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The Record
2:22 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In The Digital Era, Hit Songs Aren't Everything

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, whose song, "Gone, Gone, Gone," went to No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Each time it's played in public, the song's writers get a royalty, which is tracked and collected by ASCAP. Bigger hits usually translate into bigger checks.
Buda Mendes Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:58 pm

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It's All Politics
2:09 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Debt Ceiling Vote Relied On GOP's 'Tough Vote' Caucus

House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (left), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (right) were among the 28 Republicans whose votes made it possible for most other Republicans to vote against the debt ceiling hike.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:08 pm

Within the House Republican Conference, an unofficial "tough vote" caucus is taking shape.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

No-Confidence Vote Ushers In Italy's Youngest-Ever Premier

Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi of Italy's Democratic Party is next in line to be the country's prime minister. Enrico Letta is stepping down after a vote of no confidence.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta will step down after his own party launched a no-confidence vote against him, paving the way for the young and popular mayor of Florence to assume the post.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

U.K. Warns Scotland: Vote To Secede, Lose Common Currency

A display of T-shirts are seen for sale in a Scottish memorabilia shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Jan. 13, 2012. Scotland votes in September on independence, but the U.K. government has warned that freedom will come at a cost: Scotland will lose the pound.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:06 pm

Scotland, as we've told you previously, is voting later this year on breaking away from the U.K.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond had said that the new country would retain the pound as its currency and take on a portion of the U.K.'s debt. Britain's message today [Thursday]: Not so fast.

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All Tech Considered
1:24 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

How The Big Cable Deal Could Actually Boost Open-Internet Rules

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:59 am

An announced $45 billion merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable — the largest and second-largest cable companies in the U.S., respectively — is under scrutiny not just for its massive size but also for its potential impact on Internet use.

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Book Reviews
1:09 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Robert Frost's Letters Reveal: He Really Cared What Readers Thought

Courtesy of Belknap Press

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:32 am

On July 4, 1913, Robert Frost wrote to his good friend John Bartlett, describing his strengths as a poet: "To be perfectly frank with you I am one of the most notable craftsmen of my time. ... I alone of English writers have consciously set myself to make music out of what I may call the sound of sense."

Frost was 39 years old when he wrote those words. Despite the hubristic and self-assured tone, he had published one book of poetry, A Boy's Will, and was relatively unknown in literary circles.

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Parallels
12:51 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In Damp Country, Record-Breaking Rains Flood Britain

Priscilla Smithers and her four children have arranged chairs around a few air mattresses to create a space for themselves, after fleeing their home.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:15 am

Parts of England have been underwater for more than six weeks now, since storms began pummeling the west of Great Britain around Christmas. While many of those areas are still submerged, the situation keeps getting worse.

Now the floodwaters are lapping near Windsor Castle, as the Thames overflows its banks. Thousands of people have fled their homes, with more evacuating every day.

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Code Switch
12:46 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Instagram Posts, KKK Rallies And Other Racial Sensitivities

Clarence Thomas is seen in a high school year book photo, circa 1959. He said that people are more sensitive about race now than they were when he lived in segregated Georgia and was the first black student to attend his school.
AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:21 pm

Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke to an audience at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Thomas, the second black member of the Supreme Court, felt that in one clear aspect of racial and cultural relations in the U.S., we've not moved forward:

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Businesses Scramble To Deliver Valentine's Treats In Snow

Snow falls past a Valentine's Day display inside Lee's Flower & Card Shop in the early morning in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

If those flowers you were expecting fail to show up by Friday, don't be so quick to blame your Valentine. It could just be the weather.

That's not to say that the friendly neighborhood florist isn't planning for the worst — and hoping for the best.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Belgian Lawmakers Extend Euthanasia To Terminally Ill Children

The electronic voting board shows Belgian politicians voted in favor of the bill on child euthanasia at the Belgian federal Parliament in Brussels on Thursday. Belgium, one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal, takes the unprecedented step of extending the right to children.
Yves Logghe AP

We told you Wednesday about a Belgian proposal that would have made the country the first in the world to allow terminally ill children to choose euthanasia. Thursday, lawmakers in the country voted overwhelmingly to allow just that.

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Code Switch
12:13 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

National Puerto Rican Day Parade Reorganizes After Misuse Of Funds

Parade onlookers cheer marchers in last year's National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 3:32 pm

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade will be marching down New York City's Fifth Avenue under new leadership this year.

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Television
11:51 am
Thu February 13, 2014

In 'Whole Gritty City,' Marching Bands Vie For Coveted Mardi Gras Spots

Eleven-year-old Jaron "Bear" Williams practices trumpet before marching in his first Mardi Gras season. The Whole Gritty City follows young student marching bands as they prepare for coveted spots in the New Orleans parade.
Courtesy of CBS

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 2:51 pm

There are times when television really does try to put its best foot forward — promoting a new fall season, for example. But it's an almost twisted rule of TV that sometimes, the better a television offering is, the more likely it is to be shown when even the network presenting it doesn't think many people will be watching.

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Politics
11:51 am
Thu February 13, 2014

A Closer Look At How Corporations Influence Congress

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 2:51 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Corporations work hard to influence Congress and public opinion. My guest, Eric Lipton, is an investigative reporter for the New York Times who's been writing about how corporations work in opaque ways to shape debates on issues ranging from whether we should raise the minimum wage to whether high-fructose corn syrup is less healthy than sugar.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Thu February 13, 2014

VIDEOS: Rappin' And Rockin' School Closing Announcements

Durham Academy Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner (in foreground) and Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Lee Hark channeled their inner Vanilla Ice to let students and parents know school is closed today.
DurhamAcademyComm

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 12:56 pm

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Apple Steps Up The Pressure On 'Conflict Minerals'

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPad Air in October 2013. The company says it is publicizing the names of suppliers that are still sourcing minerals from conflict regions.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 12:12 pm

Apple has announced that its suppliers are no longer using the mineral tantalum sourced from conflict regions.

Tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold are among the minerals used to make electronics, and questions about their origins have become a controversial issue because, as The Wall Street Journal reports, "minerals from some of the mines in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo are blamed for paying for the fighting in the region."

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The Edge
10:27 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Russian Star Plushenko Withdraws From Men's Skating

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia withdrew from the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, reportedly because of a recurring problem with his back.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 12:38 pm

Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, a star who hoped to compete one more time before his adoring home nation fans, pulled himself from the games on Thursday.

There's word that he may be headed into retirement because of a recurring back problem.

USA Today describes what happened at Sochi's Iceberg Palace:

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Arts & Life
10:17 am
Thu February 13, 2014

From Top Model To Black Panther, Actress Yaya Alafia Is 'Truly African-American'

In 2013, Yaya Alafia played Black Panther Carol Hammie in The Butler.
Beth Rosner Management

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 12:22 pm

Yaya Alafia arrived on TV screens more than a decade ago as Yaya DaCosta, the young model proud of her African and Latina roots in Season 3 of America's Next Top Model. But, as she tells NPR's Michel Martin, she has come a long way since competing on the series. "I have practiced such deliberate amnesia when it came to that show," she admits. "Just hearing my voice at such a young, vulnerable age, forced into this other world that I wasn't prepared for."

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U.S.
10:17 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Can Federal Program Keep Mom And Dad Together?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Valentine's Day is tomorrow and that means that millions of American men and women are making plans to please their romantic partners, at least in parts of the country where they are not buried under snow and ice. But what you might not know is that, for some years now, the federal government has been involved, not so much in romance, but in teaching families so-called relationship skills.

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Music
10:17 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Afro Latino Music: Reimagining Songs Rooted In The Slave Trade

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We wanted to talk more about how people who claim both African and Latin heritage are re-examining that heritage. Now we want to see how that's playing out in music, and also how music is allowing some people to re-examine some painful and difficult issues. Who better to tell us more about this than the cohost of NPR's Alt.Latino. Felix Contreras is with us in Washington, D.C. And holding it down in Mexico City, Jasmine Garsd. Jasmine, Felix, welcome back.

JASMINE GARSD, BYLINE: Thanks for having us.

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Remembrances
10:17 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Why Stuart Hall Was The 'Godfather Of Multiculturalism'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to take a few minutes to pay tribute to scholar Stuart Hall. He was widely known and respected in academic circles as the godfather of multiculturalism. He died this week in England at the age of 82. Born in Jamaica, he studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar.

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Technology
10:17 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Are Tech Execs Uncomfortable Around Young Black Men?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. You may remember that last week we spoke with organizers of a hackathon in Oakland, California. It was a gathering of developers who were asked to consider ideas for, say, a smartphone app that could've saved Trayvon Martin or perhaps solve other social problems.

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Shots - Health News
10:11 am
Thu February 13, 2014

The 10 Places Where Health Insurance Costs The Least

St. Paul, capital of Minnesota, the land of inexpensive health insurance.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:55 pm

People in much of Minnesota, northwestern Pennsylvania and Tucson, Ariz., are getting the best bargains from the health care law's new insurance marketplaces. Their premiums run half as much as those in the country's most expensive markets.

The 10 regions with the lowest premiums in the nation also include Salt Lake City, all of Hawaii and eastern Tennessee. This ranking is based on the lowest cost of a silver plan, the midrange plan most consumers are choosing.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Thu February 13, 2014

China's Moon Rover Wakes Up, But Isn't Out Of The Woods Yet

China's first lunar rover separates from the Chang'e-3 moon lander on Dec. 15. This picture was taken from the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
Li Xin Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 1:56 pm

China's troubled Jade Rabbit rover has woken from its hibernation on the moon, sending a message back to its handlers. But its problems aren't over yet.

"Hi, anyone there?" was the post on Jade Rabbit's unofficial Weibo account on Thursday, which got thousands of responses from enthusiastic followers.

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Ask Me Another
9:29 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Random Questions With: Delia Ephron

Very Important Puzzler Delia Ephron talks with Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg about growing up in a family full of writers.
Josh Rogosin NPR

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

Is your foodie sister-in-law insisting that everyone "elevate" the next family potluck by bringing fancier dishes? Never fear. We asked V.I.P. Delia Ephron for advice on how to handle this and other tricky family situations. Luckily, the author of Sister Mother Husband Dog comes from a large family of writers (she and her sister, Nora Ephron, co-wrote and produced You've Got Mail and Sleepless In Seattle) and knows which situations require diplomacy, and which call for more "creative" solutions.

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Ask Me Another
9:22 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Mime Time

Brother, can you spare a mime? No, it's not pledge drive season yet. In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton asks our contestants to put on their pun hats (berets, naturally) and answer clues with clever puns that include the word "mime". Cue the groans!

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

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
9:20 am
Thu February 13, 2014

The Answer Lies Within

It's any quiz show contestant's dream come true. In this game, we're going to give you all the answers. Yes, we're serious. Listen as host Ophira Eisenberg gives our contestants clues to answers that are contained within the questions themselves. But be careful: it's not as easy as it sounds!

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

Transcript

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Paula Deen Cooks Up $75 Million Deal With Investor

Paula Deen
Joshua Gunter The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 11:42 am

The answer to the question "can Paula Deen recover?" from the uproar over her past use of the "N-word" is apparently yes.

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Ask Me Another
9:07 am
Thu February 13, 2014

That's A-L-L, Folks

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 9:42 am

To wrap up the show, puzzle guru Greg Pliska asks our finalists to give it their "a-l-l," and think up answers that contain those letters in consecutive order. Unlike Porky Pig, however, contestants have to reach deep into their trivia brains to make sure they don't come up with any fa-l-lacies!

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

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
9:07 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Presidential Monster Hunter

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 9:40 am

Did you see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? Well, Honest Abe wasn't the only Commander-in-Chief to fight the supernatural. In this game, we ask you to imagine other films that might depict presidents and the mythological creatures they fought, like George Washington: Dinosaur Hunter. Who knew that the father of our country was fighting T. Rex as well as Rex Anglie (The King of England)?

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Shots - Health News
8:21 am
Thu February 13, 2014

With This Year's Flu, Young Adults Are Not So Invincible

A flu shot would have helped protect young adults, but most didn't get it.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 9:40 am

We usually think of the flu as an illness that afflicts the elderly. But this season the virus seems to be hitting younger people hard.

This winter at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., the median age of people hospitalized with influenza was 28.5 years. Many of the worst cases of flu occurred in young, otherwise healthy people.

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