World

All Tech Considered
10:39 am
Tue April 1, 2014

How To Wean Yourself From Your Smartphone, At Least Temporarily

Remember these? Some of you have gone back to — or stayed with — the flip phone to avoid getting too attached to smartphones and their capabilities.
Koichi Kamoshida Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:56 am

We have been exploring our increasingly smartphone-aided interactions and what they're doing to the old-fashioned ways of being together, like talking face to face. Hundreds of you wrote in with your thoughts, which tend to be a variation on a theme All Tech reader Cassie Anderson laid out:

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Tue April 1, 2014

NATO Chief: No Sign Russian Troops Leaving Ukraine Border

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen looks on at the start of a NATO foreign ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.
Francois Lenoir Reuters/Landov

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly promised that the Kremlin would withdraw some troops from near the border with Ukraine, the head of NATO says he's seen no movement as yet.

As we reported, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said on Monday that Putin had told her of the impending troop movement, which seemed designed to ratchet down tensions in the region after Russia's annexation of Crimea last month.

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World Cafe
10:27 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Song Premiere: Strand Of Oaks, 'Goshen '97'

Timothy Showalter, who performs as Strand of Oaks, releasing a new album, Heal, due out this summer.
Dusdin Condren Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 6:17 pm

"There's zero symbolism, and that's the scary thing," Timothy Showalter says. "Every single lyric is either a direct thought or a direct event. It's exactly my life."

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NPR Story
10:18 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Why Doesn't America Read Anymore?

What has become of our brains?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:58 am

Congratulations, genuine readers, and happy April Fools' Day!

We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven't actually read. If you are reading this, please like this post and do not comment on it. Then let's see what people have to say about this "story."

Best wishes and have an enjoyable day,

Your friends at NPR

The Two-Way
9:57 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Report: British Army Sniper's Single Shot Kills 6 Taliban

British Army Gurkha snipers in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in November 2007.
Steve Lewis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:07 pm

A shot fired by a British Army sniper at a suspected Taliban fighter in Afghanistan last December ended up killing not just the man in the marksman's sights but also five other men who were thought to be militant soldiers, The Telegraph reports.

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Monkey See
9:06 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Oh, 'Mother': An Awful End To A Long Love Story

Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti, as Ted and the mother, deserved better on the series finale.
Ron P. Jaffe CBS

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:55 pm

[WARNING: If you haven't seen the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, don't watch it. Just kidding! Sort of. This piece, at any rate, contains plot details from that finale.]

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Missing Malaysian Jet May Never Be Found, Head Of Search Warns

Angus Houston, the retired Australian air chief marshal who is leading the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Lui Siu Wai Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 1:02 pm

"The head of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has raised the possibility that no wreckage from the passenger jet may ever be found, revealing authorities have a very poor understanding about how fast or far it traveled," The Sydney Morning Herald writes.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Valkyries Ride All Night To Save Opera Company

Gods, monsters and Rhinemaidens populate Richard Wagner's 16-hour epic Ring cycle.
Marco Secchi Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 5:33 pm

(Happy April Fools 2014. See you next year.)

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Book News: Jane Goodall Blames Carelessness For Lifted Passages

Jane Goodall holds a baby Cebus capucinus monkey during a 2013 visit to a primate rescue center in Chile.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

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

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue April 1, 2014

'Frog Music' Sounds A Barbaric (But Invigorating) Yawp

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:42 pm

San Francisco in the summer of the 1876, between the Gold Rush and the smallpox epidemic, is the setting for Emma Donoghue's boisterous new novel, Frog Music.

There's real frog music in these pages, the riveting cries of the creatures hunted by Jenny Bonnet, one of the two main characters. She's a pistol-packing, pants-wearing gal in a town where pants on women are one of the few cardinal sins, and she scratches out a living catching frogs and selling them to local restaurants.

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Author Interviews
7:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Post Arab Spring, Where Do Islamist Parties Stand?

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's a more immediate issue. Egypt says it will hold presidential elections in May. The likely winner is General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He led the military coup last summer which overthrew the elected government.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Research News
7:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Methane-Producing Microbes Caused 'The Great Dying'

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The biggest extinction the Earth has ever seen took place 250 million years ago and it remains something of a mystery. Scientists suspected giant volcanoes or perhaps an asteroid caused it, but NPR's Christopher Joyce has seen new research suggesting the cause might not have been so cataclysmic - maybe something much more subtle.

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NPR Story
5:16 am
Tue April 1, 2014

MGM Announces New 'Pink Panther' Is In The Works

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

The movie studio on Monday said the new Pink Panther flick would be part live-action part animated-hybrid.

NPR Story
5:16 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Despite Action, Gov. Christie Warns Again Of Pension Crisis

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bad planning plus a tough economy left many states struggling to pay retirement and health benefits to public workers. New Jersey was behind on its payments for years before Governor Chris Christie pushed public pension reform in 2011. Now the governor is calling for another round of reform, saying the system is still broken. Here's Jessica Gould of member station WNYC.

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NPR Story
5:16 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Calvin and Zatera Spencer Have Midas Touch

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Our last word in business is an old saying: Sooner or later, everybody's luck evens out.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's impressive that saying has lasted so long - given so much evidence that it isn't true. Consider the story of Calvin and Zatera Spencer, they won the lottery three times in less than a month.

INSKEEP: The Spencers won a million dollars playing the lottery in March. They also won another million dollars.

GREENE: And they picked up an extra 50,000 bucks in a daily drawing.

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NPR Story
5:16 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Rearview Cameras To Be Mandatory In New Vehicles By 2018

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

The Transportation Department says the cameras will be required in all vehicles under 10,000 pounds.

Author Interviews
5:16 am
Tue April 1, 2014

In Early Memoir, Bette Midler Adorned The Truth In Sequins

Bette Midler is a Grammy Award-winning singer and Academy Award-nominated actress.
Jonathan Pushnik Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:51 pm

Before Bette Midler was in movies like Beaches and Down and Out in Beverly Hills, the actress and singer wore masks and costumes on stage, playing scantily clad, scandalous characters like a wheelchair-riding mermaid and, of course, the Divine Miss M — Midler's early stage persona.

Midler wrote about her early career in A View From a Broad, a memoir she published in 1980. A new edition of that book was recently released with a brand new introduction in which Midler writes:

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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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