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1:03 am
Sat January 26, 2013

The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra

Jimmy Van Heusen with Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. Van Heusen wrote dozens of songs for the crooner and became Sinatra's close friend and confidant.
Courtesy of Burns Media Productions

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 4:36 pm

You've never heard of Jimmy Van Heusen? Well, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has. You certainly know many of his songs, says Brook Babcock, Van Heusen's grandnephew and president of his publishing company.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Petra Haden Covers Classic Film Scores With A Single Voice

Petra Haden's new album is titled Petra Goes to the Movies.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 4:36 pm

Petra Haden had a problem when she was a child: "I remember watching Looney Tunes cartoons and having the music stuck in my head," the singer and violinist says.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

After Contract's End, Fox News And Sarah Palin Part Ways

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate speaks at a "Patriots in the Park" Tea Party rally at the Wayne County, Mich., fairgrounds in July.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:47 pm

Fox News is not renewing Sarah Palin's contract, The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting.

After her failed vice presidential run in 2008, Palin resigned as Alaska's governor in 2009. When she took the job at Fox, she quickly became a staple on the cable news channel and one of the leading voices of the conservative movement in the United States.

The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

PHOTOS: Scenes From The March For Life

Lucia Dragas, 8, from Boston, Mass., held a poster saying "Defend Life" along with her parents during the rally.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Thousands of anti-abortion activists gathered across the nation's capital Friday, marking the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

For many, faith was a large part of their opposition. Dunia Minniun from New Jersey, brought her husband's cross to the rally so he could be with her "to save the lives of the innocents."

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Health
4:20 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Season's Stomach Bug A New Strain Of Norovirus

A new strain of the common intestinal bug called norovirus has been spreading misery across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the new virus, which popped up in Australia last spring, caused 19 percent of U.S. norovirus outbreaks in September — and nearly 60 percent of December's outbreaks. The highly-contagious virus causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. Most people recover in a few days, but it can be very dangerous for some.

It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Court Ruling Upsets Conventional Wisdom On Recess Appointments

President Obama "strongly but respectfully disagrees with the ruling" on recess appointments by a federal appeals court, says White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:51 pm

In a bombshell decision on the limits of executive power, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., has invalidated President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

Legal experts say the court's reasoning upends decades of conventional wisdom and deals a big victory to Senate Republicans in an era of congressional gridlock.

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Shots - Health News
4:10 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

To Fight Addiction, FDA Advisers Endorse Limits On Vicodin

An FDA advisory panel voted to increase controls on painkillers containing hydrocodone, such as this generic version of Vicodin.
Sue Ogrocki Associated Press

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 1:38 pm

A key federal panel Friday recommended placing new restrictions on Vicodin and similar prescription painkillers.

At the conclusion of an emotional two-day hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 19-10 to recommend the agency change how drugs that contain the opioid hydrocodone are classified as controlled substances.

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Around the Nation
4:10 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Long Forgotten, 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Survivor Speaks Out

Sarah Collins Rudolph was with her sister Addie Mae Collins when a bomb exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. The 1963 bombing killed her sister and three other girls, and Collins Rudolph was seriously injured in the attack.
Frank Couch AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:22 pm

Signs of 1963 are everywhere in Birmingham, Ala., these days. The city is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights events of that year: the children who marched until police turned fire hoses and dogs on them; Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"; and the September bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Planted by white supremacists, the bomb killed four young girls preparing to worship. It was an act of terrorism that shocked the country and propelled Congress to pass the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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Around the Nation
4:10 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

To Combat Suicides, Army Focuses On The Homefront

Alicia McCoy holds a photo of her husband, Sgt. Brandon McCoy. Despite taking part in basewide suicide prevention efforts at Fort Campbell in 2009, Sgt. McCoy took his own life in 2012.
Blake Farmer for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 6:32 pm

When Sgt. Brandon McCoy returned from Iraq, he showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. His wife, Alicia, remembers him being on edge in public.

"I'm watching him, and his trigger finger never stopped moving, constantly," says Alicia.

Four years later, after he returned from a tour in Afghanistan in 2011, she says, she'd wake up with his hands wrapped around her throat. She told him: Get help or get a divorce. So he scheduled an appointment and — along with Alicia — trekked to the Fort Campbell hospital located on the Tennessee-Kentucky border.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Mars Curiosity Rover Beams Back First Nighttime, Ultraviolet Photos

This rock target in the "Yellowknife Bay" area of Mars' Gale Crater is called "Sayunei." The image covers an area about 1.3 inches by 1 inch (3.4 by 2.5 centimeters). The illumination came from one of MAHLI's two groups of white LED pairs. This allowed surface features to cast shadows and provide textural detail.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars Curiosity Rover has beamed back its first nighttime pictures. It sent one taken while using its white LED lights and another using its ultraviolet LED lights.

It's a milestone and the pictures are pretty cool. But they don't tell us much of anything yet.

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World
2:38 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Spain's Strapped Towns Look To Churches For Cash

The Cathedral of Alcala de Henares is one of many buildings owned by the Catholic Church in Alcala de Henares, Spain. The town, which is outside Madrid, is broke and is pursuing a plan to have the church pay additional taxes.
JMN JMN/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:12 pm

The Catholic Church is Spain's largest and richest landowner, though its nonprofit status means it is exempt from paying most taxes.

But amid the current economic crisis, that may be changing.

One college town just outside Madrid is leading an effort by some Spanish municipalities to serve the church an up-to-date property tax bill.

Alcala de Henares is re-evaluating the status of hundreds of church holdings that have been exempt from paying property tax for hundreds of years.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Mon Dieu! A 'Hashtag' Is Now A 'Mot-dièse' In France

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:13 pm

The agency charged with finding French alternatives to foreign-language terms has put an end to the word "hashtag" in France.

From now on, reports Fast Company, the Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie has decided "mot-dièse" (that's MO-dee-YEZ for those of you who are not Francophiles) is the new hashtag.

Fast Company explains:

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It's All Politics
2:02 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Some In GOP Want New Electoral College Rules

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:00 pm

Not many Americans are fans of the Electoral College. But trying to change the way electoral votes are allocated makes lots of people unhappy, too.

That's what Republicans in a number of states are finding just now. There are a half-dozen states that President Obama carried last November where both the legislature and the governor's office are controlled by the GOP — Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia.

In most of those states, there are efforts under way to change how electoral votes are distributed.

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Music
1:39 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

New Opera Gets Benefit Of The 'Doubt'

In the operatic version of Doubt, Father Flynn (Matthew Worth) must defend his name after a suspicious Sister Aloysius (Christine Brewer) accuses him of sexually abusing an altar boy.
Michal Daniel Minnesota Opera

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 6:25 pm

As a play, Doubt won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. As a movie, it secured Oscar nominations for Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. This weekend, Doubt gets its world premiere as an opera — which, according to the work's original playwright, provides the story's fullest telling.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

'Lingering Issues' From Concussion Means Clinton Will Wear Glasses For A Time

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:15 pm

Lots has been made about Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and her glasses. New York Magazine, for example, ran a photo gallery of how Clinton used her glasses to convey emotions during the Benghazi hearings on the Hill.

Today, State Department spokesman Philippe Reines responded to the magazine's photogallery providing a serious explanation for the new accessory:

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Don McLean Fined For Speeding; No Chevy (Or Levee) Involved

Don McLean back in the day (1975). American Pie came out in 1971.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 2:22 pm

Singer Don McLean has been fined $400, BDN Maine Midcoast reports, for cruising through a Rockport, Maine, school zone last September at 43 mph when the legal limit was 15 mph.

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Planet Money
12:49 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Free Breast Pumps And The Cost Of Health Care

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:12 pm

Health insurance plans now have to cover the full cost of breast pumps for nursing mothers. This is the result of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and the new rule took effect for many people at the start of this year.

It's led to a boom in the sale of the pumps, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

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Shots - Health News
12:40 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Walk While You Talk: The Meeting Goes Mobile

This meeting will now come to order.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:17 pm

Who likes meetings? Anybody?

Didn't think so.

Now what if the meeting were held on the go instead of in a stuffy conference room?

If that sounds a little better, then try a walking meeting. You and your colleagues can talk shop and get some exercise.

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It's All Politics
12:26 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Another Senator Announces Retirement Blaming 'Legislative Gridlock'

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., announced Friday that he won't seek a third term in 2014.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., won't seek re-election next year, he announced Friday.

The conservative Capitol Hill veteran faced recent criticism from the right for seeking a bipartisan compromise on deficit issues, and for being among the first high-level Republicans to question fidelity to Grover Norquist's no-new-taxes pledge after the November elections.

Those stances had raised speculation about a possible Tea Party-backed GOP primary challenge next year, when Chambliss would have been seeking a third six-year term.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Exxon More Golden Than Apple Again

In this Oct. 20, 2012 photo, people line up to enter a newly opened Apple Store in Beijing. Exxon has once again surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company after the iPhone and iPad maker saw its stock price falter.
Andy Wong AP

Apple stock has dropped sharply since it announced earnings that disappointed analysts. Now the tech tastemaker is paying another price, losing its crown as the world's most valuable company to Exxon Mobil.

Exxon's market capitalization, the total value of its outstanding stock, was about $417 billion Friday. Apple's was about $413 billion.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

With GDP Shrinking, UK Fears Triple Dip Recession

A man walks across a snowy Horse Guards Parade in London, England.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:38 pm

You thought the economic recovery in the United States was anemic? Try the United Kingdom.

The country learned today that their economy shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. This puts Britain on the precipice of what The Guardian says is an "unprecedented" tripple-dip recession. That is, its third recession in four years.

The Guardian explains:

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Books
12:08 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

The Book Club Catches 'The Andromeda Strain'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

It's that time again, the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. Regulars are gathered here. With me are Flora Lichtman, correspondent and managing editor of video for SCIENCE FRIDAY, Annette Heist, our senior producer. And this month, we had a page-turner, "The Andromeda Strain."

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Yes.

FLATOW: It goes very quickly, that book, doesn't it? Poof.

LICHTMAN: It did. I was thinking of 300 and something-odd pages, but I, you know, in one sitting, was halfway through. I couldn't put it down.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:02 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Falling Off The Moon

YouTube

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:42 pm

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Fri January 25, 2013

On Second Anniversary Of Revolution, Egypt Is 'A Nation Divided'

An Egyptian protester runs to throw tear gas during a protest in Tahrir Square on January 25, 2013 in Cairo.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:15 pm

Thousands of demonstrators are on the streets in Egypt to mark the second anniversary of the revolution that brought down the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Reporting from Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel says two years later what has emerged is "a nation divided."

Leila tells our Newscast unit that while there are many people on the streets, many others are at home, and it's "really unclear" which represents the majority. The country, said Leila, is split between those who want a secular government and those who want Islamist rule.

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Shots - Health News
11:10 am
Fri January 25, 2013

New Norovirus Strain Rips Through The U.S.

This cluster contains enough norovirus particles to make you sick.
Charles D. Humphrey CDC

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:18 pm

It's here. A variant of norovirus first spotted in Australia is now sweeping the U.S.

The wily virus causes stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. The sickness is sometimes referred to as the stomach flu, though influenza has nothing to do with it.

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NPR Story
11:06 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Shakespeare's Sonnets, Encoded In DNA

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:00 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

How much information do you think exists in the entire world? Take a guess. Forget megabytes and gigabytes and terabytes and petabytes, even exobytes. We're talking zetabytes here or 10 to the 21st bytes. Take the number 10, put 21 zeroes after it, that's what you've got because one recent estimate says there may be around three zetabytes of digital information out there. That's over one trillion gigabytes. Just imagine all those hard drives piled up, and then imagine them not starting up when you plug them in.

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NPR Story
11:06 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Canine Mystery: How Dogs Became Man's Best Friend

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. We all know the phrase a dog is a man's best friend. But how did they become such loyal companions? Scientists agree that dogs descended from wolves, eventually evolving into the first domesticated animals, but that's where the consensus ends.

Researchers have been using archaeological records and genetic studies to tease out clues about how dogs and humans came to live together, but they seem to tell different stories of how it happened.

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NPR Story
11:06 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Cold Snap Shakes Up Winter Weather Outlook

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:03 pm

Unusual activity in the atmosphere over the Arctic Circle is triggering snow and frigid temperatures across Canada, the U.S. and parts of Europe. Climatologist Jeff Weber, of the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, explains why this winter could pack a punch.

Television
11:05 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Tina Fey: '30 Rock' Star And Creator Moves On

"I was worried about being the mouthpiece for anyone and being politicized personally," Tina Fey says about playing Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. "It ended up being a lot of fun, but it did permanently politicize me in a way."
Platon HGB USA

This interview was originally broadcast on April 13, 2011.

Tina Fey grew up in a household with parents she has described as "Goldwater Republicans with pre-Norman Lear racial attitudes."

But, she says, her parents were always supportive of her career, even when she told them she was moving to Chicago to start a career in improv.

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Television
11:05 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Tracy Morgan: '30 Rock' Let Him Be Himself

On on 30 Rock episode, Jon Hamm and Tracy Morgan appeared together in a sketch about racial stereotyping.
Dana Edelson NBC

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:14 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 22, 2009.

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