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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

Al-Qaida Leader Reportedly Killed In Mali

In this image from video, Mokhtar Belmokhtar claims responsibility for a deadly attack on a BP gas facility in Algeria. The Chadian military reported its forces had killed him in a raid in Mali on Saturday.
Uncredited SITE Intel Group/AP

A senior commander for al-Qaida's wing in North Africa has been killed, Chad's military reported on Chadian state television Saturday. NPR could not independently verify the report.

The military said troops attacked an Islamist rebel base in the mountains of northern Mali, killing several militants, including Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

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Games + Leisure
2:26 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

'Tomb Raider' Makes The Case For Old-Fashioned Console Gaming

The Tomb Raider video game franchise started in 1996. The latest version of the game starring Lara Croft (a character played by Angelina Jolie in film adaptations) is being released Tuesday.
Courtesy of Square Enix

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 3:28 pm

When Sony recently announced details on the upcoming release of the PlayStation 4, it prompted a new round of hand-wringing about the future of console gaming.

Sales of games on the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 have dropped precipitously in recent years as mobile gaming — on smartphones and tablets — has become more popular. Advance word is that the PS4 will integrate certain mobile and social media functions, and some are speculating whether this is the end for standalone, full-featured console systems.

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Music Interviews
1:50 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

Rhye: Men Of Mystery Find A Feminine Sound

Rhye is the duo of Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal. Their debut album is called Woman.
Dan Monick Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 9:39 am

Last year, an unknown band called Rhye started posting exquisitely produced videos online. The clips were sexy — erotic even — and the music matched the images. The identities of the band members were a mystery, intentionally shielded from view.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

Florida Sinkhole So Dangerous Rescuers Can't Search For Missing Man

After a sinkhole swallowed a man in his bedroom in Seffner, Fla., an engineer tethered with a safety line walks in front of a home on Saturday.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 6:56 pm

Update at 6:53 p.m. ET Rescuers End Search:

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill says efforts to find Jeffrey Bush, who disappeared in a sinkhole, have been discontinued. He says that the conditions at Bush's home have become too dangerous for rescue workers.

"At this point it's really not possible to recover the body," Merrill said at a news conference on Saturday.

He says workers will begin efforts to demolish the home on Sunday.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Whitey Bulger,' 'Salt Sugar Fat' And Historical Language

An early mug shot shows James "Whitey" Bulger in 1953.
Boston Police

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 12:40 pm

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Caught For Fins, Sharks Die At Unsustainable Rate, Study Finds

Fresh shark fins dry on the deck of an apprehended fishing boat in a declared shark and manta ray sanctuary located in the eastern region of Indonesia.
Conservation International /Getty Images

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year, "largely due to their inherent vulnerability, and an increasing demand, particularly for their fins, in the Asian market," a new report finds.

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Commentary
8:11 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Pianist Van Cliburn, Warmed Russian Hearts During Cold War

Van Cliburn accepts flowers from the audience in the Moscow Conservatory in April 1958, after a performance during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won.
Courtesy Van Cliburn Foundation AP

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 6:35 pm

Van Cliburn thawed out the Cold War.

He went to Moscow in 1958 for the first International Tchaikovsky Competition. When he sat down to play, Russians saw a tall, 23-year-old Texan, rail thin and tousle-haired, with great, gangly fingers that grew evocative and eloquent when he played the music of the true Russian masters — Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin.

Cliburn died Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 78.

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It's All Politics
6:47 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Does President Obama Know When To Say When?

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama appeared on The View last fall in New York.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 2:02 pm

Doesn't the president get enough attention?

The president is always the star of the show. When just about any major event occurs — whether it's a downturn in the unemployment rate, a natural disaster or some crisis overseas — much of the news media ask how it's going to play out for the president, the central actor in our national drama.

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Searching For Stability, Tunisia Stumbles

Tunisia's Prime Minister-designate, Ali Larayedh, speaks during a Feb. 26 press conference. His priorities will include forming a stable government and overseeing the writing of a new constitution.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 12:15 pm

Tunisia took the lead in the Arab Spring back in 2011. Its revolution was swift and largely peaceful. Within months, an assembly was elected to write a new constitution.

As other Arab countries grew more violent and chaotic, Tunisia seemed to be showing the way for an orderly transition away from authoritarian rule.

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NPR Story
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Let The Cuts Begin: Sequestration Deadline Passes

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Sequestration is official. President Obama signed an executive order on spending late last night as required by law. He sent the order to Congress and that triggered budget cuts known as sequestration. Earlier in the day, the president met with congressional leaders and when they left without a deal, he took questions at the White House.

NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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NPR Story
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Dealing With 'Root Causes' To Tackle Incarceration Rates

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Jeffrey Beard has watched America's prisons grow larger and larger every year adding prisoner after prisoner. He began working in the Pennsylvania Corrections system in the early 1970s when there were about 8,000 prisoners. He was secretary of corrections by the time he left in 2010 and by that time Pennsylvania had more than 50,000 people in its prisons.

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NPR Story
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

'It Can't Go On Forever': Michigan Steps In To Help Detroit

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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U.S.
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Can Detroit Be Saved?

Michigan is taking over Detroit's finances and will appoint an emergency manager to deal with the city's massive debt.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Detroit is broke. On Friday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced the state will take over the city's finances.

"It is time to say, we need to start moving upward with the city of Detroit," he said.

But the question on many people's minds is whether state intervention will be enough — and whether the more ominous and painful scenario of municipal bankruptcy can be avoided.

Adding Up The Debt

Just how far gone is Detroit? Eric Lupher, director of local affairs for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, sums it up like this:

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Business
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Florida Atlantic Donation Sparks Outrage, But University Doesn't Budge

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Florida Atlantic University says it's standing by its deal to sell naming rights to its new football stadium to a controversial private prison company. The Boca Raton-based GEO Group faces allegations of abuse and neglect at some of its facilities, and there's a growing call on campus for the school to sever its ties.

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It's All Politics
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

GOP On The Sequester: Many Messages But Mostly The Same Point

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media after a meeting with President Obama on Friday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

In the days leading up to the sequester taking effect Friday, Democrats on Capitol Hill had a very unified message.

"We're seeking to provide the American people with a balanced approach. Again, that's what the American people want," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said at a press conference.

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Sports
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

In Alaska's Iditarod Sled Race, Vets Are A Dog's Best Friend

Mushers can bring up to 20 dogs to the Iditarod but can start the race with only 16. In the days before the competition, the animals are taken to the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, for pre-race exams.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 12:15 am

In Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, the "Last Great Race on Earth" begins.

Sixty-seven sled dog teams will start the 998-mile Iditarod race across the barren, frigid and unforgiving land. In this year's competition, there are a handful of first-time racers — but those aren't the only rookies.

One is veterinarian Greg Reppas, whose job is to ensure the dogs are healthy throughout the race.

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The Two-Way
8:01 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Inventor Dies As 'Breathable' Nail Polish Becomes Hit With Muslim Women

A worker paints fingernails with O2M polish at an Inglot shop in a Polish shopping center. The breathable nail polish has become a hit with Muslim women.
Czarek Sokolowski AP

The death of a Polish nail polish inventor has opened a window into a world of specialty cosmetics. Wojciech Inglot was a chemist and entrepreneur who tried to come up with a more healthful alternative to traditional nail polish. He died Feb. 23 at the age of 57.

Inglot leaves behind a market of grateful customers: Muslim women, who have flocked to his invention of a "breathable" polish that allows air and moisture to reach the nail bed. Some scholars say the cosmetic is uniquely permissible under Islamic law.

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Judge Throws Out Half Of Jury Award In Apple, Samsung Patent Case

People walk past the Apple logo at the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The judge overseeing the Apple/Samsung patent case decided to throw out about half of the $1 billion in damages awarded by the jury in a trial last August.

All Things D explains:

"Judge Lucy Koh ordered a new trial to determine damages for certain of the products in the case, a move that affects $450 million of the jury's $1.05 billion award.

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The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Obama Pardons 17 People; His First Pardons In More Than A Year

President Obama, who has issued few pardons during his time in office, announced on Friday that he had pardoned 17 people convicted of mostly minor offenses.

The AP reports:

"No one well-known was on the list released by the White House. Some of the crimes drew light penalties in the first place — such as a North Carolina woman sentenced to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service for distributing satellite cable decryption devices.

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It's All Politics
6:35 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

In Voting Rights Arguments, Chief Justice Misconstrued Census Data

Chief Justice John Roberts, shown here during a presentation last June in Pennsylvania, questioned the U.S. solicitor general about voting statistics during this week's arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Ann Wilkins AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:20 pm

At the voting rights argument in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts tore into Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, grilling him on his knowledge of voting statistics.

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