National News

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

A picture that crossed the wire, really struck us today. It shows a sea of American flags planted at the Boston Common.

It's stunning:

According to the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, which plants the flags, it represents the 37,000 Massachusetts residents who have lost their lives in combat since the Revolutionary War.

We've got some good news out of Arizona today: A wild fire that forced the evacuation of 200 residents is beginning to recede thanks to weather.

Reporter Gillian Ferris in Flagstaff tells our Newscast unit authorities will likely lift a pre-evacuation order for some residents tomorrow. Gillian filed this report:

"Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and scattered rain showers helped suppress activity last night on the Slide Fire, burning between Sedona and Flagstaff.

Exit polls show Petro Poroshenko will have a commanding victory in the first presidential elections held in Ukraine since the government was ousted in a popular uprising.

Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been released by the military junta that now controls the country, The Wall Street Journal and CNN are reporting.

A day after a gunman went on a killing spree in the college town of Isla Vista, Calif., the community was trying to come to terms with the loss of the victims and the cold, deliberate manner in which the rampage was perpetrated.

The Santa Barbara Independent reports that as the sun went down on Saturday, students and faculty gathered on campus, holding candles and singing "Amazing Grace."

Doing The Laundry For Social Good

May 25, 2014

"For-profit, for good" is the mantra of a handful of startups trying to make Philadelphia a social enterprise hub. One of those companies is a bike-delivery laundry service that's now expanding.

Correspondent Peter Kenyon tells NPR's Rachel Martin that voting is brisk in Sunday's presidential election in Ukraine — except in the east, where pro-Russian separatists have shut down polls.

Should VA Secretary Shinseki Step Down?

May 25, 2014

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. This coming week, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is expected to update President Obama on a nationwide review on VA facilities. Many VA hospitals have been accused of covering up long wait times for veterans and cooking the books to hide these delays. Shinseki announced yesterday that some VA clinics would enhance their capacity and the administration would also make it easier for veterans to get more of their care from private facilities.

How To Rescue 20 Million Angry Bees

May 25, 2014

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Every year, millions of commercial honey bees hit the road headed to farms around the country to pollinate crops. Occasionally, there are mishaps like the one that took place this past week in Delaware when a tractor-trailer carrying hundreds of beehives tipped over on the highway.

In 2012, Bothaina Kamel became the first woman to run for president in Egypt. She didn't get enough signatures to get on the ballot, but her candidacy became a powerful symbol.

It wasn't just because she is a woman, but also because she stands for the kind of social change many Egyptians hoped would come after the revolution that removed President Hosni Mubarak from power.

Egyptians go to the polls this week, and the front-runner is Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. His supporters say he'll bring order to the country, but others say Mohammed Morsi is still the legitimate president.

Shortages of basic foodstuffs have fueled months of protests against Venezuela's socialist government. Some food producers are smuggling food across the border to get higher prices.

Pope Francis visits Bethlehem on Sunday in the middle of a three-day trip to the Middle East. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to correspondent Emily Harris about the significance of the pope's visit.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We begin this hour in Isla Vista, Calif. The small college town near Santa Barbara continues to grieve this morning after a killing spree late Friday night. Authorities say 22-year-old Elliott Rodger apparently took his own life after killing six others and injuring 13. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

You start with difference, with mystery. Some things spiral, some become spheres, some branch, some don't. We know that inert atoms quicken, become bees, goats, clouds, then dissolve back into randomness. We look at these things, all these very, very different things, and we wonder, are they really different, or is every thing we see one thing, expressed differently? Does the universe have rules? How many? Could there be a single generating principle, a oneness?

The financial crisis of 2008 caused such an enormous upheaval that future historians will long be asking: Who caused it? Who fixed it? Could it have turned out better?

Recently, two key players looked back: Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote Stress Test, Reflections on Financial Crisis, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote A Fighting Chance.

The two reached opposite conclusions. Geithner believes the bank bailout proved its worth. Warren remains outraged that wealthy bankers have not been jailed.

Ukrainians began voting Sunday in a presidential election marred by violence and all but cancelled in eastern cities, where pro-Russian separatists have shut polling places and threatened election officials.

The election is being called the most important for Ukraine since the nation won independence from Moscow 23 years ago, Reuters reported.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. Pope Prays At Separation Wall:

In what is being characterized as an unprecedented gesture, Pope Francis stopped to pray at a wall that separates Israel from the West Bank in the city of Bethlehem on Sunday.

According to The Guardian, Francis prayed for four minutes during the unscheduled stop.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.

It's time for the New and the Next.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RATH: Carlos Watson is the co-founder of the online magazine Ozy. Each week he joins us to talk about what's new and what's next. Welcome back, Carlos.

CARLOS WATSON: Arun, good to be here, and an early Happy Memorial Day.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's NBA playoff season, and the finals are just around the corner. A. Martinez is the co-host of Take Two on member station KPCC and he joins us now to talk basketball. Hey, the Clippers are out of the playoffs, but they won't stay out of the news. ESPN reports that disgraced owner Donald Sterling is allowing his wife to negotiate a sale of the team. Could this finally be the end of the Donald Sterling saga?

Where Will Credit Suisse's Fine Go?

May 24, 2014

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

For those who think big banks in America too often skate above the law, this week brought some welcome news.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Credit Suisse pleaded guilty Monday to criminal wrongdoing...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: So Credit Suisse was recruiting Americans to hide their money and avoid taxes?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: No bank is too big to jail.

You may think of homelessness as a distinctly urban issue, with people sleeping in shelters or on the streets. But homelessness happens in rural communities too, and it happens to children.

For Desiree Wieczorek, a 10th-grader in northern New York, homelessness was all too real last year. For five months, she and her family lived in the woods near Parishville, N.Y.

Recently, I trekked into the woods with Desiree and her father, Kenny, to the area where they had lived. It's remote, with tall trees and a raging river.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Seven people have died including the shooter after a gunman drove through the beachside community of Santa Barbara, Calif. last night. John Palminteri of station KCLU joins us now from Santa Barbara. Mr. Palminteri, thanks very much for being with us.

JOHN PALMINTERI: Yeah. It's a sad morning in the college town of Ila Vista, which is right next to the University of California Santa Barbara.

SIMON: Do police have any sense of whether these were random killings? Were they targeted premeditation?

U.S. Cancels Joint Exercises With Thailand

May 24, 2014

The United States continues to distance itself from Thailand in the wake of its military coup.

On Saturday, the Pentagon announced it had canceled training and military exercises with the country and said it was putting off a visit by U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris.

Right after, the State Department announced it was canceling a firearms training program in Thailand for the Royal Thai Police. This comes after the U.S. suspended foreign assistance for the country.

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