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News
2:36 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

VA Secretary Shinseki Steps Down Amid Reports Of Systemic Problems

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Gen. Eric Shinseki is out as the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. That comes after bipartisan calls for his resignation and growing outrage over scheduling from the VA health system. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

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National Security
2:36 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

An American Suicide Bomber In Syria

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The State Department has confirmed that a U.S. citizen was involved in the suicide bombing in Syria earlier this week. Today, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the man's identity in response to a reporter's question.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you confirm, at least, the name that he went by - as was published - Abu Huraya al-Amriki?

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News
2:36 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Spelling Co-Champs Beat The Bee, Leaving Judges Without Words

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Melissa, can I have a word for a moment?

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Absolutely. How about, thymelici?

SIEGEL: Oh, the dancing chorus in ancient Greek plays?

BLOCK: Yeah.

SIEGEL: No, I was thinking more of, encaenia.

BLOCK: Encaenia. The academic ceremony for conferring honorary degrees?

SIEGEL: Well, of course. Those two everyday words figured in the Scripps National Spelling Bee that ended in a rare tie yesterday.

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Movie Reviews
2:36 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

James McAvoy As A Creep? In 'Filth,' The Anti-Typecasting Works

Filth is based on a novel by Irvine Welsh — who also wrote the profane, drug-fueled epic Trainspotting. James McAvoy plays Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson — a bigoted junkie cop — with enough foul-mouthed sleaze to be thoroughly off-putting.
Neil Davidson Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 4:34 am

Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) swaggers down the street at the start of Filth swiping balloons from children, ogling their mothers, flipping off foreigners and smirking as he ticks down a list of what makes Scotland a place where he feels he can be cock-of-the-walk.

"This nation brought the world television, the steam engine, golf, whiskey, penicillin and, of course, the deep-fried Mars bar," he snorts. "We're such a uniquely successful race."

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The Salt
2:06 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Oklahoma's Extreme Drought Has Wheat Farmers Bracing For Worst

Fred and Wayne Schmedt say the drought has withered their wheat plants down from an average height of 24 to 30 inches to just 6 to 8 inches.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oaklahoma

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:27 pm

Rainfall totals in southwest Oklahoma are more than 3 inches below normal. And that means that the wheat crop grown in brothers Fred and Wayne Schmedt's farm is several inches shorter than normal as well.

Laughter is key to surviving as a farmer here. Fred Schmedt looks out on his field, then down at his legs and laughs at how short the wheat stalks are.

"What would you call that, high-shoe-top high?" he says. "In a normal year — a really good year — it'd be thigh-high. So we're looking at plants that are 6 to 8 inches tall versus 24 to 30 inches tall."

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

U.S. Confirms American Carried Out Suicide Bombing In Syria

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:15 pm

The State Department on Friday confirmed that a U.S. citizen, who they believe to be Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, took part in a suicide truck bombing in Syria earlier this week.

Reports that a Syrian rebel calling himself Abu Hurayra al-Amriki (Abu Hurayra the American), a name allegedly adopted by Abu-Salha, carried out the May 25 attack on a Syrian government complex in western Idlib province have been circulating on social media for several days.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Thailand's Military Ruler Says No Elections For At Least A Year

An anti-coup demonstrator in Bangkok, earlier this week. The country's new military leader says those opposed to the putsch lack an understanding of democracy.
Sakchai Lalit AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 4:02 pm

The leader of Thailand's military junta said it could take a year or more before new elections in the country, as he repeated warnings to protesters opposing last week's coup, saying they lack a "true understanding of democracy."

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Technology
1:07 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Techies, White House Take Part In National Day Of Civic Hacking

Sameer Verma

This weekend, software developers, entrepreneurs, and local governments from around the world are coming together to design and build tools for the common good.

Using publicly released data, participants in the National Day of Civic Hacking will work together to integrate new technology tools to solve community problems.

Todd Khozein is one of the organizers of #HackForChange. He is the co-founder of SecondMuse, a collaborative innovation lab that helps find technological solutions to everyday issues.

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The Salt
12:42 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

How A Food Stylist Made Squirrel And Earthworm Look Appetizing

Left, gray squirrel. Right, crostini with squirrel meat, white mulberry, goat cheese, hazelnut and purslane.
Christopher Testani

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:44 am

Communities around the world are increasingly overrun by invasive critters. Gray squirrels, which are native to North America, are an ecological nuisance in England. And nutria — or swamp rats, colloquially — from South America are destroying wetlands in the Gulf Coast states.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney To Step Down

President Obama gives White House press secretary Jay Carney a hug after announcing that Carney will step down next month.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 12:57 pm

Jay Carney, who fielded reporters' tough questions for more than three years as White House press secretary, will resign.

President Obama interrupted the Friday media briefing to make the announcement.

"Jay's had to wrestle with this decision for quite some time," Obama said, announcing the move.

"Jay has become one of my closest friends," he said.

Carney said he'd asked to leave in April and that he would depart officially in mid-June.

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