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StoryCorps
2:36 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Obama To Ambitious Teen: 'You Have This Strength Inside Yourself'

President Barack Obama participates in a "My Brother's Keeper" StoryCorps interview with Noah McQueen in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 20.
Chuck Kennedy The White House

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:01 am

Noah McQueen is part of "My Brother's Keeper," a White House program aimed at young men of color.

His teen years have been rough, and include several arrests and a short period of incarceration. But last week, he was at the White House. The 18-year-old sat down for a StoryCorps interview with President Obama, who wanted to know more about Noah's life.

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Goats and Soda
2:35 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Go Behind The Scenes With The Producer Who Made 'Life After Death'

Twins Watta and Fatta Balyon pose for a picture outside their guardian Mamuedeh Kanneh's house.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 7:54 pm

They hired a car and drove for 10 hours over the most rutted dirt roads you can imagine, dodging motorbikes, pedestrians and overloaded cars all the way.

It was December. NPR producers John Poole and Sami Yenigun had come to see what happens to a village after Ebola has struck.

Barkedu, in Liberia, is a beautiful place, green and forested. Tall hills start to rise near its border with Guinea. Cows and chickens roam around the village, which is built along the Lofa River. A small stream runs through Barkedu, where people bath and wash their clothes.

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Parallels
5:11 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

For One Parliamentarian, A Stronger Jordan Is Key To Fighting ISIS

Jordan's election laws make it impossible for any one political party to build a strong bloc in Parliament. Observers say that's one reason for the country's weakness β€” and for the growing appeal of the messages used by militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:42 pm

There's a election law implemented in 2010 in Jordan known as "one person, one vote" that advocates of reform and democratization there regard, surprisingly, as a big step backward.

That's because of the strong ties Jordanians feel to family, clan and tribe, says Omar Razzaz, an economist and banker in Amman, the Jordanian capital.

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Cities Project
5:11 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big

Jay Austin's tiny house in Washington, D.C., has 10-foot ceilings, a loft bed over the bathroom and a galley-style kitchen.
Franklyn Cater NPR

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:53 am

Back in 2012, something unusual got started in an alleyway in an already tightly developed part of northeast Washington, D.C.

On an 11th-of-an-acre lot next to a cemetery, behind a block of row houses, tiny houses started to go up. And not just one little house in backyard, like you might see in many places. The builders billed this as an urban tiny house community.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Ahead Of Netanyahu's Speech To Congress, Hints Of A Thaw

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:25 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reportedly meet with Sens. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and Harry Reid, D-Nev., the chamber's top Democrat, after his March 3 speech to Congress.

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The Salt
3:38 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Will The Dietary Guidelines Consider The Planet? The Fight Is On

A government-appointed panel concluded in a recent report that Americans should eat less red meat and processed meat. A more plant-focused diet is better for health and the environment, it found.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:40 pm

When it comes to eating well, we should consider the health of our bodies and the planet. This was the recommendation coming from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on Feb. 19.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

In Video: The Great Llama Drama Of 2015

A pair of llamas were on the run in Sun City, Ariz., for about an hour.
Fox 46 via YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 5:28 pm

A pair of llamas on the loose in Sun City, Ariz., riveted the nation this afternoon.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

South Korea Decriminalizes Cheating, Shares Of Contraceptive Companies Rise

Park Han-chul (center) president of South Korea's Constitutional Court, sits with other judges prior to the ruling on the country's adultery law Thursday in Seoul.
Lee Jin-man AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:59 pm

Extramarital sex is no longer a crime in South Korea, giving shares of contraceptive companies a boost.

On Thursday, South Korea's Constitutional Court struck down a decades-old law that made adultery a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn tell our Newscast unit that "roughly 100,000 people have been convicted of adultery since the law was passed in 1953, but conviction rates have recently fallen to below 1 percent."

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Banksy's Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip

A mural is seen on the remains of a house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.
Suhaib Salem Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:45 pm

Banksy's work is now in the Gaza Strip.

The artist, who uses public spaces for his often-provocative murals, posted images that he said were of art he created in the Gaza Strip, along with a two-minute video of life in the Palestinian territory, titled "Make this the year YOU discover a new destination."

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Saudi Man Convicted Of Conspiracy In 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings

Khalid al-Fawwaz, a Saudi man who the U.S. says was Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant in Britain, has been convicted on all four conspiracy charges tied to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The AP reports that Al-Fawwaz's trial started a month ago in a fortified courthouse in New York. The trial focused on al-Qaida's early days. The AP adds:

"Al-Fawwaz stood expressionless as the verdict was read, pursing his lips briefly. He could face life in prison.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Remote Mexican Villages Build Their Own Cell Networks

Peter Bloom of Rhizomatica meets with the authorities in Tlahuitoltepec Mixe, Oaxaca. Rhizomatica is a non-profit group in Oaxaca city that has helped 16 remote villages install and operate their own cell phone networks. (rhizomatica.org)

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 2:17 pm

Cellphones are just about everywhere these days. But in remote, rural places the key ingredient – a cell network – is often missing. In the U.S., long-distance users pay a surcharge into the Universal Service Fund, which the government uses to pay network operators to provide affordable phone access in rural or low-income areas.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

That Political Bumper Sticker Could Cost You Your Job

(kenudigit/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 9:17 am

β€˜Tis the season to speculate who’s going to run for president, who will make it through the primary, who will ultimately end up in Oval Office.

But before you slap a bumper sticker on your car, or hang a political cartoon at work, you might want to think twice. Because it turns out that either of those could get you fired. And in most states in the country, labor laws will not protect you.

While federal law bars employers from firing workers for race, religion or gender, there is no protection for freedom of political speech or action.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

For A Glimpse At A GOP Presidential Hopeful, Head To CPAC

Volunteers walk by a stand at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C. on February 26, 2015. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 3:03 pm

The Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, usually attracts the country’s most die-hard conservative activists. This year it’s also attracting nearly a dozen – depending on how you count – Republican presidential hopefuls for 2016.

NPR’s Don Gonyea is there and joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to talk about who’s at CPAC to show off their stuff, and how they might try to win hearts and minds.

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Shots - Health News
1:48 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

From Naked Mole Rats To Dog Testicles: A Writer Explores The Longevity Quest

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:03 pm

When journalist Bill Gifford turned 40, his friends gave him a cake shaped as a tombstone with the words, "R.I.P, My Youth." As he reflected on his creeping memory lapses and the weight he'd gained, Gifford got interested in the timeless quest to turn back the aging clock β€” or at least slow it down.

His latest book, Spring Chicken, explores everything from some wacky pseudo-cures for aging to fascinating research that point to causes of aging at the cellular level.

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Television
1:39 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

'Battle Creek' Has The Flavor Of A TV Throwback From An Earlier Age

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 3:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Pew Study On Religion Finds Increased Harassment Of Jews

Boys in Uppsala, Sweden, read supportive messages placed at the entrance of a mosque following an attack in January. A new Pew study finds that religious intolerance is a global problem, with Muslims facing more hostility from individuals, and Christians from governments. Targeting of Jews, the study found, has gotten worse over in recent years.
Anders Wiklund AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Updated at 2 p.m. ET.

This week, a man was sentenced to die in Saudi Arabia because he renounced his faith in Islam; a Hindu leader in India made a new accusation against Mother Teresa; a mosque near Bethlehem was set on fire.

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The Salt
12:49 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Alaska Farmer Turns Icy Patch Of Tundra Into A Breadbasket

Tim Meyers on his four-acre vegetable farm in southwestern Alaska. Behind him: an endless sea of tundra, and a glimpse of the town of Bethel.
Eugenie Frerichs for NPR

The Alaskan tundra might not seem like much of an agricultural hotspot, but one farmer in the frigid town of Bethel believes he's found America's newest breadbasket.

For the last 10 years, Tim Meyers has been coaxing an enviable quantity of fruits and veggies from just four acres of land. Last year, he produced 50,000 pounds of potatoes, beets, carrots and other vegetables. He sells it at his year-round biweekly market and to local grocery stores.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Senate Panel OKs Loretta Lynch Nomination As Attorney General

Loretta Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 28. The panel voted Thursday to send her nomination to be U.S. attorney general to the full Senate.
Ron Sachs DPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:03 pm

Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee for attorney general, cleared a major hurdle Thursday to succeed Eric Holder as the country's top law enforcement officer. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-8 to send the nomination to the full chamber, which is expected to confirm her nomination.

Three Republicans joined the panel's Democrats to vote "yes." Those opposed to her nomination cited President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

"We should not confirm someone to that position who intends to continue that unlawful policy," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Astronomers Discover A Supermassive Black Hole Dating To Cosmic Dawn

A supermassive black hole, like the one illustrated here, has been discovered 12.8 billion light years away, at the center of an exceptionally bright quasar.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:15 pm

SDSS J0100+2802 is the rather understated name scientists have given to an exceptionally luminous, newly discovered quasar. It's 12.8 billion light years away and shines as brightly as 420 million suns. At its center, there's a super-sized black hole β€” as massive as 12 billion suns β€” that formed some 900 million years after the Big Bang.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Judge Throws Out Cover-Up Allegations Against Argentine President

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed allegations by prosecutors that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, seen here Feb. 11, tried to cover up the alleged involvement of Iranian officials in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:38 pm

Last month, an Argentine prosecutor who was due to testify about an alleged cover-up in the investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires was found dead.

Alberto Nisman had accused President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government of covering up Iran's alleged role in the bombing that killed 85 people to push through a grains-for-oil deal with Tehran. After Nisman's death, the investigation was continued by prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita.

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It's All Politics
11:38 am
Thu February 26, 2015

What We're Watching At The Conservative Political Action Conference

Ben Carson talks with media after his CPAC speech.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:48 pm

This week's Conservative Political Action Conference has drawn a huge crowd of activists and politicos, per usual β€” but it's also a prime spot for 2016 presidential hopefuls. The GOP's potential candidates β€” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Bobby Jindal β€” are rolling on and off the main stage, hoping to fire up the conservative audience. And how well they do with this crowd β€” an important part of their base β€” may say a lot about 2016. Here are five things I'll be watching for at CPAC:

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Thu February 26, 2015

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules For 'Open Internet'

At the start of a meeting to decide the issue of net neutrality, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler (center) holds hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn (left) and Jessica Rosenworcel at the FCC headquarters Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 5:27 pm

The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one β€” whether government or corporate β€” should control free open access to the Internet."

The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways β€” and at different costs.

"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Thu February 26, 2015

James Bond Meets His Match β€” The Roman Cobblestone

Pedestrians cross the cobblestone Via dei Fori Imperiali in front of Rome's Colosseum.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:54 pm

The headline in today's La Repubblica was, "The streets of Rome bring Bond to a standstill β€” car hits pothole, Craig suffers head injury."

The newspaper reported that the accident occurred while actor Daniel Craig, reprising the role of the suave British spy in the 24th James Bond thriller, Spectre, was driving one of the movie's four custom-made Aston Martins on a narrow cobblestone street near the Vatican.

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Economy
11:01 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Higher Wages, Lower Prices Give Consumers A Break

A sharp drop in gasoline prices led the consumer price index to fall in January. The CPI posted its first year-over-year drop since 2009.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 3:02 pm

Economists usually worry about a "wage-price spiral" taking hold. That's when workers are earning more, but losing buying power as prices rise.

For now, at least, something very rare is happening: Paychecks and prices are heading in opposite directions.

"You have a schism that's helpful to consumers," IHS economist Doug Handler said about the recent decline in prices and rise in wages.

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Shots - Health News
10:51 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Doctors Join Forces With Lawyers To Reduce Firearms Deaths

Closing loopholes in background checks for gun purchases would reduce the risk of death and injury, doctors' and attorneys' groups say.
Alexa Miller Getty Images

Each year more than 32,000 people die in the United States as a result of suicides, homicides and accidents with firearms.

For years doctors have tried to reduce the toll by addressing gun injuries and deaths as a public health issue; there's ample evidence that ease of access to is linked to the number of suicides and homicides. But those efforts haven't gained much traction.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu February 26, 2015

ISIS Video Shows Extremists Smashing Priceless Artifacts

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 2:16 pm

The self-styled Islamic State has released a video showing an orgy of destruction of ancient statues in the Iraqi city of Mosul, with footage at a museum and at least one archaeological site nearby.

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NPR History Dept.
10:16 am
Thu February 26, 2015

How Black Abolitionists Changed A Nation

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 3:52 pm

This year we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution β€” abolishing slavery. So it's worth pointing out that the emancipation movement in 19th century America was pushed forward by many different forces: enlightened lawmakers, determined liberators of captive slaves and outspoken abolitionists β€” including an influential number who were black.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Thu February 26, 2015

NASA Sees 'Bright Spots' On Dwarf Planet In Our Solar System

An image of Ceres taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows that the brightest spot on the dwarf planet has a dimmer companion.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 3:50 pm

Scientists are puzzled by a new image taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which found two bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. The spots are noticeably brighter than other parts of the surface, which looks to be rocky and pockmarked.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Afghans Make History, Winning Thriller Against Scotland In Cricket's World Cup

Afghanistan's Shapoor Zadran celebrates as he leaves the field after guiding his team to victory against Scotland in the Pool A game of the Cricket World Cup in Dunedin, New Zealand, on Thursday.
Dianne Manson AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 1:04 pm

Afghans celebrated on the streets of Kabul as their national cricket team, playing half a world away, won its first World Cup game.

Scotland, in its allotted 50 overs, scored 210 runs. In a nail-biting finish, the Afghans scraped past Scotland in Dunedin, New Zealand, by one wicket with three balls to spare.

No. 4 Samiullah Shenwari top scored with 96 and opener Javed Ahmadi scored 51, but it was an unbeaten last-wicket stand between Hamid Hassan, not out on 15, and Shapoor Zadran, batting on 12, that took the Afghans past their more fancied opponents.

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Shots - Health News
8:10 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Attention, Shoppers: Prices For 70 Health Care Procedures Now Online!

Shopping for an MRI scan? Guroo.org, won't yet show you what your local hospital or radiologist charges, but it will reveal the average cost of the test in your area.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:04 pm

Buying health care in America is like shopping blindfolded at Macy's and getting the bill months after you leave the store, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt likes to say.

But an online tool that went live Wednesday is supposed to help change that, giving patients in most parts of the country a small peek at the prices of medical tests and procedures before they open their wallets.

Got a sore knee? Having a baby? Need a primary-care doctor? Shopping for an MRI scan?

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