The Salt
4:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:47 pm

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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It's All Politics
4:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

The Hunt Is On For A New FBI Director

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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Environment
4:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Arkansas Oil Spill Sheds Light On Aging Pipeline System

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

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 9:45 am

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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Around the Nation
4:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Letter On Finding A Husband Before Graduation Spurs Debate

A couple walks past Nassau Hall on the Princeton Unversity campus in Princeton, N.J. A letter to the editor in The Daily Princetonian urging female students to find a husband before they graduate has drawn criticism.
Daniel Hulshizer AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 9:12 am

More than a week after Susan Patton's letter to the editor of The Daily Princetonian prompted heated criticism, the 1977 Princeton alumna says she still stands by her words.

"I have never had a problem voicing an unpopular opinion if it's heartfelt," Patton tells NPR.

In her letter, Patton wrote to young women attending her alma mater, "Find a husband on campus before you graduate."

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Theater
4:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Kinky Boots' Walk Cyndi Lauper To Broadway

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.

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 9:01 am

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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Around the Nation
6:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Obama Highlights Colorado's Action On Gun Control Legislation

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:50 pm

President Obama was in Denver on Wednesday to rally support for gun control laws. Colorado has stepped up on both background checks and ammunition magazines, and Democrats there fear backlash next year.

The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:04 pm

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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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 3:46 am

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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The Salt
4:57 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:39 pm

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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Author Interviews
4:48 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

The Botched NY Real Estate Deal That Lost 'Other People' Billions

The Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town apartment complex is seen from Waterside Plaza in 2006, the same year it was sold in a record-breaking real estate deal.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:50 pm

The middle-income housing projects Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village sit on an 80-acre patch of Lower Manhattan. In 2006, they came to epitomize the lunatic excess of the housing boom when their 11,232 apartments sold for $5.4 billion. They were bought at a competitive auction by Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty.

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