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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

The Playwright Behind 'Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike'

Marcia DeBonia, Martin Moran, Candy Buckley, and Tyler Lansing Weaks in Christopher Durang’s smash-hit Broadway comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, directed by Jessica Stone, based on the Broadway direction of Nicholas Martin, playing January 2 – February 1, 2015 at the BU Theatre / Avenue of the Arts. Photo: Jim Cox

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:23 pm

Playwright Christopher Durang‘s Tony Award-winning comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is currently being performed in 27 regional theaters across the U.S.

Here & Now’s Robin Young sat down with Durang in front of an audience at Boston’s Huntington Theater, after a performance of the show.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

House Approves Bill That Would Bar Federal Funding For Abortions

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:11 pm

A bill that would prohibit using federal money to pay for "any abortion" or for "health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion" has been approved by the House.

The bill passed by a vote of 242-179. Titled the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, it was introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., and others, including Speaker John Boehner.

Its stipulations include:

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Music
12:20 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Tom Varner's Got 'Nine Surprises' And A Big Band Is All Of Them

In 2005, jazz composer and french horn player Tom Varner left New York for Seattle, where he put together a nine-piece band of local players. Their new album is called Nine Surprises. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Varner can really write, and they can really play.

Sports
12:19 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Broadcaster Al Michaels Gets Ready To Provide 'Lyrics' For The Super Bowl

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:28 pm

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1, the broadcast booth will be anchored by a man who has done the play-by-play for eight previous Super Bowls. Al Michaels, the announcer for NBC's Sunday Night Football, knows how to put emotion into his broadcasts.

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Shots - Health News
11:24 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Hits 59 Cases And Counting

People who visited Disneyland in December were at risk of getting an unwelcome souvenir: the measles.
George Frey Landov

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 7:50 am

The measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and one other California theme park is expanding, with 59 confirmed cases in patients ranging in age from 7 months to 70 years. The California Department of Public Health has linked 42 of these cases to people who visited Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure Park.

Initially, cases were linked to people who visited the parks in mid-December, but health officials now say that other people with measles were at the parks in January while infectious and also have spread the disease.

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Economy
11:10 am
Thu January 22, 2015

European Central Bank Launches Stimulus Plan

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:08 pm

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

The Two-Way
10:32 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Citing Proximity Of Israeli Election, Obama Won't Meet With Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen here Oct. 22, 2014, will address a joint meeting of Congress on March 3.
Gali Tibbon AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:42 am

Updated at 12:40 p.m.

The White House says President Obama won't meet with Israel's prime minister in March when Benjamin Netanyahu will be in Washington to address a joint meeting of Congress.

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Goats and Soda
10:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Hello, I Must Be Squatting

You've got to get down — literally — when greeting someone in Northern Ghana.
Kiley Shields for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 11:48 am

I'm trying to sleep on a straw mat in the village in Northern Ghana where I'm a Peace Corps volunteer. It's the best way to keep cool when there's no air-conditioning and nighttime temps are in the 80s.

Lots of people are outside sleeping in the center of the compound where I'm living. They're talking. Their babies are crying. I try to tune them out and am almost at the dream state. Then I hear "aninwula."

That's the evening greeting.

No matter the time of day or night, most Ghanaians would be seriously insulted if you ignored their greeting.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Denies Knowledge Of Deflated Footballs

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, seen here on Jan. 18, says he "had no knowledge" about the controversy over deflated footballs "until Monday morning."
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:30 am

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says he had "no knowledge" about the controversy surrounding his team and deflated footballs.

"In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player or staff member about football air pressure," he said in an opening statement at a news conference today.

Belichick added that he had "no knowledge of this situation until Monday morning."

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Thu January 22, 2015

ECB Unveils Massive Bond-Buying Stimulus Program For Eurozone

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi today unveiled in Frankfurt, Germany, a massive bond-buying stimulus program to kick-start the region's economy.
Michael Probst AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:42 am

The European Central Bank has unveiled a massive bond-buying stimulus program to kick-start the region's economy and battle deflation.

"The combined monthly purchases of private and public sector securities will amount to 60 billion euros," ECB President Mario Draghi said today at a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Newtown, Conn., Council Votes To Raze Sandy Hook Shooter's Home

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:52 am

Officials in Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish the home of Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The Newtown Legislative Council voted 10-0 Wednesday night to approve a proposal to tear down the 3,100-square-foot home where Lanza lived with his mother. The land on which the home stands will be kept as open space for now.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Thu January 22, 2015

London Mayor Boris Johnson Settles U.S. Tax Bill Ahead Of Visit

London Mayor Boris Johnson rides a bicycle on Dec. 1 during a city tour in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Vincent Thian AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:47 pm

Late last year, London Mayor Boris Johnson said he owed money to the IRS — but wasn't going to pay it.

Johnson, who holds dual U.S.-U.K. citizenship by virtue of having been born in New York, owed capital gains tax from the sale of his first house in the U.K. — a sum that is not taxable in the U.K.

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Shots - Health News
6:32 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Hospitals' Medicare Quality Bonuses Get Wiped Out By Penalties

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:43 pm

What Medicare gives with one hand, it's taking away with another. Most government quality bonuses to hospitals this year are being wiped out by penalties issued for other shortcomings.

The government is taking performance into account when paying hospitals, one of the biggest changes in Medicare's 50-year-history and one that's required by the Affordable Care Act.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Yemen's President, Cabinet Resign Amid Political Chaos

Houthi fighters stand guard outside the presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen, on Thursday.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:42 pm

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

A senior State Department official announces:

"In response to the changing security situation in Yemen, the United States Embassy in Sana'a has further reduced its American personnel working in Yemen. Our Embassy in Sana'a has been on ordered departure since last September.

"While the Embassy remains open and is continuing to operate, we may continue to re-align resources based on the situation on the ground."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

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Around the Nation
5:58 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Pro Golfer Brooke Pancake Signs Deal With Waffle House

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:06 am

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

Around the Nation
5:25 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Police Chase Ends In Ohio Prison's Parking Lot

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:06 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Europe
3:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

'Charlie Hebdo' Gunmen Are Textbook Case Of Radicalization

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:57 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Anti-Islamization Rally In Germany Draws Counter-Demonstrators

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:06 am

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

NPR Story
3:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Communities Around Fort Campbell Brace For Word On Budget Cuts

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:06 am

Copyright 2015 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpln.org/.

Around the Nation
3:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Measles Outbreak At Disneyland Spreads To Other States

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:49 pm

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

Back At Base
3:55 am
Thu January 22, 2015

At The Monterey Presidio, City And Army Partner To Reduce Costs

An aerial view from March, 2014, shows the Presidio of Monterey located in Monterey, Calif. The Army base, which is home to the Defense Language Institute, has partnered with the city in an effort to curb costs.
Natela A. Cutter U.S. Army via Flickr

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:06 am

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

At a time when the Department of Defense budget is under pressure, some military bases are re-examining how they operate to find ways to save.

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NPR Ed
2:39 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing

PublicAffairs Books

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 8:48 am

After a long stretch as the law of the land, annual standardized tests are being put to, well, the test.

This week, the Senate education committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and, specifically, on testing. The committee's chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has released a draft bill offering a lot more leeway to states in designing their own assessment systems.

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The Two-Way
2:38 am
Thu January 22, 2015

X-Rays Open Secrets Of Ancient Scrolls

The ancient scrolls look and feel more like blocks of charcoal. A new technique gives a peek inside.
Salvatore Laporta AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:06 am

Researchers in Europe have managed to read from an ancient scroll buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. The feat is all the more remarkable because the scroll was never opened.

The Vesuvius eruption famously destroyed Pompeii. But it also devastated the nearby town of Herculaneum. A villa there contained a library stacked with papyrus scrolls, and the hot gas and ash preserved them.

Sort of.

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Business
2:34 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Senator 'Astounded' That Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Poorest Patients

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:11 pm

NPR and ProPublica have been reporting about nonprofit hospitals that seize the wages of lower-income and working-class patients. Now, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says hospitals could be breaking the law by suing these patients and docking their pay. And he wants some answers.

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Goats and Soda
2:34 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Police Fire Tear Gas On Kenyan Kids Protecting A Soccer Field

School kids hold up a sign given to them by activists at a demonstration at Langata Primary Road School.
Brian Inganga AP

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:15 pm

Hundreds of elementary schools were protesting the illegal seizure of their playground by a private developer in Nairobi, Kenya, when police fired tear gas into the crowd.

The incident sparked outrage across the city — and on social media, where Kenyans tweeted with the hashtag #OccupyPlayGround.

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Cities Project
2:32 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Building Sponge City: Redesigning LA For Long-Term Drought

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:44 pm

For thousands of years, city planners have engineered water into submission — think aqueducts.

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All Tech Considered
5:20 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

The Battle Over Open-Internet Rules Shifts To Congress

President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to implement a strict policy of net neutrality and to oppose content providers in restricting bandwidth to customers.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:01 pm

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of ideas for improving the economy. Among them was a nod to the role the Internet plays in economic development.

"I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks," Obama said.

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The Salt
5:13 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Why Some GMO Foods Don't Have Genetically Modified DNA

While reporting my story on how foods earn a label certifying them as "non-GMO," I came across a comment that struck me – and it might surprise you, too.

The comment came from Ken Ross, the CEO of Global ID. (He didn't make it into the final story.) Global ID is the parent company of FoodChain ID, one of the companies that traces ingredients to determine whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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All Tech Considered
4:40 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

This Is True: Facebook Starts Cracking Down On Hoax News Stories

A Facebook worker at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced it will start flagging hoax news stories in users' News Feeds.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 4:45 pm

Facebook's on a mission to make your News Feed a little more truthful.

The social media giant has announced it will start doing more to alert users when stories they're seeing in their feeds are fake. And it will allow users to start flagging hoaxes themselves. But Facebook says it won't remove false stories. And the company says it won't start "reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy."

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Meet The YouTube Stars Who Will Interview The President

Self-proclaimed "Queen of YouTube" GloZell Green.
YouTube

Two days after the State of the Union address, President Obama will sit down for a round of unusual interviews. There's a good chance he'll get a question that none of his predecessors have ever had to answer.

One distinct possibility: "Mr. President, is you OK? Is you good? 'Cuz I wanted to know."

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