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11:03 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Exiled From Iran, A Singer Makes The Case For Beauty

Strict laws made it impossible for the Iranian singer Hani to pursue her dream in her home country.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:03 pm

A petite woman prances across the stage at Kurdistan TV in Erbil, northern Iraq, with her long, brown hair bouncing behind her.

A band begins to play, the studio audience falls quiet, and the woman starts to sing. Her voice is powerful and her message is personal: It's about fleeing to a foreign land to find freedom.

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Sweetness And Light
7:03 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Dear College Presidents: Break The NCAA's Vise Grip On Athletes

Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:37 am

The great social quest in American sport is to have one prominent, active, gay male athlete step forward and identify himself.

But I have a similar quest. I seek one prominent college president to say to her trustees or to the other presidents in his conference: "The NCAA is a sham and disgrace. Let's get out of it."

We know those presidents who disdain the NCAA are out there, but, alas, none dare speak the words that will break the evil spell.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Apple Agrees To Hand Out $100 Million In iTunes Credits To Settle Lawsuit

People walk past the Apple logo at the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:45 am

Apple has agreed to give out more than $100 million in iTunes store credits to settle a lawsuit that alleged it was allowing children to make in-app purchases without the consent of their parents.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
3:14 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Advocates Warn Sequester Could Mean Big Cuts For The Low-Income

A nutrition specialist prepares a Meals on Wheels delivery in upstate New York. The national organization says the sequester could mean significant cuts in the number of meals they serve to homebound seniors.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:05 pm

Many programs affecting low-income Americans — like food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — are exempt from across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect March 1.

But many other programs are not, and that has service providers scrambling to figure out how the budget stalemate in Washington might affect those who rely on government aid.

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Shots - Health News
3:13 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Should You Fear The 'July Effect' Of First-Time Doctors At Hospitals?

It's unlikely that July patients are paying for residents' inexperience with their lives.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:59 pm

It's an old joke, repeated every year around nurses' stations, examination rooms, and operating theaters: Whatever you do, don't get sick in July.

That's when hundreds of just-graduated medical students begin their residencies. The logic goes that, come summer, you're all but guaranteed to be treated by a novice physician, especially in teaching hospitals. Better to wait a few months, until the new docs have settled in a bit, to be seen about that suspicious lump.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Because Of Budget Cuts, U.S. Releases Hundreds Of Illegal Immigrants

Karnes County Detention Center in Karnes City, Texas.
ICE

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:37 pm

The U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) says it released several hundred detainees in an effort to prepare for the across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1. More people may be released in the coming days.

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

A supporter of the Voting Rights Act attends a rally Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 2:47 pm

The nation has twice elected an African-American president.

Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history rival those of whites.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Can U.S. Embassies Be Safe Without Being Unsightly?

The U.S. Embassy in central London in 2009.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:05 pm

There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.

Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

GM Denies Asking For $2.1 Million Pay Raise For CEO Dan Akerson

General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

General Motors Co. said today that its Chief Executive Dan Akerson will not take a pay raise this year.

Documents filed with the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform showed that GM was asking the U.S. government to OK a $2.1 million raise for Akerson. The government still owns part of GM and when the automaker took a $49.5 billion bailout, it agreed to have executive pay approved by government.

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The Salt
1:27 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Family Dinner: Treasured Tradition Or Bygone Ideal?

From left: 8-year-old Celedonia, 3-year-old Gavin, Amy Spencer and Doug Brown gather around the kitchen as Doug prepares a fruit salad for dinner.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:06 pm

When we asked you (via our Facebook page) to tell us about the weekday challenges your families face, given the competing demands of work, commutes, schoolwork and activities, you didn't hold back. Especially on the subject of squeezing in a family dinner.

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Middle East
1:08 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Sanctions Bite, But Iran Shows No Signs Of Budging

An Iranian woman shops at a supermarket in the capital, Tehran, on Feb. 22. International sanctions have hurt Iran's economy, but prospects for a breakthrough on Iran's nuclear program are dim as negotiators meet in Kazakhstan.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 9:31 am

A new round of international talks on Iran's nuclear program is under way in Kazakhstan, where the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are asking Iran to give up any thought of building a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from sanctions.

Western leaders do not predict a breakthrough, but they say small steps could be taken that would increase confidence on both sides.

Still, it's hard to imagine how such negotiations could proceed with lower expectations for progress.

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All Tech Considered
1:00 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Is There Room For Smartphones Beyond Android And iOS?

Smartphones based on Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system, are expected in 2014.
Canonical

Between them, Google Android and Apple's iOS account for more than 90 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, with Windows Phone, BlackBerry and a few smaller players rounding out the mobile market. But the tech world never stands still and other players are making a run for a piece of the growing mobile pie.

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Shots - Health News
12:56 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Anesthesia Care And Web-Surfing May Not Mix, Nurses Say

Distraction is a well-known safety issue in the OR, but there's been very little research on whether smartphones are contributing to the problem.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:48 am

The next time you're being wheeled into the operating room, you might want to ask the medical professionals there to lay off the eBay and Twitter apps on their phones.

That's the word from the nation's nurse anesthetists, who just came out with a new policy urging OR staff to use their smartphones for the practice of medicine, not Facebooking.

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Politics
12:41 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

It's A Trap! 4 Possible Presidential Pitfalls

U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower relaxes at the 18th hole during a golf game in Newport, R.I., Sept. 10, 1957.
Henry Burroughs AP

You are Barack Obama and you find yourself hacking away in the weeds of sequestration — and some frustration. What's going on?

After all, you won a second term as President of the United States. You withstood the hooks and slices of a nasty campaign. Your approval rating is on the rise. Over President's Day weekend you played golf with Tiger Woods. For an American politician, it probably doesn't get any better than this.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Liberal SuperPAC Under Fire For Tweets About McConnell's 'Chinese' Wife

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife Elaine Chao at last summer's Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Mike Thelier UPI /Landov

From NPR member station WFPL:

"A Democratic group is under sharp criticism for controversial online messages about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's wife.

"For months, the liberal superPAC Progress Kentucky has attacked McConnell and held demonstrations at his offices and home.

"Recently, the group turned its attention to McConnell's wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with a focus on her race.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Pastagate: Quebec Agency Criticized For Targeting Foreign Words On Menus

In Quebec, a restaurant's use of the word "pasta" on its menu sparked a government agency into action. Officials who enforce rules that guard French as the official language now say "exotic" words can be allowed in some cases.
Timothy Hiatt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:15 pm

A government agency in Quebec, Canada, has come under intense criticism after attempting to get pasta stricken from a restaurant's menu. The move had nothing to do with the food: Officials said Italian words such as pasta, calamari, and antipasto should be replaced with French words to conform with the law.

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Commentary
12:05 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Historical Vocab: When We Get It Wrong, Does It Matter?

Linguist Geoff Nunberg finds that in the film Lincoln, screenwriter Tony Kushner oscillates between old and modern meanings of "equality."
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:12 pm

Has there ever been an age that was so grudging about suspending its disbelief? The groundlings at the Globe Theatre didn't giggle when Shakespeare had a clock chime in Julius Caesar. The Victorians didn't take Dickens to task for having the characters in A Tale of Two Cities ride the Dover mail coach 10 years before it was established. But Shakespeare and Dickens weren't writing in the age of the Internet, when every historical detail is scrutinized for chronological correctness, and when no "Gotcha!" remains unposted for long.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Tue February 26, 2013

John Kerry To German Students: Americans Have 'Right To Be Stupid'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 11:58 am

In his first foreign trip as Secretary of State, John Kerry defended America's civil liberties during his talk with German students.

Kerry said that the United States' tradition of freedom of speech — even if it includes offensive speech — is a virtue.

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Race
11:30 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Trayvon Martin Case And The National Conversation

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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From Our Listeners
11:26 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Letters: Chicago Violence, 3-D Printing

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week, we talked about violence in Chicago after the death of Hadiya Pendleton, the teenager shot and killed just a week after she visited Washington for the inauguration. Gun laws in Chicago are more restrictive than it its suburbs and in surrounding states like Indiana.

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