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Energy
2:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Outgoing Energy Secretary Could Be Remembered For More Than Solyndra

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The outgoing energy secretary, Steven Chu, got a rousing ovation this week when he spoke at a summit on energy innovation. But his tenure has been clouded by the department's investment in alternative energy companies that later failed, most notably Solyndra. As Chu leaves office, his real legacy may be the government's ongoing search for energy breakthroughs. NPR's Scott Horsley tells us more.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

A Quvenzhane by Any Other Name... (Storified)

Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis is interviewed on the red carpet at the Academy Awards Sunday, when several journalists struggled with the young actress's name.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

After a weekend that saw journalists on the Oscars red carpet struggling to pronounce the name of 9-year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, we decided to ask the Twitter masses for their funniest or most annoying stories about people mispronouncing their "unconventional" or "ethnic" names.

Here's a few of the best:

Do you have any similar stories? We'd love to hear them in the comments.

The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Former Massey CEO Accused Of Conspiracy In Court Hearing

Former Chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Don Blankenship in 2010.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:45 pm

A relatively routine plea hearing in Beckley, W.Va, Thursday, took an unexpected and dramatic turn when a former Massey Energy executive implicated former CEO Don Blankenship in a criminal conspiracy.

It's the first time Blankenship has been publicly named as an alleged conspirator in the ongoing federal criminal investigation of the 2010 explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch coal mine.

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World Cafe
1:35 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra On World Cafe

Bryan Ferry.
Adam Whitehead Courtesy of the artist

Bryan Ferry says he only listens to 1920s jazz these days — and The Jazz Age, the new album from The Bryan Ferry Orchestra, backs up that claim. The Jazz Age finds Ferry doing a lot of listening, as he neither sings nor plays on the record.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
1:23 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Christie Dashiell, Alfredo Rodriguez On JazzSet

In his early 20s, Alfredo Rodriguez came to the U.S. with a spoken invitation from Quincy Jones.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 7:50 am

Though originally from North Carolina, Christie Dashiell attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., and now studies with Peter Eldridge from New York Voices at Manhattan School of Music. No stranger to the Kennedy Center, she has participated in the Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead training program there, and sung with the a cappella choir Afro-Blue from Howard University.

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Dispatch From Poutine Fest, Chicago's 'Love Letter' To Canada

Missy Ruminski prepares The Peasantry's entry. Note that poutine is not only a delicious snack but also a source of light and warmth in the universe.
NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:01 pm

There is no greater mystery in America than this: Why is poutine not available everywhere?

French fries with cheese curds, covered in gravy — there's nothing more American than this Canadian dish that's not actually American. And while you can find it stateside more easily than you used to, poutine should be in every restaurant in the country, and probably somewhere on our flag.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Bradley Manning Thought Leaked Cables Would Be 'Embarrassing' Not Damaging

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (right) is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on June 25, 2012. His lawyer announced that Manning, who is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:30 pm

Update at 5:52 p.m. ET. Judge Accepts Plea:

A military judge in Fort Meade, Md. accepted 10 guilty pleas from Army Pfc. Bradley Manning on Thursday.

Manning pleaded guilty to lesser charges, but he is still facing a court martial over the charge of aiding the enemy.

NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Manning says he misused classified information when he leaked thousands of war reports and diplomatic cables to the web site Wikileaks.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

In Depressed Spain, ATMs That Dispense Free Cash

A Spanish man bought two theater tickets and gave them to an elderly couple after he received free cash from an ATM set up by Coca-Cola.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 10:53 am

Fancy some free cash? Don't even bother to insert your ATM card.

People in Spain thought it was a joke — or a fraud — when a video popped up on YouTube showing what looks like a normal ATM, offering 100 euros ($131) for free — without a bank card. It seemed too good to be true.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

'I Love Him,' Dennis Rodman Says Of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, seated next to former NBA star Dennis Rodman (in black cap), at a basketball game Thursday in Pyongyang.
VICE media

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 5:55 am

Update at 7:45 a.m. ET, March 1. Kims Are "Great Leaders," Rodman Says:

On his way home Friday from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman said Kim Jong Un, his father and grandfather have been "great leaders." According to The Associated Press, Rodman also said of the young North Korean leader that "he's proud, his country likes him — not like him, love him, love him. ... Guess what, I love him. The guy's really awesome."

Our original post — Dennis Rodman To Kim Jong Un: 'You Have A Friend For Life':

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Planet Money
12:35 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

The Last Time Congress Built A Doomsday Machine

Sequester 1.0
Lana Harris AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

After years of tax cuts and a big hike in defense spending, deficits were rising. Then came a bitter battle over the debt limit. Three senators came up with a plan: Unless Congress and the White House could get the deficit under control, this thing called "sequestration" would do it for them.

The year was 2013 1985.

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Music Interviews
12:26 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper Emerges From Behind The Counter

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper's debut album is titled Ripely Pine.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 1:31 pm

When Aly Spaltro began writing music, she was literally the girl next door. After recording 12 solo songs with her 8-track, she left a stack of free CDs on the counter of the local record store next to the DVD rental shop where she worked in Brunswick, Maine. Nervous about the public's reaction to her music, she chose to remain anonymous and only put her email address on the label.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

In Maui, Wild Chicken Spurs Power Outage At Airport, Surrounding Area

Why are so many feral chickens crossing the road in Maui? To get a rental car, of course.
Stephanie Federico NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:31 pm

A roaming chicken's close inspection of a transformer caused a power outage and brief delays at Maui's Kahului Airport this week. The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon, when the bird wandered into a transformer at the airport's rental car area, leaving parts of the facility without power for more than an hour.

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Around the Nation
12:11 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

On Heels Of Sequestration, The Business Of Spending Cuts

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The metaphors become unbearably trite: the debt ceiling; the fiscal cliff and now the meat cleaver of the sequestration. Details are important, we'll get to those in a moment, but underlying the repeated rounds of budgetary crisis, lies a deeper political paralysis.

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Arts & Life
12:05 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

The Case For Being Concise: Short Poems That Speak Volumes

In poetry, sometimes less is more.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:03 pm

Brad Leithauser likes to look for poetry in graveyards. A novelist and poet himself, there's something he values greatly in tombstone epitaphs: brevity.

"You really don't want to go on at great length," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "There's something very touching ... in seeing how they are meant to be commemorated, often in little bits of verse here and there."

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Around the Nation
12:05 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

After The Spill: The Environment And Economy Of The Gulf

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This week the federal government and Gulf Coast states took BP and its contractors to court seeking billions in civil damages for the disaster that began almost three years ago now, with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Some call it the trial of the century.

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Middle East
12:05 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Reporter's Notebook: The Agony Of Syria's Civil War

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:16 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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It's All Politics
12:01 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

$85 Billion Versus $42 Billion: The New Sequester Argument

Just how much will the sequester cut? It depends on whom you ask.

The White House has been saying spending will be reduced by $85 billion this year, unless the automatic spending cuts set to take effect Friday are averted.

The Congressional Budget Office, however, just released a new report saying the cuts will only amount to $42 billion.

Why do they differ so much?

They don't, really. It's a technical difference, more than anything.

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It's All Politics
11:57 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Federal Gay Marriage Ban Hurts The Bottom Line, Businesses Argue

Starbucks is among the companies urging the Supreme Court to strike down the federal government's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:13 pm

After years of legal wrangling, the Defense of Marriage Act — the law that prevents the federal government from recognizing marriage as anything but a "legal union between one man and one woman" — comes before the Supreme Court next month.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Openly Gay Mayoral Candidate In Mississippi Found Dead

Marco McMillian, thought to be one of the first openly gay men to seek political office in Mississippi, was found dead near a levee, yesterday.

McMillian was running for mayor of the town of Clarksdale, a town known for its rich artistic history. (At one point or another it was home to the likes of Sam Cooke and Tennessee Williams.) The AP reports that McMillian was considered to be "a man on the rise."

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The Record
11:15 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Richard Street, Of The Temptations, Has Died

The Temptations circa 1974. They are, clockwise from the left, Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Richard Street, Otis Williams and Damon Harris.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Richard Street, for nearly three decades a member of The Temptations, has died. He is the second former member of the fabled Motown group to pass away in two weeks; last week former Tempations tenor Damon Harris died. Both singers can be heard on the 1972 hit "Papa Was A Rolling Stone."

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Movie Interviews
11:13 am
Thu February 28, 2013

'The Gatekeepers' Offer Candid Assessment Of Israel's Security

Director Dror Moreh was nominated for an Academy Award for his documentary The Gatekeepers.
Mika Moreh Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:30 am

Six former heads of the Shin Bet — Israel's security agency — speak to director Dror Moreh in his Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers. They are men who have signed off on brutal interrogations and targeted killings. They have given their lives to the cause of Israeli security.

What is striking is that all articulate their shared conviction that the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories will not lead to peace or a political solution for the future of the state of Israel.

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Shots - Health News
11:09 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Nintendo Wii Helped Budding Surgeons Move To Head Of The Class

Kid, you might just have a future as a surgeon.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 3:34 pm

How's this for a tough assignment?

A group of Italian researchers forced 21 surgical residents to play video games on a Nintendo Wii for an hour a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Whew!

Then the researchers had the residents perform a simulated keyhole surgery. They found that the gamers performed significantly better than another group of residents who didn't undergo this grueling video game training.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Chrysler Plans To Add 1,250 Jobs, Invest $374 Million In Indiana

Chrysler's 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press MCT /Landov

There's major business news in Indiana today:

"Chrysler will hire 1,250 new workers and spend $374 million to upgrade transmission plants in central Indiana — the only place in North America where the automaker makes transmissions," the Detroit Free Press reports from Kokomo.

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Music Reviews
10:41 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Ben Goldberg's Variations: Two New Albums From A San Francisco Jazz Staple

Jazz clarinetist Ben Goldberg has released two new albums for different quintets.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:00 am

Ben Goldberg has been a staple of San Francisco's improvisational-music scene ever since he helped put together the New Klezmer Trio two decades ago. More recently, as a member of the quartet Tin Hat, he's set e.e. cummings poems to music. In between, he's recorded in a wide variety of settings, sometimes including other prominent Bay Area players — as on two new albums for different quintets.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Thu February 28, 2013

China Accuses U.S. Of Hacking Military Sites

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:33 am

China's answer to accusations of cyber-espionage against the U.S.? The Americans are doing it to us, too.

Barely a week after a report from security firm Mandiant that an arm of the People's Liberation Army was behind the theft of "hundreds of terabytes" of data from U.S. companies, China's Defense Ministry said Thursday that U.S. hackers were penetrating Chinese military websites.

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Europe
10:19 am
Thu February 28, 2013

U.S. Boss Offers Blunt Critique; French Workers Give Fiery Response

French workers burn tires outside the Goodyear tire factory in Amiens, France, on Tuesday, after Titan CEO Maurice Taylor criticized French workers in a letter addressed to Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:01 pm

The battle between an American capitalist and a French socialist official has prompted chuckles — and heated debate — on both sides of the Atlantic. The exchange highlights some humorous stereotypes and reveals real differences between the economic cultures of France and the United States.

A leaked letter from Maurice Taylor, CEO of the Illinois-based Titan tire company, ignited the controversy. In it, Taylor, regarded by the French as a hardcore capitalist, addressed Arnaud Montebourg, France's flamboyant, leftist industrial renewal minister.

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Race
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Black Reverend: Guns Are Important To My Church

Gun violence devastates many predominantly African-American neighborhoods in places across the country. But some faith leaders feel that legal access to guns is part of the solution, not the problem. Host Michel Martin speaks with Reverend Kenn Blanchard about why he wants his congregation to have wider access to guns.

Africa
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Kenya's Candidates Spar In First TV Debates

For the first time, Kenya recently aired presidential debates, ahead of its election. But despite the wide audience, many people doubt the country can get through the election without violence. Host Michel Martin catches up with journalist and debate moderator Uduak Amimo.

Africa
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Has South Africa Reached Rape Tipping Point?

South Africa is still reeling from the recent deaths of two women: Reeva Steenkamp, shot by her sports hero boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, and Anene Booysens, who was brutally raped and murdered at 17. Host Michel Martin talks to independent researcher Lisa Vetten about what the cases may say about violence against women in South Africa.

Science
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

String Theory: Fascinating, Not Science Fiction

Tell Me More has been honoring Black History Month by speaking with African-Americans who've excelled in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. Sylvester James Gates Jr. spent his career researching string theory. He explains to host Michel Martin that, while it seems like science fiction, it's really anything but.

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