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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

President Obama Hosts President Bush For Unveiling Of Official Portraits

Meetings of current, former and future presidents are uncommon, and this one, on Jan. 7, 2009, was a once-in-28-years affair. From left, George H.W. Bush joins then-President-elect Obama, then-President George W. Bush and fellow former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for lunch. It was the first time since 1981 that all living presidents had been together at the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 4:06 pm

In a rare moment of harmony in Washington, President Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of the couple's official portraits.

It's a tradition that dates back to 1800, when the White House acquired its first work of art: a full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.

During a ceremony in East Room of the White House, President Obama noted that fact saying that while Washington is constantly engulfed in partisan bickering, the "Presidency transcends those differences."

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Russia Is 'Propping Up' The Assad Regime, Secretary Clinton Says

By resisting efforts at the United Nations to bring concerted pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the killing in his country, Russia is "in effect, propping up the [Assad] regime at a time when we should be working on a political transition," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said earlier today in Copenhagen.

Clinton also told an audience that Russia's implicit support for Assad could "help contribute to a civil war" in Syria, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Elizabeth Warren Says She Told Schools Of Native American Heritage

Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 9:36 am

Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who is in a tight Senate race in Massachusetts against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, acknowledged for the first time that she told the law schools at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania of her Native American heritage.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Milwaukee Archdiocese Admits It Paid Abusive Priests To Leave Ministry

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shown at Ash Wednesday services at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in 2011.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:21 pm

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee admitted yesterday that it had paid abusive priests up to $20,000 to encourage them to leave the ministry.

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Author Interviews
10:59 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Internet: A Series Of 'Tubes' (And Then Some)

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 1:08 pm

Increasingly, Internet users are working "in the cloud" — creating and sending data that isn't stored on local hard drives. It's easy to imagine our emails and photos swirling around in cyberspace without a physical home — but that's not really how it works. Those files are still stored somewhere, but you can only find them if you know where to look.

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Movies
10:58 am
Thu May 31, 2012

2012: Not The Best Year At Cannes

Emmanuelle Riva co-stars in the French film Amour, which won the festival's Palme d'Or.
La Festival de Cannes

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 1:08 pm

John Powers, Fresh Air's critic-at-large and the movie critic for Vogue, returns from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival to share his thoughts on the films he liked and the films he didn't care for.

Though Powers says 2012 was not the best year at Cannes, the experience once again left him feeling rejuvenated about the movies.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:57 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Sick in America: Hispanics Grapple With Cost And Quality Of Care

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 1:27 pm

In our recent poll on what it means to be sick in America, one ethnic group stands out as having special problems – Hispanic Americans.

The national survey, conducted by NPR with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, sheds new light on Hispanics' health issues. It runs counter to the widespread impression that African-Americans are worst-off when it comes to the cost and quality of health care.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Defense Of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional, Federal Court Rules

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 11:05 am

"A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court," The Associated Press reports from Boston.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Thu May 31, 2012

What Tweets Do Politicians Delete? 'Politwoops' Can Tell You

Politwoops

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 11:01 am

Most of what they're catching isn't all that exciting, but the folks at the Sunlight Foundation have launched something that has the potential to expose elected officials and politicians as they try to hide embarrassing things that get on to their Twitter feeds.

Politwoops, Sunlight says, is "the only comprehensive collection of deleted tweets by U.S. politicians. From minor typos to major gaffes, Politwoops is now there to offer a searchable window into what they hoped you didn't see."

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Economy
10:06 am
Thu May 31, 2012

U.S. Economic Growth Falls Short Of Expectations

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with starts with some discouraging numbers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Middle East
9:37 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Preaching Nonviolence, Syrian Activist Heads Home

Sheik Jawdat Said, 81, has been urging nonviolent protest in Syria for decades, and has been arrested many times. A scholar and an activist, shown here speaking at American University in Washington in March, he is heading back to Syria this week and plans to resume his call for peaceful opposition to the government.
Jeff Watts American University

Syria's foremost proponent of nonviolent protest says he's returning to Damascus this week and will keep delivering his long-standing message despite the country's worsening bloodshed.

Sheik Jawdat Said is an 81-year-old Islamic scholar whose books and teachings helped inspire young Syrian activists to challenge the regime in peaceful protests last year.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu May 31, 2012

'We Could See This Coming,' Brother Says Of Man ID'd In Seattle Killings

This frame grab from a security camera, released by the Seattle Police Department, shows a man identified by his brother as Ian Stawicki after Wednesday's shooting at Cafe Racer.
Seattle Police Department AFP/Getty Images

The man who reportedly shot and killed five people Wednesday in Seattle, before taking his own life, changed about five years ago into a mentally ill individual who was "really angry toward everything," his brother tells The Seattle Times.

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Monkey See
7:53 am
Thu May 31, 2012

It's The Day Of The National Spelling Bee Finals, A.K.A. Know-Nothing Thursday!

Kitty Shortt spells a word correctly during the third round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee yesterday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:39 am

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. Today at 10:00 Eastern, they'll compete in the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN2), and then tonight at 8:00, they'll hold the finals (broadcast on ESPN). You can also follow an online streaming version at ESPN online, but to be honest, it's an extremely cumbersome process that I haven't yet gotten to work for me.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Job Growth Slow, Jobless Claims Up, GDP Revised Down

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 7:49 am

The number of jobs on private employers' payrolls grew by a modest 133,000 positions from April to May, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

ADP's monthly report is sometimes a decent barometer of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it issues its employment estimates. We're due to hear from BLS about the May employment situation on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Youngest Speller Is Out Of The Bee; Tripped Up By 'Ingluvies'

Six-year old Lori Anne Madison during Wednesday's competition at the National Spelling Bee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The youngest contestant ever in the National Spelling Bee, 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., was foiled by a word most of us have probably never heard of before.

Ingluvies.

Definition: "The crop, or craw, of birds."

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu May 31, 2012

A Family's Visit To Holocaust 'Stumbling Stones' Evokes Strong Emotions

The names of Jeffrey Katz's family members are depicted on "stumbling stones" in Lembeck, Germany. His relatives owned a home on the property near the stones, before they were evicted in 1942.
Jeffrey Katz NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:15 am

(NPR's Eric Westervelt reported from Germany on Morning Edition about the effort to remember Holocaust victims by engraving their names on bricks, or "stumbling stones," placed on sidewalks throughout Germany. Some of those stones bear the names of Jeffrey Katz's relatives.

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Around the Nation
6:29 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Youngest Speller Eliminated From Competition

Lori Anne Madison has been eliminated from this week's Scripps National Spelling Bee. At six years old, she's the youngest ever to compete.

Latin America
6:22 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Brazilian DJ Finds Being Green Isn't Easy

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
6:11 am
Thu May 31, 2012

LIVE: SpaceX Capsule Heads Home

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:03 pm

The Dragon capsule has successfully detached from the International Space Station and is headed toward a splashdown in the Pacific that should happen around 11:45 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Bloomberg Aims To Take Gulp Out Of Sugary Drinks With Ban On Big Ones

Bloomberg's got his sights on these.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 7:04 am

Having gone after smoking and artificial trans fats, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now has his eye on big sugary drinks.

As NY1 reports, the mayor:

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Around the Nation
5:44 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Legislation Could Thwart Return Of Holocaust Art

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 3:20 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Many families who lost artwork during the Holocaust have spent decades trying to reclaim their treasures. Now they could face a new obstacle: proposed legislation that would protect American museums from these families' claims. David Maxon of member station WNYC has more.

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Business
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 6:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business today is: Big Gulp. Actually, make that moderately-sized gulp.

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, which means a large Slurpee or a Grande Frappuccino, would still be legal. Restaurants, movie theaters, and food trucks would all have to abide by the rule, which is aimed at rising obesity rates. Fruit juices and alcoholic drinks would be exempt.

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Sports
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Americans Don't Fare Well Early In French Open

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's only the first week of the French Open tennis tournament and already it has been horrendous for the Americans. When the fading Andy Roddick lost in the first round, that was greeted with shrugs. Much more shocking was when Serena Williams also lost in the first round - the first time she's ever gone out that early in a major. Then yesterday her sister Venus was defeated as well in the second round. Sport Illustrated's Jon Wertheim is one American who's still standing at Roland Garros in Paris.

Jon, good morning.

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Pop Culture
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Incredible Hulk

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:52 am

Fifty years ago this month, comic book artists Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the Incredible Hulk to the world. The Hulk is the volatile alter ego of Dr. Bruce Banner, a physicist who's inadvertently exposed to radiation. As a result, whenever Dr. Banner gets angry or upset, he transforms into a giant, raging monster, capable of stunning feats of strength.

Around the Nation
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Black Voters Feel Targeted By Election Restrictions

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And the disputes over voter eligibility extend well beyond Florida. New voter ID laws, and other voting restrictions, have been enacted in a number of states since the last major election. And that has raised special concern among African-Americans, who feel they are being targeted.

Black church leaders and the Congressional Black Caucus met yesterday here in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to make sure African-American voters aren't discouraged from turning out in November.

Here's NPR's Pam Fessler.

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Asia
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Chinese Security Forces Round Up Tibetan Protesters

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:42 am

In recent days, three Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule. In the past year, it's been reported that more than 30 people have set themselves on fire and most have died. Renee Montagne talks to Robert Barnett, an expert on Tibet, for more on why Tibetans have been protesting Chinese repression by setting themselves on fire.

It's All Politics
2:40 am
Thu May 31, 2012

World War II Vet Caught Up In Florida's Voter Purge Controversy

Bill Internicola, a 91-year-old veteran of World War II, was one of the voters targeted by Florida as a potential noncitizen. Internicola was ordered to prove his citizenship or lose the right to vote. He is flanked by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, who called on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to stop the purge of voter rolls immediately.
Taimy Alvarez MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:56 pm

Bill Internicola, a 91-yar-old World War II veteran, was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now lives in Florida's Broward County. He recently received a letter from county elections officials asking him to show proof he was a U.S. citizen or be removed from the voting rolls.

Internicola says he was "flabbergasted."

"To me, it's like an insult," he says. "They sent me a form to fill out. And I filled out the form and I sent it back to them with a copy of my discharge paper and a copy of my tour of duty in the ETO, which is the European Theater of Operations."

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The Picture Show
2:38 am
Thu May 31, 2012

On The Way Back To Base: 'We're Gonna Get Shot At'

Sgt. Kyle Gonzales, a sniper with the 82nd Airborne, smokes a cigarette after a battle near the village of Babaker, Ghazni province. The soldiers have been engaged in gun battles every time they push into the hamlets north of their forward operating base.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:01 pm

U.S. and Afghan forces are fighting to gain control of a major crossroads in a part of Afghanistan that has seen so few NATO troops that one village elder mistook the Americans for Russians — from the long-ago Soviet war.

"It's an absolutely crucial area," says NPR photographer David Gilkey, who has been embedded with U.S. troops involved in the offensive in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province.

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Religion
2:37 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Catholic Abuse Case Going To Jury In Philadelphia

Monsignor William Lynn leaves the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia in March.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 4:21 am

In a Philadelphia courtroom, jurors are hearing closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse, specifically, conspiracy and children endangerment.

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Election 2012
2:36 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Fine Political Art Of Jobs Forecasting

A sign outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chesterland, Ohio, advertises job openings earlier this month.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 7:17 am

Friday is jobs day, when the federal government releases its monthly unemployment report. It's also just about five months before the presidential election.

When the two presidential contenders talk about unemployment, they're trying to balance their rhetoric between optimism, pessimism and reality.

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