6:35am

Wed April 4, 2012
The Two-Way

After Ferocious Texas Tornadoes, Two Incredibly Welcome Words: 'No Deaths'

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 10:11 am

In Arlington, Texas, Tuesday afternoon, David Lowe carried his daughter's dog, Phoebe, away from the rubble.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Tuesday's tornadoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area produced some amazing videos of truck trailers being tossed into the air and homes being ripped apart.

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6:05am

Wed April 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Baylor Women Are Perfectly Great; Finish Season 40-0, Win NCAA Title

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 6:08 am

Brittney Griner (#42) of the Baylor Lady Bears blocks a shot attempt by Kayla McBride (#23) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during Tuesday night's NCAA Division I women's basketball championship game in Denver.
Justin Edmonds Getty Images

Looking not just to win the NCAA Division I women's basketball championship, but also to be the first team to win 40 games in one season and to do it without a single loss on the way, the Baylor Lady Bears achieved all that last night with an 80-61 win over Notre Dame.

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5:40am

Wed April 4, 2012
The Two-Way

With Wisconsin Win, Romney Moves From 'Likely' To 'Almost Certain'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney celebrated last night with supporters in Milwaukee.
Scott Olson Getty Images

His wins Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Maryland and — most importantly — in Wisconsin has produced a subtle shift in the way Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is being referred to by the news media.

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Marie Cusick is the WMHT/Capital Region reporter for the Innovation Trail and 'New York NOW.'

As a television reporter, Marie has covered energy and environmental issues from Wyoming to Pennsylvania.

Marie joins WMHT from her hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she reported for a cable TV news station. During her time there, she was the creator and host of a weekly series that covered local environmental issues.

2:19am

Wed April 4, 2012
Law

Gay Marriage Lawsuit Presses For Survivor Benefits

Herbert Burtis' spouse, John Ferris (left), died four years ago. When Burtis went to the Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits, the clerk told him the federal government did not recognize his marriage.
Courtesy of Herbert Burtis

Herbert Burtis met the person he wanted to marry in college, in 1948. But since the object of his affection was another man, they had to wait until 2004 for the ceremony, when Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriages.

"It's a long engagement," Burtis says, laughing. "We thought it was time that we made each other honest people."

His spouse, John Ferris, died four years ago. When Burtis went to the Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits, the clerk told him the federal government did not recognize his marriage.

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2:18am

Wed April 4, 2012
Around the Nation

College Student Pieces His Way To Lego Mastery

Andrew Johnson, 23, of Bartlett, Ill. has been named the new master model builder of Legoland Discovery Center Chicago after competing for the job against seven other finalists.
Rick West The Daily Herald

Only four people in the United States carry the official designation of Lego Master Model Builder. And 23-year-old Andrew Johnson of Illinois is the newest — and youngest — to earn the title.

Legos are robots in disguise for Johnson, as in a 4 1/2-foot replica of the Transformer Optimus Prime made only from those tiny bricks.

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2:06am

Wed April 4, 2012
Europe

The Secret To Germany's Low Youth Unemployment

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 1:47 pm

Metal-working apprentices train in Leipzig, Germany, in 2010. Germany has Europe's lowest youth unemployment rate, thanks in part to its ancient apprentice system, which trains about 1.5 million people each year.
Waltraud Grubitzsch DPA/Landov

For as long as he can remember, German teenager Robin Dittmar has been obsessed with airplanes. As a little boy, the sound of a plane overhead would send him into the backyard to peer into the sky. Toys had to have wings. Even today, Dittmar sees his car as a kind of ersatz Boeing.

"I've got the number 747 as the number plate of my car. I'm really in love with this airplane," the 18-year-old says.

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2:05am

Wed April 4, 2012
U.S.

Activist Puts Albany Neighborhood On The Bus Map

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 1:47 pm

Willie White pushed for the creation of a new bus route for his previously underserved neighborhood in Albany, N.Y.
Marie Cusick for NPR

The New York state capital, Albany, is a gathering place for the state's most powerful people.

But in the city's poor and predominately black South End neighborhood, many residents once felt powerless.

They had repeatedly asked for better public transit for South End, an area plagued with poverty and crime not far from New York's gated governor's mansion.

Today, the city's Route 100 bus glides easily up Morton Avenue, a steep hill in the South End neighborhood. Many feel there would be no Route 100 if not for the efforts of local resident Willie White.

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2:04am

Wed April 4, 2012
Sports

U.S. Rhythmic Gymnastics Star Readies For London

Rhythmic gymnast Julie Zetlin, seen here during last October's Pan-American Games, hopes to win a medal for the United States at the Summer Olympics in London.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

2:03am

Wed April 4, 2012
Latin America

An Upgrade, And Bigger Ships, For The Panama Canal

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 7:17 pm

The Panama Canal is undergoing its biggest overhaul since it was opened nearly a century ago. A third channel is being built, which will allow more and larger ships to pass through.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Two giant ships move through the Panama Canal's two parallel channels at the Miraflores locks, heading toward the Pacific Ocean.

The orange and white Bow Summer is a tanker. The deck of the Ever Dynamic is stacked high with burgundy and blue shipping containers. More boats like these are backed up in both the Pacific and the Atlantic waiting to enter the narrow waterway.

Global trade has grown dramatically, but the Panama Canal — one of the most vital transit routes — hasn't changed its basic structure since it opened in 1914.

But that is about to change.

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