Planet Money
3:28 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Tax Code, Translated Into Plain English

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:55 am

The tax code is full of complicated loopholes and deductions that require professional translation. So I called a bunch of accountants and tax lawyers and asked them: What are your favorite, most confusingly named deductions — and what do they actually mean?

Intangible Drilling Costs

"The government will pay you to dig a hole in the ground," says Howard Rosen, a CPA in St. Louis. "You can write it all off immediately."

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Latin America
3:27 am
Fri April 12, 2013

In The Wake Of Brazil's Boom, Prices To Match

Tatiana Coelho buys fruit from a vendor in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 20, 2012. Prices, especially for food, are skyrocketing in Brazil.
Melanie Stetson Freeman Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:56 am

In Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, a Starbucks coffee shop looks as it would in the United States. It has the same jazzy music; the same items on the menu.

There is one thing that is different, though: the prices.

"Everyone told me it's expensive, but when you see it yourself it's shocking," says one customer, Thierry, who is from Geneva and is in town for a wedding.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A Blooming Mistake: Irish James Joyce Coin Misquotes Author

James Joyce
Fran Caffrey AFP/Getty Images

"A man of genius makes no mistakes," James Joyce wrote in Ulysses. "His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery." Looks like Ireland's Central Bank has taken that message to heart.

The bank announced Wednesday the launch of a limited-edition coin to honor the Irish writer. The coin features a portrait of Joyce and a quotation from Ulysses, arguably his most famous novel. Trouble is Joyce was misquoted.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

North Korea May Have A Nuclear Warhead To Put On A Missile, Says Pentagon

A South Korean soldier stands at a military checkpoint connecting South and North Korea at the Unification Bridge last week in Paju, South Korea.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 7:13 am

The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.

NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.

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programming
5:14 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Morning Edition 4/12: NATURAL GAS SUPPLIES CONTINUE TO INCREASE

Chris McGill, Vice President Policy Analysis for the American Gas Association

On Tuesday, April 9th, Chris McGill, an energy supply expert and vice-president of Policy Analysis for the American Gas Association, announced the results of a two year study of the nation's supply of natural gas.  This report shows that supplies of natural gas are at an all-time high. I spoke with McGill on Thursday, and talked about some of the things which were revealed in the report. I also asked him about 'frakking', and whether there is any way to be sure that this practice of getting to natural gas is not harming the environment. Tune it to hear our conversation.

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It's All Politics
5:13 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Looking To Broaden Appeal, RNC Heads To Hollywood

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the National Press Club in March. Priebus has irritated faith-based values voters and others in the GOP with his quest to retool the party following the losses of 2012.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 5:49 pm

The Republican National Committee is holding its spring meeting in the Democratic stronghold of Hollywood this week — part of an effort to broaden the party's appeal.

So far, there are sharp divisions among RNC delegates about the future direction of the GOP. But there's general agreement that the party isn't effectively communicating its message.

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Around the Nation
5:13 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Fair Or Foul? Pigeon Shoots Ruffle Feathers In Pennsylvania

A sportsman participates in a pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania in 2009. Animal-rights activists want to ban the tradition in the state.
The Humane Society of the United States

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 5:49 pm

Animal-rights activists are hoping for change in Pennsylvania, where they're fighting to end a tradition: live pigeon shoots. At the events, shooters compete to hit birds that are launched into the air.

Elissa Katz remembers feeling helpless at the site of a pigeon shoot, with feathers flying through the air and wounded birds falling to the ground. "They flutter up in the air as they are sprung from boxes. Shooters have shotguns, they are at fairly close range, and they blast away at the birds," she says.

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Report: Democrat Says Liberal Kentucky SuperPAC Behind McConnell Recording

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 5:40 pm

A Democrat on the committee of the Jefferson County (Kentucky) Democratic Party says a liberal SuperPAC was responsible for surreptitiously recording a strategy session between Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some of his campaign aides.

As Mark reported on Tuesday, a McConnell aide is heard saying that actress Ashley Judd, who mulled a run against McConnell, was "emotionally unbalanced."

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All Tech Considered
4:18 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A Mile-High Hack: An App That Could Remotely Hijack Planes

A German IT consultant's proof-of-concept software raises questions about efforts to secure global flight systems.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:28 am

The Federal Aviation Administration continues work on its multibillion-dollar upgrade to the nation's air traffic control system, but it may not be enough to stop hackers from taking control of airplanes with a smartphone.

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Space
4:17 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Origin Of 'Mercury' Meteorite Still Puzzles Scientists

Several fragments of this unusual rock were discovered last year in Morocco. It's been hailed as the first meteorite from the planet Mercury, but where it came from in the solar system isn't certain.
Stefan Ralew

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 8:18 am

A strange green rock discovered in Morocco last year was hailed by the press as the first meteorite from Mercury. But scientists who've been puzzling over the stone ever since say the accumulating evidence may point in a different direction. Maybe, just maybe, they say, the 4.56-billion-year-old rock fell to Earth from the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter.

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