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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Consumer Spending Rose 0.7 Percent In February; Higher Gas Prices A Factor

Retailers are doing all they can to attract consumers, who drive the economy. (File photo from 2012 of a store window in Santa Monica, Calif.)
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:30 am

There was a slightly larger-than-expected increase of 0.7 percent in consumer spending from January to February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Higher gasoline prices, though, were much of the reason for the rise. According to the bureau, if spending is adjusted for inflation the increase was a more modest 0.3 percent — the same as in January. And higher energy costs were behind most of the inflationary pressures last month.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Satellite Image Shows 'Incredible' Storm Stretching Across North Atlantic

That's the coast of the U.S. on the left, the tip of Greenland at the top center and the coast of Europe on the top right. Meanwhile, the storm's tail extends down into the Caribbean.
NOAA Satellite and Information Service

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:27 am

The same weather system that left a few inches of snow on parts of the eastern U.S. earlier this week is now over the North Atlantic, and Jason Samenow of The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang says he's not sure he's ever "seen a storm this big before."

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Book News: New Book To Feature Unseen Works Of Art By Jean-Michel Basquiat

A Sotheby's employee walks past a work by Jean-Michel Basquiat titled "Untitled (Pecho/Oreja)" at the auction house.
Alastair Grant ASSOCIATED PRESS

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Europe
7:51 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Belgian Post Office Sells Chocolate-Flavored Stamps

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The Belgian post office released chocolate-flavored stamps just in time for Easter. The glue in the stamps is infused with cacao oil. A celebratory touch that makes sense, given Belgium is famous for its chocolate. One stamp collector sniffed the chocolate flavor was disappointing, but come on, wouldn't anything taste better than regular stamps? We on this morning show are now hoping for Belgian waffle-flavored envelopes. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:28 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Actor Richard Griffiths, Uncle Vernon In 'Harry Potter' Movies, Dies

Actor Richard Griffiths in 2011.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:58 am

Richard Griffiths, who millions of Harry Potter movie fans loved and likely despised as the cruel Uncle Vernon Dursley, has died.

The BBC, The Guardian and other news outlets in the U.K. report that he passed away Thursday at the age of 65. There were "complications following heart surgery," the BBC says. The Guardian adds:

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Around the Nation
7:26 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Disc Jockey Gets Tattoo After Florida Gulf Coast Win

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

March Madness is a fixture in the United States and now on one radio host's upper arm. Florida DJ Big Mama wanted the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to win so badly, he promised on air to get a tattoo if they beat Georgetown. Big Mama is a man of his word. He posted photos of his Eagles tattoo online.

I'll tell you what: If Florida Gulf Coast wins again tonight, I'll sing their fight song on air Monday. Steve Inskeep will be back - maybe a duet?

The Two-Way
6:55 am
Fri March 29, 2013

'Cuse Control And 2 Other Things To Say About Basketball Today

Brandon Triche (No. 20) of the Syracuse Orange goes to the hoop against Cody Zeller of the Indiana Hoosiers during their teams' game Thursday night in Washington, D.C. Syracuse won, 61-50.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:54 am

Friday morning's cheat sheet about the NCAA's Division I men's basketball tournament (or March Madness, as it's better known):

-- Hoosiers Zoned Out: It's probably never right to say that a Syracuse win is a huge surprise, given the many years of success enjoyed by coach Jim Boeheim's Orange. But the 'Cuse are a No. 4 seed in the tournament's East region. So Thursday night's 61-50 win over No. 1 seed Indiana is worth noting.

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Why Florida Is The Place To Go To On Spring Break

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here in the U.S., thousands and thousands of college students are headed south right now. It is spring break time - time to drop the books, pack up the sunscreen.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

While there are many destinations that attract youth in search of wild abandon, Florida is the cradle of spring break civilization. The Sunshine State has been popular as a place to get a jumpstart on the beach season since the 1930s.

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

American Centroid

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Imagine if you will, a perfectly flat map of America. All 308 million Americans are standing where they live. Each person weighs the same. One precise location is the balancing point with equal weight in all directions. And this point has a name. It's called the American Centroid.

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Politics
4:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Easton, Pa., Balances Sportsmanship With Gun Control

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There were dozens of rallies across the nation yesterday, to support a cause that might be losing steam. It's the fight for new gun control laws. President Obama joined family members of recent gun victims at the White House to urge Congress to take action.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Right now, members of Congress are back home in their districts and many of them are holding events where they can hear from their constituents, so I want everybody who's listening to make yourself heard right now.

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Business
4:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a good read.

The social website Goodreads, where readers share reviews and book picks, got picked up yesterday by online retail giant Amazon. The price hasn't been disclosed. The co-founder of Goodreads says after the sale closes next quarter, the site will be integrated with Amazon's Kindle eReader. Goodreads has about 16 million members. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Movie Reviews
4:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Movie Review: 'Gimme The Loot'

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

"Gimme The Loot" is a new independent film that's had a charmed life, including winning the Best Narrative prize at South by Southwest and an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival. Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan says it's worth the fuss.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: We meet Malcolm and Sofia as they're stealing spray paint from a hardware store.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GIMME THE LOOT")

TASHIANA WASHINGTON: (Unintelligible)

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Business
4:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is a takedown of everyone's favorite giant radioactive reptile.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GODZILLA")

MONTAGNE: That pop-culture monster, Godzilla, hatched nearly 60 years ago in a Japanese movie production studio.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

He stomped through cities battling other giant creatures, from Mothra to King Kong. Well, now The Wall Street Journal reports that Godzilla has been vanquished. His box office attendance records, at least, has been beaten.

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StoryCorps
3:09 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Tattoo Removal Artist Helps Clients With Emotional Scars

Dawn Maestas has removed tattoos from women who have been branded as a result of domestic violence. She recorded an interview with one of her clients, who wanted to remain anonymous.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:14 am

Dawn Maestas runs a tattoo-removal business in Albuquerque, N.M., and her clients include women who want the names of abusive partners removed.

Some of them have been tattooed forcibly, like the 22-year-old client who visited StoryCorps with Maestas.

"I was with a guy for five years. He was much older. He was really abusive toward me. After a while when I tried to finally end it, he kidnapped me, held me hostage and tattooed his name all over my body against my will," says the woman, who did not want to be named.

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