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Politics
5:03 am
Fri June 21, 2013

The Death Penalty's Slow But Seemingly Sure Decline

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn speaks with reporters at the Capitol in 2011 after signing legislation abolishing the death penalty in the state.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 12:00 pm

The death penalty has become a bit like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. It may never fade away entirely, but capital punishment is certainly less visible or actively pursued than it used to be.

In May, Maryland became the sixth state in as many years to abolish the death penalty. Across the nation as a whole, fewer criminals are being put to death. Last year, 43 were executed, down significantly from the peak of 98 back in 1999.

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Planet Money
4:19 am
Fri June 21, 2013

How Brush Factories Survive In America

Fourth-generation owner of Braun Brush, Lance Cheney, stands next to a special-order brush his company made for the artist Richard Artschwager.
Marianne McCune NPR

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 2:46 pm

Brushes are pretty simple: a bunch of flexible fibers sticking out of something stiff. Not surprisingly, Chinese manufacturers have grabbed a big share of the U.S. brush market. But several hundred small U.S. brush factories are still hanging on. Here are three strategies they're using to survive.

1. Compete On Quality

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Latin America
3:54 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Protests In Brazil Gain Steam, Violence Increases

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Until recently, our correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro was posted in the Middle East. She was an eyewitness to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere. Now, she is NPR's South America correspondent, based in Brazil. And guess what's happening on the streets there?

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Last night, demonstrators spread all across that country, with a total of a million people estimated to have taken part. Some protesters clashed with police. One was hit and killed by a car.

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Movie Reviews
3:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Movie Review: 'World War Z'

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 5:05 am

In World War Z, Bradd Pitt saves the world from a zombie apocalypse. When Pitt's character gets stuck in a Philadelphia traffic jam with his family, that's when the apocalypse begins.

National Security
3:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

'Guardian' Releases More Documents On NSA Surveillance

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 5:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
2:05 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Nancy Pearl Scours The Shelves For Books You Might Have Missed

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:06 pm

If you'd like your summer reading to take you beyond the beaten path, librarian Nancy Pearl is here to help. NPR's go-to books guru joins us regularly to reveal "under the radar" reads — books she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting. Pearl talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about some of the titles she picked out for the summer reading season.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 am
Fri June 21, 2013

With Health Exchanges Poised To Open, PR Push Draws Scrutiny

In San Jose, Calif., on June 6, President Obama encouraged people to sign up for insurance in the nation's largest health insurance market.
Stephen Lam Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 8:07 pm

This weekend marks 100 days until people can begin signing up for new health insurance coverage under the federal health care law. It also marks another milestone: the launch of an enormous public relations effort to find people eligible for new coverage and urge them to sign up when the time comes.

But like everything else about the health law, even this seemingly innocuous effort has been touched by controversy.

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National Security
2:03 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Obama's Pick To Lead FBI Adds New Layer To Privacy Debate

Jim Comey, then deputy attorney general, testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2005.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 3:34 am

President Obama will formally nominate Jim Comey to be the country's next FBI director on Friday.

Comey, a registered Republican and longtime federal prosecutor, is best-known for raising alarms inside the Bush White House about a secret electronic surveillance program. That issue has taken on new resonance after disclosures about the Obama administration's dragnet collection of American phone records.

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StoryCorps
2:02 am
Fri June 21, 2013

For A Boy With Little, Learning To Love A Castoff Trombone

On a visit to StoryCorps in Phoenix, Gilbert Zermeno told his wife, Pat Powers-Zermeno, about what it was like to grow up poor while yearning to join the school band.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 9:57 am

Gilbert Zermeno came from a big family who didn't have much. They lived on the plains of West Texas and got by on the $100 a week that Gilbert's father made working the cotton fields.

So when Gilbert wanted to join the school band in sixth grade, his parents had to get creative, as he explained to his wife, Pat Powers-Zermeno, during a recent visit to StoryCorps in Phoenix.

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The Salt
6:04 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

How Circadian Rhythms Give Vegetables A Healthy Boost

Researchers at Rice University conducted lab studies using light-dark cycles to try to coax more beneficial compounds out of fruits and vegetables.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 3:56 pm

Just as we have internal clocks that help regulate the systems in our bodies, fruit and vegetable plants have circadian rhythms, too.

And a new study published in Current Biology finds there may be a way to boost some of the beneficial compounds in plants by simulating the light-dark cycle after crops are harvested.

So, how does it work?

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