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Planet Money
4:31 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Two Centuries Of Energy In America, In Four Graphs

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 4:38 pm

Until well into the 19th century, if you lived in the U.S. and wanted to heat your house, fire your forge, or whatever, you did what people had done for thousands of years: You chopped down a tree and burned it.

It wasn't until the rise of the railroads in the mid 19th-century that coal became a significant energy source in this country. As industrialization continued in the second half of the century, the use of coal continued to rise, powering heavy industry (think U.S. Steel), heating urban homes, and generating electric power.

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The Salt
4:12 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Cities Turn Sewage Into 'Black Gold' For Local Farms

Thick jets of processed sewage arc out 30 to 40 feet from giant moving spreaders at Birmingham Farm in Kansas City, Mo.
Frank Morris for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:07 am

On a normal day, Kansas City, Mo., processes more than 70 million gallons of raw sewage. This sewage used to be a nuisance, but Kansas City, and a lot of municipalities around the country, are now turning it into a resource for city farmers hard up for fertilizer.

After the sewage has been processed at a treatment plant, it's piped out to Birmingham Farm on the north side of the Missouri River.

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The Salt
4:10 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

As Promised: Obama Wants To Overhaul Global Anti-Hunger Efforts

Palestinians unload bags of flour donated by USAID, or the United States Agency for International Development, at a depot in the West Bank village of Anin in 2008.
Mohammed Ballas AP

The White House unveiled its proposal Wednesday for drastic changes in government programs that donate food to fight hunger abroad — and surprised no one.

As we reported last week, rumors of such an overhaul had been circulating for weeks, arousing both hope and anger among organizations involved in global anti-hunger programs.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

A 'Transformational Gift': New York's Met Will Receive $1 Billion Cubism Collection

Fernand Léger's Composition (Le typographe) (Composition [The Typographer]).
Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection; 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:19 pm

The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art will receive what its director calls a "truly transformational" gift: Leonard A. Lauder's collection of 78 cubist works.

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It's All Politics
3:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Some States Hike Gas Tax; Va. Tries New Route To Fund Roads

Drivers travel on Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, near Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va., in November, just days before the opening of four new express lanes. Virginia is among 19 states that have approved or are considering legislation to increase transportation funding, according to Transportation for America.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:19 pm

It's no secret that many of the nation's roads are in pretty bad shape. In the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the condition of America's highways rated a grade of D.

Congestion is a big problem, and so is upkeep. Most states rely on gas taxes to raise the money for repairs and new construction, but that funding source is not the stream it used to be, says James Corless of Transportation for America.

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Law
3:25 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

A Mother's Fight Against 3 Strikes Law 'A Way of Life'

Sue Reams campaigned to change California's three-strikes law and help set free her son, Shane.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Since the November election, 240 California prisoners facing potential life sentences have been set free. That's because voters changed California's tough three strikes sentencing law.

As NPR reported in 2009, that law sent thousands of people to prison for terms of 25 years to life for minor, nonviolent crimes. Now those prisoners can ask the court to have their sentences reduced.

One of those set free under the new law is Shane Reams. He owes his freedom in no small part to his mother Sue's 17-year campaign to change the law.

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Latin America
3:22 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Venezuelan Candidates Campaign In Chavez's Long Shadow

Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Valencia, Venezuela, on Tuesday. The country's voters go to the polls this weekend to choose a successor to longtime leader Hugo Chavez, who died last month.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:16 pm

For the first time in 14 years, Hugo Chavez is not on the ballot for a presidential election in Venezuela. The firebrand leftist died last month at 58 after a long fight with cancer.

Pollsters say the sympathy vote and the state's huge resources will translate into a big victory in Sunday's election for Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver turned government minister who had been a Chavez loyalist for 20 years.

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It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Howard Students Question Rand Paul's Vision Of GOP

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shown Tuesday on Capitol Hill, told students at historically black Howard University on Wednesday that the GOP has worked to protect civil rights.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 3:26 pm

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to school students on who founded the NAACP?

Priceless.

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to make a case for his Republican Party as a historic and continuing defender of the civil rights of African-Americans?

Not boring.

And, judging from the reaction the Kentucky senator received Wednesday at Washington's Howard University, less than persuasive.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Dealer Says He Doctored Most Valuable Baseball Card Ever Sold

A rare example of the 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card. In 2007, one of them fetched a whopping $2.8 million.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 4:17 pm

A judge has rejected a plea agreement from the former head of a sports memorabilia auction house who admitted to using shill bidders to drive up prices and to altering the most valuable baseball card ever sold.

William Mastro of Mastro Auctions admitted to doctoring the 1909 Honus Wagner cigarette card that was once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky. The card sold for $2.8 million in 2007.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

American Tribe Fights To Halt Artifact Auction In Paris

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:37 am

An auction of sacred Native American artifacts scheduled for Friday in Paris is stirring up controversy on both sides of the Atlantic

Seventy Hopi "visages and headdresses" — some more than 100 years old — will go on the block at the Neret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou auction house, which estimates the sale will bring in about $1 million, according to The New York Times.

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