The Salt
2:25 am
Wed April 24, 2013

For Corn, Fickle Weather Makes For Uncertain Yields

By this time last year, 26 percent of the country's corn crop was already planted. A wet, cold spring means that only 4 percent is in the ground right now.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 8:06 am

Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.

It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. But farmers need a break in the rain so they can get this year's crops in the ground and try to lock in good yields at harvest.

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The Salt
2:24 am
Wed April 24, 2013

How Coffee Influenced The Course Of History

An overseer sits in the shade while workers collect coffee beans on a Brazilian plantation, circa 1750.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:49 pm

Coffee is a powerful beverage. On a personal level, it helps keep us awake and active. On a much broader level, it has helped shape our history and continues to shape our culture.

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Kitchen Window
2:22 am
Wed April 24, 2013

A Fresh Pod Cast: Savoring Spring's Green Peas

Sheri Castle for NPR

Spring's little green garden peas were nearly done in by the tin can. Their unfortunate incarceration rendered them drab, mush and bleak. They tasted of the tinny can, if anything at all. Brilliant, beautiful, garden peas deserve better.

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Food
2:22 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Nigella Lawson Helps Listener Cook Her Eclectic Cupboard

Nigella Lawson is a British food writer and one of Morning Edition's go-to cooking experts.
Hugo Burnand Hilsinger Mendelson East

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 1:34 pm

Earlier this month, Morning Edition launched a new food project called Cook Your Cupboard, inspired by a dilemma many of us have faced before: a mysterious food item in the pantry, bought for an unusual recipe or on a whim, that we simply don't know what to do with. Morning Edition asked listeners to send photos of their baffling ingredients to npr.org/cupboard, where home cooks gave each other many creative recipe suggestions.

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World
2:21 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Egypt's Jon Stewart Says He Won't Back Down Amid Charges

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef waves to his supporters as he enters Egypt's state prosecutor general's office in Cairo on March 31 to face charges of allegedly insulting Islam and the country's leader.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 7:19 pm

It's 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night, and Bassem Youssef's show is on TV screens at cafes throughout downtown Cairo.

It's the Egyptian political satirist's first show since he was summoned to the prosecutor general's office to answer questions about the jokes he makes on TV. After the interrogation, he was released on about $2,200 bail.

On this night, the show opens with a joke about Youssef himself.

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The Salt
2:20 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Coffee For A Cause: What Do Those Feel-Good Labels Deliver?

Luis Fernando Vasquez has been a coffee farmer in the central valley of Costa Rica his entire life.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:50 pm

What does it take to find guilt-free coffee?

Much of our coffee comes from places where the environment is endangered and workers earn very little — sometimes, just a few dollars for a whole day's work. Coffee farmers have helped cut down tropical forests, and most of them use pesticides.

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The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Death Toll In West, Texas, Fertilizer Explosion Rises To 15

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:31 pm

The number of people who died in a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week now stands at 15, officials said Tuesday. Some earlier reports had indicated that 14 people had lost their lives. At least 200 more were injured.

In Waco, TV station KXXV says that officials believe they have found all the victims, quoting Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek saying "No more victims. Everything is searched," in a news conference today.

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Law
6:01 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Sending Ricin Letters

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 7:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Mysterious new developments in Mississippi today in the case of poisoned letters sent to President Obama, a U.S. Senator and a Mississippi judge. Federal authorities are dropping charges against a man arrested last week in connection with the case.

NPR's Debbie Elliott has an update for us. And, Debbie, to start, the initial suspect, Paul Kevin Curtis, is actually free tonight. What happened in this case?

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It's All Politics
5:45 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Budget Cuts Delay Flights But Not Fingerpointing

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and fellow GOP senators accused the Obama administration of creating a "manufactured crisis" by furloughing FAA air traffic controllers and causing delayed flights.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 10:02 am

Blame shifting was in high gear Tuesday on Capitol Hill and at the White House as the first air traffic delays tied to the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration controllers began to get attention.

The Republicans' message: Delays at some airports this week — a result of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester that took effect in March, but whose resulting furloughs are just kicking in — was a "manufactured crisis," and that the administration wants voters angry enough to force Congress to give President Obama the higher taxes he seeks.

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Hansi Lo Wang is a reporter covering race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR's new Code Switch team.

Based in Washington, D.C., he previously served as a production assistant for NPR's Weekend Edition and was awarded the NPR Kroc Fellowship, during which he reported for NPR's National Desk and Seattle public radio station KUOW.

A Philadelphia native, Wang founded a radio reporting program for high school students in Philadelphia's Chinatown in 2008. He has also worked as a refugee housing coordinator.

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