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Environment
6:25 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

About 6,000 Natural Gas Leaks Found In D.C.'s Aging Pipes

A close-up schematic of leaks near the U.S. Capitol shows high leak densities east of the building, but few leaks over the National Mall, where very few natural gas pipelines exist.
Robert B. Jackson/Environmental Science and Technology

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:18 pm

The nation's capital is a pretty old city by American standards. It dates back to the late 18th century. Despite frequent face-lifts, parts of it are wearing out — for example, its underground gas pipelines. New research shows that Washington, D.C., suffers from thousands of leaks of natural gas.

"We drove 1,500 road miles in Washington, D.C., and found about 6,000 leaks," says Robert Jackson, an ecologist and environmental scientist at Duke University. "That's roughly four leaks every mile."

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Code Switch
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

White House Makes College For Low-Income Students A Priority

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama shake hands with college graduate Troy Simon, who couldn't read until he was 14. The president spoke about college opportunities in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
Charles Dharapak ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama met today with over 140 college presidents at the White House. Also present at the event, were dozens of organizations committed to raising the number of low-income students who attend college.

No more than half of low-income high school graduates apply to college, so the President has asked the first lady to spearhead a national effort to encourage colleges — the more selective ones, in particular — to admit and graduate more students who are poor.

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Movies
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Snubs And Surprises Abound In Oscar Nominations

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:49 pm

Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and though lots of the slots went to the expected titles — Gravity, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave led the pack — there were certainly some surprises.

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globalFEST
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

What Makes globalFEST So Interesting?

Devo meets Davy Crockett: a member of the furry-hatted Ukrainian "folk-punk" band DakhaBrakha onstage Sunday during globalFEST at New York's Webster Hall.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:40 am

Every January, there's a one-night music festival in New York that showcases artists from around the world. It's called globalFEST, and it's been happening for more than a decade. Over the years, it's become a place for American tastemakers to find new talent from Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond.

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Music Reviews
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Troubadour Radio: 'Jam Band' Releases A New Album For Kids

Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, the brains behind Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, won the Latin Grammy for Best Latin Children's Album in 2013.
Matt Harbicht Courtesy of Sugar Mountain

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Los Angeles duo, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jazz Band, is a kids' music act with a prestigious reputation. They've won plenty of praise from the critics and they were the first Americans to win a Latin Grammy in the Children's Album category. Our kids' music reviewer Stefan Shepherd says their latest album comes in the form of a radio variety show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Around the Nation
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Sweet 16 And Barreling Toward Cowgirl Racing Fame

Megan Yurko and her horse, Beea. Now 16, Megan has been cowgirl barrel racing since the age of 6.
Courtesy of Megan Yurko

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

Megan Yurko is small, but she's a big name in barrel racing. And the 16-year-old is on track to be crowned the world's top cowgirl barrel racer at the upcoming International Professional Rodeo Association's finals in Oklahoma City.

Just under 4-foot-10, Megan depends on her 1,200-pound filly Beea in a sport where the fastest rider around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern wins.

"The thrill of it all is awesome," Megan says.

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Around the Nation
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

U.S. Biathlete Gives Up Olympic Spot To Her Twin Sister

Lanny and Tracy Barnes at a practice session for the women's 75-kilometer biathlon sprint during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

Tracy Barnes just secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team heading to Sochi — but almost immediately, she decided to give it up.

She surrendered her spot to her twin, Lanny. The 31-year-old sisters compete in biathlon, the sport that combines cross-country skiing and shooting. Both competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics, and Lanny competed in 2010 as well.

Lanny fell ill during selection races in Italy this past weekend, and she finished sixth, dashing her hopes of qualifying. Only the top five make the Olympic team; Tracy qualified at fifth place.

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Education
5:26 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Obamas Hope To Ease Path For Low-Income Students

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a meeting with college presidents and organizations involved in raising the number of low-income students who pursue a college degree. No more than half of low income high school graduates apply to college right after graduation, compared to 82 percent for high-income students. The administration says it's intent on closing that gap.

Movie Reviews
4:44 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

A Churl Of A Squirrel, On The Make In The Big City

Squirrels Andie (Katherine Heigl) and Surly (Will Arnett) start out on opposite ends of the moral spectrum in The Nut Job.
Toonbox Entertainment, Ltd.

Given the feel-good themes of the average kids' movie — be yourself, follow the golden rule, love each other, blah blah blah — it's refreshing to see an animated comedy chuck that guck and focus on a real jerk. Not a misunderstood Princess Elsa, or a Wreck-It Ralph with a heart of gold, but an out-and-out, two-bit, sell-you-down-the-river-if-it-would-save-his-own-fur shyster.

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Jack Ryan Gets A Makeover, And A Quick Trip To Moscow

Chris Pine and Keira Knightley anchor Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, opposite Kevin Costner as a CIA veteran and Kenneth Branagh as the story's big bad.
Larry Horricks Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:05 pm

A franchise is what we used to call a Burger King or a Shell station, but nowadays the word appears more often in relation to movies: the Star Wars franchise, the Hunger Games franchise, the Jack Ryan franchise — or in the case of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the Jack Ryan franchise reboot. I don't know what's more depressing: that what fires up studio execs is the hunt for a new franchise or that critics have adopted this business lingo uncritically.

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

'Big Bad Wolves,' On The Prowl In Tel Aviv

Religious-studies teacher Dror (Rotem Keinan) is the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders in Big Bad Wolves, a bracing new thriller from the Israeli writer-director team of Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.
Magnet Releasing

There's black comedy, and then, in the darkest corner of an airtight box buried deep underground, there's the humor of Big Bad Wolves, a new Israeli thriller from writer-directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Two Families, Decidedly Unalike In Dignity

Ryota Ninomiya (Masaharu Fukuyama) and his son Keita (Keita Ninomiya) wrestle with identity and belonging in Like Father, Like Son.
Sundance Selects

Tokyo filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda is known for deft work with kids, sometimes in scenarios with little or no adult presence. But the English-language title of his latest movie, Like Father, Like Son, is a little misleading. There's no reference to a child in the Japanese title, which means "And So He Becomes a Father."

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Sports
3:32 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Will Team USA's High-Tech Speedskating Suit Pay Off In Gold?

"Mach 39" is the result of a partnership between Under Armour and Lockheed Martin to create the most aerodynamic speedskating suit for the U.S. Olympic team.
Under Armour

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

A years-in-the-making, top-secret engineering and design project for a superaerodynamic suit to be worn by U.S. speedskaters at next month's Winter Olympics was finally unveiled Thursday.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and sporting goods company Under Armour released photos of the suit they're calling "Mach 39." It has been kept so tightly under wraps that the sport's governing body wouldn't even allow it to be worn at the Olympic trials in Salt Lake City.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

In Search For Habitable Planets, Why Stop At 'Earth-Like'?

Kepler-22b, seen in this artist's rendering, is a planet a bit larger than Earth that orbits in the habitable zone of its star. Some researchers think there might be "superhabitable" worlds that may not resemble Earth.
NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

In their hunt for potentially habitable planets around distant stars, scientists have been so focused on finding Earth-like planets that they're ignoring the possibility that other kinds of planets might be even friendlier to life, a new report says.

So-called superhabitable worlds wouldn't necessarily look like Earth but would nonetheless have conditions that are more suitable for life to emerge and evolve, according to the study published this month in the journal Astrobiology.

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World Cafe
3:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Travis On World Cafe

Travis.
Courtesy of the artist

The Scottish band Travis formed in Glasgow in 1990 and had major worldwide success with 1999's The Man Who. Its success helped lay the groundwork for other soaring and smooth pop-rock groups — including Coldplay and Keane, which achieved stardom shortly after Travis' breakthrough.

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NPR Story
3:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Dancing Doctor Continues Healing Journey

Dr. Deborah Cohan's friend Hillary Goidell took this picture of her the morning before surgery. (Facebook)

Dr. Deborah Cohan, a California mother of two, inspired millions by deciding to dance to Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” — with the entire operating room staff — just before her double mastectomy.

Deborah Cohan’s video was viewed by millions and her healing journey continues. Just days ago, she started chemotherapy treatment.

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NPR Story
3:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Florida Man In Assisted Living Squanders Lottery Winnings

Lottery winner Malcolm Ramsey, 55, sits in his room at the Loving Care assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., with some of the shoes he bought recently with his winnings. Ramsey was on a $54 monthly allowance before buying a scratch-off ticket worth $500 a week for life. (James Borchuk/Tampa Bay Times)

It’s every scratch card lottery player’s dream — seeing those matching numbers that mean big bucks. And that’s exactly what happened to Florida resident Malcolm Ramsey, whose winning numbers added up to $500 a week, for life.

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NPR Story
3:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Netflix May Take A Hit With End Of Net Neutrality

While the end of net neutrality may mean higher costs for Netflix, the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content stream faster and in higher quality than its competition, or refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet. (Netflix Blog)

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:46 pm

The recent appeals court ruling that overturned a FCC regulation requiring Internet Service Providers to treat all online services equally, known as “net neutrality,” may mean higher costs for Netflix and other online services.

But it also could have an upside for Netflix: the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content streams faster and in higher quality than its competition. Or the company can refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet.

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Animals
3:11 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

To Save Threatened Owl, Another Species Is Shot

A northern spotted owl in a Redwood forest.
Michael Nichols Getty Images/National Geographic Creative

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

In desperation to save the rare northern spotted owl, biologists are doing something that goes against their core — shooting another owl that's rapidly taking over spotted owl territory across the northwest.

"If we don't do it, what we're essentially doing, in my view, is dooming the spotted owl to extinction," says Lowell Diller, senior biologist for Green Diamond, a timber company.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

3 Arrested In Southern California Fire

A wildfire burns in the hills just north of the San Gabriel Valley community of Glendora, Calif., on Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:10 am

This post was last updated at 9 p.m. ET.

Authorities have arrested three men on charges of recklessly starting a fire that has swept through more than 1,700 acres in Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains, about 25 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It is currently 30 percent contained. Authorities say they have ordered people evacuated from 1,000 homes.

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It's All Politics
2:52 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Lawmakers Roll Out Voting Rights Act Fix

People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Feb. 2013 to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case.
Evan Vucci AP

A bipartisan group of lawmakers took the first step Thursday to patch a gaping hole in the 1965 Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court eviscerated a key part of the law that allowed for federal oversight of states with a history of ballot box discrimination.

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The Salt
2:49 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Good News: Americans Are Eating 78 Fewer Calories Every Day

Americans are dining out less and eating at home more, new government research shows. This may mean more family dinners, like this one at the Brown-Spencer home in Mechanicsville, Va.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 5:55 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has crunched some numbers, and its conclusion is that Americans are munching less. And on more healthful stuff.

On average, working-age adults were eating about 78 fewer calories per day in 2010, compared with five years earlier, according to a report released Thursday.

So what are we eating less of? Saturated fat. Researchers documented a 6 percent decline in calories from saturated fat between 2005 and 2010.

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Parallels
2:48 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

ln A Global Economy, Why's It So Expensive To Transfer My Money?

NPR's Ari Shapiro, who recently moved to London and set up a bank account, reports that it can still be an expensive and time consuming process to transfer money internationally. Here, people pass by a branch of Lloyds Bank in London, on Sept. 17.
Sang Tan AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:39 am

When relocating to a new country, it's important to establish routines and traditions. My ritual here in London is spending an hour on the phone with the bank every day.

It's a strange thing about 2014 — we've got one collective foot planted squarely in the 21st century, while the other is stuck in back in the 19-something-or-others.

My email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts don't care whether I'm in Dublin or Dubai. I can jog along the Seine in Paris to the same music on Spotify that I listen to when I'm running along the Willamette River in Portland.

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Shots - Health News
2:30 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

State Health Coverage Sign-Ups Paint A Complex Obamacare Picture

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, unveils a marketing campaign for the exchange in Los Angeles late last year.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:42 pm

Obamacare enrollment surged in December, and the administration's report on the numbers made headlines early this week.

But the national figures tend to obscure the differences from state to state.

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Movies
2:07 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nods Go To 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity,' '12 Years A Slave'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Oscar nominations are in. They were announced this morning in Beverly Hills. And "American Hustle" and "Gravity" are the early front-runners. Each of them got 10 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. "12 Years a Slave" was close behind with nine nominations. For more, we're joined now by Linda Holmes, who writes and edits NPR's entertainment and pop culture blog Monkey See. Good morning.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Good morning to you.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

In London, The Case Of The Purloined Water Lily

One of the world's rarest flowers has been stolen, Britain's Kew Gardens announced this week. The water lily Nymphaea thermarum is seen here in 2010.
Andrew McRobb AP

An exceptionally rare flower that is virtually extinct has been stolen from London's Kew Gardens, in a crime that experts say could be the work of an obsessed collector. British newspapers say that stealing the precious Nymphaea thermarum water lily "is like an old master theft."

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

New Drug Combination Takes 24 Minutes To Execute Ohio Killer

Dennis McGuire was executed Thursday.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction AP

The state of Ohio on Thursday conducted its first execution since running out of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital.

Reporter Alan Johnson from The Columbus Dispatch was among those who watched as convicted killer and rapist Dennis McGuire was put to death. Here is some of Johnson's description of what happened:

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All Songs Considered
1:13 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Good Listener: How Do You Know If You'll Love A Song Forever?

Oh, Carly Rae Jepsen. We knew it couldn't last.
Courtesy of the artist

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Found Recipes
12:57 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

A Taste Of South Texas In A 9x13 Dish

Don't be fooled by the name: Neither Sandy nor Crystal is quite sure where the King Ranch Casserole has its origins.
Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

When Sandy Pollock and Crystal Cook go to work on a traditional recipe, they usually like to bring it up to date with a modern twist or two. After all, they call themselves the Casserole Queens, specialists in making a classic quick-fix dish fit for today's dinner mat.

But when it came to changing the King Ranch Casserole, Sandy wouldn't hear of it. "There are just some things that you don't mess with," she says. "It's the way Mama made it!"

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Author Interviews
12:56 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Book Chronicles The Building Of Roger Ailes' Fox News Empire

Roger Ailes is the subject of a new book by New York Magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman. He describes Ailes' rule inside Fox News as "absolute."
Jim Cooper AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:00 pm

Fox News CEO and President Roger Ailes has succeeded in turning a television news network into an unprecedented force. Fox News is the most dominant media organization in America, generating more than a billion dollars in profit and earning the highest ratings of any cable news network.

Gabriel Sherman writes about Ailes' success with Fox News in his new book, The Loudest Voice In The Room: How The Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — And Divided A Country.

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