World

Parallels
3:46 am
Tue April 1, 2014

What 'The Simpsons' Says About Ukraine's Language Divide

The Simpsons, which has been on-air longer than Ukraine has been an independent country, is popular there. Some Russian-speakers even say they find the show funnier when it is dubbed in Ukrainian rather than their native Russian.
Fox via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 11:06 am

Misha Kostin, a 21-year-old construction engineer in eastern Ukraine, loves The Simpsons. He's loved it for 10 years. He says the animated series "illustrates everyday life problems in humorous ways, and offers a useful moral at the end of each episode."

And though Kostin and most of the people in eastern Ukraine are native Russian speakers, he prefers to download episodes dubbed not in Russian but in his second language, Ukrainian. All his friends in the city of Donetsk prefer the version dubbed in Ukrainian.

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Parallels
3:21 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Latvia's Ex-President: 'We Have To Worry' About Russia

Latvia's former president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, is shown here at a NATO summit in 2006. During her presidency, Latvia joined both NATO and the European Union in 2004.
ROMAN KOKSAROV AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:45 am

Russia's takeover of Crimea sent shivers through Latvia.

The tiny Baltic state was itself taken over by the Soviet Union in 1940 and did not regain its independence until the Soviet breakup in 1991. Latvia has a population of just 2 million, and roughly a quarter of those are ethnic Russians.

Given this history, Latvia was eager to align itself with the West. In 2004, under then-president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvia joined both the European Union and NATO and is counting on those allies for protection.

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Animals
3:20 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Scratch That: One Cat's Struggle With Internet Stardom

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 11:08 am

No matter what the market's doing, a certain breed of entrepreneur tends to come out on top — or should we say, breeds? Domestic short hair, Persian, Siamese — if you have the right breed of cat, or at least one with a certain look, you may be feeding kitty treats to a potential gold mine.

Luckily, there's a road map to feline stardom — published Tuesday, it's called How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity: A Guide to Financial Freedom.

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Fine Art
3:08 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Girls Are Taught To 'Think Pink,' But That Wasn't Always So

Photographer JeongMee Yoon felt her daughter's life was being overtaken by pink. She illustrated that in her 2006 portrait Seo Woo and Her Pink Things.
JeongMee Yoon Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Jenkins Johnson Gallery

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:23 am

With sleet, snow and freezing temperatures extending through March, the National Cherry Blossom Festival — which recently kicked off in Washington, D.C. — is decidedly less pink this year. In a few weeks the Tidal Basin will be ringed by rosy, pink blossoms, but until then, we traveled north to Boston, where a show at the Museum of Fine Arts called "Think Pink" explores the history and social impact of the color.

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NPR News Investigations
10:19 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Pentagon Reorganizing How It Brings Home America's War Dead

The Central Identification Laboratory of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pentagon announced that it will overhaul how the organization finds, identifies and returns the remains of thousands of service members lost in past wars.
Elyse Butler for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:23 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced an overhaul Monday of the agencies responsible for finding, identifying, and returning the remains of servicemen lost in past wars.

The Pentagon spends more than $100 million a year on the effort, but last year only identified 60 of the more than 80,000 missing.

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The Two-Way
8:18 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Congress Passes Bill To Stop Payment Cuts To Medicare Doctors

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 7:21 am

For the 17th time, Congress has passed legislation to a very a deep pay cut to doctors who see Medicare patients.

As NPR's Julie Rovner reports, this is a one-year delay that doesn't deal with the problem permanently. Julie filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:43 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Reports: U.S., Israel Discussing Release Of American Spy

Israeli protesters call for the release of Jonathan Pollard (portraits), a Jewish American who was arrested in 1985 for giving Israel thousands of secret documents about U.S. espionage in the Arab world.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 9:14 am

Update at 9:15 a.m. ET, April 1: Agreement Is "Near":

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It's All Politics
7:18 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

When Politics Is Really Hardball — Baseball's Opening Day

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio throws the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday. Even though he was flanked by children, the Mets home crowd booed de Blasio — an unabashed Red Sox fan.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 7:57 pm

Opening day of the 2014 Major League Baseball season started without the world's most famous southpaw, President Obama, throwing out the first pitch at Washington Nationals Park.

The Nationals were in New York City, where they began their season against the New York Mets with a 9-7 win.

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All Tech Considered
6:57 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The New Mozilla CEO's Political Past Is Imperiling His Present

Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, pictured in 2009.
Casey Dunn Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:25 am

For the Internet community, the principles of free speech and equal rights are foundational. But in recent days, those issues are clashing at Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

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The Two-Way
6:38 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

I'm Darth Vader, And I Approve This Message

A man dressed as Darth Vader announced his candidacy for office, representing the Internet Party of Ukraine. The dark lord spoke at his party's conference in Kiev on Saturday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:12 am

Ukraine's presidential election season took an interesting turn over the weekend, as Darth Vader declared his candidacy for the nation's highest office, promising that he knows what it takes to rebuild an empire.

"I alone can make an empire out of a republic to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country," said Vader, according to Agence France-Presse.

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The Two-Way
6:20 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Authorities Raise Number Of Dead In Mudslide To 24

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:47 pm

Update at 9:38 p.m. EDT

Snohomish County authorities say they believe 22 people are still missing in the deadly March 22 mudslide near Oso, Wash.

It's a tiny bit of good news in a heartbreaking story: The number is down from the 30 they had previously thought were missing.

The death toll remains at 24.

Our Original Post

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It's All Politics
6:07 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

No Break From Politics On Obamacare Deadline Day

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who led state opposition to the federal Affordable Care Act, met with reporters in Tallahassee after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the bulk of the law. Scott, a Republican, has made his opposition central to his re-election campaign.
Steve Cannon AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 7:42 pm

The sign-up period for 2014 individual insurance coverage required under President Obama's Affordable Care Act expires Monday, much as it began.

There were HealthCare.gov website snafus, White House pleas for enrollees, and the need for "navigators" to help those enrollees work their way through the often-balky federal insurance exchange site. (Which was temporarily out of service twice by midafternoon Monday.)

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Business
5:55 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Long Road To GM's Ignition Switch Recall

Chevy Cobalts on the assembly line in Ohio in 2008. Documents show General Motors was aware of problems with the car's ignition switch years before, but failed to act.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:08 pm

The new head of General Motors, Mary Barra, goes to Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin two days of testimony.

It's the first time she'll be questioned about a safety defect that's been linked to at least 13 deaths and has sparked a 2.6 million-vehicle recall.

At issue for the Detroit CEO is a classic question: What did GM know about the problems with ignition switch problems in its cars, and when did the company know it?

And just as important for GM and government regulators is the follow-up question: Why did no one act sooner?

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Monkey See
5:52 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

10 Absolutely True Stories About Writing For Television Without Pity

Tubey, the Television Without Pity mascot, rendered as a plush toy.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 8:13 pm

[What follows is a personal reflection. Please indulge me.]

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

D.C. Mayor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Some Marijuana Use

Marijuana plants in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vince Gray signed a bill, today, that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

As we reported, the D.C. city council voted to join 16 other states in decriminalizing some use last month.

What makes D.C. interesting is that any laws passed by the local government must be reviewed by Congress and this particular bill pits local laws against federal statutes, which make any marijuana possession illegal.

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Shots - Health News
5:36 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

British Drugmaker Funds Research On Chronic Disease In Africa

Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, says that better control of infectious diseases in Africa is allowing chronic diseases to come to the surface.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:31 pm

One of the world's largest drugmakers says it will invest more than $200 million in Africa over the next five years in a push for better treatment of noncommunicable diseases there.

GlaxoSmithKline said the funding would be focused on sub-Saharan Africa, where the company already employs about 1,500 people and operates three factories. The money would go toward building five more factories and funding of research and development focused on the region.

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World Cafe
5:28 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

World Cafe Next: Parker Millsap

Parker Millsap.
Samantha Lamb Courtesy of the artist
  • Download Two Songs From Parker Millsap

The latest World Cafe: Next artist is Oklahoma singer-songwriter Parker Millsap, who recently released his solo debut and follows in the footsteps of fellow Oklahoman John Fullbright. With strong songwriting, a powerful voice and an engaging live show, Millsap represents himself awfully well for someone who's only 20. Download a pair of his songs on this page, or as part of our World Cafe: Next podcast.

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Shots - Health News
5:22 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

How Your Face Shows Happy Disgust

Can you name the 10 emotions conveyed above? The first six are basic emotions. The last four are complex emotions that combine two of the basic ones. (Check at the bottom for the answers.)
Courtesy of Aleix M. Martinez

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:31 pm

We smile when we're happy. But how does a face strike the proper look to show, say, happy surprise? Or happy disgust, like when you're laughing at a really gross joke?

A new report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that we instinctively mix and match actions from the six basic emotions to stitch together more subtle expressions.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

WATCH: For The First Time, An Ump's On-Field Call Is Overturned

Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers singles in the bottom of the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves during Opening Day.
Mike McGinnis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:23 am

A big first happened in today's opening day game in Milwaukee.

The Atlanta Braves were playing the Brewers when Ryan Braun hit a slow rolling grounder to third base. Braun was called safe at first, but the Braves challenged the call and instant replay found the ump was wrong.

The play marks the first time an umpire's on-the-field call has been overturned during baseball's brand-new extended replay era. Previously, only home run calls could be challenged by replay. Courtesy of MLB.com, here's the video:

We'll let sports writer Wes Hodiewicz make the jokes:

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Music Lists
5:07 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Latitudes: International Music You Must Hear Now

Sudanese singer Alsarah.
Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel Courtesy of the artist

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