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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Seizing The American Dream: From Janitor To Ivy-League Graduate

Columbia University janitor Gac Filipaj give a thumbs up during the Columbia University School of General Studies graduation ceremony on Sunday.
Jason DeCrow AP

There are few stories as sweet as that of Gac Filipaj. He's a 52-year-old refugee who emmigrated from a war-torn former Yugoslavia to work as a janitor at one of America's premiere universities.

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It's All Politics
12:52 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Obama Campaign Questions Lessons Of Romney's Business Experience

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 10:10 am

President Obama's re-election campaign is attacking Mitt Romney's business experience, perhaps his strongest selling point as a candidate, in a new TV ad in five swing states.

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

'Gay President,' Breast-Feeding Mom: Suddenly We're Talking About Magazines

TheDailyBeast.com/Newsweek

Every once in a while, many in the news business seem to rediscover something that's always been rather obvious:

Publishers will put provocative images on their magazines and newspapers — and now their websites — in order to create "buzz" and, they hope, attract readers.

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The Salt
12:29 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

California's Genetically Engineered Food Label May Confuse More Than Inform

Protesters demonstrate against the production of genetically modified food in front of a Monsanto facility in Davis, Calif., in March. The local protest was not specifically about labeling.
Randall Benton MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 7:03 pm

When Californians go to the polls in November, they will very likely have the chance to make California the first state in the nation to require labeling of genetically engineered food. That's according to California Right to Know, which filed a petition to force a statewide vote.

And the group is pretty confident it will succeed. "Polls show that nine out of ten California voters agree that they want labeling," Stacy Malkan, spokeswoman for the group, tells The Salt.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

FAMU Band Will Remain Suspended Another Year

Florida A&M Marching 100 Drum Major Robert Champion during a performance at halftime of the game against Howard University at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Oct. 8, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida.
Don Juan Moore AP

The president of Florida A&M University said his school's Marching 100 band — which has been marred by a hazing scandal — will remain suspended through the 2012-2013 school year.

The Orlando Sentinel reports James Ammons informed the board of his decision during a teleconference today. The Sentinel adds:

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The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers
12:10 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

With Gas Boom, Pennsylvania Fears New Toxic Legacy

NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:55 am

In Pennsylvania, there's an industrial revolution going on. Battalions of drilling rigs are boring into the earth to extract natural gas from an underground layer of shale called the Marcellus formation.

And as the wells multiply all along the western end of the state, people worry they may be facing another toxic legacy.

The first one came from coal mining. All over the state, you can see bright orange rivers and streams. The aquatic life was killed by acidic runoff from abandoned mines.

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Economy
11:53 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Uneven Economy Evens The Field For Obama, Romney

An audience member decries President Obama's economic policies as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a February campaign rally in Atlanta.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 1:51 pm

As the election year began, conventional wisdom was pretty well set about the outcome of the presidential race. If the economy improved, President Obama would win. If not, he'd be a one-termer.

So what does it mean that many big economic indicators are moving sideways?

"Obama seems to be in that gray area," says Paul Pierson, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "The numbers are neither so good nor so bad that they give you a definitive answer."

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World
11:49 am
Mon May 14, 2012

In Mexico, Cartels Target Journalists

The spiraling drug violence is increasingly affecting journalists, in a country considered one of the most dangerous for reporters. Host Michel Martin speaks with Jose de Cordoba of The Wall Street Journal, and Carlos Lauria of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Advisory: This segment may not be comfortable for some listeners.

Around the Nation
11:49 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Is Jennifer Hudson's Tragedy All Too Common?

Jurors in Chicago recently reached a verdict in the murder case against William Balfour, the man accused of killing Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew. Host Michel Martin speaks with WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore about the elements of race, class, and violence in Chicago's South Side that came into play in the trial.

Remembrances
11:40 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Shooting Vietnam: Remembering Horst Faas

The sun breaks through dense jungle foliage as South Vietnamese troops, joined by U.S. advisers, rest after a cold, damp and tense night of waiting in an ambush position for a Viet Cong attack that didn't come, January 1965.
Horst Faas AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:47 am

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Horst Faas, who captured several iconic moments during the Vietnam War, died May 10. He was 79.

Haas was the chief of The Associated Press' Southeast Asia bureau from 1962 to 1974, where he covered the fighting and mentored dozens of young photographers who were sent out across Vietnam to capture images of the war's terror and inhumanity.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Afghanistan: More Troubles, But U.S. Ambassador Sees Path Forward

Officials and mourners prepare to place the coffin of Afghanistan High Peace Council and former Taliban leader Arsala Rahmani in a grave earlier today, in Kabul.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

While U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says there is a path toward relative stability in Afghanistan and away from a return to the kind of civil war that devastated the country in the early 1990s, the difficulties still facing that nation have been underscored by more violence:

-- CNN.com reports that "a bomb exploded inside a shop in the northern Afghanistan province of Faryab on Monday, killing nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry."

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Dozens More Murdered In Mexico; Count Of Headless Bodies May Near 70

Morgue employees take in some of the bodies that were found Sunday.
Moises Castillo AP

Few headlines are more horrific than this:

"49 Headless Bodies Dumped In Mexican Town."

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The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers
10:23 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Science And The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 2:27 pm

A technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has kicked off an energy boom in the United States. Fracking lets drillers unlock vast reservoirs of natural gas that were previously inaccessible. Over the past decade, about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled across the country.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Baby Names: The Latest Partisan Divide?

The percentage of newborns given the trendiest names is much smaller than it was a generation ago.
Andre Panneton iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 10:27 am

Evan, Elizabeth, Rachel, Abigail and John all have something in common. They were born this spring at Fletcher Allen hospital in Burlington, Vt.

Around the same time, a group of babies named Paislee, Liberty, Rykan and Scottlynn were all born in and around North Platte, Neb.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Sophia Is No. 1 Among Girls' Names; Mason Soars To Near Top Among Boys

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 12:53 pm

Sophia has pushed Isabella off the No. 1 spot among most popular names for girls born in the U.S., the Social Security Administration says.

Meanwhile, Jacob remained atop the list of boys' names, where it's been since 1999.

But Mason "rocketed to number two" last year from the No. 12 spot in 2010.

Here are the top 10 for each gender, from the agency's website:

Boys

1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. William
4. Jayden
5. Noah

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Facebook's Zuckerberg Turns 28, With Billions Of Reasons To Celebrate

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in black hoodie.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Happy birthday, Mark Zuckerberg.

Not only do you turn 28 today, but at the end of the week Facebook stock is due to go public for the first time.

The social networking giant is expected to be valued around $100 billion and Zuckerberg's worth will then be around $18 billion, as Wired magazine's Steven Levy said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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Around the Nation
7:52 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Pipe Shop Owner Fights For Free Expression

When Adam Spiegel rolls down the metal security doors at his Medford, Ore., store, a painting becomes visible. Officials told him to clean the graffiti or be fined. He tells the Mail-Tribune it's not graffiti: it's a mural. Some onlookers think the painting resembles a giant bong.

The Two-Way
7:49 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Yahoo CEO's Ousting Is Victory For Hedge Fund Pushing Change At Company

Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Sunday's news that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was stepping down in the wake of questions about his credibility is being followed this morning with accounts about how this is a victory for an activist hedge fund that's been pushing for changes at the Internet search giant.

As the Mercury News reports:

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Business
7:34 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Yahoo CEO Out After Revelations Of Flawed Resume

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Mother's Day shakeup.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Yahoo says its CEO, Scott Thompson, is out, after a shareholder revealed an in accuracy on his resume. Mr. Thompson had claimed that he held two college degrees. In fact, he only had one. Thompson's resignation is a victory for an activist hedge fund that has been pressing for a shakeup in how Yahoo is run.

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Around the Nation
7:29 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Columbia University Janitor Graduates With Honors

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 9:48 am

When Gac Filipaj fled war-torn Yugoslavia in 1992, he became a refugee in New York. He took a janitor's job at Columbia University because it included free tuition. But he first had to learn English. After a dozen years, he received a bachelor's degree in classics over the weekend.

The Two-Way
6:49 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Reports: JPMorgan's Losses Could Top $4 Billion; Three Execs To Resign

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 9:17 am

Three high-ranking executives, including one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, are expected to resign from JPMorgan Chase this week because of their roles in the $2.3 billion loss the bank recently suffered when some risky trades blew up in its face.

The Wall Street Journal, which broke that news, also reports that JPMorgan's losses from the "giant trading blunder" keep growing. It cites "people familiar with the situation," as its sources.

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Middle East
4:51 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Violence In Syria Has Not Abated

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 6:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Syria's violence has not let up. Over the weekend, Syrian troops continued their campaign against those who opposed the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Let's talk about this with NPR's Kelly McEvers, who's on the line from Beirut. And Kelly, what's the latest?

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Religion
4:51 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Presbyterians' Views On Gay Marriage Vary

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 6:44 am

Twenty years ago, few Americans approved of homosexuality or thought gay marriage should be legal. Now, nearly half of all Americans support same-sex marriage, though most Christians are still opposed to it.

Afghanistan
4:51 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Ambassador Crocker Focuses On Afghanistan's Future

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 7:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, travels soon to Chicago. He'll attend a summit of NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance, on whose troops Karzai's government depends. At that summit, NATO countries will be asked to pledge billions of dollars to support Afghanistan's security forces after NATO combat troops withdraw in the year 2014. The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan will also attend that summit. And as he prepared to leave Kabul, he sat down with our own Renee Montagne.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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