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The Salt
3:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

Genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in a field in Oregon. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S. Above, a wheat field in Arkansas.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 2:03 pm

A farmer in Oregon has found some genetically engineered wheat growing on his land. It's an unwelcome surprise, because this type of wheat has never been approved for commercial planting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it's investigating, trying to find out how this wheat got there. The USDA says there's no risk to public health, but wheat exporters are worried about how their customers in Asia and Europe will react.

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Parallels
3:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Years Of Combat Experience, And Just Turning 20

Luis Bedoya is baby-faced and skinny.

And he looks ever the boy when he puts on an industrial-sized apron, thick gloves and a metal helmet - the tools of an apprentice welder at the Don Bosco center in this city in southern Colombia.

It's a big complex, complete with classrooms, basketball courts, a dormitory and work rooms. It's home to boys and girls, as well as very young adults, who defected from the FARC rebels or were captured by the Colombian army.

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Parallels
3:03 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Palestinian Girls Look For Ways To Protest, Without Stones

Yusra Hammed, 15, puts the finishing touches on a drawing on a wall inside her family's home in Silwad, a village in the West Bank. Hammed says, like many Palestinian girls, she does not throw rocks at Israeli soldiers; but she expresses her opposition through alternate channels, such as art.
Emiliy Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 8:41 am

In the middle of the night a few weeks ago, 15-year-old Yusra Hammed watched Israeli soldiers arrest her brother Tareq. Two years older than Yusra, Tareq Hammed was among several Palestinian teenagers taken into custody that night, accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers in their village, Silwad, in the occupied West Bank.

While he was being detained, his mother described him as a patriot.

"He wanted so badly to do as same what his father did, to defend his country," Suhaila Hammed said, sitting on a tawny gold couch in their home in Silwad.

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Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing
3:02 am
Thu May 30, 2013

How A Trip To Costco Can Work As An Investment Strategy

A recent trip to Costco cost NPR's Uri Berliner $303.53. The haul included razor blades, cans of soup and tuna fish, laundry detergent, heartburn relief medicine and dog treats. As an investment, it will pay off if he uses what he bought β€” and if the price tag for the same items is higher if he returns in a year.
Mary-Elizabeth Berliner

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:19 am

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments β€” alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
3:01 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Breathing Easier: How Houston Is Working To Clean Up Its Air

The Houston Ship Channel is home to a wide range of heavy industry, including chemical processing plants and petrochemical refineries.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:18 pm

The Houston area produces about a quarter of the nation's gasoline, and about a third of the plastics that are in our cars, cupboards and just about everywhere else. So it is no surprise that this heavily industrial area has a problem with air pollution. But in the past decade, Houston's air has improved dramatically.

How that happened is a tale of good science, new technology and a Texas law that prompted companies along the Houston Ship Channel to disclose their emissions.

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The Two-Way
9:01 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Soldier Accused In Afghan Shooting Rampage To Plead Guilty

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pictured in Aug. 2011.
Spc. Ryan Hallock Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:39 pm

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, charged with the murder of 16 Afghan villagers in one of the worst atrocities of the American-led war in that country, will plead guilty as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty, his attorney told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Bales' attorney, John Henry Browne, says his client was "crazed" and "broken" in March 2012 when he entered a village in southern Kandahar province and opened fire on sleeping Afghan civilians. He said Bales would plead guilty next week.

The AP writes:

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The Two-Way
8:07 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Algerian Terrorist Leader Clashed With His Bosses

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:08 pm

Algerian terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar was just not a team player.

As a top commander of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, Belmokhtar angered his bosses: He didn't return their calls, he didn't file his expense reports, he skipped important meetings and ignored their orders. And, he didn't carry out a single "spectacular operation" against the infidels.

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Around the Nation
7:00 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Sing-Spelling At The National Bee

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There is no shortage of wonders on display at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, under way this week outside Washington, D.C. Students are easily spooling off words such as wiesenboden and machicotage. But even the Scripps Bee judges were flummoxed when 7th grader Katie Danis made this request today.

KATIE DANIS: Would you mind if I were to, like, sing the letters, it would help me. I could do that.

BLOCK: The judges conferred, and said OK. So here's Katie Danis, sing-spelling stabilimeter.

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The Two-Way
6:37 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Police Say Ricin-Laced Letters Sent To New York Mayor Bloomberg

New York Mayor Bloomberg speaks out for gun reform at a March news conference in New York.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:11 am

Police in New York say preliminary tests of two threatening letters sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg contained traces of ricin.

The anonymous letters, both addressed to Bloomberg, were opened Friday in New York at the city's mail facility and Sunday in Washington, D.C., at the headquarters of the nonprofit started by Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, according to authorities.

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U.S.
6:24 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Soldier Accused Of Killing Afghan Civilians To Plead Guilty

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The American soldier accused of killing 16 villagers in Afghanistan last year plans to plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty. Lawyers say Staff Sergeant Robert Bales will plead guilty to 16 counts of premeditated murder next week and that his sentencing trial will be held in September.

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