12:51pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Space

Fla. Space Coast Looks Ahead; Ex-Astronaut Reflects

Shannon Walker, who was selected as an astronaut in 2004, checks in with NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce at Kennedy Space Center, where cheers went up as Atlantis departed for its 33rd and final voyage. Nearby, among throngs of spectators, NPR's Greg Allen talks about the mood along Florida's Space Coast as the shuttle program ends after 30 years. Atlantis will drop supplies at the International Space Station and return to Earth on July 20.

12:46pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Latin America

Brutal Cartels Make Crossing U.S. Border Even Riskier

Originally published on Wed July 20, 2011 3:52 pm

Undocumented Mexican immigrants walk through the Sonoran Desert after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrants attempting to cross are at risk of being kidnapped, extorted or even killed by drug gangs.
John Moore Getty Images

Last in a three-part series.

For many migrants trying to reach the U.S. from Mexico, the border region is a terrifying, lawless place, and their fear is often justified. Things are so bad in Matamoros, a border city just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, that last month the city's police were stripped of their weapons, ordered off the streets and replaced by soldiers.

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12:44pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Science/Health

UK Hospital Sues Over Unclaimed Body

Robert George's body has been in the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital's morgue for more than three months, and UK officials say they can't get anyone to claim it.The Fayette County coroner's office has refused to take the body. So has the coroner's office in Pulaski County, where George apparently lived. Relatives who have been contacted by UK also have not stepped forward to claim George's remains.

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12:32pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Space

Atlantis Reaches Orbit; Houston Takes Over

Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne report that Atlantis lifted off from its Florida launchpad on schedule, reached orbit and is on its way to the International Space Station. From Johnson Space Center in Houston, NPR's Wade Goodwyn relays what's happening at Mission Control; and NPR science correspondent Joe Palca talks about what's next for Americans in space.

12:22pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Space

Countdown To Atlantis Lift-Off: Bittersweet Cheers

Counting down to NASA's final space shuttle launch Friday, Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne share footage from the shuttle program's roaring start 30 years ago. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports a celebratory but bittersweet mood at Kennedy Space Center, and NPR's Greg Allen reports from crowds viewing the launchpad from Florida's Space Coast. And finally, Greenfieldboyce narrates the lift-off.

12:00pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Around the Nation

Barbershop: Anthony Walks, Obama 'Hater' Talks

The "Barbershop" guys weigh in on Casey Anthony's murder trial, Time Magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin's off-color remark about President Obama, and the cancellation of Eliot Spitzer's show on CNN. Host Michel Martin hears from author Jimi Izrael, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar, syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, and political science professor Lester Spence.

12:00pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Economy

Unemployment Rate Up, Recovery Hopes Down

The Labor Department announced Friday that only 18,000 net jobs were generated in June. The unemployment rate has risen to 9.2 percent, which disappointed many economists. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about why so few jobs were created, and what the new numbers mean for the recovery.

12:00pm

Fri July 8, 2011
Africa

South Sudanese Rejoice On Eve Of Independence

After decades of brutal civil war with the north, South Sudan will become its own country on Saturday. But challenges related to illiteracy, infrastructure and oil remain ahead. Host Michel Martin discusses the secession with Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, West Africa correspondent for NPR, and Rebecca Hamilton, author of Fighting for Darfur.

12:00pm

Fri July 8, 2011
News

Minnesotans Frustrated As Shutdown Hits Day Eight

Governor Dayton and the Republican-controlled legislature are at odds about resolving the deficit. Thousands are out of work and many state services have halted. To learn more about how locals are affected, host Michel Martin speaks with Minnesota Public Radio News reporter Catharine Richert, the Council on Black Minnesotans' Lester Collins, and Life Track Resource's TrixieAnn Golberg.

11:58am

Fri July 8, 2011
Space

Endeavour Astronaut Weighs In As Atlantis Gets Set

The crew was strapped in for the final launch of space shuttle Atlantis, set to blast off at 11:26 ET on a 12-day mission that will end NASA's shuttle program. Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne talk with NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce, who has a view of the launchpad and an eye on the sky at Kennedy Space Center. She gets a visit from astronaut Mike Fink, who flew on the shuttle Endeavour's final mission just last month. The hosts also check in with NPR's Greg Allen, who's among the thousands gathered on Florida's Space Coast to watch the final launch.

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