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5:04am

Thu March 22, 2012
Energy

What's Making Americans Less Thirsty For Gasoline?

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:03 am

Growing demand for more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, like these 2009 Dodge Journey crossover vehicles, has helped drive down gasoline consumption in the U.S.
David Zalubowski AP

The price of gasoline keeps rising for Americans, but it's not because of rising demand from consumers.

Since the first Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, the U.S. has struggled to quench a growing appetite for oil and gasoline. Now, that trend is changing.

"When you look at the U.S. oil market, you see that there's actually no growth," says Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

He says gasoline demand peaked in 2007 and has fallen each year since, even though the economy has begun to recover.

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4:56am

Thu March 22, 2012
Planet Money

From Abe Lincoln To Donald Duck: History Of The Income Tax

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 9:02 am

U.S. Treasury Department/Walt Disney

The story of how the U.S. wound up with the income tax is the story of two wars, a Supreme Court justice on his death bed, and Donald Duck.

It's also the story of how the government overcame three obstacles.

Obstacle No. 1: Logistics

How do you make sure people pay?

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4:40am

Thu March 22, 2012
National Security

Cybersecurity Bill: Vital Need Or Just More Rules?

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:03 am

The Homeland Security Department's Control System Security Program facilities in Idaho Falls, Idaho, are intended to protect the nation's power grid, water and communications systems. U.S. security officials and members of Congress are convinced a new law may be needed to promote improved cyberdefenses at critical facilities.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Consider what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and you get an idea of the consequences of a cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure: No electricity. No water. No transportation. Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant.

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4:01am

Thu March 22, 2012
Business

Airlines, Fliers Seek To Fit More In Overhead

International airline travelers wait for their luggage at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Airlines started charging fees for checked bags a few years ago. Now passengers are testing the limits of what they can carry onto planes. Some flight attendants say it's getting out of hand. But airlines are trying to address the problem with bigger overhead bins.

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4:00am

Thu March 22, 2012
Politics

Obama Showcases His Energy Policy On 2-Day Tour

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama visits Oklahoma today, talking of speeding construction for a major oil pipeline. Yesterday, he visited a solar panel farm in Nevada. Those were just two of the stops on a presidential effort to defend his energy policies. He's under pressure from Republicans because of rising gas prices.

And we start our coverage with NPR's Scott Horsley.

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4:00am

Thu March 22, 2012
U.S.

Army Health Care In Spotlight After Afghan Shooting

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The lawyer for the soldier suspected of killing unarmed Afghan civilians last week says his client may have suffered from diminished capacity - or, in other words, a mental breakdown. That possibility has focused attention on the Army's ability to detect and treat psychological problems among soldiers. NPR's Martin Kaste reports on how the Army's system works in theory and in practice.

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4:00am

Thu March 22, 2012
U.S.

Crowds Join Slain Youth's Parents In 'Hoodie March'

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today, Justice Department officials meet with family of Trayvon Martin. The unarmed African-American teen was shot in Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Last night, Martin's parents joined a rally in New York's Union Square, and NPR's Margot Adler attended.

MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: There was rage, sadness and also the feeling of a prayerful community gathering. When the parents of Trayvon Martin spoke, the crowds pushed closer to get a look and shouted words of encouragement. Tracy Martin, the teenager's father, spoke first.

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4:00am

Thu March 22, 2012
Sports

NFL Shake-Ups: 'Bounty' Suspension, Tebow Trade

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

March Madness is supposed to be all about basketball. But it was the NFL that produced a dizzying day of news yesterday. The NFL came down like a ton of bricks on the New Orleans Saints. The league suspended head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season. That was punishment for the team's bounty system, which paid players for injuring opponents.

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3:52am

Thu March 22, 2012
Author Interviews

'Wonder' What It's Like To Have Kids Stare At You?

Random House

Raquel Jaramillo's debut novel, Wonder, written under the pen name R.J. Palacio, was born out of a rather embarrassing incident. The author was out with her two sons, sitting in front of an ice cream store. Her oldest had just finished fifth grade, and her youngest was still in a stroller. They spotted a girl whose face had been deformed by a medical condition.

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7:57pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Europe

French Police Fight For Presumed Killer's Surrender

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 8:37 am

French police have been trying to get a suspected gunman to surrender, after he apparently changed his mind about turning himself in. The 24-year-old has confessed to killing the Jewish children and the paratrooper in Toulouse. Explosions have been reported near the apartment. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells host Robert Siegel the latest developments.

6:56pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Law

Supreme Court: Property Owners Can Challenge EPA

Mike and Chantell Sackett of Priest Lake, Idaho, pose for a photo in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on Oct. 14, 2011. The court ruled unanimously Wednesday that property owners have a right to prompt review by a judge of an important tool used by the Environmental Protection Agency to address water pollution.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of an Idaho couple who were prevented from building their dream home after the Environmental Protection Agency barred them from building on their land. The agency claimed the property was protected wetlands under the federal Clean Water Act.

The ruling gives property owners the right to challenge an EPA compliance order from the time it is issued, rather than waiting for the agency to begin enforcement actions.

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6:50pm

Wed March 21, 2012
All Tech Considered

A Job At What Cost? When Employers Log In To Dig In

Employers have been asking for prospective employees' Facebook username and passwords to do some extra research on whom they may be hiring.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

How would it feel if you were in a job interview and the prospective employer asked for your username and password to see your Facebook profile? Robert Collins says he felt "violated."

"I felt disrespected. I felt that my privacy was invaded," he tells All Things Considered host Robert Siegel, "but not only my privacy, the privacy of my friends and that of my family that didn't ask for that."

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6:37pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Pew: More Americans See 'Too Much' Religious Talk In Politics

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 1:59 pm

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is prayed over after speaking at the Bella Donna Chapel in McKinney, Texas, in February.
Rex C. Curry AP

According to a new survey, 38 percent of Americans say there is too much "expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders."

Thirty percent say there is too little and 25 percent say there's just the right amount.

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6:01pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Million Dollar Donors

Lots Of GOP Money Flowing From The Texas Two

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 10:50 am

Houston home builder Bob Perry at the sales center of one of his developments in 2002.
Melissa Phillip AP

The latest reports from the Federal Election Commission shed new light on the political largesse of two Texas businessmen who have become common names in the world of Republican fundraising.

With a $1 million check in February to the superPAC backing Rick Santorum, Dallas nuclear waste dump owner Harold Simmons and his wife, Annette, have now contributed to groups supporting all three of the top GOP candidates.

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5:53pm

Wed March 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Republicans Charge High Gas Prices Part Of A Plan To Decrease Consumption

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 8:23 am

A driver pumps gas into his Toyota Prius hybrid at a gas station in Sunnyvale, Calif., in 2007.
Paul Sakuma AP

As gasoline prices rise, some Republicans are making a provocative claim about President Obama. They say higher energy prices are actually part of the administration's agenda and they point to some comments made by the president before he took office.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the latest Republican to make the charge about President Obama, and he did so on Fox News Sunday this past weekend, saying, "There's no question that when he ran for office he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up."

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5:34pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

'Million Hoodie March' Planned In New York To Protest Killing Of Trayvon Martin

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 7:43 am

One of the many pictures posted to the Million Hoodie March Facebook page.
RM Lopez via Facebook

At 6 p.m. ET., a "Million Hoodie March" is set to begin winding through the streets of New York City, from Union Square to the United Nations.

One of the organizers, Daniel Maree, told News One that the march was intended to protest "the absurdity of Trayvon [Martin's] murder."

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5:09pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Space

Spacecraft's Wild Ride To Mercury Yields Surprises

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:40 pm

The Messenger spacecraft is depicted over the Calvino Crater on Mercury in this enhanced-color image of the planet's surface.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

There's a small spacecraft called Messenger that's been orbiting the planet Mercury for a year. Today, at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, astronomers revealed what they've learned about the innermost planet in our solar system, and some of the new knowledge is puzzling.

Maria Zuber, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied a large crater 900 miles across called Caloris.

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5:02pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Law

High Court Throws Out 'Bad Lawyer' Convictions

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, shown on Capitol Hill in April 2011, wrote the court's ruling Wednesday that for the most part, plea bargaining determines "who goes to jail and for how long. It is not some adjunct to the criminal justice system. It is the criminal justice system."
Evan Vucci AP

For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defendants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel in plea bargains. In a 5-4 decision Wednesday, the court went further, declaring that when a lawyer acts unethically or gives clearly wrong advice, the defendant may be entitled to a second chance at accepting a plea offer.

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5:00pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Middle East

As Illegal Immigrants Increase, Israel Plans To Act

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 9:08 am

Israel says it will begin taking tougher action against illegal immigrants, many of whom are from Africa. Here, African immigrants demand the right to stay in Israel during a protest in Tel Aviv on Aug. 1, 2009.
Yehuda Raizner AFP/Getty Images

The place is Tel Aviv, but it doesn't look at all like Israel: Dozens of African men are sitting on broken stools and plastic at a makeshift restaurant.

Sudanese fare is on the menu. The men scoop up the stews and salads that remind them of home.

Abdullah Mohammad Mustafa started this restaurant with a couple of other African men who arrived in Israel five years ago from Sudan's troubled Darfur region. They are among some 40,000 Africans who have come to Israel illegally, and many have congregated in neighborhoods in Tel Aviv.

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4:30pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Salt

Into The Wild Science Of Sourdough Bread-Making

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 4:50 pm

Margaret Palca in her bakery in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Chris Eichler for NPR

My sister is no science writer, and I'm no baker, but recently our worlds melded in a surprising way.

Here's what happened: Last October, I attended a workshop on artisanal bread and cheese-making at Salt Water Farms in Lincolnville, Maine. Farm manager Ladleah Dunn introduced us to the concept of making sourdough bread with levain, or starter, instead of packaged yeast.

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4:29pm

Wed March 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Adviser's 'Etch A Sketch' Comment Draws Flak From Rivals

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 1:18 pm

iStockphoto.com

Instead of taking a victory lap after a big win in Illinois, Mitt Romney's campaign ended up with another gaffe to clean up Wednesday.

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4:07pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Dutch Catholic Church Is Accused Of Castrating Boys

Dutch lawmakers are calling for a parliamentary hearing, today, after new allegations of abuse by the Catholic Church surfaced over the weekend. This time, an investigation by the newspaper NRC Handelsblad found that Catholic-run institutions had surgically castrated young boys.

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4:00pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Record

Reggae In The U.K.: A Steady Force

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:44 pm

Music For 'Disenfranchised Working-Class Youth': The British reggae band Steel Pulse formed in Birmingham in 1975. Mykaell Riley is third from the left.
Echoes/Redfern Getty Images

3:35pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Aspirin Might Reduce Cancer Risk, But It Has Risks, Too

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 5:57 pm

Aspirin helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but the jury's still out on cancer.
iStockphoto.com

Regular aspirin use might reduce the risk of cancer by as much as 38 percent, according to a big new review of research on the issue. But "might" is the key word here, other scientists say. And even if it works, that benefit comes with costs, including an increased risk of ulcers and internal bleeding.

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3:05pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Wisconsin City Wonders: What Keeps Going Boom?

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 3:49 pm

As Green Bay's NBC26-TV shows, Clintonville's mysterious boom times are the "big story" in that part of Wisconsin.
NBC26

It's "the big story" in east central Wisconsin, as Green Bay's NBC26-TV reports:

Something keeps going boom in the city of Clintonville, and no one there has figured out for sure why it's happening.

For three days now, folks in Clintonville (population 4,600) have been rattled and rolled by noises that residents say sound like explosions and feel like little earthquakes.

City officials have mobilized work crews to get out to see if the noises are coming from gas lines or other pipes. No evidence was found.

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3:00pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Politics

Obama Touts Energy Policy In Western Swing States

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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3:00pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Sports

Preview Of Women's Basketball 'Sweet Sixteen'

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In women's college basketball the Sweet 16 is set. And to no one's surprise, the four number one seeds have made it. Can any team beat Baylor, Stanford, Yukon or Notre Dame? Or will those four keep rolling until the Final Four?

Joining me is NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Welcome back, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Thank you.

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2:54pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Obama Lost The Messaging War Over Health Care Law

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:44 pm

Protesters show their opposition to President Obama's health care overhaul on March 16, 2010, days before it became law.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The sweeping health overhaul law turns 2 years old this Friday. And as it heads toward a constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court next week, the debate over the measure remains almost as heated as the day President Obama signed it into law.

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2:38pm

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Sifting Through What We Know About The French Shootings Suspect

Police officers stand near the apartment building where a suspect in the shooting at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school is barricaded in Toulouse, southern France on Wednesday.
Bob Edme AP

The standoff between a murder suspect and French police in Toulouse, France, has stirred up a swirl of speculation about the man's background and motives, but so far there are relatively few confirmed facts.

French officials say the suspect is a 23- or 24-year-old Frenchman of Algerian decent by the name of Mohammed Merah, who had a long record as a juvenile delinquent.

He's suspected in the killings this month of three French paratroopers of North African descent, as well as a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren.

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2:07pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Books

Coco Chanel: The Unlikely Fashion Icon

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 3:59 pm

Penguin Books

Fashion designer Coco Chanel has been credited with developing the "modern woman." She once said, "I had rediscovered honesty, and in my own way, I made fashion honest." By loosening waistlines, shortening hemlines and embracing pants, Chanel redefined women's style. She was inspired by men's wear: shirts with clean collars, simple sweaters and loose belted jackets. She liberated women from constrictive clothing by making clothes that women could move in. Her designs were a symbol of the independent woman she was.

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