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12:18 am
Tue February 18, 2014

U.N. Panel Accuses North Korea Of Crimes Against Humanity

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. For years we've been hearing horror stories from North Korea about mass starvation, torture, slavery, political killings. It's a long list that is hard for many of us to imagine. Well, now a new report from the United Nations Human Rights Commission presents almost 400 pages of eyewitness testimony from victims and also at least one perpetrator.

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Around the Nation
10:33 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

A map of Detroit is spread on a table; on laptops, workers see the same map, overlaid with a grid of the city and blue dots representing surveyors in the field.
Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:39 am

Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.

"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."

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Around the Nation
10:30 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Mayor Wants To Drive Horse-Drawn Carriages Out Of NYC

Stephen Malone, spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association, gets his rig ready in New York City. Some say horse-drawn carriages are inhumane; if the mayor has his way, the practice will end.
Amy Pearl WNYC

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 7:33 am

During New York City's mayoral race last year, then-candidate Bill de Blasio promised to fix big-picture problems, like income inequality and universal pre-K.

So he raised some collective eyebrows when he announced what one of his first initiatives as mayor would be:

"We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City," he said. "They're not humane; they're not appropriate to the year 2014; it's over."

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Education
10:29 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't

Standardized tests are an important consideration for admissions at many colleges and universities. But one new study shows that high school performance, not standardized test scores, is a better predictor of how students do in college.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:26 pm

With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. For many students, their scores on the SAT or the ACT will play a big role in where they get in.

That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. But a first-of-its-kind study obtained by NPR raises questions about whether those tests are becoming obsolete.

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Sports
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Longtime Pair Take Home First American Ice Dancing Gold

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 pm

Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold medal Monday night in ice dancing. They earned a silver medal in the last Winter Games in Vancouver, and they entered competition favored to win in Sochi.

Sports
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Bronze In Bobsled For A Team Of Steves

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Team USA has been struggling to win gold. There were some hope today. Two pairs of American athletes went into their events as the best in the world. And we're going to hear now how they did, starting with two-men bobsled. America driver Steve Holcomb and his brakeman Steve Langton sounded like this on the bobsled course.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)

CORNISH: The Steves were going 82.7 miles per hour. The Russian sled, piloted by Alexander Zubkov, sounded like this...

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)

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Business
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Demographic Shifts Contribute To The Changing Face Of Retail

Retailers, including Wal-Mart, are trying to adapt their models to suit urban areas, including this mixed-use retail and residential development in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 pm

So far this year, retail chains have announced some heavy cuts. J.C. Penney said it would close 33 stores. Macy's said it would lay off 2,500 workers. Sears will close its flagship Chicago store in April.

That's creating a glut of excess space. But that's just one of several forces changing the face of retail.

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All Tech Considered
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Hurting For Cash, Online Porn Tries New Tricks

Porn has a distinct problem that less racy media companies don't have: Users are afraid of leaving a digital record. Paid sites are trying to lure viewers out of the shadows and into credit card payments.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 pm

I hit the streets of San Francisco to ask strangers their favorite search terms for online pornography. It was not hard to get answers, even on the record.

"Teacher porn, student-teacher fantasy," Jason Ravel says at a coffee shop. "That's who I was around most often in grade school. I was a really good student."

Chanelle Dorton, who's passing by a train station, is into ebony lesbian sex. "I don't like straight porn," she says.

Cab driver Neel Bell likes "heterosexual porn that doesn't involve porn stars. It lets you think that it's a real-life situation more."

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Parallels
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Olympics Set To Transform Rio — But For Better Or Worse?

Local authorities celebrate a demolition explosion that's part of Rio's Porto Maravilha urbanization project, in Rio de Janeiro, on Nov. 24, 2013. The state- and federal-supported project is part of the city's redevelopment ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Pilar Olivares Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 3:36 pm

Rio de Janeiro is set to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and there are two starkly different visions of what that will mean for the "marvelous city," as it is known.

"I would love to be born in Rio in 2020. The babies that are born here in 2020 will be born in a marvelous city ... because of the games," says Leonardo Gryner, the chief operating officer of Rio's Olympic Organizing Committee.

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Parallels
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

A Heinrich Himmler Documentary, In His Own Words

Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler and his daughter Gudrun. Vanessa Lapa, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, has made a documentary called The Decent One, based on Himmler's letters to his wife and other personal documents.
Realworks

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 pm

The film's protagonist is Heinrich Himmler, the merciless Nazi leader and a key architect of the Final Solution. The film's director is Vanessa Lapa, the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Her family recently came into possession of long-lost private letters, diaries and photographs belonging to Himmler.

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Around the Nation
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Digging Graves The Old-Fashioned Way: 'This Ain't No Easy Job'

Everard Hall estimates he's dug about 2,500 graves over nearly 50 years. Some have been special: "I buried my mother, my father, my grandfather, and two aunts and two uncles. And I buried my sister Marilyn."
Jennifer Mitchell Maine Public Broadcasting Network

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:54 am

It's windy. It's winter. There's a funeral in three days, and the churchyard in rural Addison, Maine, is frozen solid. Everard Hall is hard at work, digging graves.

"No, this ain't no easy job, tell ya. You've got to have a lot of determination, a lot of willpower. And you can't be lazy," he says.

In his nearly 70 years, no one has ever accused him of that.

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All Tech Considered
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

DIY Houses In The Internet Age: Some Assembly Required

Good things come in small packages. Lacy Williams, an architecture student, and her boyfriend, Patrick Beseda, built a WikiHouse to live in during a field project in Utah.
Patrick Beseda and Lacy Williams

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:19 am

If you can barely swing a hammer, you can still build your own home.

Builders at the Maker Faire in New York City proved this point last fall, with something akin to an old-fashioned barn-raising.

The event celebrates the do-it-yourself aesthetic, particularly when it comes to digital fabrication and open-source construction plans. Using wooden mallets cut from plywood, a crew of eight banged together the slotted frame of a WikiHouse without a single nail.

The result: a livable home.

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Music Reviews
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Album Review: 'Always With Us,' By Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:05 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: The South African all-male group Ladysmith Black Mambazo became world-famous after collaborating with Paul Simon on the Grammy-winning 1986 album "Graceland." Since their beginning in the '60s, the group has recorded more than 50 albums and won multiple awards. Their new release is a remembrance for one of their own, the late wife of the group's bandleader. It's called "Always With Us." Banning Eyre has this review.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing in foreign language)

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National Security
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

The Art And Practice Of Protecting American Technology

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To talk about the ongoing high tech Whack-A-Mole game between the U.S. and China, we're joined by James Lewis. He's with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

And, James Lewis, we've heard about parts for missile guidance systems, but what other kinds of technologies are vulnerable to China's commercial cyber espionage?

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Technology
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Cold War Technology Sought By Spy Is In Your Pocket — Sort Of

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

And now to All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

CORNISH: Today is a tricky business of keeping some American technologies out of foreign hands. When a man from Hong Kong met with an aerospace company in Seattle last week, he was really dealing with an undercover Homeland Security agent. See Kee Chin allegedly tried to buy $85,000 worth of highly specialized accelerometers. He was arrested and charged with trying to smuggle the parts to China.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Woman Arrested For Not Returning Movie Rented In 2005

Jennifer Lopez back in 2005 when Monster-In-Law was just coming out. An old video of the movie has landed a South Carolina woman in trouble with the law.
Michael Germana Landov

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 11:34 am

The first thing we thought of when we heard this news was the Seinfeld episode known as "The Library" — the one where Jerry's tracked down by Lt. Bookman after 20 years for not returning a copy of Tropic of Cancer.

But this isn't a plot from a TV sitcom. This apparently really did happen last week in Pickens County, S.C.:

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Mon February 17, 2014

'I'm The Hijacker!' Says Ethiopian Pilot Of Commandeered Jet

After landing in Geneva on Monday, the pilot who reportedly took over control of the Rome-bound Ethiopian Airlines jet used a rope to climb down from the cockpit. He then went to authorities and asked for asylum.
Richard Juilliart AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:16 am

Details are starting to come out about what it was like Monday when one of the pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines flight reportedly locked himself in the cockpit and flew the jet and its 193 passengers to Geneva, Switzerland, instead of Rome, its intended destination.

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The Edge
9:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Americans Davis And White Win Gold In Ice Dancing

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of Team USA — the gold medalists in ice dancing at the Sochi Games.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:10 am

The anticipation that NPR's Tamara Keith reported about earlier is over:

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White won gold Monday in ice dancing.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Penn State Picks New President: Florida State's Eric Barron

Eric Barron, Penn State's next president.
Patrick Mansell PSU.edu

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 8:44 am

Penn State University, which dismissed its president and its legendary football coach in late 2011 for their roles in dealing with allegations that an assistant coach had been molesting young boys, announced Monday that Florida State University President Eric Barron is leaving the Sunshine State to be PSU's next l

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Help Arrives, But South African Miners Refuse To Be Rescued

Rescuers tend to a mine worker, in striped top, after he was pulled from an illegal gold mine Sunday in Benoni, outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Many of his colleagues remain below ground for fear of being arrested.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

After hearing that the 22 men who have made it to safety so far were all arrested, an unknown number of other South Africans are refusing to leave the illegal gold mine where they were briefly trapped over the weekend.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Don't Know What To Do With Your Life? Neither Did Thoreau

The works of Henry David Thoreau have influenced generations of readers, but Thoreau himself wasn't always celebrated. His schoolmates and neighbors found him standoffish and regarded his fascination with plants and Indian relics as downright odd.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 9:59 am

Every year, students come into my office and say, "I don't know what I want to do with my life." Of course, plenty of people in the world don't have the luxury of such cluelessness, but my students don't look like they're enjoying their privilege; they look scared and depressed, as though they've already failed some big test of character. They might find some comfort in Michael Sims' new biography of the young Henry David Thoreau called, simply, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau.

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Pennsylvania Woman Claims To Have Killed At Least 22 People

Miranda Barbour, who has told a newspaper that she's killed at least 22 people.
WNEP.com

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:29 am

This is among the day's more disturbing stories:

A 19-year-old woman who's already a suspect in one murder has told a central Pennsylvania newspaper that she's a satanist who has been killing people since she was 13.

Miranda Barbour claims that after her 22nd victim, "I stopped counting."

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Snowden's Leaks About NSA Lead To Awards For 4 Reporters

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:23 am

The four reporters who broke the first stories about former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's revelations are among those being honored with 2013 George Polk Awards in Journalism.

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The Two-Way
4:12 am
Mon February 17, 2014

U.N. Report Details North Korea's 'Crimes Against Humanity'

Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:14 am

"Systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed" by the leaders of North Korea against their own people, the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights declared Monday in a report that goes on to accuse that nation's communist regime of "crimes against humanity."

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The Salt
3:05 am
Mon February 17, 2014

What Honest Abe's Appetite Tells Us About His Life

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, used to cook alongside his wife.
Brady Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:55 am

Most people know Abraham Lincoln for his achievements as president. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and held the nation together through the trauma of the Civil War. His Gettysburg Address is one of the best known in American history.

But what you might not know is that Lincoln cooked.

From his childhood to his days in the White House, food played an integral part in shaping Lincoln's life, food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey tells Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

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Sports
2:29 am
Mon February 17, 2014

NBC's Olympic Coverage Powered By Starbucks

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
2:29 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Watch Out: Rolling Ball Gathers More Snow

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

It came in like a wrecking ball. Well, a wrecking snowball. Two math majors at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, created a wintery masterpiece - a giant snowball weighing about 800 pounds. The students built it on the quad but decide to roll it along a walk, on the theory that a rolling ball gathers more snow. Then it got away from them, taking off down the hill and smashing into a dorm wall and crushing it.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asia
12:17 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Hong Kong To Destroy Ivory Stockpile, But Will It Curb Demand In China?

Elephant tusks are displayed in October after being seized by customs officials in Hong Kong. The 189 tusks, worth $1.5 million, were hidden in soybean sacks in a shipping container.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 9:02 pm

Lucy Skrine, 11, was walking through the bustling streets of Hong Kong a few months ago with fellow animal activists, holding signs in Chinese and English that read: "Say No to Ivory."

"There was one mainland Chinese that came around, and she said, 'Why can't we buy ivory?' " the sixth-grader recalled. Lucy explained that poachers had to kill the elephant to extract the tusks.

"When she learned this, she was like, 'What? I thought they fell out of the elephants,' " Lucy said.

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Sports
12:17 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Anticipation Grows That U.S. Ice Dancing Duo Will Win Gold

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:57 am

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White are favored to win gold in ice dancing. The pair took silver in the last Olympic Games in Vancouver, and expectations are high that they'll do even better in Sochi.

Sports
12:17 am
Mon February 17, 2014

U.S. Looks To Bobsledder Steve Holcomb To Add To Medal Count

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's check in on the Winter Olympics now. It's been a rough time so far for team USA. They have only won four gold medals in ski and snowboard slope style and in women's snowboard half pipe. The U.S. has struggled in the more traditional sports of the Winter Olympics. That could, though, change today. The U.S. has the best bobsledder in the world, Steve Holcomb. And he races the two-man today.

NPR's Robert Smith joins us from the Sanki Sliding track in the mountains above Sochi. Robert, good morning.

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