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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Top Stories: Ricin Probe Leads To Texas; Severe Weather Continues

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 11:03 am

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U.S.
8:34 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Spelling Bee Winner Conquers 'German Curse'

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 5:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A 13-year-old from Queens won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. He correctly spelled a Yiddish word of German origin meaning dumpling.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE)

ARVIND MAHANKALI: Knaidel. K-N-A-I-D-E-L. Knaidel.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You are correct.

Strange News
8:34 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Movie In The Works For 'Grumpy Cat'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Last year, a snapshot of a frowning feline went viral, emblazoned with captions like, "Of all the 9 lives I've lived, this is the worst." Within months, "Grumpy Cat" - that's her nom de plume -had a book deal. Now, the feline face that launched a thousand memes has a movie in the works.

So how does a cat make it into the pictures? Turns out she has a great agent - the same one who represents another online star, "Keyboard Cat."

The Two-Way
8:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

All Are OK After Small Plane Crashes Through Apartment Roof

This photo from the Virginia State Police shows the tail of the small plane that crashed into the living room of an apartment in Herndon, Va., early Friday.
AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 10:39 am

Amazingly, no one was seriously hurt early Friday morning when a small plane with two people aboard crashed through the roof of an apartment building in Herndon, Va., about 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Book News: World's Oldest Torah Scroll Found, Italian Scholar Says

This sheepskin scroll found in the University of Bologna archives dates from 1155 to 1225, according to carbon testing.
AP

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

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Arizona Mom Released From Mexican Jail

Yanira Maldonado talked to reporters late Thursday after her release from a prison on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico.
Cristina Silva AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 10:20 am

This is our first, and possibly last, mention of a story that's been getting lots of play on cable news:

"Mexican Court Frees Arizona Mom Accused Of Drug Smuggling." (CNN.com)

"I'm free now ... and I'm very grateful," Yanira Maldonado told reporters early Friday.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Reports: Texas Man Questioned About Latest Ricin Letters

None of the possibly ricin-tainted letters mailed to President Obama have reached the White House, authorities say. They were intercepted at a remote mail handling facility.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 10:19 am

"Authorities, including the FBI, questioned a New Boston, Texas, man Thursday night in connection with an investigation of ricin-laced letters sent to government officials, including President Barack Obama," KSLA-TV in Shreveport, La., reports.

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Planet Money
5:57 am
Fri May 31, 2013

How Recalculating GDP Can Help App Designers In Nigeria

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 2:34 pm

If you're trying to grow a business in Nigeria and you want investors, you want Nigeria's economy to look as big as possible.

Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar own a company called Pledge 51, which creates applications for Nigeria's low-tech cellphones. One of their most popular games lets players pretend to drive the notoriously wild buses crisscrossing the Nigerian city Lagos. It's called Danfo, after the buses.

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Europe
5:57 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Mired In Recession, EU Eases Some Austerity Measures

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:39 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

While there are many signs that the American economy is picking up steam, in much of the European Union, the opposite is true. Austerity programs aimed at reducing national debts have been blamed for crushing growth and sending unemployment in the eurozone nations to a record high of 12 percent.

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Business
5:57 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Moto X: First Smartphone To Be Assembled In U.S.

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now let's go to Texas for another follow-up - where Motorola Mobility's new smartphone, Moto X, is set to become the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S.

As Lauren Silverman of member station KERA reports, the Google-owned company has already begun hiring for its new plant in Fort Worth.

LAURA SILVERMAN, BYLINE: There are more than 130 million smartphones in the U.S. But none of them say assembled in the USA. When Motorola debuts its Moto X this summer, it will be the first.

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Animals
5:10 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Big-Mouthed Toucans Key To Forest Evolution

Channel-billed toucans are important seed dispersers in rain forests.
Courtesy of Lindolfo Souto AAAS/Science

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:34 am

Brazil is a paradise for birds; the country has more than 1,700 species. Among them is the colorful toucan, a bird with an almost comically giant bill that can be half as long as its body. There are lots of different types of toucan — red-breasted, channel-billed, keel-billed, saffron toucanet — each with its own color-scheme and distinctive call.

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It's All Politics
3:23 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Obama Presses Congress On Student Loan Rates

President Obama, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan at his side, calls on Congress on June 21, 2012, to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling. He is going to make that appeal again Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 11:25 am

President Obama surrounded himself with college students at the White House on Friday and warned that the cost of student loans is about to go up.

Interest rates on government-backed college loans are set to double July 1 — unless Congress agrees on a fix before then. Obama has threatened to veto a House-passed bill that would let the cost of student loans go up and down with the market.

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Shots - Health News
3:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Proton Beam Therapy Sparks Hospital Arms Race

A construction worker paints walls at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in Baltimore. Each of the center's five rooms will contain a massive piece of equipment that will rotate around a cancer patient to deliver a special kind of radiation.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:41 am

When it comes to reining in health care spending, it still seems like each hospital administrator thinks the guy at the other hospital should do it.

Hospitals are still racing to offer expensive new technology — even when it hasn't been proved to work better than cheaper approaches. Case in point: proton beam therapy, a high-tech radiation treatment for cancer.

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The Salt
3:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Michigan Tracks Cattle From Birth To Plate

Whenever a steer or cow leaves a farm in Michigan or goes to a slaughterhouse, it passes by a tag reader, and its ID number goes to a central computer that keeps track of every animal's location.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 10:54 am

When you pick up a cut of beef at the store, would you like to know that animal's life history? The technology to do this does exist — at least in Michigan, where the state requires all cattle to carry electronic ear tags. It's the only state that requires such tags.

Michigan's cattle-tracking system was forced on farmers because of a crisis. Fifteen years ago, cattle in part of the state started catching tuberculosis from wild deer.

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Parallels
3:19 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Battling Deforestation In Indonesia, One Firm At A Time

This photo shows a heavily logged concession affiliated with Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, one of the world's largest papermakers, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2010.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:57 pm

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a backhoe stacks freshly cut trees to be made into pulp and paper. Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, is Indonesia's largest papermaker, and the company and its suppliers operate vast plantations of acacia trees here that have transformed the local landscape.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
2:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Field Trip! 10 Books That Will Send Kids Exploring

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:34 am

When I recommend books to kids or grown-ups, I can almost always get them interested if I add "Oh, and after you read this book, you could go on a field trip to the museum/zoo/baseball stadium/library ... or just take a little road trip!" Spring 2013 has been a very good year for children's books that spark the imagination and make kids (and grownups) want to do a little more exploring.

Books like these can be the start of amazing adventures. Enjoy!

Mara Alpert is a librarian in the Children's Literature Department at the Los Angeles Public Library.

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StoryCorps
2:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Cherishing The Gift Of Friendship Through A Cancer Bout

Peter Obetz (left) and Jeff Jarrett met in 1998 and are still close friends. Peter was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer in 2004. He was declared cancer-free in 2009. They visited StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:34 am

In 2004, Peter Obetz was in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

"Food would get stuck down my throat, and it got worse and worse, so I met with my doctor. I had a tumor on my esophagus wall," says Peter, 48, during a visit to StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.

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The Two-Way
7:40 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

TSA: No More Graphic, Full-Body Airport Scans

A U.S. Transportation Security Administration employee demonstrates the less intrusive Automated Target Recognition software in 2011.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration has told Congress that it's finished retrofitting airport scanners to blunt a widely criticized technology that shows graphic detail of a passenger's body as he or she goes through security checkpoints.

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It's All Politics
6:51 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

War Zone Visit A McCain Trademark

In this photo provided by Mouaz Moustafa and the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Sen. John McCain, accompanied by Moustafa (right) visits rebels in Syria on Monday. McCain, who slipped into the country for a surprise visit, favors providing arms to rebel forces in Syria.
Mouaz Moustafa AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 7:02 pm

There are risks aplenty for a U.S. lawmaker who makes a surprise visit to a war zone, as Sen. John McCain recently did when he crossed the border from Turkey into Syria.

The perils to life and limb go without saying. But there are also other risks: trying to tell the good guys from the bad guys; or being victimized by disinformation from unfriendly Middle Eastern interests.

While McCain got out unscathed from Syria, where he visited rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, he may have had less success navigating the other risks.

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

A Kiss Is But A Kiss, But To French Kiss Is 'Galocher'

French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault kisses his wife, actress Salma Hayek, in Paris in 2009.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:29 pm

It might come as a surprise that for centuries the French have been sans a term for "French kiss."

But, voila! The newest edition of the Petit Robert 2014 dictionary has rectified that with a new verb — "galocher," meaning "to kiss with tongues." It's a clever derivation of la galoche, a word for an ice-skating boot, and so evokes the idea of sliding around the ice — or the lips and tongue.

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Remembering Heroes Of The Second World War
5:51 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Public Servant Herman Boudreau, Heroic Under Enemy Fire

Herman Boudreau served in the U.S. Army in World War II, then rose to the rank of command sergeant major in the Maine Army National Guard.
Courtesy of the Boudreau family

When Herman Boudreau joined the U.S. Army in 1941, he set in motion a lifetime of public service. Boudreau, who died in April at age 93, served in the Army in New Zealand and the South Pacific during World War II.

He spent more than two years fighting the Japanese, and years later shared many of his war experiences with his daughter, Nancie Smith. In one incident, she says, he had to secure an airfield while removing the last Japanese resistance on three occupied islands.

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U.S.
5:47 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Will Ill. Legalize Gay Marriage Before Legislature Adjourns?

Activists rally in support of gay marriage on March 25 in Chicago. The Illinois Senate has approved legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage, but it has stalled in the state House.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 7:04 pm

The clock is ticking for those who hope Illinois will become the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session Friday night, and the marriage equality bill still has not been called for a vote in the state House, where supporters are struggling to round up the 60 votes necessary to pass it.

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Shots - Health News
5:30 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Administration Touts Competition In Insurance Exchanges

The Obama administration is countering criticism that the new health insurance exchanges will be lacking in competition, though it's doing so a bit quietly.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
5:29 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Baton Rouge's Corroded, Overpolluting Neighbor: Exxon Mobil

An evening view of the Exxon Mobil oil refinery complex in Baton Rouge, La.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 9:50 am

If you stand in front of Almena and Sidney Poray's house in Baton Rouge, La., and look straight down the street, past the other houses and the shade trees, you see more than a dozen plumes of exhaust in various hues of gray and white.

"That's something you see every day, the same thing if not more," says Almena Poray. "Sometimes it's a darker gray; sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."

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Business
5:24 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Drive-Ins Soon Face Hollywood's Digital Switch

Many drive-ins and mom and pop theaters will soon have to make the switch from film to digital after putting it off because of the high cost of new projectors.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:48 pm

Pull into the Bourbon Drive-In just off U.S. Highway 68 near Paris, Ky., and it's like stepping back in time. Patricia and Lanny Earlywine own the 7-acre drive-in. It's been connected to the family since the theater opened in 1956. Even the popcorn machine is original.

"To do a drive-in, it sort of gets in your blood. You have to love it," Patricia says.

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