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5:36 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

New Farm Bill Focuses On Reaping, Not Sowing

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A $970 billion bill, covering everything from food stamps to crop insurance, passed a key procedural hurdle in the Senate today, and it did so with overwhelming bipartisan support. The measure, known as the Farm Bill, comes up for renewal every five years. For lawmakers it's long been a way to bring big money back to their states.

But NPR's Tamara Keith reports that this year's bill comes with an austere spin.

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Politics
5:25 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Corrupt Leaders Hamper D.C.'s Quest For Autonomy

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:54 pm

The chairman of Washington, D.C.'s city council resigned Wednesday night, as federal prosecutors moved to bring campaign finance and bank fraud charges against him. Kwame Brown is the second member of the council to resign amid corruption charges in the last few months. And Mayor Vincent Gray has been dogged throughout his tenure by allegations of misuse of campaign funds.

Law
5:25 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Texting And Driving Bans May Make Roads Less Safe

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:54 pm

A Massachusetts judge imposed the maximum sentence on a teen driver who was texting when they caused an accident that killed a pedestrian. It's part of a growing effort in a few states to bring tougher charges and impose harsher sentences for texting while driving.

Youth Radio
5:25 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Calif. School District Finds Gentler Path To Discipline

A gavel rests in a makeshift courtroom at Richmond High School in Richmond, Calif. The local school district has cut the number of student suspensions in half in six years by adopting a youth court program and other new discipline methods.
Robyn Gee

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:57 pm

Each school year, more than 700,000 California students — predominantly black and Latino — are suspended or expelled.

Robert, a talkative sixth-grader in the city of Richmond, has been suspended three times from his elementary school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. If he gets suspended one more time, he says, he might get expelled. [NPR has withheld his last name because he is a minor.]

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Poetry
5:09 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

New U.S. Poet Laureate: A Southerner To The Core

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:54 pm

The United States named its 19th poet laureate today: Natasha Trethewey, a professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the nation's first poet laureate to hail from the South since the initial laureate — Robert Penn Warren — was named by the Library of Congress in 1986.

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This Is NPR
5:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

The Curious Listener: Wait Wait... Pick Me!

Katie Burk/NPR

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 1:34 pm

If you've ever wondered how to be a contestant on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! you should definitely read this installment of "The Curious Listener" from NPR Listener Services.

Many have tried and many have failed the challenge: answering three questions about the week's news in order to win the coveted prize of having Carl Kasell record the outgoing message on their voice mail or answering machine.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

'Bel Ami': Period Drama Skips The Small Talk

The once-penniless Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) maneuvers his way to the top of Paris society by wooing and bedding the city's best-connected women — among them the influential Madame de Marelle (Christina Ricci.)
Magnolia Pictures

Words, words, words: Novels, especially 19th-century ones, are full of the damned things, which can be an inconvenience for filmmakers doing adaptations.

Directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, theater veterans making their cinematic debut with Bel Ami, try to downplay language, which seems a promising idea. But the strategy fails for several reasons, the foremost of which is their leading man.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

In 'Patagonia,' Pristine Rivers And A Plan For Dams

The Baker River is one of two waterways that would be dammed in a proposed hydroelectric project in the fabled Patagonia region of Chile. This section of the river would become a reservoir under the plan.
Brian Lilla First Run Features

The way the Andes divide Patagonia, Argentina gets most of the land and Chile most of the water. As shown in Patagonia Rising, a new documentary, the landscape on Chile's side of the border is similar to coastal British Columbia or the Alaska panhandle: chilly, forested, mountainous and very wet.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Paul Williams is 'Still Alive,' And Taking Every Gig

Paul Williams, subject of the documentary Paul Williams Still Alive, wrote some of the most enduring songs of the '70s — including "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie.
Abramorama

A diminutive giant of the 1970s, Paul Williams composed some of the decade's sweetest and most enduring songs — including The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays," Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World," Three Dog Night's "An Old Fashioned Love Song," and "Rainbow Connection" for The Muppet Movie.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

'Dark Horse': Love Among The Deeply Damaged

Abe (Jordan Gelber) and Miranda (Selma Blair) meet at a wedding in Dark Horse and get married soon after, though not for the most romantic reasons.
Jojo Whilden

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 1:41 pm

For Abe (Jordan Gelber), there is one simple truth in life: "We're all horrible people."

He articulates this insight in Todd Solondz's new film Dark Horse, while on a painfully awkward date with Miranda (Selma Blair), a chronically depressed woman he meets at a wedding reception, where both of them look on glumly at everyone else dancing and having a good time.

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