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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Who Is Pope Francis I?

Argentine Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio during a mass for Ash Wednesday, opening Lent on February 13, 2013 at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 8:41 pm

The new pope, 76-year-old Jorge Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, is the first pontiff from Latin America and the first Jesuit, but he appears to hold views very much in line with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

Bergoglio has chosen the papal name Francis, becoming the 266th to hold the title of spiritual leader of the Catholic Church.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Upon News Of Argentinian Pope, Latin Americans Are Overjoyed

Faithful react after the announcement that Buenos Aires archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis I, at Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:01 pm

Pope Francis goes into history as the first pontiff from the New World.

For Latin America in particular, this is a momentous occasion: It is home to 483 million Catholics, or a little more than 40 percent of the global population.

Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of Italian parents. At one point, he was the archbishop of the Buenos Aires diocese, which The Wall Street Journal reports, has "the largest concentration of Catholics in the world."

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It's All Politics
3:24 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

On Message: The Battle To Define 'Balanced' Budget

A member of the House Budget Committee holds a copy of the Republican budget proposal on Tuesday in Washington.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:12 pm

In the ongoing Washington budget battles, one word gets more of a workout than most: balanced.

This single word illustrates the vast distance between the parties. Democrats and Republicans are working from very different definitions of the term in discussing their budget proposals being unveiled this week.

What Democrats are saying: A balanced budget is deficit reduction through a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. As in: We want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit.

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Religion
3:09 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Cardinals Choose Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio As New Pope

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:18 pm

Cardinals at the Vatican chose Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope. He will take the papal name Francis and is the first pope from South America. NPR's Neal Conan talks with guests about the significance of the event around the world.

The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

VIDEO: White Smoke, Bells Signal New Pope Has Been Selected

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Shots - Health News
1:38 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Dengue Fever No Longer Just A Visitor To Florida Keys

If you catch dengue fever in the Western Hemisphere, it most likely came from the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Muhammad Mahdi Karim Wikimedia.org

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:02 am

If you're heading down to Florida for spring break, consider packing bug spray and long-sleeve shirts.

After a 60-year hiatus, the mosquito-borne illness dengue fever officially re-established itself there.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Boy Scouts Sends Its Members Detailed Survey About Gay Ban

In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony.
Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal AP

The Boy Scouts of America has sent a detailed survey about its exclusion of gay members to 1.1 million scouts.

As The New York Times reports, the survey doesn't just pose a simple yes or no question on whether the Scouts should lift its ban on gay members and leaders. Instead it seeks answers using detailed hypotheticals.

The Times explains:

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Argentina's Cardinal Bergoglio Is The New Pope; He Will Be 'Francis'

Pope Francis as he waved to the crowd in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Wednesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 7:11 am

The world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics have a new spiritual leader, and for the first time it is someone from the Americas.

As afternoon turned to evening in Vatican City on Wednesday, a little after 7 p.m. local time, white smoke rose from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel and bells rang through St. Peter's Square — the traditional signals that the church's cardinals have chosen a new pope.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Second Chances In American Politics

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:57 pm

From the ongoing budget battle to Sen. Carl Levin's retirement announcement, NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics. NPR's Phillip Reeves provides an update from Rome as cardinals elected a new pope.

Europe
12:59 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

German Prince Plans To Put Bison Back In The Wild

European bison, or wisents, keep a safe distance from human visitors to their enclosure on the property of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in Germany's densely populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 4:17 pm

A small herd of European bison will soon be released in Germany's most densely populated state, the first time in nearly three centuries that these bison — known as wisents — will roam freely in Western Europe.

The project is the brainchild of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. He owns more than 30,000 acres, much of it covered in Norwegian spruce and beech trees in North Rhine-Westphalia.

For the 78-year-old logging magnate, the planned April release of the bull, five cows and two calves will fulfill a decade-old dream.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

The Ale That Men Brew: Iron Maiden Serves Up A Beer

Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson samples his band's latest offering, Trooper ale, made with what he calls "our special secret-squirrel recipe."
Iron Maiden Beer

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:12 pm

Three decades after giving the world The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden is poised to release its latest work — and it's a beer. That's the latest from the Metal Injection website, whose "Bands and Booze" section makes it uniquely qualified to present such news.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pew: Americans Who Identify As 'Strong' Catholics At Four-Decade Low

A procession begins a Mass of Remembrance at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:48 pm

The percentage of American Catholics who identify as "strong" members of the church has declined to a 40-year low.

That's according to new analysis of the General Social Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

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Author Interviews
11:58 am
Wed March 13, 2013

A Young Man Gets 'Filthy Rich' Boiling, Bottling Tap Water

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 12:16 pm

In his new novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mohsin Hamid's nameless protagonist is an ambitious young man who moves from the countryside to a megalopolis in search of his fortune. The city is modeled on Lahore, Pakistan, where Hamid was born and partly raised and where — after living in the United States and England — he has now settled with his family.

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Music Reviews
11:26 am
Wed March 13, 2013

The Moving Sidewalks: Where The British Invasion Met Texas Blues

Before ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons (second from right) was in the more psychedelic Moving Sidewalks.
Rancho Deluxe Productions

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:22 pm

There must be something in the water — or the beer — in Texas that caused the huge eruption of garage bands and psychedelic bands in the mid-1960s, because there sure were a lot of them, and their records on obscure labels have kept collectors busy for decades. Most of them were amateurs, but the Coachmen, who came together around 1964, were different.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Florida Lieutenant Governor Resigns, After Investigation Of Nonprofit

Former Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:00 pm

Florida's lieutenant governor abruptly stepped down on Wednesday, two days after Florida law enforcement officials questioned her involvement with a non-profit under investigation.

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Around the Nation
10:38 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Fighting Sexual Assault Seen As Military Betrayal

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 12:34 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we have some dramatic stories about retirement. One, somebody who retired young, and I mean really young. And another about how even the best planned retirement can go wrong when life happens. We hope you'll find something useful in each of those conversations which is in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health News
10:38 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Can Free Video Consults Make Parkinson's Care Better?

Most people can't talk with their doctors online, because of regulatory and funding issues.
iStockphoto.com

Why, you might ask, would a hoity-toity medical institution like Johns Hopkins be offering up free Web-based consults for people with Parkinson's disease?

To prove that it works.

Ray Dorsey, director for the Johns Hopkins Movement Disorders Center, is on a mission to convince America that videochats with doctors are as good or better than the traditional office visit.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Life Of A Chinese Hacker: Work Is Awful, Pay Is Lousy, Boss Doesn't Understand

This 12-story building houses a Chinese military unit allegedly behind dozens of cyberattacks on U.S. and other Western companies. It's in a modern, if bland, part of Shanghai.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:07 am

Following up last month's news about reports that tie hackings of American defense contractors' websites to operations run — or at least encouraged — by the Chinese government, the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday told the tale of a Shanghai man who used to blog about his work in a People's Liberation Army

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Wed March 13, 2013

VIDEO: Fan Accompanies Billy Joel; 'Greatest Moment Of My Life,' He Says

Michael Pollack, right, getting a handshake and blessing from Billy Joel. Pollack asked Joel if he could come on state to accompany the pop star on "New York State of Mind." Joel said yes and the video has gone viral.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:52 pm

It's taken about a month to hit the mainstream media's websites.

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The Salt
7:58 am
Wed March 13, 2013

How To Find A Food Desert Near You

Food deserts mapped from coast to coast, plus Alaska and Hawaii.
USDA

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:30 pm

Want to know where you can't buy fresh, healthful food? The USDA has the map for you.

The feds' new Food Access Research Atlas lets you find out just where it's difficult to buy broccoli or bananas in counties across the U.S. Forget walking to the store in St. Louis, Minn., where most people live more than a mile from a grocery store. Ditto for Hyde, N.C., and Pushmataha, Okla.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Retail Sales Rose In February; Spending Was 'Relatively Robust'

Retail sales rose an estimated 1.1 percent in February from January and were up 4.6 percent from February 2012, the Census Bureau says.

Kathy Bostjancic director of macroeconomic analysis at the The Conference Board research group, says in an analysis sent to reporters that the report's a sign that "consumer spending remains relatively robust." And since consumers buy about 70 percent of all goods and services, their willingness to spend is a key economic driver.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Steubenville Rape Trial Begins

Steubenville, Ohio.
Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

The case has already been "tried" in the social media, as The New York Times writes.

But Wednesday in Steubenville, Ohio, a real court will be the setting as two high school football players in a town that's obsessed with high school football go on trial for the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl last summer.

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Winning Musher Is Oldest Champion In Iditarod History

On their way to victory: Mitch Seavey and his team as they left White Mountain, Alaska, on Tuesday in the last leg of the Iditarod.
Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News MCT /Landov

"Mitch Seavey scored one for the AARP-eligible crowd Tuesday night by becoming the oldest champion in Iditarod history," the Anchorage Daily News writes this morning.

According to Alaska Public Telecommunications, the 53-year-old Seavey crossed the finish line at 10:39 p.m. local time on Tuesday — 2:39 a.m. ET Wednesday. It has "checkpoint to checkpoint" coverage of the race posted here.

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Book News: Michael Vick Cancels Book Tour Because Of Threats

Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles on the sidelines during a game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Day 2 Of The Conclave; Will There Be A New Pope?

Black smoke rose from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel at midday Wednesday in Vatican City. That means the cardinals have not yet chosen a new pope.
Pool Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:07 am

Update at 6:41 a.m. ET. The Smoke Is Black:

Smoke just started pouring from a special chimney above the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City — and its dark color means the 115 cardinals meeting inside the chapel have not yet agreed on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

If all has gone as planned inside the chapel, where the cardinals are meeting in secret, they have now cast three ballots and no one name has been written on at last two-thirds of the slips of paper. It takes two-thirds — 77 votes — to become leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Religion
4:38 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Can't Read Smoke Signals? Try A Pope Alert Via Text

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Even if the cardinals now locked away in the Sistine Chapel are losing sleep over who will become the next pope, that does not mean that you have to, thanks to Popealarm.com. The service is provided by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. It lets eager Vatican watchers sign up for a text or an email alert that will go out as soon as the pope is chosen.

Their slogan? When the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:35 am
Wed March 13, 2013

A Real-Life 'Jump Street' In Tennessee

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Police Deputy Donna Rogan relived her high school years. She went undercover pretending to be a transfer student in Carter County, Tennessee. The Elizabethton Star reports it was called Operation Jump Street, after the old TV show. Now, we do not know Ms. Rogan's grades or which boys asked her out. But we do know she played a student convincingly enough to slip into the local drug culture, gathering information leading to 14 arrests.

It's All Politics
3:29 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Retiring Carl Levin Says He Wants To Leave The Senate Fighting

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin speaks in Dearborn on Feb. 4.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Retiring Michigan Sen. Carl Levin says he wants to spend his last two years in the Senate focusing on issues "that I believe to my core are really, really important to the country."

Although the Democrat says he "kind of" enjoys campaigning, he has decided not to seek another term in 2014 after 34 years in office. Levin says campaigns cost too much.

"Even in a state which leans Democratic — at least we think it will — still there's fundraising involved, and it's much more important that we, frankly, do our job here," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
3:29 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Six Words: Ask Who I Am, Not What

A submission to the Race Card Project, which asks people to describe their experience with race in six words.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 8:46 am

This month NPR begins a series of occasional conversations about The Race Card Project, where people can submit their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Thousands of people have shared their six-word stories and every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into the trove of six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Middle East
3:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Syrian Cyber-Rebel Wages War, One Hack At A Time

Ahmad "Harvester" Heidar is a computer software engineer whose work for the Syrian rebels includes sweeping the hard drives of detained anti-government activists, and trying to develop a robot that will help extract sniper victims in Syria. Turkish officials have given Heidar the green light to develop a prototype of his robot, which he calls Tina.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:27 pm

The Internet is a battleground in Syria, a place where President Bashar Assad's regime has mounted a sophisticated surveillance campaign that includes monitoring and arresting activists by tracking their Facebook pages.

The Syrian Electronic Army, an arm of the Syrian military, is in charge of the monitoring.

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