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Around the Nation
12:43 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

In Missouri, Days Of Drought Send Caretakers To One 'Big Tree'

This bur oak, called "The Big Tree" by Missouri locals, has been around for centuries. When a drought hit the state last year, the community came together to offer help and water for the iconic tree.
Courtesy of Christopher Starbuck

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 7:52 am

The devastating drought in the Midwest last summer is a story often told by the numbers, with statistics on large crop failures, days without rain and thousands of parched acres.

This story is also about a tree — a bur oak in rural Columbia, Mo., that everyone calls "The Big Tree." Although it's survived all kinds of punishments during its 350 years on the prairie, last year's record drought was especially tough.

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Europe
12:13 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Once Championed By Putin, Medvedev Falls Precipitously Out Of Favor

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, heads a State Council session alongside Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow last year. Increasing political attacks on Medvedev have accompanied Putin's suspicions about his erstwhile partner's ambitions.
Yekaterina Shtukina AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:56 pm

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev appears increasingly isolated from the centers of power surrounding President Vladimir Putin.

Analysts say Medvedev is the target of a campaign to wreck his reputation and drive him from office. It's a risky situation for the former president, who was once regarded as Putin's partner.

The attacks have come from many directions. One of the harshest was an anonymous, documentary-style film that was posted on the Internet in January.

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From Our Listeners
12:04 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Letters: Gun Violence, 'New Mind Of The South'

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including the epidemiology of gun violence, what it means to be a 'Southerner' and going off the map.

World
11:46 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Hisham Matar: A 'Return' To Libya In Search Of His Father

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. My guest has often thought of his father as neither dead nor alive. Hisham Matar's family was living in Egypt, in exile from Libya, when Matar's father, a prominent opponent of the Gadhafi regime, was kidnapped, taken back to Libya and imprisoned. That was in March 1990, and it was the last time Matar saw his father.

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World Cafe
11:30 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Kail Baxley: Music From An Amateur Boxer Who Danced For James Brown

Kail Baxley.
Courtesy of the artist

When Kail Baxley was a kid growing up in Williston, S.C., James Brown used to challenge him to dance-offs. Baxley didn't win so much. He did better as an amateur boxer — his key to getting out of the small town and traveling to Europe and Africa.

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Fruit, Not Fries
11:29 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Lunchroom Makeovers Nudge Kids Toward Better Choices

Students select blueberries and rolls from the food line at Lincoln Elementary in Olympia, Wash., in 2004.
John Froschauer AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 1:49 pm

Gone are the days of serving up tater tots and French toast sticks to students. Here are the days of carrot sticks and quinoa.

New nutritional guidelines, announced in 2012, require public school lunchrooms to offer more whole grains, low-fat milk and fewer starchy sides like french fries. But short of stationing grandmothers in every cafeteria, how do you ensure that students actually eat the fruits and veggies they're being offered?

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Music Reviews
11:25 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Kacey Musgraves: Country's Blunt And Poetic New Voice

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Kacey Musgraves' "Merry Go 'Round" was one of NPR Music's favorite songs of 2012.
Kelly Christine Musgraves Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:46 am

Kacey Musgraves is something of an anomaly. A Texas native in her mid-20s, she fits most easily into the contemporary "country" category, but the work she co-writes with a variety of collaborators is really a throwback to an earlier era of singer-songwriters — as much influenced by rock and folk as by country.

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Mental Health
11:22 am
Tue April 2, 2013

A Focus On Adults: Living With Chronic ADHD

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:57 am

With rates of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at alarming highs, a study confirms that, for many, the condition persists into adulthood. A study by the Boston Children's Hospital and the Mayo Clinic finds that the chronic form of ADHD can lead to depression and substance abuse.

Science
11:13 am
Tue April 2, 2013

The Buzz On Bees: Why Many Colonies Are Collapsing

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:57 am

Bees have been dying off in increasing numbers over the past few years. Experts say that habitat loss and disease are the biggest culprits, and some believe that pesticides are to blame. NPR science correspondent Dan Charles explains the possible causes and what is being done to stop this trend.

Around the Nation
11:11 am
Tue April 2, 2013

What Changes As Women Rise Through Law Enforcement's Ranks

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:57 am

President Barack Obama named Julia Pierson as the head of the Secret Service, the first female director in the agency's history. At least one woman is said to be on the shortlist for FBI director. Women are also climbing the ranks on local police forces as well.

The Two-Way
10:48 am
Tue April 2, 2013

U.N. Approves Treaty To Regulate Multibillion-Dollar Global Arms Trade

Delegates to the United Nations General Assembly applaud the passage of the first U.N. treaty regulating the international arms trade on Tuesday.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first U.N. treaty to regulate the estimated $60 billion global arms trade on Tuesday.

The goal of the Arms Trade Treaty, which the U.N. has sought for over a decade, according to The Associated Press, is to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime.

The vote on the treaty was 154-3, with 23 abstentions.

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Funding Education
10:46 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Washington Governor Shifts Emphasis To Sell Tax Package For Schools

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 4:45 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – On the campaign trail, Washington Governor Jay Inslee talked about financing education by growing the economy. Now the Democrat proposes to raise $1.2 billion for schools by extending some tax increases and ending some tax breaks.

In Spokane last June I moderated the first gubernatorial debate between Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna. And I put this question to both candidates: if elected, would you ask voters to support a new tax for schools to respond to the Washington Supreme Court’s ruling that the state is not adequately funding education.

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The Salt
10:32 am
Tue April 2, 2013

From Pets To Plates: Why More People Are Eating Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs on the grill
Courtesy of Curtiss Calleo

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 11:00 am

You may best know the guinea pig as a nervous little pet that lives in a cage and eats alfalfa pellets.

Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Tue April 2, 2013

James Hansen, NASA Scientist Who Raised Climate Change Alarm, Is Retiring

NASA scientist and climatologist James Hansen in 2009.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

"After nearly half a century of research in planetary and climate science for NASA, James E. Hansen is retiring on Wednesday to pursue his passion for climate activism without the hindrances that come with government employment," The New York Times' Dot Earth blog writes.

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Tue April 2, 2013

In Spain, A Mattress That Lets Your Money Rest Easy

My Mattress Safe retails for about $1,120.
Courtesy of Descanso Santos Suenos

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