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National Security
6:07 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'The Way Of The Knife': Soldiers, Spies And Shadow Wars

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:10 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The CIA and the military have been transformed in ways that have blurred the boundaries between them. The shape of the new military intelligence complex is the subject of my guest Mark Mazzetti's new book, "The Way of the Knife." He writes: The CIA is no longer a traditional espionage service, devoted to stealing the secrets of foreign governments. The CIA has become a killing machine, an organization consumed with man-hunting.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Russian Parliament Moves Ahead On Anti-Blasphemy Law

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in November.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:14 am

Russia's parliament has given preliminary approval to an anti-blasphemy bill that would make it a crime to offend religious feelings.

The BBC reports that the bill was drafted last year after members of the punk band Pussy Riot used Moscow's main Russian Orthodox cathedral to perform a protest song against President Vladimir Putin.

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Monkey See
5:51 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Thank G-O-O-D-N-E-S-S: The National Spelling Bee Adds Meaning

Spellers wait to participate in the semi-finals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

As Eyder Peralta reported last night, the National Spelling Bee has made a big change to its rules.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'Friends And Neighbors' Exception Part Of Deal On Gun Checks

The scene at a gun show in Alabama last month.
Joe Songer AL.COM /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:52 am

We last updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET:

Saying "this is a start and it's not the end of our work," Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia confirmed Wednesday morning that he and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have put together a bipartisan plan that they believe will "keep guns out of dangerous hands."

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The Two-Way
4:35 am
Wed April 10, 2013

New White House Budget Has Something For Everyone To Dislike

Senate Budget Committee staffers unpack boxes of President Obama's 2014 budget proposal on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:46 am

UPDATE at 11:05 a.m. ET: Obama: Growing Economy, Shrinking Deficits Both Possible

President Obama unveiled his 2014 budget proposal Wednesday, calling it a "fiscally responsible blueprint" that can help grow the economy and shrink deficits.

The president said his plan addresses the debate about how to expand the economy while reducing government red ink: "This budget answers that argument because we can do both," he said at the Rose Garden.

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The Two-Way
4:30 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Anthony Weiner Is Eyeing A Return To Politics

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., at a Brooklyn Nets basketball game in November 2012.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:50 am

Just under two years after his once-rising political career went up in flames because of an extramarital sexting scandal, former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner is plotting a possible comeback.

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The Two-Way
3:47 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Top Stories: North Korea; Obama's Budget; Gun Legislation

The Two-Way
3:10 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Students Stopped The Stabbing Suspect At Texas College

Dylan Quick, who is accused in the stabbings at Lone Star College, in a photo supplied to the news media Wednesday by the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff's Office.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:19 am

"My first thought was I need to go catch him."

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Education
3:08 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Study: More Adult Pell Grant Students, Not Enough Graduating

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:01 am

The federal government each year gives needy college students billions of dollars they don't have to pay back — $34.5 billion to be exact. More than 9 million students rely on the Pell Grant program. But a new study says much of the money is going to people who never graduate.

Sandy Baum, an expert on student financial aid, has been leading a group in a study of the 48-year-old Pell Grant program. Their report, commissioned by the nonprofit College Board, confirms what many have known for years about grant recipients.

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The Two-Way
2:27 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Book News: New Editor Named At 'New York Times Book Review'

The New York Times sign is displayed in front of the newspaper's midtown headquarters in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
2:15 am
Wed April 10, 2013

8 For 8: Connecticut Wins Another Women's Hoops Title

Connecticut Huskies forward Breanna Stewart takes a shot during first-half action in the women's Division I NCAA championship game Tuesday night in New Orleans. She was the tournament's most outstanding player.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant MCT /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:28 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Goldman on the women's championship

For the University of Louisville's Lady Cardinals, it just wasn't meant to be.

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Africa
1:48 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Family In Mali Eats French President's Camel

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Television
1:42 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Television Is Going To The Dogs

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Television is going to the dogs. The satellite company DIRECTV recently introduced DOGTV to its line up. The channel, just for canines, will cost humans 5.99 a month. The programs feature soothing music and animations. DOGTV's CEO says this helps ease the loneliness and boredom that pets feel when they're left at home all day.

Hey, what do you think?

(SOUNDBITE OF A DOG BARKING)

GREENE: What's that, boy? You'd rather have a dog station on the radio?

(LAUGHTER)

The Two-Way
1:36 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'Very High' Chance North Korea Will Soon Test Fire Missile

Japan is on full alert ahead of an expected mid-range missile launch by North Korea, its defense minister said as the U.N. warned of a potentially 'uncontrollable' situation. A Japanese soldier walks past a missile launcher deployed in Tokyo.
Toru Yamanaka AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:23 am

North Korea's next provocative move — the test firing of a medium-range ballistic missile — could happen at any moment, according to South Korean officials.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that "the possibility of a ballistic missile launch is 'very high' and 'may materialize anytime from now,' South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se told lawmakers in Seoul today."

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Politics
11:42 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Immigration Protesters Aim For Rally To Motivate Lawmakers

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, here in Washington they are calling it the All-In for Citizenship rally. Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected today on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. It's to be the biggest event yet in the push to revamp the nation's immigration laws. And congressional negotiators say they are close to unveiling a comprehensive immigration bill. NPR's David Welna tells us how close.

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Latin America
11:42 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Hugo Chavez's Legacy Looms Over Venezuelan Election

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep in Caracas, Venezuela. This country is about to hold a presidential election. Voters are replacing the late Hugo Chavez, who shouldered this oil-rich republic onto the world stage. He often denounced the United States as an oppressive empire - even as he sold Americans oil - and imported gasoline from U.S. refineries. The election of his successor this weekend gives us a chance to listen to a changing Latin America.

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Around the Nation
11:42 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Court: Exxon-Mobile Guilty In N.H. Contamination Suit

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 1:09 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A jury in New Hampshire has ruled that Exxon-Mobile must pay the state $236 million. The money would help clean groundwater that was contaminated with a gasoline additive known as MTBE. But as New Hampshire Public Radio's Sam Evans-Brown reports, the story doesn't end there.

SAM EVANS-BROWN, BYLINE: In a little state like New Hampshire, $236 million is nothing to sneeze at.

(SOUNDBITE OF ANNOUNCEMENT)

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
10:22 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Some Public Defenders Warn: 'We Have Nothing Left To Cut'

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:20 am

Steven Nolder joined the federal public defender's office when it opened in Columbus, Ohio, nearly 18 years ago. Nolder handled his share of noteworthy cases, including the first federal death penalty trial in the district and the indictment of a former NFL quarterback embroiled in a ticket fraud scheme.

Lately, Nolder says, his professional world has turned upside down.

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Around the Nation
10:21 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

L.A. Schools Hire Security Aides To Watch For Threats

Students at Tenth Street Elementary out on the playground.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:20 am

Tenth Street Elementary is in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles, a few blocks west of the Staples Center and downtown skyscrapers. It's a tough neighborhood; school security is always an issue.

On a recent day, about 150 third-graders were spread across a worn cement playground, running around, playing chase and tag.

Most lunch hours, you'll find Juan Alfayate, the school's energetic principal, out on the blacktop, dodging soccer balls and having fun with the kids while on playground patrol.

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Author Interviews
10:21 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

'Comandante' Chavez Still Revered By Some, Despite Failings

Hugo Chavez, shown here in February 2012, was the president of Venezuela for over a decade. His career is the subject of a new book by Rory Carrolll.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 4:42 am

Hugo Chavez died in March, but his ghost still lingers in Venezuela. He was president for well over a decade and, according to journalist Rory Carroll, his oversize influence hasn't faded.

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Business
10:20 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Construction Booming In Texas, But Many Workers Pay Dearly

Marchers at the state capitol building in Austin, Texas, in February protest working conditions in the state's construction sector.
Jason Cato Courtesy of Workers Defense Project

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:12 am

Like almost everything in the Texas, the construction industry in the Lone Star State is big. One in every 13 workers here is employed in the state's $54 billion-per-year construction industry.

Homebuilding and commercial construction may be an economic driver for the state, but it's also an industry riddled with hazards. Years of illegal immigration have pushed wages down, and accidents and wage fraud are common. Of the nearly 1 million workers laboring in construction here, approximately half are undocumented.

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Financial Basics For Baby Boomers
10:19 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Debt And The Modern Parent Of College Kids

How will you pay for your kids' college?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 4:44 am

It's college touring season, and many parents are on the road with their teenagers, driving from school to school and thinking about the college application — and financial aid — process that looms ahead.

Many baby boomers have already been through this stage with their kids, but because the generation spans about 20 years, others still have kids at home. So how should boomers plan to pay for school when, on average, students graduate from college in the U.S. with $25,000 in debt?

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Sweetness And Light
5:03 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Tiger At The Masters: The Juncture Of Exhilaration And Peril

Tiger Woods spends some time on the driving range during Monday's practice round for the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:20 am

Let us now ponder the exquisite status of Tiger Woods, who has clawed back to the top of the charts thereby to proclaim, with the help of his Nike mouthpiece, that his ragged and raw past few years never really happened because — ta-da –– as his ad says: "Winning takes care of everything."

And yes, indeed, he is No. 1 in the rankings again. And, too, he has a beautiful new girlfriend, although, of course, I will not mention her name here, so as not to be a member of what he calls the "stalkerazzi."

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

New Rule: Spelling Bee Will Now Include Definitions Test

Winning the National Spelling Bee, like Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, did in 2012, will get harder.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:14 pm

As if it weren't hard enough to spell "cymotrichous," now the National Spelling Bee will expect contestants to know that it means "having wavy hair."

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Your Money
1:46 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Will You Be Chained To A Smaller Check In Retirement?

Opponents of President Obama's expected proposed changes to Social Security rallied at the White House on Tuesday. Among them were lawmakers like Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan.
J. David Ake AP

When President Obama on Wednesday unveils his blueprint for the government's 2014 budget, he'll offer lots of ideas for changes in taxes and spending.

But the proposal likely to grab the most attention will be the one dealing with cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients. Many economists would applaud a change in the way Social Security officials measure inflation, but many older Americans may hiss, fearing a new formula will cut their benefits.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Mali Will Give France's François Hollande A New Camel, After The First Was Eaten

Yep. That camel is now stew.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:02 pm

As a thank you for sending French troops to repel Islamist rebels out of Mali, the government gifted President François Hollande a small camel.

As The Guardian tells the story, this was back in February and Hollande was intent on bringing the camel back to France.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Bitcoin Surpasses $200 Mark, Continuing 'Epic' Rise

A chart shows the sharp rise of bitcoin against the U.S. dollar in the past five days. Only two months after exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20, it surpassed $200 Tuesday.
Bitcoin Charts

Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt.Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be "epic."

Bitcoin's rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20.

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Sports
12:34 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

How Louisville Went From 'Little Brother' To Powerhouse

Louisville forward Chane Behanan celebrates after defeating Michigan in the NCAA basketball championship on Monday. It was the school's first basketball title since 1986.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:34 pm

University of Louisville fans have had a lot to cheer about lately — and not just basketball.

Monday's big victory by Louisville's men's basketball team over Michigan is just the latest success for the school and for an athletic department that is quickly becoming one of the country's most admired.

In January, the football team upset fourth-ranked Florida to win the Sugar Bowl, and coach Charlie Strong turned down a lucrative offer from the University of Tennessee to continue rebuilding the Louisville program.

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Shots - Health News
12:34 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Genetically Modified Rat Is Promising Model For Alzheimer's

Scientists hope a new genetically modified rat will help them find Alzheimer's drugs that work on humans.
Ryumin Alexander ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:34 pm

A rat with some human genes could provide a better way to test Alzheimer's drugs.

The genetically modified rat is the first rodent model to exhibit the full range of brain changes found in Alzheimer's, researchers report in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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All Tech Considered
12:34 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Austin Is Latest Testbed For Google's High-Speed Experiment

Matthew Marcus works at his desk in the basement of Kansas City Startup Village in Kansas City, Kan., in January. The village houses several startup companies and takes advantage of the high-speed Internet. Google announced on Tuesday it would be installing its Google Fiber network in Austin, Texas, next.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:34 pm

Google announced Tuesday that its Google Fiber project would be hitting Austin, Texas, next. The company says Austin, famous for its South by Southwest festival, is a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities."

Google Fiber is the tech giant's blazing fast Internet service, with current rates at 1 Gpbs, about 100 times faster than your typical cable broadband Internet service. It debuted in Kansas City in 2012.

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