Planet Money
12:13 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Egypt May Not Need Fighter Jets, But The U.S. Keeps Sending Them Anyway

An American F-16 fighter plane arrives at an airbase in Egypt on March 27, 1982.
Foley AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:51 am

Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt.

The U.S. started sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt in the late '80s. In all, the U.S. sent more than 1,000 tanks to Egypt since then — valued at some $3.9 billion — which Egypt maintains along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.

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Anastasia Tsioulcas is an Associate Producer for NPR Music. In this role she is responsible for producing, blogging and occasional reporting on classical and world music.

Tsioulcas is co-host of NPR's classical music blog, Deceptive Cadence, and also produces live concert webcasts, ranging from Member Station co-productions to other live concerts and special events, including Field Recordings and Tiny Desk Concerts, that she's helped curate and produce.

Music
11:03 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Reunited After 50 Years, An Algerian Buena Vista Social Club Makes Its U.S. Debut

Oud player Rachid Berkani, 76, is one of the musicians of El Gusto.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:31 am

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NPR Story
10:57 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Immigration Reform Could Mean Windfall For Private Prisons

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) detention center in Elizabeth, N.J., that the private prison contractor runs for the government, is seen Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008. Inside, immigrants are detained indefinitely, some for months and years, while the government decides what to do with them. (Mel Evans/AP)

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 2:05 pm

Members of Congress are in their home districts until later this fall, but that doesn’t mean they’re able to escape the issues on Capitol Hill.

Immigration reform is one of those issues following them back home. Advocacy groups and their opponents around the country are staging protests and events to highlight the issue.

But one potential side effect of immigration reform is getting overlooked: private prisons stand to make a lot of money.

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Environment
7:46 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Fight Over Alleged Radioactive Waste Involves Kern County Landfills

Consumer Watchdog and other environmental groups have filed suit against Boeing and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control over what they claim is the illegal disposal of low-level radioactive waste from a retired Boeing facility in Ventura County.

The groups allege that the demolition of potentially contaminated buildings at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory near Simi Valley is a threat to public health, and a violation of the state’s environmental laws.

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Commentary
6:47 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

How A Marine Biologist Learned to Live With Shark Week

David Shiffman is a marine biologist studying shark conservation and a blogger.
Credit David Shiffman / https://twitter.com/WhySharksMatter

When I was a little boy growing up in Pittsburgh, hundreds of miles from the ocean, the only sharks I ever saw were at the aquarium or on my TV. These early images helped inspire me to become a shark biologist. I’ve now interacted with thousands of sharks up close, including a face-to-face with a 12-foot sand tiger shark that formed the basis of my college admission essay.

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Education
6:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

FUSD's Michael Hanson Praises Waiver for 'No Child Left Behind' Act

Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson (file photo)
Credit FUSD

A day after the U.S. Department of Education gave eight of California's largest school districts a waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson praised the decision, saying it will improve accountability and student performance, and "allows us to do work very differently." 

The districts, which include Sanger Unified and Fresno Unified, are all members of a coalition called the California Office to Reform Education or CORE.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Hubbub Over Hillary Clinton Movies: A Dress Rehearsal For 2016

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears at the Women in Public Service Project leadership symposium in Bryn Mawr, Pa., on July 9.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:33 pm

Commotion over a pair of movies that haven't even been made proves, if anything, that the Clintons need not lift a finger to inspire a controversy.

That said, the hubbub over a planned CNN documentary and a proposed NBC Entertainment miniseries on Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, does feel somewhat premature. Clinton hasn't said whether she intends to run for president in 2016.

But it's never too early to take a Democratic Party titan down a few pegs, especially one who polls well ahead of all Republican presidential possibilities.

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It's All Politics
3:47 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

5 Memorable Moments When Town Hall Meetings Turned To Rage

Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., listens to a man voice his complaints during a town hall meeting in Lebanon, Pa., on Aug. 11, 2009.
Bradley C Bower AP

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 3:59 pm

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Military Veterans Accuse San Diego Mayor Of Sexual Harassment

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner entered a two-week behavioral therapy program on Monday.
Sam Hodgson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 7:59 pm

Two military veterans are the latest women making allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

Eldonna Fernandez, a retired master sergeant from the Air Force, and Gerri Tindley, an Army veteran, said Filner made unwanted advances back when Filner was serving his 10th term as a U.S. congressman in 2012. What's more, they told CNN in an interview, he did so knowing the two women had said they were raped while in the military.

CNN reports:

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