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Code Switch
3:54 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Class Trumps Race When It Comes To Internet Access

Smartphones offer a way for lower-income people who don't have broadband access at home to connect to the Internet.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 5:56 am

A new study from the Pew Research Center finds that age and income play a larger role than race when it comes to high-speed Internet access. Lower-income African-Americans often buy smartphones to compensate for not having a broadband connection at home. Smartphones, however, may not be enough.

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Shots - Health News
3:53 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Cold Weather Tips To Keep Your Pets In Good Health

Courtney Martin jogs through the snow with her dog, Theodore, in St. Louis. Missourians and their pets muddled through another frigid day Tuesday.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 7:00 pm

Here I sit shivering, wishing I were a dog or cat to get through this cold snap.

A built-in fur coat, no commute and maybe some quality time by the fireplace. What could go wrong?

Quite a few things, it turns out.

The friendly animal lovers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's Ryan Hospital report seeing a few wintery problems for pets in the ER over the last few days. Some you might not have expected.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

With Department Steeped In Scandal, L.A. County Sheriff Will Retire

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announces his unexpected retirement on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:55 pm

With his department steeped in scandal, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced he would retire at the end of the month.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Baca said he would not seek reelection for a fifth term as sheriff.

"The reasons for doing so are so many. Some are most personal and private, but the prevailing one is the negative perception this upcoming campaign has brought to the exemplary service provided to the men and women of the Sheriff's Department," Baca said.

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Music Reviews
3:49 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Peter Gabriel's Favorite Artists Remake His Music From 'Scratch'

Peter Gabriel's 2010 covers album Scratch My Back is complemented this year by a multi-artist tribute album, And I'll Scratch Yours.
Michele Turriani Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 8:06 pm

In 2010, Peter Gabriel released the first half of a two-part project, singing favorite songs written by living musicians. He titled it Scratch My Back. Now comes the sequel, titled And I'll Scratch Yours. It features most of the acts whose songs he covered, returning the favor by performing Peter Gabriel songs.

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NPR Story
3:30 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

American Skaters Not Expected To Take Much Gold In Sochi

Meryl Davis and Charlie White competes in the Ice Dance short program during day two of ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 NHK Trophy at Yoyogi National Gymnasium on November 9, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. (Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:14 pm

The U.S. National Figure Skating Championships take place in Boston this week. Winners will make the U.S. Olympic team.

Sports writer John Powers tells Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to expect ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the reigning world champions, to make history as the first U.S. pair to take gold in the Sochi Olympics next month.

But Powers says U.S. figure skaters are falling short in pairs and men’s and women’s individual events.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Robin Young On Michael Bay's Teleprompter Fail

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:14 pm

We began our story today on the Consumer Electronics Show by mentioning film director Michael Bay’s onstage meltdown at the show.

He said later in an email that he’d been so excited he’d jumped off his script, and that confused the poor teleprompter operator, who’d jumped ahead.

Who has not been there?

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Innovation And Connectivity Dominate Consumer Electronics Show

Sony Executive Vice President of Sony Corporation and Sony Mobile Communications President and CEO Kunimasa Suzuki displays a Sony Xperia Z compact phone during a Sony press event at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (David Becker/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:14 pm

Curved high-definition televisions, wearable computers, internet-connected cars, water bottles and tennis rackets are just some of the thousands of gadgets on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal is at the CES and tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that smart TVs and improved smartphones are among the hottest trends at the show, as tech companies respond to consumer demand for more connectivity.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

What Is Life Like For Iranian Youth?

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:14 pm

Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, very little has been reported from inside Iran — and the news we hear about the country often involves the words “nuclear,” “sanctions” or “Islamic repression.”

But what is life really like for Iranian youth? And how and where do they let their hair down?

The BBC’s Jiyar Gol traveled to the city of Erbil in Iraq to meet some Iranian youths who agreed to speak openly about their lives.

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Shots - Health News
2:48 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression

Western medicine has questioned the medical benefits of meditation.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:38 am

People are increasingly turning to mindfulness mediation to manage health issues, and meditation classes are being offered through schools and hospitals.

But doctors have questioned whether this ancient Eastern practice really offers measurable health benefits. A fresh review of the evidence should help sort that out.

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World Cafe
2:19 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Diego Garcia On World Cafe

Diego Garcia.
Alejandro Cardenas Courtesy of the artist

Singer-songwriter Diego Garcia returns to World Cafe to play songs from the follow-up to his lovelorn 2011 album Laura. Named for Garcia's wife, the album was a commercial success — and, more importantly, helped repair their marriage.

As its title indicates, Garcia's new Paradise is a much happier album. Influenced by classic Latin crooners like Julio Iglesias, Garcia performs songs from Paradise at World Cafe Live in Wilmington, Del.

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Around the Nation
2:15 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

It's So Cold That You Might Need A Sweater To Read This

Passengers wait on a train platform in Chicago in below-zero temperatures.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 3:36 pm

It was in the single digits in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning, and that seems warm compared with some places around the country. Cities in the northern part of the country, like Minneapolis, saw the temperature dip well below zero — and coupled with wind chills, it felt like minus 60 in some places.

Around the country, flights have been canceled and schools have closed. Even activities people might take for granted in some towns are suffering. Because of the polar vortex:

1. It's hard to ski in Minnesota

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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

GOP's 2014 Resolution: Keep Pounding Democrats On Obamacare

Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, said Tuesday the GOP will continue to point the finger of blame for the Affordable Care Act at vulnerable Democrats.
Damian Dovarganes AP

When a reporter asked Reince Priebus Tuesday if Republicans would respond to a question about any issue by somehow directing the conversation back to the Affordable Care Act, the Republican National Committee chairman answered tongue-in-cheek.

"The answer is Obamacare," he said. "No, I'm just kidding."

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All Songs Considered
2:05 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

New Year, New Mix: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, More

Clockwise from upper left: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, Maria Linden of I Break Horses
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:58 am

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are back from their holiday journey to the heartland, rested and ready to celebrate the new year with a batch of new music from some of their favorite artists, and latest discoveries.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Venezuelan Beauty Queen, Telenovela Star Killed In Robbery

The former Miss Venezuela and telenovela star Mónica Spear and her husband were killed after gunman opened fire during what police say was an attempted robbery in Venezuela on Tuesday.

The AP reports:

"It said the couple's 5-year-old daughter was in stable condition after getting medical attention for unspecified injuries."

"The family lived in the United States and was on vacation. Local news reports said they were awaiting a tow truck."

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Business
1:19 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

JPMorgan Chase Settles Madoff Case For $1.7 Billion

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 5:56 am

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges accusing the bank of ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme.

The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Extreme Cold Convinces Escaped Convict To Give Up: VIDEO

Robert Vick, in an undated photo provided by Kentucky Department of Corrections. After a cold night and day, he asked to be put back in prison.
AP

Sunday night, 42-year-old Robert Vick escaped from the minimum security Blackburn Correction Complex in Kentucky.

By Monday evening, he'd apparently had enough of the sub-zero temperatures gripping the Bluegrass State and much of the rest of the nation. Vick showed up at the office of the Sunset Motel in Lexington and asked the clerk to call the authorities.

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Shots - Health News
1:11 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Drinking Too Much? Don't Count On Your Doctor To Ask

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 1:23 pm

Most of the people who have problems with drinking aren't alcoholics, and having a brief chat with a doctor is often all it takes to prompt excessive drinkers to cut back.

But, it turns out, doctors aren't bringing the topic up. More than 80 percent of adults say they've never discussed alcohol use with a health professional, a survey finds.

Young people and binge drinkers were most likely to be asked about alcohol use, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Author Interviews
12:43 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

'You Can't Be This Furry' And Other Life Lessons From Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart's work has been translated into 26 languages.
Brigitte Lacombe Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 1:56 pm

Novelist Gary Shteyngart was a wheezing, asthmatic and fearful 7-year-old when he and his parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to Queens, New York, in 1979. (This was soon after America negotiated a trade deal with the Soviets that included allowing Jews to immigrate to Israel, Canada or the U. S.) He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his health was a deciding factor in his parents' decision to move.

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Law
12:20 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

New Law Allows Transgender Students To Choose Bathrooms And Sports Teams

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 2:15 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Sports
12:20 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Chris Kluwe On What Cost Him His Job With The Minnesota Vikings

Genevieve Ross AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 2:15 pm

Just before a big playoff weekend, the sports website Deadspin published an open letter by former Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe, titled "I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot." Kluwe, a straight man, says his outspoken support of same-sex marriage cost him his job.

"In my mind, there's no logical conclusion that can be drawn, other than that I was fired for my activism," Kluwe tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More.

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Education
12:20 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

How To Successfully Link GED Tests And Jobs

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 2:15 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. In a few minutes, we will hear from former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. He had a solid eight-year career in the NFL until he was released last year. Now he's saying in a newly released open letter that it was his support for same-sex marriage off the field, not his performance on it, that cost him his job. He'll tell us more about why he thinks that in just a few minutes.

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Monkey See
12:20 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

A Hong Kong Film Titan, With A Reach Well Beyond His Roots

Run Run Shaw, pictured with his wife and daughter in London, was knighted in 1978 for his philanthropic endeavors.
Central Press Getty Images

The Hong Kong entertainment magnate and philanthropist Run Run Shaw, who died today at 106 or 107, isn't that well known in the West. But his fans, from Quentin Tarantino to the Wu-Tang Clan, sure are.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Scores Of Retired NYC Officers, Firefighters Charged In Fraud Case

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:16 pm

Eighty former New York City police officers and firefighters were charged on Tuesday in connection to a fraudulent scheme that prosecutors allege led to undeserved Social Security payments.

Authorities said the public servants falsely claimed that their actions in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, left them unable to work because of psychiatric conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

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Code Switch
11:52 am
Tue January 7, 2014

8 Reasons Why The Rent Is Too Damn High

Housing costs keep climbing, and outpacing many people's ability to afford them. But the reasons why are complex and interrelated, which means it's a problem with no simple solution.
Kevin Dooley Flickr

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:09 pm

In the comments section of a recent Code Switch post, a reader named Aboubacar Ndiaye gave a long but thoughtful explanation for the many reasons why housing costs are rising, and why there's no easy solution to the problem. He was gracious enough to expand on his thoughts in this commentary.

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A Blog Supreme
11:31 am
Tue January 7, 2014

The Jazz Men And Women We Lost In 2013

The late documentary filmmaker Jean Bach stands next to an enlarged 1958 photograph of many jazz musicians titled "A Great Day in Harlem." Her documentary about the photo shoot was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995.
Thomas Monaster/New York Daily News Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:21 pm

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Tue January 7, 2014

What Is The Polar Vortex And Why Is It Doing This To Us?

Ice has built up along Lake Michigan in Chicago as temperatures have plunged in recent days. A dip in the polar vortex is to blame.
Scott Olson Getty Images
  • On 'Morning Edition': science writer Andrew Freedman talks with NPR's David Greene about the polar vortex

We've mentioned the polar vortex several times in recent days.

We've said, for instance, that it's "a low pressure system that's usually whirling around the North Pole but has weakened and come south."

But we're still getting asked this question:

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Frolicking Fido, Cozy Cats: How Your Pets Are Chilling Out

Izzy Haywood/Instagram

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:10 am

We asked you for photos of how your pets are dealing with the frigid weather — and you folks sure did deliver. Here are some of the images you tagged #nprfrostypaws on Instagram.

Just a reminder, though, that we are seeing record-breaking low temperatures in some places, so please keep your pets warm.

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The Salt
10:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Smithfield Prods Its Pork Suppliers To Dump Pig Crates

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 3:55 pm

Smithfield, the world's largest hog and pork buyer, announced Tuesday that it's asking the independent farmers with whom it has contracts to get rid of stalls for pregnant sows to improve the animals' living conditions.

To nudge these farmers to make the changes to their facilities by 2022, Smithfield is offering to extend their contracts once they've converted their gestational stalls into group houses, which are generally considered more humane.

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Shots - Health News
10:33 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Health Care Inbox: From Medicaid Eligibility To Tax Credits

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act draws even more questions than when the law was on the drawing board.
iStockphoto

The new year is upon us, and with it a fuller implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The questions about the health care law haven't slowed. Here are some of the latest queries and answers.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:33 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Lily & Madeleine: Tiny Desk Concert

Lily & Madeleine, at a Tiny Desk concert in November 2013.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:11 am

Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz aren't the youngest musicians ever to play the Tiny Desk, but they come pretty close. Their music — a restrained, homespun mix of folk and pop with undeniably sweet harmonies — certainly ranks among the loveliest we've heard.

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