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The Salt
4:12 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Vigor, Brain Power And Other Health Claims From Coke's Advertising Past

(1905) Courtesy of Tom Bates

Coca-Cola is taking a lot of flak for its new television ad campaign addressing America's obesity epidemic – an epidemic in which sugary sodas are widely fingered as a key culprit.

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The Two-Way
3:29 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Even Syrian Activists Fall In Love On Facebook

Two young Syrian activists, Mohsen and Sara, say they met and fell in love on Facebook while monitoring the country's uprising. They didn't want their faces shown, but provided this photo, taken in the Old City of Damascus.
Courtesy of Mohsen and Sara

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 8:35 am

Syrian activists tend to spend long nights on Skype and Facebook, sending and receiving updates on the battle to oust the government.

And online is also where they sometimes fall in love.

Mohsen, an activist from Hama, says he first met Sara, his girlfriend of nearly two years, on Facebook.

She sent him a friend request because she saw he worked in the field of journalism, and for months they chatted casually about the Syrian uprising. Then, after government troops stormed Hama, Moshen fled to Damascus, where he and Sara finally met face to face.

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Simon Says
3:28 am
Sat January 26, 2013

'Ebony' Editor Began Life Black In Nazi Germany

Hans Massaquoi told his story in Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany. The former managing editor of Ebony magazine died on his 87th birthday last Saturday.
Matthew P. D'Agostino AP

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

The proudest moment of Hans Massaquoi's boyhood was when his babysitter sewed a swastika on his sweater. He was a 7-year-old boy in Hamburg who wanted to be part of the excitement of the times he saw. But when his mother got home, she snipped off the swastika.

He also wanted to join the Hitler Youth. "They had cool uniforms," Massaquoi wrote years later, "and they did exciting things — camping, parades, playing drums."

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It's All Politics
3:27 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Obama Administration Takes Gun Control Fight Outside Washington

Vice President Joe Biden participates in a round-table discussion on gun violence at Virginia Commonwealth University with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Friday. The panelists included people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

The Obama administration is taking its push for gun legislation outside of the Beltway — possibly in a nod to the obstacles any gun control bills will face in Washington.

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden held a round-table discussion in Richmond, Va., speaking with people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

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It's All Politics
3:27 am
Sat January 26, 2013

For GOP Comeback, Leaders Urge Stepped-Up Outreach

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, has been re-elected to another two-year term.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

In their first big party gathering since Election Day, Republican leaders from around the country met in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

The GOP is promising a great deal of change in advance of the next election, but one area where there will be no change for the party is in its leadership. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was elected to another two-year term.

In his acceptance speech, he cited a simple reason why Republicans failed to win the White House and lost seats in the House and Senate in November.

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Economy
3:26 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Japan's Economic Plan May Be Bad News For Everyone Else

Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the Bank of Japan, speaks before the press in Tokyo on Friday. The central bank announced new measures to stimulate the economy Tuesday.
Rie Ishii AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

Moves taken by Japan's central bank are raising fears that the world could face what's called a "currency war." The measures, announced Tuesday, are designed to flood Japan's moribund economy with money and encourage businesses and consumers to spend more.

Steps like these have been tried again and again by countries all over the world — including the U.S. — in recent years, with mixed success.

What's Wrong With Pouring Money Into The Problem?

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The Two-Way
2:01 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Egyptian Court Gives 21 Death Sentences Over Soccer Riot

Egyptian soccer fans of Al-Ahly football club celebrate in front of their club premises in Cairo on Saturday. An Egyptian court sentenced 21 people to death in relation to a soccer stadium riot last February.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 12:11 pm

The top of this post was updated at 10:28 a.m. ET:

An Egyptian court has sentenced 21 defendants to death over a deadly soccer riot last year, adding fuel to the violent protests that continued to flare across the country on Saturday.

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Music News
12:03 am
Sat January 26, 2013

The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra

Jimmy Van Heusen with Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. Van Heusen wrote dozens of songs for the crooner and became Sinatra's close friend and confidant.
Courtesy of Burns Media Productions

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Petra Haden Covers Classic Film Scores With A Single Voice

Petra Haden's new album is titled Petra Goes to the Movies.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

Petra Haden had a problem when she was a child: "I remember watching Looney Tunes cartoons and having the music stuck in my head," the singer and violinist says.

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

After Contract's End, Fox News And Sarah Palin Part Ways

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate speaks at a "Patriots in the Park" Tea Party rally at the Wayne County, Mich., fairgrounds in July.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:47 pm

Fox News is not renewing Sarah Palin's contract, The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting.

After her failed vice presidential run in 2008, Palin resigned as Alaska's governor in 2009. When she took the job at Fox, she quickly became a staple on the cable news channel and one of the leading voices of the conservative movement in the United States.

The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

PHOTOS: Scenes From The March For Life

Lucia Dragas, 8, from Boston, Mass., held a poster saying "Defend Life" along with her parents during the rally.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

Thousands of anti-abortion activists gathered across the nation's capital Friday, marking the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

For many, faith was a large part of their opposition. Dunia Minniun from New Jersey, brought her husband's cross to the rally so he could be with her "to save the lives of the innocents."

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Bill Evans On Piano Jazz

Bill Evans is one of the giants of jazz piano.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

In Arizona, Some Retirees Caught In Never-Ending Battle With Invasive Species

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We go now to Arizona, a magnet for retirees, and for some the answer to the question how should I spend my spare time is this: How about swinging a pick axe in the desert? NPR's Ted Robbins sent this postcard from Ironwood Forest National Monument.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: This must be Gary Borax's idea of a good time because he keeps coming back.

GARY BORAX: I've probably been out here 30, 40 times over the years and nearly half of those buffel grass-related.

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Around the Nation
3:23 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Anti-Abortion 'March For Life' Draws Thousands In Washington

Tens of thousands of anti-abortion protesters gathered on the National Mall on Friday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Middle East
3:21 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Kerry Hopeful For Renewed Peace Talks Between Israel, Palestinians

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 7:19 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Obama administration is closely watching political developments in Israel. This week's elections there surprised many analysts in Washington. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to build a new center-right coalition. His party lost some seats in parliament to a new centrist challenger. The White House has had a rough relationship with Netanyahu, and so Washington is looking for a new opportunity now to promote peace. Here's NPR's Michele Kelemen.

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Africa
3:20 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Tries To Distract From Second Anniversary Of Egyptian Revolt

On the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution on Friday, liberal and secular opposition groups held protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The Muslim Brotherhood did not hold counter-demonstrations this time. Instead, its members did charitable work in poor districts of Cairo and other cities.

Technology
3:20 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Western Bloggers Use Google Maps To Expose North Korean Prison Camps

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Detailed satellite images are helping to expose a system of huge prison camps in North Korea, camps that North Korea says don't even exist. Western governments and human rights groups estimate that as many as 200,000 political prisoners are held in these camps under horrific conditions. And a small contingent of Western bloggers is scrutinizing the satellite images, trying to map the camps and look for new detail.

Curtis Melvin is among them. He started the website North Korean Economy Watch. Thanks for coming in.

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Around the Nation
3:17 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Obama's New Chief Of Staff A Popular Choice At White House

President Obama named Denis McDonough his fourth chief of staff on Friday, replacing Jack Lew, who has been nominated to be secretary of the Treasury. McDonough, 43, has been deputy national security adviser and a foreign policy advisor to Obama for six years.

It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Court Ruling Upsets Conventional Wisdom On Recess Appointments

President Obama "strongly but respectfully disagrees with the ruling" on recess appointments by a federal appeals court, says White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:51 pm

In a bombshell decision on the limits of executive power, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., has invalidated President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

Legal experts say the court's reasoning upends decades of conventional wisdom and deals a big victory to Senate Republicans in an era of congressional gridlock.

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Shots - Health News
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

To Fight Addiction, FDA Advisers Endorse Limits On Vicodin

An FDA advisory panel voted to increase controls on painkillers containing hydrocodone, such as this generic version of Vicodin.
Sue Ogrocki Associated Press

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:38 pm

A key federal panel Friday recommended placing new restrictions on Vicodin and similar prescription painkillers.

At the conclusion of an emotional two-day hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 19-10 to recommend the agency change how drugs that contain the opioid hydrocodone are classified as controlled substances.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Long Forgotten, 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Survivor Speaks Out

Sarah Collins Rudolph was with her sister Addie Mae Collins when a bomb exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. The 1963 bombing killed her sister and three other girls, and Collins Rudolph was seriously injured in the attack.
Frank Couch AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:22 pm

Signs of 1963 are everywhere in Birmingham, Ala., these days. The city is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights events of that year: the children who marched until police turned fire hoses and dogs on them; Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"; and the September bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Planted by white supremacists, the bomb killed four young girls preparing to worship. It was an act of terrorism that shocked the country and propelled Congress to pass the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

To Combat Suicides, Army Focuses On The Homefront

Alicia McCoy holds a photo of her husband, Sgt. Brandon McCoy. Despite taking part in basewide suicide prevention efforts at Fort Campbell in 2009, Sgt. McCoy took his own life in 2012.
Blake Farmer for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:32 pm

When Sgt. Brandon McCoy returned from Iraq, he showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. His wife, Alicia, remembers him being on edge in public.

"I'm watching him, and his trigger finger never stopped moving, constantly," says Alicia.

Four years later, after he returned from a tour in Afghanistan in 2011, she says, she'd wake up with his hands wrapped around her throat. She told him: Get help or get a divorce. So he scheduled an appointment and — along with Alicia — trekked to the Fort Campbell hospital located on the Tennessee-Kentucky border.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Mars Curiosity Rover Beams Back First Nighttime, Ultraviolet Photos

This rock target in the "Yellowknife Bay" area of Mars' Gale Crater is called "Sayunei." The image covers an area about 1.3 inches by 1 inch (3.4 by 2.5 centimeters). The illumination came from one of MAHLI's two groups of white LED pairs. This allowed surface features to cast shadows and provide textural detail.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars Curiosity Rover has beamed back its first nighttime pictures. It sent one taken while using its white LED lights and another using its ultraviolet LED lights.

It's a milestone and the pictures are pretty cool. But they don't tell us much of anything yet.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Mon Dieu! A 'Hashtag' Is Now A 'Mot-dièse' In France

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:13 pm

The agency charged with finding French alternatives to foreign-language terms has put an end to the word "hashtag" in France.

From now on, reports Fast Company, the Générale de Terminologie et de Néologie has decided "mot-dièse" (that's MO-dee-YEZ for those of you who are not Francophiles) is the new hashtag.

Fast Company explains:

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World
1:38 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Spain's Strapped Towns Look To Churches For Cash

The Cathedral of Alcala de Henares is one of many buildings owned by the Catholic Church in Alcala de Henares, Spain. The town, which is outside Madrid, is broke and is pursuing a plan to have the church pay additional taxes.
JMN JMN/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:12 pm

The Catholic Church is Spain's largest and richest landowner, though its nonprofit status means it is exempt from paying most taxes.

But amid the current economic crisis, that may be changing.

One college town just outside Madrid is leading an effort by some Spanish municipalities to serve the church an up-to-date property tax bill.

Alcala de Henares is re-evaluating the status of hundreds of church holdings that have been exempt from paying property tax for hundreds of years.

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Some In GOP Want New Electoral College Rules

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Not many Americans are fans of the Electoral College. But trying to change the way electoral votes are allocated makes lots of people unhappy, too.

That's what Republicans in a number of states are finding just now. There are a half-dozen states that President Obama carried last November where both the legislature and the governor's office are controlled by the GOP — Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia.

In most of those states, there are efforts under way to change how electoral votes are distributed.

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All Songs Considered
1:01 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Watch The 1950s Get Its Mind Blown

YouTube

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 9:16 pm

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Music
12:42 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

New Opera Gets Benefit Of The 'Doubt'

In the operatic version of Doubt, Father Flynn (Matthew Worth) must defend his name after a suspicious Sister Aloysius (Christine Brewer) accuses him of sexually abusing an altar boy.
Michal Daniel Minnesota Opera

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:25 pm

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Movie Reviews
12:10 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

'Parker': An Icy Thriller With A Satisfying Sheen

Career-criminal Parker (Jason Statham) plays by his own set of rules, his icy demeanor masking a man who ultimately knows exactly what he wants.
Jack English Film District

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:26 pm

In the strictest terms, Jason Statham isn't the perfect candidate to play Parker, the single-minded career criminal created by the late Donald E. Westlake (working under the pseudonym Richard Stark). Statham, despite having built a career playing rough-and-tumble skull-busters, is just too much of a big pussycat.

As Westlake himself explained, Parker is angry: "Not hot angry — cold angry." Statham, with those inquisitive, cautious eyes and that slow-burning purr of a voice, can act cold, but he can never be cold. Even at his coolest, he's all heat.

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The Salt
12:07 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Haul Out the Haggis, It's Time to Celebrate Burns Night

Haggis is traditionally served with mashed neeps and tatties, or turnips and potatoes.
Bernt Rostad via Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:32 pm

Don't fear the haggis. Just think of it as a big, round sausage. That's what it is anyway.

Haggis is Scotland's national dish and every year on (or near) Jan. 25, it plays the starring role in Burns Suppers held around the world in celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns on his birthday.

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