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2:42 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Brothers Levin Near The End Of A 32-Year Congressional Partnership

Sen. Carl Levin (left) huddles with his brother and fellow Michigan Democrat, Rep. Sandy Levin, during testimony on the automotive industry bailout in 2008.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:57 pm

During President Obama's speech Tuesday night, Sen. Carl Levin will be doing what he's done at every State of the Union for decades: sitting with his older brother and fellow Michigan Democrat Rep. Sandy Levin.

No two siblings in the nation's history have served longer than the 32 years the brothers Levin have been together in Congress. Both have held powerful committee chairmanships.

But this will be their last State of the Union together. Carl, who was first elected to Congress four years before his brother, has decided to retire at the end of the year.

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The Two-Way
11:02 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Inspector General: Literacy Training Of Afghan Forces Has Limited Success

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand guard outside Bagram military base.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

An effort by the international coalition in Afghanistan to teach Afghan security forces to read and write has had limited success and has been plagued by problems, a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction finds.

The $200 million effort was funded by the U.S. and after more than three years of the program, the report found that about half of the members of the Afghan National Police are still illiterate.

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The Edge
6:56 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

X Games Show The Olympics What The Kids Want

Nick Goepper competed in the ski slopestyle qualification for the European Winter X Games last March.
Jean-Pierre Clatot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

Nick Goepper is headed off to the Olympics in a couple of days, but he's not taking it easy: He spent the weekend hurtling through the air on ESPN at the X Games.

The sport is slopestyle. If you've watched any extreme skiing on television, you'll know it well: Skiers hit rails and walls and massive jumps; they seem to spend more time in the air than on the snow.

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The Edge
6:56 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

'Crazy' And 'Surreal': Figure Skater Jason Brown's Road To Sochi

Jason Brown skates during this year's U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden in Boston. After his free skate was watched more than 3 million times on YouTube, he said, "I don't know how it happened. ... I'm so shocked, beyond shocked. It's so surreal to me."
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

It's been a good month for U.S. figure skater Jason Brown. At only 19, he placed second at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, securing a spot on the team going to Sochi for next month's Winter Olympics. But it was his free skate at the national competition that electrified the crowd and made a YouTube star of Brown.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

U.S. Agencies, Tech Firms Agree To Rules On Surveillance Info

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:53 pm

Internet companies that receive U.S. government requests for information about their customers will be able to disclose more details about surveillance than has been allowed, according to a deal announced today by the Justice Department.

The shift will allow technology and communications companies "to publish the aggregate data ... relating to any orders issued pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)" — and in more ways than had been previously allowed.

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Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Key Senate Republicans Offer Their Plan To Replace Obamacare

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is one of the sponsors of a Republican proposal to rewrite the Affordable Care Act.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 8:41 am

Republicans have offered a wide array of proposals to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act since it became law in 2010. But few have come with the pedigree of the plan just unveiled by a trio of senior Senate Republicans.

The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act, or CARE for short, is a proposal being floated by Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

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Book Reviews
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Book Review: 'The Guts,' By Roddy Doyle

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

"The Commitments" was the first novel from Irish writer Roddy Doyle. The story introduced us to a young Dubliner named Jimmy Rabbitte, the founder of a neighborhood soul band. Subsequent books stayed with the Rabbitte family, detailing life's trials as they've aged. Well, now a new novel and we have the story of a middle aged Jimmy Rabbitte recovering from cancer surgery.

Alan Cheuse has our review.

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Book Reviews
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

A New Look At George Eliot That's Surprisingly Approachable

English novelist George Eliot (1819 - 1880), pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans, poses for a photograph.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

Meg Wolitzer's latest novel is The Interestings.

I have to admit that the first time I tried to read Middlemarch by George Eliot, I ended up putting it aside after only 20 pages. My teenage self, feeding heavily at the time on Pearl S. Buck and Go Ask Alice, found the novel difficult and dry. But then one day, when I was older and more discerning and less antsy, I tried again, and this time I was swept in. This time, I guess I was ready.

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Mental Health
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

No Surprises: Egyptian Military Endorses Its Chief For President

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, to Egypt where there were more indications today that the country's top military chief is preparing to run for president. The armed forces announced on state television that Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi should, in their words, heed the call of the people and run for president in an election expected to be held within the next three months.

NPR's Leila Fadel joins us now from Cairo. Hi, Leila.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Hi.

SIEGEL: And does this mean that Egypt's military chief is definitely running for president?

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Music Interviews
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Return Of The Robots: Daft Punk Talk Their Grammy-Winning Album

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:56 pm

On Sunday night, Daft Punk took home the top Grammy Awards — both for their hit single "Get Lucky" and its parent album, Random Access Memories. But if you were hoping to catch a glimpse of the faces behind their masks or hear the voices of the French electronic act, you were out of luck. Their collaborators spoke for them. Last year, though, the "robots" spoke with us about their work. In honor of their big wins, we revisit that interview.

Middle East
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The Doctor At The Heart Of The U.S.-Pakistan Rift

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:56 pm

Prickly relations between the U.S. and Islamabad are becoming even thornier because of one issue: the case of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011. Afridi is seen as a hero by many Americans, but that didn't deter Pakistan from jailing him for alleged militant ties. The U.S. Congress is withholding $33 million in aid to Pakistan until the doctor is freed. But Afridi's lawyer fears this tactic will antagonize Islamabad. He urgently wants Afridi freed, warning that the doctor is at severe risk of being killed by fellow prisoners.

Europe
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Declare Corruption The Problem

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Around the Nation
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

This Woman Goes To The Dogs — And Spays Many Of Them

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In poor sections of some southern American cities, you'll find lots of stray dogs. In Macon, Georgia, one woman has taken it upon herself to try a drastic solution to the problem. Georgia Public Broadcasting's Adam Ragusea reports.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Worries About Bird Flu Curtail Chinese New Year Feasts

A vendor sells chickens at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong last month. As a precautionary measure against the deadly H7N9 virus, Hong Kong has temporarily stopped importing poultry from mainland farms.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:56 pm

As China gets ready to usher in the Year of the Horse on Friday, millions of them will find it hard to buy chicken for traditional Lunar New Year feasts. That's a mark of the nation's growing anxiety about a poultry-borne flu virus called H7N9.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong agricultural workers will begin destroying 20,000 chickens. The bird flu virus H7N9 was found in a single live bird from a farm in neighboring Guangdong Province.

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World Cafe
3:59 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

World Cafe Next: The Districts

The Districts.
Caitlin McCann Courtesy of the artist

The Districts started out as a high-school band in Lititz, Penn. After some wise touring that included a SXSW visit last year — as well as a video with more than 300,000 views — the group now has a self-titled EP due out Tuesday on a national label. You can download two of the folk-pop band's catchy songs on the World Cafe: Next podcast.

All Tech Considered
3:35 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

You've Got Mail, And It Smells Like 18th Century Paris

The oPhone was on display at Wired's annual conference in London in October.
Courtesy of Le Laboratoire

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

First there was the Smell-O-Vision, a technology that brought aromas to movie theater audiences. Then there was Scratch 'n' Sniff, paper you could smell.

Now, a company in Paris has developed a mobile phone that sends aromatic text messages. It's called the oPhone — "o" for olfactory.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

What Santa Does When Christmas Is Over

The Golden Corral sections off a private room to protect Santa’s identities from children. (Eric Mennel/WUNC)

Content Advisory: If Santa is real to your kids, this story may not be suitable for them.

It’s a month after Christmas, and in parts of the nation, the Santas are gathering for some rumination. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Phoebe Judge of WUNC has the story of what professional Santas do when Christmas is over.

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

State Of The Union Invitation List: Who Makes The Cut

First lady Michelle Obama and invited guests in her box applaud during President Obama's State of the Union address in Washington, Jan. 25, 2011.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:58 pm

Just like the issues and themes that color the annual State of the Union speech, the list of White House invitees is intended to send a message about what an administration cares about and prioritizes.

The State of the Union guests, after all, are announced beforehand with biographies attached. And the typically staggered announcement of names allows the media to chew them over for several news cycles.

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NPR Story
3:21 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Song Of The Week: 'Neon Fists' By Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Ostrich consists of Alex Schaaf (vocals and guitar), Michael Tapper (drums), Jared Van Fleet and Zach Rose. (Courtesy)

Every week, NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson freshens our playlists with a new song.

This week he introduces Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to the song “Neon Fists” by the Wisconsin-born, Brooklyn-based indie rock band Yellow Ostrich, off their forthcoming album “Cosmos.”

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NPR Story
3:21 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Women And Children Most At Risk In Mississippi

Shae Hill holds her daughter Fredderio, 3 months, inside a store May 7, 2009 in Glendora, Mississippi. The highly impoverished rural town has very few jobs and no public transportation. The recession has hit many Americans hard, but the rural Lower Mississippi Delta region has had some of the nation's worst poverty for decades. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Fifty years after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty,” Mississippi remains the poorest state in the nation.

Most advocates and economists say Johnson’s social programs such as Head Start and child care subsidies have made huge differences in the state and across the country, yet they’re not reaching most in need.

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All Tech Considered
3:16 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

For Taiwanese News Animators, Funny Videos Are Serious Work

In their effort to make their animations seem more realistic, the Next Media team models various facial expressions it will use in a piece. These are models of singer Leslie Cheung.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

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The Record
3:13 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Collaborations And Congratulations: Navigating The Grammy Crossover

Kendrick Lamar and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons onstage during the 56th Grammy Awards.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

At the beginning of the 2014 Grammy Awards show, it seemed that one story would dominate the night. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Seattle duo whose highly accessible take on hip-hop became last year's indie-to-mainstream success story, took home three awards during the ceremony's pre-telecast portion.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

California Bar Rejects Stephen Glass, Ex-Writer Who Fabricated Stories

Handing down a harsh opinion, the California Supreme Court said that Stephen Glass, the former journalist who fabricated many stories, had failed to prove that he was of good moral character, so it was denying him a law license.

Despite his attempts to rehabilitate his image, the court said, it remained unconvinced that that Glass had changed his ways.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Spoiler Alert? 'Madden NFL 25' Predicts Super Bowl Outcome

Who will win? Videogame maker EA Sports says its Madden NFL 25 predicts an overtime thriller in Sunday's Super Bowl, with Denver edging Seattle. Here, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, left, and Broncos coach John Fox are seen in a composite image.
Getty Images Getty Images

EA Sports says it has seen the future – and the Denver Broncos will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, after a thrilling Super Bowl matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. The video game company plugged in the two teams to predict the outcome: an overtime thriller in which the lead changes hands several times.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:34 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Watch Musicians Elevate A Trip To A Big-Box Store

Courtesy of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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The Salt
2:19 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The White Castle Slider

Sliders come in five-packs, or as White Castle calls them, "swarms."
NPR

Time magazine recently named The White Castle Slider the Most Influential Burger of All Time, above the McDonald's burger, the Burger King Whopper, and President Millard P. Burger, the first all-beef president of the United States.

Ian: I guess it's better than when the White Castle Slider won Time magazine's Person of the Year.

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World Cafe
2:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Foxygen On World Cafe

Foxygen.
Angel Ceballos Courtesy of the artist

In a segment from January of last year — around the time they released their successful debut, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic — Foxygen's Jonathan Rado and Sam France turn up on World Cafe to perform and discuss songs from their album together.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:02 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Angel Olsen: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 8:40 am

Angel Olsen came to the Tiny Desk on an odd autumn day, as an impending storm loomed outside our office windows. It all seemed just right for occasion: Watch her and you'll see calm in her eyes; listen to her and you'll sense torment in her heart. Olsen gave us a preview of her third record on that October day; she wouldn't tell us the title, but she did say the word "Burn" with a hint of the title in the words to a song she'd sing.

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Shots - Health News
2:00 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Stricter Autism Criteria Unlikely To Reduce Services For Kids

Clinical specialist Catey Funaiock took notes while observing a 5-year-old boy at the Marcus Autism Center, part of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, in September.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 12:55 pm

The clinical definition for when a child has some form of autism has been tightened. And these narrower criteria for autism spectrum disorder probably will reduce the number of kids who meet the new standard.

But researchers say the changes, which were rolled out last May, are likely to have a bigger effect on government statistics than on the care of the nation's children.

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Shots - Health News
12:52 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

You'd Think We'd Have Baby-Making All Figured Out, But No

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:41 am

"Oh, just put a pillow underneath your hips during sex, then you'll definitely get pregnant," a good friend told me. "That did the trick for us — twice."

Now, the friend is a smart woman. She has a Ph.D. in biology, for Pete's sake. So she must know what she's talking about when it comes to conception, right?

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