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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Ex-President Musharraf Returns To A Different Pakistan

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf greets supporters upon his arrival at Karachi airport in Pakistan on Sunday.
S.I. Ali AP

After four years of self-imposed exile, Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has come home. His plan is to run for office and reclaim political influence, but death threats and legal battles complicate his return.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

100 Hours On The Supreme Court's Sidewalk: Camping Out For A Seat To History

More than two dozen people bundled up to camp out before the U.S. Supreme Court for a seat to watch oral arguments in a same-sex marriage case on Tuesday.
Elise Hu NPR

Overnight temperatures are dipping below freezing and the forecast calls for snow, but cold, boredom and discomfort haven't stopped more than 30 Supreme Court die-hards from camping out for a seat to history.

"I just really wanted to be part of this moment, so I had been planning to come down for months," said Darienn Powers, a college student who came to Washington from New York. "No matter what, it's worth it to be in there and really experience what's going on."

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

U.K. Police Investigate Death Of Exiled Russian Oligarch

Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky talks to the media on Aug. 31, 2012, after losing his case against Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich in London. Berezovsky was found Saturday dead at his home in Britain.
Sang Tan AP

Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who made headlines in 2000 after falling out with President Vladimir Putin and moving to the U.K., was found dead at his home on Saturday. He was 67.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Backyard Chickens: Cute, Trendy Spreaders Of Salmonella

Backyard chickens can be a great hobby. They can also spread disease.
iStockphoto.com

Backyard chickens have become a coveted suburban accessory, one that packages cuteness, convenience and local food production in one fluffy feathered package.

But animal husbandry can be a nasty business, a fact that's often glossed over by poultry partisans like Martha Stewart and New Yorker writer Susan Orlean.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Syrian Opposition Leader Resigns In Frustration

Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib took on the presidency of the Syrian National Council after it was formed in November.
AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 2:55 pm

Update at 3:52 p.m. ET.: Kerry Reacts

Speaking in Baghdad, Secretary of State John Kerry responded to news of Khatib's resignation, saying it "is not a surprise."

"It's almost inevitable, in the transition of a group such as the opposition, for these kinds of changes to take place as it evolves," he said.

Here's more from his comments:

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Secretary Of State Kerry In Baghdad, With Concern Over Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Baghdad Sunday on an unannounced visit following President Obama's Mideast tour.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 12:46 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is on an unannounced trip to Baghdad Sunday, and according to an official, the buzzword of the trip is "engagement."

NPR's Michele Kelemen, who's traveling with Kerry, tells our Newscast Desk that Syria is on his agenda:

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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
4:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Battling Suicide In A 'Gun State' Means Treading Carefully

In Wyoming, a gun is used in about three-quarters of all suicides. Nationally, guns are used about 50 percent of the time.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 4:58 pm

Wyoming has the highest per capita suicide rate in the nation. Guns are also a big part of everyday life: The state has one of the highest rates of gun ownership.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
4:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Former Bush Aide Pushes 'Conservative Case' For Gay Marriage

Ken Mehlman, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, speaks during a meeting at the Capitol Hilton in January 2006 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:05 am

One hundred thirty-one prominent Republicans have signed a pro-same-sex marriage legal brief that is clearly at odds with the House GOP leadership and the party's platform in the most recent election. Because of the prominence of the signers, the brief stands out among the more than 150 friend-of-the-court briefs filed in two same-sex marriage cases to be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

The man who rounded up the group is Ken Mehlman, the former political director for the George W. Bush White House.

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The Two-Way
3:37 am
Sun March 24, 2013

No. 1 Gonzaga's Been Dumped: Here's What Else You Should Know

Carl Hall No. 22 of the Wichita State Shockers dunks the ball in the first half while taking on the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the third round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in Salt Lake City Saturday.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 6:54 am

Saturday's NCAA men's basketball shocker? Wichita State toppled Gonzaga, 76-70. Gonzaga is the first top-seeded team to be eliminated, and it's the first time Wichita State is heading to Sweet 16 since 2006, The Associated Press reports. The AP adds:

"Wichita State had the Zags down 13 early. Though Gonzaga (32-3) fought back, the barrage of 3s was too much for the small school from Spokane, Wash."

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Buried In Grain
11:03 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Documents: Investigating A Grain Bin Accident

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 5:54 am

Explore the documents from the 2010 Mount Carroll, Ill., incident that describe what happened when two young employees died inside a grain bin and detail workplace safety violations found by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Buried In Grain
11:03 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Fines Slashed In Grain Bin Entrapment Deaths

Friends and classmates of Wyatt Whitebread, Alex Pacas and Will Piper watch as rescuers work to free the boys from the bin (center) full of thousands of bushels of corn. Only Piper survived.
Alex T. Paschal AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

The night before he died, Wyatt Whitebread couldn't stand the thought of going back to the grain bins on the edge of Mount Carroll, Ill.

The mischievous and popular 14-year-old had been excited about his first real job, he told Lisa Jones, the mother of some of his closest friends, as she drove him home from a night out for pizza. But nearly two weeks later he told her he was tired of being sent into massive storage bins clogged with corn.

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Joe Weider, Fitness Icon And Mr. Olympia Creator, Dies At 93

Arnold Schwarzenegger raises the arm of Joe Weider, the creator of the Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding competition, during the 39th annual Mr. Olympia event in 2003. Weider died Saturday at 93.
Eric Jamison AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 2:25 pm

Joe Weider, a legendary figure in the world of bodybuilding whose name became synonymous with the sport, died Saturday at the age of 93.

Weider's publicist, Charlotte Parker, told The Associated Press that the bodybuilder, publisher and promoter died of heart failure at his home in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:04 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Merritt And Dinnerstein, A Musical Odd Couple, On Bridging Their Worlds

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein (left) and singer-songwriter Tift Merrit collaborate on the new album Night.
Lisa Marie Mazzucco Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 11:35 am

What happens when two very talented women — one, a rising alt-country star; the other, one of classical music's great new talents — meet one another? In the case of singer Tift Merritt and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, a friendship ensues.

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Author Interviews
4:04 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Integrated Baseball, A Decade Before Jackie Robinson

Hake's Americana & Collectibles/Atlantic Monthly Press

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:05 pm

In 1947, Jackie Robinson famously broke the color line in baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, ending racial segregation in the major leagues.

That moment was a landmark for racial integration in baseball, but there's another moment few may be aware of, and it happened more than a decade before Robinson, in Bismarck, N.D.

Tom Dunkel writes about this Bismarck team in his new book, Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line.

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U.S.
4:02 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Can Detroit Return To Its Former Glory?

The population of Detroit has dwindled, and now there aren't enough taxpayers to pick up the tab for essential city services.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:07 pm

The newly appointed emergency financial manager of Detroit begins the Herculean task Monday of turning the once bustling capital of the car business back from the brink of bankruptcy.

Though Detroit still has its cultural centers, architectural gems, funky restaurants and packed sporting events downtown, the city has suffered an urban blight that has slowly eaten away at its neighborhoods.

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Technology
3:32 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Four Robots That Are Learning To Serve You

Future Robot's FURo robot acts as a host.
Innorobo.com

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 5:34 pm

From Star Wars' R2-D2 to The Terminator to WALL-E, robots have pervaded popular culture and ignited our imaginations. But today, machines that can do our bidding have moved from science fiction to real life.

Think hands-free vacuum cleaners or iPhone's Siri or robotic arms performing surgery. At the Innorobo conference in Lyon, France, the latest in service robot technology was on display.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
1:36 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

How Vermont's 'Civil' War Fueled The Gay Marriage Movement

Demonstrators protest outside the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt., in April 2000, the month the nation's first law recognizing same-sex civil unions was signed by the governor.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:55 pm

It wasn't so long ago that a handful of Vermont legislators in a shabby Statehouse committee room struggled over what to call their proposal to give marriage-like rights to the state's gay and lesbian residents.

Democrat Howard Dean, governor at the time, had already made clear he'd veto any legislation labeled "marriage." Suggestions like "domestic partner relationship" were too clunky; "civil accord," they decided, evoked a car model.

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Sports
1:24 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

March Madness: Good For Fans, Bad For Business

Pittsburgh fans try to distract Wichita State's Ron Baker as he shoots a free throw during a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City on Thursday. The distractions of the tournament are so great that worker productivity suffers.
George Frey AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 5:34 pm

March Madness is here. Even President Obama has filled out a NCAA Division I men's college basketball tournament bracket. His pick to win it all was Indiana University.

The bracket frenzy is unbelievable, says Deborah Stroman, who teaches sports administration at the University of North Carolina.

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All Tech Considered
11:43 am
Sat March 23, 2013

The Cicadas Are Coming! Crowdsourcing An Underground Movement

Cicadas live underground and emerge in 13- or 17-year cycles.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Back in 1996, a group of baby cicadas burrowed into soils in the eastern U.S. to lead a quiet life of constant darkness and a diet of roots. Now at the ripe age of 17, those little cicadas are all grown up and it's time to molt, procreate and die while annoying a few million humans with their constant chirping in the process.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi: From Iran To NCAA Hoopla

Rebounding machine Arsalan Kazemi is the first Iranian-born player in Divison I men's college hoops.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 2:23 pm

San Jose, Calif., is just a piece of a very big March Madness pie. But in the eight teams that gathered there for second- and third-round games this week, you could see the undeniable trend in big-time college basketball globalization.

Rosters from schools as geographically diverse as Syracuse, New Mexico State and California featured athletes from Senegal, France, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Sudan.

But it's the University of Oregon with a groundbreaker — from Iran.

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It's All Politics
9:12 am
Sat March 23, 2013

A Hint Of Bipartisanship On This Obamacare Tax?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, was joined by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in taking steps to try to stop an Obamacare medical device tax.
Jim Mone AP

Anyone looking for a glimmer of bipartisanship in Washington might want to pay attention to the medical device tax that is part of Obamacare. It took a notable, if largely symbolic, hit this week from the left and the right.

The 2.3-percent excise tax on devices ranging from MRI machines to pacemakers to stethoscopes was meant to raise $20 billion over 10 years to help pay for extending health care coverage to the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act.

But so far it has raised more ire than revenue.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Emily Rapp, Phil Spector, Philip Roth And Sea Chanteys

Emily Rapp is also the author of Poster Child, about a congenital birth defect that led to the amputation of her leg when she was a child, and about how she subsequently became a poster child for the March of Dimes.
Anne Staveley Penguin Press

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 9:52 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Commentary
7:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Resurrected Frog Gives Us Cause To Brood

This week scientists announced they have reproduced the genome of an extinct amphibian, the gastric brooding frog.
Auscape/UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 1:06 pm

The gastric brooding frog may be coming back. Does that give us a lot to brood about, too?

This week scientists at the University of New South Wales' Lazarus Project announced they have reproduced the genome — that bit of biological material that carries our genetic structure — of a gastric brooding frog.

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Books
7:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

From One Author To Another, Letters Of Praise

Host Scott Simon reads some of the best fan mail to authors, written by authors.

Politics
7:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Gay Lobbying On The Hill Has Short Yet Strong History

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:37 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

One argument used by some conservatives in the Supreme Court cases is that gay Americans have become so politically powerful and prominent they don't need special consideration from the courts. Whether or not that's true, it is clear that lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgendered advocacy groups have built a strong network of lobbyists and political activists in Washington, D.C.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Middle East
7:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Sat March 23, 2013

In Case You Missed It: Georgetown Upended, And Other NCAA Surprises

Florida Gulf Coast's Chase Fieler (left) and Georgetown's Mikael Hopkins leap for a rebound during a second-round game of the NCAA tournament Friday.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 12:33 pm

Another big shock from the NCAA tournament: Florida Gulf Coast "busted a load of brackets" Friday, beating second-seeded Georgetown, as The Associated Press reports.

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles managed a 78-68 victory over the Hoyas, only the seventh time in NCAA history that a No. 15 seed beat a No. 2, the AP says.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
6:32 am
Sat March 23, 2013

The Senators Who Oppose DOMA, Despite Having OK'd It

Supreme Court justices will hear arguments Tuesday on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. On Wednesday they'll hear arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 11:53 am

The soul-searching over the Defense of Marriage Act went viral last week after Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a social conservative and original co-sponsor of the 1996 bill, sought out CNN to say something no one saw coming.

Portman said he'd decided to oppose DOMA and support same-sex marriage, two years after learning his college-age son was gay.

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Music Interviews
5:25 am
Sat March 23, 2013

The Milk Carton Kids: At Life's Crossroads, A Duo Looks Both Ways

Kenneth Pattengale (left) and Joey Ryan, who record as The Milk Carton Kids. Their new album is called The Ash & Clay.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:28 am

Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan were doing just fine as solo performers. Then one night, Ryan walked into a bar where Pattengale was playing.

"I heard Kenneth perform a song that he had written from the perspective of a dead dog, only very recently having been hit by a truck," Ryan says, wryly. "And it was that sort of uplifting material that drew us together."

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Middle East
5:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

Anti-riot police face off with protesters in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Qatif on March 11, 2011. Despite bans on the demonstrations, Shiite Muslims in the eastern part of the country have continued to stage protests, demanding political changes.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 3:27 pm

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

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