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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri May 4, 2012

'Elegant Solution' Possible For Chinese Activist; He May Study Abroad

Chen Guangcheng, left, with U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke on Tuesday at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
State Department

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:17 am

  • Louisa Lim, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

The news that China's Foreign Ministry now says legal activist Chen Guangcheng can apply to study abroad could be an "elegant solution [of] a really difficult diplomatic problem," NPR's Louisa Lim reported earlier on Morning Edition.

Chen has "a letter of invitation" from New York University, she says.

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Around the Nation
7:10 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Usual Flower Is MIA At Michigan Tulip Festival

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

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Space
7:06 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Photographers, Skywatchers Prepare For Supermoon

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

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Asia
6:48 am
Fri May 4, 2012

China: Chen May Apply To Study Abroad

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Beijing, American officials are working feverishly to end a diplomatic crisis over a Chinese dissident. It erupted just as the U.S. Secretaries of State and Treasury arrived this week for high level talks with the Chinese on economic and security issues. On Wednesday, diplomats on both sides thought they had found an agreement that would enable human rights activist Chen Guangcheng to go free. But that fell apart.

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Movies
6:46 am
Fri May 4, 2012

'Avengers' Usher In Summer Blockbuster Movies

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, so it's still officially spring, but the movie world is kicking off the summer blockbuster season this weekend with a whole lineup of superheroes in Marvel's "The Avengers." Here's film critic Kenneth Turan's review.

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Politics
6:28 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Primary To Decide Democratic Challenger To Wis. Gov. Walker

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

In one month, Wisconsin voters will decide whether Republican Governor Scott Walker will hang on to his job. Next week comes an important step, a primary election to select a Democrat to challenge Walker in the recall vote. Walker, who took office in January of 2011, angered labor unions with a new law that dramatically curtailed bargaining rights for public sector employees. Now the unions are leading the push to recall the governor.

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Fri May 4, 2012

13 Charged In Florida A&M Hazing Case

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

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Economy
4:13 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Spaniards Dismayed Interest Rates Aren't Lowered

Undercover police stand on a Barcelona street during Thursday's demonstration against austerity cuts. On the same day, the European Central Bank's governing council met there but offered no relief to painful austerity measures.
Pedro Armestre AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

After months of punishing austerity measures, some Spaniards want a break and maybe even some stimulus from Europe. But that didn't happen at Thursday's meeting of the governing board of the European Central Bank.

The location of the ECB summit in Barcelona was kept secret, which may indicate how well officials thought they'd be received in the Spanish port city. Thousands of demonstrators flooded the city's streets, as did police, some in plainclothes and masks, with helicopters overhead.

One in four Spaniards is jobless, and the rate is more than 50 percent for youth.

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Presidential Race
3:05 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Challenger's Challenge: Romney's Bid To Make News

The same day President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan, Mitt Romney picked up pizza for firefighters with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

Tuesday, President Obama scored a foreign policy success when he traveled to Afghanistan. Now he's being buffeted by the case of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng. Meanwhile, Romney had been getting some attention for his critique that the president was politicizing the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. That is, until Obama went to Afghanistan, signed an international agreement and addressed the troops and the nation.

At this point in the presidential race, Romney faces the difficult task of outdoing an incumbent president.

Finding A News Hook

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Planet Money
3:04 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Food Trucks Seek 'That Mystical Spot'

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 2:55 pm

The Rickshaw Dumpling Truck is a retired postal van, painted red and filled with Chinese dumplings. I'm riding shotgun with Kenny Lao, the van's co-owner. It's a weekday morning, and we're driving into Manhattan looking for a killer spot to set up shop for the day.

"I think there is that mystical spot in midtown that every truck owner dreams of," Lao says. "Easy parking. It's a wide sidewalk. There's no restaurant but there's lots of offices."

There are 3,000 year-round food trucks and carts competing for that mystical spot. And no one has an official place to park.

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StoryCorps
3:03 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Remembering A Grandfather's 'Best Gift'

Vicente Domingo Villa grew up on the ranches of South Texas.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

Ricardo Isaias Zavala comes from a long line of vaqueros — cowboys who worked the ranches of Southeast Texas in the 19th and 20th centuries. That tradition stopped with his grandfather — but in the Zavala family, parts of it live on.

Ricardo's grandfather's name was Vicente Domingo Villa. His family moved from ranch to ranch, looking for work. Most of the ranches were in the scrubland of South Texas, east of Laredo.

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Education
3:02 am
Fri May 4, 2012

For College Seniors, One Last Lap Before Graduation

The pool at Bryn Mawr College's Bern Schwartz Fitness and Athletic Center. Bryn Mawr is one of a handful of colleges that requires students to pass a swimming test to graduate.
Courtesy of Bryn Mawr College

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:57 am

It's spring, the season when many college students are cramming for final exams. But it's also when some college seniors must prove they can literally stay afloat.

A swim test is still a graduation requirement on a handful of U.S. campuses, mostly in the Northeast. For seniors who have been putting off the exam, it's time to sink or swim.

A Shrinking Tradition

On a recent evening, a handful of seniors at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., gather nervously at the edge of the campus pool, waiting to take the last swim test of the school year.

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National Security
3:00 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Potential Torture Testimony Could Rattle Sept. 11 Case

A picture posted on the website www.muslm.net in 2009 allegedly shows al-Qaida's Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 12:02 pm

The man who claims to have orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to appear in a military courtroom this Saturday. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men are supposed to answer formal charges related to their roles in the plot.

Their arraignment will be at Guantanamo Bay, and it is the first step that leads — possibly years from now — to a military trial.

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The Two-Way
7:46 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Medical Examiner Rules Junior Seau's Death A Suicide

Junior Seau in 2009, when he played with the New England Patriots.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:13 pm

The San Diego County medical examiner's office has confirmed Junior Seau's death was a suicide, The Associated Press reports. As we reported this morning, signs pointed to suicide, but the former NFL player did not leave a note or other obvious clues.

Seau died Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, the AP says.

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It's All Politics
6:19 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Political Scientist Asks: Are Obama's Approval Ratings Better Than They Seem?

President Obama's voter-approval ratings certainly have been far from spectacular for much of his presidency, remaining mostly below 50 percent since November of 2009.

But on that dimension he may actually be doing better than it appears, at least based on some statistical modeling of presidential approval ratings conducted by George Washington University political scientist John Sides.

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Africa
5:55 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Diplomats Up Efforts To Avert War Between Sudans

Sudanese soldiers walk in the oil town of Heglig on April 24. South Sudanese forces occupied Heglig last month. The international community called on the South to pull out, which it says it did.
Ebrahim Hamid AFp/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

Sudan and South Sudan are facing the threat of United Nations sanctions if they fail to stop fighting along their disputed frontier in the Horn of Africa.

A unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution, which condemns the surge of border violence, orders the two Sudans to cease hostilities within two days and resume negotiations within two weeks.

The U.N. resolution endorses an African Union road map it hopes will avert a return to war.

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Planet Money
5:37 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

What American Women Do For Work

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:09 pm

Forty years ago, only 1 in 3 American workers was a woman. Today, it's 1 in 2.

You know this already. But it raises interesting, subtler questions: What jobs did all those women get? And how did the gender breakdown change by industry over the past 40 years?

This graph answers those questions.

It shows how the gender breakdown changed in major sectors of the economy between 1972 and 2012.

The size of the circles shows how some sectors grew to include a larger share of the workforce, while others shrank in relative terms.

Two main themes jump out here.

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Election 2012
5:22 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

In Utah, GOP House Candidate Out To Make History

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love speaks at the Republican state convention April 21 in Sandy, Utah.
Leah Hogsten The Salt Lake Tribune via AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

A small-town mayor in Utah is trying to make congressional history.

Mia Love wants to become the first black Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives. If elected, she vows to bring conservative principles to the Congressional Black Caucus.

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It's All Politics
5:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Do Campaign Ads Seem More Negative This Year? It's Not Just You

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

If you thought the presidential primaries were extraordinarily negative, now there's statistical evidence that you were right.

A new analysis of TV ads finds that 70 percent of the messages were negative — a trend spearheaded by the heavily financed superPACs supporting the candidates. At this point in the 2008 election, 91 percent of TV ads were positive.

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Business
5:10 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Corn Farmers Hope, Cautiously, For A Bumper Crop

This year, U.S. corn farmers have planted more acres of the crop than at any time since the Great Depression.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

It's still too early to predict whether the 2012 corn harvest will set a record, but many corn farmers say the prognosis for a bumper crop is looking pretty good right now.

U.S. farmers are planting more acres of corn this year than they have in any year since the Great Depression. And with a mild spring across much of the nation's Corn Belt, many are hoping this autumn's yield will be one for the record books.

A Crop That 'Will Knock Your Socks Off'

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