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12:57 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Government Job Cuts Threaten Black Middle Class

An employee loads flat trays onto a truck at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Merrifield, Va. The USPS, which is projecting a $14.1 billion loss this fiscal year, is discussing restructuring options with potential advisers.
Andrew Harrier Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:58 pm

The planned downsizing of the U.S. Postal Service, which wants to shed thousands of jobs and reduce hours at post offices, struck Baltimore native Eric Easter at his core.

For him, it will mark the end of an era in which a post office job has meant stability and a path to a better life, as it did for him and his six siblings living in public housing in the 1960s.

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Obama Affirms Support Of Same-Sex Marriage

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:14 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

President Obama: Same-Sex Couples Should Be Able To Wed

President Barack Obama is seen on a monitor in the White House briefing room in Washington, Wednesday. President Barack Obama told an ABC interviewer that he supports gay marriage.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 2:19 pm

In an interview with ABC News, President Obama declared his support for gay marriage. This marks a departure from the president's previous stance, which has repeatedly been described as "evolving."

Here's the money quote from ABC's OTUS blog:

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Agent, Double Agent Or Mole? Which Was The Underwear Bomb Character?

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 12:45 pm

Many headlines and stories (including some of ours) have been saying that a "double agent" infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and foiled a plot to get another underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet.

But we've been looking at definitions of spy terms and think that based on what we have been told so far, the person at the center of the story wasn't a double agent.

That character was at least an "agent."

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You Must Read This
11:49 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Beyond The 'Blonde': A Look At Marilyn's Inner Life

Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:19 pm

Manuel Munoz's first novel is What You See in the Dark.

Think Julianne Moore's take on Sarah Palin, or Meryl Streep's depiction of Margaret Thatcher.

Actors in biopics have a major leg up on writers when it comes to developing character. Even casual viewers can judge the performance a success if it mimics what we remember of the public persona.

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The Salt
11:37 am
Wed May 9, 2012

What Our Gut Microbes Say About Us

The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis is a beautiful example of a gut microbe.
National Institutes of Health

What if it's not just our genes or our lifestyle, exactly, that makes us skinny or fat, healthy or sick? What if it's also the makeup of the bacterial ecosystem that inhabits our gut?

A growing pile of scientific studies is pointing us in that direction. Researchers in this hot new field describe the microbes in our gut as a vital organ that's as essential as our liver or kidneys. They're finding that this organ, which they call the "microbiome," varies greatly from person to person.

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Politics
11:22 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Will Same-Sex Marriage Swing The Swing States?

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 12:11 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. It's official: Gary Johnson lands the Libertarian presidential nomination. Former standard-bearer Ron Paul picks up GOP delegates. And Democrats wonder about the pace of evolution. It's Wednesday and time for a...

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Absolutely comfortable...

CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Study: Plastic Garbage In Pacific Ocean Has Increased 100-Fold In 40 Years

An insect known as a "sea skater." Scientists say the abundance of floating plastic has led to an increase of these creatures.
Scripp Institution of Oceanography

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:31 am

The amount of plastic debris in the part of the Pacific Ocean known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has grown 100-fold in the past 40 years.

In a paper published today by the journal Biology Letters, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography report that most of that plastic has degraded into pieces no bigger than a fingernail. But that wasn't the major finding the scientists are reporting.

The scientists have found that all those pieces of plastic have provided ample opportunity for insects called "sea skaters" to breed.

The AP reports:

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Energy
11:20 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Iraq's Oil Boom And The Global Market

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:14 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Middle East
11:12 am
Wed May 9, 2012

The Unintended Consequences Of Libya's Revolution

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:14 pm

The fall of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya was hailed as one of the great successes of the Arab Spring. More than six months later, attacks continue on the prime minister's compound and well-armed mercenary fighters and stockpiles of weapons have made their way into Sub-Saharan Africa.

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