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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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It's All Politics
10:38 am
Thu January 24, 2013

5 Things To Know About The Congressional Budget Fight

Sen. Dean Heller (left), R-Nev., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speak Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol about legislation to delay a potential clash over the debt ceiling until May β€” and to freeze the paychecks of lawmakers if they don't pass a budget resolution.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:11 am

As if the federal budget process isn't confusing enough, now we get the fog of partisan war created by the charges and countercharges flying between congressional Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans accuse the Democrats who control the Senate of shirking their duty by not producing "a budget" in recent years; Democrats accuse Republicans of not telling the whole truth.

What's going on? Here are five points to consider.

1) The Budget Control Act

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Shots - Health News
10:38 am
Thu January 24, 2013

If You Think You're Good At Multitasking, You Probably Aren't

Take it easy, fella.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:54 pm

Everybody complains that people shouldn't talk on cellphones while driving. And yet it seems pretty much everybody does it.

That may be because so many of us think we're multitasking ninjas, while the rest of the people nattering away while driving are idiots.

But scientists say that the better people think they are at multitasking, the worse they really are at juggling.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Yikes! 15,000 Crocodiles Escape Farm In South Africa, Area Evacuated

His cousins are on the loose. (2008 file photo taken at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.)
Warren Little Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:44 pm

As flood waters rose Sunday, a South African crocodile farmer near the border with Botswana was forced to open his gates to prevent a storm surge from destroying the property.

And, no, this isn't the plot of some horror flick:

About 15,000 crocodiles escaped, according to the local newspaper, Beeld.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu January 24, 2013

In Syria, Two Opponents Of The Regime Fight Each Other

A Syrian rebel fighter in the northeastern Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn on Nov. 11. The rebels and a Kurdish militia in the town both oppose President Bashar Assad's regime, but they have been fighting each other in recent days.
Murad Seezer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:45 pm

In a small border town in northern Syria, there are two groups that both oppose President Bashar Assad's regime. But instead of working in tandem, the Syrian rebels and a Kurdish militia have been battling each other in the town of Ras al-Ayn.

Sally Ali, a 26-year-old resident of Ras al-Ayn, told NPR by phone that the streets are completely empty. "It's a ghost town," she says.

She estimates about half of the town's residents fled to nearby villages; the other half are trapped in their homes by the ongoing violence.

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The Salt
9:04 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Small Meals, Big Payoff: Keeping Hunger And Calories In Check

Don't eat me all at once.
April Fulton NPR

When presented with a tempting buffet of French food, not overeating can be a challenge. But a new study by researchers in Lyon suggests there are strategies that will help people resist temptation.

People trying to keep off excess weight are frequently told that it's better to eat small amounts of food frequently during the day, rather than the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner. The idea is that more frequent eating will stave off hunger pangs that may lead to overeating.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Obama Chooses Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White To Head SEC

Mary Jo White, who President Obama wants to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:43 am

Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted terrorists responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center and U.S. embassies in Africa, will be nominated by President Obama to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:22 am

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Jobless Claims Hold At Five-Year Low

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dipped by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 330,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That means claims remain at a low level not seen since January 2008.

Another measure, the "4-week moving average" that is supposed to give a broader look at the trend, declined by 8,250 β€” to 351,750.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Combat? Reaction Of Many Women In Military Is 'Been There, Done That'

Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley, with a Marine Corps. Female Engagement Team, in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:44 pm

  • Tom Bowman reporting for the NPR Newscast
  • From 'Morning Edition': The news on women in combat

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET: Saying that American men and women are "fighting and dying together and the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed Thursday afternoon that the Pentagon's rule banning women from combat positions is being rescinded.

Panetta said that as the Pentagon works through how to implement the change, the goal will be to "eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service."

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Asia
6:31 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Ramen Bowl Offers Built-In iPhone Dock

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm RenΓ©e Montagne with a new invention for the lonely diner - a ramen bowl with a built-in iPhone dock. Eating the popular noodle dish normally requires two hands - one for chopsticks, the other for a spoon. Designers at a Taiwanese company noticed a guy trying to do that while juggling his cell phone. So they came up with a way to slurp it up while watching videos or reading emails hands free.

One flaw - no splash guard for the brothy dish. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sports
6:23 am
Thu January 24, 2013

NFL's Frank Gore Fined For Dress Code Violation

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers had a terrible NFC championship game. Sure, he ran for two touchdowns. And yes, his team came back to win and made it to the Super Bowl. But pro football officials noticed his socks were sagging. It was his second dress code violation of the season and they fined him $10,500. Imagine what your bank account would like if your mom could do that to you.

You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
5:45 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Women In Combat Ban To Be Lifted

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a momentous Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We're expecting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to make an announcement today. From now on, women will formally be allowed to serve in ground combat.

INSKEEP: To sense just how dramatic this change is, consider how many other milestones the military passed before reaching this one. The move for women comes 65 years after the Armed Forces ended racial segregation.

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Business
4:15 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Private Equity Firm To Take Over Dell

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Staying in the tech world now, later today Microsoft releases its earnings for the final quarter of 2012. And no matter what the computer software giant announces, it won't mask the fact that last year was a brutal one for the personal computer industry.

Dell - one of the largest computer makers on the planet - is in talks to be taken over by a private equity firm. PC sales are declining globally.

And as NPR's Steve Henn reports, some see a technological shift in the works that could undermine the empire built by Microsoft.

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NPR Story
3:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Report Blasts India's Treatment Of Women

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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NPR Story
3:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

NFL Pressures Indiana Man To Give Up On Trademark

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. Let's turn to a rivalry between siblings. Today's Last Word In Business is Harbowl - or Harbaugh Bowl. An Indiana man tried to trademark those two phrases last year, according to ESPN.com.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Roy Fox figured the Harbaugh brothers - both NFL coaches - might someday meet in the Super Bowl. This year, it is happening. Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers face John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens, a week from Sunday.

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NPR Story
3:52 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Wolves Starchy Diet Led To Domesticated Dogs

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It took a very long time for this...

(SOUNDBITE OF WOLF HOWLING)

MONTAGNE: ...to evolve into this:

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG BARKING)

MONTAGNE: But the gray wolf is the ancestor of all domesticated dogs, including that Jack Russell terrier we just heard. Just how wolves came to live with people isn't really known. But as NPR's Veronique LaCapra reports, a new study suggests that food may have played a role.

VERONIQUE LACAPRA, BYLINE: Most dogs will eat just about anything.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG EATING)

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Shots - Health News
2:40 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Female Smokers Face Greater Risk Than Previously Thought

Women smoke in New York City's Times Square.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

There's still more to learn about the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting.

Studies in this week's New England Journal of Medicine show that the risk for women has been under-appreciated for decades. New data also quantify the surprising payoffs of smoking cessation β€” especially under the age of 40.

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Africa
2:39 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Algeria Attack A 'Wake-Up Call' For Energy Companies

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

A week has passed since the terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in Algeria, but risk analysts and security experts are still undecided about the incident's likely impact in the energy world.

The price of oil, a good indicator of anxiety in the energy market, went up modestly right after the attack, but then it stabilized. No energy company has suspended operations in Algeria, nor has any company announced it will hold off on future investments in North Africa, a key source of oil and gas supplies.

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Research News
2:37 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Shall I Encode Thee In DNA? Sonnets Stored On Double Helix

William Shakespeare, depicted in this 17th century painting, penned his sonnets on parchment. Now his words have found a new home ... in twisting strands of DNA.
Attributed to John Taylor National Portrait Gallery

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare "that his drama is the mirror of life." Now the Bard's words have been translated into life's most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.

It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.

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Planet Money
2:35 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Why Is The Government In The Flood Insurance Business?

Hurricane Betsy hit the Gulf Coast in 1965.
Horace Cort AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

There's a quick, one-word explanation for why the federal government started selling flood insurance: Betsy.

Hurricane Betsy, which struck the Gulf Coast in 1965, became known as billion-dollar Betsy. Homes were ruined. Water up to the roofs. People paddling around streets in boats. Massive damage.

This would be the time when you'd expect people to be pulling out their flood insurance policies. But flood insurance was hard to come by. You could get fire insurance, theft insurance, car insurance, life insurance. Not flood.

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Music Interviews
1:01 am
Thu January 24, 2013

The 'True Story' Inside Aaron Neville's Doo-Wop World

Aaron Neville's latest album, My True Story, is a collection of the doo-wop songs he grew up singing in New Orleans.
Sarah A. Friedman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

At 72, the prince of R&B has reverted to childhood. Aaron Neville has a new album called My True Story, and it's a collection of the songs he sang growing up in the projects of New Orleans in the 1950s and '60s, back when doo-wop was king.

"I've been into every doo-wop there is," Neville says. "I think I went to the university of doo-wop-ology."

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Law
5:22 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Lawsuit Questioned Constitutionality Of Ban On Women In Combat

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:53 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now for some reaction to that decision, we turn to Anne Coughlin. She's a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, and her research inspired a lawsuit brought by two women in the Army Reserve seeking to reverse that ban. The suit argues the ban is unconstitutional. Anne Coughlin, welcome to the program.

ANNE COUGHLIN: Thank you so much, Melissa. I'm happy to be here.

BLOCK: And first, your thoughts when you heard this decision from Secretary Panetta today.

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Business
5:06 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Dreamliner Woes Expose FAA's Potential Weak Spots

National Transportation Safety Board investigators inspect a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Japan's Takamatsu Airport. A Federal Aviation Administration investigation into the plane's troubles has widened into a review of the agency's certification process for new airliners.
Jiji Press AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:53 pm

One week after Federal Aviation Administration officials grounded Boeing's newest jet, the world's entire 787 Dreamliner fleet remains parked. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Tuesday he couldn't speculate on when a review of the plane would be complete.

Investigators in the U.S. and Japan remain perplexed as to why batteries on two planes suffered serious failures. Now Boeing, its flagship jet and the certification process for the 787 are under intense scrutiny.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Transportation Secretary: Duration Of Dreamliner Review Is Unknown

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks during a news conference at the Transportation Department in Washington in January.
Susan Walsh AP

If you were dreaming of flying soon in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, you have to wake up: Federal Aviation Administration isn't rushing its review of the grounded aircraft.

"We need to get to the bottom of the recent issues with the batteries in the 787 and ensure their safety before these aircraft can be put back in service," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today at an Aero Club luncheon in Washington.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
4:57 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

In Lower Manhattan, Sandy Still Keeping Businesses Dark

People walk past a closed business affected by Hurricane Sandy in the heavily damaged South Street Seaport in New York City in December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:53 pm

When compared with its neighbors Coney Island and the Rockaways, Manhattan seemed hardly touched by the waters and winds of Superstorm Sandy in late October. But almost three months later, areas of lower Manhattan are still laboring to recover.

Earlier this month, a museum devastated by Sandy finally reopened. About 800 people packed the lobby and upstairs galleries of the South Street Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan as Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the crowd.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Stunning Photos: In Chicago, Firefighters Battle Huge Flames In Arctic Cold

Firefighters spray down hot spots on an ice covered warehouse that caught fire Tuesday night in Chicago.
John Gress Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 5:24 pm

Firefighters in Chicago responded to the largest fire in years last night. According to The Chicago Tribune, at one point a third of the city's firefighters were battling the blaze at a vacant warehouse.

Luckily no one was hurt, but the arctic temperatures the area is experiencing meant the firefighters faced issues like frozen hydrants.

The pictures of the action, however, are made simply stunning because of the ice.

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Fine Art
4:09 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

In 'According To What?' Ai Weiwei Makes Mourning Subversive

Grapes, a spiky cluster of wooden stools from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is part of Ai Weiwei's repurposed furniture series.
Cathy Carver Courtesy Hirshhorn Museum

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 3:48 pm

How do we honor the dead? How do we commit them to memory? And how do we come to terms with the way they died?

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Middle East
4:06 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

An Israeli Political Newcomer, Who May Soon Be An Insider

Yair Lapid and his new political party, There Is a Future, got the second-most votes in Israel's election on Tuesday.
Oliver Weiken EPA /Landov

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 8:17 am

Israel's surprisingly close parliamentary elections Tuesday have brought political attention to a man accustomed to the bright lights of television: former journalist and media personality Yair Lapid.

His Yesh Atid β€” or There Is a Future β€” Party got 19 seats in parliament, making it the second-largest voting bloc behind Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, which won 31 seats.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Ob-Gyns Told To Look for 'Reproductive Coercion'

When an intimate partner interferes with contraception, doctors should know about it.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 5:30 pm

Womens' doctors should be on the lookout for patients whose partners are unduly pressuring them to become pregnant β€” or even sabotaging their efforts to use contraception.

That's the advice from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which just published recommendations for doctors about reproductive and sexual coercion.

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