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Simon Says
3:20 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Is Honest Abe's Stovepipe Hat A Fake?

Abraham Lincoln's iconic stovepipe hat is on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 8:06 am

Abraham Lincoln's black stovepipe hat is an icon. It seemed to enhance his height, emphasize his dignity and, I suppose, keep his head warm.

There is a stovepipe hat at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., soiled and slightly brown with age. Lincoln is said to have given it to William Waller, a farmer and political supporter in Jackson County, Ill., and kept by his family for decades.

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Religion
3:18 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Pope's Resignation An Opportunity For Africa's Cardinals

Priest Anthony Obanla says Mass at a church in Lagos, Nigeria. In Africa, where the Catholic Church continues to grow, worshipers and clergy hope to see one of their own rise to lead the faithful.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 8:03 pm

The names of African cardinals are popping up as possible contenders to succeed Pope Benedict as head of the Roman Catholic Church when he steps down at the end of the month.

The Mary Mother of Good Council School is one of a number of respected Roman Catholic schools overseen by the archdiocese of Accra, the capital of the West African nation of Ghana. The Metropolitan archbishop of Accra, Charles Palmer-Buckle, who trained as a priest at pontifical universities in Rome, is upbeat about the continent's contribution to the Catholic Church.

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Around the Nation
3:16 am
Sat February 16, 2013

The 'Baby Dolls' Of Mardi Gras A Fun Tradition With A Serious Side

The Baby Doll Ladies pose during Mardi Gras in New Orleans on Tuesday.
Skip Bolen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:17 am

Just inside a room on the second floor of the Louisiana State Museum's Presbytere, there's a large baby doll dress, big enough for a woman to wear. And one did.

The costume and the baby bottle next to it belonged to 85-year-old Miriam Batiste Reed, who was known as a baby doll and one of the first women to parade in Mardi Gras. The bottle and the dress are part of a new exhibition, They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition.

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

For Australian Observatory, Asteroid 2012 DA14 Was Their Time In The Spotlight

This image shows asteroid 2012 DA14 and the Eta Carinae Nebula, with the white box highlighting the asteroid's path. The image was taken using a 3" refractor equipped with a color CCD camera. The telescope is located at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia and is maintained and owned by iTelescope.net.
Aaron Kingery NASA/MSFC

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 2:01 pm

If you watched any of NASA TV's live coverage of asteroid 2012 DA14 buzzing Earth today, you were looking at a live feed of a telescope at the Gingin Observatory in Western Australia.

Shortly after DA14 completed its fly by, Lakshmi Singh and Diane Waugh of our Newscast unit spoke to the motley crew of astronomers and technicians who made the live feed happen.

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Book Reviews
3:54 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Tales Of Transformation Make 'Vampires In The Lemon Grove' A Stunner

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 5:54 pm

In one of the eight stories in Karen Russell's new collection, a group of dead presidents has been reincarnated as horses. Rutherford B. Hayes, a skewbald pinto, frantically licks the palm of a girl in a secret code that he's worked out, revealing his true identity and asking her to alert the authorities. "Ha-ha!" the girl laughs. "That tickles."

I know, you're probably thinking: "Dead presidents reincarnated as horses? Oh, come on, Meg, that sounds like the plot of so many short stories."

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The Salt
3:32 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Romanian Horse Meat In British Lasagna Reveals Complex Global Food Trade

Not all countries in Europe shun horse meat, as the sign above this butcher shop in Paris attests. But horse-eating Europeans still don't like being swindled.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 5:35 am

How did the Romanian horse meat wind up in the British spaghetti sauce? Follow its path, and you'll get a quick tutorial in the complexities of the global food trade.

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Shots - Health News
3:23 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

What Nuclear Bombs Tell Us About Our Tendons

Nuclear bomb tests like this one, conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1957, are helping scientists understand how the human body works.
Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:57 am

You really don't want to mess with your Achilles tendons. Trust us, injury to these tendons can take months to heal, and even then recovery is often not complete.

A big reason the Achilles is such a foot-dragger at getting better is that the tendon tissue we have as adults is basically the same as we had when we were teenagers.

That finding was published earlier this week in The FASEB Journal.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
2:57 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

After Sandy, Not All Sand Dunes Are Created Equal

Daniel Riscoe, Jenna Hart, Anthony Chau and Caroline Lloyd (all students from the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J.) carry donated Christmas trees across Island Beach.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:04 pm

When Superstorm Sandy hit Island Beach State Park — one of the last remnants of New Jersey's barrier island ecosystem — it flattened the dunes, pushing all that sand hundreds of feet inland.

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. Charged With Illegally Spending Campaign Funds

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) in 2009.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 5:04 pm

Former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. of Illinois was charged Friday with conspiring with an unnamed person to illegally spend campaign funds.

As Politico reports, some of that money was spent on buying a $43,000 Rolex watch, "fur coats and memorabilia associated with Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Bruce Lee."

Politico adds:

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

NYC School Bus Strike Takes Toll On Disabled Kids

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For nearly a month, school bus drivers and aides have been on strike in New York City. They're fighting for job protections. The strikes has left thousands of children without yellow bus service. And while many are able to take public transit to school, students with disabilities who rely on door-to-door bus service have had a harder time. Yasmeen Khan from member station WNYC reports on how families are scrambling to get their kids to and from school.

YASMEEN KHAN, BYLINE: At least the Noris-Weitzman family has a car.

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Shots - Health News
2:18 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Popular Workout Booster Draws Safety Scrutiny

Some sports supplements contain the ingredient DMAA. The FDA has warned that DMAA may not be safe.
iStockphoto.com

Richard Kessinger loves to hit the gym. But some days he needs a little something to get him pumped up for his weightlifting routine.

"You might be a little bit sore. You might be tired. You might have had too many beers the day before," says Kessinger, 23, of Arlington, Va. "So you might start putting up a set and you get a few reps in and you're like, 'I'm not feeling this. I can't keep going.' "

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Around the Nation
2:18 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Checking In On Chicago Schools' 'Safe Passage' Program

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama was in Chicago today, promoting what he calls ladders of opportunity to the middle class. It's the latest stop of his post-State of the Union tour, fleshing out the proposals from Tuesday night's speech. At a high school near his southside Chicago home, the president said reducing urban gun violence is essential to economic development.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

It's Out Of Here: Asteroid Whizzes By

An illustration of what asteroid 2012 DA 14 may look like as it approaches Earth.
NASA/JPL-CalTech EPA /LANDOV

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. Asteroid Has Passed By:

According to NASA, asteroid 2012 DA14 — a rock thought to be about 150 feet across and the weight of about 318 fully loaded Boeing 747s — just flew past the planet.

So, we're all safe.

Update at 3:43 p.m. ET. A Photograph:

NASA has released this photograph of 2012 DA14:

Our original post and earlier updates:

If you haven't heard by now, then we've got some perhaps unsettling news:

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It's All Politics
1:33 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

President's New Voting Commission Greeted With Skepticism

Lines of voters wait to cast their ballots as the polls open in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Nov. 6.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 2:18 pm

One of the more memorable moments in President Obama's State of the Union address this week was his introduction of an elderly woman sitting in the House gallery. The president said that Desiline Victor had to wait three hours last year to vote in North Miami.

"Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her," Obama said. "[Because] Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read, 'I Voted.' "

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Caught Their Attention: House Committee Will Hold Hearing On Asteroids

In this photo provided by Chelyabinsk.ru a meteorite contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk on Friday.
Yekaterina Pustynnikova AP

The two hulking rocks hurtling toward Earth today seem to have caught Congress' attention: Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, is calling for a Congressional hearing on what we can do to protect our planet from asteroids.

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Planet Money
1:18 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Should The U.S. Import More Doctors?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 2:52 pm

People around the world want the same thing from their doctors. First, do no harm. Second, take a look at this weird bump and tell me if I should get worried.

The job is basically the same in many countries around the world. But the pay is wildly different. The median salary for U.S. doctors is about $250,000 a year. In Western Europe, it's less than half that. In developing countries, the salaries are even lower.

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Business
1:10 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

As Cruise Industry Grows, So Have Its Problems

Coast Guard patrols near the cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. The Carnival Triumph lost propulsion power after an engine room fire a day earlier.
Jason Chambers AFP/Getty Images

It's been a rough voyage for the cruise-line industry in the past few years.

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Religion
12:55 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Korean Pastor Tackles Prejudice At Home

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is Presidents Day, a day we celebrate the nation's presidents, and for many people it's a day off: a day to spend time with friends and family.

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Books
12:55 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Al Roker On Being 'The Jolly Fat Person'

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:03 am

This segment was originally broadcast on Jan. 28, 2013.

Al Roker, the veteran weatherman on NBC's Today show, endured years of indignities as an obese teenager and throughout his television career. Then, in 2002, he had bariatric surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But deciding to have the procedure, which is potentially life-threatening, wasn't easy — and neither was keeping the weight off afterward.

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Music
12:55 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Singer Emeli Sande Shares Her 'Version Of Events'

Emeli Sande's debut album Our Version of Events
Simon Emmett/ Lauren Dukoff The Fun Star

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:14 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 17, 2013.

After huge critical and commercial success last year, breakthrough British sensation Emeli Sande has her sights set on America.

It's a long way from her roots. Born to a Zambian father and English mother, the singer-songwriter was raised in Scotland. She tells NPR's Michel Martin that being the only mixed-race family in a small village had a big impact on her.

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Middle East
12:46 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Conflict Transforms Syrian English Teacher Into War Photographer

Nour Kelze, a 25-year-old from Aleppo, Syria, was teaching English at a private school when the uprising started two years ago. Since then, she has learned to be a war photographer and has been sending photos to the Reuters news agency.
Stephanie Freid Courtesy of Nour Kelze

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 11:33 am

Syria's war has thrown ordinary citizens into situations they never could have imagined and changed them in ways they never would have dreamed. It's turned carpenters, engineers and doctors into armed rebels. And in Aleppo, it has turned a young female teacher into a war photographer.

We first met Nour Kelze back in October, on our first trip to Aleppo. We asked her to work with us as an interpreter. She agreed but said she also would be shooting pictures.

Kelze, 25, had been teaching English and only recently became a war photographer.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Is Russia Marked For Meteors?

A hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteor reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow
AP

Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 6:53 am

Russians might be forgiven for thinking they have a big, fat celestial bull's-eye painted on their heads.

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Educators Killed At Sandy Hook School Honored At White House

President Obama with Donna and Carlos Soto, who accepted the Presidential Citizens Medal awarded to their daughter, slain Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto.
Shawn Thew EPA /LANDOV

The six women killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a gunman who also murdered 20 children were honored with posthumous Presidential Citizens Medals today at the White House.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Airbus Pulls Lithium-Ion Battery Out Of Its A350

A tail of an Airbus long-haul A350 XWB under construction at the European aircraft maker's assembly line in France.
AFP/Getty Images

Boeing's European rival Airbus announced a significant change to its A350-XWB airliner on Friday: It is abandoning plans to use a lithium-ion battery, the same kind that has caused Boeing so much trouble with its 787 Dreamliner.

The A350 is Airbus' version of the Dreamliner — a lighter, more fuel efficient plane made primarily out of a carbon fiber instead of aluminum and steel.

The New York Times explains:

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All Tech Considered
11:37 am
Fri February 15, 2013

DIY Broadband Comes To The English Countryside

iStockphoto.com

In a fast-moving world, people from all over have demanded faster Internet speeds. But when you live out in the middle of nowhere, you can feel like you're in the Internet slow lane because broadband just isn't available.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Venezuelan Government Releases Chávez Photos, Says He's On Breathing Tube

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 has released photographs of ailing President Hugo Chávez, who has not made a public appearance since he left for Cuba in December.

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Shots - Health News
11:27 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Don't Count On Extra Weight To Help You In Old Age

Extra weight is no defense against aging, says a demographer who argues that the apparent benefits from being overweight are a mirage.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 7:47 am

Wouldn't it be great, considering how many of us are overweight, if carrying a few extra pounds meant we'd live longer?

A recent analysis of nearly 100 published studies involving almost 3 million people found, surprisingly, that being a little overweight was associated with a lower risk of death than having a normal weight or being obese.

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Movie Reviews
11:14 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Say Yes To 'No': Retro Political Thriller Packs A Timely Punch

Brash ad man Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) brings a youthful, positive energy to a campaign aimed at ousting a dictator in the political drama No.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 2:18 pm

In 1988, Chile's brutal military dictator, Augusto Pinochet, was facing international pressure to legitimize his regime. Confident that the opposition was splintered, and that state-run media could control the political dialogue, his administration agreed to a simple yes-or-no vote on extending his rule.

It was a vote that even Pinochet's opponents expected to go his way — but it didn't, for reasons made both compelling and instructive in Pablo Larrain's rousing Oscar-nominated drama, No.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Fri February 15, 2013

After Outrage, Benjamin Netanyahu's Ice Cream Budget Melts Away

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting in his office on February 10 in Jerusalem, Israel.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:42 am

It is perhaps one of the more frivolous stories out of the Middle East; still, it's tasty, so we'll tell you about it: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has angered his opponents by budgeting 10,000 Shekels ($2,716) to buy ice cream for his household.

As The Guardian reports, the news came at an inconvenient time for Netanyahu's coalition government: They had just proposed an austerity budget that cut benefits for public workers.

The Guardian adds:

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Fri February 15, 2013

'Cruise From Hell' Was A Mix Of 'Survivor' And 'Lord Of The Flies'

After finally getting off the Carnival cruise ship Triumph, this passenger waited for a ride early Friday in Mobile, Ala.
Mark Wallheiser EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:22 pm

As they finally came off the Carnival cruise ship Triumph late Thursday and early Friday in Mobile, Ala., passengers from the ill-fated cruise told stories that call to mind TV's Survivor and literature's classic Lord of the Flies, the Los Angeles Times writes.

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