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10:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Lawsuit, Investigation Loom Over Lance Armstrong

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey interviews Lance Armstrong on Jan. 14. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, reversing more than a decade of denial.
George Burns/ Harpo Studios AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 5:41 am

There are more troubles for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

A Texas-based promotions company sued the former cycling champion Thursday for more than $12 million, which was paid to Armstrong for several of his record seven Tour de France wins. Armstrong publicly admitted last month that those herculean victories were aided by doping.

The lawsuit is part of a flurry of activity: Armstrong still is in talks with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and there is now word that he is under federal investigation, a year after another federal criminal inquiry ended abruptly.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Study Finds Vast Majority Of Americans Felt Great Recession Personally

The Great Recession touched a vast majority of Americans personally, a new study from Rutgers' Heldrich Center finds.

The most stunning number in the study: "Some 73 percent [of Americans] either lost a job themselves, or had a member of their household, a close relative, or a friend lose a job at some point in the past four years."

The report is pretty depressing. A few more findings:

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The Salt
4:07 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Fried Chicken And Sweet Tea: Recipe For A Stroke

Delicious, yes. But it's really not health food.
Todd Patterson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:04 pm

Fried chicken washed down with sweet tea — it's a classic Southern lunch. That fat/sweet nexus is also a recipe for a stroke, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, have been trying to nail down how diet relates to stroke, particularly in the "Stroke Belt" — the Southeastern states that have the dubious distinction of hosting the nation's highest stroke rates.

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Movie Interviews
3:33 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'Warm Bodies' Director: Teen Romance, Undying

Nicholas Hoult, Rob Corddry and Teresa Palmer lurch through a scene in Levine's zombie romantic comedy.
Jonathan Wenk Summit Enterainment

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:50 pm

This past weekend, a surprising little movie topped the box office over pop-action juggernaut Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook.

Warm Bodies is a zombie romance brought to you by the man behind the recent cancer comedy 50/50; clearly, director and screenwriter Jonathan Levine has an interest in genre bending, and this latest flick is equal parts Night of the Living Dead and Romeo and Juliet. It's told through the eyes of R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie living in an airport.

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All Songs Considered
3:29 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

The Real Instrument Behind The Sound In 'Good Vibrations'

Cover art for the "Good Vibrations" single, released in 1966.
Courtesy of the artist
  • Hear how 'Good Vibrations' was created

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Business
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Government Investigators Question Safety Of Boeing 787's Battery

The National Transportation Safety Board says the battery fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner was caused by multiple short circuits in a single cell, but it still doesn't know what caused the problem. The NTSB also says the process the FAA used to approve the plane needs to be reviewed.

Science
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Blocking Iran With A Global Game Of Nuclear 'Keep Away'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (center) visits a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran, in 2008. Enriching uranium requires many fast-spinning centrifuges, arranged in what's called a cascade.
Iranian President's Office AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:27 pm

Iran's government on Thursday made clear it has no interest in direct talks until the U.S. eases sanctions that have been squeezing Iran's economy. But the Obama administration isn't budging and says the ball is in the Iranians' court.

The suspicion that Iran wants to make a nuclear weapon is the rationale for the sanctions as well as for veiled threats of U.S. or Israeli military action if those sanctions fail.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Republicans Criticize Pentagon's Response To Attack On U.S. Consulate In Benghazi

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testified before a Senate committee Thursday about the September attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Panetta was questioned about whether the U.S. response was fast enough and about why the U.S. military had not been better prepared for the possibility of an attack.

Middle East
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Pakistan Says U.S. Drone Strikes Violate Its Sovereignty

There was another U.S. drone strike in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday. At least three people were killed when missiles struck a compound in North Waziristan, near the border with Afghanistan. The strike comes as Washington debates the use of drones and not long after Ambassador Sherry Rehman said the use of drones was a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and international law. Throughout Pakistan, popular reaction to the drone strikes continues to be vociferously negative. Robert Siegel talks to Jackie Northam.

Religion
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

French Catholic Priest Plans To Marry Same-Sex Couples In New Job As Mayor

In a tiny village in Brittany, France, the mayor is also the local Catholic priest. As a mayor, Elie Geffray will soon be officiating over same-sex unions even though the Catholic Church opposes gay marriage and adoption. He notes that France is a secular democracy and that allows Muslims, Catholics, Protestants and atheists to live together. And says he believes the Catholic Church made a mistake by getting involved in the gay marriage debate.

National Security
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Brennan Objects To Use Of Waterboarding In CIA Confirmation Hearing

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Obama Tries To Rally House Democrats At Annual Retreat

President Obama addressed the House Democrats' retreat in Leesburg, Va., on Thursday to rally his troops ahead of a number of contentious issues. Audie Cornish talks to Tamara Keith.

Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Oakland Officials Confounded By Surge In Violent Crime

Oakland, Calif., is among the U.S. cities that's seen an increase in violence over the last year. The uptick in crime comes as the police department is also under pressure from a federal court to reform its ways.

Movies
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Conn. Congressman Petitions Spielberg To Change State's Voting Record In 'Lincoln'

Steven Spielberg's Lincoln didn't sit quite right with Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney, namely the part of the film that depicts two of his predecessors from Connecticut voting against the constitutional amendment to end slavery. Courtney left the theater, checked the facts and discovered that the movie was in fact wrong: All four Connecticut representatives at the time voted for the amendment. Courtney tells Audie Cornish that he is now asking Spielberg to correct the error before the film goes to DVD.

Law
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Manhunt Underway For Former LAPD Cop Accused Of Killing Three Officers

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 8:20 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

A huge manhunt is underway in Southern California. People are looking for a former LAPD officer said to be armed and extremely dangerous.

CHIEF CHARLIE BECK: Christopher Dorner is wanted for a series of crimes, including assaults on officers and three homicides in Southern California in the past week.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

A '70s 'Playroom,' Without Much Room For Fun

Donna (Molly Parker) is the drunk, distracted matriarch to Maggie (Olivia Harris) and her nervous siblings in The Playroom.
Freestyle Releasing

There's a sequence early in the laughable drama The Playroom that epitomizes everything wrong with it: With her parents out of the house, 16-year-old Maggie Cantwell (Olivia Harris), the eldest of four latchkey kids, sneaks into the garage with her boyfriend on a determined quest to lose her virginity. While the two fumble around clumsily on the floor, Maggie's youngest brother, Sam (Ian Veteto), sits outside the garage door, trying to sew a merit badge onto his shirt but struggling to thread the needle.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

A Sorcerer, A White Snake, And Lots Of CGI Magic

The demon snake sisters (Charlene Choi and Eva Huang) disguise themselves as beautiful women in The Sorcerer and the White Snake.
Magnet Releasing

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:14 pm

In the opening sequence of The Sorcerer and the White Snake, two monks step through a giant gate and find themselves in a new world — one made entirely of computer-generated images. Only Fahai (Jet Li) and his disciple Neng Ren (Zhang Wen) are human.

"Don't believe everything you see," the older man warns.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'Identity Thief': Nearly Two Hours, Stolen

An overextended Sandy (Jason Bateman) must prevent the raunchy Diana (Melissa McCarthy) from continuing to use his identity as a financial crutch in Identity Thief.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 5:09 pm

The new road-trip comedy Identity Thief — about a guy who confronts a woman who's wrecking his credit rating — is such a catalog of missed opportunities, it probably makes sense just to list them.

The setup: Sandy Patterson, who works in a Denver financial firm (and is not supposed to be mentally challenged), blithely hands over his Social Security number to a stranger on the phone who says his accounts have been compromised, at which point his accounts get compromised. No tricks, no subterfuge, no laughs — he's just stupid.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'Lore': After Hitler, An Awakening For The Reich's Children

A band of virtually orphaned children (Nele Trebs, Mika Seidel, Andre Frid and Saskia Rosendahl) trek through southern Germany seeking shelter — and answers — at the end of World War II.
Music Box Films

It took years for our fictions to consider the Holocaust narrative. And for an even longer time, a stunned silence hovered over the fate of "Hitler's children" — ordinary Germans during and after World War II. That embargo, too, is lifting, with a significant trickle of novels, movies and television dramas that imagine what it felt like to be the inheritors of the worst that humans can do to other humans.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Sheen's 'Swan' Is One Ugly Duckling

Charles (Charlie Sheen) is a none-too-likeable ladies's man in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.
A24 Films

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:40 pm

There's no separating Charlie Sheen from Charles Swan, the titular representation of the male id at its most self-obsessed in Roman Coppola's uneven A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. But for better and decidedly worse, that's the point.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Warning: 'Side Effects' May Include Eye-Rolling

In Steven Soderbergh's medical thriller Side Effects, Emily (Rooney Mara) goes through an emotional crisis — and then a psychopharmacological one — after her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from prison.
Eric Liebowitz Open Road Films

It's the drug's fault, man. That's the defense offered by the perpetrator brought to trial in Side Effects, a stylish, vaguely Hitchcockian dud. But what excuse does this fatally silly movie have?

The film, reportedly the final big-screen effort for prolific director Steven Soderbergh, begins in a New York apartment where something bad has happened. Blood on the floor, smeared and tracked by footprints, suggests murder, suicide or extreme clumsiness.

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It's All Politics
3:01 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

After Tough 2012, Gallup Enlists Polling Expert To Investigate

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:44 pm

The Gallup Organization, one of the polling industry's oldest brand names, is calling in an outsider to do a comprehensive review after its 2012 election polls consistently favored Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

University of Michigan professor Michael Traugott, a past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, has been working with Gallup since December to test several of its methods. Among them: how many interviews are conducted by cellphones; how it measures likely voters and early voters; and how it assesses the impact of get-out-the-vote efforts.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama Will Attend Slain Chicago Teen's Funeral

Hadiya Pendleton.
Courtesy of Pendleton family via the Chicago Tribune MCT /Landov

First lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who made national news after she was gunned down just a mile from President Obama's Chicago home.

As we reported at the time, Hadiya attended President Obama's inauguration. Her death was mentioned by the White House and during a Senate hearing on gun violence.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Children of Latino Immigrants Skew Even More Democratic Than Parents, Study Says

Immigrants take the U.S. oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:12 pm

Immigrants from Asia and Latin America are more conservative than their U.S.-born children, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

And while most immigrants from Asia and Latin America identify with the Democratic Party, the report found that Hispanic members of the second generation — those born in the United States with at least one parent born outside of the country — were even more likely to identify as Democrats than their parents.

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Asia
2:45 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Move Over James Bond, China Has An Unlikely Box Office Champ

The surprise hit Lost in Thailand, a road comedy that cost less than $5 million to make, has become China's highest-grossing domestic film.
Enlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:32 am

Movies are big business in China, and 2012 was another record year: Theaters raked in about $2.7 billion, pushing China past Japan to become the world's second-largest market.

Those blistering sales were expected; China's ultimate box-office champ, however, was not.

Hollywood blockbusters usually do well in China. And last year, competition was stiff, including a new installment of Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible franchise, as well as Skyfall, the latest James Bond flick.

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Art & Design
2:44 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

New York's Grimy Garment District Hatches Designers' Dreams

From West 24th to West 42nd Street, New York's Seventh Avenue is also known as "Fashion Avenue." It's home to major designers as well as those who are just starting out, like Ann Yee and Daniel Vosovic.
Michael Katzif for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:07 pm

Thursday marks the beginning of New York Fashion Week, where big-name designers like Michael Kors, Anna Sui and Vera Wang will debut their Fall 2013 collections. It's part of an industry that generates billions of dollars of revenue for New York City, employing hundreds of thousands of workers. But the real business of fashion happens several blocks south of the glamorous Lincoln Center runways, in New York's Garment District.

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It's All Politics
2:23 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Rubio's Job: Play Second Fiddle To The President, And Don't Mess Up

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:28 pm

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A Blog Supreme
2:12 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Why J Dilla May Be Jazz's Latest Great Innovator

J Dilla in the studio of fellow producer Madlib.
Roger Erickson Courtesy of the artist

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Drone Program Under Scrutiny As CIA Nominee Testifies

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, prepares to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 4:44 am

Update at 5:35 pm ET. Brennan on drones:

As senators questioned John Brennan, the nominee to head the CIA, one of the recurring themes was the broader impact of the lethal drone strikes.

Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, asked whether the Obama administration was killing terrorists who might otherwise be captured and interrogated.

Brennan insisted that it was always preferable to capture and question terrorists to gather intelligence, and he said lethal strikes were taken as a last resort.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Mr. Bean's Supercar Crash Racks Up $1.4 Million Repair Bill

Rowan Atkinson (in character as Mr. Bean) in 2007.
Lisa Maree Williams Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:15 pm

Rowan Atkinson, the British comedian who's probably best known to Americans as Mr. Bean, is in the record books for something that's not all that funny.

According to reports from The Scotsman and other news outlets in the U.K., Atkinson's insurers paid 910,000 British pounds (about $1.4 million) to repair the McLaren F1 supercar that he wrecked in 2011. That's a U.K. record, newspapers say.

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