reeves has been watching the questioning.

(SOUNDBITE OF INQUIRY)

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House & Senate Races
7:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Wisc. GOP Gather For Convention On Key Senate Race

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Republicans in Wisconsin are gathered this weekend for their annual political convention. The delegates could make an endorsement in a key Senate race this year. It is the contest to replace retiring Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl.

Now, many believe that George W. Bush's former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson, might essentially breeze through a four-way Republican primary.

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The Salt
7:02 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Black Pepper May Give You A Kick, But Don't Count On It For Weight Loss

Can you fight fat with a spoonful of these?
iStockphoto.com

Is black pepper the new secret weapon against fat? A recent paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claims that the piperine, an ingredient in black pepper, has the power to stop the body from making new fat cells, and could be used to treat obesity.

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Health
6:19 am
Sat May 12, 2012

In L.A. Pregnancy 'Hot Spot,' An On-Campus Clinic

Sherry Medrano, chief nurse at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, hands condoms to a student in her office. The school has teamed up with Planned Parenthood to combat teen pregnancy.
Bob Owen San Antonio Express-News

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

School nurse Sherry Medrano has more than Band-Aids stored in her cabinets. She has an armory of birth control options: condoms, the pill, the patch, the ring and emergency contraception.

The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is the lowest it's been in nearly 40 years. However, in some communities, the number of young girls getting pregnant remains stubbornly high.

Planned Parenthood On Campus

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Around the Nation
6:19 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Wearing Helmets In Tornadoes Gains Momentum

Tornado survivor Jonathan Ford saves what he can from his home April 29, 2011, after it was destroyed by a powerful tornado in Pleasant Grove, Ala.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 1:18 pm

Months after safety advocates embraced wearing helmets during tornadoes — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines on the practice. The CDC says there's not yet enough scientific evidence to fully endorse the idea. But the agency is warming up to people donning helmets when severe weather threatens.

Since a horrific outbreak of tornadoes killed more than 250 people last year in Alabama, safety advocates have been on a crusade.

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Author Interviews
6:19 am
Sat May 12, 2012

'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

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Presidential Race
6:18 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Iowa On Same-Sex Marriage: It's Complicated

Iowans attend a marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader on Tuesday at the Statehouse in Des Moines. The head of the organization says President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage could cost him the election.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:17 pm

Immediately after President Obama announced his support this week for same-sex marriage, attention turned to politics. The outcome of this year's election will be determined by a handful of states — one of them is Iowa, where the politics of same-sex marriage are complicated.

Same-sex marriage is legal here, but three of the state Supreme Court justices upholding that 2009 decision were removed from office by voters a year later.

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Afghanistan
5:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

U.S. Military Mission: Pushing Afghans To Take Lead

In Afghanistan, American troops are pushing Afghans to take charge.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:48 am

The American military has two main jobs now in Afghanistan: sweeping the remaining Taliban from safe havens and getting Afghan security forces to take charge in the fight.

On a recent day, the Afghan National Army, or ANA, is to be out front on a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol in the countryside outside Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. It may seem like a small thing, but it's actually a big deal.

Sgt. Matthew McMurray lets his platoon know.

"ANA is going to lead, too. If they don't want to lead, just stop and make them walk ahead of you," he says.

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Fresh Air Weekend
4:38 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Lena Dunham, Gretchen Reynolds

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 11:22 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Lena Dunham Addresses Criticism Aimed At 'Girls': The creator and star of HBO's new series Girls addresses the growing backlash against the show, which follows four 20-somethings as they navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:54 pm

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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Business
6:52 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

What Caused JPMorgan's Loss Of $2 Billion?

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 7:35 pm

Audie Cornish speaks with Gregory Zuckerman about one of the men behind JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion loss. He's a special writer for The Wall Street Journal and author of The Greatest Trade Ever.

The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

A Helpful Reminder: This Sunday Is Mother's Day

Call your mom. Buy her a present. Give her a big hug and kiss. (And don't forget the mother of your children.)

To all our mom readers, Happy Mother's Day!

We'll leave you with a link to a great piece from Bloomberg, which takes us back to the somber beginnings of the holiday. Bloomberg writes in part:

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Mitt Romney
6:16 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Romney Shifts Gears On Auto Industry Bailout

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives for a town hall-style meeting at Stamco Industries, a truck parts supplier, in Euclid, Ohio, on Monday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

Mitt Romney is from Michigan, a state he has said he hopes to win in November. But the likely Republican presidential nominee has very publicly opposed the government bailout of the auto industry.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

William Balfour Found Guilty In Murder Of Jennifer Hudson's Family

William Balfour.
HO AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:56 pm

A jury has found William Balfour guilty of killing three members of Grammy-award winning singer Jennifer Hudson's family.

Balfour, Hudson's ex-brother in law, was found guilty on all three counts of first-degree murder for the 2008 shooting deaths of Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. The Chicago Sun-Times adds that he was also convicted of "home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle."

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Sports
5:14 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Red Sox Slump Threatens Home Sellout Streak

Boston Red Sox left fielder Cody Ross looks down during a seven-run third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on May 5. The Red Sox trail their division, losing 11 of their last 12 home games.
Jim Rogash Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

It was supposed to be a banner season at Fenway Park — the ballpark's 100th anniversary. But the Boston Red Sox are stuck in the basement of their division, having lost 11 of their last 12 home games.

It's putting Major League Baseball's record sellout streak in jeopardy. Ever since 2003, the Sox have sold out Fenway Park for every game — 727 consecutive games.

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Election 2012
5:14 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

For Evangelicals, Romney Is The Lesser Of Two Evils

Experts say that in order to win this year's election, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will not just have to satisfy evangelicals — he will have to thrill them.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

On Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will deliver the commencement address at Liberty University, the nation's largest evangelical university. The speech will be attended by nearly 35,000 people, and it will give him a chance to win over a huge constituency that, up until recently, has been lukewarm about his campaign.

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Business
5:14 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Big Losing Bet Tarnishes Wall Street Titan JPMorgan

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon cited "many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment" in announcing a $2 billion loss due to a hedging strategy.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

JPMorgan Chase is licking its wounds after announcing that it lost at least $2 billion in a hedging strategy that went terribly wrong. The announcement late Thursday sent the bank's shares tumbling more than 9 percent on Friday.

Meanwhile, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have begun looking into what happened. And there were calls Friday for tighter restrictions on the kind of trades the bank engaged in.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

On Citizenship Question, Bachmann Not So Neutral

Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, recite the Pledge of Allegiance before announcing her candidacy for president last June in Waterloo, Iowa.
Steve Pope Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:24 pm

Under assault from conservative blogs that are normally friendly to her — and facing some skepticism in Minnesota, where she's up for re-election — Rep. Michele Bachmann wants to give back her just-revealed Swiss citizenship.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Carroll Shelby, Race Driver And Designer Of The Shelby Cobra, Dies

Actor Steve McQueen, left, and racer Carroll Shelby stand by McQueen's Ford-Cobra roadster, June 28, 1963, in Los Angeles.
Dick Stroebel AP

Carroll Shelby was a race car driver; he was a racing team owner, a chili entrepreneur. He survived a liver transplant and a heart transplant. But perhaps the thing that most people will remember him for is his automotive creations, especially the Shelby Cobra.

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Europe
4:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Who Needs Marriage? Not France's New President

French President-elect Francois Hollande waves to supporters with his companion, Valerie Trierweiler, as he celebrates his election victory in Bastille Square in Paris, May 6. Hollande and Trierweiler will be the first unmarried couple to move into the French presidential palace.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 2:42 am

The French are known for being more tolerant than Americans about their politicians' private lives. One former French president even fathered a child with a mistress while in office.

But every French leader in history has been married — until now.

Next week, after Socialist Francois Hollande is sworn into office, he and his longtime companion, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, will become the first unmarried couple to move into the Elysee presidential palace.

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Commentary
4:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Week In Politics: Mitt Romney The Bully?

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A story about Mitt Romney's behavior in high school has his campaign in the defensive. The Washington Post has published a long story that details incidents of bullying by Romney when he was a senior at the Tony Cranbrook boys prep school in Michigan. Five former classmates spoke about an incident when Romney led a posse that targeted a student with long bleached-blond hair, tackled him, pinned him to the ground and hacked off his hair as he cried and screamed for help.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

In Greece, Third Bid For Coalition Government Fails

Greece's radical leftist party Syriza chief Alexis Tsipras (L) shakes hands with Socialists leader Evangelos Venizelos before their meeting at the Greek parliament in Athens on Friday. Venizelos admitted that he had failed in a last-ditch bid to form a government after Syriza key leftist party ruled out joining a pro-austerity coalition.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:12 pm

Evangelos Venizelos was the third politician mandated by the Greek president to form a coalition government.

Today, reports the BBC, after meeting with the leaders of different parties, Venizelos emerged empty-handed.

"I am going to inform the president of the republic tomorrow and I hope that, during the meeting with Carolos Papoulias, each party will assume its responsibilities," Venizelos told the BBC.

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Million-Dollar Donors
3:42 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Head Of Shrek's Studio Puts Millions Behind Obama

Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, shown at CinemaCon 2012, has donated $2 million to the pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA Action.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

Some two dozen Americans have given $1 million or more to superPACs in the 2012 presidential campaign. The vast majority of them have been Republicans, but one movie mogul has chipped in $2 million to help out the superPAC supporting President Obama.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of DreamWorks Animation studios, was also the co-host of Obama's sellout event Thursday night at the home of actor George Clooney. Katzenberg told the crowd the event raised nearly $15 million, which would make it the most profitable presidential fundraiser ever.

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Fitness & Nutrition
1:43 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Sizing Up Americans In 'The Weight Of The Nation'

A new four-part documentary airing on HBO next week looks at America's growing weight problem. John Hoffman, vice president of HBO Documentary Films and executive producer of The Weight Of The Nation, describes his three year-project to document the causes and effects of being overweight and obese in America.

Technology
1:36 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Disguising Secret Messages, In A Game Of Spy Vs Spy

Last May, German investigators found secret files embedded in a pornographic video on memory cards being carried by a suspected al Qaeda operative. Peter Wayner describes the history and technology of the technique for hiding information, known as steganography.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
1:35 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

It's All Politics, May 10, 2012

KRISTOPHER SKINNER MCT /Landov

Gay marriage gets an advocate in the White House, but only after Vice President Joe Biden has his say. President Obama's announcement comes a day after North Carolina voters overwhelmingly rejected the concept. And Dick Lugar's 36-year Senate career comes to an end in Indiana. Meanwhile, in the West Virginia primary, Obama defeats a jailed felon from Texas, 59 percent to 41 percent.

Listen to the latest political roundup with NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving.

Politics
1:29 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

The Case For A Presidential Science Debate

A group of science advocates say the American president should have the basic scientific know-how to understand policy challenges, evaluate options and devise solutions. Ira Flatow and guests discuss how a presidential science debate can help voters decide if a candidate is up for the job.

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