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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Fewer Fireworks This July 4th; Wildfires, Drought And Derecho To Blame

Fireworks over the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2008. Photo taken from hear the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images
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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

IMF Dims U.S. Outlook, Warns Against Dramatic Spending Cuts

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks during a news conference on Tuesday in Washington.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 2:05 pm

Like the Federal Reserve before them, the International Monetary Fund lowered its growth projections for the U.S. economy. The Los Angles Times says that in its annual report, the IMF calls the U.S. recovery "tepid" and warns U.S. lawmakers that hitting the brakes too hard on spending and tax cuts could threaten the weak recovery both at home and abroad.

The Times reports:

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U.S.
2:00 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Illinois Services Threatened As Pension Hole Grows

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the pension system is putting a grip on the state's budget. As a result, other services may lose funding.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 1:16 pm

Fallout from the recession continues to hobble state finances, particularly in states crippled by pensions they can't afford to pay.

Chief among them is Illinois, which has racked up the largest unfunded liability in the nation. Politicians there pledge to fix it.

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A Blog Supreme
1:58 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Heavy Rotation: George Benson, 'Naima'

George Benson.
Concord Jazz

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:28 pm

With Supreme blogger Patrick Jarenwattananon on vacation, we asked jazz music directors from around public radio to highlight songs that have been in heavy rotation at their stations. Today's pick comes from Gary G. Vercelli of Northern California's Capital Public Radio.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
1:55 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Oakland Turns A Corner As Calif. Faces Budget Woes

Ryan Curtis leans in for a kiss from Love Kovtun on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland's Uptown neighborhood in April. New businesses and investment have helped revitalize the city's downtown over the past decade.
Laura Morton for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 1:17 pm

The city of Oakland, Calif. has long been associated with crime, poverty, urban decay and, more recently, violent protests tied to the Occupy movement.

So it may have been a surprise to New York Times readers when the newspaper listed Oakland as No. 5 among its top "places to go" in 2012.

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Around the Nation
1:55 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Poll Shows A New Definition Of Optimism In America

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan.

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Favorite Sessions
1:52 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Daniel Freedman: Lessons From Motoring In Mali

Jazz musician Daniel Freedman on drums performing at WBGO studio sessions in Newark, NJ on June 22, 2012.
Melanie Burford for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 3:04 pm

The itinerant path of a touring musician is nothing new. Drummer Daniel Freedman has walked that walk with New York jazz groups, salsa units, forro bands and on international tours with Angelique Kidjo. He has also taken the road less travelled – by bus.

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Politics
1:50 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

How History Colors Our View Of Presidents

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 4:06 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. John Roberts plays the hero and the villain. Charlie Rangel may face a recount in New York. The attorney general is held in contempt, and Chris Christie has something spicy to say to a reporter. Stand by for it, it's Wednesday(ph) and time for a...

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Are you stupid?

DONVAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:32 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

True Or False? Elected Officials Interpret The Health Law

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal wants the administration's health care law repealed.
Michael Conroy AP

How well do you remember what's actually in the Affordable Care Act?

Last week's Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama's signature domestic achievement has thrust the measure back into the spotlight, where it's likely to remain through the presidential election.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:31 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

'Dead Man Walking' Sings Again

Joyce DiDonato as Sister Helen Prejean and Philip Cutlip as Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie's opera Dead Man Walking.
Felix Sanchez courtesy of Houston Grand Opera

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 7:03 pm

It's so rare for a new opera — let alone a new American opera — to be recorded even once. But few new operas have been so rapturously received as Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, which recounts the true story of a Catholic nun, Sister Helen Prejean, and the convicted rapist and double murderer Joseph De Rocher before he was executed by the state of Louisiana.

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