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4:28pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Parallel Lives

Obama, Romney On Health Care: So Close, Yet So Far

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

President Obama is applauded after signing the health care overhaul during a ceremony in the White House on March 23, 2010. Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs a Massachusetts health care overhaul at Faneuil Hall in Boston on April 12, 2006.
Win McNamee/Boston Globe via Getty Images

From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at one of those similarities: They both signed health care overhaul laws based on an individual mandate.

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4:24pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Asia

A Tweet, A Year In A Labor Camp, And Now An Appeal

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

Fang Hong is seeking compensation for the year he spent in a Chinese labor camp — his sentence for a scatological tweet that mocked politician Bo Xilai and Police Chief Wang Lijun.
Louisa Lim NPR

This is the tale of a single tweet and its far-reaching consequences in China.

In April 2011, retired forestry official Fang Hong posted a scatological tweet, mocking a powerful Chinese politician, Bo Xilai, the Chongqing party secretary.

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4:18pm

Fri May 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Spanish Lender Requests $24 Billion Bailout

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:44 pm

Spanish bank Bankia's headquarters in Madrid. Spain's fourth-biggest bank, Bankia asked the government for a 19 billion euro bailout.
Pierre-Phillippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

A troubled Spanish lender has asked the government for 19 billion euros ($24 billion) of public money to keep the bank from collapsing.

As The New York Times reports, this is far beyond what the government was expecting when it took over Bankia and "its portfolio of delinquent real estate loans."

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4:09pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Music Interviews

In A Clouded World, The CD Can 'Stay'

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

Twelve years after uploading his band's songs on MP3.com, Jim's Big Ego lead singer Jim Infantino (center) still thinks digital music is "pretty neat."
Liz Linder Courtesy of the artist

Twelve years ago on All Things Considered, we presented the story of a Boston band that was trying something new to get its tunes to fans: Jim's Big Ego took its recorded music to potential listeners by way of the Internet.

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4:03pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Monkey See

'Route 66': A Country-Crisscrossing Series Comes To Home Video

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

Shout! Factory

When you've seen a lot of movies where Toronto plays the part of New York, you come to appreciate location shooting. And on today's All Things Considered, you'll hear from the star of one of television's more ambitious series when it comes to location shooting: Route 66, which followed two guys around the country in a cool Corvette as they looked for a place to settle.

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3:33pm

Fri May 25, 2012
The Two-Way

U.N. Nuclear Watchdog Finds Traces Of More Highly Enriched Uranium In Iran

In its periodic report on Iran's nuclear program, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog said it found traces of uranium enriched to a level higher than it had previously reported.

NPR's Mike Shuster filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"When International Atomic Energy Agency monitors carry out routine inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, they take environmental samples to help them determine the nature of uranium enrichment underway.

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3:27pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Backers Of Cost-Free Coverage For Birth Control Fault Legal Challenges

Andrew Shaw iStockphoto.com

You know all those lawsuits now pending around the country charging that the Obama administration's rule requiring most health insurance plans to offer no-cost contraception is a violation of religious freedom?

Well, a whole bunch of supporters of the rule are chiming in now to say that argument has no legal merit.

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2:00pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Science

Tick Talk: Lyme Disease Under The Microscope

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:17 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, in for Ira Flatow. You've probably already encountered them this year, buried deep in your pet's fur, maybe on your own skin - yes, ticks. These bloodsuckers are often no bigger than a poppy seed, but they can wreak havoc with your health and your pet's.

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1:58pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

MIT Builds A Needle-Free Drug Injector

MIT

The needle and syringe are icons of modern medicine.

But a device developed at MIT to squirt medicines quickly and pretty much painlessly through the skin suggests that the future of medicine could be needle-free.

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1:53pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Science

Breaking Out Of A Web Of Fear

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

So if tiny ticks carrying Lyme disease weren't scary enough for you, how about something even creepier and crawlier? What happens when you see a spider in the sink? Do you panic? Do you shriek? Do you call in someone else to squash it?

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1:39pm

Fri May 25, 2012
It's All Politics

Inhale To The Chief: More Details Of Obama's Pot-Smoking Youth Revealed

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:37 pm

A Punahou School yearbook class photo from 1976 that includes the 9th grader who would grow up to become President Obama, but not before he smoked a lot of pot first.
Anonymous AP

The first sneak peak a few weeks back inside journalist David Maraniss' highly anticipated biography of President Obama served up glimpses of the president as a young man in romantic relationships, with information gleaned from early girlfriends.

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1:38pm

Fri May 25, 2012
The Two-Way

'Football To Fight Against War': South Sudan Joins FIFA

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:43 pm

After decades of war, football signals hope. In this photo, South Sudanese soldiers travel by truck near the frontline with Sudan on April 24.
Goran Tomasevic Reuters/Landov

For South Sudan, 2011 was monumental. After decades of war, South Sudan became its own nation.

But as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has told us, that process of emerging from a conflict with its northern neighbor that left it poor and isolated, has been fraught with more fighting.

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1:38pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Humans

Humans, The World's 'Superomnivores'

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Are you a fan of crunchy, crispy foods? Well, I am. In fact...

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEWING)

DANKOSKY: Do you hear that? Yeah, that's a potato chip. It sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Now, no matter where you are in the world, you'll probably find that that crunch is popular with the locals. Think about it: tortilla chips, crispy chicken, fried calamari, biscotti, tempura, falafel, pekora - mmm, pekora.

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1:35pm

Fri May 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Cleared Of Rape Conviction, California Man Remains 'Unbroken'

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP
  • Brian Banks on Southern California Public Radio

Five years in prison. Then five years of probation and wearing an electronic monitoring device. The shame of being a registered sex offender. Not being able to get a job. His dream of playing in the NFL destroyed, possibly forever.

Brian Banks, now 26, has gone through all that.

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1:35pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Politics

It's All Politics, May 24, 2012

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:56 pm

John Moore Getty Images

This week, Ken Rudin and Ron Elving discuss Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker criticizing the president's tactics on Bain Capital, the Tea Party's goals in next week's Texas Senate primary, and general dysfunction in D.C. In other words, it's the Booker "Tea" Washington edition of the podcast.

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1:35pm

Fri May 25, 2012
It's All Politics

Friday Night Fight In Wisconsin: First Debate Before Looming Recall

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:11 pm

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker campaigns Thursday with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in Waukesha, Wis.
Darren Hauck Getty Images

The divisive battle to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker moves into its final phase in coming days with debates, a continuing flood of out-of-state ad money, and polls that suggest the incumbent is poised to fend off Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.

Here's a look at where things stand between the Republican Walker and Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, heading into Friday night's televised debate, the first of two before the June 5 rematch. (Walker defeated Barrett in the 2010 governor's race, 52.2 percent to 46.5 percent.)

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1:31pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Animals

Monster Turtle Fossil Discovered In Colombian Mine

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, sitting in for Ira Flatow. This time of year, wildlife conservationists warn you to look out for migrating turtles crossing the road. OK, what if the turtle is nearly eight feet long, the size of a compact car?

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1:22pm

Fri May 25, 2012
NPR Story

What's The Secret To Great Tomato Flavor?

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. What if I told you I was going to cook up a pasta sauce using bananas, honey, roses, apples, melon rinds, vanilla, berries, sweaty cheese, peaches, chocolate, lawn clippings, lemongrass and a little dash of wasabi for good measure? Sounds pretty disgusting, right? Well, believe it or not, all those flavors I've just mentioned are components of a taste you probably already love: tomatoes. The taste of a tomato is really that complicated.

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12:41pm

Fri May 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Ban Ki-moon: There's No Plan B For Syria

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on Wednesday, shows Syrians carrying the coffin of Suleiman Kharma who was allegedly killed by security forces during the unrest in Qusayr in central Homs province.
AFP/Getty Images

By any definition, the situation in Syria is atrocious with an estimated 10,000 people killed since the uprising started more than a year ago. The latest international effort to reach a ceasefire is on the ropes.

And, last night, during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon seem to give little hope for a resolution.

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12:06pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Music Reviews

James Burton: The Teen Who Invented American Guitar

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:11 pm

What were you doing when you were 16?

When he was 16, James Burton was inventing the American guitar. He'd been born in Dubberly, La., in 1939, and was apparently self-taught on his instrument. At 15, he cut a single backing local singer Carol Williams, and then one day he came up with a guitar riff that he liked. He took it to a singer from Shreveport he was touring with, and they worked out a song to use in his act. One thing led to another, and it wound up on a record called "Suzie Q," credited to Dale Hawkins, the singer.

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11:59am

Fri May 25, 2012
The Salt

Stand Back When Snapping Turtles Crop Up In The Garden

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:09 pm

The best thing to do when this gal shows up in your garden is to let her be
T. Susan Chang

Late spring in a New England vegetable garden is usually a time for the last asparagus, the crisp lettuce and arugula, the first pea shoots, and the first sprouting of warm-weather crops like peppers and zucchini. What you don't expect to see planted in your beds are snapping turtles. But that's just what turned up in mine twice this week.

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11:44am

Fri May 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Consumer Confidence Highest Since Before Recession, Survey Says

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 12:13 pm

If consumers are in the mood to shop, that could give the economy a lift.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Here's news that could affect both the economy and the presidential race:

Consumer confidence has improved "in each of the past nine monthly surveys" and is now at "its highest level since October 2007," according to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. The most recent recession officially began in December 2007, and lasted into early summer 2009.

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11:38am

Fri May 25, 2012
Business

More Americans Putting The 'Dream' On Hold

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 12:35 pm

NPR's new series explores how the "American Dream" is evolving during a period of economic uncertainty. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about the series, and whether home ownership is still at the heart of the "American Dream," even after the historic collapse of the housing market.

11:38am

Fri May 25, 2012
Around the Nation

Why It's Rare To 'See A Black Face' In The SEALs

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 12:35 pm

The Navy SEALs are known for conducting some of the U.S. military's most dangerous missions. But they're not necessarily known for their diversity. Host Michel Martin speaks with two men trying to bring people of different backgrounds to the elite military force.

11:38am

Fri May 25, 2012
Food

Add A Little Texas To Your Holiday Cookout

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 12:35 pm

Memorial Day marks the start of barbecue season for many backyard grillers. Host Michel Martin gets some tips for how to grill it up. She checks in with rockabilly singer Ruby Dee, author of Ruby's Juke Joint Americana Cookbook.

11:38am

Fri May 25, 2012
Studio Sessions

Bootsy Collins On His Special Blend Of Funk

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. And we're about to get funky with a special rebroadcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GIVE UP THE FUNK")

BOOTSY COLLINS: (Singing) We're going to turn this mother out. We're going to turn this mother out. We're going to turn this mother out...

MARTIN: He played bass for James Brown and George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic all before striking out on his own. You know who I'm talking about. Bootsy Collins.

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11:30am

Fri May 25, 2012
Movie Reviews

A Wes Anderson 'Kingdom' Full Of Beautiful Imagery

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:11 pm

Edward Norton plays a scoutmaster in search of his lost charge in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Focus Features

Many people are rapturous over the work of Wes Anderson, and for them, I expect, Moonrise Kingdom will be nirvana. The frames are quasi-symmetrical: a strong center, often human, with misaligned objects on each side suggesting a universe that's slightly out of balance, like a series of discombobulated dollhouses.

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11:14am

Fri May 25, 2012
It's All Politics

#FollowFriday: A Tiny Shred Of Political Authenticity

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 12:56 pm

Rep.Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., is a regular on Twitter. Here, he plays guitar at a festival last July in Whitmore Lake, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from reporter Andrea Seabrook (@RadioBabe).

I have a thing about political fakes on Twitter. I HATE them. And when I say fakes, I mean a handle that appears to be a senator or representative, but is very obviously written by some 22-year-old staffer.

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10:51am

Fri May 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Man At Center Of Federal Agency's Las Vegas Scandal Leaves His Job

Jeff Neely during an April 16 hearing on Capitol Hill. He declined to answer any of the lawmakers' questions.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Jeff Neely, the regional official at the General Services Administration who hosted a 2010 taxpayer-funded conference in Las Vegas that became a scandal as details about excessive spending, gifts and lavish parties were revealed, has left his job at the agency.

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10:17am

Fri May 25, 2012
Author Interviews

From 'App' To 'Tea': English Examined In '100 Words'

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 4:07 pm

"Tea" (a social word from the 17th century) is one of the words David Crystal examines in his book The Story of English In 100 Words.
iStockphoto.com

This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

Linguist David Crystal describes English as a "vacuum cleaner of a language." Speakers merrily swipe some words from other languages, adopt others because they're cool or sound classy, and simply make up other terms.

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