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1:24 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Final Call For Questions On Health Insurance As Deadline Looms

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 12:48 pm

There's just one week left for most people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as people race to meet the deadline, they still have questions about the law, and the sign-up process.

"Is there a deadline to enroll in a health plan?" asks Josephine Ilog of Manteca, Calif. "And what happens if a person misses that deadline?"

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Politics
1:22 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Democrats Count On The Fine Art Of Field Operations

Newly elected GOP Congressman David Jolly of Florida, right, poses for a ceremonial swearing-in with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, on March 13. Jolly edged out Democrat Alex Sink in a special election that Republicans cast as a referendum on President Obama and his unpopular health care law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

Democrats have had great success in recent presidential elections registering, targeting and turning out their core voters. Now they're hoping to use that sophisticated field operation to to stave off defeat in this year's midterm elections.

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Business
10:02 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend

A cold, snowy winter in most of the country hurt economic growth, but forecasters see conditions improving for the rest of the year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:09 pm

Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.

"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.

"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.

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Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Freeing Up California's Prisons: A Massive Undertaking

Inmates in a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. California is trying to address court-ordered reductions in overcrowding with a plan to shift thousands of those convicted of "nonserious" crimes to county jails.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 11:18 am

It's been said you can judge the quality of a civilization by the way it treats its prisoners. If that's true, California in 2011 was in poor condition, at least according to the Supreme Court.

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Code Switch
5:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

When Vanilla Was Brown And How We Came To See It As White

Fun fact: The vines that vanilla beans grow on also produce orchids.
Malcolm Manners via Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 7:31 am

Say you know someone, maybe a friend of a friend, who's perfectly pleasant but just sort of lacks any sort of oomph. You don't want to be mean (because, you, unkind? Never), but if you had to describe that person in a really, really honest way, how would you do it?

Call the FOF boring? Bland? Dull?

Vanilla?

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Sports
3:45 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

In LA, Watching Home Team's Ball Games Just Got More Complicated

Pay to (watch them) play: Dodgers fans in and around Los Angeles can only see their team on TV if they have Time Warner cable service.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 5:37 pm

On Saturday, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off the baseball season with two games in Sydney, Australia. Fans in most of the country watched the games on the official Major League Baseball Network. But in Los Angeles, home of the Dodgers, fans could only watch on a brand new all-Dodgers channel.

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My Big Break
3:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

To Mike Birbiglia's Parents: It's OK If Your Son Sticks To Comedy

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 5:37 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

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U.S.
3:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

The Rarely Told Stories Of Sexual Assault Against Female Migrants

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:37 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

A dust-covered car has been in our parking lot at NPR West this week. It was the vehicle that took Steve Inskeep and several colleagues along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico. We've been hearing what they found in recent days, stories of people and goods and culture that cross the border. Steve's in our studio now with a rather difficult story to tell. Steve, what is that?

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Around the Nation
3:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

More Than A Dozen Missing After Fatal Washington Mudslide

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 5:37 pm

An enormous mudslide in Snohomish County in Washington flattened a neighborhood and killed at least three people. Correspondent Martin Kaste speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about the latest.

The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Egyptian Court Orders Prominent Activist Freed On Bail

Alaa Abdel Fattah (center), a prominent activist and a leading figure in the 2011 uprising against Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak, is welcomed by his wife after he was released from the main central security office in Cairo on Sunday.
Roger Anis AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 3:48 pm

At a Cairo criminal court, a judge ordered the release of prominent left-wing activist Alaa Abdel Fattah on bail. Abdel Fattah, described by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, has spent almost four months in prison.

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Author Interviews
1:43 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

With Sobering Science, Doctor Debunks 12-Step Recovery

Courtesy of Beacon Press

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:27 pm

Since its founding in the 1930s, Alcoholics Anonymous has become part of the fabric of American society. AA and the many 12-step groups it inspired have become the country's go-to solution for addiction in all of its forms. These recovery programs are mandated by drug courts, prescribed by doctors and widely praised by reformed addicts.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Two More Upsets: Stanford Takes Kansas; Kentucky Fells Wichita St.

Chasson Randle of Stanford celebrates defeating the Kansas Jayhawks during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
Dilip Vishwanat Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:19 am

The NCAA Tournament has produced another stunning upset: This afternoon, the Kansas Jayhawks joined Villanova as the second No. 2 seed to fall in the round of 32.

Kansas lost to Stanford 60-57 on Sunday.

SB Nation reports:

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Guinea Says 59 People Have Died In Ebola Outbreak

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 12:46 pm

The West African country of Guinea said on Sunday that 59 people have died during an outbreak of Ebola.

The AP reports this is the first time an outbreak of the virus has been detected among humans in the country.

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Sports
10:47 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Fate Sets Up A Date With The Boston Marathon

Amelia Nelson, 27, after 6-mile training run for the Boston Marathon.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Through the spring, NPR will be telling the stories eight runners competing in the 2014 Boston Marathon. Amelia Nelson is running her first marathon.


Amelia Nelson is a reluctant runner.

As she walks out of her Cambridge apartment one day in February, there is snow still piled on the sidewalks. Big mounds of it — already blackened by the traffic — spill onto the road.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Adolfo Suárez, President Who Ushered In Spain's Democracy, Dies

Adolfo Suarez, president of the Spanish government from 1977 to 1981. This picture was taken in Madrid in 1976.
Gianni Ferrari Cover/Getty Images

Adolfo Suárez, the Spanish president responsible for the country's Democratic transition, died on Sunday.

Suárez, the BBC reports, had suffered from Alzheimer's for about a decade.

He was 81.

In its coverage, El País calls Suárez the "most solitary politician of the democracy."

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Europe
10:00 am
Sun March 23, 2014

A Culture Of Unchecked Abuse Thrives In Ukraine And Crimea

Last week, a YouTube video of a far-right member of Ukraine's parliament roughing up the top executive of the state television network went viral.
Eurovision/YouTube

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:02 am

Since the upheaval in Ukraine began four months ago, the number of kidnappings of journalists and activists has been on the rise, though they've always been part of the Ukrainian political landscape.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Sun March 23, 2014

NATO, Ukraine Warn Russia May Be Planning Further Aggression

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:37 am

While Russia continued to push Ukrainian forces out of Crimea, NATO and Ukraine issued warnings on Sunday about the buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine's eastern border.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Nation's Last Known Perfect Bracket Busted By Syracuse Loss

Syracuse's Trevor Cooney (No. 10) shoots between Dayton's Devon Scott (second from left) and Dyshawn Pierre (right) as Khari Price (left) watches during the first half of a third-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday.
Bill Wippert AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:45 am

Then there were none.

We told you about how some stunning upsets in the men's NCAA basketball tournament ended the billion-dollar dreams of those who entered Warren Buffet and Quicken Loans' "Billion $ Bracket Challenge."

We also told you about Brad Binder, 23, of Buffalo Grove, Ill., who up until Saturday afternoon had the last known perfect bracket in the country.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Massive Mudslide Kills 4 In Washington State

This photo provided by the Washington State Patrol shows the aftermath of a mudslide that moved a house with people inside in Snohomish County in Washington State on Saturday.
AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 6:21 pm

This post was last updated at 8:20 p.m. ET.

A massive mudslide in Oso, Wash., about 60 miles north from Seattle, killed four people on Saturday.

The Seattle Times reports that rescue teams are still searching and it describes a harrowing scene:

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Latin America
6:03 am
Sun March 23, 2014

1994 Colosio Assasination Was Start Of Mexico's Catastrophic Year

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

In late March of 1994, Mexico's leading presidential candidate was assassinated by a gunman. Conspiracy theories about his death still abound.

The Two-Way
5:55 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Satellite Spots More Potential Debris, But Still No Sure Sign Of Plane

Chinese relatives of the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 wait for the latest information at Lido Hotel Sunday in Beijing, China.
Lintao Zhang Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:49 am

It's déjà vu all over again in the more-than-two-week search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370: Today, like yesterday, Malaysian authorities announced that another satellite detected suspected debris near the spot they believe the 777 went missing.

This time it was a French satellite that spotted an object of interest in the southern Indian Ocean.

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Sunday Puzzle
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Changing The World One Letter At A Time

NPR

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

On-air challenge: For each geographical place provided, change one letter to make a new, common word that has a different number of syllables than the geographical name. Note: The answer word can have either fewer or more syllables than the geographical name.

Example: Lima = limp, limb, lime (for some of the names, multiple answers are possible)

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Politics
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Michelle Obama Convenes 'First Wives Club' In China

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

It is spring break and a lot of us our taking our kids on vacation to the Grand Canyon, maybe Florida. The First Lady Michelle Obama has taken her girls to China for the school break. It's supposed to be a working vacation, of sorts. There will undoubtedly be some sightseeing, but it's hard as the first lady of the U.S. to go to China and not dip into geopolitics at some point.

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NPR Story
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Congressmen Are Bullish On The Borderlands

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We begin our next story with the sound of a parade this month in Brownsville, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Europe
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Some Crimeans Dread The Switch To Russian Rule

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Europe
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Ukraine Crisis Expected To Dominate Obama's Europe Trip

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. President Obama leaves tonight for the Netherlands. It's the start of a four-nation trip that includes a meeting with the pope and a visit to Saudi Arabia. But the crisis in Ukraine will hang over his agenda. NPR's Ari Shapiro will be on the trip. He joins us now. Hi, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.

MARTIN: Give us a sense of what we expect to happen tomorrow when the president and other world leaders meet at The Hague.

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Environment
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

The Lingering Legacy Of The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:37 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Here in this country, a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of oil has collided with a ship in Galveston Bay, Texas. Cleanup crews are on the scene, but there's no word yet on the extent of the damage.

The spill comes as the country marks a grim milestone. Twenty-five years ago, Captain Joseph Hazelwood made this emergency call.

CAPTAIN JOSEPH HAZELWOOD: Yeah, it's the Valdez back, we've, should be on your radar there, we've fetched up hard aground.

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Sports
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

New Test Improves Detection Of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:23 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Religion
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Pope Names Former Victim To Sex Abuse Panel

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Pope Francis has named a woman who was molested as a child by a priest to be part of a panel to help the Church address the sexual abuse of minors.

You Must Read This
5:03 am
Sun March 23, 2014

'Little, Big' Delights With A Little Magic And A Big, Strange Story

Paul Hakimata iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 7:45 am

John Crowley's Little, Big, an extraordinary, sweeping and strange novel, can perhaps be best described through the metaphor of its central setting: Edgewood, the house in which many generations (and permutations) of the Drinkwater family live. Edgewood is designed by the patriarch, a renowned architect, to be many houses within a single structure. It unfolds, as the viewer circles around it, to reveal many different facades — Victorian, modern, gothic — like a complex piece of origami.

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