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Asia
3:27 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Myanmar's Election Seen As A Test Of Reforms

Myanmar opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to supporters on Saturday. Voting in parliamentary elections this Sunday is considered a test of the political reforms that Myanmar's rulers have introduced over the past year.
Khin Maung Win AP

Myanmar has an election this Sunday where only a small fraction of the parliamentary seats are at stakes — and yet the ballot is commanding international attention.

The closely watched election is seen as a test of whether the country's rulers are sincere about reforms they have been introducing over the past year.

If the vote is seen as free and fair, it could prompt Western governments to begin lifting sanctions imposed during the half-century of military rule in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

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Movie Interviews
3:19 am
Fri March 30, 2012

James Cameron: Diving Deep, Dredging Up Titanic

The Deepsea Challenger submersible begins its first test dive off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
Mark Thiessen AP

Titanic is back. The 1997 blockbuster featuring star-crossed lovers Jack and Rose is being released in 3-D. Starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic was the highest-grossing movie in history — until Avatar.

Both films were directed by James Cameron, who has just returned from a landmark expedition to the deepest point in the ocean: a spot in the far western Pacific called the Challenger Deep.

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StoryCorps
10:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

As A Life's End Draws Near, A Father And Son Talk

"For me, dying — it's very enlightening and certainly rewarding," David Plant (left) tells Frank Lilley. "Look at the opportunity to talk, for example. It's just incredible."
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 7:49 am

In 2010, David Plant was diagnosed with skin cancer. The cancer has since metastasized to other parts of his body, and David is now contemplating the end of his life. So, just before his 81st birthday, he sat down with his stepson to talk about their life together.

As Frank Lilley explains, "David is my stepfather, but I certainly consider him my father."

The two spoke in in New London, N.H. And Frank began with a question.

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Technology
6:39 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Group Finds 'Significant Issues' At Foxconn Factories

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 8:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The Fair Labor Association, a labor rights group, has released its audit of Apple's largest supplier in China, Foxconn. The group found what it calls significant issues with working conditions at three factories there, including more than 50 violations of the FLA's code of conduct and Chinese labor law.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:33 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Thinking The Unthinkable: What If The Whole Affordable Care Act Goes Down?

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 8:09 pm

After this week's oral arguments at the Supreme Court, lawmakers and health policy experts are starting to ponder what had — until recently — been unthinkable to many: What if the court strikes down the entire Affordable Care Act?

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The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

In Saturday's Final Four, Expect A Kentucky Showdown And Lots Of Emotion

Senior guard Darius Miller of Kentucky shoots during the Wildcats' win over Baylor in the South Regional final. Kentucky, the NCAA Tournament's No. 1 seed, faces rival Louisville in the Final Four Saturday.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 6:53 am

College basketball's Final Four men's teams will play in New Orleans Saturday, to decide which two squads will play in Monday night's NCAA championship game. The first match-up pits the University of Louisville against tournament favorite — and archrival — the University of Kentucky. In the second game, Ohio State University will face the University of Kansas.

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Death: A Father Who Lost A Chance To Make Good

Tracy Martin, father of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:12 pm

We don't have all of the facts from the night of Feb. 26 when Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer. But in remembering his son, Tracy Martin has touched on how the Florida teen saved his father from a house fire when the boy was 9 years old. On Wednesday, I asked Martin to tell me what happened that day.

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The Salt
5:12 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Studies Show Why Insecticides Are Bad News For Bees

One class of insecticides makes an entire corn plant poisonous to many insects that feed on it, including bees.
iStockphoto.com

The search for the killer of America's bees is a little bit like an Agatha Christie novel.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Massey Mine Boss Pleads Guilty As Feds Target Execs

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 7:34 pm

Thursday's guilty plea and plea agreement from the former superintendent of the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia is a key step in the effort to seek criminal charges further up the corporate ladder at Massey Energy, according to court documents and the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of West Virginia.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:38 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Deconstructing Some Of The What-Ifs From The Supreme Court

When Kaiser Health News asked for questions during the Supreme Court arguments this week, one that didn't seem to get addressed in court was this:

What happens to people who have already benefited from the law? This would include seniors who got rebates in the Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole," for example. Would they have to give the money back to ... the manufacturers? The government?

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Auditor Finds 'Serious Issues' At Apple Supplier Foxconn

A Foxconn International Holdings Ltd, complex is pictured on November 2010 in Shenzhen, China.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

A review completed by the Fair Labor Association found "significant issues with working conditions at three factories in China operated by Apple's major supplier Foxconn."

Apple joined the Fair Labor Association after various reports detailed poor working conditions at the supplier factories. Those reports spawned protests against Apple and Apple responded by saying the FLA would audit the Chinese factories.

In its press release the FLA said the big issues revolved around overtime. The FLA reports:

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

House Passes 2013 Budget That Includes Private Option For Medicare

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) says his budget offers "real solutions."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Voting along party lines, the House of Representatives passed a 2013 budget that was crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin.

Politico reports:

"The 228-191 vote gives the embattled GOP leadership what it most wanted: a show of party unity behind a bold election-year vision that includes new private options for Medicare and a simplified tax code.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Amid National Strike, Hundreds Of Thousands Protest In Spain

People attend a demonstration in Madrid on Thursday during a national strike.
Dani Pozo AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands across Spain took to the streets to protest the latest austerity measures proposed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

The protests were the culmination of a 24-hour general strike that affected air travel and public transportation.

The AP reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:19 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

How Your Brain Is Like Manhattan

This image shows the grid structure of the major pathways of the brain. It was created using a scanner that's part of the Human Connectome Project, a five-year effort which is studying and mapping the human brain.
MGH-UCLA Human Connectome Project

It turns out your brain is organized even if you're not.

At least that's the conclusion of a study in Science that looked at the network of fibers that carry signals from one part of the brain to another.

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

For Romney, Rationale Behind Rubio Endorsement May Be Bigger Prize

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., talks at the Hispanic Leadership Network in Miami on Jan. 27.
Alan Diaz AP

Mitt Romney's endorsements this week by two important Republicans — a former president and perhaps a not-too-distant-future presidential running mate — are not unexpected.

But the reasons former President George H.W. Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio give for backing the front-runner are a little less standard political fare.

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Author Interviews
3:08 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

'Escape From Camp 14': Inside North Korea's Gulag

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 8:09 pm

Until his early 20s, the only life Shin Dong-hyuk had ever known was one of constant beatings, near starvation and snitching on others to survive. Born into one of the worst of North Korea's system of prison camps, Shin was doomed to a life of hard labor and an early death. Notions of love and family were meaningless: He saw his mother as a competitor for food.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Review: 'Running The Rift'

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Athletes all over the world are training for the summer Olympics in London. We'll hear some of their personal stories as the games get closer. But now, a fictional story about a man who wants to reach the Olympics. "Running the Rift" is about an African athlete's struggles with his country's ethnic divisions.

Here's our reviewer, Alan Cheuse.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Republicans Barrel GOP Budget Through House

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 8:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
3:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Congress Passes Highway Bill To Avoid Shutdown

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It wasn't just the budget that lawmakers clashed over today. The House and Senate each passed short-term transportation bills. And that sets up yet another showdown over spending, as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If Congress hadn't passed the short-term transportation bills, beginning this weekend, the government wouldn't have been able to spend money on transportation programs or collect fuel taxes. Disaster averted, right?

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Parents Make Child's Death Their Cause

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

These days, the parents of Treyvon Martin are in the news every day. In the months since their son was shot to death in Sanford, Florida, they've spoken at press conferences and rallies, addressed newspaper editorial boards and even Congress.

Treyvon's father, Tracy Martin, came here to NPR this week. On the program TELL ME MORE, he spoke about the process of dealing with his son's death, saying, it will be a long time before the healing even starts.

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