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Politics
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

How The Labor Movement Did A 180 On Immigration

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka leaves the White House on Tuesday after meeting with President Obama to discuss immigration policy and other issues.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

The AFL-CIO begins a big push this week to build momentum for comprehensive changes to the nation's immigration laws.

But it wasn't long ago that organized labor viewed illegal workers in the U.S. as a threat — and fought against proposals that would lead to citizenship.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, referenced the labor movement's history with the immigration issue in a YouTube message to members late last year.

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Business
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Is It So Hard To Make A 100 Percent American Hand Dryer?

The Xlerator hand dryer is made almost entirely of American components and assembled in Massachusetts. But the company's owner says it's simply not cost-effective to use an American-made motor.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:17 pm

Fifteen years ago, Denis Gagnon bought a company that made a product nobody really liked: hand dryers. But he quickly managed to turn Massachusetts-based Excel Dryer into an innovator with the Xlerator — a high-speed dryer that cut drying time from more than 30 seconds to less than 15.

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Business
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Dell CEO And Others Take Company Private In $24 Billion Deal

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Computer maker Dell is going private in a $24 billion deal that highlights the changing fortunes of the PC industry. The buyout is being led by company founder Michael Dell, software giant Microsoft and the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners.

Business
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

DOJ Sues S&P For Giving AAA Ratings To Risky Mortgage Investments

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:38 pm

The Justice Department may seek as much as $5 billion from Standard and Poor's. In a lawsuit filed Monday night, prosecutors accuse the firm of misleading investors with fraudulent credit ratings on dozens of different mortgage bonds. It's not yet clear whether federal officials plan to file a similar suit against the other big rating firms, Moody's and Fitch. Regulators would like to see the industry be more competitive and less dependent on the firms whose securities they are rating.

Business
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Business Leaders Band Together On Some Aspects Of Immigration Reform

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

President Obama met with business and labor leaders today at the White House. He's trying to build a broad coalition in support of revamping immigration laws. The two sides haven't always seen eye to eye on immigration. But this year, on this issue, they're mostly working together on the issue. We'll hear more in a moment about the evolution of organized labor's position.

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Music
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Easy-Listening 'Muzak' Reborn As 'Mood Media'

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From a death in the music world, now to something of a rebirth.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: Muzak, best known for its inoffensive, unobtrusive, ultra-bland music is changing its brand name. The company announced today that it will now be known as Mood, after Muzak's owner, Mood Media. It's chairman and CEO said in a statement that this marked the end of an iconic American brand, or as fast company put it, the musical equivalent of white bread.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JOSEPH LANZA: Muzak was all over the place.

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Sports
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Olympian Skier Lindsey Vonn Ends Season With Knee Injury

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. For skier Lindsey Vonn, the racing season is over. Today, at the World Championships, the American Alpine skiing star crashed. She injured her right knee. Still, as we hear from NPR's Tom Goldman, U.S. ski officials expect Vonn will be ready for next year's Winter Olympics.

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National Security
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Leaked Memo Says U.S. Has Right To Kill Americans Acting As Al-Qaida Operatives

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish.

And we begin this hour with new details about one of President Obama's most controversial programs to fight terrorism. A leaked Justice Department memo says the U.S. has the right to kill Americans who are al-Qaida operatives, even if they're not actively working on a specific plot.

As NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, that legal justification isn't going over well with the civil liberties community.

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Around the Nation
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Supporters Mark Trayvon Martin's 18th Birthday

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

In communities around Florida, vigils and other events marked what would've been Trayvon Martin's 18th birthday on Tuesday. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has been charged in the teen's death and a judge ruled Tuesday that a June trial will go forward as scheduled.

The Record
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reg Presley, The Voice Of 'Wild Thing,' Dies

Reg Presley in Hamburg, circa 1965.
Petra Niemeier — K & K Redferns

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

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Music Reviews
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reissued And Relevant, Marcos Valle's '70s Bossa Nova Returns

Marcos Valle in Los Angeles in 1968.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Marcos Valle wasn't identified with Brazil's influential Tropicalia movement during the 1960s and 1970s. But, like his peers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, he made ambitious and subversive pop music during those years, mixing American soul and rock with samba, bossa nova and other Brazilian styles.

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Africa
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Egyptian Politician: 'Street Politics' Aren't Helpful

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

In Egypt, tensions have risen in recent weeks as government security forces have clashed with street protestors. For more, Robert Siegel talks with Abdul Mawgoud Dardery about the political situation in Egypt. He's a member of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Africa
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Somali Court Convicts Alleged Rape Victim Of Insulting The Government

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

A Somali court on Tuesday handed down one year sentences to a woman who claimed she was raped and to a journalist who interviewed her about the alleged sexual abuse. The Mogadishu judges decided the woman had lied. The journalist was accused of insulting the government, even though he never published anything from the interview. Rights groups have decried the case as politically motivated because the woman had accused security forces of the assault.

Africa
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Islamic Scholars Stay One Step Ahead Of Vandals In Mali

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to Mali, where the French are winding down their mission. As they do, librarians and scholars in the city of Timbuktu are breathing a sigh of relief. Timbuktu is home to an untold number of manuscripts and antiquities from Qurans to texts on medicine and mathematics, invaluable to Islamic history. But recently, Malian rebels and Islamic militants set the city's largest library on fire as they fled town. As it turns out, the scholars were one step ahead of the vandals. Only a very small percentage of the items were destroyed.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

White House Says Obama Will Visit Israel This Spring

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 6:49 am

President Obama will make his first presidential visit to Israel this spring, the White House announced this afternoon.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did not give an indication of date, but he said that Obama will also visit the West Bank and Jordan during the trip.

As The Washington Post points out, the trip comes at a time when Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have stalled. The Post reports:

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Shots - Health News
2:39 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Exercise Can Be Good For The Heart, And Maybe For Sperm, Too

Human sperm race to fertilize an egg.
David M. Phillips Science Source

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:39 am

Guys, it may be time to get off the couch and hit the treadmill — especially if you want to have kids.

Okay, we all know that exercise is good for us. It can reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, to name a few benefits. Now researchers say physical activity may also help keep sperm healthy and happy.

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The Salt
2:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Mixing Alcohol With Diet Soda May Make You Drunker

The rum in that Cuba libre will hit your bloodstream faster if it's mixed with diet cola.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:36 pm

Looking to cut back on the calories in your cocktail by mixing, say, diet soda and rum? Well, get ready for the buzz.

According to the results of a new study, this combination will leave you drunker than if you'd mixed the liquor with a sugary, caloric mixer.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

5 Questions About Justice Department Memo On Targeted Killings

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:48 am

A confidential Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News outlines legal theories the Obama administration has used to justify killing American citizens abroad. Here are five key questions and answers about the document:

1) What is it?

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Kitchen Window
1:56 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Chocolate: Out Of The Box, Into The Frying Pan

Peter Ogburn for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:02 am

Chocolate is like sex or pizza: Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. There are those who prefer light, refreshing desserts after a big meal, but I think those people are crazy. I always gravitate to the most decadent dessert on the menu, which is usually laden with chocolate. And while I love the stuff, there is nothing sadder than giving or receiving a box of boring chocolates on Valentine's Day. Each year, men and women shamefully duck into grocery stores and pharmacies to grab a box of assorted chocolates. Because nothing says "I love you" quite like chocolate from a gas station.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

U.S. Says It Has No Plans To Charge Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong during a January interview with Oprah Winfrey regarding the controversy surrounding his cycling career.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:52 pm

The Department of Justice said today that it was sticking by its decision not to pursue any charges against cyclist Lance Armstrong.

"We made a decision on that case a little over a year ago. Obviously, we've been well aware of the statements that have been made by Mr. Armstrong in other media reports. That does not change my view at this time," André Birotte, a U.S. attorney based in Los Angeles, said according to Reuters.

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Monkey See
1:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Ann Harada, From 'Smash' To Stepsisterhood

Actress Ann Harada (in pink) returns to the stage in the Broadway premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, an update of the made-for-TV movie from 1957. Her other theater work has included Avenue Q and Les Miserables.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:45 pm

Ann Harada is that rare Asian-American musical theater actress who's never starred in The King and I or Miss Saigon. After a few summer stock stints as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Harada realized if she was going to make it in theater, it would be as a character actor. In 2003, she originated the role of Christmas Eve in the irreverent puppet musical Avenue Q, a part she played on and off for six years.

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Middle East
12:57 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Tracking Rape In Syria Through Social Media

Syrian women walk through a market area in the northern city of Aleppo last November. A new website is documenting the use of rape in the Syrian conflict.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:17 pm

Rape has long been a weapon of war, but documenting sexual violence usually happens after a conflict is over. Researchers are taking a new path with the Syrian conflict: tracking the incidents of rape as they occur.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

British House Of Commons Passes Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage

Snow falls on the Houses of Parliament in London in January.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:46 pm

By an overwhelming majority, the British House of Commons passed a bill that legalizes gay marriage. The bill is expected to become law because it is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The House passed the bill with a vote of 400 to 175.

The CBC reports:

"Same-sex civil partnerships have been allowed in the U.K. for eight years. One of the more high-profile unions is between musician Elton John and his Canadian partner, David Furnish.

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It's All Politics
12:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

In Florida, An Email Trail On Redistricting Raises Questions

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:42 pm

Florida voters in 2010 approved constitutional amendments by nearly 2-to-1 margins that forbade state legislators from coordinating with political parties or favoring incumbents when drawing new congressional districts.

So what did lawmakers in Tallahassee do? The Republican leaders in charge of drawing new maps coordinated with Republican Party consultants to protect Republican incumbents.

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Shots - Health News
12:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Prostate Cancer Screening Is So Tricky

When is the right time to check the PSA box?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:56 pm

Men can be forgiven for being confused over screening for prostate cancer. Doctors are confused, too.

When it comes to figuring out if the benefits are worth the risks, the simplest solutions may not be best, a study of the options finds.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Economy To Slow This Year As The Government Tightens, CBO Says

While the economy will benefit from continued improvement in "underlying" conditions, the federal government's push to tighten its spending will slow overall growth in 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects.

In an updated "Budget and Economic Outlook" reported released Tuesday afternoon, the agency forecasts:

-- 1.4 percent growth in gross domestic product this year, vs. 2.3 percent in 2012.

-- 2.6 percent growth in 2014.

-- 4.1 percent growth in 2015.

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Planet Money
11:40 am
Tue February 5, 2013

When Companies Agree To Huge Penalties But Don't Admit Doing Anything Wrong

Francis Twitty/ iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:07 pm

It happens all the time: The government announces some giant settlement with a company that's been accused of doing something wrong. The company agrees to pay some massive fine. Then, in the fine print, there's something along the lines of: "The company neither admits nor denies any wrongdoing."

Recently, though, some powerful people have been pushing back, rejecting deals that include this kind of fine print.

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Digital Life
11:28 am
Tue February 5, 2013

The Twitter Ads Spawned By Super Bowl Blackout

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:05 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

And now, a look beyond Baltimore and Beyonce to the enduring possibilities of an ephemeral event. When the lights went out at Superdome on Sunday, Twitter lit up. Advertising teams from several companies tried to capitalize with instant ads. Like many of the regular ads, almost of these flopped, but one produced an idea that people are still buzzing about, Oreo cookies. If you work in the ad business, how does social media changed the game? Give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email: talk@npr.org.

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Middle East
11:28 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Lessons Learned Two Years After The Arab Spring

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For most of this hour, we'll focus on the experiences of mixed-status families and the complications of navigating the gray areas in the shadows of immigration, when one or some are citizens and others are here illegally.

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The Salt
11:23 am
Tue February 5, 2013

First, Personalized Pez Dispensers. Next, Printed Food?

Toronto-based 3-D jewelry company Hot Pop Factory created personalized Pez dispenser heads for the employees of an architecture firm.
Hot Pop Factory

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 10:11 am

The Pez dispenser is a cultural icon that has withstood the test of time, with Mickey Mouse, Yoda, even George Washington doling out little candy bricks through their plastic necks.

So applying the hot new technology of 3-D printing to make personalized Pez dispensers makes sense, in a weird way. It's just one of a growing number of efforts under way to print customized food products.

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