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Africa
3:39 am
Sat March 9, 2013

A Big Battle Over A Tiny Isle In The Nile

An Egyptian farmer drinks tea near his home on Qursaya island, in the Nile River, next to Cairo, in January. The Egyptian military says it is the registered owner of the island's land, a claim disputed by the farmers and fishermen who live there.
Nasser Nasser AP

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 6:18 am

It's not easy to get to Qursaya island, a tiny bit of land in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt's capital. You have to take a boat from the riverbank. There are no cars on the island, and it's only had running water for a few years.

It's a quiet 70-acre patch of agricultural land amid a megacity, where mooing cows provide the soundtrack, and farmers and fishermen have lived for generations.

But not all is as bucolic as it seems: The island is at the heart of a yearslong legal battle between those farmers and the government.

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Asia
3:39 am
Sat March 9, 2013

How Credible Are North Korea's Threats?

North Korea's rhetoric has been particularly aggressive recently, but analysts say it remains difficult to gauge the country's intentions and its military capabilities.
Pedro Ugarte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:18 am

When it comes to talking a big game, no one does it better than the North Koreans.

Just this week, Pyongyang vowed to turn Seoul, the capital of archrival South Korea, into a "sea of fire," promised to launch a "pre-emptive strike on the headquarters of the aggressors" (read: the United States) and called on its army to "annihilate the enemy."

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The Two-Way
3:02 am
Sat March 9, 2013

With Hagel In Afghanistan, Explosion Hits Near Defense Ministry

Afghanistan National Army soldiers and security personnel walk at the site of a suicide attack next to the Ministry of Defense main gate in Kabul on Saturday.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 12:38 pm

A bomb exploded near the Defense Ministry in Kabul on Saturday morning as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was visiting in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility, calling it a message to the new Pentagon chief.

Update At 10:49 a.m. ET: Hagel Not Surprised

Hagel was nowhere near the attack, but the AP reports he heard the blast:

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Limericks

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:50 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. You can click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org.

There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our shows in Rockford, Illinois at the beautiful Coronado Theater there on April 4th. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Bluff The Listener

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:50 am

Transcript

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Paula Poundstone, Roy Blount Jr., and Firoozeh Dumas. And here again is the host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Panel Round One

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:50 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

We want to remind everybody about the upcoming WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! cinema event, happening on May 2nd. You could witness the magic of WAIT WAIT live in a movie theater near you. Finally, an opportunity to enjoy this same radio show among a crowd of strangers, while paying $8 for a box of Milk Duds.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Paula, in some alarming news, al Qaeda is now drawing inspiration for their attacks from what?

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Secretary Of Education Arne Duncan Plays Not My Job

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:50 am

Arne Duncan is President Obama's secretary of education, and if, while he's on this show, a disaster befalls the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House and every other member of the Cabinet except Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, he would be president.

We've invited Duncan to play a game called "Now, don't be fresh ... I just take dictation!" Three questions for the secretary of education about the education of secretaries.

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Music
4:50 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Can You Make Sad Songs Sound Happy (And Vice Versa)?

Michael Stipe broods on the cover of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" single. Earlier this year, a remarkably cheery-sounding major-key version of the song appeared online.
Album cover

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 5:15 pm

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

French Mother On Trial For Sending Her Son, Jihad, To School With 'Bomb' Shirt

Bouchra Bagour, left, leaves a court house with her lawyer Gaelle Genoun.
Anne-Christine Poujoulat AFP/Getty Images

A French mother was in court Wednesday for what she says was a simple birthday celebration but what the government alleges is a clear provocation, an allusion to terrorism.

The BBC reports that Bouchra Bagour, 35, has been charged with "glorifying crime" after she sent her three-year-old son — named Jihad — to school wearing a T-shirt that read "I am a bomb" and "Born on 11 September."

The BBC adds:

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Music Interviews
4:09 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Dave Grohl Finds Music's Human Element — In A Machine

Dave Grohl reunited with his old friend Butch Vig (at console), the producer of Nirvana's Nevermind, for the making of Sound City: Real to Reel.
Sami Ansari Courtesy of the artist

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

'World's Best Restaurant' Blamed For Diners' Illnesses

The famed Noma restaurant in Copenhagen has been blamed for more than 60 of its diners falling ill. Investigators say an illness spread from the staff to the customers.
Keld Navntoft AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:12 am

Noma, the Danish eatery that has won fans with its innovative approach to Nordic cuisine, and won Restaurant magazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title the past three years, is getting some unwelcome press, after dozens of people who ate at the Copenhagen restaurant fell sick.

Update: Monday, March 11

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Around the Nation
4:03 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Death Cafes Breathe Life Into Conversations About Dying

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 11:20 am

We live knowing that everything dies. Like the sun, it's a fact of life. And like the sun, we tend not to look right at it. Unless you've experienced a recent death, it's probably not something you discuss. But a new movement is trying to change that, with a serving of tea and cake.

The fear of death haunts us like nothing else. And it makes sense. All other fears — such as public speaking, centipedes and heights — pale in comparison. So we don't really talk about it.

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Around the Nation
2:43 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

In Chicago, Dueling Ads Over The Meaning Of 'Jihad'

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

There is an advertising battle going on over the Arabic term jihad. In Chicago, a group has launched a bus and subway ad campaign meant to reclaim the term jihad from another series of ads that presents jihadists as violent.

The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

In Kenyan Election, Kenyatta Holds On To Razor-Thin Margin After Final Tally

A supporter celebrates on March 6, 2013 at a polling station in the Mathare slum of Nairobi.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 9:47 am

Update at 7:04 p.m. ET. All Votes Counted:

With all the votes in, Kenya's election commission says Uhuru Kenyatta appears to have won with the slimmest of margins. Kenyatta got 50.03 percent of the vote, the AP reports.

Reuters adds:

"Kenyatta, who faces international charges of crimes against humanity, secured 6,173,433 votes out of a total of 12,338,667 ballots cast, indicating that he had secured the more than 50 percent of votes needed for a first round win."

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Africa
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Police Officers Caught In The Middle Go On Strike In Egypt

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Now to Egypt, where police officers are on strike.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS)

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Afghanistan
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Hagel Travels To Afghanistan On First Trip Abroad As Defense Secretary

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan on Friday, his first overseas trip as the new Pentagon boss.

Religion
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

With Conclave Set, Catholic Church Moves One Step Closer To A New Pope

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:27 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Roman Catholic Church is one small step closer to a new pope today. Church cardinals have picked a date to begin their conclave. That's the gathering behind closed doors to elect the next pope. The cardinals will gather next Tuesday morning for a special mass, and they'll enter the Sistine Chapel in the afternoon, after which point they'll be incommunicado with the outside world until a new pope is elected.

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Latin America
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Chavez's Funeral Draws Dignitaries From Around The World

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Venezuela held a funeral for late President Hugo Chavez on Friday. Audie Cornish talks to Juan Forero.

Sports
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Chicago Blackhawks Continue Remarkable NHL Winning Streak

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League have done something remarkable. They've gone half of the current season, 24 games, without losing in regulation time. Here to talk about that feat and other hockey news is sportswriter Stephen Fatsis. Hey there, Stephen.

STEPHEN FATSIS, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

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Education
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Faced With Massive Budget Cuts, Philadelphia Plans To Shutter 23 Schools

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Philadelphia is closing almost two dozen of its public schools. The move prompted outcry in the nation's fifth largest city, but the schools in Philly face declining enrollment, aging infrastructure and massive state budget cuts. And those forces came to a head last night when the city's school reform commission took a vote. Benjamin Herold is covering the emotional decision from member station WHYY.

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Economy
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Economists Pleasantly Surprised By February Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. 7.7 percent is the latest unemployment rate. That's the number for February, according to the Labor Department's report out this morning. Economists were expecting a ho-hum job survey. Instead, they got a pleasant surprise, as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.

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Law
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Dismissal Of Air Force Officer's Sexual Assault Conviction Raises Questions

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Some U.S. Senators are demanding answers after an Air Force commander dismissed a sexual assault conviction against one of his officers. Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkerson had been sentenced to a year in prison and dismissal from the military for aggravated sexual assault, but he's been reinstated. Senators Jean Shaheen and Barbara Boxer called the decision a travesty of justice. They and Senator Claire McCaskill have written to defense officials about the case.

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Economy
2:23 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Improved U.S. Jobs Numbers Could Take A Hit From New Budget Cuts

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

The White House is cheering a better than expected jobs report. But economists caution that automatic government spending cuts could lead to slower job growth in the months to come.

The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Alabama's Contentious Education Bill In Limbo As Courts Review Cases

Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in his office, one day after Alabama Republicans adopted legislation to provide state tax credits to attend private schools.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 2:14 pm

A week after a sweeping and controversial education bill was adopted by the Alabama Legislature, the measure is on hold, with a circuit judge and the state's supreme court reviewing separate lawsuits filed over it. Democrats say Republicans broke the rules when they inserted school choice language into a bill that was originally meant to give school districts flexibility in meeting standards.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Flu Risk And Weather: It's Not The Heat, It's The Humidity

A woman fends off the last blast of winter and the flu season in Philadelphia this month.
Matt Rourke AP

As winter wanes into spring, flu season wanes, too. But while people get the flu when it's cold in the United States, in Senegal they're getting sick when it's hot.

It's a puzzle that's baffled scientists for decades. Now, they think they might be have an explanation, though it's not a straightforward one.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Bulgaria Expresses 'Regret' For Holocaust Deportation Of Jews

For the first time, the Bulgarian National Assembly is expressing "regret" for deporting more than 11,000 Jews to German death camps.

The declaration passed today is truly bitter sweet, because while it calls the deportations a "criminal act," it also praises Bulgarian citizens and politicians for saving more than 48,000 Jews during the Holocaust.

The BBC explains:

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It's All Politics
1:00 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

When A Good Jobs Report Is Bad For Political Spin

Trader Warren Meyers works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. Stocks opened higher after the government reported a burst of hiring last month that sent the unemployment rate to a four-year low. But both the White House and congressional Republicans reacted to the news in less than celebratory fashion.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 1:26 pm

The February jobs report was just the latest proof that the economy doesn't really care how much it confounds the messaging strategies of Washington's political class.

News that the economy created 236,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest level in more than four years, caught nearly everyone by surprise after economists forecast perhaps 171,000 new jobs.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

In Syria's Complicated War, U.N. Peacekeepers Become Pawns

U.N. peacekeepers cross a checkpoint in the Golan Heights on Friday. Syrian rebels seized 21 peacekeepers from the Philippines and are insisting that Syrian troops leave the area.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 2:11 pm

The Syrian civil war keeps getting more complicated, and the seizure of 21 United Nations peacekeepers has again raised concern that the fighting could spread turmoil in the region.

The rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's regime are a mixed lot that include secular fighters calling for democracy, as well as Muslim fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law.

A rebel faction calling itself the Martyrs of Yarmouk Brigade says it seized the peacekeepers on Wednesday.

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U.S.
12:38 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Does Crime Drop When Immigrants Move In?

The diverse neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, has experienced a dramatic drop in crime over the past two decades.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 4:03 pm

As lawmakers in Washington continue to negotiate over immigration policies, they'll have to grapple with a fundamental disagreement about the link between immigrants and crime.

Elected officials from Pennsylvania to Arizona have argued that undocumented immigrants contribute to higher crime rates, but some social scientists tell a different story. They argue that first-generation immigrants actually make their communities safer — and they point to some of the nation's biggest cities as proof.

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Author Interviews
11:59 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Al Gore Envisions 'The Future'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

My next guest really needs almost no introduction. He's former vice president of the United States. He's one of the most well-known communicators of the risks of climate change. He shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for those efforts. I'm guessing a lot of you have read his book, "An Inconvenient Truth," or you've seen the movie.

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