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Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sat March 24, 2012

GOP Primary Season: Helpful Or Harmfully Long?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

Be careful what you wish for. After John McCain so quickly clinched the Republican presidential nomination the last time around, the party changed its rules with an eye to extending their primary season, reaping public interest for months like the long Democratic primary season of 2008. You might wonder how they feel about that now. John McCain himself has dubbed this campaign the nastiest he's ever seen - akin to watching a Greek tragedy.

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sat March 24, 2012

How Does The Secret Service Create Code Names?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum got their secret service code names. Mr. Romney is Javelin. Mr. Santorum is Petrus. We asked Ian Chillag and Mike Danforth from the NPR podcast How to Do Everything to look into how secret service code names are assigned.

IAN CHILLAG, BYLINE: Presidents have been getting codenames all the way back to Harry Truman. The secret service called him General.

MIKE DANFORTH, BYLINE: Here's historian Michael Beschloss.

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Sports
8:00 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Kentucky's 'Not Allowed To Lose' NCAA Tournament

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And coming up, we'll talk about the scandal rocking the NFL. But first, in the NCAA last night: North Carolina needed overtime to put away Ohio. Kansas defeated NC State. Baylor beat Xavier. And Kentucky toppled Indiana 102 to 90. And with that win, the powerhouse Wildcats moved into the elite 8 of the tournament. NPR's Mike Pesca reports.

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The Salt
6:58 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Cooking School Spreads Immigrants' Skills And Ethnic Recipes

Linh Nguyen teaches the traditional Vietnamese recipes she learned from her mother and aunts to students at a Culture Kitchen class.
Deena Prichep for NPR

If you want to learn how to make Vietnamese egg rolls, you can always check out a cookbook, a food blog, or perhaps a site like Epicurious.

But Linh Nguyen — who is teaching a cooking class here in San Francisco — says that that's not really the way to do it. In fact, her family doesn't even own a cookbook.

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Performing Arts
6:03 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Basil Twist: A Genius, With Many A String Attached

Puppeteer Basil Twist poses with Ballerina, the marionette at the center of a tragic love triangle in his adaptation of Petrushka.
Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:56 am

Basil Twist has been called a genius. The art he's a genius at? Puppetry — which he knows can be a hard sell.

"It's not of this time," he says. "It's not of the world we live in now."

But Twist, a highly trained practitioner, brings this art of the past to the present with innovative creations beyond the likes of the Muppets or their foul-mouthed cousins on Avenue Q.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Americans Want The Supreme Court To Open Up; Here's Why It Won't

The U.S. Supreme Court.
J. Scott Applewhite AP
  • Nina Totenberg on the court's disconnect
  • Nina Totenberg, on the timing of the tapes
  • Nina Totenberg, on the justices' thinking
  • Nina Totenberg, on looking forward to the sessions

Three straight days of oral arguments about the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul law start Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court.

It's a perfect political storm: an issue that affects everyone and has deeply divided the major political parties coming before the nine justices smack in the middle of a presidential campaign.

Much is riding on what the justices decide. Their rulings are expected by the end of June.

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Around the Nation
5:57 am
Sat March 24, 2012

A Lesson In Sprockets Takes Students On A Trip

Daniel Furbish works with a student during his class in Nashville, Tenn. Students learn to build bikes from donated parts.
Kim Green For NPR

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 10:41 am

In a cave-like basement bursting with rickety old bicycles, tires and churning middle-schoolers, Daniel Furbish barks orders.

Close-cropped beard, pen behind his ear, Furbish is an artist-turned-teacher from a military family — creative and disciplined. He started his Nashville, Tenn., bike-building workshop as a summer experiment. He thought, "What if I take donated bike parts and teach kids to put them together?"

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Author Interviews
5:57 am
Sat March 24, 2012

'The Big Con': If You Can't Avoid It, Avenge It

promo image
istockphoto.com

Americans have always been fascinated by con men. Why else would we have so many movies about legendary swindlers? Most real-life cons are probably less entertaining than the ones on the silver screen, but in her new book, Amy Reading unearths a historical swindle that rivals anything ever imagined by Hollywood.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:56 am
Sat March 24, 2012

In Conservative California, Confusion And Contempt For Health Law

RapidEye iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 5:40 pm

To reach Oakhurst, Calif., drive away from the green fields of the Central Valley, past miles of pistachio trees showing their spring buds and up toward the snow-topped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

Here, just a few miles from the entrance to Yosemite National Park, is the Sweetwater Steakhouse, a local watering hole where no one is shy about their opinions of President Obama's signature initiative.

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Latin America
5:54 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Pope Encounters A 'Wounded, Depressed' Mexico

Pope Benedict XVI listens to a speech during his welcome ceremony in Mexico.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 9:49 pm

Crowds of people dressed in white and waving yellow flags lined the highway outside the Leon airport in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato to welcome Pope Benedict XVI. They cheered wildly when the grinning, 84-year-old pontiff sped past in his glass-sided popemobile.

The pope began his weeklong trip to Latin America on Friday afternoon. He's spending the weekend in Mexico before heading to Cuba.

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Politics
5:53 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Medicare Cuts: 'End As You Know It' Or Future Gift?

Vice President Joe Biden speaks about Republicans' proposed changes to Medicare, at Wynmoor Village retirement community in Coconut Creek, Fla., on Friday.
Luis Alvarez AP

Democrats lost no time in attacking the budget plan House Republicans introduced Tuesday. The plan saves money by overhauling Medicare, but Democrats argue it will destroy the program.

One of the Democrats leading the charge is Vice President Joe Biden. Taking on the role of candidate, Biden was in Coconut Creek, Fla., giving the second in what he promises will be a series of campaign speeches challenging the Republicans.

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Around the Nation
5:52 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Fla. Students 'Making A Stand' For Slain Classmate

Michael M. Krop Senior High School students chant during a rally demanding justice for Trayvon Martin, on Friday.
Alan Diaz AP

Students walked out of more than 30 Miami schools on Friday, some chanting "Justice for Trayvon," in a sign of solidarity with the 17-year-old black student who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer last month in Sanford, Fla.

Protesters numbered more than 1,000 at some schools, others fewer than 100. Some teachers and principals gave their tacit approval.

The first walkout was at Carol City High School, where Trayvon Martin was a student last year. Hundreds of his old schoolmates walked out in the middle of the school day.

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News
5:44 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Tragedy Gives The Hoodie A Whole New Meaning

James Gilchrist of Orlando, Fla., attends a rally for slain teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Thursday. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie when he was shot.
Roberto Gonzalez AP

From the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, a symbol emerges: the hoodie.

A simple hooded sweatshirt has become emblematic of certain assumptions in America. And of a desire by many to overturn those assumptions.

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Space
2:29 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Debris Makes Space Station Astronauts Hunker Down

A discarded chunk of a Russian rocket forced six space station astronauts to seek shelter in escape capsules early Saturday, then ultimately safely passed in front of the space station, according to NASA.

NASA spokesman Rob Navias told The Associated Press ahead of the incident that the space junk would barely be close enough to be a threat. But if it had hit the station, it could have been dangerous, so the astronauts — two Americans, three Russians and a Dutchman — woke early and climbed into two Soyuz vehicles ready to rocket back to Earth just in case.

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It's All Politics
6:24 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Santorum's 'Obamaville' Ad Warns Of 2nd-Term Horror

Santorum ad screen capture

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The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Memo: Corzine Ordered MF Global Customer Funds Moved To London Account

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D).
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 10:50 pm

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine directly ordered that $200 million from a segregated customer account be transfered to cover a $175 million overdraft in a London account. That's according to a memo (pdf) from the House Committee on Financial Services, which is scheduled to hold a hearing next week about the spectacular collapse of MF Global.

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U.S.
6:09 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Global Health Expert Chosen As World Bank Nominee

Dr. Jim Yong Kim is introduced as the new president of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., in 2009.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:12 pm

Jim Yong Kim, President Obama's nominee to be the leader of the World Bank, is an unconventional choice. As a global health expert, he's a medical doctor who helped start an international health organization. He currently serves as president of Dartmouth College.

"Despite its name, the World Bank is more than just a bank," Obama told reporters during the White House announcement Friday morning. "It's time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency."

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Music Interviews
6:09 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Julia Nunes: Homesick Anthems Spawn An Internet Star

Julia Nunes' new, fan-funded album is titled Settle Down.
Shervin Lainez

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 10:41 am

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Religion
5:44 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Thousands Rally For Religious Freedom Nationwide

Protesters rally for religious freedom in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall on Friday. Rallies took place nationwide to protest the mandate that some religious organizations cover the cost of contraception.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 6:50 pm

Across the country, thousands of people skipped lunch Friday to protest what they see as a threat to religious liberties in the United States.

The protesters' specific complaint was the birth control mandate in the new health care law, but the discontent runs far deeper.

It didn't take much for the Rev. Pat Mahoney, an evangelical minister, to warm up the crowd in Washington. He gazed out at hundreds of people who filled the plaza in front of Kathleen Sebelius' office at the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Election 2012
5:19 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

How Would A President Romney Handle Afghanistan?

In this 2005 photo, then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney presents Afghan President Hamid Karzai with a memento at Boston's Logan Airport. Karzai was preparing to speak at Boston University's commencement.
Dina Rudick AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 6:17 pm

An Army staff sergeant's alleged massacre of Afghan civilians has brought new calls for the United States to leave Afghanistan even before the timetable set by President Obama, who has announced that the U.S. combat mission will be over by the end of 2014.

Some Republican presidential candidates are among those publicly asking if now is the time for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan.

But not Mitt Romney.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Calif. Exec Pleads Guilty In Huge Tomato Price-Fixing Scheme

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 5:21 pm

Frederick Scott Salyer, 56, has pleaded guilty in a massive tomato price fixing scheme that investigators say affected almost every American home.

Salyer, the former chief executive officer of SK Foods LP, said he bribed purchasers and fixed prices for the sale of his tomato products to McCain Foods USA Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Report: Mine Safety Agency 'Could Have Prevented' Deadly Disaster

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 6:40 pm

An independent review of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) enforcement at the Upper Big Branch (UBB) coal mine in West Virginia says the agency failed to spot "a number of enforcement deficiencies" at the mine which were major factors in the April 2010 explosion that took 29 lives.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:53 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Why Getting Grimy As A Child Can Make For A Healthier Life

Maybe the kids would be healthier if Mom skipped this sometimes.
iStockphoto.com

We've known for a while that people who grow up on farms are less likely to have ailments related to the immune system than people who grow up in cities. Those include asthma, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

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The Salt
4:53 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Europe's Mixed Record On Animal Antibiotics

Pigs take a mud bath at the De Jofrahoeve pig farm in Esch, Netherlands. Dutch farmers treat their animals with almost three times the antibiotics that their Danish neighbors use.
Robin Utrecht AFP/Getty Images

If Danish pigs can live with fewer antibiotics, why can't their American cousins?

It's a hot topic, especially today. Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to proceed with a 1977 plan to outlaw the use of certain antibiotics as growth promotion drugs.

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The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

U.S. Census Show Asians Are Fastest Growing Racial Group

Growth of Asian Population
NPR Using Census Data

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 6:37 am

Asians are the fastest growing racial group according to a recent report released by the U.S. Census Bureau analyzing 2000 and 2010 census figures.

For those following the nation's changing demographics that may sound surprising because we've also been hearing that Hispanics are the "fastest growing minority group."

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