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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Wholesale Prices Plunge, But So Do Retail Sales

A steep drop in gasoline costs fueled a 0.6 percent decline in wholesale prices from February to March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, the so-called core rate of inflation was also in check: those prices rose a modest 0.2 percent.

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Middle East
7:07 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Police In Dubai Adds Lamborghini To The Force

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 8:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Conspicuous consumption is the art of buying lots of expensive stuff to show off. It is part of daily life in the Emirate city of Dubai, even for the police. They just added a slick green and white Lamborghini with a $400,000 price tag to their force. It goes more than 200 miles per hour, which is useful in the fast moving kingdom.

Police say about 15 percent of the speeding tickets go to motorists going more than 130 miles per hour. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Dodgers' $147 Million Ace Greinke Breaks Collarbone In Brawl

Ouch! Carlos Quentin (left) of the San Diego Padres charged the mound Thursday after Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke (right) hit him with a pitch. In the brawl, Greinke broke his left collarbone.
Denis Poroy Getty Images

Talk about an expensive bust:

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Latin America
6:53 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuelan Humorist Engages Kidnappers In Election Dialogue

Laureano Marquez, a popular Venezuelan writer and political satirist, says he is always opposed to the government in power. "The mission of humor is to show the people that things can be better," he says.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:18 pm

Earlier this week in Caracas, we were about to go to an interview when it had to be rescheduled. The man we were going to speak with was unavoidably detained — kidnapped, to be precise.

It took awhile after that for Laureano Marquez to free up his schedule and meet us in a coffee shop.

"I'm so sorry," he said when he finally arrived, as if it was his fault for being thrown into a car and driven off to the far reaches of town.

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Asia
6:25 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Japanese Blogger Obsesses Over Vending Machine

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

For most of us, the office vending machine is good for a mid-day pick-me-up; that's pretty much it. But for one Japanese man it is much more. He hosts a blog called "I Take a Picture of the Vending Machine Every Day or So, I'm Very Sorry." Since 2005 he's taken nearly daily pictures of the same vending machine. Over the years the sodas move, the ads change, and there was that true moment of drama - the machine started taking digital payments.

The Two-Way
6:13 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Book News: DC Comics Introduces First Transgender Character

An image of Batgirl from the cover of "Batgirl 19," in which it is revealed that Batgirl's roommate is transgender.
DC Comics

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Kerry Warns North Korea, But Holds Out Hope For Diplomacy

A North Korean soldier on the bank of the Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, along the Chinese border.
Jacky Chen Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 12:00 pm

Walking a line meant to show both resolve and willingness to trust in diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday not to engage in more warmongering — but also said the U.S. is willing to talk with that communist state if it's serious about discussing denuclearization.

"No one is going to talk for the sake of talking," Kerry said, but the U.S. does want to see a peaceful resolution of the latest crisis on the Korean peninsula.

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Business
4:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is, what do you want on your burger? The CEO of Burger King Worldwide is stepping down. Forty-three-year-old Bernardo Hees has been wearing the Burger King crown since 2010, when the fast food chain was bought out by 3G Capital.

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Latin America
4:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuela's Telenovelas

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hugo Chavez, the late president of Venezuela, had a touch for the dramatic. He appeared on television all the time. It turns out, he also admired dramatic acting. In the 1990s, when he was in prison for an attempted coup, he never missed an episode of his favorite TV drama.

Once he gained power, a deeper drama developed. Venezuela was a huge exporter of Latin-American multi-episode dramas called telenovelas, until President Chavez's government changed that. NPR's Jasmine Garsd reports.

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Business
4:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Eli Lilly To Lay Off 30 Percent Of U.S. Sales Force

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with layoffs at Eli Lilly.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

StoryCorps
2:33 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Adoptive Dad Dreamed A Dream That Brought Him A Son

John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 3:19 pm

In 1998, John Curtis and David Wikiera adopted a son from Vietnam and named him John Wikiera.

"I had always wanted to be a parent," Curtis tells his now 11-year-old son during a visit to StoryCorps in Rochester, N.Y. "So it was a dream I had, but I never dreamed would come true because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption and that got us thinking.

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Media
2:33 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Startup CEO Wields Small Antenna In TV Streaming Battle

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia
Dan Bobkoff NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:30 pm

A top executive at News Corp. dropped a bombshell this week when he said the company is considering taking Fox's over-the-air network to cable. The announcement follows a court win for a startup company that streams broadcast channels online.

That startup's CEO, arguably the most feared man in television right now, is soft-spoken and rather techy.

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Music
2:31 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Thatcher Era's Effect On British Music

Morrissey, an outspoken critic of Margaret Thatcher, is one of many U.K. musicians who responded to the late British leader's reforms in song.
Album cover

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:55 am

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Space
2:29 am
Fri April 12, 2013

In NASA's Budget: Plans To 'Shrink-Wrap' An Asteroid

A NASA mission proposed in President Obama's budget would involve capturing an asteroid and pulling it into Earth's orbit for observation.
NASA/Advanced Concepts Laboratory

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:55 am

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Planet Money
2:28 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Tax Code, Translated Into Plain English

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:55 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
2:27 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 9:56 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
6:54 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

NHL, Players Union Launch Initiative To Battle Homophobia

Fans cheer after Martin Hanzal of the Phoenix Coyotes scores an empty-net goal against the Detroit Red Wings in Glendale, Ariz., on April 4.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:54 pm

The National Hockey League and its players union launched an initiative today that it hopes will stamp out homophobia from the game.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman tells our Newscast unit that the partnership with You Can Play is intended to send a message that everyone is welcome in the NHL as a player or a fan.

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Asia
5:07 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Report: North Korea May Be Able To Deliver Nuclear Weapons

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. A stunning revelation today from a member of Congress. It came from Republican Doug Lamborn, of Colorado, during an exchange on Capitol Hill with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lamborn cited a Defense Intelligence Agency report on North Korea's military capability, one that had not yet been released. Here's what Rep. Lamborn said.

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Business
4:49 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Japan's Big Stimulus Move Shocks Globe's Market Watchers

Passersby watch share prices spike in Tokyo on April 4, the day Japan's central bank announced a massive purchase of government bonds. The bank hopes the scale of the effort will boost Japan's slow-moving economy.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Currency traders were stunned last week by aggressive action from Japan's central bank. The Bank of Japan embarked on a bond-buying program that, by one measure, is twice the size of the extraordinary moves by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve in the United States. The BOJ's move is an effort to shock the Japanese economy out of more than a decade of sluggish growth and deflation.

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The Two-Way
4:43 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
4:39 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 6:13 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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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Report: Democrat Says Liberal Kentucky SuperPAC Behind McConnell Recording

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:40 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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Around the Nation
3:35 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 4:49 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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It's All Politics
3:31 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 4:49 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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Space
3:27 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 7:18 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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All Tech Considered
3:18 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 10:28 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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The Salt
3:17 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A Legal Twist In The Effort To Ban Cameras From Livestock Plants

Cows wait to be milked at a California dairy farm.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:38 pm

For years, undercover videos documenting animal cruelty at farms and slaughterhouses have cast the nation's meat and dairy farmers in a grim light.

In response, the livestock industry supported legislative efforts in multiple states designed to keep cameras from recording without permission in livestock plants. The Salt reported on these efforts, which activists call "ag gag" bills, last year.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Price Tag On Cyprus Bailout Goes Up

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 5:08 pm

It's going to cost more to bail out Cyprus than originally projected, with officials now saying the cost will be $30 billion instead of the original estimate of $23 billion.

"It's a fact the memorandum of November talked about 17.5 billion [euros] in financing needs. And it has emerged this figure has become 23 billion [euros]," government spokesman Christos Stylianides was quoted by the BBC as saying on Thursday.

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World Cafe
2:45 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Country Music Hall Of Fame On World Cafe

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn.
Courtesy of the museum

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:37 pm

So you think you know country music? Our friend Michael Gray, curator at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., will tell you what you need to know in just a few music-filled minutes. The Hall of Fame is right in downtown Nashville and is a must visit.

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Asia
2:41 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A Symbol Of Korean Cooperation Becomes A Political Casualty

A South Korean soldier patrols as vehicles returning from the jointly run Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea arrive at a checkpoint in Paju, north of Seoul, on April 6.
Lee Jae-Won Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:33 pm

This week, North Korea closed off the last avenue of economic cooperation with its rival, South Korea. Pyongyang says the closing of Kaesong — a joint North-South industrial complex — is temporary.

But the move is a big symbolic blow on the Korean peninsula and a potential disaster for some of the South Korean businesses that have invested there.

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