12:49am

Fri April 27, 2012
Planet Money

When Should A Country Abandon Its Own Money?

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:16 am

Enough already with the krona?
Jesse Garrison Flickr

Iceland is a tiny nation in a big financial mess. It's still recovering from the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis, which caused a domestic banking collapse.

Its currency, the krona, is also in really bad shape. That's led Icelanders to pose an existential currency question: Should they abandon the krona?

One key problem is size. Iceland has about as many people as Staten Island, so there just aren't that many people on the planet who need to use the krona.

"There are more people using Disney dollars," says Arsaell Valfells, an Icelandic economist.

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12:48am

Fri April 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Can Helmets Cut Tornado Deaths? CDC Isn't So Sure

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 6:04 pm

Noah Stewart shelters in the closet just 15 minutes before an April 2011 tornado demolished his house. Wearing the helmet may have saved his life, one doctor says.
Courtesy of the Stewart family

12:46am

Fri April 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Wanted: Mavericks And Missionaries To Solve Mississippi's M.D. Shortage

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 3:19 pm

Janie Guice is the recruiter for the Mississippi Rural Physician Scholarship Program.
Jeffrey Hess for NPR

When Janie Guice looks at the Mississippi Delta she sees a vast, flat flood plain home to cotton fields and catfish farms. She also sees desperate rural health problems and a deep shortage of doctors to offer care. Her job: to find doctors to fill that void.

"Who is the one that is going to go back and live in a community that maybe doesn't even have a Wal-Mart? And yes, there are a lot of communities in Mississippi that don't have a Wal-Mart yet!" Guice laments.

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12:44am

Fri April 27, 2012
Education

Teaching The LA Riots At Two City Schools

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:22 pm

Smoke rises as fires burn out of control near Vermont Street in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992. Riots erupted after L.A. police officers were acquitted in the beating of black motorist Rodney King.
Paul Sakuma AP

It has been 20 years since four police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King, and L.A. erupted in race-fueled riots. Many in Los Angeles, including students who weren't born when the riots hit in April 1992, are reflecting on those days of anger, looting and destruction, asking why it happened and how to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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12:42am

Fri April 27, 2012
Europe

Showdown Looms Over Europe's Largest Shantytown

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:24 pm

Residents of Cañada Real stand near recently demolished shacks on March 5. The settlement is separated into different sections and tends to be segregated by ethnic groups: Roma in one section, Arabs in another, for example.
Susana Vera Reuters /Landov

Europe's largest illegal settlement lies on the edge of Madrid. As the Spanish capital has grown, the city's limits have moved ever closer to the shantytown known as Cañada Real, a sprawling tangle of tents and cement houses. And as the economy has tanked, a growing number of people are calling it home.

Now the city is eyeing the property for possible development.

The roads in Cañada Real are unpaved. Houses are made of corrugated metal or cement. Some lots are just piles of garbage.

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5:10pm

Thu April 26, 2012
It's All Politics

The Wisconsin Recall That Nobody's Talking About

In this photo taken in November 2010, Lt. Gov.-elect Rebecca Kleefisch speaks to supporters in Pewaukee, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

If the job of the vice president is, as John Adams so famously put it, "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived," what must it be like to be lieutenant governor?

And, to go a step further, what about a lieutenant governor facing recall?

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4:56pm

Thu April 26, 2012
The Two-Way

With Violence Unabated, France Says Next Step For Syria Should Be Military

As the United Nations chief announced that the Syrian government was "in contravention" of an international peace agreement, France took a tougher stance.

The French foreign minister said that if the peace plan fails, the U.N. Security Council should consider a military option.

The AP reports:

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4:45pm

Thu April 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Gingrich And The Secret Service: Who Calls For Protection To End?

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 9:24 am

Newt Gingrich signs an autograph for supporter Jeff Legg as members of the Secret Service look on at Delmarva Christian High School in Georgetown, Del., on April 18.
Patrick Semansky AP

Newt Gingrich's Secret Service protection is ending Thursday night, NBC news is reporting.

As WNYC's Anna Sale was reporting earlier, a conservative taxpayers group had called on Gingrich to give up his taxpayer-funded protection.

Here's the original post:

Newt Gingrich is ending his presidential campaign, but not until next week. And he still has Secret Service protection despite calls from a conservative taxpayers group to give it up.

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4:20pm

Thu April 26, 2012
The Two-Way

More Pain In Spain As Economy Goes Down The Drain

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 4:40 am

There was more bad news for Europe's attempt to rebuild its economy: Standard & Poor announced Thursday that it was downgrading Spain's long-term sovereign credit rating by two notches – from "A" to "BBB+." The agency also lowered Spain's short-term sovereign credit rating to "A-2" from "A-1," and said the outlook on the long-term rating is negative.

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4:03pm

Thu April 26, 2012
The Two-Way

If 'War And Peace' Was Less Than Exciting, Try A Union Between Dull And Boring

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Don't expect fireworks for this union: The city of Boring, Oregon and Dull, Scotland will become sister cities.

City leaders hope the union of two dim names will result in a blockbuster tourism campaign.

The Oregonian reports that the idea of becoming twin cities came after Elizabeth Leighton stumbled upon Boring and couldn't "wait to tell all her Dull friends."

The paper adds:

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