News
1:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Kerry's In Kiev And He Comes Bearing Gifts — One Billion Of Them

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:31 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kiev Tuesday, offering $1 billion in American loan guarantees and promises of technical assistance to the new Ukrainian government.

Politics
1:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama Budget: A Blueprint With Little Chance Of Passage

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:31 pm

President Obama is announcing his 2015 budget Tuesday. It calls for increased tax credits for the poor and boosted infrastructure spending, but it's unlikely to be enacted by Congress.

News
1:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Among Soldiers, Risk Of Suicide May Have Surprising Roots

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

For years, people in the military had a lower rate of suicide than their civilian counterparts. About 10 years ago that started to change and now the rate is worse for soldiers than civilians. That prompted the largest-ever study of suicide among soldiers, in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health. The study is on-going, but three initial articles have been published.

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News
1:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Putin Speaks, Decries U.S. For 'Experimenting On Rats' In Ukraine

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:31 pm

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his position on Ukraine. In a news conference, Putin denied that Russian troops are in Crimea but reserved the right to use force in Ukraine.

Education
1:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

As a Test Gets Phased Out In Chicago, Some Boycott Its Final Year

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's testing time in Illinois today. Hundreds of thousands of students began taking state tests in math and science but some students, parents, even teachers are refusing. At dozens of schools in Chicago, they're staging a boycott, saying the tests don't matter. As NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, it's part of a growing national debate over measuring student performance.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Boycott the ISAT. Let things be. Boycott the ISAT.

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Around the Nation
1:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

In Boston, Gay Groups Remain Closed Out Of St. Patrick's Day Parade

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he's still hopeful for a deal allowing a gay group to march in South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Organizers say talks to include gay groups for the first time in two decades have fallen apart. Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, is still trying to bring the sides together.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Gay rights activists called it historic that they were even talking to parade organizers. But now, chances for a deal are slipping.

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Government & Politics
12:38 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Break It Up: Should California Split Into Six States?

file photo
Credit Flickr user jimmywayne / Creative Commons / http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/154814511/sizes/o/

California is the nation's most populous state. Its farms feed the nation, its studios and filmmakers entertain the world, and its technology companies help define our future. But some say the state is simply too large, too diverse and too unwieldy to govern effectively. 

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Parallels
11:47 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Ukraine: From Breadbasket To Basket Case

Ukrainians line up to get money from a bank machine in the western city of Lviv on Feb. 20. The country's political crisis has also created economic turmoil. The international community is expected to pump billions of dollars into Ukraine's struggling economy.
Yuriy Dyachyshyn AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine was known as the breadbasket of the Soviet Union for its fertile fields of wheat. Now it's just a basket case. The outgoing finance minister said the country needed $35 billion to stave off bankruptcy over the next couple years.

Some analysts say that figure may be on the high side. Still, such admissions usually send potential donors dashing for the exits. Yet one thing Ukraine has in abundance these days, in addition to political turmoil, is a long line of financial suitors.

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Author Interviews
11:45 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Kevin Young On Blues, Poetry And 'Laughing To Keep From Crying'

Kevin Young's 2012 essay collection The Grey Album: On The Blackness Of Blackness was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Melanie Dunea CPi

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:46 am

In Kevin Young's new collection, Book Of Hours, poems about the death of his father appear alongside poems about the birth of his son.

He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that, in a way, those events were the anchors of his life.

"It was a way of just writing about what had happened and also the way that the cycle of life informed my life, from death to birth to ... a kind of rebirth that I felt afterward."

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Author Interviews
11:45 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Fresh Air Remembers Literary Biographer Justin Kaplan

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:46 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. We're going to remember Justin Kaplan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer who also edited the 16th edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," published in 1992 and the 17th edition, published in 2002. Justin Kaplan died Sunday at the age 88. His first book, a 1966 biography of Mark Twain, won a National Book Award, as well as a Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote biographies of Walt Whitman and Lincoln Steffens.

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