Asia
12:53 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

The Price Of A Swift Pigeon: Try $328,000

Xing Wei, who raises pigeons for lucrative races in China, is shown in Beijing with his favorite bird, Ike. He sells Ike's offspring to wealthy buyers for $15,000.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 5:46 pm

To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.

"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."

The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:36 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

The Liberating Embrace Of Uncertainty

Mountains rise, mountains fall: change is constant.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 6:05 pm

The only constant is change. It's the most basic fact of human existence. Nothing lasts, nothing stays the same.

We feel it with each breath. From birth to the unknown moment of our passing, we ride a river of change. And yet, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, we exhaust ourselves in an endless search for solidity. We hunger for something that lasts, some idea or principle that rises above time and change. We hunger for certainty. That is a big problem.

It might even be THE problem.

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It's All Politics
12:36 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Americans Elect Could Field Third-Party Candidate – But For The Candidate

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 1:15 pm

Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.

What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.

So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.

But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Report: Justice Dept. Probing JPMorgan's Big Loss

Standing behind a banner with a picture of J.P. Morgan Chairman and CEO James Dimon, protesters gathered outside the bank's annual meeting today in Tampa.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 12:45 pm

  • Two soundbites from CEO Jamie Dimon at today's shareholders meeting

The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.

The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."

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Education
11:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Why So Many Ph.D.s Are On Food Stamps

The number of people with graduate degrees — master's degrees and doctorates — who have had to apply for food stamps, unemployment or other assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 8:16 pm

With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.

What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.

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Monkey See
10:54 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Fox Rolls Out Its New Fall Shows, Including One From Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling stars in the new Fox comedy The Mindy Project.
Beth Dubber Fox

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Ron Paul Isn't Dropping Out, Spokesman Says

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Feb. 3.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:20 am

Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.

"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."

"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.

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Theater
10:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway

Audra McDonald.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 1:23 pm

Audra McDonald has starred in stage classics and on TV, where she played a leading role on the ABC drama Private Practice for four seasons. But the actress might be better known for her stunning voice and for her performances in the Broadway productions of Carousel, Master Class and Ragtime, which helped her rack up three Tony Awards before the age of 30. She won a fourth Tony for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun, putting her in the company of Broadway greats Gwen Verdon and Mary Martin.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Francois Hollande Sworn In As New President Of France

Francois Hollande stands up in his car as he rides up the Champs-Elysees after taking the oath of office as President of France.
Regis Duvignau AP

Francois Hollande took the oath of office today in pouring rain as France's latest leader and lost no time in turning to the country's economic problems. One of his first acts was to cut his salary by nearly a third. Now he's flying to Germany to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel to talk about an unpopular European austerity program championed by his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Their meeting should be interesting.

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Word of Mouth
10:32 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Writers on a New England Stage: Erik Larson

Author Erik Larson

Bestselling author Erik Larson, discussing “In the Garden of Beasts” live at the Portsmouth Music Hall for the Writers on a New England Stage Series. The book is set in Berlin, 1933; the year Hitler became chancellor.

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