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It's All Politics
7:33 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Pelosi Picks Democratic Team For Benghazi Panel

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the presence of Democrats will keep the House select committee on Benghazi "fair and open and balanced."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's decision to have Democrats participate on the House Benghazi select committee? A defensive move.

Some of her Democrats had urged Pelosi to boycott the committee. In their view, to take part would be to play into the hands of House Republicans who want to use the ninth investigation of the September 2012 attack in Libya, which left four Americans dead, to rally conservatives for the midterm elections.

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The Two-Way
7:04 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Snake Species That Went Missing For 78 Years Is Found

The Clarion nightsnake's coloration makes it difficult to see in its black lava habitat.
Courtesy of the Smithsonian

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 2:02 pm

A species of snake that was thought to have gone missing for nearly 80 years — or never to have existed in the first place — has been found.

The Clarion nightsnake, named for the island it inhabits off Mexico's Pacific coast, had been identified only once, back in 1936 by naturalist William Beebe.

He brought a specimen back to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, but scientists questioned whether it was a distinct species.

Double-checking wasn't easy. The volcanic island of Clarion is accessible only by military escort.

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Law
6:46 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Invoking 'Castle Doctrine,' Mont. Man Pleads Not Guilty In Teen's Death

German student Diren Dede was fatally shot after he entered the garage of Markus Kaarma in Montana last month. Dede was on a one-year high school exchange program to the U.S.
Oliver Hardt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

Montana resident Markus Kaarma pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murdering a German exchange student last month. Kaarma shot the 17-year-old while the student was trespassing in his garage. The case has attracted international scrutiny to the contentious debate over how far Americans may go when defending their homes.

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The Two-Way
6:12 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Kidnapped California Woman, Missing Since 2004, Is Found Alive

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:31 pm

A woman in Southern California who was reportedly abducted a decade ago has been found alive, and her alleged kidnapper has been arrested, Santa Ana police say.

The unidentified victim was reported missing by her mother in 2004, when she was 15. Police say Isidro Garcia, 41, was taken into custody on Tuesday and booked on suspicion of kidnapping and rape.

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All Tech Considered
6:11 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

For Automakers, Internet-Connected Cars Are A Balancing Act

General Motors says its OnStar 4G LTE connection will allow cars to act as a mobile Internet hub.
General Motors

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

The Internet is coming to your car. Later this year, General Motors will put Internet connectivity directly into its vehicles. It's the largest auto company to do so.

Of course, safety advocates have some concerns about more distractions for drivers.

The promise of technology is always the same one — that it's going to make our life easier. But anyone who's tried to make a hands-free call in the car knows that's not always true. A task as simple as asking your device to call your mom can be an exasperating experience.

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All Tech Considered
5:34 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Storm Shelter App Helps Pinpoint People Amid Tornado's Rubble

After a tornado leveled Moore, Okla., last year, firefighter Shonn Neidel (left) developed an app that helps first responders locate storm shelters under the wreckage.
Courtesy of Shonn Neidel

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:24 pm

After a devastating tornado rolled through Moore, Okla., last May, firefighters were scrambling to pull people out of storm shelters. Actually finding those shelters, though, was difficult. Landmarks had been swept away, and the town's emergency dispatcher was overwhelmed with calls.

"Yes, we're at 604 South Classen. There's people down," one caller said. "We're stuck under rubble. ... Please hurry."

Shonn Neidel was one of the firefighters rushing to rescue people that day, and he quickly saw a problem.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

New DOJ Policy Urges Agents To Videotape Interrogations

Department of Justice

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:49 pm

Senior Justice Department officials have quietly notified U.S. attorneys and federal agents that they're establishing "a presumption" that agents will electronically record statements made by individuals in their custody.

In a memo obtained by NPR, Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole strongly encourages agents to videotape suspects in custody before they appear in front of a judge or magistrate on federal charges. The memo says FBI special agents in charge of field offices or U.S. attorneys can override the policy if they have good cause to set it aside.

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

In Kentucky, An Epic Senate Race Takes Shape

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic nominee for a Senate seat from Kentucky, talks with recent college graduate Lee Fowler during a May 17 campaign stop.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 3:01 pm

It says something about Kentucky's Republican Senate primary that its most memorable aspect wasn't some fiery debate exchange between Sen. Mitch McConnell and challenger Matt Bevin, or any kind of clash like that. There was no debate.

Instead, it was a weird viral Web video from the Senate minority leader's campaign that featured him smiling in different contexts. Naturally it was one endlessly mocked by late-night comedians and parodied on the Web — it also led to the coining of a new word: "McConnelling."

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Shots - Health News
5:09 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Anxiety And MRIs May Be Driving The Rise In Double Mastectomies

More women are choosing double mastectomy even if they don't have a high cancer risk.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 10:21 am

The number of women getting double mastectomies after a breast cancer diagnosis has been rising in the past 10 years, even though most of them don't face a higher risk of getting cancer in the other breast.

That has cancer doctors troubled, because for those women having the other breast removed doesn't reduce their risk of getting breast cancer again or increase their odds of survival. And they don't know why women are making this choice.

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Sports
4:55 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

For Physicians, The Ethics Of Treating Athletes

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Several hundred pro-football players say that the National Football League supplied them with painkillers, risky narcotics, to keep them playing, despite injuries. Some say they weren't told of the seriousness of those injuries. Others say they became addicted to the drugs and they have sued.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
4:52 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

40 Years After Watergate, A Look Back At Nixon's Downfall

Washington Journal

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 1:43 pm

Forty years ago, in mid-May 1974, Elizabeth Drew, the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, wrote this in her journal: "Rumors went around the Capitol today that the President was resigning."

The Capitol, she observed was "noisy and edgy .. and in the hothouse atmosphere, the rumors burst into full bloom."

By August 1974 the president in question, Richard Nixon, would resign rather than face a Senate impeachment trial.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

71 Arrested For Internet Child Porn In New York

Hard drives, computers and other electronic devices seized as part of Operation Caireen along with photos of some of the 71 individuals arrested in connection with the investigation.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:51 pm

Officials in New York say they have arrested 71 people for possessing and trading child pornography via the Internet in what's being described as the largest-ever such operation in the city.

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NPR News Investigations
4:39 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Court Fees Drive Many Poor Defendants Underground

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 10:14 am

The use of fines and fees charged to criminal defendants has exploded. An NPR investigation has found people who can't afford those charges can go to jail for not paying. Hundreds of thousands are hiding from police and the courts.

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Economy
4:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Penny Hoarders Hope For The Day The Penny Dies

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Every year, the U.S. government loses money minting pennies. They cost around twice as much to make as they're worth. And some politicians and economists say we ought to just get rid of them. They want the U.S. to kill the penny, take it out of circulation. If that happens, a small group of people plan to make a bunch of money.

NPR's Zoe Chace has that story from our Planet Money team.

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Economy
4:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

JPMorgan Chase Announces Detroit Investment

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

JPMorgan Chase will invest $100 million into the Motor City. The bulk of the money will go to small business development, blight removal and job training. Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett reports.

Author Interviews
4:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

How The Koch Brothers Remade America's Political Landscape

David Koch is one-half of politically and economically powerful duo known as the Koch brothers. He and his brother, Charles, are tied in sixth place on the list of the wealthiest men on the planet.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 5:08 pm

Brothers Charles and David Koch are the subject of the new book Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty. The author, Daniel Schulman, describes the Kochs as having pumped hundreds of millions into remaking the American political landscape, trying to bring their libertarian views into the mainstream.

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Book Reviews
4:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

'Chameleon' Has Cabaret, Spies And A Plot Fit For Lifetime

German troops march towards Paris' Arc de Triomphe in 1943.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 4:20 pm

Even the most restrained plot summary of Francine Prose's latest novel sounds like a teaser for a late night Lifetime TV movie. Here goes: In the Paris of the late 1920s, a butch lesbian race car driver named Lou Villars has her license revoked by the French government for daring to dress as a man in public. Lou goes on to become a performer in a risque review at the Chameleon Club, a smoky nightclub where threadbare artists and thrill-seeking aristocrats mingle in the half-light.

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Obama: U.S. Military In Chad To Aid Search For Missing Schoolgirls

A woman makes a speech during a rally earlier this week in Chibok, Nigeria, calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:19 pm

President Obama on Wednesday informed House Speaker John Boehner that 80 U.S. military personnel had been sent to the central African nation of Chad as part of efforts to help locate nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militants in Nigeria last month.

Chad borders Nigeria, where members of Boko Haram abducted the girls from the city of Chibok in April.

"These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area," the president said in the letter to Boehner.

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It's All Politics
3:33 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

It May Not Be A Tea Party Year, But Outsiders Are Still Thriving

Georgia Republican Senate candidate David Perdue (left) speaks to supporters at a primary election night party on Tuesday in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 3:50 pm

The prevailing narrative for Tuesday night's GOP primary results was written weeks ago: 2014 will not be another field of dreams for Tea Party insurgents. Wrapping a candidacy in the flag of "Don't Tread on Me" is not the winning tactic it was in many Republican contests two and four years earlier.

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The Salt
3:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

The Vegetables Most Americans Eat Are Drowning In Salt And Fat

This isn't exactly what a healthy serving of veggies looks like.
Lauri Patterson iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 5:02 pm

Popeye and our parents have been valiantly trying to persuade us to eat our veggies for decades now.

But Americans just don't eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should. And when we do, they're mainly potatoes and tomatoes — in the not-so-nutritious forms of french fries and pizza, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Russia, China Secure Nearly Half-Trillion Dollar Gas Deal

A worker turns a valve at an underground gas storage facility near Striy on Wednesday. Russia has said state-controlled exporter Gazprom will supply China with natural gas via a Siberian pipeline beginning in 2018.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

In an agreement reminiscent of the early days of the Cold War, Russia has agreed to supply China with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of natural gas via a pipeline from Siberia pipeline to begin pumping in four years.

NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from Shanghai that in 2018, Russia will begin sending 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China each year through the pipeline. Over the life of the 30-year contract, 1 trillion cubic meters would be delivered.

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

'Happiness' Video Prompts Arrests, And A Presidential Tweet, In Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, shown in Tehran on March 20.
STR AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 4:55 pm

Happiness, it seems, is still a controversial topic in Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's supreme leader after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, offered this pronouncement years ago: "There is no fun in Islam."

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The Salt
1:49 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

On The Trail Of Durian, Southeast Asia's 'Crème Brûlée On A Tree'

The inside of the Graveolens, a variety of durian that grows in the southernmost parts of Thailand, is sticky and cheese-like.
Courtesy of Lindsay Gasik

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:13 pm

What if a single taste of one fruit — in this case, the durian — changed the course of your entire life?

That's what happened to Lindsay Gasik and Rob Culclasure, a young couple who visited an Asian grocery store in Eugene, Ore., in 2009 in search of the football-sized fruit with thick, spiky skin. They were curious to try it after hearing that the durian's pungent smell and custard-like flesh had the power to drive people delirious with craving.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

5 Convicted In 2006 Killing Of Famed Russian Journalist

Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, Ibragim Makhmudov and Sergey Hadjikurbanov, accused of the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, await the judge's verdict in a glass cage at the Moscow City Court in Russia.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:20 pm

A Moscow jury found five men guilty on Tuesday of the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

She had gained fame for her coverage of Russian brutalities in the war in Chechnya and government corruption at home. Her death in 2006 drew international attention.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Saying It Was Hacked, EBay Urges Users To Change Passwords

Hackers broke into a database containing customer information, auction site eBay said Wednesday. The company is based in San Jose, Calif.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:20 pm

Online marketplace eBay says it was the target of a cyberattack in which hackers accessed a database of its encrypted passwords. The auction site says no financial data were revealed — but it's urging its users to update the passwords on their accounts.

EBay says that it hasn't seen any sign of fraudulent activity since the problem was first detected "about two weeks ago." It also said that it stores financial data and customer records in different places and that accounts of its direct-payment subsidiary, PayPal, were not affected by the data breach.

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