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Law
6:22 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Senate Holds First Hearing On Solitary Confinement

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:31 pm

Advocates for prisoners rights say too many inmates spend years in solitary confinement β€” in violation of the constitutional bar against cruel and unusual punishment. Today, they persuaded the U.S. Senate to hold the first hearing on the issue, as state and federal prison systems fend off new lawsuits over the practice.

Energy
6:22 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Shell Faces Pushback As Alaska Drilling Nears

Shell says it hopes to never need to use its new 300-foot-long, $100 million oil recovery ship named Nanuq for anything other than drills and training.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

The federal government could soon give the final go-ahead for Royal Dutch Shell to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Shell has spent $4 billion since 2007 to prepare for this work, and is hoping to tap into vast new deposits of oil.

But the plan to drill exploratory wells is controversial β€” opposed by environmental groups and some indigenous people as well.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:15 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

How Opponents Won The Health Care Messaging War

OK, so it's not exactly news that the Obama administration hasn't done the best job in the world selling the Affordable Care Act to the American public.

But now the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has some statistics to demonstrate just how sorry that job has been. And it suggests that the media gets at least some of the blame.

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Around the Nation
5:45 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

The High Costs Of High Security At Supermax Prisons

Lt. Robert DuBois (center) handcuffs Tamms Correctional Center inmate Damien Terry (left) before he is taken from his holding cell in 2009. State budget constraints are forcing the facility β€” Illinois' only supermaximum security prison β€” to either close or be converted to a lower-security prison.
John Smierciak MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

Illinois is the latest state poised to close its only supermaximum security prison, the Tamms Correctional Center.

Human-rights groups routinely criticize Supermax prisons for keeping prisoners in solitary confinement for months or even years on end. They claim that many of them suffer from mental illnesses.

But that's not the only thing working against Supermax prisons. Some states simply can't afford these elite facilities anymore.

The Bottom Line

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It's All Politics
5:23 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

With Polka Band And Pie, Romney Wraps Up Small-Town Tour In Michigan

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes a pie shell with store owner Linda Hundt during a campaign stop Tuesday in DeWitt, Mich.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 4:00 pm

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a five-day, six-state tour in Michigan on Tuesday.

Each of the states he visited was won by President Obama in the 2008 election. Each is also shaping up as a potential battleground this year.

In Michigan, the state where Romney was born, he avoided big cities and stayed in places friendly to the GOP. As he traveled east to west across central Michigan by bus, there were some pockets of protesters, but mostly at a distance.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

As Tsunami Debris Crosses Pacific, Dangers Emerge

A nearly 70-foot dock that was torn loose from a fishing port in northern Japan by last year's tsunami washed ashore on Agate Beach in Oregon. Marine scientists have found potentially invasive species among the 100 tons of marine life that traveled aboard the dock.
Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation AP

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

Beaches on the West Coast are getting a regular dose of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. The first few items were curiosities β€” a boat here, a soccer ball there β€” but as the litter accumulates, officials such as Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire have acknowledged the scale of the problem.

"We are in for a steady dribble of tsunami debris over the next few years, so any response by us must be well-planned β€” and it will be," she said.

Beyond the obvious problem of litter, officials are on the lookout for hidden dangers.

Debris 'Everywhere'

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Europe
5:18 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Germany Resists Concessions To Greek Bailout Terms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with members of her delegation before the first plenary session of the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Monday.
Yuri Cortez Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 8:18 pm

The party that won Greece's parliamentary elections on Sunday has accepted the tough conditions international lenders imposed to bail out the ailing nation. But there's been talk that the party wants to seek some concessions on the terms of the rescue package.

At the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her tough line that bailout terms for Greece are not negotiable. After the summit, Merkel returns to a German electorate that is now fed up with a debt crisis that only seems to grow and worsen.

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Monkey See
5:14 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Theater Diary: The After-Action Report

Miriam Shor, late of TV's recently cancelled GCB, played the fairy godmother at this year's Broadway Bares charity strip-a-thon. We are sorry, but this is more or less the only photo we can show you from the event.
Matthew Murphy

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:35 pm

The last few days of my post-Tonys theater week were so jam-packed that there was no time to write up what I was doing. Matinees, cabarets, stand-ups, burlesques, benefit readings; it was a mad dash of a weekend. So here goes, with the recap β€” and a few recommendations for things to try next time you get to New York:

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Around the Nation
5:13 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

N.M. To Favor Tests Over Diplomas In Hiring

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 5:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, New Mexico ranks last in the country in high school completion rates. Major employers in the state complain that it's difficult to find qualified job applicants. And now, some are taking the emphasis off the high school diploma in favor of a standardized test. It's a test that may make it easier to find the right people for the job.

Sayre Quevedo of Youth Radio visited a city office that's preparing to use the new system.

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Education
5:10 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Finger-Pointing Follows Ousting Of U.Va. President

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The University of Virginia is reeling over the sudden firing of its president. Last week, the school's state-appointed governing board surprised the university community with that announcement. The ousted president, Teresa Sullivan, was in the job for less than two years.

Faculty and students have rallied behind Sullivan, calling the firing a coup by the board. From member station WVTF, Sandy Hausman reports.

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