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11:58 am
Thu April 4, 2013

The Least Bad Options For Guantanamo Bay

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 3:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. U.S. officials acknowledge that nearly a quarter of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are on hunger strike. Defense lawyers say the strike includes nearly all the detainees. The International Committee of the Red Cross believes the cause can be traced to uncertainty.

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NPR Story
11:58 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Starting At The Beginning: The Promise Of Prequels

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 3:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Like a lot of new movies, "Oz: The Great and Powerful" skips down some familiar pathways. Twenty years before Dorothy, Toto and friends followed the yellow brick road and a couple of witches consider the arrival of one Oscar Diggs who fancies himself a wizard.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL")

MILA KUNIS: (as Theodora) I simply want peace. That's all I ever wanted and the wizard can do that. He's a good man.

RACHEL WEISZ: (as Evanora) What do you know about goodness? Deep down you are wicked.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
11:55 am
Thu April 4, 2013

New Mortgage Program Helps Cambodia's Poor Find Better Homes

Sriv Keng (right) and her husband, Vet Vong, dish up bowls of rice for customers at her roadside food stall, which is situated in a garment manufacturing district.
Will Baxter for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

If you've applied for a mortgage recently, you know how hard it can be. The bank demands all kinds of obscure documents and wants proof of almost every asset you own. But an innovative mortgage program halfway around the world will evaluate your application without any extra documentation — and if you're approved, it will give you a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. There's just one catch: The mortgages are only for low-income people in Cambodia. The program is a throwback to the days when bankers got to know their customers — and trusted them.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Facebook Phone Is 'A Family Of Apps,' Zuckerberg Says

CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Thursday's "Facebook phone" announcement.
Robert Galbraith Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:06 pm

Facebook is going to "turn things around," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday, by turning "your Android phone into a great, simple social device" that is "designed around people."

He came on stage just after 1 p.m. ET at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to talk about a very poorly kept secret — the so-called Facebook phone.

But, Zuckerberg said at the start of his talk, "we're not building a phone and we're not building an operating system."

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Commentary
11:23 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Even Dictionaries Grapple With Getting 'Marriage' Right

Geoff Nunberg says a good definition extends to the past as well as the present: It's not just about what "marriage" has come to mean; it's all the word has ever meant.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:12 pm

It's a funny thing about dictionaries. First we're taught to revere them, then we have to learn to set them aside. Nobody ever went wrong starting a middle-school composition with, "According to Webster's ..." but that's not how you start an op-ed commentary about terrorism or racism. When it comes to the words that do the cultural heavy lifting, we're not about to defer to some lexicographer hunched over a dusty keyboard.

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Author Interviews
11:23 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Former Mormon Missionary Describes The Experience Of 'Elders'

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:47 pm

As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. McIlvain left the church in his mid-20s. His debut novel, Elders, is based on the experiences he had trying to convert people to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Elder" is the term used for a young Mormon on his mission.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Thu April 4, 2013

The Sky Isn't Falling Over The Korean Peninsula — Yet

In this photo released in March by the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), leader Kim Jong Un is said to be using a pair of binoculars to look south during an inspection of army troops stationed on two islands.
Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:04 pm

Almost every day, there's some new threat out of North Korea.

It's hard to determine how seriously to take these threats. War on the Korean Peninsula could be catastrophic, so the bluster can't be dismissed. On the other hand, North Korea has a long history of hyperbole, of making threats it doesn't follow through on.

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Shots - Health News
10:23 am
Thu April 4, 2013

FDA Warns That 'Ninja Mojo' And 'Love Rider' Contain Hidden Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration says its tests have found undeclared drug ingredients in supplements marketed for the enhancement of sexual performance.
FDA

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 12:10 pm

Even before the Food and Drug Administration's latest safety warning to men about dietary supplements that claim to enhance sexual performance, there were clues of trouble.

The label for Ninja Mojo, for instance, misspells herbal as "harbal" and says buyers of it should "keep out of reach form [sic] children."

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Around the Nation
10:15 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Hotels Hiding The Homeless

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, you probably know Jada Pinkett Smith as an actress from films like "Set it Off" or "Jason's Lyric," but she is going to tell us about a film she is supporting behind the scenes. It's a documentary about the 1960s icon Angela Davis. She executive produced it. That conversation is coming up in a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Why Can Lance Armstrong Race At A Swim Meet?

Lance Armstrong warms up for the swimming leg of the 2011 Xterra World Championship triathlon in Kapalua, Hawaii (before he was banned from most competitions). This weekend, he'll swim in a Texas meet for masters swimmers.
Hugh Gentry Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 9:27 am

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. Armstrong Pulls Out:

After an objection was raised Thursday by FINA, swimming's international governing body, Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from a masters swim meet being held this weekend in Austin, Texas, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Lululemon's Product Chief To Depart; See-Through Pants Have Been A Problem

Lululemon clothes at a store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:03 am

Two weeks after being embarrassed by the news that some of its yoga pants were way too sheer, there's word from Lululemon that chief product officer Sheree Waterson will be leaving the company April 15.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Book News: Hillary Clinton's New Memoir To Cover Arab Spring, Killing Of Bin Laden

Former U.S. Secretary of State — and much-speculated about 2016 presidential candidate? — Hillary Clinton.
Astrid Riecken Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Jobless Claims Rise; Employment Report Likely To Show Slow Job Growth

Will there be more signs like this? An automotive service shop in El Cerrito, Calif., was looking for workers last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:24 am

There were 385,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 28,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The news follows Wednesday's report of slower-than-expected job growth in the private sector: The ADP National Employment Report estimated that businesses added just 158,000 jobs last month.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Top Stories: Conn. Gun Law; North Korea's Threats; Rutgers Firing

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:20 am

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Historic' Gun Bill To Become Law In Connecticut

A Bushmaster rifle, similar to the type used by Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and some ammunition magazines. The sale and possession of this type of weapon, and high-capacity magazines, will be severely restricted in Connecticut under new legislation.
Michelle McLoughlin Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:27 am

Saying that on this "profoundly emotional day" he hoped that his state would serve as an example to the rest of the nation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sat down Thursday at 12:20 p.m. ET to sign into law what's being described as the most sweeping gun control legislation in the nation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Malloy praised lawmakers and those who helped craft the legislation for coming together "as few places in our nation have demonstrated the ability to do."

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories Used By South

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.
Kim Hong-ji Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:02 pm

Bear in mind that, as NPR's Louisa Lim has said, North Korea's regime is skilled at making threats. And fortunately, the most ominous of those threats have not been followed by action in recent decades.

With those caveats in mind, here are Thursday's developments in the latest round of provocative moves by the communist state. From Beijing, Louisa tells our Newscast Desk that:

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History
5:17 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Cat From Middle Ages Leaves Mark On History

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Here's an old saying: Feed and love a dog, and the dog thinks you must be God. Feed and love a cat, and the cat thinks, hey, I must be God. A cat from the Middle Ages apparently demanded attention. A researcher was recently studying a manuscript from 1445 in Croatia, and that researcher discovered paw prints. Apparently, a scribe was working in 1445 when the cat stepped in ink, and then stood with all four paws on the work in progress. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

World
5:10 am
Thu April 4, 2013

New Zealand Movie Goer Notices Lack Of Explosions

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

The action film "Jack Reacher" hit theaters in December, and it got some favorable reviews. But one New Zealand moviegoer didn't think it was action-packed enough. That's because the trailer featured an explosion that wasn't in the movie. Disappointed, the man complained to the Advertising Standards Authority. He said the explosion was one of the main reasons he went to see the flick in the first place. Paramount Pictures has now offered to refund the money for his ticket.

Middle East
3:19 am
Thu April 4, 2013

As Egypt Negotiates IMF Loan, Food And Fuel Prices Soar

An Egyptian woman carries a cooking gas canister in Cairo on Tuesday. The government just raised the price of gas as part of an energy package needed to satisfy the conditions of a $4.8 billion IMF loan. Opponents say some of the conditions disproportionately hurt the poor.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:30 pm

Two years after the revolution, Egypt is in a deep economic crisis. It's running out of money to purchase crucial imports like wheat and fuel, both of which are subsidized by the government, and an infusion of cash is desperately needed.

While a delegation from the International Monetary Fund is in Cairo continuing negotiations on a $4.8 billion loan, Egyptians are strained by the rising costs of food — and the gas needed to cook it.

For Mosaad el Dabe, it's a disaster.

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Middle East
3:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Risks Increase For Humanitarian Aid Workers In Syria

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:29 am

David Greene talks to Muhannad Hadi, the World Food Program's regional emergency coordinator for Syria, about the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria. The civil war there has entered its third year, and last month was its deadliest.

Business
3:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

For Right Price, You Could Own Buzz Aldrin's Toothbrush

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 5:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is space memorabilia.

Heritage Auction house is selling items that have gone to the moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin's toothbrush could be yours with the right offer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. The bidding for this toothbrush - I hope they disinfect it - it's a light blue, Lactona tooth tip brush. The bidding starting at $9,000. The auction house is actually hoping that buyers will offer more than that.

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Around the Nation
1:23 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Letter On Finding A Husband Before Graduation Spurs Debate

A couple walks past Nassau Hall on the Princeton Unversity campus in Princeton, N.J. A letter to the editor in The Daily Princetonian urging female students to find a husband before they graduate has drawn criticism.
Daniel Hulshizer AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:12 am

More than a week after Susan Patton's letter to the editor of The Daily Princetonian prompted heated criticism, the 1977 Princeton alumna says she still stands by her words.

"I have never had a problem voicing an unpopular opinion if it's heartfelt," Patton tells NPR.

In her letter, Patton wrote to young women attending her alma mater, "Find a husband on campus before you graduate."

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Environment
1:21 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Arkansas Oil Spill Sheds Light On Aging Pipeline System

A worker cleans up oil in Mayflower, Ark., on Monday, days after a pipeline ruptured and spewed oil over lawns and roadways.
Jeannie Nuss AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:45 am

Amber Bartlett was waiting last Friday for her kids to come home from school. One of them called from the entrance to the upscale subdivision near Little Rock, Ark., to tell her the community was being evacuated because of an oil spill. Bartlett was amazed by what she saw out her front door.

"I mean, just rolling oil. I mean, it was like a river," she says. "It had little waves in it."

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It's All Politics
1:20 am
Thu April 4, 2013

The Hunt Is On For A New FBI Director

FBI Director Robert Mueller is set to leave office this year. Whomever President Obama chooses to replace him could become a big part of Obama's legacy.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 3:11 am

Robert Mueller became FBI director just days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, he's been the U.S. government's indispensable man when it comes to national security.

But Mueller's term has expired, and the clock is ticking on an unprecedented extension that Congress gave him two years ago.

The first time the Obama White House thought about a replacement for Mueller, back in 2011, officials threw up their hands and wound up begging him to stay. Congress passed a special law to allow it. Then Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa put his foot down.

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The Salt
1:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Political War Brews Over 'Food For Peace' Aid Program

Pakistani aid workers offload USAID food supplies from an Army helicopter in Kallam Valley during catastrophic flooding in 2010.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:47 pm

Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.

It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.

America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.

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Health Care
1:17 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Lawyers Join Doctors To Ease Patients' Legal Anxieties

Lawyer Meredith Watts (left) visits client/patient Shirley Kimbrough at her apartment in north Akron, Ohio. Kimbrough is being helped by a program under which lawyers partner up with health providers to supply patients with legal advice.
Jeff St. Clair WKSU

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 12:44 pm

Two professions that have traditionally had a rocky relationship — doctors and lawyers — are finding some common ground in clinics and hospitals across the country.

In Akron, Ohio, for instance, doctors are studying how adding a lawyer to the health care team can help improve a patient's health.

As a TV drones in the background, about a dozen women and children wait for their names to be called at the Summa women's clinic in Akron.

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Author Interviews
6:50 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

The Botched NY Real Estate Deal That Lost 'Other People' Billions

The Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town apartment complex is seen from Waterside Plaza in 2006, the same year it was sold in a record-breaking real estate deal.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The middle-income housing projects Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village sit on an 80-acre patch of Lower Manhattan. In 2006, they came to epitomize the lunatic excess of the housing boom when their 11,232 apartments sold for $5.4 billion. They were bought at a competitive auction by Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty.

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Around the Nation
5:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Obama Highlights Colorado's Action On Gun Control Legislation

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:50 pm

President Obama was in Denver on Wednesday to rally support for gun control laws. Colorado has stepped up on both background checks and ammunition magazines, and Democrats there fear backlash next year.

The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Award-Winning Novelist And Screenwriter, Dies

This undated publicity photo provided by Merchant Ivory Productions shows Oscar-winning screenwriter and award-winning novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (center) with film director and producer Ismail Merchant (left) and director James Ivory in a studio. Jhabvala, 85, died in New York on Wednesday.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:46 am

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and Booker Prize-winning novelist, has died at her home in New York. She was 85.

NPR's Bob Mondello reported on her career for NPR's Newscast Desk:

"With the films of Merchant/Ivory, you tend to think first of period-perfect costumes and settings, but it was Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's scripts that gave them substance. She was witty, cultivated and could be wonderfully precise about class and propriety in her adaptations of, say, E.M. Forster.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Brian Banks, Who Was Cleared Of Rape Conviction, Is Signed By Atlanta Falcons

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:04 pm

We've told you the story of Brian Banks. He served five years in prison and then five years of probation for a rape conviction that was thrown out in May 2012.

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