NPR News

The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

READ: Commutation Letter President Obama Sent To Inmate

President Obama's letter to Terry Andre Barnes of East Moline, Il.
White House

President Obama commuted the sentence of 22 federal prisoners who were serving time for drug-related crimes.

Obama has done this in the past, saying that under current laws those inmates would have already been released.

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Oversight Committee Issues Subpoena To Two Secret Service Agents

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has issued subpoenas to two Secret Service agents, setting up a confrontation with the embattled agency.

The subpoenas are linked to an investigation into an incident in March, when two potentially drunk Secret Service agents appeared to bobble the investigation into a potential bomb near the White House.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Federal Judge Says South Dakota Officials Violated Native American Families' Rights

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 6:59 pm

Two of South Dakota's largest tribes won a sweeping victory in federal court that could reverberate for tribes across the country.

A federal judge has ruled that the state Department of Social Services, prosecutors and judges "failed to protect Indian parents' fundamental rights" when they removed their children after short hearings and placed them largely in white foster care.

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Politics
4:19 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Obama's Diplomatic Gamble On Iran Adding Instability In Middle East

"We must try as best we can to balance isolation and engagement, pressure and incentives, so that human rights and dignity are advanced over time," Obama said five years ago, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

Even before he became president, Barack Obama was imagining the possibilities of a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran. His willingness to reverse decades of official U.S. hostility was one of the things that set Obama apart on the campaign trail.

"We have to have a clear break with the Bush-Cheney style of diplomacy that has caused so many problems," Obama told NBC's Meet the Press in November 2007.

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Remembrances
4:19 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Remembering Pop Singer Selena, 'The Queen of Tejano'

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

She was and is still the queen of Tejano.

(SOUNDBITE OF SELENA SONG)

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Supreme Court Deals Medicaid Blow To Doctors And Health Companies

The 5-to-4 vote crossed the court's usual ideological lines.
Molly Riley AP

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that private Medicaid providers cannot sue to force states to raise reimbursement rates in the face of rising medical costs. The 5-to-4 decision is a blow to many doctors and health care companies and their complaint that state Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that health care providers often lose money on Medicaid patients.

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The Record
3:46 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Jay Z's Music Service, Tidal, Arrives With A Splash, And Questions Follow

Madonna, Deadmau5, Kanye West and Jay Z onstage at the Tidal launch event.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

Jay Z doesn't do anything small. His album drops feature entire new apps. His tours (with his wife, Beyonce, or collaborator Kanye West) gross hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. So of course the launch of his recently acquired streaming music service, Tidal, would have to be just as big.

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NPR Ed
3:38 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Activists Stop Paying Their Student Loans

Makenzie Vasquez (from left), Pamala Hunt, Latonya Suggs, Ann Bowers, Nathan Hornes, Ashlee Schmidt, Natasha Hornes, Tasha Courtright, Michael Adorno and Sarah Dieffenbacher are refusing to pay back loans they took out to attend Corinthian Colleges.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 6:28 pm

Latonya Suggs says she borrowed thousands of dollars in student loans to attend the for-profit Corinthian Colleges but has nothing to show for it. Most employers don't recognize her criminal justice degree.

"I am completely lost and in debt," Suggs says. And now she's doing something about it: She's refusing to pay back those loans.

Suggs and 106 other borrowers now saddled with Corinthian loan debt say their refusal to repay the loans is a form of political protest. And Tuesday, the U.S. government gave them an audience.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Lufthansa Says It Knew Of Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz's Depression

Andreas Lubitz competes in the Airportrun in Hamburg, Germany, on Sept. 13, 2009. Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot, is believed to have deliberately crashed his plane carrying 149 others into the French Alps last week.
Michael Mueller AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 6:09 pm

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who appears to have deliberately crashed his aircraft into the French Alps last week, had informed Lufthansa in 2009 of a "serious depressive episode," the German airline said in a statement.

Lufthansa says a note about a "previous depressive episode" was found in email Lubitz apparently sent to the Lufthansa flight school when he resumed his training after a months-long interruption.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Despite Criticism, Arkansas Passes Religious Freedom Bill

Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock (center), leads protesters outside the House chamber at the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock on Monday.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:14 pm

Despite criticism and protests, Arkansas legislators passed a religious freedom bill on Tuesday that is similar to the one passed by Indiana.

NBC News reports:

"Protesters gathered outside the governor's mansion in Little Rock on Tuesday morning. A final vote in the state House could come later in the day.

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U.S.
3:23 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Supporters Work To Reclaim Legacy Of Penn State Coach Joe Paterno

Supporters of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno have launched a campaign to reclaim his legacy, including an initiative to have his statute returned to the university grounds.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

The Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal rocked Penn State University in 2011, and the fallout from the case continues today. A series of lawsuits are ongoing and, now, a campaign is underway to restore the legacy of the university's former head football coach Joe Paterno.

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Europe
3:23 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Greece Cracks Down On Longtime Tax Evasion Problem

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

Greeks don't trust their own state to give them good services, so for decades they have evaded taxes. Now the new leftist government says it will crack down on rich tax evaders to bring in revenue to pay back state debts.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Middle East
3:23 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Saudi Arabian Airstrikes Create Dangerous Situation In Yemen

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Farea Al-Muslimi, who is reporting for NPR in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa and is also a visiting scholar with the Carnegie Foundation. He describes how the fighting in Yemen has created a humanitarian crisis inside the country.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Law
3:23 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Defense Rests Case In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The defense rested its case today for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after just a few hours of testimony. NPR's Tovia Smith was in court, and she joins us now. And Tovia, to begin, we're talking five hours over two days. Why so short?

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Goats and Soda
3:13 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Advice For Trevor Noah From The 'Jon Stewart Of South Africa'

South African comedian Loyiso Gola performed at The Orbit, a club in Johannesburg, in February.
Joao Silva/The New York Times

This week, Comedy Central announced that Jon Stewart's replacement on The Daily Show will be a South African comedian, Trevor Noah. To get some perspective on this surprise decision, we contacted Noah's colleague and friend Loyiso Gola, a comedian who hosts Late Nite News, his own satirical news program on South African television. Gola spoke to us by telephone as he rushed to the Johannesburg airport — running late — to catch a flight to New York, where he is performing this weekend.

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It's All Politics
3:07 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Watchdog Groups File Complaints Against Likely Candidates

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is one of four "un-candidates" being targeted by liberal groups Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21. They say the politicians have crossed the line into candidacy based on their activities in recent months.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:42 pm

Updated at 5:40 p.m. E.T.

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Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Tweeners Trust Peers More Than Adults When Judging Risks

Jump off a roof? Ride a bike while texting? Well, what do you think?
iStockphoto

If you are the parent of a preteen, you are all too aware that they suddenly seem to value the opinions of their peers far more than yours.

The good news, if there is any, is that you're not alone. Young teenagers ages 12 to 14 are more influenced by their peers' opinions than they are by adults', a study finds. That's true only for that age group, not for older teens, children or adults.

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NPR History Dept.
2:15 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Media Mischief On April Fools' Day

Mickey Mantle was the subject of a newspaper hoax in 1961. Here he is that year taking practice swings at Yankee Stadium.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

In the annals of journalism, there is a long tradition of newsfolks — reporters, writers, broadcasters — pulling April Fools' Day tricks on readers and listeners. Sometimes the prank prevails; sometimes it fails.

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

IBM Bets $3 Billion On 'Internet Of Things'

Manju Malkani, IBM analytics consultant, left, and Paul Walsh, Vice President of Weather Analytics at The Weather Company, access real-time weather data through IBM Watson Analytics, in NYC on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. (Jon Simon/IBM)

IBM announced Tuesday that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years in a new “Internet of Things” division that will be charged with finding ways to use its data in the growing market of Internet-connected devices.

The announcement comes the same day IBM also revealed a new partnership with The Weather Company, known for its media properties like the Weather Channel and weather.com.

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Buhari's Campaign: Nigeria's President Concedes Defeat

Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign says President Goodluck Jonathan called to concede defeat, paving the way for a peaceful transfer of power in Africa’s richest and most populous nation.

An aide in Jonathan’s offices says the president is preparing to make a speech.

Buhari’s campaign office sent text messages to journalists saying Jonathan had called Buhari to say he will concede.

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

15 Years Later, Putin Is Still In Power And Popular At Home

This week marked 15 years since Vladimir Putin first came to power. He won over 50 percent of the vote and took the reins from Russia’s first President, Boris Yeltsin.

Today, Russia’s main polling agency recently recorded his support at around 85 percent. That popularity at home is a far cry from the image of Mr. Putin in the West, where he’s seen as a power-hungry leader and a threat to European security.

The BBC’s Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford explores what makes Putin so appealing to Russian voters.

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It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

What The 2016 Hopefuls Are Saying About Indiana's 'Religious Freedom' Law

Opponents of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act gathered in front of the Indiana State House Saturday.
Doug McSchooler AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 2:00 pm

A controversial law in Indiana has made its way into the 2016 presidential race. Supporters praise the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's for protecting religious convictions, but the law has drawn wide criticism from those who say it allows businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian patrons.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Dozens Of Countries Join China-Backed Bank Opposed By Washington

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (left) speaks during the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank last year in Beijing.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:24 pm

Dozens of countries have slid under Tuesday's deadline to join a China-backed infrastructure development bank that is opposed by Washington.

U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia were among the more than 40 nations that signed up at the last moment as founding members of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Obama Releases Frozen Military Aid To Egypt

The White House says the U.S. is supplying Egypt with 12 F-16s, 20 Harpoon missiles and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits – delivery of which was suspended in 2013 after a military-backed coup ousted President Mohammed Morsi and cracked down on his supporters.

A White House statement also said President Obama directed the continued request of an annual $1.3 billion in military assistance, in the form of foreign military financing.

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Shots - Health News
1:11 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Hackers Teach Computers To Tell Healthy And Sick Brain Cells Apart

The Allen Institute for Brain Science hosted its first BigNeuron Hackathon in Beijing earlier this month. Similar events are planned for the U.S. and U.K.
Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:00 pm

Brain researchers are joining forces with computer hackers to tackle a big challenge in neuroscience: teaching computers how to tell a healthy neuron from a sick one.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Nigerian President Said To Concede Election To Opposition Candidate

Supporters of opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari's All Progressives Congress party celebrate in Kano, northern Nigeria, on Monday.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:51 pm

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly called his rival to congratulate him on his victory.

The AP reports that opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari's campaign said Jonathan made the call on Tuesday, after partial election results showed Buhari leading by close to 3 million votes.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart's Replacement, Goes From Hero To Villain In 24 Hours

Trevor Noah, 31, will become the new host of The Daily Show later this year.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:50 pm

This post was last updated at 5:47 p.m.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Staff At Britain's Windsor Castle May Strike Over Low Wages

Windsor Castle, home to the British monarchy for hundreds of years, was built by William the Conqueror in the 1070s, according to the monarchy's official website.
W. Buss De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:36 pm

Staff at Windsor Castle, one of Britain's most popular tourists sites, begin voting Tuesday on whether to go on strike over low wages. It is the first time Queen Elizabeth is facing such an action by members of the royal household.

The union representing 120 employees at Windsor Castle — everything from wardens to ticket office personnel — will ask members to decide whether to take action.

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Politics
11:15 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Alabama Judge Says Raising Money To Be Elected Is 'Tawdry'

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. We're used to lots of political ads on TV in election season, but more and more these days, we're also seeing ads for judicial candidates.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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Music
11:15 am
Tue March 31, 2015

No Hits, No Problem: Captain Beefheart's Major Label Run

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:27 pm

In 1970, Warner Bros. Records had an unusual philosophy: they'd sign artists and, instead of wanting a hit single immediately, they'd develop them over several albums. This way, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Little Feat, and Randy Newman got big career boosts. They also took a chance on Captain Beefheart, and although neither a hit single nor a hit album resulted, some very interesting music did. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story.

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