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The Salt
3:20 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Coffee For A Cause: What Do Those Feel-Good Labels Deliver?

Luis Fernando Vasquez has been a coffee farmer in the central valley of Costa Rica his entire life.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:50 pm

What does it take to find guilt-free coffee?

Much of our coffee comes from places where the environment is endangered and workers earn very little — sometimes, just a few dollars for a whole day's work. Coffee farmers have helped cut down tropical forests, and most of them use pesticides.

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The Two-Way
7:28 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Death Toll In West, Texas, Fertilizer Explosion Rises To 15

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 7:31 pm

The number of people who died in a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week now stands at 15, officials said Tuesday. Some earlier reports had indicated that 14 people had lost their lives. At least 200 more were injured.

In Waco, TV station KXXV says that officials believe they have found all the victims, quoting Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek saying "No more victims. Everything is searched," in a news conference today.

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Law
7:01 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Sending Ricin Letters

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Mysterious new developments in Mississippi today in the case of poisoned letters sent to President Obama, a U.S. Senator and a Mississippi judge. Federal authorities are dropping charges against a man arrested last week in connection with the case.

NPR's Debbie Elliott has an update for us. And, Debbie, to start, the initial suspect, Paul Kevin Curtis, is actually free tonight. What happened in this case?

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It's All Politics
6:45 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Cuts Delay Flights But Not Fingerpointing

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and fellow GOP senators accused the Obama administration of creating a "manufactured crisis" by furloughing FAA air traffic controllers and causing delayed flights.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 11:02 am

Blame shifting was in high gear Tuesday on Capitol Hill and at the White House as the first air traffic delays tied to the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration controllers began to get attention.

The Republicans' message: Delays at some airports this week — a result of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester that took effect in March, but whose resulting furloughs are just kicking in — was a "manufactured crisis," and that the administration wants voters angry enough to force Congress to give President Obama the higher taxes he seeks.

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Around the Nation
6:07 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Thousands Have Applied For 'Deferred Action' Program

Young people wait in line to enter the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles office on the first day of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in August.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 8:05 am

As Congress continues its debate over immigration reform, nearly a half-million young people who are in the U.S. illegally have already applied for deferred action.

The Obama administration started the policy, formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, last year for people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children. Those who are approved gain the right to work or study and avoid deportation for two years.

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Energy
5:28 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Could An 'Artificial Leaf' Fuel Your Car?

Miguel Modestino, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, is part of the team working to create a solar fuels generator at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis.
Roy Kaltschmidt Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

It's easy to feel dispirited about climate change because the challenge of dealing with it seems so overwhelming. But Miguel Modestino is actually excited about the challenge. He's part of a large team hoping to make an artificial leaf — a device that would make motor fuel from sunlight and carbon dioxide rather than from fossil fuels.

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Law
5:27 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Justices Say U.S. Improperly Deported Man Over Marijuana

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a longtime legal resident of the United States was improperly deported for possession of a small amount of marijuana. By a 7-2 vote, the justices said that it defies common sense to treat an offense like this as an "aggravated felony" justifying mandatory deportation.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
5:13 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Clues Suggest Boston Suspects Took A Do-It-Yourself Approach

Investigators in protective suits examine material on Boylston Street in Boston on April 18, three days after the deadly bombings. The explosive devices were relatively simple to make and law enforcement officials come across them on a regular basis, officials say.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

As investigators look into the Boston Marathon bombings, one crucial question is whether the suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, acted alone or had help. The clues might be found in the bombs used.

From what is now known, it appears the brothers assembled a whole arsenal of explosives. Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau told CNN last weekend that the suspects had at least six bombs, including the two used in the attack and one thrown at police during a shootout.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Bill Gates' Handshake With South Korea's Park Sparks Debate

This handshake between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Microsoft founder Bill Gates sparked debate over whether the American — who kept his left hand in his pocket — had been rude. Other photos clearly show Gates' hand in his pocket.0
Lee Jin-man AP

Microsoft founder Bill Gates met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye Monday, part of a visit to build business ties and boost nuclear energy plans. But it was the handshake they shared that created the biggest stir in Korean society, after Gates greeted Park with a smile — and his left hand jammed into his pants pocket.

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The Salt
4:32 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

When Cheeseburger = Walking, Will We Eat Less?

Would you like that burger with a side of exercise?
iStockphoto.com

Nutrition labeling has been required on packaged food since 1990, and the new federal food safety law will require calorie counts to be posted for restaurant food — all in an effort to get the American public to eat healthier.

But most studies on calorie count labels show they don't do much to nudge people toward better food choices. If I want that oh-so-delicious Chunky Monkey ice cream, knowing that a half-cup serving delivers 300 calories and 18 grams of fat isn't going to stop me.

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Business
4:31 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Online Retailers Take Opposite Sides On Sales Tax Bill

Humberto Manzano Jr. moves a pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix in 2010. Amazon has endorsed a bill making its way through the Senate that would require more online retailers to collect sales tax.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.

The political battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Allan Arbus, Who Played Psychiatrist On TV's 'M.A.S.H.,' Dies At 95

Allan Arbus on the left, with fellow M.A.S.H. stars Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, Burt Metcalfe, Alan Alda, Kellye Nakahara Wallet and Wayne Rogers at an awards ceremony in 2009.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Allan Arbus, best known for his recurring role as psychiatrist Sidney Freedman on the hit television comedy M.A.S.H., has died at age 95, his family says.

Arbus died Friday due to congestive heart failure, his daughter said in a statement. His second wife, Mariclare Costello Arbus, told Reuters that her husband "just got weaker and weaker and was at home with his daughter and me" when he passed away.

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This Is NPR
4:14 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Reason #0.32 To Love NPR

NPR

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 2:35 pm

It doesn't take much, but it means a lot. The yearly federal contribution to public radio per American is $0.32.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World
4:04 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Routine On U.S. Racetracks, Horse Doping Is Banned In Europe

French jockey Olivier Peslier celebrates a win at Longchamps racecourse near Paris in 2012. While many drugs can legally be used on horses in U.S. racing, they are barred in Europe.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:30 pm

At the famous Hippodrome de Longchamp just outside of Paris this month, crowds came to cheer and bet on the sleek thoroughbreds that opened horse racing season by galloping down the verdant turf course.

Horse racing in Europe is different from the sport in the U.S., from the shape and surface of the track to race distances and the season itself. Another big difference is doping.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:54 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Boston Search Shines Spotlight On Surveillance Cameras

An investigator inspects the area near a surveillance camera on the roof of the Lord & Taylor store near the Boston Marathon finish line on Thursday. That camera provided the first glimpse of the men who allegedly planted the bombs.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

Footage from surveillance cameras along the Boston Marathon route gave the FBI early clues about the bombing suspects. And prosecutors say they'll use some of those images to try to prove their criminal case against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. But the proliferation of cameras in America's big cities is raising some tricky questions about the balance between security and privacy.

It was pictures of two brothers taken by a camera outside the Lord & Taylor department store that provided the first glimpse of the men who allegedly bombed the Boston Marathon.

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Breaking Tradition, Cooper Union Will Charge Undergrads Tuition

The new Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art academic building is seen in Manhattan's Cooper Square in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Citing financial strain, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art announced that beginning in the fall of 2014, it would begin charging its undergraduate students tuition.

The college is one of the few institutions that doesn't charge students tuition.

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World Cafe
2:43 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

The Milk Carton Kids, Making The Most Of Two Voices

The Milk Carton Kids.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:36 pm

When Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan ditched their solo careers to form The Milk Carton Kids, they discovered that they had a lot to teach each other. They also had a plan: to give their music away in order to find their audience. It worked remarkably well. Now, their third album, The Ash & Clay, is out on a regular label — no freebies this time around — and they're playing to packed houses across the U.S. and Europe.

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The Salt
2:27 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Want To Forage In Your City? There's A Map For That

Falling Fruit tells you where you can pick peaches and other foods free for the taking around the world.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 11:25 am

If you really love your peaches and want to shake a tree, there's a map to help you find one. That goes for veggies, nuts, berries and hundreds of other edible plant species, too.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Suspect In Ricin Letters Is Released On Bond

An image from a video on a YouTube channel where Paul Kevin Curtis has posted clips of his performances — in this case, as Elvis.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 7:40 pm

Update at 6:02 p.m. ET. Charges Dropped:

Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against a Mississippi man they accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama and two other public servants, according to a court order obtained by the AP.

"In a court order calling for the charges to be dismissed, prosecutors said the 'ongoing investigation has revealed new information' without providing any additional detail," Reuters reports.

Paul Kevin Curtis was released from custody earlier Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Boston Carjacking Victim Thought He Would Be Killed

Though they told him he wouldn't be hurt, the man who was allegedly forced by the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings to hand over his SUV and go with them says he was convinced the gunmen would "kill me later."

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