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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
3:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Meet The 83-Year-Old Taking On The U.S. Over Same-Sex Marriage

Edith Windsor in her New York City apartment in December 2012. Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court hears her challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 6:34 pm

The tiny dynamo asking the U.S. Supreme Court to turn the world upside down looks nothing like a fearless pioneer. At age 83, Edith Windsor dresses in classic, tailored clothes, usually with a long string of pearls, and she sports a well-coiffed, shoulder-length flip. She looks, for all the world, like a proper New York City lady.

Proper she may be, and a lady, but Windsor, who likes to be called Edie, is making history, challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. The law bans federal recognition and benefits for legally married same-sex couples.

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Law
3:01 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

At 'Stop-And-Frisk' Trial, Cops Describe Quota-Driven NYPD

Adhyl Polanco, an eight-year police veteran (shown with lawyer Jonathan Moore, right), testified that if certain quotas were not met, an officer could be denied days off and overtime, and be given a poor evaluation.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:00 pm

Police officers testifying at a federal trial challenging New York City's stop-and-frisk policy say they were ordered to increase their number of arrests, summons and 250s — the code for stop, question and frisk.

Some 5 million street stops of mostly black and Latino men have taken place in the city in the last decade.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Italian Marines Accused Of Killing Fishermen Headed Back To India For Trial

A December 22, 2012, photograph of Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L) at Ciampino airport near Rome.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Two Italian marines are returning to India to face charges stemming from the 2012 deaths of two Indian fisherman, Italian officials announced Thursday.

As we recounted recently, disagreement over how to handle the case had resulted in a diplomatic confrontation between India and Italy.

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Music Interviews
2:58 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Baba Salah: A Malian Musician Speaks To His Nation's Displaced

Baba Salah at his home in Bamako, Mali. On his new album, Dangay, he calls attention to what he describes as human-rights violations in the north.
Ed Alcock Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 6:33 pm

It's Friday night in Bamako, and a club in the Malian capital has come alive. Guitarist and singer Baba Salah is on the floor.

His hometown of Gao, along the banks of the River Niger on the fringes of the Sahara Desert, made headlines as the first city in the north to be liberated by French-backed Malian forces in January. Gao was one of three regional centers in the north captured by rebels and jihadis a year ago. Islamists warned musicians that their tongues would be sliced out if they continued to sing and play. Speaking in French, Salah says artists left in a hurry.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

In A Long And Bloody War, A Potential Breakthrough

Masked demonstrators show support for jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir on Thursday. Ocalan called for a "new era" and a cease-fire in a battle against Turkey that's nearly three decades old.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 3:57 pm

Kurdish rebels have been fighting for nearly three decades against Turkish forces in the southeast corner of that nation. But the most prominent rebel leader said from prison Thursday that it was time for a "new era" that includes an immediate cease-fire.

Abdullah Ocalan heads the Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK. He was captured by Turkey in 1999 and has been imprisoned on an island off Istanbul.

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Shots - Health News
2:29 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Tuberculosis Cases In The U.S. Keep Sliding

About a third of the world's population is thought to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but only a small fraction of people get the disease.
NIAID_Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:02 am

The U.S. is slowly but steadily closing in on tuberculosis.

For the first time since the government started tracking the disease in the 1950s, the number of annual TB cases has dropped below 10,000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Florida Pitches New Facilities To Clinch Spring Training

Baseball fans watch an exhibition spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Spring training contributes $35 million to the local economy.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:00 pm

For baseball fans, spring training is a time for renewed hopes and a reminder that winter is almost over. But for the major league teams and Arizona and Florida communities, spring training is big business. In Florida, 1.5 million fans attend spring training games with an estimated $750 million annual economic impact, and the state is working to keep the teams from fleeing.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

NOAA Predicts Warmer Than Normal Spring For Most Of U.S.

A map showing above-normal temperatures in an orange hue. Below-normal temperatures are shown in blue.
NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a warmer-than-normal spring for most of the United States.

It reports:

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Shots - Health News
12:53 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Little Kids Know How To Share, But Don't Want To

Yours and mine.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:30 pm

Small children aren't great at sharing, as any parent or preschool teacher knows. But little kids get cut a lot of slack on the presumption that they don't know any better.

Well, the jig is up. Researchers have found that 3-year-olds know darned well that sharing is the right thing to do. But when given the chance to share stickers with another child, they hoarded instead.

That flipped around by age 8, the children shared stickers, giving half to another child.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

With Limited Resources, High Poverty, Turning Schools Around

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:46 pm

How much can you change a school in one academic year? That question threads through the PBS special 180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School. The documentary, which premieres March 25, follows the day-to-day struggles facing the administrators, teachers and students at Washington Metropolitan High School, an alternative school in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

John Lennon's Bloodied Glasses Used In Plea On Gun Violence

Yoko Ono

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 8:36 pm

Yoko Ono, the widow of slain Beatle John Lennon, has weighed in on the issue of gun control by tweeting a photo of the blood-spattered eyeglasses worn by the legendary musician when he was fatally shot by a deranged fan more than three decades ago.

Her tweet, on the 44th anniversary of the couple's marriage:

"Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on 8 Dec 1980."

In a series of follow-up tweets:

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Science
12:12 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

The Abnormally Normal Science Of Sinkholes

In the spring of 1981, a woman's house and part of a car dealership were swallowed by a sinkhole in Winter Park, Fla.
AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:58 pm

When a Florida man vanished into a massive sinkhole that opened underneath his bedroom in February, the case garnered national attention. Every so often, tragedies like this put sinkholes in the spotlight.

Researchers say that minor sinkholes occur all the time around the world without much notice.

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Media
12:04 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

When To Release Difficult Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 1:50 pm

Disturbing images of the dead and dying have long been used as tools to provoke change. After the tragedy in Newtown, Ct., some are urging the release of the crime photos, hoping that images of the massacre might lead to stronger gun control.

Television
11:54 am
Thu March 21, 2013

You Can't Trust HBO's 'Phil Spector,' But You Can Enjoy It

Helen Mirren and Al Pacino star in the new HBO film Phil Spector, which was written and directed by David Mamet.
Phil Caruso HBO Films

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 12:37 pm

The HBO movie Phil Spector is a production that demands attention because of the heavyweight names attached. First, of course, there's the subject of the drama: Spector himself, the man who invented the "wall of sound," and recorded hits for everyone from the Crystals, Darlene Love and Ike & Tina Turner to the Beatles and the Righteous Brothers. Oh, and who also went on trial, in 2007, for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Dunking Science: Do Cookies Really Taste Better Dipped In Tea?

Just a little plunge into hot tea makes a chocolate-covered biscuit release its flavor more quickly in your mouth.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Brits and Americans may have split less than amicably a couple of centuries ago, but we can still find cultural common ground when it comes to life's pleasures: The Beatles, Downton Abbey and dunking cookies.

Of course, the Brits call them "biscuits" and dip primarily in tea, while we are more promiscuous and are willing to plunge our treats into coffee, hot chocolate or even milk.

But does immersing a cookie into a warm beverage really make it taste better? And if so, why?

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Environment
11:46 am
Thu March 21, 2013

'Temperature Rising': Will Climate Change Bring More Extreme Weather?

The Star Jet roller coaster sits in the water on Feb. 19 after the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, N.J., collapsed from the forces of Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 12:10 pm

According to the historical record dating back to 1895, 2012 was the hottest year this country has ever seen. But it's not just that the temperature has risen — from deadly tornadoes to the widespread coastal damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy, we seem to be living through a period of intensified and heightened weather extremes.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Thu March 21, 2013

With Obama In Ramallah, Palestinians Take To The Streets

Palestinians protest as U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinians Authority President Mahmud Abbas meet in Ramallah on Thursday.
Ilia Yefimovich Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:23 am

NPR's Larry Abramson is covering President Obama's visit to the Middle East. He sends this dispatch from the West Bank.

There were a lot of irritated Palestinians in the streets of Ramallah today. But it's hard to pinpoint the cause. Were they mad at President Obama, at Israel? Or were they angry at themselves?

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Officer Involved In Shooting That Led To Unrest In Anaheim Is Cleared

A local resident prays at a memorial for Manuel Diaz, on July 29, 2012 in Anaheim, Calif.
Jonathan Gibby Getty Images

The officer, whose shooting of a young man in the back sparked days of protests in Anaheim, Calif., will not face charges, an Orange County prosector decided on Wednesday.

NPR member station KPCC reports:

"The Orange County District Attorney's office spent months investigating whether to file to charges against Nick Bennallack, the officer who shot Manuel Diaz, 25, as he ran away from officers.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu March 21, 2013

House OKs Bill To Keep Government Funded Through September

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 3:02 pm

The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that avoids a federal shutdown and keeps the government open through the end of the 2013 fiscal year, which winds up Sept. 30. The Senate approved the same measure Wednesday, so the bill now goes to the president for his signature.

The New York Times characterizes the measure, which passed the House on a 318-109 vote, this way:

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Cosmos Might Be A Few Million Years Older Than Advertised

Planck's view of the Cosmic Microwave Background.
European Space Agency

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 12:08 pm

The universe is a bit older than we thought, according to a group of European scientists who say they've snapped the most detailed image to date of the afterglow of the Big Bang.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Obama's Speech In Israel: 5 Excerpts You Should Read

President Barack Obama waves after speaking on at the Convention Center in Jerusalem, on Thursday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:23 am

Speaking to Israeli students at the Jerusalem Convention Center on Thursday, President Obama delivered a speech brimming with talk of hope and change that echoed the Obama of 2008. While there were touches of specifics on where the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians should head, for the most part Obama stuck with highlighting fundamental similarities between peoples.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
10:29 am
Thu March 21, 2013

You Be The Judge: Is The Housing Market Really Improving?

A home for sale in Glenview, Ill. Existing-home sales hit the highest level in more than 3 years in February. But not everyone is convinced that the housing sector's momentum has staying power.
Nam Y. Huh AP

This week, optimists had no trouble finding fresh evidence to suggest that the housing market is recovering.

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Around the Nation
10:11 am
Thu March 21, 2013

NRA Represents Only A Fraction Of Gun Owners

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, Oscar nominated actress Angela Bassett and film director Antoine Fuqua are here and they will tell us about their latest project, the action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen." It may make you rethink that White House tour you'd been planning. That's later in the program.

But now we want to take another look at the issue of gun rights and gun safety in this country. We've been hearing a variety of perspectives on this program.

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Music Interviews
10:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Rock Icons Sing Pirate Songs On 'Son Of Rogues Gallery'

An image for Son of Rogues Gallery's cover art.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 11:54 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Monkey See
9:48 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Here We Go Again: Leno, Fallon, And Why The Late-Night Wars Are So Boring

Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon pose in the press room during the Golden Globe Awards in January.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Europe's Central Bank Issues Cyprus Ultimatum

People line up at an ATM in Nicosia to withdraw cash on Thursday.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 12:42 pm

The clock is ticking on Cyprus' fiscal cliff.

The European Central Bank has given the Mediterranean country just four days to come up with its own bailout plan, or a eurozone lifeline to its struggling banks will be severed.

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Shots - Health News
9:33 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Pediatricians Voice Support For Same-Sex Marriage And Adoption

April DeBoer (second from left) sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne (left) and partner, Jayne Rowse (fourth from left), and her adopted sons Jacob (middle) and Nolan (right) at their home in Hazel Park, Mich. The lesbian couple's desire to adopt each other's children has grown into a potentially ground-breaking challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Now children's doctors say it's time for same-sex marriage to be the law of the land.

For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a policy statement Thursday that it favors "civil marriage for same-gender couples — as well as full adoption and foster care rights for parents regardless of their sexual orientation ...."

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Thu March 21, 2013

It's 'Birds Gone Wild' Out On Australia's Heron Island

On Australia's Heron Island, buff-banded rails like this one have become the avian equivalent of a weed.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:01 am

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 3: Waiting for a boat to the next island, Richard meets some rowdy birds.

Weeds are not a true category of plant. A weed is simply a plant that's growing where a person wishes it weren't.

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The Salt
8:25 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Spring May Have Sprung, But Most Gardens Are Still Slumbering

Want it? You can't have it. At least not yet.
iStockphoto.com

For vegetable lovers, the start of spring can be a cruel tease, hinting of a feast of just-picked peas and spinach and beets, but delivering instead tired iceberg and romaine shipped from distant climes.

"It's zero here right now," Terry Nennich reported Wednesday morning, the first official day of spring, from Grand Rapids, Minn. So much for spring. Not only was it well below freezing, but the ground remained blanketed by 2 feet of snow.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Applications For Unemployment Benefits Tick Up; Monthly Average At 5-Year Low

There were 336,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, up 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The big news here is that the 4-week moving average was 339,750, a drop from of 7,5000 from last week and the lowest level in 5 years.

Bloomberg reports:

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