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It's All Politics
5:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

WWII Vets Have All But Vanished From The Halls Of Congress

Military pallbearers carry the coffin of the late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg into the Senate chamber on Thursday. He was the only remaining World War II veteran in the Senate.
Douglas Graham AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

Sen. Frank Lautenberg was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday. There was a steady rain. Soldiers fired rifle volleys, a bugler played taps and mourners paid their final respects.

The New Jersey Democrat was 89 when he died this week — and his death marked a somber milestone.

For the first time since the end of World War II, there are no veterans of that war in the U.S. Senate. Lautenberg had been the only one remaining.

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News
5:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

NSA Scandal Looms Over Obama's Talks With China's Xi

President Obama walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a retreat on Friday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where the two leaders are meeting for talks.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

President Obama always intended to talk about spying this weekend. But not like this.

He's getting to know China's new leader at a sprawling estate in the Southern California desert this weekend, but domestic controversies have followed him there.

The president veered off his talking points Friday to spend more than 10 minutes defending a pair of massive surveillance operations that the media recently disclosed.

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U.S.
8:29 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Fatal Shootings In Santa Monica Leave Several Injured

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A grim and chaotic scene today in Santa Monica, California. That's where authorities say at least six people are dead after a shooting rampage that ended violently on the campus of Santa Monica Community College. Several more people are being treated at area hospitals. Authorities say some injuries are serious, others minor. The shooting triggered lockdowns at the college and at other nearby schools. NPR's Kirk Siegler joins us now with the latest from NPR West in Culver City. And Kirk, what have you learned so far?

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The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Cambodia Moves To Outlaw Denial Of Khmer Rouge Atrocities

Cambodian survivors of the Khmer Rouge-era Tuol Sleng prison, also known as S-21, at the Choeung Ek killing fields memorial in Phnom Penh in 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 7:56 pm

Cambodian lawmakers on Friday approved a bill making it a crime to deny that atrocities were committed by the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s, echoing laws against Holocaust denial in Germany and more than a dozen other European countries.

The bill passed the assembly in Phnom Penh by a unanimous vote, but only because of the absence of opposition parliamentarians, who were expelled after forming a new party.

The Associated Press writes:

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Code Switch
5:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Black Americans Give Entertainment Options Failing Grades

A poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that African-Americans are unhappy with their local entertainment venues.
Corbis

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

All this week on Code Switch and on air we've been digging into the findings of a survey of African-American views of their communities, finances and social lives. We conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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World Cafe
5:02 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Patty Griffin On World Cafe

Patty Griffin.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:03 am

It's a middle-age milestone, dealing with a parent's death. Singer-songwriter Patty Griffin turns the experience into powerful moments on her latest album, American Kid. The album features songs inspired by everything from her dad exclaiming "Don't let me die in Florida!" to the gleam in her grandfather's eye on his own wedding day.

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Around the Nation
4:54 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Plug Pulled On California Nuclear Plant, For Good

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Southern California, a nuclear power plant that supplied energy to more than a million homes is shutting down for good. As NPR's Ina Jaffe reports, the San Onofre nuclear plant has been idle for repair since January of 2012.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: The twin, white domes at the San Onofre nuclear power plant have been landmarks on the California coast for more than four decades.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS CHANTING)

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Shots - Health News
4:54 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Datapalooza: A Concept, A Conference And A Movement

Jonathan Bush, co-founder, athenahealth, at Health Datapalooza IV, where he urged the government to release more data on health care quality and costs.
FotoBriceno for Health Data Consortium Health Data Consortium

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

If you're having trouble picturing a health "datapalooza," think 2,000-plus data geeks, entrepreneurs, industry bigwigs and bureaucrats stuffed into hotel conference rooms with lots of coffee and PowerPoints.

Early this week the fourth annual Health Datapalooza conference descended on Washington, D.C., including a contest over the course of the two-day meeting to come up with the best health app on the spot.

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Around the Nation
4:54 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Salt, Flies, Pickled Tongues: A Perfect Great Salt Lake Swim

Swimmers begin a 1-mile race in the Great Salt Lake in June 2012. The mountains of Stansbury Island rise in the background.
Connie Hubbard

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

It's the "liquid lie of the desert," as writer Terry Tempest Williams describes it, a vast inland sea so salty it triggers retching when swallowed. Brine shrimp swarm its waters and brine flies blanket the shore. In the right wind and weather its putrid smell reaches Salt Lake City neighborhoods 16 miles away. Storms churn up waves that rival ocean swells.

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Author Interviews
4:54 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Judy Blume Hits The Big Screen With 'Tiger Eyes' Adaptation

Judy Blume is the author of many books for kids and teens, including Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Blubber. Her 1981 novel, Tiger Eyes, has just been adapted into a movie.
Sigrid Estrada

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

Mention Judy Blume to almost any woman under a certain age and you're likely to get this reaction: Her face lights up, and she's transported back to her childhood self — curled up with a book she knows will speak directly to her anxieties about relationships, self-image and measuring up.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Report: Accidents Likely In Environmentally Fragile Seas

The bow of the mine countermeasure ship Guardian is removed in March in the Sulu Sea, Philippines. The Guardian ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef in January.
U.S. Navy Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 5:18 pm

Many of the world's most accident-prone waters for shipping are also among the most delicate marine ecosystems, according to a new study released Friday by WWF International.

The fear of something like a major oil spill in environmentally sensitive waters comes as the number of vessels plying the world's oceans has risen 20 percent in the past 15 years, from 85,000 to 105,000, the report, released on World Oceans Day, says.

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It's All Politics
4:36 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

United States Of Outrage: NSA, IRS Overreaches Spark Bipartisan Ire

President Obama speaks at Mooresville Middle School in Mooresville, N.C., on Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:14 pm

Even in an era of stark political polarization, there are still some issues that can draw Americans together and scramble the normal ideological fault lines.

Recent revelations about the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency are among them.

Unlike the debates over Obamacare or President Obama himself, which tend to be more litmus tests for party affiliation than anything else, the reactions to reports about overreach by the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency have brought normally warring partisans together.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

U.S. Drone Strike Reportedly Kills Seven In Pakistan

A U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles at a compound in a remote area of northwest Pakistan, killing seven people Friday night, according to reports. Pakistani officials who spoke about the strike to the AP say it killed seven militants.

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Around the Nation
4:03 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

The Iceman Swimmeth, Chanting 'F Cancer'

Goody Tyler, a schoolteacher, earned the "ice man" label for swimming a mile in 41-degree water in the Great Salt Lake. He credits that swim and workouts in the lake for helping him withstand the tedium of chemotherapy while being treated for cancer.
Wanda Gayle

Goody Tyler isn't just any hard-core Great Salt Lake swimmer. He's a certified "ice swimmer." In December, Tyler swam 1 mile in the lake when the water temperature was only 41 degrees, the maximum temperature for an official "ice swim."

"You're only allowed to wear one cap, one pair of goggles and a Speedo," Tyler says. "And that's it."

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Reports: Several Injured In Shooting At Santa Monica College

Students rush to safety after shots were fired near the Santa Monica College Friday. According to reports, at least six people were shot, and a suspect was taken into custody. One shooting victim died of her injuries during surgery.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 11:53 pm

(Last updated at 11:45 p.m. ET)

As many as four people died in a series of shootings in Santa Monica Friday, according to city police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks. The gunman was eventually shot to death in an exchange of fire with police in the library of Santa Monica College, she said at a news conference.

Police said earlier that seven people were killed, but later corrected that number to five people total, including the gunman, at a news conference Friday night.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Wal-Mart Meeting Spurs Protests Over Low Pay, Safety Issues

Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon speaks to shareholders at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., during this week's shareholders' meeting. The company is coping with a bribery scandal, as well as demands from workers.
Gareth Patterson AP

Retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores' annual shareholders' meeting this week showed signs of the company's recent turbulence, as protesters assembled at corporate headquarters to shout slogans and demands.

Despite a court-issued restraining order, the protesters, including workers who are on strike, decried low wages and called for better safety procedures for supply-chain workers. And some of their views were heard inside the meeting, as well.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Grain Deaths Fall In 2012 But Industry Share Grows

John Poole NPR

A new report from grain safety researchers at Purdue University says eight people died while trapped in grain last year, another steep drop from the record year of 2010, when 31 people lost their lives in grain bins and other grain storage facilities.

The continued decline in incidents since 2010 is credited to drier and smaller harvests since then. The grain stored in bins in 2010 was generally harvested wet and tended to spoil and clog. Workers and farmers went into bins to unclog grain and were trapped in a "quicksand" effect common in flowing grain.

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The Salt
2:42 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Hold The Hot Dog: National Park Visitors Can Feast On Bison Burgers

Stefan Larsson serves up bison sloppy Joes and juniper-smoked bison tenderloin, which will be offered at the Yellowstone National Park this summer. Each park will have different menus featuring local foods.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

The director of the National Park Service doesn't have anything against hot dogs or pizza being served in eateries in national parks.

"But I wanted more options, and more healthy choices," Jonathan Jarvis told me at a tasting event this week to unveil new standards for the concessionaires who operate more than 250 food and beverage operations in national parks.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Why Being Stuck On A Tarmac With The Philly Orchestra Rocks

Artists from the Philadelphia Orchestra perform at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, capital of China.
Luo Xiaoguang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 9:28 am

There are few things as annoying as being stuck on a tarmac — in a cramped, packed plane — for long periods of time. But when you have some of the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra on your flight, it could turn magical.

No, seriously.

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Book Reviews
2:30 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

'Beside Ourselves' Explores Human-Animal Connections

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 3:47 pm

Note: The audio and text of this review describe a major plot point that is not revealed until partway into the book.

If you know Karen Joy Fowler's writing only from her clever, 2004 best-seller, The Jane Austen Book Club, you're in for a shock. Fowler's new novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, is a different literary creature altogether — still witty but emotionally and intellectually riskier, and more indebted to Fowler's other books that toy with the sci-fi genre.

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