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Around the Nation
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

With Detroit's New Plan, Plenty Of Pain To Go Around

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

Detroit's emergency manager recently released his plan to get the city through bankruptcy. What do retired city workers think about possible reductions to their pension through the city's bankruptcy?

Around the Nation
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Throw Me Something (Again), Mister: Mardi Gras Beads Revived

Beads are essential to celebrating Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but what happens to the tokens when the revelry ends?
Sean Garnder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras comes each year with dozens of parades filled with marching bands, colorful floats and parade-goers who scream, "Throw me something, Mister!"

That "something" the crowd wants are beads. The goal of any Mardi Gras parade is to catch as many as possible. After the revelry, people often have so many beads around their necks they can barely turn their heads.

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Music News
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

ABBA's 1970s Costumes Decidedly Worth The Tax Break

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 8:34 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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Digital Life
5:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

E-Sports Reach Pro-Athletic Status, Fandom — And Money

As more money flows into the competitions, E-sports gamers are gaining legitimacy as professional athletes with honed skills.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

Online competitive gaming is increasingly mirroring the world of professional sports. E-sports are attracting hard-working teams that compete for millions of dollars in prize money.

Generally, gamers wage battles with one another using rapid clicks of a computer mouse. "A lot of it comes down to reflexes, but a lot of [it] is strategy," says David Gorman, a sportscaster for the popular e-sport, Dota 2. "It's very much like chess, except it's in real time. Almost like speed chess."

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Three Books...
5:03 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Over The Hump: Three Books To Help You Through A Midlife Crisis

iStockphoto

The midlife crisis book inhabits a behemoth literary genre. It spans the feel-good fantasy of Eat, Pray, Love; the survival of "ordinary disasters" and meditation on mortality that is Martin Amis' Experience; and the chintz-patterned glasses through which Anna Quindlen envisions the padded retreat into her prime real estate-ensconced years.

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Politics
4:01 am
Sun March 2, 2014

In Drafting A Presidential Budget, Cost May Outweigh Benefit

Presidents have been submitting budgets since the 1920s, but now that lawmakers have the Congressional Budget Office, is the exercise worth it?
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:30 am

On Tuesday, President Obama will unveil his budget proposal for the coming year. But for all the sound and fury surrounding the president's spending plan, it's likely to have very little significance. Congress routinely ignores the president's budget. And lawmakers have already settled on overall spending levels for the coming year.

That's led some to ask whether it's time to bring the curtain down on this annual exercise in political theater.

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Business
3:26 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise

Economists say strong home sales this spring could drive job creation, as well as boost personal wealth and consumer confidence.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:07 am

For real estate agents, March Madness has begun.

The rush is on to throw out clutter, paint walls and clean carpets. Historic data show the peak time for selling homes is April through July, and that means this is the month for spring cleaning.

"Freshen up the landscape and add that mulch now," Dallas Realtor Jeff Duffey recommended in a phone interview. "Get your over-sized furniture out of the small bedroom and put more lamps in that dark room."

The economy has a lot riding on how well people obey Duffey's marching orders.

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The 86th Annual Academy Awards
5:08 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

The Human Moments We Miss, Backstage At The Oscars

Every year, Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznick covers the Oscars from behind the scenes.
Christopher Polk Getty Images

Picture this: You're standing on a stage. You're the center of attention in an auditorium filled with over 3,000 people. Roughly 40 million more are watching you on TV.

No, this isn't a nightmare — it's the Academy Awards. Every year, the standout members of the film industry are presented with Hollywood's highest honor: an Oscar.

But what happens after you've won the coveted gold statue? What does it feel like to walk away from the flashbulbs and fans, and step into the quiet darkness behind the curtains?

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Around the Nation
4:25 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Courts Take A Kinder Look At Victims Of Child Sex Trafficking

An ad on a bus shelter in New Mexico is part of an ongoing effort to educate law enforcement and the public about human trafficking. The Justice Department estimates that each year at least 200,000 children are trafficked for sex in the U.S.
AP

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

We've all seen them: the public service announcements about sex trafficking in America. They're plastered on buses and billboards; images of young women exploited for their bodies, with hotlines to call for help.

The numbers are staggering. The Justice Department estimates that each year at least 200,000 children are trafficked for sex in the U.S., and it is said to generate upward of $32 billion a year.

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Code Switch
3:12 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

'Mad Black Men': Yes, There Were Black People In '60s Advertising

Mad Black Men's protagonist, Ron Rapper, gets a skeptical look from the secretary on his first day in the office.
Mad Black Men

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 11:23 pm

When Mad Men first premiered on AMC in 2007, Xavier Ruffin — a young, African-American graphic designer from Milwaukee, Wisc. — really wanted to like it.

"I wanted to be a fan of it when it first came out," Ruffin tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I just had my own personal differences. Not liking the way blacks were represented in their universe. I just couldn't get over it."

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Europe
3:12 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

U.N. Attempting To Find Diplomatic Solutions In Ukraine

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

The standoff in Crimea is increasing in intensity and has become a focal point of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Host Arun Rath talks to NPR's Michele Kelemen about the diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff in the region.

Europe
3:12 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Ukraine's Temporary Government Strained By Ongoing Tensions

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

The brand new government in Ukraine is struggling to respond to the crisis in Crimea. Host Arun Rath talks to NPR's Emily Harris in Kiev about the continuing tensions in the region.

Europe
3:12 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Russia Approves Troop Action In Ukraine

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

Russia's upper house of parliament voted Saturday to allow President Vladimir Putin to send Russian troops into Ukraine. Host Arun Rath talks to NPR's Corey Flintoff for the latest from Moscow.

Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Oregon Braces For Latest Round Of Food Stamp Cuts

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

In fact, most of those 15 or so states that use the Heat and Eat loophole have Democratic governors. Along with New York and Connecticut are the likes of California, Massachusetts and Oregon. More than 20 percent of Oregonians are on food stamps. That's one of the highest rates in the country. These new cuts would affect over 140,000 people there. On average, they'd lose about $58 a month.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Some States Find Ways To Restore Cut Food Stamp Funding

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Last month, President Obama made a special trip to Michigan to sign the farm bill, finally passed after two years of disagreement in Congress. One important clause said to take effect this month is a major cut to food stamps. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the cuts would affect about 850,000 households, saving about $8.5 billion over the next 10 years. That cut was achieved by closing what some see as a loophole regarding who qualifies for the program.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Knife Gang Attacks China Rail Station, Killing Dozens

Picture taken by mobile phone on Saturday shows luggage scattered inside the Kunming Railway Station in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.
Lin Yiguang Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:02 pm

This post was updated at 9:20 p.m. ET.

A gang of 10 knife-wielding men killed at least 29 people and wounded 130 others at a train station in southern China in what the government is describing as a "violent terror attack," Xinhua News Agency reports.

Four of the assailants were also killed by police, reports the Associated Press. One suspect was arrested.

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All Tech Considered
10:54 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Tech Week: Bitcoin, Everywhere Camera And A Big Anniversary

Apparently Not: A protester holds a placard Tuesday during a demonstration in front of the offices of Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo. On Friday, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection.
Toru Hanai Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:04 pm

It's time for your weekly look back at technology and culture coverage from NPR and beyond. A quick guide, for first-time readers: Our NPR interviews or stories are in the ICYMI section, links to the broader conversations in tech this week are in "The Big Conversation" and links we loved are in "Curiosities."

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Creation Museum: Bill Nye Debate Sparked Funding 'Miracle'

TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye speaks during a debate on evolution with Creation Museum head Ken Ham on Feb. 4 at the Petersburg, Ky, museum.
Dylan Lovan AP

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 12:12 pm

Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum who last month debated TV personality Bill Nye "The Science Guy" pitting his Biblical literalism against Darwinian evolution, says the highly publicized showdown has been like manna from heaven for a foundering $73 million Noah's Ark theme park.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:55 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: The Cosmos, Harold Ramis, And Protecting Your Data Online

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a new TV series called Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey. It's an update of the influential 1980 PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Journey, hosted by Carl Sagan.
Patrick Eccelsine Fox

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:38 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Real Science Or Sci-Fi?

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 10:03 am

Our panelists answer questions about things that seem like science fiction but are actually science nonfiction. (This segment originally aired on Sept. 1, 2012.)

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:38 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Wait Wait Goes To IKEA

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 10:03 am

Some of our favorite trips to the land of Lingonberries and Fjornholm shelves. (This segment originally aired on Sept. 1, 2012.)

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:14 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Gass And Black Of Tenacious D Play Not My Job

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:56 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

We've interviewed a lot of musicians on this show, but recently we got a chance to interview the greatest rock band ever in all of history. That would be Tenacious D, also known as actor Jack Black and his friend Kyle Gass.

CARL KASELL: We were joined by Brian Babylon, Charlie Pierce, and Roxanne Roberts and we began with Jack Black trying to describe what their music is all about.

JACK BLACK: Well, it's been said that we're a combination of Black Sabbath and who's the other band, Kage?

KYLE GASS: Uh...

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:14 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Director Barry Sonnenfeld Plays Not My Job

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:56 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

When you think of successful movie directors, you think of people like the guy in Fellini's movie "Eight and a Half": confident, half-dictator, half-philosopher, half-womanizer.

CARL KASELL: That's three halves.

SAGAL: Don't quibble. So we were surprised and delighted to talk to Barry Sonnenfeld, director of such huge Hollywood movies as the "Men in Black" films and "Get Shorty." Turns out he's just as odd and nervous as we are.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:14 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Former Yankees Pitcher Jim Bouton Plays Not My Job

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:55 am

Transcript

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WEB Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. And here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl. Oh, thank you everybody. Thank you everybody, great to see you. Listen, like a lot of people we have finally cracked after months of the polar vortex and blizzards and snow. We have cabin fever, seasonal affective ditorder, rickets.

KASELL: I have scurvy.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I just spit out a tooth.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Thai Protesters Retreat, But Vow To Keep Up Pressure On Government

Thai anti-government protesters leader Suthep Thaugsuban speaks to his supporters during a rally at Silom intersections in Bangkok on Friday.
Rungroj Yongrit EPA /Landov

Thailand's anti-government protesters have temporarily abandoned their street barricades and quit mass demonstrations aimed at shutting down the capital and ousting the country's premier.

But the protesters vowed to regroup at a central location in Bangkok and continue their efforts to force the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was returned to power last month in an election boycotted by the opposition.

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Business
7:50 am
Sat March 1, 2014

A Picket Line At The Oscars: Visual-Effects Artists To Protest

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 9:37 am

Hundreds of visual-effects artists are planning to picket the Academy Awards on Sunday for the second year in a row. They're hoping to bring attention to what's been happening in their industry.

The field is losing jobs and relocating to countries with bigger subsidies for employers. It's the result of a technical revolution that's changed the profession since it kicked off in the 70s with Star Wars creator George Lucas' visual-effects company, Industrial Light and Magic.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Pakistani Taliban Promise Cease-Fire To Resume Peace Talks

Shahidullah Shahid (right), spokesman of banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan sits with a local commander Azam Tariq as they speak to journalists at an undisclosed location near the Afghan border last month.
Saood Rehman EPA/Landov

The Pakistani Taliban said Saturday it will observe a month-long cease-fire to revive failed peace talks with Islamabad.

"The senior leadership of the Taliban advises all subgroups to respect the Taliban's call for a ceasefire and abide by it and completely refrain from all jihadi activities in this time period," the militant group said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Russia's Parliament Approves Putin's Call For Troops In Ukraine

Young people look at pro-Russian armed men blocking access to the Ukrainian frontier guard base in Balaklava, a small city not far from Sevastopol, on Saturday.
Viktor Drachev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 4:32 pm

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

Russia's parliament has unanimously approved a request by President Vladimir Putin to authorize the intervention of Moscow's forces in Ukraine until "the normalization of the political situation" there. In response, Ukraine put its own forces on alert and warned that a Russian invasion would spark war between the two countries.

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The Record
6:03 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Listening In Reel Life: The Pop Music Inside The Oscar Nominees

Beautiful Music Together: Joaquin Phoenix takes a walk on the beach with his girlfriend the Operating System in the Oscar-nominated film Her.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 7:54 am

The most romantic scene from any of this year's Oscar-nominated films begins with a deliciously idiosyncratic pickup line. At a swinger's pool party in 1978, a flabby yet still somehow alluring Christian Bale gently grabs the arm of Sydney Prosser, played by Amy Adams at her most wide-eyed and guileful. "Is that Duke Ellington on your bracelet?" he murmurs.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Bob Boilen's Weekly Rainbows

goats standing on things

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