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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Jobless Claims Ticked Down Again, Consumer Spending Edged Up

There were 2,000 fewer first-time claims for unemployment last week than in the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

It says there were 351,000 such filings.

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Music Reviews
8:22 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Hugh Masekela: Wedding Songs That Don't Sound Blue

Hugh Masekela.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:50 am

In 1968, Hugh Masekela was not quite 30 years old and though he was in exile from his homeland of South Africa, he seemed ready to become at home on the American jazz and pop markets. That summer, he had scored a number one single, "Grazing in the Grass." A year earlier, he'd been one of the few international performers at the 1967 Monterrey International Pop Festival and had appeared in its D.A. Pennebaker documentary. Yet strangely enough, over the next 45 years Masekela never quite found his sweet spot.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Death Toll From Midwest, Southern Storms Put At 13

Vehicles and other possessions lie scattered in Harrisburg, Ill.
Scott Olson Getty Images

A fourth death in Tennessee appears to have brought the toll from severe storms that swept through parts of the Midwest and South on Wednesday to at least 13.

Chrissy Keuper of WUOT-FM in at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville has told our Newscast Desk about the fourth fatality in the Volunteer State.

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Business
7:34 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Virgin Atlantic Hires Whispering Coach

The airline hired the coach to train its flight attendants to speak in hushed tones while serving passengers. Crews will be trained on tone and volume. The low tones are reserved for Virgin's new upper class dream suite.

The Two-Way
7:30 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Two More Americans Killed In Afghanistan

Feb. 23: Afghan demonstrators burn a U.S. flag during a protest in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
AFP/Getty Images

Two more American military personnel were killed in Southern Afghanistan today when, officials believe, an Afghan civilian grabbed a weapon from an Afghan soldier and opened fire, NPR's Quil Lawrence reports from Kabul. At least one other attacker may also have been involved.

Quil adds that "we don't know yet whether this attack is linked to the Quran burnings, which set off so much violence — including the killing of four U.S. servicemen in the week that followed."

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Around the Nation
7:18 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Even In Court, A Wallet Must Be Monitored

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A suspect in Iowa will not have to go far to find a jury of his peers. Jury selection was underway in a court in Waterloo when a potential juror left her wallet on a bench. She returned from a break and found cash missing. Witnesses and security cameras in the court led authorities to a suspect. The man was another potential jury member. Police arranged a court date for him in the same legal system he had been serving a short time before. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Politics
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Congress Works To Mend Economy, Approval Ratings

House Majority leader Eric Cantor is pushing a package of small business bills that also has the support of President Obama. The rare instance of cooperation could mark a change in strategy for the House following historically low approval numbers for Congress and rising poll numbers for the president.

Around the Nation
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Residents Try To Recover From Midwest Storms

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're going next to the town of Harrisburg, Illinois, one of many Midwestern towns struck by tornados. Harrisburg suffered the most of those towns. The tornado killed six people, with winds of up to 170 miles per hour. NPR's Cheryl Corley is there.

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Asia
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Hong Kong To Elect New Chief Executive

Later this month, an election will be held to select Hong Kong's next chief executive. The race has been tarnished with accusations of extra-marital affairs and conflicts of interest. As the local press puts it: Beijing has lost control of the puppet strings.

Business
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a prognosis from Ben Bernanke.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is back on Capitol Hill today, for a second day of testimony. He's speaking to Senators one day after he told House members that the economic recovery is, quote, "uneven and modest." He showed no sign of what his predecessor once called irrational exuberance.

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Business
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Final Day For Greeks To Swap Drachmas For Euros

Beginning Friday, the Bank of Greece will stop exchanging drachma notes for euros. The deadline comes at an uncertain time for Greeks, who worry that their country's debt crisis could eventually force it out of the eurozone.

Business
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Acorn Media Gains Rights To Agatha Christie

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this morning's last word in business is: killer deal.

That's what Acorn Media may feel it's landed. Acorn distributes British TV series in the U.S., and it's now acquired a controlling interest in the estate of Agatha Christie. The late author of murder mysteries has sold billions of books. Those include the classic detective series Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.

(SOUNDBITE OF AGATHA CHRISTIE MOVIE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as Hercule Poirot) However, there is someone in this room who denied to him this pleasure.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Romney Touts Less Debt, Smaller Government In Ohio Stop

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The battle over social issues in the Republican presidential primaries has extended through most of another week. This time the flashpoint was a remark by Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor said he opposed, and then clarified that he actually favors, legislation involving contraception.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports it was not what Romney intended to discuss in Ohio.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Santorum Pounces On Romney's Views On Religious Freedom

Campaigning in Tennessee Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's camp took the opportunity to slam rival Mitt Romney for having a "liberal Record" on freedom of religion. At Nashville's Belmont University, Santorum spoke about his own views of religious freedom.

Law
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Georgia, Ala. Immigration Laws Challenged In Court

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Federal courts are nearing final judgment on some of the nation's toughest immigration laws.

Next month, the Supreme Court hears a challenge to the law in Arizona. Laws in two other states are now before a federal appeals court in Atlanta, as NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

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Middle East
4:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Syrian Troops Continue Crushing Offensive In Homs

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Theater
12:01 am
Thu March 1, 2012

'Carrie' Creators Resurrect A Legendary Flop

Molly Ranson plays the title role in the off-Broadway reworking of Carrie, directed by Stafford Arima and written by Lawrence D. Cohen, with lyrics by Dean Pitchford and music by Michael Gore.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:18 pm

Broadway history is littered with flop musicals — but if some shows are bombs, then Carrie, based on Stephen King's best-selling 1974 novel, was kind of a nuclear bomb.

The story of a teenager with telekinetic powers who wreaks bloody havoc on her small Maine town had already been successfully adapted as a film starring Sissy Spacek in 1976. But as a musical?

Frank Rich was theater critic for The New York Times when the show opened in April 1988. He called it a musical wreck that "expires with fireworks like the Hindenburg."

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Education
12:01 am
Thu March 1, 2012

To Get Kids To Class, LA Softens Its Hard Line

Los Angeles Police Department officers detain students in 2010 during a sweep for truants in the San Pedro neighborhood.
Brad Graverson Torrance Daily Breeze

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:52 pm

Los Angeles is easing its stance on truancy. For the past decade, a tough city ordinance slapped huge fines on students for even one instance of skipping school or being late, but the Los Angeles City Council is changing that law to focus on helping students get to class because it turns out those harsh fines were backfiring.

Two years ago, Nabil Romero, a young Angeleno with a thin black mustache, was running late to his first period at a public high school on LA's Westside.

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Asia
12:01 am
Thu March 1, 2012

For India's Undocumented Citizens, An ID At Last

An Indian boy gets his eyes scanned for enrollment in a nationwide ID project in 2011. Many Indians, especially the poor, lack identification documents, which restricts their access to many government services.
Harish Tyagi EPA

Some 75,000 babies are born every day in India. The total population is 1.2 billion and climbing. That's a lot of people to keep track of, and the Indian government has struggled to keep up.

Many Indians, especially the poor, don't have any ID, which makes it increasingly difficult for them to be full participants in a society that is rapidly modernizing. But a new project aims to fix that.

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National Security
12:01 am
Thu March 1, 2012

In Mock Village, A New Afghan Mission Takes Shape

Lt. Col. Mark Schmitt, who will be among a group of U.S. military trainers heading to Afghanistan soon, calls out orders during a mock attack on the model Afghan village at the U.S. military base in Fort Polk, La.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

At the Fort Polk military base in the pine forests of central Louisiana, the Army has created a miniature version of Afghanistan — with mock villages and American soldiers working alongside Afghan role-players.

This is the training ground for a new American approach in Afghanistan as the U.S. begins to look ahead to the goal of bringing home the U.S. forces by the end of 2014. The idea is that Afghan forces have to be good enough to defend their country against the Taliban, and to make that happen, the U.S. Army is creating small U.S. training teams at Fort Polk.

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