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Planet Money
1:09 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Mavericks, Hot Documents And Beer

Lawrence Jackson AP

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

The boards of American Airlines and US Airways just approved a merger of the two airlines. But the deal still has to win the approval of antitrust regulators at the Justice Department — regulators who last month sued to stop a merger between the beer giants Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo, which brews Corona.

The antitrust division has dozens of economists on staff. Their job, essentially, is to figure out whether a merger would reduce competition so much that a company could raise prices without losing business to competitors.

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All Tech Considered
1:06 am
Thu February 14, 2013

When It Comes To Fashion, Shouldn't There Be An App For That?

Fashion from designers like Oscar de la Renta were on display at Fashion Week in New York.
Kathy Willens AP

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

Thursday is the last day of New York Fashion Week, and some cutting-edge design will be presented in the tents at Lincoln Center — literally. Standing on the runway will be computer programmer types rather than models. This follows an event that kicked off Fashion Week — something called a "hackathon."

A hackathon, explains Liz Bacelar, is a "fast-paced competition in which graphic designers, software developers and people with ideas, they come together to build an app in 24 hours. "

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Law
1:04 am
Thu February 14, 2013

The Drug Laws That Changed How We Punish

The Jan. 4, 1973, edition of the New York Daily News reports that Gov. Rockefeller's State of the State speech called for a life sentence for drug pushers.
New York Daily News via Getty Images

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

The United States puts more people behind bars than any other country, five times as many per capita compared with Britain or Spain.

It wasn't always like this. Half a century ago, relatively few people were locked up, and those inmates generally served short sentences. But 40 years ago, New York passed strict sentencing guidelines known as the "Rockefeller drug laws" — after their champion, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller — that put even low-level criminals behind bars for decades.

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Latin America
1:01 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Will 'Made In Haiti' Factories Improve Life In Haiti?

Workers prepare the foundation for a new warehouse and manufacturing facility at the Caracol Industrial Park in northern Haiti. The park, which opened last year, is still under construction.
David Gilkey NPR

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

Three years after the devastating Port-au-Prince earthquake, one of the largest international relief projects in Haiti isn't anywhere near where the quake hit. It's an industrial park on the north coast halfway between Cap-Haitien and the border with the Dominican Republic.

Aid agencies are pouring millions of dollars into the project to encourage people to move out of the overcrowded capital and create jobs. Critics, however, say the jobs don't pay enough to lift people out of poverty.

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NPR Story
7:44 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

AMR, US Airways To Announce Merger

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It appears the American Airlines and US Airways are going to merge. There are multiple reports that late today the boards of the two companies approved the merger, which will create the country's largest carrier. The deal, if it survives regulators' antitrust review, will allow American to emerge from bankruptcy.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn joins us from Dallas with more on the merger. And Wade, what will the airline be called and what else can you tell us about the makeup of the newly merged company?

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Jack Lew, Obama's Treasury Nominee, Faces Questions About Citigroup Bonuses

Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew speaks during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Jack Lew, who President Obama has nominated as Treasury Secretary, was grilled over his time at Citigroup today during his confirmation hearing.

At issue, reports Fox News, was a nearly $1 million bonus he accepted just as the bank was getting bailed out by the federal government.

Fox adds:

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Shots - Health News
4:11 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Report: Action Needed To Wipe Out Fake And Substandard Drugs

Shoppers buy smuggled counterfeit drugs at the Adjame market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 2007.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:20 pm

A blue-ribbon panel is urging stronger regulation of pharmaceuticals around the world to combat the growing problem of fake and poor-quality medicines.

The quality problems and fake medicines have affected Americans. Fungal contamination of steroids made by a Massachusetts pharmacy, which sickened more than 700 people and killed 46, is one recent example. Other U.S. patients have received fake cancer drugs and medicines obtained over the Internet with little or no active ingredients.

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Movie Interviews
3:44 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Playing The Big Room: An Oscars Joke-Writer Reflects

Billy Crystal hosts the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012. Writing jokes for hosts is a tricky game, says longtime joke writer Dave Boone.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:45 pm

Hollywood's biggest night is in just a few weeks. People tend to focus on the glitz, the glamour and — of course — the gowns. But we thought we'd take a moment to focus on the gags.

Or rather what goes into writing both the jokes that fall flat and the jokes that soar. For a bit of Oscars Writing 101, NPR's All Things Considered turned to Dave Boone, who has written for the Academy Awards eight times.

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Music Interviews
3:23 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Bryan Ferry: A Forward-Looking Musician Turns To The Past

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra's new album is titled The Jazz Age.
Courtesy of the artist

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

Throughout his career, English musician Bryan Ferry has been one of popular music's most forward-looking performers. His band Roxy Music remodeled rock into an artsy, cosmopolitan sound in the early '70s and spearheaded the New Romantic style of the '80s.

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The Record
3:22 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Saving The Sounds Of America

A 16-inch lacquer disc, a format used in the 1930s, from the collection of the Library of Congress. Most of the lacquer, the part of the disc where the sound was etched, has been lost to decay.
Abby Brack Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

We've been able to record sound for over 125 years, but many of the recordings that have been made in that time are in terrible shape. Many more, even recordings made in the past 10 years, are in danger because rapid technological changes have rendered their software obsolete. So Wednesday, the Library of Congress unveiled a plan to help preserve this country's audio archives.

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Business
3:01 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Airport Suites Offer Travelers A Place To Nap On The Fly

Minute Suite's 7-by-8-feet rooms offer Wi-Fi, a sofa bed, a television and a workspace. One traveler compared the small spaces to having an MRI done, but others say the idea is overdue at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Courtesy of Minute Suites

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

When there's a big snowstorm or a plane has mechanical problems, airports often turn into uncomfortable holding pens, with people scrunched in chairs, lying on floors, filling up restaurants and otherwise trying to find something to do.

That's actually good news for one company. Minute Suites is building tiny airport retreats across the country. The suites are already operating in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Next up are Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

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Asia
2:29 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

How Do I Love Thee? Japanese Husbands Shout The Ways

A man shouts his love at an event in Tokyo on Jan. 29. The event comes two days ahead of Beloved Wives Day, a day on which husbands publicly scream their love for their wives before a crowd of onlookers. Husbands are also urged to head home early to express gratitude to their wives.
Kiyoshi Ota EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

Standing in front of a giant heart made of pink tulips, businessman Yoshiharu Nishiguchi tells his wife — along with a bank of TV cameras and curious bystanders — that he is utterly devoted to her.

"Rieko, I love you!" he screams, before yielding the spotlight to the next nervous husband.

"Miwa!" the man belts out, "I love you!"

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Music Reviews
2:20 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Jim James: On A Spiritual Quest In The Digital Age

Jim James' solo debut is titled Regions of Light and Sound of God.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

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It's All Politics
2:01 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

How Rubio Spins The Bottle Could Matter Most. Just Ask Bill Clinton

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 2:46 pm

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's off-script, thirst-quenching moment during his rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night was the gulp heard 'round the world.

Or at least in Twitter World, the place where the trivial goes not to die, but to flourish.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

VIDEO: Pope Benedict XVI Receives Standing Ovation

Pope Benedict XVI leads the Ash Wednesday service at St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance since he surprised the world by announcing his resignation.

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Latin America
1:42 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Hungry For Energy, Brazil Builds Monster Dams In The Amazon

Construction continues at the Belo Monte dam complex in the Amazon basin in June 2012 near Altamira, Brazil. Belo Monte will be the world's third-largest hydroelectric project, and will displace up to 20,000 people living near the Xingu River.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

Already Latin America's biggest economy, Brazil envisions a future requiring massive amounts of electrical power for its expanding industries and growing cities.

The response has been a construction boom that will install dozens of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon — and that's generating plenty of controversy, particularly from environmentalists.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Ohio School Will Go To Court Over A Portrait Of Jesus

The Jesus portrait that hangs inside an Ohio middle school.
10TV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:37 pm

A constitutional fight is now in play in Jackson, Ohio: The city's school district decided, Tuesday night, that it would fight the American Civil Liberties Union in court over a 66-year-old portrait of Jesus that hangs in the hallway of a middle school.

The Columbus Dispatch reports:

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Economy
12:52 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Obama's Call For Higher Minimum Wage Could Have Ripple Effect

Wendy Brown of Schenectady, N.Y., holds a sign before an Occupy Albany rally pushing for a raise in New York's minimum wage on May 29, 2012.
Mike Groll AP

So maybe the Great Recession really is over.

After more than five years of recession and painfully slow recovery, President Obama has sent a powerful signal that he thinks the U.S. economy is now in much better shape — good enough, at least, to provide workers with raises.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama called upon Congress to boost the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015, up from the current $7.25. The wage would rise in steps, and after hitting the maximum in two years, would thereafter be indexed to inflation.

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The Salt
12:50 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Fear Of Cantaloupes and Crumpets? A 'Phobia' Rises From The Web

Seeds of fear? To most of us, cantaloupe and horn melon look like a healthy breakfast or snack. But the clusters of seeds can evoke anxiety, nervousness and even nausea for some trypophobes.
Daniel M. N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 11:40 am

Four years ago, my husband revealed one of his more peculiar qualities: He's freaked out by the sight of sliced cantaloupe.

The melon seeds, all clustered together, make his skin itch and his stomach churn. Then he gets obsessed and can't stop talking about it.

A bit concerned by his behavior, I started researching it on the Web. Boy, was I in for a treat. My husband was not alone.

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Shots - Health News
12:23 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

SARS-Like Virus Spreads From One Person To Another

Virologists discovered the new coronavirus after it killed a Saudi Arabian man last summer.
Elizabeth R. Fischer Rocky Mountain Labs/NIAID/NIH

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:19 pm

A mysterious illness with a striking resemblance to the one caused by the SARS virus emerged in the Middle East last year.

But the new virus behind the latest cases didn't seem to be contagious – until now.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Deputy And Teacher Praised For Talking Down Alabama Gunman At School

WBRC-TV reporting from the scene at Chelsea (Ala.) Middle School, where a gunman briefly held some students.
WBRC-TV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:12 pm

As the nation watched anxiously to see how the manhunt in California for accused cop-killer Christopher Jordan Dorner would turn out, a harrowing situation at an Alabama middle school thankfully ended peacefully.

AL.com reports that a man entered the school in Chelsea, Ala., Tuesday afternoon and "held several students at gunpoint."

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Center for Public Integrity: EPA Unaware Of Industry Ties On Cancer Review Panel

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:44 pm

Our investigative reporting colleagues at the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) continue their look at the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of toxic pollution with a new report scrutinizing the agency's delay in announcing that "even a small amount of a chemical compound commonly found in tap water may cause cancer."

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Carnival Apologizes For Triumph Conditions, Cancels 14 Upcoming Cruises

The Triumph cruise ship, set adrift in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire Sunday, is being towed to Mobile, Alabama. The Carnival cruise ship line has cancelled the ship's next 14 voyages.
U.S. Coast Guard

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:49 pm

With the Carnival cruise ship Triumph and its 3,143 passengers now being towed to Mobile, Ala., more reports are emerging from passengers aboard the ship that lost engine power Sunday. They describe a tent city on the upper deck and continuing problems with the sewage system.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Wed February 13, 2013

From Desmond Tutu, A Scathing Rebuke Of U.S. Drone Program

Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:28 pm

Hidden in the "letters to the editor" section of The New York Times, this morning is a scathing rebuke of the United States' targeted killing program.

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The Salt
11:19 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Four Loko Cans Will Now Make Clear They're Loaded With Alcohol

Popular fruit-flavored malt liquor Four Loko
Haraz Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 10:32 am

Cans of the popular flavored malt beverage Four Loko will soon sport an "Alcohol Facts" label to make it plain they pack a potent punch.

The changes are part of a final settlement announced Tuesday between the Federal Trade Commission and Phusion Projects, whose products have been blamed for hospitalizations and deaths among young people.

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Monkey See
10:59 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Rubio's Water Bottle And The Authenticity Craving

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
AP

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Behind The Mic: Here's Why The 11 A.M. Newscast Was All 'Live'

How many NPR staffers can you fit in one booth? From left to right: Craig Windham, Dave Mattingly, Mark Memmott and Korva Coleman.
Dave Pignanelli

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:00 am

  • The all-live Newscast

We don't usually write about what happens in the NPR newsroom. That old line about not wanting to know how the sausage is made certainly applies in most cases.

But if you were tuned in at 11 a.m. ET and the newscast sounded a little different, it's because some technical gremlins got hold of the pre-recorded reports from NPR's correspondents and wouldn't let go. So, it was "live radio" time.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Sen. Feinstein Says Intelligence Committee Reviews Drone Attacks

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:24 pm

When President Obama used his State of the Union address to affirm "we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts" to target terrorism suspects overseas, national security experts wondered exactly who on Capitol Hill got the scoop about secretive U.S. drone strikes.

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The Salt
10:33 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Marine Stewardship Council Responds To NPR Series On Sustainable Seafood

Swordfish from Canada feature a label from the Marine Stewardship Council at a Whole Foods in Washington, D.C.
Margot Williams NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 12:32 pm

Earlier this week, NPR aired a three-part investigation of the Marine Stewardship Council on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

As Daniel Zwerdling and Margot Williams reported, the MSC certifies seafood that is supposed to be good for the environment. But some environmental groups argue that the label is misleading, and that as more retailers promise to sell only sustainable-labeled seafood, the program is certifying fisheries that don't deserve it.

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NPR Story
10:25 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Comcast Buys Rest of NBC Universal

Comcast, the Philadelphia based cable giant, announced a major deal late Tuesday afternoon. It's buying the 49 percent stake of NBC Universal that it did not already own for 16.7 billion dollars. General Electric is the seller and will also be selling some prized real estate as part of the deal.

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