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Law
5:12 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Florida Challenges Medicaid Spending 'By Force'

Florida's Gov. Rick Scott, seen here speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month, says of Medicaid, "It is absolutely not sustainable. If we do nothing, this line will bankrupt our state."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 2:44 pm

When the Supreme Court hears arguments over President Obama's health care law next week, one item on the table will be a program that has been in place for nearly 50 years.

Medicaid, a joint federal-state program that provides health care for the poor, was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson. Under the Affordable Care Act, it will be greatly expanded and provide coverage for millions of uninsured, including low-income adults without children.

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Economy
5:00 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Startup Converts Plastic To Oil, And Finds A Niche

JBI CEO John Bordynuik holds a jar of No. 6 fuel oil, derived from discarded plastic like that seen on a conveyor belt at his plant.
Daniel Robison WNED

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 9:58 am

Only 7 percent of plastic waste in the United States is recycled each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A startup company in Niagara Falls says it can increase that amount and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil at the same time.

It all starts with a machine known as the Plastic-Eating Monster. Thousands of pounds of shredded milk jugs, water bottles and grocery bags tumble into a large tank, where they're melted together and vaporized. This waste comes from landfills and dumps from all over the United States.

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Author Interviews
4:59 am
Mon March 19, 2012

'Damn Good Advice' From One Of The Real 'Mad Men'

George Lois, pictured above in the early 1960s, was a pioneer during the "Creative Revolution" of American advertising.
Courtesy Phaidon Press

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 10:20 am

Don Draper, the main character on the hit TV show Mad Men, is said to have been inspired by a real Madison Avenue ad man: George Lois. Lois was a leader in the "Creative Revolution" in advertising during the 1950s, and became one of the most influential art directors in advertising history. His work helped make brands like Xerox, Lean Cuisine and Jiffy Lube famous. Lois is perhaps best known for creating iconic Esquire magazine covers, many of which now reside in the Museum of Modern Art.

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Election 2012
4:57 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr. Makes Final Push To Win Primary

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, ask each other for their support and votes as they arrive at a polling station for early voting in Chicago on March 9.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 9:06 am

The next primary election takes place in President Obama's home state of Illinois on Tuesday. While Republicans are looking to capture delegates in the presidential race, there are several House races on the ballot — mostly due to redistricting.

In one of the most closely watched of those races, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is facing a challenge from fellow Democrat and former Rep. Debbie Halvorson.

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Europe
4:29 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Greek Bailout Fuels Rise Of Extreme Politics

Policemen shout slogans during a demonstration of Greek security forces against the new austerity measures in Athens.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

With Greece entering its fifth year of recession and dealing with harsh austerity measures imposed as part of a eurozone bailout deal to save it from default, its society is in upheaval. Opinion polls suggest the old political system is collapsing, and extremist parties are gaining popularity ahead of spring elections.

At a recent protest in Athens, a large bronze bell tolled as thousands of policemen in full uniform marched solemnly through the streets. They ominously waved their handcuffs at Parliament, shouting, "Take your bailout plan and get out of here."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:14 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Prone To Failure, Some All-Metal Hip Implants Need To Be Removed Early

Young-min Kwon of Massachusetts General Hospital holds the metal-alloy ball of Susy Mansfield's faulty artificial hip joint. The yellowish tissue on top is dead muscle caused by a reaction to the metal debris produced by the defective hip implant.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 5:01 pm

When Susy Mansfield needed a hip replacement in 2009, her orthopedic surgeon chose a relatively new and untested kind of artificial hip made entirely of metal.

"He said, 'You're young. Metal is good for younger people. It's going to last a lot longer,' " says Mansfield, who was 57 at the time.

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Law
4:05 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Is A Baby Conceived After Dad's Death A 'Survivor'?

A technician places a fertilized human egg in a test tube. New technology has led to new legal questions: What happens to survivors benefits when a baby is conceived after a father's death?
Rich Frishman Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 9:06 am

Two eras clash on Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court, when a law written in 1939 is applied to in vitro fertilization. At issue is whether children conceived through in vitro fertilization after the death of a parent are eligible for Social Security survivors benefits.

At least 100 such cases are pending before the Social Security Administration.

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U.S.
4:00 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Details Still Emerging In Afghanistan Shooting

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've spent much of the weekend trying to understand a nightmare moment of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. An American soldier apparently walked off his post and killed 16 Afghan men, women and children. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales - we know his name now - is being held in solitary confinement in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has been gathering details of the shooter's life, and he's on the line now. And, Tom, what have you learned?

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Sports
4:00 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Mostly Majors In Men's Sweet Sixteen

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 9:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are sorry to report that Lehigh is out of the NCAA tournament. They lost in the second round after a huge upset of Duke in the first. Murray State is gone, too.

But as the tournament gets down to 16 teams, one of those teams is Ohio University. Traditionally not one of the powerhouse teams we talk about year in, year out. In fact, it's been more than four decades - 48 years to be precise - since the school has made it this far in the tournament.

NPR's Mike Pesca reports on the team's quest.

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World
4:00 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Sanctions' Squeeze On Iran Tightens

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

U.S. officials think that this may finally be the time that economic sanctions against Iran will start to have a major effect. The U.S. and its European allies have been hoping that tighter and tighter sanctions will push Iran to negotiate an agreement over the future of its nuclear program. Israel has said it can't wait forever before ordering a military strike, but U.S. officials believe that the sanctions can produce results. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.

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U.S.
4:00 am
Mon March 19, 2012

911 Tapes Raise Questions In Fla. Teen's Shooting Death

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Welcome, David.

There's a protest planned for this morning outside the courthouse in Sanford, Florida. People say they want justice for the family of Treyvon Martin. Last month, that black teenager was shot by a white neighborhood watch volunteer. The shooter says he acted in self-defense, although the teen he shot was unarmed. And newly released recordings of 911 calls offer painful details of the killing.

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Presidential Race
5:49 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

Just Who Is Leonard Wood, Anyway?

Leonard Wood was a U.S. general and doctor who ran for president in 1920. He lost the nomination to Warren Harding.
Public domain image

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 11:18 am

Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has been calling his opponent Mitt Romney the weakest front-runner in modern times.

On CNN, he clarified it when he said the former Massachusetts governor is probably the "weakest front-runner since Leonard Wood in 1920."

So, who was Leonard Wood?

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Presidential Race
5:25 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

GOP's Delegate Race A Game Of 'Political Moneyball'

There's a number hovering around the GOP presidential race: 1,144. That's the magic number of delegates needed to secure the party's nomination.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a little less than half that number right now, but he's still ahead of his closest rival, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

Santorum is a threat, however, so the two candidates seem to be sharpening their math skills.

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Theater
4:54 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

'A Salesman' Lives On In Philip Seymour Hoffman

Bridgette Lacombe

When Philip Seymour Hoffman took the stage on March 15 in the new revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, he became the fifth actor in 63 years to walk the boards of Broadway in the shoes of the blustery, beleaguered salesman, Willy Loman. In the last six decades, each incarnation of the play has resonated with a new generation of theatergoers.

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U.S.
4:12 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

Years Later, He Brought Her Passport Back

Betty Werther's passport photo from 60 years ago.
Courtesy Betty Werther

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 am

Typically, college newsletters aren't thrilling reads, but an article in a recent University of California, Berkeley, newsletter tells the story of two alums who connected in way fit for a movie.

It starts in 1949, after Betty Werther graduated from Berkeley. As a graduation gift, her grandmother sent her to Europe with a friend. They traveled to Paris, ostensibly to study at the Sorbonne.

Their studies didn't last long. Werther and her friend strapped on backpacks and hit the road.

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Sports
3:53 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

After Ownership Drama, Dodgers Want To Play Ball

Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during a spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 8 in Glendale, Ariz.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 5:50 pm

Things are looking pretty good at the Dodgers spring training complex in Glendale, Ariz. They have Cy Young Award winning Clayton Kershaw anchoring their pitching staff and at the plate, the National league MVP runner-up, Matt Kemp.

"Hopefully, we can start out the way we finished last year and be consistent throughout the whole year," Kemp said.

Everyone has had enough of what's been happening off the field.

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Animals
2:41 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

Domesticated Foxes: Man's New Best Friend?

Ceiridwen Terrill, Ph.D.
Courtesy of CTAS/Concordia University

For thousands of years, dogs have been our companions. After countless generations of selective breeding, they've become hard-wired to follow human commands: sit, lie down, jump, even shake.

So far, most other animals don't come close. But what if they could?

In 1954 a Russian geneticist named Dmitry Belyaev wanted to isolate the genes that make dogs so easy to train. He started a fox farm in Siberia and set out to do with foxes in one lifetime what took dogs thousands of years.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Candidates' (Vocal) Pitch Plays Into Appeal

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So what does it take to win an election: A clear message, a strong organization, good hair? How about deep pipes?

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: It's my view that the administration's policies are actually designed on purpose to bring about higher gas prices.

MARTIN: That's Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell who has won a few elections in his day.

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Afghanistan
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Will Massacre In Kandahar Be A Policy Tipping Point?

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In Afghanistan, the massacre of 16 unarmed Afghan civilians, allegedly by a U.S. service member, is the latest in a string of events which may have shifted the dynamic between the Afghan people and the U.S.-led Army that's been occupying the country for a decade.

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Sports
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

NCAA Madness Marches On

Indiana forward Will Sheehey takes the game-winning shot against Virginia Commonwealth in the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament third-round game in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. Indiana won 63-61.
Rick Bowmer AP

The madness marches on. Sunday holds eight more games in the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament. On Saturday, thankfully, there were no major rip-up-your-bracket upsets. That is, if your bracket was in still in one piece. But there was plenty of drama. Two of the most exciting games were at the sub-regional in Portland, Ore.

March Madness isn't just screaming crowds and grown men and women chanting things like the University of New Mexico's "Everyone's a Lobo, woof, woof, woof." In fact, sometimes there's drama in hushed silence.

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Religion
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Anglicans To Get New Spiritual Head

The resignation of the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, comes at a time of tension within the Anglican Church over issues related to homosexuality as well as women bishops. Vicki Barker has reaction to the news.

Economy
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

First-Time Homebuyers Carry Financial Baggage

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Tenn. Town Fights Fire With Money

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Two years ago in South Fulton, Tennessee, firefighters in this town watched a home burn to the ground. The owners hadn't paid the required $75 fee for fire service. Now, after a barrage of national media attention, city leaders have finally made a change. Chad Lampe from member station WKMS in Murray, Kentucky has more.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

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Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Puerto Rico Holds Primary With Statehood In Mind

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The Republican presidential race could take yet another twist today in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The four million people who live there are U.S. citizens and in today's primary, they'll help determine the next Republican nominee for the White House. The big issue in that contest is statehood, and that'll be on the ballot there in November. But the presidential race won't be because, first, Puerto Rico would have to become a state.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Whose Money? SuperPACs To Reveal Records

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The GOP will hold its primaries in Illinois and Louisiana this week. So maybe it's no surprise that residences there are being bombarded by political attack ads, the vast majority of them ending with phrases like this:

(SOUNDBITE OF A POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Restore Our Future is responsible for the content of this message.

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Europe
5:52 am
Sun March 18, 2012

After Spain's Construction Bust, Gardens Bloom

This urban garden was started by a group of neighbors on land that was cleared for construction during Spain's housing bubble but never built upon. The garden was started in November 2011 and is tended by neighborhood volunteers.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Spain is littered with vacant lots and half-built apartment complexes, where developers ran out of money when the construction bubble burst.

But in one Madrid barrio, neighbors are putting an abandoned tract of urban space to creative use.

Behind a chain link fence, in a dusty weed-filled lot between two soaring apartment blocks, Emilio de la Rosa is planting vegetables.

"Different types of products — garlic, beans, tomatoes, lettuce," he says. "We're teaching our children where tomatoes come from — not from the grocery store, but the ground."

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Economy
5:51 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Sweet Home: When Owning Isn't All About Money

Tamika Rhodes and her children (clockwise) Taneea, Takeema and Paul at their home in St. Paul, Minn. Rhodes says the house is more important to her as a source of stability than as an investment.
Ann Baxter NPR

It's not hard to figure out why the Rhodes family would want a house of their own. Their son Paul's passion for music makes it clear right away.

His mom, Tamika Rhodes, says in their last place, a two-bedroom apartment, Paul couldn't play the drums because it would have driven the neighbors crazy.

Now he, his two sisters, mom and dad live in a big, five-bedroom house in St. Paul, Minn. Rhodes says they all feel much more comfortable.

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The Impact of War
5:50 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Troops' Mental Health: How Much Is Unknown?

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, former vice chief of staff for the U.S. Army, says the Army lacks reliable diagnostic tools to screen for mental health.
Susan Walsh AP

The killing of 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday is now one of the greatest points of tension between the United States and Afghanistan. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly killed the civilians in cold blood; those close to him say they were shocked by the news.

According to the Pentagon, Bales had been treated for a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in Iraq in 2010, though the extent of the damage is unclear.

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Afghanistan
4:40 am
Sun March 18, 2012

For Suspect In Afghan Attack, A Praised Record

Then-Capt. Brent Clemmer said Staff Sgt. Robert Bales distinguished himself as a team leader in Clemmer's C Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment during the Battle of Zarqa, Iraq. The faces of the rest of Bales' squad have been obscured.
Courtesy Maj. Brent Clemmer

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 1:13 pm

There is still only sketchy information available about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' recent experience in Afghanistan, but five years ago in Iraq, he was considered an excellent and upbeat soldier.

Bales is suspected of killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians last Sunday. He has yet to be charged, and his civilian lawyers say they will meet with him at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to learn the facts of the case.

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The Two-Way
6:06 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Former Captain: Afghan Shooting Suspect Showed 'Valorous Conduct' In Battle

Bales joined the military after Sept. 11, 2001. He served three times in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan.
Courtesy Maj. Brent Clemmer

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 6:45 am

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' commanding officer once recommended him for a medal of valor after a major battle in Iraq.

Bales was named on Friday as the U.S. soldier who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday. "I was shocked that it was him," Maj. Brent Clemmer told Austin Jenkins of the Public Radio Northwest News Network. "I am still in shock about it."

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