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5:41 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Obama Administration To File Brief Urging Supreme Court To Strike Down Prop. 8

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Now to a developing story about a major Supreme Court case. NPR has previously reported that the Obama administration would file a Friend of The Court Brief, urging The Court to strike down a ban on same-sex marriage in California. Well, today is the deadline to file that brief but it has not yet been filed.

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The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Iceland's Plan To Ban Online Porn Spurs Outrage

Iceland's government is drafting plans to ban pornography online and in print. Supporters say it's an attempt to shield children.
Stoyan Nenov Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:53 pm

File this one under Sisyphean tasks: The government of Iceland is drafting plans to ban pornography both online and in print.

Supporters of the ban, proposed by Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson, says it will shield children from harm.

Writing in the Guardian, Halla Gunnarsdottir, political adviser to Jonasson, said:

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The Two-Way
5:33 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

The Pope Emeritus' New Shoes And The Mexican Man Who Makes Them

Armando Martin Dueñas shows replicas of the hand-crafted loafers given to Pope Benedict XVI.
Alfredo Valadez AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:42 am

As Pope Benedict XVI left the Vatican and his papacy, he slipped out of his trademark red shoes and put on a pair of Mexican leather loafers. The shoes, actually three pairs, two burgundy and one brown, were a gift to the Pope during his trip last year to Mexico.

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It's All Politics
5:13 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Justice Department Warns Of 'Pain' From Looming Cuts

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks before a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General on Tuesday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

President Obama minced no words when he talked about how the looming budget cuts known as sequestration could hurt the Justice Department.

"FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go," Obama said.

Starting late Friday, if Congress and the White House can't come to an agreement, the Justice Department will face $1.6 billion in cuts — about 9 percent of its budget. Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of state law enforcement officials who met in Washington this week that the situation looks ugly.

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Shots - Health News
5:06 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Strategy To Prevent HIV In Newborns Sparks Enthusiasm And Skepticism

By taking antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, this Tanzanian mother lowered the risk of passing HIV to her daughter.
Siegfried Modola AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 7:52 pm

There's great enthusiasm among some global health leaders about a bold – some say radical — strategy to prevent pregnant women from transmitting HIV to their newborns.

But skeptics worry that the approach, dubbed Option B+, will pit pregnant women with HIV against others infected with the virus, diverting resources from the broader struggle against the pandemic.

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Asia
4:50 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

At A Pakistani Mobile Library, Kids Can Check Out Books, And Hope

After decades living and working abroad, Saeed Malik (left) returned to his native Pakistan and wanted to do something to help rectify what he saw as a poor education system. He founded the Bright Star Mobile Library, which now serves about 2,500 children.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

On a cold, rainy morning, a van pulls up outside a rural elementary school on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital. The fluorescent green vehicle provides a flash of color on this otherwise gray day. There's a picture of children reading books under a large apple tree, and the words "Reading is fun" are painted in English and Urdu, the national language in Pakistan.

This is the weekly visit of the Bright Star Mobile Library.

Volunteer Ameena Khan starts pulling books from shelves on either side of the van.

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Around the Nation
4:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Budget Cuts Could Compromise Safety At Overcrowded Prisons

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

Corrections officers in the federal prison system are bracing for possible staffing cuts and furloughs triggered by the sequester. The cuts come at a time when studies show that inmate crowding and staff shortages in federal prisons are already posing challenges for guards trying to maintain order behind bars.

Law
4:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

House Passes Expansion Of Violence Against Women Act

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

It has been a long, strange journey on Capitol Hill for the Violence Against Women Act. Today, after months of debate, the House finally passed an extension of the law, known as VAWA, and sent it to the president. It helps combat sexual assault and domestic violence. But the law had gotten tangled up over other hot-button political issues.

NPR's Ailsa Chang explains what happened.

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Middle East
4:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Syrian Rebels: New U.S. Aid Not Helpful Without Weapons

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For American policy analysts, today's announcement of direct food aid and medical supplies to Syrian rebels is a significant shift. But a top commander in the forces fighting the Syrian regime says it's not nearly enough. NPR's Deborah Amos met that commander in northern Syria today.

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Middle East
4:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Hezbollah Trial Offers Clues To How Militant Group Operates

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 8:46 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The sunny island of Cyprus has been a vacation haven for Arabs and Israelis alike. But recently, it's been the site of a much-watched trial of an admitted Hezbollah operative. He has described himself simply as a pawn in the militant group's hierarchy, tasked with doing surveillance on restaurants, hotels and buses serving Israeli tourists. But his trial has revealed a wide range of details about how Hezbollah operates and how it may be getting more sophisticated.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

A Quvenzhane by Any Other Name... (Storified)

Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis is interviewed on the red carpet at the Academy Awards Sunday, when several journalists struggled with the young actress's name.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

After a weekend that saw journalists on the Oscars red carpet struggling to pronounce the name of 9-year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, we decided to ask the Twitter masses for their funniest or most annoying stories about people mispronouncing their "unconventional" or "ethnic" names.

Here's a few of the best:

Do you have any similar stories? We'd love to hear them in the comments.

The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Former Massey CEO Accused Of Conspiracy In Court Hearing

Former Chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Don Blankenship in 2010.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:45 pm

A relatively routine plea hearing in Beckley, W.Va, Thursday, took an unexpected and dramatic turn when a former Massey Energy executive implicated former CEO Don Blankenship in a criminal conspiracy.

It's the first time Blankenship has been publicly named as an alleged conspirator in the ongoing federal criminal investigation of the 2010 explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch coal mine.

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World Cafe
3:35 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra On World Cafe

Bryan Ferry.
Adam Whitehead Courtesy of the artist

Bryan Ferry says he only listens to 1920s jazz these days — and The Jazz Age, the new album from The Bryan Ferry Orchestra, backs up that claim. The Jazz Age finds Ferry doing a lot of listening, as he neither sings nor plays on the record.

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The Salt
3:18 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Dispatch From Poutine Fest, Chicago's 'Love Letter' To Canada

The Peasantry's entry. Note that poutine is not only a delicious snack but also a source of light and warmth in the universe." href="/post/dispatch-poutine-fest-chicagos-love-letter-canada" class="noexit lightbox">
Missy Ruminski prepares The Peasantry's entry. Note that poutine is not only a delicious snack but also a source of light and warmth in the universe.
NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 7:01 pm

There is no greater mystery in America than this: Why is poutine not available everywhere?

French fries with cheese curds, covered in gravy — there's nothing more American than this Canadian dish that's not actually American. And while you can find it stateside more easily than you used to, poutine should be in every restaurant in the country, and probably somewhere on our flag.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Bradley Manning Thought Leaked Cables Would Be 'Embarrassing' Not Damaging

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (right) is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on June 25, 2012. His lawyer announced that Manning, who is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 2:30 pm

Update at 5:52 p.m. ET. Judge Accepts Plea:

A military judge in Fort Meade, Md. accepted 10 guilty pleas from Army Pfc. Bradley Manning on Thursday.

Manning pleaded guilty to lesser charges, but he is still facing a court martial over the charge of aiding the enemy.

NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Manning says he misused classified information when he leaked thousands of war reports and diplomatic cables to the web site Wikileaks.

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