4:00am

Mon April 9, 2012
Around the Nation

New Jersey Law Causes Companies To Pull Gift Cards

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

At some point, you likely received a present from a prepaid gift card from the person who wasn't exactly sure what you'd want. Residents of New Jersey may not be able to buy them for much longer. American Express has pulled its gift cards from the state, and other big industry players are threatening to do the same. They oppose a new law that would allow New Jersey to claim unused gift card balances after two years. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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4:00am

Mon April 9, 2012
Asia

Rebels Meet With Opposition, Myanmar's Government

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 11:00 am

After decades of tight control by the military, Myanmar is opening up. Supporters of Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi campaigned openly during the run-up to the April 1 election, in which her party won 43 of the 45 contested seats.
Altaf Qadri AP

Michael Sullivan made many trips to Myanmar, also known as Burma, when he was NPR's correspondent for Southeast Asia. He recently returned, and found a country changing at a dizzying pace.

I get off the plane and almost immediately feel like I've come to the wrong country. There's a large blue sign at immigration that reads: "Attention journalists covering the by-election: please register at the Media Counter."

"Media Counter"? My kind has never been welcome here.

It's the first surprise in a trip full of them.

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4:00am

Mon April 9, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Demand Derails Scheduled Ceasefire

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 10:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. The shooting was supposed to stop in Syria tomorrow. Now we can't be sure. Syria's regime made last-minute demands that appear to have derailed the peace plan, including a ceasefire scheduled for Tuesday.

The Syrian government is under increasing pressure, as we'll hear in a moment. But it remains defiant, as NPR's Grant Clark reports.

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4:00am

Mon April 9, 2012
Remembrances

CBS Newsman Mike Wallace Dies At 93

Over the weekend, 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace died in Connecticut. Wallace, a star of that CBS news magazine for 40 years, stood out because of his seeming willingness to ask anybody anything. In 2005, he sat down for an interview with Steve Inskeep.

4:00am

Mon April 9, 2012
Asia

Leaders' Meeting Boosts India-Pakistan Relations

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 10:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A brief encounter between two leaders has raised hope for better relations between India and Pakistan. India's prime minister hosted Pakistan's president and accepted a return invitation to travel to Pakistan. We talk here of two nuclear-armed rivals whose relations were even worse than usual, after Pakistani militants attacked Mumbai in 2008. And the meeting came as disaster struck Pakistani troops facing Indian soldiers in the Himalayas.

NPR's Julie McCarthy is going to talk us through all this. Hi, Julie.

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4:00am

Mon April 9, 2012
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 10:15 am

The artist was known for scenes of cottages, country gardens and churches in dewy morning light. Kinkade repeatedly claimed to be the most collected living artist.

3:36am

Mon April 9, 2012
Your Money

What Do You Owe In Taxes? Depends Who's Counting

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 12:58 pm

Which tax preparation service is best? That's what writer Joel Stein hoped to find out when he took his 2011 income data to different firms — including an H&R Block office, seen here in a file photo from last year's tax season.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In 2012, the federal tax return deadline is Tuesday, April 17 — so if you haven't already filed your income tax return, you have about one week left to shop around for different options to finish your taxes, or request an extension.

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3:35am

Mon April 9, 2012
Middle East

Defected Soldiers Offer Insider's View Of Syrian Army

A Syrian soldier who defected and joined the Free Syrian Army sits at an outpost near the village of Janudieh. Some defectors say the military is committing atrocities, but that the rebels are fighting back with their own brutality.
AFP/Getty Images

Since the uprising began in Syria last year, there have been a lot of stories about soldiers who have defected from the army to join the rebels. This rebel group is loosely known as the Free Syrian Army, and it's starting to look more and more like an insurgency.

Not all soldiers who leave the army, however, decide to join these rebels. Those who simply escape the army altogether offer a rare glimpse into a military they say is committing unspeakable atrocities and a rebel force that's fighting back with its own brutality.

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3:34am

Mon April 9, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Wider Use Of Breast Cancer Radiation Technique Raises Concern

This illustration shows a device made by MammoSite used to deliver targeted doses of radiation as part of brachytherapy.
Courtesy Radiological Society of North America

When Lisa Galloway was trying to decide what kind of radiation treatment to undergo after surgery for early breast cancer, she jumped at the chance to get a newer, quicker approach.

Instead of dragging on for weeks, the newer form of radiation, called brachytherapy, only takes five days.

"Five days compared to 33 days, I was like, 'Yay!' " says Galloway, 53, of Silver Spring, Md. "So I wanted it so badly. I got it — I got my wish."

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3:25am

Mon April 9, 2012
U.S.

For-Profit Schools Under Fire For Targeting Veterans

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 1:27 pm

Iraq war veteran Paul Rieckhoff (right), with Democratic Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii and Patty Murray of Washington, introduces the GI benefit watchdog bill in Washington. Some lawmakers say for-profit schools are taking advantage of veterans and their educational benefits.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Hundreds of thousands of veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, eager to get an education under the new post-Sept. 11 GI Bill.

Many vets looking for a school find they are inundated by sales pitches from institutions hungry for their government benefits. Now, lawmakers are looking for ways to protect vets without narrowing their education choices.

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