Nation/World

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Department of Defense says an attempt to ship inactive anthrax samples resulted in live samples being sent to labs in nine U.S. states and to a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea.

Fears of exposure to the potentially deadly disease prompted officials to advise four civilian workers to get preventive care; more than 20 military personnel are also being monitored. The samples were sent via commercial shipping companies, but the Pentagon says there is "no known risk to the general public."

More and more people in education agree on the importance of learning stuff other than academics.

But no one agrees on what to call that "stuff".

There are least seven major overlapping terms in play. New ones are being coined all the time. This bagginess bugs me, as a member of the education media. It bugs researchers and policymakers too.

'The Water Knife' Cuts Deep

9 hours ago

In The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi's best-selling, Hugo- and Nebula-winning debut, the author imagines a 23rd century in which the forces of commerce have run amok over the basic, biological building blocks of life. In his equally powerful sophomore novel, The Water Knife, he takes a similar approach to an inorganic substance without which human life wouldn't exist: H2O. But where The Windup Girl takes place hundreds of years from now in Southeast Asia, The Water Knife hits closer to home for U.S. readers.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 Nebraska Public Radio Network. To see more, visit http://netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/radio.

Copyright 2015 Louisville Public Media. To see more, visit http://www.louisvillepublicmedia.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our next president is likely to have some big plans for the future of the country. But he or she will also have to wrestle with some leftover bills from the past. The federal government has issued trillions of dollars in IOUs. And just the interest on that massive debt could be a serious constraint for the next president.

That's why Danette Kenne has some questions for the presidential candidates about what kind of budget they plan to present to Congress.

"Being in Iowa, one of the things we can do is ask questions," Kenne said.

Are Black Voters Ready For Hillary Clinton?

11 hours ago

Hillary Clinton will need black voters if she wants to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency next year. But African American voters were a major reason she lost the early nominating state of South Carolina to Barack Obama by nearly 30 points in 2008.

She's trying to make up for it this time around.

The world's largest refugee camp is also a giant social experiment.

Take hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing a war. Shelter them for 24 years in a camp in Kenya run by the United Nations. And offer different opportunities than they might have had if they'd stayed in Somalia.

The Kenyan government wants the experiment to end — soon. It's pushing the refugees to return to their home in Somalia, though the camp called Dadaab is the only home many have known.

If the book is dead, nobody bothered to tell the folks at Capitol Hill Books in Washington, D.C. Books of every size, shape and genre occupy each square inch of the converted row house — including the bathroom — all arranged in an order discernible only to the mind of Jim Toole, the store's endearingly grouchy owner.

The Golden State Warriors managed to dominate a stacked Western Conference all season long; with Wednesday night's 104-90 win over the Houston Rockets, they'll get a chance to finish the job in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors got a team-leading 26 points from star point guard Stephen Curry, who had struck his head in a fall in the previous game on Monday. Curry's shot wasn't as accurate as usual, but he made up for it with steals, rebounds and free throws. Harrison Barnes added 24 points for Golden State and Klay Thompson added 20.

The Nebraska state Legislature voted Wednesday to repeal the death penalty in the state. The 30-19 vote overrides Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of a law the Legislature passed last week getting rid of the policy.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As candidates hit the campaign trail, NPR looks at four major issues the next president will face from Day 1 in office.

With new businesses sprouting up left and right, there's a lot of talk these days about Detroit being on the comeback trail.

A great thing about the city is that it's easy to become a real estate mogul. But some entrepreneurs might have reason to pause.

A new study released Tuesday shows that Detroit's commercial property taxes are the highest of any city in the nation.

When Oscar Paz Suaznabar plays the piano, he does so with feeling.

The Alexandria, Va., resident has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and on the NPR show From the Top. He is 9 years old.

Oscar started playing his older sister's keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The sorrow he conveys when he plays "The Lark" by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka is drawn from the kind of loss any 9-year-old can understand.

In the last couple of years, we've detected a faint buzz about crispy crickets and crunchy mealworms. Companies pedaling scorpion lollipops and peanut butter-and-jelly protein bars made with cricket flour have thrust their wares into our hands and mailboxes.

Nebraska's Legislature voted Wednesday to abolish the death penalty, overturning Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto. The state's unicameral legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure in a series of three previous votes.

The repeal comes as other states have experienced complications with new lethal-injection cocktails. But Americans overall still support the practice.

Support for the death penalty has slowly fallen over the past couple of decades, from a high of 80 percent in favor in the mid-1990s to just over 60 percent currently, according to Gallup.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

Republican Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, announced Wednesday that he is running for president.

"Working families don't need another president tied to big government or big money," he said in Cabot, Pa.. "And today is the day we're going to begin to fight back."

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET with defendants' response.

Was it a laudable snapshot of cross-generational jamming, or taking advantage of a jazz titan?

What's the best piece of trivia you learned this week? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter, and we'll figure out whether it's true or false.

True or false: in outer space, tears stick to your eyeballs, effectively blinding you if you can't wipe them off.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Veep Of The Rings

May 27, 2015

In this game, VIP Anna Chlumsky is quizzed about something near and dear to her heart — Lord of the Rings. And just like Frodo had Samwise to help him on his quest, Anna brings along a friend to join her onstage.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Ampers And What?

May 27, 2015

Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, Will & Grace — how hard was it to come up with those titles? In this game, we quiz contestants on TV show titles that are just two words plus an ampersand. But it's not as easy as it sounds. For example, "Actor Jude & a restaurant request" translates to Law & Order.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Back In Time

May 27, 2015

In this game, we've rewritten the famous Beatles song "Get Back" to be about movie characters going back to their own time period, where they once belonged. Get back, Cusack, Jacuzzis aren't safe transport.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

After a successful career as a child actress, starring in films such as My Girl and Trading Mom, Anna Chlumsky walked away from the big screen and went back to school. But while working as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins, she began feeling an itch. "There was a month where I was really open to [the question] 'what should I do with my life?'" Chlumsky told Ophira Eisenberg at The Bell House in Brooklyn. "And I'd get signs from the universe."

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