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The Two-Way
6:31 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Why Jupiter's Red Spot Isn't As Great As It Used To Be

NASA images showing Jupiter's gradually shrinking Great Red Spot.
Hubble Space Telescope NASA

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 8:04 pm

Jupiter's Great Red Spot might be, quite literally, the perfect storm: It's a swirling, anti-cyclonic vortex that's big enough to engulf three Earths and has been raging in the atmosphere of the solar system's largest planet for at least 400 years.

Even in a backyard telescope, the Great Red Spot shows up as easily the planet's most prominent feature, sporting "a conspicuous deep red eye embedded in swirling layers of pale yellow, orange and white," as NASA describes it.

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Economy
5:37 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Missing In The Housing Recovery: New Houses

De Desharnais of Ashwood Development in New Hampshire says homebuilding activity for her company has slowed sharply since the housing crash. But she's hopeful that business will pick up.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

More than five years after the crash, homebuilding is stuck at half its normal level. That's a big drag on the economy. And things aren't looking much better: A report out Thursday shows homebuilder confidence is at its lowest level in a year.

This severe slump in single-family home construction has been going on across the country. We haven't seen anything close to this kind of a long-term construction slump since World War II.

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Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

The Difficult Choices Behind Bringing Sept. 11 Museum To Life

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm joined now by the director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Alice Greenwald. Welcome to the program.

ALICE GREENWALD: Hello, Melissa.

BLOCK: How do you see the role and the purpose of this museum, because as the name indicates, it is both a museum and a memorial, and I would think there might be a tension really between those two missions?

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The Salt
5:28 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Organic Produce Is A Tough Sell In The Gaza Strip

Rami al-Naffar is the clerk at a small organic produce shop in Gaza City.
Emily Harris/NPR

Outside a small organic produce shop in Gaza City, a large sidewalk placard reads "Good Earth" in Arabic in big red letters, followed by "Organic produce, free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides." The same message is on the shop's awning.

But "people don't notice the signs, they come in and ask, 'Why these [high] prices?,' " says Rami al-Naffar, the clerk here.

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Europe
5:25 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Former Ambassador To Russia: Putin Has No Master Plan For Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second right, speaks with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul during a walk in Moscow's Red Square in May 2013.
Mladen Antonov AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:02 pm

When Russian President Vladimir Putin started vilifying the U.S., and state-controlled media took his cue, Michael McFaul was portrayed as one of the American villains. McFaul was the American ambassador to Russia from January 2012 to February of this year. He planned to leave just after the Sochi Olympics, which ended up coinciding with the Ukrainian Parliament voting to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, leading to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

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U.S.
5:01 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

When States Can't Control Violent Youth, Is Prison The Answer?

Protesters rally outside the Department of Children and Families in Hartford, Conn., in April. The state's decision to send a transgender teen to adult prison has galvanized juvenile justice and LGBT advocates.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

More than 4,000 children are in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families. But it's one girl, known as Jane Doe, who has galvanized advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth.

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Book Reviews
4:59 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

In Mona Simpson's 'Casebook,' A Holden Caulfield For Our Time

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:18 pm

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of summer days lying flat on my back in the front yard. I would stare up at the sky and think: "This is me, thinking." And then I'd think, "This is me, thinking about thinking." At that point, having made myself dizzy, I'd jump up and return to a less abstruse activity like riding my bike or tormenting my little sister.

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News
4:44 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

On The Bedrock Of Fallen Towers, September 11 Museum Opens Doors

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum was officially dedicated Thursday in New York. President Obama and other elected officials joined survivors and victims' families in a poignant ceremony.

Politics
4:40 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

After Nearly 50 Years In Office, Conyers Might Not Make The Ballot

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 3:11 pm

A local elections official has ruled that Rep. John Conyers of Detroit, who's served in the House for nearly 50 years, has failed to collect enough valid signatures to appear on the Democratic primary ballot. He's appealing the decision; if he loses, it could be an ignominious end to a distinguished career.

Africa
4:39 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

To Help Nigeria Find Missing Girls, U.S. Sends In Airborne Support

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

The U.S. has deployed surveillance aircraft to Nigeria in the search for the more than 250 schoolgirls still missing. Imagery gathered by the aircraft and satellites will be shared with the Nigerian government.

The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Those California Wildfires Viewed From Space

An image shot by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on Wednesday. It shows multiple wildfires in Calif. trailing smoke into the Pacific Ocean.
Lynn Jenner NASA/Goddard

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:12 pm

Multiple wildfires in California, fueled by strong Santa Ana winds and scorching temperatures, are so massive that they can easily be seen from space.

As NPR's Alan Greenblatt reports, the fires have affected thousands of acres and put lives and property in jeopardy.

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Around the Nation
4:17 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Online Gambling In The Garden State Gets Off To A Slow Start

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

Jason Schlachter has been gambling for a living since college, mostly online, and he makes lots of money doing it. The trouble is, New Jersey — where he does his gambling — isn't having the same success. The state legalized online gambling in 2013, expecting a $160 million windfall in tax revenue, but it has earned less than $8 million so far. WNYC's Jessica Gould looks at what's gone wrong with New Jersey's big bet.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Gay Marriages Cleared In Arkansas, But On Hold In Idaho

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 5:51 pm

More legal wrangling over gay marriage in two states on Thursday:

In Arkansas, Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza expanded the ruling he issued last week striking down a ban on gay marriage to also eliminate a separate law that prohibited clerks from issuing such marriage licenses.

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Middle East
4:05 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Hopes Dim For Turkish Miners, But Rescuers Carry On

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:34 am

Hope is fading that any more mine workers will be rescued from a mine in western Turkey, where over 280 miners died after an explosion. NPR's Leila Fadel has been at the mine and offers more details.

Business
3:59 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Housing Is Perking Up, But Realtors Worry About Young Buyers

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 5:25 pm

The U.S. housing market is strengthening after a tough winter, according to economists at a Realtors convention in Washington.

But even as the short-term outlook brightens, they remain worried about a long-term problem with "missing" young buyers.

"There really are serious issues in the first-time-buyer market," Eric Belsky, managing director of Harvard's Joint Center of Housing Studies, told the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.

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