Tue May 8, 2012

As The Clock Ticks, Americans Train Afghan Troops

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 7:07 pm

U.S. troops are training Afghan soldiers to take more responsibility in the war against the Taliban. But the Afghans still depend heavily on the Americans. Here, an Afghan solider fills up gas cans with diesel fuel from a U.S. Army tanker in southern Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

Just outside Kandahar, the main city in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military is starting a new program it hopes will wean Afghan troops off American assistance.

A dozen or so American soldiers make up one of the Security Force Assistance Teams, and the goal is to help the Afghan army plan for operations and supply itself in the field.

But the mission is still a work in progress.

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Tue May 8, 2012
The Two-Way

GOP Senators Block Democrats' Student Loan Bill

Senate Republicans gave a thumbs down to a Democratic plan that would have frozen interest rates for 7.4 million students taking out new federally subsidized Stafford loans.

The vote was 52-45. Sixty votes were needed to avoid a certain Republican filibuster and to move the bill toward debate.

From the Republican perspective, it wasn't the idea of keeping the rate at 3.4 percent rather than letting it double starting in July. The impasse was over how to fund the one-year rate freeze, which would cost the government $6 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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Tue May 8, 2012
Music Reviews

Chicha Libre: Sonic Predators Rock Peruvian Grooves

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 7:07 pm

A Brooklyn band with musicians from three continents, Chicha Libre has just released its second album, Canibalismo.

Chicha is a corn-derived liquor native to the South American Andes since ancient times. It's also a quirky style of pop music that developed in the Peruvian Amazon in the 1960s and '70s. All of that provides inspiration for the Brooklyn band Chicha Libre, which has just released its second album, Canibalismo.

Founder Olivier Conan developed a passion for chicha music while crate-digging through old vinyl in Peru. He says all pop-music innovators are really sonic predators.

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Tue May 8, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Praises Bill Clinton As New Democrat, Bashes Obama As Old One

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 3:25 pm

Mitt Romney praised Bill Clinton as an enlightened centrist Democrat for reforming welfare and other polices and attacked President Obama as a big-government liberal.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

As if further proof were needed that the Republican primaries are essentially dead and buried, here's another piece of firm evidence: Mitt Romney praised former President Bill Clinton in a speech in Michigan Tuesday, and not once but twice.

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Tue May 8, 2012
Business and the Economy

Online Wagers Boost Earnings for Churchill Downs

Officials with Churchill Downs Incorporated say increased Internet wagering has boosted first quarter earnings. CDI gained $1.3 million in the first three months of this year. CDI officials say because of the lack of live racing days it’s common to see losses in first quarter earnings, but CDI’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Mudd said there has been a 5 percent increase in wagering nationwide and CDI has always been ahead of the game.

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Tue May 8, 2012

Why Does Diversity In Banking Matter?

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 10:14 pm

Stuart Ishimaru heads the Office of Women and Minority Inclusion, at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and all month long, Tell Me More will be speaking with game changers who trace their heritage to that part of the world. They're people who have made a difference in politics, culture, science and sports.

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Tue May 8, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

When Religious Rules And Women's Health Collide

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 4:18 pm

Hospital rules can affect a woman's options for care.

When you go to the hospital these days, chances are good that it will be affiliated with a religious organization. And while that may might just mean the chaplain will be of a specific denomination or some foods will be off limits, there may also be rules about the kind of care allowed.

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Tue May 8, 2012
Planet Money

Nobel Laureate: 'I've Been Wrong So Often, I Don't Find It Extraordinary At All'

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 7:07 pm

"I'm 101 at the moment," Ronald Coase said.
University of Chicago

I recently had a brief conversation with Ronald Coase.

"I'm 101 at the moment," he told me. "I get older by the minute."

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Tue May 8, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Ash Trees in Danger From Voracious Beetle

Dying ash trees on McGarry Dr. in Lexington. The emerald ash borer is killing many untreated ash trees in Lexington.
Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader

The emerald ash borer has killed many ash trees since appearing in Kentucky in 2009, but arborists fear this could be the year when the voracious beetle really sinks its teeth into some of Lexington's most beautiful ash trees. Fortunately, even trees infested with ash borers can be saved if treated with chemical agents, said John Saylor, arborist-technician with the Urban County Division of Environmental Policy.


Tue May 8, 2012
Business and the Economy

Toyota Expansion to Create 86 Jobs

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, center, is flanked by Steve St. Angelo, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, at left, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky President.
Jerry Boggs/Georgetown News-Graphic

State and company officials gathered at the Toyota visitors center Tuesday to announce the latest expansion of the auto maker's flagship manufacturing plant. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was on hand to announce Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky will expand its operation to produce more 4-cyclinder motors in the Georgetown plant. The company is spending approximately $30 million to update a currently unused assembly line to produce more than 100,000 engines each year.