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The Salt
4:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.

But the numbers have started to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Old Senate Tradition Lies Behind Controversial Judge's Nomination

There's an idea in the Senate that it's still a chamber operating on mutual respect and goodwill between colleagues. That's why venerable traditions like "blue slips" — slips of paper senators can use to block any White House choice for judgeships in their home state — carry over today.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 9:56 am

As President Obama continues to take heat for nominating to the federal bench a judge who once wanted to keep the Confederate emblem on the Georgia state flag, the White House says what's partly to blame for the choice is an old Senate tradition.

It turns out that tradition — which gives virtual veto power over judicial nominations to home state senators — helps explain why almost all the judicial vacancies without nominees are now in states with Republican senators.

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Economy
3:58 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back

Auto sales rebounded in March and consumer spending remains strong, signs that the economy won't stay down for long, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The Commerce Department on Thursday said the U.S. economy shriveled during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.

So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?

How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.

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Shots - Health News
3:57 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Ready, Set, Spray! Brazil Battles Dengue Ahead Of The World Cup

The World Cup will come to the Arena de Sao Paola, shown here when it was under construction last fall. Brazil is also making a big push to control the local mosquitoes that can spread dengue fever.
Friedemann Vogel Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

In Sao Paulo's poor north zone, in the neighborhood of Tucuruvi, teams of city workers knock on doors, warning people to take pets and small children out of the area.

Quickly after, men in hazmat suits with metal cylinders strapped to their backs start spraying the street, and some of the interiors of the homes, with powerful pesticides. This is the front line of the war on dengue fever in Brazil's largest city.

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World
3:54 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Pakistani Woman Beaten To Death By Her Family As Police Stand By

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:16 am

Pakistan is reeling from the latest so-called "honor killing." A pregnant woman was stoned to death just feet from a courthouse for marrying a man against her family's wishes. Police stood by as family members, including a woman, took part in the killing.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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The Salt
3:49 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Hot Sauce Art: LA Museum Honors Sriracha and Tapatio

Audrey Chan's Proposal for a Mural Dedicated to David Tran.
Courtesy of the Chinese American Museum

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:46 pm

You can find bottles of Sriracha and Tapatio, two of America's most popular hot sauces, sharing space with the ketchup and mayo in millions of American refrigerators, on the shelves of supermarkets and adorning the tables of restaurants across the country.

And until July 12, the fiery condiments are conquering yet another space: the walls of a museum.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

'Morning Edition' Friday: An Obama Critic On The West Point Speech

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

President Obama mapped out his vision for foreign policy yesterday in a commencement speech at West Point. Obama was taking on criticism that his approach to global affairs has been too cautious. But Republicans weren't any more satisfied after that speech. Tomorrow morning we'll hear from one of his biggest critics.

SENATOR BOB CORKER: I would suggest that he takes a speech that he did yesterday, throw it in the circular file, start again with something much more decisive and clear.

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Animals
3:35 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Scientists Find Africa's Longest Land Migration: Zebras' 350-Mile Trek

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Wildlife biologists have discovered the longest known terrestrial migration in Africa: some 350 miles across southern Africa by huge herds of zebras. Large mammal migration in Africa has generally been hindered by the subdivision and fencing of land. However, this one remains possible because it takes place in a unique, multi-country wildlife corridor.

Media
3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

For TV Advertisers, A Hunt For Live Audiences

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now, if you're a company wanting to buy advertising on television, nowadays you'll find some heavily watched programming more attractive than some other heavily watched programming, for example the old reliable.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: A big, live sports event, or a more novel idea, the familiar musical, performed live.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSICAL)

CHORUS: Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun.

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Economy
3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Germany's Economy Is Doing Well — And That's Bad For The Eurozone

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: Germany's economy is having a pretty good year so far. Manufacturing is high, unemployment is low. The economy is expanding, and yet the strangest report has recently come out of Europe. It says all of that success is actually a problem for the rest of the Eurozone. Zoe Chase of our Planet Money team wondered why Germany's success isn't considered a good thing.

ZOE CHASE, BYLINE: Germany's got a thing about making stuff the world wants.

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