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The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Facebook Will Acquire Virtual Reality Company For $2 Billion

The Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles make for an immersive experience.
Nan Palmero Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:27 pm

Facebook announced a pretty big purchase on Tuesday: The social media giant said it was acquiring Oculus VR, a company that makes virtual reality goggles, for $2 billion.

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook, which the company values at $1.6 billion.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Another Uproar? Danish Zoo That Culled Giraffe Kills A Family Of Lions

The lions at the Copenhagen Zoo eat the remains of a healthy young giraffe named Marius in February. It's unclear whether the lion pictured was one of those euthanized.
Kasper Palsnov AFP/Getty Images

The same Danish zoo that euthanized a young, healthy giraffe it didn't need for its breeding program has killed a family of lions to make room for a younger, male lion.

If you remember, the Copenhagen Zoo caused an uproar when it put down "Marius," performed a public autopsy and then fed its body to the lions back in February.

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It's All Politics
4:50 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Political Winner From The Proposed NSA Changes? Rand Paul

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul could catch a political updraft from President Obama's decision to restrict NSA telephone data collection efforts.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:17 pm

It's too early to gauge the political impact of President Obama's plans to tame the NSA's data-gathering effort. The full details of the proposal haven't been made public yet.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Can A 250-Year-Old Mathematical Theorem Find A Missing Plane?

This statistical map guided searchers to an Air France flight that disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.
C. Keller/Metron

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:28 am

Searchers are feeling overwhelmed by the task of locating the wreckage of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

"We're not searching for a needle in a haystack — we're still trying to define where the haystack is," Australian Air Marshal Mark Binskin said Tuesday. The current search zone stretches across many thousands of square miles of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.

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Author Interviews
2:55 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

'Sous Chef' Reveals The High-Adrenaline Dance Behind Your Dinner

Viktor Cap iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:03 pm

A restaurant kitchen at the peak of the dinner rush can be a crazy place — hot, crowded and filled with a kind of intense energy that some people, like Michael Gibney, thrive on. Gibney's been working in restaurants since he was young. In his new book, Sous Chef, Gibney tries to capture the rhythm of the kitchen by taking his readers through one day in the life of a fast-paced New York restaurant.

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Media
2:55 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Resignation Revives Doubts About Bloomberg China Coverage

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Bloomberg News finds itself under unwelcome scrutiny once again, as its parent company's chairman suggests that reporting on the corruption of China ruling elites isn't part of its core mission. A key China editor also revealed this week that he had quit Bloomberg in protest of a decision not to publish a subsequent investigation.

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It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Biden Visits N.H. To Talk About Jobs ... But Not His Own

Vice President Biden and N.H. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan meet with employees March 25 at the New Hampshire Works center in Manchester.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:12 pm

If you didn't know any better (or you got confused about what year it was), you might think Vice President Biden was back on the campaign trail, kissing grandmothers, slapping guys on the back and borrowing a woman's phone to razz her son about a basketball game.

Biden returned Tuesday to the familiar campaign grounds of New Hampshire for the first time since October 2012. And he swears he made the trip not to stake out ground for a presidential run, but rather to check out how the statewith the nation's first presidential primary helps match the unemployed with jobs.

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Senate Slugfest Highlights Hawaii's Changing Political Landscape

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii says the way her competitor's allies have made age an issue in her run for U.S. Senate is insulting to voters.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 4:28 pm

It says something about the changing politics of Hawaii that Democratic powerhouse Daniel Inouye's deathbed pick of a successor was ignored by his own party.

The question is what.

The December 2012 death of the long-serving senator — and one of the state's founding fathers — has exposed cracks in Hawaii's solidly Democratic façade, leading to a contentious Senate primary that has placed age, gender and ethnicity at center stage.

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The Salt
2:26 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

In Ranchers Vs. Weeds, Climate Change Gives Weeds An Edge

A tall, rubbery weed with golden flowers Dalmatian toadflax is encroaching on grasslands in 32 U.S. states.
pverdonk/Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Most climate models paint a bleak picture of the Great Plains a century from now as a hot region besieged by heavy rainstorms and flooding.

And new studies suggest that climate change may bring farmers another headache: more invasive plants.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

David Samson: The Christie Aide Who Has Survived The Scandal

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Sometime this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to release an internal review of what happened in September when officials abruptly closed access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. One of the key players in that scandal is still at work.

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Education
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Writing's On The Wall For Cursive — Unless Lawmakers Can Save It

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:14 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The last time you handwrote a check or a letter, did you print or use cursive? The new Common Core State Standards being implemented in classrooms across the country make no mention of cursive. Some school districts have simply stopped teaching it. Now, lawmakers in several states are fighting back, passing new state requirements that cursive be taught.

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

For Advocates And Telephone Companies, NSA Changes Are Welcome News

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Steve Henn joins us now to talk about how phone companies are already treating customer data and what that means for how the proposed NSA program might operate. Hi, Steve.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Hi.

SIEGEL: And what does this mean that under this proposal the NSA would no longer hold calling records, but would have to go to phone companies to access them?

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Out Of White House And Congress, Two Proposals To Change NSA Practices

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Public outrage over NSA surveillance programs that collect data about Americans is forcing some big change. Documents revealing the security agency's methods have been trickling out in the press for months, thanks to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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Global Health
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Sources And Symptoms Of A Disease With A Global Reputation

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Some facts now about the Ebola virus. It was discovered in 1976 after an outbreak in Zaire, which was the name then of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are five strains, named for the site of the outbreak where they were first identified. So the outbreak in Guinea is of the Zaire strain. The other strains are Sudan, Ivory Coast, Bundibugyo - that's in Uganda - and Reston. That's in northern Virginia.

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

At Nuclear Summit, Ukraine Questions Dominate The Day

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama wrapped up a two-day nuclear security summit in The Hague today. He's been operating on two tracks on this trip. At the summit, he's been urging countries to get rid of their nuclear material. On the sidelines, he's been organizing the global community to isolate Russia, following it's annexation of Crimea.

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Facing Ebola Outbreak, Officials Must Contain Both Virus And Panic

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Dozens of deaths are reported in Guinea in West Africa, the results of the Ebola virus. Health officials and aid agencies are working to contain both the disease and panic about the outbreak. We'll explore the origins of the deadly virus in a moment. First, NPR Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton on the outbreak.

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Parallels
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

In A Divided Donetsk, Russians And Ukrainians Vie For Support

Activists rally for a united Ukraine in Donetsk on March 5. They were attacked by pro-Russia supporters, but Russian media reported that pro-Russian demonstrators were attacked by soccer hooligans.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:51 pm

Two rallies took place recently on Lenin Square in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

At the first, a pro-Ukranian rally on March 5, thousands marched with Ukranian flags, shouting, "Down With Putin! Donetsk is Ukraine!" They were attacked by pro-Russia supporters.

A football fan club called the Ultras defended the demonstrators, but the next day, Russian media reported that a pro-Russian demonstration was attacked by soccer hooligans.

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Justices Divide By Gender In Hobby Lobby Contraception Case

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:12 pm

There was a clear difference of opinion between male and female justices at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The issue was whether for-profit corporations, citing religious objections, may refuse to include contraception coverage in the basic health plan now mandated under the Affordable Care Act.

The female justices were clearly supportive of the contraception mandate, while a majority of the male justices were more skeptical.

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Around the Nation
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Bringing A 'Million Orchids' To Florida's Trees

The dollar orchid (Prosthechea boothiana) is among the native species soon to be planted in South Florida trees.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Researchers at a South Florida botanic garden want to return the state's orchids to their former glory.

When railroads first came to Florida in the late 1800s, the plants were among the first resources exploited. Millions of orchids were plucked and sent north as potted plants. Now, after more than a century of logging and harvesting, it's rare to find them growing in the wild here.

But if researchers at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden succeed with their Million Orchid Project, the flowers will soon bloom amid the hustle and bustle of city life.

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

After Oil Spill, Ships Start Moving — But Cleanup Has Just Begun

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Vessels are moving once again in the Houston ship channel. The waterway was closed after a barge crash over the weekend spilled thousands of gallons of oil. The Coast Guard now says the channel on the Gulf of Mexico had been cleared enough to allow barge traffic to enter and exit. Still, the cleanup of one of the world's busiest waterways, which is also a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife, continues.

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Shots - Health News
1:44 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Tuberculosis Roars Back With A Deadly Edge

Nokubhega, 12, had to move away from her family and into a hospital for treatment against drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Screenshot from PBS/YouTube

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:44 am

Two weeks ago, 12-year-old Nokubheka's mother died from drug-resistant tuberculosis.

"I love singing and dancing to the song," Nokubheka says as she marches around in a hot pink skirt and sweatshirt. "When I'm dancing, I forget that my mother passed away."

Now the young girl from Swaziland has learned she has the same disease.

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Parallels
1:32 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

With Ribbons, Russians Show Support For Takeover In Crimea

Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky wears a ribbon to show support for Russia's takeover of Crimea. The same symbol is used to mark the Soviet victory in WWII and dates back centuries.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

It's hard to keep up with the vast array of colored ribbons that convey causes around the world, especially when the same color has multiple meanings. Red ones, for example, represent AIDS awareness but also drunk driving prevention, among other things.

Last week, deputies in the Russian parliament, or Duma, adopted their own ribbon to signal approval for Russia's takeover of Crimea – ones with black and orange stripes.

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Shots - Health News
1:07 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Pollution From Home Stoves Kills Millions Of People Worldwide

Many people like these Tibetans in Qinghai, China, rely on indoor stoves for heating and cooking. That causes serious health problems.
Courtesy of One Earth Designs

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:35 pm

Air pollution has become the world's largest environmental risk, killing an estimated 7 million people in 2012, the World Health Organization says.

That means about 1 out of every 8 deaths in the world each year is due to air pollution. And half of those deaths are caused by household stoves, according to the WHO report published Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

IRS Says It Will Treat Bitcoins As Property, Not Currency

A photo of tokens representing bitcoins.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:29 pm

In a new rule released on Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service says it will treat bitcoin and other virtual currencies as property.

The Wall Street Journal reports this means any profits made on the currency will be taxed at the capital-gains rate and that investors will have to keep extensive records.

The Journal adds:

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All Tech Considered
12:58 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Your Smartphone Is A Crucial Police Tool, If They Can Crack It

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

New software and gizmos are revolutionizing police work, with social media scanners, facial recognition and other high tech items. As it turns out, though, the single most valuable new police tool is your smartphone.

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Shots - Health News
12:45 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Wal-Mart Recalls 'Cuddle Care' Dolls Because They Can Burn

She coughs and sometimes burns.
CPSC

You had better not cuddle up with the My Sweet Love/My Sweet Baby Cuddle Care Baby Doll from Wal-Mart.

First of all, she gets sick on cue. The battery-powered doll coughs and babbles. Her cheeks flush, too.

You can make her better with a medical kit that includes a syringe, stethoscope and thermometer. After you give her a shot and a spoonful of medicine, she's as good as new.

But it turns out that she could give you symptoms of your own.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Cleanup Continues After Oil Spill Near Houston Ship Channel

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:47 pm

This post was updated at 4:47 p.m. ET.

The cleanup of an oil spill near the Houston Ship Channel is continuing today, and authorities say they have opened one of the country's biggest ports in a limited capacity this afternoon.

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Book Reviews
12:05 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

'Thief' Delivers An Unfiltered Depiction Of Life In Lagos

Derrick Ceyrac AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:07 pm

Let's get the negative stuff out of the way first. Teju Cole's Every Day Is For The Thief is not much of a novel. Forget plot or character development: This is a piece of writing that's all about setting. If you take what Cole is offering here and value it on its own terms, you'll probably appreciate the curious magic at work in this slim not-quite-a-novel. In chapters that stand as separate, short vignettes, Every Day Is For The Thief describes a young New York doctor's visit back to his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria.

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Europe
12:05 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

How Crimea's Annexation Plays To Russians' Soviet Nostalgia

An activist carries a Russian flag during a rally on Sunday in eastern Ukraine.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:13 pm

According to political scientist Kimberly Marten, Russia's decision to annex Crimea from Ukraine may have changed its relationship with the outside world for many years to come.

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Theater
11:57 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Repeat Offenders On The Great White Way

Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale co-star in the new Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County. It's the third time they've played opposite each other.
Joan Marcus

Caissie Levy and Will Swenson were so used to playing lovers that they weren't sure how to play enemies.

They first got romantic in the 2009 revival of Hair, as the doomed couple Sheila and Berger. Then last year, they cast forbidden sparks as the adulterous leads in the rock musical Murder Ballad.

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