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3:03 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Figure Skater With 'Happy Feet' Hopes To Clinch Spot In Sochi

Jeremy Abbott performs during a figure skating competition in Paris in 2012.
Gonzalo Fuentes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

As the Olympic Games get closer, athletes like figure skater Jeremy Abbott are focusing on making Team USA. With only two slots on the U.S. men's figure skating team, the competition is tough. But the three-time U.S. champion — who has yet to deliver on the world stage — wants 2014 to be the year he takes a medal in Sochi, Russia.

Abbott, 28, has been in ice skates since he was 2 years old. He's already been to one Olympics, placing ninth at the 2010 games in Vancouver.

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Europe
3:02 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Madrid's Street Performers Now Must Audition To Hold Out A Hat

Street musician Valentino Juanino, right, plays his bagpipe at the Conde Duque Cultural Center last month after taking a quality test to obtain official permission to perform in the streets of Madrid.
Paul White AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

On the train, in the park, on the famed medieval Plaza Mayor — the Spanish capital of Madrid is famous for its street performers.

And with more than a quarter of Spaniards out of work, more people than ever before have been crisscrossing the city with their violins and voices, for extra cash. People squeeze giant accordions onto the metro, and roll amplifiers on carts across cobblestones.

The street performers are a tourist attraction. But Madrid's mayor, Ana Botella, says the clamor has reached its limit.

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Shots - Health News
3:02 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Dental Coverage Deciphered, And The Latest On Sign-Up Deadlines

Laura Breland gets her teeth cleaned by Denise Lopez-Rodriguez at a community health center in Aurora, Colo., in 2012. Dental coverage is available through the Affordable Care Act.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 4:01 pm

New Year's Day marked the halfway point to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for coverage this year.

And after a dismal start, things seem to be going a lot better on the HealthCare.gov website. Federal officials say more than 1 million people enrolled in coverage by the Christmas Eve deadline for coverage that began January 1.

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Around the Nation
3:01 am
Mon January 6, 2014

An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine

Hal Faulkner (left), 79, receives his new papers from two Marines after having his military status changed to "honorable discharge" at a recent ceremony. Faulkner was kicked out of the Marine Corps in 1956 for being gay.
Courtesy of Phil Latzman

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

Hal Faulkner is 79 years old and he's already lived months longer than his doctors predicted.

"I don't know what to say, it's just incredible that I'm still here," Faulkner says in a halting voice made gruff by age and cancer.

Faulkner joined the Marines in 1953, and served in the Philippines. In 1956, he got kicked out with an "undesirable discharge" for being gay. His military papers said "homosexual" on them, quite an obstacle in the 1950s.

Still, Faulkner moved on, and had a successful career in sales.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

First Listen: Rosanne Cash, 'The River & The Thread'

Rosanne Cash's The River & The Thread comes out Jan. 14.
Clay Patrick McBride Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:34 am

It's tempting — and, really, accurate — to describe Rosanne Cash's new album as a literary effort. The singer-songwriter is also a published author, and her last album, 2009's The List, was a writer's game: Its 12 tracks abridged her famous father Johnny's 100-song lexicon of essentials, which he gave to his then-teenaged daughter as a legacy and a challenge.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

First Listen: Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings, 'Give The People What They Want'

Give the People What They Want, Sharon Jones' new album with The Dap-Kings, comes out Jan. 14.
Paul McGeiver Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:33 am

For veteran soul singer Sharon Jones, 2013 was a year of frustration, fear and false starts: She'd just announced the summer release of her fifth album, Give the People What They Want, when she was diagnosed with cancer and had to put her career on hold. Tours were canceled, while the finished record had to be shelved until she'd recovered to where she was in a position to promote it. Anyone who's seen Jones live knows how much she pours into performing, so fans appeared to be in for a long wait.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

First Listen: Damien Jurado, 'Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son'

Damien Jurado's new album, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, comes out Jan. 21.
Steve Gullick Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:43 pm

It's a testament to singer-songwriter Damien Jurado's versatility that he's made nearly a dozen albums of largely inward-looking folk and rock music, and yet has never made two records that sound the same.

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First Listen
10:53 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

First Listen: Gripe, 'In His Image'

Gripe's In His Image comes out on Jan. 14.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 10:34 am

The weird thing about bands from Athens, Ga., is that they tend not to leave Athens, Ga. It's a cozy town with cheap food, cheap beer and cheap rent. Why leave, right?

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Weekends On All Things Considered Podcast
8:20 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

The Biggest Internet Mystery, Sochi's Record-Breaking Olympics, WWII Women Pilots

A poster found in Warsaw shows a QR Code for a website related to the Cicada 3301 mystery.
Cicada 3301

In this week's podcast of Weekends on All Things Considered, what customs agents at border searches are really looking for, one of the world's biggest puzzles and the outlandish expense of the Sochi Olympics.

Research News
6:55 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Forget The Compass: Follow The Way Your Dog Poops

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF BARKING)

RATH: Walking up to The BoneYard, the Culver City Dog Park. We're investigating what might be the most fascinating science discovery of 2014. It's about dog poop.

(SOUNDBITE OF BARKING)

RATH: I have a question. Your dog, I guess, is with you today.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yeah, he's right here. Yeah.

RATH: Has he, you know, dropped anchor yet?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yeah.

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Digital Life
6:11 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

The Internet's Cicada: A Mystery Without An Answer

A poster found in Warsaw shows a QR Code for a website related to the Cicada 3301 mystery.
Cicada 3301

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

"Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck."

That message, signed "3301," appeared on the underground message board known as 4chan two years ago. It was mysterious, cryptic and sparked a global Internet mystery that has yet to be answered to this day.

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Around the Nation
5:53 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Calif. Toxin Law Warns Consumers, But Can Burden Businesses

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

All over California, signs in restaurants, parking garages and other businesses warn that you could be exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer.

The disclosure is mandated by 1986 state law. If a company fails to warn consumers, it can be sued.

But a lot has changed since the law was passed: The list of toxic chemicals is longer and the lawsuits are more prolific. In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed an amendment to ease the burden on businesses.

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Law
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Electronic Rights At The U.S. Border: What They Can Search

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.

About a million travelers enter the United States every day. You might be familiar with the process. Regardless of citizenship, people who legally enter the U.S. face some sort of screening by Customs and Border Protection. But exactly what rights do people have at the borders? And when searching for drugs or contraband, is the government also allowed to look through the data on people's phones or laptops?

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Law
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Some Women Decide Their Place Isn't In The Illegal Gun Trade

Most gun crimes are committed by men, but women also help buy, hide and sell guns for others.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 9:28 am

Most firearms in the U.S. start out in a state of perfect legality, sold by a manufacturer to a federally licensed dealer. But somewhere along the way, some of them cross the line and become what are called "crime guns."

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Around the Nation
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Dad's Message Recorded At War, A Gift Given Decades Later

Margaret Ann Wolf Harris with her mother and father, who was home on furlough. He died in World War II a short time later.
Courtesy of Margaret Ann Wolf Harris

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

At 71, Margaret Ann Wolf Harris heard her father's voice for the first time in her adult life.

Her dad, Sgt. Cody Wolf, died in World War II when his plane was shot down over Germany on Jan. 11, 1944. But a couple of weeks before his death, he contributed to a Christmas broadcast, produced by war correspondents of the Maryland newspaper The Baltimore Sun.

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History
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

WWII Female Air Force Pilots Still Flying High

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 1:07 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

During World War II, a group of women took a bold step in aviation. While male pilots were sent overseas, the Women Air Force Service Pilots took up the war effort on the home front. From 1943 to 1944, they logged over 60 million miles across the U.S., flying 77 types of military aircraft to haul supplies and conduct training exercises.

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Books
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Upcoming Books To Read In 2014

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

NPR's Arun Rath talks to Daniel Alarcon, the author of At Night We Walk in Circles, about the new books he is most excited about for 2014.

Sports
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Costs Climb As Sochi Winter Olympics Approaches

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Russia is spending $51 billion on the Sochi Winter Olympics, the most expensive Olympic Games ever by a wide margin. The preparations have not gone smoothly. Construction has been delayed repeatedly and marred by accusations of political corruption. The outlandish price tag for the games has turned into an embarrassment for Russian officials.

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Television
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

In High-Drama Parody, Will Ferrell Reveals 'Spoils Of Babylon'

Cynthia and Devon Morehouse, played by Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire, are caught up in a passionate romance in the IFC miniseries The Spoils of Babylon. Oh, but they're not married: They're sister and (adopted) brother, the central figures in a bizarro salute to '80s melodramas like The Thorn Birds.
Katrina Marcinowski IFC

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

In The Spoils of Babylon, Will Ferrell plays a "nonexistent author of a nonexistent best-seller." His book, written in the 1970s, was supposedly made into a television miniseries that never saw the light of day — until now.

The story begins in the 1930s, and spans about 50 years, following the powerful Morehouse family.

The series is a parody of the big, bloated miniseries of the 1970s and '80s (like The Thorn Birds or The Winds of War), filled with family drama in a changing America.

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The Salt
2:32 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

In Sao Paulo, Organic Markets Are Beginning To Take Off

As demand for organic food in Brazil rises, organic produce is getting more affordable.
Paula Moura for NPR

Sao Paulo holds the title of the biggest city in Latin America, with an estimated 22 million people in its metropolitan area. But when it comes to local, organic food, the pickings are pretty slim: The city has just 20 organic farmers' markets.

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