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Latin America
4:55 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Mexicans Vote With Drug War As Backdrop

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Mexico, a country so scarred by drug violence, is electing a new president today. And voters appear ready to reject the ruling party led by outgoing President Felipe Calderon. In the eyes of many Mexicans, his anti-drug campaign has done more harm than good, claiming the lives of more than 50,000 people over the last six years. But the candidate who appears on the verge of victory is from a party that ruled Mexico with an iron fist for decades.

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It's All Politics
2:54 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Defeated Democrats Find 'Vindication In Spades' In High Court's Health Care Ruling

Back in October 2010, Democrat Jim Oberstar was running for his 19th term in the U.S. House. But he'd voted for the Affordable Care Act and was beaten that November. Today, he says the Supreme Court's ruling that upheld the act is "vindication in spades."
Julia Cheng AP

James L. Oberstar was riding pretty high in Congress. Over the course of 18 elections, the Democrat had never received less than 59 percent of the vote in his northeastern Minnesota district, and he had finally realized a longstanding ambition by chairing the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Then, he voted for the big health care bill in 2010. Oberstar soon lost his seat, along with 63 other House Democrats.

He doesn't regret it.

"The Supreme Court decision is vindication in spades for me and I hope for others who voted for it," he says.

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Energy
2:49 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Ahead Of Alaska Drilling, Shell Practices Cleaning Up

Trainees with Royal Dutch Shell learn to deploy oil spill booms in the waters near the port of Valdez in Alaska. The company is training about 200 spill responders.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:02 am

Royal Dutch Shell could drill several exploratory oil wells into the waters off the north shore of Alaska this summer. The potential prize is huge, but so is the risk, should there be an oil spill in this pristine and remote region. And that risk is on everyone's mind since the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago.

Shell is now training hundreds of workers to confront oil in icy waters. But for now, the training is taking place in the calm, ice-free waters far to the south, near the port of Valdez.

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Politics
2:44 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Asian And All-American: A Political Star Rises In N.Y.

The seat Grace Meng holds on the New York Assembly was once held by her father, Jimmy Meng.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 10:58 am

Earlier this week, Taiwanese-American attorney Grace Meng won the Democratic primary for New York's newly redrawn 6th Congressional District. She says she thinks of herself as an all-American kid, even if others didn't always see her that way.

"Growing up as a kid in Queens, there weren't really many Asians at all," Meng says. "I remember one day, my mom gave me dumplings to bring to school, and people were all like, 'What is that?'"

Meng says she would have preferred peanut butter and jelly.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
2:44 am
Sun July 1, 2012

In 'Sponge Candy Crescent,' Addicts Hoard 'Heaven'

To get their summertime fix, sponge candy lovers on the shore of Lake Erie have to plan in advance.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:09 am

The eastern shore of Lake Erie is known as the "Sponge Candy Crescent." During the region's long winter months, this crunchy, chocolatey candy is a mainstay — especially for large gatherings and holidays. But come hot weather, you can't get the temperamental treat.

Ko-Ed Candies sells a lot of chocolate Easter bunnies, candy bars and other sweets, but co-owner Sandy Whitt says her customers mostly crave sponge candy.

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