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8:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Quaker Oats Man Sheds Some Pounds

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 11:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Has the guy on the Quaker Oats box been doing Ashtanga yoga? The white-haired man with pink cheeks under a broad black Quaker hat is getting a makeover. Larry, as he is apparently known among ad men and women, is associated with heritage, trust, and quality by consumers. But after being an oatmeal cover boy for 134 years, PepsiCo, which now owns the Quaker brand, wants to refresh his image a bit to make the link between oatmeal and energy and healthy choices.

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Middle East
8:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Children Swept Up Into Syria's Violence

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 11:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

The popular revolt in Syria against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has been grinding on for over a year now. The United Nations says Assad's forces have killed more than 9,000 people during that time. The Syrian government in turn blames what it calls foreign-backed terrorists for the deaths of 3,000 soldiers and police. Now, the plight of Syria's children has captured attention.

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Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Advantage In Hand, Romney Campaigns In Wis.

After months of upsets and indecisive results, there were signs this week that the battle for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination may be entering its final stages. Mitt Romney has a huge lead in delegates, and some big endorsements are rolling in. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Don Gonyea in Wisconsin, which has a primary Tuesday.

Asia
8:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

What Does N. Korea, 'The Impossible State,' Want?

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 11:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

North Korea is the most secretive country in the world. Its pursuit of nuclear weapons is a cause of great concern all over the world, and just this week, the country tested two short-range missiles soon after President Obama left the region after attending a nuclear summit. United States has suspended food aid to that regime in response to North Korea's planned long-range missile test later this year.

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Europe
8:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Far-Right European Movements Unite

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 11:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

They call the Danish port city of Aarhus the City of Smiles, but not many smiling today. Police are patrolling the streets to stop violence from erupting, as far-right anti-Muslim groups from around Europe gather for a demonstration. Observers say it's the first time these hard-line groups have gotten together like this. NPR's Philip Reeves is on the streets of Aarhus, Denmark. Phil, thanks for being with us.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: You're welcome.

SIMON: What are you seeing right now?

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Europe
8:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Socialist Campaigns Against Sarkozy, 'Big Finance'

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

French voters go to the polls three weeks from today to cast ballots in the first round of their presidential election. Current president Nicolas Sarkozy is fighting for his life in a close race against a man who has never held national office, and is virtually unknown outside of France. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this profile of socialist candidate Francois Hollande.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

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Sports
8:00 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Win Or Lose, Ky. Gets Spot In NCAA Championship

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has got a real dilemma. Does he root for the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville Cardinals in tonight's Final Four basketball game?

Governor Beshear joins us now from his office in Frankfort, Kentucky. Governor, thanks for being with us.

GOVERNOR STEVE BESHEAR: You're welcome, Scott.

SIMON: And let me please give you the chance to alienate half the voters in your state by telling us where you stand on this game.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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Politics
4:30 am
Sat March 31, 2012

'Obamacare' Sounds Different When Supporters Say It

Supporters of the health care law have recently embraced the term "Obamacare," a word they once recoiled from.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 3:21 pm

Until recently, "Obamacare" was a word mostly used by opponents of President Obama's health care law. Now, supporters of the law are attempting to claim it as their own.

During the three days of health care hearings, protesters outside of the Supreme Court in favor of the law returned to one chant more than any other: "We love Obamacare."

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Snow White Rising: Why This Princess, And Why This Moment?

Lily Collins plays Snow White in Mirror Mirror opposite Julia Roberts as the vain Queen jealous of Snow's beauty.
Jan Thijs Relativity Media

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 2:44 pm

Snow White is having a moment.

The new movie Mirror Mirror stars Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen. In June, another Snow White movie opens starring another Oscar winner, Charlize Theron, in the same role. And Disney is working on a new animated film loosely based on Snow White set in 19th-century China. So what makes Snow White so right for right now?

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Middle East
8:20 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

To Keep Protesters Away, Egypt's Police Put Up Walls

After clashes between protesters and security forces, Cairo's police erected walls to keep demonstrators away from the Interior Ministry. Street artists then painted this wall across Sheik Rihan Street.
Mohammed Hossam AFP/Getty Images

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Middle East
7:07 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Israel, West Bank Settlers Brace For Showdown

Israel's Supreme Court has ruled the West Bank Jewish settlement outpost of Migron must be destroyed by August 2012.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:33 pm

Just two months ago, Aviela Deitch was proud to show off what residents had built on the hilltop outpost of Migron, just a few miles away from the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank.

At that time, the Israeli Supreme Court had already ruled that Migron was sitting on private Palestinian property and had ordered Migron settlers to evacuate.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:49 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Scientific Journals Plan To Publish Contentious Bird Flu Research

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 6:12 pm

A government advisory committee has reconsidered its advice to keep certain details of bird flu experiments secret.

Revised versions of manuscripts that describe two recent studies can be openly published, the committee now says. The decision could help end a contentious debate that has raged within the scientific community for months.

In response, the editors of two journals immediately said they planned to publish the research soon.

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The Salt
5:26 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Is That A Crushed Bug In Your Frothy Starbucks Drink?

The tiny white insects that feed on cactus turn into red cochineal when crushed. Starbucks uses the dye in some of its products.
Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Call it the tempest in the Frappuccino. Some Starbucks patrons have been distressed to learn that the chain's Strawberry and Creme Frappuccino owes its pink coloring to crushed insects.

The coloring in question, cochineal, is made from a tiny white insect, Dactylopius coccus. When crushed, its body exudes a brilliant red color. Cochineal has been used as a coloring for foods and makeup for centuries.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Current TV Fires Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann hosted a commentary show on Current TV.
Current TV

Less than a year after he was hired, Current TV said it was ending its contract with lead anchor Keith Olbermann. Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who had an ill-fated run on CNN, will replace him.

Current announced the move in an open letter to its viewers from Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, Current's founders.

The letter reads in part:

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Jazz
4:56 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Reviving James Booker, The 'Piano Prince Of New Orleans'

Piano player James Booker is considered a New Orleans legend.
Bunny Matthews

Every day in New Orleans, Lily Keber rolls out of bed and walks to a flat, minor office building to meet her muse. Keber makes a cup of coffee with chicory, hooks up her computer and waits for what sounds like a dozen spiders to crawl across a piano.

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Asia
4:50 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Myanmar Hurriedly Prepares For An Election

A man holds a portrait of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a rally for a candidate of her National League for Democracy party on Friday. The country is holding elections for some parliamentary seats on Sunday.
Christophe Archambault AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:33 pm

In Myanmar's capital, Yangon, there's an unremarkable old building that's drawing people from around the world.

It's the headquarters of the National League for Democracy, the political opposition party headed by pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. This weekend, she is running for elective office for the first time, and the humble house has become the focus of even greater attention.

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Planet Money
4:49 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

On Tour With Nancy Pelosi, Fundraising Rock Star

Nancy Pelosi has raised $300 million for Democrats.
J. Scott Applewhite ASSOCIATED PRESS

This story is part of a Planet Money series on money in politics. Also see our story, "Senator By Day, Telemarketer By Night, and listen to us this weekend on This American Life.

Democrats love Nancy Pelosi. Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi.

One key reason for both the love and the hate: Nancy Pelosi is incredibly good at her job. And a huge part of that job is raising money.

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Latin America
4:28 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Venezuelans Tune In For Scoops On Chavez's Health

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears at an event in Caracas, Venezuela, on Thursday, after returning from radiation therapy in Cuba.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:08 pm

For nearly a year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been treated for cancer, but little is known about his health beyond the information he himself provides.

That has led to speculation about his health swirling in the president's oil-rich country, particularly over whether he can withstand a grueling campaign as he seeks a third presidential term.

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Middle East
4:19 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Diplomats Gather, But Syrian Truce Remains Elusive

Syrian opposition groups gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, as the factions attempt to form a more unified front. This Sunday, the opposition factions, including the main Syrian National Council, will be joined by diplomats in a meeting of the "Friends of Syria."
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:40 pm

U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian government should be the first to enact a cease-fire, but there was no sign of that on Friday. More violence erupted in several Syrian cities as diplomats prepared for Sunday's meeting of the "Friends of Syria" in Istanbul, Turkey.

The gathering comes at a time of growing disaffection with diplomatic efforts and an increase in attacks by Syrian opposition fighters.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Defending Kentucky's Coach Calipari: Not A Tough Assignment

Kentucky coach John Calipari has been criticized as being more of a recruiter than a coach. But that doesn't mean his approach to the game is easy.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 3:04 pm

The critique of University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari is that he does what it takes to get his players, and they do what they want from there. Sure, this thinking goes, he's yelling at them from the sidelines whenever one — specifically Terrence Jones — puts up a 3-point shot from a step behind the arc. But he's not much of a coach.

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