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The Two-Way
7:35 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Take Your Seat, The 'No Photography' Sign Is Lit

An American Airlines plane at Miami International Airport in February.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:35 pm

You probably saw this bit of Internet virality earlier this week — showing a woman getting kicked off an American Airlines flight for channeling Whitney Houston.

What caught our attention was the sound of flight attendants repeatedly ordering passengers not to take pictures or (presumably) videos.

Apparently, it's an official rule at American Airlines:

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Obama Announces Resignation Of Acting IRS Commissioner

President Obama makes a statement Wednesday about acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller's resignation.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:39 am

President Obama announced late Wednesday that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steve Miller, has resigned in the wake of a report that employees at the agency engaged in partisan scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

The president, appearing for a brief statement at the White House, said he had directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "to accept the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS."

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Jury Finds Jodi Arias Eligible For Death Penalty

Jodi Arias reacts during the reading of the verdict at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix on May 8.
Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:36 pm

A jury has found Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman found guilty last week of first-degree murder for killing her onetime boyfriend in a fit of rage, eligible for the death penalty.

The Associated Press reports: "The decision came after a day of testimony Wednesday during which prosecutors had to prove the murder was committed in an especially cruel and heinous manner."

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The Two-Way
6:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

NASA Says Kepler's Planet-Searching Days May Be Numbered

Kepler-22b, the discovery of which was announced in December 2011, is one of many planets that bear the space telescope's name.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:09 am

The planet-hunting career of NASA's Kepler spacecraft might be near its end.

Astronomers said Wednesday that a reaction wheel that keeps the orbiting telescope pointed at tiny, distant patches of sky to look for Earth-like planets has failed. If they can't fix it, Kepler will be relegated to a less prestigious mission, directing its gaze much closer to home in a search for so-called "near-Earth objects," i.e., meteors and asteroids.

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Politics
5:57 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

White House Addresses Benghazi Emails, IRS Audits

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: And I'm Audie Cornish.

The Obama administration is doing some intensive damage control this evening. Tonight, the president announced that the acting commissioner of the IRS, Steven Miller, is being pushed out over heightened scrutiny given to Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations.

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U.S.
5:44 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

LA Schools Throw Out Suspensions For 'Willful Defiance'

When Garfield High School in Los Angeles stopped suspending students for "willful defiance" several years ago, it saw suspensions drop from more than 600 to just one. Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to follow suit in all LA schools.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:50 pm

School suspensions are a big issue in California. Last year, schools handed out 700,000 of them. But the Los Angeles Unified School District took a step to change that this week when it voted to ban suspension of students deemed "willfully defiant."

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Politics
5:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

One Reason To Apply For Tax-Exempt Status: Anonymity

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:07 pm

Revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny have put a spotlight on a part of the tax code increasingly popular with political groups: section 501(c)(4).

But what's the benefit for organizations to get approved for 501(c)(4) status?

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Music Interviews
5:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

A Songwriter And An Army Dad Share One Touching Story

On Monday, the team behind Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" gathered in Nashville to celebrate the song's reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. From left: co-songwriters Jimmy Yeary, Connie Harrington and Jessi Alexander, military father Paul Monti and singer Lee Brice.
John Russell BMI

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 9:26 am

Two years ago on Memorial Day, Nashville songwriter Connie Harrington was driving in her car, listening to a story on the public radio program Here & Now. And she heard a father remembering his son — a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Leaks, Bombs And Double-Agents: More On That AP Story

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:45 pm

The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called "a very grave leak" to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there's a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.

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It's All Politics
5:19 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

10 Things We Learned From the IRS Inspector General Report

The John Weld Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati, where many of the missteps by IRS workers who targeted conservative groups occurred.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:29 pm

Scintillating isn't how you'd describe the report issued by the Treasury inspector general's report on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.

It was written, after all, by government bureaucrats for government bureaucrats. Enough said.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Maryland Suburb Says 16 Is Old Enough To Vote

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:30 am

If you're old enough to drive, are you old enough to vote?

You soon will be if you live in Takoma Park, Md. The famously progressive suburb of Washington, D.C., has just extended voting rights in municipal elections to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Takoma Park was the first city in the country to take such a step, but its action is part of a larger trend toward letting people vote earlier.

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Planet Money
4:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Can Economics Save The African Rhino?

A black dehorned rhinoceros is followed by a calf at the Bona Bona Game Reserve in 2012. South Africa has seen a devastating increase in poaching in recent years as black-market demand for rhino horn has grown.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 10:52 pm

When Duan Biggs was growing up in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, he used to watch elephants and rhinos walking past his bedroom window. He left home to pursue degrees in biology and economics, and when he returned in 2011 the park looked and sounded "like a pseudo war zone," he says.

"There'd be helicopters flying overhead all the time," he says. "I remember one afternoon coming back to my home from a game drive and the bush was crawling with people with assault rifles, from the army, from the police, and from National Parks. They were looking for poachers."

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All Tech Considered
4:55 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

A New 'Smart Rifle' Decides When To Shoot And Rarely Misses

A TrackingPoint rifle features a high-tech scope that includes a laser rangefinder and a Wi-Fi server.
Courtesy of TrackingPoint

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:14 am

A new rifle goes on sale on Wednesday, and it's not like any other. It uses lasers and computers to make shooters very accurate. A startup gun company in Texas developed the rifle, which is so effective that some in the shooting community say it should not be sold to the public.

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Middle East
4:55 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Syrian Minister: Removal Of Assad Means Destruction Of Syria

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The President of the U.N. General Assembly said today that at least 80,000 people have been killed in Syria's two-year civil war, and that most of those casualties were civilians. The assembly also approved a resolution today calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside. But that vote was largely symbolic; the resolution is unenforceable.

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The Record
4:47 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Google Launches A Streaming Music Service

Chris Yerga, engineering director for Android at Google Inc., speaks at the company's I/O Annual Developers Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:19 pm

The competition for your ears — and dollars — just got a little tougher. On Wednesday, Google launched a paid music subscription service that will put it in direct competition with other streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. The announcement may just be the beginning for Google.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Richard Swanson Didn't Reach Brazil, But He Found An Audience

Richard Swanson, who died in Oregon Tuesday, has inspired an outpouring of condolences as his story of walking to Brazil for charity has inspired those who learn about it.
YouTube

Hundreds of condolences are appearing online for Richard Swanson, the Seattle man whose plan to dribble a soccer ball all the way to Brazil to raise money for charity ended Tuesday after he was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Oregon. Many see his story as an inspiration, and say they'll continue his charity work.

"It is with a heavy heart to notify you that Richard Swanson passed on this morning," reads an update announcing Swanson's death on the Facebook page for his project, Breakaway Brazil, yesterday.

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Parallels
4:20 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Heavy Metal In Kabul? It's The Music, Not The Munitions

Solomon "Sully" Omar performs with the Afghan metal band District Unknown at the third annual Sound Central Festival in Kabul earlier this month.
Courtesy of Ellie Kealey

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:35 am

When 23-year-old Solomon "Sully" Omar felt the music scene in his native Denver wasn't giving him what he was looking for, he made a radical move. He headed for Kabul, capital of the war-torn country his parents had fled decades ago.

"I came here to continue my education and at the same time see what's in the music scene here and bring some of the skills and abilities that I have to the music scene," says Omar.

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News
3:59 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

When The Missing Return, Recovery Is Long, Too

A missing poster is left on a tree outside Amanda Berry's home in Cleveland last week.
Chris Langer Barcroft Media/Landov

They call themselves "Rooters," and they convene in a private online place they call the "RooterHood."

There, they can talk freely and frankly about what it was like to be kidnapped, to be stripped of identity, often sexually abused by their captors, separated from family, friends.

And also about the struggle to recover their uprooted lives, to trust and hope again.

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Code Switch
3:40 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Immigrants To Be Largest Driver Of U.S. Population Growth

Immigrants take the U.S. oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:56 am

New immigrants will be the main driver of population growth in the U.S. by as early as 2027, according to new Census Bureau projections.

This would be the first time in almost two centuries that new births will not be the largest source of U.S. population growth.

The Census Bureau says its projections show a combination of declining fertility rates, aging baby boomers and ongoing immigration to the United States.

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The Salt
3:30 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Can Star Power Make New Orleans' Food Deserts Bloom?

Wendell Pierce, the actor and co-owner of Sterling Farms grocery store, chats with Dwight Henry, who will be making doughnuts and buttermilk drops in the store.
David Grunfeld The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:59 pm

Plenty of celebrities leverage their star power to raise awareness of complicated food issues. Some of the biggest names include Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, Prince Charles and Paul McCartney.

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Shots - Health News
3:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

How Researchers Cloned Human Embryos

Human embryos grow in a petri dish two days after scientists in Oregon cloned them from a donor's skin cell.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohsunews/8726915230/in/photostream/ Courtesy of OHSU Photos

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:49 pm

Scientists in Oregon have achieved something that many thought might be impossible.

They said Wednesday that they have cloned human embryos and then harvested the embryo's stem cells.

The discovery, if it holds up, means scientists would be able to make personalized stem cells, with their genetic code almost perfectly matched to that of a patient.

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Music Interviews
3:09 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Laura Mvula's Velvet 'Moon' Is A Revelation

Laura Mvula's debut is ambitiously confident, as if she and her band had perfected their sound years ago.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 9:33 am

The very first notes on Laura Mvula's new album feel like a powerful invocation. You're not sure for what, but the moment is awesome — with an emphasis on awe.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Publisher Threatens Librarian With $1 Billion Lawsuit

A scholarly publisher has issued a warning to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian who writes about what he calls "predatory" practices in the scholarly publishing industry, threatening him with a $1 billion lawsuit for his blog posts criticizing the company.

Beall is an academic librarian at the University of Colorado; he writes about the journal industry on his personal blog, Scholarly Open Access.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Walmart Has Its Own Plan To Help Bangladesh Garment Workers

A Wal-Mart store in Paramount, Calif. The company announced it would conduct its own inspections at Bangladeshi factories that produce its goods rather than joining an agreement with other Western retailers.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 3:30 pm

Wal-Mart says it has drafted its own plan for improving safety at garment factories in Bangladesh rather than join other Western retailers in a legally binding agreement to pay for improved conditions for workers in the South Asian country.

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Parallels
2:23 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

After Two Years In Hiding, A Bahraini Blogger Escapes

Online activist Ali Abdulemam (right) is greeted in Manama, Bahrain, on Feb. 23, 2011, shortly after anti-government protests began. Wanted by the government, he went into hiding the following month. He escaped from Bahrain after two years underground and made his first public appearance Wednesday in Oslo, Norway.
Mazen Mahdi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 2:44 pm

The Arab world was aflame in March 2011. Longtime rulers in Tunisia and Egypt had been toppled. NATO was poised to attack Libyan government forces. The Syrian uprising was just beginning. And on the small island nation of Bahrain, the government was cracking down on pro-democracy protesters.

Across Bahrain, protest leaders were rounded up and some were quickly tried, convicted and sentenced to prison. The writing was on the wall for the leaders of the movement, including Ali Abdulemam.

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