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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

'Finding The Good' Through Obituary Writing

About 2,000 people live in Haines, Alaska, where Heather Lende has been writing obituaries for 20 years for the Chilkat Valley News. (Andrei Taranchenko/Flickr)

Journalist Heather Lende lives in the small town of Haines, Alaska, where the population is about 2,000. She’s written obituaries for almost 20 years at the Chilkat Valley News.

In doing so, she’s learned to “find the good,” as she says, not only in the lives of people she writes about, but also in her own life. Lende told Here & Now’s Robin Young that a portrait of the town she lives in also comes through her work.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Becoming A Cop, As Police Protests Dominate Headlines

The squad of six, including Stephanie Schendel, pose after being pepper-sprayed. Instructor Russ Hicks said the recruits bond after that unpleasant experience. (Isolde Raftery/KUOW)

What motivates someone to become a police officer these days? And what is it like to be a recruit as images of police protests dominate the news? Amy Radil of Here & Now contributor station KUOW met some of Washington state’s newest recruits.

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NPR Story
1:57 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

The Sticking Point Of The Patriot Act: Section 215

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) talks to reporters with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) after the weekly Senate GOP policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol May 19, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Although he does not support the House version of the Patriot Act reauthorization, McConnell said the Senate would go forward with a vote on the legislation that would eliminate the bulk data collection programs, which were exposed by Edward Snowden. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 2:33 pm

Three sections of the post-September 11th Patriot Act will expire on June 1. One of those sections, Section 215, was the one former NSA contractor Edward Snowden brought to light concerning the bulk collection of American’s telephone records, and the one that the Senate will vote on this week.

The House already passed an alternative act, the USA Freedom Act, which would restrict the controversial bulk collection of phone records, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to pass an extension for the Senate to debate this hot issue when members are back from break.

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NPR Story
1:57 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Feds Say High-Profile Cancer Foundation Was A Fraud

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 2:20 pm

In 1987, James T. Reynolds started a new charity called the Cancer Fund of America. It told donors it was paying for pain medication for children and hospice care for terminally ill patients, and eventually branched into several other charities.

But in a filing yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission says that was all a sham. Less than 3 percent of the money raised actually went to patients, according to the filing, while almost $200 million was spent on luxury vacations, cars and tuition for the founder’s family and friends.

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NPR Story
1:57 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Is Oklahoma's Death Penalty Cruel And Unusual? Supreme Court To Decide

This July 25, 2014 file photo shows bottles of the sedative midazolam at a hospital pharmacy in Oklahoma City. (AP)

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 2:20 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court is examining whether the death penalty method in Oklahoma constitutes cruel and unusual punishment for using a virtually untested drug called midazolam.

The plaintiffs, several prisoners on death row in the state, brought the case after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, who took 43 minutes to die on the gurney in April of 2014.

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Media
1:51 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Terry Gross To Marc Maron: 'Life Is Harder Than Radio'

Terry Gross and Marc Maron took the stage at WNYC's RadioLoveFest on May 6. During their conversation, Gross says, Maron "occasionally looked a little nervous or frustrated when he thought I was unforthcoming — or worse yet, being dull --€” but mostly, he looked emotionally present, curious and attentive."
Rebecca Greenfield Brooklyn Academy of Music

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 12:08 pm

Earlier this month, almost 2,000 radio fanatics gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) to listen in as Marc Maron, the neurotic and sometimes gruff comedian and podcast host, interviewed Fresh Air's Terry Gross. He is known for being vulnerable and bringing his personal life into his interviews; she tends to keep her personal life separate from her work. The conversation that resulted blurs those two styles and ends up revealing aspects of Gross' life that even the biggest Fresh Air fans may find surprising.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Nebraska Lawmakers Move Step Closer To Repealing Death Penalty

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:15 pm

Lawmakers in Nebraska have given final approval to a measure that would abolish the death penalty with enough votes to override a threatened veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The vote was 32-15. Conservative Nebraska has a unicameral Legislature and all bills go through three votes. In the previous round, the vote was 30-16; in the first, it was 30-13. It would take 30 votes to override a veto from Ricketts, a Republican. If that happens, Nebraska will become the first Republican-controlled state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973.

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NPR Story
1:19 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Jimmy Carter Has Created New Model For Former Presidents

Former President Jimmy Carter attends 'Countdown To Zero: Defeating Disease' preview press conference at American Museum of Natural History on January 12, 2015 in New York City. (Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:31 am

Jimmy Carter’s recent health scare reminded us that the former president is still active at the age of 90. He returned home early from Guyana because he didn’t feel well. Carter was in that country as part of the election monitoring work done by The Carter Center, which he formed in 1989.

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NPR Story
1:19 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Pandas' Bamboo Diet May Endanger Them

New research examining the genetics of panda waste shows they're not very good at being vegetarian, or digesting bamboo. (Nathan Rupert/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 2:20 pm

Panda bears eat tons of bamboo. In fact, they spend up to 14 hours per day eating about 27 pounds of the plant material. But new research examining the genetics of panda waste shows that pandas are not very good at being vegetarian, or digesting bamboo.

The study, published in mBio, found that pandas lack the bacteria necessary to break cellulose in plants, and can digest only about 17 percent of what they eat.

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It's All Politics
12:53 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Who Is Clinton Confidant Sidney Blumenthal?

Blumenthal was one of just four witnesses deposed by the U.S. Senate when it tried (and acquitted) Clinton on the impeachment charges early in 1999.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 1:57 pm

Before there was George, there was Sid.

George Stephanopoulos is, of course, the ABC news anchor whose $75,000 in donations to the Clinton foundation have reminded the world of his longtime ties to Bill Clinton, for whom he worked from 1991 to 1997.

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Shots - Health News
12:52 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Looks Good Enough To Smoke: Marijuana Gets Its Glamour Moment

Courtesy of Chronicle Books

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:15 am

When Erik Christiansen started smoking pot, he became fascinated by the look of different marijuana strains. But the photographs of marijuana he saw didn't capture the variety.

So he went to the hardware store and picked up two lights and a cardboard box. "I didn't even have a macro lens — I was shooting through a magnifying glass," he says.

The California-based photographer tinkered with his macro technique until he had created a consistent way to capture highly detailed images of marijuana.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Big Banks Pay $5.6 Billion, Plead Guilty To Felonies Over Currency And Rate-Fixing

Clockwise from top left: Barclays, Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland will pay billions in fines and plead guilty to criminally manipulating global currency market going back to 2007. The bank UBS AG (not pictured) has also agreed to plead guilty.
Lefteris Pitarakis/Nick Ut/Kathy Willens/Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 1:43 pm

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS AG have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges and pay billions in criminal fines, the Department of Justice says. The offenses range from manipulating the market price of U.S. dollars and euros to rigging interest rates.

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Music Lists
12:24 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Someday We'll All Be Free: 100 Hours Of Soulful Protest Music

The O'Jays in an undated photo. The Canton, Ohio, group also associated with Philadelphia is well represented in this stream: from "Love Train" to "When the World's at Peace" to "Back Stabbers."
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 1:35 pm

Between noon Wednesday and 4 pm on Sunday (all ET), we're turning over our R&B and soul channel to protest music. These songs are timely and relevant and useful. We live and work in hope that one day our need for them will not be so acute. "I'll Take You There" is curated and hosted by Jason King of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

U.S. Releases Documents Seized From Osama Bin Laden's Compound

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, seen in Afghanistan in this undated photo, was killed in 2011 during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 2:28 pm

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Intelligence officials on Wednesday released a trove of newly declassified documents, books and magazines found during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. They're calling it "Bin Laden's Bookshelf."

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Shots - Health News
12:00 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Grassley To Justice Department: Crack Down On Medicare Advantage Overbilling

Sen. Chuck Grassley has questions about what the feds are doing to investigate allegations of Medicare Advantage fraud.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:31 am

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to tighten scrutiny of Medicare Advantage health plans suspected of overcharging the government, saying billions of tax dollars are at risk as the popular senior care program grows.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:21 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Debate: Is Smart Technology Making Us Dumb?

Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist and vice president at Intel Corp., with teammate David Weinberger, senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:37 pm

We've come a long way since 1975, when a newspaper in Midland, Texas, featured an advertisement about a personal pocket computer wizard that had the broad mathematical abilities of a slide rule: a Sharp calculator.

But, are we smarter now that technology has put a lot more than a slide rule into our pockets? Or are we so dependent on technology to do things for us that we are losing the ability to make our own magic, mentally, socially and politically?

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Law
11:15 am
Wed May 20, 2015

'Cartel' Of 4 Big Banks To Plead Guilty To Gaming The Exchange Rate

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 12:09 pm

Four major banks — Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland — have agreed to plead guilty to currency manipulation and pay over $5 billion in fines. Officials say that traders from the banks, who allegedly called themselves "the cartel," used secret codes to manipulate the exchange rate between U.S. dollars and Euros. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has taken the unusual step of tossing out what's called a deferred prosecution agreement against a fifth bank.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Rare Black Rhino Killed By U.S. Hunter Who Won Controversial Auction

An endangered black rhino is seen in this file photo from the Etosha National Park in norhern Namibia last year. An American hunter has killed one of the animals, under a special permit he bought for $350,000. While the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from shades of brown to gray.
Barbara Scheer DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 5:03 pm

A Texas hunter who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt a rare black rhino in Namibia has killed the animal. The hunt has drawn controversy and spurred debate over the best way to manage endangered wildlife.

Corey Knowlton won an auction last January for a hunting permit that would allow him to kill a black rhino weighing around 3,000 pounds.

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Shots - Health News
10:42 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Map Reveals The Distinctive Cause Of Death In Each State

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:31 pm

There's no getting around the strangeness of a map that shows the most distinctive cause of death in each of our 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In Texas, it's tuberculosis. In Maine, it's the flu. And in Nevada, it's the ominous "legal intervention."

But what does it mean to label a cause of death distinctive?

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It's All Politics
9:19 am
Wed May 20, 2015

The Ballooning Importance Of The 'Latino Vote,' In 3 Charts

People vote on Election Day 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 1:09 pm

As 2016 campaigns heat up, Republicans are working to boost their momentum among Latino voters, and the numbers make it easy to see why.

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