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4:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Senate Committee Passes First Of 4 Gun Control Bills

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, the Senate Judiciary Committee here in Washington has approved a new gun control bill. It strengthens penalties for those who buy weapons for people who are legally barred from purchasing firearms themselves. This is the first federal gun law to head to the Senate floor since the Newtown massacre. We should say proposed federal gun law. And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, it's just the beginning of what looks to be a long legislative fight.

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Latin America
4:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Venezuela To Display Chavez Body For Perpetuity

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 4:32 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Thousands of Venezuelans have been filling the streets this week, listening to music and lining up to see the coffin of their leader, Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday. Leaders from around the world have also come to the capital city, Caracas, for a funeral which formally takes place today. And in keeping with his often larger-than-life persona, the Venezuelan government plans to embalm Chavez and keep his body on display under glass, in perpetuity. NPR's Juan Forero is in Caracas, following events there. Hi, Juan.

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Middle East
4:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Displaced Syrians Bring Life To Ancient 'Dead Cities'

The Syrian "Dead City" of Shanshrah, in northern Idlib province. A U.N. World Heritage site, the Dead Cities of northern Syria date back to the first to fifth centuries.
Kelly McEvers NPR

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:41 pm

Parts of the northern Syrian province of Idlib are a U.N. World Heritage site, known for its ancient archaeological wonders. Walking along muddy, rocky ground covered in new grass and wild daffodils, we start to see remnants of Roman structures — the columns and doorways of dwellings, temples and churches that date back to the 1st century.

They're known as the Dead Cities, and they trace the transition from ancient pagan Rome to Christian Byzantium. Until recently, they were deserted, frozen in time.

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It's All Politics
3:34 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Senate Mostly Blamed For Agency And Court Vacancies, But Obama Isn't Helping

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has not had a permanent administrator since Congress required that the director be confirmed by the Senate in 2006.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

Hear Brian Nayor, Julie Rovner, Yuki Noguchi and Carrie Johnson talk with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about the many federal entities operating without permanent leadership by clicking the audio link.

Some workers may dream about how productive they'd be without a boss. But for thousands of federal employees, being without a boss is a reality. And productivity isn't necessarily the result.

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Environment
2:23 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Past Century's Global Temperature Change Is Fastest On Record

Scientists say they have put together a record of global temperatures dating back to the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago. This historical artwork of the last ice age was made by Swiss geologist and naturalist Oswald Heer.
Oswald Heer Science Source

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:40 pm

There's plenty of evidence that the climate has warmed up over the past century, and climate scientists know this has happened throughout the history of the planet. But they want to know more about how this warming is different.

Now a research team says it has some new answers. It has put together a record of global temperatures going back to the end of the last ice age — about 11,000 years ago — when mammoths and saber-tooth cats roamed the planet. The study confirms that what we're seeing now is unprecedented.

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StoryCorps
2:21 am
Fri March 8, 2013

A Real-Life Nick And Nora Charles, Hot On Love's Trail

Shaun Kaufman and Colleen Collins experienced a rough patch when they became private investigators, but the work ultimately helped strengthen their relationship.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

When Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman started dating, they were both middle-aged and divorced. Neither was having any luck with work, so in 2004, they took matters into their own hands.

"You had lost your job. You drank to excess, and you were stoned all the time," Colleen recalls at a visit to StoryCorps in Denver with Shaun. "And it was like, what are we gonna do?"

So Colleen, now 61, threw out the idea of starting a private investigation agency. Shaun, who has a law degree, had trained several PIs in the past. Within a week, she was out on a surveillance job.

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Planet Money
2:17 am
Fri March 8, 2013

If A Driverless Car Crashes, Who's Liable?

Who's on the hook?
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 12:25 pm

Some number of years from now, the technology may exist for cars to drive themselves. This could save thousands of lives a year (90 percent of fatal car accidents involve human error).

But getting the technology right won't be enough. Governments and courts will have to figure out lots of new legal and regulatory issues. One key question: If a driverless car crashes, who's liable?

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Technology
2:04 am
Fri March 8, 2013

News Corp. Education Tablet: For The Love Of Learning?

Joel Klein, former New York City schools chief, left to run News Corp.'s education division. On Thursday, Amplify announced a specially designed education tablet.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:32 pm

The educational division of the media conglomerate News Corp., called Amplify, unveiled a new digital tablet this week at the SXSW tech conference in Austin, Texas, intended to serve millions of schoolchildren and their teachers across the country.

Amplify promises the tablet will simplify administrative chores for teachers, enable shy children to participate more readily in discussions, and allow students to complete coursework at their own pace while drawing upon carefully selected online research resources.

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Theater
12:01 am
Fri March 8, 2013

For Berry Gordy, Broadway Is Memory Lane

Valisia LeKae, Sydney Morton and Ariana Debose play the Supremes in the show.
Andrew Eccles

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

There's hardly an adult anywhere in the world who wouldn't recognize at least some of the music of Motown.

The R&B label changed the course of music in the United States and made household names of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. Now, the man who created Motown — Berry Gordy — is headed to Broadway to tell his version of how it all began.

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The Two-Way
6:45 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

County Will Pay $15.5 Million To Man Who Spent 22 Months In Solitary Confinement

When he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges in 2005, Stephen Slevin had no way of knowing that an opinion about his mental state would put him on a path to spend more than 22 months of solitary confinement in a New Mexico county jail, despite never having his day in court. This week, he reached a $15.5 million settlement with Dona Ana County.

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The Two-Way
6:43 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

At Columbia University, Nutella Thefts Make Headlines

The bartender spreads Nutella on a crepe in a creperie in Rome.
Alberto Pellaschiar AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:04 pm

It has some people saying: This is why we can't have nice things.

According to the student newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, ever since the dining halls at Columbia University were stocked with Nutella, students have been consuming "up to 100 pounds per day."

And by consuming, they mean eating but also "filling cups of Nutella to-go in Ferris Booth Commons and taking the full jars out of John Jay."

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Theater
6:39 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

August Wilson's Words Get New Life In Monologue Contest

Branndin Laramore (from left), Brian Weddington, Lia Miller and Ernesto Moreta pose after a recent rehearsal for the Chicago finals of the August Wilson Monologue Competition.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:40 pm

When the stage lights go up at Chicago's Goodman Theatre on Monday evening, more than 20 high school students will each have a moment to step into the spotlight and perform a monologue from one of the plays written by the late August Wilson. Chicago's contest is one of several regional finals that strives to introduce students to the Pulitzer Prize winner's work. It's also a lead-up to the national August Wilson Monologue Competition that will be held on Broadway later this spring.

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The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Venezuela's Acting President Says Chávez's Body Will Be Permanently Displayed

Supporters line up to pay their last respects to late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, outside the Military Academy in Caracas on Thursday.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:57 pm

The mourning over the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez took a Lenin-eque turn today: Acting President Nicolas Maduro announced that his remains will be on permanent display at the Museum of the Revolution, "close to the presidential palace where Chavez ruled for 14 years," the AP reports.

The AP adds:

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The Record
6:18 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Stompin' Tom Connors, Canadian Folk Hero, Has Died

Stompin' Tom Connors performs at the 2008 NHL Awards at Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Canada.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

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The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), looks at his papers while talking about U.S. companies recieving large tax breaks, during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:03 pm

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin announced today that he would not seek reelection in 2014. Levin chairs the Armed Services Committee.

In a statement, he called the decision "extremely difficult."

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