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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Found Guilty Of Corruption

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin enters court for his corruption trial in New Orleans last month. He was charged with accepting bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:35 am

A federal jury has found Ray Nagin guilty of bribery and fraud. The former New Orleans mayor, 57, was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, in an indictment that included 21 counts. He was found guilty on 20 of those counts.

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Animals
12:50 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Elizabeth Kolbert says the "taxicab yellow" Panamanian golden frog was nearly wiped out by a fungal disease. It's just one of the species affected by what scientists call the Sixth Extinction.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 9:25 am

The dinosaurs were killed during the Fifth Extinction β€” which scientists suspect was caused by an asteroid. Now, we are living through an epoch that many scientists describe as the Sixth Extinction, and this time, human activity is the culprit. As one scientist put it: We're the asteroid.

Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of the new book The Sixth Extinction. It begins with a history of the "big five" extinctions of the past, and goes on to explain how human behavior is creating a sixth one β€” including our use of fossil fuels and the effects of climate change.

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Shots - Health News
12:16 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse

Barbara Mancini with her father, Joseph Yourshaw.
Barbara Mancini via Compassion & Choices

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:39 pm

A Pennsylvania county judge has thrown out an assisted suicide case against a 58-year-old nurse named Barbara Mancini, who was accused of homicide last year for allegedly handing her 93-year-old father a bottle of morphine.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

The National Ignition Facility's 192 laser beams focus onto a tiny target.
LLNL

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:00 pm

Researchers at a laboratory in California say they've had a breakthrough in producing fusion reactions with a giant laser. The success comes after years of struggling to get the laser to work and is another step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.

Omar Hurricane, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that for the first time, they've produced significant amounts of fusion by zapping a target with their laser. "We've gotten more energy out of the fusion fuel than we put into the fusion fuel," he says.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Justice Thomas: Americans More Race Conscious Now Than In '60s

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Michael Dwyer AP

This Yahoo News report is causing some conversation today:

"Americans today are too sensitive about race, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told a gathering of college students in Florida on Tuesday."

Yahoo's Chris Moody reports that at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a nondenominational Christian school in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thomas said:

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All Songs Considered
11:04 am
Wed February 12, 2014

The Moth & The Flame, 'Winsome'

Watch 'Winsome' by The Moth
Courtesy of the band

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 10:15 am

If you try to watch this video for its plot, good luck. There's a mermaid, a sandstorm, a dude, a chase, sea creatures, close-up lips ... I tried, but gave up and simply gave in to the flow of the song and the images.

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Race
11:03 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Love And Romance: Is One Race More Attractive Than Another?

Stock photos that portray diversity and romance leave much to be desired.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 2:39 pm

Over this past month, we've been exploring the way race impacts the dating world with #xculturelove. Recently, we discussed the way racial and cultural preferences play out in our dating lives.

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Sports
11:01 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Winter Olympics: Empty Seats Signify Low Interest?

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:43 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
11:01 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Fixing Poverty Is More Complicated Than Handing Out Cash

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:43 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It's been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty so all this year we've been looking at poverty here in the U.S. We've been talking about strategies to end poverty, what's worked, what hasn't and what's on the table because according to the U.S. Census, the rate of poverty seems to be stuck at 15 percent. That's about 46 million people.

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World
11:01 am
Wed February 12, 2014

U.S. Mayor Recalls Putting Together The First Jamaican Bobsled Team

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:43 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to stay in the spirit of the Winter Olympics. You might be keeping an eye on the Jamaican bobsled team. Their first appearance at the winter games back in 1988 was immortalized in the popular Disney movie "Cool Runnings." Here's a clip.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "COOL RUNNINGS")

DOUG E. DOUG: (As Sanka Coffie) ...I am Sanka Coffie, I am the best pushcart driver in all of Jamaica. I must drive. Do you dig where I'm coming from?

JOHN CANDY: (As Irv) Yeah, I did where you're coming from.

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Parallels
10:28 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Global Military Spending Set To Rise In 2014

A visitor to a military exhibition in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 6. Global military spending is expected to increase this year for the first time in five years. The biggest increases are expected in China and Russia.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters/Landov

After years of decreases, military spending is expected to rise globally in 2014 for the first time in five years.

And the rising defense budgets of China and Russia are a key reason why.

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All Tech Considered
10:19 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Weekly Un-Innovation: There's Nothing To See Here

You saw Nothing.
Milan Vermeulen Courtesy of Nothing

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 1:10 pm

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not know about yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

Normally we cover high-tech innovations in the form of gadgets that are supposed to make your life easier. But today, we're writing about ... Nothing.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Let's Weather The Storm: Share '3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside'

Last week in Indianapolis, the Kehoe children β€” from left, Maria, Anthony and Veronica β€” played with shaving cream as their mother Joanne tried to keep them occupied when the weather outside was awful.
R. Brent Smith AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:46 pm

As folks in the Deep South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast deal with yet another severe storm that's bringing rain, ice, sleet, snow or some combination of all those, let's see if we can help each other out.

So, please share in the comments thread or on NPR's Facebook page your "3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside."

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Shots - Health News
9:25 am
Wed February 12, 2014

The High Cost Of Treating People Hospitalized With West Nile Virus

Small but costly: Dozens of mosquito species carry West Nile virus in the U.S.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:11 pm

Fifteen years ago an unwelcome viral visitor entered the U.S., and we've been paying for it ever since.

The U.S recorded its first case of West Nile virus back in 1999. Since then, the disease has spread across the lower 48 states and cost the country around $800 million, scientists reported this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

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Parallels
8:41 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Belgian Proposal: Terminally Ill Kids Could Choose Euthanasia

Protesters in Brussels, Belgium, march on Feb. 2 against a proposed law that would allow terminally ill kids to choose euthanasia.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:00 pm

This week Belgium is expected to become the first country in the world to allow terminally ill children to choose euthanasia.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for those 18 and over, and the number of adults choosing a doctor-assisted death has been rising annually, reaching 1,432 in 2012.

But a bill before Parliament would lift age restrictions and allow terminally ill children to ask to be euthanized if they are in unbearable pain and treatment options are exhausted. In addition, their parents and medical team would have to agree.

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Monkey See
8:34 am
Wed February 12, 2014

How Indie Star Greta Gerwig Met Her New CBS Sitcom

Greta Gerwig, seen here at the Berlinale International Film Festival last week, is coming to a CBS pilot.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

News broke last night that Greta Gerwig, most recently admired for Frances Ha, which she starred in and co-wrote with director Noah Baumbach, will star in (and co-produce) a comedy pilot for CBS.

Not just any comedy pilot, though: Gerwig is working on How I Met Your Dad, a parallel to the concluding How I Met Your Mother from the same producers, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Thawing? Two Koreas Hold Highest-Level Talks Since 2007

In this handout image provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, Kim Kyou-Hyun (right) the head of South Korea's high-level delegation, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Won Tong-Yon before their meeting Wednesday in Panmunjom, South Korea.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:09 am

Quickly organized talks held Wednesday between representatives from South and North Korea marked the highest-level such meeting between the two nations since 2007, South Korea's Yonhap news reports.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Fiddler On The Slopes

Violinist-turned-Olympian Vanessa-Mae checks out her fellow skiers in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 10.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:08 pm

Classical music has managed to take center stage at sports events in the last few weeks. Soprano RenΓ©e Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl two weekends ago.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Book News: Gabrielle Giffords Writing Book About Gun Control

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, accompanied by her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, speaks during a July 2013 news conference in Manchester, N.H.
Mary Schwalm AP

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

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Republican Faulconer Elected Mayor In San Diego

San Diego Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer celebrated with his family and supporters Tuesday night as votes were counted.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:35 am

Six months after Democratic Mayor Bob Filner left office in disgrace because more than a dozen women had stepped forward to accuse him of sexual harassment, San Diegans have chosen a Republican to take over.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Wed February 12, 2014

'Crippling' And 'Paralyzing': Southern Storm Is Wicked

Not a good day for a drive: A Georgia Department of Transportation sign warned motorists in Norcross Wednesday morning, and few were on the roads.
John Amis AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:24 pm

(Click here to jump to a quick look at the latest news about the storm.)

As a wicked storm of ice and snow spreads over parts of Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas and heads toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the National Weather Service is again warning that it's getting ugly out there.

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Food
6:03 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style

The majority of patrons at Shanghai's Fortune Cookie restaurant are foreigners, particularly Americans who crave the American-Chinese food they grew up with but can't find in China.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 10:25 am

Imagine living in China and missing Chinese food. It happens. American expatriates who grew up with popular takeout dishes like General Tso's chicken can't find it in China because it essentially doesn't exist here.

Much of the Chinese food we grew up with isn't really Chinese. It's an American version of Chinese food. Chinese immigrants created it over time, adapting recipes with U.S. ingredients to appeal to American palates.

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Author Interviews
6:01 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Adventures Ripped From The Headlines: Questions For Alex Berenson

This week sees the publication of The Counterfeit Agent, the 8th book in author Alex Berenson's thriller series featuring former military man and CIA recruit John Wells. Wells can kill with his bare hands, he likes to exorcise his demons in the dead of night, at breakneck speed on the back of a motorcycle β€” and by the way, he's converted to Islam (a plot point TV viewers are seeing on Homeland years after Berenson featured it). Even after leaving the CIA, Wells never really leaves his job.

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Business
5:16 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Can Underfunded Community Colleges Provide More Job Training?

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Community college leaders are in Washington this week, pushing for a bigger role in getting more people to enroll in two-year schools. They're also pushing the job training that business and industry say they desperately need.

Still, community colleges are significantly underfunded. And as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, it's unclear whether these schools can open their doors to more people or offer programs that are likely to cost a lot more.

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Around the Nation
5:05 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Why Is Tobacco Still The Leading Preventable Cause Of Death?

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Fifty years after the landmark surgeon general's report that smoking causes cancer, former U.S. surgeons general are emphasizing that the key in the fight against tobacco is kids. They gathered for a youth tobacco summit in New Orleans yesterday.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

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NPR Story
4:22 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Snowborder Shaun White Will Leave Sochi Without A Medal

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Snowboarders have a new set of heroes who are not American. Last night, at the snowboard halfpipe event in Sochi, not a single member of Team USA was on the podium. The winners were Swiss and Japanese. Maybe the biggest disappointment was the fourth place finish by Shaun White. He's the American who, for years, has been the focal point of snowboarding's rise in popularity.

NPR's Robert Smith was there and tells us what it means for the sport.

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NPR Story
4:22 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Mass. Suit Aims To Clarify Religious Groups' Latitude In Hiring

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And when it comes to hiring pastors and teachers, religious organizations - churches and schools - are exempt from most laws against discriminating and employment. Now a lawsuit in Massachusetts aims to clarify how much leeway those institutions have. For example, can they discriminate against people in same-sex marriages for non-religious jobs like gym teacher or cafeteria worker? NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Matthew Barrett thought he'd scored his dream job when he was hired to be the boss of a school cafeteria.

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NPR Story
4:22 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Tennessee Volkswagen Workers Vote On UAW Membership

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:57 am

In Chattanooga on Wednesday, workers at Volkswagen's auto plant will vote on whether to unionize. This is billed as the most closely watched unionization vote in the South in decades.

Kitchen Window
2:41 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Valentine Hearts That Are Meant To Be Broken

T. Susan Chang for NPR

In first grade, my heart was stolen by Mark, who sat next to me and had an advanced phonics book (which I also craved). Then there were Peter, Eddie, Raja and Michael. These serial crushes continued right on up through my early 20s, at a rate of approximately three a year. Boys. I fell for their incipient mustaches, their bad attitudes and foul mouths, their poor poetry and bass guitars, their careless humor. I saw their swagger for what it was, but I loved it anyway.

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Art & Design
2:39 am
Wed February 12, 2014

At Last, New York Fashion Week Brings 'Good News For Real People'

Needleman says The Row has created an oversized sweater and sweater-skirt "that looks like if you were to lay down, you could just wrap it over yourself like a blanket and go to sleep."
Arno Frugier The Row Fall 2014 Collection

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:27 am

This year, the models on the runway at New York Fashion Week look downright comfortable β€” and Deborah Needleman, editor in chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, says that's "good news for real people."

In the semi-annual event, fashion editors and store buyers attend elaborate runway shows staged in tents at Lincoln Center and other locations around New York City. Designers present clothes to them that consumers may see in stores in the fall.

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