Audie Cornish

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This is one of those questions that is perfect for a Congressional hearing, though not so perfect for the witness. The question is how a man managed to get so far onto the White House grounds.

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On a typical morning on Ben Hewitt's small farm in Cabot, Vt., he and his wife, Penny, and their two sons wake up early. But after doing the chores and eating breakfast, Fin, 12, and Rye, 9, don't have to run for the school bus.

Instead, they spend the morning reading Gary Paulsen tales, or they strap on pack baskets they wove themselves, carrying small knives at their belts, and head out to build shelters and forage in the woods.

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

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro.

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Sen. John Walsh of Montana was appointed to his seat in February, and he's preparing to face voters for the first time. The Democrat's bid will likely be complicated by allegations of plagiarism, reported by The New York Times. It seems that in a paper Walsh submitted for his master's degree from the U.S. Army War College, long passages were borrowed without attribution.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had been carrying several researchers and activists on their way to a global AIDS conference in Australia. Among them was Dr. Joep Lange, a leading researcher and former president of the International AIDS Society. He was a giant in the field and a mentor to many.

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A federal appeals court in Denver struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage Wednesday, paving the way for a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue as soon as next year. The ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals was the first by any federal appeals court on the issue to date.

While the ruling struck down the Utah ban, it applies to the other five states in the circuit: New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma.

ABC News has announced major shakeups in its anchor lineup, as Diane Sawyer steps down from her perch as anchor of the network's evening news. What does her replacement say about the state of the evening anchor job in the world of TV news?

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President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met during a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day. On the same day, Putin met with new Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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I'm Audie Cornish and it's time now for your letters. Earlier this week, we ran a two-part series about what happens when older prison inmates return to the outside world. For two years, NPR's Laura Sullivan followed a couple of aging ex-cons as they made their way through life, not sure if they deserve a second chance.

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates describes how the legacy of slavery extends to geographical and governmental policies in America and calls for a "collective introspection" on reparations.

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Ryan Beitz feels a need for speed. Specifically, he wants to get...

RYAN BEITZ: All available VHS copies of the hit 1994 action-adventure film "Speed," starring Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper.

Melissa Block and Audie Cornish read letters from listeners about the demands made on students and student-athletes in college.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his position on Ukraine. In a news conference, Putin denied that Russian troops are in Crimea but reserved the right to use force in Ukraine.

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

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And I'm Audie Cornish.

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NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman joins us now to talk about the Pentagon's view on cuts to military benefits. And Tom, we just heard from Quil that retirees feel the military is essentially breaking faith with those who served. But what do Pentagon leaders say to that?

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Well, Audie, I spoke with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey earlier this week and I asked him about these pension cuts and here's what he had to say.

The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.

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Embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was back in the spotlight today. The annual State of the State speech came at an awkward moment for Christie. The Republican governor had not spoken publicly since apologizing last week for politically motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the unfolding scandal at the start of his speech.

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