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12:34 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

What Happens To Spelling Bee Kids? Years Later, The Prize Is Perspective

Srinivas Ayyagari onstage in 1992 (left); at right, Ayyagari today. "Seeing someone from ESPN commenting on your style and strategy was bizarre and weird. But it's the closest I'll ever come to being an athlete," Ayyagari says.
Srinivas Ayyagari

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:25 am

For an academic contest pitting young spellers against the dictionary, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has taken on the intensity of the fiercest athletic events. Feeling the warmth of television lights — not to mention nerves and distractions — all while sports commentators are analyzing your "style" and approach is something only a select club of young word-nerdy Americans gets to experience. How does that early experience affect these mostly middle-school-aged kids later in life?

Lasting Memories

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Author Interviews
12:29 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God And Getting Scared

Stephen King delves into the seedy underworld of carnies for his latest novel, Joyland.
Hard Case Crime

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:29 am

For 20 years, Stephen King has had an image stuck in his head: It's a boy in a wheelchair flying a kite on a beach. "It wanted to be a story, but it wasn't a story," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. But little by little, the story took shape around the image — and focused on an amusement park called "Joyland" located just a little farther down the beach.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Supreme Court Declines Review Of Planned Parenthood Case

The Supreme Court declined to intervene in a case involving Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

In the first Planned Parenthood defunding case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices have refused to disturb a lower court decision that barred Indiana from stripping Medicaid payments to the organization.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Three Years In A Row, Australia Named Happiest Place By OECD

The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated for the Vivid Sydney festival on May 24, in Sydney, Australia.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 9:13 am

If you lived in Australia, you'd be much happier.

At least that's what you can glean from the latest Better Life Index issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which ranked Australia the world's happiest nation for a third year in a row.

Because we know you're wondering: The United States is ranked No. 6, behind Australia, Sweden, Canada, Norway and Switzerland.

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The Salt
11:40 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Oh, This Is Fattening? Teens Ignore Fast Food Calorie Counts

Teen boys are far less likely than girls to check out calorie counts before biting into that burger, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:28 am

"Make that a large fry and Coke!"

This is what came out of my 13-year-old son's mouth this weekend on the way back from a camping trip.

After I'd ordered him a kids' meal at the drive-thru, he interjected to change the order. (I let it go, this time, since he's lean and we don't frequently eat fast food.)

But think of those extra calories. Or not.

Apparently, not too many boys his age are inclined to check out calorie counts (or other calorie information) when they eat out.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue May 28, 2013

London Attack Suspect Leaves Hospital; More Charges Filed

A Nov. 23, 2010, photo shows Michael Adebolajo (center, in dark T-shirt) with suspected Al-Shabab recruits who were arrested by Kenyan police. Adebolajo, one of the main suspects in the brutal murder of a soldier in London, was discharged from the hospital Tuesday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:14 am

One of the suspects in the murder last week of British soldier Lee Rigby has been released from the hospital and is in police custody. Michael Adebowale, 22, received treatment after being shot by police following the brutal attack on Rigby in Woolwich, London. The other main suspect, Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains in the hospital.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Somali Militants Claim To Have Shot Down U.S. Drone

A 2007 file photo released by the Department of Defense, An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle.
Larry E. Reid Jr. Associated Press

A suspected U.S. reconnaissance drone has crashed in a region of southern Somalia controlled by the al-Shabab militant group, a governor of the region says.

Abdikadir Mohamed Nur, the governor of the Lower Shabelle region, told Reuters that al-Shabab had shot down the aircraft over the coastal town of Bulamareer, south of the capital, Mogadishu.

"Finally they hit it and the drone crashed," he said.

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Around the Nation
11:09 am
Tue May 28, 2013

The Business And Science Of Storm Shelters

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. A small hole in the ground, that's all it looked like the other day in the photo of the Christian Science Monitor, published in its coverage of a tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, a small hole in the ground surrounded on all sides by the wreckage of totally flattened homes, right up to the very edge of that hole in the ground, which oddly is rectangular in shape in the photo and has a door attached to it, flung open.

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Music Reviews
11:03 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Darius Rucker: Busted Hearts And Pickup Trucks

Darius Rucker's new album is titled True Believers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:43 am

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Digital Life
11:02 am
Tue May 28, 2013

What's Happened To Wonder? The Bliss Of Confusion

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:12 am

As children, we are allowed to be confused, lost, and full of wonder. As adults in the age of Google, we are expected to project confidence, knowledge and understanding. Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic, talks about how learning a foreign language reignited his imagination.

Around the Nation
11:02 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Tact, Tone And Timing: The Power Of Apology

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:17 am

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. I was heading out to do an errand a while back and I decided to drive, and as I approached my car, which was parked in the street, I walked up from behind and, drat, I spot the rear taillight has been smashed, somebody obviously trying to park behind me had bumped into it and cracked it open.

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Food
11:02 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Spicy Spectacles: The Hunt For The World's Hottest Pepper

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:57 am

Part of a competition in Northeast India, Pu Zozam ate five chili peppers, then collapsed. Food scientists call the Bhut Jolokia he ate one of the world's hottest peppers. Writer Mary Roach talks about her experience traveling to the state of Nagaland to try the pepper for herself.

The Two-Way
10:56 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Nike Is Cutting Ties To The Livestrong Charity

Lance Armstrong in 2009, wearing some of Nike's Livestrong apparel. Nike will stop manufacturing that line after the 2013 holiday season. And it is ending its support of the Livestrong charity.
Nicolas Bouvy EPA /LANDOV

A 9-year relationship is ending between athletic apparel giant Nike and Livestrong, the cancer charity founded by cyclist Lance Armstrong before his career imploded because of evidence that he had been doping for more than a decade.

The Livestrong foundation confirmed Tuesday that its "partnership with Nike" is being dissolved.

News reports say it was Nike that wanted to break things off.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Eyelid-Lift Payments From Medicare Rise, And Raise Eyebrows

The number of eyelid lifts reimbursed by Medicare more than tripled from 2001 to 2011, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Here, a woman is prepared for the procedure, along with an eyebrow lift.
Media for Medical UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:34 am

The number of eyelid lifts paid for by Medicare more than tripled in a 10-year span, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity. The cost to U.S. taxpayers for the simple surgery rose to $80 million in 2011 from $20 million in 2001, according to the report.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Liberty Reserve Charged In $6 Billion Money-Laundering Conspiracy

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:39 pm

Saying it was the world's largest international money laundering prosecution in history, authorities announced charges against the operators of Liberty Reserve, an online currency exchange that prosecutors say enabled more than a million people worldwide to launder about $6 billion.

Bloomberg reports:

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Tue May 28, 2013

No Delay In Trial Of Man Who Says He Killed Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman, defendant in the killing of Trayvon Martin, at an April 30 court hearing in Sanford, Fla.
Joe Burbank/pool Getty Images

Jury selection will begin June 10 in the trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida man accused of second-degree murder in the February 2012 death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Gallup Nears Settlement Deal With DOJ In Overbilling Case

The Gallup Organization has reached "an agreement in principle" with the Justice Department to settle civil allegations that the polling company overbilled the U.S. government by providing inflated estimates for federal contracts, according to a new court filing.

A deal could be announced by mid-June, the court filing says, bringing an end to a costly and embarrassing episode that first came to light when a Gallup insider blew the whistle.

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Movie Reviews
9:02 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Vampire Weekend Comes Of Age In 'The City'

Vampire Weekend (left to right: Chris Tomson, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, Ezra Koenig) met while they were all students at Columbia University.
Alex John Beck XL Recordings

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:02 pm

The New York City band Vampire Weekend has carved out a sense of immaculate melancholy for our era as surely as Steely Dan once did for Upstate New York in the '70s. Characterized most immediately by the earnest, concise, sometimes surprisingly expansive vocals of Ezra Koenig, Vampire Weekend makes atmospheric music.

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Europe
8:43 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Violence In Europe Leaves People Fearful

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Today, we're going to spend some time on some important stories coming from overseas. In a few minutes, we'll hear what one young woman's charges of rap reveal about how Pakistan's system of justice works - or doesn't - when it comes to sexual violence.

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Economy
8:43 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Should Detroit Bail Out By Selling Van Gogh?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we head to Detroit. We've reported a number of times on the city's serious financial difficulties. The city owes billions of dollars to creditors and the governor of Michigan has appointed an emergency manager to try to settle the city's finances.

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