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The Salt
10:42 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Food Stamps Helped Many Families Weather The Recession

Food stamps kept the carts rolling during the recession.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 11:26 am

Food stamps have long been a favorite whipping boy of politicians looking to beat up on government spending. But the massive food-assistance program does help keep people out of poverty, according to new research.

Food stamp benefits led to a decline of 4.4 percent in poverty from 2000 to 2009, according to a new report from the USDA's Economic Research Service.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Romney Has 2-Point Lead Over Obama As Gallup 'Tracking Poll' Begins

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday in Boston.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:30 pm

For those who can't get enough of polls about the presidential election, Gallup has fired up its "daily tracking" survey that will follow the levels of support for President Obama and presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

And it begins with:

-- Romney's support among registered voters at 47 percent.

-- Obama's support among registered voters at 45 percent.

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It's All Politics
8:50 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Other Options Gone, Tea Party Members Warm Up To Romney

Courting Tea Party voters in Philadelphia on Monday night, Mitt Romney speaks next to a large statue of Benjamin Franklin at the Franklin Institute.
Tim Shaffer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 12:26 pm

Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. On Monday night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Housing Starts Drop, But Building Permits Are Up

There was a 5.8 percent drop in housing starts from February to March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

Bloomberg News says the decline was unexpected and left starts at a five-month low.

Still, the number of starts was up 10.3 percent from March 2011.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Fear Drives China's Oppressive Rule In Tibet, Dalai Lama Says

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Diptendu Dutta AFP/Getty Images
  • Renee Montagne speaks to the Dalai Lama

China's leaders continue to impose oppressive policies on the people of Tibet out of fear, the Dalai Lama said earlier today on Morning Edition.

They fear what might happen if Tibetans were allowed to live freely and others under Chinese rule started to demand more respect for their rights. That has meant, he said, that "they ignore ... reality and they impose their rules. ... That's the problem."

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Pulitzer Jurors Are Shocked That No Fiction Prize Was Awarded

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 9:50 am

  • Susan Larson talks with Lynn Neary

One of the surprises from Monday's Pulitzer Prize announcements was the lack of an award in the fiction category. It's the first time since 1977 that the Pulitzer board hasn't given an award for fiction writing.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery Is On Its Last Flight

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flies by the Washington Monument during a flyover of the nation's capital.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:51 am

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Around the Nation
3:01 am
Tue April 17, 2012

A Poem Store Open For Business, In The Open Air

Poet-for-hire Zach Houston works at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Houston says he is paid about $2 to $20 for each poem.
Ralph Wiedemeier NPR

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 9:43 am

Zach Houston runs his Poem Store (on any given sidewalk) with these items: a manual typewriter, a wooden folding chair, scraps of paper, and a white poster board that reads: "POEMS — Your Topic, Your Price."

Houston usually gets from $2 to $20 for a poem, he says. He's received a $100 bill more than once. The Oakland, Calif., resident has been composing spontaneous street poems in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2005. Five years ago, it became his main source of income.

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Presidential Race
3:01 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Did Obama's Policies Help, Or Hinder, The Economy?

President Obama signs the economic stimulus bill in February 2009, as Vice President Biden looks on. Experts disagree over the impact of the administration's economic policies on the recession.
Darin McGregor AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:14 am

The 2012 presidential election is approaching, and President Obama's fate may hinge on how well the economy fares over the coming months.

On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been highlighting the economy's weaknesses. The former Massachusetts governor has made a similar claim about the president, and the recession, at almost every campaign stop.

"I don't blame the president for the downturn," Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire earlier this year. "He didn't cause it. But he made it worse and made it last longer."

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Business
3:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

U.S. Has A Natural Gas Problem: Too Much Of It

Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom that the U.S. market is having trouble absorbing.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 7:43 am

There's a boom in natural gas production in the United States, a boom so big the market is having trouble absorbing it all.

The unusually warm weather this winter is one reason for the excess, since it reduced the need for people to burn gas to heat their homes. A bigger reason, however, is the huge increase in gas production made possible by new methods of coaxing gas out of shale rock formations.

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