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4:42am

Wed April 18, 2012
Business

Business News

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:50 am

At Citigroup's annual meeting Tuesday, 55 percent of shareholders voted against big paychecks for the firms top executives. Citigroup's latest pay package saw the CEO take home some $25 million, despite dwindling share values. The vote is not binding, but analysts call it historic.

4:42am

Wed April 18, 2012
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:50 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

In the world of advertising, the success of a billboard often depends on its location. And in the sporting world, what's a better local than the tall, imposing bodies of professional basketball players - which brings us to our last word in business: basketball billboard.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

At an NBA meeting last week, team owners floated the idea of slapping corporate logos on team uniforms.

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3:04am

Wed April 18, 2012
Humans

Can You Think Your Way To That Hole-In-One?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:50 am

Bo Van Pelt celebrates his hole-in-one during the final round of the Masters on April 8. New research suggests that golfers may be able to improve their games by believing the hole they're aiming for is larger than it really is.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Psychologists at Purdue University have come up with an interesting twist on the old notion of the power of positive thinking. Call it the power of positive perception: They've shown that you may be able to improve your golf game by believing the hole you're aiming for is larger than it really is.

Jessica Witt, who studies how perception and performance are related, decided to look at golf — specifically, how the appearance of the hole changes depending on whether you're playing well or poorly.

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3:03am

Wed April 18, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Unusual Alliances Form In Nebraska's Prenatal Care Debate

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 10:39 am

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman vetoed a bill that would spend government funds on prenatal care to illegal immigrants. He has that service for illegal immigrants should be provided by churches and private organizations, not with taxpayer money.
Nati Harnik AP

In Republican-dominated Nebraska, government leaders often line up together, but lately a political tornado has ripped through this orderly scene.

A political showdown over taxpayer funding of prenatal care for illegal immigrants has produced some unusual political splits and alliances in the statehouse of the Cornhusker State.

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3:02am

Wed April 18, 2012
Tina Brown's Must-Reads

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: The Reporter's Role

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:23 pm

Andrew Breitbart, the late editor and founder of BigGovernment.com, is shown in this file photo speaking at a rally at the conservative Americans for Prosperity "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Washington on Nov. 5.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown has been thinking about the contributions of journalists to global culture.

The Rise Of Hitler, As Seen By Americans Abroad

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3:01am

Wed April 18, 2012
Business

Rough Patches Behind It, Toyota Tries To Accelerate

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 8:23 am

A crane lifts a Toyota to the top level of New York's Javits Convention Center on April 2, before the New York International Auto Show.
Joe Polimeni PR Newswire

Paul Schubert and his wife decided to buy a new car last summer — a really fuel-efficient one. After a lot of research, they settled on a Toyota Prius. But there was a problem: They couldn't find one.

The tsunami that devastated Japan in March had dried up supplies of the Prius, which is made in Japan, and a dealer told them they would have to wait — "about four months," Schubert says. "And we thought, well, it'd be, probably, end of November, early December before we were going to have a car."

The Schuberts still had a working car.

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2:58am

Wed April 18, 2012
All Tech Considered

From Silicon Valley, A New Approach To Education

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:30 pm

Four major universities are joining forces with Coursera, a Silicon Valley startup, to offer free online classes in more than three-dozen subjects.
iStockphoto.com

Last year when Andrew Ng, a computer science professor at Stanford University, put his machine-learning class online and opened enrollment to the world, more than 100,000 students signed up.

"I think all of us were surprised," he says.

Ng had posted lectures online before, but this class was different.

"This was actually a class where you can participate as a student and get homework and assessments," he said.

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2:57am

Wed April 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Small Businesses Get Big Political Hype. What's The Reality?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 8:46 am

Tourists walk near shops in the Maine seaside village of Northeast Harbor.
Dina Rudick Boston Globe via Getty Images

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a small-business tax cut bill offered up by Republicans. It's just the latest piece of legislation to focus on small businesses, which are widely praised in the political discourse as engines of job creation. The adoration is nearly universal — and it reflects something beyond economic reality.

"Small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs in this economy, so our recovery depends on them," President Obama said in 2012 at a New Jersey sandwich shop where he met with small-business owners.

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10:03pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Sweetness And Light

Those Wild And Crazy Miami Marlins

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:59 am

Billy the Marlin cheers during a game between the Miami Marlins and the Houston Astros at Marlins Park in Miami.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Can I give you a word I love that you just don't hear anymore?

Zany.

It used to be that all kinds of stuff was described as "zany," but it seems to have mostly gone out for fancier words like "dysfunctional."

Now, I bring this up because most sports franchises are pretty standard issue. Oh, some are rich, some poor, some win, some lose, but only one currently, to my mind, descends to the dear old level of zany. That is the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins, or, now, as I like to call them, given their location in Little Havana, Los Zany-os.

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7:51pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

CDC Chief: New Vaccines In Haiti Will Save Tens Of Thousands

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 8:16 pm

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (center) talks to a health worker during a visit to Eliazar Germain hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Monday. It's Sebelius' first visit to the country.
Ramon Espinosa AP

A campaign to introduce new childhood vaccines to Haiti will save tens of thousands of lives over the next decade, Dr. Thomas Frieden told Shots at the end of a two-day tour of the beleaguered country.

"This is an enormous step forward for Haiti," says Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This is a big deal."

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7:07pm

Tue April 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Levon Helm, Drummer For The Band, Is In The Final Stages Of Cancer

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 8:18 am

In this Dec. 3, 2007, photo, musician Levon Helm appears on Imus in the Morning in New York. The 71-year-old musician's family said Tuesday that he was in the final stages of cancer.
Richard Drew AP

Sad news for fans of drummer Levon Helm: The longtime member of The Band is in the final stages of cancer, his family said Tuesday.

"Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey," his wife and daughter wrote on the 71-year-old singer's website.

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6:15pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Governing

If You Hate Tax Day, Just Wait Until Next Year

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:56 pm

A tax service company in Brooklyn, N.Y, on Tuesday, the filing deadline for federal taxes.
Mary Altaffer AP

More than 99 million federal taxpayers had filed their returns as of Tuesday, with more than 80 million of those expecting a refund.

People who file at the last minute — and Tuesday is this year's deadline — are somewhat more likely to owe money to the government. And if Congress and the president don't act, next year could see many more Americans paying higher taxes.

That's not because either President Obama or presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney advocate a tax increase for most Americans.

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5:48pm

Tue April 17, 2012
History

How America 'Struck Back': Doolittle Raid Turns 70

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:37 pm

U.S. Navy crewmen watch a B-25 bomber take off from the USS Hornet for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942.
AP

It's just after sunrise outside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, when 20 B-25 bombers start showing up in the western sky.

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5:38pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Law

New Information Emerges In Secret Service Scandal

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:15 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We have new information now in the investigation of Secret Service misconduct. Agents are alleged to have hired prostitutes before President Obama's visit to South America last week. The Secret Service director has been talking with members of Congress, and NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us now to tell us what he's hearing. Hey there, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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5:27pm

Tue April 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Warren Buffett Has Prostate Cancer; Detected At Early Stage, He Says

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced that the billionaire investor has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Seth Wenig AP

Warren Buffett, 81, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, his Berkshire Hathaway company announced Tuesday afternoon. The cancer is at Stage 1, according to MarketWatch. The billionaire investor's condition is not life-threatening, he says.

Buffett send a letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to inform and reassure them. Here's the text of that letter:

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5:22pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Digital Life

In Noisy Digital Era, 'Elegant' Internet Still Thrives

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:15 pm

Many computer users today use tools like Facebook MySpace to connect online. But some computer hobbyists still use pre-Web technologies to interact.
iStockphoto.com

Before Facebook and MySpace transformed how we interact virtually, there was another kind of Internet — a 1980s network, where users connected via phone lines and communicated through simple lines of text.

And while that may sound outdated, that version of the Internet is still very much alive.

'A Lot More Elegant'

Pat McNameeking, a college student in Concord, N.H., is one champion of this throwback social network known as SDF, or Super Dimensional Fortress.

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5:22pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Million-Dollar Donors

SuperDonor Backs Romney — And Gay Marriage

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:15 pm

Hedge fund manager Paul Singer of Elliott Management has donated $1 million to Mitt Romney's superPAC.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

When it comes to campaign money, there's one industry GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney can count on: finance.

Some of the single largest checks to the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future come from hedge fund managers. People at securities and investment firms have contributed more than $16 million.

Paul Singer, the man behind the hedge fund Elliott Management, has contributed $1 million.

As of Dec. 31, Elliott Management had $19.2 billion in assets, making it one of the nation's largest hedge funds.

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5:19pm

Tue April 17, 2012
It's All Politics

Former Romney Adviser: Veep Hunt Could Lead To Portman

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:34 pm

Republican strategist Mike Murphy, November 2007.
Alex Wong AP

Mike Murphy, the very quotable Republican political consultant who has listed some of his party's biggest names as clients, including John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger, has some advice on picking a vice presidential running mate.

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5:16pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Presidential Race

The Obama-Romney Poll-A-Palooza: What's It Mean?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:25 am

Some voters may be choosing campaign buttons now, but most polling experts agree it's too early to predict November's winner.
Daniel Acker Landov

President Obama is leading presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney big in recent national polls.

No, wait. Polls show he's trailing Romney by a couple of percentage points.

Oh — this just in: Obama is actually leading Romney, but the race is tightening.

It's a general election poll-a-palooza out there, people.

But what do all the numbers mean?

"I have friends who support Obama, and friends who support Mitt Romney," says Scott Keeter, survey research director at Pew Research Center. "I tell them not to get too excited or too depressed at this point."

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4:36pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Seniors In Medicare 'Doughnut Hole' More Likely To Stop Heart Drugs

Falling into the "doughnut hole" of Medicare drug coverage led people to stop taking medicines more often than to search for cheaper alternatives.
iStockphoto.com

Medicare patients who reach the annual gap in coverage for prescription drugs known as the "doughnut hole" are 57 percent more likely than those with continuous insurance coverage to stop taking drugs for heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

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4:34pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Planet Money

Pay Your Taxes: A Cautionary Tale

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:15 pm

Young Buck, 2004
Nick Ut AP

When IRS agents raided the house of rapper Young Buck, they seized all his things: his white leather dining chairs, his watches, his craps table, his tattoo kit. Even his refrigerator. The Nashville artist, who was once part of 50 Cent's G-Unit, owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

His lawyer, Robin Mitchell Joyce, said he thought Young Buck's taxes were being handled by his business manager. They weren't.

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4:28pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Making Babies: 21st Century Families

Carrying 'Dreams': Why Women Become Surrogates

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 8:24 pm

Ian Waldie Getty Images

Last in a four-part report

Surrogacy is an idea as old as the biblical story of Sarah and Abraham in the book of Genesis. Sarah was infertile, so Abraham fathered children with the couple's maid. Today, there are many more options for people who want to grow their families — and for the would-be surrogates who want to help.

Macy Widofsky, 40, is eager to be a surrogate.

"I have very easy pregnancies. All three times have been flawlessly healthy, and I wanted to repeat the process," she says, "and my husband and I won't be having more children of our own."

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4:11pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Music Interviews

Kat Edmonson 'Just Wasn't Made For These Times'

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:30 pm

"As usual, the party in my imagination is much grander than the actual one," Kat Edmonson says of the song "Champagne."
Courtesy of the artist

A lot of the songs on Kat Edmonson's new album, Way Down Low, have a timeless sound, due in part to her own timeless-sounding voice. But she isn't above revealing her influences: The song "Champagne," she admits, was crafted with a particular American songsmith in mind.

"I was trying to write a song like Cole Porter," Edmonson tells NPR's Melissa Block. "Me and a million other people are trying to write a song like Cole Porter."

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4:03pm

Tue April 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Prosecutors Knew Of Forensics Flaws For Years, 'The Post' Reports

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:27 pm

For years, the U.S. Department of Justice has known that flawed forensic work by FBI experts may have led to the convictions of innocent people, but prosecutors rarely told defendants or their attorneys, according to an investigative report in The Washington Post.

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4:03pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Making Babies: 21st Century Families

Gifting Birth: A Woman Helps Build Other Families

Charity Lovas has given birth to eight children, three of whom are her own.
Courtesy of Charity Lovas

For most mothers, there is no event in life bigger than giving birth to a child. Charity Lovas has given birth to eight children, yet only three of those children are her own.

It all began in 2002, when she and her family were living in Indianapolis. She says she was reading the Sunday newspaper and spotted an ad for ovum donors. She had never heard about it. She was curious.

She called the number in the ad. A woman at the other end of the line explained the egg donor program, and said they had a surrogate program, too.

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4:03pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Europe

Spain Scrambles To Avoid A Financial Bailout

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:54 pm

A broker sits in the stock exchange in Madrid. Worries about Spain's finances intensified last week as the country's bond yields rose on international markets, making it more expensive for Spain to borrow money.
Paul White AP

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visited Poland last week and tried to assure international markets that Spain would not join the list of European nations needing a bailout.

"Spain will not be rescued," he said at a news conference. "It's not possible to rescue Spain. There's no intention of it, and we don't need it."

However, Spain's borrowing costs are nearing levels that were followed by bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

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3:30pm

Tue April 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Pranksters Put Fake Ensign's Portrait On Pentagon Wall; It Stayed For Months

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:15 pm

U.S. Naval Institute

The must-read story of the day if you're into practical jokes has to be The Wall Street Journal's piece headlined "Walk The Prank: Secret Story Of Mysterious Portrait At Pentagon."

As Melissa Block and Audie Cornish will explain later on All Things Considered, last year some pranksters hung a portrait on a hall in the Pentagon with a plaque saying it was "Ensign Chuck Hord. USNA circa 1898. Lost at sea 1908."

There is no such person.

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3:08pm

Tue April 17, 2012
My Guilty Pleasure

The Wrong Crowd: A Tale Of Teens Behaving Badly

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 10:26 am

iStockphoto.com

Meg Wolitzer is the author of a book for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman.

In reality, I may be a middle-aged woman with two nearly grown sons, but in my heart I am a teenage girl who has found herself pregnant and doesn't know what to do. For if you came of age, as I did, reading Paul Zindel's My Darling, My Hamburger, then you probably still feel that you know what it's like to be a high school student whose life almost derails.

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2:53pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Europe

How France's Presidential Contest Compares To U.S.

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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2:25pm

Tue April 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Shifting Into Reverse, Detroit Automakers Lose Some Market Share

A worker assembles a Silverado truck on the assembly line at the GM Flint Assembly plant in Michigan.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors gained market share in the past couple years. Helped by Toyota's much-publicized recalls, the problems that Japanese carmakers faced after last year's earthquake and tsunami, and an improving reputation for the quality of American-made vehicles, Detroit's Big Three grabbed 47 percent of sales last year — up from 45.1 percent in 2010 and 44 percent in 2009.

Our friend Micki Maynard of Changing Gears, though, reports that the Detroit companies' comeback — in terms of market share — may be over.

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