World

The Two-Way
2:53 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Crimea Overwhelmingly Supports Split From Ukraine To Join Russia

People in Simferopol, Ukraine, attend a pro-Russian rally in Lenin Square after a day of voting on whether to unite with Russia. Exit polls show strong approval for the move, according to Russian state-run media.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:59 pm

  • NPR's Gregory Warner on 'Weekend Edition Sunday'
This post will be updated throughout the day Sunday.

Russian news services are claiming overwhelming support in Crimea for the region's plan to secede from Ukraine and unite with Russia, citing exit polls from Sunday's referendum. Russia's state news agency reports that afer 50 percent of the votes had been processed that more than 95 percent of voters said they were in favor of joining Russia.

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Sports
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Predicting Top Seeds For March Madness 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year for NCAA college basketball fans. NPR's Arun Rath talks with A Martinez of member station KPCC about March Madness.

Politics
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

CIA Pulled Out Of The Shadows With Feinstein's Charge

Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused CIA staff of improperly accessing Senate computers on Tuesday. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times and ex-Rep. Jane Harman about the conflict.

Economy
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

With Some Moves In Congress, Jobless Still Struggle To Get By

On Thursday, the Senate reached a bipartisan agreement to renew jobless benefits for five months for the long-term unemployed. This comes after Congress failed to extend those benefits in December.

The New And The Next
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Not A Lazy Move: Making Sweatpants Work For Work

Maegan Tintari Flickr

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about the prevalence of high-end sweats acceptable for office wear. Not the semi-tacky, rhinestoned wear of the 1990s, but fancy items — like leather sweats — that might not actually work at the gym.

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Music
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Eastern Sounds Go West

Yasmine Hamdan gained an underground following in Beirut with the electronic duo Soapkills. Her solo debut is infused with sounds from Paris, where she moved several years ago.
Nadim Asfar Courtesy of the artist

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Middle East
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Reflecting On 3-Year Syrian War: 'There But For The Grace Of God'

Saturday is the three-year anniversary of the war in Syria. Nigel Timmins of Oxfam talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the humanitarian crisis there and the Syrian people he has met.

World
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Ukrainians Scramble For Information Ahead Of Crimean Vote

On the eve of the referendum in Crimea, Ukrainians are reportedly nervous about what will happen after Sunday's vote. Correspondent Eleanor Beardsley talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the mood in Kiev.

Europe
5:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Working Without Pay A Reality For Much Of Greece's Labor Force

Alexandra Tsitoura (left) and Nikos Aivatzidis walk through now-empty Hellenic Shipyards in Athens, Greece. Two years ago, the shipyard employed around 1,100 workers.
Holly Pickett for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:23 am

For nearly 30 years, Nikos Aivatzidis got up at the crack of dawn to drive from his home in central Athens to his human resources job at Hellenic Shipyards, near Greece's port of Piraeus.

"I'd walk into the entrance and marvel as I watched [6,000] or 7,000 people heading into work with me," he says. "This place was like its own city."

Now this place is deserted. Many of the roughly 1,000 workers still officially on the payroll stopped showing up after the company stopped paying them in April 2012.

But Aivatzidis holds on.

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All Songs Considered
4:15 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

SXSW 2014: Everything Is Better In Slow Motion

Future Islands, frozen in time (or at least slowed wayyy down).
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 6:03 pm

With hundreds upon hundreds of bands and tens of thousands of music lovers descending upon Austin for just five days, South by Southwest moves pretty fast. So we slowed it down for you. Because they're awfully considerate, NPR Music's video team — led by Mito Habe-Evans — picked out some of the fastest moments at SXSW 2014 and made them go real slow.

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Health
3:59 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

When Loved Ones Go Missing, Ambiguity Can Hold Grief Captive

Subramaniam Gurusamy holds a portrait of his son Puspanathan, who was onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, on Friday in his home in Teluk Panglima Garang, outside Kuala Lumpur.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:33 pm

It has been more than a week since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, and despite a massive search effort, the whereabouts of the plane and the 239 people on board are unknown.

The airline has told the families and friends of those missing to "expect the worst."

But it's tough for families to grieve without knowing the answer to a crucial question: Could my loved one still be alive?

Dr. Pauline Boss works with people in this kind of situation. She's the author of Loss, Trauma and Resilience and a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Did The Malaysian Airliner Land? Here Are Possible Runways

A map shows runways that would potentially be within range of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
WNYC

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:17 pm

The fate of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 isn't known — and officials have stated their search will now focus on a large area to the west of the plane's planned flight path from Kuala Lampur to Beijing. Experts say it isn't likely to have landed — in part because the large plane would attract notice.

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Parallels
2:54 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

What Are The Rules For Changing A Country's Borders?

A Russian flag blows outside the entrance of Crimea's parliament building in Simferopol on Thursday. Crimeans vote Sunday on whether they want to join Russia, though the international community says it will not recognize the ballot.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 10:35 am

Redrawing national borders may feel like a historical relic that belongs to an earlier century, yet Crimea's crisis shows there are still places that don't fit neatly on the map — and may not for years to come.

Just last month, Crimea was part of Ukraine. On Sunday, Crimeans vote on whether they want to become part of Russia. Nevermind that the rest of the world rejects the validity of the ballot; no country appears willing or able to prevent Crimea from leaving Ukraine and joining Russia.

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Religion
1:00 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Tiny Italian Town Thumbs Its Nose At Lenten Abstinence

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 5:53 pm

On the first Sunday of Lent in Poggio Mirteto, a priest in the town's cathedral recalls the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

He admonishes parishioners in this hilltop hamlet just outside Vatican City to resist earthly delights during the time of penance and self-denial leading up to Easter.

"We must remember we are weak before evil, because the devil is very tricky," he says.

Just outside the doors, the warning goes unheeded as a parade of revelers passes.

The Freedom Festival

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Russia Vetoes U.N. Security Council Resolution On Crimea

Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would invalidate Sunday's referendum in Crimea. In Moscow, demonstrators and military veterans march in support of the Kremlin Saturday; nearby, a large march was held to protest Russia's policies.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:54 pm

One day before Crimea holds a referendum on leaving Ukraine, Russia has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution to affirm Ukraine's sovereignty and national borders. The measure would have declared the referendum in Crimea invalid.

Russia, a permanent member of the council, was the sole vote against the resolution, which had the support of 13 countries attending Saturday's emergency meeting. China abstained from voting.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

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Shots - Health News
11:58 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Gay Couples Entitled To Equal Family Health Coverage, Fed Says

The family health insurance rule applies only to married couples and not to those who are in domestic partnerships or civil unions.
iStockphoto

What insurers offer to spouses in a traditional marriage, they must make available to same-sex couples, the federal government said Friday.

The change means that same-sex couples, who haven't been able to buy family health policies, will be able to do so now.

"It's a big deal," says Katie Keith, director of research at the Trimpa Group, a consulting firm that works on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. "If you identify as married, it's hard to stomach that you can't get family coverage."

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The Record
11:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Lady Gaga At SXSW: 'Don't Sell Out. Sell In.'

Lady Gaga donned luxurious plastic bags for her SXSW Keynote on Friday.
Michael Buckner Getty

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 12:20 pm

On Friday, March 14, Lady Gaga gave the keynote at SXSW 2014, a long interview conducted by John Norris that covered her career in pop, from her roots in the rock clubs of downtown New York to her decision to partner with a corporate sponsor for the concert she performed at Stubb's the night before. (You can see the complete video of the interview on this page.)

NPR Music's Ann Powers was in Austin for the keynote, and she filed this report.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Indian Court Stays Death Penalty For Two In Rape Case

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:58 pm

The hanging of two of the four men convicted for raping and murdering a woman in New Delhi in late 2012 has been stayed, according to a ruling by India's high court that was issued Saturday. The men had been found guilty of raping and attacking a woman on a bus; they've been appealing that finding.

The four men were sentenced to death in September for a crime that sparked shock, anger and intense debate over how India handles violence against women.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Afghans Don't Need Help Securing Country, Karzai Says

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:45 am

Saying that more than a decade of warfare had been imposed on his country by the U.S. conflict with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says foreign troops aren't necessary to Afghanistan's long-term security.

"I want to say to all those foreign countries who maybe out of habit or because they want to interfere, that they should not interfere," he said, according to The Associated Press.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
8:03 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Beware Of The Quick-Fix Mirage

Just because you can get your body or your mind in shape doesn't mean you will actually do the hard work necessary to succeed. Inertia is powerful thing.
iStockphoto

An article last week in The New York Times reported that the scientific jury is still out on brain-fitness programs. It seems that playing computer games designed to work your powers of perception, memory and attention can lead to significant and lasting improvement in one's ability to play those very games. But the benefits don't transfer. You may perform the relevant tasks like a 20-year-old, but you'll still have the mind of a 60-year-old.

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