National

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
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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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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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

In The Iditarod Race, 'Pee Pants' Get An Endurance Test

Several female mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are trying out new attire that allows them to skip bathroom stops. Here, a musher and his team pass fans at the ceremonial start of the race in Anchorage.
Dan Joling AP

It will take more than a week for Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which began Sunday, to cover nearly 1,000 miles. But every minute counts — and several mushers are trying out special pants that allow them to race without stopping for bathroom breaks.

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Asia
4:33 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Young Chinese Translate America, One Show At A Time

The Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels, is one of the most popular American TV series in China. It's a favorite among a cadre of young, informal translators who see it as a way to challenge conventional Chinese thinking.

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 9:42 pm

Every week, thousands of young Chinese gather online to translate popular American movies and TV shows into Mandarin. Some do it for fun and to help people learn English, while others see it as a subtle way to introduce new ideas into Chinese society.

Among the more popular American TV shows on China's Internet these days is HBO's The Newsroom. One reason is an exchange between a college student and a news anchor played by Jeff Daniels. The young woman asks the aging newsman why the United States is the greatest country in the world.

The anchor explodes.

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Shots - Health News
2:47 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

To Make Mice Smarter, Add A Few Human Brain Cells

These drawings by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, published in 1899, show cortex neurons.
Santiago Ramon y Cajal Wikimedia Commons

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

For more than a century, neurons have been the superstars of the brain. Their less glamorous partners, glial cells, can't send electric signals, and so they've been mostly ignored.

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Health Care
2:07 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

How To Track And Attack A Superbug

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 2:30 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary in Washington. The Centers for Disease Control is warning of another deadly superbug. This one, known as CRE, ultimately left seven patients dead after an outbreak in 2011 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. CDC director Tom Frieden has called the bug a nightmare bacteria. It can resist even the strongest antibiotics.

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It's All Politics
12:40 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Talks His Way Into The Political Big Time

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul leaves the floor of the Senate early Thursday following his filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 1:58 pm

Rand Paul has gained new prominence in ways that inevitably lead to speculation about his political future, including the possibility of a presidential run in 2016.

The Kentucky Republican's marathon filibuster that began Wednesday raised his profile above those of other junior but ambitious conservatives in the Senate, says GOP consultant David Carney.

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The Salt
12:31 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Startup Wants To Redefine How Local Foods Get To Your Door

Employees of Good Eggs deliver produce, meat and other local foods from producers in the Bay Area of California.
Courtesy of Good Eggs

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 2:13 pm

Rising consumer demand for local foods has changed the job description for ranchers like Doniga Markegard.

Markegard, co-owner of Markegard Family Grass-Fed in San Gregorio, Calif., loves working with cattle, but she's not fond of the hours of phone calls and emails it can take to sell directly to a customer.

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