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It's All Politics
6:48 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Obama, Romney Use Opposing Versions Of 'Are You Better Off?'

Mitt Romney's campaign plans on using variations of Ronald Reagan's "Are you better off?" question frequently over the next six months.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:37 pm

Ever since Ronald Reagan posed the killer question to voters in a 1980 debate with then-President Jimmy Carter — "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" — challengers to incumbent presidents have tried to repeat the Reagan magic.

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Mitt Romney
6:11 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

With Eye On November, Romney To Expand Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with a staffer on the night of the Florida primary in January. Now that he's pivoting away from the primaries to the general election, Romney is expected to quadruple his staff soon.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:41 pm

Now that he's all but certain to be the Republican challenging President Obama in November, Mitt Romney has begun to expand his operations. In the past week, he's named a top aide to head his vice presidential selection team, and his paid staff is expected to soon quadruple in size.

With the president's campaign well-staffed and spread across the map, it's become a game of catch-up for Romney.

There are Republican primary contests in five important states next Tuesday, but with Rick Santorum's departure from the race, they've gotten little attention.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

3 Secret Service Agents Will Leave Agency Over Prostitution Scandal

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:22 pm

Three agents accused of cavorting with prostitutes during a trip to Cartagena as part of the "advance" team working on President Obama's trip to Colombia are leaving the agency.

The AP reports:

"Of the three workers forced out in the scandal, one is a supervisor who was allowed to retire. Another is a supervisor who has been designated for removal for cause, which requires that the employee be given 30 days' notice and a chance to respond with the help of a lawyer; and a third employee, not a supervisor, has quit.

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It's All Politics
5:54 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Most Small Businesses Don't Quite Fit The Political Picture

Angela Caragan's A Cupcake Co. offers gourmet cupcakes for special events. Like more than 20 million other small-business owners in the U.S., she has no employees.
Courtesy of Angela Caragan

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:28 pm

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a GOP measure to cut taxes on small businesses.

Now, the mental image most of us have of a small business is probably something like this: a handful of employees, a shop, maybe a restaurant or a little tech firm.

It turns out the reality of the nation's 28 million small businesses is, in many cases, quite different.

House Republicans say their tax cut would help millions of small businesses.

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Africa
5:54 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Tourists Make Historic Visit To War-Ravaged Liberia

The 150 passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer cruise ship arrive in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, on April 16. It's reportedly the largest group of tourists to visit the country since the 1970s.
Tamasin Ford for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:26 am

Liberia has been better known for conflict than tourism the past couple of decades.

But this week, a group of 150 tourists, many of them Americans, arrived for a brief stay in the small nation on Africa's West Coast. When their cruise liner docked in the capital of Monrovia, they became the largest group of tourists to visit the country in many years, probably since the 1970s.

Dock workers in Monrovia usually unload cargo ships full of secondhand clothes or rice — not a cruise ship full of American tourists.

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Around the Nation
5:54 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Back To The Future: Seattle's Space Needle Turns 50

The Seattle Space Needle's 50th anniversary is Saturday. Though the top of the Needle has been off-white for years, it's being painted its original color, "galaxy gold," for the anniversary.
Dan Callister Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:45 pm

Seattle's Space Needle turns 50 on Saturday. Originally built as a tourist attraction for the city's 1962 World's Fair, the structure was meant to evoke the future. Now the future is here, and the Needle has become the city's favorite antique.

Peter Steinbrueck traces the tower's lineage to an abstract sculpture that sits in his office. Steinbrueck is an architect and former City Council member, and the sculpture used to belong to his father, Victor, also an architect.

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Three Books...
5:47 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Jargon To Jabberwocky: 3 Books On Writing's Art

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 8:49 am

I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Vatican Says U.S. Nun Association Doesn't Adhere To Church Teachings

The Vatican has ordered a crackdown of an American organization representing most nuns in the United States. The Vatican ordered an investigation of the group in 2008 and today it said it was appointing an American archbishop to oversee a reform of the group.

The AP reports:

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Energy
5:04 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

New Rules To Curb Pollution From Oil, Gas Drilling

Oil and natural gas drillers use equipment like this to separate the liquid, gas and sand that come out of wells at the beginning of hydraulic fracturing operations.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:34 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Wednesday to control the problem of air pollution coming from wells being drilled by the booming oil and natural gas drilling industry.

Currently, waste products from the drilling operations, which include a mix of chemicals, sand and water, can be pumped into open enclosures or pits, where toxic substances can make their way into the air. The new rules will require this fluid to be captured by 2015, and flared — or burned off — in the meantime.

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Sports
5:04 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

NBC To Live-Stream Most Summer Olympic Events

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:54 pm

NBC has announced it plans to live-stream every event at the Summer Olympics where it has cameras.

Remembrances
4:48 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Dick Clark, 'Bandstand' Host, Dead at 82

Pop culture icon Dick Clark died Wednesday at age 82. He started his career as a college disc jockey and went on to shape the way America viewed music, TV game shows and New Year's Eve. Here, he hosts American Bandstand in 1958.
ABC Photo Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:59 pm

Dick Clark, affectionately known as the "world's oldest teenager," has died. He was 82, and had suffered a heart attack while in a Santa Monica hospital for an outpatient procedure.

Richard Wagstaff Clark became a national icon with American Bandstand in the 1950s, hosting the show for more than 30 years. Clark also hosted the annual New Year's Eve special for ABC for decades. He weathered scandals, hosted game shows and renewed his Bandstand fame with a new generation by producing the nostalgic TV drama American Dreams.

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NPR Story
4:47 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Months Into Mission, U.S. Action Against Kony Unclear

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:54 pm

In the Central African Republic, U.S. Special Forces soldiers are on the hunt for Joseph Kony, the brutal leader of the rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA has been responsible for abducting tens of thousands of children and turning them into sex slaves or killers. The U.S. military set up its outpost in the country four months ago. Audie Cornish talks to Washington Post reporter Sudarsan Raghavan, who wrote about the U.S. involvement.

Shots - Health Blog
4:17 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

What We Can Learn From Warren Buffett's Prostate Cancer

Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, will be treated for prostate cancer starting in July.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:25 pm

Benjamin Davies, a urologic cancer specialist, doesn't mince words.

On Twitter today, the good doctor said he would fire on the spot any medical resident who biopsied the prostate of an 81-year-old man.

And that would include Warren Buffett, the 81-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who disclosed Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Dick Clark, Legendary Producer, Has Died

Dick Clark.
Danny Moloshok AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 9:24 pm

Dick Clark, the legendary television producer who became a national icon with American Bandstand in 1950s, has died. He was 82.

Clark, known as the the "world's oldest teenager," produced American Bandstand for over 30 years.

"The original American Bandstand was one of network TV's longest-running series as part of ABC's daytime lineup from 1957 to 1987. Over the years, it introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna," the AP writes.

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Theater
4:12 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

London Smash 'Two Guvnors' Comes To Broadway

Adapted from The Servant of Two Masters, the new comedy One Man, Two Guvnors follows the "always famished and easily confused" Francis Henshall (James Corden, left), who must combat his own befuddlement while keeping both of his employers — a local gangster and criminal-in-hiding Stanley Stubbers (Oliver Chris) — from meeting.
Tristram Kenton

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:54 pm

If you weren't a college theater major, you can be forgiven for not knowing much about commedia dell'arte, the 500-year-old theatrical tradition that Carlo Goldoni used for his comedy The Servant of Two Masters in 1743. Contemporary playwright Richard Bean has adapted that play into the decidedly British laugh riot One Man, Two Guvnors -- and he says all you really need to know about commedia is ... well, it's funny.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Organizations Can't Be Sued For Torture, High Court Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that organizations cannot be sued for the torture under the Torture Victim Protection Act.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Escort Offers New Details Of Secret Service Scandal

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:25 pm

The New York Times just posted what it says are the first public comments from the Colombian woman whose argument with a U.S. Secret Service agent last week revealed the so-called summit scandal.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Pat Summitt Steps Down As Tennessee's Basketball Coach

This file photo shows Tennessee women's basketball head coach Pat Summitt talking with reporters during the Southeastern Conference basketball media day, in Hoover, Ala.
Dave Martin AP

Pat Summitt, college basketball's winningest coach, has stepped down as coach of the University of Tennessee women's basketball team.

In a press release, the university said she will now hold the title of head coach emeritus and Associate Head Coach Holly Warlick will take her place.

In that release Summitt said:

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

In Colorado, Frozen Cows Are A Conundrum In Conundrum

The Conundrum Creek Cabin where the cows met their unfortunate end. Photo taken on April 6.
Brian Porter AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:45 pm

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Poll: Most Americans Link Climate Change To Unusual Weather Events

In this Aug 3, 2011 file photo, Texas State Park police officer Thomas Bigham walks across the cracked lake bed of O.C. Fisher Lake, in San Angelo, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 2:25 pm

Most Americans believe that global warming has played a role in a series of unusual weather events during the past year.

A poll released today by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that 72 percent of Americas believe global warming played a role in the very warm winter the United States just experienced.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

King Of Spain Issues 'Unprecedented' Apology For Elephant-Hunting Trip

As he walked out of the hospital, the 74-year-old Spanish monarch gave what is being widely characterized as an unprecedented apology over an elephant hunting trip the king took to Bostwana.

After thanking the medical staff, King Juan Carlos issued a direct and short apology.

"I'm very sorry," he said. "I made a mistake. It won't happen again."

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Drinking On The Job: Is 2012 The New 1966?

Actor Jon Hamm in a scene from AMC's Mad Men. The show is set in the 1960s — but today, many companies provide their employees with ready access to alcohol.
Ron Jaffe/AMC AP

The TV show Mad Men has won fans for breathing life — and a heavy whiff of bourbon — into the fictional advertising world of 1960s New York. But surely no American company has such a liver-pickling culture in this day and age, right?

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The Salt
11:52 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Plan To Slaughter Horses For Human Consumption Is Met With Distaste

No, that's not beef — it's horse meat, at a butcher shop in France. Horse remains a popular food in many countries, but often makes Americans squeamish.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 1:25 pm

When the ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption was lifted in the U.S. last November, it was only a matter of time before someone applied to start the practice up again.

That person is Rick De Los Santos, a New Mexico rancher and owner of Valley Meat Co. If the USDA approves his application to have a former beef slaughterhouse inspected, it would allow the first slaughter of horses in the U.S. since 2007.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Retired Couple Bought Winning Mega Millions Ticket In Illinois

Merle and Patricia Butler (at right) accepting their ceremonial check earlier today.
Illinois Lottery

The winning ticket in Illinois from last month's record $656 Mega Millions lottery has been turned in by a retired couple from the little town of Red Bud, Ill.

"Merle Butler, 65, and his wife Patricia, 62, accepted the giant check Wednesday morning," as Chicago's WLS-TV reports.

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National Security
11:42 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Where's the Line Between Profiling, Policing?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll check in with Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris, one of our regular contributors. He just won a Pulitzer Prize and we hope he's still taking our calls to tell us about the new films coming out this summer. That's in just a few minutes.

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