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4:10 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Astronaut Mae Jemison Plays Not My Job

NASA

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 8:53 am

In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to fly in space when she served as a science mission specialist. We've invited Jemison to play a game called "Excuse me? When do we get to the Southwest terminal?" Jemison has flown in the space shuttle Endeavour, so we thought we'd ask her questions about a sometimes more unpredictable vehicle ... the airport shuttle.

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Economy
4:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Pentagon Remains Big Target In Likely Budget Cuts

The winding down of the war in Afghanistan and efforts to slice the budget deficit will likely mean more spending cuts for the Pentagon.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

The economy shrunk in the fourth quarter — for the first time in three years — and one of the critical reasons was a drop in defense spending. Apparently, contractors took precautionary steps and held onto money in case the federal government failed to avert the fiscal and tax crisis known as the fiscal cliff.

But there's now a new deadline — automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, which may hit at the beginning of March.

The Effect On Contractors

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Barney, Former First Dog Who Loved Playing With His Soccer Ball, Dies

Barney at the White House.
Tina Hager Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum

Barney, a Scottish Terrier who loved playing with his soccer ball and golf ball and was better known as President George W. Bush's pet, has died.

"Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House," Bush said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. "He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal."

Barney was 12 and died after a battle with lymphoma.

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Europe
4:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Spain's Prime Minister May Have Received 'Black Money' For Years

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Swiss bank accounts, bribes, embezzlement, fraud up to the highest levels of government. Those are the headlines out of Spain this week amid allegations of under-the-table payments to top conservative politicians, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. His party denies it all and Rajoy has called an emergency meeting for tomorrow.

Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid on how Spaniards are finally saying enough.

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Middle East
4:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Suicide Bombing At U.S. Embassy In Turkey Kills Security Guard

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

CORNISH: And we begin this hour with a report on today's suicide bombing in Turkey. The target, the U.S. embassy in Ankara. The attack killed two people, a guard and the bomber. The White House called it an act of terror but had no information on the motive behind the blast. Turkish authorities identified the bomber as a member of an outlawed left-wing group. NPR's Peter Kenyon has our story from Istanbul.

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U.S.
3:47 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

For Some Donors, Boy Scouts' Ban On Gays Doesn't Add Up

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls delivers cartons of petitions to the Boys Scouts of America national board meeting in Orlando, Fla., last May, calling for an end to anti-gay discriminatory practices. Helping to carry the cartons are Mark Anthony Dingbaum and Christine Irvine of Change.org.
Barbara Liston Reuters/Landov

Years of criticism and even a U.S. Supreme Court challenge couldn't force the Boy Scouts of America to admit openly gay members and leaders. But money talks, and after the defections of major donors, the 103-year-old organization is poised to lift its national ban.

Just last summer, the Boy Scouts reaffirmed the ban after a lengthy internal review. Several incidents since then have tarnished the organization's image and fueled an aggressive nationwide protest led by an Eagle Scout.

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The Salt
3:45 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Carrot Juice Instead of Coke? USDA Proposes New School Snack Rules

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposed new rules for school snacks promote healthier options, like the fruits and vegetables served in this Palo Alto, Calif., cafeteria.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:24 am

The Department of Agriculture has proposed a new "Smart Snacks in School" rule that aims to promote more healthful options in school vending machines, snack bars and cafeterias across the country.

The USDA's updated regulations, which are open to public comment for 60 days, will set nutrition standards and calorie limits for snack foods that are sold in schools.

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It's All Politics
3:43 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Why Steven Chu Was One Of Obama's Most Intriguing Choices

Energy Secretary Steven Chu tours the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Waynesboro, Ga., last year.
David Goldman AP

Of all the individuals in President Obama's first-term Cabinet, physicist Steven Chu was arguably the least likely to be found in official Washington.

The Energy Department secretary, after all, was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from the University of California, Berkeley, the first science laureate to serve as a Cabinet secretary.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:34 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Treasures In The Attic: Finding A Jazz Master's Lost Orchestral Music

Stride piano pioneer James P. Johnson had dreams of becoming a successful symphonic composer.
William Gottlieb

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:13 pm

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Questions Arise About Veracity Of Iranian Space Monkey

The monkey Iranian authorities said was sent to space.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 4:21 pm

Earlier this week, we told you that Iran was claiming a "major achievement." State media reported the country had sent a monkey into space.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Reports: Secret Service Director Will Retire After 30 Years Of Service

Mark Sullivan, Director of the United States Secret Service, at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in May of 2012.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan will retire after 30 years in service, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

Sullivan is retiring after a tough year for the agency. If you remember, 11 of its agents were involved in a prostitution scandal in Colombia.

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Remembrances
3:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch Oversaw City's Renaissance

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to take a few minutes now to remember former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who died early this morning. Koch was a colorful and pugnacious force in New York City politics, serving three terms as mayor from 1978 to '89. He presided over the city's recovery from a fiscal crisis while grappling with homelessness, rampant crime and the outbreak of AIDS. He did all that in a very New York tone, as we hear from Jim O'Grady of member station WNYC.

JIM O'GRADY, BYLINE: Ed Koch sounded like no mayor who'd come before him.

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Sports
3:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Former Football Player Jim Brown Among The Game's Best Running Backs

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. With the Super Bowl this weekend, football fans are renewing a perennial debate about the game's best players, but not just this year, of all time. Jerry Rice is arguably the best wide receiver. Linebacker Ray Lewis, who will play Sunday for the Baltimore Ravens, gets mentioned, alongside Mike Singletary and Dick Butkus, even Lawrence Taylor.

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Economy
3:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Stock Market Rallies On Positive Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We're going to take a look now at some economic indicators, and here's one number to start, 14,000. Today, the Dow closed above 14,000 for the first time since 2007. It seems the market liked what it saw in this morning's report from the Labor Department. Employers added 157,000 jobs last month, another example of slow but steady growth in the job market.

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Religion
3:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

L.A. Cardinal Removed From Position For Role In Sex Abuse Scandal

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

The Los Angeles Archbishop, Jose Gomez, has removed retired Cardinal Roger Mahony in the wake of revelations about how the Cardinal handled priest sex abuse cases. Mahony will be relieved of his remaining public duties.

Energy
3:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Outgoing Energy Secretary Warns Of Dangers Of Climate Change

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Secretary Chu is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who came into office with high hopes. He was selected to help the president pursue his green energy agenda and fight climate change. It turned out to be a rocky road. Some of the green companies that got big government loans, like Solyndra, ended up going bankrupt, and the president had to drop his plans to get Congress to adopt climate change legislation. Still Chu helped the country make progress in becoming more energy efficient.

Politics
3:10 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

As Clinton Bows Out, Analysts Debate Her Influence On Foreign Policy

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

That attack in Turkey came on Hillary Clinton's last day as secretary of state. She says it's another reminder that we live in complex and dangerous times.

SECRETARY HILLARY CLINTON: But I leave this department confident, confident about the direction we have set.

CORNISH: Employees crammed the State Department's lobby to see her off, and Clinton appeared wistful.

CLINTON: I am very proud to have been secretary of state. I will miss you. I will probably be dialing up just to talk.

(LAUGHTER)

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Politics
3:10 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Republicans Divided Over Immigration Reform

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

No one is watching more closely how this latest immigration debate will shake out than our next guest.

Carlos Gutierrez was Secretary of Commerce during George W. Bush's second term. He went on to advise Mitt Romney in his recent run for president. After the election, Gutierrez founded a superPAC called Republicans for Immigration Reform, which gives you a sense of where he's coming from, and he supports Senator Rubio's position.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Dow Breaks 14,000 For First Time Since 2007

Trader Frederick Reimer works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
Richard Drew AP

Happy days are (or might be) here again: The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 14,000 Friday, marking the first time the stock market measure has broken that barrier at close since October 2007.

The average closed at 14,009.79. That's up more than 149 points, or about 1.1 percent for the day. The closing comes hours after the release of a new monthly unemployment report that indicated jobs grew at a faster rate late last year than previously estimated.

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Media
2:10 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

For Super Bowl Ads, More Social-Media Savvy

Deutsch LA

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Study: Most Gun Deaths Happen Outside Of Mass Shootings

As the debate on guns heats up, there is one thing we can all be certain of: Lots of statistics will be thrown about.

On this blog, we've already pointed to a Department of Homeland Security study on commonalities in mass shootings.

Today, we'll point you a study commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. As the name implies, the group led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is advocating for stronger gun control laws.

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Author Interviews
1:59 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

'Schroder' Chronicles A Father's Desperate Mistakes

Twelve Books

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 1:43 pm

A father embroiled in a bitter custody battle abducts his 6-year-old daughter and heads off with her through upstate New York and Vermont.

His name is Eric Kennedy and he's the desperate, complicated narrator of a new novel by Amity Gaige. Schroder is written as an explanation to his ex-wife of where he went and why he did it:

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The Salt
1:06 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

An Oscar-Nominated Guacamole: Your Friday Visual Feast

Fresh Guacamole, an Oscar-nominated short film by PES
PES

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 10:11 am

Mashed avocado hand grenades, chopped baseball onions and hand-picked light bulb chili peppers can hardly be considered an authentic recipe, but that's not going to stop a Latina like me for rooting for Fresh Guacamole in the Oscars later this month.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Hillary Clinton Formally Resigns As Secretary Of State

Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to her intoduction before speaking on "American leadership" on Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton formally resigned as the 67th secretary of state, just moments ago.

In a letter to President Obama, she said it was an "honor to serve."

"I am more convinced than ever in the strength and staying power of America's global leadership and our capacity to be a force for good in the world," she said.

She concluded, "On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to work with you and your team. Thank you, Mr. President, for your friendship, and for the opportunity to serve in your Cabinet."

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All Songs Considered
12:43 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Wanna Make An Album? Start Right Now!

The author, up for the "Challenge."
Bob Boilen NPR

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 2:04 pm

  • Hear a song sung by Bob Boilen for the RPM Challege a few years ago

I love a deadline and every February I get one. Thanks to The Wire, a small New Hampshire magazine that started the tradition in 2006, I make an album every year. They call it the RPM Challenge, and the challenge is this: write and record an album in the time between the first and last days of February. To qualify as an album, it just needs to be 10 songs or 35 minutes of music.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

3 Things To Say At A Super Bowl Party

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 10:02 pm

If you're invited to a Super Bowl party and aren't quite up to speed about Sunday's big game, join the club. This blogger's a Buffalo Bills fan and tries to kind of tune out around this time of the season because, after all, it brings back some painful memories.

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It's All Politics
11:57 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Reports: Republican Scott Brown Won't Seek Massachusetts Senate Seat

Republican Scott Brown, shown here on Capitol Hill in 2010 not long after coming to the Senate in a special election, announced Friday that he won't run in this year's special election in Massachusetts to replace Democrat John Kerry.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 12:38 pm

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown will not seek the Republican nomination for Senate in a special election to replace Sen. John Kerry, the Democrat who on Friday was being sworn in as secretary of state.

The decision leaves Republicans in deep blue Massachusetts scrambling to find a candidate who can be competitive in a special election just five months away.

Brown, who won a 2010 special election for the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, lost the seat in November to Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Fri February 1, 2013

In Interview, John Kerry Says He Was Hired Before Rice Withdrew

The next Secretary of State John Kerry.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

For those of you who keep up with the details of Washington machinations. Here's a bit of surprising news: The next Secretary of State John Kerry told The Boston Globe that President Obama offered him the State gig a week before U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice removed her name from consideration.

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Monkey See
11:39 am
Fri February 1, 2013

They Call Me ... Bruce? When Characters Outlive Their Names

Bruce Wayne is only one of the many characters whose name makes him seem perhaps a little older than he is.
DC Comics

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 6:26 am

Look, don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with the name "Bruce."

There are plenty of Bruces about, and good and strong and admirable Bruces they are, contributing to society in myriad ways.

You got your Springsteen, of course. Your Campbell. Your Vilanch. Your Dern. Your ... um, Boxleitner. Your Jenner and your ... Baumgartner, was it? Baumgartner.

Bruce: A perfectly fine name. Just not as common in the U.S. as it once was, is my point.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Taxi! Chinese Company Finds Fair Deal In London Cab Maker

Black taxis drive down The Mall in London. A Chinese company rescued the British automaker that manufactures the famous cabs.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

The iconic black cabs of London got a lift Friday when a Chinese company rescued the British automaker that manufactures the taxis. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said it will pay $17.5 million to buy Manganese Bronze Holdings, which has been making the cabs since 1899.

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