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Shots - Health News
12:02 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Women To See Higher Prices For Long-Term Care Insurance

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:24 am

The country's largest long-term care insurer is making it tougher for people — especially women — to buy its policy.

Genworth Financial has announced that starting this spring it will begin taking gender into account when setting premiums on new policies. The reason: Women account for two out of every three dollars spent on claims, says Thomas Topinka, a company spokesman.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Along Party Lines, Senate Confirms Chuck Hagel As The Next Secretary Of Defense

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 26, 2013 4:17 pm

Update at 5:10 p.m. ET. Hagel Confirmed:

After an unprecedented filibuster by Republicans, the nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense prevailed, Tuesday afternoon.

With a vote of 58 to 41, the Senate acted mostly along party lines to confirm Hagel.

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Around the Nation
11:26 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Trayvon Came Back For George, Says Brother

The shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin one year ago became an international story, and raised difficult questions about race and justice. Host Michel Martin continues her conversation with Robert Zimmerman Jr., the brother of accused killer George Zimmerman, about how his family views the case and the public reaction.

Parenting
11:22 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Bullying And Psychiatric Illness Linked

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Daytona 500 Ratings Hit 5-Year High; Viewership Spikes In Cities

This year's edition of the Daytona 500 posted its strongest TV ratings since 2008, thanks to a buildup of attention drawn by Danica Patrick's history-making pole position and a horrendous crash during a race at the track Saturday. Viewership peaked late in the race, when Patrick dropped from third position to finish eighth behind winner Jimmie Johnson.

The biggest percentage gains in viewership seem to have come in big cities.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Tue February 26, 2013

FDIC Says In 2012, Banks Posted Second-Best Earnings On Record

Martin Gruenberg, Acting Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), testifies during a U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 19, 2012.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Profits for U.S. banks skyrocketed in 2012, a report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. finds today.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. banks made $141.3 billion in net income last year. That is the "second-best earnings on record." The best year was 2006, when banks reported $145.2 billion in earnings.

The AP explains:

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The Salt
10:58 am
Tue February 26, 2013

To Build An Empire, Hold The Anchovies

Located north of Lima, Peru, the Caral-Supe settlement was the ancient home of the Norte Chico people, a civilization almost as old as the Egyptians.
Courtesy of Chris Kleihege

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:47 am

Megalomaniacs, consider yourselves warned. Anchovies will not help you build your empire. To rule long and prosper, serve corn.

That's the word from archaeologists who say they've solved a mystery that has been puzzling their colleagues for the past 40 years: How did some of the earliest Peruvians manage to build a robust civilization without corn — the crop that fueled other great civilizations of the Americas, like the Maya?

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Tue February 26, 2013

'Pope Emeritus' Benedict VXI Will Wear White, But Trade In Red Shoes

A church group prepares to pray for Pope Benedict XVI on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 11:07 am

It's settled. When the pontiff steps down Thursday, he'll still be known as Benedict XVI and have the title of "pope emeritus." In public, he'll wear an understated white cassock and stylish brown shoes from Mexico.

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It's All Politics
10:04 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Force Behind Race-Law Rollback Efforts Talks Voting Rights Case

Edward Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation, at his home in South Thomaston, Maine, on Nov. 9.
Joel Page Reuters /Landov

Edward Blum isn't a lawyer, and he doesn't play one on TV.

But he has been the driving force behind two race-related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, including one that justices will hear Wednesday that seeks to roll back a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The other, Fisher v. University of Texas, which challenges the use of race and ethnicity in public college and university admissions policies, was heard by the court in October and awaits its decision.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Donations Pour In For Homeless Man Who Returned Ring He Got By Mistake

Billy Ray Harris.
GiveForward.com/billyray

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 10:48 am

Nearly $152,000 has been donated online to help Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man in Kansas City who returned an engagement ring to the woman who accidentally left it in a cup he uses to collect change.

Here's his good news story:

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Home Sales, Consumer Confidence And Bernanke All On Positive Side

Today's economic indicators all point up:

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Shots - Health News
9:10 am
Tue February 26, 2013

U.S. Doctors Head Overseas To Train, Not Just Treat

Partnerships instead of short-term help: Jean Jumeau Batsch, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is collaborating with Dr. Ambereen Sleemi, from New York City, to build a training program for Haitian OB-GYNs.
Courtesy of Dr. Ambereen Sleemi.

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:39 pm

A few months ago, we told you about a Peace Corps initiative that sends doctors and nurses abroad to teach and train local health workers — a sort of Peace Corps for Doctors.

They're not alone: Lots of health care professionals are now traveling abroad to help countries build better health care systems instead of simply giving on-the-spot medical care or dealing with emergencies.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Winter Weary Central Plains States Getting Walloped Again

While severe winter weather has caused problems for many in the Great Plains, it has also provided some opportunities for fun. On Monday, Simon Mourning (front) and Chance Cain went sliding in Wichita, Kansas.
Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle MCT /Landov

"Another blizzard bore down on the nation's midsection early Tuesday after lashing the Texas Panhandle with hurricane-force winds, closing highways and cutting power to thousands in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas," The Associated Press writes. It adds that "at least two people were killed in the storm, and Midwesterners still digging out from last week's deep snowpack braced for more."

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Scientists Trace Origin Of Destructive Russia Meteor

A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake, where the Chelyabinsk meteor reportedly struck on Feb. 15.
Uncredited Associated Press

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:52 am

Scientists from Colombia believe they have pinpointed the origin of the giant meteor that smashed into a remote region of Russia earlier this month, injuring more than 1,000 people.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Today's 3 'Should-Read' Stories About The Sequester

The U.S. Capitol, as seen from the nearby Russell Senate Office Building.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

As Friday's deadline approaches, we're pointing to stories that should help everyone get ready for "the sequester" — the $85 billion worth of across-the-board cuts in federal spending that would begin to kick in that day if lawmakers don't strike some sort of deal before then. (We won't call them "must-reads" because we'd never want to tell anyone that they "must" read anything about this subject. Let's refer to them as "should-reads.")

First, consider this:

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Tue February 26, 2013

'The Worm' Turns Up In North Korea: Dennis Rodman Is On Visit

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, in the departure hall of Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday, before his flight to North Korea.
Andy Wong AP

This comes from The Associated Press, not The Onion:

"PYONGYANG, North Korea — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman brought his basketball skills Tuesday and flamboyant style — neon-bleached hair, tattoos, nose studs and all — to the isolated communist country with possibly the world's drabbest dress code: North Korea.

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The Salt
7:09 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Oxfam Gives Big Food Companies Bad Behavior Grades

Oxfam's "report card" evaluates giants of the supermarket aisle on their commitment to social and environmental issues.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:42 am

Do failing grades inspire more effort? Oxfam hopes so. The activist group on behalf of the poor has just handed out report cards to 10 of the world's top food companies, grading their commitments to protect the environment and treat people fairly.

Oxfam doesn't grade on the curve, evidently. Every company flunked. But two European-based companies, Nestle and Unilever, were at least better than the others.

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Around the Nation
6:42 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Whistling Man Is A Nuisance In Portland, Maine

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Residents of Portland, Maine, said they found Robert Smith a little too obviously cheerful. Mr. Smith had a habit of whistling while standing outside of homes and businesses. A city ordinance lists whistling as disorderly behavior, with a fine of up to $500. But the Portland Press-Herald reports Smith reached a compromise with police. He agreed to whistle only while in motion, not standing in one place.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLING)

The Two-Way
6:36 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Book News: 50 Poems From Rudyard Kipling Discovered

Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling wrote novels, poems and short stories, mostly set in India and Burma during British rule.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:15 pm

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

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World
6:33 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Female Sherpa Makes Record Climbs

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Few can say they've reached the summit of Mt. Everest, and even fewer can say they've done it twice. And only one woman can say she's done it twice in one month. Her name is Chhurim, a 29-year-old Sherpa from Nepal. She made the climb last May, came down for a few days and then turned around and went up again. This week, she climbed into the Guinness Book of World Records.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:17 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Tourist Tragedy In Egypt: Hot Air Balloon Catches Fire; Many Aboard Killed

The wreckage of a hot air balloon and its gondola lay in a field near Luxor, Egypt, on Tuesday. A fire and subsequent crash killed many of those who were aboard the tourist flight.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 1:08 pm

The final death toll has not yet been determined, but the number is high. A hot air balloon carrying tourists on a flight over historic sites around the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor caught fire Tuesday. It then plunged to the ground.

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Law
4:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Witnesses To Take The Stand In BP Trial

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Today, a federal judge in New Orleans hears from witnesses to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A civil trial of BP opened yesterday in a case to determine blame and financial liability for the environmental disaster that was the worst disaster in U.S. history.

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Business
4:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

If you were to open a new brick-and-mortar bookstore, New York City would be a very pricey place to do it. Manhattan boasts some of the world's most valuable land - and, as it turns out - air. And that is our last word in business this morning.

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Music Interviews
3:03 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Floacist: A Soul Poet Says Yes To Moving On

Natalie "The Floacist" Stewart's second solo album is Floacist Presents: Floetry Rebirth.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:44 am

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It's All Politics
2:27 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Loaded Words: How Language Shapes The Gun Debate

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:44 am

The country has been debating gun regulations for months. Later this week, a Senate committee will start work on various proposals, including a background check on every gun sale and a ban on assault weapons.

But this debate over guns goes beyond disagreements about policy. Advocates on both sides quite literally disagree on the terms of the discussion — as in, the words they use to describe it.

Ask "gun control advocates" to describe what this debate is about, and they'll say "control" really isn't the word they prefer.

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All Tech Considered
2:25 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Seeking A 'Field Of Dreams' For A Rising Drone Industry

Joe Kummer, president of Propulsive Wing in Elbridge, N.Y., is rooting for having a drone test site in upstate New York. He says it could save him trips to the West Coast to try out new drone prototypes.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 10:18 am

In three years, the federal government is expected to open the skies for the civilian use of drones. But before that, the Federal Aviation Administration will set up six drone test sites around the country. Stiff competition to get one of the sites is anticipated — driven by hopes of attracting thousands of new jobs.

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Religion
2:24 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:15 pm

Beneath a glass coffin, wearing a pontiff's miter and faded vestments of gold and purple, there lies a tiny man with a wax head.

This represents an Italian priest who, until this month, was the only pope in history to voluntarily resign.

His name is Celestine V.

Celestine became pope at 84, some seven centuries ago, after a long and self-punishing career as a hermit.

Though a celebrated spiritual leader, and founder of a new branch of the Benedictine order, his papacy lasted just over five months. It's widely viewed as an utter disaster.

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Law
2:23 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Supreme Court Considers If Warrantless DNA Swab Violates Constitution

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case about the collection of DNA evidence, and whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits police from obtaining DNA samples before conviction without a warrant.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:44 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a case that could throw a monkey wrench into the widespread use of DNA testing — a case that pits modern technology against notions of personal privacy.

Twenty-eight states and the federal government have enacted laws that provide for automatic DNA collection from people at the time of their arrest. The question is whether it is unconstitutional to do that without a warrant, for the sole purpose of checking the DNA against a national DNA crime scene database.

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Business
2:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Technology Upends Another Industry: Homebuilding

The recession forced Mid-Atlantic Builders Executive Vice President Stephen Paul to cut the company's staffing. But he says the firm is being efficient with half the original number of employees.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:44 am

Years into the economic recovery, hiring remains slow. Many businesses learned to do more with less during the recession, so they don't need to bring on as many people now.

These new efficiencies have led to what economists call "labor displacement," which is taking place around the country. One business in Rockville, Md., is doing the same amount of work with half its original staff.

Two things are noticeably absent from the offices of Mid-Atlantic Builders: people and paper.

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