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Business
4:00 am
Tue April 3, 2012

GSA Chief Resigns Over Agency's Extravagant Spending

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with what happens in Vegas...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas, especially if it involves taxpayer dollars.

The head of a federal agency has resigned after reports of inappropriate spending at a conference near Las Vegas. Martha Johnson led the General Services Administration, which manages the federal government's property.

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Economy
4:00 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Michigan Mulls Taking Over Detroit's Finances

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The city of Detroit is broke - verging on bankruptcy, in fact. And we may have come to a moment of reckoning. This week, Michigan's governor is giving city officials a choice: either they allow the state to help run Detroit's finances, or the state will appoint an emergency manager with total authority over budgetary matters. WDET's Quin Klinefelter reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE CHANTING)

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Animals
4:00 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Polar Bears' Melting Habitat Forces Zoos To Act

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We're going to look now at an animal whose habitat is slowly disappearing. Polar bears live on sea ice. But Arctic sea ice, which used to stay frozen in the summertime, is now slowly disintegrating. This poses a unique challenge for scientists, government officials and others. How do you preserve the polar bear and prevent it from going extinct decades from now? Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post has been reporting on this issue. And she joins us now to talk about what she's learned.

Juliet, good morning.

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Sports
4:00 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Wildcats Roll To 8th NCAA Title, Coach Calipari's 1st

Anthony Davis of the Kentucky Wildcats puts up a shot over Jeff Withey of the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA Division I men's basketball final Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

The Kentucky Wildcats beat the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 Monday night in New Orleans, claiming their eighth NCAA men's basketball title and head coach John Calipari's first.

The Jayhawks trailed by 14 at halftime, and just 5 points separated the teams with about a minute left in the game. But Kansas couldn't get any closer to beating Kentucky, a team stacked with young talent that had dominated the whole tournament.

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Around the Nation
3:39 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Oakland Police: Former University Student Kills 7

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan address reporters after a gunman allegedly killed seven people at a California religious college. The suspect, identified as One Goh, is a 43-year-old Korean who has been living in the United States.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Oikos University is housed in a nondescript single-story industrial building in a business park near the Oakland International Airport.

The university's website says it trains men and women "for Christian leadership, both lay and clerical." But it doesn't say how many students attend. It offers courses in nursing, music, biblical studies and Asian medicine. And now it's the site of one of the deadliest mass shootings in California in recent memory.

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Space
3:05 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Earth Has Just One Moon, Right? Think Again

The last lunar eclipse of 2011 as seen from the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles on Dec 10, 2011.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Everybody knows that there's just one moon orbiting the Earth. But a new study by an international team of astronomers concludes that everybody is dead wrong about that.

"At any time, there are one or two 1-meter diameter asteroids in orbit around the Earth," says Robert Jedicke, an astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii.

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It's All Politics
3:05 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Do Negative Ads Make A Difference? Political Scientists Say Not So Much

Future U.S. senator and presidential candidate John Kerry poses with crewmates during the Vietnam War in this file photo. An attack on his service by a group calling itself the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is remembered as a turning point in the 2004 election. But political scientists say negative ads might not be that effective.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Pundits and commentators are forecasting that this fall's general election will see an avalanche of negative advertising. But as voters gird for the onslaught, political scientists are asking a different question: Will it matter?

When the Supreme Court lifted restrictions on private advertising in elections, superPACs supporting President Obama and the most likely Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, promised to unleash negative attacks on the other side.

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National Security
3:03 am
Tue April 3, 2012

A Prosecutor Makes The Case For Military Trials

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, graduated first in his class at West Point, studied as a Rhodes scholar, and attended Harvard Law School. Here he speaks during a press conference at the military facility on Jan 18. following a hearing against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the main suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

The chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is arguing a difficult case: that the commissions are not only fair, but can take pride of place alongside the civilian criminal justice system.

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins is the chief prosecutor for the commissions, the courts at the naval base that try high-profile terrorism suspects.

He has been called Guantanamo's detox man largely because he has made it his mission to show that the military commissions system at Guantanamo is no longer a toxic version of victor's justice.

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Television
3:01 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Media Outlets Adapt To Growing Hispanic Audience

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Rapid growth in the U.S. Hispanic community has created another boom — in Hispanic media. In recent months, several major media players have announced plans to join the competition for the Hispanic television audience. There's a new Hispanic broadcast TV network coming, plus a host of new cable channels aimed at Latinos.

The numbers tell the story: According to the census, the U.S. Hispanic population jumped by more than 40 percent in the past decade. The nation's 50 million-plus Hispanics now make up 16 percent of the TV-viewing public.

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All Tech Considered
3:00 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Who Has The Right To Our Facebook Accounts Once We Die?

At least two states are considering laws to require social networking sites to grant loved ones access to the accounts of family members who have died.
Gunay Mutlu iStockphoto.com

When Loren Williams died in a motorcycle crash in 2005, his mother used his Facebook password to read posts on his wall.

"These were postings from personal friends that [said] he meant a lot to them in their lives, and it was very comforting," Karen Williams told KGW television in Portland, Ore. "There were pictures that I had never seen before of his life and just evidence of the wonderful relationships that he had established."

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The Two-Way
7:33 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

PHOTO: The First Woman To Enter The Boston Marathon

Kathrine Switzer of Syracuse found herself about to be thrown out of the normally all-male Boston Marathon when a husky companion, Thomas Miller of Syracuse, threw a block that tossed a race official out of the running instead.
AP

We had never read about Kathrine Switzer, but then we saw this astonishing picture cross our social streams:

That's Switzer, of Syracuse, being pushed off the Boston Marathon course by Jock Semple, one of the race organizers. The year was 1967 and as Switzer tells it, Semple jumped off the media truck and began yelling at her.

"Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers," she says he told her.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:21 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

As Health Care Giants Merge, Pharmacies Aren't Happy

It remains to be seen whether bigger will actually be better.
GMVozd iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 7:57 pm

Two of the biggest behind-the-scenes players in the health care industry have become one.

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The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

American Senior Citizens Still Owe $36 Billion In Student Loans

Americans 60 years and older are still paying off $36 billion in student debt. That's according to research from Federal Bank of New York, the Washington Post parses today.

The story is worth a read, but here is the gist:

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Around the Nation
5:59 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

7 Dead After Shooting Rampage At Calif. University

Audie Cornish speaks with Richard Gonzales, about Monday's shooting rampage at a university in Oakland. Seven people were killed and three others wounded when a gunman opened fire.

It's All Politics
5:35 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Obama Administration Officials Tripped Up By Clown, Comedian, Mindreader

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:03 am

A mind reader, a clown and a comedian walk into a bar.

Actually, we don't know about a bar. But we do know they walked into a conference of federal workers held outside Las Vegas in October 2010.

And though it sounds like the start of a joke, it isn't. Someone at the General Services Administration, the federal agency charged with managing government property, actually approved using taxpayer money to pay the three to appear at the meeting.

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

As A Politician, Romney's Long Had Trouble Talking Cars

Mitt Romney has had issues in this campaign with cars.

You may remember his "two Cadillacs" comment in February, immediately characterized as a gaffe for a candidate who has often seemed to struggle with how to address his wealth on the trail.

"I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles," said Romney in Michigan. "I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann [his wife] drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually."

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Around the Nation
5:10 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

America's First Celebrity Robot Is Staging A Comeback

Musician Lois Kendall plays the bass while the robot Elektro "conducts" on stage as part of a Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing demonstration at the 1939 World's Fair in New York.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 7:32 pm

Before IBM's Watson and Deep Blue, there was another celebrity robot: Elektro.

The first robot introduced to Americans, Elektro was the 7-foot-tall man who greeted millions of visitors who streamed through the gates of the 1939 World's Fair. He even appeared on film, in The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair.

The robot was built as a showpiece for the manufacturer Westinghouse, which made clothing irons and ovens in Mansfield, Ohio, at the time.

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The Two-Way
5:08 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

George Zimmerman's Attorney: 'This Is Not A Race Issue'

George Zimmerman, in a 2005 mug shot provided by the Orange County (Fla.) jail, via The Miami Herald.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 5:38 pm

The attorney of the man accused of shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin says "this is not a race issue."

During an interview with Tell Me More's Michel Martin (no relation), attorney Craig Sonner said his client George Zimmerman had black friends, who he's talked to and they have vouched for him.

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Music Interviews
4:58 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Dr. John: A Rock Legend Gets Personal

Dr. John's newest album, Locked Down, comes out Tuesday.
Michael Wilson

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 12:01 am

In his 1995 autobiography, Under a Hoodoo Moon, Dr. John writes about his tumultuous music career, a decades-long heroin addiction and the time he spent in prison on a drug-possession charge. The book is candid in a way that most of his music is not — until now. On his new album, Locked Down, Dr. John takes a more personal approach.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:29 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Most Americans Are Getting Enough Vitamins, CDC Says

Just because we're eating our vitamins doesn't mean our diets are as healthful as they should be.
gerenme iStockphoto.com

Here's some good news about Americans' diets: Most of us are getting sufficient amounts of key vitamins and minerals. That's the finding of a nutrition report just out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

Vitamins A and D, folate, iron and iodine are just a few of the nutrients assessed in the nationwide survey, which uses data collected between 1999 and 2006. Overall, less than 10 percent of the population appeared deficient in each nutrient.

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