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2:39 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

In The Iditarod Race, 'Pee Pants' Get An Endurance Test

Several female mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are trying out new attire that allows them to skip bathroom stops. Here, a musher and his team pass fans at the ceremonial start of the race in Anchorage.
Dan Joling AP

It will take more than a week for Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which began Sunday, to cover nearly 1,000 miles. But every minute counts — and several mushers are trying out special pants that allow them to race without stopping for bathroom breaks.

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NPR Story
2:36 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Senate Committee Passes Bill Meant To Reduce 'Straw Purchases' Of Guns

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:13 pm

The first major gun bills in nearly two decades had their first hearing in the Senate on Thursday, including an assault weapons ban and a ban on so-called "straw purchases." Still, even in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., the legislation faces an uphill battle. Ailsa Chang talks to Melissa Block.

Asia
2:33 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Young Chinese Translate America, One Show At A Time

The Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels, is one of the most popular American TV series in China. It's a favorite among a cadre of young, informal translators who see it as a way to challenge conventional Chinese thinking.

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:42 pm

Every week, thousands of young Chinese gather online to translate popular American movies and TV shows into Mandarin. Some do it for fun and to help people learn English, while others see it as a subtle way to introduce new ideas into Chinese society.

Among the more popular American TV shows on China's Internet these days is HBO's The Newsroom. One reason is an exchange between a college student and a news anchor played by Jeff Daniels. The young woman asks the aging newsman why the United States is the greatest country in the world.

The anchor explodes.

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The Salt
2:09 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Plague Of Locusts Has Israelis Asking: Are They Kosher For Passover?

An Israeli cook displays locusts at a restaurant in Jerusalem, at a 2010 event promoting locusts as a tasty kosher treat.
Olivier Fitoussi AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 2:54 pm

A swarm of locusts that has devastated crops in Egypt made its way into neighboring Israel this week. And with Passover just around the corner, many news outlets couldn't resist noting the shades of the biblical tale of Exodus, when the insects were one of 10 plagues that descended upon Pharaoh and his people.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Senate Approves Nomination Of John Brennan As CIA Chief

John Brennan testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, on February 7, 2013.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

After an epic filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul that lasted into the early morning hours, the Senate voted this afternoon to confirm the nomination of John Brennan as the country's next Central Intelligence Agency director.

As we reported, Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, stood on the floor of the Senate for nearly 13 hours, repeatedly asking for an explanation of the Obama administration's targeted killing program.

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Planet Money
1:54 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever Isn't Scary Enough

Calculated Risk

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:18 am

One of the defining graphs of our time (yes, there are defining graphs of our time) comes from the blog Calculated Risk. It tracks the job market in every U.S. recession and recovery since WWII — and it shows just how brutal the the past few years have been.

Business Insider calls this the Scariest Jobs Chart Ever. But the Scariest Jobs Chart Ever isn't quite scary enough.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Ahmadinejad Says Chávez Will Rise With Christ; Is Chastised By Cleric

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Just before leaving for Venezuela to attend the funeral of Hugo Chávez, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad penned a laudatory tribute for the late president.

"[Chavez] is alive, as long as nations are alive and struggle for consolidating independence, justice and kindness. I have no doubt that he will come back, and along with Christ the Saviour, the heir to all saintly and perfect men, and will bring peace, justice and perfection for all," Ahmadinejad wrote in a letter he sent the Venezuelan vice president.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

How Did Strom Thurmond Last Through His 24-Hour Filibuster?

Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina after his 24+ hour filibuster in 1957. He was a Democrat then. Later, Thurmond would switch to the Republican Party.
AP

As he ended his nearly 13-hour filibuster early Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) indirectly said it was nature's call that forced him to stop talking:

"I would try to go another 12 hours and try to break Strom Thurmond's record, but there are some limits to filibustering and I am going to have to go take care of one of those here," he said.

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Shots - Health News
12:47 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

To Make Mice Smarter, Add A Few Human Brain Cells

These drawings by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, published in 1899, show cortex neurons.
Santiago Ramon y Cajal Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:13 pm

For more than a century, neurons have been the superstars of the brain. Their less glamorous partners, glial cells, can't send electric signals, and so they've been mostly ignored.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

South Florida Beaches Reopen After Shark Scare

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:30 pm

Several beaches in South Florida are open again following their closure earlier this week as a precautionary measure after thousands of migrating sharks were spotted near shore.

The Palm Beach Post reports that as of 9 a.m. ET, all Palm Beach County beaches were open because no more sharks had been spotted swimming near shore.

According to the newspaper:

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Holder Responds To Paul About Drone Strikes On U.S. Soil

A Predator drone.
General Atomics Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:22 pm

As he rose to begin his nearly 13-hour filibuster Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said "no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court." He would filibuster John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director, Paul said, because he wanted a clear statement from the Obama administration acknowledging that U.S.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Please Tell Us You've Done This Too: Ever Worn Mismatched Shoes?

The left foot didn't know what the right foot was wearing.
Mark Memmott NPR

If your shoes say a lot about you, as we learned last year, what does it say if the ones you're wearing don't match?

-- That it's not a good idea to get dressed in the dark?

-- That perhaps this blogger needs to pay more attention to what he's doing in the morning?

-- Or that he buys boringly similar shoes?

Imagine my surprise when I looked down at my feet after getting to work this morning.

Now, please make me feel better:

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Newtown, Conn. Students Are Granted A Waiver On Exams

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:08 pm

The student victims of the Connecticut school shooting rampage that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead in December have been granted an unprecedented one-time waiver on taking standardized tests.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Thu March 7, 2013

China's Citizens Hide As Much As $2.34 Trillion In Income, Researcher Says

As much as $2.34 trillion in yearly income goes unreported in China, an economics scholar says. Here, an imported car passes a shopping mall in Beijing.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:19 pm

China's citizens do not report as much as $2.34 trillion of what they make every year, hiding "gray income" that would represent nearly 20 percent of the country's GDP, Chinese economics scholar Wang Xiaolu says, in a report from the news site Global Voices.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Thu March 7, 2013

NPR's Brenda Box, An Excellent Editor, Wicked Wit And True Friend, Dies

Brenda Box, NPR Newscast editor and good friend.
Kathy Rushlow NPR

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:38 am

Before The Two-Way launched in May 2009, a smart decision was made: We would sit with, and work closely with, the producers, editors and anchors on the NPR Newscast Desk. It made sense to put the hosts of a breaking news blog with the team that gets breaking news on the air. The Newscast team has helped us in countless ways.

The Two-Way lost a dear friend Thursday, someone who brought her sharp mind and editing skills to NPR's newscasts and always gave us good guidance. She also had a wickedly funny sense of humor that made it fun to come to work.

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It's All Politics
10:40 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Talks His Way Into The Political Big Time

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul leaves the floor of the Senate early Thursday following his filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:58 am

Rand Paul has gained new prominence in ways that inevitably lead to speculation about his political future, including the possibility of a presidential run in 2016.

The Kentucky Republican's marathon filibuster that began Wednesday raised his profile above those of other junior but ambitious conservatives in the Senate, says GOP consultant David Carney.

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The Salt
10:31 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Startup Wants To Redefine How Local Foods Get To Your Door

Employees of Good Eggs deliver produce, meat and other local foods from producers in the Bay Area of California.
Courtesy of Good Eggs

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:13 pm

Rising consumer demand for local foods has changed the job description for ranchers like Doniga Markegard.

Markegard, co-owner of Markegard Family Grass-Fed in San Gregorio, Calif., loves working with cattle, but she's not fond of the hours of phone calls and emails it can take to sell directly to a customer.

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Governing
10:30 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Small Towns Struggle Too

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, many small colleges say they're making a big push to diversify, but what happens when those diverse students and faculty actually show up? We'll talk about that in just a few minutes. But first we want to talk about some of the financial struggles that cities and towns have been having over the last few years.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Facebook Set To Unveil Big Changes To Your News Feed

The new look of Facebook's news feed.
Facebook

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Update at 1:31 p.m. ET. Larger Images, Mobile Oriented:

Facebook announced today that it was overhauling its "news feed." This is significant on two fronts: First, this is truly the first big makeover for the feature since its inception. Second, its users — some 1 billion worldwide — are known to be very touchy about changes.

Reuters said the new news feed is "visually richer" and "mobile device-oriented." It means the feed will look the same on your computer as it does on your mobile device.

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Shots - Health News
10:25 am
Thu March 7, 2013

To Save A Life, Odds Favor Defibrillators In Casinos

Main Street Station casino security staffers Jim Daugherty (left) and James Boles show off an automated external defibrillator in Las Vegas in 1997. Back then, the idea of putting the devices in casinos to save lives seemed like a long shot.
Lennox McLendon AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 1:22 pm

If someone's heart suddenly stops beating, a quick shock can be a lifesaver.

By the time a person can get to the hospital, though, it's often too late. The chances of survival are best, in fact, if the shock is given within three minutes of a person's collapse.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Bin Laden's Son-In-Law Arrested, Brought To U.S.

A man identified as Sulaiman Abu Ghaith appears in this still image taken from an undated video address. A son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who served as al Qaeda's spokesman, Abu Gaith was detained in Jordan and sent to the United States.
HANDOUT Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:22 am

Update at 4:30 p.m. EST. Details Of Capture

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and a former al-Qaida spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, is in U.S. custody and is being held in a Manhattan jail. He could appear in a federal court as soon as Friday, U.S. officials familiar with the case say.

His capture is considered important not just because he was so close to bin Laden but also because U.S. officials have decided to try him in a federal court, not Guantanamo Bay.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Thu March 7, 2013

U.N. Security Council Approves New Sanctions On North Korea

U.N. Security Council members vote to adopt sanctions against North Korea on Thursday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:54 am

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions on North Korea just hours after Pyongyang threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States and its allies.

The Security Council's actions to clamp down on the North's nuclear program follow the country's third nuclear test, carried out last month in defiance of previous United Nations' sanctions.

The 15-0 Security Council vote Thursday includes China, which has backed North Korea in the past and is one of the country's few allies.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Will Breaking Bread Break The Deadlock In D.C.?

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., gave a thumbs-up Wednesday night after he and other GOP senators had dinner with President Obama.
Olivier Douliery/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:38 am

Wednesday night it was dinner with a small group of Republican lawmakers.

Thursday it's lunch with 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Next week, the president is due to have lunch with more Republican senators.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Egypt's Locust Plague Threatens Israel

Locusts land on a sand dune in Negev Desert, southern Israel on Tuesday.
Ariel Schalit Associated Press

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 6:44 am

A swarm of locusts that began in Egypt and has crossed the border into Israel is inviting comparison to one of the Biblical plagues of Exodus.

The New York Times says the swarms are "like a vivid enactment of the eighth plague visited upon the obdurate Pharaoh. Others with a more modern sensibility said it felt more like Hitchcock."

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Today: First Key Votes On Gun Laws Since Newtown Shootings

Guns on display at a show in Fort Wayne, Ind., last month.
Brian Cassella MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:52 am

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. One Measure Approved So Far:

"The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday making gun trafficking a federal crime as lawmakers cast the first vote in Congress to curb firearms since December's horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Mixed Signals: Jobless Claims Dip; Layoff Plans Rise

As we await Friday's much-anticipated report about the February unemployment rate and how many jobs were added to employers' payrolls last month, there are these new bits of economic data to chew over:

-- The Employment and Training Administration says there were 340,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week. That's down from 7,000 the previous week. Claims continue at a pace that's the lowest since first-quarter 2008.

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Suspect In New York City Hit-And-Run Surrenders To Police

Julio Acevedo surrendered to authorities in Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
Timothy E. Wynkoop AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:18 am

Four days after a hit-and-run in Brooklyn that killed a young couple riding in a cab, suspect Julio Acevedo surrendered to police at a convenience store parking lot in Bethlehem, Pa.

The New York Times says:

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Nearly 13 Hours Later, Sen. Paul Ends His Filibuster; Here's The Video

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., during his filibuster.
Senate Television AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:45 am

After nearly 13 hours during which he had only a few short breaks while sympathetic senators took over the talking, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky ended his filibuster of John Brennan's CIA nomination early Thursday.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Book News: Who's Afraid Of Sheryl Sandberg?

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks in December 2011 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:22 am

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

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