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Parallels
9:31 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Tallinn: The Former Soviet City That Gave Birth To Skype

Residents of the Estonian capital of Tallinn can use public transportation for free after purchasing a special card for 2 euros.
Raigo Pajula AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

The Baltic city of Tallinn hardly looks modern with its blend of medieval towers and Soviet-era architecture. Smoke-spewing buses and noisy streetcars look as if they have been plucked from the past.

Even so, the Estonian capital is one of the world's most technologically advanced cities. The birthplace of Skype has repeatedly been cited for its digital accomplishments. Last week, Tallinn once again made the short list of the world's most intelligent cities as selected by the Intelligent Community Forum.

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Code Switch
9:26 am
Wed June 12, 2013

The Many Different Faces Of Marijuana In America

How fast are our stances toward marijuana changing? Washington, which legalized marijuana last fall, has had to acquire new drug-sniffing dogs who aren't trained to go after pot.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:10 pm

On Tuesday, Vermont moved to decriminalize the possession of marijuana for quantities up to an ounce, replacing potential prison time for arrests with fines.

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Shots - Health News
8:48 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Hands-Free Gadgets Don't Mean Risk-Free Driving

A University of Utah volunteer drives through Salt Lake City's Avenues neighborhood as a camera tracks her eye and head movement. Another device records driver reaction time, and a cap fitted with sensors charts brain activity.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:49 am

If you've felt smug and safe using built-in, voice-controlled technology for text messages, email and phone calls while driving, forget it. There are some sobering findings about the risk of distraction from the American Automobile Association and the University of Utah.

The proliferation of hands-free technology "is a looming public safety crisis," AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet says. "It's time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental distractions built into cars."

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Alleged Cleveland Kidnapper Pleads Not Guilty

Ariel Castro, 52, in a booking photo.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 9:43 am

Facing 329 charges, including two counts of aggravated murder, 139 counts of rape and 177 counts of kidnapping, Ariel Castro entered a not-guilty plea this morning in a Cleveland courthouse.

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It's All Politics
8:35 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Rick Perry's War On The Blue States

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with Illinois media during his April trip to lure businesses.
M. Spencer Green AP

Gov. Rick Perry's outsized Texas swagger is coming to the heart of blue state America.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Live Blog: Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger Goes On Trial

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:07 am

Whitey Bulger is finally getting his day in court.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Pope Francis Said Reveal Existence Of 'Gay Lobby'

Pope Francis leaves after his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on June 12, 2013.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 8:58 am

In an audience with The Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious, Pope Francis is said to have revealed the existence of a gay lobby.

The organization of priests and nuns posted notes of their private meeting with the pope on its website.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Colorado Fires: Thousands of Homes Evacuated, Prisoners Moved

Smoke rises from the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 8:58 am

More than 900 prisoners were evacuated from a state prison near Colorado Springs, Colo., early Wednesday as one of four wildfires across the Front Range moved toward the facility, The Associated Press writes.

About 2,500 homes and businesses in northeast El Paso County have also been evacuated, according to The Denver Post.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Spurs Blow Out The Heat, Take 2-1 Lead In NBA Finals

The San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili (left) congratulates teammate Gary Neal on his three-pointer during Tuesday night's game.
Al Diaz / Miami Herald MCT / Landov

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 7:55 am

The Spurs were red hot Tuesday night, not the Heat.

San Antonio blew out Miami in Game 3 of the NBA finals, winning 113-77 and taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Led by Danny Green and Gary Neal, the Spurs went on a tear — hitting a Finals record 16 shots from beyond the three-point arc. As NPR's Tom Goldman said on Morning Edition, "Miami melted into the hardwood like the wicked witch of the west" as San Antonio hit shot after shot.

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National Security
7:01 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Surveillance Revelations Spark Lackluster Public Discord

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

When a former IT contractor at the National Security Agency gave The Guardian U.S. government surveillance information, he told the paper that his only motivation was to spark a public debate about government surveillance.

"This is something that's not our place to decide," Edward Snowden said. "The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong."

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Experts Doubt NSA Leaker's Claim About Wiretaps

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:02 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Steve Henn reports on the plausibility of Edward Snowden's claims

Edward Snowden's claim that as systems administrator for a defense contractor in Hawaii he had the authority "to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president," just isn't plausible, says a former national security lawyer at the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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Around the Nation
6:23 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Stuck On The Tarmac, Passengers Break Into Song

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A flight from Las Vegas to Phoenix this week was delayed and delayed, passengers stuck on the tarmac for four hours without air conditioning or water in 108-degree heat. A YouTube post said some passengers got sick, but, quote, to "avoid a mutiny," others joined together in song: R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) I believe I can fly.

(LAUGHTER)

Around the Nation
6:14 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Couple Celebrates Annivesary With Trip To Maine's Capitol

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Marcine and Nita Lou Webb marked 65 years of marriage with a trip to Augusta, Maine, completing a mission to visit all 50 state capitals. Asked how Maine's capitol building compared to the others, Marcine gave it a medium, but high marks for friendly atmosphere. When they went to the gallery to see a debate, the House speaker recognized them and the legislators gave them a standing O.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:10 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Book News: Illinois School Board Restores 'Perks Of Being A Wallflower'

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 6:35 am

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

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Wed June 12, 2013

@TodayIn1963 Captures Moments From A Historic Summer

Gov. Wallace promises to block black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama while Nicholas Katzenbach, deputy attorney general of the United States listens.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:21 pm

You might notice a bit of history peppered throughout your Twitter feed over the next few months.

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The Salt
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Why You'll Be Paying More For Beef All This Year

With U.S. cattle herds at their lowest levels since the 1950s and corn feed prices on the rise, beef prices are on the rise.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

If you've experienced sticker shock shopping for ground beef or steak recently, be prepared for an entire summer of high beef prices.

Multi-year droughts in states that produce most of the country's beef cattle have driven up costs to historic highs. Last year, ranchers culled deep into their herds — some even liquidated all their cattle — which pushed the U.S. cattle herd to its lowest point since the 1950s.

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Business
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Technology Columnist Sheds Light On New Bulbs

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Buying a light bulb it's not as simple as it used to be. You're not just choosing between 100 watts and 75 watts, between three-way and one-way. Now you can choose light bulbs that will save you quite a bit of money and use less power. There are now bulbs that don't get hot, and you can pick a bulb that might last longer than you do.

Technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky, at Bloomberg News, has been trying out the new bulbs and will enlighten us. Good morning, Rich.

RICH JAROSLOVSKY: Good morning.

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Politics
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Obama Urges Congress Not To 'Block' Immigration Bill

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. The U.S. Senate has opened debate on a sweeping immigration bill. And President Obama says it's the best chance in years to fix what he calls a broken immigration system. The measure took a step forward yesterday when a big, bipartisan majority of senators voted to take up the bill. But it still faces serious obstacles, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Business
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Google Acquires Israeli Mapping Service Waze

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Google has announced it is buying Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app, for a reported price of just over a billion dollars.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports it may change the way we travel.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Google hopes its latest acquisition will make your morning commute easier, faster and more social.

While other traffic apps are somewhat passive, Waze tracks mobile devices as they travel, and uses that information to help analyze traffic speeds and flow.

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Middle East
2:28 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Despite Limited Election Choices, Iranians Eager To Be Heard

Supporters of Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator and a candidate in Iran's June 14 presidential election, attend a street campaign after Friday prayers in Tehran on June 7.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

The day we arrived in Iran's capital, Tehran, billboards along the drive from the airport to the city center were already telling us something about what's happening in the country as it prepared for Friday's presidential elections.

We see typical highway signs for Sony Ericsson, but also billboards featuring the face of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. We also see and drive under giant signs that are from Iran's current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging people to vote.

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Sports
2:27 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Minor Leaguer Takes Mature Strides To Become Better

Tyler Saladino plays for the Birmingham Barons, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Tyler Saladino is one of thousands of minor league baseball players hoping to make it to the major leagues. He plays in Alabama for the Birmingham Barons, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Last year, NPR profiled Saladino. But since then, maybe things have changed for the 23-year-old infielder.

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Parallels
2:26 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Honduras Claims Unwanted Title Of World's Murder Capital

Members of the 18th Street gang announce a truce during a press conference at a prison in San Pedro Sula, on May 28. The gang is involved in drug trafficking that has brought terror to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Loenel Cruz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 4:03 pm

Latin America is riddled with crime, and no place is more violent than Honduras. It has just 8 million people, but with as many as 20 people killed there every day, it now has the highest murder rate in the world.

It would be easy to blame drug trafficking. Honduras and its Central American neighbors have long served as a favored smuggling corridor for South American cocaine headed north to the U.S.

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Author Interviews
1:56 am
Wed June 12, 2013

With Space-Bound Hubbies, 'Astrowives' Became 'First Reality Stars'

Annie Glenn, Rene Carpenter, Louise Shepard, Betty Grissom, Trudy Cooper and Marjorie Slayton attend a luncheon held in their honor by the American Newspaper Women's Club on April 27, 1962, in Washington, D.C. Mercury Seven wife Josephine Schirra is not pictured.
Harvey Georges AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

In the late 1950s, after the Soviet Union successfully put their satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit, American fears over the Communist threat reached a new height. The U.S. was trailing badly in a competition that would come to define the next decade – the race to space.

So on April 9, 1959, the U.S. kicked off its own space age by introducing the country to its first astronauts, known as the Mercury Seven. Their story is well known, but the story of their wives is often overlooked.

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U.S.
1:55 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Immigration Bill May Keep Wage Exemption For Foreign Herders

Antonio Basualdo Solorzano has worked at the Ladder Ranch in south-central Wyoming for eight years. On his wages as a guest worker, he's supported seven children back home in Peru.
Sara Hossaini for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

When Patrick and Sharon O'Toole began their ranching business on the Wyoming-Colorado border, they tended the sheep themselves. But eventually, the O'Tooles wanted to settle down and have kids, so they hired foreign ranch hands with H-2A, or guest worker, visas to work on the ranch for $750 a month.

Peruvian shepherds on guest worker visas tend thousands of sheep in Wyoming, but they only make about half of what agricultural workers elsewhere are paid.

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The Record
11:38 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Boards Of Canada Tap A Devout Following To Push New Album

Boards of Canada's new album is titled Tomorrow's Harvest.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

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Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Basketball: The 'Ultimate Contradiction'

In basketball, as in life, we may dutifully celebrate the aggregate, but we'™re always spellbound by the exceptional.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Basketball offers its fans the ultimate contradiction. On the one hand, it's the sport that most depends on its stars. On the other, it's the most intimate — even organic — of all the team games, with its players more fundamentally involved with one another. Both of these opposing realities are rooted in the same base.

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It's All Politics
4:58 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

What Did Congress Really Know About NSA Tracking?

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is among the lawmakers who say they were never briefed about the government's surveillance programs.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:20 pm

If you're a member of Congress and you didn't know about the National Security Agency's phone records program before it was disclosed last week, President Obama has this to say to you: Where have you been?

"When it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program," Obama said to reporters last Friday.

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Around the Nation
4:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Massive Bat Cave Stirs Texas-Size Debate Over Development

Millions of bats live in Bracken Cave, in a rural area near San Antonio. Conservationists are worried that plans for a multithousand-unit housing development will disrupt the bat colony.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:28 pm

The Bracken Bat Cave, just north of San Antonio, is as rural as it gets. You have to drive down a long, 2-mile rocky road to reach it. There's nothing nearby — no lights, no running water. The only thing you hear are the katydids.

The cave houses a massive bat colony, as it has for an estimated 10,000 years. Bat Conservation International, the group that oversees the Bracken Cave Reserve, wants it to stay secluded, but the area's rural nature could change if a local developer's plan moves forward.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Egypt Said To Be In Talks With Ethiopia Over Nile Dam Plan

A May 28 photo shows the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, during a diversion ceremony for the country's dam project. Egypt says it is against the plan.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Egypt's leaders are negotiating with Ethiopia over a Nile River dam project the Ethiopians have begun building, according to reports. The news comes after a week of forceful talk about the dam project, including one session with Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi in which politicians discussed armed intervention, apparently not aware their words were being broadcast on live television.

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The Salt
4:12 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Tender Beef, Without The Pathogens: USDA Proposes Labeling Rules

Meat tenderized the old-fashioned way. The industrial method is a mechanized process involving needles.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:27 pm

In order to make tough cuts of beef more tender, the industry uses a mechanical tenderizing process that involves piercing the meat with needles.

This is effective in breaking up the tough muscle fibers, but there's a downside, too: a higher risk of surface bacteria making their way into the cut of meat, which can set the stage for food poisoning. That's a particular concern when it comes to the center of meat cuts, which don't get heated to the same temperatures as the exterior.

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