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Europe
4:11 am
Fri April 11, 2014

A Trip Into Odessa's Rich, Dark History

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:37 am

As Ukraine seeks international help to bring Crimea back from Russian control, residents of Odessa watching warily. The historic Black Sea port has been conquered repeatedly throughout history.

Afghanistan
3:21 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Afghan Election Blow To Taliban, Leading U.S. General Says

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:37 am

Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, who has been reporting from the Afghan capital Kabul, talks to Marine General Joseph Dunford, the commander of all allied forces in Afghanistan.

Politics
3:20 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius To Step Down

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:37 am

The move comes about 6 months after the disastrous roll out of the health insurance website. It was eventually fixed, but not before delivering a severe blow to the president's approval ratings.

NPR Story
3:20 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Groups Disagree Over How To Aid Syrians Caught In Civil War

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:37 am

Aid has only trickled into Syria since the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for more access to the country. Aid workers say bureaucratic obstacles continue to be a major problem.

NPR Story
3:20 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Amazon Buys Digital Comics Company ComiXology

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:37 am

The company makes a mobile app for buying and reading digital comics, including titles from Marvel and DC Comics. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Africa
2:39 am
Fri April 11, 2014

African Responses Night And Day From Rwanda, U.N. Envoy Says

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power addresses top officials from the African peacekeeping mission in Bangui, Central African Republic, on Wednesday.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 11:55 am

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide: three months of slaughter in which nearly a million people were killed.

As a scholar, Samantha Power wrote extensively about the U.S. failure to intervene in Rwanda and bring the genocide to an end. Now, as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Power led the American delegation to memorial services in Rwanda this past Monday.

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StoryCorps
2:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

One Man Becomes Another's Hands, Feet And Family

Ernest Greene (left) accompanied Collin Smith to college. When Collin graduated, the school awarded Ernest an honorary degree.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 6:24 am

When he was a high school sophomore, Collin Smith was in a car accident that left him a quadriplegic.

Ernest Greene, 50 years Collin's senior, had never met Collin, but he attended the same church. And when he heard about Collin's accident, he decided he wanted to help. He offered to do whatever Collin needed, from taking him to school to helping him shave. And when Collin began college, Ernest went too.

"What made you want to go to college with me?" Collin, now 23, asked Ernest in a visit to StoryCorps in Asheboro, N.C.

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Movie Interviews
1:54 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Kristen Wiig Gets Serious For Alice Munro Adaptation

Kristen Wiig plays a quiet caretaker named Johanna in Hateship Loveship.
Courtesy of Patti Perret, Hateship Capital LLC IFC Films

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 6:39 am

The new film Hateship Loveship was adapted from an Alice Munro short story and stars Saturday Night Live alumna Kristen Wiig in a performance that's a far cry from her outrageous characters on the comedy show.

In it, Wiig plays Johanna, a caretaker in Iowa assigned to help a grandfather, played by Nick Nolte, look after his 14-year-old granddaughter, Sabitha. Sabitha's mother died in a car accident when Sabitha's father, Ken, played by Guy Pearce, was driving drunk and high.

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Paying For College
1:53 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Paying Off Student Loans Puts A Dent In Wallets, And The Economy

Student loan debt forces many young adults to make hard choices about how they spend their money — and can prevent them from making investments that will pay off down the road.
David Sacks Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:38 am

Weighing in at more than $1 trillion, student loan debt is now larger than total credit card debt. Morning Edition recently asked young adults about their biggest concerns, and more than two-thirds of respondents mentioned college debt. Many say they have put off marriage or buying a home because of the financial burden they took on as students.

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National Security
1:52 am
Fri April 11, 2014

What's The Right Size For The U.S. Army?

As the U.S. winds down the Afghan war, the government is eyeing a much reduced military force — to its lowest level since World War II. Here, soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, salute during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during a homecoming ceremony Feb. 27 in Fort Knox, Ky.
Luke Sharrett Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:14 am

With the U.S. military out of Iraq and winding down in Afghanistan, the U.S. Army, which peaked with a force of around 570,000 a few years ago, was supposed to drop to around 490,000 troops.

But U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that's still too big.

"An Army of this size is larger than required to meet the demands of our defense strategy," Hagel told a news conference in February.

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Shots - Health News
1:51 am
Fri April 11, 2014

The Ebola Survivors: Reborn But Not Always Embraced

Rose Komano, 18 and the mother of three, was the first Ebola patient to overcome the virus in southeastern Guinea, the epicenter of the outbreak. On April 3, she posed at a health clinic in the Gueckedou region.
Misha Hussain Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 1:32 pm

They call them the "Lazarus" cases, after the Biblical character who died but was revived by Jesus. They are survivors of the latest outbreak of Ebola.

Ebola often grabs global headlines as the killer virus that can result in a death rate of up to 90 percent. But in Guinea, the death rate in the current outbreak has been about 60 percent. So there are survivors — to the delight of the overworked doctors, health workers and, of course, the patients who have recovered.

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It's All Politics
5:38 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Obama And Al Sharpton: An Odd Couple Who Make Political Sense

President Obama and the Rev. Al Sharpton together at the 2011 National Action Network conference.
Frank Franklin II AP

President Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton might at first seem like one of the odder couples in U.S. politics.

The president is by nature a super-cautious politician, measured in his rhetoric. He has generally stayed away from overt discussions of race for much of his presidency, though he has spoken more openly and emotionally about issues of race during his second term.

Sharpton, on the other hand, built a career as an incendiary racial avenger who for decades was drawn to interracial controversies as if they had some irresistible gravitational force.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Is Resigning

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from her post after serving for five years.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:35 pm

Health Secrerary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after a five-year term that will no doubt be remembered for the calamitous implementation of President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

If you remember, when the federal government unveiled HealthCare.gov, where Americans could buy health insurance mandated by Obamacare, the site was essentially useless for weeks after it launched in October.

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News
5:09 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Sebelius, Leader Of Rocky Health Care Rollout, Resigns From HHS

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:12 pm

Kathleen Sebelius has resigned from her position as secretary of health and human services. President Obama accepted her resignation, and he plans to nominate Sylvia Matthews Burwell to replace her.

The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Judges Appear Divided In Case On Utah's Gay Marriage Ban

Plaintiff and gay rights activist Derek Kitchen (left) and partner Moudi Sbeity stand with relatives after a hearing at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Thursday.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 12:55 pm

A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals appeared divided on Thursday as they listened to arguments in a case on whether Utah's same-sex marriage ban is constitutional.

The ban, approved by Utah voters in 2004, was struck down by a lower court in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year against the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

At the hearing in Denver on Thursday, the appeals court judges voiced support for a "fundamental right to marriage" but said Utah might have the right to define marriage as only between men and women.

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Monkey See
3:50 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

After The Horror Of War, What About Forgiveness?

Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman as Eric and Patti Lomax, the couple at the center of The Railway Man.
Jaap Buitendijk The Weinstein Company

Telling a story about forgiveness in the presence of love is easy. Telling a story about forgiveness in the absence of love is hard.

Forgiveness in the presence of love is done all the time — it's every story about relationships broken by mistakes, repaired by apologies and righted by the making of amends. It's every story that ends, "I'm so sorry, baby." The crack is plastered and sanded; it's a restoration.

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It's All Politics
3:47 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Ryan Budget Vote Produces 'Win' For Both Parties

J. Scott Applewhite AP

The House of Representatives saw a rare win-win day on the floor with passage of this year's Ryan budget.

Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Democratic ranking member Chris Van Hollen both thanked the committee staff for all its hard work. Democrats made lots of speeches about how horrible the budget is; Republicans made lots of speeches about how wonderful it is. They took a vote, and then adjourned for a two-week break.

The actual effect on public policy?

None.

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Movie Reviews
3:38 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

On 'Draft Day,' A Coach Faces His Own Big Game

Denis Leary plays a wound-up coach and Kevin Costner plays a general manager in Draft Day, a comedy set on the NFL's most stressful day of the year.
Dale Robinette Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Draft Day may be a sports movie, but football isn't the sport. Games are played, but they're not on a field. This is a chess match, a poker game and a battle of wills, and in the place of a team full of plucky underdogs trying to come up with an unlikely win in the zero hour, there's a downtrodden NFL general manager trying to make a series of business deals to save his job and his team's revenue stream.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

German Fears About U.S. Spying Could Hurt Trade Deal

A carnival truck caricatures President Obama and the NSA spying scandal during a parade through Frankfurt, Germany, last month.
Frank Rumpenhorst EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 8:52 am

Most Americans and Germans agree: More trade between the United States and the European Union would be a good idea.

But when you get down to details of a possible trade pact, suspicions pop up, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in association with Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation.

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Monkey See
3:33 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Stephen Colbert: The End Of One Joke, The Start Of Many More

Stephen Colbert has made a name for himself, literally, as the host of his own show. Now, he will succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show.
Scott Gries Picturegroup

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:37 am

CBS just ended the longest-running joke in TV history by naming Stephen Colbert to succeed retiring late-night host David Letterman

That's because Colbert, who has won all kinds of acclaim playing fictional right-wing cable TV news host "Stephen Colbert" on The Colbert Report, will now play a new character when he takes over Letterman's Late Show:

Himself.

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All Tech Considered
3:32 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

One-Day Sale: Google Glass Will Be Available For A Cool $1,500

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass in February 2013.
Jeff Chiu AP

Google Glass, the computer and camera you wear on your face, can be yours starting next Tuesday. Google has been rolling out Glass to a select group of "Explorers" since early 2013, but soon, anyone in the U.S. with $1,500 plus tax can get a headset at this link.

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All Songs Considered
3:25 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

The Good Listener: How Do I Appear Knowledgeable Without Acting Like A Jerk?

Jack Black in a scene from the 2003 film School Of Rock
Andrew Schwartz PARAMOUNT

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the fliers for yard-cleaning services that know a big job when they see one are a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on ways to drop musical knowledge without seeming obnoxious.

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Book Reviews
3:21 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

After A Disaster In 'Family Life,' Relief Never Comes

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:12 pm

Some things in life are just too painful to accept, and the same is true in novels. Family Life is the story of the Mishras, who immigrate to the U.S. in the late 1970s from India. Their departure is such a big deal that townspeople gather around just to have a look at their airplane tickets. Expectations of the life that awaits them start to build. "Americans clean themselves with paper, not water," says a classmate of the younger Mishra brother, Ajay, who narrates the novel. "In America, they say 'yeah' not yes," the boy goes on. To which Ajay replies, "That's nothing.

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Law
3:21 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

For Albuquerque PD, A Searing Rebuke From Justice Department

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Justice Department issued a scathing report today on the Albuquerque Police Department's use of force. Albuquerque officers have shot and killed 23 people in the last four years. Many of the victims were mentally or emotionally unstable. The report says the department has systemic deficiencies that caused the deaths and many other incidents. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

What's A Breath Of Fresh Air Worth? In China, About $860

Beijing artist Liang Kegang poses in a Beijing art gallery earlier this week with the jar of fresh air he collected in Provence, France.
Didi Tang AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 10:37 am

It's a classic example of supply and demand: How much would you pay for a bottle of fresh air in one of the world's most polluted cities?

When Beijing artist Liang Kegang returned home from a vacation in France, he brought with him a jar of clean air he had collected from Provence. At auction in a group of about 100 fellow artists and collectors, the jar of air fetched the equivalent of $860, according to The Associated Press.

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It's All Politics
2:48 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Luci Baines Johnson: Vietnam War 'Lanced' LBJ's Gut Every Night

Luci Baines Johnson greets residents as she accompanies her mother, Lady Bird Johnson, to Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 8, 1964.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 9:27 am

The 50th anniversary of President Johnson's signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is being celebrated this week at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.

NPR's Don Gonyea spoke Wednesday to Luci Baines Johnson, the 66-year-old younger daughter of the 36th president, about some of the human dimensions of the presidency.

Here are some highlights from their discussion:

On the toll the presidency took on her father

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News
2:47 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Austin Hosts Presidents Past And Present To Honor Civil Rights

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:12 pm

President Obama is in Austin, Texas, honoring the legacy of President Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He's one of four U.S. presidents to appear at a civil rights summit this week.

Politics
2:47 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Budget Bomb-Throwing Resumes With Party Line Vote

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:12 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. For years, budget battles have ruled Washington politics: fiscal cliffs, debt ceiling fights and, of course, last fall's government shutdown. But then, in December, the House and Senate agreed on a two-year spending plan and the budget bomb-throwing stopped. Today, it resumed just long enough for the Republican-controlled House to pass a budget.

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Parallels
2:47 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

God Save The Queen — And Donetsk, Too?

The online "God Save The Queen" campaign that started as a joke called for Donetsk to hold a referendum on whether to join Great Britain. Eventually, it was shut down: for being anti-Russian.
Novosti Donbassa

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 1:16 am

The eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk has been the center of a standoff since Sunday, with demonstrators pleading for the city to join Russia, while government leaders insist it will remain part of Ukraine.

In the midst of this tug-of-war, there's a third country that may have a claim on the city — though admittedly, a much looser one.

"God Save The Queen" isn't just the British national anthem, it's also the name of a campaign to bring Donetsk under the sheltering wing of Her Majesty's United Kingdom.

(You read that correctly: the UK. Stay with us here.)

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Middle East
2:47 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

As Refugees Stream In, Lebanon Copes With Human Flood Tide

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:12 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.

The United Nations has now registered more than a million refugees who have fled the war in Syria and gone to Lebanon. There are many more who have gone to other countries, but this massive flow of people creates a perilous situation for Syria's tiny next door neighbor. Lebanon's own security is always fragile and its resources, like water, are in short supply.

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