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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

When To Act? The Dilemma In Every Hostage Crisis

The remains of a burned-out U.S. helicopter and an abandoned chopper in the eastern desert of Iran on April 27, 1980, after the aborted American commando raid to free U.S. Embassy hostages.
AP

At least some of the hostages seized by Islamic militants in Algeria reportedly died during a military rescue operation, once again illustrating the tough choices and dangers inherent in such efforts.

While many details are far from clear, NPR's Tom Bowman says U.S. officials believe three Americans were among those seized when the natural gas site was attacked by a group calling itself "the Signatories of Blood" on Wednesday.

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Science
12:24 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Powerful But Fragile: The Challenge Of Lithium Batteries

A United Airlines 787 Dreamliner arrives at O'Hare international Airport in Chicago in November. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad have grounded the planes because of problems with batteries on board.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:58 pm

Boeing announced late Friday that it is postponing deliveries of its new 787 Dreamliner because of problems with its big batteries. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad grounded the new jetliners after those batteries failed in two planes operated by Japanese airlines, including one battery that burned while the plane was on the ground.

These lithium-ion batteries are new to jetliners. They're powerful and lightweight, and, unfortunately, they're also fragile.

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Around the Nation
12:14 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Stink Bug's Resurfacing May Squash Farmers' Hopes For A Strong 2013

The stink bug population is six times larger this year than last.
Matt Rourke AP

If you live along the East Coast, there's a pretty good chance that stink bugs may be lurking in your attic or even behind your curtains. The invasive insects from Asia, which exude a rubber-like stench when you crush them, are a nuisance for you, but a serious pest for farmers.

Crop producers received a reprieve from the bugs in 2012, but the insects may be coming back and with a greater spread of attack.

Bob Black says he was not in a good place in 2010.

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U.S.
12:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

N.Y. Governor Flexes Political Muscle To Pass Tough Gun Law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new gun control law in Albany on Tuesday. It's the nation's first gun law enacted since the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Mike Groll AP

On Tuesday, New York became the first state in the nation to pass a tough new gun control law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo convinced his state's Legislature to act, even before President Obama took executive action to limit access to guns.

The governor's legislative victory followed his impassioned State of the State address earlier this month, delivered the first day of the 2013 legislative session.

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It's All Politics
12:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

For Cartoonists Who Cover Obama: Four More Ears

For editorial cartoonists, Obama's ears are his signature. In some depictions, they've grown throughout the years, but Matt Wuerker says cartoonists have gotten lazy. "We did the same thing to George W. Bush. By the end of his administration he was just Dumbo."
Courtesy of Matt Wuerker/Politico

Four years ago, when the nation's first African-American president was inaugurated, even conservative editorial cartoonists marked the moment with reverence.

As Scott Stantis, now of the Chicago Tribune, tells All Things Considered host Audie Cornish: "There are times in our history where we can just take half a step back from our partisanship and revel in the history and wonder of something."

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Middle East
12:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

U.S., Iran Running Low On Options Over Nuclear Program

With time running out on efforts to monitor Iran's nuclear program, 2013 could well be the year when the United States must decide whether to take military action to block Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

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Shots - Health News
10:51 am
Fri January 18, 2013

A Worm's Ovary Cells Become A Flu Vaccine Machine

The fall armyworm, a corn pest, is now also a vaccine factory.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 4:57 am

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Fri January 18, 2013

More Tears For Notre Dame's 'Fake Tragedy' Than A Real Girl's Death?

Lizzy Seeberg, in a family photo broadcast by ABC News.
ABCNews.go.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 1:03 pm

The bizarre story of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o and the girlfriend he now says never existed has exploded on to news sites and TV channels this week.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Grand Jury Indicts Ray Nagin On Corruption Charges

Mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 corruption charges by a federal grand jury. They include "conspiracy to deprive citizens of honest services."
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 counts of bribery and other corruption charges by a federal grand jury. When he became the city's mayor in 2002, Nagin, a former cable TV executive, promised to revive New Orleans' economy, and its trust in the city's government.

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History
10:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are heading into inauguration weekend and in a moment we will hear about some of the great and not-so-great moments of inaugurations past.

Along with the public ceremonies that are a part of the presidential inauguration, many people, including the president, will also be honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend, and on Monday, when his birthday is observed as a national holiday.

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Faith Matters
10:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

What Te'o And A Former Mormon Leader Have In Common

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality, and as you just heard, the Barber Shop guys were talking about the very strange story involving Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o. He's in the news because the story of his girlfriend's tragic death and the girlfriend herself turned out to be a hoax.

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The Salt
9:59 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Mexican Mole Has Many Flavors, Many Mothers

Three of the six moles served at Casa Oaxaca of Washington, D.C. Some of these mole recipes were passed down to chef Alfio Blangiardo by his grandmother.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:33 am

As with so many iconic dishes in a country's culinary heritage, Mexican mole has a creation tale.

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It's All Politics
9:55 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Speechwriters: After Bland First Inaugural, Obama Faces Tougher Second

President Obama gives his first inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 12:09 pm

A presidential inauguration is an event defined by huge, sweeping optics: the National Mall full of cheering Americans; a grandiose platform in front of the Capitol building; the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. And the centerpiece: a speech.

On Monday, President Obama will give his second inaugural address — and he faces a challenge in crafting a speech for this moment.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Listen Carefully Or You'll Miss It: We've Got Justice Thomas On Tape

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 10:34 am

  • Justice Thomas' voice comes in around the 13-second mark

As it does each Friday, the Supreme Court has released audio recordings of the week's oral arguments.

Which means we can now hear what it was like when Justice Clarence Thomas broke his seven-year silence.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Republicans Offer Three-Month Increase In Debt Ceiling

As workers prepare the Capitol for Monday's inaugural ceremony, there's word that Congress might not get into another battle over the debt ceiling.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 10:34 am

In a move that could head off another bruising battle over increasing the nation's debt ceiling, GOP leaders in the House plan to approve a three-month increase in the nation's borrowing authority next week, NPR's S.V. Date reports.

But, he tells our Newscast Desk, Republicans want to tie a longer-term increase to the passage of a budget that cuts spending.

His report continues:

"The plan comes from Majority Leader Eric Cantor as House Republicans wrap up a retreat in Southern Virginia.

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It's All Politics
8:50 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Inauguration Mashup: The Speech In 11 Easy Steps

An 11-step guide to the perfect inauguration speech
NPR

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 1:29 am

May the eagles of democracy soar above the covenant that binds our great nation in an era of new beginning ... or something.

Have you ever watched an inaugural address and wondered: How DO those guys (because they're always guys) do it? Well, we've prepared this handy guide so you, too, can give a speech like the chief executive.

Our instructions are based on a century of recorded footage. William McKinley's address was the first to be recorded by a "motion picture camera" (in 1897). Calvin Coolidge was the first to be broadcast over the radio (in 1925).

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Shots - Health News
8:49 am
Fri January 18, 2013

CDC: Flu Season Is Especially Tough On The Elderly

Sonia Despiar, right, a nurse with Gouverneur Healthcare Services, injects Imelda Silva with flu vaccine on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in New York. At least 10 elderly people and two children in New York have died from the flu and hospitalizations are climbing as the illness hits every county in the state.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Federal health officials say this year's flu season shaping up to be especially severe for the elderly.

According to the latest update from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people age 65 and older who are getting the flu jumped sharply in the last week or so. They are being hospitalized at a rate of about 82 per 100,000 cases. That's the rate that is seen during severe seasons, officials said.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Teacher Evaluation Impasse Costs New York City Hundreds Of Millions

In New York City, the failure to agree on a plan for evaluating its teachers is being widely criticized, especially because it means the city will now miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars in state financing.

At stake was $250 million in state aid, and another $200 million in grants, according to WNYC's Schoolbook education blog.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Te'o Spoke Of 'Girlfriend' As If She Existed After He Supposedly Learned Of Hoax

Manti Te'o, pointing skyward during Notre Dame's game against Michigan on Sept. 22. That was the day, he said then, of his girlfriend's funeral service. Now, he says he never met her and they had only an online and telephone relationship.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o "perpetuated the heartbreaking story" of a girlfriend's death after he supposedly had learned he was the victim of a hoax and that she never existed, The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Fri January 18, 2013

American Confirmed Dead In Algerian Hostage Crisis

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 3:56 pm

(We updated the top of this post at 8:55 ET.)

An American worker has been confirmed dead at the natural gas complex in eastern Algeria where Islamic extremists seized hostages, the U.S. State Department said Friday evening in a statement.

The State Department identified the man as Frederick Buttaccio, a Texas resident, but did not provide additional details on the circumstances.

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Acid Thrown In Face Of Bolshoi Ballet's Artistic Director; He May Lose Sight

Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet, in 2011.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

A masked assailant threw acid into the face of the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director on Thursday in Moscow in what may have been a "reprisal for his selection of dancers in starring roles at the famed Russian company," The Associated Press reports.

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It's All Politics
5:25 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Key Player In '94 Assault Weapons Ban: 'It's Going To Be Much More Difficult' Now

President Clinton speaks to a member of the House on Aug. 11, 1994, lobbying for votes for the crime bill.
Marcy Nighswander AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:36 am

President Obama's proposed renewal of a ban on assault-style weapons is expected to be based on the legislation approved by Congress in 1994 that expired 10 years later.

But when the first assault weapons ban was approved — outlawing 19 specific weapons — it was a very different time, and Congress was a very different place.

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The Two-Way
3:18 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Livestrong 'Disappointed' By Lance Armstrong, But Still Grateful To Him

Lance Armstrong, during the interview with Oprah Winfrey that was recorded Monday and began airing Thursday night.
George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 12:09 pm

After Part 1 of cyclist Lance Armstrong's confession about doping aired Thursday night on the Oprah Winfrey Network, the Livestrong cancer charity he helped found released a statement that says, in part:

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World
3:07 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Prospector In Australia Finds Giant Gold Nugget

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. An amateur prospector in Australia thought he'd stumbled on a car hood. It turned out to be a giant gold nugget shaped like a goldfish. The owner of the local gold shop told the Herald newspaper that if the anonymous prospector was silly enough to melt it down it would be worth nearly $300,000.

Unlikely, since its size and shape make it so rare. The gold will be worth far more to a museum or collector. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Food
2:59 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Subway Foot-Long Sub Comes Up Short

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene with news of a fast food chain that's coming up short. Earlier this week, a customer in Australia ordered a Subway Foot-Long sub only to find it measured a mere 11 inches. He posted a photo alongside a tape measure on the company's Facebook page, sparking outrage from customers and an investigation by the New York Post. They bought seven Subway Foot-Longs in New York City and four of them measured less than 12 inches. Subway is looking into this sizable matter.

Politics
1:41 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Does Obama's Second-Term Agenda Need Beefing Up?

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is set to take the oath of office for a second time. He has promised an ambitious agenda for the next four years. NPR's Mara Liasson tackles the question of whether it's ambitious enough.

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NPR Story
1:33 am
Fri January 18, 2013

CEO Marchionne Drives Chrysler's Dramatic Turnaround

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:11 am

With the global auto industry gathered in Detroit this week for the city's renowned auto show, Renee Montagne talks to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne about his company's stunning turnaround, manufacturing overseas and a Chrysler IPO.

NPR Story
1:33 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Kenyans Expect More From U.S. President With African Roots

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As President Obama prepares to start a second term, MORNING EDITION has asked NPR's foreign correspondents to gauge worldwide expectations for the next four years. We turn, this morning, to Kenya. Pride still runs deep there for the president, with roots in Kenya. But expectations of America's role have shifted from donor aid to partner in trade. NPR's Gregory Warner has the story.

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Media
12:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Media Circus: The Football Star And The Will To Believe

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o speaks Nov. 29 after he received a sportsmanship award from the Awards and Recognition Association in South Bend, Ind.
Joe Raymond AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:05 am

One of the top collegiate football players in the country, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, was lionized by the media amid stories of his perseverance on the field after both his grandmother and his girlfriend died.

Thanks to an expose by Deadspin, the girlfriend's very existence is now believed to be a hoax, throwing the Heisman runner-up and his university on the defensive.

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Arts & Life
10:40 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

In A Fragmented Cultureverse, Can Pop References Still Pop?

At Tyler Perry's live performances, his gospel-tinged references aren't meant for everyone in the audience.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:11 am

On a recent episode of Saturday Night Live when the comedian Louis C.K. played host, one skit parodied his eponymous show on F/X. It riffed on the theme song and the discursive style of his comedy.

But here's the thing: Fewer than 2 million people watch Louie. About 7 million watch Saturday Night Live. That means even optimistically, at least two-thirds of the audience is missing the joke.

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