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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Citing Uncertainty, Pentagon Will Not Deploy Aircraft Carrier To Persian Gulf

Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Atalntic Ocean.
U.S. Navy Getty Images

The uncertainty surrounding the Pentagon's budget means it will not deploy a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced today.

NPR's Tom Bowman reports that Panetta is also proposing pay cuts for troops. Tom filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The recommendation by Secretary Panetta mean that those in uniform could get a 1 percent pay hike next year, instead of 1.7 percent. But a final decision would rest with Congress.

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Music Interviews
2:27 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Anat Cohen: Bringing The Clarinet To The World

Jazz clarinetist Anat Cohen has a new album out called Claroscuro.
Jimmy Katz Anzic Records

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:28 pm

Clarinetist Anat Cohen is one of a handful of Israeli jazz musicians making a mark on the American jazz scene. She's been voted Clarinetist of the Year six years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association, and her most recent album, Claroscuro, showcases the range of her talents and musical influences, from New Orleans-style jazz to Israel to Latin music — particularly that of Brazil.

Cohen says that the clarinet's somewhat old-fashioned reputation may be the result of the very thing that attracts her to the instrument.

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Literature
1:54 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Hollywood Hot Shots, Scientology And A Story Worth The Risk In 'Going Clear'

AK2 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:26 pm

In the 1970s, a young man named Paul Haggis was walking down a street in Ontario, Canada. He encountered a man peddling a book.

"And he handed the book to Paul, and he said, 'You've got a mind — this is the owner's manual,' " journalist Lawrence Wright tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "And inside, there was a stamp saying 'Church of Scientology,' and Paul was intrigued, and he said, 'Take me there.' " Haggis soon became a member of the Church of Scientology — and he's a central character in Wright's new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

AC Milan VP Unleashes Another Racism Scandal, Referring To Player With Slur

Paolo Berlusconi looks on during the Serie A match between AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano in 2012.
Claudio Villa Getty Images

The vice president of the soccer club AC Milan, who is also Silvio Berlusconi's younger brother, has unleashed another racism scandal.

During a political rally, Paolo Berlusconi referred to one of his players, Mario Balotelli, by using the "N" word.

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Science + Technology
1:06 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Stone Age Stew? Soup Making May Be Older Than We'd Thought

The tradition of making soup is probably at least 25,000 years old, says one archaeologist.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 4:36 pm

Soup comes in many variations — chicken noodle, creamy tomato, potato and leek, to name a few. But through much of human history, soup was much simpler, requiring nothing more than boiling a haunch of meat or other chunk of food in water to create a warm, nourishing broth.

So who concocted that first bowl of soup?

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Oh, Mama! World's 'Oldest' Bird Has Another Chick

Wisdom (left) and her mate on their nest last November at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
Pete Leary USFWS

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:12 pm

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Pete Leary is proud to announce that Wisdom the Laysan albatross, who at age 62 (or so) is the "oldest known wild bird" in the world, has hatched another chick.

Wisdom's latest offspring "was observed pecking its way into the world" on Sunday at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific Ocean, the agency says.

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Economy
1:02 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

The Squeeze: Higher Costs And Smaller Paychecks

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:31 pm

The economy may be on the rebound, but life is getting tougher for some people in the middle class. With rising gas prices, insurance costs, and higher payroll taxes, people are feeling squeezed. Host Michel Martin asks if there's any financial relief in sight.

Your Money
1:02 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Skip The Flowers And Jewelry For Your Valentine

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:07 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Can I Just Tell You?
1:02 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Bravery By Speaking Up Or Keeping Quiet?

fifteen-year-old Malala Yousefzai relaxes. The Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban on Oct. 9 2012 has made her first video statement since she was nearly killed, released Monday, saying she is recovering.
Courtesy of Malala Yousefzai AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:31 pm

Finally today I want to talk about - and I want you to hear - the voices of two women: one who is really at the beginning of her life, one whose life has just come to its end. One I had the privilege to meet. One I have not — at least not yet. But they are both women who stand for something.

And here is the first:

"Today you can see that I'm alive."

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Politics
1:02 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Shutting Down Black Markets For Guns

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:07 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, rising gas prices, rising insurance costs, and rising payroll taxes - Happy New Year, middle class. We'll talk with NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax in just a few minutes about all the things that are squeezing the middle class right now - as if you hadn't noticed.

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Beauty Shop
1:02 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Does Having Guns Make Women Safer?

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:07 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, I'm happy I have a chance to tell you more about two women who made or are making an impression, one by speaking up, one by choosing not to. That's coming up later in the program.

But, first, it's time for the Beauty Shop. That's where we get a fresh cut on the week's top issues with our panel of women writers, journalists and commentators.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Assassination Of Opposition Figure Leads To Protests In Tunisia

A Tunisian protester jumps amid smoke after police fired tear gas during a rally outside the Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:25 pm

The birthplace of the Arab Spring is seized with mass protests today: Tunisians took to the streets to denounce the assassination of Chokri Belaid, the country's leading opposition figure.

As the BBC reports, Belaid was the secular opponent of the moderate Islamist government and he "was shot in the neck and head on his way to work" Wednesday morning.

CNN reports:

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Afghanistan
12:32 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

U.S., Afghanistan At Odds Over Weapons Wish List

Afghan soldiers conduct an artillery training exercise in the northwest province of Badghis in July 2012.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:12 pm

The U.S. and the international community have pledged $16 billion to support Afghan security forces after NATO troops complete their drawdown at the end of 2014. That money covers the cost of troops and equipment.

But just what equipment will be provided? Afghan military officials want big-ticket planes, tanks and other conventional weapons.

The U.S., however, says the Afghans need to get their strategic priorities in order, and focus less on prestige hardware and more on weaponry and equipment suitable for counterinsurgency warfare.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

REI Executive Tapped For Interior; Geithner Joins Council On Foreign Relations

Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI, who is in line to be the next secretary of interior.
Ron Sachs EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:29 pm

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. It's Official:

Praising Sally Jewell as an executive who turned outdoors equipment retailer REI into one of the nation's most successful and environmentally conscious companies, President Obama just said he is nominating her to be his next interior secretary.

Noting that Jewell, who in a previous job worked as an engineer for Mobil, has also climbed mountains in Antarctica, the president joked about that being "just not something I think of doing."

Our original post:

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Book Reviews
11:58 am
Wed February 6, 2013

A Mystery That Explores 'The Rage' Of New Ireland

Westbury iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:40 pm

The Irish novelist John McGahern once remarked that his country stayed a 19th-century society for so long that it nearly missed the 20th century. But in the mid-1990s, Ireland's economy took off, turning the country from a poor backwater into a so-called Celtic Tiger with fancy restaurants, chrome-clad shops and soaring real estate values. The country was transformed — until things came tumbling down during the 2008 financial crisis.

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Economy
11:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

With Gasoline Prices Rising, Consumers Are Having A Tough Year

Raul Rivero fills up in Miami. Having less take-home pay at the same time gas prices are rising could dampen consumer spending, economists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:30 pm

Business leaders involved in homebuilding, oil drilling or automaking are happy about the way 2013 has kicked off. Lower- and middle-income consumers, on the other hand, are feeling like the year has kicked them in the head.

"Consumers have not rebounded with the arrival of the new year," says Ed Farrell, director of consumer insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center. "Middle-income Americans were particularly hard hit this month and appear to be losing ground."

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Food
11:26 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Chocolate: Out Of The Box, Into The Frying Pan

Peter Ogburn for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:02 pm

Chocolate is like sex or pizza: Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. There are those who prefer light, refreshing desserts after a big meal, but I think those people are crazy. I always gravitate to the most decadent dessert on the menu, which is usually laden with chocolate. And while I love the stuff, there is nothing sadder than giving or receiving a box of boring chocolates on Valentine's Day. Each year, men and women shamefully duck into grocery stores and pharmacies to grab a box of assorted chocolates. Because nothing says "I love you" quite like chocolate from a gas station.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Once-Secret 'Watch List' Of Alleged Polluters Under Review At EPA

"Poisoned Places," an NPR/Center for Public Integrity investigation.
NPR

The Environmental Protection Agency's once-secret "Watch List" of allegedly chronic polluters is under review by the EPA's inspector general.

The existence of the list was first disclosed by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and NPR in 2011 during a joint investigation of EPA's air pollution regulation. CPI's Jim Morris discovered the list and a CPI/NPR Freedom of Information Act request prompted its public release.

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Business
10:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get Severance: Interview With An Iron

The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:07 pm

Wednesday, Hasbro announced that it was welcoming a new member of the Monopoly-token family. And because it asked the Internet, it wound up with a cat. (For whatever reason, the Internet was not offered Gotye or a bacon cupcake.)

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Business
10:47 am
Wed February 6, 2013

In Cost-Saving Move, Post Office Cuts Saturday Delivery

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with an ending.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The U.S. Postal Service has just announced the end of first class mail deliveries on Saturday. It is part of an effort to slow enormous financial losses. And NPR's Yuki Noguchi has come into the studio to tell us what all this means for customers and the Postal Service. And Yuki, so when will my Saturday deliveries stop?

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