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2:17 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Battles And Bashes: What's News In Sports

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 3:45 pm

From the NFL's ban on head-to-head hits, the change in the playoff structure and predictions for the Super Bowl, A. Martinez from member station KPCC joins NPR's Arun Rath to discuss the latest in sports news.

U.S.
2:17 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Air Force Proficiency Cheating: More Than Punishment Needed?

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 3:45 pm

This past week, the U.S. Air Force announced that a cheating scandal among nuclear launch officers had grown. Now, the military says, more than 90 missile launch officers have been involved with cheating on monthly proficiency exams. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with former Air Force officer Brian Weeden, who thinks the missileer culture needs to change.

The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

At Least 14 Dead In Eruption Of Indonesian Volcano

Indonesian villagers flee as Mt. Sinabung spews volcanic materials in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, on Saturday.
Chairaly EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 3:34 pm

An Indonesian volcano that had been rumbling for months finally unleashed a deadly cloud of poisonous gas and gray ash, killing at least 14 people only a day after authorities had allowed thousands of evacuated villagers to return to their homes.

A series of huge blasts came from Mount Sinabung, a 8,530-foot-high volcano in western Sumatra, on Saturday, sending lava and pyroclastic flows down its slope into nearby settlements.

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Code Switch
1:06 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Why It's Hard To Talk About Attraction In Race And Culture

Matt Thompson

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:32 am

A few years ago, a woman named Elaine Dove tried an experiment on Craigslist. She created three ads, each with a different treatment of her racial and cultural background:

"The first described me accurately: gothic, Asian-American, alternative, artistic, inquisitive, intelligent, adventurous. The second made no mention of my race at all. The third stated that I was 'non-white and non-Christian.' "

The result?

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Energy
12:25 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

'A Global Bathtub': Rethinking The U.S. Oil Export Ban

A pipeline carries oil at the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility near Beaumont, Texas. U.S. oil companies are urging an end to a 1970s-era ban on oil exports.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:00 am

When oil supplies ran short and gasoline prices spiked four decades ago, angry drivers demanded relief. Congress responded in 1975 by banning most exports of U.S. crude oil.

Today, domestic oil production is booming, prompting U.S. energy companies to call for a resumption of exporting. Many economists agree.

But would that bring back the bad old days of shortages? Would you end up paying more at the pump?

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Punxsutawney Phil Vs. The Farmers' Almanac: Whom Do You Trust?

Turns out that Phil's only 39 percent accurate, about the same as The Farmers' Almanac and its rival, The Old Farmer's Almanac.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 7:16 am

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog, will be rudely rustled from his winter slumber Sunday morning to answer the question of the day: shadow or no shadow? Six more weeks of winter or an early spring?

Why this fascination with Phil? Well, scientifically speaking, long-range forecasting is at best a crapshoot.

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Interviews
11:53 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Ann Patchett, Ray Didinger And A Country Dilemma

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Ann Patchett is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. Her other books include Truth & Beauty, The Magician's Assistant and Run.
Heidi Ross Courtesy of Harper

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Pollster Says Bridgegate Could Derail Christie White House Bid

David Wildstein, who says Gov. Christie knew about the lane closures as they were happening, speaks during a hearing at the Statehouse in Trenton earlier this month.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 12:42 pm

A deepening scandal over lane closures used to punish a New Jersey mayor who refused to endorse Gov. Chris Christie could damage the moderate Republican's chances for a 2016 presidential run, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute tells NPR.

Patrick Murray, in an interview on Weekend Edition Saturday, says that the latest allegations have upped the ante on the brewing "Bridgegate" scandal.

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Sports
8:41 am
Sat February 1, 2014

How To Predict The Super Bowl Champions

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"Rule Britannia." But did you hear, did you hear? There's a football game tomorrow. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: For the first time since the Bronze Age, or at least since 1995, two teams from the West are in the Super Bowl. Between beer and Cialis ads, football's best offense, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, goes up against football's best defense, Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Always a pleasure.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Texas Overhauls Textbook Approval To Ease Tensions Over Evolution

Kansas Board of Education members look over language for a science textbook in 2007. The fight over the teaching of evolution has been particularly fierce in Texas, which because of its size influences many textbook publishers.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:01 am

The Texas Board of Education, which has long been an ideological battleground for the teaching of evolution, says it will limit the use of citizen review panels and instead give priority to teachers in determining science and history curricula.

Because Texas public schools represent such a large market for textbook publishers, the state has an outsized influence on what is taught in the rest of the country.

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Parallels
8:26 am
Sat February 1, 2014

What Comes Next In Syria?

A Syrian man walks through debris following an alleged air strike by Syrian government forces on Friday in the northern city of Aleppo. Nearly 1,900 people have been killed in Syria since peace talks opened in Switzerland on Jan. 22, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Mohammed Al-Khatieb AFP/Getty Images

For eight days, the Syrian regime and an opposition delegation sat face-to-face, but were not on speaking terms in Room 16 of the Palais des Nations in the sprawling complex of United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

Round one demonstrated the bitter divide with no breakthrough on the core issues of a political transition or access to humanitarian aid.

So what comes next?

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Simon Says
7:03 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl

Opera singer Renee Fleming will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" live on Sunday night.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:00 pm

Who knows who'll win the Super Bowl tomorrow, but history will be made before the coin toss.

Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. She is the first opera star to be asked, and it seems so utterly fitting, both for the first Super Bowl to be played within view of the towers of New York, and in the 200th anniversary year of the national anthem.

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Europe
6:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

British Royal Household Needs To Beef Up Reserves

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You know, being the Queen of England, it's not all about cute Corgis, glamorous balls and lacy hats. Even the royal family has financial troubles. This week a report by members of the British parliament found that the royal coffers are down to their lowest level ever. Just about a million pounds are left in the fund. That is slightly less than $2 million. NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us from London. Ari, thanks so much for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: How could this happen to our Queen, Ari?

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Politics
6:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

State Department: Keystone XL Would Not Worsen Warming

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Keystone XL oil pipeline may be closer to being built. The U.S. State Department's released an environmental impact statement that says the project would not make climate change any worse, and it's now up to President Obama to decide the fate of the pipeline. NPR's Jeff Brady reports that environmental groups and many Democrats want the president to reject the review's findings.

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Around the Nation
6:42 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Ex-Aide: Christie Knew About Lane Closures As They Happened

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's denied new allegations that he knew about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as they were going on. Now, charges made in a letter released yesterday from the lawyer of David Wildstein, a former ally of the governor's. He oversaw the closures as an official of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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