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National Security
11:30 am
Thu June 6, 2013

The NSA, Verizon And The Future of Domestic Spying

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Later in the program, we'll continue our series of conversations and look ahead with NPR's Deborah Amos, who's been covering the war in Syria. But we begin today with a court order obtained by The Guardian's U.S. team, which authorizes the National Security Agency to collect information on billions of phone calls made by U.S. Verizon customers since late April.

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Middle East
11:30 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Looking Ahead To The Future Of Syria's Crisis

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 6:32 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. The war in and around Syria grows more horrific and more dangerous day by day: tens of thousands dead, many more injured, over a million refugees in neighboring countries and who knows how many millions displaced inside Syria itself.

It's almost hard to remember the early days of what's now grown into a civil war. More than two years ago, NPR's Deborah Amos reported on activists hopeful that Syria would be changed by the Arab spring.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RADIO BROADCAST)

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Esther Williams, Swimmer Turned Movie Star, Dies

Esther Williams in August, 1942.
AP

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The Salt
10:36 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Feeling A Little Blue May Mask Our Ability To Taste Fat

Feeling down? It could be messing with your ability to taste the fat in that carton of ice cream.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 2:00 pm

So, here's the scenario: You're feeling a little blue, then you watch an emotional movie and dig into a bowl of ice cream.

Are you aware of how fattening your comfort food is? Likely not. Especially in the moment.

A new study finds that temporary, strong emotions, like the sadness we experience from a weepy movie, can significantly decrease our ability to taste — or perceive — the amount of fat we're eating.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Thu June 6, 2013

In Letter To Senators, DoJ Explains How Secret Court Works

A man takes a photograph with his cell phone of names on the walls of "Empty Sky Memorial" at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. The concrete and steel memoria pays tribute to the 746 citizens of New Jersey who lost their lives on Sept. 11.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:32 pm

Back in October of 2011, then-Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote a letter to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) concerning section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.

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Shots - Health News
10:05 am
Thu June 6, 2013

How Nature Builds A Pandemic Flu Virus

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong last April. After closing live poultry shops in many cities around China, the rate of new H7N9 infections sharply declined.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:26 am

Here's a sobering thought: Wild birds — including city pigeons and ubiquitous Canada geese — carry 170 different types of bird flu. You know, all those viruses with the Hs and Ns in their names, like H1N1 and H5N1.

Only a dozen of these viruses have infected humans so far, but many of those have been deadly, and three of them have caused global flu pandemics.

Does every bird flu that leaps into people have the potential to turn into the next "big one" that spreads rapidly around the world?

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Parallels
9:51 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Once Unsafe, Rio's Shantytowns See Rapid Gentrification

The small, hillside community of Babilonia, situated above the Leme and Copacabana neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, has ocean views.
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

A new gastronomic guide to Rio de Janeiro's shantytowns — for a cool $35 — has just been published. A new boutique hotel perched on top of one of Rio's previously most dangerous favelas is about to open. And yes, there is a jazz club and yoga, too.

These are new services catering to a new kind of favela resident.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now? A Lighter Look At NSA Snooping

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 9:50 am

As news broke about the NSA collecting telephone records through Verizon, people took to Twitter to voice their opinions. As an experiment, NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin asked his followers to respond to the hashtag #CallsTheNSAKnowsAbout. Their responses ranged from the hilarious to the poignant.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Microsoft, FBI Say They've Disrupted $500 Million Botnet

Buttons with the Microsoft logo are seen at a Comp USA store in 2007.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 10:11 am

Working jointly with the FBI, Microsoft says it has disrupted a botnet responsible for stealing more than $500 million from bank accounts worldwide.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

VIDEO: Michelle Obama's Face-To-Face With A Heckler

The first lady was confronted by a heckler at a private event in Washington on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 9:36 am

CNN has video that lets you see and hear some of what it was like Tuesday night when first lady Michelle Obama confronted a heckler who had interrupted her during a Democratic fundraiser at a home in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Koreas Agree To First High-Level Talks In Years

Cars drive past barricades on the road linking North Korea's Kaesong Industrial Complex at a military checkpoint in Paju, near the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas, on Thursday.
Jung Yeon-je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 9:58 am

It's too early to tell whether North Korea's offer on Thursday of talks with the South — potentially the first such dialogue in years — is more than just another negotiating tactic.

But Seoul readily accepted the offer, and though Pyongyang said the agenda should be discussing the reopening of the jointly run Kaesong factory complex inside North Korea, it left the door open for the possibility of broader negotiations.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Cleanup Begins As Death Toll In Philadelphia Remains At 6

Rescue workers converged Wednesday on the site of a building collapse in Philadelphia. At least six people were reportedly killed and an additional 14 injured.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 9:41 am

Update at 10:35 a.m. ET. Still A Rescue Operation:

Although reports earlier this morning signaled that efforts at the scene of a building collapse in Philadelphia had turned from rescue to recovery and cleanup, city officials just told reporters that they're still looking for possible survivors.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Ahead Of Key Report, 2 Modestly Positive Signs On Jobs

The scene at a career fair in San Francisco on May 30.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The number of first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 11,000 last week from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports. There were 346,000 such applications.

While on the positive side, the figure is still in line with the recent trend. Since late 2011, claims have basically stayed in a range from the mid-300,000s to just under 400,000.

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Shots - Health News
6:59 am
Thu June 6, 2013

NIH Chief Rejects Ethics Critique Of Preemie Study

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins contested criticism that researchers running a study of premature infants didn't adequately advise parents about the risks.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:26 am

The chief of the National Institutes of Health is disavowing a ruling from the government office that oversees the ethics of human research.

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Parallels
6:56 am
Thu June 6, 2013

From The Sky, A View Of Spain's Boom And Bust

A screengrab of a satellite image of Cordoba, Spain, in 2004 (left) and 2011.
Satellite images via Google Earth and Nación Rotonda

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:01 pm

Like the U.S. and many other Western countries, Spain's building boom in the previous decade was a major factor in its economic implosion. And now a trio of civil engineers in Spain has created a website that offers a dramatic before-and-after view of the country's construction bubble.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea Strengthens, Heads Toward Florida

National Hurricane Center

Andrea, the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season, strengthened overnight and is forecast to make landfall along Florida's Big Bend area later today.

The National Hurricane Center has issued tropical storm warnings for a wide swath of the western coast of Florida. The system is forecast to move northeast along the eastern seaboard over the next couple of days, so the center has issued storm warnings from Georgia to Virginia.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Judge Gives Girl Who Needs New Lungs A 'Fighting Chance'

Sarah Murnaghan, center, on May 30 as she and her parents marked the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her father, Fran, is at left. Her mother, Janet, is at right.
Murnaghan family AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 7:32 am

A federal judge's ruling that moves 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan up the waiting list for a lung transplant means the little girl now has a "fighting chance at life," says Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa.

Meehan was one of several lawmakers who had been pushing to have the Health and Human Services Department relax the rules that give priority to patients age 12 and older.

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Around the Nation
5:42 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Giant Powerball Jackpot Winner Claims Record Prize

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The mystery is over. Yesterday, Gloria MacKenzie of Florida showed up at the lottery office, revealing herself as the winner of last month's record Powerball jackpot. The 84-year-old opted to take her winnings in a lump sum, rather than over time: $371 million, the largest sole jackpot winner in U.S. lottery history. MacKenzie said she bought her ticket at a supermarket, where another lottery player let her cut in line. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Animals
5:38 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Ancient Reptile Named After 'Lizard King' Jim Morrison

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The Doors' front man, Jim Morrison, was nicknamed The Lizard King. This week researchers from the University of Iowa identified a new species of reptilian royalty, the six-foot long Barbaturex morrisoni. Though the species is named after the 20th century rock star, it lived in the jungles of Southeast Asia 40 million years ago, a gentle creature who ate only plants.

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

The Two-Way
5:34 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Book News: A.M. Homes Takes Women's Prize For Fiction

A.M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven, poses prior to Wednesday's awards ceremony for the Women's Prize For Fiction at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 5:37 am

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

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Spy Agency's Collection Of Phone Records Reopens Controversy

Your call may be monitored: The NSA has been given the OK to collect data about millions of Americans' phone calls (though not about the conversations).
Glen Argov Landov

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:16 pm

(Most recent update: 2 p.m. ET)

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National Security
4:50 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Susan Rice To Take Over As National Security Adviser

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

When President Obama meets with the president of China tomorrow, he will have his National Security adviser at his side. Tom Donilon set the stage for this summit during a trip to Beijing last week. Now he's stepping down.

NPR's Scott Horsley has this look at his legacy and the woman Obama has tapped to replace him.

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Asia
4:48 am
Thu June 6, 2013

China's President Lays Groundwork For Better U.S. Relations

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 10:10 am

After years of distrust, China's government says it wants a new type of great power relationship with the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin trying to lay the groundwork Friday at a summit with President Obama in California, but just what kind of relationship does Xi want?

"He wants to challenge the Cold War mentality, which believes that the existing power and also the emerging power cannot have a relationship other than conflictual," says Cheng Li, a specialist in Chinese politics at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

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Politics
3:52 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Obama To Push Jobs, Education At N.C. Middle School

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:49 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

President Obama travels to Mooresville, North Carolina today. He'll highlight the town's middle school and its focus on technology and digital learning. It's part of what the White House is calling the president's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. Jobs and education are big issues for younger voters, one of the most sought after demographics for both parties.

NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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Business
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Lenovo Holds Grand Opening For Its N.C. Assembly Plant

Johana Guardado assembles a laptop on Lenovo's new personal computer production line in Whitsett, N.C.
Leoneda Inge for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:14 am

Chinese computer maker Lenovo celebrated the opening of its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Whitsett, N.C., on Wednesday. The company is trying to boost its brand and U.S. market share. Other high-tech firms, including Motorola, have announced plans to manufacture in the U.S.

The Lenovo plant celebration was a patriotic affair. A large sign was on display featuring the American flag and the words "Assembled in the U.S."

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The Record
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Country Music's Year Of The Woman

Miranda Lambert performing in April at the Academy of Country Music Awards, where she won best song, best record and best female vocalist for the fourth year in a row. The Lambert Effect has opened doors for many of the new hopefuls blending hard country sounds with feminist-aware attitudes.
Kevin Winter/ACMA2013 Getty Images for ACM

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:41 am

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Movie Interviews
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Whedon Adapts 'Much Ado About Nothing' For Silver Screen

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Last year, Joss Whedon put the blockbuster in summer blockbuster. He's the writer-director of "The Avengers," that crew of Marvel Comics superheroes whose story led to a super box office: one and a half billion dollars worldwide. It offered action and also repartee, like this moment of confrontation between Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man and Thor.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AVENGERS")

CHRIS HEMSWORTH: (as Thor) You have no idea what you are dealing with.

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Law
12:54 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Holder On The Hot Seat Over Leak Investigations

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on May 15 before the House Judiciary Committee.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:52 am

Attorney General Eric Holder has been a lightning rod for the president's fiercest critics during his four years in office. Lately, he's been back on the hot seat with a crisis of his own making: the Justice Department's aggressive stance toward reporters in national security leak cases.

Holder heads to the Senate on Thursday, where lawmakers are sure to demand an explanation.

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Parallels
12:50 am
Thu June 6, 2013

For Venezuelans, Kidnappings Are Simply Business As Usual

Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:18 pm

German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.

Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.

Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.

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The Two-Way
5:42 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

London Islamic Center Fire Is Under Close Police Scrutiny

Fire officers walk past the fire-damaged Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill in London Wednesday. Counter-terrorism officers have been called in amid suspicions that it was a racially motivated attack.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Two weeks after the brutal murder of a British soldier that brought a rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the U.K., a fire devastated an Islamic community center in London Wednesday. Scotland Yard says the cause of the blaze is being treated as suspicious.

"Graffiti was found amid the charred ruins, including an abbreviation for a far right anti-Muslim fringe group," NPR's Philip Reeves reports for our Newscast unit. "Detectives are trying to figure out when it was written."

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