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2:11pm

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Arizona's Top Elections Official Considers 'Birther' Issue Closed

In all likelihood it won't change the minds of those who believe President Obama is ineligible to be president, but today Arizona's top elections official said he had put the "birther" issue to rest, when Hawaii sent him confirmation that Obama's birth certificate is legitimate.

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2:08pm

Wed May 23, 2012
NPR Story

Couch-Surfing: Global Travel On The Cheap

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 10:14 am

Couch-surfers pay for their lodgings with social interaction, not cash.
studio tdes Flickr

Nearly 4 million people are members of CouchSurfing.org and can find a host in every country — including North Korea — free of charge.

New Yorker staff writer Patricia Marx became a member recently and stayed with seven friendly strangers, from a graduate student in Iowa City to a couple in Bermuda in their 60s. She wrote about her experience for the magazine.

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2:08pm

Wed May 23, 2012
NPR Story

Mike Nichols Warns 'Death' May Be His Last Job

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 11:55 am

Mike Nichols' directing credits include Spamalot on Broadway, the movies Working Girl and The Birdcage, and HBO's Angels in America.
Ida Astute

Mike Nichols has won every major entertainment award over a decades-long career that includes theater, comedy, television and film. He performed as half of the comedy team Nichols and May, won his first Academy Award directing The Graduate, and returned to Broadway with a revival of Death of a Salesman, which picked up seven Tony nominations. Nichols warns that the production may be his last.

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2:08pm

Wed May 23, 2012
Strange News

Son Discovers Father's Secret Past On A Surfboard

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 11:11 am

Bobby Waters, Don Waters' father, surfing at Manhattan Beach in 1955.
Courtesy of Don Waters

Don Waters was 3 when his father, Robert Stanley Waters, abandoned the boy and his mother. But before Robert Waters died, he sent Don a short autobiography, hoping it would help him understand his father.

It took years before Don could bring himself to read it. When he did, he discovered an unsuspected past — and a shared passion for surfing. What he read prompted him to take a trip along the California coast, where his father played a part in establishing the surfer culture's first beachhead on the American mainland.

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1:33pm

Wed May 23, 2012
It's All Politics

At Auction, Reagan's Blood Is Pricey But A Bargain Versus Fidel-Signed Flag

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 3:30 pm

It's safe to say that when it comes to recent presidents, Ronald Reagan is the most venerated, especially among Republicans but not exclusively so. Some even accuse conservatives of beatifying the 40th president as though he were on the road to sainthood.

So it's not surprising there would be a Reagan relic out there, specifically a medical-lab vial purportedly containing the dried remains of a blood sample taken from the president on the day he was nearly assassinated in March 1981.

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1:21pm

Wed May 23, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Compensating Organ Donors Becomes 'Talk Of The Nation'

iStockphoto.com

When we first kicked around the idea of asking people to share their opinions about compensating organ donors, it was pretty clear that we were on to something. Everybody in the newsroom seemed to have a strong feeling about it.

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1:07pm

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Mayor Bloomberg: Immigration May Be Only Solution For Crumbling Cities

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Lucas Jackson AP

For the most part, we don't hear novel arguments in favor or against the controversial issue of immigration. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been one of the few to take a different view. Last year, he advocated opening the door to new immigrants if they all moved to Detroit.

At the time, it was derided as weird.

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1:00pm

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Patrick Fitzgerald, High-Profile Prosecutor, Stepping Down

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald.
John Gress Getty Images

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who obtained the conviction of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff for lying to authorities about the leaking of a CIA officer's name and who sent former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to jail on corruption charges, is stepping down from his post.

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12:52pm

Wed May 23, 2012
Music

Remembering Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:58 pm

German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau performing Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem' in Coventry Cathedral.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

12:36pm

Wed May 23, 2012
Commentary

Does Power Really Lie With Bystanders?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 1:49 pm

Just as bystanders have the power to keep motorists and pedestrians in check, Tell Me More host Michel Martin suggests they also have sway over contentious social issues like same-sex marriage and immigration.
Fabian Bimmer AP

On my route home, there are a couple of stretches I tend to hit where, more often than not, there are a lot of people trying to cross the street at points where there are crosswalks but no stoplights.

And kids being kids, sometimes there's no crosswalk, but they're trying to cross anyway. Increasingly now, because there are new apartments going up, I also see more young working people marching across the street, carrying their take-out dinners, ear buds in place.

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12:31pm

Wed May 23, 2012
Election 2012

Get Ready For The First Robot President

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:48 pm

While American politicians may be scripted, they're not this robotic. But whoever wins the presidency this year will preside over a U.S. economy where automation is becoming increasingly important.
iStockphoto

As many folks know, Bill Clinton was called the First Black President by Toni Morrison in The New Yorker.

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12:27pm

Wed May 23, 2012
The Salt

Sodexo's Beef With Food Certification Programs

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:42 pm

Think these labels we found on foods inside an NPR refrigerator are a lot to digest? Try balancing these considerations with the demands of 50 million diners a day.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Surely you've noticed the proliferation of certifications advertising farmers' and food companies' virtuous commitments to fix the environment or promote health. These seals can reassure, but the sheer volume of them can also confound. How to choose between grass-fed, organic, hormone-free or free range?

Now imagine that you have to feed 50 million people a day in 80 countries around the world. And every day more of those people are demanding that the food you serve them be organic, gluten-free, or fair trade.

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12:22pm

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Challenge: Use The Moog Doodle To Play The 'All Things Considered' Theme

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 6:05 pm

Google's Moog Doodle.
Google.com
  • A clip of the current 'All Things Considered' theme
  • Bob Boilen reporting, in 2002
  • Two early versions of the 'All Things Considered' theme

You've probably know by now that Google is paying homage to Robert Moog today with a Doodle that's a virtual version of the iconic Moog Synthesizer. Moog died in 2005. Today would have been his 78th birthday.

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11:51am

Wed May 23, 2012
Election 2012

Does Obama Have A Messaging Problem?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:46 pm

Republicans have pounced on a comment by Newark, New Jersey mayor and Obama re-election surrogate Cory Booker. He called the Obama campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital "nauseating." Host Michel Martin discusses the art of messaging with former presidential speechwriter Mary Kate Cary, and journalism professor Cynthia Tucker.

11:51am

Wed May 23, 2012
Race

Civil Rights Leader: Equality Means Equality

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:46 pm

The NAACP is officially supporting same-sex marriage. The group says marriage equality is a civil right and is encouraging black voters to support the issue if it shows up on state ballots. Host Michel Martin talks with Julian Bond, chairman emeritus of the group.

11:51am

Wed May 23, 2012
World

Islamists Vs. Mubarak Holdovers In Egypt Elections

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:46 pm

Campaign fever is in the air in Cairo and around Egypt. Millions of voters go to the polls, Tuesday and Wednesday, for what many believe to be the country's first free election in its long history. Host Michel Martin discusses what's at stake in this election with Sherine Tadros, the Egypt correspondent for Al Jazeera English.

11:51am

Wed May 23, 2012
Latin America

Former Imprisoned Drug Smuggler On Story Of Escape

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:46 pm

In the 1970s, American Dwight Worker set out to smuggle cocaine from South America to the U.S. But his plan backfired and he wound up in one of Mexico's most notorious prisons. Worker tells host Michel Martin his story of imprisonment and escape.

11:45am

Wed May 23, 2012
Fitness & Nutrition

Happy Feet: Tips For Healthier Running

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:58 pm

iStockphoto.com

After hearing a lot about barefoot running, New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds decided to try it out for herself. An amateur runner for several decades, Reynolds says she thought the transition would be easy. But almost immediately, she got injured.

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10:47am

Wed May 23, 2012
Mongolia Booms

Old Ways Disappearing In The New Mongolia

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 9:57 pm

A baby Bactrian camel is tied up at the edge of the Badam family's small farmstead. Bactrian camels — like all Mongolian mammals — have thick fur to withstand the winters.
John W. Poole NPR

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

Last of four parts

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10:34am

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Wall Street Titans, Behaving Badly

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:30 am

Television correspondent Sabrina Quagliozzi reports from inside the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square on Monday.
Richard Drew AP

The pillars of Wall Street are shaking.

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10:24am

Wed May 23, 2012
Music Interviews

Jeremy Denk: Playing Ligeti With A Dash Of Humor

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:03 pm

Jeremy Denk has recently written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review.
Courtesy of the artist

Not many classical pianists maintain blogs where they ruminate on everything from eating a terrible bowl of meatballs while on tour with Joshua Bell to seeing Twilight: New Moon (twice) and hearing strains of a Schubert song.

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10:21am

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

As Talks Begin, Iran And World Powers Stake Out Positions

  • Tom Gjelten reporting
  • Mike Shuster reporting

As talks opened in Baghdad today, "diplomats from six world powers offered Iran new proposals Wednesday to ease international concerns about its nuclear program, but appeared to reject Tehran's appeals to ease economic sanctions to help move along talks," The Associated Press reports.

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9:55am

Wed May 23, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Dangerous Gut Bacteria Move Outside Hospitals, Infect Kids

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:55 am

Colonies of Clostridium difficile look awfully nice, but they're definitely something you'd be advised to keep at a safe distance.
CDC

Infections with the bacterium Clostridium difficile hit record numbers in recent years. Now there's evidence the hard-to-treat infections are becoming a problem for children.

The infections often strike the elderly, especially those who've been taking antibiotics that clear out competing bacteria in people's intestines. People sickened by the bug have persistent diarrhea that can, in severe cases, lead to dehydration.

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9:35am

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Primary Protests: 4 In 10 Say No To Obama; 3 In 10 Say No To Romney

President Obama during a news conference Monday in Chicago.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Though there's no doubt about the nominees, presidential primaries are still being held.

And in both Democratic and Republican contests, some voters continue to register their unhappiness with the choices before them.

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9:15am

Wed May 23, 2012
It's All Politics

How A College Kid May Have Helped Pick A Congressman

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:16 am

Thomas Massie's opponents were quick to complain that out-of-state money had "stolen" the election for him after he won the GOP nomination in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District.
AP

Thomas Massie won't be sworn in as a member of Congress until next January, but he has already put one of his supporters at the top of his Christmas card list.

Massie won the Republican nomination in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District, just south of Cincinnati, on Tuesday in large part due to the backing of James Ramsey, a 21-year-old college student in Texas.

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8:35am

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

'Morally Repugnant' Behavior Tolerated By Secret Service, Senator Says

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

In Cartagena, a prostitute stands on a corner in the historical district.
Manuel Pedraza AFP/Getty Images

The first congressional hearing into the scandal involving Secret Service personnel who allegedly cavorted with prostitutes in Colombia last month is set for this morning. As the time for that hearing approaches, a key senator is charging that such "morally repugnant" behavior appears to have been tolerated within the elite agency.

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7:58am

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

33 Years In Prison For Pakistani Doctor Who Aided Hunt For Bin Laden

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:22 pm

Osama bin Laden.
AP

Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who helped in the hunt for Osama bin Laden by trying to collect DNA from the al-Qaida leader and his family members, has been convicted of treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison, according to reports from Pakistan.

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7:21am

Wed May 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Finally, Egyptians Have Their Say

In Cairo, earlier today, a man cast his ballot.
Marco Longari AFP/Getty Images
  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on 'Morning Edition'

"This is definitely the big event" on Egypt's way toward its own form of democracy.

That's how NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson summed up the news earlier on Morning Edition as she reported from Cairo about the opening day of the first free presidential elections in a nation that just a little more than a year ago was in the throes of a revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

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6:42am

Wed May 23, 2012
Around the Nation

Construction Crew Works Gingerly Around Elephant

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Oregon officials are trying to ease the stress of road construction, at least for one resident. Two-point-two miles of the Sunset Highway are being repaved. This could disturb Rose-Tu, a pregnant elephant at the nearby Oregon zoo. The Oregonian reports highway crews will move gingerly, letting Rose-Tu grow accustomed to the noise. They hope to avoid stress from vibrations in her feet and sounds captured by those elephant ears. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

6:29am

Wed May 23, 2012
World

Even Presidents Struggle To Keep Their Dignity

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 6:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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