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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

IRS Head Says So Far, So Good For Obamacare's First Tax Season

The commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service says everything has gone smoothly as, for the first time, taxpayers have to report their compliance with the Affordable Care Act.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:36 pm

Congress passed the Affordable Care Act five years ago, but it didn't impose tax penalties for failure to obtain health insurance until this year.

So a big question has hung over this tax-filing season: Would the ACA unleash mass confusion as Americans grappled with new tax rules?

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen today said that so far at least, all has gone "swimmingly."

And for that, we can thank software geeks, he says.

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Goats and Soda
3:13 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Advice For Trevor Noah From The 'Jon Stewart Of South Africa'

South African comedian Loyiso Gola performed at The Orbit, a club in Johannesburg, in February.
Joao Silva/The New York Times

This week, Comedy Central announced that Jon Stewart's replacement on The Daily Show will be a South African comedian, Trevor Noah. To get some perspective on this surprise decision, we contacted Noah's colleague and friend Loyiso Gola, a comedian who hosts Late Nite News, his own satirical news program on South African television. Gola spoke to us by telephone as he rushed to the Johannesburg airport — running late — to catch a flight to New York, where he is performing this weekend.

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It's All Politics
3:07 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Watchdog Groups File Complaints Against Likely Candidates

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is one of four "un-candidates" being targeted by liberal groups Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21. They say the politicians have crossed the line into candidacy based on their activities in recent months.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:42 pm

Updated at 5:40 p.m. E.T.

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Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Tweeners Trust Peers More Than Adults When Judging Risks

Jump off a roof? Ride a bike while texting? Well, what do you think?
iStockphoto

If you are the parent of a preteen, you are all too aware that they suddenly seem to value the opinions of their peers far more than yours.

The good news, if there is any, is that you're not alone. Young teenagers ages 12 to 14 are more influenced by their peers' opinions than they are by adults', a study finds. That's true only for that age group, not for older teens, children or adults.

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NPR History Dept.
2:15 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Media Mischief On April Fools' Day

Mickey Mantle was the subject of a newspaper hoax in 1961. Here he is that year taking practice swings at Yankee Stadium.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

In the annals of journalism, there is a long tradition of newsfolks — reporters, writers, broadcasters — pulling April Fools' Day tricks on readers and listeners. Sometimes the prank prevails; sometimes it fails.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Dozens Of Countries Join China-Backed Bank Opposed By Washington

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (left) speaks during the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank last year in Beijing.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:24 pm

Dozens of countries have slid under Tuesday's deadline to join a China-backed infrastructure development bank that is opposed by Washington.

U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia were among the more than 40 nations that signed up at the last moment as founding members of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.

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It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

What The 2016 Hopefuls Are Saying About Indiana's 'Religious Freedom' Law

Opponents of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act gathered in front of the Indiana State House Saturday.
Doug McSchooler AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 2:00 pm

A controversial law in Indiana has made its way into the 2016 presidential race. Supporters praise the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's for protecting religious convictions, but the law has drawn wide criticism from those who say it allows businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian patrons.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Obama Releases Frozen Military Aid To Egypt

The White House says the U.S. is supplying Egypt with 12 F-16s, 20 Harpoon missiles and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits – delivery of which was suspended in 2013 after a military-backed coup ousted President Mohammed Morsi and cracked down on his supporters.

A White House statement also said President Obama directed the continued request of an annual $1.3 billion in military assistance, in the form of foreign military financing.

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Shots - Health News
1:11 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Hackers Teach Computers To Tell Healthy And Sick Brain Cells Apart

The Allen Institute for Brain Science hosted its first BigNeuron Hackathon in Beijing earlier this month. Similar events are planned for the U.S. and U.K.
Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

Brain researchers are joining forces with computer hackers to tackle a big challenge in neuroscience: teaching computers how to tell a healthy neuron from a sick one.

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The Salt
12:52 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

The Revival Of Lamb Ham: A Colonial Tradition Renewed

"This lamb ham is sweet, buttery and smoky, with just a hint of lamb flavor," says Sam Edwards, one of the Virginians who is bringing back the colonial style of curing lamb.
Courtesy of Sammy Edwards

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:54 pm

Roast rack of lamb or a platter of smoked, glazed ham — which dish should be the centerpiece of the Easter table?

Lamb is rich in religious symbolism: A sacrificial lamb was first served by Jewish people on Passover, and Christians often refer to Jesus as the lamb of God. But ham feeds more guests and makes tastier leftovers.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Nigerian President Concedes Election To Opposition Candidate

Supporters of opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari's All Progressives Congress party celebrate in Kano, northern Nigeria, on Monday.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:57 pm

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has called his rival to congratulate him on his victory.

The AP reports that opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari's campaign said Jonathan made the call on Tuesday, after partial election results showed Buhari leading by close to 3 million votes.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart's Replacement, Goes From Hero To Villain In 24 Hours

Trevor Noah, 31, will become the new host of The Daily Show later this year.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:50 pm

This post was last updated at 5:47 p.m.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Staff At Britain's Windsor Castle May Strike Over Low Wages

Windsor Castle, home to the British monarchy for hundreds of years, was built by William the Conqueror in the 1070s, according to the monarchy's official website.
W. Buss De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:36 pm

Staff at Windsor Castle, one of Britain's most popular tourists sites, begin voting Tuesday on whether to go on strike over low wages. It is the first time Queen Elizabeth is facing such an action by members of the royal household.

The union representing 120 employees at Windsor Castle — everything from wardens to ticket office personnel — will ask members to decide whether to take action.

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Music
11:15 am
Tue March 31, 2015

No Hits, No Problem: Captain Beefheart's Major Label Run

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:27 pm

In 1970, Warner Bros. Records had an unusual philosophy: they'd sign artists and, instead of wanting a hit single immediately, they'd develop them over several albums. This way, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Little Feat, and Randy Newman got big career boosts. They also took a chance on Captain Beefheart, and although neither a hit single nor a hit album resulted, some very interesting music did. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story.

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Politics
11:15 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Alabama Judge Says Raising Money To Be Elected Is 'Tawdry'

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. We're used to lots of political ads on TV in election season, but more and more these days, we're also seeing ads for judicial candidates.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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Monkey See
11:08 am
Tue March 31, 2015

The Ups And Downs Of 'Younger' Life

Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster in Younger.
TV Land

It remains a sore point in my TV-watching heart that ABC Family's fabulous comedy-drama Bunheads lasted only one season, so I was particularly pleased to see that its star, Tony winner Sutton Foster, was coming back to television. Specifically, she's in a comedy called Younger on TV Land, which premieres Tuesday night but the pilot of which is already available to preview online.

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All Songs Considered
10:48 am
Tue March 31, 2015

New Mix: Ryan Adams, Jamie xx, The Civil Wars' Joy Williams, More

Clockwise from upper left: Ryan Adams, Jamie xx, Joy Williams, Eskimeaux
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:42 am

On All Songs Considered this week, we hear two songs by familiar musicians, one stripped down to his essence and one in a brand new context. Ryan Adams is at his best live, playing solo acoustic hits, with lots of comical chatter. The prolific singer and songwriter has a massive live album coming out with 42 songs recorded at Carnegie Hall. From that collection, we've got Adams' rock anthem "New York, New York," slowed waaaay down for solo piano (along with his seemingly random oratory on the film Terminator 2).

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Goats and Soda
9:44 am
Tue March 31, 2015

If Drones Make You Nervous, Think Of Them As Flying Donkeys

It's a drone delivery! This copter is ferrying medicine from a pharmacy to the headquarters of Deutsche Post in Bonn, Germany, part of a test of drone capabilities.
Andreas Rentz Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 2:30 pm

One week last year, Jonathan Ledgard was talking with White House officials about how drones could deliver cargo to remote Africa. The next week, he was in a remote African village, telling elders how drones could change their lives.

He heard the same fears from both audiences: Will the drones crash into houses? Will they spy on people? Will they attack people?

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All Songs Considered
9:43 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Can You Name That Musical Prank?

Test your wits against these musical pranksters.
Douglas Grundy Getty Images

Each April 1st, practical jokers get their kicks pulling the wool over people's eyes. There are little white lies, cunning schemes and elaborate hoaxes. Pranksters are alive and well in music, too. Test your wits with these musical smart alecks who run the gamut from clever clowns to serious scam artists. Score high and feel a surge of superiority. Score low and fancy yourself a true April fool.

The Two-Way
9:42 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Major Power Outage Darkens Dozens Of Cities In Turkey

Parts of the subway system were shut down in the city of Bursa when a major power outage hit cities and provinces across Turkey on Tuesday.
Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:10 pm

A massive power outage hit dozens of Turkish cities and provinces Tuesday, bringing public transportation services to a halt and disrupting businesses that have no backup power.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said officials are investigating all possible causes, including a terrorist attack, for the electricity shutoff across Turkey, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

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Shots - Health News
9:19 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Meet The Bacteria That Make A Stink In Your Pits

While you're resting, your armpit bacteria are hard at work pumping out stinky thioalcohols.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:33 pm

The human armpit has a lot to offer bacteria. It's moist, it's warm, and it's usually dark.

But when the bacteria show up, they can make a stink. That's because when some kinds of bacteria encounter sweat they produce smelly compounds, transforming the armpit from a neutral oasis to the mothership of body odor. And one group of bacteria is to blame for the stink, researchers say.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Tue March 31, 2015

U.S. Promises To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Up To 28 Percent By 2025

President Obama, seen here inspecting solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy, has submitted a U.S. pledge to reduce greenhouse gases.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:57 pm

The Obama administration is pledging that the U.S. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels over the next 10 years. The new target was submitted today to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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All Songs Considered
9:15 am
Tue March 31, 2015

New Zealand's Jean-Paul Sartre Experience Gets Box Set Treatment

The Jean Paul Sartre Experience.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:37 am

One of the great underground bands from New Zealand's pop heyday is getting its due. The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience, which broke up in 1994 after a nearly 10-year career on Flying Nun Records, will have its entire discography remastered and re-released this year by Fire Archives.

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Book Reviews
8:41 am
Tue March 31, 2015

A Ghostly Chorus Narrates 'The World Before Us'

Emily Jan NPR

A gaggle of querulous ghosts narrates the events in Aislinn Hunter's new novel The World Before Us. Hunter, a Canadian author of both fiction and poetry, brings a moody grace to these phantoms and to her telling of this rather quirky tale. The novel spans three time periods: The present, a generation earlier, and the late 19th century. The spirits present themselves as witnesses to each period, and they become characters as rich and personal as any blood-and-bones characters in the novel.

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Code Switch
8:33 am
Tue March 31, 2015

The Fear Of Black Men In America: Join Our Twitter Chat #FearAndRace

Chat with us on twitter today at 12:30 p.m. ET using the hashtag #FearAndRace.
Andreas Eldh Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:56 pm

NPR's Michel Martin led two challenging conversations about race this week, focusing on fearful perceptions of African-American men and how these fears play out in people's everyday lives. Guests including author and Georgetown University Law professor Paul Butler examined the research and the complicated emotions behind this fear.

"When you're in an elevator or walking behind somebody and you feel like you have to perform to make them feel safe, it's like apologizing for your existence," Butler says.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Tue March 31, 2015

From 'Dragon Tattoo' To The 'Spider's Web': Stieg Larsson's Heroine Returns

Noomi Rapace stars as heroine Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Nordisk Film The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:23 pm

Just about a full decade since the girl with a dragon tattoo was introduced to readers, she'll be making her grand return to fiction — albeit with another author's name on the cover. Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy of crime novels is set to become something more on Sept. 1, when the series' new addition hits store shelves as The Girl in the Spider's Web. Publisher Alfred A. Knopf released the book's title and cover art Tuesday.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Tue March 31, 2015

'Little Washer Of Sorrows' Morphs The Mundane Into The Fantastic

The Little Washer of Sorrows is not what it seems. At first glance, the debut collection of short stories by Canadian author Katherine Fawcett offers funny, sympathetic sketches of characters who might live next door to you: The homemaker who underutilizes her college degree; the aspiring heavy metal musician with delusions of stardom; the aging couple who can barely muster the passion to even bicker anymore.

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Goats and Soda
7:16 am
Tue March 31, 2015

The Challenge: Curb Violence In Most Violent City. Hint: Nuns Can Help

A police officer is silhouetted through the emergency room door at a public hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. With 91 murders per 100,000 people, the Central American nation is often called the most violent in the world. The homicide rate is roughly 20 times that of the U.S. rate, according to a 2011 U.N. report.
Esteban Felix AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:50 pm

The most pressing health threat in the Latin American country of Honduras has nothing to do with germs or superbugs.

It's from the barrel of a gun.

Every day, patients with gunshot wounds seek treatment, overwhelming the country's few hospitals. Violence is the third leading cause of death in the country of 8.2 million people. For four years running now, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has ranked San Pedro Sula, the second-largest city in Honduras, as the world's most violent city.

So how do you stop it?

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Iran Nuclear Talks Deadline Will Be Extended By A Day, U.S. Says

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 6:13 pm

This post was last updated at 7:54 p.m. ET

The U.S. says enough progress has been made in talks with Iran on its nuclear program to warrant an extension of Tuesday's 6 p.m. ET deadline by a day.

"We've made enough progress in the last days to merit staying until Wednesday," spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. "There are several difficult issues still remaining."

She said Secretary of State John Kerry, who was scheduled to leave the talks Tuesday, will remain until Wednesday.

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