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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Rebels Rain Down Mortars On Damascus

Rebels from the Free Syrian Army walk on a street in Damascus in this picture provided by Shaam News Network and taken March 23. The Syrian capital came under mortar fire on Sunday and Monday.
Ward Al-Keswani/Shaam News Network Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 3:05 pm

The author is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.

Syrian rebels carried out mortar and rocket attacks on Sunday and Monday in what appeared to mark a new escalation in the fighting over the Syrian capital.

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Heavy Rotation
1:55 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Tame Impala.
Maciek Pozoga Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:57 am

Our panel of public-radio music obsessives has five more favorites to share. KCRW music director Jason Bentley can't get enough of the new Frightened Rabbit album. Alisa Ali, a DJ for New York's The Alternate Side indie-rock channel, picked a great new track by the promising Glasgow act CHVRCHES. Baltimore's Friday-night hip-hop show Strictly Hip Hop highlighted the new jam by Joey Bada$$.

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Political Junkie
1:40 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Is It 2016 Yet? Moves By Hillary Clinton & Rand Paul Suggest Yes

Recent policy announcements by Clinton and Paul have convinced many that they are all about the 2016 presidential campaign.
Saul Loeb/AFP/ Getty Images and Charles Dharapak/AP NPR

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:42 pm

If you have any interest in politics at all, you pretty much know two things. One, that the next presidential election, on Nov. 8, 2016, is only 1,324 days away. And two, you won't be surprised if people are focusing on it in March of 2013.

Sometimes the speculation is silly, but sometimes it's not. Judging from what we've seen and heard from Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul, the speculation may be on target.

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Author Interviews
1:30 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

In A World That's Always On, We Are Trapped In The 'Present'

Erikona iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

By now, you've probably heard people call themselves "slaves" to their phones or their computers. We all know what that means — but why are we allowing ourselves to be slaves to the very instruments of technology we've created?

Douglas Rushkoff, who spends his days thinking, writing and teaching about media culture, says it's time for people to stop chasing every ping and start using technology in a way that makes us feel more free. Rushkoff's latest work is called Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. He joined NPR's Audie Cornish to talk about the book.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Goldman Cuts BlackBerry Rating After Stalled Z10 Launch

BlackBerry's Z10: "Disappointing" launch.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Goldman Sachs on Monday downgraded BlackBerry after a disappointing launch for the company's new smartphone, the Z10.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman slashed its investment rating on the Canada-based company — formerly known as Research in Motion, or RIM — to neutral from buy, citing weak support for the new product.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Tiger Woods Back On Top: Bay Hill Win Catapults Him To No. 1

Tiger Woods plays a shot on the 5th hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida.
Sam Greenwood Getty Images

Tiger Woods is back on top. With his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, Woods is now ranked the No. 1 player in the world.

As The Washington Post explains, this is the first time Woods is at the top since both his personal life and his professional life crumbled following a 2009 cheating scandal that ended in divorce and a plummet from the top of the golf world.

The Post says:

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Africa
12:44 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Islamists Say They Are Filling Vacuum Left By Egyptian State

Egyptian men and boys pray at a mosque in Assiut, southern Egypt, that serves as the headquarters for Gamaa al-Islamiya, a group that once waged a bloody insurgency, attacking police and Christians in a campaign to create an Islamic state. Now the Islamist group says it's determined to ensure law and order in the area.
Nariman El-Mofty AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

In the lush Nile Valley city of Assiut, the police went on strike earlier this month, along with thousands of other cops across the country. They demanded the ouster of the minister of interior, and more guns and equipment to deal with anti-government protests.

A group of hard-line Islamists then stunned the city, which is south of Cairo, by promising to handle security during the strike. The next day, the policemen were back at work.

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Mental Health
12:28 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Amid Syria's Crisis, Mental Health Care For Refugees

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:03 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. More than 1 million people have fled to safety across Syria's borders. Many live in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, which too often struggle to meet basic needs such as shelter, food and clean water. Some arrive wounded, and need medical care. Many suffer from the invisible wounds of trauma - everything from shelling or crossfire to the loss of a loved one, even torture. All of them have lost their homes.

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The Salt
12:07 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The McCamembert

An awkward introduction.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:36 pm

McDonald's in France is offering the McCamembert — a burger with Camembert cheese. Here's what one review had to say, once I ran it through Google Translate:

We, on the bottom rather than the goat!

Makes sense to me.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Costa Rica's Soccer Federation Complains About Snow, Asks For Rematch Against U.S.

Midfielder Clint Dempsey of the United States dribbles the ball during a FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier match between Costa Rica and United States at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on March 22, 2013 in Commerce City, Colorado.
Dustin Bradford Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:57 pm

Last Friday, the United States won an epic World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica. The team did it outside Denver, under what were essentially blizzard conditions.

Now, on the eve of a Mexico vs. U.S. game in Mexico City, Costa Rica has lodged a formal complaint with FIFA, saying the "physical integrity" of the players and officials was affected and "ball movement became impossible." The country is now asking for a rematch of their 1-0 loss.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

'Mary T. and Lizzy K.': History's Unlikely Friendship

Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris plays Elizabeth Keckly and Naomi Jacobson plays Mary Todd Lincoln in Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater's production of Mary T. & Lizzy K.
Scott Suchman

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 3:03 pm

More than a century before Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln offered an intimate portrait of the 16th president and his family, a memoir from the first lady's dressmaker offered a glimpse into the Lincoln White House.

Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress and maybe her closest friend, told her story of slavery and self-emancipation, and her relationship with the Lincolns in a tell-all memoir called Behind The Scenes.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Florida Gulf Coast University: This Year's Cinderella Story In 10 Shots

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles mascot picks up an Eagles cheerleader after the team's 81-71 victory against the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday in Philadelphia.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

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The Salt
11:02 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Spanish Town To Host Its First Seder In More Than 500 Years

A view of the medieval town of Ribadavia, in Galicia, in the north of Spain.
José Antonio Gil Martínez/via Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:39 pm

Jews all over the world are gathering around dinner tables Monday night to celebrate the first night of Passover, one of the most important festivals of the Jewish calendar. And in the small, northern Spanish town of Ribadavia, Spanish, American and Israeli Jews are coming together to conduct the first Seder there in more than 500 years.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Mon March 25, 2013

President's Pen Establishes New National Monuments

Kayak at Sunset San Juan Islands.
Mark B. Gardner San Juan Islands Visitor Bureau

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:53 am

President Obama on Monday designated five new national monuments, including one in Maryland dedicated to anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman and another setting aside Washington state's San Juan Islands.

"These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country," President Obama said in a statement. "By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come."

Here's a list of the new dedications:

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Fresh Air Interviews
10:39 am
Mon March 25, 2013

How And Why The Hollywood Star Machine Made 'Gods Like Us'

promo image
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:25 pm

As a film critic for The Boston Globe, Ty Burr has met a lot of movie stars and is often asked what they're really like. What he has realized is that often, the actor's image has little to do with their actual personality, but that's not what interests him; Burr is more curious about why we ask that question to begin with. Burr wants to know "why we respond to these people who we think are larger than life [and] that are — especially in the classic days — manufactured and all their irregularities sanded off and presented to us as some kind of perfection."

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Fresh Air Interviews
10:39 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Remembering Chinua Achebe And The Importance Of Struggle

To remember Chinua Achebe who died last Thursday, Fresh Air listens back to an interview with the great African writer that originally aired on May 10, 1988. In it, Achebe talks about the literary trope of the white explorer or missionary living amongst the savages, and the importance of struggle.

The Two-Way
10:11 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Anthony Lewis, Journalist Who Transformed Supreme Court Coverage, Dies

Journalist Anthony Lewis in 2003.
Matthew Peyton Getty Images

Anthony Lewis, whose "thorough knowledge" of the Supreme Court's work "allowed him to write authoritatively and accessibly about difficult points," has died, The New York Times writes.

Lewis, twice a Pulitzer Prize winner, was 85.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
9:41 am
Mon March 25, 2013

The Same-Sex Marriage Cases: A Primer

People wait through winter weather Monday outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in line hoping to attend oral arguments in the same-sex marriage cases being argued Tuesday and Wednesday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

California Gay Marriage Ban Challenge

The Case: Hollingsworth v. Perry, 12-144 (Argued Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET)

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National Security
9:02 am
Mon March 25, 2013

As Qualified Men Dwindle, Military Looks For A Few Good Women

Army recruits perform exercises as part of a demonstration for tourists in front of the military-recruiting station in New York's Times Square.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

When the Pentagon said earlier this year that it would open ground combat jobs to women, it was cast in terms of giving women equal opportunities in the workplace — the military workplace.

But the move has practical considerations, too. The military needs qualified people to fill its ranks, and it's increasingly harder to find them among men.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Ford Sorry For Mocked-up Ads In India Showing Bound And Gagged Women

The Ford Figo when it was introduced to India in 2009. A set of edgy illustrations about the car from Ford's ad agency in India have drawn fire.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 9:33 am

Illustrations produced by an Indian ad agency showing scantily clad cartoon women bound, gagged and stuffed into the hatch of a Ford Figo have led both the car company and the ad agency's parent to issue apologies.

The images, according to FirstPost.Business, were "scam ads — ads that are created not to sell products and services, but to win awards at awards shows such as the Abby or at Cannes."

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Russian Tycoon Berezovsky Reportedly Left No Suicide Note

Berezovsky addresses the media outside a London court after losing his lawsuit against Roman Abramovich in August.
Warrick Page Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 4:58 pm

British police say exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, whose body was found over the weekend, left no suicide note and that there was no evidence of third-party involvement in his death.

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Cypriots Are Suspicious, But Bailout Deal Seems Set

A Cypriot man held some coins in Nicosia on Sunday. He and others on the island nation were watching anxiously as world leaders put together a bailout package for Cypriot banks.
Katia Christodoulou EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 4:01 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports

The deal we posted about Sunday evening — a $13 billion bailout by international creditors for the beleaguered banking system on Cyprus — is being met with skepticism on that Mediterranean island nation.

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Afghanistan
6:08 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Kerry Stops In Afghanistan On Diplomatic Mission

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad and today he made an announced trip to Afghanistan to try to smooth over the latest disputes with President Hamid Karzai. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with the secretary and joins us now from Kabul. Hey, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Mon March 25, 2013

3 Things You Need To Know About The Weekend's Basketball Action

Florida Gulf Coast players Eddie Murray (No. 23) and Chase Fieler (No. 20) celebrate their win Sunday over San Diego State. The game was played at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:00 am

Didn't have time to watch or didn't really care? If you're not up to speed on the weekend's news from the men's and women's Division I college basketball championships, but want to be armed with a few things to talk about if someone brings up basketball today, here goes:

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Europe
5:31 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Pope Calls To Cancel His Newspaper Subscription

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. We've been hearing a lot of stories of the new pope's modesty, and now this. The pope called a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk to cancel his own subscription. The shocked kiosk owner thought it was a joke until his holiest customer said, seriously, I'm calling you from Rome. The news vendor told an Argentine daily of another humble habit. The then-cardinal always collected and once a month returned the rubber bands from his newspapers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:16 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Book News: Willa Cather's Letters To Be Published Against Her Wishes

Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Willa Cather wrote such novels as My Antonia and O Pioneers!
Hulton Archive Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
5:16 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Golfer Sergio Garcia Climbs Tree To Avoid Penalty

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Pro golfer Sergio Garcia hit a ball into a tree at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend. The easy choice: Just take a one-stroke penalty. Drop the ball to the ground. But Garcia did it the hard way. He climbed 15 feet up the tree and played the ball from there. Balancing himself with one hand on the club, he somehow knocked the ball onto the fairway. Well, what is the best club in such a situation? One PGA announcer suggested a tree iron.

New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon March 25, 2013

March 25-31: Freedom, Peace And Pilgrimages

Penguin Books

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:45 pm

* Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
4:32 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Spring Is Just A State Of Mind As Wintry Weather Wallops Much Of Nation

In St. Louis on Sunday the sliding — even without a sled — was good. The area got 6 to 12 inches of new snow over the weekend.
Bill Greenblatt UPI /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:49 am

The calendar says one thing, but the snow, slush and ice coating the nation from the Central Rockies through parts of the Midwest and on into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast say something else entirely.

Technically, it's spring.

In reality, winter still hasn't let go.

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