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NPR's Backseat Book Club
3:23 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Meet Manjiro, Japan's Unlikely Teen Ambassador

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 7:50 am

This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.

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Law
3:13 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

When The Jury Becomes The Story

Former Sen. John Edwards leaves the federal courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday.
Chuck Liddy MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 9:58 pm

They were called the "giggle gang" — four alternate jurors in the John Edwards trial who wore the same-colored shirt to court on several days.

During nine days of deliberations, much attention was given to the merry band of alternates in the high-profile campaign finance case.

On Thursday, attention swung back to the jury itself, which found Edwards not guilty on one count. The judge declared a mistrial on the other five charges.

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Music Reviews
3:01 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Melody Gardot Aims For The Space Between Notes

Melody Gardot takes an understated approach to Brazilian music on her new album, The Absence.
Fabrizio Ferri

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 11:39 am

The other day, I had a conversation with Melody Gardot about space. Not outer space, but the space between notes in her music. These days, there's lots of it.

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Europe
3:00 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Battered Spanish Economy Nears Tipping Point

A student in Pamplona, holding a sign in the Basque language, protests cuts Thursday in education and other public services by the government. Spain's financial position is weakening and there are fears the country will need a bailout.
Alvaro Barrientos AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 9:58 pm

Spain's borrowing costs hit record highs this week and European stock markets have slumped over fears Madrid can't afford the price tag required to prop up its ailing banks. It's looking ever more likely the country will need some kind of bailout.

After watching Greece from afar for years, many Spaniards now believe Spain's number is up.

A tourist in Madrid might wonder where the crisis is. Traffic is heavy and the tapas bars are packed.

But listen in on some of the conversations, and it's clear that Spaniards are scared.

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Middle East
4:30 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Weighing The 'Yemen Option' For Syria

In this photo from 2009, Syrian President Bashar Assad (left) stands with then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh during a welcoming ceremony for Saleh at the presidential palace in Damascus. As the violence continues in Syria, the U.S. and other countries are hoping to convince Assad to step down from power, as Saleh did.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:56 pm

The Obama administration says that Syrian President Bashar Assad has forfeited his right to lead Syria, and grisly murders in the town of Houla over the weekend reinforce that argument.

But despite mounting pressure, Assad isn't budging. The U.S is now trying to enlist Russia to use its influence with the Syrian leader to follow the so-called Yemen model and move out of the way.

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It's All Politics
4:17 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

CEO In Chief? A Business Background Is Rare For Presidents

Mitt Romney addresses the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit in Washington earlier this month.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 11:17 am

Republican Mitt Romney is running on the strength of his business background. He says he knows how to fix the economy, in part because of his success at Bain Capital. But history is not necessarily on Romney's side. Very few businesspeople have made it to the White House.

The transition from business to politics isn't necessarily an easy one.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:57 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Oregon's Medicaid Experiment Represents A 'Defining Moment'

Roel Smart iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 4:47 pm

The things that Amy Vance does for James Prasad are pretty simple: She calls doctors with him, organizes his meds, and helps him keep tabs on his blood pressure, blood sugar and weight.

These simple things — and the relationship between a health coach like Vance and a chronically ill Medicaid patient like Prasad — are a big part of a $2 billion health care experiment in Oregon.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
3:43 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Obama's Own Story Defines His American Dream

President Obama greets diners at Reid's House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C., last fall. While there, he talked to a college student about the importance of education — one of the ideas Obama comes back to often.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 11:19 am

NPR is examining what the American dream means to our culture, our economy and our politics. On Morning Edition, we'll explore what Republicans think of the American dream. In this installment, the view from President Obama.

The American dream — the idea that in this country anyone can rise from humble beginnings and succeed — is deeply woven into our national psyche. It's a promise that draws immigrants to our shores. And it's a staple on the campaign trail.

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Election 2012
3:41 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

In N.J., Democratic Frenemies Wage Final Battle

Reps. Steve Rothman (left) and Bill Pascrell went head-to-head at a debate Monday in Montclair, N.J.
S.P. Sullivan NJ.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 4:47 pm

There was a time when U.S. House colleagues Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, Democrats from neighboring congressional districts in northern New Jersey, called themselves friends.

But congressional redistricting means Pascrell and Rothman will face off in the state's Democratic primary on Tuesday for one congressional seat. And despite their long friendship, the race has been anything but collegial.

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The Record
3:03 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

A New Hip-Hop Recipe With A Familiar Sound

Black Hippy are (from left) Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul.
Courtesy of Top Dawg Entertainment

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:22 pm

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