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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Myanmar Lifts Ban On Public Gatherings

Food vendors wait for customers at a ferry pier in Yangon on January 28.
AFP/Getty Images

In another sign that Myanmar continues its march toward democracy, the state-run newspaper reported that the government has lifted a ban on public gatherings of more than five people.

The BBC reports that the law dates back to 1988, "when a military government took power after crushing pro-democracy protests."

The newspaper, the BBC reports, said the law was removed because it violated the constitution, which now guarantees freedom of expression.

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World Cafe
12:33 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Next: Hey Marseilles

Hey Marseilles.
Martin Watson Courtesy of the artist

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles integrates symphonic cello, drumbourine, accordion and viola into a standard lineup of guitar, bass and drums for a warm, distinctive sound.

Nick Ward and Matt Bishop formed Hey Marseilles while students at the University of Washington, and independently released their first album, To Travels & Trunks, at the end of 2008. The band has since given the album a nationwide reissue and performed at festivals like SXSW and Bumbershoot.

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Latin America
12:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

For Your Next Caribbean Vacation, Haiti ... Maybe?

Mont Joli Hotel looks out over Cap-Haitian in northern Haiti. The owner says he's usually fully booked and plans to double the hotel's capacity. Haiti is trying to expand its tourism infrastructure and tap in to the multibillion-dollar Caribbean travel market.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:29 pm

Haiti used to be a tourist hot spot in the Caribbean. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton regularly recounts how he and Hillary honeymooned in Haiti in 1975. There used to be a hopping Club Med just outside Port-au-Prince, but it closed in the '90s.

Now, the Haitian government is trying to revive some of its former allure, launching an aggressive campaign to market the poorest country in the hemisphere as a vacation hub.

President Michel Martelly says tourism could be a major driver of economic growth and could help lift Haitians out of poverty.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

If You're Along The Eastern Seaboard, Look Up! NASA Has A Light Show For You

A Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket.
NASA

If you're along the Eastern Seaboard tonight, it might be worth your while to look at the sky this evening.

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility is scheduled to launch a sounding rocket that will release "two red-colored lithium vapor trails in space."

As Space.com reports, those trails might be seen across the Mid-Atlantic and perhaps as far north as Canada and as far south as northern Florida.

Space.com explains how these trails will produce a "night sky show:"

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World
11:48 am
Tue January 29, 2013

From Here To Timbuktu: Myth And Reality At The World's Edge

Timbuktu was once considered so remote that the Paris-based Societe de Geographie offered 10,000 francs to the first non-Muslim to reach the city and report back.
Chris Kocek iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:16 pm

Timbuktu conjures up images of long camel caravans out on the edge of the sand-strewn Sahara — a remoteness so legendary that the ancient city is still a byword for the end of the earth.

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Money Coach
11:17 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Retirement Accounts: Don't Rob Peter To Pay Paul!

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we have the latest installment in our series Social Me. We'll talk about how educators could use their students' social media habits to figure out how they learn.

But first, to matters of personal finance: We want to talk about retirement. While earlier generations might have had a pension, now millions of Americans, if they have any savings, probably have some kind of retirement account like a 401K.

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Parenting
11:13 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Social Media: OMG! Do Parents Get It?

From tablets and iPhones to Twitter and Instagram, technology is changing the way children interact with the world. Host Michel Martin talks with a roundtable of parents about encouraging digital exploration, while keeping kids safe.

Education
11:08 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Topping College Graduate Rates, Is It Worth It?

President Obama wants the nation to produce 8 million more college graduates by the year 2020. But can it be done, and how much would it cost? Host Michel Martin puts those questions to Anthony Carnevale, Director and Research Professor of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The Salt
11:02 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Why Chicken Wings Dominate Super Bowl Snack Time

Blame sports bars for the chicken wing boom, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.
jeffreyw Flickr.com

Take a look at this remarkable graph — is it the stock market? Home sales?

Nope. Click on the blue box in the lower right-hand corner and you'll see that the blue line tracks the number of chicken wings that Americans bought at grocery stores over the last year. See that mighty surge of wing-buying in early February? Apparently, you just cannot have a Super Bowl party without chicken wings — millions and millions of chicken wings.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue January 29, 2013

VIDEO: Newtown Parent, Gun Owners Disagree On Weapons Ban

Neil Heslin brought a framed photo of himself and his son Jesse (when the boy was an infant) to Monday's hearing in Hartford, Conn. The 6-year-old was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December's shooting.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant MCT /Landov

Some websites are saying that Neil Heslin was "heckled by pro-gun activists" Monday during a public hearing in Hartford, Conn., when he made the case that assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines need to be banned.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Kerry Gets Committee's Backing For State; LaHood Leaving Transportation

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at his confirmation hearing last week.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov

No big surprises in these bits of news about President Obama's cabinet:

-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as expected, this morning approved the nomination of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be the next secretary of state. Kerry, the committee's chairman, is set to replace Secretary Hillary Clinton after he gets the approval of the full Senate, which also is expected.

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The Salt
9:33 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Raw Beef Kibbeh Blamed In Salmonella Outbreak. Is Steak Tartare Next?

A traditional steak tartare with egg, onion and capers.
iStockphoto.com

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is amplifying recommendations it's made for years: Don't eat raw or undercooked ground beef. And the call may take on new significance in the wake of reports released last week about a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella in which nearly half the victims reported eating a raw ground beef dish at the same restaurant.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Drops; All Of 2012's Gains Gone

Though there have been other signs to indicate that the economy is on the upswing, many Americans aren't feeling all that good about how things are going.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise; Housing Is Now Economic 'Bright Spot'

A sign of the times in Boca Raton, Fla. (November 2012 file photo.)
Joe Raedle Getty Images

There's more good news about the housing market this morning.

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Shots - Health News
9:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Payment Can Be Elusive For Medicare Beneficiaries In Personal Injury Cases

If you're covered by Medicare and win or settle a personal injury case, the battle for compensation isn't over.
iStockphoto.com

Medicare beneficiaries who win a settlement in a personal injury liability case sometimes find their efforts are for naught because the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ends up getting the money they thought would be theirs.

A new law is expected to fix problems with the system so seniors can get what's coming to them.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Reports: Dozens Of Bodies Found In Syria; Young Men Apparently Executed

CIA World Factbook

Activists and rebels in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo are reporting today that "the bodies of dozens of young men, all apparently summarily executed" have been found in and around the Quwaiq River, the BBC writes.

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It's All Politics
8:32 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Immigration Opponents Remain Adamant, Despite Political Risk

A woman takes the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the district office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Newark, N.J.
John Moore Getty Images

After years of inaction, immigration policy changes suddenly have notable momentum in Washington.

President Obama will address the issue in a speech Tuesday in Las Vegas — a day after a bipartisan group of senators outlined their ideas for a bill that could move through the chamber as early as this spring.

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Around the Nation
7:36 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Two Is A Coincidence, Three Is A Trend

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. That's why an Oklahoma City house has been dubbed The Twin House, after a third consecutive couple living there had twins - a boy and a girl each. Current tenants, Brady and Chelsea Smith, said they didn't believe in the twin mojo when they moved in. Then an ultrasound showed she was expecting twins. New father Brady Smith told the Oklahoman, now his friends won't even drive down the block.

The Two-Way
7:26 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama Says He Enjoys Skeet Shooting; Doubtful Lawmaker Challenges Him

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who thinks she's a better shot than the president.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:09 am

One short exchange in a long New Republic interview of President Obama has gotten much attention:

New Republic: "Have you ever fired a gun?

Obama: "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time."

The president went on to say he has "a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations."

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama: Immigration Debate Not Just Policy, 'It's About People'

A U.S. Border Patrol Agent in September 2011, along the Mexico-Arizona border.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:35 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson reports
  • On 'Morning Edition': Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

Update at 3:06 p.m. ET. 'Now Is The Time':

Talking to an audience in Las Vegas, an upbeat President Obama said that "now is the time" for "common sense comprehensive immigration reform."

While Obama echoed the pillars of immigration reform presented by a bipartisan group of senators on Monday, he also made an emotional plea for reform.

"What makes somebody American," he said, "is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles."

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Around the Nation
6:25 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Virginia To Repeal 'Living In Sin' Law

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Africa
4:21 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Timbuktu Freed From Islamist Fighters

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The city of Timbuktu is free...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Mali, Mali, Mali, Mali...

INSKEEP: ...and residents cheered as French and Malian forces entered the city. Those forces swept aside Islamist rebels who'd controlled the place for months. The Islamists rule included amputations and the destroyed ancient tombs. It ended with the burning of a library housing priceless manuscripts.

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Politics
4:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Sen. Flake Comments On Immigration Overhaul

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

An immigration plan announced Monday by a bipartisan group of senators would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country and overhaul legal immigration. It also calls for improved border security and better tracking of individuals in the U.S. on visas. Steve Inskeep talks with one of the senators behind the plan, Republican Jeff Flake from Arizona.

Law
3:34 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Armed 'Good Guys' And The Realities Of Facing A Gunman

The NRA and some concealed-carry activists say the best defense against gun violence is armed "good guys." Here, a man fires his pistol at an indoor range in Aurora, Colo., last summer.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:18 pm

As the nation ponders how to stop the next mass shooting, the gun rights movement offers a straight-forward formula, laid out famously by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said last month, as his group responded to the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

One Man's Story

In Washington state, one such "good guy" — a private citizen who drew his gun in defense of others — paid a heavy price.

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The Record
2:40 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rising Postal Rates Squeeze Small Record Labels

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 9:51 am

Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.

Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."

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Research News
2:38 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

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Poetry
2:36 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rare Robert Frost Collection Surfaces 50 Years After His Death

American poet Robert Frost, shown here in 1955, died on Jan. 29, 1963. Now, 50 years after his death, a rare collection of letters, audio and photographs sheds new light on his religious beliefs.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the poet Robert Frost, famous for such poems as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken." Fans of Frost's works have another reason to pay special attention to his legacy this week: Jonathan Reichert, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has just donated a rare collection of Frost materials to the university.

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Africa
2:32 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Tunisia's Salafis: 'A Danger' Or Preachers Of God's Law?

A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
Amine Landoulsi AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Asia
2:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You

The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:16 pm

The first of two reports

China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren't many.

Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events.

Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics.

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It's All Politics
5:24 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

On Climate Change, Americans May Trust Politics Above Preachers

Pope Benedict XVI leads prayers on Nov. 27, 2011, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The leader of the world's Roman Catholic Church called for a "responsible, credible and united response" to the problem of climate change. But in the U.S. at least, studies show the view even of religious Americans on climate change is much more likely to be shaped by their politics than their faith.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:27 pm

When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.

After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.

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