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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Housing Starts Drop, But Building Permits Are Up

There was a 5.8 percent drop in housing starts from February to March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

Bloomberg News says the decline was unexpected and left starts at a five-month low.

Still, the number of starts was up 10.3 percent from March 2011.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Fear Drives China's Oppressive Rule In Tibet, Dalai Lama Says

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Diptendu Dutta AFP/Getty Images
  • Renee Montagne speaks to the Dalai Lama

China's leaders continue to impose oppressive policies on the people of Tibet out of fear, the Dalai Lama said earlier today on Morning Edition.

They fear what might happen if Tibetans were allowed to live freely and others under Chinese rule started to demand more respect for their rights. That has meant, he said, that "they ignore ... reality and they impose their rules. ... That's the problem."

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Pulitzer Jurors Are Shocked That No Fiction Prize Was Awarded

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 8:50 am

  • Susan Larson talks with Lynn Neary

One of the surprises from Monday's Pulitzer Prize announcements was the lack of an award in the fiction category. It's the first time since 1977 that the Pulitzer board hasn't given an award for fiction writing.

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World
6:16 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Cardboard To Be Used In Temporary Cathedral

The New Zealand town of Christchurch is rebuilding after an earthquake left its 19th century cathedral in ruins. Its replacement has been dubbed "the cardboard cathedral." It's a temporary fix while the permanent building is under construction.

The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery Is On Its Last Flight

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flies by the Washington Monument during a flyover of the nation's capital.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:51 am

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Around the Nation
6:06 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Couple Charges Rental Property Is Haunted

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Africa
4:09 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Crisis Between Sudan, South Sudan Intensifies

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:28 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The crisis between Sudan and South Sudan has intensified with the north branding its recently independent southern neighbor the enemy. This follows two weeks of bitter fighting in the disputed oil-producing border area between the two Sudans. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is monitoring developments from her base in Dakar, Senegal and joins us now.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Good morning, Ofeibea.

Greetings.

NEARY: Now, Ofeibea, just bring us up to date on what is happening in Sudan and South Sudan right now.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:45 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

They say the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes. But half that statement appears to be under challenge by one late rap star and some special effects, which brings us to today's last word in business - virtual comeback.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CALIFORNIA LOVE")

TUPAC SHAKUR: (Singing) California love.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Congressional Panels Probe Lavish GSA Spending

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:56 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Tax Day Isn't Bad If You're Getting A Refund

The day that many dread is here: It's Tax Day. Of the 143 million federal tax returns filed last year, more than 80 percent qualified for a refund. Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about the economics of tax refunds.

Election 2012
3:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Tri-State Tea Party Welcomes Romney To Philly

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 8:27 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. Last night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. And as NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports, what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.

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Books
3:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Not Since 1977: No Pulitzer Awarded For Fiction

The Pulitzer Prizes were awarded Monday, but not for fiction. The field had been narrowed to three finalists. Lynn Neary talks with Pulitzer fiction juror Susan Larson about why no prize was awarded in that category.

Around the Nation
2:01 am
Tue April 17, 2012

A Poem Store Open For Business, In The Open Air

Poet-for-hire Zach Houston works at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Houston says he is paid about $2 to $20 for each poem.
Ralph Wiedemeier NPR

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 8:43 am

Zach Houston runs his Poem Store (on any given sidewalk) with these items: a manual typewriter, a wooden folding chair, scraps of paper, and a white poster board that reads: "POEMS — Your Topic, Your Price."

Houston usually gets from $2 to $20 for a poem, he says. He's received a $100 bill more than once. The Oakland, Calif., resident has been composing spontaneous street poems in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2005. Five years ago, it became his main source of income.

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Presidential Race
2:01 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Did Obama's Policies Help, Or Hinder, The Economy?

President Obama signs the economic stimulus bill in February 2009, as Vice President Biden looks on. Experts disagree over the impact of the administration's economic policies on the recession.
Darin McGregor AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:14 am

The 2012 presidential election is approaching, and President Obama's fate may hinge on how well the economy fares over the coming months.

On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been highlighting the economy's weaknesses. The former Massachusetts governor has made a similar claim about the president, and the recession, at almost every campaign stop.

"I don't blame the president for the downturn," Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire earlier this year. "He didn't cause it. But he made it worse and made it last longer."

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Business
2:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

U.S. Has A Natural Gas Problem: Too Much Of It

Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom that the U.S. market is having trouble absorbing.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:43 am

There's a boom in natural gas production in the United States, a boom so big the market is having trouble absorbing it all.

The unusually warm weather this winter is one reason for the excess, since it reduced the need for people to burn gas to heat their homes. A bigger reason, however, is the huge increase in gas production made possible by new methods of coaxing gas out of shale rock formations.

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