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It's All Politics
5:51 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

GSA Clown-Conference Scandal Could Result In Counterproductive Reaction

Former GSA administrator Martha Johnson on Capitol Hill in June 2009.
Harry Hamburg AP

The scandal involving the General Services Administration's by now infamous conference featuring spending on a clown and mind reader is certainly far from the biggest in terms of the overall dollars involved. After all, we're talking about less than $1 million all told.

That's pocket change at the Pentagon, where they can probably find more taxpayer money under the couch cushions.

But it may go down in history as one of the dumbest. A clown and a mind reader at a conference of federal bureaucrats? Really?

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

After Two Test Flights, The Race Toward A Flying Car Is On

The PAL-V at a runway.
PalVco via Flickr

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It's All Politics
5:22 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Will 2008's Surge In Young Voters Continue In 2012?

Supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul cheer as the Republican presidential candidate speaks on March 28 at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

Historically, young people have been much less likely to vote than older Americans.

That trend has started to change in the past few presidential election cycles, especially in 2008, when a census report found that 49 percent of those ages 18 to 24 who were eligible to vote participated in the presidential election.

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Asia
3:53 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Is North Korea Changing — Or Resisting Change?

In a photo released by North Korea's Korean Central Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (third from right) and other senior leaders attend a memorial service in Pyongyang, March 25, marking the 100th day since the death of Kim's father, Kim Jong Il. North Korea has been sending the world mixed messages since the death of the elder Kim.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

Recent developments in North Korea are puzzling watchers of the "Hermit Kingdom" in both the U.S. and South Korea.

There are some signs of change within the new leadership in North Korea — and there are signs of resistance to change as well.

When he was in Seoul, South Korea, last week, President Obama said he didn't know who is calling the shots in Pyongyang, which is making it difficult to determine what's next for North Korea.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:50 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

FDA To Fund Controversial Research Foundation

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says there is a desperate need to have the Reagan-Udall Foundation up and running.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

A nonprofit foundation set up to support scientific research of interest to the Food and Drug Administration is finally starting to take off after years of struggling financially — and it's about to get some long-promised funding from the FDA.

But some critics worry that this foundation, which will also raise money from private sources including industry, could provide a way for the food and medical industries to sway FDA decisions.

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The Salt
3:17 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

'Nature's Barcode' Tells The Story Of Foods' True Origin

Some extra-virgin olive oil is adulterated with lower-priced, lower-grade oils and artificial coloring along the supply chain without retailers or consumers ever knowing.
Matthias Schrader AP

As we've reported, fish fraud – labeling a less-desirable species as a more desirable one – is more widespread than you'd think. Olive oil, too, isn't always what it seems. And honey from Asia is fraught with suspicion.

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Music Reviews
3:10 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Dr. John: Swamp Grooves From The Bayou Underworld

Dan Auerbach (left) joins Dr. John on the latter's new album, Locked Down.
Alysse Gafkjen

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 10:41 am

Right now, Dan Auerbach is living a rock-star moment, with his hard-hitting blues-rock duo The Black Keys selling out arenas all over the country. Lots of people want him on their records. So what does he do? He seeks out the 71-year-old Dr.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Tornadoes Touch Down Near Dallas; Widespread Damage Reported

Destroyed vehicles sit in a Kenworth trailer lot after a tornado that swept through the area toppling many of the trailers on the lot on Tuesday in Lancaster, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 6:58 pm

"We've got two tornadoes, one in Dallas and one in Arlington. I just watched it plow through a tractor trailer parking lot like it was Godzilla in a temper tantrum."

That's how NPR's Wade Goodwyn just described the images being shown on local television in Texas.

The images from WFAA, the local ABC affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, show tractor trailers flailing across the air in the middle of a dark debris ball.

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Business
2:50 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

City Rents Rise As Buyers Wait Out Housing Bust

The Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complexes in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

The turmoil in the housing market over the past few years has scared a lot of people away from homeownership. That means many people who can afford to buy are now renting. With so much demand for apartments, rents are once again on the rise. And in places like New York City, they're near record highs.

A few weeks ago Lauren Weitz got her first apartment in the city. Every night when she gets home from the office, she upholds a New York City tradition.

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Education
2:44 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Under Scrutiny, Some Head Start Programs In Limbo

President Obama plays with children at a Head Start center in Yeadon, Pa. The Obama administration is requiring some Head Start programs to compete for continued federal funding.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

The Obama administration is calling for major changes in Head Start, the 46-year-old early childhood education program that helped launch President Johnson's War on Poverty.

President Obama says too many children today aren't learning, and too many education programs are mismanaged.

"We're not just going to put money into programs that don't work," the president announced late last year. "We will take money and put it into programs that do."

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Shots - Health Blog
2:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

New Rankings Are County-By-County Health Snapshot

County Health Rankings

How healthy is your county?

To see how the place where you live stacks up against the rest of the U.S., check out the latest County Health Rankings, an annual report comparing health trends for more than 3,000 counties, plus the District of Columbia.

The rankings are produced by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. You can drill down to look at, among other things, which areas have the highest and lowest education rates and income levels as well access to medical care and healthful foods.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Obama: GOP Budget 'Makes Contract With America Look Like The New Deal'

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 1:08 pm

Renewing his push against "trickle-down economics" that he says has failed the nation in the past, President Obama just said the Republican budget plan passed by the House last week is so conservative and so focused on cutting taxes for the rich that it makes the GOP's mid-1990s Contract With America "look like the New Deal."

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

A Buyer's Market: The Balance Of Power In Retail

Shopping apps and retail websites give consumers the power to compare prices, read reviews and shop on the go. Stephanie Clifford, business reporter at The New York Times and market researcher Paco Underhill discuss how many brick-and-mortar stores are altering pricing strategies.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Florida's History Of Race-Related Violence

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Earlier this year in the run up to the primary election, political analysts explained that Florida really isn't a Southern state anymore and would not vote the same way as Alabama or Mississippi or Georgia. Then the shooting death of Trayvon Martin prompted some to argue that nothing's changed in a part of the state steeped in racial violence. In a way, both statements hold up.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Letters: Living With OCD, Sports Rivalries

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 1:58 pm

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including extreme rivalries in sports, those living with obsessive-compulsive disorder and the legacy of legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summit.

Sports
1:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Tape Measure Home Runs And Baseball's Biggest Hits

A home run by Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth during spring training had baseball lovers breaking out the tape measure to figure out how far the ball had gone. Sports writer Jane Leavy explains the practice that dates back to Mickey Mantle's historic 565 foot hit in 1953.

Media
1:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

The Trayvon Martin Story And The Media

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 3:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. And we turn, now, to the death of Trayvon Martin and how this story has been covered by the mainstream news outlets and by the blogs, and Twitter feeds, and talk shows and cable television stations that now make up a big part of the media.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:48 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Mammograms May Lead To Breast Cancer 'Over-Diagnosis,' Study Finds

The problem of breast cancer overdiagnosis with mammograms is similar to the dilemma faced by men diagnosed with prostate cancer because of a PSA test.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Norwegian scientists say as many as 1 in every 4 cases of breast cancer doesn't need to be found because it would never have caused the woman any problem.

It's a startling idea for laypeople (and many doctors) thoroughly indoctrinated with the notion that any breast cancer is medically urgent — and should be found at the earliest possible moment.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Census Bureau's Website Is Coming Back: 1940 Data Now Viewable

Sara and Arthur Memmott, July 1939.
Family photo

After a tough start because of huge interest that overwhelmed servers, the Census Bureau's new website devoted to records from the 1940 census is showing signs of life.

Monday, as The Associated Press says, the website was "nearly paralyzed shortly after the records became available to the public":

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World
12:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Is Mexico's Drug War Worth The Cost?

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 5:18 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, it's National Poetry Month, and just as we did last year, we want the celebration to include you, so once again we're inviting you to send us your poems via Twitter. Poet Holly Bass kicks off our month-long tweet poetry series. We call it Muses and Metaphor. That's in just a few minutes.

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Law
12:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Zimmerman's Lawyer: Don't Rush To Judgement

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
11:43 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Should American Jews Boycott West Bank Settlements?

In this file photo, Israeli Amishai Shav-Tal, 31, one of the founders of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Bruchin, looks at an aerial photo of the settlement.
Ariel Shailet AP

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:00 am

Journalist Peter Beinart grew up immersed in Zionism. His grandmother — who had to flee Egypt and then the Belgian Congo because of religious persecution — made sure that Beinart realized the importance of supporting Israel from an early age.

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Middle East
11:43 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Boycotts Simplify Ongoing Issues In West Bank

Israel's Supreme Court has ruled the West Bank Jewish settlement outpost of Migron must be destroyed by August 2012.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 7:03 pm

In many American Jewish families, Israel is an extremely difficult subject to talk about. Generational and political divides have stalled discussions about the occupation of the West Bank in numerous households.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Cheney Released From Hospital

Former Vice President and Mrs. Cheney at home after his release from Inova Fairfax Hospital on Tuesday.
Courtesy of Dick Cheney

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 4:45 pm

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released this morning from the Fairfax, Va., hospital where he received a heart transplant on March 24.

NPR's Don Gonyea forwards us this statement from Cheney's office:

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Music Reviews
11:11 am
Tue April 3, 2012

There's Only 'One Direction' For This Boy Band: Up

One Direction.
Courtesy of the artist

The callow croon over a pulsating beat, the massed harmonies in the chorus, the lyrics about partying that name-check Katy Perry and include a wistful wish for a nameless girl to kiss the singer — this is boy-band music at its newest and its most timeless. The five young guys who comprise One Direction are single-minded.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Car Sales, Factory Orders Both Make Gains

In Glendale, Calif., last month, Allen Zimney and Leila Alvarez shopped for a Ford Edge.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 10:52 am

As the Census Bureau was reporting earlier this morning about a 1.3 percent gain in orders for manufactured goods in February from the month before, automakers were saying that March was perhaps their best month in almost four years, The Associated Press says:

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Media
10:16 am
Tue April 3, 2012

James Murdoch Steps Down From BSkyB

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Britain, scandal has plagued the Murdoch family and its News Corp. media conglomerate. And today, another blow. Under pressure, Rupert Murdoch's son, James Murdoch, is stepping down as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting, also known as BSkyB. This occurs against the backdrop, of course, of the phone hacking and police bribery scandal that has focused heavily on two Murdoch tabloid newspapers. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik has been covering all of this and he joins us now to sort this out. Good morning, David.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Murdoch Son Stepping Down From Post At BSkyB

James Murdoch, in July 2011.
Warren Allott AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 10:17 am

The hacking scandal that has ripped through Rupert Murdoch's newspapers in the U.K. has now led to son James Murdoch's decision to step down as chairman of the satellite broadcast giant BSkyB.

NPR's David Folkenflik tells our Newscast Desk that:

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Business
10:10 am
Tue April 3, 2012

How Much Would You Pay For A Flying Car?

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to our last word in business, flying cars. Finally, they're here. Well, almost here. We're not exactly in Jetsons' territory quite yet. But a company in Massachusetts says its prototype flying car, called the Transition, completed its first flight and will be ready for sale within the next year.

The two-seat vehicle soared to 1,400 feet in its maiden voyage. The car - can we call it that - is expected to cost $279,000, and 100 buyers have already plunked down their deposits.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

The Two-Way
9:25 am
Tue April 3, 2012

What Happened In Vegas Costs Federal Properties Manager Her Job

The Las Vegas Strip: sometimes what happens there does come back to bite you.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

An inspector general's report about "excessive and wasteful" spending on a 2010 conference in Las Vegas hosted by the federal government's General Services Administration has cost GSA administrator Martha Johnson her job.

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