12:53pm

Tue May 15, 2012
Asia

The Price Of A Swift Pigeon: Try $328,000

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 5:46 pm

Xing Wei, who raises pigeons for lucrative races in China, is shown in Beijing with his favorite bird, Ike. He sells Ike's offspring to wealthy buyers for $15,000.
Louisa Lim NPR

To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.

"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."

The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.

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12:51pm

Tue May 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Aletta Becomes Western Hemisphere's First Tropical Storm Of 2012

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 12:55 pm

Aletta spins off the Mexican coast.
NOAA

Aletta — a modest tropical storm spinning of the western coast of Mexico with 40 mph winds — is already special because of two reasons: It the first tropical storm in the Western Hemisphere and it has now broken a 41-day streak in which Earth did not see a cyclone.

Jeff Masters at Weather Underground provides a little more detail:

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12:36pm

Tue May 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Americans Elect Could Field Third-Party Candidate – But For The Candidate

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 1:15 pm

Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.

What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.

So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.

But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.

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12:34pm

Tue May 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: Justice Dept. Probing JPMorgan's Big Loss

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 12:45 pm

Standing behind a banner with a picture of J.P. Morgan Chairman and CEO James Dimon, protesters gathered outside the bank's annual meeting today in Tampa.
Joe Raedle Getty Images
  • Two soundbites from CEO Jamie Dimon at today's shareholders meeting

The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.

The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."

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12:25pm

Tue May 15, 2012

12:20pm

Tue May 15, 2012
Regional Coverage

New York state voters head to the polls

Ellen Abbott

Voters across New York state will go to the polls today to vote for or against their local school budgets. This is the first vote since the state imposed a cap on how much local districts can raise the tax levy.

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11:45am

Tue May 15, 2012
Education

Why So Many Ph.D.s Are On Food Stamps

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 8:16 pm

The number of people with graduate degrees — master's degrees and doctorates — who have had to apply for food stamps, unemployment or other assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010.
iStockphoto.com

With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.

What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.

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11:32am

Tue May 15, 2012
NPR Story

The Joys, The Challenges Of Adopting From Ethiopia

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:45 am

The desire to adopt has taken some would-be parents around the world. Now, the East African nation of Ethiopia is second only to China when it comes to international adoptions to the U.S. Host Michel Martin speaks with three parents about understanding Ethiopian adoption.

11:32am

Tue May 15, 2012
NPR Story

Buying Facebook? Investing 101 For Newbies

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:20 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now, we turn from getting a start in the job market to getting started investing and call us crazy, but we are guessing that, even if you never read the business pages or watch those cable shows where people are talking really fast over a stock ticker, then you still might have heard that the social networking site, Facebook, is offering stock for sale to the public for the first time on Friday. It's called an initial public offering and shares would cost at least $34 apiece.

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11:32am

Tue May 15, 2012
NPR Story

Can The Government Help Young People Find Jobs?

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:45 am

The school year is winding down, and lots of young people are in the market for a summer job. But finding one in this economy can be hard, especially for teenagers. Host Michel Martin speaks with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about what the Obama Administration is trying to do to help.

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