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It's All Politics
4:20 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Presents From The President: What Obama Gives His Friends

President Obama meets with speechwriter Jon Favreau in the Oval Office in 2009.
Pete Souza White House via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 8:59 pm

Between his trip to Europe last week and his travels to Africa next week, President Obama is doing a lot of gift exchanges with foreign leaders.

In the past, he has gotten mixed reviews. Four years ago, he was panned for giving the queen of England an iPod. Other presents have gone over better. But the president does not personally select these gifts — a staffer does.

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Shots - Health News
4:14 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Political Fight Jeopardizes Medicaid In Mississippi

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, opposes Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 6:11 pm

Medicaid and controversy seem inseparable in many states lately. For the most part, the wrangling is about a new wrinkle in Medicaid — the expansion of the health program for the poor and disabled under Obamacare.

Mississippi, though, is raising the stakes. Democrats and Republicans in the state are in a fight, and the outcome could threaten the very existence of the entire Medicaid program there.

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Parallels
4:14 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Amid Ire At U.S., Germany Does Its Own Domestic Spying

Protesters display a cutout figure of President Obama in Berlin on Wednesday. Germans were protesting the National Security Agency's eavesdropping on foreign communication.
Gero Breloer AP

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 3:26 pm

Revelations of widespread U.S. spying on foreign Internet communications put a damper on President Obama's first state visit to Berlin. The German chancellor and other officials there say they want to know more about what the National Security Agency is looking at.

Yet the backlash has been more muted than expected. One reason is that the German government is doing similar surveillance.

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Movies
4:03 am
Sat June 22, 2013

'Me' Too: For Gru, Another Shot At Global Domination

He's still a would-be world-conquerer by day, but Gru (left, with minions) has been settling into his role as an adoptive dad by night. His new responsibilities make him a likely recruit for the Anti-Villain League, which asks him to ... well, we shouldn't give too much away.
Universal

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 12:07 pm

There will be hits and misses at movie houses this summer, but it's a decent bet Despicable Me 2 will end up in the that-went-well column.

The star, a would-be world-dominating supervillain named Gru, is a hulking, blustering figure with an appetite for mayhem — and a surprising soft spot. He'll boast that he's about to pull off "the crime of the century," then sit down to read his little girls — he's recently, reluctantly, adopted three of them, and they're adorable — a bedtime story.

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National Security
6:23 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

U.S. Charges NSA Leaker Snowden With Espionage

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR has learned that the U.S. Department of Justice has prepared the documents to formally charge Edward Snowden with espionage. Snowden is the former contractor who has publicized details of two U.S. surveillance programs through the British newspaper The Guardian. NPR's Carrie Johnson joins us now with the latest, and Carrie, everyone's been waiting for this shoe to drop. What do we know about the government's plans to proceed?

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Around the Nation
6:02 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Ghost Island Looms Large Among Displaced Inupiat Eskimos

King Island is only accessible via helicopter or chartered boat.
Rachel D'Oro AP

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:11 pm

Out in Alaska's Bering Sea, about 90 miles from Nome, sits a small, rocky island that used to be home to a couple of hundred Inupiat Eskimos. They lived in houses built on stilts, perched on rocky cliffs.

Then, about 50 years ago, the threat of rock slides, the spread of tuberculosis and the loss of men to World War II forced residents to relocate to the mainland. King Island has been a ghost island ever since.

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Around the Nation
5:29 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

At Coney Island, The (Mermaid) Show Must Go On

The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island draws hundreds of thousands of revelers each June. After sustaining significant damage during Superstorm Sandy, the nonprofit that runs the parade was almost unable to host this year's event, scheduled for Saturday.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:11 pm

Not even Superstorm Sandy could keep the mermaids from coming back to Brooklyn.

The Mermaid Parade is a nautically themed and occasionally naughty parade that draws close to a million people to Coney Island, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, each June. Sandy nearly drowned the organization that hosts the parade, but supporters donated more than $100,000 to get the parade back on its fins this year.

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Media
5:29 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Is It Ethical? Universities Pay Newspaper For Coverage

Copies of The Orange County Register slide through the presses. The Register is the country's 20th most-read daily, with a circulation of about 285,000.
Grant Slater KPCC

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:11 pm

This spring, readers of The Orange County Register in Southern California started seeing much more coverage of local universities. What they probably did not know is that the stories are paid for by the schools. Depending on whom you ask, it is either a smart way to bring in revenue, or a serious breach of journalism ethics.

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The Summer of '63
2:24 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Shake, Rattle And Rally: Code Songs Spurred Activism In Birmingham

When played on the radio in 1963, songs like Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll" were code to Birmingham youths, telling them to assemble.
Jan Persson Redferns

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:11 pm

In 1963, civil rights activists wanted to recruit more of the city's young people to the cause. The way to their hearts was often through DJs and music. These days, Shelley "The Playboy" Stewart is the head of a major marketing firm, but in the 1950s and '60s, he was a popular DJ in Birmingham, Ala.

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Commentary
1:47 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Calling It 'Metadata' Doesn't Make Surveillance Less Intrusive

Andrey Kuzmin iStockphoto.com

"This is just metadata. There is no content involved." That was how Sen. Dianne Feinstein defended the NSA's blanket surveillance of Americans' phone records and Internet activity. Before those revelations, not many people had heard of metadata, the term librarians and programmers use for the data that describes a particular document or record it's linked to.

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