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4:59 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Blast Rips Through West, Texas, Fertilizer Plant

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

A fertilizer plant exploded near Waco, Texas, Wednesday night. The explosion at West Fertilizer in downtown West, a community about 20 miles north of Waco, happened around 7 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north.

Politics
4:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Obama's Pressure Fails To Get Gun Measure Passed

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, President Obama had promised to put the full weight of his office behind getting Congress to pass new gun control legislation. That weight was apparently not enough. When the legislation failed yesterday, Obama went into the White House Rose Garden and made a blistering speech, calling it a shameful day for Washington.

NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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Politics
4:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Gun-Rights Groups Claim Victory On Rapid Series Of Votes

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We are following two major stories this morning. One is the fire and explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. We'll have more on that in a moment.

INSKEEP: We begin with a victory for gun rights groups and a stinging defeat for gun control. Senate Republicans joined a small group of Democrats to reject every major gun control proposal President Obama has been pushing since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Business
4:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Despite Flaws, Harvard Economists Stand By Research

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Two prominent Harvard economists have admitted there are errors in an influential paper they wrote on government debt. This paper was widely cited in recent budget debates. But the economists insist their mistakes do not significantly change their research.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: In their 2010 paper, Ken Rogoff and Carmen Rinehart argued that economic growth falls significantly when a country's debt level rises above 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

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Business
4:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Glitch Causes Foreclosure Settlement Checks To Bounce

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. In recent days, the government has begun sending out checks to about 4 million people whose homes fell into foreclosure during the housing crisis. This is part of a multibillion dollar agreement with banks accused of making serious errors in processing those foreclosures.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Most of these checks are not so big. They average several hundred dollars. But still a check, an effort to make amends, so this is a bit of a problem. When some of the home owners try to cash their checks, the checks bounced.

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Business
4:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Newtown, Ct., Businesses Suffer After Nearby School Shooting

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 8:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we're also reporting on the aftermath of another tragedy. Four months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, residents in Newtown, Connecticut are still trying to move forward. And the same goes for business owners, especially in Sandy Hook Village, just a mile from the school.

Neena Satija of member station WNPR has more.

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Business
4:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Airline Mergers Push Fares Higher

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with some sky-high prices.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: If you travel, you might have noticed airfares are going up sharply in many markets - and the reason is mergers. This could be just the beginning. Prices may keep rising if government regulators approve another merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways.

To talk more about this, we reached Scott McCartney. He writes an airline's column for "The Wall Street Journal."

Scott, thanks for coming on the program.

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The Record
4:27 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Coachella's Hometown Aims To Cash In On Fest's Rising Tide

The crowd at Coachella on Sunday.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for Coachella

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:30 pm

Like many California cities hit hard by the real estate crash, Indio (near Palm Springs) has been forced to make steep cutbacks to avoid bankruptcy. But unlike other cities, Indio hosts the highest-grossing music festival in the world — Coachella — which wraps up this weekend. It has made city leaders eager to capitalize on Coachella's riches.

Sam Torres, plumber by day, Indio city councilman by night, says he was prepared to become the most hated man in the city, and he very well may have achieved that goal. His offense? Proposing a 6 percent tax on Coachella tickets.

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The Record
4:03 am
Thu April 18, 2013

The Diverse Influence Of The 2013 Rock Hall Inductees

Public Enemy on stage in 1988. The group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame Thursday.
Suzie Gibbons Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

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Pop Culture
2:26 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Cleveland Celebrates Superman, Its Hometown Hero

Panels from Action Comics No. 1, the first Superman comic, adorn the site of illustrator Joe Shuster's former apartment building, long since demolished.
Brian Bull/WCPN

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 12:39 pm

April 18, 2013, is a big day for Superman. The Man of Steel, more powerful than a locomotive, turns 75. Most of us know Superman's story — faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Less well-known is that the superhero is not native to the lost world of Krypton, nor the rural Kansas burg of Smallville. Superman is Cleveland's native son — at least as far as the city's residents are concerned.

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The Picture Show
2:17 am
Thu April 18, 2013

In 'Which Way,' A War Photographer In His Element

Spc. Tad Donoho screams with pain in 2008 after being administered a "pink belly" for his birthday in Korengal Valley, Kunar province, Afghanistan. Each member of the platoon strikes his stomach until it begins to bruise, hence the name pink belly. From the book Infidel.
Tim Hetherington Magnum Photos

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

At the 2011 Academy Awards, the film Restrepo was among the documentaries nominated for an Oscar. It follows an American platoon on a remote mountaintop in what was, at the time, the most dangerous place in Afghanistan.

To make the film, writer Sebastian Junger teamed up with British photojournalist Tim Hetherington — who, walking the red carpet that night at the Oscars, might as well have been a young actor straight out of central casting: tall, handsome, charismatic.

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The Salt
6:17 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

In Meat Tests, More Data Tying Human Illness To Farm Antibiotics

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:26 pm

Are the antibiotics the livestock industry uses on animals responsible for antibiotic-resistant infections in people? Bacteria are notoriously hard to follow from farm to fork, but more pieces of the puzzle are coming together that suggest the answer is yes.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Supreme Court Backs Warrants For Blood Tests In DUI Cases

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:10 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before subjecting a drunken-driving suspect to a blood test. The vote was 8-to-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas the lone dissenter.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

WATCH: Obama Says It's A 'Pretty Shameful Day In Washington'

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:44 pm

President Obama ditched his usual diplomacy and accused Republican senators of putting politics ahead of the wants of the American people, when they voted to reject a bipartisan measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearm purchases.

"All in all, this is a pretty shameful day in Washington," Obama said.

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Politics
5:38 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obama Criticizes Congress After Background Check Bill Fails

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From Boston now to the White House, where President Obama reacted angrily tonight to the failure of an effort in the Senate to expand background checks for gun purchases. The amendment, proposed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, got only 54 votes - six short of the necessary 60. President Obama spoke in the White House Rose Garden. He called this a pretty shameful day for Washington.

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