3:37pm

Tue May 29, 2012
Asia

China, Philippines Face Off Over Remote Islands

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

For the past two months, the Philippines and China have been locked in a standoff over territory in the South China Sea that both countries claim.The Philippine navy accused Chinese boats of fishing illegally in the area. Protesters in the Philippines are shown here marching in Manila earlier this month.
Pat Roque AP

Back in early April, a Philippine navy frigate tried to arrest Chinese fishermen accused of poaching sharks and giant clams.

But more is at stake than a boatload of seafood.

Neighboring countries say confrontations like this are growing as China asserts claims to territory well beyond its coastline. And analysts think China is testing America's resolve in the region.

Philippine officials say China still has more than 30 boats in the contested area, which is widely known as Scarborough Shoal, though the Chinese call it Huangyan Island.

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3:34pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

A 'Macabre' Process: Nominating Terrorists To Nation's 'Kill List'

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

President Obama and John Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser, in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, 2010. Brennan is a key voice about who gets put on the "kill list."
Pete Souza White House

One of the day's most-discussed stories has to be The New York Times' report headlined "Secret 'Kill List' Proves A Test Of Obama's Principles And Will."

It's a long, detailed look at how the president has "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical."

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3:34pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Bob Dylan, Toni Morrison Among Those To Be Honored With Medal Of Freedom

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:26 pm

President Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to author Toni Morrisson during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Saying that each one of the recipients has touched countless lives, President Obama presented 13 Presidential Medals of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House today.

All of the people on the stage, Obama said, "are my heroes individually." He said that if it were not for John Doar, the Justice Department official who personally escorted University of Mississippi's first black student to campus, he would not be president.

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3:08pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Manhattanhenge: The Sun, The City And A Special Rendezvous

At sunset tonight Manhattan's grid will match up perfectly with the sun, producing a dazzling, golden display on each one of the city's streets.

It happens twice a year and it's been termed "Manhattanhenge," coined by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History.

NPR's Margo Adler sent this report for our Newscast unit:

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2:44pm

Tue May 29, 2012
-Nature of Things

The Vernal Apple Tree

John Weeks explains his affection for the apple tree. Weeks discusses the trees' natural beauty, their relationship with songbirds and how they must be treasured and maintained.

2:39pm

Tue May 29, 2012
NPR Story

'How Soldiers Die': A History Of Combat Deaths

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 1:29 pm

A U.S. Army honor guard stands at attention during a ceremony to mark Memorial Day, this week at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

In The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die In Battle, Michael Stephenson describes how soldiers fight and die, how those who have lived deal with the experience of combat, and what it reveals about warfare and human nature.

He acknowledges it's a sensitive subject, but he argues it's an important one. Understanding how soldiers die, Stephenson tells NPR's Neal Conan, "is central to an understanding of what combat is. And I think we have to engage with it."

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2:06pm

Tue May 29, 2012
Middle East

Journalist Interviews, Films 'Al Qaeda In Yemen'

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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2:06pm

Tue May 29, 2012
Middle East

Few Good Options Remain To End Syrian Attacks

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Countries around the world expelled Syrian diplomats today, explaining that the representatives of a country that slaughters its own people are not welcome. United Nations observers confirmed the massacre of over 100 men, women and children, many of them children, in the village of Houla last Friday. U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus today to demand that his government abide by a cease-fire agreement that now lies in bloody taters.

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2:06pm

Tue May 29, 2012
Middle East

Egyptian Election Marred By Violence

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In another dramatic turn in Egypt, the first free democratic presidential election in the nation's history set up a run-off vote next month between two divisive candidates: Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafik the last prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak. Between them, the two top candidates received just under 50 percent of the votes.

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2:05pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Pentagon Denies Special Forces Deployment In North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stands next to senior military leaders during a ceremony in honor of his father, Kim Jong Il and grandfather, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang.
David Guttenfelder AP

Yesterday, a short piece in a Japan-based foreign affairs magazine caused a lot of surprise: U.S. Special Forces have parachuted into North Korea "to spy on Pyongyang's extensive network of underground military facilities," The Diplomat reported.

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