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The Salt
5:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Clean Your Grill, And Other Hot Holiday Tips From Food Network's Alton Brown

Food science guy Alton Brown says the last thing you want to see is flames touching food on the grill.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 1:40 pm

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon in the kick-off segment of Weekend Edition's "Taste of Summer" series.

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Election 2012
4:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Can May Polls Predict A November Winner?

Mitt Romney greets guests after addressing the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

A Quinnipiac University poll out this week found Mitt Romney with a 6-point lead over President Obama in Florida. That would seem to be very good news for the presumptive Republican nominee in what may be the biggest swing state this fall.

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Author Interviews
4:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

'Istanbul': A Twisted Tale Of Foreign Espionage

Atria Books

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

The big war is over, and the Cold War has just begun. Leon Bauer, an American tobacco man, wonders how to fit into this new world.

Bauer and his wife, Anna, a German Jew, made it to Istanbul just before World War II began. With his U.S. passport and fluency in German and Turkish, the tobacco man became useful to allied intelligence.

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Latin America
4:17 am
Sat May 26, 2012

From Canada Down To Argentina, The Oil Flows

Like countries throughout the Americas, Argentina is feverishly drilling for oil and gas. Workers are shown here at a derrick in the desert in southern Argentina.
Juan Forero for NPR

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 7:12 pm

As the wind whips across the scrub grass in southern Argentina, a crane unloads huge bags of artificial sand for oil workers preparing for the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of a well.

Water mixed with chemicals and tiny ceramic beads are then blasted underground at high pressure. This mixture helps create fissures, allowing oil and natural gas to flow.

Energy analysts believe there are billions of barrels of oil and gas buried in a desert-like patch in Patagonia.

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Music Interviews
4:17 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Cadence Weapon: A Poet Hones A Musical Personality

Hope in Dirt City is the third album by Cadence Weapon, the performing name of Canadian poet Rollie Pemberton.
Evan Prosofsky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

Rollie Pemberton is a poet — in fact, he was poet laureate of his hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, for a couple of years. That meant he was expected to write three poems a year about events in a town sometimes nicknamed "Dirt City." But outside of Edmonton, Pemberton is better known under a different name: Cadence Weapon, the hip-hop artist.

In poetry and song, Pemberton finds inspiration, tough and otherwise, in his Edmonton roots. The latest Cadence Weapon album, his third, is called Hope in Dirt City.

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Europe
4:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Even Soccer Teams Are Feeling The Pinch In Spain

Spain's soccer teams are feeling the crunch of debt, too. But rich, winning teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona — seen here playing in April — are the most likely to stay in the game.
Denis Doyle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 1:32 pm

One of the ways Spaniards console themselves amid their failing economy is with their beloved sport of soccer. If you can't afford tickets to a game, it's always on TV in your local bar.

"For an escape from work, economic problems — just enjoy it and support your team," says soccer fan Ivan Rassuli, who's having a beer as he watches a match at a bar. "Everybody likes football. Maybe like the NBA or baseball in the United States."

But futbol, as Spaniards call soccer, has followed the same sorry trajectory as Spain's economy.

Failure To Pay Taxes

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Around the Nation
4:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Chicago Ward Gives Budgetary Power To The People

In Chicago's Rogers Park, Alderman Joe Moore handed the purse strings over to his constituents.
Melissa Beck Groundwork

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 1:53 pm

Chicago's 49th Ward is better known as Rogers Park. It's a neighborhood of middle-class houses and apartment buildings, home to Loyola University. It's known for diversity and an affordable, laid-back kind of cool.

But the 49th has a new claim to fame: In 2009, the ward's alderman, Joe Moore, became the first elected official in the country to hand over the purse strings to his constituents. Three years later, the experiment is still attracting new residents to planning meetings.

Forming Ideas

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Law
4:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Chicago Outsider Busted Crime With Apolitical Flare

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald speaks to reporters during a news conference Thursday in Chicago. Fitzgerald announced he would step down.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 12:16 pm

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who went after the Gambino crime family, al-Qaida and even the White House in court — not to mention several Illinois politicians — is leaving his job as U.S. attorney in Chicago.

The career prosecutor, known as "Eliot Ness with a Harvard degree," will leave a legacy as a tenacious corruption buster, though some criticize his style as overzealous.

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U.S.
4:15 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Delayed At The Airport? They're Working On It

An air traffic controller works at the Atlanta TRACON, or terminal radar approach control, facility in Peachtree City, Ga. The FAA's NextGen program will modernize the air traffic control system, transforming it from radar to GPS-based technology.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:52 am

When the summer travel season begins, airline passengers typically brace for delays as vacationers fly in larger numbers and the inevitable weather-related disruptions occur.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the nationwide system of air traffic control, is hoping to make some of those delays a thing of the past. It's developing what it calls "Next Generation" technology. The NextGen program will modernize the air traffic control system, transforming it from radar to GPS-based technology.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:58 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: David Alan Grier, Sacha Baron Cohen

In Porgy and Bess, David Alan Grier plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role closely associated with Sammy Davis Jr. and Cab Calloway.
Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:02 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:


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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Observing Memorial Day

People walk through a portion of the Boston Common covered with American flags on Wednesday.
Steven Senne AP

Like many Americans, we plan to take Memorial Day off. And while a three-day weekend is always fun, this holiday is a somber one.

We were reminded of that reading an Op-Ed from Tom Manion in today's Wall Street Journal. Manion served in the military for 30 years and his son, Travis Manion, was killed in Iraq when he was just 26-years-old.

Manion delivers an emotional piece that attempts to answer a complex question: Why do they serve?

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The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

What's In A Smile? Turns Out Computers Best Humans At Parsing What's Genuine

A study participant smiles for different reasons.
MIT

Did you know most people smile when they are frustrated?

Look at this picture:

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

CBS, NBC, Fox Battle Dish Network In Court Over Ad-Skipping DVR

This image provided by Dish Network shows a screen message of the AutoHop feature, which allows customers to skip over commercials.
AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:40 pm

Does Dish Network have the right to offer a commercial-free experience for its customers? Or does that infringe on broadcasters' copyrights?

As you might expect, CBS, NBC and Fox are not very happy at the prospect and filed suit yesterday against the TV provider to stop it from rolling out its "AutoHop" service.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:41 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Keep Kids Away From Laundry Detergent Packs

A label on a package of Tide laundry detergent packets warns parents to keep them away from children. Nearly 250 cases of illness from such packets have been reported to poison control centers this year.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 9:19 am

Something that looks good enough to eat can sometimes turns out to be a really big mistake.

Take those small, brightly colored single-use packs of laundry detergent that are becoming popular. To a curious toddler or small child, they look like candy.

But once inside childrens' mouths, the tempting packs can burst, releasing a concentrated blast of irriitating detergent. Already this year there have been at least 250 cases of illness from the packs reported to poison control centers across the country.

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The Impact of War
2:37 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Putting The Post-Deployment Family Back Together

Kevin Ross, 31, says the ADAPT parenting program has helped him and his family communicate more effectively.
Jeffrey Thompson MPR

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

When parents deploy to a war zone overseas, their absence can have ripple effects that are felt long after they return. Parents and their children often struggle to figure out how to be a family again after leading separate lives for months or years. Now, there's an effort to make the transition from combat life to home life less rocky.

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Parallel Lives
2:28 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Obama, Romney On Health Care: So Close, Yet So Far

President Obama is applauded after signing the health care overhaul during a ceremony in the White House on March 23, 2010. Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs a Massachusetts health care overhaul at Faneuil Hall in Boston on April 12, 2006.
Win McNamee/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at one of those similarities: They both signed health care overhaul laws based on an individual mandate.

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Asia
2:24 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

A Tweet, A Year In A Labor Camp, And Now An Appeal

Fang Hong is seeking compensation for the year he spent in a Chinese labor camp — his sentence for a scatological tweet that mocked politician Bo Xilai and Police Chief Wang Lijun.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

This is the tale of a single tweet and its far-reaching consequences in China.

In April 2011, retired forestry official Fang Hong posted a scatological tweet, mocking a powerful Chinese politician, Bo Xilai, the Chongqing party secretary.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Spanish Lender Requests $24 Billion Bailout

Spanish bank Bankia's headquarters in Madrid. Spain's fourth-biggest bank, Bankia asked the government for a 19 billion euro bailout.
Pierre-Phillippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 6:44 pm

A troubled Spanish lender has asked the government for 19 billion euros ($24 billion) of public money to keep the bank from collapsing.

As The New York Times reports, this is far beyond what the government was expecting when it took over Bankia and "its portfolio of delinquent real estate loans."

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Music Interviews
2:09 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

In A Clouded World, The CD Can 'Stay'

Twelve years after uploading his band's songs on MP3.com, Jim's Big Ego lead singer Jim Infantino (center) still thinks digital music is "pretty neat."
Liz Linder Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

Twelve years ago on All Things Considered, we presented the story of a Boston band that was trying something new to get its tunes to fans: Jim's Big Ego took its recorded music to potential listeners by way of the Internet.

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Monkey See
2:03 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

'Route 66': A Country-Crisscrossing Series Comes To Home Video

Shout! Factory

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

When you've seen a lot of movies where Toronto plays the part of New York, you come to appreciate location shooting. And on today's All Things Considered, you'll hear from the star of one of television's more ambitious series when it comes to location shooting: Route 66, which followed two guys around the country in a cool Corvette as they looked for a place to settle.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

U.N. Nuclear Watchdog Finds Traces Of More Highly Enriched Uranium In Iran

In its periodic report on Iran's nuclear program, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog said it found traces of uranium enriched to a level higher than it had previously reported.

NPR's Mike Shuster filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"When International Atomic Energy Agency monitors carry out routine inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, they take environmental samples to help them determine the nature of uranium enrichment underway.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:27 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Backers Of Cost-Free Coverage For Birth Control Fault Legal Challenges

Andrew Shaw iStockphoto.com

You know all those lawsuits now pending around the country charging that the Obama administration's rule requiring most health insurance plans to offer no-cost contraception is a violation of religious freedom?

Well, a whole bunch of supporters of the rule are chiming in now to say that argument has no legal merit.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:58 am
Fri May 25, 2012

MIT Builds A Needle-Free Drug Injector

MIT

The needle and syringe are icons of modern medicine.

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It's All Politics
11:39 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Inhale To The Chief: More Details Of Obama's Pot-Smoking Youth Revealed

A Punahou School yearbook class photo from 1976 that includes the 9th grader who would grow up to become President Obama, but not before he smoked a lot of pot first.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 2:37 pm

The first sneak peak a few weeks back inside journalist David Maraniss' highly anticipated biography of President Obama served up glimpses of the president as a young man in romantic relationships, with information gleaned from early girlfriends.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Fri May 25, 2012

'Football To Fight Against War': South Sudan Joins FIFA

After decades of war, football signals hope. In this photo, South Sudanese soldiers travel by truck near the frontline with Sudan on April 24.
Goran Tomasevic Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 11:43 am

For South Sudan, 2011 was monumental. After decades of war, South Sudan became its own nation.

But as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has told us, that process of emerging from a conflict with its northern neighbor that left it poor and isolated, has been fraught with more fighting.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Cleared Of Rape Conviction, California Man Remains 'Unbroken'

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

  • Brian Banks on Southern California Public Radio

Five years in prison. Then five years of probation and wearing an electronic monitoring device. The shame of being a registered sex offender. Not being able to get a job. His dream of playing in the NFL destroyed, possibly forever.

Brian Banks, now 26, has gone through all that.

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Politics
11:35 am
Fri May 25, 2012

It's All Politics, May 24, 2012

John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 11:56 am

This week, Ken Rudin and Ron Elving discuss Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker criticizing the president's tactics on Bain Capital, the Tea Party's goals in next week's Texas Senate primary, and general dysfunction in D.C. In other words, it's the Booker "Tea" Washington edition of the podcast.

It's All Politics
11:35 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Friday Night Fight In Wisconsin: First Debate Before Looming Recall

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker campaigns Thursday with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in Waukesha, Wis.
Darren Hauck Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:11 pm

The divisive battle to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker moves into its final phase in coming days with debates, a continuing flood of out-of-state ad money, and polls that suggest the incumbent is poised to fend off Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.

Here's a look at where things stand between the Republican Walker and Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, heading into Friday night's televised debate, the first of two before the June 5 rematch. (Walker defeated Barrett in the 2010 governor's race, 52.2 percent to 46.5 percent.)

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Ban Ki-moon: There's No Plan B For Syria

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on Wednesday, shows Syrians carrying the coffin of Suleiman Kharma who was allegedly killed by security forces during the unrest in Qusayr in central Homs province.
AFP/Getty Images

By any definition, the situation in Syria is atrocious with an estimated 10,000 people killed since the uprising started more than a year ago. The latest international effort to reach a ceasefire is on the ropes.

And, last night, during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon seem to give little hope for a resolution.

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Music Reviews
10:06 am
Fri May 25, 2012

James Burton: The Teen Who Invented American Guitar

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

What were you doing when you were 16?

When he was 16, James Burton was inventing the American guitar. He'd been born in Dubberly, La., in 1939, and was apparently self-taught on his instrument. At 15, he cut a single backing local singer Carol Williams, and then one day he came up with a guitar riff that he liked. He took it to a singer from Shreveport he was touring with, and they worked out a song to use in his act. One thing led to another, and it wound up on a record called "Suzie Q," credited to Dale Hawkins, the singer.

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