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Stories for June 7, 2013

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Army Suspends Commander In Japan For Not Investigating Sex Assault Charge (Video)

June 7, 2013
By Beth Ford Roth

Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno on Friday relieved Maj. Gen. Michael Harrison of his duties as the commanding general of U.S. Army Japan for allegedly failing to report a charge of sexual assault.

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Political Watchdog Found No Violation Of Campaign Law By U-T San Diego

June 7, 2013
By Amita Sharma

The Fair Political Practices Commission told KPBS there was insufficient evidence to open an investigation into U-T San Diego political ads.

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President Obama Touts Implementation Of Federal Health Law In California

June 7, 2013
Pauline Bartolone, Capital Public Radio

President Obama made a stop in Northern California today to tout the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the state.

Grand Jury Indicts Ariel Castro On 329 Counts

June 7, 2013
Bill Chappell / NPR

Ariel Castro, whose Cleveland, Ohio, home allegedly became a prison for three kidnapped young women, has been indicted on 329 counts by a grand jury. Other charges include 177 counts of kidnapping and 139 counts of rape, as well as aggravated murder, a charge stemming from "the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy."

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Nuclear Fuel To Be Stored At San Onofre As Part Of Decommissioning

June 7, 2013
By Amita Sharma

Edison has nearly $3 billion in a decommissioning fund. About two dozen nuclear U.S. nuclear plants have already been decommissioned.

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Ramona School Board Approves 2-Year Labor Deal With Teachers

June 7, 2013
Melissa Phy / Patch.com

Ending more than 18 months of labor strife, the Ramona school board Thursday night ratified a two-year contract with teachers that still calls for pay cuts, furloughs and other sacrifice.

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Proposal Would Lift Restrictions On Endangered Gray Wolves

June 7, 2013
By Laurel Morales

The Obama administration proposed lifting protections for gray wolves Friday. The announcement comes almost four decades after federal officials listed them as endangered.

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Black Americans Give Entertainment Options Failing Grades

June 7, 2013
Shereen Marisol Meraji / NPR

All this week on Code Switch and on air we've been digging into the findings of a survey of African-American views of their communities, finances and social lives. We conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Palomar Health To Lay Off 84 Workers

June 7, 2013
By Kenny Goldberg

The operator of San Diego County's newest and most expensive hospital plans to lay off 84 people this summer.

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Salt, Flies, Pickled Tongues: A Perfect Great Salt Lake Swim

June 7, 2013
Howard Berkes / NPR

It's the "liquid lie of the desert," as writer Terry Tempest Williams describes it, a vast inland sea so salty it triggers retching when swallowed. Brine shrimp swarm its waters and brine flies blanket the shore. In the right wind and weather its putrid smell reaches Salt Lake City neighborhoods 16 miles away. Storms churn up waves that rival ocean swells.

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United States Of Outrage: NSA, IRS Overreach Sparks Bipartisan Ire

June 7, 2013
Frank James / NPR

Even in an era of stark political polarization, there are still some issues that can draw Americans together and scramble the normal ideological fault lines.

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Datapalooza: A Concept, A Conference And A Movement

June 7, 2013
Eric Whitney / NPR

If you're having trouble picturing a health "datapalooza," think 2,000-plus data geeks, entrepreneurs, industry bigwigs and bureaucrats stuffed into hotel conference rooms with lots of coffee and PowerPoints.

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Air Force Singing Star Angie Johnson Releases Debut Video

June 7, 2013
By Beth Ford Roth

Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Angie Johnson, who gained fame when video of her singing "Rolling in the Deep" in Afghanistan went viral, has released her first professional music video aptly called "Sing for You."

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Six Dead, Several Hurt In Santa Monica Shootings, Police Say

June 7, 2013
Bill Chappell, Eyder Peralta

As many as six people died in a series of shootings in Santa Monica Friday, according to city police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks. The gunman was eventually shot to death in an exchange of fire with police in the library of Santa Monica College, she said at a news conference.

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You React To San Onofre's Closure

June 7, 2013
KPBS

The San Onofre power plant has been the subject of much debate since a small radiation leak led to its shutdown in January 2012. Now, the plant is officially retired. These are your reactions to the news.

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Roundtable: San Onofre To Shut Down, Cunningham Out Of Prison

June 7, 2013
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

San Onofre to shut down for good and disgraced Congressman Randy Duke Cunningham is out of prison and on parole.

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Parents Of POW Bowe Bergdahl Receive First Letter From Son (Video)

June 7, 2013
By Beth Ford Roth

The parents of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl said this week they received a letter they believe was written by their son. It's the first direct contact from Bergdahl, who has been a prisoner of war since 2009.

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Hold The Hot Dog: National Park Visitors Can Feast On Bison Burgers

June 7, 2013
Allison Aubrey / NPR

The director of the National Park Service doesn't have anything against hot dogs or pizza being served in eateries in national parks.

Reports: Husband Cleared, Wife Arrested In Latest Ricin Case

June 7, 2013
Mark Memmott / NPR

There's been an arrest by federal authorities who are trying to track down the person responsible for last month mailing possibly ricin-laced letters to President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a gun control group the mayor supports.

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An Artist's Brush Reveals Tales Of Struggle And Survival

June 7, 2013
Nancy Shute / NPR

Most health policy meetings are a dull gray snooze of business suits talking data. They seem a million miles removed from making sick people healthy. But this week in Washington, D.C., some of those meetings was enlivened by a sudden flash of color.

Poll: Americans, Chinese Harbor Mutual Suspicions

June 7, 2013
Scott Neuman / NPR

As President Obama and his Chinese counterpart prepare for a weekend summit in California to discuss thorny bilateral issues, a new poll shows that ordinary Americans and Chinese increasingly eye one another with suspicion.

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The Cost Of Power Post-San Onofre

June 7, 2013
By Hailey Persinger

How much will it cost to power your home now that San Onofre is offline for good? Short answer: possibly more.

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California Nuclear Plant Slated For Permanent Shut Down

June 7, 2013
Scott Neuman / NPR

California's San Onofre nuclear power plant will be shut down for good amid concerns as to whether it could be safely restarted after being offline since early last year because of a radiation leak.

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On National Doughnut Day, Free Food And Feel-Good History

June 7, 2013
Maria Godoy / NPR

We here at The Salt tend to look at themed food holidays with a heavy dose of skepticism. Most of these days sound more like marketing schemes than true reasons for a national day of remembrance.

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'Nobody Is Listening To Your Telephone Calls,' Obama Says

June 7, 2013
Mark Memmott / NPR

In his most extensive comments so far on the revelations this week about the electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting, President Obama told the American people Friday that "nobody is listening to your telephone calls."

APNewsBreak: Plan lifts Lower 48 wolf protections

June 7, 2013
Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- The Obama administration on Friday proposed lifting most remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but that some scientists said was premature.

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No Big Waves In The Labor Pool

June 7, 2013
Marilyn Geewax / NPR

June is a nice month for treading water -- if you happen to be in a swimming pool.

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San Diego Schools Told To Repay $13.4 Million In Lunch Funds

June 7, 2013
Associated Press

The San Diego Unified School District has been ordered to repay $13.4 million that state authorities claim it improperly diverted from a lunch program for poor children.

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San Onofre To Be Permanently Closed

June 7, 2013
By Alison St John, Tarryn Mento

Southern California Edison announces it is retiring the remaining reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Decommissioning the plant will take 40 years and cost 1,100 jobs.

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EPA And Lawmakers Call Lack Of Clean Drinking Water Unacceptable

June 7, 2013
Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio

The EPA and lawmakers say California needs to do more to provide communities with safe drinking water.

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Behind The Scenes: 'His Girl Friday'

June 7, 2013
By Beth Accomando, Nicholas McVicker

When the La Jolla Playhouse decided to stage “His Girl Friday,” they had to ask how could they make a play about reporters in 1939 Chicago connect with an audience in San Diego today? The solution involves a clever set design and plenty of doors.

California Rail Authority Awards $1 Billion Contract

June 7, 2013
Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio

California’s High speed rail project is on track to start construction this summer. But questions are already being raised about the company chosen Thursday to begin the venture.

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San Diego-Based Algae Biofuel Strikes 'Milestone' Deal With Oil Giant

June 7, 2013
By Susan Murphy

Neste Oil, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel, has agreed to purchase large volumes of San Diego-based Cellana’s algae crude oil.

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Why Metadata Is Shaping The Future of Privacy

June 7, 2013
By David Wagner

The U.S. government has been collecting phone records on all Verizon customers since at least April, and probably longer. Defenders of the surveillance program say it doesn't breach privacy because it's only gathering metadata. But what exactly is metadata?

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'Profound Questions About Privacy' Follow Latest Revelations

June 7, 2013
Mark Memmott / NPR

Fresh reports about the massive amount of electronic data that the nation's spy agencies are collecting "raise profound questions about privacy" because of what they say about how such information will be collected in the future, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston said Friday on Morning Edition.

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What Else Has The Longest-Serving Congressman Outlasted?

June 7, 2013
Erica Ryan / NPR

Rep. John Dingell will make history on Friday, when he surpasses the late Sen. Robert Byrd's record to become the longest-serving member of Congress.

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Former Mass. Chief Justice On Life, Liberty And Gay Marriage

June 7, 2013
Nina Totenberg / NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court, on the brink of issuing two same-sex-marriage decisions, is facing a question that Margaret Marshall had to resolve for her state a decade ago, as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Her decision became the first to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.