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Asia
4:24 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

A Tweet, A Year In A Labor Camp, And Now An Appeal

Fang Hong is seeking compensation for the year he spent in a Chinese labor camp — his sentence for a scatological tweet that mocked politician Bo Xilai and Police Chief Wang Lijun.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

This is the tale of a single tweet and its far-reaching consequences in China.

In April 2011, retired forestry official Fang Hong posted a scatological tweet, mocking a powerful Chinese politician, Bo Xilai, the Chongqing party secretary.

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Spanish Lender Requests $24 Billion Bailout

Spanish bank Bankia's headquarters in Madrid. Spain's fourth-biggest bank, Bankia asked the government for a 19 billion euro bailout.
Pierre-Phillippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:44 pm

A troubled Spanish lender has asked the government for 19 billion euros ($24 billion) of public money to keep the bank from collapsing.

As The New York Times reports, this is far beyond what the government was expecting when it took over Bankia and "its portfolio of delinquent real estate loans."

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

'Route 66': A Country-Crisscrossing Series Comes To Home Video

Shout! Factory

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

When you've seen a lot of movies where Toronto plays the part of New York, you come to appreciate location shooting. And on today's All Things Considered, you'll hear from the star of one of television's more ambitious series when it comes to location shooting: Route 66, which followed two guys around the country in a cool Corvette as they looked for a place to settle.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

U.N. Nuclear Watchdog Finds Traces Of More Highly Enriched Uranium In Iran

In its periodic report on Iran's nuclear program, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog said it found traces of uranium enriched to a level higher than it had previously reported.

NPR's Mike Shuster filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"When International Atomic Energy Agency monitors carry out routine inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, they take environmental samples to help them determine the nature of uranium enrichment underway.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:27 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Backers Of Cost-Free Coverage For Birth Control Fault Legal Challenges

Andrew Shaw iStockphoto.com

You know all those lawsuits now pending around the country charging that the Obama administration's rule requiring most health insurance plans to offer no-cost contraception is a violation of religious freedom?

Well, a whole bunch of supporters of the rule are chiming in now to say that argument has no legal merit.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:58 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

MIT Builds A Needle-Free Drug Injector

MIT

The needle and syringe are icons of modern medicine.

But a device developed at MIT to squirt medicines quickly and pretty much painlessly through the skin suggests that the future of medicine could be needle-free.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

'Football To Fight Against War': South Sudan Joins FIFA

After decades of war, football signals hope. In this photo, South Sudanese soldiers travel by truck near the frontline with Sudan on April 24.
Goran Tomasevic Reuters/Landov

For South Sudan, 2011 was monumental. After decades of war, South Sudan became its own nation.

But as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has told us, that process of emerging from a conflict with its northern neighbor that left it poor and isolated, has been fraught with more fighting.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Cleared Of Rape Conviction, California Man Remains 'Unbroken'

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

  • Brian Banks on Southern California Public Radio

Five years in prison. Then five years of probation and wearing an electronic monitoring device. The shame of being a registered sex offender. Not being able to get a job. His dream of playing in the NFL destroyed, possibly forever.

Brian Banks, now 26, has gone through all that.

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Politics
1:35 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

It's All Politics, May 24, 2012

John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:56 pm

This week, Ken Rudin and Ron Elving discuss Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker criticizing the president's tactics on Bain Capital, the Tea Party's goals in next week's Texas Senate primary, and general dysfunction in D.C. In other words, it's the Booker "Tea" Washington edition of the podcast.

It's All Politics
1:35 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Friday Night Fight In Wisconsin: First Debate Before Looming Recall

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker campaigns Thursday with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in Waukesha, Wis.
Darren Hauck Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:11 pm

The divisive battle to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker moves into its final phase in coming days with debates, a continuing flood of out-of-state ad money, and polls that suggest the incumbent is poised to fend off Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.

Here's a look at where things stand between the Republican Walker and Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, heading into Friday night's televised debate, the first of two before the June 5 rematch. (Walker defeated Barrett in the 2010 governor's race, 52.2 percent to 46.5 percent.)

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It's All Politics
1:25 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Inhale To The Chief: More Details Of Obama's Pot-Smoking Youth Revealed

A Punahou School yearbook class photo from 1976 that includes the 9th grader who would grow up to become President Obama, but not before he smoked a lot of pot first.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:37 pm

The first sneak peak a few weeks back inside journalist David Maraniss' highly anticipated biography of President Obama served up glimpses of the president as a young man in romantic relationships, with information gleaned from early girlfriends.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Ban Ki-moon: There's No Plan B For Syria

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on Wednesday, shows Syrians carrying the coffin of Suleiman Kharma who was allegedly killed by security forces during the unrest in Qusayr in central Homs province.
AFP/Getty Images

By any definition, the situation in Syria is atrocious with an estimated 10,000 people killed since the uprising started more than a year ago. The latest international effort to reach a ceasefire is on the ropes.

And, last night, during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon seem to give little hope for a resolution.

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The Salt
11:59 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Stand Back When Snapping Turtles Crop Up In The Garden

The best thing to do when this gal shows up in your garden is to let her be
T. Susan Chang

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:09 pm

Late spring in a New England vegetable garden is usually a time for the last asparagus, the crisp lettuce and arugula, the first pea shoots, and the first sprouting of warm-weather crops like peppers and zucchini. What you don't expect to see planted in your beds are snapping turtles. But that's just what turned up in mine twice this week.

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Consumer Confidence Highest Since Before Recession, Survey Says

If consumers are in the mood to shop, that could give the economy a lift.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 12:13 pm

Here's news that could affect both the economy and the presidential race:

Consumer confidence has improved "in each of the past nine monthly surveys" and is now at "its highest level since October 2007," according to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. The most recent recession officially began in December 2007, and lasted into early summer 2009.

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It's All Politics
11:14 am
Fri May 25, 2012

#FollowFriday: A Tiny Shred Of Political Authenticity

Rep.Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., is a regular on Twitter. Here, he plays guitar at a festival last July in Whitmore Lake, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 12:56 pm

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from reporter Andrea Seabrook (@RadioBabe).

I have a thing about political fakes on Twitter. I HATE them. And when I say fakes, I mean a handle that appears to be a senator or representative, but is very obviously written by some 22-year-old staffer.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Man At Center Of Federal Agency's Las Vegas Scandal Leaves His Job

Jeff Neely during an April 16 hearing on Capitol Hill. He declined to answer any of the lawmakers' questions.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Jeff Neely, the regional official at the General Services Administration who hosted a 2010 taxpayer-funded conference in Las Vegas that became a scandal as details about excessive spending, gifts and lavish parties were revealed, has left his job at the agency.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Lost Bike Found After 41 Years; Then, The Story Gets Weird

Lisa Brown, in front, during a "dramatic" recreation of how she lost her bike in 1970.
Cape Cod Times

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:06 pm

In 1970 a young girl lost her banana-seat bike. Lisa Brown was riding it across a rickety bridge in Cape Cod, Mass., when she and the bike tumbled into a little river. The bike sank into the muck and was gone.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Fri May 25, 2012

What A Show! China's Movie Theaters Have Improved Dramatically

Moviegoers at a 3D IMAX theater in Beijing.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 11:34 am

On Morning Edition, NPR's Frank Langfitt reported about a Chinese company's $2.6 billion purchase of North America's second-largest movie theater chain. Now, he tells us how the movie-going experience has changed in China in recent years:

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Egypt May Be Headed To Runoff Between Islamist And Former Mubarak Aide

An Egyptian election official counting ballots from the presidential election.
Fredrik Persson AP

As Egyptian officials count ballots from this week's first-ever free presidential election in that country, the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming its candidate got the most votes and will likely be in a runoff next month against ousted President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister.

From Cairo, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson cautions that officials are advising against "believing statements by groups claiming to know who won." Official results aren't due to be released until next Tuesday.

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Around the Nation
7:26 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Cows Get Their Drink On After Crashing Party

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A Memorial Day weekend combines honoring those who served with backyard barbecues. And some are getting an early start. Police in Boxford, Massachusetts responded to a call about six party crashers - cows. The Tri-Town Transcript reports the cows crashed a backyard gathering, chased away partiers, and drank their beer. Said a police sergeant, the thirsty cows, quote, "just went in and helped themselves." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Europe
7:20 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Legendary Rats Return To German Town

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A town in Germany once had a legendary rat problem. Hamelin was the setting for the tale of the Pied Piper, who lured its rats into a river, and then led away its children when he wasn't paid. Some 700 years later, the rats have returned and chewed through the electric cable powering the town's fountain. Could be a job for another Pied Piper, or tourists could just stop scattering bread crumbs for birds near the fountain. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri May 25, 2012

SpaceX Craft Docks With Space Station; Commercial Era Begins

An image of the Dragon spacecraft, taken earlier today with a thermal camera aboard the International Space Station.
Twitter.com/SpaceX

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:48 pm

The historic first docking of a commercial spacecraft at the International Space Station orbiting above Earth happened without a hitch today, as SpaceX's Dragon capsule arrived with supplies for the crew orbiting high above Earth.

Just before 10 a.m. ET, astronauts aboard the space station successfully grabbed the capsule with a robotic arm. A little after noon ET, the pulled the Dragon into its docking space.

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Around the Nation
5:09 am
Fri May 25, 2012

In Ariz. Contest, A Debate Over Government's Reach

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:22 am

Voters in southern Arizona's 8th Congressional District are deciding who will fill the seat formerly held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The Democrat resigned in January, a year after she was badly injured by a gunman at a district event in Tucson.

Giffords' resignation set in motion a special election to serve out the rest of her two-year term. Giffords' former district director, Ron Barber, won the Democratic nomination uncontested. Jesse Kelly easily beat three opponents in the Republican primary.

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Asia
4:26 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Hollywood Dreams Led Chinese Firm To Buy Into U.S.

Moviegoers watch a 3-D IMAX movie at a Beijing theater run by the Chinese company Wanda, which recently announced it was buying AMC movie theaters for $2.6 billion. The move is seen as part of a larger effort by the Chinese conglomerate to move into the U.S. market.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

One of the big movie blockbusters this year isn't a film, but a business deal.

The Chinese company Wanda, one of that country's leading cinema owners, is buying AMC Entertainment, North America's second-largest movie theater company, for $2.6 billion.

When the agreement was announced in China this week, it did not make a lot of sense at first glance. At least for the buyer.

AMC is loaded with some $2 billion in debt, and movie theater attendance in North America was down 4 percent last year.

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Your Money
4:25 am
Fri May 25, 2012

In Tight Credit Market, A Tool For Small Businesses

Many small-business owners have had difficulty securing loans in recent years. One website grades the nation's banks by the ratio of small-business loans to deposits — and finds that community banks are often most friendly to small business.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

When small-business owners start looking for money to expand, they often begin at a big bank. The banks are highly visible, well-known and often nearby.

But many small-business owners report that they have struggled to get loans in the wake of the economic downturn.

Ami Kassar, CEO of the small-business-loan broker multifunding.com, advises business owners that large banks are "not the best place to start" when looking for a small-business loan.

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