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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Venezuela's Chavez Takes Turn For the Worse

A "proof of life" photo shows Chavez with his daughters, released Feb. 15 by Miraflores Presidential Press Office.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 9:10 am

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been battling cancer for months, is in a "very delicate" condition, with breathing difficulties and a severe respiratory infection, a government statement says.

The statement, read out Monday by Minister of Communications Ernesto Villegas, spells out the 58-year-old socialist leader's decline since his December surgery in Cuba for an unspecified cancer in the pelvic area:

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Tue March 5, 2013

At The Vatican, 'No Rush' To Set Conclave; And A Fake Bishop Tries To Get In

That's not a real bishop on the left: A man later identified as Ralph Napierski of Germany (at left) posed with Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana and others on Monday at the Vatican. Napierski was an imposter. He was later escorted from the area by Swiss Guards.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 11:17 am

Roman Catholic cardinals are in "no rush" to set the date for the start of their conclave that will choose the next pope, a Vatican spokesman told reporters Tuesday.

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Book Reviews
7:51 am
Tue March 5, 2013

The Devil To Pay In Oates' 'Accursed' America

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

Some months ago, a fellow writer told me that Joyce Carol Oates was writing a vampire book. It turns out there is some truth in this seemingly far-fetched statement, just as there are grains of truth sprinkled throughout The Accursed, a sprawling tale of terrible events afflicting Princeton high society between 1905 and 1906. Oates began drafting the novel in 1984, when she first moved to this best-known of New Jersey college towns and became interested in its history. She put the project aside for many years but returned to it — and completed it — in 2012.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Tue March 5, 2013

As Midwest Slides And Shovels, Mid-Atlantic Prepares For 'Snowquester'

Mike Flynn of Minneapolis was out shoveling snow early Tuesday.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 12:59 pm

"Flakes are flying in Minnesota and North Dakota, where up to 10 inches of snow has fallen from an 'Alberta Clipper' that is barreling southeastwards across the U.S.," Weather Underground writes this morning.

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Around the Nation
7:15 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Wash. Lawmaker Apologizes For Cyclist Comment

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. When Washington state lawmakers proposed a new tax on bikes, the owner of several bike shops protested and ended up in an email argument with a Republican lawmaker, who shot back a novel claim.

State Sen. Ed Orcutt argued that cyclists pollute just by breathing. It is true that a heavy breathing cyclist will emit more carbon dioxide than a person who's just sitting. Orcutt did reconsider, and apologized.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

World
7:05 am
Tue March 5, 2013

U.S.: Diplomats Shouldn't Drink Before Budget Meeting

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a call for a reform at the United Nations.

Joseph M. Torsella represents the United States on the U.N. budget committee. He says it's a tough budget process, complicated by diplomats who show up drunk. Ambassador Torsella made, quote, "the modest proposal that the negotiating room should be inebriation-free." He says he wants this, even though sloshed negotiators have provided the U.S. with, quote, "strategic opportunities." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:00 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Book News: Male Authors Still Get Far More Coverage, Survey Shows

Author Jennifer Weiner, who has been outspoken about gender bias in book coverage in the media, pictured in 2005.
Evan Agostini Getty Images

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

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Political Junkie
6:13 am
Tue March 5, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

Apologies for those on my Political Junkie/ScuttleButton mailing list who didn't get a notification last week about the new column and new puzzle. NPR has adjusted its e-mail server and my mass mailing from last week didn't see the light of day. I'm hoping the problem will be addressed this week.

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Middle East
5:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Rebels In Syria Gather Momentum

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 7:35 am

Over the past several days, rebels in Syria have captured a city of more than a million people in one northern province. It the first time rebels captured a provincial capital. The rebels also have taken a step toward setting up a rebel government in another northern province.

Asia
5:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Chinese Farmers Fight Against Government Land Grab

Smashed and overturned cars are shown Saturday after civil unrest in the village of Shangpu in China's southern Guangdong province.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 9:22 pm

The road that runs along the edge of Shangpu village in south China is littered with the hulks of burned-out cars. Farmers have built tents and simple barricades made of rocks and wire. Police have set up their own cordon in a standoff that is approaching two weeks.

The villagers are demanding free elections following yet another government land grab. They say armed thugs sent by their own village chief attacked the community to pave the way for a new factory on their farmland.

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Politics
5:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Analyzing Jeb Bush's Immigration Position

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:39 am

In the past, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush favored a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but in a new book, he modifies that position to call for requiring illegal immigrants to leave the U.S. and re-apply to enter if they want to pursue citizenship.

Remembrances
5:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

AnnaBelle Bowers, NPR Series Interviewee, Dies At 87

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 9:16 am

In our personal finance series last spring, we met three families who were taking care of school-age or college-aged kids, and caring for an aging relative. It was three generations under one roof. Steve Inskeep reports that one of the people we met in that series, 87-year-old AnnaBelle Bowers, or Snootzie as she was called, died over the weekend.

Sports
5:15 am
Tue March 5, 2013

U.S. Readies For Play In World Baseball Classic

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:33 am

With baseball gone from the Olympics, the World Baseball Classic is the only international professional baseball tournament. Former Yankees and Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he put on a uniform again to manage the U.S. team because it's a privilege.

Africa
5:15 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Fastjet Brings High-Frequency, Low-Cost Flights To Africa

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:18 am

The first pan-African budget airline took to the skies in late November with a series of flights in Tanzania. Fastjet's aim is to offer a low-cost alternative to passengers accustomed to uncertain and costly air travel.

Business
5:15 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Carlos Slim Tops 'Forbes' Billlonaires List

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:21 am

The Mexican telecom magnate and his family are worth $73 billion. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is ranked No. 2. The list boasts 442 Americans, including the founders of Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Business
5:15 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Best Buy To End Flexible Work Program

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 7:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business is, no more working in your pajamas. Best Buy says it's ending its flexible work program, calling its corporate employees back to the office.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is getting to be a trend. The move comes after Yahoo stirred debate for ending its work-from-home program. A Best Buy spokesperson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the hope is that quote, "all-hands-on-deck approach will lead to collaboration."

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Business
5:15 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a ketchup jackpot.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Last month, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and a private equity firm announced they were buying Heinz for $29 billion. Now we're learning what the deal means for Heinz's CEO, William Johnson.

Asia
5:15 am
Tue March 5, 2013

National People's Congress Opens, Prepares For Leadership Change

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. As he prepares to step down, China's prime minister today delivered his version of a state of the union address. He got a big boost in military funding, one that outpaces expected economic growth.

NPR's Louisa Lim has been gauging the mood of China's new leaders, both inside and outside of the Great Hall of the People.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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It's All Politics
3:42 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Four Things To Know About The Next Big Budget Battle

Congress has until March 27 to pass a Continuing Resolution. If it doesn't, the government will run out of money and will likely shut down.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 8:50 am

Now that the sequester has taken effect, there's a new phrase that keeps popping up in Washington: the "continuing resolution." If Congress doesn't pass a continuing resolution by March 27, the government will run out of money and will likely shut down. Here's a list of four things you might want to know about how a continuing resolution works and how it might soften the blow of the sequester.

1. Exactly what is a "continuing resolution"?

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