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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Consumer Spending Rose 0.7 Percent In February; Higher Gas Prices A Factor

Retailers are doing all they can to attract consumers, who drive the economy. (File photo from 2012 of a store window in Santa Monica, Calif.)
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:30 am

There was a slightly larger-than-expected increase of 0.7 percent in consumer spending from January to February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Higher gasoline prices, though, were much of the reason for the rise. According to the bureau, if spending is adjusted for inflation the increase was a more modest 0.3 percent — the same as in January. And higher energy costs were behind most of the inflationary pressures last month.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Satellite Image Shows 'Incredible' Storm Stretching Across North Atlantic

That's the coast of the U.S. on the left, the tip of Greenland at the top center and the coast of Europe on the top right. Meanwhile, the storm's tail extends down into the Caribbean.
NOAA Satellite and Information Service

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:27 am

The same weather system that left a few inches of snow on parts of the eastern U.S. earlier this week is now over the North Atlantic, and Jason Samenow of The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang says he's not sure he's ever "seen a storm this big before."

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The Two-Way
4:53 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Book News: New Book To Feature Unseen Works Of Art By Jean-Michel Basquiat

A Sotheby's employee walks past a work by Jean-Michel Basquiat titled "Untitled (Pecho/Oreja)" at the auction house.
Alastair Grant ASSOCIATED PRESS

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Europe
4:51 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Belgian Post Office Sells Chocolate-Flavored Stamps

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The Belgian post office released chocolate-flavored stamps just in time for Easter. The glue in the stamps is infused with cacao oil. A celebratory touch that makes sense, given Belgium is famous for its chocolate. One stamp collector sniffed the chocolate flavor was disappointing, but come on, wouldn't anything taste better than regular stamps? We on this morning show are now hoping for Belgian waffle-flavored envelopes. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
4:28 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Actor Richard Griffiths, Uncle Vernon In 'Harry Potter' Movies, Dies

Actor Richard Griffiths in 2011.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 5:58 am

Richard Griffiths, who millions of Harry Potter movie fans loved and likely despised as the cruel Uncle Vernon Dursley, has died.

The BBC, The Guardian and other news outlets in the U.K. report that he passed away Thursday at the age of 65. There were "complications following heart surgery," the BBC says. The Guardian adds:

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Around the Nation
4:26 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Disc Jockey Gets Tattoo After Florida Gulf Coast Win

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

March Madness is a fixture in the United States and now on one radio host's upper arm. Florida DJ Big Mama wanted the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to win so badly, he promised on air to get a tattoo if they beat Georgetown. Big Mama is a man of his word. He posted photos of his Eagles tattoo online.

I'll tell you what: If Florida Gulf Coast wins again tonight, I'll sing their fight song on air Monday. Steve Inskeep will be back - maybe a duet?

The Two-Way
3:55 am
Fri March 29, 2013

'Cuse Control And 2 Other Things To Say About Basketball Today

Brandon Triche (No. 20) of the Syracuse Orange goes to the hoop against Cody Zeller of the Indiana Hoosiers during their teams' game Thursday night in Washington, D.C. Syracuse won, 61-50.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 5:54 am

Friday morning's cheat sheet about the NCAA's Division I men's basketball tournament (or March Madness, as it's better known):

-- Hoosiers Zoned Out: It's probably never right to say that a Syracuse win is a huge surprise, given the many years of success enjoyed by coach Jim Boeheim's Orange. But the 'Cuse are a No. 4 seed in the tournament's East region. So Thursday night's 61-50 win over No. 1 seed Indiana is worth noting.

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Business
1:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a good read.

The social website Goodreads, where readers share reviews and book picks, got picked up yesterday by online retail giant Amazon. The price hasn't been disclosed. The co-founder of Goodreads says after the sale closes next quarter, the site will be integrated with Amazon's Kindle eReader. Goodreads has about 16 million members. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Movie Reviews
1:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Movie Review: 'Gimme The Loot'

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

"Gimme The Loot" is a new independent film that's had a charmed life, including winning the Best Narrative prize at South by Southwest and an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival. Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan says it's worth the fuss.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: We meet Malcolm and Sofia as they're stealing spray paint from a hardware store.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GIMME THE LOOT")

TASHIANA WASHINGTON: (Unintelligible)

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Business
1:43 am
Fri March 29, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is a takedown of everyone's favorite giant radioactive reptile.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GODZILLA")

MONTAGNE: That pop-culture monster, Godzilla, hatched nearly 60 years ago in a Japanese movie production studio.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

He stomped through cities battling other giant creatures, from Mothra to King Kong. Well, now The Wall Street Journal reports that Godzilla has been vanquished. His box office attendance records, at least, has been beaten.

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StoryCorps
12:09 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Tattoo Removal Artist Helps Clients With Emotional Scars

Dawn Maestas has removed tattoos from women who have been branded as a result of domestic violence. She recorded an interview with one of her clients, who wanted to remain anonymous.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

Dawn Maestas runs a tattoo-removal business in Albuquerque, N.M., and her clients include women who want the names of abusive partners removed.

Some of them have been tattooed forcibly, like the 22-year-old client who visited StoryCorps with Maestas.

"I was with a guy for five years. He was much older. He was really abusive toward me. After a while when I tried to finally end it, he kidnapped me, held me hostage and tattooed his name all over my body against my will," says the woman, who did not want to be named.

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Shots - Health News
12:08 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Number Of Early Childhood Vaccines Not Linked To Autism

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds no link between the number of vaccinations a young child receives and the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:33 pm

A large new government study should reassure parents who are afraid that kids are getting autism because they receive too many vaccines too early in life.

The study, by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder. It also found that even though kids are getting more vaccines these days, those vaccines contain many fewer of the substances that provoke an immune response.

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Planet Money
12:07 am
Fri March 29, 2013

The Trick To Selling Fancy Wine From New Jersey: Don't Say It's From New Jersey

A sign outside Lou Caracciolo's winery, Amalthea Cellars
Courtesy Amalthea Cellars

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

Halfway between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City casinos is a little slice of France: Amalthea Cellars. There's an old farmhouse, and a field full of grapevines.

Lou Caracciolo, who founded Amalthea, is walking through the field. "Here's something I put in the ground in 1976," he says. "You have to have a feel for it, and after 30 years I have a pretty good feel for it."

Caracciolo calls himself a hopeless romantic. And, really, you have to be a romantic to try to make a $33 bottle of cabernet sauvignon blend in New Jersey.

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Economy
12:07 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Cyprus' Crisis Frames Eurozone As 'Work In Progress'

Banks in Cyprus reopened to customers for the first time in nearly two weeks Thursday, albeit with strict restrictions.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 8:14 am

On the second day since Cyprus reopened its banks, depositors continue to face restrictions on getting at their money. ATM withdrawals are limited to 300 euros a day, and there are limits on how much cash travelers can take abroad.

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Shots - Health News
12:06 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Obamacare Won't Affect Most 2012 Taxes, Despite Firm's Claim

Taxes this year will be as much of a drag as ever. But not because of the Affordable Care Act.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:22 pm

If you haven't done your taxes yet, this ad from H&R Block might make you feel even more anxious.

"The Affordable Care Act means big changes this year when you file your taxes," says the young woman in the ad, with a smug smile. She then claims to have read "all 900 pages" of the law so she can offer you a "solution."

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