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All Tech Considered
11:04 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Automakers Eye Laser Lights To Let Drivers See Farther At Night

The i8, which has the optional laser headlights, will be on sale in Europe this summer. BMW is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to get it approved for a U.S. release.
BMW

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not know about yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

If you thought LED headlights were bright enough, automakers are looking ahead to even more powerful beams using lasers.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Putin Reportedly Joins List Of Nobel Peace Prize Nominees

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Alexey Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:13 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin is among the 278 nominees for a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, according to Peace Research Institute Oslo, an institution that closely tracks the Nobel committee's work.

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Shots - Health News
10:59 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Cities Take The Lead In Regulating Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes for sale in Vapeology LA, a store in Los Angeles, are tended by owner John Hartigan.
Reed Saxon AP

Count Los Angeles as the latest big city to say no to electronic cigarettes.

The City Council there voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban use of the devices, which release vaporized nicotine, in almost all public places, including bars, workplaces and beaches.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed March 5, 2014

China To Boost Defense Spending Amid Regional Tensions

Delegates from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) march from Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People to attend sessions of National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Tuesday in Beijing.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:42 am

China said Wednesday that it plans to increase defense outlays by more than 12 percent, to nearly $132 billion, this year in the face of what a top military official described as increasingly severe security challenges for Beijing.

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New In Paperback
10:11 am
Wed March 5, 2014

March 1-7: America's 'Unwinding,' Black Identity And Fictional Self-Help

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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

Parallels
10:09 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Sanctions On Russia: Why The Europeans May Say Nyet

Ties between Russia and Europe are more than just gas.
Sergei Karpukhin AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:24 am

Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula brought with it threats of U.S. sanctions, but Europe, while condemning President Vladimir Putin's actions, has been more circumspect. Part of the reason: Europe's dependence on Russian money and energy.

"It is a matter of simple economics," Alex Melikishvili, senior Europe/CIS Analyst at IHS Country Risk, said in an email.

He noted that the EU is Russia's main trade partner; bilateral trade is in hundreds of billion of dollars annually, in contrast with much lower U.S.-Russia trade (see chart).

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ex-IRS Official Invokes 5th Amendment Again, Then Things Get Hot

Former IRS official Lois Lerner raises her hand as she's sworn in Wednesday at the start of a House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing. She declined to answer questions posed by Chairman Darrell Issa, invoking her Fifth Amendment right.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:34 am

As she's done before, the woman at the center of the political storm over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of some conservative groups from 2010 into 2012 invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions during a brief appearance before a congressional committee on Wednesday.

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The Salt
9:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Chipotle Says There's No 'Guacapocalypse' Looming

An employee prepares to make fresh guacamole at a Chipotle restaurant in Hollywood, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 1:16 pm

Looks like reports of a looming "guacapocalypse" have been vastly overstated.

This morning, guacamole lovers woke to headlines warning that Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle could eventually be forced to drop the dip from its menu, if changing global weather patterns continue to drive volatility in the price of avocados.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Italian Publisher Launches Pope Francis Fan Magazine

Publisher Mondadori provided this image of the first issue of Il Mio Papa (My Pope) on Tuesday, a day before it was slated to hit Italian newsstands.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 9:51 am

Pope Francis, fresh from getting his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone, now graces the pages of a new Italian fan magazine devoted to His Holiness.

But the pontiff tells an Italian newspaper that he views all the attention as "offensive."

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Author Interviews
9:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

When Loved Ones Return From The Dead

Randy Skidmore

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:08 pm

If someone you cared for died, you might be haunted by questions about how your life might be different had that person survived, about what you might say if you had one more chance to talk. Those questions are behind author Jason Mott's novel The Returned.

The book is now an ABC television series, Resurrection, which premieres Sunday.

Mott tells NPR's Michel Martin that the book was inspired by a dream about his mother returning to life, and how such a scenario would play out if it really happened.

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Television
9:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Midseason TV: What To Watch And What To Skip

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:00 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. So maybe the weather has kept you inside more than usual, or you're looking for a few new guilty pleasure to add to your DVR. We've got you covered. NPR television critic Eric Deggans is with us in our Washington, D.C., studios to talk about some of the midseason television debuts. And we'll even talk about a few shows that don't begin with "Scan-" and end with "-dal." Eric, welcome back.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Glad to be here.

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Africa
9:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

A New Look At 'The Bright Continent'

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:00 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
9:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

A Fighting Chance For Obama's Proposed Military Cuts?

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:00 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Don't Worry, They Say, 100-Foot Asteroid Will Miss Us Today

A NASA artist's illustration depicts an asteroid belt around a star that the space agency says is "the same age and size as our Sun."
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 9:56 am

Don't say you weren't warned.

But also don't worry, the experts say.

As we wrote last month when an asteroid measuring about 900 feet long passed near enough to Earth to generate headlines about a "close encounter," more rocks are always headed our way.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Job Growth Was Weak Again In February, ADP Survey Shows

The scene at a job fair last year in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Private employers added only 139,000 jobs to their payrolls in February and job growth in January was even less than previously thought, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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The Salt
6:41 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Eat Plants And Prosper: For Longevity, Go Easy On The Meat, Study Says

A new study linking animal protein-rich diets to increased mortality in middle age adds fuel to the controversy over how much protein — and from what sources — is ideal for health. One thing that seems pretty clear: It doesn't hurt to go heavy on the greens.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 1:49 pm

Americans who ate a diet rich in animal protein during middle age were significantly more likely to die from cancer and other causes, compared with people who reported going easy on foods such as red meat and cheese, fresh research suggests.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Overruled: Gov. Says Kentucky Will Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Order

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear
Bill Greenblatt UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:54 am

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says his state will hire outside counsel to appeal a federal judge's order to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

The governor's announcement follows word from the state's attorney general, Jack Conway, that his office will not pursue such an appeal.

Both men are Democrats.

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Around the Nation
5:54 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Survey: Americans Have Issues With Tech Jargon

A survey from Vouchercloud finds that a lot of Americans don't talk tech — at least not very well. More than 20 percent of respondents thought MP3 was a robot from Star Wars.

Around the Nation
5:49 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Can't Locate A Bathroom? There's An App For That

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

We've all been there, out and about when nature calls. But public restrooms aren't easy to find and businesses have those customers-only signs. This is where AirPNP comes in. It's an app that connects full bladders with bathroom owners willing to share their facilities with strangers, for a small fee. Must have made Mardi Gras a much more pleasant experience this week; 29 people in New Orleans did advertise their porcelain palaces. The going rate, about three bucks.

Business
5:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club?

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on his 2015 budget plan Tuesday at Powell Elementary School in Washington.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 9:02 am

Think of the budget plan released Tuesday by President Obama as a magic wand. If he could wave it and make every line come true, how would the U.S. economy look?

Like this:

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Europe
5:32 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ukranian Flag Back On Goverment Building In Donetsk

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Andrew Roth, a correspondent for The New York Times, tells David Greene some of the demonstrators in Donetsk were actually Russian citizens — sent into Ukraine by Moscow.

The Two-Way
5:23 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Time For Tense Negotiations In Ukraine, Kerry Says

Armed men in unmarked military uniforms — who witnesses believe are Russian troops, but who Russian leaders say are "local self-defense" forces — stand outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the Crimean village of Perevalnoye.
Maxim Shipenkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:15 am

This post was updated at 5:10 p.m. ET.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said all sides agree that the crisis on the Crimean Peninsula must be resolved through dialogue, but he acknowledged there has yet to be one-on-one discussions between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Book News: Sherwin B. Nuland, Author Of 'How We Die,' Dies At 83

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:01 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed March 5, 2014

A Second Helping Of Retro Smooches In 'Young Romance 2'

They're the perfect couple, circa 1947. He's craggy, yet banal. She's well-coiffed and febrile. The circumstances? Dire. Always. Just as unfailingly, though, love will out for these two, for we're on familiar turf: the geometrically ordered, narratively numbing world of mid-century comic-book passion. More specifically, this is Young Romance 2: The Early Simon & Kirby Romance Comics, a collection of some of the first such comics ever produced.

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Code Switch
5:03 am
Wed March 5, 2014

For Black And Latino Americans, A Glass Mysteriously Half-Full

Why are these stock photo models of color so smiley? (You could ask that question about all stock photo models of color.)
istockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 5:55 pm

Over the last few years an unusual phenomenon has kept popping up in public opinion surveys: Blacks and Latinos have become much more sanguine about the country's prospects as white folks have become more pessimistic. It's a stark reversal of decades of data in which white folks were almost always more optimistic.

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Business
4:59 am
Wed March 5, 2014

The Town Where Everyone Talks About Death

Downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin.
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:05 pm

George Phillips has his death planned out. His wife Betty has planned hers. They have filled out an advance directive, outlining how they want to die.

Their neighbors across the street have filled out the same paperwork, as has the family next door. In fact, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, you're unusual if you don't have a plan for your death. Some 96 percent of people who die in La Crosse have an advance directive or similar documentation. Nationally, only about 30 percent of adults have a document like that.

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Politics
4:16 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Hagel To Defend Pentagon Budget Before Senate Panel

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

The Pentagon's budget for next year would cut the size of the Armed Forces and begin to rein in expensive benefits, including health care. The Army would be reduced to its lowest level in years.

Business
3:13 am
Wed March 5, 2014

House Approves Measure To Ease Flood Insurance Hikes

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The House overwhelmingly passed legislation last night to undo flood insurance reform that Congress passed less than two years ago. When homeowners started calling lawmakers about sharp premium hikes, both chambers moved swiftly to ease the pain.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.

AILSA CHNAG, BYLINE: In 2012, Democrat Maxine Waters of California put her name on a bill that was meant to help the National Flood Insurance Program dig itself out of huge debt. Last night, she said she made a big mistake.

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Europe
3:06 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ukranian Soldiers Trapped In Crimea Standoff

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Ukrainian troops have been inside their bases in Crimea with sizable numbers of Russian troops and Crimean self-defense units blocking the entrances.

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