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2:59 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Cursive Club Tries To Keep Handwriting Alive

New Jersey grandmother Sylvia Hughes last fall founded a club to teach school children cursive handwriting at her grandson's elementary school.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

Cursive handwriting is disappearing from the list of required courses at U.S. schools, so one New Jersey grandmother is making sure her grandson's schoolmates know how to loop their Ls and curl their Qs.

At first, 45 students signed up for the cursive club that Sylvia Hughes founded last fall at Nellie K. Parker Elementary School. But then the club grew to 60 8- and 9-year olds.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

U.S. Will Deploy Solid-Sate Laser Weapon On Ship Headed To Persian Gulf

The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey in San Diego, Calif.
John F. Williams U.S. Navy

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:54 pm

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Climate Change Could Equal Teeth-Rattling Flights

Fly the bumpier skies?
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:23 pm

Buckle up — climate change could make this a bumpy flight.

That's according to a newly published study by two British scientists who say increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will make "clear air turbulence" — which can't be easily spotted by pilots or satellites — more common over the North Atlantic. That means the potential for gut-wrenching flights between the U.S., Europe and points east.

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Politics
2:25 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Changes To Obama's Social Security Proposal In GOP's Court

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama will release a new budget proposal on Wednesday. We already have some idea what will be in it and there are already protests about it from seniors and others who oppose reductions in spending for Medicare and Social Security. One flashpoint is a change in the way the government measures inflation. The switch is to something called a chained CPI or consumer price index and it would result in smaller cost of living adjustments for Social Security.

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Asia
2:05 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

North Korea's Threats: Predicable Pattern Or Provocation?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Tensions between North and South Korea show no sign of abatement. Today the North Korean government officially suspended operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and withdrew all of its more than 50,000 workers. Many consider the complex the last remaining symbol of North and South Korean cooperation.

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World
2:03 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

A Close-Up Of Syria's Alawites, Loyalists Of A Troubled Regime

Director Nidal Hassan spent a year filming in Tartous, a Syrian beach town made up mostly of Alawites who still support embattled President Bashar Assad.
Khaled Al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

The film on Syria's Alawite community isn't finished yet, but filmmaker Nidal Hassan's favorite scenes are beginning to take shape.

It opens with fireworks on New Year's Eve in Tartous, Syria. "May God preserve the president for us," one young man yells in a reference to Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

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Around the Nation
1:55 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Struggling W.Va. Town Hopes Boy Scout Camp Brings New Life

Mount Hope, W.Va., population 1,400, was once a thriving coal town. Today, many of the storefronts in its tiny downtown sit empty.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

Picture a tiny town set along a creek in West Virginia. A mountain rises from the town's eastern edge, overlooking the 1,400 people living below. Then, July comes — and 50,000 people arrive on that mountain for the National Scout Jamboree.

The town is called Mount Hope. I've heard some call it "Mount Hopeless." The town went through the long, downward slump from the boom days of deep-mine coal, when it was a grand, small-town capital of coal mining.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Webster Celebrates College Chess Title, As New Hire Pays Off

Webster University chess coach Susan Polgar, second from left, won two national titles at Texas Tech. When Webster hired Polgar last year, the entire Tech team followed her to St. Louis.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

If there's no such thing as bad publicity, how much is good publicity worth? Webster University wants to find out.

Last year, the university didn't have a chess team. On Sunday, its team took home the national college championship, the President's Cup, after winning what is often called the "Final Four" of chess.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

After Tumultuous Three Years, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz Will Step Down

Seattle Police Chief John Diaz in 2009.
Ted S. Warren AP

With his department under the watch of the federal government, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz announced today he was stepping down.

The Seattle Times reports:

"Diaz, who has been with the Seattle Police Department for more than 30 years, didn't say why he decided to retire now.

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It's All Politics
1:18 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Guns, Immigration And Budget On Washington's Agenda

Blooming magnolia trees are seen along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House on Saturday. This week, President Obama is speaking out on gun control, and will release his proposal for the nation's budget.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Congress returns from a two-week recess amid reports that a gun deal in the Senate may have gained late momentum; a focus on immigration to include a rally on Capitol Hill; and a budget proposal from President Obama that already has some in his own party fuming.

Here's what's happening on key issues this week:

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It's All Politics
1:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Searching For The Sequester In The Middle Of Ohio

In Columbus, Ohio, signs of the sequester were hard to find.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

It's been a little more than a month since the start of the sequester — the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in because Congress couldn't agree on something better.

Before it hit, there were dire and at times very specific predictions of job losses, furloughs and program cuts — many of them from the Obama administration.

Of course, it's still early. Everything you hear today about the effects of the sequester could and probably will change over the coming weeks and months.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Five Things To Know About Margaret Thatcher

Baroness Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, in February 2008 in London.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:10 pm

Margaret Thatcher, the iconic former British prime minister, died Monday at age 87 after suffering a stroke. Although she was a towering presence on the world stage in the 1980s, often standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow conservative President Ronald Reagan, some people may have forgotten her contributions.

We decided to highlight five things you ought to know about her:

She helped break the glass ceiling in politics.

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Remembrances
12:16 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

How Margaret Thatcher Changed The World

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Margaret Thatcher spoke with utter conviction in her principles and absolute certainty in her actions. If she inspired passionate opposition, she couldn't care less. She reveled in her enemies and made them easily.

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Author Interviews
12:12 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

The 'Alchemists' Who Control The Purse Strings Of The Economy

Cover of The Alchemists

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:03 pm

As the U.S. economy struggles to recover from the financial crash, and Europe is buffeted by a series of banking crises, attention has focused on the presidents and prime ministers who've tried to cope with it all. Journalist Neil Irwin, an economics writer for The Washington Post, says there's an elite group of policymakers who can make enormously important decisions on their own, often deliberating in secret, and in many ways unaccountable to voters.

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Remembrances
12:12 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Remembering David Kuo: Refocusing Religious Groups On Faith

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. David Kuo died Friday of brain cancer at the age of 44. We're going to hear an excerpt of my interview with him. When President Bush created the office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in 2001, Kuo, a conservative, evangelical Christian, became its deputy director. When he left the office in 2003, he accused the Bush administration of manipulating conservative Christians to get the Christian vote.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Louisville Basketball Has A Rare Chance At A Double

In New Orleans on Sunday, the women from Louisville (in red) defeated California to reach the championship game against Connecticut on Tuesday.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Around midnight ET Monday, we should know whether something that's only happened once might happen again.

If the University of Louisville's men win the Division I basketball championship — they play Michigan in a game set to start at 9:23 p.m. ET on CBS TV — then there's a chance that this year both the men's and women's trophies will go to the same school.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Britain's Thatcher An Unlikely Icon For American Conservatives

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1987.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:47 pm

As an icon of the American conservative movement in the 1980s, it would have been difficult to find a more unlikely figure than Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday following a stroke.

Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, a full year and a half before Ronald Reagan became president. She hailed from a country seen as a hopeless bastion of socialism by conservatives, many of whom, like Reagan himself, were strongly invested in the idea of American exceptionalism.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Annette Funicello, 'America's Sweet Heart', Has Died

Headshot portrait of American actor and singer Annette Funicello.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:23 pm

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Deadly Blast In Damascus Reflects Growing Danger In Capital

A deadly car bomb explosion rocked central Damascus, Syria, in front of the Finance Ministry building (center) and the Central Bank (right) on Monday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:18 pm

Editor's note: The author is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus and is not being further identified for safety concerns.

The major blast that rocked Damascus at midday Monday took place in what has come to be called the "Square of Security," an area of about a dozen urban neighborhoods or so that are under tight government security.

It's also home to major government buildings, including the Parliament, various ministries, major intelligence branches and foreign embassies, now mostly closed.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:18 am
Mon April 8, 2013

The Big Squeeze: Can Cities Save The Earth?

Courtesy of Michael Wolf

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:04 pm

Let's get dense. If we take all the atoms inside you, all roughly 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of them, and squeeze away all the space inside, then, says physicist Brian Greene:

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Mon April 8, 2013

'I Liked It,' Putin Says Of Protest By Topless Women

Russian President Vladimir Putin (far left) looks on Monday in Hanover, Germany, as one of three women who stripped off their tops protests his appearance at a trade fair. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the green jacket.
Jochen Luebke EPA /LANDOV
  • From the NPR Newscast: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on the protest in Hanover

At a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on Monday, three women protesters got quite close to Russian President Vladimir Putin before stripping off their blouses and shouting expletives at the Russian leader.

Putin, who was joined at the fair by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, later sarcastically thanked the women for calling the news media's attention to the gathering.

"As to this action, I liked it," Putin said, according to a German translator. The Russian leader added that the protesters were "pretty girls" and said he couldn't hear what they were screaming.

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All Songs Considered
10:41 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Special Delivery: The Postal Service Story

Jimmy Tamborello and Ben Gibbard discuss the unexpected success of The Postal Service.
Courtesy of the artist

The Postal Service was a band for a generation — the soundtrack to romance, tears and friendship. More than a million people bought its first album, 2003's Give Up, then waited anxiously for a follow-up that never arrived.

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Monkey See
10:18 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Death And Dyeing: Five Thoughts About The Return Of 'Mad Men'

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men.
Michael Yarish AMC

1. The symbolism was a bit heavy-handed. It's frustrating that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner doesn't trust viewers of the show enough to allow symbolism to live in an episode as suggestion and not insistence. The Mad Men audience is small and self-selecting; it is made up of people who choose to watch a show that requires attention and rewards patience.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Complaints Soar, But Airlines' Quality Rating Stays High

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:07 am

In what would seem to be a contradiction, a respected study says that the quality of service provided by U.S. airlines remained near an all-time high last year even as passengers' complaints soared 22 percent.

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Law
10:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

How Powerful Are White Supremacist Prison Gangs?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We've been talking a lot about college readiness on this program. Often the focus is kids from tough backgrounds. Now, though, we're hearing that even some high achieving college students just aren't college ready. We'll talk about why that might be later in the program.

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Music
9:54 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Comedian D.L. Hughley Shares 'Savory And Sweet' Songs

D.L. Hughley is an actor-comedian, and currently a top 10 competitor on Dancing With The Stars. For Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, he shares some favorite songs that he calls 'savory and sweet' — including an unlikely pick, a folk song that makes him think of his parents.

Arts & Life
9:54 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Poker Player Muses About Mondays

Tell Me More celebrates National Poetry Month with the 'Muses and Metaphor' series — where listeners submit their own poems via Twitter. Today's tweet comes from professional poker player, Joel Dias-Porter.

Race
9:54 am
Mon April 8, 2013

From Dishwashers To Head Chefs

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll hear the latest installment in our tweet poetry series, Muses and Metaphor, but first, we'd like to talk about an effort to add some flavor to the top ranks of restaurant kitchens in America's spiciest city.

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NPR Story
9:54 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Getting Over Rejection, From College

Most colleges and universities recently let anxious students know who is getting in --and who is not-- for the next academic year. And many applicants are dealing with rejection from their dream school. Host Michel Martin talks with psychotherapist Diane Barth about what students are going through, and how parents can help them move on.

Education
9:54 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Even 'Highly Motivated' Students Aren't Ready For College

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. It's that time of year. Students are hearing back from college admissions offices and competition being what it is these days, we know a lot of people are going to be unhappy, so we've called a psychotherapist to ask how to help students cope with that inevitable - for most of us, anyway - rejection letter.

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