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5:49 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Apple, Comcast In Talks To Create TV Streaming Service

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:25 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the future of streaming TV.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Apple and Comcast are in preliminary talks about creating a streaming television service, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Journal says a deal between the world's most valuable company and the nation's largest cable provider would mark a new level of collaboration between a tech company and a cable company.

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Around the Nation
5:07 am
Mon March 24, 2014

25 Years After Spill, Alaska Town Struggles Back From 'Dead Zone'

Orca Inlet, Cordova's fishing harbor, on a blustery day this month. Commercial fishing is the small Alaskan town's primary industry.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:25 pm

On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.

It's a blustery, snowy March day when Michelle Hahn O'Leary offers a tour of Cordova, Alaska, situated on the eastern shore of Prince William Sound.

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Parallels
4:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

On The Mend, But Wounds Of Violence Still Scar Juarez

Workers arrive at an assembly plant located along the border.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:25 pm

We had just finished our time in Juarez, Mexico, when we had dinner with some distant relations on the U.S. side of the border. "You," one of my relatives said, "are the first Juarez survivors we've seen in some time."

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Music Interviews
3:41 am
Mon March 24, 2014

For Boy George, Music And Style Is Just 'What I Do'

Boy George's first solo album in 19 years is This Is What I Do.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:25 pm

Boy George's style and sound are unmistakable. In 1982, the Irish Catholic singer joined a Jewish drummer, a Protestant guitar-and-keyboard player and a Jamaican bassist to form Culture Club.

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Shots - Health News
3:35 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Customers Rush To Retail Store In Connecticut To Buy Obamacare

DeLisa Tolson signed up for health insurance at a retail store set up by Connecticut's exchange. She says she was so happy with the experience, she told all her friends.
Jeff Cohen/NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:25 pm

Mike Dunn stands inside a store in downtown New Haven, looking through the big glass windows at his future customers outside. He's not selling phones or food or clothes. He's selling Obamacare.

There's one week left to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and states have gone to great lengths to enroll as many people up as possible. In Connecticut, the exchange has opened two retail storefronts where people can walk in and sign up.

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Shots - Health News
3:24 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Final Call For Questions On Health Insurance As Deadline Looms

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:48 pm

There's just one week left for most people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as people race to meet the deadline, they still have questions about the law, and the sign-up process.

"Is there a deadline to enroll in a health plan?" asks Josephine Ilog of Manteca, Calif. "And what happens if a person misses that deadline?"

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Politics
3:22 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Democrats Count On The Fine Art Of Field Operations

Newly elected GOP Congressman David Jolly of Florida, right, poses for a ceremonial swearing-in with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, on March 13. Jolly edged out Democrat Alex Sink in a special election that Republicans cast as a referendum on President Obama and his unpopular health care law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:25 pm

Democrats have had great success in recent presidential elections registering, targeting and turning out their core voters. Now they're hoping to use that sophisticated field operation to to stave off defeat in this year's midterm elections.

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Business
12:02 am
Mon March 24, 2014

After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend

A cold, snowy winter in most of the country hurt economic growth, but forecasters see conditions improving for the rest of the year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:09 am

Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.

"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.

"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Inventions, 'Inventions'

Inventions' self-titled album comes out April 1.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:14 pm

The majestic instrumental rock band Explosions in the Sky broke into the mainstream thanks to its contributions to the soundtrack for Friday Night Lights — both the film and the TV series of the same name. With three-quarters of the band originally from Midland, Texas, Explosions in the Sky possesses an ideal toolkit to capture the sounds of football, the roaring wind of the plains and the quiet hope and despair of small-town life in the Texas Panhandle.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Saintseneca, 'Dark Arc'

Saintseneca's new album, Dark Arc, comes out April 1.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:19 pm

Banjo, baglama, bulbul, balalaika, bowed banjo, baritone ukulele, banjo, bass, bouzouki... Saintseneca might pick up any of these instruments at any given moment, and those are just the ones that start with the letter B. The band has its origins and heart in a small Appalachian town in Ohio, as well as a passion for sounds and textures with acoustic instruments at their core. Saintseneca's members eventually settled in Columbus, and they like their acoustic music a bit punkish, with stomping feet as a heartbeat to accompany mind-altering words and music.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Mac DeMarco, 'Salad Days'

Mac DeMarco's album, Salad Days, comes out April 1.
Robert Redfield Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:15 pm

For someone who once coined the phrase "jizz jazz" to describe his own style, Montreal 23-year-old Mac DeMarco sounds remarkably grounded on his second album, Salad Days. Gone are the Rocky Horror pantomimes, the sleazy radio promo skits, the gnomic pronouncements about "European Vegas." In their wake is a thematically tight, formally slender album full of sun-dappled songs about frittering youth away and being mostly okay with it.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Cloud Nothings, 'Here And Nowhere Else'

Cloud Nothings new album, Here and Nowhere Else, comes out April 1.
Pooneh Ghana Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:13 pm

The word "maturation" and the word "punk" don't often coexist easily: For a band like Cleveland's Cloud Nothings, whose sloppily aggressive songs channel slackerdom and frustration, growing up would seem antithetical to its mission. But the group's third album, Here and Nowhere Else, threads the needle just right, tightening and brightening Cloud Nothings' sound in ways that never numb its blistering, careening forcefulness.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Timber Timbre, 'Hot Dreams'

Timber Timbre's new album, Hot Dreams, comes out April 1.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:13 pm

Timber Timbre's members tiptoe across some strange boundaries: Atop atmospheric sound beds that often conjure spaghetti Westerns, Taylor Kirk's dusky croon can seem seductive, inviting and, when he prefers, deeply creepy. It's a voice that can embody Halloween itself — Timber Timbre is self-aware enough to have titled its last album Creep On Creepin' On — and yet Kirk possesses the versatility to sing sweet ballads with Feist on the side.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Nickel Creek, 'A Dotted Line'

Nickel Creek's new album, A Dotted Line, comes out April 1.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:32 pm

"I think we're more grown-up now, to use an extremely childlike term," the violinist Sara Watkins recently told a reporter who asked what had changed in the eight years since Nickel Creek — the trio of Watkins, guitarist Sean Watkins (her brother) and mandolinist Chris Thile — released a studio album. Watkins' words astutely acknowledged the expectations leveled at the former child prodigies, who wowed bluegrass and country fans with three precocious albums in the early 2000s.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

First Listen: Thievery Corporation, 'Saudade'

Thievery Corporation's new album, Saudade, comes out April 1.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:16 pm

Every language has words and phrases that elude easy translation. In Portuguese, "saudade" (pronounced by Brazilians as "sow-DAH-djee") is one of those. Some musicians equate it with the blues; it's generally associated with melancholy and longing. In its most recent bio, the Washington, D.C., electronic duo Thievery Corporation defines it as "a longing for something or someone that is lost."

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Weekends On All Things Considered Podcast
8:08 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Rehauling California Incarceration, Debunking The 12 Steps, Loving Dubstep's Drop

Inmates in a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. California is trying to address court-ordered reductions in overcrowding with a plan to shift thousands of those convicted of "non-serious" crimes to county jails.
Rich Pedroncelli AP
  • Rehauling California Incarceration, Debunking The 12 Steps, Loving Dubstep's Drop

In this week's podcast, California attempts to deal with overcrowded prisons, an addiction specialist challenges AA and 12-step programs, and dubstep icon Skrillex discusses his latest album.

Around the Nation
7:43 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Freeing Up California's Prisons: A Massive Undertaking

Inmates in a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. California is trying to address court-ordered reductions in overcrowding with a plan to shift thousands of those convicted of "nonserious" crimes to county jails.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:18 pm

It's been said you can judge the quality of a civilization by the way it treats its prisoners. If that's true, California in 2011 was in poor condition, at least according to the Supreme Court.

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Code Switch
7:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

When Vanilla Was Brown And How We Came To See It As White

Fun fact: The vines that vanilla beans grow on also produce orchids.
Malcolm Manners via Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:31 am

Say you know someone, maybe a friend of a friend, who's perfectly pleasant but just sort of lacks any sort of oomph. You don't want to be mean (because, you, unkind? Never), but if you had to describe that person in a really, really honest way, how would you do it?

Call the FOF boring? Bland? Dull?

Vanilla?

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All Tech Considered
6:03 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Xbox? Playstation? Wii? A Cheaper Way To Join The Console Wars

If you want to try the console gaming experience without the jaw-dropping cost, step back from the hype and consider older models.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 5:09 pm

In our Getting Back In The Game series, we're helping would-be gamers navigate the wide world of video games — whether you're new to the hobby or a former player who hasn't picked up a controller in a while.

If you've been out of the game, all the hype over the latest consoles may leave you too bewildered to choose. As we said in our platform guide for would-be gamers, consoles are a pretty pricey commitment.

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Sports
5:45 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

In LA, Watching Home Team's Ball Games Just Got More Complicated

Pay to (watch them) play: Dodgers fans in and around Los Angeles can only see their team on TV if they have Time Warner cable service.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 7:37 pm

On Saturday, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off the baseball season with two games in Sydney, Australia. Fans in most of the country watched the games on the official Major League Baseball Network. But in Los Angeles, home of the Dodgers, fans could only watch on a brand new all-Dodgers channel.

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