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Crisis In The Housing Market
3:30 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Will Credit Be The Spoiler In Housing Recovery?

The housing market is finally showing signs of a comeback, according to an annual study from Harvard. But, though mortgage interest rates are at record lows, banks are often too cautious to lend.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:04 am

Amid all the economic uncertainty over the credit crisis in Europe and slow job growth in the U.S., one sector may be looking up. The U.S. housing market is finally showing more signs of recovery, according to a report being released Thursday by Harvard University.

Harvard comes out with this study once a year, and this time around, it's painting a much brighter picture.

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The Record
1:48 am
Thu June 14, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like Prince

Prince performing at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, Calif., in 1985.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 2:00 pm

I was born in 1970, sprung from one of the most aspirational generations America has ever produced: The Hip-Hop Nation. With decades of rap music anthems dedicated to our fantastical transition from poverty to prosperity, we rarely celebrate our wealth without looking back on our meager beginnings. The American Dream, for us, always represents the possibility of success and affluence on our own terms — with a watchful eye toward our hardscrabble origins.

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The Two-Way
6:21 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Henry Hill, Mobster Portrayed In 'Goodfellas,' Dies

Henry Hill sits in the dining room of the Firefly restaurant in North Platte, Neb. in 2005.
Nati Harnik AP

Henry Hill, the mobster whose life became world famous after it was chronicled in the film Goodfellas, has died at a Los Angeles hospital after a long illness.

NPR's Mandalit Del Barco filed this obituary for our Newscast unit:

"The story of Hill — how he worked for a New York mafia family, murdering enemies and burying bodies — was first chronicled in the book Wiseguy.

"The book became a movie in 1990, directed by Martin Scorcese.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

An Unexpected Discovery: A Tropical Methane Lake On Saturn's Titan

Scientists said it was an "unexpected" discovery: There's a liquid methane filled lake near the equator of Saturn's moon Titan.

Scientists had seen lakes on Titan before, but they didn't expect them near the equator because they believed the intensity of the sun at those latitudes would evaporate the liquid.

"This discovery was completely unexpected because lakes are not stable at tropical latitudes," planetary scientist Caitlin Griffith of the University of Arizona, who led the discovery team, told the AP.

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Parallel Lives
4:56 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Romney As Governor: Confrontation, One Big Deal

Mitt Romney, then the governor-elect of Massachusetts, walks into the House chambers during inaugural ceremonies at the Statehouse in Boston, on Jan. 2, 2003.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 12:30 pm

Whether President Obama or Republican Mitt Romney comes out on top in November, the man who occupies the Oval Office next year will bring exactly four years of experience as a top political executive.

Obama has gotten his experience in the White House; Romney got his as governor of Massachusetts, from 2003 to 2007.

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Sports
4:56 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

New Doping Charges Filed Against Lance Armstrong

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 6:32 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. There's news today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, or USADA, has brought formal doping charges against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. USADA is the body that fights performance-enhancing drug use in Olympic sports.

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The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Alleged Victim Says Sandusky Issued Threats To Keep Him Quiet

On the third day of the trial against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, jurors heard more graphic testimony.

One of the alleged victims identified as "Victim 10," testified that after Sandusky had sexually abused him when he was in the seventh grade, he threatened him.

MSNBC reports:

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

VIDEO: Airborne Launch Sends X-Ray Observatory Into Earth Orbit

This artist's illustration shows what NuSTAR should look like in orbit after its 30-foot-long mast deployed.
JPL-Caltech NASA

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 8:30 pm

A NASA mission aimed at surveying black holes and supernovae, among other things, launched successfully today at noon ET from beneath the belly of a wide-body jet flying approximately 40,000 feet above a darkened Pacific Ocean.

The 772-pound NuSTAR X-ray observatory was carried into an equatorial orbit about 400 miles above the Earth by a Pegasus rocket, which fired its three-stage motor for 13 minutes after being dropped by the L-1011 jet.

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It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Romney, Obama: When Wooing Female Voters, Check Marital Status First

A voter casts her ballot in Stow, Ohio, during the March 6 primary.
David Maxwell EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 9:20 am

What do women want, electorally speaking?

We know that women, like men, are "not some monolithic bloc," to quote the current occupant of the White House.

But as a group they are reliably influential voters, more risk-averse than men, and — pollsters tell us — generally more likely than the opposite sex to vote for Democrats, oppose the use of military force and support government programs.

In 2008, unmarried women, one of the nation's fastest-growing demographic groups, were a key to Barack Obama's presidential win.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:52 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Surgery Restores Sexual Function In Women With Genital Mutilation

French surgeon Pierre Foldes in his Paris office in 2004. Foldes performs reconstructive surgery on women who have undergone genital mutilation. He recently authored a study on the long-term effects of the surgery.
Jean Ayissi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 11:58 pm

Female genital mutilation is still remarkably common — mainly in Africa, but also in some countries in Asia and the Middle East and in immigrant communities in Europe and the U.S.

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Europe
3:49 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

French First Lady Sets Country A-Twitter

French President Francois Hollande's companion, Valerie Trierweiler (left), has sparked a political uproar in France, with a tweet in support of a candidate running against Segolene Royal (right), Hollande's former partner and the mother of his four children.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 7:16 pm

Europe may be in major financial and political turmoil, but in France, it's a tweet that has the country in an uproar.

The political storm erupted Tuesday when first lady Valerie Trierweiler tweeted her support for a candidate running in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

That may sound harmless, but the candidate she encouraged is running to unseat prominent politician Segolene Royal, the former partner of President Francois Hollande and the mother of his four children.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

US Anti-Doping Agency Brings Formal Charges Against Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong arrives at a training session during a rest day of the 2010 Tour de France.
Nathalie Magniez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 5:22 pm

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has brought formal doping charges against cyclist Lance Armstrong.

The Washington Post, which broke the story, reports that as a result "Armstrong has been immediately banned from competition in triathlons."

The Post adds:

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Justice Department Is Dropping Case Against Edwards

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 3:49 pm

The Justice Department is walking away from its case against John Edwards.

Federal prosecutors have announced they will not retry the former Democratic presidential candidate on campaign finance charges. The decision comes soon after jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Government lawyers asked Judge Catherine Eagles to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning they will not take another bite at the apple and try to resurrect their high profile case.

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It's All Politics
3:07 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Fla. Gov. Rick Scott Defends Efforts To Clear Noncitizens From Voter Rolls

"Not one U.S. citizen has been eliminated from the voter rolls," Florida Gov. Rick Scott tells NPR's Michel Martin. "Not one."
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 5:48 pm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is defending his effort to prevent non-U.S. citizens from voting in his state after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to stop him on Tuesday.

Scott told NPR's Michel Martin on Tell Me More Wednesday that after learning his state didn't verify the citizenship status of registered voters, he's trying to ensure that the ballots of U.S. citizens aren't diminished:

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Shots - Health Blog
2:48 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Finally, A Map Of All The Microbes On Your Body

Ayodhya Ouditt NPR

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 9:30 am

Scientists Wednesday unveiled the first catalog of the bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that populate every nook and cranny of the human body.

Researchers hope the advance marks an important step towards understanding how microbes help make humans human.

The human body contains about 100 trillion cells, but only maybe one in 10 of those cells is actually — human. The rest are from bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

'That's A Clown Question, Bro' Or The Rhetorical Comeback Rounding Twitter

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper prepares to bat during a baseball game with the New York Mets on June 5 in Washington.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 7:04 pm

If Twitter has its way, "That's a clown question, bro" will join "Don't tase me, bro" in the annals of popular rhetorical comebacks.

"That's a clown question, bro" comes from 19-year-old baseball phenom Bryce Harper. That's what he told a Canadian journalist yesterday, following his second three-hit game in a row.

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Sports
1:53 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Pacquiao Fight Raises Questions About Sports Calls

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Last Saturday night, Manny Pacquiao moved quicker across the ring in Las Vegas, landed more punches than Timothy Bradley and many more heavy blows. Fans, experts, the TV commentators all agreed the man widely considered the best boxer in the world dominated the fight. And then the judges shocked everyone, and Pacquiao's amazing seven-year win streak was over. Controversial decisions are hardly new to boxing or to sports in general.

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It's All Politics
1:21 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Obama Team: Household Net Worth Actually Rose During His Presidency

Obama administration officials pointed to the 56 percent rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since January 2009, and rising 401(k) values as evidence that the personal balance sheets of many Americans have improved during his presidency.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 2:12 pm

The nearly 40 percent drop in median household net worth between 2007 and 2010 the Federal Reserve reported earlier this week was unarguably an arresting statistic. It confirmed for millions what they already knew, that the Great Recession and its aftermath have been a financial setback with few parallels.

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Politics
1:04 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

June Primaries Set Stage For Senate Control

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:49 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Cornyn calls for Holder's head. Giffords hands off to Barber. And the president trips over unemployment. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Doing fine...

CONAN: ...edition of the political junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

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Middle East
1:04 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Reporting From A Rapidly-Deteriorating Syria

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:51 pm

NPR's Deborah Amos followed a team of U.N. observers in Syria in June before returning to Damascus, and has been reporting on the latest developments in the region. NPR's Neal Conan speaks with Amos about her experiences reporting from Damascus and what she's seen on the ground.

Television
1:04 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

'Push Girls' Wheel Chairs Through Life And Love

Tiphany Adams, Chelsie Hill, Angela Rockwood, Auti Angel and Mia Schaikewitz make up the cast of Push Girls.
Greg Zook

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 8:39 am

At 15, Mia Schaikewitz was a star on her high school swim team, when a blood vessel ruptured in her spine and left her paralyzed from the waist down. In 1992, Auti Angel was a professional hip hop dancer when the impact of a car crash severed her spinal cord and left her a paraplegic.

Schaikewitz and Angel are two of four friends featured on the new Sundance Channel reality show Push Girls, which hopes to defy the stereotypes of women in wheelchairs.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

CNN Is Canceling Politics Show 'John King, USA'

Moderator from CNN John King speaks to the crowd before a Republican presidential debate.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 2:01 pm

CNN, which has been battered in the ratings game, announced today that it was canceling its politics show "John King, USA."

Wolf Blitzer's "The Situation Room" will expand to three hours at the end of this month to cover the gap.

The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Metallica's James Hetfield Makes PSA For FBI To Help Find Fan's Killer

New sketches of the suspect in Morgan Harrington's murder and a sexual assault.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 4:08 pm

James Hetfield, lead singer and guitarist for the heavy metal band Metallica, makes a straight-forward appeal for help in finding a fan's killer in a new public service ad produced for the FBI, Virginia and local law enforcement agencies.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

New Research: U.S. Is Warming, But Not Uniformly

In red, are the states that have seen the highest temperature change.
Climate Central

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 4:09 pm

New analysis (pdf) of climate data finds that since 1912, the United States has warmed 1.3 degrees. But that warming is concentrated in certain states, some of which have "warmed 60 times faster than the 10 slowest-warming states."

All of that is according to Climate Central, a research and journalism non-profit that seeks to inform the public about climate and energy. The center looked at data from the National Climatic Data Center's U.S. Historical Climatology Network.

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It's All Politics
12:05 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

International Skinny On The U.S. Election

President Obama climbs the podium to give a media briefing at the end of a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, on Nov. 20, 2010.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 12:54 pm

If it's true that America now resides smack dab in the middle of an interdependent global village, then we should probably pay attention to what other countries think about us — our values, our leadership and the presidential election of 2012.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Wed June 13, 2012

JPMorgan Execs Who Bungled Billions May Have To Return Bonuses, Stock

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon during his testimony today on Capitol Hill.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Along with saying, again, that his bank "let a lot of people down" when it lost more than $2 billion, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon added this prediction during his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee this morning:

"It's likely that there will be clawbacks."

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The Salt
11:16 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Libyan Menu Prompts The Question: Camel, Anyone?

A Bedouin who says he's eaten camel 22 times in a month poses with a camel outside a makeshift protest camp off the highway on the road between Sirte and Al-Sidra.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 3:00 pm

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road trip from Tunisia to Cairo to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves.

He's also sharing with us here at The Salt what he's been eating.

Dear Salt,

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Movie Interviews
11:16 am
Wed June 13, 2012

At The Heart Of 'Your Sister's Sister,' A Love Triangle

Iris (Emily Blunt, left) invites her best friend Jack to her family's vacation home after a death in his family. Unbeknownst to him, Iris' sister Hannah (Rosemary DeWitt) is already there, in the hopes of getting over a breakup.
IFC Films

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 4:27 pm

Lynn Shelton's 2009 movie Humpday was about two straight men making a gay-porn movie to win an amateur film competition. It might not have reached a mass audience, but Humpday was noticed by other directors and producers, including Matthew Weiner, who offered Shelton a job directing an episode of Mad Men.

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Fresh Food
11:16 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Fermentation': When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good

Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. "Bacteria in our gut enable us to live," says author Sandor Katz. "We could not survive without bacteria."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 2:48 pm

The list of fermented food in our lives is staggering: bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and soy sauce are all transformed at some point during their production process by microscopic organisms that extend their usefulness and enhance their flavors.

The process of fermenting our food isn't a new one: Evidence indicates that early civilizations were making wine and beer between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago — and bread even before that.

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Music Reviews
11:16 am
Wed June 13, 2012

The Untold Story Of Singer Bobby Charles

Singer, songwriter and swamp-pop pioneer Bobby Charles poses for a portrait in 1972.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:31 pm

When he was around 13, Robert Charles Guidry began singing with a band around his hometown of Abbeville, La., deep in the Cajun swamps. The group played Cajun and country music and, after he passed through town and played a show, Fats Domino's music. It was a life-changing experience for the young man, and he found himself with a new ambition: to write a song for Fats.

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