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3:40 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Taxpayers Steaming Over Florida Nuclear Plant's Shuttering

The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has stood idle since workers cracked the reactor's containment building in 2009. The facility is now slated to close permanently.
Will Vragovic AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:15 pm

The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.

When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.

At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Senate Votes To Continue Debate, Blocking Hagel Nomination

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

A cloture vote on the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary failed in the Senate, today.

That means Senate Republicans succeeded — with a vote of 58 to 40 — in keeping the Hagel nomination from coming before a final vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled the cloture vote after Republicans refused to give unanimous consent to proceed with the final vote.

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Shots - Health News
3:02 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Darkness Provides A Fix For Kittens With Bad Vision

Scientists found that darkness worked far better than they expected as a treatment for kittens with lazy eye.
Bill Rhodes/Flickr

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

When it comes to treating a lazy eye, there's evidence that turning the lights off may help — if you're a kitten.

A study in the latest issue of Current Biology reports that kittens with a type of visual impairment known as amblyopia, or lazy eye, were able to regain normal eyesight after being plunged into total darkness for 10 days.

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It's All Politics
2:54 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Rubio On The Move, At Least Once The House Sells

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., works in his Capitol Hill office on Feb. 7.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:28 pm

Remember Sen. Marco Rubio's paean to his Florida neighborhood in giving the Republican response to the State of the Union address?

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Movies
2:38 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Hooray For Nollywood: Nigerian Distributor Casts Wide Net Online

A typical Nigerian film market in Lagos. Though physical distribution of Nollywood films is booming, the digital market has also grown, thanks to a plugged-in African diaspora.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:56 pm

The massively popular Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS.

Nollywood caught on globally, and piracy was a major factor in the industry's growth, as copies of copies of Nollywood tapes sold on street corners from Lagos to Harlem. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online.

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NPR Story
2:30 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Merger Of American Airlines and US Airways Will Create World's Largest Carrier

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:40 pm

The boards of US Airways Group and AMR have approved the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The resulting company will become the world's largest airline. American is in bankruptcy, so its creditors will own a big chunk of the new company and US Airways shareholders will own the rest.

The Legacy And Future Of Mass Incarceration
2:13 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Decades On, Stiff Drug Sentence Leaves A Life 'Dismantled'

Now 59, George Prendes works as a telemarketer in New York and struggles to make the rent on his small Bronx apartment.
Natasha Haverty

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 11:11 am

There are roughly half a million people behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes in America. But no one really knows how many people have been sentenced to long prison bids since the laws known as Rockefeller drug laws first passed 40 years ago.

What's clear is that tough sentencing laws, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts, shaped a generation of young men, especially black and Hispanic men.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

We Wonder: Why Couldn't Disabled Cruise Ship Be Evacuated?

In this handout from the U.S. Coast Guard the tugs Resolve Pioneer and Dabhol tow and steer the disabled 893-foot Carnival Triumph cruise ship on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:05 pm

As the Carnival Triumph drifted for days in the Gulf of Mexico, we wondered: Instead of undertaking a slow, arduous tow to Mobile, Ala., wouldn't it have been easier — and more comfortable for passengers — to send an empty cruise ship to the area and evacuate the 3,143 passengers?

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Shots - Health News
1:34 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Traces Of Anxiety Drugs May Make Fish Act Funny

Perch exposed to the anxiety drug oxazepam were more daring and ate more quickly than fish that lived in drug-free water.
Courtesy of Bent Christensen

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:40 pm

Many of the drugs we take aren't actually digested — they pass through our bodies, and down through the sewer pipes. Traces of those drugs end up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife. Nobody's sure what effect they have.

Now, a paper being published in Science magazine finds that drugs for anxiety drugs — even at these very low levels — can affect the behavior of fish.

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It's All Politics
1:24 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Obama's Road Trip To Conclude With Florida Break

President Obama plays a learning game while visiting children at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center on Thursday in Decatur, Ga. Obama's campaign-style trip this week was to end with a nonworking stop in Florida.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:41 pm

President Obama will cap off a busy week of politicking with some R&R in Florida.

Obama plans to travel to the West Palm Beach area for what his spokesman called "some well-deserved downtime."

"He's going to spend Presidents Day weekend relaxing with some friends," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "There's no work on the schedule."

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Prosecutors: Former San Diego Mayor Gambled Away $1 Billion

Maureen O'Connor, center, and Mayor Ed Koch in 1987 in New York.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:06 pm

In a federal court today, prosecutors said former San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Connor misappropriated $2 million of her late husband's charitable foundation because of a gambling addiction.

During a period between 2000 and 2008, reports the San Diego Union Tribune, prosecutors say O'Connor gambled away more than $1 billion.

The paper reports:

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Canada To Zombies: Drop Dead, Eh

Canadian zombies dress for success. (An Occupy Vancouver "Zombie Walk" in October 2011.)
Sergei Bachlakov Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:06 pm

Apparently, the undead aren't even welcome in the ever polite Great North.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

With GDP Slip, German Economy 'Finally Lost Its Invincibility'

Today we got more troubling news for the world economy: Germany's GDP slipped 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012, sending the Eurozone deeper into recession.

The Guardian spoke to Carsten Brzeski and analyst for ING, who said:

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Business
11:46 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Will The US-American Merger Make The Skies Less Friendly?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. You can soon add US Airways to a long list that includes TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Western, Braniff and so many others. US Airways will merge with American. The new American Airlines will be the world's largest, and after decades of consolidation, one of just four major airlines in the U.S.

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National Security
11:43 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Zero Dark Thirty' Renews Torture Debate

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. One of the most critically acclaimed and most popular films of the year, "Zero Dark Thirty," is up for five Oscars, including Best Picture. The film follows the hunt for Osama bin Laden and sparked controversy for its depiction of CIA interrogation techniques, including water boarding.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ZERO DARK THIRTY")

JASON CLARKE: (As Dan) Come on, give it to me. Hasam(ph) was a friend of Gramzi Yusef(ph). You guys met in Iran back in the '90s.

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The Salt
11:39 am
Thu February 14, 2013

When Resistance Is Futile: Bring In The Robots To Pull Superweeds

An illustration imagines what a weed-seeking robot could look like, armed with different tools to attack different problem plants.
Courtesy Steve Young

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 12:08 pm

A future without weeds would be a kind of farmer utopia, but currently, herbicide-resistant "superweeds" are part of today's reality. Some researchers, though, are looking for a solution that seems ripped from science fiction: weed-seeking robots.

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Interviews
11:38 am
Thu February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Campaign To End Violence

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

This morning, hundreds of Somali men and women gathered in a community center in Mogadishu after a flash mob. Campaigners in Parliament Square in London held up one finger while MPs debated violence against women inside Westminster. And hundreds of Egyptian sang and danced after 10 a.m., Cairo time, all that from live coverage provided by The Guardian. Events all marked V-Day and its One Billion Rising campaign, designed to boost awareness of violence against women all over the world.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Reminder: An Asteroid Buzzes By On Friday (But NASA Says Don't Worry)

An illustration of what asteroid 2012 DA 14 may look like as it approaches Earth.
NASA/JPL-CalTech EPA /LANDOV
  • Nell Greenfieldboyce, for the NPR Newscast

NASA calls it a "small near-Earth asteroid."

And though "2012 DA14" will come within about 17,000 miles of our planet and be closer than some satellites, the space agency assures everyone that "there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth."

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Airstrike In Afghanistan Renews Concerns Over Civilian Casualties

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the new U.S. and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, commander in Afghanistan, has only been in charge for a few days, and already he's been summoned to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office for what looks like a dressing down, according to a press release from the president's office.

Dunford was called in to discuss what was initially reported as an ISAF airstrike in Kunar province that killed 10 civilians late Tuesday night.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Thu February 14, 2013

New Documents Provide Insight Into Relationship Of Presidents Clinton, Nixon

Former President Richard Nixon visits with President Bill Clinton in the family quarters of the White House, March 8, 1993.
Bob McNeely White House Photo Office via Wikipedia

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:20 pm

Toward the end of his life, President Richard Nixon found some redemption by secretly advising President Bill Clinton on foreign issues.

New declassified documents, on display at the Nixon Library, released by the Clinton Library and obtained by the Associated Press, show that Nixon sent Clinton a letter after he won the presidency.

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Around the Nation
10:20 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pain Is 'Deep,' 'Indescribable' For Gun Victim Pendleton's Mother

Cleopatra Pendleton (left) is consoled by her sister Kimiko Pettis on Jan. 30.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 12:24 pm

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton was leading a meeting at work last month when she got a phone call any mother would call horrific. Her 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya Pendleton, had been shot while with friends on Chicago's South Side.

"I went into temporary shock, I grabbed my nearest coworker ... [and said] 'Help me understand what they're saying, because clearly they're not talking about my baby,'" she tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More. When she got to the hospital, a nurse told her Pendleton had died.

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Around the Nation
10:06 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pendleton's Mother: 'It's My Job' To Keep Talking

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:20 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Just ahead, President Obama will be speaking on gun violence in Chicago tomorrow. Some feel this visit is long overdue. We'll speak with two young people who have been working to get the president to come to Chicago. We'll ask them why and what they hope to hear from him in just a few minutes.

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Around the Nation
10:06 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Chicago Youth Hopeful, Cautious Ahead of President's Visit

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:20 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are going to continue our conversation about gun violence. We're focusing on Chicago. President Obama is heading there tomorrow and our next guests say it's really about time that the violence in Chicago receives this kind of high level attention and response. They're both young people living in Chicago and they've both been directly affected by violence. They say that voices like theirs are not being heard in the national gun control debates, so we are going to bring them to you now.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'It Could Be A Lot Worse,' Triumph Passenger Says; Cruise Ship Docking At Ala. Port

Makeshift tents are seen on the deck of the Carnival cruise ship Triumph, in a photo taken Sunday, the first day it spent without engine power. The image was provided by Kalin Hill of Houston.
Kalin Hill AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:21 am

The Carnival cruise ship Triumph docked in Mobile, Ala., late Thursday night, as the job of towing the stricken 100,000-ton ship hundreds of miles across the Gulf of Mexico took longer than expected. The ship's 3,143 passengers had coped with sewage problems and a lack of ventilation since Sunday, when the Triumph was crippled by an engine room fire.

Updated 2:15 a.m. ET Friday: All Passengers Disembarked

A spokesman for Carnival says all passengers have left the cruise ship that was stranded for days without power and running water.

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Shots - Health News
9:42 am
Thu February 14, 2013

More Women Turn To Morning-After Pill

The Plan B pill, one version of the morning-after pill, is available without a prescription, except for women 17 and younger.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 9:56 am

The number of women who have used emergency contraceptive pills has increased dramatically in the past decade, according to the latest government data.

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The Salt
9:23 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Makers Dare To Bare How It's Done

Askinosie buys beans directly from small farmers. The goal: better quality control, and more cash to the growers.
Bob Linder Courtesy of Askinosie Chocolate

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:11 pm

If you're looking to buy chocolate in San Francisco this Valentine's Day, just follow your nose down Valencia Street. "A lot of people walk in [and say], 'Oh, my gosh, the smell!" says Cameron Ring, co-owner of Dandelion Chocolate.

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Business
9:15 am
Thu February 14, 2013

How The American-US Airways Merger Might Affect You

A US Airways plane rests near two American Airlines jets at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport last year. The combined carrier would be named American Airlines.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:24 pm

American Airlines and US Airways on Thursday announced they plan to merge to create the country's largest airline, with a route network stretching from coast to coast, and covering large swaths of Latin America, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Prisoner X' Mystery Puts Spotlight On Israel's Spy Agency

The "prisoner x" story is front page news in Australia.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:40 am

This sounds like something from a spy novel, but it's the top of a real-life Associated Press story today:

"He was known as Prisoner X, his crimes unknown. For months he languished in an Israeli prison until he was he was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide. Later, rumors would swirl that he was an Australian-Israeli who worked for the Israeli secret service Mossad.

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Business
8:22 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway To Buy Heinz

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:05 am

Warren Buffett is teaming up with another big investor in the $28 billion deal. Berkshire Hathaway has been looking for places to invest, with other recent deals involving consumer icons Coca-Cola and Mars.

The Two-Way
7:49 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Warren Buffett Puts Heinz In His Pantry

J.B. Reed Landov

The Oracle of Omaha is again showing he's got a taste for companies that make the kinds of food many Americans love.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is joining with the Brazilian investment group 3G Capital to buy H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.3 billion. Add in the debt that the new owners will assume and the deal's value grows to $28 billion, Buffett's company says.

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