World

The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Israel's 'Prisoner X' May Have Passed State Secrets

The story of "Prisoner X" is dominating the media in both Australia and Israel.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 8:49 am

Last week we told you about "Prisoner X," the mysterious Israeli-Australian citizen who worked for Israel's spy agency Mossad. Australian media broke the story of how the man identified as Ben Zygier languished for months in an Israeli prison until he was found dead of an apparent suicide. Now we have new details on the case.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Chinese Students Wore Uniforms With Cancer-Causing Dyes

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:45 pm

Students in 21 schools in the Chinese city of Shanghai have been ordered to stop wearing uniforms that were found to contain a dye that causes cancer.

NPR's Frank Langfitt is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit. Here's his report:

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Science
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

New Project Would Map The Human Brain

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:59 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Dr. Story Landis, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about the Brain Activity Map project written about in today's New York Times. If it goes forward, the project would seek to find treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism, psychiatric disorders and more.

Latin America
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Venezuela's Chavez Returns Home After Cancer Treatment

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:53 pm

President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return to Venezuela on Monday after more than two months of cancer treatment in Cuba. He immediately was taken to a military hospital and has not been seen publicly. Venezuela has been in a leadership vacuum in his absence. Melissa Block speaks with NPR's Juan Forero for the latest on Chavez' ability to rule, and how Venezuelans are reacting.

Europe
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Spread Of 'Baby Boxes' Alarms Europeans

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:03 pm

Scores of "baby boxes," where mothers can anonymously and safely "post" newborns they cannot care for, have appeared in houses and hospitals across Europe in the past decade. The boxes are extremely controversial. Advocates say they save babies' lives, while the U.N. is alarmed at their rising numbers.

U.S.
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

What Happens When Someone Else Gets Your Tax Refund

Todd Macy, a banker from Marin County, Calif., was the victim of identity theft. Nearly a year after filing his return, he's still waiting for his federal tax refund.
Courtesy of Todd Macy

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:27 pm

If you usually wait until April to file your taxes, you might want to hurry up — before identity thieves beat you to it. Using stolen names and Social Security numbers, these criminals file fake tax returns with false wage and withholding information. This generates big — and fraudulent — refunds, before the real taxpayer gets around to filing.

The Internal Revenue Service says it's busy working to combat what prosecutors call a fraud epidemic.

Most taxpayers don't have any idea something is wrong until they hit the send button on their taxes and get an error message.

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World
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Mexico Tries To Rein In Billionaire Carlos Slim

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:54 pm

Regulators in Mexico are struggling to rein in what they say are grave and repeat monopolistic practices by the richest man in the world. Carlos Slim Helu, the owner of Mexico's telephone company, just received another multimillion-dollar fine from the country's fledgling anti-corruption regulatory agency. Slim has successfully appealed or fought previous fines. But lawmakers say they are determined to make him play fairly and by the rules.

Middle East
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Newly Displaced Syrians Head For Turkish Border

Syrian people wait at a customs gate at the Turkey-Syria border near Reyhanli, Turkey, last week. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing central Syria, heading to southern Turkey.
Gaia Anderson AP

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 9:01 pm

A new surge of Syrian refugees is swamping humanitarian aid agencies in southern Turkey, where official refugee camps are full.

But the newcomers may be just the tip of the iceberg. In central Syria, civilians under attack by combat jets, tanks and artillery have fled towns and villages north of the city of Hama, and thousands are on the move.

"What they do now, they burn everything ahead of them. They bomb this area with everything they've got," says Hossan Hamadah, a Syrian-American from Texas.

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Movie Interviews
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Quvenzhane Wallis: "If I Have To Be Fierce, I'll Be Fierce"

Quvenzhane Wallis plays Hushpuppy in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:38 pm

Quvenzhane Wallis was just 5 years old when she auditioned for a role in the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild, and 6 when she shot the movie. Now, at age 9, she is the youngest ever to receive a best actress Oscar nomination.

In the film, Quvenzhane plays a wild child named Hushpuppy, who lives with her sick father in a ramshackle, isolated community called the Bathtub, on the fringes of the Louisiana coast.

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Around the Nation
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Maker's Mark Reverses Course On Lower Alcohol Content

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

An update now to a story we reported last week, a story about a dramatic change in the lives of whiskey drinkers. Well, some of them at least - the ones who drink Maker's Mark bourbon, because Maker's Mark cut its alcohol content, watered it down from 90-proof to just 84. They said it was because they had to meet bigger demand.

JERRY RODGERS: People just went bananas.

BLOCK: This is Jerry Rodgers, who knows his Maker's.

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Remembrances
4:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Longtime Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Dies At 80

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The basketball world lost both a huge fan and one of its most innovative team owners today. Jerry Buss turned the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA's glamour franchise and won 10 championships. Buss died early this morning at the age of 80. NPR's Ted Robbins has this remembrance.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Jerry Buss once said: I don't just want winners, I want champions. And, boy, did he get them. Yet when Buss was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he remembered feeling humbled back in 1979 when he bought the Lakers.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Sen. Mike Johanns Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:39 pm

Mike Johanns, the Republican senator from Nebraska, announced Monday that he won't seek another term in the Senate.

Here's more from the Omaha World-Herald:

"Johanns said it was time to 'close this chapter' in his life. He noted that he and his wife, Stephanie, have spent 32 years in public life and that they want to spend more time with family.

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Europe
2:58 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Greece's Economic Crisis Reveals Fault Lines In The Media

People read newspaper headlines in Athens. In 2009, there were 39 national dailies, 23 national Sunday papers, 14 national weekly papers and dozens of TV and radio stations for a population of 11 million.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 7:05 pm

Three years of spiraling economic crisis in Greece have devastated every sector of the economy. The Greek media are among the hardest hit. Many newspapers and TV outlets have closed or are on the verge, and some 4,000 journalists have lost their jobs.

Many people believe the country's news media have failed to cover the crisis — and lost credibility along the way. And many Greek journalists acknowledge that a massive conflict of interest sooner or later had to explode.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:02 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Night Beds: Tiny Desk Concert

Night Beds' members perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 6, 2013.
Marie McGrory for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:42 pm

Winston Yellen didn't start singing until he was 18 — he's 23 now — but he's already got one of 2013's most arresting new voices. As the singer for the country-rock group Night Beds, Yellen often performs a cappella, with tremendous soul and nuance.

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Poetry
12:53 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco: 'I Finally Felt Like I Was Home'

Richard Blanco reads his poem "One Today" during President Obama's second inaugural, on Jan. 21.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 11:03 pm

"I just got the phone call one day," is how poet Richard Blanco describes to Fresh Air's Terry Gross how he learned he had been selected to write and read the inaugural poem for President Obama's second swearing-in on Jan. 21.

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World Cafe
11:19 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Next: Pickwick

Pickwick.
Kyle Johnson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:35 am

Formed in 2008, Pickwick members Galen Disston, Michael and Garrett Parker, Cassady Lillstrom, Alex Westcoat, and Kory Kruckenberg forged a path toward neo-soul and in 2011 released a compilation of music from three of their EPs. The result was Myths, released one single at a time on 7" vinyl, which put the band on the map and became one of the most popular albums of the year in Seattle.

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Mountain Stage
9:37 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Arlo Guthrie On Mountain Stage

Arlo Guthrie performs on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:25 pm

Iconic folksinger, songwriter and raconteur Arlo Guthrie makes his fifth appearance on Mountain Stage here, recorded live in Huntington, W.V. For decades, Guthrie has performed the heavy task of carrying on his father Woody's legacy, while maintaining a place as a highly regarded musician in his own right.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Book News: Amazon Fires German Security Firm After Claims Of Intimidation

Books in an Amazon warehouse in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.
Jens-Ulrich Koch AFP/Getty Images

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

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Asia
7:02 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Momentum Grows For Pakistan-Taliban Peace Talks

Both sides say they're ready to talk, but the Taliban is putting stiff conditions on any negotiations. All previous attempts at a peace deal have failed. Analysts say the Pakistani government lacks a coordinated strategy.

Space
6:54 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Scientists Seek More Information On Meteorite

Authorities in Russia are still trying to figure out what happened to the meteorite that came crashing to earth on Friday. More than 1,000 people were injured. Renee Montagne talks to Andrew Kramer, a reporter with The New York Times about the response from residents and officials.

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