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All Tech Considered
4:12 am
Fri March 8, 2013

The Life Cycle Of A Social Network: Keeping Friends In Times Of Change

The new look of Facebook's News Feed.
Facebook

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:32 am

Facebook is redesigning its front page. The News Feed — which is what Facebook's roughly 1 billion users see when they log on to the site — will be rolling out a radical new look over the coming months.

The changes are meant to increase user engagement on the site, make it easier to navigate on mobile phones and provide even more highly targeted advertising.

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Around the Nation
1:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Persian Empire Treasure Begins U.S. Tour

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 8:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A formerly lost archeological treasure has made its way to the United States for the first time. It comes from Iran and dates back to the days of the ancient Persian Empire. It's called the Cyrus Cylinder. It'll be on tour across the U.S., starting tomorrow, with the Smithsonian Museum here in Washington.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Cyrus Cylinder isn't too much too look at - made of clay and shaped kind of like a loaf of bread. What's special about it is that it's etched with writing from the time.

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Latin America
1:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Venezuela To Display Chavez Body For Perpetuity

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 1:32 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Thousands of Venezuelans have been filling the streets this week, listening to music and lining up to see the coffin of their leader, Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday. Leaders from around the world have also come to the capital city, Caracas, for a funeral which formally takes place today. And in keeping with his often larger-than-life persona, the Venezuelan government plans to embalm Chavez and keep his body on display under glass, in perpetuity. NPR's Juan Forero is in Caracas, following events there. Hi, Juan.

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Middle East
1:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Displaced Syrians Bring Life To Ancient 'Dead Cities'

The Syrian "Dead City" of Shanshrah, in northern Idlib province. A U.N. World Heritage site, the Dead Cities of northern Syria date back to the first to fifth centuries.
Kelly McEvers NPR

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 7:41 pm

Parts of the northern Syrian province of Idlib are a U.N. World Heritage site, known for its ancient archaeological wonders. Walking along muddy, rocky ground covered in new grass and wild daffodils, we start to see remnants of Roman structures — the columns and doorways of dwellings, temples and churches that date back to the 1st century.

They're known as the Dead Cities, and they trace the transition from ancient pagan Rome to Christian Byzantium. Until recently, they were deserted, frozen in time.

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It's All Politics
12:34 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Senate Mostly Blamed For Agency And Court Vacancies, But Obama Isn't Helping

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has not had a permanent administrator since Congress required that the director be confirmed by the Senate in 2006.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 8:50 am

Hear Brian Nayor, Julie Rovner, Yuki Noguchi and Carrie Johnson talk with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about the many federal entities operating without permanent leadership by clicking the audio link.

Some workers may dream about how productive they'd be without a boss. But for thousands of federal employees, being without a boss is a reality. And productivity isn't necessarily the result.

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Environment
11:23 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Past Century's Global Temperature Change Is Fastest On Record

Scientists say they have put together a record of global temperatures dating back to the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago. This historical artwork of the last ice age was made by Swiss geologist and naturalist Oswald Heer.
Oswald Heer Science Source

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 7:40 pm

There's plenty of evidence that the climate has warmed up over the past century, and climate scientists know this has happened throughout the history of the planet. But they want to know more about how this warming is different.

Now a research team says it has some new answers. It has put together a record of global temperatures going back to the end of the last ice age — about 11,000 years ago — when mammoths and saber-tooth cats roamed the planet. The study confirms that what we're seeing now is unprecedented.

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StoryCorps
11:21 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

A Real-Life Nick And Nora Charles, Hot On Love's Trail

Shaun Kaufman and Colleen Collins experienced a rough patch when they became private investigators, but the work ultimately helped strengthen their relationship.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 8:50 am

When Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman started dating, they were both middle-aged and divorced. Neither was having any luck with work, so in 2004, they took matters into their own hands.

"You had lost your job. You drank to excess, and you were stoned all the time," Colleen recalls at a visit to StoryCorps in Denver with Shaun. "And it was like, what are we gonna do?"

So Colleen, now 61, threw out the idea of starting a private investigation agency. Shaun, who has a law degree, had trained several PIs in the past. Within a week, she was out on a surveillance job.

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Planet Money
11:17 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

If A Driverless Car Crashes, Who's Liable?

Who's on the hook?
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 9:25 am

Some number of years from now, the technology may exist for cars to drive themselves. This could save thousands of lives a year (90 percent of fatal car accidents involve human error).

But getting the technology right won't be enough. Governments and courts will have to figure out lots of new legal and regulatory issues. One key question: If a driverless car crashes, who's liable?

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Technology
11:04 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

News Corp. Education Tablet: For The Love Of Learning?

Joel Klein, former New York City schools chief, left to run News Corp.'s education division. On Thursday, Amplify announced a specially designed education tablet.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:32 am

The educational division of the media conglomerate News Corp., called Amplify, unveiled a new digital tablet this week at the SXSW tech conference in Austin, Texas, intended to serve millions of schoolchildren and their teachers across the country.

Amplify promises the tablet will simplify administrative chores for teachers, enable shy children to participate more readily in discussions, and allow students to complete coursework at their own pace while drawing upon carefully selected online research resources.

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Theater
9:01 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

For Berry Gordy, Broadway Is Memory Lane

Valisia LeKae, Sydney Morton and Ariana Debose play the Supremes in the show.
Andrew Eccles

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 8:50 am

There's hardly an adult anywhere in the world who wouldn't recognize at least some of the music of Motown.

The R&B label changed the course of music in the United States and made household names of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. Now, the man who created Motown — Berry Gordy — is headed to Broadway to tell his version of how it all began.

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The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Trademark Board Hears Challenge To 'Redskins' Team Name

Owner Dan Snyder's Washington Redskins team faces a challenge from Native Americans over its right to trademark the name, which they say is offensive.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 3:44 am

A group of Native Americans says the NFL's Washington Redskins should not be allowed to trademark the team name, which they say is offensive. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, part of the U.S. Patent Office, heard the case Thursday.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Watchdogs Not Celebrating Obama Group's Switch On Big Donors

Jim Messina (left), the head of Organizing for Action and a former top Obama campaign and White House aide, watches President Obama make a statement in the White House Cabinet Room in 2010.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:49 pm

Caught between the gritty political realities of needing cash and being linked to a political leader who has repeatedly denounced money's influence in Washington while raising record sums, former campaign aides to President Obama appeared to side with the money.

That had opened officials now heading Organizing for Action — which was formed from the Obama for America campaign committee to promote the president's second-term agenda — to charges of hypocrisy.

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Theater
3:13 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

August Wilson's Words Get New Life In Monologue Contest

Branndin Laramore (from left), Brian Weddington, Lia Miller and Ernesto Moreta pose after a recent rehearsal for the Chicago finals of the August Wilson Monologue Competition.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:40 pm

When the stage lights go up at Chicago's Goodman Theatre on Monday evening, more than 20 high school students will each have a moment to step into the spotlight and perform a monologue from one of the plays written by the late August Wilson. Chicago's contest is one of several regional finals that strives to introduce students to the Pulitzer Prize winner's work. It's also a lead-up to the national August Wilson Monologue Competition that will be held on Broadway later this spring.

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The Record
3:13 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Stompin' Tom Connors, Canadian Folk Hero, Has Died

Stompin' Tom Connors performs at the 2008 NHL Awards at Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Canada.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:18 pm

Stompin' Tom Connors was a Canadian folk legend. He was 77 when he died Wednesday at his home in Ontario. To those of us stateside, his most well-known tune is "The Hockey Song," played at hockey games everywhere. But to Canadians, Stompin' Tom Connors was an inspiration because of his naked nationalist pride.

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), looks at his papers while talking about U.S. companies recieving large tax breaks, during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:03 pm

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin announced today that he would not seek reelection in 2014. Levin chairs the Armed Services Committee.

In a statement, he called the decision "extremely difficult."

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The Salt
2:15 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Plague Of Locusts Has Israelis Asking: Are They Kosher For Passover?

An Israeli cook displays locusts at a restaurant in Jerusalem, at a 2010 event promoting locusts as a tasty kosher treat.
Olivier Fitoussi AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 1:54 pm

A swarm of locusts that has devastated crops in Egypt made its way into neighboring Israel this week. And with Passover just around the corner, many news outlets couldn't resist noting the shades of the biblical tale of Exodus, when the insects were one of 10 plagues that descended upon Pharaoh and his people.

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Latin America
2:11 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Venezuelans Mourn A Fiery Leader They Had Deep Connections To

Supporters of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wait in line to see his body lying in state Thursday outside the Military Academy in Caracas, Venezuela. The state funeral will be held Friday.
Mauricio Duenas Castaneda EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:13 pm

In Venezuela, thousands of mourners are paying their last respects to their larger-than-life leader, Hugo Chavez. The man who ruled Venezuela for 14 years died Tuesday, and his body is now lying in state in Caracas, the capital, as presidents and dignitaries fly in for the funeral Friday.

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Education
2:07 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Federal Probe Targets Uneven Discipline At Seattle Schools

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:13 pm

The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools.

Students of color have long been punished in far higher numbers than white students in Seattle, but now the department's Office for Civil Rights is looking at whether black students are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than white students for the same behavior.

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The Salt
2:04 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

If Caffeine Can Boost The Memory Of Bees, Can It Help Us, Too?

Adam Cole/NPR iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:13 pm

Who knew that the flower nectar of citrus plants — including some varieties of grapefruit, lemon and oranges — contains caffeine? As does the nectar of coffee plant flowers.

And when honeybees feed on caffeine-containing nectar, it turns out, the caffeine buzz seems to improve their memories — or their motivations for going back for more.

"It is surprising," says Geraldine Wright at Newcastle University in the the U.K., the lead researcher of a new honeybee study published in the journal Science.

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Politics
1:46 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Senate Confirms Brennan As CIA Director

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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