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The Salt
4:57 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

As Drought Turns To Flood, Farmers Get 'Weather Whiplash'

A central Illinois farmer plants corn seed into the evening in Farmingdale, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

As Chris Webber checked the 40 acres of muddy field he wanted to plant on a recent morning, he worried about getting more rain, even as he worried about the lack of it.

"The drought is over at the moment," he says. "But in Missouri, we tend to say that in 10 days or two weeks, we can be in a drought again. That's how fast it can get back to dry."

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Egyptian Author Sentenced To Prison For Book 'Where Is God?'

Egyptian author and human rights activist Karam Saber has been sentenced to five years in prison, after a court found his writings to have insulted religion, reports the Egyptian news website Aswat Masriya.

The complaint against Saber and his book Ayn Allah (Where Is God?) was initially filed in 2011, months after the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak's regime. Saber's was reportedly the first blasphemy case of its kind after Egypt's revolution.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Three Exchanges You Should Listen To About NSA Surveillance

U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, received a public grilling by members of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

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The Summer of '63
4:10 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Bob Dylan's Tribute To Medgar Evers Took On The Big Picture

Bob Dylan performs at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. His set included "Only a Pawn in Their Game," which he would also play at the 1963 March on Washington.
Eyeneer

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

On this day 50 years ago — June 12, 1963 — Bob Dylan's career was just taking off when he heard the news that civil rights activist Medgar Evers had been assassinated. Dylan responded with a song that he eventually performed at the March on Washington and the Newport Folk Festival.

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Sports
4:08 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Hockey's Hottest Teams Hit The Ice In Stanley Cup Finals

An oversized Chicago Blackhawks hockey helmet sits on one of the lion sculptures outside the entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago in celebration of the team's upcoming appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in Chicago. The Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Scott Eisen AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:03 pm

The National Hockey League's Stanley Cup championship gets underway in Chicago Wednesday night, with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins facing off in the first game of the best-of-seven series. It's a classic matchup between two of the NHL's original six teams.

Both teams are recent champs, which is helping passionate hockey fans and players put the bitter labor dispute that almost iced the season behind them.

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Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

In Arizona, An Unlikely Ally For Medicaid Expansion

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, points during an intense conversation with President Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz. She has since made light of the incident in trying to rally support for a Medicaid expansion in the state.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

The Arizona Legislature is debating whether to extend Medicaid to about 300,000 people in the state. The expansion is a requirement to get federal funding under the Affordable Care Act.

The big surprise is who has been leading the charge: Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. She's one of President Obama's staunchest critics and has confounded conservatives in her own party by supporting the expansion.

Google the words "Brewer" and "Obama." You'll get a now-famous image of Brewer wagging her finger at the president on the tarmac last year when she met him in Phoenix.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

'Now What?': Greeks Confront Shutting Of Public Broadcaster

Protesters wave flags outside the Athens headquarters of broadcaster ERT on Wednesday. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras shut down the network Tuesday, but workers are occupying the building.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:06 am

The Greek government has abruptly shut down the country's public broadcasting network and fired all of its staff.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras wants to show the country's creditors, including the European Union and International Monetary Fund, that he's downsizing the public sector, which has been criticized for corruption and bloat. But many Greeks see the rushed closure as a dictatorial move that will compromise the country's troubled media.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Huge System Of Storms Predicted To March East From Midwest

A map shows the chance of severe thunderstorms Wednesday evening, with the National Weather Service predicting strong winds and storms moving eastward to the mid-Atlantic Thursday.
NOAA

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 8:03 pm

The National Weather Service warns of a massive storm system that will make its way eastward from Iowa to Maryland in the next 24 hours, as strong winds, thunderstorms, and hail are predicted to hit areas from the upper Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic beginning Wednesday and continuing Thursday.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:21 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

A Loaded Bible Story, Tweaked For The Opera Stage

Nathan Gunn and Sasha Cooke star in the new opera The Gospel of Mary Magdalene as Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) and the title character.
San Francisco Opera

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

Composer Mark Adamo has made beautiful music out of classic books. His Little Women is among the most produced American operas today. He also wrote the words and music for his operatic adaptation of Aristophanes' Greek drama Lysistrata.

His latest work, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, has proved more controversial. The opera, which premieres June 19 at the San Francisco Opera, tells the story of Mary, Jesus and his disciples.

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Music Interviews
3:21 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The National: 'We've Earned Our Stripes'

The National's new album is titled Trouble Will Find Me.
Deirdre O'Callaghan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 3:16 pm

When a band called The National made its debut more than a decade ago, it was considered an underdog in a busy independent music scene. The lead singer's melancholy baritone and the lush instrumentation didn't always fit the irony-laden swagger of the aughts. The National has endured, and these days it has a hard-won following. It headlines big concert halls and late-night talk shows.

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Research News
3:20 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

AAA Study Finds Hands-Free Tech Dangerously Distracting

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The connected car promises voice-activated systems that let drivers dictate emails and texts, make a dinner reservation or update their Facebook page, all while behind the wheel. Some cars already have these options. Many more are on the way. Carmakers say it's safer than fiddling around with a smartphone.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell Retires

Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:46 pm

The deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael Morell, has resigned.

"As much as I would selfishly like to keep Michael right where he is for as long as possible, he has decided to retire to spend more time with his family and to pursue other professional opportunities," CIA Director John Brennan said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Can The Patriots Groom Tebow To Be A Good NFL Quarterback?

New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow throws during practice in Foxborough, Mass., on Tuesday.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:07 am

Tim Tebow, the polarizing quarterback everyone has come to know and love (or hate), found a new home this week in New England, when the Patriots signed him to a two-year, nonguaranteed contract, igniting yet another cycle of Tebowmania.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Federal Defender Wants Out Of Terrorism Case Due To Budget Cuts

Samuel Richard Rubin, head of the federal defender's office in Idaho, says his office "has an obligation to handle 75 percent of the [federal] indigent cases" in the state.
John Miller AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:32 pm

A federal public defender in Idaho wants a judge to find another lawyer for an Uzbek national charged with aiding a terrorist group and training others in how to build and use a weapon of mass destruction.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Legos Are Getting Angrier And That's Not Funny, Study Says

Lego faces are more often looking like that guy on the left, researchers say.
Axel Heimken DPA/LANDOV

This is not from The Onion:

"The number of happy faces on Lego toy mini-figures is decreasing and the number of angry faces is increasing, a University of Canterbury robot expert says."

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Health
1:16 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Fighting To Breathe: Living With COPD

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 1:21 pm

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that slowly robs sufferers of the ability to breathe. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., surpassed only by cancer and heart disease. There are treatments, but no cure for the disease.

Politics
1:11 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The Legacy Of Watergate And The Semantics Of Scandals

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 1:34 pm

Forty years after the Senate committee hearings on the Watergate scandal, Political Junkie Ken Rudin talks with Lowell Weicker, who served on the Senate Watergate committee. Former White House speechwriters Paul Glastris and Peter Robinson talk about writing speeches amid scandal.

Medical Treatments
12:59 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Life Resumes: Looking Ahead With Suleika Jaouad

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

You may know Suleika Jaouad from Life, Interrupted, the pieces she writes on her cancer on The New York Times Well blog. She's also made time to speak with us over the past year starting last May, about a month after she received a bone marrow transplant. During that conversation, she told us: I feel very hopeful for the future, but I have definitely been humbled by everything I've been through. I don't think of myself as invincible or immortal anymore.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

With A Speech In Spanish, Tim Kaine Makes Senate History

Sen. Tim Kaine.
Patrick McDermott Getty Images

During Tuesday's debate on the Senate's immigration bill, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) took to the floor and launched into an almost 13-minute speech in support of the bill crafted by the bipartisan "Gang of Eight."

That's not the news. The fact that Kaine delivered it in Spanish is, because it's the first time a senator has delivered a full speech on the floor of the Senate in a language other than English.

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Music Reviews
12:35 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Fame Studios And The Road To Nashville Songwriting Glory

Fame Studio

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 8:57 am

Wallace Daniel Pennington grew up singing. His father played guitar and his mother played piano, and by the age of 9, the young man had a guitar of his own. The family attended church on Sunday and Wednesday each week, and to this day, Dan Penn says he remembers the entire Methodist congregation belting out hymns.

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Movie Interviews
12:28 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

'20 Feet From' The Spotlight, There's Singing Worthy Of One

Singer Merry Clayton performs in Hollywood during a celebration of Carole King and her music.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 1:31 pm

The documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, which explores the world of rock 'n' roll's backup singers, opens to the soundtrack of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side." Reed sings half the refrain — "And the colored girls go, doo do doo do doo" — until a chorus of backup singers pick up the "Do doo" line. At first these women sound far away, but as the chorus progresses, their voices get louder, less produced and polished, more real and intimate.

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The Salt
12:25 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Court To Monsanto: You Said You Won't Sue, So You Can't

A farmer holds Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybean seeds at his family farm in Bunceton, Mo.
Dan Gill AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:33 pm

A federal appeals court slapped down a quixotic legal campaign against Monsanto's biotech patents this week.

Organic farmers had gone to court to declare those patents invalid. The farmers, according to their lawyers, were "forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement" if their field became contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

50 Years Later, Medgar Evers' Widow Relives The Pain

Keynote speaker Myrlie Evers-Williams at Wagner College's commencement ceremony on May 24.
Jan Somma-Hammel Staten Island Advance /Landov

As NPR's Debbie Elliott has reported for Morning Edition and on the Code Switch blog, "for Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain NAACP leader Medgar Evers, the memories of 1963 are still raw."

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Parallels
11:53 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Iranian Women: New President Could Bring More Restrictions

An Iranian woman walks past posters of presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani, a former top nuclear negotiator, next to his campaign headquarters, in Tehran, Iran, on June 1. Many Iranian women are concerned about the erosion of their opportunities.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 1:00 pm

As Iran prepares to hold a presidential election Friday, many women say that their limited gains have been rolled back by the outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Since all of the presidential candidates have been officially approved by Iran's clerical leaders, women say most are conservative and would be likely to continue adopting policies that target the social and educational advances by women.

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Shots - Health News
11:29 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Go Easy On The Soy Sauce, Bro, It Could Kill You

Keep the soy sauce on your food, and use it in moderation.
Aaron Tam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:39 pm

First, let's spoil this tale right away by telling you the 19-year-old man in Virginia who downed a quart of soy sauce on a dare survived.

It's a happy ending of sorts. But the guy had a close call. And you definitely don't want to try it.

While there's been quite a debate lately about whether the salt in the modern American diet is risky, there's no question that a massive amount of salt ingested quickly can lead to death.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Wed June 12, 2013

10-Year-Old Sarah Murnaghan Out Of Surgery

Sarah Murnaghan on May 30 as she and her parents, Fran (left) and Janet, marked the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Murnaghan family AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 7:31 pm

(We retopped this post at 8:27 p.m. ET)

Sarah Murnaghan, the 10-year-old girl in need of a lung transplant, is out of surgery, her family said in a statement.

"We are thrilled to share that Sarah is out of surgery," the statement said. "Her doctors are very pleased with both her progress during the procedure and her prognosis for recovery."

The statement said the procedure lasted about six hours, and surgeons had no challenges resizing and transplanting the donor lungs.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Soccer Star Lionel Messi And His Father Accused Of Tax Fraud

Lionel Messi.
Rebecca Naden PA Photos /Landov

Lionel Messi, the Argentine superstar who is generally thought of as the best soccer player in the world these days, has been accused of tax fraud by Spanish authorities.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Wed June 12, 2013

NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs Open Tonight

The 2013 NHL Stanley Cup logo is seen between the sweaters of the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. The Game 1 puck drops at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Chicago.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Yes, the NBA finals are well underway, and yes it's mid-June, but tonight marks Game 1 of the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup championship. A strike-shortened season pushed the finals later into the spring than usual.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Public's Opinion Of George W. Bush Is Turning Positive

Former President George W. Bush and his successor, President Obama, at the April 25 dedication of Bush's library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Larry W. Smith EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:24 am

For the first time since 2005, when George W. Bush was in the Oval Office, the public's opinion of the former president is "more positive than negative," the pollsters at Gallup say.

Gallup says its latest polling shows:

-- 49 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of the former president.

-- 46 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Bush.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Wed June 12, 2013

NSA Leaker: 'I'm Neither Traitor Nor Hero. I'm An American'

12-minute video on The Guardian's website, Edward Snowden talks about how American surveillance systems work and why he decided to reveal that information to the public." href="/post/nsa-leaker-im-neither-traitor-nor-hero-im-american" class="noexit lightbox">
In a 12-minute video on The Guardian's website, Edward Snowden talks about how American surveillance systems work and why he decided to reveal that information to the public.
The Guardian

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:34 am

"I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American."

That's what Edward Snowden tells the South China Morning Post in his first published interview since The Guardian and The Washington Post revealed he was the source who leaked top secret information about government programs that sweep up data on phone calls and Internet activity.

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