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Krulwich Wonders...
11:45 am
Tue April 30, 2013

The Boomerang Rocket Ship: Shoot It Up, Back It Comes

YouTube

What in heaven's name is happening here?

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The Salt
11:45 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Mon Dieu! Fast Food Now Rules In France

Fast times on the Champs-Elysees: People walk past a McDonald's on one of Paris' most storied avenues. But it's not just McD's that has caught French interest: Fast food now accounts for the majority of restaurant spending in the country.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:27 am

When it comes to culinary matters, France, in many minds, is synonymous with fine dining. So it might surprise you that, for the first time, sales at fast food chains have overtaken those at traditional restaurants in the country that gave us the word gastronomie.

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U.S.
11:19 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama Answers Questions On Syria, Guantanamo, More

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's talk about President Obama's news conference this morning on the 100th day of his second term. NPR's David Welna has been listening in this morning. Hi, David.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: The president was immediately asked about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Tue April 30, 2013

New Arizona Law: Guns From Buybacks Can't Be Destroyed

Detective Enrique Chavez logs weapons from a gun buyback in Miami. Arizona's new law requires municipalities to re-sell weapons recovered in such programs.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Cities in Arizona that conduct buyback programs to get guns off the street will now be required to re-sell those weapons, according to a new law signed by the governor.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation late Monday "preventing local governments from melting down the weapons obtained from these popular civic events. Before the new law, the state had allowed such firearms to be destroyed," according to Reuters.

The news agency says:

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise Across The Nation

A home that was for sale earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

There were solid increases in home prices during the month of February across all 20 major cities where that data is tracked, according to the latest S&am

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Shots - Health News
10:05 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Consensus Builds For Universal HIV Testing

Katherine Tapp, 26, tries a rapid HIV test offered at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington, D.C., in June 2012. It's part of an effort to get more people screened.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:02 pm

Everybody needs an HIV test, at least once.

That's the verdict from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has just joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a scrum of professional medical societies in calling for universal testing for the virus that causes AIDS.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Bombing In Syrian Capital Kills At Least 13 People

Syrian government security officers after a blast in the Marjeh district of Damascus on Tuesday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:15 am

Syrian state TV is reporting that a bomb blast in Damascus has killed at least 13 people, a day after the country's prime minister narrowly escaped a car bomb.

The Associated Press reports:

"The bombings appear to be part of an accelerated campaign by opposition forces seeking to topple President Bashar Assad to strike at his heavily protected seat of power. ...

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue April 30, 2013

In Japan: Running Out Of Places To Put Radioactive Water

As they inspected an underground storage pool near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose (4th from left) and other officials wore protective suits and masks. Radioactive water stored in some of the pits has leaked.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:56 am

Adding to reporting from NPR, The Associated Press and other news outlets, The New York Times writes Tuesday that:

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama: Rumors Of My Demise Are Exaggerated

President Obama during his news conference Tuesday at the White House.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:02 pm

  • President Obama's April 30, 2013, news conference

(We updated the top of this post with a recap at 11:45 a.m. ET.)

Joking that a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he has "any juice" left to get things done in Washington made it sound like "I should just pack up and go home," President Obama paraphrased Mark Twain:

"Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated," the president said, as he predicted that an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will be among the things that get accomplished in his second term.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Book News: 'Winnie-The-Pooh' Author Wrote WWI Propaganda

British author A.A. Milne looks positively Bond-esque in this photo from 1952.
Associated Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:38 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Orange Is Everywhere As Dutch Welcome New King

New Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their daughters wave to the crowd Tuesday from the balcony of the royal palace in Amsterdam.
Patrick Van Katwijk DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:12 pm

The signing ceremony looked rather simple, but the celebrations seemed joyous Tuesday in Amsterdam as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands handed over the crown to her son Willem-Alexander.

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Europe
7:50 am
Tue April 30, 2013

40,000-Piece Puzzle Has A Great Fall

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The day after British jigsaw puzzle maker Dave Evans finished his 40,000-piece puzzle, it was leaning on a wall and suddenly had a great fall. This biggest ever hand-cut wooden puzzle is a montage of images form the queen's jubilee and it's due to be displayed in one of the queen's ballrooms next week.

So Evans is asking for help, hoping that some of the queen's men and women can help him put it back together again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:35 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Colorado To Tax Legalized Marijuana

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

The debate over taxes now extends to pot. Colorado voted to legalize marijuana but lawmakers have been debating how to tax it, and that debate is partisan. Democrats want taxes high, saying consumers will gladly pay. Republicans want lower taxes, saying otherwise a black market will develop. But to their credit, lawmakers took a deep breath, inhaled, and let the system work. After considering a 30 percent tax, the State House trimmed it to 25.

The Two-Way
7:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Dozen People Said To Be Under Investigation In Boston Probe

This image from a surveillance video helped investigators identify Tamerlan Tsarnaev (in black cap) and his brother, Dzhokhar (in white cap), as the main suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:38 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Dina Temple-Raston reports

The investigation into the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon is widening, with authorities looking at about a dozen people to see whether they might have helped the two main suspects either before or after the attack, law enforcement officials familiar with the probe tell NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.

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Politics
5:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Advocates Honor LaHood's Time At Transportation Department

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

As outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood prepares to hand off the baton to President Obama's nominee, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Morning Edition reflects on Lahood's legacy. What have he and the president accomplished? What's still to be done?

Politics
5:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Sanford, Colbert Busch Clash In Sole Debate Before Special Election

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There's a high profile congressional race going on in South Carolina and last night the two candidates met in their first - and only - debate. For the Republican, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. This is an attempted political comeback, but it's being hindered by new allegations by his ex-wife that reminds some voters of how Sanford left office in the first place.

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Business
5:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Virgin Galactic Reaches Milestone In Space Tourism Industry

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The billionaire Richard Branson is happy this morning. His Virgin Galactic spacecraft successfully completed its first rocket-powered test flight.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Branson's high flying endeavor has been plagued with delays and technical problems, but on Monday, after an early morning flight from the California desert, the often flamboyant billionaire said history was being made.

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National Security
3:20 am
Tue April 30, 2013

U.S. Faces Fight At Intersection Of Crime And Extremism

Gen. Antonio Indjai (left), Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff, at the funeral of the country's late president, Malam Bacai Sanha, on Jan. 15, 2012. The U.S. says Indjai has been involved in drug trafficking, an allegation he denies. He recently eluded a U.S. sting operation that led to the capture of other officials from his country.
Mamadu Alfa Balde AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

A suspected drug kingpin from the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau was captured on the high seas by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this month, brought to Manhattan and is now awaiting trial.

The dramatic sting operation sheds light on what officials say is a growing national security threat: criminal networks teaming up with extremist organizations.

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Author Interviews
3:20 am
Tue April 30, 2013

'Wonderful Words' In Willa Cather's No-Longer-Secret Letters

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Willa Cather is one of America's greatest literary voices. Most notably, her stories of immigrant farmers in Nebraska are intimate windows into the lives that make up a greater history of American settlement and struggle.

Cather was also a pioneering female writer in a literary world run by men, and a driven businesswoman — meticulous about every detail of her work, down to the very design of a book jacket. And when she died in 1947, she left a will forbidding the adaptation of her works to theater or film and the publication of her personal letters.

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All Tech Considered
3:19 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Will Bureaucracy Keep The U.S. Drone Industry Grounded?

Paul Applewhite of Applewhite Aero isn't allowed to fly this 3-pound Styrofoam plane. That's because he has added circuitry to make it autonomous — it can find its way to specified coordinates — which means it's an unmanned aerial vehicle requiring a special testing permit.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Americans are suspicious of drones. Reports of the unmanned aerial vehicles' use in war zones have raised concerns about what they might do here at home. For instance, in Seattle earlier this year, a public outcry forced the police department to abandon plans for eye-in-the-sky UAV helicopters.

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It's All Politics
3:18 am
Tue April 30, 2013

ATF Allies Say Agency Handicapped By Lack Of Director

ATF agents search last week for evidence at the site of the fire and explosion in West, Texas.
Tom Reel/The San Antonio Express-News AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

It's one of the smallest law enforcement agencies in the federal government, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has sure had a busy couple of weeks.

Dozens of its agents raced to Boston, where they analyzed bombs left near the finish line of the marathon. Others went south to Texas, where a fertilizer plant exploded under mysterious circumstances. Members of the ATF's national response team are still on the scene in tiny West, Texas, sifting through rubble at the blast site, near a crater that's 93 feet wide.

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Latin America
3:17 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Brazil Seeks To Avoid Own Goal Ahead Of World Cup

The renovated Maracana stadium hosts a game by the teams "Friends of Bebeto" and "Friends of Ronaldo" during the stadium's inauguration in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
Silvia Izquierdo AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:19 am

Soccer isn't just a sport in Brazil, it's a religion, and the main temple is the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

The venue is not only the biggest stadium in Brazil but the biggest in South America. Over the weekend, the newly renovated complex reopened to great fanfare, with stirring musical numbers, a light show and dignitaries including Brazil's president.

The headlines in the local media, however, focused not on the fanfare but on the many problems, from flooding in the VIP area to malfunctioning seats and turnstiles. The stadium was also four months late reopening.

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Shots - Health News
3:09 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Why Calif. Doesn't Want Smokers To Pay More For Health Insurance

Californian State Assemblyman Richard Pan (center) is the author of legislation that would bar higher prices for health insurance sold to smokers.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Smoking has its risks, but in California higher prices for health insurance probably won't be among them.

The federal health law allows states to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for a health plan, but a bill moving forward in the California Legislature would prevent that from happening.

The Affordable Care Act is supposed to remove discrimination in the pricing of health insurance for things like gender and medical condition. Critics say a tobacco surcharge creates a new category of discrimination against smokers.

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Books
3:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Vibrant 'Club' Links Two Countries In Award-Winning Book

Author Benjamin Alire Saenz writes about life on the U.S.-Mexico border. Here he holds his latest book, Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, in front of "$26," a painting by Francisco Delgado (the presidents in the painting appear on American bills worth a collective $26).
Mark Lambie Courtesy El Paso Times

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:17 pm

On a Saturday night, the bridge that links downtown El Paso, Texas, to Ciudad Juarez in Mexico is hauntingly still. Once, this was a border crossing flush with life; now, after years of brutal drug violence, it's like a graveyard. It's certainly not the border that American author Benjamin Alire Saenz recalls from his high school days.

"We'd all pile in a couple of cars. There'd be like 10 of us and we'd come over to Juarez," Saenz remembers. "We'd go to all these places like The Cave, the Club Hawaii ... the Kentucky Club ... and we would just have a good time and laugh."

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All Tech Considered
3:07 am
Tue April 30, 2013

When It Comes To Productivity, Technology Can Hurt And Help

With instant messages buzzing, emails pinging and texts ringing, how can employers increase productivity in the workplace? Software companies are tackling the problem, tracking employees' computer time to find ways to improve their efficiency.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Even when people think they're buckling down, studies show the average office worker wastes over a third of the day. There's Facebook, of course, and the email from a friend with a YouTube link. After all that, is it time to go get coffee?

Worker pay is the most expensive line item in the budget for most businesses, which means billions of dollars are going to waste.

But here's the silver lining: It turns out lack of productivity presents a big business opportunity.

Joe Hruska is pretty blunt about how much work anyone does in a typical day.

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