National

How Homes Structure The American Dream

Jun 3, 2012

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All summer long, NPR is exploring the American Dream, what it means to people and why it matters. Homeownership has always been a cornerstone of that dream, whether it's a covered wagon and plot of land, or a picket fence on a cul-de-sac.

Blacksmiths Forge A New, Artisanal Future

Jun 3, 2012

Adam's Forge is a dark, high-ceilinged warehouse space in Los Angeles. It's set up with anvils, medieval-looking tools and black ovens that breathe fire.

Recently, about a dozen people gathered for an advanced class taught by master blacksmith Mark Aspery.

Blacksmithing is an ancient trade that, like other crafts, saw a downturn during the Industrial Revolution, when machines took over jobs that humans once did. Now, blacksmithing is having a small revival as smiths build new ways of connecting with customers.

'This Is My Craft'

Congress May Not Be As Bad As All That

Jun 3, 2012

Washington isn't working. With control of the government divided between the parties and every political incentive working against bipartisan cooperation, Congress can barely pass the minimum amount of legislation needed to avoid a government shutdown, let alone address the most pressing issues of the day.

Nuns Fight Back Against Vatican Report

Jun 2, 2012

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Time now for sports!

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Implications Of The Facebook Let-Down

Jun 2, 2012

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So, why is job growth slowing? Well, part of the problem, as we just heard, appears to be in Europe. The economic turmoil there is looking worse, and that has ripped into the U.S. economy and slowing down hiring. NPR's Chris Arnold has more from Boston.

Across the Mississippi River from St. Louis' famous Gateway Arch is a part of Illinois that's a post-industrial wasteland.

Some hope the construction of a new bridge across the Mississippi River will help revitalize the area. But archaeologists worry future development could destroy what's left of another neighborhood — one that flourished there almost a thousand years ago.

New information about computer viruses shows how countries may be lining up to fight a cyberwar. The New York Times reported that former President George W. Bush and President Obama both authorized computer attacks against Iran, culminating in the Stuxnet virus, which targeted Iranian nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, a United Nations agency raised alarms about another virus, dubbed "Flame," which may also have been designed for use against Iran.

If unusually warm weather helped encourage job growth earlier this year, May was like a wet, cold rain. A report from the Labor Department on Friday showed that U.S. employers added just 69,000 jobs last month — far fewer than expected.

Among the biggest advertisers in the presidential campaign is a group that says it doesn't do political advertising: Crossroads GPS.

Crossroads GPS — which stands for Grassroots Policy Strategies — was co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove. It and others like it enable wealthy donors to finance attack ads while avoiding the public identification they would face if they gave to more overtly political committees.

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

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UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Thirty-three.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: One potato, egg and cheese.

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(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING)

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: I'm Ted Robbins in Tucson, where high school student Alyssa Rodriguez was lucky enough to find a job for the summer at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.

ALYSSA RODRIGUEZ: Pool attendant.

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In Sanford, Florida, a surprising development at a hearing for George Zimmerman. He's the Neighborhood Watch volunteer charged in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The African-American teenager's family contends he was a victim of racial profiling.

From the day a grand jury indicted former Sen. John Edwards on six felony charges nearly one year ago, the case drew jeers from election lawyers and government watchdogs.

"It was an incredibly aggressive prosecution because it was based on a novel theory of the law," says Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "There was literally no precedent. No case had ever been like this."

A Florida judge this afternoon revoked George Zimmernan's bond and ordered that the man who killed teenager Trayvon Martin surrender himself to authorities within 48 hours, the Orlando Sentinel writes.

It might seem counterintuitive that Amazon is doing a deal with New Jersey to build two distribution centers in exchange for collecting sales tax on purchases made in the Garden State starting July 1, 2013.

After all, the free lunch enjoyed by many consumers as they shop tax-free online is one of the huge draws, right?

Which U.S. city has the worst-dressed citizens?

According to readers of Travel and Leisure magazine, it's Anchorage.

How to convince voters that while the economy isn't roaring, the situation is still improving?

That's President Obama's challenge, made more difficult with every passing month where the jobs report disappoints, as on Friday. The latest Labor Department report informed us that only 69,000 jobs were created in May, less than half what analysts had forecast. Meanwhile, the jobless rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent.

Earlier, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney blamed what he said have been President Obama's "failed" economic policies for the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate and weak job growth.

In Minnesota this hour, President Obama conceded "we've got a lot of work to do before we get to where we need to be," but also claimed credit for policies that he said prevented another Great Depression after the financial crisis of 2008.

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It's All Politics, May 31, 2012

Jun 1, 2012

Mitt Romney gets enough delegates, in some counts, to go over the top in his bid for the GOP nomination. But his celebration gets distracted by more Donald Trump "birtherism." Plus, the Texas GOP goes into overtime to find a Senate nominee, Rep. Thad McCotter plans a write-in campaign in Michigan in hopes of keeping his own job, and a look ahead to the Wisconsin recall.

NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving have the latest political news in this week's roundup.

May's higher unemployment rate and meager job creation couldn't have come at a worse time for people like Julia Gray. A Chicago-based writer and editor with a master's degree, Gray said she has been unemployed for 17 months. "The media world in Chicago is dead and deader," she said.

"I was collecting unemployment benefits for a while," she said. "It helped a great deal — it was incredibly important."

But now her benefits have run out, and her employment search goes on.

In Florida, a battle is heating up on several fronts over who will be allowed to vote in the upcoming primary and the November general election.

In Tallahassee, a federal judge has blocked state elections officials from enforcing tough restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives.

And in Washington, the Justice Department has sent a letter to Florida telling it to immediately halt efforts to purge from the voting rolls people suspected of being noncitizens.

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from reporter Ari Shapiro (@Ari_Shapiro).

Horrid. Lousy. Awful.

Those are just three of the words economists are using to describe the news that just 69,000 net jobs were added to public and private payrolls last month — and that the nation's jobless rate edged up to 8.2 percent from April's 8.1 percent.

The news has raised fears that the hoped-for strengthening of the economy may not materialize.

We posted on the news and followed with details from the report and reaction to it. It's now 11:22 am. ET, here's our original post and earlier updates:

Lawrence Adams doesn't want to be called a hero, but many in Seattle are saying that's just what he is.

As The Seattle Times reports this morning, police believe Adams saved the lives of at least three people on Wednesday when he picked up a stool at a cafe and threw it at a gunman who killed four people there. Adams' action distracted the gunman, identified as Ian Stawicki, and allowed Adams and some others to escape.

When Robert Holmes' parents moved to Edison, N.J., in 1956, they were one of the first African-American families to integrate the neighborhood.

"After we'd moved to Edison, there was a resentment that we had broken into the community," Holmes says.

Even at the age of 13, Holmes felt the animosity. The neighborhood had a private swim club that opened up to anyone who participated in the Memorial Day parade. Holmes was in the band.

"I arrived at the pool on Memorial Day having marched in the parade with my uniform still on, and they called the police," he says.

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