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1:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Congress Acts On Flight Delays, What's Next?

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The first great sequester showdown has ended and the White House says President Obama will sign a bill that effectively ends furloughs for air traffic controllers. The House yesterday approved the measure, which was passed by the Senate Thursday night, and the action comes after a week of flight delays that angered air travelers and set off a flurry of finger-pointing in Washington, D.C. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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Around the Nation
1:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Gathering Of Presidential Lineage Celebrates U.S. History

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Descendents of famous American political figures, both Democrats and Republicans, white and black, coming together in a small Ozarks town this weekend. The Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield is hosting the descendents of more than 30 past presidents, including relatives of the country's founding fathers and one of the country's most famous slaves.

From member station KSMU, Jennifer Davidson reports.

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Around the Nation
1:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Cambodian Americans Celebrate New Year, But Honor Grim History

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Today in Long Beach, California, Cambodian-Americans are celebrating their new year with traditional foods, dance and songs. But the festivities also coincide with the anniversary of the Cambodian genocide. During the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror between 1975 and 1979, cities were emptied and nearly one-fourth of the population was executed, starved or worked to death. Doualy Xaykaothao reports.

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Commentary
1:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Athlete Brings New Meaning To 'Taking One For The Team'

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Middle East
1:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Does Syria's Alleged Use Of Chemical weapons 'Cross The Line?'

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This week the calls for U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war got a bit louder. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters that U.S. intelligence sources now believe with, quote, varying degrees of confidence that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons in Syria.

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Author Interviews
12:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Through Art And Industry, Chicago Shaped America

The term "third coast" refers to American cities that sit on the Great Lakes shoreline, like Chicago.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 5:16 am

After World War II, America became a superpower. New York experienced a global rise; Los Angeles was sprawling. But in a new book, Thomas Dyja writes that "the most profound aspects of American Modernity grew up out of the flat, prairie land next to Lake Michigan" — Chicago.

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Music Interviews
12:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Singing Sisters Reconsider The Everly Brothers

The Chapin Sisters' new tribute album is titled A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Seth Thomas Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:57 am

The Chapin Sisters are a critically acclaimed duo, with tinges of folk, country and pop in their songs. For their latest project, Lily and Abigail Chapin looked to another famous set of singing siblings: Don and Phil, The Everly Brothers.

Lily Chapin says the genesis of their new tribute album, A Date with The Everly Brothers, was a creative workaround of sorts. The duo was once a trio featuring another Chapin sister, Jessica; the three siblings grew up singing three-part harmonies together. Several years ago, Jessica left the group to start a family.

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Middle East
12:03 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Egyptian Activists: Our Religion Is None Of Your Business

Egyptian Christians gather around four coffins during a funeral service at the Saint Mark Coptic cathedral in Cairo on April 7. Religious violence this month has killed three Muslims and at least six Christians.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:17 pm

Since Egypt's revolution began, tensions among Egypt's Muslims and Christians have only increased. Earlier this month, it once again turned deadly. Tit-for-tat killings left three Muslims and at least six Christians dead.

That and other religious violence is prompting a public debate about religious identity in Egypt. One group of young Egyptians wants to remove religious labels from national ID cards.

'Where The Trouble Starts'

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It's All Politics
12:03 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Bloomberg Aims His Money At Gun Control Opponents

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at City Hall on April 25. The billionaire mayor has been spending from his personal fortune to provide a "political counterweight to the NRA," his policy adviser says.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:57 am

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems determined to become the formidable adversary the National Rifle Association has never had.

The billionaire mayor is spending from his personal fortune to help defeat lawmakers who voted against gun control proposals last week and to prop up those who supported the measures.

Bloomberg's first target is a Democratic senator facing a tough fight for re-election in 2014: Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

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Business
1:59 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Samsung Rings Up Sales

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Samsung ringing up sales.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Samsung said this morning its first quarter profit is at a record high - net profit surged 42 percent. The company has now seen six straight quarters of growth, thanks to strong smartphone sales. Tomorrow, it's launching a new smartphone in the United States - the Galaxy S4 - which is aimed at taking on Apple's iPhone. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Hijacked Driver Helped Police Track Boston Bombing Suspects

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 2:19 am

A lucky escape and quick thinking by the man who says he was carjacked by Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have helped police catch the brothers, according to Eric Moskowitz, a Boston Globe reporter who got an exclusive interview with the driver.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Wedged Between Buildings, Plane Part Could Be From Sept. 11

A piece of commercial landing gear was found between two buildings in lower Manhattan.
NYPD

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:01 pm

Surveyors have found what appears to be part of a plane that hit the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, New York police say. The piece of landing gear is about 3 feet wide and 1.5 feet deep, police tell The Associated Press.

In a statement, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said the debris was found wedged between two buildings during an inspection at the site of a long-planned Islamic community center.

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Around the Nation
12:32 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Mourners Pack Arena To Honor Victims Of Texas Explosion

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:59 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Nearly 10,000 mourners gathered yesterday to honor the men who died fighting a fire in a fertilizer plant in Texas. They packed the basketball arena on the campus of Baylor University in Waco. At least 14 people died when that fire led to an explosion in the little town of West - which is just north of Waco.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MARCHING)

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Books News & Features
12:30 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

OED Editor Retires As Only Seventh Person To Hold The Job

After more than 35 years at the Oxford English Dictionary, chief editor John Simpson has announced his retirement. He is only the seventh editor of the dictionary since the project's beginning in 1879. He speaks with Robert Siegel about his tenure and what he sees for the future of the OED.

Around the Nation
12:07 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

30 Years On, Educators Still Divided On Scathing Schools Report

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:32 pm

Thirty years ago this week, President Ronald Reagan's administration released "A Nation at Risk," a report warning of "a rising tide of mediocrity" in American public education.

According to the report, only one-third of 17-year-olds in 1983 could solve a math problem requiring two steps or more, and 4 out of 10 teenagers couldn't draw inferences from written material. In an address to the nation, Reagan warned that "about 13 percent of 17-year-olds are functional illiterates and, among minority youth, the rate is closer to 40 percent."

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Shots - Health News
12:01 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Oregon's Math Problem: How To Measure Health?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:15 pm

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to track the health of a population: the average blood pressure, the rate of mental illness and the average weight.

Epidemiologists have been collecting these data for years, but now, in Oregon, there is cold, hard cash riding on measurements like these.

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It's All Politics
11:47 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Democrats Invoke Boston, West To Defend Government's Role

Last week, FBI investigators and a Watertown, Mass., police officer investigate the scene near the boat where bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding. Democrats have argued that the way the government responded to the Boston attacks makes a case for not cutting too deeply.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:23 pm

President Obama has spoken at two memorial services in just over a week — one for victims of the Boston Marathon attack and one for those who died in the chemical plant explosions in West, Texas. In both speeches, he focused on victims and survivors.

But other Democrats are using these events to talk about another subject: the role of government.

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Middle East
11:47 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Syrian Rebels Want Enough Help To Turn The Tide

Audie Cornish talks to Kelly McEvers about her reporting out of Syria and what people there are saying about U.S. intervention.

Commentary
11:47 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Week In Politics: Syria, Immigration Reform

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're joined now by our Friday political observers, columnist E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of the New York Times, good to see you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.

CORNISH: So we're going to go back to the news we heard at the top of the hour about Syria. We heard Tom Bowman talk about three U.S. options all having downsides. Here's President Obama on this topic today.

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Animals
11:47 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Navy Sonar Criticized For Harming Marine Mammals

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The U.S. Navy is planning to ramp up training activities off California and Hawaii. But that has rekindled a battle over Navy sonar, which is known to harm marine mammals. From member station KQED, Lauren Sommer reports.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: We humans are visual creatures and for good reason. If someone is far away, you can usually see them before you hear them. Underwater, it's the opposite.

BRANDON SOUTHALL: The physical environment of the ocean really favors the use of sound, and the animals have evolved accordingly.

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Around the Nation
11:47 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Drought To Heavy Rains Complicate Planting In Midwest

Audie Cornish talks with Jeff Miller a corn and soybean farmer in Lewiston, Ill., near Peoria, about the flooding in the Midwest that's come on the heels of a historic drought. Miller's farm, located right along the Illinois and Spooner Rivers, is already partially flooded, preventing him from planting corn so far this spring.

Explosions At Boston Marathon
11:47 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Carjacking Victim Of Boston Suspects Recalls Harrowing Night

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A 26-year-old Chinese engineer turned entrepreneur who is in Boston developing a start-up played one of the more interesting and dangerous roles in the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt. He was driving the Mercedes SUV that he'd leased when it and he were carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers. He escaped when they stopped for gas. Ever since, this man has kept a very low profile, but he did give an exclusive two-and-a-half-hour interview to Boston Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz, who joins us now. Welcome.

ERIC MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Robert.

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Politics
11:47 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Pressure Builds On White House To Intervene In Syria

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The White House tried to clarify its message on Syria today, saying it is still studying evidence that the government there has used chemical weapons. Here's press secretary Jay Carney.

JAY CARNEY: We are continuing to work to build on the assessments made by the intelligence community. The degrees of confidence here are varying, this is not an airtight case.

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It's All Politics
11:11 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Budget Politics Forcing Congress To Pick Favorites

Call it the Whac-a-Mole approach to budgeting.

Congress restored budget flexibility so the FAA can keep air traffic controllers working, just days after their furloughs had started and flight delays began stacking up.

With spending cuts caused by sequestration rolling throughout the government, the question becomes which programs Congress might address next — and why.

"That's the parlor game in Washington," says Scott Lilly, a former staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. "There are dozens and dozens of candidates."

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Shots - Health News
11:09 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Freaky Friday: Autonomous Tissue Grabbers Are On Their Way

A miniature ninja throwing star or a surgical device? The microgripper, shown here coming out of a catheter tube, is activated by body heat. The sharp appendages fold up when the device warms up.
Evin Gultepe, Gracias Lab, Johns Hopkins University.

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:54 am

When we first heard about researchers using tiny freely floating tools to grab tissue samples deep inside the body, we were scared.

But our fears quickly turned to fascination.

Johns Hopkins engineers are testing out what they call "untethered microgrippers" as a better way to investigate hard-to-reach places. They have launched hundreds of these things, which look like miniature ninja throwing stars, inside the body of animal to retrieve tiny pieces of tissue for biopsies.

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Media
10:45 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Koch Brothers' Newspaper Takeover Could Spark 'Culture Clash'

The Tribune Co. is considering the sale of all of its daily newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times, whose building is pictured above.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:59 pm

The Tribune Co., emerging from bankruptcy and looking to reshape itself, is now considering the sale of all its newspapers — including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and five other regional newspapers. It's still very early in the sale process; although the newspaper unit has been valued at $623 million, significant debts are also attached, and Tribune has signaled that it reserves the right not to sell if there isn't a worthy bid.

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The Salt
10:37 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Why Caffeine In Coffee Is A Miracle Drug For The Tired

Many believe that humanity's caffeine addiction has wrought a lot of good.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:46 am

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It's All Politics
9:59 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Obama Says New Abortion Laws Turn Back The Clock

President Obama addresses the Planned Parenthood national conference in Washington on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 10:33 am

President Obama on Friday became the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood's annual meeting, delivering a strongly worded speech defending the embattled organization.

"We shouldn't have to remind people that when it comes to women's health, no politician should get to decide what's best for you," said Obama, who was greeted by sustained applause when he took the stage.

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Planet Money
9:13 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Nervous Parents In One Country Clear Supermarket Shelves In Another

A sign limiting the purchase of baby formula powder hangs on a shelf in a London supermarket April 10.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 11:47 am

Liyan Chen, a grad student in New York, was chatting online recently with her cousin in China.

"He said, 'I want Abbott milk powder,' " Chen told me. " 'I want you to buy it and ship it back.' "

Her cousin wanted her to buy three boxes of Abbott baby formula, sold under the brand name Similac, and ship it to him in China. She did some research and found out the shipping alone could cost $80. "They're not from a very well-off family, and that really surprised me," she said — especially because they can buy Abbott baby formula in stores in China.

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U.S.
8:53 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Flight Delays Push Congress To End Controller Furloughs

Travelers stand in line at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday. Congress moved quickly this week to give the Federal Aviation Administration flexibility to end air traffic controller furloughs that resulted in flight delays at several airports.
Damian Dovarganes AP

The U.S. Congress — a body not exactly known for its swift feet — raced Friday to complete legislation to help travelers avoid delays at airports.

The House voted 361-41 to approve legislation that the Senate passed without objection late Thursday. The bill gives the Federal Aviation Administration more spending flexibility to cut its budget while avoiding furloughs of air traffic controllers.

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