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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Karzai Asks U.S. Forces To Leave Key Afghan Province

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 1:08 pm

We're getting word that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered U.S. special forces to leave Wardak Province within two weeks amid allegation of torture and disappearances centering on Afghans who are part of the U.S. forces.

Update at 1:07 p.m. ET. Order Came After Report

NPR's Sean Carberry is reporting on the move for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Paul C.P. McIlhenny, CEO Of Company That Makes Tabasco Sauce, Dies

Paul C.P. McIlhenny reigns as Rex as he arrives at Canal Street during Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans on Feb. 28, 2006, six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. McIlhenny, the CEO and chairman of the company that makes Tabasco sauce, died Saturday in New Orleans. He was 68.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 11:44 am

The CEO and chairman of the company that makes Tabasco sauce has died in New Orleans. Paul C.P. McIlhenny was 68.

McIlhenny died Saturday, according to a Sunday statement from the Avery Island, La.-based McIlhenny Co.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Delivers Final Sunday Blessing At Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing Sunday during his last Angelus noon prayer, from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Pope Benedict XVI has given his final blessing before he steps down from the papacy on Thursday.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Benedict told the crowd that God is calling him to dedicate himself 'even more to prayer and meditation,' which he will do in a secluded monastery being renovated for him on the grounds behind Vatican City's ancient walls.

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Middle East
5:46 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Israel Restores Wetlands; Birds Make It Their Winter Home

Cranes fly at sunset above the Hula Valley of northern Israel in January. Millions of birds pass through the area as they migrate south every winter from Europe and Asia to Africa. Some now stay in the Hula Valley for the entire winter.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 8:45 am

Like many countries, Israel tried to drain many of its swamplands, then realized it was destroying wildlife habitats. So the country reversed course, and has been restoring the wetlands of the Hula Valley in the north.

The effort has had a huge and rather noisy payoff. Unlike many birding sites, where the creatures take off when you approach them, you can practically touch the cranes that inhabit the Hula Valley.

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Europe
5:06 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Greeks Ask Themselves: Who's A Greek?

Stephanos Mwange, a Greek-born citizen of Ugandan descent, says his love for Greek history and mythology have inspired him to act ancient Greek tragedies such as Hecuba. He's a well-known actor, though his positive experience as a naturalized Greek citizen is exceptional. Most from a similar background say they've been made to feel like foreigners.
Courtesy of Sotiria Psarou

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 6:36 am

When it comes to immigration, Greece faces a dilemma: The country needs new, young people because like the rest of Europe, it faces a falling birth rate and an aging population.

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National Security
5:05 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Overseas Trip A Road Test For Secretary Of State Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the press prior to talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the State Department in Washington on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 7:34 am

John Kerry sets off Sunday on his first foreign trip as secretary of state, visiting Europe and the Middle East.

One dominant theme of the trip will be how to resolve the crisis in Syria, where an estimated 70,000 people have been killed over the past two years. Kerry is portraying his trip as a listening tour, and he expects to hear a lot about Syria.

He told reporters recently that he wants to talk with U.S. allies about how to persuade Bashar Assad to agree on peace talks that would end the Syrian leader's bloody rule in Syria.

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Health
5:05 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Ancient Chompers Were Healthier Than Ours

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:55 am

Prehistoric humans didn't have toothbrushes. They didn't have floss or toothpaste, and they certainly didn't have Listerine. Yet somehow, their mouths were a lot healthier than ours are today.

"Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth," says Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. "[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up."

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Sun February 24, 2013

In China, Not Everything Has Changed

Shen Lixiu, 58, says she had her front teeth kicked out in a re-education through labor camp. Chinese authorities say they are considering "reforms" to a system that is coming under increasing public criticism.
Frank Langfitt NPR

A lot of journalism about China focuses on the country's rapid and stunning changes, but equally telling are the things that stay the same. I did my first story on China's re-education through labor camps back in 2001.

I met a former inmate named Liu Xiaobo for lunch in Beijing. Liu, soft-spoken and thoughtful, had written an article mourning those who had died in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. He had also called for democracy.

So, one day, police took him from his house and charged him with "slandering the Communist Party" and "disrupting social order."

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Author Interviews
5:49 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Craving Solitude In 'Ten White Geese'

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Gerbrand Bakker's new international best-seller, Ten White Geese, opens with a mysterious woman alone on a Welsh farm. Humiliated by an affair with a student, she turns up alone at the farm, looking for nothing and no one. She answers to the name Emily, but that is actually the first name of the American poet about whom she is writing her doctoral dissertation. Her husband has no idea where she is.

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Business
5:35 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Flipping The Switch: What It Takes To Prioritize Electric Cars

A Ford Focus electric concept car with a home charging unit on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in January.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 10:48 am

"Electricity is the most likely out of all of the alternative fuels ... to be the next fuel for the consumer."

That's what Jonathan Strickland of the website HowStuffWorks tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But electric vehicles are not without their controversies or challenges. One of the biggest questions is how a transition from gasoline to electric fuel can actually take place.

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It's All Politics
5:01 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Top GOP Voter ID Crusader Loses Virginia Election Panel Post

Hans Von Spakovsky in his official FEC photo taken during former President George W. Bush's administration.
FEC.gov

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:24 am

To those who closely follow the voter ID wars, Hans von Spakovsky is a household name, one of the nation's leading crusaders against voter fraud, and also one of its more controversial. Days before the 2012 election, The New Yorker profiled him as "the man who has stoked fear about imposters at the poll."

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NPR Story
4:51 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Oscars By The Numbers

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Anthony Breznican said he can't predict Oscar winners. But here's a guy who says he's done just that. Conor Gaughan is the chief strategy officer for Farsite, and they've been looking at all kinds of data to predict who will take home those little golden men.

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NPR Story
4:51 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Week In News: Sequestration Looms

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Later in the show, a haunting and sometimes menacing Dutch novel, a talk with former Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr and backstage at the Oscars. But first, we're back to the sequester debate.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Instead of compromising, instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans, they'd rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class.

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NPR Story
4:51 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Reading: 'Voice Mail Is For ...' And 'Chubby Bunny'

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 10:20 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Tamara Keith read excerpts from Round 10 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. The entries are "Voice Mail Is For Suckers" by Kristin Bonilla of Fulshear, Texas, and "Chubby Bunny" by Katie Camlin of Warrensburg, Mo. Read the full stories below and see other submissions and past winners on our Three-Minute Fiction page.

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
1:56 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

The Four Biggest Best Picture Oscar Upsets, Statistically Speaking

The cast of Crash celebrates after its surprise upset of Brokeback Mountain for best picture, at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 2:28 pm

By the time the curtains rise on the Academy Awards ceremony each year, Oscar-watching prognosticators are already reasonably sure which films are going to take home top prizes.

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It's All Politics
1:37 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Bloomberg's Anti-NRA Message — And Money — Could Sway House Race In Chicago

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control superPAC has poured more than $2 million into a Democratic primary in Chicago for a U.S. House seat.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

One of the most important events in the national gun violence debate will take place Tuesday — in the snows of Chicago, a thousand miles from Newtown, Conn., or Washington, D.C.

That's where Democratic voters will choose their nominee to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. Because the district is so heavily Democratic, the winner will almost certainly be sworn in at the Capitol following the April general election.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court To Rethink DOMA

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 6:34 am

The Obama administration is following through on its relatively newfound support of gay marriage. On Friday, the administration filed a legal brief with the Justice Department that urges the Supreme Court to strike down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Syrian Opposition Group Boycotts International Meetings

Government forces patrol a district under their control in Aleppo, Syria, on Friday.
AFP/Getty Images

Syria's main opposition group is declining invitations to international meetings to protest what it calls the "shameful" failure by world leaders to end violence there.

"The international silence on the crimes committed every day against our people amounts to participating in two years of killings," the Syrian National Coalition said in a statement released Friday and reported on by Agence France-Presse and other news organizations.

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It's All Politics
9:35 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Liberal Watchdog Group: 'Fix The Debt' Movement More Astroturf Than Grassroots

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 3:03 pm

The liberal watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy says Fix the Debt — a key unit in philanthropist Pete Peterson's corps of organizations to battle the national debt — is a pro-business effort masquerading as a grassroots movement.

In a conference call with reporters Friday, CMD director Lisa Graves called Fix the Debt "an Astroturf supergroup that is exceedingly well funded." The term "Astroturf" refers to groups that appear to be citizen-organized but actually have their roots at consultants' offices inside the Capital Beltway.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Blanco And Bazelon

Richard Blanco reads his poem "One Today" during President Obama's second inaugural, on Jan. 21.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 11:36 am

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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