Latin America
3:17 am
Sat May 26, 2012

From Canada Down To Argentina, The Oil Flows

Like countries throughout the Americas, Argentina is feverishly drilling for oil and gas. Workers are shown here at a derrick in the desert in southern Argentina.
Juan Forero for NPR

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 6:12 pm

As the wind whips across the scrub grass in southern Argentina, a crane unloads huge bags of artificial sand for oil workers preparing for the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of a well.

Water mixed with chemicals and tiny ceramic beads are then blasted underground at high pressure. This mixture helps create fissures, allowing oil and natural gas to flow.

Energy analysts believe there are billions of barrels of oil and gas buried in a desert-like patch in Patagonia.

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Law
3:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Chicago Outsider Busted Crime With Apolitical Flare

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald speaks to reporters during a news conference Thursday in Chicago. Fitzgerald announced he would step down.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 11:16 am

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who went after the Gambino crime family, al-Qaida and even the White House in court — not to mention several Illinois politicians — is leaving his job as U.S. attorney in Chicago.

The career prosecutor, known as "Eliot Ness with a Harvard degree," will leave a legacy as a tenacious corruption buster, though some criticize his style as overzealous.

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Around the Nation
3:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Chicago Ward Gives Budgetary Power To The People

In Chicago's Rogers Park, Alderman Joe Moore handed the purse strings over to his constituents.
Melissa Beck Groundwork

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 12:53 pm

Chicago's 49th Ward is better known as Rogers Park. It's a neighborhood of middle-class houses and apartment buildings, home to Loyola University. It's known for diversity and an affordable, laid-back kind of cool.

But the 49th has a new claim to fame: In 2009, the ward's alderman, Joe Moore, became the first elected official in the country to hand over the purse strings to his constituents. Three years later, the experiment is still attracting new residents to planning meetings.

Forming Ideas

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Europe
3:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Even Soccer Teams Are Feeling The Pinch In Spain

Spain's soccer teams are feeling the crunch of debt, too. But rich, winning teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona — seen here playing in April — are the most likely to stay in the game.
Denis Doyle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 12:32 pm

One of the ways Spaniards console themselves amid their failing economy is with their beloved sport of soccer. If you can't afford tickets to a game, it's always on TV in your local bar.

"For an escape from work, economic problems — just enjoy it and support your team," says soccer fan Ivan Rassuli, who's having a beer as he watches a match at a bar. "Everybody likes football. Maybe like the NBA or baseball in the United States."

But futbol, as Spaniards call soccer, has followed the same sorry trajectory as Spain's economy.

Failure To Pay Taxes

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U.S.
3:15 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Delayed At The Airport? They're Working On It

An air traffic controller works at the Atlanta TRACON, or terminal radar approach control, facility in Peachtree City, Ga. The FAA's NextGen program will modernize the air traffic control system, transforming it from radar to GPS-based technology.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 7:52 am

When the summer travel season begins, airline passengers typically brace for delays as vacationers fly in larger numbers and the inevitable weather-related disruptions occur.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the nationwide system of air traffic control, is hoping to make some of those delays a thing of the past. It's developing what it calls "Next Generation" technology. The NextGen program will modernize the air traffic control system, transforming it from radar to GPS-based technology.

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:58 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: David Alan Grier, Sacha Baron Cohen

In Porgy and Bess, David Alan Grier plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role closely associated with Sammy Davis Jr. and Cab Calloway.
Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:02 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:


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Alaska Air DIY Luggage
5:33 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Alaska Airlines Tries Do-It-Yourself Luggage Tagging

Alaska Airlines will try out a new do-it-yourself luggage tagging system at SeaTac.
Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is trying out a new luggage-tagging system at SeaTac Airport. It relies on customers using new kiosks to weigh their own bags and print out and attach labels. Travelers still must drop off luggage with agents and show I.D. But airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan says the change should save some time. She says Alaska and its sister carrier Horizon tried out the system last year in Bend.

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69 year old Washington Swimmer
5:05 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

At 69, Northwest Swimmer Says You’re Never Too Old For Gold

Suzie Aldrich holds several records in Senior Games throughout the Northwest.
Chris Joseph Taylor Northwest News Network

Sometimes life hands you disappointment and humiliation. That happened to Suzie Aldrich in a swim meet in college. The Walla Walla native didn’t swim again for nearly 50 years. But in retirement the pool called her back for a re-do. And the results were astonishing.

“They say to invest in gold and I try to do my best," says Suzie Aldrich with a laugh.

"These are all gold medals. I’m Suzie Aldrich and I’m 69 years old. I’m from Walla Walla, Washington and I’m the Eastern Washington, Washington State, Alaska international record holder in backstroke. I’ll see ya at the other end."

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Oregon Kids Mental Healthcare Problems
4:48 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

State Audit Finds Unexplained Gaps In Children's Mental Health Care

Oregon auditors have found that girls under age 13 and Hispanic youth are using using mental health services at a disproportionately low rate.
HHS.gov Northwest News Network

Oregon needs to do a better job at making sure that low-income children are getting the mental health services they’re eligible for. That's the finding of a new audit by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

The report applauds the Oregon Health Authority for bringing tens of thousands of additional children into the Medicaid-funded Oregon Health Plan over the past three years.

But auditors found that some groups of children were using mental health services at a disproportionately low rate. They include girls under age 13, and Hispanic youth of all ages.

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UW Grad and Soldier K.I.A.
4:38 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

UW Grad Is Latest Washington-Based Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

2nd Lt. Travis Morgado was “kind and considerate” says his mother.
Andrea Velasquez Kessler Northwest News Network

The cemetery at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be the site of a Memorial Day ceremony to honor fallen service members. A University of Washington graduate is the latest Washington-based soldier to die in Afghanistan.

Army records indicate 25 year old Lt. Travis Morgado is the sixth soldier from the Army post near Tacoma killed in action so far this year.

Just before he deployed in March, Lt. Morgado spoke with NPR’s Martin Kaste outside Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He was reacting to news that a fellow soldier, Sgt. Robert Bales, had been accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians.

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