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The Two-Way
3:52 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Economy Ended 2013 With Growth Still Strong, Data Suggest

FedEx employees sorted through mounds of packages in December at one of the company's facilities in Miami. Consumer spending helped fuel the economy in the third quarter. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate (a figure that adjusts for holiday spending to show the "real" growth).
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:36 am

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 3.2 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

Coming on the heels of the third quarter's even better 4.1 percent pace, the news suggests the economy finished 2013 in better shape than it had been a year earlier.

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The Salt
3:38 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Meet The Cronut's Humble Offspring: The Doughscuit!

The honey-glazed doughscuit is a combination of "doughnut," "biscuit" and "life-changing."
NPR

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 6:11 am

I first met the doughscuit at last weekend's Donut Fest in Chicago, where 15 doughnut-makers get together to try to kill you, for charity. They serve 1/4 portions of doughnuts, but still, after a few tables you feel yourself slowing down and thinking there's no way you'll make it through.

Everything starts to taste the same. Your mustache, if you have a mustache, is glazed. You look around at the thousands of doughnuts and wonder if you totaled up the calories in this room, how many delicious pounds it would be.

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The Two-Way
2:45 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Two Days Later, Atlantans Get Back To Cars Abandoned In Storm

Staff Sgt. Anthony Orsi, left, and Staff Sgt. Raymond Novak of the Army National Guard helped Lauren Gates (in vehicle) retrieve her car Thursday from the Cumberland Boulevard exit ramp along I-75 North in Atlanta. Guard members and police were working to reunite drivers with more than 2,000 cars.
Daniel Shirey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:24 am

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET. Recovery Of Cars Is Underway:

We're starting to see photos of drivers in Atlanta being reunited with their cars, two days after the ice and snow storm that caused havoc on roads there.

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The Two-Way
2:44 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Racing's Michael Schumacher Being Brought Out Of Coma

Michael Schumacher in April 2012.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:13 am

The sedation that put race car legend Michael Schumacher into a medically induced coma after he suffered a serious head injury while skiing in France last month is gradually being reduced "to allow the start of the waking up process," the German driver's manager said Thursday.

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Around the Nation
11:48 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

New York Looks To Bring Bitcoin Out Of The Shadows

Cameron (left) and Tyler Winklevoss testified Wednesday at a hearing about virtual currencies held by the New York Department of Financial Services.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 9:58 am

New York could soon become the first state in the nation to write comprehensive regulations for the largely lawless world of virtual currencies.

The biggest one, Bitcoin, has many boosters, but it has also been connected with some spectacular crimes. On Monday, federal prosecutors announced the arrests of two men accused of using Bitcoin to help their clients buy and sell over $1 million in illegal drugs.

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Sports
11:48 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Cold Super Bowl Could Lead To More Turnovers

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This Sunday's Super Bowl features the number one defense, the Seattle Seahawks, against the number one offense, the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. That is a surprisingly rare matchup, number one defense against number one offense. It's only happened a few times in all the Super Bowls to date. But of course that means there is a defense and an offense in the game that are not number one. NPR's Mike Pesca looks at what having greatness in one phase of the game does to the rest of the team.

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NPR Story
11:48 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Petition Wants Justin Bieber Booted Out Of U.S.

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama faces a big choice about immigration: whether to deport Justin Bieber. The Canadian pop star was arrested for drunk driving. A petition at the White House website calls to revoke his green card; it calls Bieber a terrible influence on our nation's youth.

"Nations" is missing the apostrophe, and Bieber doesn't actually have a green card. But never mind. The petition gained over 100,000 signatures, which means the White House must answer it.

The Edge
10:31 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

'Mariachi Olympic Prince' Takes Glamour To Sochi Ski Slopes

Mexican-born Hubertus Von Hohenlohe, a German prince, plans to ski in style for the Winter Olympics.
Courtesy of Alex Jorio

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:38 am

In Sochi, Russia, Hubertus Von Hohenlohe will compete in his sixth Winter Olympics. The 55-year-old downhill skier and German prince won't be skiing under the flag of his royal heritage, however. He'll be with the team of his birthplace, Mexico.

In honor of his Querido Mexico (beloved homeland), Hohenlohe says he will race down the Russian slopes decked out in a state-of-the-art mariachi ski suit.

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The Two-Way
10:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Asteroid Belt May Be Just One Big Melting Pot Of Space Rocks

An artist's concept of a narrow asteroid belt orbiting a star similar to our own sun.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:32 am

The asteroid belt, a ring of rubble between Mars and Jupiter, has sometimes been written off as discarded leftovers from the solar system's start. But new research published in the journal Nature shows that the belt actually formed during an unruly later era, when planets themselves were on the move.

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The Edge
10:29 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

High Schoolers Hit The Slopes, And The Books, At Team Academy

Elite athletes at Team Academy keep up their education in classrooms like this one; their training facilities are downstairs in the same building.
Sarah Brunson USSA

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:41 am

Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he's not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he's taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
10:27 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:44 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Colo. Man Files First Challenge To Surveillance Law

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:28 am

A Colorado man has filed the first direct challenge to the FISA Amendments Act, claiming that the law allowing the government to collect vast amounts of data from the international communications of U.S. citizens in bulk is unconstitutional.

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National Security
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Medal Of Valor, 30 Years In Coming

In 1984, an American Army unit engaged in this firefight as it shielded a Soviet defector who made a break across the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. Thirty years after the battle, American soldier Mark Deville has finally received a Silver Star for bravery.
Courtesy of Mark Deville

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:26 pm

The year is 1984: A Soviet defector dashes across the Korean border — chased by North Korean troops. American troops shield him and open fire on the North Koreans. There are dead and wounded on both sides.

Now, 30 years later, one of those Americans is finally receiving his medal for bravery.

Mark Deville was just 19 on that November day in 1984, part of an American Army unit patrolling the tense border between North and South Korea.

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Parallels
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Palestinian Explains Why He Worked As An Israeli Informant

Abdel Hamid el-Rajoub, a Palestinian, became an informant for Israel while serving time in an Israeli prison. Palestinian informants play a key role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though both sides can be reluctant to speak about it. Rajoub, who now lives in Israel, says he is no longer an informant.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 am

It took four years in a prison cell for Palestinian Abdel Hamid el-Rajoub to decide to work as an Israeli informant. Not that he ever planned it that way. Rajoub is in his 60s now. He grew up in a Palestinian village near Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He says he was 19, an emotional young man, when he got involved in fighting Israel.

"It was my right," he says, "to fight Israel and the occupation."

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Your Money
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Meet The myRA — Obama's New Retirement Plan

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Middle East
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Welcome To Homs, A Syrian City Under Siege

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The ongoing Syrian peace talks in Geneva have raised hopes for humanitarian relief in cities, towns, and villages across the country that are under siege by government or rebel forces. And no place is more in need than the central city of Homs, whose residents were among the first to rise up against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

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Around the Nation
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Atlanta Officials May Have To Dodge Some Snowballs

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Economy
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Fond Farewell To Fed Chairman Ben

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Ben Bernanke steps down this week as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The new chair, Janet Yellen, will take over on Saturday. After a two-day meeting, the message today from Fed policymakers was simple: Stay the course. The Fed released a statement saying it will continue dialing-back its stimulus.

NPR's John Ydstie has more on that decision and Bernanke's legacy.

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Politics
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

The State Of The Union Goes On Tour

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama is on the road today. He's busy making the case for some of the ideas he rolled out last night in his State of the Union address. First stop, a warehouse store in Maryland. There, the president made a multipronged pitch around raising the minimum wage. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith begins our coverage.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Expect to hear this a lot in the coming weeks and months.

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Shots - Health News
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Adult Obesity May Have Origins Way Back In Kindergarten

Playing outside can help kids — and their parents — maintain a healthy weight.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:20 am

A lot of parents like to think their kids will simply outgrow baby fat. But the risk of becoming a severely overweight adult can actually start as early as kindergarten, research suggests.

"As parents, as a society, as clinicians, we need to think about a healthy weight really early on," says Solveig Cunningham, who led the study. But that doesn't mean putting young children on calorie-restricted diets.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Edward Snowden, seen here in a photo provided by The Guardian, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by two Norwegian politicians.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:46 am

Saying Edward Snowden has "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order" by exposing U.S. surveillance practices and forcing a new debate over security and privacy, two Norwegian politicians nominated the former intelligence contractor for the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday.

If he were to win the award, Snowden, who gave a trove of classified documents to media outlets last summer, would join the ranks of popular Nobel Peace laureates such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.

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Business
12:01 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help

With new accounts called myRAs, the government would protect workers' savings from losses.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:56 am

Financial planners all say: The sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in retirement.

But that advice often goes unheeded by young workers focused on paying down student debt and car loans. And even for those who can afford to set aside a little cash, investing can seem complicated and risky.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Scientist To W.Va. Lawmakers: 'I'm Not Drinking The Water'

The banks of the Elk River in Charleston, W.Va.
Tom Hindman Getty Images

"I'm not drinking the water."

That's what an environmental scientist from Marshall University and a member of the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board told state lawmakers today during a hearing about a chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water of nine counties.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Weather Experts: It's 'Wrong' To Call Atlanta Storm Unexpected

Traffic is snarled along the I-285 perimeter north of Atlanta's metro area Wednesday. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has called Tuesday's snow storm "unexpected" — prompting a response from weather forecasters.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:03 pm

Meteorologists are used to people faulting their weather predictions. But when Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal called Tuesday's crippling winter storm "unexpected," he drew responses from several forecasters. One answer came from the head of the American Meteorological Society, who also lives in Georgia.

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Shots - Health News
10:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Neanderthal Genes Live On In Our Hair And Skin

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:11 am

Neanderthals died out long ago, but their genes live on in us. Scientists studying human chromosomes say they've discovered a surprising amount of Neanderthal DNA in our genes. And these aren't just random fragments; they help shape what we look like today, including our hair and skin.

These genes crept into our DNA tens of thousands of years ago, during occasional sexual encounters between Neanderthals and human ancestors who lived in Europe at the time. They show up today in their descendants, people of European and Asian descent.

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The Salt
10:34 am
Wed January 29, 2014

A Milk Mystery: Did Gloomy Weather Make Us Love The Stuff?

A new study on lactose tolerance among early farmers in Spain challenges a leading theory that humans developed an appetite for milk to avoid calcium deficiency.
iStock

Humans have a love-hate history with milk.

For thousands and thousands of years, adults couldn't digest dairy products without an upset stomach and a trip to the bathroom.

And then one day, poof!

A few changes in our DNA gave about a third of the world's population – mostly Europeans — the ability to knock back cheese, pizza and chocolate ice cream without a care in the world.

But why? Why did this ability to digest lactose suddenly crop up in our European ancestors about 10,000 years ago? That's been a big mystery for scientists.

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All Tech Considered
10:25 am
Wed January 29, 2014

A Boarding Pass Design That's So Much Better Than What We Have

The better boarding pass design.
Pete Smart

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:58 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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Parallels
10:20 am
Wed January 29, 2014

On A Roman Street, Graffiti Celebrates 'SuperPope'

Graffiti artist Mauro Palotta says Pope Francis is the only world leader who stands on the side of the people.
Sylvia Poggoli NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 am

First, he's Time magazine's "Person of the Year." Then, he's Rolling Stone's cover story: "The Times They Are A-Changin'" in the Roman Catholic Church.

Now, he's "SuperPope," the latest incarnation of Pope Francis, who has rapidly become one of the most popular leaders on the planet.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Spy Chief Says Classified Leaks 'Pose Critical Threat' To U.S.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies during a hearing before Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

In his yearly report (pdf) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the country's spy chief says one of the top threats facing the United States is the unauthorized leak of classified information.

In his threat assessment report, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, listed "insider threats," alongside cyber attacks and terrorism.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Fed Will Continue To Taper Its Stimulus Program

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:14 am

Because the economy continues to improve since it started tapering its stimulus program, the Federal Reserve said it would continue to slow the pace of its bond-buying programs.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee said:

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