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2:22 am
Fri April 20, 2012

As Workers Age, Oil Industry Braces For Skills Gap

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The rig's crew were new to their positions just before the explosion. Such staffing reorganizations are increasingly common as the industry grapples with a staffing shortage.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 8:11 am

Two years after the Deepwater Horizon accident killed 11 men and sent oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the oil industry says it has learned valuable lessons from the disaster that are making drilling safer today.

But there's still a pressing issue looming for the oil industry: Oil field workers are retiring in huge numbers, leaving a workforce that's younger and — more importantly — less experienced.

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It's All Politics
2:22 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Ann Romney Takes Center Stage In Tug-Of-War For Female Voters

Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks at his Nevada caucus victory celebration in Las Vegas on Feb. 4.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 6:57 am

For the past two weeks, the campaigns of both President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney have accused each other of waging a war on women. But what's really going on is a war for women's votes.

The president, like Democrats before him, has an advantage with female voters — who make up 53 percent of the American electorate. Romney is trying to close the gender gap by using his most powerful and popular surrogate: his wife.

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It's All Politics
6:05 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Congress' Approval Rating Recovers Slightly

U.S. Capitol dome.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:14 pm

Americans seem happier with Congress these days. That's what Gallup's two latest polls show: Congress, with an approval rating of 17 percent, has gained a whole seven points since February.

Still, they shouldn't get too cocky on the Hill, because this just means that 79 percent of Americans disapprove of the institution. That's down from a record high 86 percent in December of 2011. We suppose that's like saying in December almost everyone disapproved of Congress and now mostly everyone disapproves.

Here's Gallup's historical chart of Congress' approval rating:

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Sports
5:34 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

A Century Of Joy And Heartbreak At Fenway Park

The flag covers the Green Monster as the national anthem is played before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on April 16 at Fenway Park in Boston.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 11:09 am

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about Fenway Park. A century after it was built, fans still gush about this "lyric little bandbox," as John Updike called it. To guys like Ed Carpenter, Fenway is history and home, magic and mystique.

"I love this place," he says, tearing up. "I mean, it's not mortar and bricks and seats."

Carpenter first started coming to Fenway with his dad in 1949, when he was 6.

"We walked up this ramp right behind this home plate," he recalls. "I can still see everything was green, emerald green. It was love at first sight."

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

In A Closed Ohio Factory, Romney Reminds Voters, 'It's Still Empty'

A campaign worker hangs a sign at a campaign stop for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Lorain, Ohio, on Thursday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:31 pm

GOP front-runner Mitt Romney is matching President Obama's recent appearance in the key swing state of Ohio while intensifying his rhetoric, attacking the president's record on the economy.

For the second day in a row, Romney used his location on the campaign trail to send a message.

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Sister Simone Campbell: Vatican Reprimand 'Like A Sock In The Stomach'

Simone Campbell.
Network Lobby

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:06 pm

"Quite frankly, it's very visceral. It's like a sock in the stomach."

That's what Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, said when NPR's Melissa Block asked her what her reaction was to a Vatican reprimand issued yesterday.

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Latin America
4:13 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Ignoring Critics, Argentina To Nationalize Oil Firm

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez holds a petroleum sample as she announces plans for her government to nationalize a giant oil company that is largely owned by a private Spanish company, Repsol. Behind her is an image of the country's former first lady, Eva Peron.
Daniel Garcia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:39 am

It's sounds like a story from the past: A Latin American leader announces plans to nationalize a large foreign company, touching off a high-stakes battle that involves money, politics and diplomacy.

Yet it's happening right now. Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez said this week that her country plans to take over a giant Spanish oil company at a time when the economies in both countries are facing challenges.

Spanish officials are threatening to retaliate against Argentina for seizing a majority of shares in the biggest oil company in Argentina, YPF.

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Sports
4:06 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Fenway Park Celebrates 100 Years Of Baseball

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 2:30 pm

The nation's oldest ball park is turning 100. Boston's Fenway Park has been home to the Red Sox through some of baseball's greatest highs and most heartbreaking lows. The park also narrowly escaped the fate of similar old stadiums that were torn down.

Business
4:06 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

TV Goes To The Dogs At Home Alone

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new TV channel is going to the dogs.

BECKY LUBEACH: It is TV that is shot from a dog's perspective.

CORNISH: That's Becky Lubeach of DOGTV.

LUBEACH: It's been enhanced, that the colors that they see pop out. And the music has all been composed for them.

CORNISH: In other words, entertainment made not for you, but for your stay-at-home hound. No sitcoms about dogs. No "Jersey Shore," no ads either.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Shots - Health Blog
4:05 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Doctors Group Tells Patients To Go For Cheaper, High-Value Treatments

Got a backache? You can probably skip that pricey scan.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:30 am

The American College of Physicians is urging patients with newly diagnosed diabetes and back pain not to opt for the latest-and-supposedly-greatest.

It's part of a new campaign to steer patients (and their doctors) to what the College of Physicians calls "high value care," and away from expensive tests and treatments that aren't any better — and often are worse.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Think Like A Man,' And We'll See What Happens

Mya (Meagan Good), while dating Zeke (Romany Malco), follows the do's and don't's of dating advice from comedian Steve Harvey's real-world self-help book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
Alan Markfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 5:06 pm

Oy, the things daters have to worry about these days. Not just how to dress, act and turn "no" into "go," but how not to become a chirp-chirp girl.

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Sports
3:49 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Bahrain Prepares Grand Prix Despite Expected Protests

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Another country hoping to revive one of its marquee sporting events is Bahrain. Formula 1's Bahrain Grand Prix was called off last year during the Arab Spring demonstrations. The international racing event brings in half a billion dollars to Bahrain and draws more than 100 million TV viewers around the world. This year's race is set for Sunday despite plans by anti-government protesters to target the event. For more, I'm joined by Ryan McGee. He's a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Hey there, Ryan.

RYAN MCGEE: Hi. How are you?

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Education
3:48 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Alabama School Strife Strikes Outside Of Class

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:34 pm

Alabama is near the bottom of the country's academic rankings. The state has problems with test scores, school improvement ratings and dropouts. But the district in Birmingham has a different kind of issue. The state recently took over the school board because of infighting on the board. The move has triggered cries of racism.

Politics
3:42 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Conservative Group Criticized For Tax-Exempt Status

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:34 pm

Yum Brands, the company that owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, says it's the latest corporation to break ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council — a group that brings state lawmakers and corporate lobbyists together to write legislation.

Liberal groups are pressuring corporations to abandon ALEC, and a dozen companies have now dropped out.

This week, ALEC did some damage control. It said it is shutting down its task force on public safety and elections, which wrote controversial measures on voter ID, "stand your ground" and immigration reform.

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Presidential Race
3:41 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Romney, Obama Give Dueling Speeches In Ohio

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:36 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. Lorain County, Ohio, is getting a lot of political love this week. Yesterday, President Obama spoke at a community college there, and today, it was Mitt Romney's turn. He spoke at a shuttered gypsum factory. NPR's Ari Shapiro joins me now from Lorain County. And, Ari, why Lorain? What's so special about it?

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Religion
3:31 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Vatican Criticizes Nuns' Stance On Social Issues

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:34 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Vatican has clamped down on the largest group of Catholic nuns in the U.S., citing what it calls grave concerns about serious doctrinal problems. The Holy See says the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR, has promoted radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some programs. And it has named an archbishop to oversee the nuns and approve their work. In a statement, the LCWR says it is stunned by the Vatican's conclusions and will prepare a response.

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Food
3:27 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

The Well-Dressed Salad: Tips For Keeping It Fresh

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 4:42 pm

Over on The Salt, NPR's Dan Charles has tracked the efforts of salad-green companies to keep dangerous microbes out of the lettuce you buy at the supermarket. But once they get that lettuce safely into your shopping cart, what's next? NPR's Audie Cornish asks Molly Wizenberg, of the award-winning blog Orangette, about the best way to go about making salad.

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The Salt
3:25 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

The Great Salad Microbe Hunt, California-Style

GRAPHIC: Trace The Many Ways Microbes Can Get Into Our Food Supply " href="/post/great-salad-microbe-hunt-california-style" class="noexit lightbox">

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:15 pm

When you tear open a bag of prewashed salad greens, do you worry that this superhealthful fast food could actually make you sick?

The companies that sold you that salad do worry about it. Because no matter how much they try to keep dangerous microbes out of that bag, they can't seem to guarantee that they've caught every one.

This week, for instance, Dole Foods recalled thousands of bags of lettuce after a few leaves from one of those bags turned up positive for Salmonella bacteria.

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Sports
2:53 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Russian Gymnasts Seek To Soar Once Again

Russian gymnast Victoria Komova competes in the balance beam final during the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Komova is one of Russia's top Olympic hopefuls.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:34 pm

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the women's gymnastics competition was highly predictable — the Soviet squad won the team gold medal at every Olympics it participated in.

Even when Nadia Comaneci was reeling off perfect 10s at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, she and her Romanian teammates had to settle for second in the team competition behind the legendary Olga Korbut and her Soviet comrades.

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Planet Money
2:53 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Should We Kill The Dollar Bill?

Robert Benincasa NPR

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 3:53 pm

Our story begins last month inside a busy Washington, D.C. subway station plastered with posters of giant dollar bills. One of them says: "Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill." Another asks: "Do you heart the dollar?"

Political fights in the nation's capital normally involve billions or even trillions, not single dollars. What's going on here?

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez Will Retire After A 23-Year Career

In this Sept. 13, 2009, photo, Texas Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez pauses during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Next Monday, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, considered one of Major League Baseball's greatest catchers, will announce his retirement.

The news was first reported by the AP and confirmed today by the Texas Rangers, the team where Rodriguez made his debut.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star, won a record 13 Gold Golves. The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Levon Helm, Legendary Drummer-Singer Of The Band, Dies

Levon Helm and the Levon Helm band perform during the Heros of Woodstock concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, N.Y. in 2009.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 7:30 am

After a long battle with cancer, Leon Helm died today. He was 71.

"Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon," a statement posted on his website read. "He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul."

Helm was the legendary drummer and singer of '60s rock act, The Band. Earlier this week, Helm's family announced that he was in the final stages of cancer.

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The Record
2:26 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Levon Helm, Drummer And Singer In The Band, Dies

Levon Helm performing with The Band in 1971.
Jan Persson Redferns

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 7:33 am

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The Salt
1:47 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Starbucks Ditches Bug-Based Red Dye In Strawberry Drink

By June, this drink will be bug-free, Starbucks says
Armstrong Photo Starbucks

For those of you boycotting Starbucks over the red dye made from crushed bugs it's been using, this Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® is for you.

As we reported last month, vegetarians and others who'd rather not eat insects protested when they found out the the company uses cochineal, the red "juice" a tiny white bug called Dactylopius coccus exudes when crushed, to color certain food and drinks.

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Digital Life
1:26 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Young People Turn From Kony To Spooning Record

In 2010, more than 500 students at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., hit the campus green to break the world record for spooning. On Friday, students at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., plan to claim the record.
Maia Rodriguez Courtesy of Northfield.org

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 2:50 pm

Students at the College of William & Mary are talking about a big extracurricular event being held on their campus on Friday. Organized largely through social media, more than 600 students at the prestigious Virginia campus have signed up to participate.

It's not about Joseph Kony. It's an attempt to break the world record for spooning, set by Carleton College back in 2010.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Inside The Hidden World Of Immigrant Smuggling

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 1:51 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Earlier this month, nine immigrants suspected of being illegally smuggled into the United States were killed in a car crash. That journey came to a violent and sudden end. But there have been, and there will be others bent on crossing the Mexican border north to the U.S. who will make that very same journey and with a similar setup.

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NPR Story
1:19 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Crack Addict Aspires To 'Ninety Days' Of Sobriety

Author Bill Clegg works as a literary agent in New York.
Christian Hansen

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 10:35 am

In his 2010 book, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, Bill Clegg described his addiction to crack cocaine and the dramatic spiral of self-destruction that left him nearly broke, homeless, out of work and suicidal. His latest book, Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery, picks up where that story left off.

Clegg talks with NPR's John Donvan about his harrowing journey through recovery, and the friends, family and fellow addicts who gave him second chances.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

From Kerouac To Rand, 'Harmful' Reads For Writers

Kilian calls Jack Kerouac's On the Road one of the 20th-century novels that has "done more harm than good to apprentice writers."
Alan Levine Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 10:50 am

Columnist Crawford Kilian advises aspiring writers to avoid Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and eight other well-known novels.

But Kilian isn't saying they're bad novels — quite the opposite, actually. In a piece for the Canadian online daily The Tyee, Kilian writes, "their readable styles look so easy that they might seduce a young writer into imitating them."

Kilian tells NPR's John Donvan that he composed his list based on personal experience.

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NPR Story
1:02 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Ambassador' Guy Davis Takes Blues Around The Globe

Guy Davis performs in northern Italy at the Piacenza Blues Festival in 2010.
Giulia Ciappa Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 1:29 pm

The son of Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, Guy Davis initially followed in his famous parents' footsteps. But then he discovered the blues in college, and now travels the world performing in places untouched by the genre, from Greenland to the Galapagos Islands.

Known as "The Ambassador of the Blues," Davis talks with NPR's John Donvan about his new album, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, and his passion for blues music.


Interview Highlights

On Fishy Waters, The Character He Created For His New Record

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Shots - Health Blog
12:48 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

When It Comes To A1C Blood Test For Diabetics, One Level No Longer Fits All

A person with diabetes may need to test blood glucose levels up to 10 times a day.
Isaac Santillan iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 1:38 pm

If there's one thing that people with diabetes get pounded into their heads, it's that they've got to keep their A1C level under control. That's the blood glucose measure that's used to decide how well a person is managing their diabetes.

But new diabetes management guidelines announced today will cut many people with diabetes some slack.

Where old guidelines from the American Diabetes Association said that people should maintain an A1C of 7, the new guidelines say that patients should work with their doctors to determine an appropriate A1C target.

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