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5:59 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Senators Get Time In Solitary Confinement

An exercise area for inmates in solitary confinement in California's Pelican Bay prison. Inmates are allowed to leave their windowless cells for 2 1/2 hours daily to exercise and bathe.
Michael Montgomery Center for Investigative Reporting

At any given moment, about 15,000 men and women are living in solitary confinement in the federal prison system, housed in tiny cells not much larger than a king-sized bed.

"It is hard to describe in words what such a small space begins to look like, feel like and smell like when someone is required to live virtually their entire life in it," says Craig Haney, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

But Tuesday, Haney, who has studied life inside prisons for three decades, had an opportunity to paint that picture.

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Education
5:59 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Board Member Resigns After U.Va. President Fired

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block at NPR West, in California.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Law
5:31 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Senate Holds First Hearing On Solitary Confinement

Advocates for prisoners rights say too many inmates spend years in solitary confinement — in violation of the constitutional bar against cruel and unusual punishment. Today, they persuaded the U.S. Senate to hold the first hearing on the issue, as state and federal prison systems fend off new lawsuits over the practice.

Energy
5:11 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Shell Faces Pushback As Alaska Drilling Nears

Shell says it hopes to never need to use its new 300-foot-long, $100 million oil recovery ship named Nanuq for anything other than drills and training.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 5:59 pm

The federal government could soon give the final go-ahead for Royal Dutch Shell to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Shell has spent $4 billion since 2007 to prepare for this work, and is hoping to tap into vast new deposits of oil.

But the plan to drill exploratory wells is controversial — opposed by environmental groups and some indigenous people as well.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:07 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

How Opponents Won The Health Care Messaging War

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 5:15 pm

OK, so it's not exactly news that the Obama administration hasn't done the best job in the world selling the Affordable Care Act to the American public.

But now the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has some statistics to demonstrate just how sorry that job has been. And it suggests that the media gets at least some of the blame.

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

With Polka Band And Pie, Romney Wraps Up Small-Town Tour In Michigan

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes a pie shell with store owner Linda Hundt during a campaign stop Tuesday in DeWitt, Mich.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 3:00 pm

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a five-day, six-state tour in Michigan on Tuesday.

Each of the states he visited was won by President Obama in the 2008 election. Each is also shaping up as a potential battleground this year.

In Michigan, the state where Romney was born, he avoided big cities and stayed in places friendly to the GOP. As he traveled east to west across central Michigan by bus, there were some pockets of protesters, but mostly at a distance.

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Environment
4:35 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

As Tsunami Debris Crosses Pacific, Dangers Emerge

A nearly 70-foot dock that was torn loose from a fishing port in northern Japan by last year's tsunami washed ashore on Agate Beach in Oregon. Marine scientists have found potentially invasive species among the 100 tons of marine life that traveled aboard the dock.
Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation AP

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 5:59 pm

Beaches on the West Coast are getting a regular dose of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. The first few items were curiosities — a boat here, a soccer ball there — but as the litter accumulates, officials such as Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire have acknowledged the scale of the problem.

"We are in for a steady dribble of tsunami debris over the next few years, so any response by us must be well-planned — and it will be," she said.

Beyond the obvious problem of litter, officials are on the lookout for hidden dangers.

Debris 'Everywhere'

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Shots - Health Blog
4:07 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Regardless Of High Court, No Return To Old Days For Parts Of Health System

Attorney Paul Clement argued against the heath care overhaul at the Supreme Court in March. The decision on the law's constitutionality is expected any day.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Will recent changes to the way health care is delivered and paid for last even if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Health Act?

It's far from unanimous, but many believe Newton's law of inertia will kick in even if the statute that launched the changes drops away.

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Europe
4:05 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Germany Resists Concessions To Greek Bailout Terms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with members of her delegation before the first plenary session of the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Monday.
Yuri Cortez Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 7:18 pm

The party that won Greece's parliamentary elections on Sunday has accepted the tough conditions international lenders imposed to bail out the ailing nation. But there's been talk that the party wants to seek some concessions on the terms of the rescue package.

At the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her tough line that bailout terms for Greece are not negotiable. After the summit, Merkel returns to a German electorate that is now fed up with a debt crisis that only seems to grow and worsen.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Senators Ask Supreme Court To Televise Health Care Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on June 18.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Two members of the Senate's Judiciary Committee are asking the Supreme Court to provide live coverage of its proceedings when it hands down its decision on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law.

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