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On the streets of most American neighborhoods, walking to a grocery store, park, or school is not an option. Kaid Benfield is Director of Sustainable Communities at the National Resources Defense Council, and a frequent contributor to the Atlantic Cities website, where he argues that the car-centric built environment is detrimental to our health and quality of life.

Get your WalkScore!

U.S. beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh is honing her game for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she and her playing partner, Misty May-Treanor, hope to continue a streak of dominance that goes back to the 2004 games in Athens and Beijing in 2008.

Speaking with Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, Walsh says the duo's effort to represent the United States this summer is going well.

"Political fundraiser" has a fancy ring to it — tuxedos, famous singers, billionaires. In fact, most political fundraisers aren't that glamorous.

Think instead of a dozen lobbyists eating breakfast with a Congressman in a side room at some DC restaurant. Off in a corner, someone who works for the Congressman is holding the checks the lobbyists brought to get in the door.

A set of 13th-century Byzantine frescoes — plundered after Turkey invaded Cyprus and on display in Houston for the last 15 years — is headed home at last. It's the closing chapter in what turns out to be a remarkable odyssey.

It all started in the summer of 1974, when the Turkish army invaded Cyprus and nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots became refugees fleeing south.

"And so all the churches and homes and art was left behind," says Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection in Houston. "And after years, some of these churches began to be looted."

Seven years ago, when journalist Bryce Hoffman started covering the Ford Motor Co. for The Detroit News, he knew he was either witnessing the end of an American icon or its resurrection.

Republican presidential candidates this week — with the exception of Ron Paul — appeared to be trying to outdo each other in saying how tough they would be in dealing with Iran. Speaking before a pro-Israel group, they said President Obama has been weak — "feckless," in Mitt Romney's words.

Obama, meanwhile, was not impressed. He said he'd heard a lot of "bluster" and "big talk" about Iran, "but when you actually ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we've been doing over the last three years."

It's that time of year again — the time when the sports world starts to zone in on basketball's March Madness, hockey's playoff push, baseball's spring training ... and monster trucks. That's right, it's prime time for four-wheeled contraptions that specialize in crushing each other.

While it may be hard to get past the deafening radio ads, a funny thing can happen on the way to a Monster Jam show. It turns out that young fans' giddiness over the awesome destruction they're about to witness can be pretty contagious.

A federal court in New Orleans is preparing for one of the largest and most complex environmental lawsuits ever to come to court. It stems from the worst oil disaster in U.S. history: the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig nearly two years ago and the resulting oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.

Testimony is scheduled to begin at the end of the month. The case combines more than 500 lawsuits in one proceeding designed to determine who's responsible for what went wrong.

Threats And Lies, And 'Who I'm Supposed To Be'

Jan 13, 2012

Nathan Hoskins knew from an early age that he was gay. But when he was growing up in rural Kentucky, his mother took extreme steps to convince him otherwise.

"When I was in sixth grade, I had met a good friend and he wasn't interested in girls," Hoskins, who's now 33, tells his friend Sally Evans. "One day, he said, 'I have a Valentine's Day card for you.'"

"I asked him for it, and he said it was so special that he mailed it," he says. "And he didn't know he'd done a very terrible thing because at my house only one person got the mail — and that was my mother."