The Salt
12:25 am
Wed April 24, 2013

For Corn, Fickle Weather Makes For Uncertain Yields

By this time last year, 26 percent of the country's corn crop was already planted. A wet, cold spring means that only 4 percent is in the ground right now.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:06 am

Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.

It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. But farmers need a break in the rain so they can get this year's crops in the ground and try to lock in good yields at harvest.

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The Salt
12:24 am
Wed April 24, 2013

How Coffee Influenced The Course Of History

An overseer sits in the shade while workers collect coffee beans on a Brazilian plantation, circa 1750.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:49 pm

Coffee is a powerful beverage. On a personal level, it helps keep us awake and active. On a much broader level, it has helped shape our history and continues to shape our culture.

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World
12:21 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Egypt's Jon Stewart Says He Won't Back Down Amid Charges

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef waves to his supporters as he enters Egypt's state prosecutor general's office in Cairo on March 31 to face charges of allegedly insulting Islam and the country's leader.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:19 pm

It's 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night, and Bassem Youssef's show is on TV screens at cafes throughout downtown Cairo.

It's the Egyptian political satirist's first show since he was summoned to the prosecutor general's office to answer questions about the jokes he makes on TV. After the interrogation, he was released on about $2,200 bail.

On this night, the show opens with a joke about Youssef himself.

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The Salt
12:20 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Coffee For A Cause: What Do Those Feel-Good Labels Deliver?

Luis Fernando Vasquez has been a coffee farmer in the central valley of Costa Rica his entire life.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:50 pm

What does it take to find guilt-free coffee?

Much of our coffee comes from places where the environment is endangered and workers earn very little — sometimes, just a few dollars for a whole day's work. Coffee farmers have helped cut down tropical forests, and most of them use pesticides.

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Government & Politics
6:44 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

California Undocumented Driver License Bill Moves Forward

Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo (file photo)

Under current law, if you don’t have a Social Security number, you can’t get a license to drive in California. But proposed legislation would change that. Katie Orr reports from the Capitol.

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Government & Politics
6:35 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Governor's Brown's Sacramento Loft Broken Into

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown says he had an unwelcome visitor at his Sacramento loft a couple of days ago when he and his wife weren’t home:

“A guy jumped – got in, got up to the roof, jumped down on the balcony and was trying to break in. and one of my neighbors called the police.  And he was arrested and I think he’s out on his own recognizance,” says Brown.

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Community
4:12 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

'Maker' Re-Creates Victorian Era Downtown Fresno With Cardboard

The centerpiece of John Rupe's cardboard city is the old Fresno County Courthouse, which was demolished in 1966.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

John Rupe doesn't have a time machine. But he does have laminated cardboard, glue and thin sheets of copper - just enough to take a trip back in time to a Fresno that hasn't existed for over nearly a century. That year is 1900. 

Rupe has always loved Downtown Fresno. 

"I explored," Rupe said. "I was in Hotel Fresno in the 80's and it was vacant back then... I was in the Sun-Maid Raisin plant before it was demolished and the Republican Newspaper building, which has been demolished too."

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Law
4:01 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Sending Ricin Letters

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Mysterious new developments in Mississippi today in the case of poisoned letters sent to President Obama, a U.S. Senator and a Mississippi judge. Federal authorities are dropping charges against a man arrested last week in connection with the case.

NPR's Debbie Elliott has an update for us. And, Debbie, to start, the initial suspect, Paul Kevin Curtis, is actually free tonight. What happened in this case?

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It's All Politics
3:45 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Cuts Delay Flights But Not Fingerpointing

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and fellow GOP senators accused the Obama administration of creating a "manufactured crisis" by furloughing FAA air traffic controllers and causing delayed flights.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 8:02 am

Blame shifting was in high gear Tuesday on Capitol Hill and at the White House as the first air traffic delays tied to the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration controllers began to get attention.

The Republicans' message: Delays at some airports this week — a result of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester that took effect in March, but whose resulting furloughs are just kicking in — was a "manufactured crisis," and that the administration wants voters angry enough to force Congress to give President Obama the higher taxes he seeks.

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All Tech Considered
3:26 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Google Execs Say 'The Power Of Information Is Underrated'

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google (third from left), and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (second from right) watch as a North Korean student surfs the Internet. Schmidt and Richardson visited this computer lab during a tour of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, North Korea, in January.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:04 pm

Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen — coauthors of a new book, The New Digital Age — recently returned from a highly publicized trip to North Korea. In the second part of their conversation with NPR's Audie Cornish, they discuss the role of the Internet in more repressive countries.

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