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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

United States Of Outrage: NSA, IRS Overreaches Spark Bipartisan Ire

President Obama speaks at Mooresville Middle School in Mooresville, N.C., on Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:14 pm

Even in an era of stark political polarization, there are still some issues that can draw Americans together and scramble the normal ideological fault lines.

Recent revelations about the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency are among them.

Unlike the debates over Obamacare or President Obama himself, which tend to be more litmus tests for party affiliation than anything else, the reactions to reports about overreach by the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency have brought normally warring partisans together.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Reports: Several Injured In Shooting At Santa Monica College

Students rush to safety after shots were fired near the Santa Monica College Friday. According to reports, at least six people were shot, and a suspect was taken into custody. One shooting victim died of her injuries during surgery.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 11:53 pm

(Last updated at 11:45 p.m. ET)

As many as four people died in a series of shootings in Santa Monica Friday, according to city police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks. The gunman was eventually shot to death in an exchange of fire with police in the library of Santa Monica College, she said at a news conference.

Police said earlier that seven people were killed, but later corrected that number to five people total, including the gunman, at a news conference Friday night.

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Around the Nation
4:03 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

The Iceman Swimmeth, Chanting 'F Cancer'

Goody Tyler, a schoolteacher, earned the "ice man" label for swimming a mile in 41-degree water in the Great Salt Lake. He credits that swim and workouts in the lake for helping him withstand the tedium of chemotherapy while being treated for cancer.
Wanda Gayle

Goody Tyler isn't just any hard-core Great Salt Lake swimmer. He's a certified "ice swimmer." In December, Tyler swam 1 mile in the lake when the water temperature was only 41 degrees, the maximum temperature for an official "ice swim."

"You're only allowed to wear one cap, one pair of goggles and a Speedo," Tyler says. "And that's it."

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Around the Nation
4:02 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Salt, Flies, Pickled Tongues: A Perfect Great Salt Lake Swim

Swimmers begin a 1-mile race in the Great Salt Lake in June 2012. The mountains of Stansbury Island rise in the background.
Connie Hubbard

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

It's the "liquid lie of the desert," as writer Terry Tempest Williams describes it, a vast inland sea so salty it triggers retching when swallowed. Brine shrimp swarm its waters and brine flies blanket the shore. In the right wind and weather its putrid smell reaches Salt Lake City neighborhoods 16 miles away. Storms churn up waves that rival ocean swells.

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NPR Story
3:56 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Obama Calls Secret Monitoring Programs Legal, Limited

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

President Obama spoke for the first time about revelations that his administration has been continuing the monitoring of Internet communications and warehousing of cellphone records that began under President Bush. Obama defended both programs as necessary to keep the country safe and said Congress had been kept fully apprised.

The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Wal-Mart Meeting Spurs Protests Over Low Pay, Safety Issues

Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon speaks to shareholders at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., during this week's shareholders' meeting. The company is coping with a bribery scandal, as well as demands from workers.
Gareth Patterson AP

Retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores' annual shareholders' meeting this week showed signs of the company's recent turbulence, as protesters assembled at corporate headquarters to shout slogans and demands.

Despite a court-issued restraining order, the protesters, including workers who are on strike, decried low wages and called for better safety procedures for supply-chain workers. And some of their views were heard inside the meeting, as well.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Grain Deaths Fall In 2012 But Industry Share Grows

John Poole NPR

A new report from grain safety researchers at Purdue University says eight people died while trapped in grain last year, another steep drop from the record year of 2010, when 31 people lost their lives in grain bins and other grain storage facilities.

The continued decline in incidents since 2010 is credited to drier and smaller harvests since then. The grain stored in bins in 2010 was generally harvested wet and tended to spoil and clog. Workers and farmers went into bins to unclog grain and were trapped in a "quicksand" effect common in flowing grain.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Why Being Stuck On A Tarmac With The Philly Orchestra Rocks

Artists from the Philadelphia Orchestra perform at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, capital of China.
Luo Xiaoguang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 9:28 am

There are few things as annoying as being stuck on a tarmac — in a cramped, packed plane — for long periods of time. But when you have some of the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra on your flight, it could turn magical.

No, seriously.

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Book Reviews
2:30 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

'Beside Ourselves' Explores Human-Animal Connections

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 3:47 pm

Note: The audio and text of this review describe a major plot point that is not revealed until partway into the book.

If you know Karen Joy Fowler's writing only from her clever, 2004 best-seller, The Jane Austen Book Club, you're in for a shock. Fowler's new novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, is a different literary creature altogether — still witty but emotionally and intellectually riskier, and more indebted to Fowler's other books that toy with the sci-fi genre.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

California Nuclear Plant Slated For Permanent Shut Down

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station at San Onofre State Beach in a 2012 photo.
David McNew Getty Images

California's San Onofre nuclear power plant will be shut down for good amid concerns as to whether it could be safely restarted after being offline since early last year because of a radiation leak.

The plant's operator, Southern California Edison, said in a statement Friday that San Onofre's twin reactors "had served the region for over 40 years" but that the 16 months of uncertainty about whether they would or wouldn't go back online "was not good for our customers, our investors or the need to plan for our region's long-term electricity needs."

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