NPR News

Sports
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Sports: Real Losses And Potential Downslides

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Another football tragedy this week renews questions about the safety of the game that made many stars rich, but at some cost. Also, it may be closing time for one of the all-time greats. Over in hockey playoffs, are they going Hollywood? Host Scott Simon talks with Howard Bryant of ESPN.

From Our Listeners
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Your Letters: A Tale Of Injustice

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 4:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: The name that kept popping up in our email box this week was Michael Morton. He was the subject of a report last Saturday by NPR's Wade Goodwyn, who told the story of how Mr. Morton was convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife, Christine, near Austin, Texas. He was innocent, but served almost 25 years in prison.

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Europe
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

With Greek Elections, 'A Period Of Great Confusion'?

Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy Party, addresses an election rally in Thessaloniki Wednesday. One of two dominant parties in Greek politics, New Democracy has lost support to a new nationalist party.
Nikolas Giakoumidis AP

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

It's anyone's guess what the Greek government will look like on Monday, but analysts predict a fragile coalition that must still stick to austerity to keep getting international bailout loans.

The country's early parliamentary elections Sunday are set to be the most divisive in recent history. Voters who are tired of austerity measures are rejecting mainstream politics and turning instead to fringe parties.

The conservative New Democracy Party and the Socialist Party, PASOK, have dominated Greek politics for three decades. This election, enthusiasm is waning.

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National Security
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

For Alleged 9/11 Plotter, Attacks Were Family Affair

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who goes before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Saturday, has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and multiple attempted attacks against the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

The appearance of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other men in a military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ends a nearly decade-long back and forth over how best to try the men the U.S. says helped plan, pay for and execute the Sept. 11 attacks.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — or KSM, as he is known — has claimed that he was the mastermind of the attacks "from A to Z." But his ties to terrorism, by his own admission, go beyond that one plot. KSM saw himself as the sun around which his network revolved.

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Space
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Look Up: Tonight, 'Supermoon' Is Closer To Earth

The statue of Freedom, atop of the U.S. Capitol Building, is pictured against a "supermoon" on March 19, 2011.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 am

Head outside at sunset tonight and look up at the sky. If the full moon seems a tad larger than normal to you, that means one of two things: You are exceptionally perceptive, or you were already expecting to be dazzled, after hearing some of the buzz about this year's "supermoon."

It turns out that all full moons are not created equal. That's because the moon's orbit around the Earth isn't a perfect circle — it's an ellipse. And tonight, we're in luck.

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House & Senate Races
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Lugar Struggles In Race Flooded By Outside Spending

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., speaks to reporters on Monday in South Bend, Ind.
James Brosher AP

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Clinton Leaves China, But Activist's Story Isn't Over

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left China after a diplomatic roller coaster of a trip fraught with human drama. Now, this revolved around the fate of Chen Guangcheng, the blind dissident who is still in a Beijing hospital. But last night, China indicated that it would let Mr. Chen apply for permission to study overseas, hinting at a way out of the crisis that had overshadowed the summit Secretary Clinton had gone to China to attend. Our Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim joins us. Louisa, thanks for being with us.

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Adam Yauch Gave Distinct Sound To Genre-Bending Band

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A famous trio has lost a member. Whether you knew him as Adam Yauch, Nathanial Hornblower or MCA, he brought a distinct sound to a genre-bending band.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

BEASTIE BOYS: (Singing) ...if what you get is what you see, c'mon...

SIMON: MCA was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, a band that helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now, before they rapped, the Beastie Boys were just punks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME FOR LIVIN' ")

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Testimony In John Edwards' Trial Gets Personal

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The federal corruption trial of John Edwards continued this week in Greensboro, North Carolina. Government witnesses painted an ugly portrait of the former senator and presidential candidate. But the prosecution may have been less successful in making the case that he deliberately violated campaign finance law. North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii was in the courtroom.

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Sports
3:03 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Called To The Post, Derby Starters Pack 'Em In

Derby entry El Padrino bites his shank during a bath ahead of the 138th Kentucky Derby this week.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

When the gates fly open at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, all eyes will be on the 20 racehorses that launch themselves into the 138th Kentucky Derby. That's a lot of horses, and a special challenge for the men charged with getting them into the starting gate safely.

Caleb Hayes, 24, has been part of the 12-man start crew for the past six years. The 9-to-5 life isn't for him, he says — he loves his job and likes working the gate side by side with the older guys.

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Fresh Air Weekend
1:13 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Sissy Spacek, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Sissy Spacek received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 9:32 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Vogue Says It Will Only Work With 'Healthy' Models

In this Feb. 15, 2012, file photo, models have their make-up finalized under runway light before the J. Mendel Fall 2012 collection is modeled during Fashion Week, in New York.
Richard Drew AP

In an effort to promote a healthy body image among its readers, the editors of 19 global editions of Vogue magazine agreed to some changes.

NPR's David Folkenflik filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"From June on, no models will appear in Vogue's pages who are under 16 or who appear to suffer from any eating disorder

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Pop Culture
4:29 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Alcoholidays In America: ¡Viva El Tequila Julep!

The infield at Churchill Downs can get pretty beer-soaked, as this scene from the 2011 Kentucky Derby proves. But this year, things could get even more crazy: The Derby falls on another of America's favorite "alcoholidays," Cinco de Mayo.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:20 pm

America is not a two-party country — it's a multiparty extravaganza.

We turn every possible pause from work into a party: New Year's Day, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

And on Saturday, many Americans will play overtime by reveling in a pair of nationwide celebrations — Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. Establishments everywhere will be mashing up Mexico and the Bluegrass State.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

5 Pa. Priests Ousted After Sex Abuse Inquiry

Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput listens during a news conference on Friday in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:39 am

The archbishop of Philadelphia announced that five priests were "not suitable for ministry." It was the Catholic Church's first action since it suspended 27 priests last year when a grand jury report accused church officials of ignoring allegations of sex abuse.

The AP reports that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said three other priests would return to the ministry and that one priest died in the process of the investigation. Chaput did not immediately announce the fate of the 17 others investigated.

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The Picture Show
3:33 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

The Power Of Flower Photos

Darryl Pitt

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 8:39 am

I can't remember exactly when I received the first flower email, but I do remember it was sometime in 2005.

At the time, I had no idea why my old friend Darryl Pitt had sent it, but I didn't think too much about it. A flower. OK. That's nice. But then the flowers continued to arrive day after day after day — and soon a modest digital bouquet turned into a meadow, and that meadow into a hillside of, as always, flowers.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
3:10 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

A Need For Speed: Inside Jamaica's Sprint Factory

Jamaica's Usain Bolt shattered world records in the 100 and 200 meter races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Shown here in the 200 meters at Beijing, he's looking to repeat this summer at the London Olympics and add another chapter to Jamaica's great tradition of sprinting.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:09 pm

When it comes to sprinting, Jamaica reigns supreme.

At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, a Jamaican man — Usain Bolt — and a woman — Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — took home the golds in the 100-meter race, and at this summer's London games, they're hoping to do it again.

If you visit the Caribbean island nation, you'll hear a lot of explanations for why they're so good, but let's start with the obvious: In Jamaica, kids really like to run.

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Africa
3:10 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Political Rift Widens Between Egyptian Islamists

Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is welcomed by supporters upon his arrival at a meeting north of Cairo, on April 26. He was formerly a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, but was kicked out of the organization.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:31 pm

The two top Islamists running in Egypt's first real presidential race share a common history.

Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a physician, is a former senior leader in the Muslim Brotherhood whose moderate stance has made him popular not only with Islamists, but with liberal and secular Egyptians.

Mohammed Morsi, an engineer, heads the Brotherhood's political party, which holds nearly half the seats in parliament.

Yet despite their common political background, the two men are bitter rivals.

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World Cafe
2:58 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Bonnie Raitt On World Cafe

Bonnie Raitt's new album is titled Slipstream.
Marina Chavez

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 3:11 pm

Bonnie Raitt is a blues-rock legend with nine Grammys and five platinum albums under her belt. Her rootsy and passionate take on everything blues — combined with her intimate understanding of composition, deft slide-guitar skills and soulful vocals — helped Raitt become an icon.

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Sports
2:44 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Churchill Downs Supervisor Beginning His Last Lap

The field of horses charges down the stretch in the seventh race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on June 19, 2009. The day marked the first night racing at the storied track in its 135-year history. Track superintendent Butch Lehr is retiring after Saturday's race. He's been maintaining the track since 1982.
Ed Reinke AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:04 pm

The surface on which Kentucky Derby horses will race Saturday is a special piece of real estate, built for high performance and safety. The track is generically described as dirt, but is actually a careful mixture of river sand, silt and clay.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

23 Dead, 9 Hanged From Bridge In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:24 pm

It has been a bloody day for the Mexican border-town of Nuevo Laredo. It started at dawn when 9 bodies were found hanging from a bridge of a major thoroughfare that connects Nuevo Laredo to Monterrey.

And as the day went by, the mutilated bodies of 14 others were found across the city.

El Universal, one of Mexico's largest dailies, reports:

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National Security
2:22 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

At Sept. 11 Trial, Military Commissions Face Scrutiny

In this photograph of a courtroom sketch, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, charged with orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks, attends a court hearing at Guantanamo in 2008. He's expected to appear in a military court Saturday.
Janet Hamlin AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:04 pm

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks were supposed to be tried six years ago in a military tribunal created by the Bush administration.

But that system — which allowed hearsay evidence, among other things — faced questions about its fundamental fairness. When President Obama came into office, he put all the proceedings at Guantanamo on hold and asked that the commission system be revamped.

Since then, there has been an effort to make sure the trials at Guantanamo are credible, with both Congress and the Supreme Court weighing in.

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Middle East
2:17 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Closing In On The Egyptian Presidential Elections

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:04 pm

Political tensions are rising in Egypt ahead of the presidential elections later in May. Deadly protests in the capital are jeopardizing the already fragile transition process that started a year ago after the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak. Robert Siegel talks to Egyptian parliament member Amr Hamzawy for more.

Energy
2:15 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

White House Unveils New Fracking Regulations

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Obama administration today released a new set of rules for oil and gas drilling on public land. As NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, the rules are meant to keep companies from polluting water when they use the engineering technique known as fracking.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Hydraulic fracturing is what made the current drilling booms possible. Companies force hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals deep underground to open up cracks in the rock and make the oil or natural gas flow faster.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

'A Factor In A Much Larger Life': Debating Chen Guangcheng's Blindness

Chen Guangcheng at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. This photo was released by the Embassy's press office.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 8:55 am

If you've been following the case of Chen Guangcheng, the activist looking to leave China for the U.S., there's one thing you probably know about him.

The fact that he's blind.

But is Chen's blindness central to his story – his political activism and the diplomatic dance he has set off?

"His blindness did not give him any particular bravery or insight," says Stephen Kuusisto, the author of two memoirs about being blind. "It is just a factor in a much larger life,"

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Religion
2:04 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Five Philly Priests Removed For Sex Abuse Allegations

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia announced today that he is removing five priests from ministry. Charles Chaput said investigations into other priests accused of abuse will continue.

But as NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, victims' advocates are not satisfied.

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Law
2:04 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Hazing Hard To Prosecute In Fla. Despite Tough Laws

Pam and Robert Champion hold their son's drum major hat from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Robert Champion Jr. died after a hazing incident in November.
Jim Burress for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 5:28 pm

Charges filed this week against 13 people in connection with a hazing death at Florida A&M University have thrust the hazing culture into the spotlight.

Florida has one of the toughest anti-hazing laws in the country, but legal experts say prosecuting the crime can be tricky.

State attorney Lawson Lamar, who is leading the prosecution in the death of drum major Robert Champion, acknowledges the case is complicated.

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Economy
1:35 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

'Dejected': Some Unemployed Give Up The Hunt

People wait at a job fair in New York City's Queens borough on Thursday. While millions of out-of-work Americans continue to seek employment, others have given up looking.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The unemployment rate slipped a notch to 8.1 percent in April, but not because employers went on a hiring spree.

Instead, the jobless rate appeared to improve because fewer people were applying for positions. Last month, the civilian labor force shrank by 342,000 people.

Economists say many of those workforce dropouts were "discouraged" workers who moved to the sidelines after months, even years, of trying to nail down jobs.

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The Record
1:30 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Adam Yauch, Co-Founder Of The Beastie Boys, Dies

Adam Yauch (left) with the Beastie Boys in 1987. The gruff-voiced rapper known as MCA died Friday after a battle with cancer.
Ebet Roberts Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 10:29 am

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It's All Politics
1:28 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Surprising No One, Obama, Romney Don't Agree On Meaning Of April Jobs Stats

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 2:57 pm

Justin Wolfers, an economist known for, among other things, his sardonic wit, may have made the best comment of the day on the heels of the April jobs report out Friday. He tweeted:

"The worst part of today's jobs report? It provides just enough inane talking points for both sides of politics."

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Technology
1:24 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Have You Friended Your Favorite Cause?

Robin Roberts of Good Morning America talks with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook's new tool that lets users share their organ donor status.
Rick Rowell AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:45 am

Hours after Facebook put out a call Tuesday for its users to register as organ donors, 6,000 people had already signed up. That's more than 15 times the number of people who normally register each day, according to Donate Life America, which is collaborating with Facebook.

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