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12:28 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Baseball Begins In The Shadow Of March Madness

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 1:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, let's take a break from all the March Madness in college basketball for a few minutes and talk about the beginning of the long and winding Major League Baseball season. Yesterday was opening day for several teams. We thought we'd tick off a couple of notable games and see if the very early results match up to preseason predictions. Or maybe they won't. Here to give us some guidance NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Morning, Tom.

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Around the Nation
12:28 am
Tue April 2, 2013

April Fools' Day Pranks Revealed

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 1:33 am

If it was a sleepy Monday for you, you may have fallen victim to some April Fools' Day pranks. David Greene and Steve Inskeep have a roundup of some of the all-in-fun pranks.

Afghanistan
10:27 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Afghanistan, Pakistan Struggle To Find Common Ground

Afghanistan presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier this year.
Ahmad Nazar AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 3:05 am

Much has changed since last November, when Afghans were praising Pakistan for saying it would no longer support the Taliban and would instead work for peace.

"We believe that relations between the two countries are deteriorating," says Aimal Faizi, spokesman for President Hamid Karzai.

Faizi says the downward slide started last month. The two countries had agreed to convene a conference of religious scholars, or ulema, to denounce suicide bombing. But the conference fell apart at the last minute, with each country blaming the other for undermining the effort.

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It's All Politics
10:25 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Judicial Vacancies Languish On Key Federal Appeals Court

President Obama last month withdrew the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan to the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., after her nomination was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Jim McKnight AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 2:42 am

The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., is sometimes called the second most important court in the country, regularly delivering the final word on major environmental, labor and national security cases.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has a whopping four vacancies, the most in the nation, including one opening that dates all the way back to 2005, when John Roberts moved to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
10:24 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

When You're Mixed Race, Just One Box Is Not Enough

Dave Kung with wife Sarah Tyson (left), stepson Cy Tyson-Brown and parents Sonja and George Kung.
Courtesy of Dave Kung

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 4:49 pm

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition. You can find hundreds of six-word submissions and submit your own at www.theracecardproject.com.

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Shots - Health News
10:23 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

New Medical School Wants To Build Ranks Of Primary Care Doctors

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 8:30 am

Michael Ellison has a tough assignment. He's the associate dean of admissions choosing the first class of a brand new medical school, the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

"We have over 1,600 applicants, and we will interview 400 for 60 spots," Ellison says.

The school has a very specific mission: minting doctors who want to go into primary care practice.

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Financial Basics For Baby Boomers
10:23 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Deciding The Right Time To Claim Social Security

The importance of making a smart decision on how and when benefits are claimed can't be underestimated, says Mary Beth Franklin of Investment News.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 3:45 am

When it comes to claiming Social Security benefits, there is no magic age. Today's boomers can begin collecting full benefits at 66, tap in early for a modified benefit at 62 or delay receiving benefits until 70.

But the importance of making a smart decision on how and when benefits are claimed can't be underestimated, says Mary Beth Franklin of Investment News.

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Law
10:22 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

States Propose Crackdowns On Copper Theft

Everything from telephone wire to plumbing is a target for copper thieves, and lawmakers in nearly half the states are considering legislation aimed at making it harder to sell the stolen metal.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 3:59 am

The price of copper remains at near historic highs, and that means so, too, does the amount of copper getting stolen.

Everything from telephone wire to plumbing is a target, and lawmakers in nearly half the states are considering legislation aimed at making it harder for thieves to sell the stolen metal.

James City County in southeastern Virginia has seen a spate of recent copper thefts. Maj. Steve Rubino with the county police department says there have been six major incidents since January.

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World
12:46 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

In Seaside Cypriot Town, Russians Of Modest Means Cry Foul

The owner of a Russian market helps customers in Limassol, Cyprus. Many middle-class Russians here say their community is being unfairly depicted as a group of money-laundering oligarchs.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 3:51 pm

Borscht and vareniki are on the menu at Taras Bulba, a restaurant named after Nikolai Gogol's Ukrainian folk hero. It's one of many Russian-owned businesses in Limassol, Cyprus.

Approximately 30,000 Russians live in this city — about a quarter of the population. There are Russian hair salons, supermarkets, schools and even a radio station.

Limassol's mayor, Andreas Christou, studied mechanical engineering in Moscow and speaks Russian fluently. He says Russians came to the city in droves after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Divided Federal Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Upstart TV Service

We told you in February about Aereo, a service that allows its users to watch TV over the Internet. As we said at the time, the service was attracting waves of lawsuits.

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The Salt
12:28 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Eat Fish And Prosper?

We've all heard that eating fish is good for us. Regularly eating fish has been linked to a host of health benefits – for our hearts, our eyes, and our brains.

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Theater
12:25 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Nora Ephron's 'Lucky Guy' And Tom Hanks Make Their Broadway Debuts

Nora Ephron's final play, Lucky Guy, tells the story of controversial New York columnist Mike McAlary, played by Tom Hanks. (Also pictured: Peter Gerety as John Cotter).
Boneau / Bryan-Brown

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 3:57 pm

Several years ago, when Nora Ephron handed Tom Hanks an early draft of Lucky Guy, her play about tabloid journalist Mike McAlary, he had a pretty strong reaction.

"I said, 'Well, that guy's sure a jerk!' I used another word besides jerk — I know what you can say on NPR," he says. "And she laughed and she said, 'Well, he kinda was. But he was kinda great, too.'"

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Religion
12:17 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

With New Pope, Catholic Women Hope To Regain Church Leadership Roles

Parishioners partake in the Way Of The Cross procession at the Colosseum on Good Friday in Rome. A group of women Catholics recently made a pilgrimage to Rome to request that women once again be allowed to hold leadership positions in the church.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 3:45 pm

The newly elected pope's focus on the poor and the marginalized has instilled great faith among many Catholic women. They hope the papacy of Pope Francis will promote a leading role for women in the church.

A group of American nuns and Catholic women recently made a pilgrimage to Rome to make their requests heard.

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Economy
12:11 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Stockton Bankruptcy Case Defers Decision On Pensions

An aging sign at City Hall in Stockton, Calif. A judge has ruled that the city is eligible for federal bankruptcy protection.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 3:41 pm

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein ruled Monday on the most important question facing Stockton, Calif. — whether it could enter into federal bankruptcy protection.

Klein agreed that the city is, in fact, broke.

But he didn't decide the question of whether the city must renegotiate its pension obligations, as some of its creditors had hoped.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Star Of MTV's 'Buckwild' Found Dead

One of the stars of the MTV reality show Buckwild was found dead Monday in an SUV along with his uncle and a third, as-yet-unidentified person, the Kanawha County, W.Va., Sheriff's Office said.

The bodies of Shain Gandee, 21, his uncle David Gandee, 48, and the third person were inside a 1984 Ford Bronco in a wooded area near Sissonville, W.Va., about 15 miles from Charleston. A statement from the Sheriff's Office said there was no sign of foul play.

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NPR Story
11:44 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Tech Week Ahead: Rumors Of A Facebook Phone

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 12:17 pm

Steve Henn looks at this week's technology news, including a possible Facebook phone announcement on Thursday and a nod to the multiple April Fools' Day jokes on the Internet.

It's All Politics
11:29 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Immigration Overhaul Inches Forward, But Big Hurdles Remain

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., says talk of a bipartisan agreement among eight key senators working on immigration law is "premature."
Susan Walsh AP

It's still far too early to know whether Congress will actually be able to achieve a comprehensive overhaul to the nation's immigration laws. All that's certain at this stage is that lawmakers on both sides of the partisan divide, and in both chambers, continue to act as though they think they can.

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Shots - Health News
10:41 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Mining Books To Map Emotions Through A Century

When anthropologists tallied the use of emotional words through a century of literature, they included many books without clear emotional content — technical manuals, for example, and automotive repair guides.
Steve Debenport iStockphotography

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 5:18 am

Were people happier in the 1950s than they are today? Or were they more frustrated, repressed and sad?

To find out, you'd have to compare the emotions of one generation to another. British anthropologists think they may have found the answer — embedded in literature.

Several years ago, more or less on a lark, a group of researchers from England used a computer program to analyze the emotional content of books from every year of the 20th century — close to a billion words in millions of books.

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It's All Politics
10:39 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Opposition Research Boot Camp: Learning To Dig For Political Dirt

Opposition research is becoming a given in politics, sometimes even at the local level.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 3:29 pm

Opposition research exists mostly in the political shadows. So perhaps it's fitting that this boot camp is in an generic conference room in a generic airport hotel outside of Washington, D.C.

It's run by private investigator Larry Zilliox, who specializes in opposition research. He allowed me to attend a session, but not to take pictures.

Zilliox is cagey about his clients: "As a general rule, it suits me best not to comment on who I've worked for. Everybody is better off that way."

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Judge's Ruling Makes Stockton, Calif., Most Populous City To Enter Bankruptcy

A judge accepted the California city of Stockton's bankruptcy application on Monday, making it the most populous city in the nation to enter bankruptcy.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 11:11 am

Stockton, Calif., is now the most populous city in the U.S. to enter bankruptcy, after a decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein on Monday.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented'

The home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is surrounded by police tape in Forney, Texas, on Monday. Authorities launched a massive investigation into the weekend killings of McLelland and his wife.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 10:32 am

Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.

What's going on?

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Arizona Rep: Gay Son Hasn't Changed View On Same-Sex Marriage

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., being interviewed on Phoenix news station 3TV. Salmon, whose son is openly gay, says he remains opposed to same-sex marriage.
Screengrab via 3TV

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 9:17 am

In a weekend interview, Rep. Matt Salmon, a Republican of Arizona, told a local news station that his openly gay son has not changed his position on same-sex marriage.

As you might recall, it was big news when another Republican, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, said his son's homosexuality inspired him to change his position on same-sex marriage.

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It's All Politics
9:38 am
Mon April 1, 2013

A State Apart And, Politically, A World Away

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 10:13 am

There's a reason President Obama chose Colorado to hold a rally this Wednesday in favor of gun control.

Among the states this year, Democratic-controlled Colorado has passed the toughest new restrictions on gun rights, requiring universal background checks and banning magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition.

But if certain liberal wishes have come true in Colorado — recall that it was one of two states last fall that voted to legalize marijuana — things look very different next door in Kansas.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Once Again, Polls Show Attitudes Toward Guns Returning To Pre-shooting Levels

Guns on display at a show in Chantilly, Va., in July 2012.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

The day after last December's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School we wrote that:

"The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., will surely spur pollsters to ask Americans again about guns, gun ownership, gun laws and the Second Amendment.

"If recent experience is a good guide, public opinion may not shift too much."

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Shots - Health News
8:49 am
Mon April 1, 2013

What's In A Name? More Drugs For Babies If It's GERD

Frequent spitting up affects about half of babies under six months, but it's usually not gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 7:00 am

Say your one-month-old baby is spitting up and crying a lot. Your usual bag of infant-soothing tricks hasn't worked, and you're worried that there's something wrong with her.

So you head to the pediatrician, who tells you that your otherwise healthy child has gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Would receiving this medical diagnosis make you more interested in giving her drugs than if you never heard the word "disease"?

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Mon April 1, 2013

U.S. Adds F-22 Fighter Jets To Military Exercise In South Korea

The United States has sent two F-22 Raptor fighter jets to take part military drills in South Korea, a move that is meant to show U.S. commitment to the defense of the region from its North Korean neighbor, a Pentagon spokesman told the Associated Press.

Also on Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye appeared to give her country's military permission to strike back at any attack from the North.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Caroline Kennedy To Be Ambassador To Japan? Talk Grows

Caroline Kennedy in May 2012.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

There's been chatter in Washington for the past month or so about Caroline Kennedy being tapped to be the next ambassador to Japan.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty In Colorado Theater Shootings

Accused Aurora theater gunman James Holmes during a court hearing last month in Centennial, Colo.
R.J. Sangosti/pool Reuters /Landov

Rejecting James Holmes' offer to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, prosecutors in Colorado announced Monday that they will seek the death penalty for the young man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 in a mass shooting last July at a movie theater.

As Denver's KUSA-TV writes, "after a week of legal twists and turns ... Holmes could face execution if convicted."

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Texas On 'High Alert' After District Attorney's Killing

In Forney, Texas, Kaufman County Sheriff's deputies are on the lookout after the killings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife in their Forney home.
Mike Fuentes AP
  • From the NPR Newscast early Monday

"Security is high this morning for both elected officials and employees" in Kaufman County, Texas, after the shooting deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthina, KERA reports.

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Education
7:33 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Struggling Schools Targeted For Takeovers

Many political leaders say the solution for failing school systems is a takeover. But can mayors, governors or other government leaders actually fix broken schools? Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the expectations and consequences of school takeovers with Emily Richmond of the National Education Writers Association.

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