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Thursday, May 26, 2011

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National Public Radio Stories

  • Medicare, Debt Ceiling Votes Put Lawmakers On Spot
    Senate Democrats forced their GOP colleagues Wednesday to vote on a House Republican budget, getting most of them to back an unpopular plan to privatize Medicare. Next week, a similar vote in the GOP-run House on raising the debt ceiling could make Democrats uncomfortable.
  • Tucson Suspect Failed Tests Of Mental Competency
    A federal judge in Tucson, Ariz., has ruled that Jared Loughner is not mentally competent to stand trial. The man accused of killing six people and wounding 13 — including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona — will undergo further evaluation.
  • Chu Hopes Kids Will Encourage Families To Go Green
    Energy Secretary Steven Chu is launching an initiative to educate students about energy efficiency. He talks to Mary Louise Kelly about energy alternatives in an era of high gas prices, and about the future of the nuclear industry in the United States.
  • Switzerland To Phase Out Nuclear Power
    Switzerland has decided to make a ban on nuclear power plants permanent. The country's cabinet has called for a gradual decommissioning of its five nuclear power plants. Germany also has announced it would start shutting down its nuclear power program.
  • In Risky Twist, Using Ultralight Planes To Drop Drugs
    Mexican drug traffickers have gotten creative by using small aircraft to drop marijuana into the U.S. The number of ultralights illegally crossing into the U.S. nearly doubled last year, when agents recorded 228 cases. But the newest method to smuggle drugs across the border is especially dangerous.
  • Contractors Flock To Joplin, Mo., To Find Work
    In Joplin, Missouri, victims of the tornado are beginning to put their lives back together. Insurance companies are already making visits and paying homeowners for their losses. City officials are making temporary contractors obtain licenses to cut down on fraud.
  • How To Survive A Tornado: Plan Ahead, Avoid Debris
    Devastating tornadoes have struck the U.S. this year, killing about 500 people. Experts say the death toll could have been lower if more people knew the best way to protect themselves. Myths about the correct thing to do — like opening windows during a storm — cause even more harm.
  • NASA Tries One Last Time To Contact Mars Rover
    Engineers at NASA early Wednesday morning sent their final commands to the Mars rover Spirit. The electronic exploring device covered nearly five miles of the Red Planet over five years.
  • Sony Corp. Lowers Profit Expectations
    Sony says it expects to make a profit of about $975 million in the coming year. That's lower than what Wall Street analysts had predicted. Sony is struggling to contain the damage to its business from the March earthquake in Japan. And there was also a series of security breaches including the one that forced Sony to close its PlayStation video game network for nearly a month.
  • New Fuel-Economy Stickers Debut For 2013 Vehicles
    Car buyers will soon see a new window sticker detailing each vehicle's fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. The government unveiled the stickers Wednesday after the auto industry fended off a proposal supported by environmental groups to rate vehicles based an A-F letter grade.

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