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Parallels
1:35 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Samba School Murder Exposes The Dark Side Of Rio's Carnival

Viviane Araujo, a Salguiero samba school queen, performs at a rehearsal for Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Marcello da Cunha Freire, vice president of the popular samba school, was murdered last month in a drive-by shooting.
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:44 am

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a glittering affair that attracts tourists from all over the world. There is, however, a murky and sometimes violent underbelly to the celebrations that recently came under the spotlight after the murder of a top samba school official.

One evening last month, Marcello da Cunha Freire was leaving his office in Rio's Vila Isabel neighborhood when a car pulled up next to him.

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Parallels
1:34 am
Wed February 12, 2014

For Elephants And Rhinos, Poaching Trends Point In Wrong Direction

Two adult white rhinos stand in an enclosure at South Africa's Entabeni Safari Conservancy in 2012. Entabeni is one of the world's only dedicated orphanages for rhino calves whose parents were poached for their horns — a trend that is rising.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:48 pm

South Africa has a stable government that makes wildlife protection a high priority. But even in that country, there's been a dramatic surge in poaching, particularly for rhinos.

A decade ago, fewer than 100 rhinos were killed in a year. Last year, it was more than 1,000, says Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"When you're talking about something that is more valuable than gold, and it is easily accessible, you're going to create the atmosphere where people are going to take advantage of that," he says.

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The Two-Way
9:36 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Wire Fox Terrier Wins Best In Show At Westminster

Sky, a wire fox terrier, is shown here competing in the terrier group before winning best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Tuesday.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:06 am

A wire fox terrier named Sky has become America's new top dog.

Sky won best in show at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, beating out dogs in six other groups, including a standard poodle, Portuguese water dog, bloodhound, Irish water spaniel, Cardigan Welsh corgi and a miniature pinscher.

It was the 14th time a wire fox terrier won best in show, more than any other breed since the Westminster show began in 1877.

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The Two-Way
7:15 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

NBC's Tom Brokaw Announces He Has Cancer, Says He's 'Optimistic'

Tom Brokaw, seen here at an event in Silver Spring, Md., last year, was diagnosed with a form of cancer last August.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Tom Brokaw, the NBC News correspondent who for years was one of America's favorite news anchors, has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects blood cells in bone marrow, the network says.

Saying that Brokaw "and his physicians are very encouraged with the progress he is making" as he undergoes treatment, NBC released a statement on Brokaw's behalf. Here it is:

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

European Union Moves To Approve U.S. Genetically Modified Corn

Despite efforts by two-thirds of its 28 member states to block the move, the European Union took a large step toward approving a new genetically modified corn Tuesday. It opponents say the corn, a DuPont Pioneer product called TC1507, has harmful qualities. They also predict the decision will prove to be controversial in Europe.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

FBI Offers Cash Reward To Catch People Who Point Lasers At Planes

View of the cockpit of a Boeing B737-300.
Olivier Laban-Mattei AFP/Getty Images

The FBI is making a limited-time offer at 12 of its field offices across the nation from Albuquerque and Los Angeles to New York City and Washington, D.C.: During the next 60 days, if you help them catch someone aiming a laser pointer at a plane, the FBI is offering rewards of up to $10,000.

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The Salt
5:00 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Thank You, Shirley Temple, For The Original 'Mocktail'

A Classic Shirley Temple
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:38 pm

Generations of little girls have watched the ebullient Shirley Temple light up Depression-era black and white films, her glossy curls bouncing and her voice chirping. Generations, too, developed a taste for the Shirley Temple drink — traditionally, ginger ale with a dash of grenadine, maraschino cherry and lemon for garnish.

The drink, it seems, has a shelf life as long as her movies.

That's because the saccharine beverage in a girly pinkish hue has long embodied glamour in a glass for tweens and the younger set.

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Budget Pruning Leaves Canadian Potted Plants Out To Dry

Plants for auction on GCSurplus, the Canadian Government's site for the sale of surplus goods. Plants from the House of Commons may soon join them.
Courtesy of Public Works And Government Services Canada

In Canada, even the ficus trees haven't been spared the budget cut hatchet.

The potted plants in Canada's House of Commons buildings, the CBC reports, will soon be rounded up and auctioned off as part of federal belt-tightening measures.

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Around the Nation
4:13 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Straw Buyers Exchange Vermont Guns For East Coast Drugs

An evidence locker at the Vermont field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is filled with confiscated guns.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

In Vermont, opiate addiction is the high-profile focus of Gov. Peter Shumlin's latest set of policy initiatives. But the state's addiction problem has led to another dangerous issue:

Vermont's loose gun laws and a high demand for drugs make a lucrative market for drug dealers who accept guns in return for the drugs they sell.

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Music News
4:13 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Singing To The Strength Of New Orleans

Alynda Lee Segarra is the lead singer and songwriter of the New Orleans folk ensemble Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

Beneath the benevolent gaze of a statue of Saint Roch, the patron saint of dogs, invalids and bachelors, Alynda Lee Segarra sings: "People are dying. No one understands."

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Education
4:10 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pay Cuts, End Of Tenure Put North Carolina Teachers On Edge

Elementary school students in North Carolina stand outside their school in November, during an event organized by teachers to protest changes in public education.
Dave DeWitt WUNC

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

Teacher salaries are losing ground fast in North Carolina.

Jennifer Spivey has been a teacher for three years at South Columbus High School, on the north side of the border between the Carolinas. She's been recognized as an outstanding teacher; she has a master's degree, and last summer she won a prestigious Kenan fellowship to improve education. But she still lives in her parents' basement.

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Politics
3:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

House Passes 'Clean' Debt Limit Bill

A woman looks at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 31 in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

Tuesday saw a rarity in Congress these days: a "clean" bill.

The House passed one to raise the debt limit, a move that avoids a possible default later this month.

In the past, House Republicans have used this debate to extract concessions from President Obama and congressional Democrats.

But not this time. House Republicans demanded nothing in return. The House passed the no-strings-attached debt hike Tuesday evening — though just 28 Republicans voted with the Democratic minority to pass the extension, 221 votes to 201 votes.

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Around the Nation
3:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It

A new study shows that the income gap between young adults who go to college and those who don't only continues to grow.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.

Yes, a new study of young people finds. The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Paul Taylor, executive vice president of special projects at Pew, says it's pretty much case closed when it comes to the benefits of going to college.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Graco Recalls Nearly 3.8 Million Child Car Seats

The My Ride 70 was one of the models recalled by Graco.
Graco

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:24 pm

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car seats because buckles may be hard to release, posing a danger in the case of an accident.

The AP reports that despite the massive recall, which involves 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is unhappy with the company.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

House Votes To Extend Debt Limit To March 2015

The House of Representatives has voted to extend the federal debt limit, after the Republican majority abandoned its hopes to tie other provisions to the measure. By a 221-201 vote, the House voted to extend the debt limit to March 15, 2015.

Update at 5:35 p.m. ET: Ryan Reportedly Voted 'No'

In the end, 28 Republicans joined with 193 Democrats to approve the move.

On Twitter, several congressional reporters quickly noted that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was one of many Republicans who voted against the legislation.

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Economy
2:53 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Fed Chair Promises Continuity Before Congress

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Janet Yellen made her first appearance on Capitol Hill today as the new leader of the Federal Reserve. Her message was clear. There will be no sudden changes in Fed policy. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep pulling back its big stimulus program despite concerns about the economy.

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U.S.
2:53 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Nonprofits Pull In Investors To Tackle Housing Affordability

Melissa Conklin, 23, stands in the kitchen of her two-bedroom apartment at Woodmere Trace in Norfolk, Va. She earns about $30,000 a year at a nearby car dealership, and says these apartments are not only convenient, but affordable. She pays about $900 a month here, far less than other apartments in the area.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:56 am

One of the biggest problems facing low-income families in the U.S. today is a lack of affordable housing.

According to a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, more than 7 million low-income households now spend more than half of their income for rent, which leaves little money for anything else. And the situation is expected to get worse.

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Parallels
2:53 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Iran's President Marks Revolution With Call For Negotiations

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during an annual rally commemorating the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution at the Azadi Square in Tehran, on Tuesday. Rouhani called for "respectful, constructive" nuclear talks with world powers — a departure from the hard line of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 7:58 pm

Iran on Tuesday marked the 35th anniversary of its Islamic revolution, a day when the country's religious conservatives and military hard-liners take center stage, and calls of "Death to America" echo across the country.

In Tehran's Azadi Square, one man waving an orange "Down with the USA" flag condemned the U.S. and Israel, and then, perhaps not sure of the nationality of the reporter standing nearby, threw in England and France for good measure.

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Education
2:53 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

A 'First Of Its Kind Conference' About Sexual Assault On Campus

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Educators from around the country have spent the last two days talking about sexual misconduct on college campuses. The conference that wrapped up today at the University of Virginia was billed as a first of its kind. It comes nearly three years after the government issued legal guidelines for universities to deal with such misconduct.

As Sandy Hausman of member station WVTF reports, attendees learned how to better support victims, and students spoke out against stereotypes.

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Law
2:53 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Law Enforcement Straddles Atlantic To Round Up Alleged Mobsters

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Also Helps Prevent Genital Warts

University of Miami pediatrician Judith Schaechter gives a girl an HPV vaccination in 2011.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The HPV vaccine was created to protect women against the virus that causes cervical cancer. But it also helps prevent genital warts, a common sexually transmitted disease caused by the same virus, a study finds.

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Code Switch
1:46 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

George Washington Carver, The Black History Monthiest Of Them All

The George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Mo., was the first dedicated to a nonpresident.
John S. Stewart AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:43 am

Peanuts.

He did something, probably a lot of somethings, with peanuts.

That's basically the response I got when I asked people — my friends, folks on Twitter — what they knew about about George Washington Carver.

The details were hazy, but folks remembered that Carver was really important.

Oh, and something about Tuskegee! Wait, did he invent the peanut?

They half-remembered writing book reports about him in elementary school. And then a lot of them sheepishly acknowledged their ignorance.

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Shots - Health News
1:33 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Illinois Deal, The Onion Will Promote Health Insurance (Really)

Would you buy health insurance from this man?
Get Covered Illinois

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:58 am

In a story that you'd think was ripped straight from the headlines of America's foremost made-up-news website, The Onion said it's coming up with ads to promote health insurance for young people in Illinois.

But it's true.

Get Covered Illinois, the state's health insurance exchange, has hired Onion Labs, The Onion's in-house ad team, to develop banner ads, a video and other online material to persuade people to sign up for insurance coverage.

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Author Interviews
1:28 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Practicing 'Extreme Medicine,' From Deep Sea To Outer Space

Most of us have never been submerged under more than a few feet underwater. But just a few meters down, the water compresses the tissues of your body so that you become more dense. At that point, "You're more likely to sink than float," says Dr. Kevin Fong.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 10:39 am

Dr. Kevin Fong works on "the edges" of medicine — researching how humans survive extremes of heat, cold, trauma, outer space and deep sea. "We're still exploring the human body and what medicine can do in the same way that the great explorers of the 20th century and every age before them explored the world," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his book Extreme Medicine, Fong describes how avant garde medicine is challenging our understanding of how our bodies work and the boundary between life and death.

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Music Reviews
1:28 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson

Frank Wess.
Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 10:35 am

Frank Wess' new album, Magic 201, is a sequel to last year's similar helping of ballads and midtempo strollers, Magic 101. The new album is very nearly every bit as good, and made a little more poignant by Wess' death just before Halloween. On his last session as a leader in 2011, he was still sounding strong at 89.

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The Salt
1:22 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

After 23 Years, Your Waiter Is Ready For A Raise

A Denny's waitress delivers breakfast to customers in Emeryville, Calif. The tipped minimum wage has been stuck at $2.13 since 1991.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:21 pm

When Woody Harrelson's character got hired as a bartender on Cheers, he was so excited, he insisted on working for no more than the minimum wage. "I'd work like a slave," he said, "and, of course, I'd wash your car."

Most bar and restaurant workers would prefer to bring home a little more cash. They may be in luck.

As part of his plan to raise the minimum wage, President Obama has called for substantially increasing the base wage paid to tipped workers for the first time in decades.

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The Edge
12:43 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Erin Hamlin Sets A U.S. First With Medal In Luge

America's Erin Hamlin broke a 50-year drought Tuesday, winning the first singles luge medal for the U.S. at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:04 pm

It took 50 years — and for Erin Hamlin, three Olympics — but an American has finally won a singles medal in the sport. Erin Hamlin took bronze behind two powerful Germans in the women's final Tuesday.

Natalie Geisenberger's winning margin of 1.139 seconds was the largest at the Olympics since 1964, the sport's first year at the games. She set a track record on her first run Monday and did the same again on Tuesday, in a run that saw her top 84.5 mph.

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Parallels
12:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Two Long-Frozen Asian Disputes, Everyone Agrees To Talk

Wang Yu-chi, head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, left, shakes hands with Zhang Zhijun, director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, before their meeting in Nanjing, China, on Tuesday.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

South Korea announced Tuesday it will hold its first high-level meeting in years with rival North Korea. If that development offered a glimmer of hope, another move was positively historic: Senior officials from China and Taiwan met Tuesday for the first time since the two rivals split more than six decades ago.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Washington Governor Declares Moratorium On Death Penalty

Gov. Jay Inslee.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 4:41 pm

Saying the practice is "inconsistent and unequal," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced he was issuing a moratorium on the death penalty in his state.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Inslee said there were too many doubts raised about capital punishment and too many flaws in the system. With so much at stake, he said, it's not possible to accept "an imperfect system."

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The Edge
11:47 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Shaun White Falls Just Short Of Three-Peat Quest In Half-Pipe

Shaun White, right, congratulates gold medalist Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland after the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Finals of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Tuesday.
Al Bello Getty Images

In an event that came down to a dramatic final run, American snowboarder Shaun White finished in fourth place in the men's halfpipe Tuesday, falling just short of the podium with a score of 90.25. White needed a score of better than 94.75 to take gold.

The margin was close – the top four men all finished with scores above 90. But Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov moved from third to first place on his second run, in the event in which only the best score is counted.

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