Planet Money
2:47 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Bankrupt In Paradise

A rainbow over the sea in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.
Koichi Kamoshida Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 9:05 am

The Northern Mariana Islands are about 4,000 miles west of Hawaii. They look like the kind of tropical islands you see in the movies with bright blue water and white sand beaches.

The people who live on the islands are American. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. territory. And just like a lot of U.S. states, the commonwealth has a pension plan for its government employees.

Sixto Igisomar used to run it.

Read more
Education
2:44 am
Thu May 24, 2012

National Geography Bee: Test Your World Knowledge

The 10 finalists of the 2012 National Geographic Bee are competing for prizes including a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Rebecca Hale National Geographic

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 12:40 pm

The final round of the 2012 National Geographic Bee takes place Thursday, with students between the fourth and eighth grades testing their knowledge of countries, canals and lava lakes. Of the 54 contestants who came to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for the bee, only 10 remain.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:28 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Tentative Deal Clears Way For U.S. Olympic Hosting Bid

Fireworks fill the sky after the Olympic cauldron was lit on Feb. 8, 2003, marking the one year anniversary of the 2002 Winter Games at the opening and closing ceremony venue in Salt Lake City, the last American city to host the Olympics.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:36 pm

Olympic officials meeting in Quebec City have reached a tentative agreement in a persistent revenue-sharing dispute responsible, in part, for keeping the Olympics out of the United States for at least 20 years.

The dispute centers on the American share of Olympic revenues. Since 1984, The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has received the biggest portion of the billions of Olympic dollars paid by corporate sponsors and American television networks. And the rest of the Olympic world has resented it.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:18 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

New Documents Describe Brutal Hazing That Killed FAMU Drum Major

Robert Champion agreed to go into Bus C because he was vying for the top job at Florida A&M University's Marching 100 band and thought it would impress his band mates.

But that hazing ritual — a relentless, brutal beating — would cost him his life. That's the picture painted by a cache of new documents released today in Florida.

The New York Times reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

In Egypt, First Day Of Voting 'Seemed Remarkably Routine'

Two women show their inked fingers after casting their votes on the first day of the Presidential election at a polling center in Old Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday.
Fredrik Persson AP

Polls have closed on a historic day in Egypt: For many it was the first time they had a say in who their leader will be. Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for 29 years, was ousted last year. And before him, for another 30 or so years, Egyptian presidents have run unopposed.

Kimberly Adams was at the polls in Cairo today for NPR. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Many waited in line for hours to choose the replacement for President Hosni Mubarak, who was booted from office during the Arab Spring.

Read more
World Cafe
6:15 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Kent Hartman On World Cafe

Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 10:24 am

Almost every record you know that was a 1960s radio hit had a secret weapon — a crew of L.A. backing musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew." This group, which included the likes of Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye, helped artists ranging from the Partridge Family to the Beach Boys make great-sounding albums.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
5:27 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

By Putting Patients First, Hospital Tries To Make Care More Personal

Patient Bob Berquist with Gregory Wagner, a doctor in the emergency department. Berquist, who volunteers at Fauquier Hospital, was admitted for low blood sugar when another nurse noticed he seemed dizzy.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:22 pm

No one likes to go to the hospital.

But some hospitals around the nation are trying to make their patients' stays a little less unpleasant.

They're members of an organization called Planetree, which was founded by a patient named Angelica Thieriot, who had a not-so-good hospital experience back in the 1970s.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Beijing Imposes 'Two-Fly' Rule For Public Restrooms

A worker cleans a public bathroom in Beijing. New rules require that public restrooms in the Chinese capital have no more than two flies in them.
Greg Baker AP

Officials in Beijing have ruled that public restrooms in the Chinese capital can have no more than two flies in them at one time, the BBC reports.

New rules issued Monday by the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment also regulate ads within the bathrooms and state that no more than two pieces of trash can be left uncollected for more than a half-hour.

The rules apply to bathrooms in tourist spots such as parks, railway stations, supermarkets and malls.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

British TV Presenter: CNN's Piers Morgan Showed Me How To Hack

CNN's Piers Morgan arrives at the inaugural BAFTA Brits to Watch 2011 event at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles.
Chris Pizzello AP

CNN host Piers Morgan has been dragged into the U.K.'s hacking scandal once again.

This time, the host of the BBC's Newsnight told a media ethics inquiry that Morgan had showed him how to hack into a cell phone's voice mail.

SkyTV reports that Jeremy Paxman remembered a lunch from September 2002 for two reasons: First because Morgan seemed to imply that he had heard a conversation between another TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson and England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Read more
Law
5:02 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Ousted Secret Service Agents May Ask For Jobs Back

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:22 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The director of the Secret Service assured a Senate committee, today, that a prostitution scandal involving his agents never compromised security. Mark Sullivan also apologized for behavior he said was reckless. It was Sullivan's first public testimony since news broke last month of Secret Service employees picking up prostitutes before a presidential visit to Colombia. He insisted this was an isolated incident.

But NPR's Tamara Keith reports, some on the committee weren't buying it.

Read more

Pages