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Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Reminders Flood In: Athletes Are People, Not Heroes

Oscar Pistorius, seen here winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, faces charges that he murdered his girlfriend. Pistorius also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:08 pm

These have certainly been dispiriting times for those who admire athletes, who proclaim that sports build character. The horrendous shooting by Oscar Pistorius is of course, in a category mercifully unapproached since the O.J. Simpson case, but the Whole Earth Catalog of recent examples of athletic character-building is certainly noteworthy.

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Shots - Health News
5:18 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

How The Sequester Could Affect Health Care

On Tuesday, President Obama urged congressional action to prevent automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:56 pm

It's looking increasingly likely that $85 billion of automatic federal budget cuts known as a sequester will come to pass if Congress doesn't act by March 1.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Booker-Winning Author's Remarks About Kate Middleton Play Out In U.K. Media

The Duchess of Cambridge receives a bouquet of flowers, as she leaves after a visit to Hope House in London on Tuesday. The former Kate Middleton appeared unaffected by the controversy surrounding remarks made by author Hilary Mantel.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:05 pm

Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel is facing criticism over remarks about the former Kate Middleton in a recent speech.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

After Snafu, Mississippi Ratifies Amendment Abolishing Slavery

The actor Daniel Day-Lewis in the film Lincoln.
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 6:24 pm

The movie Lincoln inspired a Mississippi citizen to push the state to correct a clerical error that kept the state from officially ratifying the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

NPR's Debbie Elliott sent this report to our Newscast unit:

"In 1865, Mississippi was among the states that rejected the 13th amendment. But in 1995 lawmakers voted to change that. Problem was the state never sent official word to the U.S. archivist, so the ratification was never recorded.

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It's All Politics
4:39 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to campaign-finance laws that could open the door to further money in politics beyond what Citizens United achieved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

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Economy
4:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

End Of Winter Drives Nation's Gas Prices Uphill

Reports indicate that gas pump prices are at their highest level on record for this period of the year, but consumers might see a break in the near future — if all goes well.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:42 pm

If you've been behind the wheel recently, you already know gasoline prices are up.

The national average price for regular gas rose to nearly $3.75 a gallon Tuesday, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

"Retail prices have gone up for each of the last 33 or so days — dating back to about Jan. 17," says Denton Cinquegrana, executive editor at the Oil Price Information Service.

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Shots - Health News
4:17 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Why The Hospital Wants The Pharmacist To Be Your Coach

Walgreens is one of several pharmacies that have partnered with hospitals to help manage patients after they've returned home.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:41 am

About 1 in 5 Medicare patients who leave the hospital come back within 30 days. Those return trips cost U.S. taxpayers a lot of money — more than $17 billion a year.

In October, the federal government started cracking down on hospitals, penalizing them if too many of their patients bounce back.

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It's All Politics
4:08 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?

President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:02 pm

By now, it's widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver.

So now, the contest boils down to each side scampering for the higher ground of moral indignation.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

If Higgs Boson Calculations Are Right, A Catastrophic 'Bubble' Could End Universe

An undated handout graphic distributed on July 4, 2012 by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva shows a representation of traces of traces of a proton-proton collision measured in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experience in the search for the Higgs boson.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:00 pm

For a universe so old and so illustrious, the end may be boring and lightning quick: According to one Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory theoretician, if what we know about the Higgs boson subatomic particle is true, the universe may come to an end when another universe slurps us up at light speed.

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World Cafe
3:16 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Sera Cahoone On World Cafe

Sera Cahoone.
Hilary Harris Courtesy of the artist

When she was 21, Sera Cahoone moved from Denver to Seattle to support artists like Carissa's Wierd, Band of Horses and Patrick Park. By 2006, she was focusing on her own solo work and releasing her self-titled debut album.

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Cold War Bunker Network Repurposed For 21st Century Threats

WBT radio's bomb shelter in Charlotte, N.C., part of a government-funded emergency communications network, as it looked in 1963.
Courtesy of Jerry Dowd

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:42 pm

There's an underground bunker at a radio station in Charlotte, N.C., where time has stopped. Built decades ago to provide safety and vital communications in the event of a nuclear attack, it's now a perfectly preserved relic of Cold War fear that's gained new relevance.

The secret bunker is part of the office lore that old-timers at WBT Radio whisper to the newbies. That's how radio host Mike Collins learned of it back in the 1980s.

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Asia
2:52 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Amusement Park Planned In The Town Where Bin Laden Hid Out

The Hazara Heritage Park will be built on the edge of Abbottabad, Pakistan, set in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Developers in Pakistan will soon break ground on a new amusement park and outdoor activity center, a private, $30 million project billed as a state-of-the-art facility that will bring jobs to a hard-hit area.

But there's one issue that's raising some eyebrows: the site is in Abbottabad, not far from the place where Osama Bin Laden secretly lived until American forces killed him.

This does not trouble Sheikh Kaleemuddin, the project director, who is effusive about the picturesque spot where he plans to build.

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It's All Politics
2:40 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

McConnell Ad Spoofs 'Obama's Kentucky Candidate'

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:01 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is out with his first ad of the 2014 election cycle. It's a three-minute, Web-only spoof that pokes fun at President Obama and an array of Democrats who might challenge McConnell, the five-term Kentucky senator.

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The Salt
2:38 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

English Whisky Aims To Give Scotch A Run For Its Money

Darren Rook checks out a new still at The London Distillery.
Kirsty Chant Courtesy of The London Distillery

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:03 pm

Move over, Scotland. It's time to make room on the shelf for English whisky. London's first distillery in over a century is about to begin production of single malt whisky in a former Victorian dairy.

Darren Rook and his partner decided to open The London Distillery after reading about Australian distilleries. "We wondered why there were none in London," he tells The Salt.

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National Security
2:13 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

A Wounded Soldier Stands Tall At Reunion With His Platoon

As part of homecoming ceremonies at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state in January, Army Spc. Tyler Jeffries — with crutches and prosthetic legs — joins his unit in formation as the national anthem is played. The homecoming marked the first time Jeffries had seen his platoon since he lost both his legs in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan last October.
Florangela Davila for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 7:18 pm

U.S. Army Spc. Tyler Jeffries spent most of last year in Afghanistan, on dusty, hot patrols in the villages outside Kandahar. Last fall, on Oct. 6, his tour ended three months early.

"I was clearing an area and I had the metal detector. Then we had word that there was two guys coming toward our position," Jeffries recalled later that month.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Like Facebook, Apple Says It Was Attacked By Hackers

People walk past the Apple logo at the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Apple said today that the computers of some of its employees were attacked by hackers, who used the same vulnerability to access computers at Facebook.

All Things D reports:

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
1:39 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Should We Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies?

Nita Farahany and Lee Silver argue against the motion "Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies" during an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:59 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

What if, before your children were born, you could make sure they had the genes to be taller or smarter? Would that tempt you, or would you find it unnerving?

What if that genetic engineering would save a child from a rare disease?

As advancements in science bring these ideas closer to reality, a group of experts faced off two against two in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the proposition: "Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies."

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Planet Money
1:18 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Why Buying A Car Never Changes

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:42 pm

"Buying a car sucks," Scott Painter says. "It's something that most consumers fear."

Back in the '90s, Painter started a company to try to change this. "The name of the company was Cars Direct," he says. "The mission was to sell cars directly."

Painter wanted his company to build virtual dealerships that would let people go online and buy cars. But after talking with a few car execs, he realized nobody would even consider his idea.

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

VIDEO: First 'Unassisted' Backflip By A Car?

Driver Guerlain Chicherit in his Mini Countryman, doing a backflip on Sunday in France.
Thierry Guillot Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:53 pm

Driving a modified Mini Cooper Countryman, French rally driver Guerlain Chicherit has successfully pulled off what's said to be the first "unassisted" backflip by a car.

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NPR Story
1:10 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Social Media And Work: Is It Ever OK To Complain Online?

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, filling in for Neal Conan from Washington. These days Facebook and Twitter are almost ubiquitous, and online our friends and family members are just as likely to talk about their jobs as their children and spouses.

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NPR Story
1:10 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Op-Ed: It's Time To Recognize The Valor Of Cyber Warfare

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:47 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:10 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

What's Driving The Violence In Chicago

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:15 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. At the urging of local groups, President Obama went home to Chicago last week to talk about urban violence in a city that recorded more than 40 murders just last month, among them the high-profile killing of Hadiya Pendleton.

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Shots - Health News
1:00 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

British Man Dies From SARS-Like Virus In U.K. Hospital

Coronaviruses have a characteristic crown of tentacles when viewed under the electron microscope.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

The sixth person has died from a new kind of virus that causes symptoms similar to SARS, a hospital in the U.K. said in a statement Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

A Chinese Army Outpost That's Tucked Into Modern Shanghai

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 Tue February 19, 2013 1:44 pm

Some people in Shanghai — especially the foreigners — think the city's new Pudong section of town is dull, without character and profoundly unfashionable.

Twenty years ago, Pudong was mostly farms and warehouses. Today, it's home to those sleek glass-and-steel skyscrapers that have come to define the city's skyline in movies like Skyfall and Mission: Impossible III.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Tunisian Prime Minister Steps Down Amid Crisis

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced his resignation during a news conference today, the BBC reports.

Jebali resigned after days of protests erupted in the country. As we've reported, thousands of Tunisians took the streets to protest the assassination of Jebali's opponent.

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Author Interviews
12:27 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Today's Bullied Teens Subject To 'Sticks And Stones' Online, Too

When Emily Bazelon was in eighth grade, her friends fired her. Now a senior editor for Slate, Bazelon writes in her new book, Sticks and Stones: "Two and a half decades later, I can say that wryly: it happened to plenty of people, and look at us now, right? We survived. But at the time, in that moment, it was impossible to have that kind of perspective."

In Sticks and Stones, Bazelon explores teen bullying, what it is and what it isn't, and how the rise of the Internet and social media make the experience more challenging.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Gen. John Allen, Recent Top Commander In Afghanistan, Is Retiring

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen in March 2012.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:24 pm

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, who led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan until earlier this month and had been on track to be the top NATO commander in Europe, is retiring from the military.

The White House early Tuesday afternoon released a statement from President Obama that says, in part:

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Bowles, Simpson Release New Plan That Cuts Deficit By $2.4 Trillion

Co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, former Sen. Alan Simpson, right, and Erskine Bowles.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:00 pm

Just as Congress faces another self-imposed fiscal deadline, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the Democrat and Republican who were charged by the president in 2010 to present a fiscal reform plan, presented a second solution today that seeks to cut the deficit by $2.4 trillion in the next ten years.

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Politics
11:33 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama Again Calls For Balanced Plan For Cuts

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Earlier this hour, President Obama spoke in the White House about the impacts of deep spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect a week from Friday. A group of first responders in uniforms stood behind him. The president said if Congress does not stop these cuts, these men and women in uniform will not be available to help communities respond to, and recover from disasters.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Tue February 19, 2013

At Least Four Dead, Including Gunman, After Southern California Shootings

"A chaotic 25-minute shooting spree" across Southern California's Orange County Tuesday morning "left a trail of dead and injured victims before the shooter killed himself," KPCC reports.

The Orange County Register says "four people are dead and two others [were] wounded."

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