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A Blog Supreme
2:01 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Possessed By Joy: A North American Drummer In Cuba

Eleggua shrines in Matanzas, Cuba.
Harris Eisenstadt for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 7:06 pm

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Planet Money
1:49 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Quick Reminder: Russia Is A Petro State

Russia is a petro-state
qbui

We don't think of Russia as a petro state in the same category as, say, Saudi Arabia. But we should: Russia is the world's biggest exporter of natural gas, and the second-biggest exporter of oil.

This is worth pointing out at the moment, given the talk of sanctions against Russia in response to the situation in Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Senate Blocks Obama's Nominee For Civil Rights Job

Debo Adegbile, shown at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009 when he was an attorney with the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the NAACP.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:54 pm

Eight Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, joined Republicans in a vote to block President Obama's nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

The Washington Post writes:

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All Tech Considered
1:04 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Automakers Eye Laser Lights To Let Drivers See Farther At Night

The i8, which has the optional laser headlights, will be on sale in Europe this summer. BMW is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to get it approved for a U.S. release.
BMW

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not know about yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

If you thought LED headlights were bright enough, automakers are looking ahead to even more powerful beams using lasers.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Putin Reportedly Joins List Of Nobel Peace Prize Nominees

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Alexey Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 1:13 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin is among the 278 nominees for a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, according to Peace Research Institute Oslo, an institution that closely tracks the Nobel committee's work.

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Shots - Health News
12:59 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Cities Take The Lead In Regulating Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes for sale in Vapeology LA, a store in Los Angeles, are tended by owner John Hartigan.
Reed Saxon AP

Count Los Angeles as the latest big city to say no to electronic cigarettes.

The City Council there voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban use of the devices, which release vaporized nicotine, in almost all public places, including bars, workplaces and beaches.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:55 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Playfulness Of Invention

Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont's 14-bis biplane takes off from a French field in 1906.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:21 pm

It's Ash Wednesday, and while we freeze up here in New England, the people of Brazil are picking up the mess after four days of rampage and decadent partying during their legendary Carnival celebrations. But even if Carnival's reputation is due to the wild dancing, singing and flirting, it is also a time to open up and be what you want but can't — or are afraid — to be. It's a celebration of the imagination and of personal freedom, a marriage of the sacred and the profane.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

China To Boost Defense Spending Amid Regional Tensions

Delegates from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) march from Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People to attend sessions of National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Tuesday in Beijing.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 1:42 pm

China said Wednesday that it plans to increase defense outlays by more than 12 percent, to nearly $132 billion, this year in the face of what a top military official described as increasingly severe security challenges for Beijing.

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Parallels
12:24 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Sanctions On Russia: Why The Europeans May Say Nyet

Ties between Russia and Europe are more than just gas.
Sergei Karpukhin AP

Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula brought with it threats of U.S. sanctions, but Europe, while condemning President Vladimir Putin's actions, has been more circumspect. Part of the reason: Europe's dependence on Russian money and energy.

"It is a matter of simple economics," Alex Melikishvili, senior Europe/CIS Analyst at IHS Country Risk, said in an email.

He noted that the EU is Russia's main trade partner; bilateral trade is in hundreds of billion of dollars annually, in contrast with much lower U.S.-Russia trade (see chart).

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New In Paperback
12:11 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

March 1-7: America's 'Unwinding,' Black Identity And Fictional Self-Help

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
11:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Italian Publisher Launches Pope Francis Fan Magazine

Publisher Mondadori provided this image of the first issue of Il Mio Papa (My Pope) on Tuesday, a day before it was slated to hit Italian newsstands.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:51 am

Pope Francis, fresh from getting his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone, now graces the pages of a new Italian fan magazine devoted to His Holiness.

But the pontiff tells an Italian newspaper that he views all the attention as "offensive."

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Ex-IRS Official Invokes 5th Amendment Again, Then Things Get Hot

Former IRS official Lois Lerner raises her hand as she's sworn in Wednesday at the start of a House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing. She declined to answer questions posed by Chairman Darrell Issa, invoking her Fifth Amendment right.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:34 pm

As she's done before, the woman at the center of the political storm over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of some conservative groups from 2010 into 2012 invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions during a brief appearance before a congressional committee on Wednesday.

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The Salt
11:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Chipotle Says There's No 'Guacapocalypse' Looming

An employee prepares to make fresh guacamole at a Chipotle restaurant in Hollywood, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:16 pm

Looks like reports of a looming "guacapocalypse" have been vastly overstated.

This morning, guacamole lovers woke to headlines warning that Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle could eventually be forced to drop the dip from its menu, if changing global weather patterns continue to drive volatility in the price of avocados.

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Africa
11:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

A New Look At 'The Bright Continent'

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:00 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
11:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

When Loved Ones Return From The Dead

Randy Skidmore

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:08 pm

If someone you cared for died, you might be haunted by questions about how your life might be different had that person survived, about what you might say if you had one more chance to talk. Those questions are behind author Jason Mott's novel The Returned.

The book is now an ABC television series, Resurrection, which premieres Sunday.

Mott tells NPR's Michel Martin that the book was inspired by a dream about his mother returning to life, and how such a scenario would play out if it really happened.

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Television
11:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Midseason TV: What To Watch And What To Skip

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:00 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. So maybe the weather has kept you inside more than usual, or you're looking for a few new guilty pleasure to add to your DVR. We've got you covered. NPR television critic Eric Deggans is with us in our Washington, D.C., studios to talk about some of the midseason television debuts. And we'll even talk about a few shows that don't begin with "Scan-" and end with "-dal." Eric, welcome back.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Glad to be here.

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Politics
11:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

A Fighting Chance For Obama's Proposed Military Cuts?

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:00 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Can I Just Tell You?
11:38 am
Wed March 5, 2014

The Value Of Storytelling

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:00 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So finally today, a word about stories. If you caught the Oscars Sunday night or the coverage after, you probably heard Lupita Nyong'o's elegant remarks as she accepted her award for her role as Patsey in the award-winning "12 Years a Slave."

(SOUNDBITE OF ACADEMY AWARDS)

NYONG'O: It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.

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The Protojournalist
11:15 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Hemingway Doesn't Always Live Up To His Code

An undated portrait of Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.
COPYRIGHT Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:24 pm

The air was clear. Our prose was not.

We remembered what Scott had told us about a clean, well-designed place called Future of Storytelling. Scott said we could learn from it. He was right and it was good.

Through the website, we discovered the Hemingway App.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Don't Worry, They Say, 100-Foot Asteroid Will Miss Us Today

A NASA artist's illustration depicts an asteroid belt around a star that the space agency says is "the same age and size as our Sun."
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:56 am

Don't say you weren't warned.

But also don't worry, the experts say.

As we wrote last month when an asteroid measuring about 900 feet long passed near enough to Earth to generate headlines about a "close encounter," more rocks are always headed our way.

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