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Around the Nation
5:59 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Cyclo-Cross Championship Takes U.S. By Storm, Mud And Sand

Competitors in a men's category race in the 2013 National Cyclo-cross Championships in Bradford, England, this month. The sport requires riders to traverse mud and sand on off-road courses peppered with obstacles.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

While many Americans will be tuning into the Super Bowl on Sunday, there's another big sports competition this weekend: the Cyclo-Cross World Championships. This weekend's event, in Louisville, Ky., marks the first time in its 60-year history that the world championships will be held outside of Europe.

Cyclo-cross, a grueling sport requiring riders to traverse mud, sand and other obstacles, is growing rapidly in the U.S. And the fans can be a bit crazy. At the 2012 Louisville Derby City Cup, hundreds of people — some in costumes — packed onto the course to cheer the riders on.

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Around the Nation
5:05 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

South L.A. Teens Doubt New Laws Will Change Gun Culture

Handguns collected in South-Central Los Angeles as part of a Gun for Gift Card exchange in 2009. One teenager here says getting a gun on the streets is just "one phone call away."
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:04 pm

On 53rd Street and Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles, violent members of at least six gangs run the streets. A landmark church is boarded up and tagged. There are liquor stores and abandoned lots. On Tuesday night, there was a drive-by shooting two blocks away, and folks are expecting retaliation. This is an area where murders, robberies and rapes are common — and so are guns.

"There's too many guns out there," says Randolph Wright, 18. "I can tell you right now, every hood has an AK[-47]. Regardless of whatever other gun they got, they have an AK."

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Art & Design
5:03 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Graffiti Gnomes Allowed To Roam On Oakland Utility Poles

An anonymous artist started placing the hand-painted gnomes on the bases of utility poles all over Oakland.
Courtesy of the photographer

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Over the past year, small gnomes started springing up all around Oakland, Calif. The elfin creatures are hand-painted on wooden boards; each is about 6 inches tall, with red hat, brown boots and white beard. They're bits of urban folk art from an anonymous painter who surreptitiously screws them onto the base of utility poles.

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Politics
2:02 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

The Coming Fight Over Immigration Policy

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 2:42 pm

President Barack Obama says he hopes that the immigration reform plan designed out by a bipartisan Senate committee will become a bill as soon as March. The president also warned, that this debate will become more heated and emotional as it moves ahead.

The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Has Obama Done Some Skeet Shooting? Fox News Says Yes

Julian Finney Getty Images

The Washington Post's Fact Checker takes on the subject of whether President Obama was shooting straight when he told The New Republic that he has fired a gun and that "we do skeet shooting all the time" at Camp David.

And what does Fact Checker conclude?

"Verdict Pending."

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Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Should Medicare Pay For Alzheimer's Scans?

The loss of contrast between gray and white matter in this brain scan indicates a high uptake of Amyvid and the presence of amyloid plaques.
Eli Lilly & Co. and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 4:18 pm

Though increasingly common, Alzheimer's disease still isn't all that easy to diagnose, especially in its early stages.

Forgetfulness and other signs of dementia can be caused by lots of things other than Alzheimer's. Sometimes the symptoms are fleeting or normal in the context of a person's age. But at other times these symptoms mark the dark path of Alzheimer's.

Doctors' standard approach to diagnosis includes taking a medical history of the patient, assessing mental function and administering various neurological and lab tests.

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The Salt
12:19 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Oh, Baby: Squeezable Snacks Might Be Tough On The Teeth

Squeeze me with caution.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 2:15 pm

Those squeeze pouches full of organic pureed food in clever combos like plum, berry and barley have become a lifesaver for busy parents.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Dear Lawyers: Order In The &*%# Court!

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:33 pm

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Television
12:04 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Gabourey Sidibe, From 'Precious' To 'AfroPop'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will pay tribute to the late Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner. The leader of the funk band, The Ohio Players, died earlier this week at the age of 69 and we will tell you more about him in a few minutes.

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Monkey See
12:04 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Doing The Work: What '30 Rock' Meant For Women On Television

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon.
Ali Goldstein NBC

I have never considered Liz Lemon a feminist icon of any kind, nor have I ever considered 30 Rock especially strong when it comes to gender politics.

I don't care for the obsessive joke-making about how Liz is ugly/mannish/old/awkward, and I haven't always been comfortable with the way some of the "she's baby-crazy!" or "she's relationship-crazy!" comedy has played. I was ambivalent about the way the Jezebel parody and the "women aren't funny" storylines were executed.

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Remembrances
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Paying Tribute To Funk's 'Sugarfoot' Bonner

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:28 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now we'd like to remember a funk legend.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LOVE ROLLERCOASTER")

OHIO PLAYERS: (Singing) Rollercoaster of love. Say what? Rollercoaster, ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh.

MARTIN: Leroy Bonner died last weekend at the age of 69. Best known as the front man for the Ohio Players, Sugarfoot, as he was called, joined the band in 1964 as guitarist, songwriter and, eventually, lead singer. He was the eldest of 14 kids, and he was a self-taught musician who never went to high school.

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Around the Nation
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Violence In The Windy City

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn now to an all-too-familiar story of violence here in the U.S. In Chicago, 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on Tuesday. She was the 42nd person killed in Chicago since the beginning of the year. Last year, there were more than 500 killings. And a number of these murders, particularly of young people, brought the city to tears, but Pendleton's death has brought national attention because she recently performed with her high school drill team at the president's inauguration in Washington, D.C.

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Television
10:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Spacey And Fincher Make A 'House Of Cards'

Kevin Spacey is the star and a producer of the new Netflix series House of Cards, on which David Fincher is a co-producer.
Melinda Sue Gordon Netflix

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:18 pm

Ten months on the road playing Richard III in theaters around the world is a good way to prep for playing a ruthlessly ambitious politician and Washington insider — according to Kevin Spacey, at least.

Just before he took the role of Francis "Frank" Underwood, the fictional majority whip of the House of Representatives who hatches a plan to take down the president in the new Netflix original series House of Cards, Spacey spent nearly a year playing Shakespeare's murderously ambitious king.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Hagel: 'No One Individual Vote, Quote Or Statement Defines Me'

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., during his Senate nomination hearing earlier today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 12:53 pm

(Scroll down for updates.)

Responding to those who have questioned his views on Israel, Iran and defense spending, former Sen. Chuck Hagel said Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing on his nomination to be secretary of defense that:

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu January 31, 2013

In Alabama, Hostage Standoff Continues; Child Thought To Be Unharmed

Law enforcement personnel near the scene of the standoff in Midland City, Ala., where a man is said to be holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker after killing a school bus driver.
Philip Sears Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 8:17 am

The scary situation remains unchanged in southeast Alabama, where authorities say a man shot and killed a school bus driver on Tuesday and then took a 5-year-old boy to an underground bunker.

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