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11:10 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Reclusive Spanish Billionaire Behind Zara's Fast Fashion Empire

A notorious recluse, Amancio Ortega founded the Zara clothing chain and is No. 3 on Forbes magazine's billionaire list.
Inditex AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:18 pm

He's the richest man you've never heard of: Amancio Ortega, founder of the Spanish clothing chain Zara. He's a notorious recluse who is rumored to wear the same plain shirt every day, but his Zara empire has come to define the concept of fast fashion.

And now he's taken Warren Buffett's No. 3 spot on Forbes' billionaires list.

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It's All Politics
10:10 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Ryan's Budget: The First Of The DOA Proposals

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (second from right), arrives with other GOP members of the House Budget Committee he chairs, for a news conference, March 12, 2013.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Like the famous cherry blossoms forecast to bloom in a few weeks, this time of year is also marked by the arrival of competing, partisan federal budget proposals that political foes immediately declare dead-on-arrival, though not so dead that they can't be used as campaign fodder.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) got the process underway Tuesday by introducing the House Republican budget for the coming fiscal year, DOA because it has no chance of getting through the Democratic Senate or to be signed by President Obama.

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Shots - Health News
10:09 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Can Kidney Transplants Ease Strain On Gaza's Health System?

A Palestinian dialysis patient is treated at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City in 2010. Many kidney patients in Gaza struggle to get proper dialysis therapy because machines are often overbooked.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 4:54 am

It's no picnic being a kidney patient even in the best conditions. But coming in for dialysis in a place like the Gaza Strip calls for a special kind of patience.

Years of war have placed a constant stress on the health system there. Thanks to a host of factors, Gaza's main hospital, Shifa Hospital, regularly faces supply shortages of medications that kidney patients need to manage nausea and other symptoms.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue March 12, 2013

5 Things About Popes And Their Names; Like, Why Do They Change Them?

Pope John II, whose name at birth was Mercurius. When he became pope in 533 he changed his name — starting a tradition that continues.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:53 am

Update at 5 p.m., March 13: The new pope's name will be Francis — one that hasn't been used before.

Our original post, written before Pope Francis was chosen:

It's not required, but it's almost surely going to happen:

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Tue March 12, 2013

In Secular Syria, Top Muslim Cleric Picks Sides In Civil War

Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun (right) prays with President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Feb. 5, 2012. The grand mufti has called on Syrians to join the army and fight for the government, his most partisan statement since the country's uprising began two years ago.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:28 am

This story was written by a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.

In a surprising religious decree, Syria's government-appointed grand mufti has issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to fight on the side of President Bashar Assad's regime against the rebels who have been waging an uprising for two years.

In a televised statement Sunday, Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun said: "I urge the sons of Syria to join the army and fight for the unity of this great country."

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Planet Money
9:41 am
Tue March 12, 2013

4.2 Million Americans Were Hired In January (And 4.1 Million Quit Or Got Fired)

Calculated Risk

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 1:42 pm

One jobs number gets all the attention: The number of jobs lost or gained in the previous month.

That number is important. But focusing too much on the net change in jobs can be misleading. It gives the impression that a job is like a widget — it's something that gets made in a factory somewhere, and that we hope exists forever.

That's not how it works. Even in good economic times ,new jobs are constantly being created and old jobs are constantly being destroyed. (Of course, you do want the number of jobs created to exceed the number of jobs destroyed.)

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Tue March 12, 2013

NASA: Rover Data Indicates Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Life

This image from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover's drill.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 1:50 pm

The group of scientists working with NASA's Curiosity rover made a big announcement during a press conference today: "We have found a habitable environment that is so benign" if there was water there, "you be able to drink it," John P. Grotzinger, professor of geology at Caltech, said summing up the rover's latest findings.

That is, at one point Mars had the right conditions to support living microbes.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Google Will Pay $7 Million To Settle Street View Data Capturing Case

The camera mounted on a Google Street View car used to photograph whole streets obscures part of the U.S. Internet giant's logo.
Daniel Mihailescu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 9:37 am

Google has agreed to pay a $7 million fine to settle claims from 37 states and the District of Columbia that the search giant improperly collected data from unsecured wireless networks across the United States using its "Street View" vehicles.

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It's All Politics
9:01 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Why Obama (And Any President) Fails To Meet Expectations

As with other recent presidents, Barack Obama is disliked and distrusted by roughly half the public. But some of his perceived failings may be the result of an inflated expectations game that all modern presidents must play.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:06 am

Whether President Obama attacks members of Congress, takes them out to dinner or pays them visits on Capitol Hill, he needs their support in order to achieve major parts of his agenda.

That presidents are at the mercy of Congress when it comes to budgets and legislation is an obvious point, and one deeply embedded in the U.S. constitutional system.

But it's a truism that often gets overlooked in the rush to assume that what a president wants, a president can get.

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Shots - Health News
8:00 am
Tue March 12, 2013

When It Comes To Health Care, Patients Don't Want To Weigh Costs

Patients say they feel little personal responsibility for keeping health costs lower.
Andrei Tchernov iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:06 pm

People willingly drive across town to save 50 cents on a carton of milk. But when it comes to health care, they don't want to think about how much it costs, and they don't want their doctors to think about it either, according to a recent study in the journal Health Affairs.

That's not good news for those who hope to nudge people into being more cost-conscious health care consumers.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Palestinian Rocket Likely Killed 11-Month Old In Gaza, UN Report Says

Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad.
Majed Hamdan AP

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 4:54 am

It became the iconic photograph of Israel's military strikes in Gaza last November:

It showed Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic journalist, carrying the body of his 11-month-old son, Ahmad. Misharawi is wailing, asking "What did my son do to die like this?"

An easy inference to make from the photograph was that the boy died because of an Israeli airstrike.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Judge Enters Not Guilty Plea For Accused Colorado Theater Shooter

After his attorneys said they need more time to prepare to respond to the 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes he faces, a Colorado judge on Tuesday entered a not guilty plea on behalf of accused movie theater gunman James Holmes.

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Africa
7:05 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Kenyans Select President, But Opponent Vows Fight

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will talk about the Reverend Al reboot - Reverend Al Sharpton, that is. For some people he's still just a loud-mouth provocateur, but for others he's become a trusted analyst, activist, and ally. NPR correspondent Corey Dade recently spent a very busy day with him and he'll tell us what he found out in just a few minutes.

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History
7:05 am
Tue March 12, 2013

First African-American Poet Still Showing New Work

Newly found poem by Jupiter Hammon.
Courtesy of Yale University Libraries

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 11:42 am

It's the handwriting that stands out to Cedrick May.

As an associate professor of English at the University of Texas, Arlington, he assigned his doctoral students to find some of the known works by Jupiter Hammon, the first published African-American poet. Hammon's works date back to 1760.

What one student ended up finding was a previously unpublished piece by the poet that shows how deeply he thought about slavery and religion.

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Shots - Health News
6:12 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Roller Derby Players Swap Bacteria (And Shoves) On The Track

Ma Whero from Mischief of Comic Slams collides with Scarface Clawdia of Smash Malice during the Richter City Roller Derby Season Grand Final at TSB Arena on July 21, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Hagen Hopkins Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 2:40 am

When Jessica Green competed in roller derby, she wondered how training, socializing and colliding with other roller girls could be affecting her health in invisible ways.

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Tue March 12, 2013

General's Dismissal Of Sex Assault Conviction Sparks Anger, Review Of System

The Pentagon. New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants a review of how sexual assault cases are adjudicated by the military.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

An Air Force general's decision to dismiss the charges against a lieutenant colonel who was convicted of sexual assault has outraged many members of Congress and led new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to say he's ordered a review of the case.

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The Two-Way
4:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Ahmadinejad Touched And Consoled Chávez's Mother, To Clerics' Dismay

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered his condolences to Elena Frias, mother of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chávez, last week. This image was provided to news services by the Miraflores Palace — the office of the Venezuelan president.
Reuters /Landov

A photo of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holding the hand of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's mother and appearing to brush his face against her cheek as they consoled each other last week has him "mired in a fresh controversy" in Iran, as the BBC writes:

"Conservative critics, already irked by Mr Ahmadinejad's effusive eulogy for the leftist leader, reminded him that he has not only committed a sin, but also behaved in a way inappropriate for the president of an Islamic state."

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The Two-Way
3:46 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Senate Committee Takes Up Expanded Gun Measures

Gun show in Chantilly, Va., last December.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 8:14 am

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET: Senate Passes Measure:

The Associated Press reports that the committee cast a 10-8 party-line vote, with all Republicans opposed, on the measure to expand a requirement of background checks for gun sales between private parties.

The Associated Press reports:

"The bill's sponsor, New York Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer, said the measure will reduce gun crimes, and said he hopes he can strike a compromise on the measure with Republicans, which would enhance the measure's chances of passing in the full Senate.

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The Two-Way
3:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Ryan Says His Budget Would Balance In 10 Years

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., when he was campaigning as the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee.
Michael Sears MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:32 am

(Note at 11:20 a.m. ET: Scroll down to see the GOP plan, which has now been released; new comments from Rep. Ryan; and White House reaction.)

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, unveiled his latest budget plan Tuesday morning — and as NPR's Tamara Keith told our Newscast Desk, he says it would bring the federal budget in balance by 2023.

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The Two-Way
2:39 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Smoke Is Black: No Pope After Cardinals' First Vote

As the black smoke rose from the Vatican chimney Tuesday, some of the nuns and others gathered in St. Peter's Square were singing.
Eric Gaillard Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:25 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli on the latest from Rome
  • Philip Reeves on the princes of the church

Update at 2:43 p.m. ET. No Pope Today:

Black smoke just poured from the chimney above the Vatican. That means, as was expected, the cardinals did not choose a pope on the first vote of their conclave to name a successor to the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI. As the cardinals' ballots are burned, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says, chemicals are added to a fire in a second stove to turn the smoke black if there's no pope elected and white if there is.

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The Two-Way
2:38 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Book News: Hippies Were Dirty And Liked Music By Satanists, Louisiana Textbook Claims

Paintings adorn the "Magic Bus" on display at a museum built on the site of the 1969 Woodstock music festival.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:00 am

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

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Around the Nation
1:30 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Arizona State's Mascot Gets A Makeover, And Backlash

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Arizona State never had much luck with sports mascots. When it was a normal, or a teacher's school, they were the Normals. Later they became the Arizona State Sun Devils. This mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil in a red costume with horns and a pitchfork. Now Disney has helped update Sparky, but some students find his big eyes and bulging muscles creepy. Students may vote on Sparky's future after the campus paper warned he'll scare kids. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Strange News
1:29 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Arizona Gator Gets $6,000 Prosthetic Tail

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

There's "The Six Million Dollar Man" and now there is the $6,000 alligator. He's called Mr. Stubbs because his tail was bitten off years ago. Mr. Stubbs was taken in by the Phoenix Herpetological Society, where, The Arizona Republic reports, an orthopedic care specialist realized a silicone tail could be designed for him. Mr. Stubbs now sports a $6,000 prosthetic, making him half gator, half rubber.

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

Latin America
12:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Mexican President Shifts Focus From Drugs To Progress

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:48 am

Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has been in office for three months, and despite his claims that he's fighting drug violence with a new strategy, there are no signs the situation is any better. The president prefers to focus on Mexico's economic potential and has been touring the country, giving pep talks wherever he goes.

Religion
12:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

What American Catholics Want From The Next Pontiff

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Awaiting the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel are many of the 75 million Catholics in the U.S., and the question comes up, what do American Catholics want to see in the next pope? The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life explored that question in recent surveys. Here with the findings is Pew senior researcher Greg Smith. Good morning.

GREG SMITH: Good morning.

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All Tech Considered
11:29 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself

Noah Zandan shows off his Zeo sleep-tracking headband. His other self-tracking devices are on his wrists. Noah and his father, Peter, are both part of the growing "Quantified Self" movement.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:11 am

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

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The Salt
10:58 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Mississippi Passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' Bill

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 12:11 pm

Mayor Mike and his public health edicts are having a rough ride.

On Monday, a state judge in Manhattan struck down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's rule capping soda sizes. And lawmakers in Mississippi are taking the backlash against government regulation on food marketing one step further.

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Latin America
10:58 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

In Upcoming Venezuelan Vote, Hugo Chavez Looms Large

An image of late President Hugo Chavez hangs behind acting President Nicolas Maduro, as he speaks to supporters after registering his candidacy outside the national electoral council in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:17 am

The tall and imposing Nicolas Maduro stepped forward last week to be sworn in as Venezuela's interim leader following the death of President Hugo Chavez.

Before the country's packed congressional hall, he swore to complete Chavez's dream to transform the OPEC power into a socialist state, allied with Cuba and decidedly opposed to capitalism and U.S. interests in Latin America.

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Arts & Life
10:51 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

'Bowery Boys' Are Amateur But Beloved New York Historians

Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 11:12 am

In the 19th century, the Bowery Boys were a street gang that ruled that small section of Manhattan. In the 21st century, the Bowery Boys are two best friends — Tom Meyers and Greg Young — who record a do-it-yourself podcast with the same name.

Meyers and Young love to perform almost as much as they love New York City, and their show traces the unofficial history of the place. They record a few blocks from — you guessed it — the Bowery district.

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Financial Basics For Baby Boomers
10:49 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

From Grief Comes A Mission To Make Estate Planning Less Daunting

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:17 am

Estate planning may seem like a pain, but imagine the mess you leave to those managing your affairs if you don't draw up a will or get life insurance.

"It takes really just a few hours now, rather than a pile of hours and thousands of dollars to do it later when you really need it done," says Chanel Reynolds, who created a website geared to help people get their affairs in order.

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