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Music Reviews
1:28 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Aretha Franklin Before Atlantic: The Columbia Years

Aretha Franklin became a star on the Atlantic record label after leaving Columbia.
Express Newspapers Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:01 pm

Aretha Franklin made her first record when she was 14, singing some gospel standards in the church of her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, an easygoing Detroit pastor who was friends with Martin Luther King and just about every gospel singer you could name. One of the stars who visited a lot was Sam Cooke, who convinced Aretha that she could be a hit singing popular music.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Van Cliburn, Renowned American Concert Pianist, Dies

U.S. pianist Van Cliburn in 1963.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 1:22 pm

The American concert pianist Harvey Lavan "Van" Cliburn has died, according to the Associated Press, who is quoting a representative.

Cliburn achieved worldwide recognition when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow as a 23-year-old. What's more he did so in 1958, at the height of the Cold War.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Cliburn died in his mansion in Fort Worth, Texas. He had been diagnosed with bone cancer.

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Science + Technology
12:37 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Highest Bidder Will Get DNA Pioneer's Nobel Medal

Francis Crick in 2003, the year before his death, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego.
Denis Poroy AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:43 pm

This is no ordinary family heirloom.

The granddaughter of English scientist Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA who passed away in 2004, is putting his Nobel Prize medal up on the auction block.

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Economy
12:36 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Economists See Budget Cuts Putting The Recovery At Risk

Shipyard workers wait for President Obama to speak about looming automatic federal budget cuts Tuesday in Newport News, Va.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:52 pm

Getting economists to agree with each other isn't easy. But Congress and the White House have managed to unite them.

More than 95 percent of top U.S. economists believe growth is "likely to be negatively affected" by the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in Friday, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

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The Salt
12:33 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Germans Are Drinking Less Beer These Days, But Why?

A waiter carries beer mugs during the 2012 Oktoberfest in Munich.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:57 pm

For centuries, Germany has been synonymous with beer. Tourists flock from around the world to take part in the country's many beer festivals, including the famous Oktoberfest.

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Shots - Health News
12:07 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

When Sizing Up Childhood Obesity Risks, It Helps To Ask About Random Kids

A poll needs to ask about randomly selected children in households across the country to bring context to what's happening with kids like 7-year-old Henry Condes in Los Angeles.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 12:17 pm

To understand the challenges around childhood obesity in the U.S., you need to take a close look at the lives of children and the households in which their habits are formed.

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, where I'm a researcher, created a unique poll to do that.

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Race
12:03 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Students Vote To Drop 'Redskins'

Students at Cooperstown Central School recently voted to stop calling their sport teams the Redskins. In turn, an Indian tribe offered to pay for new team uniforms. Host Michel Martin talks about the gesture with Ray Halbritter, of the Oneida Nation.

Author Interviews
12:03 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

'Behind The Scenes' At The Vatican: The Politics Of Picking A New Pope

In his new book, The Vatican Diaries, John Thavis draws on his nearly 30 years of reporting on the Vatican.
Viking/Penguin Group

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 1:54 pm

The years of his papacy had seen "moments of joy and light, but also difficult moments," Pope Benedict XVI told some 100,000 spectators gathered in St. Peter's Square Wednesday during his final address. "There have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us ... and the Lord seemed to sleep."

As Benedict becomes the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years and cardinals gather in Rome to choose his successor, a series of scandals — child sex abuse, mismanagement at the Vatican bank, the leaking of secret church documents — has left the Vatican reeling.

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Politics
11:56 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Is There Really A 'Line' For Immigration?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, it's been 100 years since thousands of women marched on Washington to demand the right to vote. We are heading into the Beauty Shop - that's our diverse panel of women commentators - to look back at that moment in history and talk about where the women's movement stands today.

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Games + Leisure
11:53 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Dear Mr. President, What's Your Name?

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 12:14 am

On-air challenge: In honor of Presidents Day, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president. You will be given a word or phrase that is a president's last name with two letters changed. You name the president. For example, given "Carpet," the answer would be "Carter."

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Food
11:47 am
Wed February 27, 2013

In Praise Of The Humble Lentil

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 10:01 am

The year I discovered lentils, I was broke and lonely and didn't know how to cook. Lentils, it turned out, would have gone a long way toward providing the solution to some of these problems. However, when I first had them, they were a mystery.

They also were the cheapest thing on the menu at the Middle Eastern deli around the corner. The dish was mudardara, I was told. "What's that again?" I said, unable to untangle the knot of plosive consonants. It was repeated.

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It's All Politics
11:46 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Why The Budget May Be Easier Criticized Than Cut

The U.S. Capitol is seen Tuesday, three days before the government sequester is scheduled to begin. It would require $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts over the next seven months, but would not target specific programs.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 12:28 pm

If it seems odd that so many members of Congress have such trouble coming up with specific things to cut from the budget (apart from the usual favorites, "waste" and "fraud), perhaps they're simply taking their cues from their bosses, their constituents.

The Pew Research Center studied this in a recent poll, and found that of 19 different budget categories, there is majority support for cutting spending in exactly none of them.

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Book Reviews
11:33 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Echoes Of Orwell In 'The Office Of Mercy'

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:31 am

It was no less than the master of dystopian fiction, George Orwell, who noted in a 1946 essay that "political language has to consist largely of euphemism. ... Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air ...

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Literature
11:33 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Echoes Of Orwell In 'The Office Of Mercy'

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:31 am

It was no less than the master of dystopian fiction, George Orwell, who noted in a 1946 essay that "political language has to consist largely of euphemism. ... Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air ...

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Business
10:58 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Cheesecake Factory, IBM Team Up To Crack The Code Of Customer Bliss

A new outpost for The Cheesecake Factory in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:17 am

Consider the following entirely fictitious but totally plausible scenario:

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Picking A Pope? Try The 'Sweet Sistine' Bracket Challenge

The "sweet sistine" brackets.
Religion News Service

Next month brings "March madness" for fans of college basketball.

It's also going to bring Roman Catholic cardinals together to choose a new pope.

Which means, according to Religion News Service, it's time to "make your picks in the Vatican's Sweet Sistine brackets!"

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Hagel Sworn In As Defense Secretary

New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, as he was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon. His wife, Lilibet, held the Bible. Michael L. Rhodes, the Pentagon's director of administration and management, administered the oath.
MC1 Chad J. McNeeley Office of the Secretary of Defense

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:18 am

After a somewhat stormy debate in the Senate over his confirmation, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon and took over as secretary of defense.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Negotiators At Six-Nation Talks See Signs Of Hope In Iran Nuclear Standoff

Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili speaks during talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday.
Shamil Zhumatov AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:01 am

Officials at six-nation nuclear talks on limiting Iran's nuclear program say the two-day meeting in Kazakhstan has been a turning point, and Tehran's lead negotiator described the discussions as a positive step.

But NPR's Peter Kenyon, reporting from the talks in Almaty, says it appears that most of what was accomplished was simply laying the groundwork for future discussions.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Come Aboard! Here's What The 'Titanic II' Will Look Like, Inside And Out

An artist's image of the Titanic II.
Blue Star Line UPI /Landov

Declaring it will be the safest cruise ship in the world and will have more than enough lifeboats just in case something goes wrong, the designer of what's supposed to be a replica of the Titanic has unveiled images of what the Titanic II will look like, inside and out.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Countdown To Sequester: Three Stories That Sum It Up

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 8:08 am

As a public service to our readers this week we've been offering a list of three stories each day that we think illuminate the looming sequester (or at least the debate over it), set to be triggered by the passing of Friday's deadline.

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