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StoryCorps
5:20 am
Sat February 16, 2013

In Loving Memory Of A Wife, Daughter And Fallen Soldier

Tracy Johnson and her mother-in-law, Sandra Johnson.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:20 pm

North Carolina National Guardsman Tracy Johnson is an Iraq War veteran and an Army widow.

She is also one of the first gay spouses to lose a partner at war since the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

On Feb. 14, 2012, Tracy married her longtime partner, Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson. But eight months later, Donna was killed by a suicide bomber while serving in Khost, Afghanistan.

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Simon Says
5:20 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Is Honest Abe's Stovepipe Hat A Fake?

Abraham Lincoln's iconic stovepipe hat is on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 10:06 am

Abraham Lincoln's black stovepipe hat is an icon. It seemed to enhance his height, emphasize his dignity and, I suppose, keep his head warm.

There is a stovepipe hat at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., soiled and slightly brown with age. Lincoln is said to have given it to William Waller, a farmer and political supporter in Jackson County, Ill., and kept by his family for decades.

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Religion
5:18 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Pope's Resignation An Opportunity For Africa's Cardinals

Priest Anthony Obanla says Mass at a church in Lagos, Nigeria. In Africa, where the Catholic Church continues to grow, worshipers and clergy hope to see one of their own rise to lead the faithful.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 10:03 pm

The names of African cardinals are popping up as possible contenders to succeed Pope Benedict as head of the Roman Catholic Church when he steps down at the end of the month.

The Mary Mother of Good Council School is one of a number of respected Roman Catholic schools overseen by the archdiocese of Accra, the capital of the West African nation of Ghana. The Metropolitan archbishop of Accra, Charles Palmer-Buckle, who trained as a priest at pontifical universities in Rome, is upbeat about the continent's contribution to the Catholic Church.

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Around the Nation
5:16 am
Sat February 16, 2013

The 'Baby Dolls' Of Mardi Gras A Fun Tradition With A Serious Side

The Baby Doll Ladies pose during Mardi Gras in New Orleans on Tuesday.
Skip Bolen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:17 pm

Just inside a room on the second floor of the Louisiana State Museum's Presbytere, there's a large baby doll dress, big enough for a woman to wear. And one did.

The costume and the baby bottle next to it belonged to 85-year-old Miriam Batiste Reed, who was known as a baby doll and one of the first women to parade in Mardi Gras. The bottle and the dress are part of a new exhibition, They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition.

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Book Reviews
7:54 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Tales Of Transformation Make 'Vampires In The Lemon Grove' A Stunner

In one of the eight stories in Karen Russell's new collection, a group of dead presidents has been reincarnated as horses. Rutherford B. Hayes, a skewbald pinto, frantically licks the palm of a girl in a secret code that he's worked out, revealing his true identity and asking her to alert the authorities. "Ha-ha!" the girl laughs. "That tickles."

I know, you're probably thinking: "Dead presidents reincarnated as horses? Oh, come on, Meg, that sounds like the plot of so many short stories."

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Food
6:08 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Romanian Horse Meat In British Lasagna Reveals Complex Global Food Trade

Not all countries in Europe shun horse meat, as the sign above this butcher shop in Paris attests. But horse-eating Europeans still don't like being swindled.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 7:35 am

How did the Romanian horse meat wind up in the British spaghetti sauce? Follow its path, and you'll get a quick tutorial in the complexities of the global food trade.

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Shots - Health News
5:23 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

What Nuclear Bombs Tell Us About Our Tendons

Nuclear bomb tests like this one, conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1957, are helping scientists understand how the human body works.
Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:57 am

You really don't want to mess with your Achilles tendons. Trust us, injury to these tendons can take months to heal, and even then recovery is often not complete.

A big reason the Achilles is such a foot-dragger at getting better is that the tendon tissue we have as adults is basically the same as we had when we were teenagers.

That finding was published earlier this week in The FASEB Journal.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:04 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

After Sandy, Not All Sand Dunes Are Created Equal

Daniel Riscoe, Jenna Hart, Anthony Chau and Caroline Lloyd (all students from the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J.) carry donated Christmas trees across Island Beach.
Adam Cole NPR

When Superstorm Sandy hit Island Beach State Park — one of the last remnants of New Jersey's barrier island ecosystem — it flattened the dunes, pushing all that sand hundreds of feet inland.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. Charged With Illegally Spending Campaign Funds

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) in 2009.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 7:04 pm

Former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. of Illinois was charged Friday with conspiring with an unnamed person to illegally spend campaign funds.

As Politico reports, some of that money was spent on buying a $43,000 Rolex watch, "fur coats and memorabilia associated with Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Bruce Lee."

Politico adds:

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Around the Nation
4:29 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

NYC School Bus Strike Takes Toll On Disabled Kids

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For nearly a month, school bus drivers and aides have been on strike in New York City. They're fighting for job protections. The strikes has left thousands of children without yellow bus service. And while many are able to take public transit to school, students with disabilities who rely on door-to-door bus service have had a harder time. Yasmeen Khan from member station WNYC reports on how families are scrambling to get their kids to and from school.

YASMEEN KHAN, BYLINE: At least the Noris-Weitzman family has a car.

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Shots - Health News
4:18 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Popular Workout Booster Draws Safety Scrutiny

Some sports supplements contain the ingredient DMAA. The FDA has warned that DMAA may not be safe.
iStockphoto.com

Richard Kessinger loves to hit the gym. But some days he needs a little something to get him pumped up for his weightlifting routine.

"You might be a little bit sore. You might be tired. You might have had too many beers the day before," says Kessinger, 23, of Arlington, Va. "So you might start putting up a set and you get a few reps in and you're like, 'I'm not feeling this. I can't keep going.' "

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Around the Nation
4:18 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Checking In On Chicago Schools' 'Safe Passage' Program

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama was in Chicago today, promoting what he calls ladders of opportunity to the middle class. It's the latest stop of his post-State of the Union tour, fleshing out the proposals from Tuesday night's speech. At a high school near his southside Chicago home, the president said reducing urban gun violence is essential to economic development.

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It's All Politics
3:33 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

President's New Voting Commission Greeted With Skepticism

Lines of voters wait to cast their ballots as the polls open in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Nov. 6.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 4:18 pm

One of the more memorable moments in President Obama's State of the Union address this week was his introduction of an elderly woman sitting in the House gallery. The president said that Desiline Victor had to wait three hours last year to vote in North Miami.

"Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her," Obama said. "[Because] Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read, 'I Voted.' "

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Caught Their Attention: House Committee Will Hold Hearing On Asteroids

In this photo provided by Chelyabinsk.ru a meteorite contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk on Friday.
Yekaterina Pustynnikova AP

The two hulking rocks hurtling toward Earth today seem to have caught Congress' attention: Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, is calling for a Congressional hearing on what we can do to protect our planet from asteroids.

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Planet Money
3:18 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Should The U.S. Import More Doctors?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 4:52 pm

People around the world want the same thing from their doctors. First, do no harm. Second, take a look at this weird bump and tell me if I should get worried.

The job is basically the same in many countries around the world. But the pay is wildly different. The median salary for U.S. doctors is about $250,000 a year. In Western Europe, it's less than half that. In developing countries, the salaries are even lower.

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Religion
2:55 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Korean Pastor Tackles Prejudice At Home

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is Presidents Day, a day we celebrate the nation's presidents, and for many people it's a day off: a day to spend time with friends and family.

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Books
2:55 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Al Roker On Being 'The Jolly Fat Person'

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:03 am

This segment was originally broadcast on Jan. 28, 2013.

Al Roker, the veteran weatherman on NBC's Today show, endured years of indignities as an obese teenager and throughout his television career. Then, in 2002, he had bariatric surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But deciding to have the procedure, which is potentially life-threatening, wasn't easy — and neither was keeping the weight off afterward.

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Music
2:55 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Singer Emeli Sande Shares Her 'Version Of Events'

Emeli Sande's debut album Our Version of Events
Simon Emmett/ Lauren Dukoff The Fun Star

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:14 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 17, 2013.

After huge critical and commercial success last year, breakthrough British sensation Emeli Sande has her sights set on America.

It's a long way from her roots. Born to a Zambian father and English mother, the singer-songwriter was raised in Scotland. She tells NPR's Michel Martin that being the only mixed-race family in a small village had a big impact on her.

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Middle East
2:46 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Conflict Transforms Syrian English Teacher Into War Photographer

Nour Kelze, a 25-year-old from Aleppo, Syria, was teaching English at a private school when the uprising started two years ago. Since then, she has learned to be a war photographer and has been sending photos to the Reuters news agency.
Stephanie Freid Courtesy of Nour Kelze

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:33 pm

Syria's war has thrown ordinary citizens into situations they never could have imagined and changed them in ways they never would have dreamed. It's turned carpenters, engineers and doctors into armed rebels. And in Aleppo, it has turned a young female teacher into a war photographer.

We first met Nour Kelze back in October, on our first trip to Aleppo. We asked her to work with us as an interpreter. She agreed but said she also would be shooting pictures.

Kelze, 25, had been teaching English and only recently became a war photographer.

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Science + Technology
2:42 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Is Russia Marked For Meteors?

A hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteor reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow
AP

Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 8:53 am

Russians might be forgiven for thinking they have a big, fat celestial bull's-eye painted on their heads.

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