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4:04 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

An Unconventional Contender Emerges As GOP Ponders 2016 Convention

Visitors crowd the Las Vegas Strip to celebrate the new year.
Glenn Pinkerton AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 pm

Every four years a handful of cities battle to host the big nominating conventions for the major political parties. The competition for 2016 has already begun, with a surprising and aggressive player making a bid for the Republican National Convention: Las Vegas.

Certainly it's a place that knows how to host a big convention, but for the GOP to give Vegas the nod, the party will have to look past the city's well-earned reputation as "Sin City."

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Commentary
4:04 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Week In Politics: Bob McDonnell & The State Of The Union

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 pm

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, EJ Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the latest on the charges faced by former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell and the upcoming State of the Union address.

The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

New Study Shakes Up Science On Midwest Quake Zone

Map showing seismic activity in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:44 am

One of the biggest earthquakes in U.S. history didn't occur in California. Or Alaska. It happened in the country's midsection some 200 years ago in an area where today seven states straddle the Mississippi River Valley.

And seismologists from the United States Geological Survey believe they've uncovered evidence that the New Madrid Seismic Zone, as the area that spawned the 1811-12 quakes is known, is still alive and kicking.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

RNC Approves New Rules To Shorten 2016 Primary Season

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus walks around the room Friday at the RNC winter meeting in Washington.
Susan Walsh AP

If the primary calendar played a role in the GOP's defeat in the 2012 presidential election, that part, at least, is now fixed.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Holder Favors Pot Banking, And Legal Dealers Shrug

A marijuana bud and cash at a shop in Denver. An owner of marijuana stores in the city says of his company's bank account, "We treat it like gold."
Ed Andrieski AP

When I heard late Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder had come out in favor of bank accounts for state-sanctioned pot businesses, I assumed the industry would react with cheers. After all, they've long complained about being black-balled by banks, which are justifiably afraid of violating federal laws against handling drug money.

But when I started calling around today, the reactions ranged from "That's nice" to "Meh."

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Interviews
2:34 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Tom Hanks Is 'Captain Phillips' In High-Seas Hostage Drama

Prior to filming, director Paul Greengrass kept the pirate crew and the boat crew separate to make the hijacking scenes feel more authentic. "The hair did stand up on the back of our heads," says Tom Hanks, above.
Hopper Stone, SMPSP

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 7, 2013.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Dow Loses 318 Points, The Most In One Day Since June

The Dow closed 318 points lower on Friday, the biggest one-day drop since June.

As NBC News puts it, the index joined the rout that hit European and Asian markets on fears that the global economy is slowing.

The Wall Street Journal adds:

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Business
2:27 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

In The Super Bowl Ad Game, One Small Business Will Win Big

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:55 pm

Super Bowl suspense is building — for the game and the commercials. With an audience of over 100 million people, advertisers covet this space, but at a reported $4 million a spot, only the mightiest corporations can afford Super Bowl exposure. This year, though, there's an exception. One lucky little business will get one of those primo slots — free.

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Shots - Health News
2:24 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

The Healthy, Not The Young, May Determine Health Law's Fate

Insurers get paid more for older people under the Affordable Care Act, even if they're healthy.
Tony Ding AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 10:37 am

Now that the problems with the balky HealthCare.gov website are largely fixed, the Obama administration is finally feeling comfortable enough to launch some of the outreach it planned for last fall.

Its top target: young adults, specifically those between 18 and 35.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Which Are The Most, And Least, 'Bible-Minded' Cities In The U.S.?

A new study ranks 100 American cities according to how "Bible-minded" they are. The top spot went to Chattanooga, Tenn. Several cities in the Northeast and West were ranked "least Bible-minded."
Joseph Kaczmarek AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:26 pm

In an era of shifting populations and values, the notion of America's Bible Belt can be a slippery concept. But a new study gives us an idea of which cities can be considered to be part of that tradition — and which cities aren't.

Chattanooga, Tenn., was named America's most Bible-minded city, followed by Birmingham, Ala., and Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.

And despite its name, Providence, R.I., was named the least Bible-minded city. It tied New Bedford, Mass., in that slot, followed by Albany, N.Y., and Boston.

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All Tech Considered
2:09 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Tech Week That Was: The Mac Turns 30, More NSA Rumblings

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs (left) and President John Sculley display the hardware unveiled at the annual shareholders meeting on Jan. 24, 1984.
Terry Schmitt UPI/Landov

It may have been a slow news week — no national security flaws or revelations, no more signs that Google is trying to take over the world — but we had plenty of content to feed your tech appetite here on All Tech Considered.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Pakistani Judge Orders Death For Man Who Claimed To Be Prophet

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:08 am

A mentally ill British national held in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after claiming to be the Prophet Muhammad.

Mohammed Asghar, 69, was arrested in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistani capital Islamabad, in 2010 shortly after returning from a trip to the U.K., where he was treated for paranoid schizophrenia, his lawyer said.

It was then that he allegedly wrote letters to various individuals, including a police officer, claiming that he was the revered prophet of Islam.

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It's All Politics
1:30 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Why Washington Drives Mayors Crazy

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

Along with hundreds of other cities across the country, Dubuque, Iowa, has been able to cut back on its utility bills, thanks to energy efficiency grants from the federal government.

But that money was part of the 2009 stimulus package. It's all dried up, and no more is forthcoming.

"We can't seem to get any traction in Congress to get it reinstated," says Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol.

Energy efficiency money isn't the only area where mayors have been frustrated in their dealings with Washington.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

U.N. Says Authorities, Locals In Myanmar Killed Dozens Of Muslims

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says her organization has credible evidence that dozens of minority Muslims in Myanmar were killed in the northern state of Rakhine.

Here's how Navi Pillay described what took place in a press release issued on Thursday:

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:48 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Jim Hall On Piano Jazz

Jim Hall.
Frans Schellekens Redferns

Widely admired as a gifted and innovative player, jazz guitarist Jim Hall had a career that spanned more than five decades. In a session recorded in 2003, the NEA Jazz Master teamed up with host Marian McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi for "Blue Monk," and performed solo in "All the Things You Are."

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The Salt
12:21 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Can Mom's Pregnancy Diet Rewire Baby's Brain For Obesity?

Choose wisely: What Mom eats during pregnancy can set the stage for obesity in her baby.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:07 pm

Moms-to-be are often reminded that they're eating for two. It's tempting to take this as an excuse to go for that extra scoop of the ice cream. (Believe me, I've been there.)

But a solid body of research suggests that expectant mothers should be walking away with the opposite message: Pregnancy should be a time to double-down on healthful eating if you want to avoid setting up your unborn child for a lifetime of wrestling with obesity.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

10 Years' Probation For NFL Player Who Caused Fatal Crash

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was drunk in December 2012 when the car he was driving crashed and his passenger — teammate Jerry Brown Jr. — was killed, was sentenced Friday to 180 days in jail, a $10,000 fine and 10 years of probation.

The Dallas Morning News writes that:

"After reading the sentence, state District Judge Robert Burns scolded Brent for his actions.

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Planet Money
11:54 am
Fri January 24, 2014

An Astonishing Share Of Homebuyers Are Paying All Cash

adfa

More and more people are buying homes with pure cash. In December, all-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all U.S. residential sales, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, a company that collects and analyzes housing data.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Fri January 24, 2014

How An 18-Year-Old Code Was Cracked On The Web In 13 Minutes

A fascinating story that our friends at Minnesota Public Radio posted about earlier this week seems to be spreading fast and resonating with many.

Here's how The Associated Press, which picked up on the news a day after MPR's Bob Collins and some others, begins its account:

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell, Wife Plead Not Guilty

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, leave the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, on Friday in Richmond, Virginia.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in front of a federal judge on Friday.

As we've reported, McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, have been charged with 14 counts, including conspiracy and wire fraud over allegations they took gifts from the CEO of a pharmaceutical company and in exchange provided Star Scientific with the "prestige of the governorship."

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Show Us: The State Of The Union Through Your Eyes

President Obama's motorcade en route to Capitol Hill for his the State of Union speech on January 25, 2011.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:03 pm

On Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address.

He'll talk about the past year and he'll lay out his vision for the year to come.

For the occasion, we also want a ground-level feel of the state of the union. We want to see how the state of the union is playing out in your life.

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Song Travels
10:45 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Jitterbug Vipers On 'Song Travels'

Jitterbug Vipers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 7:24 am

Jitterbug Vipers' members perform 1930s-style "viper jazz" with a rock 'n' roll twist. The Austin band's original music — crafted by singer Sarah Sharp, guitarist Slim Richey, bassist Francie Meaux Jeaux and drummer Masumi Jones — recalls swing classics by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Cab Calloway.

On this installment of Song Travels, you can hear Jitterbug Vipers perform a set live in the studio. Host Michael Feinstein also sits down with Sharp to discuss the history of viper jazz and the inspiration behind the band's sizzling original music.

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All Songs Considered
10:44 am
Fri January 24, 2014

The Good Listener: How Can I Conquer A Musical Blind Spot?

Devendra Banhart.
Courtesy of the artist

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Ukraine Protests Spread, But 'Fragile Truce' Holds In Kiev

On Friday in Kiev, a woman knelt as she appealed to Ukranian police troops at the site of clashes with anti-government protesters.
Gleb Garanich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 9:36 am

"Violent protests in Ukraine have spread beyond the capital, Kiev," the BBC writes, as President Viktor Yanukovych and three key opposition leaders meet.

On Friday, according to the BBC, "protesters stormed the governor's offices in Lviv, and there were rallies in at least five more western cities."

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All Tech Considered
8:50 am
Fri January 24, 2014

As Windows XP Fades Away, Will Its Users Stick With Microsoft?

A man walks past a Microsoft billboard featuring Windows XP in November 2001 in Beijing.
Kevin Lee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 8:10 am

Windows XP may have been largely developed in a different millennium, but it's not going into retirement without a fight.

Even as Microsoft promotes Windows 8, its latest operating system, Windows XP is still the second-most used OS on nonmobile computers, according to Net Applications web analytics. Debuting in 2001, XP lasted through three new Microsoft operating systems and the growth of mobile technology.

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Monkey See
8:49 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Oscar Nominees And 'Looking'

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

The Oscar nominations are so strangely timed (for us) that we didn't get to them last week, so this is the week we take a look at what didn't make the cut that we wish had gotten through. Nothing will cast light on this discussion more than Mark Harris' terrific piece at Grantland about the effect of the expanded Best Picture field on all the other categories, which hasn't been as ...

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Movie Reviews
8:31 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Middle-Aged And Divorced, 'Gloria' Takes On Life's Uncertainties

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 2:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. "Gloria" is a new film from Chile that centers on a late-middle-aged divorced woman whose life is full of uncertainties. She's played by Paulina Garcia, who won the top acting prize - the Silver Bear - at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, where the movie was a surprise hit. It opens this week in New York and Los Angeles, and wider next month. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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The Salt
8:15 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Dry January: Giving Up Booze For A Month Does Have Benefits

Give your liver a break every now and then.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 10:37 am

As New Year's resolutions go, cutting back on food and drink are right at the top of the list. And while those resolved to change their eating habits may cut the carbohydrates or say a sweet goodbye to sugar, for regular drinkers, the tradition may involve what's known as a dry January: giving up booze for a month.

But could such a short-term breakup with alcohol really impart any measurable health benefits?

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Fri January 24, 2014

President Boehner? Not If That Rules Out Wine And Cigarettes

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, during his appearance on Thursday's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
NBC.com/the-tonight-show

House Speaker John Boehner used his first-ever appearance on NBC-TV's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to talk politics and, as President Obama and others have also done on late-night TV, have some fun at his own expense.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Nadal Sweeps Federer To Advance To Australian Open Final

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland during their semifinal Friday at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne.
Aaron Favila AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 9:40 am

Rafael Nadal beat out rival Roger Federer to reach the Australian Open final for the third time in what The New York Times describes as "a breezy 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3 win" Friday in Melbourne. Nadal will face No. 8-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland for the title.

The Times writes:

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