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U.S.
2:24 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

U.S. Watches Closely As Oil Drilling Begins Off Cuba

Fishermen work near the Scarabeo-9 oil rig off the coast of Cuba. U.S. officials are concerned about the potential impact in the case of a spill.
Javier Galeano AP

There are big plans for oil exploration in the Caribbean, not far off the coast of Florida. A Spanish company recently began drilling in Cuban waters — just 55 miles from Key West.

The well is the first of several exploratory wells planned in Cuba and the Bahamas. The drilling has officials and researchers in Florida scrambling to make plans for how they'll respond in case of a spill.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Robbed By Man Armed With Machete

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 5:14 pm

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has been the victim of an armed robbery, but is unharmed.

Breyer, his wife, Joanna, and a friend were at the Breyer vacation home on the Caribbean island of Nevis when a man broke in with a machete and confronted them. The intruder fled with about $1,000 in cash. A Supreme Court spokeswoman said no one was hurt, and that the robbery was reported to local authorities. The FBI is said to be aiding in the investigation.

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Energy
2:03 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Natural Gas Boom Energizing The Chemical Industry

A Shell-owned ethylene cracker plant on Pulau Bukom, Singapore. Several U.S. states are competing for a similar plant the company plans to build in northern Appalachia.
Courtesy of Shell Chemicals

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 6:19 pm

Just outside of West Virginia's capital city, Charleston, on the banks of the Kanawha River, sits the Institute Industrial Park. Chemical plants have operated here continuously since World War II, when the local factories cranked out synthetic rubber. Today there are industrial pipes, tanks and buildings stretching in just about every direction.

Soon, there could be more.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Judge Rules Jerry Sandusky Can Receive Visits From Most Grandchildren

Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach charged with sexually abusing boys, pauses while speaking to the media at the Centre County Courthouse.
Alex Brandon AP

A Pennsylvania judge eased some restrictions on Jerry Sandusky's house arrest today. Judge John Cleland said today that Sandusky will be allowed visits by most of his 11 grandchildren, as well as be allowed to walk out onto his porch and in some cases leave his house to assist in his defense.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:36 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

How Much Should Kids Sleep? Nobody Knows For Sure

However much he's sleeping, it's not enough. Right?
iStockphoto.com

Like most parents, I worry that my child isn't getting enough sleep.

Now it turns out doctors have been warning that kids don't get enough sleep for over a century — long before iPads, texting, and YouTube robbed children of peaceful slumber.

What's more, there's no solid scientific basis for pediatricians' recommendations on the amount of time children need to sleep. That's the word from researchers in Australia, who combed the literature to find out how children's sleep time — and doctors' sleep recommendations — have changed over decades.

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It's All Politics
1:17 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Pew Poll: Good News For Santorum, Better News For Obama

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:36 am

A new Pew Research Center poll reinforces the frustrating political reality for Mitt Romney that he's unable to convince some key conservative constituencies within the Republican Party that he's one of them.

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World Cafe
1:04 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Bright Moments On 'World Cafe: Next'

Bright Moments' debut album, Natives, comes out Feb. 21.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 9:36 pm

With its fresh, upbeat sound, Bright Moments' debut album Natives will likely sound familiar when it's released later this month.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

U.N. Human Rights Chief Says She's 'Appalled' At Violence In Syria

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay delivers remarks during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the human rights situation in Syria on Monday.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 1:08 pm

Navi Pillay, the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, stopped just short of saying that crimes against humanity had been committed by the government of Bashar Assad in Syria.

In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Pillay laid out her case for why she thinks the Security Council should refer Syria to the International Criminal Court.

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The Salt
1:01 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Why You Should Raise Urban Chickens At Your Own Risk

One of the few baby Cochin chicks that survived the trip to Sara Sarasohn's home in Berkeley, Calif. last week.
Sara Sarasohn/NPR

At my grocery store in Berkeley, Calif., an organic head of lettuce is less than $2. An organic chicken costs as much as $17.

But believe me: That chicken is worth every penny.

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It's All Politics
12:43 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

We Read The 2013 Budget So You Don't Have To

A congressional staffer collects copies of the president's 2013 budget request from the Senate Budget Committee on Monday in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

NPR reporters are analyzing the president's 2013 budget proposal. We'll be adding to this post as we get additional budget breakdowns. Check back for updates.

Overview

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Shots - Health Blog
12:38 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Cosmetic Surgery Rebounds, A Little, After Dip

Plastic surgeons say they're getting busier lately.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 12:45 pm

If you're looking for signs that the U.S. economy might be getting a little better, check out the latest stats on cosmetic plastic surgery.

The number of surgical procedures rose 2 percent to 1.58 million in 2011, according to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It's the second year in a row that cosmetic operations increased by 2 percent.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

China Confiscates iPads Over Trademark Argument

Chinese authorities are pulling iPads from store shelves after a Chinese company complained that it owns the name "iPad." According to The Wall Street Journal, the action comes after Proview (Shenzhen), a Chinese affiliate of Hong Kong manufacturer Proview International Holdings Ltd., filed for an injunction against Apple.

The Journal adds that Proview (Shenzhen) registered the name "iPad" in 2001. The paper adds:

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Mon February 13, 2012

'Crisis Management' After More Arrests At British Tabloid

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 12:19 pm

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. media empire appears to be under siege.

Five more journalists at The Sun were arrested over the weekend as part of a U.K. investigation into alleged bribery of police officials and others by the British tabloid. Four current and former Sun journalists were arrested last month.

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Three Books...
11:32 am
Mon February 13, 2012

3 Biting Books For Those Bitter On Valentine's Day

Nate iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:54 am

For those who find themselves alone this Valentine's Day, or who reject the holiday altogether, you might not want to read about star-crossed lovers pining for each other and — even worse — winding up together in the end. So here are three alternatives to comfort you this Feb 14. Each novel is just the right length to read in a single night with a box of drugstore-bought chocolates. And although these tales are indeed reflections on love, the characters they follow are skeptics.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Mine Disaster Investigators To Visit White House, But Not Obama

Super Bowl and World Series champions do it. Olympic athletes do it. War heroes do it. They all get to visit the White House and meet with an admiring President of the United States.

This Wednesday, the federal mine safety regulators who investigated the deadly 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia will travel to the White House and Capitol Hill. An email to the group lists morning tours of the White House and the Capitol and a "special White House event" at 2 p.m.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Venezuela's Chávez Gets Rival In Presidential Race

Henrique Capriles gestures after wining the opposition presidential primary in Caracas, Venezuela on Sunday.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will face a young state governor in the October presidential election. Henrique Capriles, 39, emerged victorious this weekend after the opposition held its primary elections.

The Guardian reports that Capriles won in a landslide. The paper adds:

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All Tech Considered
10:47 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Braille Under Siege As Blind Turn To Smartphones

The National Federation of the Blind estimates that today only one in 10 blind people can read Braille. That's down dramatically from the 1900s.
Steve Mitchell AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 11:15 am

Like a lot of smartphone users, Rolando Terrazas, 19, uses his iPhone for email, text messages and finding a decent coffee shop. But Terrazas' phone also sometimes serves as his eyes: When he waves a bill under its camera, for instance, the phone tells him how much it's worth.

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Politics
10:21 am
Mon February 13, 2012

America Is Angry, Very Angry. Why That's Not All Bad

For so many reasons, Americans are seething. Here, a protestor shouts as he holds an American flag after storming the Wisconsin State Capitol on in Madison, Wis., March 9, 2011 after Republicans in the state Senate voted to curb collective bargaining rights for public union workers.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Through the smog and the smeariness of the seemingly ceaseless process of selecting a president, one thing is clear: Americans are seething.

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Movie Interviews
10:09 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Viola Davis: The Fresh Air Interview

Minny (Octavia Spencer) and Aibileen (Davis) are two domestics who team up with a writer to break the code of silence about the conditions they work under in 1960s Mississippi.
Dale Robinette Dreamworks Pictures

Actress Viola Davis has been nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of the maid Aibileen in the film The Help, set in 1960s Mississippi. But not everyone has applauded the film, which has been criticized for its portrayal of black domestic servants in the civil rights era.

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Politics
10:00 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Election Year Budget Stirs Controversy

Even for most avid political junkies, budgets can be as inspiring as watching paint dry. But in an election year, they can be used as a rallying point for both parties. Host Michel Martin discusses President Obama's new budget, and other political news with two of Tell Me More's top politicos.

The Two-Way
9:58 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Pakistani Prime Minister Formally Charged With Contempt Of Court

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is surrounded by security personnel as he arrives at Supreme Court for a hearing in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday.
Anjum Naveed AP

In a landmark ruling, Pakistan's Supreme Court said the country's prime minister will stand trial on charges of contempt of court.

As NPR's Julie McCarthy reported for us last month, the charges against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani stem from his refusal to re-open a graft case against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari.

Gilani entered a not guilty plea.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Obama Unveils New Budget, As Republicans Gird For Battle

President Obama unveiled a spending plan aimed at trimming $4 trillion from the deficit over the next decade, while boosting spending to programs to stimulate the still-ailing U.S. economy.

"At a time when our economy is growing and creating jobs at a faster pace, our job is to keep things on track," Obama told an audience at a Northern Virginia community college.

"I am proposing some difficult cuts that frankly, I wouldn't be proposing if I didn't have to," he said.

But he said, the nation could not simply cut its way to growth.

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Music Interviews
9:34 am
Mon February 13, 2012

'Conchords': Musical Comedy from Clueless Kiwis

Jemaine Clement (left) and Bret McKenzie: Witty musical parodists play witless musicians in Flight of the Conchords.
HBO

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 9:29 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on June 14, 2007. You can listen to the complete interview with Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie here.

Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, aka the folk-parody band Flight of the Conchords, hail from New Zealand. They were named best alternative-comedy act at the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

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Music Interviews
8:57 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Bret McKenzie: A Manly Muppet And A Muppet Of A Man

Bret McKenzie (left) wrote five of the songs in The Muppets, including the Oscar-nominated "Man or Muppet" and the opening number, "Life's a Happy Song."
Andrew Macpherson Disney

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 9:06 am

Songwriter Bret McKenzie makes up one half of the New Zealand comedy rock duo Flight of the Conchords. He also wrote five of the songs in the new Muppet movie, including "Man or Muppet," one of two songs nominated for Best Original Song at this year's Academy Awards.

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Around the Nation
8:55 am
Mon February 13, 2012

From MIT To A Bakery: The Story Of The Sweet Lobby

Timothy Ambrose and his sister Winnette McIntosh Ambrose both graduated from MIT with degrees in chemical engineering.They now own and operate The Sweet Lobby, a boutique bakery in Washington, DC.
Carla Sims Courtesy of The Sweet Lobby

Valentine's Day is a time for tasty treats, and one Washington, D.C.-based boutique bakery bills itself as the "ultimate advocate for your sweet tooth."

The Sweet Lobby is based in Washington, D.C., but it didn't get its name from the interest groups that try to work their magic on politicians around the nation's capital.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Israeli Blames Iran For Twin Attacks On Diplomats

Originally published on Sun February 19, 2012 6:44 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasted no time in pointing the finger at Iran for the explosion of a diplomat's vehicle in India and an alleged attempted car bombing in Georgia.

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It's All Politics
8:33 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Romney's Small, Weekend Morale Boosts Don't End His Santorum Troubles

Mitt Romney, the choice of many in his party who see him as their party's most electable White House possibility, may have scored some small morale-boosting victories by winning the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll and the Maine caucuses over the weekend.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Officials Say Houston's Cause Of Death Will Take Time

It could be weeks before anyone knows exactly how singer Whitney Houston died, but that didn't stop fellow superstars at last night's Grammys from remembering her life and accomplishments.

LL Cool J, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder were among the performers who honored Houston, 48, whose body was found Saturday in a bathtub in her Beverly Hills hotel room.

Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to Houston with the late singer's signature "I Will Always Love You".

Spin Magazine wrote:

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World Cafe
7:00 am
Mon February 13, 2012

World Cafe Looks Back: Country And Bluegrass

Charlie Louvin (right) and his brother Ira, a.k.a. The Louvin Brothers.

Courtesy of the artist's estate

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe by revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

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