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1:38 am
Thu May 23, 2013

IRS Official's Silence Riles House Committee Members

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The IRS has admitted to targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. And yesterday at a House hearing the IRS director of exempt organizations said, quote: "I have not done anything wrong." She then declined to testify. Lois Lerner's brief appearance at the committee was just the beginning of a stormy, five-hour session filled with angry outbursts and allegations of political motives.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Lois Lerner did read a statement that she had done her job properly.

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It's All Politics
12:06 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Obama Group's Climate Push Puts President Under Scrutiny

President Obama speaks at Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore on May 17. The trip followed a visit by the company's president to Capitol Hill to testify in support of the Keystone XL pipeline. The White House says Obama's speech had nothing to do with Keystone, but environmental groups have been frustrated with his stance on the issue.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:54 am

Organizing for Action — a group that formed out of President Obama's re-election campaign — has posted five tweets in the past week about climate change using the @BarackObama Twitter account.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
12:05 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Living In Two Worlds, But With Just One Language

Elysha O'Brien and her husband, Michael, with their sons. Elysha never learned Spanish but is determined that her children will.
Courtesy of the O'Brien family

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 9:24 pm

NPR continues its conversations about The Race Card Project, where NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris asks people to send in six-word stories about race and culture. The submissions are personal, provocative and often quite candid.

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Law
12:05 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Sick Inmates Dying Behind Bars Despite Release Program

Nearly 30 years ago, Congress gave terminally ill inmates and prisoners with extraordinary family circumstances an early way out, known as compassionate release.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:54 am

Prison is a tough place, but Congress made an exception nearly 30 years ago, giving terminally ill inmates and prisoners with extraordinary family circumstances an early way out. It's called compassionate release.

But a recent investigation found that many federal inmates actually die while their requests drift through the system.

One of them was Clarence Allen Rice.

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Shots - Health News
4:47 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Scientific Tooth Fairies Investigate Neanderthal Breast-Feeding

This model of a molar shows color-coded barium banding patterns that reveal weaning age.
Ian Harrowell, Christine Austin, Manish Arora Harvard School of Public Health

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 9:54 am

When it comes to weaning, humans are weird.

Our closest relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas, breast-feed their offspring for several years. Some baby orangutans nurse until they are 7 years old.

But modern humans wean much earlier. In preindustrial societies, babies stop nursing after about two years. Which raises the question: How did we get that way? When did we make the evolutionary shift from apelike parenting to the short breast-feeding period of humans?

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Movie Interviews
3:32 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Documentary Shows George Plimpton's Best Story Was His Own

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:40 pm

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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Parallels
3:32 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

A Decade In The Making, West Bank Barrier Is Nearly Complete

Ibrahim Shomali, a Palestinian priest, offers Communion under the olive trees of the Cremisan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This is part of a regular protest against Israeli plans to build a section of its West Bank barrier here, which would separate Palestinians from their agricultural lands.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 5:27 am

Israeli army Capt. Barak Raz climbs a metal staircase to the top of a high concrete wall that is part of Israel's West Bank barrier. From his perch, he overlooks both the Palestinian village of Bil'in and Modin Illit, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, with some 50,000 residents.

The barrier here used to be a fence. After many confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian villagers won a court case, and the fence was moved off some of their land. But since the barrier was moved closer to an Israeli settlement, it was rebuilt as a wall.

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It's All Politics
3:29 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 4:30 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
3:27 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 4:12 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
3:24 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 2:59 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
3:23 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Teachers In Moore Gather For 'Sharing And Healing'

Stacy Montgomery, pre-K teacher from Briarwood Elementary, grieves with fellow teachers at the informational meeting for Moore ISD teachers and administration.
Katie Hayes Luke NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:06 am

What was billed as an informational meeting for teachers turned into a session of sharing and healing.

"A lot of people in this district will need grief counseling, including myself," said Susan Pierce, the superintendent of public schools in Moore, Okla.

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It's All Politics
2:44 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Fears Of Killing Immigration Bill Doomed Same-Sex Amendment

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (center), listens to testimony during a hearing on the immigration bill on April 22.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:40 pm

After five marathon sessions debating 150 proposed amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a landmark rewriting of the nation's immigration laws this week — and the bill emerged largely intact.

Three Republicans voted with the panel's 10 Democrats on Tuesday night to forward the bill to the full Senate. That strong showing followed a wrenching choice for Democrats on the committee: whether to risk shattering support for the bill by amending it to recognize equal rights for same-sex couples.

How It Played Out

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The Salt
2:44 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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World Cafe
2:25 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Mount Moriah On World Cafe

Mount Moriah.
Andrew Synowiez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:05 am

Mount Moriah is a rock band formed around the duo of guitarist Jenks Miller and singer Heather McEntire. Its second full-length album, the recent Miracle Temple, combines the strum and twang of Southern rock with vocals that hit hard emotionally.

On this installment of World Cafe, host David Dye discusses with McEntire the complexity of Mount Moriah's sound, as well as her push to explore the nuances in her vocals.

The Two-Way
2:04 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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