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Sweetness And Light
3:32 am
Wed May 15, 2013

No. 1s: The Latest Greatest Of All Time

Watch The Throne: Not so long ago Michael Jordan was the GOAT. Now, there's a groundswell to ordain LeBron James as the greatest-of-all-time basketball player.
Fred Jewell/Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:19 am

The Great Gatsby is on the screen again, re-opening the perennial debate about whether or not it is the great American novel. Or was that Huckleberry Finn? Or are we still waiting for the great American novel? Is the title vacant, like most recent Tour de France championships? In the arts, the argument over the great American novel is a rather unusual great fuss about the greatest. In most disciplines there simply doesn't seem to be a passion to constantly assess who's No. 1. Except, except ...

Except in sport.

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National Security
3:31 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Women In Combat: Obstacles Remain As Exclusion Policy Ends

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 10:02 am

Wednesday's deadline for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to submit plans for ending the policy that keeps women from serving in ground combat positions will open up more than 200,000 positions in the military to them. But the change won't end questions about the role of women in the armed forces.

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U.S.
3:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Budget Woes Mean Big Delays For Small Claims Courts

Members of the Save Our Courts coalition rally outside the Los Angeles County Courthouse in March. The county will soon cut the number of courthouses handling small claims cases from 27 to six.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:14 am

Across the country, cash-strapped state and local governments are not just cutting services — they're also cutting access to courts. The tip of the iceberg may be small claims courts.

These courts, dealing with disputes involving small sums of money, are the workhorses of the judicial system. There are thousands of such courts across the country, but perhaps nowhere are they being cut more dramatically than in California.

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U.S.
8:02 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

IRS Inspector General Faults 'Ineffective Management'

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We have more details today on missteps by the Internal Revenue Service, specifically in the way the IRS processed applications for tax-exempt status by Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations. An Inspector General's report says the problems were not limited to low-level agency employees.

Last week the IRS apologized for targeting such groups for special scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. Scott, what more have you learned from the Inspector General's report?

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It's All Politics
7:33 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals is likely to cost President Obama his fondest dream for his presidency: the opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals in his administration will have many costs for President Obama, but surely the most grievous will be the lost opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington. That aspiration was his fondest dream for his second term, much as it was for his first. Now it seems destined to be dashed once again.

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The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Road Crew In Belize Destroys Ancient Pyramid

What's left of the Nohmul pyramid after a construction crew virtually destroyed the 2,300-year-old Mayan structure.
Jaime Awe Associated Press

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 6:53 pm

A construction crew in search of gravel to use as road filler used its backhoes to level one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids.

"It's a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity ... they were using this for road fill," Jaime Awe, the head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, said of the destruction at the 2,300-year-old Nohmul pyramid, located in the Orange Walk/Corozal area.

"It's like being punched in the stomach. It's just so horrendous," Awe said Monday of the destruction thought to have occurred last week.

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Around the Nation
6:11 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

With No Unified Database, Many Murder Victims Remain Nameless

A family friend posts fliers after Samantha Koenig's disappearance in 2012. Koenig's father is now an advocate for a mandatory national missing persons database.
Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

A serial killer who committed suicide in an Alaska jail last year confessed to murdering at least 11 people across the country. But Israel Keyes didn't name names, and investigators trying to figure out who he killed are running into a major stumbling block: There is no unified, mandatory national database for missing persons.

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Middle East
5:43 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

A Sign of Disunity? Iranian Candidates Jockey For Position

Etrat Kazemi (center) registers her candidacy for the upcoming presidential election in Tehran, Iran, last week. More than 700 people have registered to run in the June 14 election.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

Nearly 700 presidential hopefuls have thrown their names into the ring for Iran's June 14 presidential elections. But two last-minute entrants have altered the shape of the already-chaotic race: a former president once dismissed as a has-been and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Convicted Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Gets Life In Prison

Dr. Kermit Gosnell in an undated photo released by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office.
Associated Press

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:51 pm

The Philadelphia abortion provider who was found guilty of first-degree murder in three illegally performed late-term abortions will be spared the death penalty.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted Monday, agreed Tuesday to give up his right to an appeal. He faces life in prison.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Experts Say Prize-Winning Photo Of Gaza Funeral Is Authentic

Swedish photographer Paul Hansen did not artificially manipulate his prize-winning picture "Gaza Burial," the World Press Photo Foundation said Tuesday. Critics had said the image was a composite of several photos.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 10:38 am

The striking image of grief-stricken men carrying two young boys to a mosque for their funeral in Gaza City was hailed for capturing a poignant human moment in an ongoing conflict.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Huge Boost In U.S. Oil Output Set To Transform Global Market

IEA chief Maria van der Hoeven, seen in a 2011 photo, said that North American production has set off a "supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world."
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:48 pm

U.S. oil production is rising sharply and increased output from shale will be a "game changer" in global energy markets in the coming years, according to a new report out Tuesday by the International Energy Agency.

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Around the Nation
4:44 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Baseball's 'Most Durable Batboy' Marks 55 Years On The Field

Stan Bronson, 84, has been an honorary batboy for the University of Memphis Tigers since 1958. The university provides his food and medical care.
Mike Brown The Commercial Appeal/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:24 pm

The University of Memphis baseball team plays its final home game of the season Tuesday. In addition to rooting for the players, Memphis fans will cheer for someone else: batboy Stan Bronson Jr.

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Shots - Health News
4:40 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

How A Florida Medical School Cares For Communities In Need

With community-based health care a central part of its curriculum, Florida International University's medical school turned an RV into a mobile health clinic so that students could treat families in neighborhoods where medical care is scare.
Greg Allen/NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

If it's a Monday, you can usually find Dr. David Brown parked next to a lake in Miami, spending the day inside a 36-foot-long RV. He's not on vacation.

Brown is chief of family medicine at Florida International University's medical school. The RV is the school's mobile health clinic.

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Music Interviews
4:39 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Vampire Weekend: New Sounds Signal The End Of An Era

Vampire Weekend's third album is titled Modern Vampires of the City. Singer Ezra Koenig (far left) says he sees it as the closing chapter of a trilogy.
Alex John Beck Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:17 pm

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Parallels
4:27 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

For Palestinians, Google's Small Change Is A Big Deal

Internet giant Google has recognized the Palestinians' upgraded U.N. status, placing the name "Palestine" on its search engine instead of "Palestinian Territories."
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 10:38 am

The webpage Google.ps used to read "Google: Palestinian Territories." On May 1, the company quietly changed that regional search page to say "Google: Palestine."

Google didn't announce the name change, but it didn't have to. In a place where small gestures can carry great symbolism, Palestinians noticed right away.

"Everybody knows about it and they screenshot [and] post on Facebook: 'Yay Google, thank you,' " says Mohammad Kumboz, a 22-year-old graphic designer and computer programmer who lives in the Gaza Strip.

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Code Switch
3:56 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

After A Mass Shooting, New Orleanians Rally Around A Local Tradition

Kenneth Terry with the Treme Brass Band plays the trumpet Monday during a community response to a shooting during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:01 am

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It's All Politics
3:53 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Controversies Risk Starving Obama's Agenda Of Air

The controversies facing his administration could be creating a stiff headwind for President Obama's second-term agenda.
Jack Plunkett AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:55 pm

This was the critical moment, the brief time between his inaugural and when the nation's collective focus turns to whom his successor will be, when President Obama had to make real progress on his second-term agenda and thus forge his legacy.

Instead, the president finds his administration, the public, Congress and the news media distracted by controversies over Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups and a leak investigation in which the Justice Department secretly obtained months of phone records of Associated Press journalists.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Holder Defends Subpoena Of Journalists' Phone Logs

Attorney General Eric Holder says he recused himself last year from a national security leak probe in which prosecutors obtained the phone records of Associated Press journalists.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:42 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder has defended the Justice Department's actions in secretly obtaining journalists' phone records as part of a probe into leaks of classified material, but said he himself had nothing to do with the subpoena.

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Shots - Health News
3:38 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Feds Push For Lower Alcohol Limits For Drivers

A car driven by a 19-year-old man crashed into a tree in Bates Township, Mich., in April. The Iron County Sheriff's Department said investigators believed the driver, who survived the crash, was drunk and speeding.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 1:07 pm

To curb drunken driving, the federal National Transportation Safety Board has voted to recommend that states tighten the legal limit for drivers' blood alcohol.

The threshold now for drunken driving is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08. (The BAC equals alcohol divided by the volume of blood it's in.)

The NTSB would push for it to be lowered to 0.05, in line with the limits in countries such as Denmark, the Philippines and Switzerland.

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Environment
3:35 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

With Rising Seas, America's Birthplace Could Disappear

Colonists built the original glass-blowing kiln in Jamestown, Va., at this beach for easy access to the sand. Now the site is just inches above the water level.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

By the end of the century, the birthplace of America may be underwater.

The first successful English colony in America was at Jamestown, Va., a swampy island in the Chesapeake Bay. The colony endured for almost a century, and remnants of the place still exist. You can go there and see the ruins. You can walk where Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas walked. But Jamestown is now threatened by rising sea levels that scientists say could submerge the island by century's end.

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Planet Money
3:34 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Who Hides Money Outside The Country?

Belize, the home of our offshore company, Unbelizable.
Nagyman Flickr

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

Over the past decade, some 39,000 people have come forward voluntarily to tell the IRS about offshore money they haven't been paying taxes on. This group provides a small window into the world of people who are hiding money in offshore havens. (It's a world we've been trying to learn more about, partly by setting up an offshore company in Belize.)

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World
3:28 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Living On The Border, Driven — Literally — Underground

Abimael Martinez, who was deported from Riverside, Calif., sits next to the hole he dug to live in beneath the banks of Tijuana's fetid river canal.
Amy Isackson for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:15 pm

After living underground in the United States — figuratively speaking — some undocumented immigrants deported to the Mexican border city of Tijuana are living in holes. These migrants have dug bunkers along Tijuana's sewage canal to protect themselves from police who routinely burn down their makeshift homes.

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Africa
3:05 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

The Enemy Inside: Rhino's Protectors Sometimes Aid Poachers

Mike Watson (left), CEO of Kenya's Lewa Conservancy, and conservationist Ian Craig identify the carcass of a 4-year-old black rhino named Arthur, whom poachers had killed the night before. The well-armed, well-informed poachers very likely used night vision goggles and a silencer on an AK-47.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 8:19 pm

It says a lot about the state of the war against poachers in Africa that the Lewa Conservancy, a private sanctuary in Kenya with 12 percent of the country's rhinos, recently appointed a CEO who has never studied zoology or biology. Instead, Mike Watson is an ex-captain in the British army.

His training has already come in handy. Take, for instance, a visit to a crime scene earlier this year: a rhino carcass splayed out in the mud.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Justice Department To Open Probe Of IRS's Actions

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:17 am

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder has ordered the Justice Department to open an investigation into whether any laws were broken when the Internal Revenue Service singled out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny, he told reporters Tuesday.

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The Salt
2:14 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Chris Hadfield: Space Chef In Chief

Cmdr. Chris Hadfield demonstrates how to make a sandwich, space station-style.
Screenshot from YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:49 pm

Amid the media phenomenon that is Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, you may have overlooked his turn as the International Space Station's top chef.

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