3:21am

Thu April 4, 2013
Environment

Arkansas Oil Spill Sheds Light On Aging Pipeline System

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:45 am

A worker cleans up oil in Mayflower, Ark., on Monday, days after a pipeline ruptured and spewed oil over lawns and roadways.
Jeannie Nuss AP

Amber Bartlett was waiting last Friday for her kids to come home from school. One of them called from the entrance to the upscale subdivision near Little Rock, Ark., to tell her the community was being evacuated because of an oil spill. Bartlett was amazed by what she saw out her front door.

"I mean, just rolling oil. I mean, it was like a river," she says. "It had little waves in it."

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3:20am

Thu April 4, 2013
It's All Politics

The Hunt Is On For A New FBI Director

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 5:11 am

FBI Director Robert Mueller is set to leave office this year. Whomever President Obama chooses to replace him could become a big part of Obama's legacy.
Susan Walsh AP

Robert Mueller became FBI director just days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, he's been the U.S. government's indispensable man when it comes to national security.

But Mueller's term has expired, and the clock is ticking on an unprecedented extension that Congress gave him two years ago.

The first time the Obama White House thought about a replacement for Mueller, back in 2011, officials threw up their hands and wound up begging him to stay. Congress passed a special law to allow it. Then Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa put his foot down.

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3:18am

Thu April 4, 2013
The Salt

A Political War Brews Over 'Food For Peace' Aid Program

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:47 pm

Pakistani aid workers offload USAID food supplies from an Army helicopter in Kallam Valley during catastrophic flooding in 2010.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.

It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.

America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.

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3:17am

Thu April 4, 2013
Theater

'Kinky Boots' Walk Cyndi Lauper To Broadway

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:01 am

Struggling shoe-factory owner Charlie (Stark Sands, left) is inspired by drag queen Lola (Billy Porter) to make high-quality high-heeled boots for men who perform as women in the Broadway adaptation of the cult film Kinky Boots.
O and M Co.

If you ask Billy Porter, one of the lead actors in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, what the show's about, he's got a succinct answer:

"It's about two people who have daddy issues," Porter says. "And one of them just happens to wear a dress."

Porter would be that guy: He plays Lola, a fabulous drag queen who inadvertently helps save a failing shoe factory in the English Midlands. And he gets to sing fabulous songs — by Cyndi Lauper.

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3:17am

Thu April 4, 2013
Health Care

Lawyers Join Doctors To Ease Patients' Legal Anxieties

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 2:44 pm

Lawyer Meredith Watts (left) visits client/patient Shirley Kimbrough at her apartment in north Akron, Ohio. Kimbrough is being helped by a program under which lawyers partner up with health providers to supply patients with legal advice.
Jeff St. Clair WKSU

Two professions that have traditionally had a rocky relationship — doctors and lawyers — are finding some common ground in clinics and hospitals across the country.

In Akron, Ohio, for instance, doctors are studying how adding a lawyer to the health care team can help improve a patient's health.

As a TV drones in the background, about a dozen women and children wait for their names to be called at the Summa women's clinic in Akron.

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7:02pm

Wed April 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Award-Winning Novelist And Screenwriter, Dies

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:46 am

This undated publicity photo provided by Merchant Ivory Productions shows Oscar-winning screenwriter and award-winning novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (center) with film director and producer Ismail Merchant (left) and director James Ivory in a studio. Jhabvala, 85, died in New York on Wednesday.
AP

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and Booker Prize-winning novelist, has died at her home in New York. She was 85.

NPR's Bob Mondello reported on her career for NPR's Newscast Desk:

"With the films of Merchant/Ivory, you tend to think first of period-perfect costumes and settings, but it was Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's scripts that gave them substance. She was witty, cultivated and could be wonderfully precise about class and propriety in her adaptations of, say, E.M. Forster.

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6:42pm

Wed April 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Brian Banks, Who Was Cleared Of Rape Conviction, Is Signed By Atlanta Falcons

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:04 pm

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

We've told you the story of Brian Banks. He served five years in prison and then five years of probation for a rape conviction that was thrown out in May 2012.

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5:41pm

Wed April 3, 2013
The Salt

What Do We Lose, And Gain, When Reducing A Life To A Recipe?

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 11:39 pm

Detail of The Autumn, a painting of a man made of food by 16th century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

What is the essence of a life? Is it our career accomplishments? Our devotion to friends and family? Our secret little talents and foibles? Is it, perhaps, our killer recipe for beef stroganoff?

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5:40pm

Wed April 3, 2013
Europe

Ex-Diplomats: U.S.-Russian Relations Not As Dire As They Seem

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:11 am

Former U.S. and Russian diplomats gather at RIA Novosti in Moscow on Tuesday. From left: former Russian or Soviet ambassadors to the U.S. Vladimir Lukin, Alexander Bessmertnykh and Viktor Komplektov; Sergei Rogov, director of the Institute of USA and Canada; and former U.S. ambassadors to Russia James Collins, Jack Matlock, Thomas Pickering and John Beyrle.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Relations between the United States and Russia are testier than they have been in years. The two nations are at odds over human rights, the civil war in Syria and even the adoption of Russian orphans by American families.

But former American diplomats say things aren't as bad as they may seem. They say the two countries should work together on economic and security issues.

Four former U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union and Russia were in Moscow this week for talks with their counterparts, former Russian ambassadors to the United States.

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5:40pm

Wed April 3, 2013
Space

Sensor On Space Station May Have Seen Hints Of Elusive Dark Matter

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

Astronauts work to install the alpha magnetic spectrometer on the International Space Station on May 26, 2011.
NASA

An international team of researchers announced in Switzerland on Wednesday that an experiment on the International Space Station may have seen hints of something called dark matter. The finding could be a milestone in the decades-long search for the universe's missing material.

Only a tiny sliver of stuff in the universe is visible to scientists; the rest is dark matter. Researchers don't know what it is, but they know it's there. Its gravity pulls on the things we can see.

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