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Around the Nation
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Another Florida Case Puts 'Stand Your Ground' Back In Court

Michael Dunn (right), who faces first-degree murder charges in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, stands with his attorney Cory Strolla (left) at Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Bob Mack Florida Times-Union/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

They're events that took just several minutes, but in a courtroom in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday, prosecutors and the defense laid out different versions of how Michael Dunn, who is white, came to shoot and kill Jordan Davis, a black teen.

It was in 2012, the day after Thanksgiving, that Davis, 17, and three friends stopped at a gas station and convenience store in Jacksonville. They were in an SUV and were playing their music — loud.

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Around the Nation
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

The Avalanche And The Alaskan City Finding Its Way Out

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The city of Valdez, Alaska is no stranger to avalanches but this year has been a whopper. A series of massive avalanches buried the highway into the city, cutting off traffic for two weeks. Snowpack that crashed down the mountains filled a canyon and left the road covered with snow 40 feet deep for a quarter mile stretch. Well, yesterday, after the avalanche, debris was finally cleared, the Richardson Highway was opened to traffic again.

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Around the Nation
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Powerless In Pennsylvania And Awaiting The Storm's Return

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

Over 400,000 people in Pennsylvania still have no power following this week's ice storm. Many won't get back their power back before Sunday — but another winter super storm is expected over the weekend, worrying officials and residents over how they will stay warm.

Technology
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

AeroCop: Police Put An Eye In The Sky

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Maryland Drug Officials Worry Over A Deadly Mixture

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tomorrow in Maryland, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration will sit down with other law enforcement groups to talk through some big questions. Tainted heroin has recently killed at least 50 people across several states, and they want to find out where it's coming from. The heroin is laced with the powerful painkiller fentanyl. While the DEA races to find the drug's source, NPR's Allison Keyes reports community groups are scrambling to warn addicts of the danger.

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Music News
3:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Violin Worth $5 Million Makes A Safe Return Home

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:55 pm

Police in Milwaukee have recovered a Stradivarius violin and arrested three suspects in its theft. The instrument, said to be worth approximately $5 million, was stolen in a brazen armed robbery from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra late last month. Mitch Teich of WUWM in Milwaukee reports on the violin's recovery.

The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Senate Fails To Advance Unemployment Bill, Again

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 4:53 pm

For a second time, the Senate has failed to advance a bill that would restore unemployment benefits for an estimated 1.7 million Americans, who have been out of work for the long term.

The bill is essentially dead, because Senate Democrats could not cobble up the 60 votes needed to end debate on the measure. Without enough Republican support, the vote tally was 55-to-42.

The New York Times reports:

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Music Reviews
3:12 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Before He Joined Congress, A South African Janitor's Disco Past

Penny Penny.
Courtesy of the artist

The appearance of Penny Penny's Shaka Bundu in the American market is welcome not only in itself, but also as a sign of a larger trend. Five or six years ago, it was clear the music business was going into long-term sales decline, and I was certain that a prime victim of that would be African pop. The established imports of the '80s and '90s would be available as MP3 downloads, but surely new discoveries and reissues would slow to a trickle, if not cease altogether. I'm grateful that that has simply not happened.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

A Horror Comedy With 'Everything' And Then Some

Simon Pegg (Sean of the Dead, Star Trek) plays Jack, a writer gone paranoid while working on a book about 19th-century murderers.
Gaiam Vivendi

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

The Holocaust Recalled, Again, Through The Eyes Of 'The Unjust'

In 1975, Shoah director Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjmain Murmelstein, the last surviving Elder of the Jews of the Czech Theresienstadt ghetto, at his home in Rome. The resulting film is The Last of the Unjust.
Cohen Media Group

With a running time of more than nine hours, Claude Lanzmann's monumental 1985 documentary, Shoah, was never destined to become a mass audience draw. But this sober, taxing, utterly absorbing attempt to document the Holocaust grows ever more essential precisely as our collective memory is increasingly eroded by the reductive shorthand of emaciated bodies or piles of shoes discarded by concentration-camp inmates as they went to their terrible fate. For Lanzmann, understanding trumps empathy.

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Movie Reviews
3:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Family Matters, With A Dose Of Pharmaceuticals

Josiane Balasko and Michel Blanc
A BORREL Courtesy of Rialto

Josiane Balasko's Demi-Soeur suggests that modern pharmaceuticals can abet the storytelling in an old-fashioned sentimental farce: A dose of Ecstasy is all that's required to activate the relationship between Nenette (Balasko), a 60-year-old with the understanding of a first-grader, and her previously unknown half-brother Paul (Michel Blanc).

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The Salt
2:56 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Food Industry Groups Say They'll Label GMOs, On Their Terms

A woman shops at a supermarket in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 1:51 pm

Remember those ballot initiatives in California and Washington that aimed to get food companies to label products containing genetically modified ingredients?

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Italian Navy Rescues Some 1,100 Migrants In Mediterranean

Migrants are seen in a boat during a rescue operation by Italian navy ship San Marco off the coast to the south of the Italian island of Sicily on Wednesday.
HANDOUT Reuters/Landov

More than a thousand would-be North African migrants were rescued by the Italian navy about 120 miles southeast of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, authorities say.

The BBC says that 1,123 people, from sub-Saharan Africa, were intercepted on Wednesday as they tried to make the passage in inflatable boats, but were intercepted by authorities. They included 47 women, four of them pregnant, and 50 children, the BBC says.

For background:

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Who 'Won' The Creation Vs. Evolution Debate?

Bill Nye (left) and Ken Ham debated whether creation is a viable model of origins in the modern scientific era during a lengthy debate Tuesday. The points they raised have fueled an online conversation that continues.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:07 pm

Days after a wide-ranging debate on creationism and evolution between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the event is driving an online conversation. Themes of belief and literalism, logic and faith — and, for some, relevance — are being aired and disputed. And some wonder what the debate accomplished.

The video of the more than two-hour debate, in which Nye and Ham presented their views on how the Earth and its surroundings were created, has been viewed more than 830,000 times on YouTube. At one point, the live event drew more than 500,000 viewers.

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All Songs Considered
2:13 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Playing SXSW 2014? Send Us Your Songs

Several of us loved The Soil and the Sun at SXSW 2013 — and we'd have never heard the band if it hadn't sent us an MP3 before the festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:23 pm

Every year around this time, the All Songs Considered team begins the process of listening to nearly 2,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. We acquire them from any number of sources, as bands willing to circulate their songs for consideration make them available online. But every year, we wind up missing something. In pursuit of music by thousands of bands, hundreds slip past our radar altogether.

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Shots - Health News
2:05 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Start Early To Cut Women's Stroke Risk

Exercise helps lower stroke risk, but birth control pills and pregnancy can be problematic for younger women.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:16 pm

Women are at greater risk for strokes than men, and for the first time women and their doctors have evidence-based guidelines on how to reduce that risk.

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Leaked Phone Call Offers Not-So-Diplomatic U.S. View Of EU

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich greets Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday. In a tape posted on YouTube on Thursday, Nuland can be heard discussing the merits of various Ukrainian opposition leaders and disparaging the EU.
Mykhailo Markiv / Pool EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:26 pm

The latest wrinkle in Ukraine's crisis doesn't involve the government and the protesters there.

Instead, it has to do with the diplomats trying to resolve the crisis.

A leaked phone conversation between Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, and Geoff Pyatt, the U.S. envoy to Kiev, appears to show them discussing the merits of Ukraine's various opposition figures. In it, Nuland can also be heard using a distinctly undiplomatic phrase while describing the European Union.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Another SAC Manager Found Guilty Of Insider Trading

Former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager Mathew Martoma walks out of the courthouse in downtown Manhattan, New York, on Thursday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager with SAC Capital Advisors, has been convicted of helping the hedge fund reap hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal trades based on inside information. His is the latest in a series of legal actions related to the firm owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.

Martoma, 39, was found guilty by a federal jury in Manhattan on three counts of conspiracy and securities fraud related to trades made on inside information about a possible breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer's.

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All Tech Considered
1:20 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Author: When It Comes To High-Speed Internet, U.S. 'Falling Way Behind'

Susan Crawford says that in cities like Seoul and Stockholm, high-speed, high-capacity networks are taken for granted. "It really is astonishing what's going on in America," she says. "We're falling way behind in the pack of developed nations when it comes to high-speed Internet access, capacity and prices."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:41 am

For an increasing number of Americans, access to high-speed Internet has become an essential part of our lives. We do work, email friends, find restaurants, watch videos and movies, and check the weather. And the Internet is increasingly used for important services, like video medical consults and online education, and is relied upon by businesses for critical operations.

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Book Reviews
1:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

'Day Job' Aims For Romance In Real Life

Dutton/The Penguin Group

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:19 pm

A long time ago, in a world before email, cellphones and the World Wide Web, my girlfriends and I had a mantra: "Life is too short for annoying boys."

I was lucky. I met my own Mr. Perfect-For-Me when I was young enough to not feel desperate to find him, but old enough to have already lived a pretty interesting life. I had traveled. I had a college degree. I had a few "lessons learned" relationships in my back pocket.

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Shots - Health News
12:59 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Most Smokers Don't Buy Their Cigarettes At CVS

M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:31 pm

When CVS said it will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products at its 7,600 pharmacies by October, President Obama hailed the company for setting a "powerful example."

The announcement Wednesday made us wonder — how many people actually buy their cigarettes from drugstores, anyway?

For answers, we turned to a 2012 survey of the retail tobacco market in the U.S. conducted by research firm Euromonitor International.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Sniper Attack On Power Station Highlights Grid's Vulnerability

Fred Prouser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:26 am

Warning that no single authority can order utilities to beef up security at their facilities, the former head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission continues to raise the alarm about a sniper attack last April on an electric power station in San Jose, Calif.. He says it highlights the vulnerability of the nation's power grid and that more needs to be done to protect that infrastructure.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Boehner Casts Doubt On Prospects For Immigration Overhaul

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:06 am

Speaker of the House John Boehner seemed to throw cold water on bipartisan hopes for a law overhauling the country's immigration system this year.

"This is an important issue in our country," Boehner acknowledged in a press conference on Thursday. "It's been kicked around forever, and it needs to be dealt with."

Then the Ohio Republican delivered a big, resounding but. He said he "never underestimated the difficulty of moving forward this year." And he issued an ultimatum of sorts.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

NASA Probe Finds Newly Formed Crater On Mars

An enhanced image of a newly formed crater on Mars. The feature, including the ejected material, stretches more than 9 miles across.
NASA

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:42 pm

Take a close look at the stunning image above showing a newly formed impact crater on Mars: The blue streaks of material, known as ejecta, radiate 9 miles from the 100-foot crater, according to NASA.

The picture was taken from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 19. The same area was imaged by the MRO's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012 — with no crater in the first and a telltale surface scar in the second.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Taliban Release Video Of Captured 'American Military Dog'

The Taliban holding what they claim is a U.S. military dog.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:38 am

It may be the first time a canine has been used in a prisoner of war video.

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Parallels
10:58 am
Thu February 6, 2014

From Projects To Parliament, Britain's 'Rev. Rose' Breaks Barriers

The Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin outside her home in Hackney, England. The first woman and the first person of color to serve as chaplain to the queen and in the House of Commons moves between those rarefied worlds and that of the poverty- and crime-ridden parish in East London that she continues to run.
Godong UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 9:39 am

Parliament in London is an old-fashioned place. When members gather in the House of Commons, the sea of faces is generally wrinkled, white and male.

The chaplain who leads them each day in prayer is emphatically not.

The Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin is the first black woman to serve as chaplain to the speaker in the House of Commons. She broke the same barrier when she was appointed chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. She was also the first woman, and the first person of color, to run her parish in Northeast London.

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All Songs Considered
10:53 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Civil Wars Cover Elliott Smith

John Paul White (left) and Joy Williams of The Civil Wars.
Allister Ann Courtesy of the artist

If you remembered that John Paul White and Joy Williams had announced they were taking a hiatus last year, the news of a new digital EP from The Civil Wars might make you scratch your head. But this cover of Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars," which lends its name to the EP, was actually recorded a while back with producers Rick Rubin and Charlie Peacock.

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The Salt
10:51 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Subway Phasing Out Bread Additive After Blogger Flags Health Concerns

Sandwich chain Subway has announced plans to drop the additive azodicarbonamide from its fresh-baked breads. Above, Subway founder Fred DeLuca poses carrying bread for sandwiches.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 2:19 pm

Food industry, beware of the power of the online petition.

Just a few days after food blogger Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, created a buzz with an online petition raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.

The additive, azodicarbonamide, is used by the commercial baking industry to bleach flour and condition dough.

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Beauty Shop
10:29 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Mean Girls Online: Can We Draw A Line In Social Media?

Feminists criticizing feminists online: How does it impact the movement?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:57 am

Last week, an article about online feminist activism set off a heated debate. The Nation's Michelle Goldberg examined criticism aimed at feminists by other feminists. "Is it good for the movement? And whose movement is it?" Goldberg asked.

She wrote:

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Technology
10:29 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Hackathon Organizers Ask, Could A Smart Phone App Have Saved Trayvon?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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