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Sweetness And Light
1:11 am
Wed February 13, 2013

An Oft-Told Tale: The Beauty Queen And The Quarterback

Katherine Webb (left), the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, and McCarron's mother, Dee Dee Bonner (second from left), watch McCarron celebrate after the BCS National Championship college football game on Jan. 7. Webb was caught on camera and announcer Brent Musburger enthusiastically remarked that quarterbacks "get all the good-looking women." ESPN later apologized.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:24 am

Gentlemen of a certain age might make a nostalgic note that today, Valentine's eve, is the 80th birthday of Kim Novak.

One of Miss Novak's most famous movie roles was in Picnic, where she played the gorgeous ingenue who could've married the son of the richest man in town but instead fell for a hunk of a bum who was an old football star.

Picnic is being revived on Broadway, as is Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, where — guess what? — Maggie, played by the beautiful Scarlett Johansson, is married to a hunk of a bum who is a former football star.

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Asia
6:52 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Seeking A Glimpse Of Immortality In The Waters Of India's Holy Rivers

A Hindu devotee prays after a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of three holy rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati --” during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, on Sunday.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:19 pm

The Hindu gathering known as Kumbh Mela is on a scale difficult to fathom: The world's largest religious festival is millions of feet shuffling, millions of mantras chanted, countless sales of firewood to ward off the night cold. Millions of incense sticks will be burned and bells rung in devotional rituals called aartis.

Jet-setting swamis, naked holy men and foreigners fascinated by Eastern mysticism joined tens of millions of pilgrims for a dip in river waters believed to be holy.

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Around the Nation
6:11 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Fugitive Ex-LAPD Officer Apparently Barracaded In Cabin

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:19 pm

Kirk Siegler talks to Melissa Block for an update on the search for former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner. A man that authorities identified as Dorner was holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, Calif., on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of officers surrounded the home. Dorner is wanted for questioning in three murders and one attempted murder.

All Tech Considered
6:01 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Electric Car Review Dust-Up May Put Brakes On Tesla Profits

Showgoers check out the Tesla Model S at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:19 pm

One of the long-standing knocks against electric cars is that it can be hard for the machines to hold a charge in cold weather. That's exactly what New York Times reporter John Broder says he found when he took a Tesla Model S on a road trip from Washington, D.C., to Connecticut.

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History
5:27 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

1963 Emancipation Proclamation Party Lacked A Key Guest

Guests at the party included Johnson Publishing magnate John Johnson and his wife, Eunice, and Whitney M. Young, head of the National Urban League.
Abbie Rowe Courtesy of JFK Presidential Library

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 7:04 pm

Fifty years ago, the White House was the site of an unusual party.

It was a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation's centennial, held on Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and many of the guests were descendants of the people Lincoln's historic document freed.

But noticeably absent was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights leader had declined the invitation after earlier conversations with President Kennedy about segregation had yielded few results.

Born Of Frustration

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Comcast To Finish Buying NBCUniversal For $16.7 Billion

An NBC store is seen through a window reflecting Rockefeller Center in New York City. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since 2011.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Comcast Corp. said Tuesday it will complete its buyout of NBCUniversal from GE for about $16.7 billion, ahead of schedule. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since their $28 billion merger in 2011.

NBCUniversal owns several familiar news and entertainment brands, including NBC, CNBC, Universal Pictures, Telemundo, USA Network and Universal Parks and Resorts.

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World Cafe
4:37 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Wanda Jackson On World Cafe

Wanda Jackson.
Joshua Wilkins Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:50 am

Known as the queen of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson is widely considered the first woman to record a rock 'n' roll song: 1958's "Let's Have a Party." A singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, Jackson became a pioneer for her mix of country and rockabilly music. This approach served her well in the mid-1960s, as rockabilly began to decline in popularity.

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Politics
4:36 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Live Chat: State Of The Union

A U.S. flag flies Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol, where President Obama will give his annual State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress.
Alex Wong Getty Images

President Obama is expected to put specifics behind the vision he outlined in his inaugural address a few weeks ago. Get live updates from the speech and join NPR journalists in analyzing what it could mean for the future.

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

The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Alleged Calif. Gunman's Fate Unclear After Fire At Cabin

Police patrol a road block on Highway 38 into the Big Bear area where a shoot-out with suspected fugitive Christopher Dorner resulted in the death of one deputy in Angelus Oaks, Calif., on Tuesday.
Michael Nelson EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:55 am

(This post was last updated at 11:13 p.m. ET.)

The Los Angeles Police Department has rejected news reports that a body was discovered at a mountain cabin in California's Big Bear area where the fugitive accused of killing four people had engaged law enforcement in a hours-long standoff.

"Any reports of a body being found are not true," Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference Tuesday night.

He said the cabin was still too hot to enter.

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It's All Politics
3:32 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

The History Lessons Obama Hopes We'll Learn

President Obama began last year's State of the Union address by recognizing recently returned Iraq War veterans, adding: "At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known." Expect more historical references in Obama's Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress.
Evan Vucci AP

Sometimes the best way to advance an argument is by looking back.

President Obama's second inaugural address was filled with historical allusions. His State of the Union address on Tuesday, which will lay out a long list of agenda items for the year and his second term, is likely to employ fewer references to the past.

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Shots - Health News
3:31 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Folic Acid For Pregnant Mothers Cuts Kids' Autism Risk

Despite public health campaigns urging women in the U.S. to take folic acid, many are still not taking the supplements when they become pregnant.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:19 pm

A common vitamin supplement appears to dramatically reduce a woman's risk of having a child with autism.

A study of more than 85,000 women in Norway found that those who started taking folic acid before getting pregnant were about 40 percent less likely to have a child who developed the disorder, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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The Salt
3:29 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

What To Serve At A State Of The Union Party: 'Sour Grapes And Whine'

For your State of the Union address nibbling pleasure, how about some American cheese?
Courtesy of Esteban Pulido

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:20 pm

Plenty of people are ready to offer advice on noshing options when it comes to the Super Bowl. But what do you serve when the occasion for gathering in front of our screens is President Obama's State of the Union address?

When NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro posed that question to his 125,000 Facebook followers earlier Tuesday, plenty of people jumped at the chance to toss off a bon mot.* Among our favorites:

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Asia
3:09 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Did North Korea Test A 'Miniature' Nuclear Bomb?

An official with the Korea Meteorological Administration shows a seismic image of a tremor caused by North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul on Tuesday.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:19 pm

North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test is much more powerful than the previous two, according to estimates made by instruments that measure seismic waves from the blast. It's about the size of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in World War II.

But it's not so easy to verify the claim that the nuclear explosive has also been miniaturized. That's a critical claim because a small warhead would be essential if the rogue regime chose to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

Big bombs are easier to make, but they aren't all that useful as a threat.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'The Street Parade Of Life:' Mardi Gras Rolls On Despite Rain Threat

A reveler shows off his mask during the Krewe of Okeanos parade in New Orleans on Feb. 10, 2013.
Gerald Herbert AP

There was a threat of rain in New Orleans, today. But revelry doesn't stop for dark clouds.

In fact, as The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, "this weather actually is perfect" was a refrain repeated over and over:

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Rosa Parks Statue, Capitol's First Of African-American Woman, To Be Dedicated

Rosa Parks in June 1999, when she was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal.
William Philpott Reuters /Landov

The late civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who broke racial barriers in 1955 when she would not move to the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala., will be posthumously part of another barrier-breaking moment on Feb. 27.

The office of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Tuesday that a statue of Parks will be dedicated that day in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'Heart Attack Grill' Greeter Dies After Heart Attack

One of the Heart Attack Grill's "triple bypass" burgers.
Matt York AP

Two customers' collapses last year didn't seem to faze fans of Las Vegas' Heart Attack Grill.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Esquire Story On Bin Laden 'Shooter' Sparks Debate About Veterans' Benefits

Young Pakistani boys play near demolition works while Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan is demolished.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

With an excerpt of a 15,000 word story on the SEAL who allegedly killed Osama bin Laden, Esquire magazine has sparked a whole lot of debate on the kinds of benefits afforded to military veterans.

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All Tech Considered
2:09 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

This App Uses The Power Of You To Report The Weather

map shows data reported by users of the mPING app during Friday's blizzard in the Northeast." href="/post/app-uses-power-you-report-weather" class="noexit lightbox">
This map shows data reported by users of the mPING app during Friday's blizzard in the Northeast.
The PING Project

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:19 pm

If you love to talk about the weather — or want to help collect information about it — a new smartphone app may be for you.

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National Security
1:55 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

The Sticky Questions Surrounding Drones And Kill Lists

A French military drone takes off in December 2010 from a U.S. airbase in Bagram, Afghanistan.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 2:17 pm

New York Times reporter Scott Shane and colleague Jo Becker reported last year that the Obama administration has a list of terrorists targeted for drone attacks, and that the president personally approves such strikes.

The administration has been trying to keep details of its drone program under wraps, arguing that to make it public could threaten national security. Shane has reported numerous such stories.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Syrian Rebels Take Air Base, Dam In Northern Syria

Syrian rebels say they captured an important military air base in northern Syria on Tuesday. Here, rebels sit behind an anti-aircraft weapon in the northern city of Aleppo on Friday.
Abdullah al-Yassin AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 2:41 pm

After weeks of relatively little movement in the Syrian war, rebel forces have claimed two significant advances in northern Syria in the past two days.

They said they seized the military's Jarrah air base on Tuesday in the northern province of Aleppo after days of clashes with government troops.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'Zombie Alert' Also Aired In Michigan; Hacking Traced To Overseas Source

OK, we're pretty sure this isn't real. (A 1012 Halloween-related festival in Georgia.)
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:07 pm

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The Salt
12:52 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Most Americans Eager To Buy Seafood That's 'Sustainable'

Swordfish from Canada are marked with a label from the Marine Stewardship Council at a Whole Foods in Washington, D.C. The MSC says its label means the fish were caught by a sustainable fishery, but critics says it's not always so clear.
Margot Williams NPR

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:31 pm

This week, our colleagues Daniel Zwerdling and Margot Williams with NPR's investigations unit have a terrific three-part series on the Marine Stewardship Council. As they report, the MSC's labels tell consumers which seafood is supposed to be good or bad for the environment.

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U.S.
12:44 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Looming Cuts Could Mean Big Changes For U.S. Military

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:01 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. If no budget deal is reached by March 1st, automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester kick in. And that includes the defense budget, which accounts for roughly 20 percent of federal spending.

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Sports
12:44 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Sports Fixing: When Gambling And The Game Collide

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. If you walk into any clubhouse in organized baseball, from Yankee Stadium to a rookie-league park, you'll see a large poster that specifies the prohibitions against gambling, and they'll specify the penalty. There is only one: a lifetime ban.

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World
12:44 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

World's Eyes On China After North Korean Nuclear Test

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:01 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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From Our Listeners
12:44 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Letters: Drawing A Gun And Boom Towns

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:01 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. Last week, we asked you tell us what happened after you drew a firearm. One caller, Alexander, said he shot a karate expert trying break into his house after wrestling over an assault rifle.

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Book Reviews
12:38 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

A Soured Student-Teacher Friendship Threatens 'Everything'

Matjaz Boncina iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:55 pm

Over the past week or so, I've mentioned James Lasdun's new book, Give Me Everything You Have to a bunch of colleagues; they've all heard about it already and they're all dying to read it. What Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was to parenting a couple of years ago, Lasdun's Give Me Everything You Have may well be to teaching: a controversial personal reflection on the professor-student relationship — except Lasdun, unlike Chua, really has no advice to offer; no certitude, nor help for pain.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Newtown Teacher Among First Lady's State Of The Union Guests

Gun violence. Immigration. Education. The economy. Veterans. Afghanistan. Women in combat. Innovation. Science. Equality. Heroism.

It's safe to say those will themes in Tuesday night's State of the Union address, based on the list the White House has released of the guests who will be sitting with first lady Michelle Obama in the House gallery. Such guests, and the reasons they're there, usually make their way into a president's address.

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Around the Nation
11:53 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras Merriment Beyond Bourbon Street Festivities

A reveler dances with a young girl during the Courir de Mardi Gras in Mamou, La., in 2007.
Josh Noel MCT /Landov

It's Fat Tuesday, the final day of indulgence before the fasting and penance of Lent begins. While the revelry in New Orleans tends to grab the spotlight, you can find some fascinating Mardi Gras traditions elsewhere.

From chasing chickens in Cajun Country to catching MoonPies in Mobile, communities all along the Gulf Coast have their own way of marking Carnival season.

The Fatted Ox

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Hagel Three-Step: Committee Vote; Floor Fight; Then Confirmation?

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:18 pm

Update at 5:04 p.m. ET. Committee Approves Confirmation:

Voting along party lines, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to approve the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the country's next defense secretary.

The vote was 14 to 11 with Sen. David Vitter, a Republican of Louisiana not casting a vote.

Our Original Post Continues:

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