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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:01 am
Fri February 1, 2013

It's All Politics, Jan. 31, 2013

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

The issue in this week's podcast is about follow-through. Yes, there have been hearings on gun legislation, but what will get passed? Yes, there's a bipartisan group of senators working on immigration changes, but what will Congress ultimately do? Plus: John Kerry leaves the Senate and history is made in his (temporary) successor. And two more senators say they've had enough.

The Two-Way
10:01 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Will Resign

Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Department Of Energy

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will resign once his replacement has been confirmed.

Politico, which broke the news this morning, reports that Chu made the announcement in a memo to colleagues.

Politico adds:

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Monkey See
9:59 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: '30 Rock,' Getting Meta, And The PCHH FAQ

NPR
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In case a thousand thousands of internet words haven't informed you, last night was the final episode of 30 Rock, and in addition to taking a moment to appreciate the show itself, we decided to use it as a jumping-off point for a discussion of "meta" humor — what it is, when it works, and when it just comes off like a crutch. You might be surprised to hear meta traced all the way back to childhood, but hey, that's what we're here for.

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NPR Story
9:57 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Are We Losing The Race Against Climate Change?

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:46 am

China burns nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined--and has 300 more coal plants in the works. But China also leads the world in solar panel exports and wind farms, and has a national climate change policy in place. Is the U.S. falling behind on climate? Ira Flatow and guests discuss how the world is tackling global warming--with or without us--and what it might take to change the climate on Capitol Hill.

The Two-Way
9:56 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Obama Administration Issues Proposal On Birth Control Coverage

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:40 am

(The top of this post and our headline was updated at 1:35 p.m. ET.)

"The Obama administration on Friday proposed a work-around for religious nonprofits that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control," The Associated Press reports.

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Faith Matters
9:54 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Rockaway Residents Undergoing Faith-Testing Times

Congress passed an emergency aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims earlier this week. But three months after the storm, many hard-hit neighborhoods are still suffering. Host Michel Martin checks back with Monsignor John Brown of St. Francis de Sales in Rockaway, Queens, to discuss how the community is recovering.

Law
9:54 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Border Mayors On Frontier Of Immigration Debate

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, unemployment is up, the GDP is down, but economists are still kind of happy - well, as happy as economists get. NPR's Marilyn Geewax is going to interpret all that for us in just a few minutes. But first, we turn to a debate that our national leaders are finally taking up again over how to fix an immigration system that just about everybody agrees is broken.

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Monkey See
9:46 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Kid President Coaches Up the Entire Internet

Screenshot

If you've been online in the last week, you've probably already gotten a pep talk from Kid President.

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NPR Story
9:42 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Bomb Explodes Outside U.S. Embassy In Turkey

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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All Songs Considered
9:16 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Song Premiere: Jozef Van Wissem, 'Where You Lived And What You Lived For'

Jozef Van Wissem with his one-of-a-kind black lute.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 12:14 pm

When Jozef Van Wissem plays the lute, he doesn't sit. Instead, the New York-based Dutchman stands, looming over his low-hanging instrument like the "figure in black" character in "Black Sabbath" — that'd be the song "Black Sabbath," from the album Black Sabbath, by Black Sabbath — that scares the living bejeezus out of everyone.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Fri February 1, 2013

On the Edge? Zimbabwe Briefly Had Just $217 In the Bank

Zimbabwean foreign currency dealers conduct a transaction from the trunk of a car using money stashed in a cooler box in Harare.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:21 pm

"If Zimbabwe was a private company it would have closed down," Zimbabwean finance minister Tendai Biti told reporters this week. At a meeting in Harare, the capital, Biti told a group of reporters his country had just $217 in the treasury, according to the Guardian.

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Business
8:57 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Jobs Still Lag, But Homebuilding May Soon Help

A new home under construction in Pepper Pike, Ohio. This spring's jobs data could look much brighter if housing heats up.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:43 pm

Here in the depths of winter, U.S. economic numbers aren't looking so hot. This week, new reports showed growth started to freeze up last fall, and the unemployment rate rose a bit in January, to 7.9 percent.

But most economists say you shouldn't let those cold facts fool you: This spring's data could look much brighter if the housing market continues to heat up.

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Movie Reviews
8:24 am
Fri February 1, 2013

'Gatekeepers' Let Us Inside Israeli Security

The documentary The Gatekeepers examines Israeli security policy in interviews with six former heads of the secretive Shin Bet agency.
Sony Pictures Classics

The Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers centers on Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but from an unusual vantage — not the Palestinians or Israelis on the ground, but six men at the pinnacle of the country's security apparatus: the former heads of the security agency Shin Bet.

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Author Interviews
8:18 am
Fri February 1, 2013

How The Glock Became America's Weapon Of Choice

This interview was originally broadcast on January 24, 2012.

Today the Glock pistol has become the gun of choice for both criminals and law enforcement in the United States.

In his book Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, which came out in paperback in January, Paul Barrett traces how the sleek, high-capacity Austrian weapon found its way into Hollywood films and rap lyrics, not to mention two-thirds of all U.S. police departments.

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NPR Story
8:12 am
Fri February 1, 2013

So A Girl Walks Into A Bar...

Ask Me Another audience members enjoy some potent potables from The Bell House's esteemed bartenders.
Steve McFarland NPR

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:43 pm

This week's versatile V.I.P. has had spells as an author, an ordained minister, a fortuneteller, and a bartender — which serves her well during a delectable drinking game. And with quizzes covering highfalutin children's literature, crossbred celebrities and a geologist's favorite Queen song, this week's contestants show a little versatility, too.

The Salt
8:10 am
Fri February 1, 2013

A Quest For Real Beer, Without The Gluten

More and more gluten-free beers are entering the marketplace. We asked a librarian with celiac disease for her list of favorites.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:39 am

Anyone who gives up gluten, either by choice or medical necessity, will inevitably feel a twinge of regret bidding adieu to bread, pasta or pastries. But for some, the greatest hardship may be saying no to beer — especially at times like Super Bowl Sunday, when having a cold one in hand is part of many people's game day tradition.

So it's no small thing that a growing number of brewers are offering gluten-free beers that are both tasty and satisfying.

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Planet Money
8:08 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Losses Are Actually Gains, And Other Weird Facts From The Jobs Report

bgottsab Flickr

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:25 am

What's today's big jobs report say?

The U.S. economy lost 2.8 million jobs jobs in January.

What?!

Don't panic. The U.S. economy loses millions of jobs every January, in good times and bad, largely because tons of seasonal holiday jobs always wind down after Christmas.

So if you set aside the normal, seasonal stuff, how is the job market doing?

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

  • Hugely good news for all you wandering minstrels: After years of pressure from groups like the American Federation of Musicians, the FAA has just passed a bill that (finally!) allows musicians to carry their instruments as carry-on luggage or, for larger instruments, to buy an extra seat. However, the federal agency has a year to implement the new standards.
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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Wacky Super Bowl Ads Are Already Getting Serious Play

The Volkswagen Super Bowl 2013 commercial is among the ads that already surfaced on social media. Some critics say its racial tone is demeaning.
Volkswagen via Youtube

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 3:07 pm

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Monkey See
7:15 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Morning Shots: Lois Lane Has An iPad, And Linda Gray Has A Story About Her Leg

iStockphoto.com

Does Lois Lane's iPad mean that Zack Snyder's approach to Superman will be fresher and more modern than people are expecting? [The Guardian]

Too much? Too little? How much information are you supposed to hand out in a movie trailer anyway? [The New York Times]

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Deadly Chinese Fireworks Explosion Collapses Highway Overpass

Fireworks inside a truck exploded on a major roadway in the central Chinese province of Henan today, as the driver was taking the devices to a Chinese Lunar New Year's event. The blast caused a highway overpass to crumble, and several vehicles plunged as much as 100 feet to the ground, says the Associated Press.

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Shots - Health News
7:05 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Lesson Learned: A Curb On Drugmakers' Gifts To Medical Students

A package of microwave popcorn promoting Johnson & Johnson's antipsychotic drug Invega back in 2008 would have been a no-no at many medical schools.
Nurse Ratched's Place

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 5:57 am

It used to be common for drugmakers to ply medical students with meals and gifts as a way to curry favor with America's next generation of doctors.

But times are changing.

To curb the influence of drug companies, most U.S. medical schools have now instituted policies that restrict or ban gifts altogether. The policies appear to have a lasting effect.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Unemployment Rate Ticked Up In January; 157,000 Jobs Added

Job seekers came to the ThistleDown Racino and Horseshoe Casino in Warrensvile Hts., Ohio, last month.
Chuck Crow The Plain Dealer /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 8:47 am

(We updated the top of this post at 10:15 a.m. ET.)

The U.S. economy produced several hundred thousand more jobs than previously thought in 2011 and 2012 even as the nation's jobless rate remained stuck at a relatively high level, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

While BLS said the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent in January from 7.8 percent the month before, it also reported that:

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Alabama Hostage Standoff Continues

Thursday night in Midland City, Ala., there was a candlelight vigil for bus driver Charles Poland, who was killed Tuesday before a gunman snatched a 5-year-old boy — who is being held captive in an underground bunker.
Philip Sears Reuters /Landov

The standoff continues this morning in Midland City, Ala., where a 5-year-old boy has been held captive in an underground bunker since Tuesday, when a gunman abducted him from a school bus after killing the driver.

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Asia
5:58 am
Fri February 1, 2013

China's Incoming Leader Bans Extravagant Banquets

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. China's incoming president wants to be seen as a man of the people. And he seems to know what the people don't want from their politicians. So for this year's opening of parliament, the president has banned extravagant banquets, gifts, flowers in rooms.

And in a parliament filled with hand-picked delegates used to launching to endless praise of the party, also banned are long-winded speeches; plus, empty talk is discouraged.

Around the Nation
5:52 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Player's Mom Caters To Baltimore Ravens Team

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

The San Francisco 49ers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, but the Baltimore Ravens have a special source of fuel. Raven Jacoby Jones is from New Orleans, where the game will be played, and his mom made the team 150 plates of food. Jones describes the feast as, quote, "gumbo, jambalaya, potato salad, bread pudding, macaroni - the whole nine yards."

Finally, somebody used that cliche in a sport where it makes sense.

The Two-Way
5:46 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Death Toll Rising In Mexico; At Least 25 Dead After Explosion, Dozens Hurt

Rescue workers are searching the debris in Mexico City, where an explosion Thursday rocked the headquarters of the state-owned oil company, Pemex.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 9:49 am

Authorities in Mexico City said Friday morning that at least 32 people had been killed and another 120 or so injured by the explosion Thursday afternoon at the headquarters of Pemex, Mexico's state-owned oil company.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Developing: Explosion Outside U.S. Embassy In Turkey

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:11 pm

There was an explosion Friday at an entrance to the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and within hours American officials were calling it a "terrorist attack."

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Ed Koch, Flamboyant Former New York City Mayor, Dies

New York City Mayor Edward Koch in February 1980.
CBS /Landov

Ed Koch, the colorful three-term mayor who led New York City through its financial crisis in the '70s, has died.

George Arzt, a spokesman for the former mayor, tells NPR's Joel Rose that Koch died of congestive heart failure around 2 a.m. ET Friday. The former mayor was 88.

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