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Politics
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

IRS Witness Turns Down Questions At Congressional Hearing

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Another day, another heated hearing on Capitol Hill about the IRS. The agency's leadership has faced angry questions over its flagging of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. At today's hearing, the most anticipated witness answered no questions. Instead, she took the Fifth, as we hear from NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith.

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Movie Interviews
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Documentary Shows George Plimpton's Best Story Was His Own

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

George Plimpton boxed with Archie Moore, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and played percussion for the New York Philharmonic. He did these jobs, and many others, as an amateur. Plimpton was a professional writer. A new documentary about his life makes the case that Plimpton's best story was his own story, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: When you listen to George Plimpton's voice, it's like hearing echoes of a New York that no longer exists.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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From Our Listeners
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Letters: Stories From Moore, Okla.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's time now for your letters, and we got many about our coverage of the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma. Several were praise for our story yesterday about survivors who lost most of their possessions but considered themselves lucky.

CHRISTINE PARRISH: They were digging her out while we were looking through our stuff. And we thought they were looking for their dogs, and it was her. And they found her, and she was passed.

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It's All Politics
6:37 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Think Obama's In Trouble? That Depends On Your Party

President Obama answered questions on scandals involving the IRS and Justice Department, at a news conference last week at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:30 pm

Public opinion about the scandals plaguing the Obama administration is decidedly mixed.

Republicans believe that the trio of controversies — concerning Benghazi, the IRS, and the Justice Department snooping on media phone records — are evidence enough that President Obama is either running a government motivated by partisan politics, or is badly out of touch.

Democrats, however, are proving to be much more forgiving.

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The Two-Way
6:37 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

London Attack Deemed Likely Terrorist Incident

Police and forensic officers near the scene of Wednesday's brutal attack.
Alastair Grant Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:20 pm

A man has been killed in what reports described as a machete attack in London, and police have shot two suspects in what British Prime Minister David Cameron says is likely a terrorist incident.

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Music Reviews
6:29 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Kobo Town: A Haunted 'Jukebox' Filled With Caribbean Sounds

The Toronto band Kobo Town plays a mix of old-school calypso, ska and West Indian styles.
Paul Wright Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:03 pm

Throughout Kobo Town's new album Jumbie in the Jukebox, frontman Drew Gonsalves declares his love for the past even as his feet are firmly planted in the present. The music of the Toronto band can drift between classic Caribbean pop styles and even verge on hip-hop, but the singer's perspective remains sharply focused, wry and witty. The song "Postcard Poverty," for example, ribs tourists for whom tropical slums become an exotic backdrop to fun-in-the-sun adventures.

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The Two-Way
6:27 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Holder Acknowledges U.S. Citizens Killed In Drone Strikes

A Nov. 2010 file image of Anwar al-Awlaki taken from video and released by SITE Intelligence Group.
Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:12 pm

For the first time, the U.S. government has acknowledged killing four American citizens in lethal drone strikes far outside traditional battlefields, confirming information that had been widely known but has only recently been unclassified under orders of the president.

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The Salt
6:24 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

In Raw Milk Case, Activists See Food Freedom On Trial

Supporters say Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger's trial isn't just about raw milk: It's also, they say, about the right to get foods from farmers without government intervention.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:59 pm

What is the case against Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger really about? It depends on whom you ask.

To hear the prosecution, it's about licensing, not raw milk: Hershberger, a dairy farmer hailing from the town of Loganville, is on trial this week for operating without three licenses. He's also accused of continuing to sell raw milk to members of his private club after he was ordered not to.

If convicted, the father of 10 faces more than a year in jail and more than $10,000 in fines.

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

North Korean Sends Special Envoy To China Amid Tensions

North Korea's Vice Marshal Choe Ryong Hae (front right) shakes hands with officials as he departs for China.
Kim Kwang Hyon AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:54 am

North Korea has sent a special envoy to China, hoping to patch up relations between the two countries that have been on rocky ground over Pyongyang's nuclear program and its recent seizure of a crew of Chinese fishermen.

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This Is NPR
5:55 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Christopher Guest Hearts NPR

Melissa Kuypers NPR

Christopher Guest, known as a leader in the mockumentary style after his 1984 film This is Spinal Tap, has a new show on HBO. It's called Family Tree, and stars Chris O'Dowd as a man tracking down his family lineage after receiving a mysterious box from an aunt he didn't know existed. Guest came in to talk to Weekend Edition Host Scott Simon about his career, inspiration for the show and working on a funny set.

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The Salt
5:44 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Could African Crops Be Improved With Private Biotech Data?

The baobob fruit is one of the 100 traditional African food crops that a group of scientists want to learn more about to improve nutrition.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

"I'm shocked by the optimism here," Howard Yana-Shapiro, the chief agricultural officer for Mars Inc. said Tuesday to the audience of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Seated there before him were some of the leaders from the wealthiest international organizations and multinational companies of the fight to end hunger. And Shapiro told them they weren't even close.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

British Driver Says She's Sorry In 'Twit And Run' Case

A screen capture shows a tweet sent by Emma Way after she was involved in a collision Sunday. She has apologized for the incident.
@FSUSteve

A British driver who struck a cyclist with her car — and who then bragged about the incident on Twitter — has issued an apology. The incident caused an uproar after the collision Sunday.

"Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax! #bloodycyclist," tweeted Emma Way, in a message that has been widely circulated despite her apparent attempts to delete it, and seemingly her Twitter account, @EmmaWay20.

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Politics
4:31 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

With White House Bogged Down By Scandal, GOP Looks For Boost

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Immigration reform heads to the Senate floor, ex-congressman Weiner guns for Gracie Mansion, and Senator Inhofe on the distinction between disaster aid for a superstorm and tornados. It's Wednesday, and time for a...

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE: Totally different...

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Digital Life
4:31 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

How That 'Nigerian Email Scam' Got Started

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If you have an email account, you've almost certainly received a message that sounds something like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I am Mr. Edward Impoya(ph), a member of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: We are members of the special committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I am Mr. Ahmed Guraba(ph), the bills and exchange director at the Foreign Remittance Department.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: I am David Mapalay(ph), the first son of Dr. Jonathan Mapalay(ph).

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Politics
4:26 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Scandal Politics: The Downstream Effect

The scandals affecting the Obama administration could make some would-be candidates leery of running for political office.
Olivier Douliery Pool/Getty Images

Add this to the list of Democratic worries surrounding the wave of Obama administration scandals: the downstream effect.

It's prime candidate-recruiting season right now — the period in the two-year election cycle when officials in both parties fan out across the map in hopes of persuading prospective candidates to run for Congress. Issues and money always get plenty of attention, but the ability of party leaders to attract strong, capable candidates is vital to success on Election Day.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Costa Concordia Captain To Face Manslaughter Charges

Francesco Schettino (left), the captain of the Costa Concordia, leaves court with his lawyer, Francesco Pepe, last month. A judge has ordered Schettino to stand trial in the wreck of the cruise ship last year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:04 am

A judge in Italy on Wednesday ordered the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Tuscany last year, killing 32 people, to face charges of manslaughter.

Francesco Schettino, 52, is accused of negligence that led to the grounding of the ship and for abandoning the vessel while a rescue of the 4,200 passengers and crew was still underway.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Oregon's Cash-Strapped Counties Reject Public Safety Levies

A yard sign opposes a local tax increase to fund public safety in Josephine County, Oregon. The ballot measure reportedly failed by a thin margin.
Amelia Templeton OPB

Two Oregon counties have reportedly rejected property tax increases that would have funded law enforcement and public safety services. The counties once received federal timber subsidies, but those days are over — and now they're scrambling to pay for essential services.

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Planet Money
3:04 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Go East, Young Marijuana Dealer

David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:40 pm

Chuck used to sell marijuana in California. But the legalization of medical marijuana in the state meant he was suddenly competing against hundreds of marijuana dispensaries. So he moved to New York, where marijuana is still 100 percent illegal. Since making the move, he says, he's quadrupled his income. (For the record: His name isn't really Chuck.)

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Parallels
2:59 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

China's Artist Provocateur Explores New Medium: Heavy Metal

The video for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's newly released song starts by re-creating the conditions of his captivity during the 81 days he was held in police detention in 2011, and later dissolves into a dystopian nightmare.
Courtesy Ai Weiwei

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 8:18 pm

The man ArtReview magazine named the most powerful artist in the world is trying his hand at rock stardom. In 2011, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in detention. He was later let go and charged with tax evasion.

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Shots - Health News
2:58 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Polio Outbreak In Kenya: A Threat To Global Eradication

A baby receives a polio vaccine at the Medina Maternal Child Health center in Mogadishu, Somalia. The country has one of the lowest immunization rates in the world.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:14 pm

Kenya has recorded its first case of polio in two years, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

A 4-month-old girl came down with paralysis on April 30, and then two healthy kids nearby also tested positive for the virus.

But this handful of infections with poliovirus has the potential to set back global efforts to eradicate polio, WHO spokeswoman Sona Bari tells Shots.

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