5:51pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Africa

Tourists Make Historic Visit To War-Ravaged Liberia

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:26 am

The 150 passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer cruise ship arrive in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, on April 16. It's reportedly the largest group of tourists to visit the country since the 1970s.
Tamasin Ford for NPR

Liberia has been better known for conflict than tourism the past couple of decades.

But this week, a group of 150 tourists, many of them Americans, arrived for a brief stay in the small nation on Africa's West Coast. When their cruise liner docked in the capital of Monrovia, they became the largest group of tourists to visit the country in many years, probably since the 1970s.

Dock workers in Monrovia usually unload cargo ships full of secondhand clothes or rice — not a cruise ship full of American tourists.

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5:47pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Three Books...

Jargon To Jabberwocky: 3 Books On Writing's Art

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 8:49 am

iStockphoto.com

I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"

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5:43pm

Wed April 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Most Small Businesses Don't Quite Fit The Political Picture

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:28 pm

Angela Caragan's A Cupcake Co. offers gourmet cupcakes for special events. Like more than 20 million other small-business owners in the U.S., she has no employees.
Courtesy of Angela Caragan

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a GOP measure to cut taxes on small businesses.

Now, the mental image most of us have of a small business is probably something like this: a handful of employees, a shop, maybe a restaurant or a little tech firm.

It turns out the reality of the nation's 28 million small businesses is, in many cases, quite different.

House Republicans say their tax cut would help millions of small businesses.

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5:39pm

Wed April 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Vatican Says U.S. Nun Association Doesn't Adhere To Church Teachings

The Vatican has ordered a crackdown of an American organization representing most nuns in the United States. The Vatican ordered an investigation of the group in 2008 and today it said it was appointing an American archbishop to oversee a reform of the group.

The AP reports:

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5:04pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Energy

As Gasoline Goes Up, Natural Gas Cheaper Than Ever

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:54 pm

At the same time gasoline prices are soaring, the cost of electricity is falling. The reason? Cheap and plentiful natural gas. A utility in Massachusetts has just sliced rates by 34 percent. Coming out of a recession, the lower electricity prices are quietly boosting the economy and providing some welcome savings to businesses and families.

5:04pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Energy

New Rules To Curb Pollution From Oil, Gas Drilling

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:34 pm

Oil and natural gas drillers use equipment like this to separate the liquid, gas and sand that come out of wells at the beginning of hydraulic fracturing operations.
David Gilkey NPR

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Wednesday to control the problem of air pollution coming from wells being drilled by the booming oil and natural gas drilling industry.

Currently, waste products from the drilling operations, which include a mix of chemicals, sand and water, can be pumped into open enclosures or pits, where toxic substances can make their way into the air. The new rules will require this fluid to be captured by 2015, and flared — or burned off — in the meantime.

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4:50pm

Wed April 18, 2012
State Capitol

Senate Could Finish Special Session Friday

After reviewing nearly 400 pages of road project legislation, Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday exercised his line-item veto authority, returning some projects to their original funding sources in order to restore fairness and equity to the Road Plan legislation. Wednesday’s action on the Road Plan also eliminates the Senate’s single stated reason for not passing the Transportation budget, according to a press release from the governor's office.

4:48pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Remembrances

Dick Clark, 'Bandstand' Host, Dead at 82

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:59 pm

Pop culture icon Dick Clark died Wednesday at age 82. He started his career as a college disc jockey and went on to shape the way America viewed music, TV game shows and New Year's Eve. Here, he hosts American Bandstand in 1958.
ABC Photo Archive Getty Images

Dick Clark, affectionately known as the "world's oldest teenager," has died. He was 82, and had suffered a heart attack while in a Santa Monica hospital for an outpatient procedure.

Richard Wagstaff Clark became a national icon with American Bandstand in the 1950s, hosting the show for more than 30 years. Clark also hosted the annual New Year's Eve special for ABC for decades. He weathered scandals, hosted game shows and renewed his Bandstand fame with a new generation by producing the nostalgic TV drama American Dreams.

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4:47pm

Wed April 18, 2012
NPR Story

Panetta Condemns Latest U.S. Troop Photo Scandal

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:54 pm

Newly-published photos show U.S. troops in Afghanistan posing with the dead bodies of insurgents. The incident, first reported by The Los Angeles Times, occurred in 2010. It's the latest setback for the military's counterinsurgency strategy, which depends on winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

4:44pm

Wed April 18, 2012
The Commonwealth

Keeneland President Announces Retirement

Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson will retire from his post on September first, the track announced earlier today.  He will be succeeded by current Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bill Thomason. Nicholson has been the President and CEO of Keeneland for nearly 13 years. “Keeneland is a tradition and an entity like no other,” said Keeneland Trustee Louis Lee Haggin, III.  “We understand and respect why Nick made his decision, but his daily presence and vision will be missed. 

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