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The Two-Way
5:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Russian Lawmakers Welcome Separatist Steps By Crimea

Vladimir Konstantinov (in purple tie) is the speaker of Crimea's parliament. He was welcomed with flowers Friday during his meeting with Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament. She is at the far right of this photo.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:22 am

One day after President Obama condemned steps taken by Crimea's parliament to leave Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, Russian lawmakers are welcoming such a move by Crimean separatists.

"Russia's parliament gave its defiant support Friday to Crimean lawmakers who want to see their region split from Ukraine and join Russia," CNN reports from Moscow.

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Business
4:55 am
Fri March 7, 2014

'Game Of Thrones' Mixtape Drops On Friday

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And our last word in business is: Dragons.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: If you were one of the 14 million people who watches HBO's epic fantasy series "Game of Thrones," the word Dragons conjures adventure and excitement. If you're not watching, HBO wants you.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:40 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Feds Break Up Multi-State Shoplifting Ring

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. A family business in Chicago folded this week because of the Fed. It was a mother father daughter shoplifting ring that went from Maryland to Texas. The family stole millions of dollars worth of retail - Legos, electronics, bags of coffee. They auctioned the items on eBay, making more than four million bucks over the past decade. The tool of their trade - clothing. The family's matriarch had a special black dress outfitted with compartments to stuff stolen goods.

Around the Nation
4:35 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Teen Enlists A Capella Group For Prom Invite

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Spring has not yet sprung but high schoolers are thinking ahead to prom. A Florida teen enlisted the a cappella group Straight No Chaser for his video invite to Megan.

STRAIGHT NO CHASER: (Singing) Let it go. Let it go...

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Megan, will you go to prom with me?

(APPLAUSE)

WERTHEIMER: He showed the video in class. It's on YouTube. Megan said yes. Heaven knows he tried.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:26 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Safeway And Albertson's Announce Grocery Merger

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a $9 billion grocery sale.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: The no. 2 grocery chain in the U.S., Safeway, is being acquired by the owner of Albertson's, the fifth largest grocer. Cerberus Capital Management is paying just over $40 a share for Safeway, the company said last night. The multi-billion-dollar deal creates a food retailer with more than 2,400 stores and more than 250,000 employees. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
4:24 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Crisis With Russia Propels Ukrainian Nationalism

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

During Ukraine's recent revolution, ultra nationalist groups were prominent among the protesters battling police in Kiev's Maidan Square. A nationalist party was included in the interim government.

The Two-Way
4:13 am
Fri March 7, 2014

U.S. Knew Of 'Imminent' Move In Crimea, Top Official Says

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee last month.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Senior U.S. officials were warned of imminent Russian military action in Crimea about a week before the troop movements that have sparked a major international crisis over Ukraine, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency tells NPR.

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Around the Nation
3:22 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Great Lakes' Ice Cover Nears 1979 Record

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 12:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All the polar air this winter has frozen the Great Lakes to an extent not seen in 35 years. Scientists say the record for ice coverage, set in 1979, could soon be broken. That year, nearly 95 percent of the Great Lakes were covered with ice. As of yesterday, ice coverage was at 92 percent.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Politics
3:17 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul To Address Annual CPAC Meeting

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters in front of federal court in Washington on Feb. 12.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 10:36 am

It is one of those primary tenets of the Republican party: a strong, robust, well-funded military and the willingness to deploy it are a critical part of national security.

But Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who speaks to activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday, has long felt it's time to re-examine that approach.

In less than four years in the Senate, Paul has emerged as a prominent new face of the GOP and a contender for the 2016 presidential nomination. But his libertarian philosophy sets him apart from the rest of the field.

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Politics
3:06 am
Fri March 7, 2014

House Backs Obama's Request To Back Loans For Ukraine

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

The crisis in Ukraine is galvanizing unusually swift bipartisan action on Capitol Hill. The GOP-led House voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to authorize a $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine.

Business
3:01 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Investors: Oversight Is Needed For Bitcoin To Become Mainstream

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Enzyme David Greene.

Let's return to the saga of bitcoin, the digital currency. Yesterday, "Newsweek" announced that it uncovered bitcoins founding father - but the man they named - Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto - denied it. Just last week, the bitcoin world was rocked by a half billion dollar bank robbery.

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Books
3:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Publisher Releases Lullabies From 'Goodnight Moon' Author

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Goodnight stars. Good night air. Good night noises, everywhere.

A woman named Margaret Wise Brown wrote those words. And you probably recognize them. You've probably read them out loud many times. It's from her book, "Goodnight Moon." Margaret Wise Brown died in 1952. But much of what she wrote was never published, including her songs and poems.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Economy
2:56 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Ukraine's Economy Was In Trouble Before Its Crisis With Russia

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

President Obama and Russian President Putin have had another long telephone conversation about how to end the crisis in Ukraine. The White House says President Obama stressed that a diplomatic solution is possible, but Russian soldiers have to leave their current positions in Crimea and return to their base in the region.

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Politics
2:55 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Gillibrand, McCaskill Square Off Over Military Assault Prosecutions

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Senate has rejected a proposal that would have allowed military prosecutors, rather than commanders, to decide which sexual assault cases to pursue. As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the legislation pitted two women of the Senate, both Democrats, both lawyers, against each other - Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who pushed the bill, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who lead the charge against her.

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Around the Nation
2:55 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Weather Expected To Effect February Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The recent bout of winter weather that many of us have felt has hit the U.S. economy. Winter storms cooled job growth in February. The only question is by how much. Economists, investors and job seekers are looking to today's employment report from the government for an answer. NPR's John Ydstie says their predictions have been dampened by the weather too.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: John Sylvia is the top economist for Wells Fargo. His forecast for job growth in February has been pounded down by the weather.

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Television
2:55 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Crisis In Ukraine Reveals Tensions Within RT's Newsroom

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene, good morning.

Since the television network RT hit American cable, viewers tuning in have generally found left of center coverage designed to appeal to an audience that's younger with an international bent. The network's name used to stand for Russia Today. RT is fully funded by the Russian government.

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Parallels
1:17 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Seeking Energy Independence, Europe Faces Heated Fracking Debate

Many countries in the European Union are drawn to the benefits of fracking: cheap energy and energy independence. But many Europeans, including these protesters standing outside EU headquarters in Brussels, object to the practice on environmental grounds.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

While watching the turmoil in Ukraine unfold, you may feel as though it has little to do with the United States, but the conflict is stirring a contentious debate in Europe over a topic familiar to many Americans: fracking.

Much of the continent depends on Russian natural gas that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. European countries are asking themselves whether to follow the U.S. example and drill for shale gas.

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StoryCorps
1:16 am
Fri March 7, 2014

A Homeless Teen Finds Solace In A Teacher And A Recording

Celeste Davis-Carr, a high school English teacher in Chicago, learned her student Aaron was homeless from a recording for the StoryCorpsU program.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:39 am

Aaron didn't intend to tell his classmates that he was homeless. But when he recorded his own story with StoryCorpsU — a project designed to help kids in high-needs schools build stronger relationships with their teachers — he says, it just came out.

"I felt ... like a big load was let off," Aaron explains. (NPR has withheld Aaron's last name, at the request of his foster care agency, to protect his privacy.) "I don't know what made me say it, but I'm like, 'Let me just be honest and just get it out.' "

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The Edge
1:15 am
Fri March 7, 2014

From War In The Desert To 'Murder Ball On Ice'

Former Marine Josh Sweeney lost both of his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan in 2009. He's competing with the U.S. Men's Sled Hockey team at the Paralympics in Sochi.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:18 am

It might not exactly be doctor's orders, but it made perfect sense to Josh Sweeney.

"If you hit somebody, you feel a lot better," he says, making his way off the ice from a grueling practice with the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey team — a sport also known as "murder ball on ice."

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The Salt
1:14 am
Fri March 7, 2014

States Fight California's Chicken Cage Law. But It's Really About Bacon

Free-range chickens lay eggs for Sauder's Quality Eggs in Pennsylvania.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 10:55 am

By most measures, David Kesten's hens are living the good life.

"They can act like chickens, they can run around," says Kesten, who's raising hens in an old wooden shed in the open countryside near Concordia, Mo. "They can go out and catch bugs, they can dig in the ground."

But most U.S. hens live crammed into very close quarters, according to Joe Maxwell, with the Humane Society of the U.S. And he says that's just wrong.

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Music Reviews
5:50 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Album Review: 'English Oceans,' By Drive-By Truckers

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The band Drive-By Truckers are in their third decade playing alternative country music tinged with Southern pride. Critic Robert Christgau says they put out a great album in 2008 then hit a lull. But he says their latest album, out this week, is a true comeback.

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Science
5:50 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Scientist Who Makes Stars On Earth

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 7:34 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

On the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, scientists are doing something astonishing. They're creating a white dwarf star - not a whole star but enough of one to study in minute detail. As part of his series, "Joe's Big Idea," NPR's Joe Palca introduces us to the astronomer behind this exotic project and explains why he's determined to learn all he can about this interesting stellar object.

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It's All Politics
5:24 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

3 Lessons From Obama's Failed Justice Department Nomination

The specter of failure is often enough to get the White House and Senate leaders to punt on a nomination. But not in the case of Debo Adegbile.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:13 am

Now that the smoke has cleared from Debo Adegbile's failed nomination Wednesday to head the Justice Department's civil rights division, there are some lessons to draw from that Democratic debacle.

Why was it a disaster? Seven Democrats defected from their party to vote against Obama's nominee. The nomination had been opposed by police groups because of Adegbile's indirect role in the appeals process for Mumia Abu Jamal, a death-row inmate convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.

Here are three things we learned from the vote.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

A Panicky Pianist, Playing Like His Life Depends On It

Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is a renowned concert pianist who's literally under the gun in Grand Piano, a Hitchcock-style thriller that plays out in real time.
Magnet Releasing

A world-renowned pianist known for cracking under the pressure of performance sits down to play a concerto before a packed hall. Then he sees the message scrawled in red on his sheet music: "Play one wrong note and you die." The movie almost writes itself.

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It's All Politics
4:55 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Top Conservative Event Opens With Big Names, Red Meat And Fun

CPAC attendees vote Thursday in the event's annual presidential straw poll.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:25 am

Star Wars storm troopers in full regalia protesting "oppressive economic policies."

A smiling, larger-than life Sarah Palin touting her latest cable television show, Amazing America.

Uncle Sam on stilts. Quadrennial pretend presidential candidate Donald Trump. A slew of legitimate White House hopefuls.

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The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Grocery Chains Safeway And Albertson's Announce Merger Deal

Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has offered to buy Safeway, Inc., the nation's second-largest grocery chain, for a reported $9.4 billion. Cerberus plans to merge Safeway with another grocer, Albertson's.

"Safeway has been focused on better meeting shoppers' diverse needs through local, relevant assortment, an improved price/value proposition and a great shopping experience that has driven improved sales trends," Safeway CEO Robert Edwards said in a statement. "We are excited about continuing this momentum as a combined organization."

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Wes Anderson's New Hotel Proves Pretty Grand Indeed

Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes, with Saoirse Ronan and Tony Revolori) is a hotel concierge in an Eastern Europe falling under Hitler's shadow — a man pining for the Old World sensibility that's fading all around him.
Bob Yeoman Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:07 am

Chances are you've already made up your mind about Wes Anderson. Either you're willing to go with the meticulous symmetry of his dollhouse compositions, the precious tchotchke-filled design sensibility and the stilted formality of his dialogue, or you check out of his storybook worlds in the first five minutes. On the evidence of his eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, it's clear no one is more aware of his idiosyncracies than Anderson himself — and he's not apologizing.

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Planet Money
3:41 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs?

Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

President Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage, saying it will help some of the poorest Americans. Opponents argue that a higher minimum wage will lead employers to cut jobs.

Figuring out the effect of raising the minimum wage is tough. Ideally you'd like to compare one universe where the minimum was raised against an alternate universe where it remained fixed.

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History
3:23 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

How Bad Directions (And A Sandwich) Started World War I

This illustration from an Italian newspaper depicts Gavrilo Princip killing Archduke Francis Ferdinand on June 28, 1914.
Achille Beltrame Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:41 pm

This is part of an All Things Considered series that imagines a counterfactual history of World War I.

World War I began 100 years ago this summer. It's a centennial that goes beyond mere remembrance; the consequences of that conflict are making headlines to this day.

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Book Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

'300': An Empire Rises, Dripping In Gore And Glamour

The goth-glam Artemisia (Eva Green) is one of the more memorable characters in 300: Rise of an Empire — and not just because she's commander of the Persian navy.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 7:21 am

Talk about meeting cute: The first time they're alone together, the protagonists of 300: Rise of an Empire rip each other's clothes off. But then Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Artemisia (Eva Green) can't decide if they want to make love or war.

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