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National Security
11:31 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Transcript: Obama Addresses Counterterrorism, Drones

President Obama waves after addressing his administration's drone and counterterrorism policies, as well as the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 5:51 pm

  • Listen To The President's Speech

President Obama's remarks at the National Defense University on Thursday, as released by the White House:

Good afternoon, everybody. Please be seated.

It is a great honor to return to the National Defense University. Here, at Fort McNair, Americans have served in uniform since 1791 — standing guard in the earliest days of the Republic, and contemplating the future of warfare here in the 21st century.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
11:30 am
Fri May 24, 2013

June Kids' Book Club Pick: 'The One And Only Ivan'

One and Only Ivan: book cover detail

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 2:19 pm

Just in time for summer, NPR's Backseat Book Club will introduce us to an amazing gorilla. He's the title character in The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

Ivan is a silverback who's the only gorilla living in a shopping mall. Luckily he has friends — an elephant, a dog and a young girl. He enjoys watching TV and painting.

But it's a newcomer — a baby elephant — who spurs Ivan into action and makes him face his own past.

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The Salt
11:30 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Inside A Tart Cherry Revival: 'Somebody Needs To Do This!'

At Michigan State University's Clarksville Research Station, researchers apply pollen by hand to tart cherry blossoms, in order to breed new varieties.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 10:29 am

Some fruits, like apples, you can find anywhere. But others have gotten a little bit lost in today's global food business.

Take tart cherries, also known as sour cherries. Unlike sweet cherries, America's tart cherries are too fragile to ship very far, so most people never get to taste a fresh one.

They're typically frozen, then baked into that iconic American dessert, the cherry pie — and cherry pies aren't as popular as they used to be.

Yet the humble sour cherry is experiencing an unlikely renaissance — and the best may be yet to come.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Descending Into The Mariana Trench: James Cameron's Odyssey

James Cameron traveled to the bottom of the Mariana Trench last year — a depth of nearly seven miles.
Courtesy of Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 7:44 am

At nearly seven miles below the water's surface, the Mariana Trench is the deepest spot in Earth's oceans. And the site north of Guam is where director and explorer James Cameron recently fulfilled a longtime goal of reaching the bottom in a manned craft.

For the dive, Cameron designed a 24-foot submersible vehicle, the Deepsea Challenger — "this kind of long, green torpedo that moves vertically through the water," as he tells All Things Considered's Melissa Block. Cameron was able to watch his descent, he says, through a window that was about 9-1/2 inches thick.

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Politics
11:26 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Health Officials Decry Texas' Snubbing Of Medicaid Billions

Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the opening session of the Texas Legislature in Austin earlier this year.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:23 pm

The state of Texas is turning down billions of federal dollars that would have paid for health care coverage for 1.5 million poor Texans.

By refusing to participate in Medicaid expansion, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, the state will leave on the table an estimated $100 billion over the next decade.

Texas' share of the cost would have been just 7 percent of the total, but for Gov. Rick Perry and the state's Republican-dominated Legislature, even $1 in the name of "Obamacare" was a dollar too much.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Amphibians' Population Decline Marked In New U.S. Study

Populations of frogs and other amphibians are declining at an average rate of 3.7 percent each year, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:37 pm

Populations of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians are declining at an average rate of 3.7 percent each year, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study released this week. Researchers say the study is the first to calculate how quickly amphibians are disappearing in the United States.

"If the rate observed is representative and remains unchanged, these species would disappear from half of the habitats they currently occupy in about 20 years," according to the USGS.

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The Record
11:24 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Georges Moustaki, Who Wrote Songs For Edith Piaf, Dies

Georges Moustaki with Edith Piaf in New York in 1958. Moustaki wrote the lyrics to "Milord," one of Piaf's biggest hits.
Keystone-France Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:23 pm

Georges Moustaki, one of France's most beloved songwriters, died Thursday in Nice after a long illness. He was 79. Moustaki was known for infusing French song with sounds from around the world.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
11:22 am
Fri May 24, 2013

'Lunch Lady' Author Helps Students Draw Their Own Heroes

Author Jarrett Krosoczka teaches a drawing class to a group of third- and fifth-graders at the Walker-Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:23 pm

Author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka is just 35 years old, but he's already published 20 books, including the popular Lunch Lady graphic novel series, NPR's Backseat Book Club pick for May.

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Monkey See
11:22 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Breakin' The Rules: 20 General Principles Suspended In 'Fast And Furious 6'

This little skeleton-of-the-Batmobile-y looking thing is actually one of the vehicles on display in Fast & Furious 6.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 12:49 pm

1. Newton's Laws Of Motion

2. The Reluctance Of Brilliant Criminal Masterminds To Freely Confess

3. The Inability Of Two Things To Coexist In The Same Physical Space

4. The Integrity Of Vending Machines

5. Gravity

6. Gina Carano's Ability To Snap Most Of These People Like Twigs Pretty Quickly, If We're Being Honest

7. The Hardness Of Cars, Which Are Actually Kind Of Uncomfortable To Land On From Great Heights

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri May 24, 2013

There's No Place For Sex Assaults In Military, Obama Says

President Obama delivering the commencement address Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Saying that "those who commit sexual assaults are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that make our military strong," President Obama on Friday urged Naval Academy graduates to help bring an end to a disturbing series of such offenses.

"They've got no place in the greatest military on earth," Obama said during the commencement address he delivered at the academy's Annapolis, Md., campus.

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