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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Judge Throws Out Half Of Jury Award In Apple, Samsung Patent Case

People walk past the Apple logo at the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The judge overseeing the Apple/Samsung patent case decided to throw out about half of the $1 billion in damages awarded by the jury in a trial last August.

All Things D explains:

"Judge Lucy Koh ordered a new trial to determine damages for certain of the products in the case, a move that affects $450 million of the jury's $1.05 billion award.

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The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Obama Pardons 17 People; His First Pardons In More Than A Year

President Obama, who has issued few pardons during his time in office, announced on Friday that he had pardoned 17 people convicted of mostly minor offenses.

The AP reports:

"No one well-known was on the list released by the White House. Some of the crimes drew light penalties in the first place — such as a North Carolina woman sentenced to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service for distributing satellite cable decryption devices.

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It's All Politics
6:35 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

In Voting Rights Arguments, Chief Justice Misconstrued Census Data

Chief Justice John Roberts, shown here during a presentation last June in Pennsylvania, questioned the U.S. solicitor general about voting statistics during this week's arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Ann Wilkins AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:20 pm

At the voting rights argument in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts tore into Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, grilling him on his knowledge of voting statistics.

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The Salt
6:09 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Documentary 'A Place At The Table' Is A Call To Action On Hunger

The poster for the documentary A Place At The Table.
Participant Media

One nation underfed. Really?

Many of us don't think of the U.S. as the land of the underfed.

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U.S.
6:03 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Michigan Officials Take Control Of Detroit's Empty Wallet

With a declining population and dwindling tax base, Detroit has grappled with severe financial problems in the past decade.
J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

In a small public-TV studio before an invitation-only audience of 30 people, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made his case Friday for taking control of Detroit's finances away from the city's elected officials.

The state's signature city is grappling with a declining population, a dwindling tax base and decades of mismanagement — including corruption so pervasive at times that former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is currently on trial for federal racketeering charges.

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Author Interviews
5:48 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Man Turned Fly Seeks Revenge For Bad Reincarnation

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

A Parisian Jew who dies in 1773 reappears in the 21st century as an angel, fluttering gently down to Earth — or, so he thinks. He imagines himself as "a fully formed Christian seraph, a Viking with blond hair, a beautiful chiseled torso, hairless feet, and eyes the color of whiskey." So imagine his shock when he realizes he's no angel — he's actually been reincarnated as a common housefly.

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It's All Politics
5:19 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

One Strategy For A GOP Overhaul? Follow The Democrats' Example

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, shown here in August at the Republican National Convention, has named a five-member task force to conduct a review of what went wrong for his party in the November elections.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

These are difficult times for the Republican Party. In the latest NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, Democrats led Republicans — in some cases by double digits — on issues like Medicare, taxes and the economy.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Media Circus: Ah, The President's Mean

The Washington Post's Bob Woodward, shown in June 2012, has been in the spotlight this week because of a tussle with the White House.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

The week's developments include a pope emeritus for the first time in six centuries, federal budget cuts seemingly designed by Sweeney Todd, and the visit by one of the NBA's all-time rebounders (Dennis Rodman) to the son of one of the world's greatest sportsmen (that would be North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un, whose late father claimed to have shot five holes-in-one on his very first golf outing).

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Around the Nation
4:50 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Drought-Stricken Plains Farmers 'Giddy' Over Heavy Snow

Kirk Sours says heavy snow creates extra work on his ranch, but he's thrilled that the pending melt will bring his otherwise dry pastures much-needed moisture.
Frank Morris/KCUR

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 5:34 pm

Two rapid-fire snowstorms belted Kansas with more than 2 feet of snow this week. They caused thousands of accidents and all kinds of hardships — but they also produced very broad smiles from some quarters.

That's because in a place as dry as Kansas has been lately, a blizzard can be a blessing for farmers and ranchers.

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The Salt
4:50 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

How Did Our Brains Evolve To Equate Food With Love?

Bonobos share a piece of fruit at the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jingzhi Tan Duke University

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 12:12 pm

If food is love, Americans must love their kids a lot. About one-third of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight or obese.

And our emotional response to food may be one of the reasons so many kids eat so much, according to a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. The poll found that in more than a quarter of families, food is considered an important way to show affection.

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Add 'North Korea Expert' To Dennis Rodman's Resume

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman watch North Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game at an arena in Pyongyang on Thursday.
Jason Mojica Associated Press

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 2:55 pm

Strange as it may seem, a pierced, tattooed and occasionally cross-dressing former basketball star is now one of the West's leading experts on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, following his improbable visit to Pyongyang this week, has become the only Westerner to have had a one-on-one with the reclusive Kim, who by all accounts enjoys basketball at least as much as testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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Energy
4:32 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Natural Gas Dethrones King Coal As Power Companies Look To Future

American Electric Power's natural gas-burning plant in Dresden, Ohio, is one of the energy company's new investments in alternatives to coal-burning plants.
Michael Williamson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

The way Americans get their electricity is changing. Coal is in decline. Natural gas is bursting out of the ground in record amounts. And the use of wind and solar energy is growing fast. All this is happening as power companies are trying to choose which kind of energy to bet on for the next several decades.

Until recently, half of these plants burned coal to make electricity. Now, that's down to about one-third. Since 2010, about 150 coal plants either have been retired or it's been announced they will be retired soon.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Updated: State Department Releases Keystone XL Environmental Report

Pipe is stacked at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:52 pm

Update at 4:08 p.m. ET. Report Released:

The State Department, which is ultimately charged with approving or denying TransCanada's plans to build a 1,700 mile pipeline from Canada and through the U.S., has released a draft report that details the potential environmental impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Movies
3:32 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Fairy Tales For Grown-Ups? More Are On The Way

Rachel Weisz plays the witch Evanora in director Sam Raimi's upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful. The film is one of nine upcoming Oz adaptations and tackles more frightening and adult themes than those that came before it.
Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

Adaptations of fairy tales are everywhere you look. The TV show Once Upon a Time and the police procedural Grimm are in their second seasons. Hansel and his sister Gretel are at the cineplex hunting witches with machine guns. Jack, of beanstalk fame, starts slaying giants today. And those aren't the only bedtime stories that have been redesigned to keep 20-somethings up at night.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Researchers Connect Rats' Minds Via Internet

Rats share information via brain implants, say researchers.
NPR

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It's All Politics
2:47 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Sequester: The Movie

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 2:59 pm

On Sequester Day in Washington, lots of Twitter users invoked a favorite movie line to express their views on the automatic spending cuts. Some criticized the federal government; others just poked fun.

The #sequestermovielines hashtag reached trending status Friday with tweets citing Forrest Gump, action flicks and even the Disney movie The Lion King. We compiled a few of our favorites here:

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World Cafe
2:32 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

The xx On World Cafe

The xx.
Alexandra Waespi Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 5:58 pm

Romy Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith are The xx, an indie-pop band formed in the London borough of Wandsworth. Layering spare arrangements with synths, pulsing bass and haunting vocals, The xx's minimalist approach helped win the trio's debut, xx, the Mercury Prize for Best Album in 2010.

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Movie Reviews
2:26 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

A Disappointing Thriller Channels Hitchcock And Bram 'Stoker'

Nicole Kidman (left) and Mia Wasikowska star as Evelyn and India Stoker in Park Chan-wook's new thriller.
Macall Polay Fox Searchlight Pictures

Stoker has a ripely decadent, creepy-crawly feel that would have gotten under my skin if the tone weren't so arch and the people so ghoulishly remote. It's like a bad Strindberg play with added splatter. But director Park Chan-wook certainly works to make you uncomfortable. Take the early shot in which the teenage girl protagonist, India Stoker, played by Mia Wasikowska, sits in a meadow and muses in voiceover on the subject of free will versus destiny. She says, "Just as a flower doesn't choose its color, so we don't choose what we are going to be" — while draining a blister.

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Science + Technology
2:03 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

FCC To Examine Federal Ban On Unlocking Cellphones

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:54 pm

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski says his agency will investigate whether a federal ban on unlocking cellphones is "harmful to economic competitiveness."

Genachowski made the comments during a event hosted by the technology site TechCrunch.

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All Tech Considered
1:46 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

A Kenyan Teen's Discovery: Let There Be Lights To Save Lions

There are just 2,000 lions left in Kenya, according to estimates. Their population is dwindling in part because they are killed in retaliation for attacks on livestock. Richard Turere's invention could help save the lions.
Karel Prinsloo AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 11:37 pm

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