NPR News

The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Watchdog Says Treasury OK'd Excessive Executive Pay At Bailed-Out Firms

A man walks by an American International Group (AIG) building in 2009.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The special watchdog overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the United States Treasury failed to rein in executive pay at companies that received a government bailout.

The AP reports, for example, that the Treasury approved all 18 requests for raises it received from executives at AIG, General Motors and Ally Financial.

The AP adds:

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Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Unbridled Kentuckians Decide It's Time For A Kick-Ass New Slogan

Whit Hiler (left) and Griffin VanMeter are spearheading the campaign to change Kentucky's slogan from Unbridled Spirit to Kentucky Kicks Ass.
KentuckyForKentucky

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

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Environment
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

The Silver Lining In Drought: 5 Upsides To Rain-Free Weather

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Drought is mostly seen as a bad thing — and for good reason. It dries up crops, destroys landscaping and stops ships from moving. But even the lack of rain clouds has a bright side.

Good For Grapes

Last summer it seemed like all Midwestern farmers were upset over the lack of rain. But not all of them were; those growing grapes were embracing the drought.

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Gold Rush Has Little Luster For Some In The Golden State

Miner Steve Ator cleans a drill bit inside the Lincoln Project Mine, in Sutter Creek, Calif.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Gold mines are reopening in California, some dating all the way back to the Gold Rush. Soaring gold prices are drawing mining companies back into the Sierra Nevada foothills. But some communities fear the effect on local environments.

Dan Boitano, a fifth-generation miner, has been working as a tour guide in the Golden State's historic gold country. His family has been around since the Gold Rush.

Up until a few years ago, he was still guiding tours for visitors.

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It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Group Kick-Starts Immigration Battle

Five of the eight senators who proposed a bipartisan plan for an immigration overhaul attend a Capitol Hill news conference Monday. From left are John McCain of Arizona, Chuck Schumer of New York, Marco Rubio of Florida, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:41 pm

A bipartisan Senate plan unveiled Monday to overhaul the U.S. immigration system frames a pitched debate expected in Congress around the areas of border enforcement, a path to citizenship for those already in the country and the future flow of new arrivals.

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World Cafe
2:26 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Next: Hey Marseilles

Hey Marseilles.
Martin Watson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:33 am

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles integrates symphonic cello, drumbourine, accordion and viola into a standard lineup of guitar, bass and drums for a warm, distinctive sound.

Nick Ward and Matt Bishop formed Hey Marseilles while students at the University of Washington, and independently released their first album, To Travels & Trunks, at the end of 2008. The band has since given the album a nationwide reissue and performed at festivals like SXSW and Bumbershoot.

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Shots - Health News
2:13 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Hanging A Price Tag On Radiology Tests Didn't Change Doctors' Habits

Doctors' use of CT head scans for hospitalized patients didn't change when the prices were revealed at the time an order was being made.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:15 pm

If doctors would just pay attention to how much things cost, they might be more careful when ordering tests for patients, right?

Well, that's the theory behind some research and projects to cut wasteful health spending. But a study at Johns Hopkins Hospital found that changing doctors' behavior may be not be as easy as simply making them aware of prices.

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Afghanistan
2:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Women In Combat: What Do Troops In Afghanistan Think?

U.S. troops in Afghanistan appear to have mixed feelings about the decision lifting the ban on women in combat positions. Some women already operate in combat zones. Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley is shown here with her Marine Corps team in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:17 pm

The new U.S. military policy on women serving in combat roles was crafted in Washington, but it will play out in places like Afghanistan.

And sitting outside at the military base at the Kabul airport, male and female troops offered their thoughts on what the new policy might mean.

"I wasn't completely surprised with it. It's not anything we haven't discussed before," said Capt. Monica Paden, a military intelligence officer from San Diego. "We have been slowly being integrated into combat arms and into units in support roles."

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The Salt
1:35 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Reuben Egg Roll

In their natural habitat
NPR

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:52 pm

The Reuben has long suffered from two problems. Firstly, it often lacks the structural integrity to hold together as a sandwich. The second problem is that I am not constantly surrounded by a dozen of them.

The Reuben Egg Roll from Hackney's in Chicago solves the first problem, at least, stuffing corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese in a crispy egg roll shell, Thousand Island on the side.

Ian: I feel like you meet this food, and you're like, "Wait, your name is Reuben?"

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Boy Scouts Considering Lifting Ban On Gay Scouts, Leaders

In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony.
Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:35 pm

The Boy Scouts of America are considering lifting a national ban on gay scouts and leaders, the organizations spokesman announced.

USA Today reports:

"If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting at their scheduled meeting next week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts' decade's old national policy banning homosexuals.

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The Salt
11:55 am
Mon January 28, 2013

How Mountain Grass Makes The Cheese Stand Alone

Cows graze in front of the Rosengarten mountain massif in northern Italy. Pasture grazing is practiced throughout the Alps.
Matthias Schrader Associated Press

Herding cattle up the side of a mountain might seem like a lot of extra work, but for thousands of years, people have hauled their cows into the Alps to graze during the summer months. Why? It's all about great-tasting cheese.

In places like Italy, some traditional cheeses, like bra d'alpeggio or Formai de Mut dell'Alta Valle Brembana, can only be made with milk from mountainside-munching cows.

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Author Interviews
11:54 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Anything That Moves': Civilians And The Vietnam War

Visitors take in a re-created scene at the massacre museum at Vietnam's My Lai village. Researcher Nick Turse says atrocities of all kinds were more common in the Vietnam War than most Americans believe.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:06 pm

On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.

The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Queen Beatrix, Of The Netherlands, Abdicates In Favor Of Son

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands inspects the honor guard with Singapore President Tony Tan at the Istana in January.
Chris McGrath Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:34 pm

Beginning April 30, the Netherlands will have a king.

Queen Beatrix announced in a nationally televised address today that after more than 30 years on the throne, she will abdicate in favor of Prince Willem-Alexander.

The BBC reports:

"Queen Beatrix is the sixth monarch from the House of Orange-Nassau, which has ruled the Netherlands since the early 19th Century.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Feeling All Cooped Up In The Syrian Capital

Many Syrians in the capital Damascus are feeling cooped up by the ongoing war. Here, a woman and her child who fled the fighting in their home area take refuge at a school in Damascus last September.
Muzaffar Salman AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 11:43 am

The author, a Syrian citizen, is not being identified due to safety concerns.

Rami is buff and athletic. For the past few years, he has supported himself and his wife working as a full-time personal trainer in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Now, he complains that his daily routine has been reduced to spending hours at home watching television.

"I end up watching the sultan's harem with my in-laws," he said, referring to a popular Turkish soap opera set in Ottoman times and dubbed into Arabic. "It's driving me crazy."

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Iceland Wins Big Case Over Failed Bank

A file picture shows a woman entering a branch of Iceland's second largest bank, Landsbanki (Landsbankinn) on October 8, 2008 in Rejkjavik.
Olivier Morin AFP/Getty Images

Iceland was handed a huge win today by the court of the European Free Trade Association.

The court said that Iceland did not break the law when it decided not to cover the losses of foreigners who had deposited money in Landsbanki, the Icelandic bank that failed in 2008.

The AP explains:

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

VIDEO: Look Out! Car Suddenly Emerges From Foam On Highway

On Australia's "sunshine coast" over the weekend, storms whipped up sea foam. It was so thick it covered this car. Thankfully, as it emerged the people who had been watching were able to get out of the way.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:46 am

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Shots - Health News
10:34 am
Mon January 28, 2013

What's Wrong With Calling Obesity A Medical Problem?

Fat, fit or both?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 9:26 am

Americans have gotten heavier since 1980 — this we know.

And most doctors would say that the extra weight has made us more prone to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension and even cancer.

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National Security
10:11 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Rep. Duckworth: About Time For Women In Combat

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up in the program we will have the first of a series of conversations we're having this week about how young people are using social media. We're calling the series Social Me and that will be later in the program.

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Africa
10:11 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Zimbabwe Activists Won't Back Down To Mugabe

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we keep hearing about the trouble kids can get into and cause with their online identities, but new research suggests that there are some advantages, too, and we will talk about that in our new miniseries, Social Me, and we'll start that series in just a few minutes.

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Remembrances
9:37 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Remembering Journalist Stanley Karnow

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:22 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and historian Stanley Karnow, whose best-selling book "Vietnam: A History," was the basis of an acclaimed public television documentary series, died Sunday at the age of 87. His work as a foreign correspondent was centered in southeast Asia, where he spent more than three decades, starting in 1959 when he began his reporting from Vietnam.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Iran Claims 'Major Achievement;' Says Monkey Was Sent Into Space

An image from Iran's state-controlled Press TV showing the monkey that was reportedly sent into space today strapped into its seat.
Press TV

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Mon January 28, 2013

In Egypt: Protests Continue, Opposition Balks At Talks With Morsi

Mourners shouted during a funeral procession today in Port Said, Egypt, for some of those killed during Saturday's protests.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:15 am

A fifth day of "widening unrest," as The New York Times puts it, is underway in Egypt.

Clashes continue, Merrit Kennedy reports from Cairo for the NPR Newscast, even though President Mohammed Morsi has declared a 30-day state of emergency and night curfews in three provinces.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Brazilian Nightclub Disaster: Toxic Smoke, Barriers Blamed For Horrible Toll

Mourners at the coffin of one victim of the fire at the Kiss nightclub in southern Brazil.
Marcelo Sayao EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:59 am

Survivors and authorities are telling harrowing tales of what it was like early Sunday inside the Kiss nightclub in the southern Brazilian city of Santa Maria, where more than 230 people died as a fire swept through the building.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Mon January 28, 2013

French And Malian Forces Take Airport In Timbuktu; Islamists Burn Library

A French soldier in central Mali on Sunday.
Nic Bothma EPA /LANDOV

While French and Malian forces have taken control of Timbuktu's airport in what NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports may be a turning point in their fight against Islamist extremists, there's also word that before the Islamists fled the ancient city they set fire to a library that holds "thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts."

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Around the Nation
5:50 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Happy National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Corporate Naming Rights For Buildings Proposed

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a chance to get your name in stone. A lawmaker in Washington State proposed a way to make extra money: sell corporate naming rights to public buildings. It already happens with sports venues: the Mariners play at Safeco Field. Now, if this plan were to become law, kids could attend Nintendo Elementary School. Or they could drink from the Budweiser Water Tower. People in trouble with the law would of course make an appearance at the Enron Courthouse.

It's MORNING EDITION.

The Two-Way
5:26 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Path To Citizenship' Part Of Senators' Bipartisan Immigration Plan

Air interdiction agent Jake Linde in 2010, on the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:03 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: Jim Hawk reports

Saying their proposal would "secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system" and create "a tough but fair legalization program for individuals who are currently here," eight senators unveiled a "bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform."

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Remembrances
4:15 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Journalist Stanley Karnow Dies At 87

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You know, when I was a teenager, I got interested in the Vietnam War. And I found a book in the library, called "Vietnam: A History." It turned out that that searing story of one of America's most tragic wars, was the product of one of the most distinguished reporters in Southeast Asia.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Analysis
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Group Agrees To Overhauling Immigration

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

We have a clearer picture this morning of just what an immigration overhaul might look like.

INSKEEP: A bipartisan group of senators is spreading word that they have agreed on principles for change.

MONTAGNE: The proposal would include a pathway to citizen for millions of people now in the U.S. illegally. Republicans have led the opposition to that change, up to now, commonly calling it amnesty.

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