2:05am

Thu May 30, 2013
Parallels

Years Of Combat Experience, And Just Turning 20

Luis Bedoya is baby-faced and skinny.

And he looks ever the boy when he puts on an industrial-sized apron, thick gloves and a metal helmet - the tools of an apprentice welder at the Don Bosco center in this city in southern Colombia.

It's a big complex, complete with classrooms, basketball courts, a dormitory and work rooms. It's home to boys and girls, as well as very young adults, who defected from the FARC rebels or were captured by the Colombian army.

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2:05am

Thu May 30, 2013
The Salt

GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 1:03 pm

Genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in a field in Oregon. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S. Above, a wheat field in Arkansas.
Danny Johnston AP

A farmer in Oregon has found some genetically engineered wheat growing on his land. It's an unwelcome surprise, because this type of wheat has never been approved for commercial planting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it's investigating, trying to find out how this wheat got there. The USDA says there's no risk to public health, but wheat exporters are worried about how their customers in Asia and Europe will react.

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2:03am

Thu May 30, 2013
Parallels

Palestinian Girls Look For Ways To Protest, Without Stones

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 7:41 am

Yusra Hammed, 15, puts the finishing touches on a drawing on a wall inside her family's home in Silwad, a village in the West Bank. Hammed says, like many Palestinian girls, she does not throw rocks at Israeli soldiers; but she expresses her opposition through alternate channels, such as art.
Emiliy Harris NPR

In the middle of the night a few weeks ago, 15-year-old Yusra Hammed watched Israeli soldiers arrest her brother Tareq. Two years older than Yusra, Tareq Hammed was among several Palestinian teenagers taken into custody that night, accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers in their village, Silwad, in the occupied West Bank.

While he was being detained, his mother described him as a patriot.

"He wanted so badly to do as same what his father did, to defend his country," Suhaila Hammed said, sitting on a tawny gold couch in their home in Silwad.

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2:02am

Thu May 30, 2013
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing

How A Trip To Costco Can Work As An Investment Strategy

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 7:19 am

A recent trip to Costco cost NPR's Uri Berliner $303.53. The haul included razor blades, cans of soup and tuna fish, laundry detergent, heartburn relief medicine and dog treats. As an investment, it will pay off if he uses what he bought — and if the price tag for the same items is higher if he returns in a year.
Mary-Elizabeth Berliner

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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2:01am

Thu May 30, 2013
Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

Breathing Easier: How Houston Is Working To Clean Up Its Air

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 11:18 am

The Houston Ship Channel is home to a wide range of heavy industry, including chemical processing plants and petrochemical refineries.
Richard Harris NPR

The Houston area produces about a quarter of the nation's gasoline, and about a third of the plastics that are in our cars, cupboards and just about everywhere else. So it is no surprise that this heavily industrial area has a problem with air pollution. But in the past decade, Houston's air has improved dramatically.

How that happened is a tale of good science, new technology and a Texas law that prompted companies along the Houston Ship Channel to disclose their emissions.

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6:00pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Around the Nation

Sing-Spelling At The National Bee

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There is no shortage of wonders on display at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, under way this week outside Washington, D.C. Students are easily spooling off words such as wiesenboden and machicotage. But even the Scripps Bee judges were flummoxed when 7th grader Katie Danis made this request today.

KATIE DANIS: Would you mind if I were to, like, sing the letters, it would help me. I could do that.

BLOCK: The judges conferred, and said OK. So here's Katie Danis, sing-spelling stabilimeter.

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5:37pm

Wed May 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Police Say Ricin-Laced Letters Sent To New York Mayor Bloomberg

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:11 am

New York Mayor Bloomberg speaks out for gun reform at a March news conference in New York.
John Moore Getty Images

Police in New York say preliminary tests of two threatening letters sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg contained traces of ricin.

The anonymous letters, both addressed to Bloomberg, were opened Friday in New York at the city's mail facility and Sunday in Washington, D.C., at the headquarters of the nonprofit started by Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, according to authorities.

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5:24pm

Wed May 29, 2013
U.S.

Soldier Accused Of Killing Afghan Civilians To Plead Guilty

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The American soldier accused of killing 16 villagers in Afghanistan last year plans to plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty. Lawyers say Staff Sergeant Robert Bales will plead guilty to 16 counts of premeditated murder next week and that his sentencing trial will be held in September.

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5:23pm

Wed May 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Former Justice Official In Line To Be Named FBI Chief

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:25 am

Former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey waits to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington on May 15, 2007. NPR has learned that Comey is in line to become President Obama's choice as the next FBI director.
Susan Walsh AP

NPR has learned that former Justice Department official James B. Comey is in line to become President Obama's choice as the next FBI director, according to two sources familiar with the search.

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5:07pm

Wed May 29, 2013
It's All Politics

Bachmann's Legacy: A Trailblazer, For Better And For Worse

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:55 pm

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Summit in Washington.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's announcement Wednesday that she won't seek a fifth term unleashed a torrent of tweets and blog posts on the left lampooning the short-lived 2012 presidential candidate.

Yet the response — her retirement effectively dominated the news cycle — provided a glimpse of Bachmann's impact on Washington.

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