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4:50 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Wal-Mart To Leave Conservative Legislative Group

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, says it's leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC. The conservative organization of state legislators and corporate lobbyists has drawn criticism for advocating Stand Your Ground laws and strict voter ID standards. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Around the Nation
4:50 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Man With 'Wing Suit' Makes Skydive Sans Parachute

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, from the high flying Spurs to a 2,400 foot skydive with nothing but a wing suit and a pile of cardboard boxes to break the fall. That's exactly what Gary Connery did. He had a parachute, but he didn't use it and - spoiler alert - he survived the jump and joins us now to talk about it.

Welcome to the program.

GARY CONNERY: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

SIEGEL: I've just said that you jumped with a wing suit as if I know what that means. I want you to describe what the wing suit was.

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Music Interviews
4:23 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Brandi Carlile: Bending Notes Until They Break

Brandi Carlile performs live in NPR's Studio 4A.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 10:17 am

What is it about Brandi Carlile's voice that gets right inside you? The power? Her range? It may be the way she can crack open a note, as she does in her best-known song, "The Story," which was prominently featured on Grey's Anatomy.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
4:23 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Meet Manjiro, Japan's Unlikely Teen Ambassador

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:50 am

This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
4:14 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

June Kids' Book Club Pick: 'Diary Of A Wimpy Kid'

Jeff Kinney Abrams

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:32 pm

The next installment in NPR's Backseat Book Club heads back to where this all started: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney. It was our 2009 interview with Kinney that sparked the idea for a special book club dedicated to kids. On the day before Kinney arrived at our studios, we asked our youngest listeners to send us the questions they would put to the author of the blockbuster series. We were floored by the response. An avalanche of emails hit our inbox from kids all over the country.

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Law
4:13 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

When The Jury Becomes The Story

Former Sen. John Edwards leaves the federal courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday.
Chuck Liddy MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

They were called the "giggle gang" — four alternate jurors in the John Edwards trial who wore the same-colored shirt to court on several days.

During nine days of deliberations, much attention was given to the merry band of alternates in the high-profile campaign finance case.

On Thursday, attention swung back to the jury itself, which found Edwards not guilty on one count. The judge declared a mistrial on the other five charges.

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It's All Politics
4:04 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Romney's Week: Upstaged Time And Again

Former President George W. Bush winks in the East Room of the White House on Thursday during a ceremony to unveil his portrait.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 4:31 pm

What a week it was to have been for Mitt Romney.

But what a week it wasn't.

Poised to triumphantly clinch the Republican nomination for president, Romney instead was upstaged Tuesday by supporter Donald Trump's new birther-on-steroids shtick that stole the headlines and the candidate's big moment.

Then on Thursday, ready to embarrass President Obama by holding a "surprise" press event in front of Solyndra, the Obama-touted California solar energy company that failed after getting a $535 million government loan guarantee, Romney was upstaged yet again.

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Music Reviews
4:01 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Melody Gardot Aims For The Space Between Notes

Melody Gardot takes an understated approach to Brazilian music on her new album, The Absence.
Fabrizio Ferri

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 12:39 pm

The other day, I had a conversation with Melody Gardot about space. Not outer space, but the space between notes in her music. These days, there's lots of it.

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Europe
4:00 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Battered Spanish Economy Nears Tipping Point

A student in Pamplona, holding a sign in the Basque language, protests cuts Thursday in education and other public services by the government. Spain's financial position is weakening and there are fears the country will need a bailout.
Alvaro Barrientos AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

Spain's borrowing costs hit record highs this week and European stock markets have slumped over fears Madrid can't afford the price tag required to prop up its ailing banks. It's looking ever more likely the country will need some kind of bailout.

After watching Greece from afar for years, many Spaniards now believe Spain's number is up.

A tourist in Madrid might wonder where the crisis is. Traffic is heavy and the tapas bars are packed.

But listen in on some of the conversations, and it's clear that Spaniards are scared.

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It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Bloomberg Becomes Nanny-State Epitome For Some, Giving Obama A Breather

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sugary drinks was so hard to swallow it caused some to call him a fascist, a word more often hurled at President Obama.
EMMANUEL DUNAND AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 4:29 pm

If nothing else, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently done President Obama a favor.

His Honor's proposed ban on the sale of supersized sugary fountain drinks in his city made the mayor, at least for some, the epitome of Big Government excess, a place many critics, particularly conservatives, typically reserve for the Obama.

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