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The Salt
8:01 am
Thu March 14, 2013

It's Russian Mardi Gras: Time For Pancakes, Butter And Fistfights

A man dressed as a skomorokh, a medieval East Slavic harlequin, distributes bliny in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the last day of Maslenitsa, March 1, 2009.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 10:36 am

Nothing says party like pancakes and butter. At least, not if you happen to be in Russia this week.

The country is in the midst of celebrating Maslenitsa, an Eastern Slavic folk holiday that takes place the week before the start of Russian Orthodox Lent (this year, it starts March 18). Though now tied to the Christian calendar, Maslenitsa has roots in ancient Slavic sun worshippers — it originally marked the end of winter and advent of spring. And, like Mardi Gras, it involves a whole lot of feasting before the Lenten fast — with blinis, a Russian pancake, as the food of choice.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Co-Founder Of Khmer Rouge Dies; Ieng Sary Escapes Judgment For Genocide

Ieng Sary.
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

The death of Ieng Sary, co-founder of the Khmer Rouge that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and killed an estimated 1.7 million of that nation's people in the process, has dashed the hopes "among survivors and court prosecutors that he would ever be punished for his alleged war crimes," The Associated Press writes.

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Shots - Health News
7:36 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Neurologists Warn Against ADHD Drugs To Help Kids Study

Ten milligram tablets of the prescription drug Adderall. The drug is used to treat ADHD and is used by some students to boost their academic performance.
Jb Reed Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 6:48 am

Adderall and other ADHD medications are among the most prescribed drugs in America.

Quite a few of those pills don't end up being used to treat ADHD, though. They're used as "smart drugs" or "study drugs" by students who find the pills give them a mental edge.

The American Academy of Neurology now says: Stop that.

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Asia
7:18 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Why North Korea Makes Everyone Nervous ... Except Dennis Rodman

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rides on a boat near the sea border with South Korea in this March 11 photo released by the Korean Central News Agency. Bellicose rhetoric from North Korea has put other countries in the region on edge.
KCNA AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:58 am

North Korea's nuclear chest-beating has achieved the seemingly impossible by aligning the concerns of South Korea, Japan and even China, three Asian neighbors that have a long history of strained ties.

While all those countries have separate aims and interests, they share with the United States a mutual interest in containing the North Korean regime, restraining its rhetoric and keeping Pyongyang's nuclear option in a box, says Richard Bush III, the director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Thu March 14, 2013

'God Particle' Update: Scientists Think They've Pinned Down The Higgs Boson

This is what researchers at the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider expect a Higgs boson to look like. The Higgs boson is the subatomic particle that scientists say gives everything in the universe mass.
ATLAS Experiment/CERN

"Scientists working with data from a large particle accelerator in Europe are now almost certain they have pinned down the elusive sub-atomic particle known as the Higgs Boson," NPR's Joe Palca tells our Newscast Desk.

Or, as it's also known, the "God Particle" (more on that moniker below).

Joe reports that:

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U.S.
6:34 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Crime Lab Scandal Leaves Mass. Legal System In Turmoil

Annie Dookan, a former Massachusetts crime lab chemist, is accused of falsifying evidence in as many as 34,000 cases. The state's criminal justice system is now reeling as former defendants are challenging their convictions and hundreds have already been released.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 6:26 am

A scandal in a Massachusetts crime lab continues to reverberate throughout the state's legal system. Several months ago, Annie Dookhan, a former chemist in a state crime lab, told police that she messed up big time. Dookhan now stands accused of falsifying test results in as many as 34,000 cases.

As a result, lawyers, prosecutors and judges used to operating in a world of "beyond a reasonable doubt" now have nothing but doubt.

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It's All Politics
6:28 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Will CPAC Tell Us Which Way The GOP Is Headed?

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul filibusters John Brennan's nomination as CIA director last week. Paul is scheduled to speak Thursday at CPAC.
AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:36 am

Which way the Republican Party?

In the hope of getting answers to that and other questions, many activists, party big wigs and political journalists have descended on a hotel in a Washington suburb to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, which started Thursday.

This annual CPAC gathering is the first since President Obama thwarted Republican efforts to retake the White House, a defeat of Mitt Romney that many in the GOP didn't see coming.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Thu March 14, 2013

After Standoff, Suspect In N.Y. Shooting Deaths Of 4 Is Killed By Police

In Herkimer, N.Y., police and suspect Kurt Myers were in a standoff from midday Wednesday into early early Thursday. Overnight, these officers were on the town's North Main Street.
Brett Carlsen Getty Images

A deadly drama in central New York State ended early Thursday when police killed the man suspected of shooting to death four people and injuring two others on Wednesday, Utica's Observer-Dispatch reports.

According to the newspaper:

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Law
6:04 am
Thu March 14, 2013

High-Profile Rape Trial Of High School Football Players Begins In Ohio

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Testimony began today in a rape trail that has thrown a small Ohio town into the international spotlight. Two football players from Steubenville High School are accused of raping a 16-year-old girl during a night of partying last summer. Lawyers for the boys say the sex was consensual. The case has attracted widespread attention in part because of shocking photos, video and texts that circulated over the Internet.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Jobless Claims Drop; Wholesale Prices Rise

The number of people filing first-time claims dropped by 10,000 last week from the week before, to 332,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

That means claims continue to run at their lowest pace since January 2008. They've now fallen for three straight weeks.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Chávez's Body Probably Won't Be On Permanent Display, New Leader Says

March 6: In Caracas, many Venezuelans crowded the streets to see the coffin of President Hugo Chavez.
Xinhua /Landov

The decision to embalm the body of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez so that it could be put on permanent display in the country's Museum of the Revolution was made too late, acting President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday in Caracas.

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The Two-Way
5:10 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Book News: Apple CEO Ordered To Testify In E-Book Price Fixing Case

Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly been ordered to testify for four hours in the U.S. government's case against the company.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Pope Francis Begins With Prayer, Turns To Challenges

Pope Francis on Thursday as he left Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:57 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli on the selection of a new pope
  • From 'Morning Edition': John Burnett profiles the new pope
  • From 'Morning Edition': Correspondent Hugh Bronstein

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Around the Nation
3:50 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Steubenville Rape Case Sparks National Debate

Protesters rally on the steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse in January in Steubenville, Ohio, over a rape case involving local high school football players.
Thomas Ondrey The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 9:48 am

The Ohio River town of Steubenville is back in the national spotlight this week, as the rape trial of two high school football players has begun.

Inside the courthouse, a judge is considering whether a 16-year-old girl was so drunk last summer that she couldn't consent to sex — and whether the boys knew it.

But outside, the case continues to spur debate over teen drinking, sex, football culture and the ability of social media to amplify it all.

'They Don't Know Us'

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Business
3:31 am
Thu March 14, 2013

'Veronica Mars' Fans Set A Kickstarter Record

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Life on Mars.

The TV show "Veronica Mars" starred Kristen Bell as a teenage detective. Critics loved it. It gained a lot of devoted fans, but the show was canceled in 2007 after three seasons.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Yesterday, the show's creator took to Kickstarter to raise money to make a movie version of the show. And in less than 12 hours, those devoted fans pledged more than $2 million, smashing the site's records along the way.

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