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The Salt
12:47 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Civil War Soldiers Needed Bravery To Face The Foe, And The Food

How did the food taste? These faces say it all. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Meade in Virginia, August-November 1863.
Timothy H. O'Sullivan Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 1:11 pm

War is hell, Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman is famously said to have uttered.* And the food, he might as well have added, was pretty lousy, too.

As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg — a turning point in the Civil War — it's worth remembering that the men who fought on that Pennsylvania field did so while surviving on food that would make most of us surrender in dismay.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Accused Cleveland Kidnapper Is Ruled Competent For Trial

Ariel Castro sits with his defense attorneys Craig Weintraub (left) and Jaye Schlachet during Wednesday's hearing, at which he was found mentally competent to stand trial.
Jason Miller AP

Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping and raping three women while he held them prisoner in his house for about 10 years, has been declared mentally competent to stand trial. The finding comes one week after a Cleveland judge ordered Castro to undergo an evaluation.

The results of that analysis were presented at a court hearing this morning.

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NPR Story
12:22 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

A Look At The Economy Midway Through 2013

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 1:45 pm

This week marks the halfway point of the year. Where is the economy today?

This also is the 4th anniversary of the start of the “recovery.” The GDP has been growing non-stop since late June or early July of 2009.

Have most people now completely recovered financially?

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Ecuador Says Its London Embassy Was Bugged

A covert microphone was found in the office of the Ecuadorean ambassador in London, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patiño announced during a news conference in Quito.
AFP/Getty Images

Ecuador's foreign minister says a microphone has been found hidden inside the country's embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been living for the past year. The listening device was found last month, says Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, when he traveled to the embassy to meet with Assange.

The covert microphone was reportedly discovered in the office of the ambassador, Ana Alban.

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Digital Life
12:17 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Martin Luther King's Memory Inspires Teenage Dream

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now we continue our special series remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, which will be 50 years old this summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: I have a dream...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: As a kindergarten teacher in a Texas public school, my dream is for our country to begin to value our youngest members of society.

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Politics
12:17 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

The Politics Of Abortion In Texas

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now, this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to go back to law and the politics of abortion, and we want to focus on what's happening in Texas. Early this morning, legislators there revived an effort to restrict access to abortion in that state. The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks and it would also place new tough standards on existing clinics.

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Race
12:17 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Housing Investigation Exposes Harassment Of LA's Minorities

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Coming up in a few minutes, we'll dive a little deeper into what's going on with the abortion debate in Texas. But first, we want to talk about a development that's affecting recipients of housing assistance in Los Angeles County. The U.S. Department of Justice this week ordered LA County and the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, California to pay a total of $12.5 million in damages to residents of subsidized housing. That follows a two-year investigation by the department.

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Politics
12:17 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Aftershocks Felt After Affordable Care 'Earthquake'

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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NPR Story
11:57 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Cities Boost Security For July 4th Celebrations

Fireworks blaze over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during Philadelphia's multi-day Wawa Welcome America! bash, 2010. (G. Widman/Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation)

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 4:38 pm

Big cities across the country are taking security at Independence Day festivities very seriously.

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly told investigators he and his brother had initially planned on carrying out the attack at the Fourth of July celebrations in Boston.

On Monday, Canadian officials arrested two people for a Canada Day terror plot involving pressure cooker bombs.

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NPR Story
11:36 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Reputed Mobster James 'Whitey' Bulger On Trial

James "Whitey" Bulger's mug shot from Alcatraz, 1959.

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 4:38 pm

In Boston, the trial of alleged mobster James “Whitey” Bulger is in its fourth week.

There has already been a parade of former drug dealers, former FBI agents, a hit man and victims’ families — including a man whose dad went missing when he was 14.

Bulger is accused of taking part in that murder and 18 others, including the strangling of two 26-year old women.

He’s also accused of racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing, and gun stock piling in the 70s and 80s. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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NPR Story
11:18 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Snowden Saga Causes Diplomatic Standoff

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 4:38 pm

The plane carrying Bolivia’s president Evo Morales was diverted to Austria over suspicions that Edward Snowden — the former NSA agent who leaked sensitive documents to the press — was on board.

The BBC reports that France and Portugal refused to allow the flight to cross into their airspace.

President Morales was flying back from meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow, where Snowden is currently living in an airport transit space as a stateless person.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed July 3, 2013

As Mandela Lies In Hospital, Family Fights Over Kin's Graves

In 1990, Nelson Mandela (wearing a dark suit, pointing down) visited the graves of family members in Qunu, South Africa. A grandson's 2011 decision to move some relatives' remains to another site was followed by a lawsuit and court action.
Juda Ngenya Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 7:25 pm

Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in stable but critical condition at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been since June 8 for treatment of a serious lung infection.

The anti-apartheid hero, who survived 27 years in jail and decades of oppression, is 15 days shy of his 95th birthday.

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Code Switch
9:26 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Chinatown 'Blessing Scams' Target Elderly Women

More than 50 people have reported being victims to the "blessing scams" in San Francisco over the last year. Their losses topped $1.5 million.
San Francisco district attorney's office

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:13 pm

In Chinatowns around the country — in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York — a peculiar financial scam is targeting elderly Chinese women.

This so-called "blessing scam" isn't much of a blessing. By asking lots of personal questions, the scammers convince their targets that they face terrible tragedy that they can only avoid if they place their valuables in a bag — and then pray over it. Usually, the victims place their jewelry and money in a bag that the thieves swap out for an identical one. And then the thieves tell the women not to open the bag for days.

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Shots - Health News
9:14 am
Wed July 3, 2013

How To Make Disease Prevention An Easier Sell

We'd all like a medical genius like TV's Dr. Gregory House to rescue us from a life-threatening crisis. But what can he do to prevent diabetes?
Adam Taylor/Fox AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 4:30 pm

It's much better to prevent illness than to treat it: less time, less money, less suffering. But prevention is a surprisingly hard sell with doctors and the public. That's true even though preventable chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease are the most common causes of disability and premature death in the U.S.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Good Signs: Jobless Claims Dip And Job Growth Picks Up

A help wanted sign in the window of a clothing store in Pasadena, Calif., last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Three reports Wednesday morning all offer at least modestly good news about the U.S. economy:

-- There were 343,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before, says the Employment and Training Administration.

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