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Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep

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Around the Nation
2:35 am
Wed March 13, 2013

A Real-Life 'Jump Street' In Tennessee

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Police Deputy Donna Rogan relived her high school years. She went undercover pretending to be a transfer student in Carter County, Tennessee. The Elizabethton Star reports it was called Operation Jump Street, after the old TV show. Now, we do not know Ms. Rogan's grades or which boys asked her out. But we do know she played a student convincingly enough to slip into the local drug culture, gathering information leading to 14 arrests.

It's All Politics
1:29 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Retiring Carl Levin Says He Wants To Leave The Senate Fighting

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin speaks in Dearborn on Feb. 4.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Retiring Michigan Sen. Carl Levin says he wants to spend his last two years in the Senate focusing on issues "that I believe to my core are really, really important to the country."

Although the Democrat says he "kind of" enjoys campaigning, he has decided not to seek another term in 2014 after 34 years in office. Levin says campaigns cost too much.

"Even in a state which leans Democratic — at least we think it will — still there's fundraising involved, and it's much more important that we, frankly, do our job here," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
1:29 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Six Words: Ask Who I Am, Not What

A submission to the Race Card Project, which asks people to describe their experience with race in six words.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 6:46 am

This month NPR begins a series of occasional conversations about The Race Card Project, where people can submit their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Thousands of people have shared their six-word stories and every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into the trove of six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Middle East
1:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Syrian Cyber-Rebel Wages War, One Hack At A Time

Ahmad "Harvester" Heidar is a computer software engineer whose work for the Syrian rebels includes sweeping the hard drives of detained anti-government activists, and trying to develop a robot that will help extract sniper victims in Syria. Turkish officials have given Heidar the green light to develop a prototype of his robot, which he calls Tina.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:27 pm

The Internet is a battleground in Syria, a place where President Bashar Assad's regime has mounted a sophisticated surveillance campaign that includes monitoring and arresting activists by tracking their Facebook pages.

The Syrian Electronic Army, an arm of the Syrian military, is in charge of the monitoring.

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It's All Politics
12:06 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Republicans Face Off Over Strategy For Picking Candidates

Karl Rove and the big donors behind his Crossroads superPAC have formed a new group, the Conservative Victory Project, to vet and recruit Republican Senate candidates.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Republicans have a steep hill to climb if they want to take control of the Senate next year. The GOP would need to pick up six seats in 2014.

There are plenty of open seats and vulnerable Democrats up for re-election, but Republicans are debating the best way to win.

Last year's Senate results were disappointing for the GOP: The party ended up losing a number of seats it thought were winnable — and now it's trying to figure out what to do differently next year.

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Sweetness And Light
10:53 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

School Bands Should Not Be Entertainment Adjunct For Sports

A marching band performs at halftime on the field during a high school football game.
Jani Bryson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Several years ago I gave a speech in which I mentioned that athletes tended to be the only college students who were awarded scholarships for what is an extracurricular activity.

Afterward, Myles Brand, the late president of the NCAA, told me I was wrong, that many music extracurricular scholarships were awarded at colleges.

Brand and I seldom agreed on much of anything, but I've always found him to be a gentleman. So, I expressed surprise at this claim.

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Around the Nation
3:30 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Arizona State's Mascot Gets A Makeover, And Backlash

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Arizona State never had much luck with sports mascots. When it was a normal, or a teacher's school, they were the Normals. Later they became the Arizona State Sun Devils. This mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil in a red costume with horns and a pitchfork. Now Disney has helped update Sparky, but some students find his big eyes and bulging muscles creepy. Students may vote on Sparky's future after the campus paper warned he'll scare kids. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Strange News
3:29 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Arizona Gator Gets $6,000 Prosthetic Tail

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

There's "The Six Million Dollar Man" and now there is the $6,000 alligator. He's called Mr. Stubbs because his tail was bitten off years ago. Mr. Stubbs was taken in by the Phoenix Herpetological Society, where, The Arizona Republic reports, an orthopedic care specialist realized a silicone tail could be designed for him. Mr. Stubbs now sports a $6,000 prosthetic, making him half gator, half rubber.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Latin America
2:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Mexican President Shifts Focus From Drugs To Progress

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:48 am

Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has been in office for three months, and despite his claims that he's fighting drug violence with a new strategy, there are no signs the situation is any better. The president prefers to focus on Mexico's economic potential and has been touring the country, giving pep talks wherever he goes.

Religion
2:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

What American Catholics Want From The Next Pontiff

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Awaiting the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel are many of the 75 million Catholics in the U.S., and the question comes up, what do American Catholics want to see in the next pope? The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life explored that question in recent surveys. Here with the findings is Pew senior researcher Greg Smith. Good morning.

GREG SMITH: Good morning.

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All Tech Considered
1:29 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself

Noah Zandan shows off his Zeo sleep-tracking headband. His other self-tracking devices are on his wrists. Noah and his father, Peter, are both part of the growing "Quantified Self" movement.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 8:11 am

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

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The Salt
12:58 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Mississippi Passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' Bill

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:11 pm

Mayor Mike and his public health edicts are having a rough ride.

On Monday, a state judge in Manhattan struck down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's rule capping soda sizes. And lawmakers in Mississippi are taking the backlash against government regulation on food marketing one step further.

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Latin America
12:58 am
Tue March 12, 2013

In Upcoming Venezuelan Vote, Hugo Chavez Looms Large

An image of late President Hugo Chavez hangs behind acting President Nicolas Maduro, as he speaks to supporters after registering his candidacy outside the national electoral council in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:17 am

The tall and imposing Nicolas Maduro stepped forward last week to be sworn in as Venezuela's interim leader following the death of President Hugo Chavez.

Before the country's packed congressional hall, he swore to complete Chavez's dream to transform the OPEC power into a socialist state, allied with Cuba and decidedly opposed to capitalism and U.S. interests in Latin America.

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Arts & Life
12:51 am
Tue March 12, 2013

'Bowery Boys' Are Amateur But Beloved New York Historians

Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:12 pm

In the 19th century, the Bowery Boys were a street gang that ruled that small section of Manhattan. In the 21st century, the Bowery Boys are two best friends — Tom Meyers and Greg Young — who record a do-it-yourself podcast with the same name.

Meyers and Young love to perform almost as much as they love New York City, and their show traces the unofficial history of the place. They record a few blocks from — you guessed it — the Bowery district.

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Strange News
3:09 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Widow Sues Church Over Sports-Themed Headstone

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 4:23 am

An Indiana woman wanted to honor her late husband with a headstone shaped like a couch, and featuring Indianapolis Colts and NASCAR logos. St. Joseph's Catholic Church said the headstone is completely inappropriate — so the widow sued.

Strange News
3:08 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Tattoo Gets Man Free Netflix For A Year

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 4:23 am

Myron Robinson managed to score a year of free Netflix videos and online streaming by tweeting a photo of his new Netflix tattoo. The company tweeted back, "No way! Free year for you!"

Shots - Health News
1:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade

Samantha Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, and has never been able to speak.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 10:23 am

Ever since she was a small child, Samantha Grimaldo has had to carry her voice with her.

Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, which means that though she's physically capable in many ways, she's never been able to speak. Instead, she's used a device to speak. She types in what she wants to say, and the device says those words out loud. Her mother, Ruane Grimaldo, says that when Samantha was very young, the voice she used came in a heavy gray box.

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All Tech Considered
1:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Controlling Your Computer With A Wave Of Your Hand

Festival attendees experiment with Leap Motion technology.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:48 am

If you've had wrist and shoulder pain from clicking a mouse, relief may be in sight. This spring, a new motion sensing device will go on sale that will make it possible for the average computer user to browse the Web and open documents with a wave of a finger.

The Leap Motion Controller is on display at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, for the first time. It's one of the most talked about startups at the conference, where some 26,000 people have gathered to see emerging tech companies.

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Art & Design
1:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

For John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Means Serious Mischief

Courtesy the artist/John Baldessari Studio

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 11:14 am

There are certain creations that have defined beauty for generations: Renoir's pudgy, pink nude; Rothko's brilliant blocks of color that seem to vibrate; Michelangelo's naked young man in marble, with a slingshot on his shoulder.

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It's All Politics
6:51 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

For Some Conservatives, It's Homecoming Week

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., last year.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 4:23 am

The American conservative movement has its homecoming this week: the Conservative Political Action Conference, where everyone from politicians to peddlers is out to inspire the faithful.

Last year, one of the headline speakers was former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who harked back to the second-ever CPAC in 1975, when Ronald Reagan laid out a vision for a conservative Republican Party.

She invoked his image of a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels.

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