National

It's All Politics
4:40 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Congress Considers Patch To Keep Helium Supply Afloat

Deward Cawthon, a plant operator at the Federal Helium Reserve, walks through the Federal Crude Helium Enrichment Unit near Amarillo, Texas, in 2011.
Joyce Marshall MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:39 pm

The Senate is considering legislation to prevent a global helium shortage from worsening in October. That's when one huge supply of helium in the U.S. is set to terminate. The House overwhelmingly passed its own bill last month to keep the Federal Helium Program going.

That was a relief to industries that can't get along without helium. The gas is used in MRI machines, semiconductors, aerospace equipment, lasers and of course balloons.

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It's All Politics
2:51 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Cantor's Rebranding Effort Tested By House Republicans

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has been pitching a GOP rebranding effort he calls Making Life Work. The agenda is aimed at creating "conditions of health, happiness and prosperity" for American families, he says.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 11:43 am

When the House votes Wednesday on a bill called the Working Families Flexibility Act, it will be the latest test of a Republican effort at rebranding.

The architect of that effort in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has so far had a mixed record.

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The Salt
2:50 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Rat 'Mutton' And Bird Flu: Strange Days For Meat Eaters In Shanghai

A woman wearing a mask rides past a KFC restaurant in Shanghai last month. Food scares and the bird flu haven't stopped many chicken lovers in the city from visiting KFC and other restaurants.
Aly Song Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 11:43 am

The past couple of months have been unsettling ones for meat eaters in Shanghai.

In March, more than 16,000 dead pigs showed up in a stretch of the Huangpu River — a main source of the city's drinking water.

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Shots - Health News
2:49 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Officials Prepare For Another Flu Pandemic — Just In Case

Scientists in the U.S. are growing the H7N9 virus in the laboratory to help with vaccine development.
James Gathany CDC/Douglas E. Jordan

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 11:43 am

There's been a buzz of activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta since scientists got their first samples of a new bird flu virus from China four weeks ago.

Already they've prepared "seed strains" of the virus, called H7N9, and distributed them to vaccine manufacturers so the companies can grow them up and make them into experimental flu vaccine.

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The Salt
6:12 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Bee Deaths May Have Reached A Crisis Point For Crops

A bee inspector checks on a frame of bees to assess the colony strength near Turlock, Calif., in February. More than 30 percent of America's bee colonies died off over the winter.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 10:56 pm

According to a new survey of America's beekeepers, almost a third of the country's honeybee colonies did not make it through the winter.

That's been the case, in fact, almost every year since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began this annual survey, six years ago.

Over the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. died off over the winter. The worst year was five years ago. Last year was the best: Just 22 percent of the colonies died.

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Around the Nation
5:26 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Repeat Fires Put Maine Apartment Dwellers On Edge

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 10:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The people of Lewiston, Maine, are on edge. Over the past week, fires have destroyed eight apartment buildings and left nearly 200 people homeless. Two 12-year-old boys have been arrested.

But as Susan Sharon of Maine Public Radio reports, the city still has a big problem on its hands: A surplus of condemned and vacant buildings.

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Politics
5:26 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Gov. Chris Christie Admits To Secret Weight Loss Surgery

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:49 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. It's no secret that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has struggled with his weight. However, it was a secret when Christie had weight loss surgery on his stomach earlier this year. The governor confirmed today that he had an operation. Christie insists the decision was motivated by his family, not politics.

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Theater
5:26 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

'Show Boat' Steams On, Eternally American

When she's discovered to be a multiracial woman "passing" as white, the Cotton Blossom's star performer, Julie (Alyson Cambridge), is forced to leave the company.
Scott Suchman Washington National Opera

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:50 pm

It's been more than eight decades since Show Boat -- the seminal masterpiece of the American musical theater — premiered on a stage in Washington, D.C. Now the sprawling classic is back, in a lush production put on by the Washington National Opera.

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Code Switch
5:23 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Are We Laughing With Charles Ramsey?

Charles Ramsey talks to media Tuesday as people congratulate him for having helped some women get out of a Cleveland home. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and a 6-year-old girl were rescued from the house.
Scott Shaw The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 7:45 pm

It's hard out here for a black man the Internet accidentally thrusts into the limelight. Those 15 minutes ain't no joke.

Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man who helped Amanda Berry escape from her captor and free her fellow captives, is already a full-fledged Thing On The Internet, primarily owing to a live local television news interview. During that interview, Ramsey proved himself a fantastic storyteller, and he kept it extra-extra-real.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Matt Groening's Mother, Inspiration For Marge Simpson, Dies

The inspiration for Marge Simpson, from the animated series The Simpsons, died April 22. Margaret Groening, the mother of Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, was 94.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 6:57 pm

"Margaret Groening died peacefully in her sleep on April 22, 2013, in Portland."

That paid obituary, which ran Monday in The Oregonian, marked the life of the woman who served as the inspiration for one of the best-known characters on television and arguably pop culture: the beehive-coiffed Marge Simpson.

Groening was 94.

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It's All Politics
5:08 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Both Sides Hopeful In Last Hours Of Sanford, Colbert Busch Race

Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch and her Republican opponent, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, debate in Charleston, S.C., on April 29.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:58 pm

Updated at 9:29 pm ET --- Former South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sanford easily beat Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch to regain the House seat he once held.

For Sanford, the victory in the strongly Republican 1st Congressional District was sure to be widely viewed as a personal redemption. Sanford left the governor's mansion in 2009 after an extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman who is now his fiancee led to the breakup of his marriage.

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Around the Nation
4:42 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Joy, And New Hope, For All Families Of The Missing

Balloons are placed Tuesday in front of the home of Gina DeJesus in Cleveland. DeJesus was found Monday, along with Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, after disappearing nine years ago.
Marvin Fong The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 5:14 pm

Parents in a networking group for missing children were at a strategy dinner Monday night, discussing the terrors of Internet exploitation and the need for better communication with law enforcement, when news out of Cleveland hit somebody's smartphone and reverberated through the hotel conference room.

"All of a sudden someone said, 'Oh my God,' and started reading the report," said Mika Moulton, president of the Surviving Parents Coalition.

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Environment
4:35 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Filling In The Gap On Climate Education In Classrooms

Cy Maramangalam gives a presentation about climate change for the Alliance for Climate Education.
Courtesy of Alliance for Climate Education

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:50 pm

The auditorium at James Blake High School in Silver Spring, Md., is packed when Cy Maramangalam strolls onstage, sporting jeans and a shaved head.

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NPR Story
4:17 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

More Questions Than Answers In Cleveland Kidnappings

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In Cleveland, Ohio, there are more questions than answers today, as investigators piece together the kidnappings of three women. They were rescued from a house last night, after roughly a decade in captivity. Three brothers are behind bars. Now, police and residents are asking how this could have happened in that working class neighborhood. From member station WCPN in Cleveland, Nick Castele reports.

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

What's In A Flu Name? H's And N's Tell A Tale

Influenza covers it's shell with two types of accessories: the H spike, blue, and the N spike, red. Here the flu particle is sliced open to show its genetic material.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:28 am

In biology, you can't get much simpler than viruses.

They stick onto cells, pop open and then dump their genes inside to reproduce.

But the naming of viruses isn't so easy to follow.

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