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5:17am

Wed May 30, 2012
Europe

Irish To Vote On Stricter Budgetary Rules

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 7:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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5:17am

Wed May 30, 2012
Business

Spain's Retail Sales Drop Amid Belt Tightening

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 6:44 am

In Spain, retail sales for April plunged to a seasonally adjusted 9.8 percent from a year ago. It's the fastest decline on record. The drop in sales is being blamed on Spain's severe austerity program.

5:17am

Wed May 30, 2012
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 7:36 am

The Japanese government has launched a campaign aimed at selling bonds to help fund reconstruction of areas hit by last year's earthquake and tsunami. It recruited the popular girl band AKB48, known for hits like "Baby Baby Bay," to help promote the bonds.

3:33am

Wed May 30, 2012
Afghanistan

For U.S. Troops, One More Big Push In Afghanistan

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:48 pm

Bagi Kheyl, in the eastern province of Ghazni, is one of the villages where the 82nd Airborne has been operating as part of a broader effort to drive away the Taliban.
Amy Walters NPR

Several thousand soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division are taking part in what is being called the last major combat offensive of the Afghan War.

Their task is to clear Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold and a key prize because it straddles the major roads to Kabul and the insurgent supply routes into Pakistan.

But the American troops are challenged by a stubborn enemy and a short time to finish the job.

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3:30am

Wed May 30, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Swimmer Vies To Bring Olympic Joy Home To Greece

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:17 am

Spyros Gianniotis started the Olympic torch relay at the ancient site of Olympia earlier this month. Greece hasn't won an Olympic medal in swimming since 1896 β€” something Gianniotis hopes to change in London.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Swimmer Spyros Gianniotis was born in Liverpool, England, but he will represent Greece in the upcoming London Olympics. At 32, he is the 10-kilometer open-water world champion, and one of Greece's best hopes for a medal in London. He's on a team of Olympians whose training budget has been drastically reduced by austerity measures and the economic crisis.

On a recent morning, Gianniotis' training included three hours of laps in an outdoor Olympic-sized pool in central Athens. The lean, freckled marathon swimmer glides to the end of the pool.

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3:28am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Salt

From An Israeli Kibbutz, A High-Priced Caviar Prized By Top Chefs

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 8:29 am

Dean & Deluca

A kibbutz in the mountains of northern Israel might seem an unlikely source for some of the world's most expensive gourmet food. But a small farming collective has built itself a lucrative business, supplying some of America's top chefs with caviar that customers pay hundreds of dollars to sample.

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3:18am

Wed May 30, 2012
It's All Politics

GOP Michigan Congressman To Run Write-In Campaign

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:55 pm

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., is facing the daunting prospect of running a write-in campaign to get re-elected this year, as his campaign fell far short of the number of petition signatures he needs to qualify for the August primary ballot.

Compounding McCotter's troubles: It appears election fraud may have played a part in the failure.

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3:17am

Wed May 30, 2012
Architecture

Forget Big-Box Stores. How About A Big-Box House?

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:17 am

The architecture firm HyBrid, which specializes in designing buildings from recycled shipping containers, created this solar-powered house for Sunset Magazine.
Amy Eastwood

When it comes to architecture, sustainability and affordability can mean many things: Salvaged wood becomes new flooring, old newspapers are shredded into insulation.

But a few architects are taking green building one step further: creating entire homes and businesses out of discarded shipping containers β€” an approach some have dubbed "cargotecture."

Approximately a quarter-million shipping containers pass through Oregon's Port of Portland each year. These are big boxes β€” 40 feet long and weighing thousands of pounds.

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12:45am

Wed May 30, 2012
The Salt

Nuclear Tuna Is Hot News, But Not Because It's Going To Make You Sick

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:17 am

A Tokyo sushi restaurant displays blocks of fat meat tuna cut out from a 269kg bluefin tuna.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

What snarky headline writer could resist a story about "hot tuna?" Or how about "tuna meltdown?"

Really, it seems just plain daffy to ignore a new study that says some Pacific bluefin tuna picked up traces of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year and brought it across the Pacific Ocean.

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10:02pm

Tue May 29, 2012
Sweetness And Light

In Europe's High Season For Sports, Soccer Rules

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 8:04 am

Larger Than Life: Tourists pose in front of a UEFA Euro 2012 Cup placard on Kiev's Independence Square in Ukraine. Europe is entering a packed sports schedule β€” but soccer still reigns supreme, says Frank Deford.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

It's a prime irony that while Europe is suffering a great financial crisis, in counterpoint, the Continent is starting to spend the summer awash in a veritable plethora of joyous sporting events, a rolling athletic circus to divert Europeans from Angela Merkel telling them to get serious and tighten their belts.

Now, as is the case every summer, there are two Grand Slam tennis championships β€” the French Open, which is already under way, and Wimbledon. Then the Tour de France and British Open golf.

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8:30pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Record

Doc Watson, Folk Music Icon, Dies At 89

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:45 pm

Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson in the 1960s.
John Cohen Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A mountain-born treasure of American folk music, Doc Watson, died Tuesday in North Carolina at age 89.

His manager said in a statement that Watson died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, after abdominal surgery last week.

Watson was born in Deep Gap, N.C., in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in a three-room house he shared with eight brothers and sisters. He revolutionized not just how people play guitar but the way people around the world think about mountain music.

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7:29pm

Tue May 29, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Counterfeiters Exploit Shortage To Market Fake Adderall Pills

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 8:48 am

If the label of ingredients on the Adderall pack says "singel entity," that's a tip-off for trouble.
FDA/Flickr

A shortage of Adderall began last year, sending millions of people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy on perpetual wild goose chases to find drugstores with the pills they need to stay alert and focused.

So it's not surprising that Adderall counterfeiters have seized a big marketing opportunity. What is surprising is their clumsiness.

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7:27pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Wolf Blitzer Battles Donald Trump Over 'Birther' Issue

In an interview with CNN, The Donald did not back down from his opinion that President Obama was not born in the United States.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer presented him with the overwhelming evidence that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, but Donald Trump just raised his voice as he and Blitzer accused each other of sounding "ridiculous."

CNN calls it a "smackdown," and, indeed, it was a pretty contentious interview. Take a look:

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5:01pm

Tue May 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Maine Independent Aims To Be Senate King, Acknowledges Potted Plant Potential

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:57 pm

Former Maine Gov. Angus King speaks March 5 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Joel Page AP

The most potentially influential politician you've probably never heard of, former two-term Maine Gov. Angus King, on Tuesday officially entered the race to replace retiring moderate GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe.

King, 68, an alternative-energy entrepreneur and supporter of President Obama, filed more than 6,000 signatures with Maine's secretary of state to ensure his place on November's ballot.

He'll run as an independent, as he did for his successful gubernatorial runs in the 1990s.

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4:59pm

Tue May 29, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Small Change In Reading To Preschoolers Can Help Disadvantaged Kids Catch Up

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

Kimberly Payton, a teacher at the Small Savers Child Development Center, reads to a group of preschoolers in Washington, D.C., in 2010. Researchers say that teachers who make small changes in how they read to 4-year-olds can improve kids' reading skills later on.
Ricky Carioti The Washington Post/Getty Images

On a recent Monday morning in Washington, D.C., a group of 3-year-old preschoolers bumbled their way into a circle, more or less, on the rug of their classroom. It was time to read.

The children sat cross-legged as their teacher, Mary-Lynn Goldstein, held high a book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. There was a short conversation about pigeons, then, for reasons that weren't entirely clear, cows; and then Goldstein began to read. She read as most teachers read, occasionally stopping to ask a question, point out a picture or make a comment about the story.

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4:52pm

Tue May 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Facebook Stock Falls Another 9 Percent

Facebook's stock fell $3.07 to end the day at $28.84. That's first time it's fallen below $30 since the stock went public.

That price is also 24 percent below its opening price of $38.

The Wall Street Journal that the drop had to do with negative sentiment about the stock, as well as the fact that today traders were able to trade on derivatives.

The Facebook stock saw so much trading, the Journal reports, that it triggered Nasdaq's short sale circuit-breaker.

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4:42pm

Tue May 29, 2012
National Security

Watching Big Brother: Privacy Board Delayed

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

Homeland Security analysts watch for threats to U.S. technological infrastructure at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Congress is considering legislation allowing the government to search through Internet traffic for early warnings of cyberattacks. The bills are controversial β€” worries about government surveillance have led to protests online.

The government does have a tool that could calm fears about this kind of legislation β€” it just doesn't use it.

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4:26pm

Tue May 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Fueled By Outside Money, Ad Blitz Hasn't Stopped For Weary Iowans

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

4:23pm

Tue May 29, 2012
From Our Listeners

Letters: Organ Donations And Changing Hospitals

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Cathy May(ph) in Bigelow, Arkansas heard our conversation about possible compensation for organ donors and wrote: I'm donating a kidney to a friend this coming August. While I don't care to be paid for donating, I would love to be reimbursed from my loss of salary while recovering from the process. It's a great honor to help another person, but it comes at a cost for me.

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4:22pm

Tue May 29, 2012
American Dreams: Then And Now

On The Economic Ladder, Rungs Move Further Apart

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

Kevin Hill, a San Diego landscape designer, was doing well financially before the downturn. Now, he says he feels "lost."
John Ydstie NPR

America is the land of opportunity β€” that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.

"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.

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4:11pm

Tue May 29, 2012
Music Interviews

Why 'Edelweiss' Makes Audra McDonald Think Of Home

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:32 pm

Audra McDonald is nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. She tells All Things Considered about the song that started her on her theater journey.
Michael Wilson

A shelf stacked with LPs, a cassette played over and over on a family road trip, a song a parent always sang when vacuuming β€” these are ingredients of musical memories from childhood.

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4:03pm

Tue May 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Even After Texas Primary, Romney Will Remain The 'Presumptive' Nominee

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:32 pm

Mitt Romney campaigns Tuesday in Craig, Colo.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

At the moment the polls close in Texas Tuesday evening, most media outlets and very likely even the Mitt Romney campaign will declare that he has secured enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

For what it's worth, there are two problems with that statement. First, as a practical matter, Romney actually won the Republican nomination when the other candidates competing for delegates in the primaries and caucuses stopped doing so. That was weeks ago.

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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

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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3:34pm

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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3:08pm

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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2:39pm

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

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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2:06pm

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

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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