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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside

Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, The Last Life (1999), a teenager reacting to a family crisis pondered her father's origins in Algeria and southern France, and her mother's New England roots.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Video: Music Meets Random Imagery In Yellowbirds' 'Young Men Of Promise'

Bernie DeChant

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:25 pm

Music videos are like funny math, where 1+1=3. That is, images have a meaning on their own, music has a meaning when you listen to it alone, but put images and music together and something new is born. 1+1=3. Try it randomly: put on a piece of music and watch a cartoon or an old movie ... people did it famously with The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz.

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Around the Nation
4:59 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Forget Maple Syrup. Put Some Beer In The Mail

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with news of a changing retail environment.

We've told you of a plan to let states collect sales tax from online retailers. Now we're on the way to an online bar. Vermont lawmakers are considering a bill to let brewers ship their beer directly to consumers. This proposal faces the concern that underage drinkers might order beer but wineries already do this. If the measure should pass, you could order a six-pack or maybe a keg by UPS.

Around the Nation
3:51 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Presidential Libraries Inspire Design Of George W. Bush Center

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This does not happen very often. This morning all five living presidents, past and present, are in the same place at the same time.

The occasion is the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The design committee for this presidential library had a former librarian as its chairperson, former First Lady Laura Bush. She told our colleague David Greene she studied the libraries of presidents past.

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National Security
3:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Should Air Traffic Controllers Be Included In Furloughs?

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Air travelers are growing less and less happy. Automatic budget cuts are now leading to hundreds of flight delays, about half of all delayed flights this week.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Up until this point, the effects of the sequester have been scattered and hard to pin down: hiring freezes, delayed park openings. But then the furloughs of air traffic controllers the Federal Aviation Administration had been threatening for months hit and, bam, the sequester got real, real fast.

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Business
3:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

House Panel Examines Government Loan To Fisker Automotive

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Auto executives got a grilling on Capitol Hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from Detroit's Big Three. Think much, much smaller. Executives from the hybrid carmaker Fisker testified about hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Fisker got from the government. Today, the company is on the verge of collapse.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Fisker, the car company, isn't dead yet. But Congress has already begun the autopsy.

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Business
3:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:37 am

The lending arm of General Electric has stopped offering financing to retailers whose primary business is selling guns. Around 75 retailers are immediately affected. A company spokesman says this is a response to "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events."

Business
3:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business is good news for the jet setting romantic, possibly bad news for most everyone else on board.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Virgin Airlines has announced a new service called seat-to-seat delivery, now available on all U.S. flights, which allows passengers to send unsolicited treats to fellow travelers at the touch of a button.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIR RICHARD BRANSON: Just order a drink, meal or snack, select his or her seat and don't forget to seal the deal with a suggestive seat-to-seat chat.

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Economy
3:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

NTSB Wraps Up Hearings On Boeing's 787 Battery Issues

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Investigators still do not know exactly why there was a battery fire on a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 jet back in January. On the concluding day of a National Transportation Safety Board hearing, officials did conclude that the original tests of the battery were in adequate.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: The worldwide fleet of Boeing 787s - that has been grounded for three months - will soon be returning to passenger service.

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Business
1:32 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Shifting Retail Landscape Tilts Support For Online Sales Tax

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. (left), leads a news conference about the Marketplace Fairness Act on Tuesday. The legislation would provide states with the authority to require out-of-state retailers to collect and remit taxes on purchases shipped into the states.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

The U.S. Senate may vote this week on the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would allow states to collect sales tax from more online retailers. And as the political and retail landscape has shifted from the last time around, the Senate is expected to approve the measure.

The proposal to require online sellers to collect out-of-state sales tax has been kicked around for many years. For a decade, Amazon was a fierce opponent.

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Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Thu April 25, 2013

A Tale Of Mice And Medical Research, Wiped Out By A Superstorm

In this Jan. 18 photo provided by the NYU Langone Medical Center, a technician examines mice to determine their health at the hospital's complex in New York.
New York University AP

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

When Superstorm Sandy inundated lower Manhattan last year, thousands of lab animals drowned and many scientists lost months or even years of work. One of those scientists is Gordon Fishell, a brain researcher at New York University.

Just hours before Sandy reached New York, Fishell says, he began to worry that animals housed in a basement below his lab were in danger. "I realized Hurricane Sandy and high tide were going to coincide at Battery Park, which is right where my lab is," he says.

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Planet Money
1:30 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Lady Gaga Writing A New Song Is Like A Factory Investing In A New Machine

But is it GDP?
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

I spoke yesterday with Dan Sichel, a Wellesley economist and a Lady Gaga fan. Both of these facts are relevant for this story.

The U.S. government is about to tweak the way it measures the economy, and some of the biggest changes will affect the entertainment industry.

Under the current system, Sichel told me, Lady Gaga's sales of concert tickets, online songs and CDs all count toward gross domestic product. But the value of the time she spends in the studio working on new songs isn't counted. That's about to change.

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Shots - Health News
1:29 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Family Doctors Consider Dropping Birth Control Training Rule

The federal health law is supposed to increase access to prescription birth control. But will doctors of the future be ready?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

One of the more popular provisions of the federal health law requires that women be given much freer access to prescription methods of birth control. That includes not only the pill, but implants and IUDs as well.

But what happens if there are not enough doctors to prescribe those contraceptives?

That's exactly what worries some reproductive health advocates, as efforts are underway to rewrite rules governing the training of the nation's family doctors.

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The Salt
1:28 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Step Aside, Gents. Witness The Rise Of Women In Coffee

Three women in coffee leading the way: Stephanie Backus of Portland Roasting, coffee farmer Miguelina Villatoro of Guatemala, and coffee exporter/processor Loyreth Sosa. Here they discuss coffee prices as they survey beans ready for milling.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:49 pm

The inspiration for NPR's Coffee Week arrived in an email last summer. I had just reported on the growing Third-Wave Movement in Coffee, and the burgeoning interest in coffee cuppings.

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Author Interviews
1:26 am
Thu April 25, 2013

First Western War In Afghanistan Was An 'Imperial Disaster'

Knopf

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

The year is 1839, and two great empires — Great Britain and Russia — are treating the world map like a chessboard, trying to outmaneuver one another for territory. For no reason other than geography, Afghanistan gets caught in the middle.

Today, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan, historian William Dalrymple recounts the first time a Western power fought in that country. In Return of a King, Dalrymple details Great Britain's attempt to control Afghanistan by putting an ousted king back on the throne — a plan that went famously wrong.

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Asia
1:25 am
Thu April 25, 2013

These Days, More And More Chinese Have Driven A Ford Lately

Ford, the No. 12 passenger-car seller in China, is showing off 23 vehicles at its exhibit at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition this week.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

General Motors has been the American car company in China. Even when GM was in bankruptcy, the Chinese continued to view Buick as a high-status, luxury brand.

But now Ford, an also-ran in the market for years, is making a push to change all that. Last year, Ford's sales were up more than 30 percent in China, and the Ford Focus was the best-selling car in both the world and China.

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Theater
1:23 am
Thu April 25, 2013

'Pippin' Revival Is A Circus Of A Show

The role of the Leading Player (Patina Miller) becomes a kind of circus ringmaster in the new Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz's 1972 musical Pippin.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

When Pippin opened in 1972, it was a sensation. Directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, who was coming off his Academy Award-winning film version of Cabaret, it was a showbiz triumph of jazz hands, sexy dancing and theatrical magic.

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Music
7:52 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Jittery Jams: 10 Songs For Coffee Lovers

Frank Sinatra's "The Coffee Song" makes light of a perceived Brazilian coffee glut.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

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All Tech Considered
4:41 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

As Its Influence Grows, Twitter Becomes A Hacking Target

After high-profile accounts have been attacked — including AP's, NPR's and the BBC's — Twitter considers how to thwart hackers and protect users.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

In recent weeks, the Associated Press, NPR and the BBC have all had their Twitter accounts hijacked. Hacks of high-profile accounts have real-world consequences, and the security at Twitter is coming under increased scrutiny.

As the social media platform has become an essential news and communication platform globally, it has also become a honey pot for hackers. It's so deliciously attractive, they can't seem to resist.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Hagel: Claims Syria Used Chemical Weapons Are 'Suspicions'

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stands with an Egyptian army official as he salutes before laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 7:53 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday tried to tone down Israeli claims that the Syrian government has been using chemical weapons.

Chemical weapons use is important, because the United Staes has repeatedly said their use marks a "red line" in the conflict. President Obama and the United Nations have warned President Bashar Assad not to use them.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
4:25 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Investigators Trace Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Activities Abroad

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

The investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing continues. Investigators have spoken with the parents of the suspects in Russia. Audie Cornish talks to Dina Temple-Raston about the latest developments.

It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

The Meaning of Boston: Depends On Your Angle, Literally

Signatures and messages adorn a Boston Marathon poster on Tuesday near the site of the April 15 bombings.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:31 pm

The opportunistic political sentiment of never letting a crisis go to waste (see: Rahm Emanuel, among others) has been reframed since the Boston bombings by those seizing on the attack as certain evidence of their positions.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Bolivia Takes Chile To Court Over Access To Sea

Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks last month at an event in La Paz to mark Sea Day, when the country lost access to the coast in a war with Chile more than 100 years ago. On Wednesday, Bolivia filed a lawsuit against Chile at the International Court of Justice to reclaim access to the Pacific Ocean.
Juan Karita AP

Landlocked Bolivia is turning to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to reclaim access to the sea that it lost to Chile in the 19th century.

The Santiago Times reports:

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Energy
4:05 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Tar Sands Pipelines Should Be Held To Different Standards, EPA Says

An oil sheen appears along the shore of the Kalamazoo River in August 2012. In July 2010, more than 800,000 gallons of tar sands oil entered Talmadge Creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River, a Lake Michigan tributary. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams and carried oil 30 miles downstream.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

Up until now, pipelines that carry tar sands oil have been treated just like pipelines that carry any other oil. But the Environmental Protection Agency now says that should change. That's because when tar sands oil spills, it can be next to impossible to clean up.

The agency made this argument in its evaluation of the State Department's environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which, if approved, would carry heavy crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the United States.

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Shots - Health News
4:01 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Gut Bacteria's Belch May Play A Role In Heart Disease

More than just a tenant: Enterococcus faecalis thrives in the human intestine with a varied jumble of other bacteria that help us digest food.
National Institutes of Health

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 8:38 am

Scientists have discovered what may be an important new risk factor for heart disease. And here's the surprising twist: The troublesome substance seems to be a waste product left behind by bacteria in our guts as they help us digest lecithin — a substance plentiful in red meat, eggs, liver and certain other foods.

Doctors say the research further illustrates the complicated relationship we have with the microbes living inside us, and could lead to new ways to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Once Under Wraps, Supreme Court Audio Trove Now Online

People line up to enter the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. All of the court's archived audio, dating back to 1955, has now been digitized for public access online.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the final cases of the term, which began last October and is expected to end in late June after high-profile rulings on gay marriage, affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act.

Audio from Wednesday's arguments will be available at week's end at the court's website, but that's a relatively new development at an institution that has historically been somewhat shuttered from public view.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Giffords Group's Radio Ads Hit McConnell, Ayotte On Gun Vote

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, at an April 16 ceremony naming a Capitol Hill conference room for her aide Gabe Zimmerman. Zimmerman died in the same Tucson, Ariz., shootings that Giffords wounded.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

After the Senate failed to pass bipartisan legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases, the superPAC created by shooting victim and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, onetime astronaut Mark Kelly, vowed to remind voters of which lawmakers voted against the plan.

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The Record
3:48 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Talib Kweli On Mainstream Hip-Hop And Honoring The Old School

Talib Kweli's new album is titled Prisoner of Conscious.
Courtesy of Press Here Publicity

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Redesigned $100 Bill To Go Into Circulation After Long Delay

The new Ben Franklin.
Newmoney.gov

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:30 pm

The redesigned U.S. $100 bill will begin appearing after October with new security features that will make it "easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate," the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:07 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Boston Response Praised, But Intelligence-Sharing Questioned

First responders aid injured people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon after the bombing on April 15.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:57 pm

In the days since the Boston Marathon bombings, local law enforcement officials have been given high marks for their response to the attack and the coordination among numerous federal, state and local agencies involved.

But at the same time, questions are being raised about the coordination among federal agencies handling intelligence they had about the suspects in the months before the attack.

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