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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Book News: Apple Appeals Ruling In E-Book Price-Fixing Case

Apple says in its appeal filed Tuesday that it was ignorant of any price-fixing conspiracy.
Daniel Barry Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:42 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Putin Flexes Moscow's Muscles; Kerry Says This Isn't 'Rocky IV'

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ria Novosti Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:25 am

We retopped this post at 12:25 p.m. ET.

Responding to the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his army on alert in what seems to be a bid to influence events in Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. is "not looking for [a] confrontation" with Moscow.

And, in a reference to the Cold War days of the past when the rivalry between two superpowers would find its way into popular culture, Kerry tried to cool things down.

"This is not Rocky IV," he said, during an MSNBC interview.

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Business
5:43 am
Wed February 26, 2014

'Got Milk' Campaign Runs Dry

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: Had Milk.

AdAge reports the national milk industry will drop the famous Got Milk campaign that has run for the last couple of decades - so goodbye to the milk mustache that's adorned the upper lip of many a celebrity.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
5:43 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Delta Changes Course On Frequent Flier Miles

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with sky high costs for airline miles.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: And we're not talking about actually buying airline miles. But starting today, Delta Airlines will be the first major carrier to tie frequent flier points to how much you pay for your ticket - not how far you fly. This means in most cases, business-class will earn more points than coach and first class tickets will earn even more.

Around the Nation
5:43 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Florida Man Tattoos Black Widow Spider On His Face

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A Florida man decided to face his fear of spiders by tattooing a huge black widow on his face. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 24-year-old Eric Ortiz chose to ink the arachnid because, quote, everybody fears spiders, and he wanted to see what people think. The lifelike tattoo has gotten reactions from startled jumps to you will never get a job. One person who does not think it's cool - his girlfriend. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:19 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Doctors Perform More Facial Hair Transplants

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene, with an update on hair transplants for your face. Beards and mustaches are becoming a popular trend, especially among hipsters. And if you can't grow one, why not buy one? One doctor says he's performing three-or-so facial hair transplants each week at his offices in Manhattan and Miami. The hair costs 7,000 bucks for a full beard. The procedure, which usually involves relocating hair from the head to face, takes about eight hours, razors not included.

The Two-Way
5:07 am
Wed February 26, 2014

What A Rush! California Couple Finds Gold Coins Worth $10M

Thar's gold in them thar cans: One of the eight cans discovered by a California couple. They were stuffed with gold coins minted in the 1800s. The cache's estimated value: $10 million.
Kagin's Inc. AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:53 am

If you've ever dreamed about finding buried treasure, this story's for you:

A California couple who say they had walked by the same spot on their Sierra Nevada property many times over many years are an estimated $10 million or so richer after digging up eight rusty old cans containing 1,427 very valuable gold coins. It's thought to be the most valuable discovery of such coins in U.S. history.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Lorrie Moore's New 'Bark' Is Half Of A Good Book

Courtesy of Knopf

There are eight stories in Lorrie Moore's new collection, but only two of them really stand out. Moore's one of the country's most admired writers – and maybe I was so dazzled by the brilliance and power of the two longest stories in these pages that I couldn't read the other pieces — which I found either a little off-kilter or too subtly played — without feeling a certain amount of loss. But my possibly cock-eyed view of Bark is that it's a book, or at least half a book, that anyone who loves contemporary fiction should have a go at.

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Business
4:39 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Senate Report: Credit Suisse Bank Helped Americans Evade Taxes

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:20 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Top officials of the Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, told a Senate hearing today that they're committed to unearthing tax evasion by U.S. citizens. The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report yesterday, that the bank was deeply involved in helping Americans hide their money in secret accounts.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Health
4:37 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Critics Question FDA's Approval Of Zohydro

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

Prominent universities and drug addiction organizations are asking the FDA to reconsider its approval of a controversial painkiller called Zohydro. It's 10 times more powerful than OxyContin.

Latin America
4:18 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Mexican Judges Rule 'El Chapo' Will Stand Trial In Mexico First

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

The arrest of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman is a coup for Mexican authorities. Now comes the tussle over where he will be tried. He's wanted in at least seven U.S. federal districts.

NPR Story
4:13 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Ukraine's Crimea Region Asks Russia For Protection

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

Millions of people in eastern Ukraine speak Russian as their first language. Russia's foreign minister complains about what he calls "neo-fascist sentiment" in western Ukraine.

Politics
3:10 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Davis, Abbott Expected To Win Texas Gubernatorial Primary

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

State Senator Wendy Davis is the Democratic hopeful. She's challenging Republican Greg Abbott, the state's attorney general. Both are expected to easily win their primaries.

Books News & Features
3:09 am
Wed February 26, 2014

When It Comes To Women's Writing, How Do Publications Stack Up?

For the fourth year in a row, VIDA has tallied up the gender breakdown in prominent literary journals — counting both reviewers and authors.
Peter Mautsch iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 8:21 am

If it seems like male authors get more attention, there are hard numbers to back that up: The VIDA count.

VIDA is a women's literary organization, and the "count" is the result of eight months spent tracking gender disparity in leading publications. VIDA tallies the gender of authors whose books are being reviewed as well as the gender of those doing the reviewing.

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NPR Story
3:09 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Obama Tells Pentagon To Plan A Full Afghan Departure

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign a security agreement that would keep U.S. troops in his country. Despite the pressure, Obama is giving Afghan officials more time to finish a deal.

NPR Story
3:09 am
Wed February 26, 2014

U.S. Response To Syria's Humanitarian Crisis Criticized

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson describes the response to the Syrian crisis as "strategic despair." He and Michael Abramowitz of the Holocaust museum, tell Renee Montagne about what they saw.

Research News
3:09 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Researchers Debate Effectiveness Of Snow Helmets

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Olympic snowboarder Sarka Pancochova of the Czech Republic got a flurry of attention when she suffered a nasty crash on the slopes in Sochi that split her helmet. She's OK, the helmet absorbed some of the blow. More than two-thirds of Americans who ski or snowboard now wear helmets.

But as Fred Bever, of member station WBUR reports, there are still the question about how much protection they really provide.

(SOUNDBITE OF SKIING)

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Parallels
1:37 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Gays And Lesbians Seeking Asylum In U.S. May Find A Hard Road

Activists protest Uganda's anti-gay legislation in Nairobi, Kenya, this month. LGBT status has been grounds for asylum in the U.S. since 1994, but winning refugee status can be difficult, particularly for people who are unable to obtain visas to the U.S. before applying.
Dai Kurokawa EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

Even through a long-distance line from Uganda, you can hear the fear and anxiety in the young man's voice. Nathan, 19, is gay. NPR is not using his surname because he fears arrest.

"Right now we are not safe," he says. "Because we are hearing some people say ... 'If we get you, we will kill you. If we get you, we'll do something bad to you.' "

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Africa
1:36 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Outmanned And Outgunned, Libya Struggles To Fix Its Broken Army

Soldiers march during a graduation ceremony for recruits of the Libyan army in Tripoli, the capital, on Jan. 16. The military, gutted by years under Moammar Gadhafi and by NATO attacks, faces multiple challenges as it tries to rebuild.
Ismail Zitouny Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:34 am

In Libya, disputes are settled by guns.

On a recent day, just west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, gunfire erupts, a battle between two families. It builds for hours; people run for cover. No one intervenes — even though a Libyan army base is just a mile away.

Inside that military camp in a town called Zawiya are 230 young men from across the North African nation, part of the government effort to address the country's most glaring problem: an almost nonexistent security force.

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Religion
1:35 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Ardent Atheists Spread Their Reverence For Disbelief

The San Diego Coalition of Reason opened this booth in Balboa Park to support the atheist community and to evangelize nonbelief to religious people.
Claire Trageser NPR

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:20 am

Stroll through the plaza of Balboa Park in San Diego, and you'll pass religious groups spreading their beliefs and looking for converts.

But you'll also see a table draped with a large banner that reads, "Relax, Hell Does Not Exist." Approach, and you'll hear evangelical atheist Rob Hudson engaged in religious arguments.

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Around the Nation
1:35 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids?

Children do better — in school and emotionally — when they have enough time with both parents, according to a fathers' rights group pushing for joint-custody laws.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:43 am

Fathers today spend more time than ever with their kids, experiencing just as much stress as women in balancing work and family, if not more. But when couples divorce and a custody dispute hits the courts, too many judges award custody to Mom, according to fathers' rights groups.

Ned Holstein, head of the National Parents Organization, formerly called Fathers and Families, says research shows that children do better academically and emotionally when they see a lot of each parent.

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The Two-Way
7:44 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Solitary Confinement Costs $78K Per Inmate And Should Be Curbed, Critics Say

The U.S. holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic country, according to critics of the treatment. Here, an immigrant detainee makes a call from his "segregation cell" at a detention facility in Adelanto, Calif., last November.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:43 am

Former prisoners spoke about the effects of solitary confinement Tuesday, in a congressional hearing aimed at banning the treatment for some inmates. The federal push to reduce solitary confinement is being led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who calls it "a human rights issue we can't ignore."

Inmates who are held in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day in small windowless cells, receiving their food on trays that are pushed through a slot in the cell's door.

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Book Reviews
6:29 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Comedian Ages With Humor — And Effort

Courtesy of Blue Rider Press

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 8:28 am

What is it about comedians itching to get between the covers — book covers, that is? Annabelle Gurwitch's I See You Made An Effort, a seriously funny collection of essays about teetering over the edge of 50, makes it clear that the draw isn't strictly literary. To tweak Peter Steiner's classic New Yorker cartoon: On the page, nobody knows how old you are.

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The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Ukraine Will Turn Yanukovych Case Over To The Hague

An anti-Yanukovych protester holds a Ukrainian flag in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Tuesday. The Ukrainian Parliament has voted to turn prosecution of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych over to The Hague.
Marko Drobnjakovic AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:00 pm

  • Paul Sonne of 'The Wall Street Journal '
  • NPR's Peter Kenyon on 'All Things Considered'

The whereabouts of Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych remain unkown, but the country's opposition-led Parliament says any war crimes prosecution of the former leader would come in The Hague's International Criminal Court.

The opposition, which took control after Yanukovych fled the capital, has not yet formed a government. But its leaders have said they want to ensure the former president and other officials are held accountable for the deaths of protesters during months of demonstrations.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit from Kiev:

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It's All Politics
5:49 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Obama And Boehner Relationship Anything But Solid

President Obama and Speaker John Boehner were all smiles at a rare White House meeting Tuesday. But their relationship has more often been marked by angry finger-pointing.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

If more were actually getting done in Washington, there probably would be much less attention focused on how few times President Obama and Speaker John Boehner have met face-to-face, and on their "relationship."

But Congress is testing new lows in terms of legislative productivity, which leaves plenty of time for journalists to muse about the president-speaker relationship, such as it is, on the day of one of their rare meetings.

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It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Talking History: Black Senators Celebrate Their Legacy

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action in Oct. 2013.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:29 pm

Five current and former black senators appeared together Tuesday at an unprecedented event celebrating the legacy and contributions of the nine African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Senate.

The event, held at the Library of Congress to mark Black History Month, was the brainchild of Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. The only Republican at the summit, Scott was joined by Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Sens. William "Mo" Cowan of Massachusetts as well as Roland Burris and Carol Moseley Braun, both of Illinois.

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The Salt
4:44 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Industry Wipes Away 'Got Milk?' Mustache After Sales Take Spill

The milk's industry's new campaign, Milk Life, features ordinary people accomplishing all sorts of tasks after jumpstarting their day with a glass of milk.
Courtesy of Milk Processor Education Program

There's a new slogan in town that will replace "Got Milk?"

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

California's Drought: A Shocking Photo And Other Updates

Images of Folsom Lake, a reservoir in Northern California, show the severity of the state's drought. The photo at left, taken on July 20, 2011, show the lake at 97 percent of total capacity and 130 percent of its historical average for that date. The photo at right shows the lake on Jan. 16, 2014, when it was at 17 percent of capacity and 35 percent of its historical average.
California Department of Water Resources

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:58 am

Farmers in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last month, are facing hard choices as a drought threatens to ruin their crops. They must weigh the costs of paying for irrigation against the chance that their fields will never get enough water this season.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Chris Christie's Sandy Problem

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a Feb. 12 gathering in Toms River, N.J., that included some victims still out of their homes or businesses as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:01 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is facing criticism over what was once a source of his political strength — his handling of Superstorm Sandy.

While national attention focuses on accusations that the governor's top aides created traffic jams to punish political adversaries, back home it's the slow storm recovery from Sandy that's causing him new headaches.

Sandy crashed into the Jersey Shore eight days before the 2012 presidential election. Republican Christie had been campaigning hard for Mitt Romney, and trashing President Obama.

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All Tech Considered
3:22 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

ISO Romance: Dating Sites Help Older Singles

The fastest-growing part of the online dating market is people over 50, according the CEO of the Match Group.
Carmen Winant Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:01 pm

With nearly 40 percent of Americans over 50 single and many looking for love online, dating sites are catering to this fast-growing market.

Vicki Cherco, 58, of Libertyville, Ill., uses one called OurTime.com. Her most recent date went well. "He was good-looking and funny and nice and thoughtful and paid for everything and asked for my phone number and said he'd like to call me again," she says.

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