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It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 1:33 pm

During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.

That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Justice: Prison Compassionate Release Programs Inconsistent

Inmates file by a guard tower at California's Chino State Prison in 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:18 pm

"Compassionate release" programs that free inmates with terminal illnesses and limited life expectancies are poorly run and lack clear standards, the Department of Justice's inspector general said on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports:

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Shots - Health News
3:20 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Mate Doesn't Have Your Back? That Boosts Depression Risk

Having a special someone won't fend off depression if that person doesn't have your back.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:21 am

Having a mate is supposed to be good for your mental health.

But if that mate is critical or can't be counted on when the going gets tough, that's worse than having no mate at all, researchers say.

"The quality of your relationships matters more than quantity when it comes to depression," says Dr. Alan Teo, a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan who led the study.

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Afghanistan
3:16 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Secret Cash To Afghan Leader: Corruption Or Just Foreign Aid?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged a report this week that the CIA has regularly been sending him money. Afghans seem to have mixed feelings. The president is shown here speaking at an event in Kabul on March 10.
S. SABAWOON EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:48 pm

After a report in The New York Times this week, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that the CIA has been secretly delivering bags of money to his office since the beginning of the war more than a decade ago.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

NASA Details Space Telescope's Cosmic Near Miss

This diagram shows Fermi and Cosmos 1805 on a collision course.
NASA

A new video reveals just how close NASA came last year to losing its $500 million Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in a narrowly averted collision with a defunct, Cold War-era Soviet spy satellite.

On March 29, 2012, Julie McEnery, the project scientist for Fermi, received an automatically generated email warning that the two satellites were due in just a few days to pass within 700 feet of one another as their respective orbits crossed.

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The Salt
2:46 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Chicken Diapers? Urban Farming Spawns Accessory Lines

Clucking all the way to the bank: A hen models a polka-dot diaper from MyPetChicken.com, a multimillion-dollar business that sells everything from chicken caviar treats to day-old birds.
Courtesy of MyPetChicken.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:19 am

There's free range and then there's free rein — around your house.

When Julie Baker's backyard birds started spending more time inside, it was tough to keep them clean. So she got innovative.

She sewed up a cloth diaper — chicken-sized, of course — added a few buttons and strapped it onto her little lady.

One thing led to another, and eventually, a business was born.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

WATCH: Civil Unions Are Legal In Colorado

Anna, left, and Fran Simon, both of Denver, Colo., are the first same-sex couple to be issued a Civil Union license at a midnight ceremony in the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder, at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building on Wednesday.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:13 pm

At midnight, civil unions became legal in Colorado. The state joined eight other states with similar laws and nine others — plus the District of Columbia — to permit gay marriage.

As has become the custom, couples lined up at courthouses across the state in the middle of night, waiting for the clock to strike 12 to receive their paperwork and exchange their vows.

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Author Interviews
1:22 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Criminologist Believes Violent Behavior Is Biological

iStockphoto.com

Twenty years ago, when brain imaging made it possible for researchers to study the minds of violent criminals and compare them to the brain imaging of "normal" people, a whole new field of research — neurocriminology — opened up.

Adrian Raine was the first person to conduct a brain imaging study on murderers and has since continued to study the brains of violent criminals and psychopaths. His research has convinced him that while there is a social and environmental element to violent behavior, there's another side of the coin, and that side is biology.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Pakistani Army Chief Unhappy Over Treatment Of Musharraf

Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, talks to media in northern Pakistan last year.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 1:48 pm

The army chief in Pakistan, a country with a long history of military coups, has hinted that he's unhappy with the detention of former President and ex-General Pervez Musharraf.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Pew Study: Many Muslims Believe In Mixing Mosque And State

Faithful in Bangladesh offer Friday prayers during a street protest in the capital, Dhaka, in March.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Most Muslims around the globe tend to be deeply committed to their faith and believe that it should shape not only their personal lives, but the societies they live in, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center (PDF).

Pew's face-to-face survey of more than 38,000 Muslims, including many in the United States, between 2008-12 produced a telling snapshot of attitudes and beliefs.

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It's All Politics
12:03 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Personality Or Party? Mass. Senate Race Shows Value Of Both

Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez speaks last month in South Boston, Mass. On Tuesday, Gomez won the GOP nomination and will face Democratic Rep. Ed Markey in a June 25 special election.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 1:29 pm

When Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was tapped to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, his state — and national — party bosses were wringing their hands.

Why? The prospect of Republican Scott Brown launching another campaign to return to the Senate, where he served after winning a special election in 2010 to complete the term of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren last November in a race for a full Senate term.

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Health Care
12:00 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Deported While Unconscious

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, you might be thinking about freshening up your spring wardrobe, and you might find yourself excited by the low prices being advertised at your favorite store at the mall. And then you hear that there were hundreds of deaths at a factory in Bangladesh. Our next guest is going to tell us what one might have to do with the other. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

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Latin America
12:00 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Obama Crosses The Border

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are going to spend some time today talking about relationships across borders, especially the southern border. Later, we will hear about a practice called medical repatriation that's been documented by a law school think tank. Researchers there claim that a number of hospitals around the country have been sending undocumented patients back to their home countries, even while they're unconscious, to avoid paying for expensive care.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Snow In May? The Nation's Midsection Bundles Up

Snow clings to flowers in Denver on Wednesday. As much as a foot of snow is forecast for some areas of Colorado.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 4:56 pm

Update at 4:55 P.M ET: The Associated Press reports that Cheyenne, Wyo. has now received at least 15 inches of snow.

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Shots - Health News
11:31 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Ratting Out TB: Scientists Train Rodents To Diagnose Disease

Abdullah Mchumvu has been training African giant pouched rats for more than a decade in Morogoro, Tanzania.
Jonathan Kalan for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:39 am

Rats are notorious for spreading nasty diseases. Think the plague, lassa fever and even salmonella.

But could some jumbo-size African rodents help health workers diagnose diseases more quickly? They just might.

A group in Tanzania is training rats to detect tuberculosis in people. The critters in question are African giant pouched rats. They are about twice the size of your average house gerbil — and half as pretty.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Judge Doubles Down On Double Entendres In Strip Club Case

The judge's name for the case says quite a bit about his opinion.
WOAI.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:27 pm

In what Huffington Post Business calls "one of the funniest, most eloquent court documents we've ever seen," a federal judge in Texas has loaded up his ruling on a case involving San Antonio strip clubs with at least 17 double entendres.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Boston Police: Three More Individuals In Custody

Items FBI agents say were inside a backpack recovered from a landfill in New Bedford. Investigators say the backpack was thrown in the trash by friends of Tsarnaev.
FBI

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 4:53 pm

(Most recent update: 4:36 p.m. ET.)

Three 19-year-old men — two of them University of Massachusetts Dartmouth college students from Kazakhstan who were friends with Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — were taken into custody Wednesday by authorities in Boston. The third individual, an American citizen, was also a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev was enrolled.

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Business
10:51 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Chuck E. Cheese Slims Down Along With Restaurant's Profits

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you're like me you remember some great birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese. The mascot at the pizza joint, an oversized rodent, gave the best birthday hugs. But these days Chuck E. is just not himself. It looks like he's been on a major diet. The restaurant chain has had a few tough years.

Strange News
10:51 am
Wed May 1, 2013

High Schoolers Show Up For Prom On Wrong Night

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Prom is the high school highlight for many teens. But maybe not for 400 students from Bloomington High here in Southern California, who showed up for their prom a week early. The invitations had the wrong date. Faced with students in gowns and rented tuxes, the venue managed a makeshift party complete with DJ and chicken strips. One mother wasn't impressed. Those chicken strips, she said, were the most expensive the kids would ever eat.

The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Study: Release Program For Terminal Inmates 'Poorly Managed'

A new watchdog report (PDF) says a Federal Bureau of Prisons program designed to help terminally ill inmates get early release is "poorly managed and implemented inconsistently."

The study by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which was released Wednesday morning, finds that in 13 percent of cases in which prisoners were approved for the program, inmates died before bureaucrats in Washington made a final decision.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Don't Miss The Premiere Of The World's Smallest Movie

A still from A Boy and His Atom.
IBM

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:53 am

  • Bob Mondello's Review

If only there was an Oscar for "Smallest Movie," a group of IBM nanophysicists would be a shoo-in with their new one-minute stop-motion video starring 130 atoms.

A Boy and His Atom, which debuts Wednesday, has already been certified by the Guinness folks as the "world's smallest movie."

While it isn't exactly the most complicated story line — the nearly monochrome video features a boy, appropriately named Adam, who dances and plays with a toy atom — what's really amazing is how they did it.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Wed May 1, 2013

So, A Tiger Walks Into A Zoo ...

Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:03 am

This is no joke:

A wild male tiger, which seems to be in search of some female companionship, has been lured into eastern India's Nandankanan Zoological Park after several frightening nights for those in nearby villages.

According to the Deccan Herald:

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Slow Growth In April: Survey Shows 119,000 Jobs Added

In Denver last month, a recruiter (right) talked with a job seeker at a health care career fair. There was job growth in April, according to a new survey, but the pace was modest.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

A relatively weak 119,000 jobs were added to private employers' payrolls last month as federal spending cuts and tax increases began to bite, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Boston Bombing: No Death Penalty If Suspect Cooperates?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in an undated photo released by the FBI.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:51 am

Following up on word there have been discussions between lawyers for Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and federal investigators about sparing him from the possibility of the death penalty if he provides valuable information about the attacks, NPR counterterrorism correspondent

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Book News: Andrew Cuomo Signs Book Deal With HarperCollins

Andrew Cuomo leaves a news conference in February 2010 in New York City.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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