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Parallels
12:00 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Rushing Toward Chaos: Covering The Aftermath Of Typhoon Haiyan

A boy stands in the ruins of the leveled a neighborhood in Tacloban. Food and water supplies were almost nonexsistent in the days immediately after the storm.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 2:00 pm

It felt like a dream.

The Marines kept flying over us all night long. Their hulking C-130 cargo planes rattled the tarp we'd jerry-rigged above our heads. NPR photographer David Gilkey and I were lying in sleeping bags next to the runway of the destroyed Tacloban airport. We'd arrived a few hours earlier in the back of one of those military aircraft. Now we were just waiting for daybreak.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Newtown Report Offers Few Insights Into School Shooting

This undated photo released Friday by the Connecticut State Police shows the scene inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:19 pm

Connecticut State Police have released an exhaustive report on last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, offering some new details on the massacre that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

Photographs taken by investigators of the home that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza shared with his mother show "numerous rounds of ammunition, gun magazines, shot-up paper targets, gun cases, shooting earplugs and a gun safe with a rifle in it," The Associated Press writes.

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Parallels
1:51 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

U.N. Refuge Prepares For Possible Attack In South Sudan

South Sudanese seek refuge at the United Nations compound in the capital, Juba, on Sunday. Though Juba is mostly peaceful now, growing numbers are seeking shelter at the compound in fear the ethnic killings will resume.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:15 pm

The president of South Sudan spent Friday in a peace summit with regional heads of state, discussing the crisis that erupted last weekend after an alleged coup attempt. At the same time, the government warned of a shadowy rebel army, covered with white ash, marching through the jungle to re-attack the northern city of Bor.

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The Salt
11:43 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Time Is Running Out To Save Florida's Oranges

Ripening fruit in a grove in Plant City, Fla., this month. Florida citrus growers are worried about citrus greening, which causes bacteria to grow on the leaf and fruit, eventually killing the tree.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:15 pm

It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.

The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.

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Shots - Health News
11:43 am
Fri December 27, 2013

When Memories Never Fade, The Past Can Poison The Present

Having a perfect memory can put a strain on relationships, because every slight is remembered.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 3:08 am

On Feb. 21, Alexandra Wolff ate steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli for dinner. Later that night, sitting in her room, she spent 20 minutes scanning pictures in InStyle magazine.

She remembers those things, just as she remembers that on Aug. 2 she stopped at Target and bought Raisin Bran; and on April 17 she wore a white button-down shirt; and on Oct. 2 she went to TGI Fridays and spoke to the hostess, who was wearing black leather flats with small bows on them.

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Science
11:36 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Stretch Or Splat? How A Black Hole Kills You Matters ... A Lot

Never mind holiday stress. Steer clear of black holes, or risk "spaghettification" — or worse.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:15 pm

It could rightly be called the most massive debate of the year: Physicists are locked in an argument over what happens if you fall into a black hole.

On one side are those who support the traditional view from Albert Einstein. On the other, backers of a radical new theory that preserves the very core of modern physics by destroying space itself.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Amid Political Chaos, Thailand's Army Chief Won't Rule Out Coup

Anti-government protesters enter a Bangkok stadium where election preparations were underway on Thursday.
Wason Wanichakorn AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 12:56 pm

Thailand's army chief on Friday called for calm amid unrest between supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but he refused to rule out the possibility of a military coup to restore stability.

Asked whether the army would seize the government for the second time in less than a decade, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "That door is neither open nor closed ... it will be determined by the situation."

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Around the Nation
11:21 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Oil Company Looks To Great Lakes As Shipping Demand Booms

A company proposes shipping crude oil by barge across Lake Superior to keep up with the booming supply from North Dakota and Canada.
Jack Rendulich AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:15 pm

North Dakota and western Canada are producing crude oil faster than it can be shipped to refineries.

Rail car manufacturers can't make new tank cars fast enough, and new pipeline proposals face long delays over environmental concerns. So energy companies are looking for new ways to get the heavy crude to market.

One proposed solution is to ship the oil by barge over the Great Lakes — but it's a controversial one.

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Business
11:21 am
Fri December 27, 2013

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands

Energy companies are adding workers, but fatal accidents are on the rise, too.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Blue-collar workers, hit hard by automation and factory offshoring, have been struggling to find high-paying jobs.

One industry does offer opportunity: As baby boomers retire and drilling increases, oil and gas companies are hiring. They added 23 percent more workers between 2009 and 2012.

But the hiring spree has come with a terrible price: Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job — an increase of more than 100 percent since 2009.

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It's All Politics
10:06 am
Fri December 27, 2013

5 Achievements Of The 113th Congress (So Far)

Congress managed to get a few things accomplished in 2013, with an emphasis on "few."
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

The 113th Congress, which just ended its first year, has come to be defined more by what it hasn't done than what it has. With two warring and ideologically polarized parties controlling either end of Capitol Hill, Congress has more or less become a quagmire for policy.

Still, one of the least productive Congresses of the modern era was able to accomplish a few things in 2013. Here are five of them:

1. Going Nuclear

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Stories Merge As 'Duck Dynasty' Fans Plan 'Chick-Phil-A' Day

One of Chick-Phil-A-Day's promotional images.
Facebook.com/chickphiladay

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 12:43 pm

Update at 5:40 p.m. ET. A&E Lifts Phil Robertson's Suspension:

A&E announced Friday afternoon that it was reversing its decision to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson from the show.

A statement from the cable channel says the decision was made after discussions with the Robertson family and "numerous advocacy groups."

Here's our original post ...

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Egypt Launches Renewed Crackdown On Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian riot police run after Muslim Brotherhood members after a demonstration in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district on Friday.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:30 am

Egyptian security forces carried out widespread arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members just days after the government labeled the group, which supports ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a terrorist organization.

Three people were reported killed in Muslim Brotherhood-led protests and some 265 people were arrested as part of the nationwide crackdown, which came as the political group renewed calls for massive anti-government rallies.

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Shots - Health News
8:00 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Concussions May Increase Alzheimer's Risk, But Only For Some

Researchers have only recently been able to use brain scans to detect Alzheimer's risk factors in living people.
iStockphoto

Doctors have long suspected that head trauma boosts the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease later on, but the evidence on that has been mixed.

But it looks like people who have memory problems and a history of concussion are more likely to have a buildup of plaques in the brain that are a risk factor for Alzheimer's, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Target: Encrypted Data Were Taken, But Not The Key To Unlock

The scene outside a Target store in Brooklyn on Black Friday, Nov. 29.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Though hackers did obtain "strongly encrypted PIN data" when they got into Target's information systems, the retailer said Friday that sensitive information from customers' debit cards should not be at risk.

Target posted this explanation:

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Judge Rules That NSA Collection Of Phone Data Is Lawful

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:51 am

A federal judge has ruled that the National Security Agency's bulk gathering of the telephone records of millions of Americans is legal — less than two weeks after another federal judge ruled that the program violated the Constitution.

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Fri December 27, 2013

PHOTO: Saturn's Holiday Closeup

Saturn, looking something like a hand-painted ornament, in a newly released image from NASA.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:00 am

Just before Christmas, NASA released a photo of Saturn that we can't resist posting.

Here's how the space agency describes the image:

"The globe of Saturn, seen here in natural color, is reminiscent of a holiday ornament in this wide-angle view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The characteristic hexagonal shape of Saturn's northern jet stream, somewhat yellow here, is visible. At the pole lies a Saturnian version of a high-speed hurricane, eye and all. ...

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Indian Nationalist Leader Says Violence Shook Him To The Core

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, arrives at the party conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. Modi said Friday that the violence in Gujarat in 2002 shook him to the core.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:23 am

The chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat is often spoken of as the country's next prime minister. But his critics accuse Narendra Modi of being responsible for a wave of anti-Muslim violence in his state in 2002. The accusation has stuck despite Modi being cleared of wrongdoing in the violence and despite his record as an efficient administrator.

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The Salt
5:48 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013 Was The Year Bills To Criminalize Animal Cruelty Videos Failed

A Humane Society investigation of a Wyoming pig breeding facility to the introduction of an ag-gag bill in Wyoming, which eventually failed.
Courtesy of Humane Society of the U.S.

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 10:07 am

The past year was a busy one for the animal welfare activists who've turned their hidden cameras on confinement facilities where huge numbers of food animals are raised.

Livestock producers — and the policymakers they influence — were just as busy trying to make it illegal for activists to enter these facilities undercover.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Fri December 27, 2013

The Price Is Wrong And You Know It: Do You Buy That Ticket?

Delta made a mistake, but says it will stand by some cut-rate fares.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:10 am

Headlines such as this come along every few months:

"Delta To Honor Extremely Cheap Mistake Fares."

The news, says The Associated Press, is that:

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The Two-Way
3:59 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Three NATO Personnel Killed By Bombing In Afghanistan

An Afghan security officer runs toward the scene of Friday's bombing in Kabul. Three NATO personnel were killed and at least six Afghan civilians were wounded.
Omar Sobhani Reuters /Landov

A bomb explosion Friday in Kabul killed three members of the NATO coalition serving in Afghanistan and wounded at least six civilians, NPR's Sean Carberry reports from the Afghan capital.

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The Two-Way
3:51 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Okinawa Governor OKs Plan To Relocate U.S. Base

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima speaks Friday at a news conference in Naha, Japan, in which he announced his approval of landfill work for the relocation of the U.S. military's Futenma air base within his prefecture, walking back his pledge to move the base off Okinawa.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:01 am

Okinawa's governor has approved a plan to relocate the U.S. Marine base on the Japanese island.

Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima's decision Friday is a reversal of his pledge to move the base off the Japanese island.

The project would involve land reclamation for a new base that would consolidate the U.S. presence on the island.

"We decided to approve the application for the landfill as we judged it contains all possible steps that could be taken at present to protect the environment," Nakaima said at a news conference in Naha, the prefectural capital.

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It's All Politics
3:19 am
Fri December 27, 2013

How Michael Bloomberg Became The Most Influential Mayor Of The Century (So Far)

Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during an August news conference after officially opening the new Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park in Queens.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 4:45 am

Money mattered in Michael Bloomberg's case.

The billionaire's personal fortune (ranked 10th in the nation by Fortune) allowed him to bankroll his three runs for New York City mayor, freeing him to hire people he believed were the best and the brightest, rather than friends of donors.

His philanthropy also backed up the experiments he ran at City Hall — and allowed him to encourage other mayors to take similar tacks.

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The Two-Way
3:08 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Power's Still Out For Many Across North And Into Canada

In Delton, Mich., broken branches and snapped limbs lie on the ground after this week's snow and ice storms. Many in the state are without power.
Chuck Miller MLive.com/Landov

This may make you shiver:

"It could be days before power is restored to swathes of the country after a ice storms plunged homes and businesses from Michigan to Maine and into Canada into darkness, utility officials say." (NBC News)

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The Two-Way
2:32 am
Fri December 27, 2013

VIDEO: Rescuers Are Drawing Near To Ship Stuck In Antarctic

Stuck in the ice: The MV Akademik Shokalskiy.
Chris Turney Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 1:24 pm

Update at 6:15 p.m. ET. Chinese Icebreaker Gets Stuck:

The Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon became stuck in the ice itself as it tried to reach the stranded vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority tweeted:

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Around the Nation
1:51 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Cops Hand Out Lottery Tickets Along with Citations

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 3:06 am

Along with the usual traffic citations, police in Melbourne, Fla., gave out scratch-off lottery tickets. The cops themselves paid for them — in the spirit of the season, they said. No word of any big winners, just yet.

Around the Nation
1:47 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Deer Wanders Into Pa. Sporting Goods Store

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 3:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Don Gonyea.

Sporting goods stores carry gear for hunters but they don't usually supply the game. Yesterday though a deer wandered into Dick's Sporting Goods in Spring Township, Pennsylvania, the hapless creature promptly slipped on the floor. The customers, evidently still in the Christmas spirit, escorted the animal out the door. But it's still hunting season, the deer may not be out of the woods yet. Is this a "Farside" cartoon?

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

The Two-Way
1:41 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Bomb Blast In Beirut Kills Former Ambassador To U.S.

Some of the destruction at the scene of Friday's car bombing in Beirut.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 3:23 am

  • Correspondent Susannah George describes the scene in Beirut

An explosion in Beirut on Friday killed at least six people, including a former Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. who was a leader of the Western-backed coalition that opposes the militant group Hezbollah.

More than 70 other people were injured by the car bomb, authorities say.

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Sports
12:09 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NBA Trailblazers Continue Their Surprising Season

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 3:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

A third of the NBA season is complete and the Portland Trailblazers are on a surprising run. Last night they beat the L. A. Clippers 116 - 112 in overtime. Portland has the league's best record - 24 wins, five losses. Now the tepid pre-season forecasts are turning into talk of how far the Blazers can go in the post-season. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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Business
12:09 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Cars Are Next Frontier For Sharing Services

Kevin Petrovic, 19, and his business partner, who's also 19, raised about $6 million from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to launch FlightCar. The company is trying to make its mark with car-sharing for travelers.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 4:57 am

Following the popularity of companies like Airbnb, which rent out a client's house or apartment to people visiting the area, more companies are trying the idea with cars. Companies like Uber help find someone to drive you around like a taxi. Another will let you rent out your car like a Zipcar while you're at work.

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Politics
12:09 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Obama's Position On Free Trade Marks Subtle Evolution

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 3:06 am

Two decades after NAFTA created a giant North American free trade zone, the U.S. is negotiating more big trade deals that would span the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. President Obama has embraced the potential agreements as a way to improve the U.S. economy.

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