StoryCorps
12:01 am
Fri March 16, 2012

After Tragedy, An Aunt Plays A New Role: Parent

Laura (left) and Phil Donney (right), with their Aunt Abby, whom they call "Tabby."
Liebman Family Photo

One night in 1995 completely reshaped the lives of Phil and Laura Donney. Their parents were arguing, and their father stabbed their mother, killing her. Phil was 7; his sister was 4.

Ken Donney was sent to prison, and the children went to live with their mother's sisters.

Phil, 23, recently sat down with his aunt, Abby Leibman, the twin sister of his mother, Nina Leibman.

"What was it like becoming a parent to my sister and I overnight?" Phil asks.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
12:01 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Foreclosure Influx Causes Backlog In Some States

A padlock hangs from a door of a foreclosed home in Islip, N.Y. The time a foreclosure will take from start to finish varies widely from state to state.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Real estate is about location, location, location. And foreclosure is no different. Depending on the state, it can take an average of three months or three years to process a foreclosure. And the disparity in how states deal with foreclosures is getting bigger.

The fate of thousands of troubled homeowners in Central Florida rests in the hands of Lee Haworth, foreclosure administrative judge for Florida's 12th Judicial Circuit. "We were hit pretty hard," Haworth says.

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National Security
12:01 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Defense Contractors See Hope In Homeland Security

A vendor talks to attendees at the Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz., next to a display of sophisticated cameras and sensors painted to blend into the desert.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 10:24 am

The Defense Department is bracing for billions of dollars in budget cuts — and that has defense contractors looking for new markets. Homeland Security is one of the most promising, particularly border security, which hasn't suffered any big cuts. So companies are lining up in hopes of landing a contract.

At a border security trade show in Phoenix, Ariz., there's enough surveillance equipment on the floor of the convention center to spot a federal appropriation from 5 miles away.

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Digital Life
12:01 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Petitions Are Going Viral, Sometimes To Great Success

Petition signatures sit in a box at a Sept. 21, 2011, news conference in Washington, D.C. The signatures, collected by Change.org and other groups, were delivered to congressional co-sponsors of legislation to ban hiring discrimination against unemployed workers.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Petitions have been a common form of protest throughout modern history, at times bringing attention to causes through little more than handwritten letters and word of mouth.

But like a lot of other things, petitions are going viral. And one website in particular has contributed to the phenomenon.

Change.org offers tools to let individuals start their own online campaigns, a way to bring instant awareness to issues that range from the environment to human rights.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Revisiting The Spark That Kindled The Syrian Uprising

The Syrian uprising began a year ago. Here, a protester in Homs throws a tear gas canister back at security forces on Dec. 27, 2011.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 am

Last February, a group of young people were arrested for spray-painting graffiti on the walls of their school in the southern Syrian city of Daraa. They were beaten and interrogated. A year ago this Sunday, people went out to protest those arrests. And so began the Syrian uprising — an uprising that in some parts of Syria has turned into an armed insurgency and seen government troops respond with untold brutality. In all, thousands of people have died, with no clear end in sight.

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Presidential Race
8:04 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

With New Film, Obama Hopes For Viral Video Boost

A screen shot of President Obama from the trailer for his campaign movie, The Road We've Traveled.
BarackObama.com/YouTube

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 10:10 am

There was a big movie premier Thursday — big in the political world, anyway. This movie is actually an ad of sorts, designed in hopes that it will go viral and help President Obama's re-election prospects.

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It's All Politics
7:02 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Biden Calls Out Romney, Gingrich By Name For Opposing Auto Bailout

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 12:52 pm

Vice President Biden took on the traditional role that has been reserved to those who have previously served in his position as the political wing man for a president seeking re-election: he went on the attack.

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Law
5:56 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Report: Prosecutors Hid Evidence In Ted Stevens Case

Then-Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images

An extraordinary special investigation by a federal judge has concluded that two Justice Department prosecutors intentionally hid evidence in the case against Sen. Ted Stevens, one of the biggest political corruption cases in recent history.

A blistering report released Thursday found that the government team concealed documents that would have helped the late Stevens, a longtime Republican senator from Alaska, defend himself against false-statements charges in 2008. Stevens lost his Senate seat as the scandal played out, and he died in a plane crash two years later.

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Business
5:51 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Shell Picks Pittsburgh Area For Major Refinery

Shell Oil plans to open a major new oil refinery, which would convert ethane into more profitable chemicals, in the Pittsburgh area.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Shell Oil Co. has chosen a site near Pittsburgh for a major, multibillion-dollar petrochemical refinery that could provide a huge economic boost to the region.

Dan Carlson, Shell's general manager of new business development, said Thursday that the company signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corp. to evaluate a site near Monaca, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Southern Miss Band Hurls 'Where's Your Green Card?' Chant At Latino Player

Kansas State's Angel Rodriguez (13) gets control of a loose ball in front of Southern Mississippi's Neil Watson during the first half of an East Regional NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game on Thursday.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 5:54 pm

The president of the University of Southern Mississippi is apologizing today, after members of the school's band chanted "Where's your green card?" while a Latino player took a free throw during the NCAA tournament.

The incident happened during today's game between Southern Miss and Kansas State.

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