Presidential candidate Ron Paul is not expected to ultimately endorse presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Paul's chief strategist said Tuesday.

"Never say never, but I don't believe that's likely," said Jesse Benton, during a half-hour-plus give-and-take with reporters.

Aletta — a modest tropical storm spinning of the western coast of Mexico with 40 mph winds — is already special because of two reasons: It the first tropical storm in the Western Hemisphere and it has now broken a 41-day streak in which Earth did not see a cyclone.

Jeff Masters at Weather Underground provides a little more detail:

To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.

"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."

The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.

Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.

What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.

So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.

But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.

The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.

The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."

The school year is winding down, and lots of young people are in the market for a summer job. But finding one in this economy can be hard, especially for teenagers. Host Michel Martin speaks with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about what the Obama Administration is trying to do to help.

Why So Many Ph.D.s Are On Food Stamps

May 15, 2012

With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.

What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.

Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.

"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."

"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.

Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway

May 15, 2012

Audra McDonald has starred in stage classics and on TV, where she played a leading role on the ABC drama Private Practice for four seasons. But the actress might be better known for her stunning voice and for her performances in the Broadway productions of Carousel, Master Class and Ragtime, which helped her rack up three Tony Awards before the age of 30. She won a fourth Tony for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun, putting her in the company of Broadway greats Gwen Verdon and Mary Martin.

Already in the spotlight over whether it executed one innocent man — Cameron Todd Willingham — in 2004, the state of Texas now faces questions about whether another man may have been wrongly condemned to death.

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