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6:08 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Texas Seeks New Water Supplies Amid Drought

Receding water at Lake Travis near Austin, Texas, has the state concerned about its water supply. In 2011, Lake Travis had the lowest inflow since it was created about 70 years ago.
Joshua Lott Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 2:59 pm

The punishing seven-year drought of the 1950s in Texas brought about the modern era of water planning. But the drought of 2011 was the hottest, driest 12 months on record there.

Though only a handful of towns saw their water sources dry up last summer, it got so bad that cities, industries and farmers began to think the unthinkable: Would they run out of water?

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Presidential Race
6:07 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Urgency Reigns At Vote-Focused NAACP Convention

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 2:59 pm

The NAACP, the nation's oldest civil rights organization, holds its annual convention in Houston this week. As in any election season, the group is focused on voting rights and voter turnout. But this year, there's another issue that's front of mind: the dramatically high rate of unemployment rate among African-Americans.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will address the NAACP convention on Wednesday, and Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak the following day. NAACP members are ready to hear their plans.

The Race To Register

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Afghanistan
6:06 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Kabul, A City Stretched Beyond Its Limits

An Afghan boy pushes a wheel on the Naderkhan hill in Kabul, Afghanistan, in May. As more people have crowded to Kabul, the city center has become like a buoy floating in a sea of sprawl.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 8:54 pm

Kabul was once a relatively lush haven for several hundred thousand residents. But decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan capital into a barely functioning dust bowl.

The tired infrastructure is crumbling under the weight of nearly 5 million people. And 70 percent of Kabul is now a cramped, ad hoc development where water, sewers and electricity are in short supply.

Somehow, life goes on. But the city seems to be nearing its breaking point.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:13 am
Sun July 8, 2012

Weekend Special: Guess What? Sweat Is Not Smelly! (So Why Do I Smell?)

The Chemical Heritage Foundation via YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 1:28 pm

It's hot today. Really, really, hot; over a 100 degrees Fahrenheit hot, and so I'm sweating.

Sweating is what we people do to cool off, which is good. But sweating is also what makes me ... what's the word? Odoriferous. (Latinate for stinky, which is not so good.)

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Your Money
4:44 pm
Sat July 7, 2012

What Does London's LIBOR Mean To The U.S.?

British banking giant Barclays is at the center of an interbank loan rate scandal that caused several high-ranking executives to resign and forced the company to pay $455 million in fines.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 5:24 pm

Many of us were introduced to the term LIBOR for the first time this week, when it was revealed that some banks might have been manipulating the dull but vital interest rates to gain an edge in the market.

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Author Interviews
4:42 pm
Sat July 7, 2012

'Agent Garbo,' The Spy Who Lied About D-Day

Juan Pujol Garcia in his uniform as a lieutenant in the Spanish Republican Army.
Courtesy Tamara Kreisler

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 1:50 pm

Juan Pujol Garcia lived a lie that helped win World War II. He was a double agent for the British, performing so well that they nicknamed him for the enigmatic actress Greta Garbo.

Author Stephan Talty tells the story of this unlikely hero in a new book called Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day.

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Election 2012
3:55 pm
Sat July 7, 2012

Pro-Obama SuperPACs Losing The Money Race

President Obama steps onstage before a campaign event in Poland, Ohio. He recently underlined the importance of campaign finances to supporters in an email that began, "I will be outspent."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 5:28 pm

"I will be outspent." This simple phrase headed an email President Obama recently sent to supporters.

"We can be outspent and still win," the message read. "But we can't be outspent 10 to 1 and still win." Obama asked for donations of as little as $3 to compete against the deep pockets of Republican challenger Mitt Romney and the super political action committees that back him.

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Around the Nation
8:57 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Scranton's Public Workers' Pay Cut to Minimum Wage

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 4:29 pm

The city of Scranton, Pa., sent out paychecks to its employees Friday, like it does every two weeks. But this time the checks were much smaller than usual. Mayor Chris Doherty has reduced everyone's pay — including his own — to the state's minimum wage: $7.25 an hour.

Doherty says his city has run out of money.

Scranton has had financial troubles for a couple of decades — the town has been losing population since the end of World War II. But the budget problems became more serious in recent months as the mayor and the city council fought over how to balance the budget.

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From Our Listeners
8:57 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Your Letters: Eugene Levy And American Dreams

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Last Saturday, NPR's Jennifer Ludden introduced us to 30-year-old Michelle Holshue, as part of NPR's "American Dream" series. Ms. Holshue graduated with $140,000 in student loan debt just as the recession hit. She worries she'll never be able to own a home, or raise a family.

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Economy
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Adjustments Behind The Numbers Shape Job News

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Eight-point-two percent, that's the number economists and politicians are looking at closely. It is the unemployment rate for the month of June. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the economy added only 80,000 jobs last month. As the economy continues its very slow recovery, it's worth asking, is the jobs report always the best indicator? NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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Economy
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

CEO Spill The Beans On Hiring Hesitancy

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So, another month passes with U.S. stuck in a jobless recovery. Yet many major businesses are reportedly doing well. Their stock price is up. They have cash on hand. So why aren't more companies hiring?

I'm joined now by two chief executive officers. Christopher Gorman is the president of Key Corporate Bank and the CEO of KeyBank in Cleveland. He joins us from his office there. Mr. Gorman, thanks for being with us.

CHRISTOPHER GORMAN: Good morning, Scott.

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Around the Nation
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Anchorage Mayor Takes Oath Under Hawaiian Sun

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Dan Sullivan was sworn in for a second term as the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, Daniel Sullivan...

MAYOR DAN SULLIVAN: I, Daniel Sullivan...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Solemnly swear or affirm...

SULLIVAN: Solemnly swear...

SIMON: The mayor sounded a little distant. He was. Nearly 3,000 miles from Anchorage - in Honolulu.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Africa
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Libyan Elections Seen As Test Of Uncertain Peace

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And today, less than a year after the death of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, Libyans are electing a new parliament. But in the months since the dictator was killed by a mob in his stronghold of Sirte, life in Libya has been troubled. This election's being seen as a test for an uncertain peace.

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Africa
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Foreign Workers Trek Across Sahel To Libya, Again

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Over a half million foreign workers fled the violence in Libya last spring during the fall of Tripoli. Most migrants were from Egypt, Tunisia or sub-Saharan Africa. Thousands came from a single town in the West African nation of Ghana. That town is called Nkoranza and it's nearly 3,000 miles away from Libya's capital of Tripoli.

But reporter Marine Olivesi says that despite the risks and uncertainty they face in post liberation Libya, many Ghanaians are once again taking the road north.

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Sports
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Sports: Big Weekend For Tennis

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And it's a huge weekend on tennis' hallowed ground. Serena Williams has won her fifth Wimbledon title. She defeated Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 6-1, 5-7 and 6-2 in the final. And on the men's side, Andy Murray is the great Scot hope, as he tries to win his first Wimbledon title. We spoke with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine from Wimbledon shortly after Serena Williams won.

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NPR Story
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Economy's In Low Gear, But Obama's Bus Keeps Rolling

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Science
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

NOAA: Just To Be Clear, Mermaids Do Not Exist

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If the blobfish rarely moves, who does it encounter to spell its loneliness in the briny deep? The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency would urge the blobfish not to hold out for the chance to meet the mermaid of its dreams. NOAA issued a statement this week after receiving several queries following the broadcast of an Animal Planet program called "Mermaids: The Body Found."

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Technology
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

New Projects Help 3-D Printing Materialize

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You may have heard of 3-D printers. These are computer controlled machines that create three-dimensional objects from a variety of materials. They've been kind of a novelty for a while but now they are being discovered by everyday consumers. Jon Kalish reports.

JON KALISH, BYLINE: Sean Hurley works for a software company called Autodesk. Not long ago the door on his clothes dryer at home developed a problem. It wouldn't stay shut, which made it impossible to use the dryer.

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Author Interviews
6:47 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Abraham Lincoln 'Impeached.' Wait, What?

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Abraham Lincoln is not just America's greatest president. To many, his very face is an emblem of America: honest, homespun, strong and sad, haunted, brooding and humorous.

So where does some famous Yale Law School professor get off writing a novel in which President Lincoln is accused of subverting the Constitution?

In Stephen Carter's new novel, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, the man we know as the Great Emancipator imprisons critics, invokes martial law, suspends the writ of habeus corpus, and throttles the press — all to win the Civil War.

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It's All Politics
6:46 am
Sat July 7, 2012

'Social Welfare' Organizations Play Big Role In Presidential Politics

Karl Rove attends a ceremony to unveil the portrait of former President George W. Bush at the White House in May. A former Bush adviser, Rove also is a founder of Crossroads GPS.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Some of the heaviest advertisers in the 2012 presidential campaign are groups financed by anonymous donors. They're not organized as political committees, but as "social welfare" organizations.

Peter Overby, NPR's money and politics correspondent, says one of those groups is rivaling the campaigns themselves for money spent on high-profile ads so far in the campaign.

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Around the Nation
6:46 am
Sat July 7, 2012

USS Iowa's Guns Are Now For Show

Pacific Battleship Center

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 1:53 pm

On Saturday, the USS Iowa battleship opens its decks to visitors in the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. The battleship, commissioned by the Navy for World War II, will now serve as a museum.

On a gray morning, former USS Iowa crew member Mike McEnteggart shows off the ship's main deck. McEnteggart first arrived on the Iowa in 1985, fresh out of boot camp.

"I was 20 years old," he says. "Just barely 20 years old."

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Europe
6:27 am
Sat July 7, 2012

'Super Mario' Challenges The Idea Of Who's An Italian

Italian forward Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring the second goal during Italy's Euro 2012 football championships semifinal match against Germany, June 28, at the National Stadium in Warsaw.
Francisco Leong AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 7:33 pm

The Euro 2012 soccer championship ended last weekend with Spain's defeat of Italy. But many sportswriters singled out the second-place team as the tournament's unexpected surprise.

The star of Team Italy is the Sicilian-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, raised by an Italian adoptive family — and now Mario Balotelli is changing the notion itself of what constitutes Italian-ness.

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U.S.
6:09 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Gridlock: Storms, Blackouts Expose Power Problems

A power pole is bent after severe storms hit the Bemidji, Minn., area on Tuesday, knocking down thousands of trees and causing extensive damage to utility lines. Thousands of customers were left without power.
Monte Draper AP

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 3:19 pm

As hundreds of thousands swelter without power a week after a violent storm pummeled the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, energy experts say the future will look even worse if the nation's aging, congested electrical grid isn't upgraded.

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U.S.
6:08 am
Sat July 7, 2012

How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever

Siblings Charles Hagood and Nancy Hagood Nunns grew up in Junction, Texas, in the 1950s. Charles says the drought drove ranchers to find other types of work.
Michael O'Brien Michael O'Brien

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:40 pm

In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.

From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.

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The Two-Way
4:02 am
Sat July 7, 2012

U.S. Gives Afghanistan New Ally Status As Part Of 2014 Transition

In Kabul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that Afghanistan is now a "major non-NATO ally" alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Sean Carberry for NPR

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:11 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan this morning, and she brought along some news. The country has officially been designated a "major non-NATO ally" of the U.S., which will facilitate defense and security cooperation between the countries even after the U.S. withdraws combat troops in 2014.

In an emailed press release, the State Department says the status "qualifies a country for certain privileges supporting defense and security cooperation but does not entail any security commitment to that country."

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