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2:51 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Belgian Post Office Sells Chocolate-Flavored Stamps

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The Belgian post office released chocolate-flavored stamps just in time for Easter. The glue in the stamps is infused with cacao oil. A celebratory touch that makes sense, given Belgium is famous for its chocolate. One stamp collector sniffed the chocolate flavor was disappointing, but come on, wouldn't anything taste better than regular stamps? We on this morning show are now hoping for Belgian waffle-flavored envelopes. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
2:28 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Actor Richard Griffiths, Uncle Vernon In 'Harry Potter' Movies, Dies

Actor Richard Griffiths in 2011.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 3:58 am

Richard Griffiths, who millions of Harry Potter movie fans loved and likely despised as the cruel Uncle Vernon Dursley, has died.

The BBC, The Guardian and other news outlets in the U.K. report that he passed away Thursday at the age of 65. There were "complications following heart surgery," the BBC says. The Guardian adds:

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Around the Nation
2:26 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Disc Jockey Gets Tattoo After Florida Gulf Coast Win

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

March Madness is a fixture in the United States and now on one radio host's upper arm. Florida DJ Big Mama wanted the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to win so badly, he promised on air to get a tattoo if they beat Georgetown. Big Mama is a man of his word. He posted photos of his Eagles tattoo online.

I'll tell you what: If Florida Gulf Coast wins again tonight, I'll sing their fight song on air Monday. Steve Inskeep will be back - maybe a duet?

The Two-Way
1:55 am
Fri March 29, 2013

'Cuse Control And 2 Other Things To Say About Basketball Today

Brandon Triche (No. 20) of the Syracuse Orange goes to the hoop against Cody Zeller of the Indiana Hoosiers during their teams' game Thursday night in Washington, D.C. Syracuse won, 61-50.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 3:54 am

Friday morning's cheat sheet about the NCAA's Division I men's basketball tournament (or March Madness, as it's better known):

-- Hoosiers Zoned Out: It's probably never right to say that a Syracuse win is a huge surprise, given the many years of success enjoyed by coach Jim Boeheim's Orange. But the 'Cuse are a No. 4 seed in the tournament's East region. So Thursday night's 61-50 win over No. 1 seed Indiana is worth noting.

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NPR Story
11:39 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a good read.

The social website Goodreads, where readers share reviews and book picks, got picked up yesterday by online retail giant Amazon. The price hasn't been disclosed. The co-founder of Goodreads says after the sale closes next quarter, the site will be integrated with Amazon's Kindle eReader. Goodreads has about 16 million members. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
11:39 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Movie Review: 'Gimme The Loot'

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

"Gimme The Loot" is a new independent film that's had a charmed life, including winning the Best Narrative prize at South by Southwest and an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival. Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan says it's worth the fuss.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: We meet Malcolm and Sofia as they're stealing spray paint from a hardware store.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GIMME THE LOOT")

TASHIANA WASHINGTON: (Unintelligible)

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NPR Story
11:39 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is a takedown of everyone's favorite giant radioactive reptile.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GODZILLA")

MONTAGNE: That pop-culture monster, Godzilla, hatched nearly 60 years ago in a Japanese movie production studio.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

He stomped through cities battling other giant creatures, from Mothra to King Kong. Well, now The Wall Street Journal reports that Godzilla has been vanquished. His box office attendance records, at least, has been beaten.

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StoryCorps
10:09 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Tattoo Removal Artist Helps Clients With Emotional Scars

Dawn Maestas has removed tattoos from women who have been branded as a result of domestic violence. She recorded an interview with one of her clients, who wanted to remain anonymous.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

Dawn Maestas runs a tattoo-removal business in Albuquerque, N.M., and her clients include women who want the names of abusive partners removed.

Some of them have been tattooed forcibly, like the 22-year-old client who visited StoryCorps with Maestas.

"I was with a guy for five years. He was much older. He was really abusive toward me. After a while when I tried to finally end it, he kidnapped me, held me hostage and tattooed his name all over my body against my will," says the woman, who did not want to be named.

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Shots - Health News
10:08 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Number Of Early Childhood Vaccines Not Linked To Autism

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds no link between the number of vaccinations a young child receives and the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:33 am

A large new government study should reassure parents who are afraid that kids are getting autism because they receive too many vaccines too early in life.

The study, by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder. It also found that even though kids are getting more vaccines these days, those vaccines contain many fewer of the substances that provoke an immune response.

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Planet Money
10:07 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

The Trick To Selling Fancy Wine From New Jersey: Don't Say It's From New Jersey

A sign outside Lou Caracciolo's winery, Amalthea Cellars
Courtesy Amalthea Cellars

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

Halfway between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City casinos is a little slice of France: Amalthea Cellars. There's an old farmhouse, and a field full of grapevines.

Lou Caracciolo, who founded Amalthea, is walking through the field. "Here's something I put in the ground in 1976," he says. "You have to have a feel for it, and after 30 years I have a pretty good feel for it."

Caracciolo calls himself a hopeless romantic. And, really, you have to be a romantic to try to make a $33 bottle of cabernet sauvignon blend in New Jersey.

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Economy
10:07 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Cyprus' Crisis Frames Eurozone As 'Work In Progress'

Banks in Cyprus reopened to customers for the first time in nearly two weeks Thursday, albeit with strict restrictions.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

On the second day since Cyprus reopened its banks, depositors continue to face restrictions on getting at their money. ATM withdrawals are limited to 300 euros a day, and there are limits on how much cash travelers can take abroad.

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Shots - Health News
10:06 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Obamacare Won't Affect Most 2012 Taxes, Despite Firm's Claim

Taxes this year will be as much of a drag as ever. But not because of the Affordable Care Act.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 5:22 pm

If you haven't done your taxes yet, this ad from H&R Block might make you feel even more anxious.

"The Affordable Care Act means big changes this year when you file your taxes," says the young woman in the ad, with a smug smile. She then claims to have read "all 900 pages" of the law so she can offer you a "solution."

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Research News
10:05 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Tiny DNA Switches Aim To Revolutionize 'Cellular' Computing

NPR Illustration

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

If you think programming a clock radio is hard, try reprogramming life itself. That's the goal of Drew Endy, a synthetic biologist at Stanford University.

Endy has been working with a laboratory strain of E. coli bacteria. He sees the microbes as more than just single-cell organisms. They're little computers.

"Any system that's receiving information, processing information and then using that activity to control what happens next, you can think of as a computing system," Endy says.

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Europe
10:04 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Versailles Gets Spiffed-Up On Its Day Off

Restorer Nicoletta Rinaldi works on the ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors at the Versailles Palace, west of Paris, in 2007.
Remy de la Mauviniere AP

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

With nearly 7 million visitors a year, the Chateau of Versailles in France is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. But one day a week, it's closed.

So what happens at Versailles on its day off? A spa day, of sorts — involving cleaning and conservation work.

Catherine Pegard, president of Versailles, says the palace is always caught between history and modernity.

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Middle East
10:03 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Syrian Financial Capital's Loss Is Turkey's Gain

Syrian refugees are pictured at Kilis refugee camp in Gaziantep, Turkey, on Nov. 1. An estimated 150,000 Syrians are reported to be living in the Turkish border town.
Maurizio Gambarini DPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 5:20 pm

There is a brain drain in Syria, an exodus of the skilled and the educated as the Syrian revolt grinds into a third year.

The health care system is one casualty, as hospitals and clinics are shelled and doctors flee the country.

The business community is another — particularly in Aleppo, Syria's largest city and once the country's industrial and financial hub.

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Latin America
10:02 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Honduras, Fighting HIV/AIDS Through Music And Theater

Women meet during a support group for those who have HIV and their friends and family on Jan. 17 in Triunfo de la Cruz. These kinds of support groups are an important part of making people feel comfortable with their diagnosis and seeking treatment.
David Rochkind Pulitzer Center

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:14 am

In the village of Corozal in Honduras, men ready boats for fishing excursions and boys play soccer on a beach lined with thatched huts.

On a sandy lot next to the town's main street, two teenage boys begin playing drums while women sing. For centuries, this has been the signature sound of celebration for the Garifuna, an Afro-Caribbean people on the Atlantic coast of Central America. Now this music has an additional purpose: to prevent HIV.

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Supreme Court Notes: Bugs, Pumps And Stolen Credit Card Numbers

Same-sex marriage supporters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg sends us some odds and ends from a very momentous week in the Supreme Court.

Hear all that sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and nose blowing during this week's same-sex oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court?

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Light Of High Court Arguments, What Does Gay Marriage Tells Us About Polygamy?

Robyn Brown, Meri Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Janelle Brown from "Sister Wives" arrive at the grand opening of Mike Tyson's one-man show at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:18 am

One of the more interesting exchanges to emerge from the Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage this week, wasn't about the sexes, instead it was when Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a question about polygamy.

Sotomayor asked Ted Olson, the lawyer asking the court to repeal California's ban on gay marriage, that if he was right and "marriage is a fundamental right" could any state restrictions ever exist. In other words, does declaring gay marriage a civil right, pave the way to legalization of, say, polygamy?

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Syrian Opposition Leader Not Leaving Post

We told you over the weekend about the Syrian opposition leader who resigned in frustration, criticizing the international community for not doing enough to end the civil war in Syria. Turns out he's staying in his job.

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Shots - Health News
1:06 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Many Hot Water Heaters Set Too High, Upping Burn Risk

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 2:16 pm

Burns are nasty injuries — they're painful and, if you're not careful, they can quickly get infected. Two children die from burn injuries every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A surprising number of these deaths originate with tap water that is way too hot.

The problem, a new study suggests, is that many water heaters are set dangerously high.

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It's All Politics
1:04 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History

Police stand guard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices hear arguments on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:34 am

Now and then, an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court changes the course of the nation's political history — whether the justices like it or not.

It's happening again with gay marriage. This week the court heard oral arguments in two key cases. One could restore legal same-sex marriage in California; the other could end discrimination against gay married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programs.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

French President Tries Again For Tax On Rich

French President Francois Hollande takes part Thursday in an interview on French 2 TV in Paris.
Fred Dufour AP

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 2:41 am

French President Francois Hollande is trying again with his 75 percent tax on millionaires.

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Business
12:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Farm Bill's Sugar Subsidy More Taxing Than Sweet, Critics Say

While many people enjoy sweet treats — like these chocolate bunnies — the price of a key ingredient has some people bitter. A government subsidy program is criticized for keeping sugar prices too high. But as prices fall, the government may buy sugar to help processors.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:55 pm

While you indulge in some Easter Peeps and chocolates this weekend, you might want to think about all that sugar. No, this isn't a calorie warning. In the U.S., raw sugar can cost twice the world average.

Critics say U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. But this year, prices fell anyway. Now, the government could be poised to use taxpayer dollars to buy up the excess sugar.

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Animals
12:12 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

What's Behind The 'Fairy Circles' That Dot West Africa?

Thousands of "fairy circles" dot the landscape of the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia. Why these barren circles appear in grassland areas has puzzled scientists for years.
N. Juergens AAAS/Science

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 2:19 pm

There's a mystery in West Africa that's puzzled scientists for years. Strange circles of bare soil appear in grassland; they're commonly called "fairy circles." These naturally occurring shapes last for decades, until the grass eventually takes over and the circles fade.

Now German scientists think they have an explanation — a horde of insects seems to be bioengineering thousands of miles of desert.

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Shots - Health News
12:12 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Sand From Fracking Could Pose Lung Disease Risk To Workers

A worker stands on top of a storage bin on July 27, 2011, at a drilling operation in Claysville, Pa. The dust is from powder mixed with water for hydraulic fracturing.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 8:50 am

When workplace safety expert Eric Esswein got a chance to see fracking in action not too long ago, what he noticed was all the dust.

It was coming off big machines used to haul around huge loads of sand. The sand is a critical part of the hydraulic fracturing method of oil and gas extraction. After workers drill down into rock, they create fractures in that rock by pumping in a mixture of water, chemicals and sand. The sand keeps the cracks propped open so that oil and gas are released.

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Animals
11:15 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Algae Bloom Kills Record Number Of Florida Manatees

A rescued manatee suffering from exposure to an algae bloom called red tide in southwest Florida comes up for air as it swims into a critical care tank at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.
Steve Nesius Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 1:38 pm

More than 200 manatees have died in Florida's waterways since January from an algae bloom called red tide, just as wildlife officials try to remove the marine mammal from the endangered species list.

It used to be boat propellers that were the biggest killer of manatees, but red tide has been especially bad this year.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officer Steve Rice routinely scours the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida for dead manatees. He has found more than 20 in the past few weeks.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Thu March 28, 2013

1,569: S&P Closes At All Time High, Rising Above Oct. 2007 Mark

A trader on floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 25, 2013. U
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:31 am

The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index broke new ground today, closing at 1,569, an all-time high that erased the record set on Oct. 9, 2007.

The S&P joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which broke its 2007 record earlier this month.

Both indices have now recovered all the losses they suffered during the Great Recession.

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Latin America
10:59 am
Thu March 28, 2013

From The Stone Age To The Digital Age In One Big Leap

Chief Almir of Brazil's Surui tribe attends a press conference with Google representatives in Rio de Janeiro last year. Chief Almir has brought technology to his previously isolated people, who now use smartphones to send photos of illegal logging in the Amazon.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 1:38 pm

In the heart of the Amazon in western Brazil, an Indian tribe called the Surui lived in the Stone Age as recently as the late 1960s. They wore loincloths, hunted monkeys with bows and arrows, and knew little of the increasingly modernized country in which they lived.

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It's All Politics
10:54 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Obama Forms Presidential Commission To Study Voting Problems

Voters line up into the night outside a Miami polling station, some waiting for hours to vote in the 2012 presidential election.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:30 am

President Obama has established a new bipartisan commission on election administration, something he promised to do in his Feb. 12 State of the Union address. He signed an executive order Thursday making it official.

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Thu March 28, 2013

In Ritual, Pope Francis Washes The Feet Of Young Inmates, Women

Pope Francis washes the feet of a prisoner at the Casal Del Marmo Youth Detention Centre during the mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday in Rome.
L'Osservatore Romano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 2:47 pm

During a Holy Thursday ritual, Pope Francis continued to break the traditions at the Vatican.

Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 young people at a youth prison. Among them were two women and two Muslims. The act was a break with tradition. As The Guardian reports, all modern popes have partaken in the ritual by washing the feet of fellow priests at either St Peter's or the Basilica of St John in Lateran.

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