The Salt
11:42 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Despite Lingering Drought, USDA Predicts A Flood Of Grain

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:51 pm

Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gazing into their crystal ball, see American farmers planting and harvesting huge amounts of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year. They're predicting a record harvest of corn: 14 billion bushels, up nearly 40 percent over last year's drought-crippled level.

With supply up, prices will fall. The USDA thinks that the price of the average bushel of corn could fall by a third. And soybean production and price are expected to follow a similar track.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Venezuela Says Chávez Still Suffering From Respiratory Problems

A handout picture made available Friday by the Venezuelan Ministry of Communications and Information shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his daughters Rosa Virginia (right) and Maria Gabriela reading an edition of Cuban daily Granma, as he recovers from cancer surgery. It was reportedly taken on Thursday.
EPA /LANDOV

The Venezuelan government released an update on ailing President Hugo Chávez late Thursday.

"The respiratory deficiency that arose in the course of the postoperative period persists, and its tendency has not been favorable, for which reason he continues to be treated," the information minister, Ernesto Villegas, said according to The New York Times.

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Technology
11:03 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Is China's Military Behind Cyberattacks on U.S.?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. The Internet is the new battleground.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
10:54 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Despite Dark Themes, A Big Oscar Bounce

Despite its dark themes (slavery and the Civil War are hardly feel-good topics), Lincoln, like other Oscar nominees, has done very well at the box office. Disney has spent about $10 million campaigning for the best-picture prize, hoping for a payoff down the line.
DreamWorks

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

How much is a best-picture Oscar worth? Not the statuette — winners are required to sell that back to the Academy for a buck if they want to get rid of it. No, what's the Oscar worth at the box office?

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Fri February 22, 2013

After Uproar Over Removed Mural In London, A New Banksy-Like Work Appears

A man inspects a plastic cover placed over an artwork attributed to Banksy in London, England. The stencilled image depicts a poor child making Union Jack flags on a sewing machine and is located on the wall of a Poundland discount shop in the Wood Green area of north London.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:21 pm

The controversy began earlier this month, when residents of a north London borough noticed that a piece of art by mysterious graffiti artist Banksy had disappeared.

It looked like the part of the wall that housed the stenciled work depicting a boy sewing Union Jacks had been sliced, the work removed and the wall repaired with fresh plaster.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Dead Mice Are Going To Be Dropped On Guam From Helicopters (Really)

Orlando Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:38 pm

Here's the latest plan scientists have come up with to kill some of the estimated 2 million brown tree snakes that have wiped out many other animals on Guam:

In April or May they're going to lace dead mice with painkillers, attach them to little parachutes, drop them from helicopters and hope that they get snagged in the jungle foliage. Then, if all goes well, the snakes — which as their name implies hang out in trees — will eat the mice and die from ingesting the painkillers' active ingredients.

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Barbershop
10:15 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Will 'Blade Runner' Be The New O.J.?

South African Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail, but the hearing brought to light bizarre details about the murder charges against him. So will the case turn into another O.J. Simpson fiasco? Host Michel Martin asks the barbershop guys for their thoughts.

The Two-Way
10:14 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Does Danica Patrick Have An Edge In The Daytona 500?

Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the No. 1 starting slot at NASCAR's elite level. But will that spot — and her weight advantage — give her an edge in Sunday's Daytona 500?
Jonathan Ferrey Getty Images

It took Danica Patrick 45.817 seconds to circle the track and win the pole position for the Daytona 500. It'll take about four hours to determine who wins the famed race that starts the Sprint Cup season at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

By taking the No. 1 slot, Patrick made history as the first woman to win a pole in NASCAR's elite division. And she made some people wonder whether the pole position — and her light weight — might give her an advantage.

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Economy
10:06 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Could Minimum Wage Increase Boom Or Bust Economy?

President Obama's plan to jump-start the economy starts with increasing the minimum wage and avoiding sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks about those challenges and others, like rising gas prices and expanding waist lines. She's joined by NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and Wall Street Journal economics reporter Sudeep Reddy.

BackTalk
10:06 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Who Should We Honor On Presidents' Day?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us. What's going on today, Ammad?

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