The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

On Twitter, Scott Simon's Long Goodbye To His Mother

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon documented his mother's final days to his more than 1.2 million Twitter followers.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 2:22 pm

Fans of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday no doubt noticed the absence of longtime host Scott Simon in recent weeks. What started as a well-earned vacation took a somber turn, as Scott told his Twitter followers on July 16 that his mother was in need of an emergency operation. "I can't talk. I'm surrounded by handsome men," he quoted her as saying while she was prepped for surgery.

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The Salt
6:50 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

For The Love Of Beer: How Empty Cans Made A House A Home

The Beer Can House in Houston in 2011. It's estimated that more than 50,000 beer cans were used to cover the entire house.
Bill Rand Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 3:34 pm

At first, all John Milkovisch wanted in 1968 was a covered patio where he could drink his beer at the end of the day. But a bigger idea was brewing. For years, he had been saving his empty beer cans.

"While I was building the patio I was drinking the beer," he said in an interview in 1983. "I knew I was going to do something with them aluminum cans because that was what I was looking for ... but I didn't know what I was going to do." (Milkovisch died in 1988.)

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Education
6:16 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

CSU Campuses Expand Online Course Offerings

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California State University students can now enroll in more online classes than they’ve been able to.

CSU’s Mike Uhlenkamp says starting Thursday students can take online classes at any CSU campus - even courses not available at their home campus.

“A student can be enrolled at Sacramento State but take a course that’s available online from Channel Islands," says Uhlenkamp.

He says the new system will help make up for a lack of available spots in high-demand classroom courses.

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Education
6:04 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Controversial Transgender Rights Bill Awaits Action from Governor Brown

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lee says he sometimes feels isolated in school.
Credit Max Pringle / Capital Public Radio

A controversial transgender student bill is awaiting action from California Governor Jerry Brown. As Max Pringle reports from Sacramento, it would

allow transgender students to play on sports teams and use the facilities of the gender with which they identify.

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lee says he sometimes feels isolated. His school district in Manteca views him as a girl but he identifies as male.  Lee says getting assigned to girls P.E. and having to use the female restrooms unfairly singles him out. 

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The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Sold! First Parcels Auctioned For Future Offshore Wind Farms

The offshore wind farm in the North Sea near Borkum, Germany, is nearly complete. The Riffgat facility, seen here on June 23, includes 30 turbines, each with a generating capacity of 3.6 megawatts.
David Hecker Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 3:01 pm

A Rhode Island company was the highest bidder in the federal government's first-ever auction for the right to build an offshore wind farm.

After 11 rounds, Deepwater Wind outbid two other companies for two patches of ocean off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The winning bid was $3.8 million.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

House Votes To Cut Student Loan Rate, Sends Bill To Obama

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 5:08 pm

The Republican-controlled House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to cut the cost of borrowing for federal student loans, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.

The bill, which had easily passed the Democratic-controlled Senate last week, would retroactively cut higher rates — which on July 1 had jumped to at least 6.8 percent.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

NSA Chief To Hackers: Analysts Don't Abuse Their Power

U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The director of the National Security Agency faced a tough crowd at the premier yearly gathering of hackers in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander gave the keynote address at the Black Hat USA convention on the same day the British newspaper The Guardian published more details on a top-secret program that collects vast amount of data transmitted over the Internet.

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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Twice Rejected, LGBT Group Won't Give Up On Boy Scout Bid

Senicka Arciaga-Spears (left), with his siblings and mothers, Kelly and Eliza. Senicka hopes to join the Boy Scouts if the Utah Pride Center's troop charter application is accepted.
Terry Gildea KUER

Seventh-grader Senicka Arciaga-Spears wants to be a Boy Scout. Over a homemade Sunday evening dinner, he tells his two moms, Eliza and Kelly, that he wants to learn survival skills — including fishing and "dangerous hiking."

Eliza would like her son to join the Scouts, too. "They teach discipline and obedience and respect and self-sufficiency. I want that for him," she says. "I want him to learn those things and be surrounded by those things."

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Parallels
2:48 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Pope's Visit: A Bumpy Test Run For Rio's World Cup, Olympics

Hundreds of thousands of people crowd Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday as Pope Francis celebrates the final Mass of his visit to Brazil. Security lapses, traffic chaos and other logistical snafus marred the visit.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 4:47 pm

While the recent World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro were a success for Pope Francis, they certainly weren't for the city government. Accusations of disorganization and transport failures have left residents wondering if Rio is really ready to host both the World Cup and the Olympics.

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It's All Politics
2:36 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

As His Campaign Craters, Weiner Picks Fight Over Flight

Anthony Weiner listens to a question from the media after courting voters outside a Harlem subway station in May.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 3:05 pm

Back in the day, when Anthony Weiner was still a youthful Democratic representative from Brooklyn, before the dirty texts and the penis photos chased him from Washington, before his scrabbling, sinking campaign for New York City mayor, he strove to emulate his predecessor.

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