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Stories for May 23, 2013

Military Moms: A Bond Borne From Shared Loss

May 23
NPR Staff / NPR
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In 1991, Kentucky residents Sally Edwards and Lue Hutchinson had sons serving in the Gulf War. Sally Edwards' son, Jack, was a Marine captain. Lue's son, Tom Butts, was a staff sergeant in the Army. The two men never knew each other, but today, their mothers are best friends.

Bridge Collapses In Wash. State; People, Cars In Water

May 23
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR

The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River at Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed Thursday, leaving an unknown number of people and vehicles in the water.

Jury Deadlocks On Jodi Arias Sentencing

May 23
Scott Neuman / NPR

A jury considering a sentence for Jodi Arias, convicted earlier this month in the brutal murder of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

My Brother The Jihadist

May 23
My Brother The Jihadist  Tease photo

Filmmaker Robb Leech sets out to discover why his step-brother, Rich, a white middle-class man from Dorset became a radical Islamist. Robb first heard of his brother’s conversion in a national newspaper in the summer of 2009. The article said Rich had converted under Anjem Choudary, leader of the radical Muslim group Islam4UK, which was later banned under Britain's anti-terror laws. Robb sets out to reconnect with his extremist stepbrother and find clues to what led Rich to become Salahuddin.

Srinivasan's Confirmation First For D.C. Circuit In 7 Years

May 23
Nina Totenberg / NPR
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For the first time in seven years, the U.S. Senate has confirmed a judge to sit on the important federal appeals court for the District of Columbia. The Senate unanimously confirmed Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan on Thursday for the seat previously held by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

After The Storm: Students Gather For One More School Day

May 23
David Schaper / NPR
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Under cloudy skies and through intermittent showers, 4-year-old Kamrin Ramirez holds in her little hands two cards, one addressed to Ms. Patterson, the other for Ms. Johnson, her two preschool teachers at Plaza Towers Elementary school in Moore, Okla.

FRONTLINE: Outlawed In Pakistan

May 23
FRONTLINE: Outlawed In Pakistan  Tease photo

In Pakistan, women and girls who allege rape are often more strongly condemned than their alleged rapists. Some are even killed by their own families. For this unforgettable documentary, filmmakers Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann spent years tracing one alleged rape victim's odyssey through Pakistan’s flawed justice system — as well as her alleged rapists’ quest to clear their names.

Barrera Will Lead Labor Council, Remain On School Board

May 23
By Kyla Calvert
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Richard Barrera will take over as head of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council while remaining on San Diego Unified's Board of Education.

Boy Scouts Vote To Admit Openly Gay Members

May 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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The Boy Scouts of America has agreed for the first time to allow openly gay boys as members, but a vote of the organization's National Council left in place a ban on gay Scout leaders.

'Extremely Active' Atlantic Hurricane Season Predicted

May 23
Jon Hamilton / NPR

Unusually warm ocean temperatures and favorable wind patterns mean the Atlantic is likely to see "an active or extremely active" hurricane season this year, say officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Alabama Republican Jo Bonner Says He's Leaving Congress

May 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., says he will leave Congress effective in August to take a senior position at the University of Alabama.

Head Of IRS Tax-Exempt Division Reportedly Placed On Leave

May 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Lois Lerner, the IRS official who oversees the branch of the agency that targeted conservative groups, has been placed on administrative leave a day after she refused to answer questions in a congressional probe of the scandal.

Highlights From 'The State Of The Border Report'

May 23
By Jill Replogle
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A report on the state of the U.S.-Mexico border calls for more strategic efforts to improve border security, and more emphasis on making trade and travel more efficient.

Abortion Opponents Try to Spin Murder Case Into Legislation

May 23
Julie Rovner / NPR
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As predicted, abortion opponents on Capitol Hill are wasting no time in their efforts to turn publicity over the recent murder conviction of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell to their legislative advantage.

Black Caucus Leader: We Disagree With Presidents, Even Obama

May 23
Frank James / NPR
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During his time as the first black president in the White House, President Obama has occasionally been criticized by a group he once belonged to as a U.S. senator -- the Congressional Black Caucus -- for not doing more to ameliorate the difficult lives of many African-Americans.

Descending Into The Mariana Trench: James Cameron's Odyssey

May 23
Bill Chappell / NPR
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At nearly seven miles below the water's surface, the Mariana Trench is the deepest spot in Earth's oceans. And the site north of Guam is where director and explorer James Cameron recently fulfilled a longtime goal of reaching the bottom in a manned craft.

Justice Sotomayor Takes Swing At Famed Baseball Case

May 23
Nina Totenberg / NPR
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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's wicked, waggish sense of humor -- and knowledge of baseball -- were on full display Wednesday, when she presided over a re-enactment of Flood v. Kuhn, the 1972 case that unsuccessfully challenged baseball's antitrust exemption.

Health Officials Decry Texas' Snubbing Of Medicaid Billions

May 23
Wade Goodwyn / NPR
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The state of Texas is turning down billions of federal dollars that would have paid for health care coverage for 1.5 million poor Texans.

NOVA: Manhunt - Boston Bombers

May 23
NOVA: Manhunt - Boston Bombers  Tease photo

At 2:50 p.m. on April 15, 2013, two bomb blasts turned the Boston Marathon finish line from a scene of triumph to tragedy, leaving three dead, hundreds injured and a city gripped by heartbreak and terror. NOVA follows the manhunt step-by-step, examining the role modern technology — combined with old-fashioned detective work — played in cracking the case. Given hundreds of hours of surveillance and bystander videos, how did agents spot the bad guys in a sea of spectators? Why couldn’t facial recognition software I.D. the criminals? How much could bomb chemistry analysis, cell phone GPS, infrared imagery and crowd sourcing reveal about the secrets behind this horrific crime?

Breaking Down Obama's New Blueprint For Fighting Terrorism

May 23
Greg Myre / NPR
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Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. search for a coherent counterterrorism strategy has revolved around three basic questions:

For Second Time, Moore Family Loses Home To A Tornado

May 23
Bill Chappell / NPR
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The tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., Monday destroyed some 12,000 homes, according to Oklahoma City Police. And for one family, it was the second house they've lost to a tornado in the past 14 years. Rena and Paul Phillips say that the recent loss won't make them move.

San Diego County Firefighters Train For Wildfire Season

May 23
By Susan Murphy
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Nearly 1,000 firefighters from around San Diego County teamed up for three days of wildfire training in preparation for a potentially dangerous fire season.

In La., Families Still Searching For Storm-Scattered Remains

May 23
Keith O'Brien / NPR
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Lionel Alverez is in the Promised Land Cemetery again, taking inventory. He has been coming to this cemetery in Plaquemines Parish, La., all his life. The graveyard is hemmed in between the Mississippi River and the marsh on a lonely stretch of highway.

NOAA Predicts Above-Average Hurricane Season

May 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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With memories of last year's Superstorm Sandy still fresh, NOAA is warning East Coasters and those farther inland to brace for another active Atlantic season, predicting that as many as six major storms will develop between the beginning of June and the end of November.

This 9-Year-Old Girl Told McDonald's CEO: 'Stop Tricking Kids'

May 23
Maria Godoy / NPR
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It's not every day that a 9-year-old girl chastises the CEO of one of the world's biggest fast-food chains.

NOVA: Oklahoma's Deadliest Tornadoes

May 23
NOVA: Oklahoma's Deadliest Tornadoes Tease photo

On May 20, 2013, a ferocious F5 tornado more than a mile wide tore through Moore, Oklahoma, causing 24 deaths and obliterating entire neighborhoods. It was the third time an exceptionally violent tornado had struck the city in 14 years. Yet predicting when and where such killer storms will hit still poses a huge challenge. Meet scientists in the front ranks of the quest to understand extreme weather events. Also meet storm survivors whose lives have been upended, and learn how we can protect ourselves and our communities for the uncertain future.

Hardly A Haven: Home Can Be Deadly In Natural Disasters

May 23
Nancy Shute / NPR
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Home can be a refuge. But when natural disaster strikes, hunkering down at home can be a deadly mistake.

Carole King: The Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize In Performance At The White House

May 23

This PBS music special features an all-star tribute to singer and songwriter Carole King, the 2013 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which honors the lifetime achievements of artists whose work exemplifies the standard of excellence associated with songwriters George and Ira Gershwin. King is known for such hits as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “So Far Away,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “I Feel the Earth Move.”

Calif. Health Exchange Plans, Rates Announced

May 23
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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The state's largest health insurers, including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente, will be among 13 plans competing for policies from millions of Californians who are expected to purchase coverage through the state's new health exchange.

Pool Safety Tips: Report Finds Most Child Drownings Occur In Backyard Pools

May 23
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Summer is all about family, friends, barbecues and pool parties. But that fun sometimes turns tragic when a child is involved in a drowning. A new report finds most child drownings occur in backyards.

In Oklahoma, Praying To A 'God Of Rebuilding'

May 23
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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All that's left standing at Kiaya Roper's house in Moore, Okla., is the bathroom. When a tornado struck the town on Monday, Roper was at work at Central Elementary School, her children were at school and her husband managed to ride out the storm by hunkering down in that bathroom.

Moore Finds Comfort In Animals Who Survived The Storm

May 23
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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There's no room at the inn for the Degmans. Not the Days Inn, anyway.

Obama To Limit Drone Strikes, Renew Effort To Close Guantanamo

May 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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President Obama on Thursday unveiled a major pivot in White House counterterrorism policy, calling for a limiting of CIA drones strikes and for a renewed effort to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

City Considers Taxi Industry Overhaul Amid Reports Of Low Wages And Unsafe Cabs

May 23
Evening Edition
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The city will not renew its five-year contract with MTS for overseeing San Diego's taxi industry due to complaints about poor working conditions, passenger safety and lax oversight.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: Seattle, Washington - Hour Three

May 23
By Jennifer Robinson
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: Seattle, Washington - Hour Three  Tease photo

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW host Mark L. Walberg discusses Northwest Coast Indian masks with appraiser Ted Trotta at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Seattle becomes the city that sparkles with the discovery of a late-16th-century diamond and enamel jewel. Other notable finds include a moose, elk and buffalo hide chair; an 1880s Crazy Quilt; and a white Steiff clown bear worth $2,500-$3,200.

3-D Printer Makes Life-Saving Splint For Baby Boy's Airway

May 23
Bill Chappell / NPR
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A 3-D printer is being credited with helping to save an Ohio baby's life, after doctors "printed" a tube to support a weak airway that caused him to stop breathing. The innovative procedure has allowed Kaiba Gionfriddo, of Youngstown, Ohio, to stay off a ventilator for more than a year.

Revised Stolen Valor Act Awaits Obama's Signature

May 23
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Stolen Valor Act has cleared both the Senate and House, and now awaits President Obama's signature to become law. The measure would make it a federal crime for someone to benefit financially from lying about having earned military medals.

Doodle 4 Google Artist Celebrates Her Military Family (Video)

May 23
By Beth Ford Roth
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The winning artist of this year's Doodle 4 Google contest is Sabrina Brady, a military brat from Wisconsin. The high school senior's drawing illustrates her homecoming with her father after his 18-month deployment in Iraq.

Production Of New Vehicles Predicted To Hit 2002 Levels

May 23
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Strong new-vehicle sales figures are causing industry analysts to revise their forecasts for North American production levels in 2013, with J.D. Power & Associates and LMC Automotive predicting 16 million units will be produced -- a mark not hit since 2002.

State Officials And Local Grocers Pair Up To Encourage Healthier Eating

May 23
By Erik Anderson
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California officials are working with grocers in San Diego's Barrio Logan neighborhood to encourage healthier eating – a rare treat for a community where unhealthy foods are easier to find.

Reports: Obama To Limit Drones, Urge Action On Guantanamo

May 23
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Ahead of his much-anticipated speech Thursday afternoon at the National Defense University, there's word that President Obama:

Amid Nails and Mud, Oklahoma Neighborhood Pulls Together

May 23
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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Brian Hock was standing Wednesday evening in what used to be his home but is now 2,000 square feet of nothing. The cup he uses to scoop out kibble is still resting in the bag, emblazoned with the slogan, "Fear not: God's love shines bright."

Weekend Preview: Lebanese Festival, Pop Thursdays And Secrete Discoteque II

May 23
Midday Edition
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From a community festival celebrating Lebanese culture and cuisine to a Star Wars-themed beer event, here are a few events to check out this weekend.

Cleveland Hero Charles Ramsey Rewarded With Burgers For Life

May 23
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who helped rescue three young women from a Cleveland home where authorities say they had been held captive and brutalized for about a decade, "will enjoy free burgers for life" in honor of his actions, The Plain Dealer reports.

Antidepressant May Protect The Heart Against Mental Stress

May 23
Nancy Shute / NPR
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Stress can be a bummer for your heart. And, it seems, antidepressants may help some people with heart disease better weather that stress.

AAA: Memorial Holiday Travel Down

May 23
Steve Milne, Capital Public Radio

Fewer Californians intend to travel this Memorial Day Weekend, according to a new survey.

Brown Skeptical of LAO's Higher Revenue Projections

May 23
Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio
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California Governor Jerry Brown is dismissing calls from Democrats to increase spending after the state’s non-partisan legislative analyst's office projected higher budget revenues than he did.

Gusty Winds To Blow Through San Diego County Mountains, Deserts

May 23
City News Service

Gusty west winds will blow through the mountains and deserts of San Diego County today, according to the National Weather Service.

Triple Murder May Link Tsarnaev And Man Killed In Florida

May 23
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Ibragim Todashev, the 27-year-old man shot and killed after he allegedly attacked an FBI agent Wednesday in Orlando, may have been involved with Boston bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a 2011 triple murder.

Funerals Begin In Tornado-Ravaged Moore, Okla.

May 23
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Funerals began Thursday for the 24 people known to have been killed by the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday.

Sick Inmates Dying Behind Bars Despite Release Program

May 23
Carrie Johnson / NPR
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Prison is a tough place, but Congress made an exception nearly 30 years ago, giving terminally ill inmates and prisoners with extraordinary family circumstances an early way out. It's called compassionate release.

Living In Two Worlds, But With Just One Language

May 23
Michele Norris / NPR
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NPR continues its conversations about The Race Card Project, where NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris asks people to send in six-word stories about race and culture. The submissions are personal, provocative and often quite candid.