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Movie Interviews
2:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Quvenzhane Wallis: "If I Have To Be Fierce, I'll Be Fierce"

Quvenzhane Wallis plays Hushpuppy in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 3:38 pm

Quvenzhane Wallis was just 5 years old when she auditioned for a role in the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild, and 6 when she shot the movie. Now, at age 9, she is the youngest ever to receive a best actress Oscar nomination.

In the film, Quvenzhane plays a wild child named Hushpuppy, who lives with her sick father in a ramshackle, isolated community called the Bathtub, on the fringes of the Louisiana coast.

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It's All Politics
2:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

How New Jersey's High-Flying Sen. Menendez Ran Into Turbulence

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, shown in June, has come under scrutiny before, but has never been charged.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 3:12 pm

These should be good times for Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez.

New Jersey voters re-elected him last fall in a landslide, and he became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a few weeks ago. But along the way, Menendez has come under scrutiny by the Senate Ethics Committee and perhaps other government investigators — and certainly the media — for his connections to a longtime friend and generous campaign donor.

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U.S.
2:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

What Happens When Someone Else Gets Your Tax Refund

Todd Macy, a banker from Marin County, Calif., was the victim of identity theft. Nearly a year after filing his return, he's still waiting for his federal tax refund.
Courtesy of Todd Macy

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:27 pm

If you usually wait until April to file your taxes, you might want to hurry up — before identity thieves beat you to it. Using stolen names and Social Security numbers, these criminals file fake tax returns with false wage and withholding information. This generates big — and fraudulent — refunds, before the real taxpayer gets around to filing.

The Internal Revenue Service says it's busy working to combat what prosecutors call a fraud epidemic.

Most taxpayers don't have any idea something is wrong until they hit the send button on their taxes and get an error message.

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Middle East
2:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Newly Displaced Syrians Head For Turkish Border

Syrian people wait at a customs gate at the Turkey-Syria border near Reyhanli, Turkey, last week. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing central Syria, heading to southern Turkey.
Gaia Anderson AP

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:01 pm

A new surge of Syrian refugees is swamping humanitarian aid agencies in southern Turkey, where official refugee camps are full.

But the newcomers may be just the tip of the iceberg. In central Syria, civilians under attack by combat jets, tanks and artillery have fled towns and villages north of the city of Hama, and thousands are on the move.

"What they do now, they burn everything ahead of them. They bomb this area with everything they've got," says Hossan Hamadah, a Syrian-American from Texas.

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Remembrances
2:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Longtime Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Dies At 80

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The basketball world lost both a huge fan and one of its most innovative team owners today. Jerry Buss turned the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA's glamour franchise and won 10 championships. Buss died early this morning at the age of 80. NPR's Ted Robbins has this remembrance.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Jerry Buss once said: I don't just want winners, I want champions. And, boy, did he get them. Yet when Buss was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he remembered feeling humbled back in 1979 when he bought the Lakers.

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Around the Nation
2:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Maker's Mark Reverses Course On Lower Alcohol Content

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

An update now to a story we reported last week, a story about a dramatic change in the lives of whiskey drinkers. Well, some of them at least - the ones who drink Maker's Mark bourbon, because Maker's Mark cut its alcohol content, watered it down from 90-proof to just 84. They said it was because they had to meet bigger demand.

JERRY RODGERS: People just went bananas.

BLOCK: This is Jerry Rodgers, who knows his Maker's.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Sen. Mike Johanns Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:39 pm

Mike Johanns, the Republican senator from Nebraska, announced Monday that he won't seek another term in the Senate.

Here's more from the Omaha World-Herald:

"Johanns said it was time to 'close this chapter' in his life. He noted that he and his wife, Stephanie, have spent 32 years in public life and that they want to spend more time with family.

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Europe
12:58 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Greece's Economic Crisis Reveals Fault Lines In The Media

People read newspaper headlines in Athens. In 2009, there were 39 national dailies, 23 national Sunday papers, 14 national weekly papers and dozens of TV and radio stations for a population of 11 million.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:05 pm

Three years of spiraling economic crisis in Greece have devastated every sector of the economy. The Greek media are among the hardest hit. Many newspapers and TV outlets have closed or are on the verge, and some 4,000 journalists have lost their jobs.

Many people believe the country's news media have failed to cover the crisis — and lost credibility along the way. And many Greek journalists acknowledge that a massive conflict of interest sooner or later had to explode.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
12:50 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Disabled Residents Displaced By Superstorm Sandy Back At Home

Jagdesh Trivedi believes his green card and Social Security card were stolen, along with more than $200 and two pairs of shoes.
Fred Mogul WNYC

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 3:01 pm

When Superstorm Sandy crashed ashore in October, thousands of residents of nursing homes, assisted living centers and adult homes evacuated to various facilities, many of them overcrowded and ill-prepared for the influx.

The evacuees have slowly trickled back to those homes that can be repaired.

One group recently returned to an adult home for the mentally ill and physically disabled in Queens, but many residents weren't happy with what awaited them.

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Poetry
10:53 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco: 'I Finally Felt Like I Was Home'

Richard Blanco reads his poem "One Today" during President Obama's second inaugural, on Jan. 21.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:40 pm

"I just got the phone call one day," is how poet Richard Blanco describes to Fresh Air's Terry Gross how he learned he had been selected to write and read the inaugural poem for President Obama's second swearing-in on Jan. 21.

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The Salt
8:03 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Fake Food George Washington Could've Sunk His Fake Teeth Into

Stargazy Pie, a cornish dish named for the way the fish heads poke through the crust towards the sky.
Courtesy of Sandy Levins

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:02 pm

If you want to see what George Washington might have munched on, then Sandy Levins is your gal. All the foods she whips up look scrumptious, but if you sneak a bite, you'll get a mouthful of plaster or clay.

Levins is one of a handful of frequently overlooked artisans who craft the replica meals you see in the kitchens and dining rooms of historic houses and museums. Adding faux food to a historical site can help visitors connect to the past, she tells The Salt.

"It's something everyone immediately identifies with, because everyone eats," she says.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Book News: Amazon Fires German Security Firm After Claims Of Intimidation

Books in an Amazon warehouse in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.
Jens-Ulrich Koch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:02 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
5:34 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Maker's Mark Really Misses The Mark

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne. The makers of Maker's Mark really missed the mark when they went public with a plan to water down the very popular bourbon. Last week, Maker's Mark announced it was going from 90 proof to 84 proof, to stretch supplies in the face of a steep rise in global demand. Loyal customers did not dilute their anger on Twitter. And after a rocky few days, the brand reversed itself yesterday. Cheers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:27 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Obama Plays Golf With Tiger Woods

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

President Obama is spending the holiday at a private golf resort in Florida. Yesterday, he played 27 holes with Tiger Woods. Reporters were not allowed to watch. The White House Correspondents Association expressed extreme frustration. The White House says this is consistent with other golf outings; something the White House Press Corps can discuss at the Holiday Inn, eight miles away.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Space
4:54 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Scientists Seek More Information On Meteorite

Authorities in Russia are still trying to figure out what happened to the meteorite that came crashing to earth on Friday. More than 1,000 people were injured. Renee Montagne talks to Andrew Kramer, a reporter with The New York Times about the response from residents and officials.

Business
4:42 am
Mon February 18, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:22 am

Big in the 90s, the Tamagotchi is a handheld digital device that's a robotic pet. Owners press certain buttons to feed it, to play with it and get it medical attention. If neglected, the digital pet dies. The company is releasing a new breed of pet — a mobile app.

Business
4:42 am
Mon February 18, 2013

G20 Leaders Pledge To Avert Currency War

A meeting of finance ministers from the 20 leading industrial and developing nations wrapped up over the weekend in Moscow. The nations agreed to not to target the exchange rates of their respective currencies amid concerns that competitive devaluation could spark a currency war.

Asia
4:42 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Momentum Grows For Pakistan-Taliban Peace Talks

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:02 am

Both sides say they're ready to talk, but the Taliban is putting stiff conditions on any negotiations. All previous attempts at a peace deal have failed. Analysts say the Pakistani government lacks a coordinated strategy.

Iraq
4:42 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Sectarian Tensions Are On The Rise In Iraq

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:08 am

Overall violence in Iraq has gone down in recent years but lately there's been a string of attacks targeting Shiite interests and security forces. Widespread protests in Sunni areas are calling for the downfall of the Shiite-led government.

NPR Story
4:26 am
Mon February 18, 2013

How Important is Pre-Kindergaren?

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:57 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Providing free preschool education to children across America is a priority for President Obama's second term in office.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Every dollar we invest in high quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on.

WERTHEIMER: The president made that case in last week's State of the Union message.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH)

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Environment
3:19 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Protesters Call On Obama To Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

Dr. J. William Hirzy, a chemistry professor at American Universiy, rests outside the rally route with a graph he uses to teach his students about the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:33 pm

Tens of thousands of protesters turned out on the National Mall Sunday to encourage President Obama to make good on his commitment to act on climate change.

In his Inaugural address from outside the U.S. Capitol, the president said: "We will respond to the threat of climate change knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."

Just a few weeks later, next to the Washington Monument, Paul Birkeland was one of a couple dozen people holding a long white tube above their heads.

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The Salt
2:28 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Farmer's Fight With Monsanto Reaches The Supreme Court

Vernon Hugh Bowman lives outside the small town of Sandborn, Ind.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:35 pm

This week, the Supreme Court will take up a classic David-and-Goliath case. On one side, there's a 75-year-old farmer in Indiana named Vernon Hugh Bowman; on the other, the agribusiness giant Monsanto.

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National Security
1:41 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Hints Of Progress After Investigation at Guantanamo Court

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:52 am

The most dramatic moment of the week's hearing at Guantanamo Bay's military commissions was when a one-legged man stood up and began to berate the judge.

The one-legged man, Walid bin Attash, is one of the defendants in the high-profile Sept. 11 case, and his complaint was a throwback to a time when the tribunal first opened.

He was upset because guards had taken the opportunity while he was in court to ransack his cell and take letters from his attorney. It had happened to three of the other Sept. 11 defendants as well.

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Sports
1:40 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Doping Trial May Reach Far Beyond Spain, And Cycling

Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, accused of masterminding a vast doping network, has refused to name his clients. The case stems from a 2006 raid in which Spanish police seized some 200 bags of blood, in the "Operation Puerto" investigation.
Dani Pozo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:42 am

A famous doctor is on trial in Spain, accused of masterminding one of the world's biggest sports doping rings. His clients are believed to include at least one former teammate of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and dozens of other cyclists who raced against him.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Cancer Rehab Begins To Bridge A Gap To Reach Patients

STAR-certified physical therapist Jennifer Goyette works with cancer patients at South County Physical Therapy in Westborough, Mass.
Courtesy of Jennifer Goyette

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:42 am

It was her own experience with debilitating side effects after cancer treatment that led Dr. Julie Silver to realize that there is a huge gap in care that keeps cancer patients from getting the rehabilitation services that could help them.

Silver was 38 in 2003 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though she is a physician, she was shocked at the toll chemotherapy and radiation took on her body. Silver was dealing with extreme fatigue, weakness and pain.

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Shots - Health News
1:34 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Targeted Cancer Drugs Keep Myeloma Patients Up And Running

Don Wright runs at an indoor track at the Maplewood Community Center in North Saint Paul, Minn.
Ariana Lindquist for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:13 pm

Don Wright got diagnosed with multiple myeloma at what turned out to be the right time. It was 10 years ago, when he was 62.

That was at the beginning of a revolution in treating this once-fearsome blood cell cancer, which strikes around 20,000 Americans every year. The malignancy can literally eat holes in victims' bones, which can snap from the simple act of bending over to pick up a package.

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Books
1:32 am
Mon February 18, 2013

'The Dinner' Asks: What Will You Do To Protect Your Family?

Herman Koch is a Dutch writer and actor. The Dinner is his sixth novel; it originally came out in Dutch in 2009, and has since been published in 25 countries.
Mark Kohn

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:42 am

Dutch author Herman Koch's new novel The Dinner is one meal you may feel a little strange after. The titular dinner is one planned by two couples — two brothers and their wives — at which they must discuss a terrible crime most likely committed by their sons. The crime is not yet public, but grainy video footage exists — and both sets of parents know it depicts their offspring.

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The Salt
1:28 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Growing Resistance, Oregon Hazelnuts Battle Blight

Oregon State University has been growing a variety of hazelnut trees over the years to develop blight-resistant breeds.
Rebecca McCluskey

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:42 am

Although Oregon is known for many exports — from timber to hipster irony — few people are aware that it's actually the country's leading source of hazelnuts.

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It's All Politics
1:22 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Government Slowly Changes Approach To Whistle-Blowers

In this 1971 file photo, the real-life Frank Serpico (center, with beard) appears at a hearing during an investigation into police corruption in New York City.
Jim Wells AP

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:42 am

The federal government once considered whistle-blowers a nuisance or worse. But over the past few years, that attitude has slowly started to change. More agencies have been reaching out for tips about fraud and abuse in and outside the government, even if digging through the stacks of complaints can present a challenge.

Think back to those movies in the 1970s — movies filled with heroic figures who risked it all to expose unsafe factories and police corruption, like New York cop Frank Serpico exposing his less-than-clean colleagues.

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Music News
1:20 am
Mon February 18, 2013

'China's Leonard Cohen' Calls Out Political Corruption

Zuoxiao Zuzhou performing at his first concert in Beijing in two years on Jan. 18.
Yao Lei Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:42 am

Zuoxiao Zuzhou is a Chinese singer whose accented, croaky voice is hardly ever in tune. But for his fans he's the voice of a generation — one of the very few voices who dare to speak out. After a collaboration, Cowboy Junkies member Michael Timmins called him "China's Leonard Cohen."

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