National

The Two-Way
10:38 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Bill Clinton: Defense Of Marriage Act That I Signed Is Unconstitutional

Former President Bill Clinton (and then-Vice President Al Gore) in 1996, the year Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act.
Stephen Jaffe Reuters /Landov

Times were different in 1996 when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, former President Bill Clinton writes in today's Washington Post.

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Shots - Health News
10:15 am
Fri March 8, 2013

A Man's Journey From Nepal To Texas Triggers Global TB Scramble

Although tuberculosis is declining around the world, drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are on the rise.
NIAID/Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 12:47 pm

We don't know too much about a Nepalese man who's in medical isolation in Texas while being treated for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, or XDR-TB, the most difficult-to-treat kind. Health authorities are keen to protect his privacy.

But we do know that he traveled through 13 countries — from South Asia to somewhere in the Persian Gulf to Latin America — before he entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico in late November. He traveled by plane, bus, boat, car and on foot.

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Monkey See
10:01 am
Fri March 8, 2013

'American Idol' Makes A Play For A Little Variety

The top 10 contestants on this year's American Idol. Clockwise from top left: Lazaro Arbos, Amber Holcomb, Paul Jolley, Curtis Finch, Jr., Janelle Arthur, Kree Harrison, Devin Velez, Burnell Taylor, Angie Miller and Candice Glover.
Michael Becker Fox

Last night, the 10 American Idol finalists were announced, and one thing is for sure: the five-year streak of pleasant-seeming, guitar-playing white dudes (in reverse order: Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery, Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, and David Cook) is over.

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Around the Nation
7:36 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Meteorologist Forced To Sit In Corner Over Bad Forecast

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Finally, somebody takes responsibility for a mistake. Many forecasters predicted a monster storm would dump many inches of snow on Washington, D.C. The nation's capital shut down. But while the storm hit other parts of the country, Washington just got a bit of snow and rain. Channel 5 meteorologist Tucker Barnes did not blame the vagaries of the weather. He took a timeout, shown on camera sitting in a corner during the broadcast. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:25 am
Fri March 8, 2013

'Joint' Committee's Name Gets Some Laughs

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Here's one of the small joys of the change in marijuana laws. Colorado voters recently legalized small amounts of pot. State lawmakers must work out the details and regulations, how pot should be grown, taxed and sold. So they put together a special committee. Because it consists of members of both the State House and Senate, it is known by the phrase that such committee always are. Yes, it is the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation.

Business
4:45 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Ally Financial Only Big Bank To Fail Fed's Test

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news. The country's biggest banks are in much better shape than before the financial crisis, at least according to the Federal Reserve's third round of so-called stress tests.

NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.

DAN BOBKOFF, BYLINE: The tests simulate a nightmare scenario: How would the banks fare if unemployment topped 12 percent, stock prices were cut in half and housing values fell 20 percent? We all know what happened five years ago when a crisis was more than hypothetical.

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Around the Nation
4:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Gun Issue Takes On Unique Role In Illinois

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Illinois is the only state that has a complete ban on carrying concealed weapons. Late last year, a federal court declared that law unconstitutional. Both the law and the court ruling have given Illinois a prominent place in the wider, national debate over gun control. Here's Tony Arnold of our member station WBEZ in Chicago.

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Politics
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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Around the Nation
4:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Persian Empire Treasure Begins U.S. Tour

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A formerly lost archeological treasure has made its way to the United States for the first time. It comes from Iran and dates back to the days of the ancient Persian Empire. It's called the Cyrus Cylinder. It'll be on tour across the U.S., starting tomorrow, with the Smithsonian Museum here in Washington.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Cyrus Cylinder isn't too much too look at - made of clay and shaped kind of like a loaf of bread. What's special about it is that it's etched with writing from the time.

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Around the Nation
5:20 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

VA Offers Free Gun Locks To Help Prevent Vet Suicides

The Department of Veterans Affairs began giving out gun locks in 2008, modeling a national gun safety program called Project ChildSafe
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Every day an estimated 22 veterans kill themselves in the U.S. and most of them use a gun to do so, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This trend mirrors the general population where more people kill themselves with guns than by all other methods combined.

The VA is trying to help with a program that offers gun locks to veterans for free. The thinking is that if they lock their guns up they might not reach for them in the spur of the moment.

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Education
5:07 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Federal Probe Targets Uneven Discipline At Seattle Schools

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools.

Students of color have long been punished in far higher numbers than white students in Seattle, but now the department's Office for Civil Rights is looking at whether black students are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than white students for the same behavior.

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The Salt
5:04 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

If Caffeine Can Boost The Memory Of Bees, Can It Help Us, Too?

Adam Cole/NPR iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Who knew that the flower nectar of citrus plants — including some varieties of grapefruit, lemon and oranges — contains caffeine? As does the nectar of coffee plant flowers.

And when honeybees feed on caffeine-containing nectar, it turns out, the caffeine buzz seems to improve their memories — or their motivations for going back for more.

"It is surprising," says Geraldine Wright at Newcastle University in the the U.K., the lead researcher of a new honeybee study published in the journal Science.

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Politics
5:01 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Wouldn't Crack Top 5 In Filibuster Talking Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Senator Rand Paul did get a lot of attention for his nearly 13-hour filibuster, but the Kentucky Republican wouldn't even crack the top five for the longest talking filibusters. The top spot goes to South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond back in 1957. He held the floor for over 24 hours. For more on that and other notable filibusters, we talked to Senate historian Donald Ritchie. He says back in 1957, Senator Thurmond came to the Senate floor ready.

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Around the Nation
4:57 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Shuttered Meat Packing Plant Could Be A Sign Of Things To Come In Texas

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The city of Plainview, Texas has been a center of the cattle industry for decades. But a few weeks ago, after more than 40 years in operation, Plainview's beef processing plant shut its doors. Plant owners blame years of drought and the dwindling supply of cattle. As Mose Buchele reports from member station KUT, the closure could be a preview of things to come for the Texas plains.

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Shots - Health News
4:44 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Shrimp Trawling Comes With Big Risks

John Berthelot, top, and Hosea Wilson, bottom right, release the nets from their shrimp boat, Monday, May 3, 2010, at the Venice Marina in Venice, La.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:03 pm

Think your job is bad? Quit whining, unless you're a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico.

Commercial fishermen have the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities of any occupation in the country — 116 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2010. A majority of the deaths happen when a fishing vessel sinks. About a third occur when someone goes overboard.

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