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Renee Montagne

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NPR's business news starts with Starbucks after hours.

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Host Renee Montagne talks with New York Times correspondent Ellen Barry in Moscow about what Vladimir Putin's land grab in Ukraine says about this moment in the post-Soviet history of Russia.

Host Renee Montagne talks to Erin Conway-Smith, southern Africa editor for GlobalPost, about the murder trial of Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius.

A U.K. seed company has taken the leafy look and peppery taste of kale and added the flavor of Brussels sprouts. You can buy BrusselKale now in Ohio and Pennsylvania; it debuts nationally this fall.

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Aspiring high school mathematicians gathered in New York for March Mathness. Even for kids who don't love sports, the professor leading the event told The Times there are a billion reasons to love brackets this year: Warren Buffett's reward for picking the winners for all 67 NCAA games. The math geeks are hoping linear algebra and complex computer codes will help them beat the odds: 9.2 quintrillion to one. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Let's talk more about changes to the National Security Agency that President Obama is announcing as we speak at the Justice Department. And we're joined in our studio by Tamara Keith and Tom Gjelten. And let's just begin.

Tom, you told us earlier today that technology companies wanted greater transparency. They want the public to know more about what the NSA is doing. What is the president proposing today?

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Oscar nominations are in. They were announced this morning in Beverly Hills. And "American Hustle" and "Gravity" are the early front-runners. Each of them got 10 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. "12 Years a Slave" was close behind with nine nominations. For more, we're joined now by Linda Holmes, who writes and edits NPR's entertainment and pop culture blog Monkey See. Good morning.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Good morning to you.

A very cold winter storm is engulfing much of the Northeast, dumping more than 20 inches of snow in some areas and bringing strong winds along with it. Schools are closed in Boston and New York City. Thousands of flights have been canceled. Officials around the region are asking people to stay home and let road crews do their work.

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The situation in South Sudan is, in many ways, emblematic of the troubled year the continent of Africa has endured. After two decades of democracies taking root and economies growing, 2013 brought a series of seemingly intractable conflicts: flare-ups in Mali, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and, as we've just heard, South Sudan.

To get a sense of why this is happening now, we spoke to NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who shared her fears and hopes for a part of the world she holds dear. Ofeibea, welcome.

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Turkey's government is defending itself against a corruption scandal. That scandal has shaken a nation often described as the model for moderate Islamic democracy. The scandal reaches the highest levels of the government, and has sparked a strong backlash by Turkey's ruling party.

We reached NPR's correspondent in Istanbul, Peter Kenyon, to learn more about what's going on.

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New York City ushered in the New Year last night with its famous crystal ball, and also the swearing in of a new mayor. Just after midnight, Bill de Blasio was sworn into office in a private ceremony in the yard of his row house in Brooklyn. He's the first Democratic mayor in 20 years. His vision of the city could hardly be more different than that of his predecessor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who presided over what many will remember as a kind of gilded age.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

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

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

In South Africa this morning, a song-filled memorial for Nelson Mandela. Here, the National Anthem.

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It's more than likely that overhauling immigration will not happen this year. Congress has only nine working days left in 2013. And it appears, the issue will not be resolved next year either.

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Negotiators from Iran and six world powers are back in Geneva for another round of talks on Tehran's nuclear program. There are signals that a preliminary deal over the future of Iran's nuclear program may finally be within in reach.

The Justice Department is said to be announcing on Tuesday a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase. The deal centers on mortgage securities issued in the run-up to the financial crisis.

Reruns used to mean watching the same network episodes over again, say during the summer. Years later, viewers could catch a favorite show on cable. These days, reruns are tucked in just before prime-time lineups. And now binge viewers can catch them online with services such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

Reruns used to mean watching the same network episodes over again, say during the summer. Years later, viewers could catch a favorite show on cable. These days, reruns are tucked in just before prime-time lineups. And now binge viewers can catch them online with services such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

Employers added 204,000 jobs to payrolls in October. The jobless rate edged up a bit, but that was likely a temporary phenomenon caused by the partial shutdown of the federal government. For more, Renee Montagne talks with NPR's John Ydstie.

Roy Choi ushered in a food truck "new wave" in Los Angeles, making street fare edgier, tastier. Five years ago, he and a partner launched Kogi — Korean for meat — with a small fleet of trucks offering up a Korean-Mexican fusion that inspired food entrepreneurs in cities across America where the trend caught fire. His signature creation? The short rib taco: warm tortillas, Korean barbecue beef, cilantro-onion-and lime, topped with a spicy-soy slaw.

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One country that has a huge stake in seeing the U.S. pull back from a default is China. China is the biggest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, totaling some $1.3 trillion.

In Italy, protests and clashes erupted Tuesday as a Catholic splinter group prepared to celebrate the funeral of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke — on the eve of the 70thanniversary of the Nazi roundup of Roman Jews.

Police in riot gear tried to keep groups of ultra-right-wing sympathizers away from citizens enraged over a religious ritual for the man associated with one of the most gruesome Nazi massacres of World War II.

Ultimately, the funeral was suspended.

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Ever since then-President Mohamed Morsi was forced out of office by Egypt's military, the Obama administration has struggled with how to handle the massive amount of U.S. aid that goes to Egypt and goes mainly to its military. This week the Obama administration made a decision. It is suspending a significant amount of the annual $1.5 billion in aid.

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