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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Tue February 4, 2014

U.S. Ambassador To Russia Will Resign After Olympics

Michael A. McFaul.
U.S. Embassy in Moscow

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:08 am

The United States ambassador to Russia says he will leave his post after the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Tue February 4, 2014

U.K. Admits 'Limited' Role In India's 1984 Raid On Sikh Shrine

A Sikh devotee takes a holy dip in the sacred pond at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Jan. 1. The British government acknowledged Tuesday it advised India before the deadly 1984 raid on Sikhism's holiest shrine.
Sanjeev Syal AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:33 am

We told you last month about revelations that Britain had aided India three decades ago in a deadly raid on the Golden Temple to remove separatist militants holed up in Sikhisim's holiest shrine. On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague acknowledged that British military advice had "limited impact" on the operation.

Here's what Hague told Parliament about the June 1984 raid in Amritsar, India:

And here's his statement in full:

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue February 4, 2014

'Secret Contacts' Reported Between Afghan President, Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:17 am

It's a question that's been vexing American diplomats for months:

Why won't Afghan President Hamid Karzai sign a security agreement with the U.S. — a deal that President Obama and his aides say needs Karzai's signature if any American troops are going to stay in Afghanistan beyond the end of this year?

As Sean Carberry, NPR's Kabul correspondent, has said:

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Microsoft Picks Insider Nadella As CEO; Gates Takes New Role

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's next CEO.
Stephen Brashear AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:45 am

Microsoft confirmed Tuesday that Satya Nadella, who has risen through the tech company's ranks since he joined it in 1992, is its new CEO.

Nadella has most recently been executive vice president of Microsoft's "cloud and enterprise" group.

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All Tech Considered
8:31 am
Tue February 4, 2014

8 Things Worth Knowing About Microsoft's New CEO, Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella, the Indian-born, Wisconsin-educated Microsoft veteran, is now its big boss.
LeWeb13 Flickr

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 1:30 pm

While it's never been considered a "cool" company, Microsoft is still a force — worth $300 billion, and Windows operating systems still run on a big chunk of the world's computers. While the profile of founder and former CEO Bill Gates still looms large, outgoing leader Steve Ballmer took the reins in 2000. And Tuesday, the board chose an internal candidate — 46-year-old Indian-American engineer Satya Nadella — to head the company.

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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Creationism Vs. Evolution: The Debate Is Live Tonight

Bill Nye, left, and Ken Ham will debate the issue Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.
AnsweringGenesis.org

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:02 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: Cheri Lawson of member station WNKU reports on the Nye-Ham debate

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Monkey See
7:33 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part 1: 'American Hustle'

NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:46 pm

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All Songs Considered
7:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Beck On 'Morning Phase': The All Songs Considered Interview

Beck's 12th studio full-length, Morning Phase, will be released Feb. 25.
Peter Hapak

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:33 pm

  • Hear Beck Discuss 'Morning Phase'

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Book News: Fragment Of Jane Austen's Handwriting Found

Hulton Archive Getty Images

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

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New In Paperback
6:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Feb. 2-8: The Virgin Mary, The Prophet Muhammad And A Stalker Student

Scribner

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 4:37 pm

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
6:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

A Little Knowledge Is 'Definitely Maybe' A Dangerous Thing

Boris and Arkady Strugatsky coauthored the 1971 science fiction novel Roadside Picnic.
Courtesy of the Strugatsky Estate

A great truth is this: Some discoveries, like the sting of a painful memory, do a number on your psyche. Definitely Maybe accomplishes just that. It's one for those with a penchant for the strange, those drawn to the grim and the darkly funny — those, like myself, interested in the beautifully rendered pessimism of manic scientists. Never mind, just for a moment, the current state of science fiction. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, brothers, celebrated Russian geniuses, give it all in this dystopian gem. All and then some.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Sick Of Winter? Love It? More Snow And Ice Are On The Way

Winter: Do you wish it was over? Or is weather like this just great? (A scene in Queens, N.Y., on Monday.)
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:32 pm

Heavy snow is going to fall "from central Kansas through central Missouri and Illinois, into central Indiana" starting Tuesday, the National Weather Service says. Then, the "same system could bring a foot of snow [from] northern Pennsylvania into central New England on Wednesday."

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NPR Story
3:59 am
Tue February 4, 2014

After 400 Years, Mount Sinabung Erupts

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The eruption of an Indonesian volcano has claimed its first fatalities. It happened in recent days. Mount Sinabung has been erupting for about three months after 400 years of quiet. Nobody knows how bad this could get, but already the volcano is sending scalding ash a mile into the sky and it killed 14 people last weekend. Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Otto is on the line in Jakarta. Welcome to the program, sir.

BEN OTTO: Hi. Thanks for having me.

INSKEEP: What does the erupting volcano look like?

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NPR Story
3:59 am
Tue February 4, 2014

You Know It's Cold When Kenny Martin Wears Pants

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Kenny Martin finally hit his limit. He's a mailman working out of the Walled Lake post office northwest of Detroit. Despite that northern location he wears shorts all year around. He gives the Detroit Free Press a simple explanation, quote, "I hate pants. They chaffe."

This winter finally broke him. He's put on pants on some of the coldest days though he still likes shorts and adds: I have a very high tolerance for pain. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
3:59 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Senate Expected To Pass Long-Delayed Farm Bill

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Senate will be voting on final passage of a five-year farm bill this afternoon. One big change in the new bill - it puts an end to the controversial cash payments made directly to farmers regardless of their profits. Still, as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, critics argue the new crop insurance program that replaces those cash subsidies is just another giveaway.

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Afghanistan
2:48 am
Tue February 4, 2014

An Afghan Success Story: Fewer Child Deaths

A young girl receives a polio vaccine at the Isteqlal hospital in Kabul on Sept.19, 2011.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

One of the most dramatic changes in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban is the increase in average life expectancy from 45 to 62 years. That gain is almost entirely a function of reductions in child mortality due to the spread of basic health services.

Yet Afghanistan still has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world, and there could be significant backsliding as the international community reduces aid after NATO troops withdraw at the end of this year.

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U.S.
2:46 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Exonerations On The Rise, And Not Just Because Of DNA

David Ranta speaks with reporters after being freed by a judge in March 2013. Ranta spent more than two decades in prison before a reinvestigation of his case cast serious doubt on evidence used to convict him in the shooting of a Brooklyn rabbi.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

2013 was a record-breaking year for exonerations in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the National Registry of Exonerations.

At least 87 people were set free for crimes they did not commit last year, the highest number since researchers began keeping track more than 20 years ago. Some of those people spent decades in prison before release.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Wanna Smoke? It Could Cost You A Tooth, FDA Warns Teens

Smoking can mess up your looks, according to an ad campaign aimed at keeping teens from smoking.
Courtesy of U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

When it comes to persuading teenagers not to smoke, you have to think short-term, the Food and Drug Administration says.

"While most teens understand the serious health risks associated with tobacco use, they often don't believe the long-term consequences will ever apply to them," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told reporters Monday before unveiling the agency's first-ever anti-smoking campaign.

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All Tech Considered
2:43 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Facebook At 10: Amid Doubters, Company Eyes Next Growth Phase

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told James Bennet, editor in chief of The Atlantic, in September that he wasn't worried about whether Facebook is "cool." "We're almost 10 years old, and we're definitely not a niche thing at this point," Zuckerberg said.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Ten years ago, when Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook at Harvard, Noah Buyon was only nine years old.

Facebook started out as a site exclusively for college students, so it took Buyon a few years to find out about it. But when his older brothers got accounts, he wanted one too.

"It became kind of the cool thing to have," Buyon says. "I couldn't hold out any more — and I got it, and I've been saddled with it ever since."

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The Edge
2:42 am
Tue February 4, 2014

A Tiny Town Steeped In Skiing Tradition Has Its First Olympian

Russell Currier competes at the Biathlon World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, last year.
Fehim Demir EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Ask locals to describe the landscape in the tiny town of Stockholm, up near the tip of northern Maine, and more than one will call it a winter wonderland. Woods dot the landscape of rolling white fields, and snow-covered spruce trees nestle roadways.

Winter is a long season, and you've got to find something fun to make it through — like skiing.

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Politics
2:41 am
Tue February 4, 2014

The Deficit: The Talk Is Big, But The Number Is Shrinking

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

The deficit is the nation's annual budget shortfall, the difference between what the government spends in one year and what it takes in. In 2009, '10, '11 and '12, it was huge.

"You look at the president's budget," said House Speaker John Boehner in 2012, "and we've got trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see."

"We're going to have trillion-dollar deficits for years to come," said former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

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The Salt
2:40 am
Tue February 4, 2014

How American Food Companies Go GMO-Free In A GMO World

Allen Williams grows corn and soybeans for Clarkson Grain, which has been selling GMO-free grain to Japan for years.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Quite possibly, you've noticed some new food labels out there, like "Not made with genetically modified ingredients" or "GMO-free." You might have seen them on boxes of Cheerios, or on chicken meat. If you've shopped at Whole Foods, that retailer says it now sells more than 3,000 products that have been certified as "non-GMO."

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Parallels
2:03 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Istanbul's Mega-Projects: Bigger Is Better, Or A 'Crazy Canal'?

The pillars for the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, commonly known as the "Third Bridge" rise from the Anatolian and European sides of the Bosphorus, above the fishing harbor of Poyrazkoy. When completed, the bridge will be over two kilometers in length, making it the longest combination railway/highway bridge in the world.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Istanbul has long been a city of historical layers and sharp contrasts: ancient monuments share the skyline none too comfortably with modern skyscrapers, and charming cobbled streets run alongside massive highway traffic snarls.

Those contrasts have multiplied under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his love of giant building projects hasn't abated after more than a decade in power.

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Music Interviews
1:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Broken Bells: Life 'After The Disco'

James Mercer (left) and Brian Burton (right) of Broken Bells.
James Minchin Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

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The Salt
5:14 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

All Hail The Asparagus Queen! How Ag Pageants Lure New Contestants

The 2011 Asparagus Queen, Megan Roskan, and runner-up Christine Merten wave to spectators during an Independence Day parade in Whitehall, Mich. With interests waning in agricultural pageants, organizers are relaxing the requirements to encourage more people to apply.
Courtesy of Phil Squattrito

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:33 pm

Forget Miss USA and Miss Universe.

Think you've got what it takes to be the Asparagus Queen?

Mainstream beauty pageants still get tons of applicants every year (even after the dip in participation during the 2008 recession). The same can't be said for the rural festival pageant circuits, The Wall Street Journal's Lindsay Gellman tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered.

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Around the Nation
5:14 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Outdoor Show Reopens Under New Management: The NRA

Gun rights and gun control advocates demonstrate in Harrisburg, Pa., last year after the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show decided to ban certain guns. The show was canceled that year, but is back with a new name.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:33 pm

Last year, organizers of one of the nation's largest outdoor shows tried to ban certain guns in the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the industry struck back with a boycott, and the Eastern Sports and Outdoor show was eventually canceled.

This year, it's back and bigger than ever.

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It's All Politics
5:11 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline Report Creates Political Headache For Obama

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will run through this field near Bradshaw, Neb.
NH AP

Any expectation that a new State Department report would clarify the Keystone XL pipeline issue went up in smoke in recent days.

In the aftermath of a conclusion that downplayed the oil pipeline's potential effects on climate change, the issue has gotten even more politically complicated for the Obama White House. Environmentalists are ramping up their opposition to the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, while Republicans have intensified their push for approval. As for Democrats, well, that depends on their election prospects.

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NPR Story
5:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Dining Out At The Dawn Of The 1900s

Hotel Astor, December 7, 1904, Byron Company. (From the book "Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910" by Michael Lesy and Lisa Stoffer)

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:26 pm

When did Americans, raised on the food of the Puritans — some meat or fish, some potatoes, some corn — start eating the food of immigrants who came after them?

Author and Hampshire College literary journalism professor Michael Lesy takes up that question in one chapter of his latest book, written with his wife Lisa Stoffer, “Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910.”

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NPR Story
5:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

With Hoffman's Death, A Look At Heroin Use

New York City Police Department investigators leave the apartment building of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman after he was reported dead on February 2, 2014 in the Greenwich Village area of New York. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:35 am

The New York City medical examiner’s office is doing an autopsy today on the body of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. The actor and father of three was found on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment, dead of an apparent heroin overdose.

Philadelphia social worker and former heroin addict Jeff Deeney writes about Hoffman’s death in a piece in The Atlantic:

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NPR Story
5:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

U.S. Banks In Buyer's War For Loan Officers

Refinancing has plummeted, so with peak home purchasing season on the horizon, banks are trying to beef up their new home loan business.

Some banks that have laid off workers in their re-fi call centers are now engaged in bidding wars for experienced home loan officers.

Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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