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StoryCorps
12:03 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Remembering A Grandfather's 'Best Gift'

Vicente Domingo Villa grew up on the ranches of South Texas.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 6:57 am

Ricardo Isaias Zavala comes from a long line of vaqueros — cowboys who worked the ranches of Southeast Texas in the 19th and 20th centuries. That tradition stopped with his grandfather — but in the Zavala family, parts of it live on.

Ricardo's grandfather's name was Vicente Domingo Villa. His family moved from ranch to ranch, looking for work. Most of the ranches were in the scrubland of South Texas, east of Laredo.

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Education
12:02 am
Fri May 4, 2012

For College Seniors, One Last Lap Before Graduation

The pool at Bryn Mawr College's Bern Schwartz Fitness and Athletic Center. Bryn Mawr is one of a handful of colleges that requires students to pass a swimming test to graduate.
Courtesy of Bryn Mawr College

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 6:57 am

It's spring, the season when many college students are cramming for final exams. But it's also when some college seniors must prove they can literally stay afloat.

A swim test is still a graduation requirement on a handful of U.S. campuses, mostly in the Northeast. For seniors who have been putting off the exam, it's time to sink or swim.

A Shrinking Tradition

On a recent evening, a handful of seniors at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., gather nervously at the edge of the campus pool, waiting to take the last swim test of the school year.

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National Security
12:00 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Potential Torture Testimony Could Rattle Sept. 11 Case

A picture posted on the website www.muslm.net in 2009 allegedly shows al-Qaida's Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:02 am

The man who claims to have orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to appear in a military courtroom this Saturday. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men are supposed to answer formal charges related to their roles in the plot.

Their arraignment will be at Guantanamo Bay, and it is the first step that leads — possibly years from now — to a military trial.

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It's All Politics
3:15 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Political Scientist Asks: Are Obama's Approval Ratings Better Than They Seem?

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 3:19 pm

President Obama's voter-approval ratings certainly have been far from spectacular for much of his presidency, remaining mostly below 50 percent since November of 2009.

But on that dimension he may actually be doing better than it appears, at least based on some statistical modeling of presidential approval ratings conducted by George Washington University political scientist John Sides.

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Africa
2:55 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Diplomats Up Efforts To Avert War Between Sudans

Sudanese soldiers walk in the oil town of Heglig on April 24. South Sudanese forces occupied Heglig last month. The international community called on the South to pull out, which it says it did.
Ebrahim Hamid AFp/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 7:43 am

Sudan and South Sudan are facing the threat of United Nations sanctions if they fail to stop fighting along their disputed frontier in the Horn of Africa.

A unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution, which condemns the surge of border violence, orders the two Sudans to cease hostilities within two days and resume negotiations within two weeks.

The U.N. resolution endorses an African Union road map it hopes will avert a return to war.

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Planet Money
2:37 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

What American Women Do For Work

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:09 pm

Forty years ago, only 1 in 3 American workers was a woman. Today, it's 1 in 2.

You know this already. But it raises interesting, subtler questions: What jobs did all those women get? And how did the gender breakdown change by industry over the past 40 years?

This graph answers those questions.

It shows how the gender breakdown changed in major sectors of the economy between 1972 and 2012.

The size of the circles shows how some sectors grew to include a larger share of the workforce, while others shrank in relative terms.

Two main themes jump out here.

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It's All Politics
2:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Do Campaign Ads Seem More Negative This Year? It's Not Just You

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 7:43 am

If you thought the presidential primaries were extraordinarily negative, now there's statistical evidence that you were right.

A new analysis of TV ads finds that 70 percent of the messages were negative — a trend spearheaded by the heavily financed superPACs supporting the candidates. At this point in the 2008 election, 91 percent of TV ads were positive.

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Environment
2:11 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Greenland's Ice Melting More Slowly Than Expected

Researchers studying Greenland's ice say it is melting more slowly than previously thought. Here, ice travels down a relatively small outlet glacier into the sea.
Ian Joughin UW, Sarah Das/WHOI and Richard Harris/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:50 am

A new study has some reassuring news about how fast Greenland's glaciers are melting away.

Greenland's glaciers hold enough water to raise sea level by 20 feet, and they are melting as the planet warms, so there's a lot at stake.

A few years ago, the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland really caught people's attention. In short order, this slow-moving stream of ice suddenly doubled its speed. It started dumping a whole lot more ice into the Atlantic. Other glaciers also sped up.

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Business
2:10 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Corn Farmers Hope, Cautiously, For A Bumper Crop

This year, U.S. corn farmers have planted more acres of the crop than at any time since the Great Depression.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 7:43 am

It's still too early to predict whether the 2012 corn harvest will set a record, but many corn farmers say the prognosis for a bumper crop is looking pretty good right now.

U.S. farmers are planting more acres of corn this year than they have in any year since the Great Depression. And with a mild spring across much of the nation's Corn Belt, many are hoping this autumn's yield will be one for the record books.

A Crop That 'Will Knock Your Socks Off'

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Europe
2:06 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Will French Election Mark A Reversal Of Austerity?

Tens of thousands of people in Paris used the annual May Day workers' events this year to denounce the world of finance amid the Europe-wide debt crisis. If elected, France's Socialist presidential challenger, Francois Hollande, says he will pursue a growth-oriented strategy.
Guillaume Baptiste AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 7:43 am

The possibility that French President Nicolas Sarkozy may lose the presidential election Sunday is making waves across Europe. Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the architects of Europe's new fiscal austerity pact.

But the man likely to replace Sarkozy has other ideas.

Socialist candidate Francois Hollande — who is favored in opinion polls by several percentage points — says Europe cannot emerge from the crisis based on austerity alone.

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