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All Tech Considered
10:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Apps For Apnea? New Gadgets Promise To Improve Sleep

Jealous? If you have trouble sleeping, several new apps and devices promise to help you figure out why. In this photo from January, Huan Huan, a female giant panda, sleeps in a zoo in Beauval, France.
Franck Prevel Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 6:00 am

Technology is sometimes blamed for keeping us awake at night. The thinking is that devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets may have made entertainment TOO portable, putting games, videos and the Internet close at hand in the bedroom. But a batch of new apps and gadgets tries to push the pendulum the other way, by helping you improve the quality of your sleep.

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Health
10:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Scientists Take Cautious Tack On Bird Flu Research

A government veterinarian worker sprays anti-bird flu disinfectant over birds and fowls at Medan city market in North Sumatra province. Indonesia reported its second human death from bird flu this year in late January.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 9:24 am

Last month, scientists around the world agreed to temporarily halt certain genetic experiments with bird flu viruses. More than three weeks of that 60-day moratorium have already passed. And the scientific community is in the midst of a fierce debate about what needs to happen next.

The suspension of the research came in response to fears that researchers had created dangerous new germs that could cause a devastating pandemic in people if they ever escaped the lab or fell into the wrong hands.

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Movie Interviews
10:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Brad Pitt: Making 'Moneyball' And Being Billy Beane

Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the passionate general manager of the Oakland A's, in the Oscar-nominated sports drama Moneyball.
Sony Pictures

In the Oscar-nominated film Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, a baseball manager obsessed with turning his cash-strapped team into a contender. Pitt says that drive is what attracted him to the role that has earned him a best-actor nod.

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Television
10:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

I'm Just Sayin': There Are Anachronisms In 'Downton'

Listen Carefully: Some phrases have made it into Downton Abbey that are a little ahead of their time. Above, Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) tries out a newfangled gadget with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery).
Courtesy Carnival Film & Television Limited/Masterpiece

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:51 am

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Politics
10:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Obama's Budget: Political Tool Or Spending Plan?

Copies of of President Obama's fiscal 2013 federal budget are readied for shipment Thursday at the Government Printing Office in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 9:57 am

Deficit reduction takes a back seat to job growth in the federal budget President Obama will unveil Monday. The spending plan forecasts more red ink in the current fiscal year than in 2011. Under the president's plan, budget deficits wouldn't reach a sustainable level until 2018.

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Greek Parliament Approves Austerity Bill

The Associated Press is reporting that the Greek Parliament has approved a crucial austerity and debt-relief bill to keep the country out of bankruptcy and remain a part of the eurozone.

From the AP:

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Politics
3:34 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Strong In 2010, Where Is The Tea Party Now?

Tea Party activist William Temple waits for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to deliver a speech titled, Is America Still an Exceptional Nation? during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 6:09 am

In 2009, Tea Party rallies raged in cities across the country. The movement put its stamp on the 2010 midterm elections when the Republicans retook the House of Representatives.

So far, throughout the GOP primary contest, every major candidate at some point has tried to frame himself or herself as the Tea Party's standard-bearer, but what's most striking about the movement this election has been its notable absence.

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Author Interviews
1:59 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

When The Bankers Plotted To Overthrow FDR

The Plots Against the President

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 6:08 am

It was a dangerous time in America: The economy was staggering, unemployment was rampant and a banking crisis threatened the entire monetary system.

The newly elected president pursued an ambitious legislative program aimed at easing some of the troubles. But he faced vitriolic opposition from both sides of the political spectrum.

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Science
1:51 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Virtual Penguins A Prescription For Pain?

Snow World was designed specifically with burn patients in mind-- its icy river and comical snowmen are the furthest thing imaginable from fire.
Ari Hollander Hunter Hoffman

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 1:44 pm

For troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deepest physical pain often comes much later — weeks, or even months, after the incident. That was the case for Sam Brown, whose story appears in this month's GQ magazine.

Brown graduated from West Point in 2006. In the late summer of 2008, he was deployed to southern Afghanistan to lead a platoon. He did security for base construction and made sure the local villagers had enough food, water, and medicine.

It was hot, often mind-numbingly dull, and dusty.

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Latin America
1:00 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

American's Arrest In Cuba Could Have Impact

A U.S. contractor working to provide Internet service to Cuba's small Jewish community was charged with spying and sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison. Alan Gross was reportedly working for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Deceptive Cadence
10:51 am
Sun February 12, 2012

From Hyperpianos To Harmonious Handel: New Classical Albums

Lisa Smirnova studied Handel's suites for five years before recording them.
ECM

What's the saying — the more things change, the more they stay the same? It seems that's how it goes in the ways we make music. MIT futurologist Tod Machover rethinks traditional instruments, coming up with new things like the hyperpiano; Pianist Michael Chertock gives it a go in an explosive excerpt below.

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Music
6:09 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston, A 'Perfect Instrument,' Dies

Pop diva Whitney Houston was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room on the eve of the 54th Grammy Awards.
Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 12, 2012 3:52 pm

On the eve of the 54th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, the conversation was all about Whitney Houston. The 48-year-old pop diva was discovered dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton Saturday afternoon. The cause of her death was under investigation.

Houston died alone in the same hotel that was the venue for a party she had often entered in triumph: the annual pre-Grammy Awards bash given by her mentor, recording impresario Clive Davis.

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Asia
6:00 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi's Improbable Campaign

The main opposition leader in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, is campaigning for a seat in parliament in her constituency outside Rangoon. It's a scene that seemed impossible only a few months ago, before the military-backed government began a process of change. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Anthony Kuhn from Rangoon.

Europe
6:00 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Sarkozy's Re-Election On The Backburner

France is holding a presidential election in the spring, and the campaign is in full swing, sort of. The only thing missing is one of the candidates: President Nicolas Sarkozy. As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, he hasn't yet announced whether he's running for re-election.

Politics
6:00 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Women Get Closer To Combat; Many PracticallyThere

The Pentagon announced last week that the military would now allow women to serve in jobs that would bring them closer to combat. Host Rachel Martin speaks with former Army sergeant Kayla Williams about the ramifications of the change.

Politics
6:00 am
Sun February 12, 2012

The Contraception Compromise Plays Out Politically

Originally published on Sun February 12, 2012 8:22 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

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Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Conservative Straw Poll Gives Romney A Nod

Originally published on Sun February 12, 2012 8:22 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Mitt Romney also got an unofficial endorsement from Republican activists yesterday, as the Conservative Political Action Conference came to a close. He won the organization's straw poll with 38 percent of the vote. Former senator Rick Santorum came in second place with 31 percent. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich was third with 15 percent and Ron Paul came in fourth with 12 percent.

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The Salt
4:55 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Battling The Bottle: Students And Industry Face Off Over Water

Humbolt State University

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Latin America
4:19 am
Sun February 12, 2012

'Who Rules In Honduras?': A Coup's Lasting Impact

Zelaya's supporters rallied after the coup that ousted him in June 2009.
Esteban Felix AP

Originally published on Sun February 12, 2012 3:52 pm

The second of a two-part series about the roots of violence in Honduras.

Honduras is a major stop for drug traffickers; corruption is rampant. Many experts say things got markedly worse after the 2009 coup that ousted democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. The fallout of that coup continues today.

'The Shooting Started Around 5:20 a.m.'

When it comes to coups and dictators, Latin America has a difficult past. Today the region is largely democratic. Dictators and coups are supposed to be a thing of the past.

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The Picture Show
4:16 am
Sun February 12, 2012

What Greek Austerity Looks Like

Nurse Stella Trivizaki stands in an abandoned locker room at Asklypeio Public Hospital in Athens, Greece.
Eirini Vourloumis

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:02 am

Half-Greek and half-Indonesian, photojournalist Eirini Vourloumis moved back to her hometown of Athens, Greece, in 2010 to cover the economic crisis. She found her country unrecognizable.

For one thing, she was struck by the surge of immigrants.

"When I was growing up it was very rare to see a non-Greek anywhere," she says.

Once-docile areas in Athens now seethe with crime, yet Vourloumis says the most dramatic shift for Greeks has been psychological.

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Politics
4:14 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Obama's Budget First Salvo In Expected Political Fight

Copies of of President Barack Obama's fiscal 2013 federal budget are readied for shipment, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, at the Government Printing Office in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

When President Obama unveils his budget Monday, it will project a $1.3 trillion deficit this year, and just under $1 trillion in 2013. It would increase spending on education, research and development and transportation. It would also increase taxes on the wealthy and cut spending, including on defense.

Presidential budgets are almost always aspirational documents. They lay out a vision, not what the president actually thinks will happen.

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Presidential Race
12:37 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Romney Edges A Victory In Maine Caucuses

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters at a caucus in Portland, Maine, on Saturday.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Stung by a series of defeats earlier this week, Mitt Romney got a much-needed boost Saturday with a win in the straw poll of the Conservative Political Action Conference and a victory in Maine's nonbinding caucuses.

Yet Romney walked away without delegates and tallied fewer votes there than he did four years ago. This time, he barely beat rival Ron Paul.

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Europe
7:28 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

Old Money Helps Spanish Village Stay Afloat

A poster reading "The peseta is back" stands in Salvaterra de Mino, northwestern Spain. Some areas in Spain are returning to their former currency to make extra cash during the debt crisis.
Miguel Riopa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 12, 2012 12:09 pm

Villamayor de Santiago, population 2,500, is a small village just south of Madrid, Spain.

It's famous for three Manchego cheese factories and a windmill that stopped turning decades ago. More than one-third of the town is unemployed.

After Christmas, shopkeepers decided to jump-start their economy.

"We realized there's no money here — well, no euros anyway — in the pockets of our customers," says Luis Miguel Campayo, head of the local merchants' association.

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The Record
7:15 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston: Her Life Played Out Like An Opera

Whitney Houston performs in 1988.
David Corio Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:32 pm

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Economy
3:22 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

N.C. Regulator Tapped To Handle $25B Mortgage Deal

There was one little-noticed part of this week's announcement about the $25 billion national mortgage settlement. North Carolina's banking commissioner, Joseph Smith Jr., will take over a new role and serve as independent monitor. He'll oversee the five banks which agreed to new mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure standards.

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Anti-Government Protests Roil Egypt
2:44 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

A Year After Mubarak, Where Does Egypt Stand?

Protesters gather for a demonstration to demand the ouster of the country's military rulers at Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 11, 2012 3:23 pm

A year ago today, tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square and celebrated a previously unimaginable achievement: the toppling of Hosni Mubarak.

But one year later, Egypt is far from stable and far from the democratic utopia many activists imagined. Is the nation better off?

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Analysis
1:00 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

Week In News: A Week Of Deals For Obama

James Fallows of The Atlantic talks to weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about President Barack Obama's compromise on providing reproductive services mandated by health care law after resistance from religious institutions and his latest cover story for The Atlantic on Obama's demeanor and a recent deal reached with five of the biggest banks in the country to pay back individuals whose homes were wrongly foreclosed on.

Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

Oklahoma Opts Out Of Foreclosure Deal

Originally published on Sat February 11, 2012 3:23 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Well, every single state in the country will get a piece of that $26 billion to help troubled homeowners keep their homes, every single state except Oklahoma. The attorney general in Oklahoma decided to opt out of the multistate settlement to hold banks accountable for questionable lending and foreclosure practices.

Scott Pruitt is Oklahoma's attorney general, and he joins me now on the line. Attorney General, welcome.

SCOTT PRUITT: Well, thank you, Guy.

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Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

Hard Times Familiar in Okfuskee County, Okla.

Okfuskee County in Oklahoma is the birthplace of Woody Guthrie, who would have turned 100 this year. Much of the economic problems Guthrie sang about were from what he saw in the county, which was once the largest all-black community in the country. Guthrie's music still resonates there, especially in the town of Boley, where hope is hard to come by. Logan Layden of State Impact Oklahoma reports.

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Simon Says
6:54 am
Sat February 11, 2012

Ralph Nader's $2,680 Airplane Aisle Seat

When Americans traveled by stagecoach, they had to worry about rocks, rattlesnakes, robbers and other varmints. But I wonder if there weren't fewer passenger complaints.

Ralph Nader is not running for president this year. But he's giving a couple of speeches in Dallas this weekend and booked an American Airlines flight a couple of weeks ago for a $750 fare.

The flight takes three hours. Mr. Nader is 6 feet, 4 inches tall. His longtime travel agent tried to select an aisle seat, which is more comfortable for Mr. Nader. Probably for whoever might be next to him, too.

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