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Business
4:00 am
Wed April 4, 2012

James Murdoch Resigns From British Satellite TV Giant

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:47 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

After many months of bad new and devastation to its stock price, the British satellite TV giant BSkyB will try to move forward under new leadership.

NPR's Philip Reeves says this follows the resignation yesterday of its chairman, Rupert Murdoch's son, James.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: James Murdoch announced his departure, acknowledging he's worried his role in Britain's phone-hacking scandal was threatening to hurt BSkyB. He doesn't want to be a lightening rod in a storm. That storm shows no sign of passing any time soon.

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Business
4:00 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Private Colleges Branch Out To Other States

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

American universities, like American companies, have been looking to expand into new markets. They open campuses overseas. And now many private colleges are looking for growth back home, building satellite campuses around the United States. Now, any given public college may spread campuses across a state, but private institutions reach across state lines. Here's Monica Brady-Myerov from member station WBUR.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

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Law
3:19 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Gay Marriage Lawsuit Presses For Survivor Benefits

Herbert Burtis' spouse, John Ferris (left), died four years ago. When Burtis went to the Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits, the clerk told him the federal government did not recognize his marriage.
Courtesy of Herbert Burtis

Herbert Burtis met the person he wanted to marry in college, in 1948. But since the object of his affection was another man, they had to wait until 2004 for the ceremony, when Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriages.

"It's a long engagement," Burtis says, laughing. "We thought it was time that we made each other honest people."

His spouse, John Ferris, died four years ago. When Burtis went to the Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits, the clerk told him the federal government did not recognize his marriage.

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Around the Nation
3:18 am
Wed April 4, 2012

College Student Pieces His Way To Lego Mastery

Andrew Johnson, 23, of Bartlett, Ill. has been named the new master model builder of Legoland Discovery Center Chicago after competing for the job against seven other finalists.
Rick West The Daily Herald

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Europe
3:06 am
Wed April 4, 2012

The Secret To Germany's Low Youth Unemployment

Metal-working apprentices train in Leipzig, Germany, in 2010. Germany has Europe's lowest youth unemployment rate, thanks in part to its ancient apprentice system, which trains about 1.5 million people each year.
Waltraud Grubitzsch DPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:47 pm

For as long as he can remember, German teenager Robin Dittmar has been obsessed with airplanes. As a little boy, the sound of a plane overhead would send him into the backyard to peer into the sky. Toys had to have wings. Even today, Dittmar sees his car as a kind of ersatz Boeing.

"I've got the number 747 as the number plate of my car. I'm really in love with this airplane," the 18-year-old says.

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U.S.
3:05 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Activist Puts Albany Neighborhood On The Bus Map

Willie White pushed for the creation of a new bus route for his previously underserved neighborhood in Albany, N.Y.
Marie Cusick for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:47 pm

The New York state capital, Albany, is a gathering place for the state's most powerful people.

But in the city's poor and predominately black South End neighborhood, many residents once felt powerless.

They had repeatedly asked for better public transit for South End, an area plagued with poverty and crime not far from New York's gated governor's mansion.

Today, the city's Route 100 bus glides easily up Morton Avenue, a steep hill in the South End neighborhood. Many feel there would be no Route 100 if not for the efforts of local resident Willie White.

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Sports
3:04 am
Wed April 4, 2012

U.S. Rhythmic Gymnastics Star Readies For London

Rhythmic gymnast Julie Zetlin, seen here during last October's Pan-American Games, hopes to win a medal for the United States at the Summer Olympics in London.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

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Latin America
3:03 am
Wed April 4, 2012

An Upgrade, And Bigger Ships, For The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is undergoing its biggest overhaul since it was opened nearly a century ago. A third channel is being built, which will allow more and larger ships to pass through.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 8:17 pm

Two giant ships move through the Panama Canal's two parallel channels at the Miraflores locks, heading toward the Pacific Ocean.

The orange and white Bow Summer is a tanker. The deck of the Ever Dynamic is stacked high with burgundy and blue shipping containers. More boats like these are backed up in both the Pacific and the Atlantic waiting to enter the narrow waterway.

Global trade has grown dramatically, but the Panama Canal — one of the most vital transit routes — hasn't changed its basic structure since it opened in 1914.

But that is about to change.

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Starting Up: Silicon Valley's Origins
3:00 am
Wed April 4, 2012

A Rare Mix Created Silicon Valley's Startup Culture

Courtesy of Intel

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:47 pm

The first in a 3-part series airing this week on Morning Edition.

When Facebook goes public later this spring, its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, will be following in the footsteps of a long line of Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs that includes Steve Jobs and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin. But there was a time when the idea of an engineer or scientist starting his or her own company was rare.

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It's All Politics
2:58 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Once Again, Santorum Keeps It Close But Falls Further Behind

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at a campaign rally at Four Seasons Sheraton in Mars, Pa., Monday night. Rival Mitt Romney won the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Wisconsin primaries.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 1:50 pm

Rick Santorum came surprisingly close to an upset in Wisconsin this week, losing to Mitt Romney by less than 5 percentage points. It was not as heartbreakingly close as his previous losses in Michigan and Ohio, but it was one more reminder of what might have been.

With a win in Wisconsin, Santorum would have confounded the ruling media narrative of the moment, which wants to turn from the primary season of spring to the autumnal matchup of Romney and President Obama.

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Sweetness And Light
2:30 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Is It Time To Tone Down The Tiger Woods Coverage?

Tiger Woods at a practice round ahead of the 2012 Masters Tournament, which begins Thursday in Augusta, Ga. Woods receives the lion's share of press coverage despite his poor record over the past several years.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:47 pm

Hearing about golf these past couple of years has turned into some sort of dual universe. On the one hand there is the real world, like: "Smith and Jones Tied for Lead in Cat Food Open."

But then, in more detail, the larger shadow story reads: "Tiger's Putter Falters, Trails By 12 Strokes."

Golf has become like fantasy football or Rotisserie Baseball. Only, imagine if everybody has the same guy — Tiger Woods — on his team. No other golfers seem to exist, except possibly The Ghost of Jack Nicklaus.

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NPR Story
11:05 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Wisconsin Primary In Focus

Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Ron Elving, Ari Shapiro and David Welna about the Republican primary in Wisconsin.

NPR Story
11:05 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Romney Sweeps Primaries In Wis., Md., D.C.

Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving about Tuesday's primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

It's All Politics
6:35 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

A Primary Hat Trick: Romney Wins Wisconsin, Maryland And D.C.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters Tuesday in Milwaukee.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 12:07 pm

With wins in Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., Mitt Romney inched his way forward toward becoming the inevitable GOP presidential candidate.

After Tuesday's hat trick, the road to victory is clear for Romney and increasingly rocky and unlikely for Rick Santorum, Romney's leading opponent.

Still, in a speech from Mars, Pa., Santorum vowed to continue his campaign.

"We have now reached the point where it's half time," Santorum said. "Who's ready to charge out of the locker room for a strong second half in Pennsylvania?"

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It's All Politics
5:51 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

GSA Clown-Conference Scandal Could Result In Counterproductive Reaction

Former GSA administrator Martha Johnson on Capitol Hill in June 2009.
Harry Hamburg AP

The scandal involving the General Services Administration's by now infamous conference featuring spending on a clown and mind reader is certainly far from the biggest in terms of the overall dollars involved. After all, we're talking about less than $1 million all told.

That's pocket change at the Pentagon, where they can probably find more taxpayer money under the couch cushions.

But it may go down in history as one of the dumbest. A clown and a mind reader at a conference of federal bureaucrats? Really?

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

After Two Test Flights, The Race Toward A Flying Car Is On

The PAL-V at a runway.
PalVco via Flickr

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It's All Politics
5:22 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Will 2008's Surge In Young Voters Continue In 2012?

Supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul cheer as the Republican presidential candidate speaks on March 28 at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

Historically, young people have been much less likely to vote than older Americans.

That trend has started to change in the past few presidential election cycles, especially in 2008, when a census report found that 49 percent of those ages 18 to 24 who were eligible to vote participated in the presidential election.

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World Cafe
5:12 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

The Milk Carton Kids On World Cafe

The Milk Carton Kids.
Brendan Pattengale

Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, known as The Milk Carton Kids, are getting a lot of well-deserved buzz. When the folk duo released its second album Prologue for free online last year, more than 60,000 fans downloaded the tracks. Acoustic, soothing, rich in ballads — the signature Milk Carton Kids form of fusing two voices into one sound is mesmerizing.

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Asia
3:53 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Is North Korea Changing — Or Resisting Change?

In a photo released by North Korea's Korean Central Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (third from right) and other senior leaders attend a memorial service in Pyongyang, March 25, marking the 100th day since the death of Kim's father, Kim Jong Il. North Korea has been sending the world mixed messages since the death of the elder Kim.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

Recent developments in North Korea are puzzling watchers of the "Hermit Kingdom" in both the U.S. and South Korea.

There are some signs of change within the new leadership in North Korea — and there are signs of resistance to change as well.

When he was in Seoul, South Korea, last week, President Obama said he didn't know who is calling the shots in Pyongyang, which is making it difficult to determine what's next for North Korea.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:50 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

FDA To Fund Controversial Research Foundation

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says there is a desperate need to have the Reagan-Udall Foundation up and running.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

A nonprofit foundation set up to support scientific research of interest to the Food and Drug Administration is finally starting to take off after years of struggling financially — and it's about to get some long-promised funding from the FDA.

But some critics worry that this foundation, which will also raise money from private sources including industry, could provide a way for the food and medical industries to sway FDA decisions.

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