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3:47 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

As Police Drones Take Off, Washington State Pushes Back

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:28 pm

Last year, Seattle became one of the nation's first cities to buy unmanned drones for use by the police department. Public reaction was less "Gee-whiz" than "What the heck?"

The phrase "unmanned drones" typically conjures images of places like Afghanistan. But the Federal Aviation Administration says it wants to start testing the civilian use of aerial drones here in the U.S. and has already issued special permits to a few police departments interested in trying them out.

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It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

What's The Sequester? And How Did We Get Here?

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (left) answers questions during a briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:26 pm

They've been everywhere this week: dire warnings about threats posed by across-the-board federal spending cuts.

Unless Congress acts, the cuts are due to take effect a week from Friday. The administration is trying to drive home the ways that could affect you.

For example, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Friday that air traffic controllers will have to take unpaid days off beginning in April. Fewer controllers on the job could mean airport delays, and some airlines may decide to cancel flights.

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Science
3:05 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Boston Grapples With The Threat Of Storms And Rising Water

The Boston Tea Party museum sits right on the edge of the harbor. With rising sea levels and the increasing threat of strong storms, buildings like these are at particular risk of flooding.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:02 pm

Since the drubbing that Superstorm Sandy gave the Northeast in November, there's a new sense of urgency in U.S. coastal cities. Even though scientists can't predict the next big hurricane, they're confident that a warmer climate is likely to make Atlantic storms bigger and cause more flooding.

Cities like Boston are in the bull's-eye.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Attack By Chondrite: Scientists ID Russian Meteor

Researchers who studied pieces of the meteor collected near Lake Cherbarkul say it was a common chondrite meteor. The largest of the 53 fragments was one centimeter in diameter. Photo provided by the Urals Federal University Press Service.
Alexander Khlopotov AP

The meteor that caused at least 1,000 injuries in Russia after a startling and powerful daytime explosion one week ago has been identified as a chondrite. Russian scientists who analyzed fragments of the meteor, whose large size and well-documented impact made it a rarity, say that its composition makes it the most common type of meteor we encounter here on Earth.

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World
2:20 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

After Long Isolation, Myanmar Now Has Suitors

Engineers from China and Myanmar work to bury an oil pipeline outside the Myanmar city of Mandalay. Chinese media reports say the 700-mile-long oil and gas pipelines will be completed in May.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:47 pm

For decades, Myanmar was isolated diplomatically, an economic backwater that seemed almost frozen in time amid a Southeast Asian region that was modernizing at a rapid pace.

But the political reforms under way in Myanmar, also known as Burma, are redefining its place in the world. President Obama's visit in November was a sign of the dramatic turnaround in relations with the United States.

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It's All Politics
2:18 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Sequester In South Carolina: A Tale Of Fighter Jets And Preschools

Four F-16s from the 77th Fighter Squadron of Shaw Air Force Base fly over Darlington Raceway before a NASCAR race in Darlington, S.C., in May 2012.
Geoff Burke Getty Images for NASCAR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:47 pm

In Sumter, S.C., home of Shaw Air Force Base and the 20th Fighter Wing, cars sport bumper stickers that say, "Jet noise is the sound of freedom."

Throughout the day, F-16s on training runs blast from a runway on base, disappearing into the foggy sky. But if automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts slated for March 1 go into effect, there will be a lot less of that sound.

"To cut to that level, we just could not pay for the amount of flying hours that we currently have," says Capt. Ann Blodzinski, the base's chief of public affairs.

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Heavy Rotation
2:13 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Brooklyn songwriter Katie Mullins has a fan in WNYC's John Schaefer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 5:36 pm

Every so often, we ask a panel of public radio's music experts to share their favorite new songs.

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Around the Nation
2:12 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Penn State Officials Take Booze Out Of 'State Patty's Day' Mix

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:47 pm

St. Patrick's Day is more than three weeks away, but this weekend near Pennsylvania State University in State College, a similar celebration — called "State Patty's Day" — is happening.

While it has some of the trappings of the Irish holiday, for most it's just an excuse to get drunk and party.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Pentagon Grounds Fleet Of F-35 Fighter Jets Because Of Engine Problems

In this image released by the U.S. Navy the U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay.
U.S. Navy Getty Images

The Pentagon has halted the testing of its entire fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. At an estimated cost of $400 billion, it is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program.

Defense News reports:

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Shots - Health News
1:26 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Contagion On The Couch: CDC App Poses Fun Disease Puzzles

As you solve outbreaks, you earn points and work your way to becoming an assistant disease detective.
Screenshot from Solve The Outbreak/Centers of Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:04 am

Disease detectives are kind of the rock stars of public health.

They travel around the world, on a moment's notice, to track down an Ebola outbreak in Uganda or stop a cholera epidemic in Haiti. And Kate Winslet and Lawrence Fishburne played them in the movie Contagion, for crying out loud.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Damascus Dragged Into Syrian War With Latest Wave Of Bombings

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Obama's Meeting With New Japanese Leader Focuses On China

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The Japanese flag flew over Blair House in Washington today. That's where foreign leaders stay when they visit the White House. Japan's new prime minister is here for his first meeting with President Obama, and they've been discussing economic and security issues as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

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Health Care
1:26 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

This Year's Flu Vaccine Falters In Protecting Elderly

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This year's flu vaccine looks like it's not doing much to protect older people. New numbers in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the vaccine has only been effective about a quarter of the time for people 65 and older. NPR's Rob Stein joins me to explain what that means. And Rob, tell us more about these numbers coming from the CDC.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
1:24 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Novelist John Irving Plays Not My Job

Cesar Rangel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 8:28 am

This segment was originally broadcast on June 14, 2012.

John Irving is the author of The World According To Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Cider House Rules and many other works of fiction. His latest novel is called In One Person.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
1:24 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Dax Shepard And Kristen Bell Play Not My Job

Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 8:28 am

This segment was originally broadcast on Aug. 2, 2012.

Real-life Hollywood couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are a.) famous b.) adorable c.) funny d.) the stars of Hit and Run, a new movie they made together, and e.) amazingly, all of the above.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
1:24 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Singer-Songwriter Bonnie Raitt Plays Not My Job

Marina Chavez

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 8:28 am

This segment was originally broadcast on Sept. 6, 2012.

Back in the early 1970s, a young woman at Radcliffe College faced a choice: Stay in school and get her degree, or drop out and become a legendary blues singer and guitarist. It's pretty clear Bonnie Raitt made the right choice.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Justice Department Joins Lawsuit Against Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong finishes the Power of Four Mountain Bike Race on Aspen Mountain on August 25, 2012.
Riccardo S. Savi Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:35 pm

The Justice Department has joined a civil lawsuit against cyclist Lance Armstrong, his Tailwind Sports team and its longtime manager, alleging their pervasive doping campaign defrauded the U.S. Postal Service out of more than $31 million in sponsorship fees.

The decision ratchets up the legal pressure on Armstrong, who's lost his seven Tour de France titles, enormous advertising and sponsorship deals, and a large part of his reputation.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

In Document Left Behind By Al-Qaida, 22 Tips To Avoid Drones Strikes

In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 photo, a young vendor waits for clients alongside woven reed mats of the type purchased by fleeing Islamists, apparently to camouflage their vehicles, in Timbuktu, Mali.
Rukmini Callimachi AP

As al-Qaida extremists streamed out of Timbuktu, they left behind a curious document and the Associated Press got its hands on it.

It's written by Abdallah bin Muhammad, a senior commander of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni arm of the group, and it includes 22 bulleted tips on how to evade drone strikes.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Despite Lingering Drought, USDA Predicts A Flood Of Grain

Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gazing into their crystal ball, see American farmers planting and harvesting huge amounts of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year. They're predicting a record harvest of corn: 14 billion bushels, up nearly 40 percent over last year's drought-crippled level.

With supply up, prices will fall. The USDA thinks that the price of the average bushel of corn could fall by a third. And soybean production and price are expected to follow a similar track.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Aquarium Dumping Linked To Giant Tahoe Goldfish

You're going to need a bigger fishbowl.

Scientists searching for invasive species in Lake Tahoe scooped up a bright orange goldfish measuring nearly a foot and a half long and weighing more than 4 pounds, according to the website Live Science. (You can see it here.)

Environmental scientist Sudeep Chandra says a survey has uncovered a "nice corner" of the lake where about 15 other giant goldfish were living, apparently after being dumped there by aquarium owners.

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