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Houseboat Company Floats Back To Business

Feb 4, 2012

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Protesters Flood The Streets In Moscow

Feb 4, 2012

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

This Sunday will mark the 16th annual installment of "Chicken Bowl," my Super Bowl party, which doubles as a grand fried-chicken-eating contest. As many as 80 friends, coworkers, enablers and hangers-on will cram into my long-suffering house for this noble occasion.

But even with all the extravagances I've cobbled together to keep them happy — large TVs, vintage arcade machines, working toilets — there has never been a shred of doubt that chicken is king.

Evgeniya Tymoshenko has her mother's looks — minus the trademark blond braid that makes her mother, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, quickly recognizable.

But the younger Tymoshenko says she's not a politician. She never imagined herself testifying on Capitol Hill, getting face time with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a prayer breakfast, or speaking to reporters at a K Street lobbying firm.

It turns out January was a surprisingly good month in the job market. U.S. employers added 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.

That better-than-expected news from the Labor Department triggered a rally in the stock market Friday, with the Dow climbing more than 150 points. The news could also help the stock of President Obama.

Saturday is caucus day in Nevada, the first state in the West to vote as Republicans go about choosing their presidential candidate.

Mitt Romney is counting on another win here to keep him on the path to the nomination. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have also been campaigning across the state, while Rick Santorum is in the Midwest looking ahead to later contests next week.

Believe it or not, Nevada leads the country in unemployment, home foreclosures and bankruptcy.

At last week's State of the Union address, the secretary of billionaire investor Warren Buffett was seated prominently with first lady Michelle Obama.

President Obama invited Debbie Bosanek to a seat in the spotlight to underscore a complaint her boss has widely made: that she pays a much higher tax rate than the 17 percent Buffett himself pays.

Americans have always sought architectural brushes with greatness.

The nation's first president spent the night at so many inns and private houses that signs advertising "George Washington slept here" were regular roadside attractions even during his lifetime.

But only a few homes of celebrated figures, such as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Elvis Presley's Graceland, have become sites that people go out of their way to visit. Most such places have been torn down, or fall into neglect and disrepair.

Just three days after announcing it would no longer fund cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, the pink-ribboned breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure abruptly reversed course today. But the Komen foundation's actions still leave many questions unanswered — not to mention a public relations challenge.

We're coming up on the 30-year anniversary of the war between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. But the wounds are still fresh, especially if you judge by the rhetoric being flung by the leaders of both countries.

Who Killed Lard?

Feb 3, 2012

Ron Silver, the owner of Bubby's restaurant in Brooklyn, recently put a word on his menu you don't often see anymore: lard. The white, creamy, processed fat from a pig. And he didn't use the word just once.

For a one-night-only "Lard Exoneration Dinner", Silver served up lard fried potatoes. And root vegetables, baked in lard. Fried chicken, fried in lard. Roasted fennel glazed with lard sugar and sea salt. Pies, with lard inside and out. All from lard he made himself in the kitchen.

Federal prosecutors say they have dropped its doping case against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. For two years, prosecutors looked into allegations that Armstrong and his United States Postal squad used performance-enhancing drugs.

The AP reports:

"In a press release, United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. says the case has been closed but didn't disclose the reason for the decision.

While hotels along the Vegas Strip are full of Super Bowl fans and convention attendees this weekend, another event will be playing out Saturday at more than 100 locations across the state.

Nevada's Republican presidential caucuses will be taking place, not in expensive hotels, but mostly in low-key places like schools and firehouses.

David Gallagher of the Nevada state GOP says each county's local party is responsible for organizing its own caucus, so opening times vary.

The better-than-expected jobs numbers released today, sent the markets into positive territory they hadn't seen in years.

The Nasdaq Composite rose to an 11-year high, while the Dow hit its highest reading in almost four years. The S&P gained 1.4 percent, marking its best start to a new year since 1987.

This story was written and reported by a GlobalPost correspondent in Damascus, whose name has been withheld for security reasons.

When a team of foreign journalists entered the eastern Damascus suburb of Saqba last Friday, they were greeted by a sight that did not bode well for the Syrian regime.

A request for a delay in the Sept. 11 case at Guantanamo has been denied.

Two lawyers close to the proceedings tell NPR that a military judge denied their request to delay the arraignment of the Sept. 11 suspects at Guantanamo until the summer.

The lawyers were asking for more time to file memos on why Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators should not be tried in a capital case and be eligible for the death penalty. The 911 suspects are expected to be arraigned before a military commission as early as April.

The Surprising Story Of A Super Bowl Snack

Feb 3, 2012

This Super Bowl Sunday, millions of Americans will watch the game with bowls of corn-based snacks at their side. Whether you prefer Doritos, Cheetos, or even Funyuns, you owe the pleasure of that crunchy munchy to the humble corn curl that started it all: the Frito.

When he was 30 years old, David Finch's wife, Kristen, sat him down and asked him a series of odd questions:

"Do you notice patterns in things all the time?"

"Do people comment on your unusual mannerisms and habits?

"Do you feel tortured by clothes tags, clothes that are too tight or made in the 'wrong material'?"

"Do you sometimes have an urge to jump over things?"

David's answers to all of these questions — and more than 100 others — was an emphatic yes.

Sen. Robert Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, sent a list of questions about Freddie Mac's controversial trades to the mortgage giant's regulator, highlighting how much remains unknown even after a flurry of statements from the regulator.

It took Vermont officials four years to notice a little creative editing by one or more inmates. Look at this police decal:

Look at the cow underneath the tree. Embedded within the cow's spots is an image of a pig, which as the Burlington Free Press reminds us is the '60s-era epithet used by protesters to refer to police.

Can Komen Recover From Controversy?

Feb 3, 2012

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has had one of the worst weeks in terms of public relations of any organization in recent memory.

Before we finish the week, we have to pass on at least one more story related to Facebook's plan to raise about $5 billion with its first sale of shares to the public.

It seems that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — the "Winklevii" twins — could get up to $300 million worth of Facebook shares when the deal goes through.

The surprise announcement last month that the U.S. and the Taliban could soon begin peace talks in the Gulf state of Qatar may have increased the chances of a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

But Afghans are treating the prospect with equal measures of hope and suspicion — perhaps more of the latter from the government of President Hamid Karzai.

Sharon Van Etten: Learning How To Rock

Feb 3, 2012

Sharon Van Etten was once an aspiring songwriter in Tennessee, but she had no idea how the music industry worked. So she moved to New York City and took an unpaid internship working for a record label.

"I started doing mail orders and then learned my way around the music blogs," Van Etten says in an interview with Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "I didn't know what a music blog was at the time."

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