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Education
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Teacher Job Protections Vs. Students' Education In Calif.

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

To California now where a polarizing lawsuit goes to trial tomorrow. At issue, whether job protections for public school teachers undermines students' constitutional rights to an adequate education. The students and parents who filed the lawsuit say it could provide a model for challenging teacher protection laws in other states. But to unions and state officials, all the lawsuit does is demonize teachers.

NPR's Eric Westervelt has the story.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Protesters In Ukraine Vow To Step Up Pressure On Government

Ukrainian opposition activists on Sunday carry the coffin of their comrade Mikhail Zhiznevsky, killed during anti-government protests, in downtown Kiev, Ukraine.
Maxim Shipenkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 1:23 pm

Anti-government protesters clashed with security forces overnight in the Ukraine capital, Kiev. The latest violence comes a day after embattled President Viktor Yanukovych tried unsuccessfully to quell unrest by offering top political posts to the opposition.

Yanukovych offered on Saturday to hand over two key posts to opposition leaders, but the offer was swiftly rebuffed.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Wawrinka Beats Ailing Nadal To Win Australian Open Final

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland kisses the Australian Open trophy during the awarding ceremony after winning the men's singles final against Spain's Rafael Nadal on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia.
Xu Yanyan Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:07 am

Stanislas Wawrinka beat an injured Rafael Nadal to win his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 upset on Sunday.

Wawrinka becomes only the second Swiss man to win a Grand Slam singles title. Of course, 17-time champion Roger Federer was the first.

The New York Times says of Wawrinka:

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Code Switch
6:44 am
Sun January 26, 2014

For Persian Jews, America Means 'Religious Pluralism At Its Best'

Roben Farzad and his mother in their 1978 visa photo
Courtesy of Roben Farzad

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Sun January 26, 2014

5 Things To Know About The Grammy Awards Show

Jay-Z performs during his Magna Carta World Tour at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Arena earlier this month. Jay Z has nine nominations at this year's Grammys.
Anthony Nesmith CSM /Landov

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:27 pm

The 56th annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The Los Angeles Times says:

"[The] Grammy Awards show is chock-full of star-studded performances. And like every year, the performances are all about the collaborations.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:02 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Take Synonyms For A Spin (Or Pirouette)

NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:28 pm

On-air challenge: For each word given, name a synonym in which the first two letters are the same as the second and third letters of the given word. For example, spin and pirouette.

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Three Books...
5:02 am
Sun January 26, 2014

They Came From Inner Space: Three Books About Solitude

iStockphoto

Writers are a curious bunch, known for holding court at parties, charming their readers publicly, yet also famously — stereotypically — cranky in the daylight hours. They prefer their own quiet shuffling to any other human noise. I, too, admit a certain tendency toward this peculiar, self-inflicted isolation.

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Movie Interviews
3:08 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Take A Ride With Baltimore's Renegade Bikers, The '12 O'Clock Boys'

A new documentary follows The 12 O'Clock Boys, a gang of Baltimore dirt bikers who do dangerous stunts at top speeds on city streets." I think it's a kind of escape for these guys; it's a kind of renegade sport," says filmmaker Lotfy Nathan.
Noah Rabinowitz 12 O'Clock Boys

It doesn't take long to understand why a Baltimore gang of dirt bikers is called the 12 O'Clock Boys: Flying at top speeds down city streets, they flip precariously high wheelies, maneuvering their bikes to near vertical positions, like clock hands at high noon.

The police try to crack down on them, but that only adds to the gang's allure — especially for a young rider named Pug. "If I fall, I'm gonna hop back on my bike," Pug says. "Doesn't matter if I break my arm or anything, I'm hopping back on this bike."

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Monkey See
3:06 am
Sun January 26, 2014

8 Picture Books That Make Us Wish We Were Kids Again

Courtesy of Candlewick Press

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:21 am

Update: On Jan. 27, the American Library Association awarded the Caldecott Medal to Locomotive by Brian Floca. Three Caldecott Honor books were also named, including Journey by Aaron Becker and Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner.

Our original post:

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The Salt
3:05 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Pig Virus Continues To Spread, Raising Fears Of Pricier Bacon

Piglets at Hilldale Farm in State Center, Iowa in March 2013, just before porcine epidemic diarrhea began spreading through hog farms in the U.S.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

Pork producers across the country are grappling with a virus that's going after piglets. Livestock economists estimate the porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, virus has already killed about 1 million baby pigs in the U.S. since it was first found in Iowa last spring.

Canada reported its first case Thursday, and the disease shows no sign of abating. That has veterinarians worried.

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The Edge
3:05 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Can This 'Perfect Match' Dance Their Way To Gold?

Meryl Davis and Charlie White compete in the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston earlier this month.
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

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Shots - Health News
5:48 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Cutting Spousal Benefits Might Not Save Firms Money After All

UPS has told workers that it will no longer offer health coverage for spouses who have their own job-based insurance. Above, a UPS driver makes a delivery in North Andover, Mass.
Elise Amendola AP

One of the latest trends for employers looking to save money on health care benefits is to cut back on coverage of their employees' spouses.

Some companies are simply charging more for spouses who work and are eligible for coverage at their own job. Others, like UPS, are dropping spousal coverage entirely.

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Author Interviews
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

The Mystery Of Isabel Allende: Author Explores New Genre

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Isabel Allende planned to retire in 2011. Instead, she wrote a murder mystery.

The New York Times bestselling author is known for her unique style that blends historical reportage, memoir and literature. Her books have sold over 60 million copies and are translated into more than 35 languages.

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The New And The Next
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

The Business Of Hip-Hop; Luring Millennials To Life Insurance

Rayon Richards Ozy

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 8:44 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with guest host Kelly McEvers about a rising star who has made hip-hop serious business, and the advertising tactics that life insurance companies are using to attract young people.

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World
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Ukrainian President Stuns Protesters With Offer Of Government Jobs

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The political crisis in Ukraine has taken a stunning turn with news that embattled President Viktor Yanukovych may be near an agreement with leaders of the opposition. The move comes as anti-government protests spread to more parts of the country. And demonstrators in Kiev, the capital, seemed poised to launch violent clashes with police.

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Middle East
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Syria Grants Rare But Scripted Glimpse To Western Journalists

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Ahead of the Geneva talks, the Syrian government actually granted rare visas to a handful of Western journalists to enter Syria.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is one of those reporters. He's in the Syrian capital Damascus. I asked him what message the Syrian government is trying to convey.

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Middle East
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Syrian Government, Opposition Begin Peace Talks With 'Half Steps'

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

After months in the making, Syrian peace talks began today in Geneva. Leaders from the Syrian government and the opposition met face-to-face today in the first ever direct negotiations between the two sides. The goal: to end the violence that's killed more than 100,000 people.

NPR's Deborah Amos is in Geneva, and she joins us to talk about the day's events. Hi, Deb.

DEBORAH AMOS, BYLINE: Hi.

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World
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Three Years After Uprising, Egypt Remains Deeply Divided

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers, in for Arun Rath.

Today marks the first time the two sides in the Syrian conflict have sat together for talks. Today also marks three years since a revolution ousted a dictator in Egypt. Since then, Egyptians have experienced the first free elections in decades, the toppling of an Islamist government and a resurgent military-led government.

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Health
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

West Virginians Confused About Water Safety, Despite State's All Clear

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers.

This week, the company responsible for a toxic chemical leak into the Elk River in West Virginia announced that a second previously undisclosed chemical was present and may also have slipped into the water supply - this after people in and around Charleston, West Virginia, had already spent days avoiding the tap water only to have officials declare it's safe for drinking last week.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Mediator: 'Haven't Achieved Much' At Syrian Peace Talks

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, center, arrives for a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has acknowledged that the first day of face-to-face talks between representatives of Syria's government and the opposition coalition failed to yield anything in the way of results.

"We haven't achieved much," Brahimi said following the day's discussions. "But, we are continuing."

"The situation is very difficult and very, very complicated, and we are moving not in steps, but half-steps," he said.

The Associated Press described the talks, which are set to resume on Sunday, as "painstakingly choreographed."

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Nearly 30 Killed As Egypt Celebrates Revolution's Anniversary

Anti-military protesters run away from tear gas fired by riot police near the Ramsis square, downtown Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday.
Amru Salahuddien Xinhua/Landov

Thousands of Egyptians poured onto the streets to celebrate the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that brought an end to President Hosni Mubarak's regime, but the festivities were marred by violence as security forces crushed counter-demonstrations aimed at the military.

At least 29 protesters were killed, according to health officials.

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Shots - Health News
11:12 am
Sat January 25, 2014

How Vaccine Fears Fueled The Resurgence Of Preventable Diseases

Council on Foreign Relations

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:41 am

For most of us, measles and whooping cough are diseases of the past. You get a few shots as a kid and then hardly think about them again.

But that's not the case in all parts of the world — not even parts of the U.S.

As an interactive map from the Council on Foreign Relations illustrates, several diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines have made a comeback in the past few years. Their resurgence coincides with changes in perceptions about vaccine safety.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Sat January 25, 2014

3 Dead In Shooting At Baltimore-Area Shopping Mall

Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after reports of a multiple shooting, on Saturday, in Howard County, Md.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 7:10 pm

Updated 9 p.m. ET

Three people are dead after an assailant armed with a shotgun entered a suburban Baltimore shopping mall on Saturday and shot two store employees before killing himself, police said.

"We were able to identify three victims at an upper level store," Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon told reporters. "One of the victim appears to be the shooter."

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:32 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Joaquin Phoenix And A Self-Help Skeptic

Joaquin Phoenix's Her character, Theodore, has a job writing intimate — and sometimes erotic — cards and letters on behalf of other people.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Author Interviews
10:26 am
Sat January 25, 2014

'Le Divorce' Author Finds Stories Closer To Home In 'Flyover'

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:31 am

For most of her readers, the American author Diane Johnson is wholly identified with France and especially Paris. She's the author of novels like L'Affaire, Le Marriage, and Le Divorce — the last of which was made into a film.

So it comes as something of a surprise that Johnson's new book is about her roots in the American Midwest. And not only her own roots, but the roots of a family tree going back two centuries, painstakingly reconstructed from a trove of diaries and letters passed on by her mother.

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Commentary
9:50 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Violence Abroad Threatens Students, As Do Guns At U.S. Schools

This handout provided by the Santa Monica Police Department shows ammunition, magazines and guns believed to have been dropped by a suspected gunman during a mass shooting at Santa Monica College in June 2013.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 10:06 am

Last year, there were more than two-dozen shootings on or near college campuses in the United States. This past Tuesday, that number went up, with the fatal shooting of a student at Purdue University. Then Friday, a fatal shooting at South Carolina State University. It will, of course, tick up again.

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Books News & Features
9:45 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Before He Fell To Earth, 'The Little Prince' Was Born In N.Y.

A detail of a drawing from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Graham S. Haber Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 11:31 am

One of the world's most beloved books is The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery. Published in 1943, almost two million copies are sold every year, in about 250 languages.

If asked where you think the book was written, you might say Paris. You'd be wrong. Try Long Island — as in Long Island, N.Y.

When the late Nikos Kefalidis bought the house on Beven Road in Northport, Long Island, in the late 1970s, he knew that 30 years before, Saint-Exupery had written and illustrated part of Le Petit Prince in that house.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Smoker May Have Caused Retirement Home Fire; Dozens Still Missing

Smoke rises from the burned remains of a retirement home in L'Isle-Verte on Friday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 10:10 am

The Toronto Sun reports Saturday that an employee at the Residence du Havre retirement home that caught fire on Thursday, killing at least eight people and leaving about a dozen unaccounted for, says he's "95 percent sure" that the cause of the blaze was a cigarette.

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Middle East
9:21 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Three Years Later, Tahrir Protesters Drained And Defeated

Egyptian security forces close Tahrir Square to disperse protesters in December.
Ahmed Abd El Latif AP

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 6:17 pm

Three years after the start of the 2011 revolution, many of the young secular activists who led the protests are behind bars.

Others have gone silent, afraid to speak out as the military and the ousted Muslim Brotherhood are locked in a battle for Egypt itself.

For most of those revolutionaries, this is a dark and bitter time.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:15 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Not My Job: How Much Does A Former Hedge Fund Manager Know About Hedges?

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:07 pm

Mad Money, CNBC's daily show about the stock market, is not your typical financial show. Host Jim Cramer shouts, he throws things around, he pushes buttons to make funny noises.

Since Cramer is a former hedge fund manager, we'd like to see just how much he knows about actual hedges. We'll test him with three questions about the world of topiary.

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