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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed January 29, 2014

VIDEO: Congressman Threatens To Throw Reporter Off Balcony

Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. (right), as he confronted NY1 reporter Michael Scotto on Tuesday in the Capitol.
NY1.com

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:49 pm

Update at 12:35 p.m. ET. Grimm Apologizes; Says He 'Overreacted':

"@repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he 'overreacted.' I accepted his apology," tweets NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, who was the object of Rep. Michael Grimm's anger Tuesday night.

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Afghanistan
5:48 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Obama Barely Mentions Afghanistan During Speech

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A heart-rending moment came towards the end of President Obama's State of the Union Address last night, when he spoke of an Army Ranger who was grievously wounded in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg was on his 10th combat tour when he was hit by a massive roadside bomb. He spent months in a coma and endured many surgeries, but was able to be in the audience between his father and First Lady Michele Obama for the president's speech.

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Politics
5:47 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Republican Rep. Schweikert: Obama Didn't Hit A Crescendo

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:58 am

The Arizona Congressman sat in the House chamber Tuesday night and listened to President Obama address the nation. He tells Steve Inskeep this year's address sounded a lot like last year's speech.

It's All Politics
5:36 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Obama Showed A Deft Hand With Speech. Why Not With Congress?

President Obama shakes hands after giving the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Larry Downing AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:40 pm

The toughest test of a card player comes not with a big hand or a sheer bust, but rather with cards somewhere in between. Then it's not the deal that makes the difference — it's the sheer skill of the player.

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The Two-Way
5:34 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Book News: Nurse's Debut Novel Wins Prestigious Costa Award

Costa Book of the Year author Nathan Filer poses with his prize for his debut novel Tuesday in London.
Sang Tan AP

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

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Politics
5:20 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Reality Meets Fantasy On 'Big Block Of Cheese Day'

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here's another instance where life imitates art. The old TV drama "The West Wing" presented a fantasy version of the White House and it included an episode where the administration put on an event that staffers could not quite believe.

(SOUNDBITE TV SHOW, "THE WEST WING")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Because it's Big Block of Cheese Day, John.

MONTAGNE: That was the TV show, but now he staff of the real White House is holding a real-world Big Block of Cheese Day.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:07 am
Wed January 29, 2014

'Rush Hour From Hell' Drags On In Icy Southern Cities

A winter storm dumped snow Tuesday along Interstate 20/59 near downtown Birmingham and on other parts of central and southern Alabama.
Tamika Moore Al.com /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:40 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Russell Lewis reports from Birmingham

Update at 12:17 p.m. ET. 'Obviously, There Were Errors':

During a televised press conference, the governor of Georgia and the mayor of Atlanta both said they would take responsibility for the mess unfolding across Atlanta's highways.

CNN reports that the broad effect is now coming to light: Officials says one person died, 130 were hurt, and 1,254 accidents were reported during the snowstorm.

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Book Reviews
5:02 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Allende Creates Realism Without The Magic In 'Ripper'

Chilean writer Isabel Allende is the author of 20 books, including The House of Spirits and City of the Beasts.
Lori Barra Courtesy of HarperCollins

I've been wanting to read Isabel Allende's work for years now, for the praise it's received as an exemplar of the magical realist tradition (which I love) and for its focus on the lives of women (which I applaud). So it's with some bemusement that I discovered my first experience with it would be a crime novel about a San Francisco serial killer.

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Book Reviews
5:02 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Anna Quindlen Is (Still) The Voice Of Her Generation

Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:04 am

Back in the 1980s, Anna Quindlen's New York Times column, "Life in the 30s," delineated — with humor and grace — what so many of her fellow newly liberated female Boomers were going through: the complications of using your maiden name after you have children. Check. The challenges of balancing a career with parenting. Check. Grocery shopping with small children in tow, "an event I hope to see included in the Olympics in the near future." Check again.

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All Songs Considered
5:02 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Sebadoh, 'A State Of Mine'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:27 am

When bassist and singer Lou Barlow first formed Sebadoh in 1986, he was an early-twentysomething who wrote sublime, brooding songs about youthful angst and heartache. Now in his late 40s, Barlow writes songs under the Sebadoh moniker that are no less introspective. But he's more agitated and inspired by the trappings of adulthood, from the pressures he feels to make money to life lessons he should have learned by now, to how best to care for his children.

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Business
4:22 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Interpol On The Case Of Stolen Stradivarius

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business is: the $6 million heist.

Frank Almond of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra had just finished a performance Monday night with his Stradivarius violin from 1715, when the violin was stolen from him.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Politics
4:14 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Lawmakers Hear President Say He's Ready To Go It Alone

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Members of the House and Senate sit and listen and often applaud the presidential State of the Union, but when it's done many members crowd the microphones in Statuary Hall to oppose the chief executive's vision.

Politics
4:09 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Obama Proposes Ambitious Agenda In Address To Nation

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech with enthusiasm last night. Facing a Congress that has often frustrated him, as well as sagging poll numbers, the president offered a list of proposals Congress could pass, and a series of plans he could enact alone if they don't.

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Around the Nation
3:20 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Freezing Weather Paralyzes Parts Of The South

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Surprise: People across the South are digging out this morning. Weather forecasters knew there would be snow, but missed their calculations on where and how much, which is how Principal Ken Jarnagin ended up sheltering about 800 students for the night at Spain Park High School in Hoover, Alabama.

KEN JARNAGIN: We decided to put all the males in the gyms. So we asked the coaches to roll out wrestling mats. And we spread the girls all throughout the academic wing.

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Business
3:17 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Cold Temperatures Boost Demand For Natural Gas

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama used the State of the Union speech to talk up the state of the domestic fuel industry.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today, America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades. One of the reasons why is natural gas.

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Politics
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Charts New Course For Nation's Farmers

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:56 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a new five-year compromise farm bill. The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.

The farm bill — the result of a two-year-long legislative saga — remains massive. The bill contains about $500 billion in funding, most of which is pegged to the food stamp program, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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Sports
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Is There An Economic Benefit To Hosting The Super Bowl?

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Super Bowl is just four days away in New York.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Actually, New Jersey.

INSKEEP: The teams have arrived at their New York hotels.

MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.

INSKEEP: The game itself will be played at New York's MetLife Stadium.

MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.

INSKEEP: Local towns have been hoping for an economic boost from hosting the big game. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some officials in New Jersey complain that tourism dollars seem to be flowing instead to New York City.

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Business
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

NCAA To Fight Football Team's Decision To Unionize

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As we start this next story, let's remember that college football is big business, TV contracts, million dollar coaching salaries, game day revenues and more. Everybody profits except the players who may get treated like royalty and get all sorts of benefits on campus, but technically, are not supposed to be paid. So are they students or are they employees risking their health and the service of a big business?

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Business
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Product Launches Expected To Drag Ford's 2014 Profits Down

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a strong finish.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Ford Motor Company closed the books on 2013 with higher than expected profits. The Detroit automaker's net earnings for the year surpassed $7 billion.

But as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, Ford is warning that 2014 will be more challenging.

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National Security
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Panel Considers Bin Laden Bodyguard's Stay At Guantanamo

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news now. One if the longest-term inmates of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has had a parole hearing yesterday. He's a man from Yemen, allegedly a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden. Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald was among the reporters allowed to see a portion of parole hearing on a video screen.

CAROL ROSENBERG: We saw Abdul Malik Wahab al Rahabi, a man who arrived on the day that Guantanamo Prison opened, sitting at a table while his advocates made an argument that he should be allowed to someday go home.

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NPR Story
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Traffic Comes To Halt Around Atlanta But Baby Couldn't Wait

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Snow and ice sweeping through the South caused an epic traffic jam yesterday around Atlanta. One couple stuck on the freeway found themselves in a different kind of jam. Their unborn baby wouldn't wait to get to the hospital. So the father and a local police officer helped deliver the baby girl right there in the middle of afternoon rush hour. Mother and baby ultimately made it to the hospital, and yes, they are doing fine. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

It's All Politics
12:59 am
Wed January 29, 2014

5 Things We Learned From The President's Speech

President Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Larry Downing Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 7:21 am

Much of what was in President Obama's fifth State of the Union address was expected — it was signaled for days leading into the speech. Even so, there were a few revealing moments.

Here are five that stood out:

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Shots - Health News
12:59 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Ancient Plague's DNA Revived From A 1,500-Year-Old Tooth

Graduate student Jennifer Klunk of McMaster University examines a tooth used to decode the genome of the ancient plague.
Courtesy of McMaster University

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:11 am

Scientists have reconstructed the genetic code of a strain of bacteria that caused one of the most deadly pandemics in history nearly 1,500 years ago.

They did it by finding the skeletons of people killed by the plague and extracting DNA from traces of blood inside their teeth.

This plague struck in the year 541, under the reign of the Roman emperor Justinian, so it's usually called the Justinian plague. The emperor actually got sick himself but recovered. He was one of the lucky ones.

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Sweetness And Light
12:58 am
Wed January 29, 2014

America's Love Affair With Football Keeps Getting Stronger

Seattle Seahawks fans, perhaps in a moment of reflection, before the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 19.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Football fandom simply overwhelms all other sports in America, growing not just merely super, but superior, from high school right on up to this Sunday's quasi-religious festival — which celebrates our adoration of the sport as much as the sport itself.

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Europe
12:57 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Archaeologists Unearth What May Be Oldest Roman Temple

Excavation at the Sant'Omobono site in central Rome has provided evidence of early Romans' efforts to transform the landscape of their city.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Archaeologists excavating a site in central Rome say they've uncovered what may be oldest known temple from Roman antiquity.

Along the way, they've also discovered how much the early Romans intervened to shape their urban environment.

And the dig has been particularly challenging because the temple lies below the water table.

At the foot Capitoline Hill in the center of Rome, stands the Medieval Sant'Omobono church.

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The Edge
12:55 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Too Far, Too Complicated: Why Some Families Will Sit Out Sochi

Security personnel sit in the back of a truck outside the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. Security concerns are one reason why many U.S. fans and family are not going to this year's games.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:52 am

On a frigid afternoon, Jack Burke is coaching young skiers in a field in Saranac Lake, N.Y. His son Tim — who shoots and skis as part of the U.S. biathlon team — got his start training here. Now, Tim is off to Sochi to compete, but Jack and his whole family are staying home, missing the games for the first time since Tim's first Olympics in 2006.

"The uncertainty certainly did weigh into it," says Jack. "The cost was substantial, and costs seemed to be changing weekly."

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Around the Nation
12:54 am
Wed January 29, 2014

On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything

Diners at Lonnie's Roadhouse Cafe eat breakfast before heading to work in Williston, N.D.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.

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It's All Politics
12:23 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Inside The State Of The Union: What The President Proposed

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

After a long spell of partisan trench warfare and gridlock, President Obama called for "a year of action" Tuesday as he focused on themes that are central to his second-term agenda. The changes he proposed in his annual State of the Union speech were relatively modest, but flashes of ambition showed in his promise to move forward, with or without Congress, to address issues of income inequality.

Here's what President Obama proposed on the policy front:

Minimum Wage

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It's All Politics
10:55 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

From Establishment To Tea Party, Republicans Rebut President

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., rehearses the GOP response to the State of the Union on Capitol Hill. She delivered it Tuesday following the president's speech.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 7:23 am

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking female Republican in the U.S. House, occupied a coveted spot Tuesday night: She delivered the televised rebuttal to the president's State of the Union.

Yet the Washington congresswoman and mother of three young children didn't have the spotlight to herself. She faced competition from within the ranks of her own party, a stark reflection of the divisions that have riven the GOP.

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The Two-Way
10:02 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

WATCH: Obama Tells The Story Of A Wounded Soldier

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:19 pm

There was one moment during President Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday that overcame all the bitter division and cynicism of Washington.

It happened when Obama spoke about Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, who was almost killed by a roadside bomb during his 10th deployment to Afghanistan.

Sitting next to first lady Michelle Obama, Remsburg received two minutes of applause from the chamber.

Despite surgeries and struggles Remsburg never quit, Obama said.

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