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American Dreams: Then And Now
1:22 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

On The Economic Ladder, Rungs Move Further Apart

Kevin Hill, a San Diego landscape designer, was doing well financially before the downturn. Now, he says he feels "lost."
John Ydstie NPR

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:45 pm

America is the land of opportunity — that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.

"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

A 'Macabre' Process: Nominating Terrorists To Nation's 'Kill List'

President Obama and John Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser, in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, 2010. Brennan is a key voice about who gets put on the "kill list."
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:45 pm

One of the day's most-discussed stories has to be The New York Times' report headlined "Secret 'Kill List' Proves A Test Of Obama's Principles And Will."

It's a long, detailed look at how the president has "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical."

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Bob Dylan, Toni Morrison Among Those To Be Honored With Medal Of Freedom

President Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to author Toni Morrisson during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:26 pm

Saying that each one of the recipients has touched countless lives, President Obama presented 13 Presidential Medals of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House today.

All of the people on the stage, Obama said, "are my heroes individually." He said that if it were not for John Doar, the Justice Department official who personally escorted University of Mississippi's first black student to campus, he would not be president.

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Asia
12:16 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

China, Philippines Faceoff Over Remote Islands

For the past two months, the Philippines and China have been locked in a standoff over territory in the South China Sea that both countries claim.The Philippine navy accused Chinese boats of fishing illegally in the area. Protesters in the Philippines are shown here marching in Manila earlier this month.
Pat Roque AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:45 pm

Back in early April, a Philippine navy frigate tried to arrest Chinese fishermen accused of poaching sharks and giant clams.

But more is at stake than a boatload of seafood.

Neighboring countries say confrontations like this are growing as China asserts claims to territory well beyond its coastline. And analysts think China is testing America's resolve in the region.

Philippine officials say China still has more than 30 boats in the contested area, which is widely known as Scarborough Shoal, though the Chinese call it Huangyan Island.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Manhattanhenge: The Sun, The City And A Special Rendezvous

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 12:08 pm

At sunset tonight Manhattan's grid will match up perfectly with the sun, producing a dazzling, golden display on each one of the city's streets.

It happens twice a year and it's been termed "Manhattanhenge," coined by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History.

NPR's Margo Adler sent this report for our Newscast unit:

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NPR Story
11:39 am
Tue May 29, 2012

'How Soldiers Die': A History Of Combat Deaths

A U.S. Army honor guard stands at attention during a ceremony to mark Memorial Day, this week at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 10:29 am

In The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die In Battle, Michael Stephenson describes how soldiers fight and die, how those who have lived deal with the experience of combat, and what it reveals about warfare and human nature.

He acknowledges it's a sensitive subject, but he argues it's an important one. Understanding how soldiers die, Stephenson tells NPR's Neal Conan, "is central to an understanding of what combat is. And I think we have to engage with it."

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Middle East
11:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Egyptian Election Marred By Violence

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In another dramatic turn in Egypt, the first free democratic presidential election in the nation's history set up a run-off vote next month between two divisive candidates: Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafik the last prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak. Between them, the two top candidates received just under 50 percent of the votes.

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Middle East
11:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Few Good Options Remain To End Syrian Attacks

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Countries around the world expelled Syrian diplomats today, explaining that the representatives of a country that slaughters its own people are not welcome. United Nations observers confirmed the massacre of over 100 men, women and children, many of them children, in the village of Houla last Friday. U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus today to demand that his government abide by a cease-fire agreement that now lies in bloody taters.

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Middle East
11:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Journalist Interviews, Films 'Al Qaeda In Yemen'

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Pentagon Denies Special Forces Deployment In North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stands next to senior military leaders during a ceremony in honor of his father, Kim Jong Il and grandfather, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 11:05 am

Yesterday, a short piece in a Japan-based foreign affairs magazine caused a lot of surprise: U.S. Special Forces have parachuted into North Korea "to spy on Pyongyang's extensive network of underground military facilities," The Diplomat reported.

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