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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:56 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

When Nature Speaks, Who Are You Hearing?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 11:01 am

A couple of weeks ago I played hooky (don't tell anyone). It had been a long day of science and the bureaucratic business of science. After a working through a few grant proposal deadlines and a morning telecom, I threw my hands up, put my laptop down and walked away.

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

NATO Weighs Options In Ukraine

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 12:17 pm

This week, leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are reviewing proposals from NATO’s military chief to respond to the crisis in Ukraine.

Today, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organization plans to beef up defense plans and multinational training exercises. It also will use “appropriate deployment” of NATO air, land and naval forces if necessary to reassure member states nearest Russia, which has amassed troops on the border with Ukraine.

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The Salt
12:36 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Behold Ukrainian Easter Art: Incredible, Inedible Eggs

Ukrainians have been crafting elaborately decorated eggs for thousands of years.
Konstantin Chernichkin Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 1:50 pm

As Nancy Shute reported in 2012, Ukrainians have for centuries practiced an ancient form of art, drawing intricate patterns on eggs using a traditional method that involves a stylus and wax.

It's called pysanky, and it's alive and well in Ukraine and Ukrainian immigrant communities around the world.

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It's All Politics
12:35 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself

President Obama meets with faith leaders in the Oval Office on Tuesday — also known as Tax Day 2014.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 1:00 pm

President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.

The White House released the president's tax return last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.

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NPR Story
12:17 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

'Philomena' DVD Brings Real Philomena To New Audiences

Today, the DVD of the Oscar-nominated film “Philomena” is being released. One of the special features contained on the DVD is an interview with the real Philomena Lee. Her life story of being forced to give up her son for adoption and her long search for him inspired the film.

We spoke with Philomena and her daughter Jane Libberton, who helped Philomena with her search, back when the film was in theaters, and today we revisit that conversation.

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NPR Story
12:17 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Talking Pot With Teens In Colorado

Adams City High in Commerce City, Colo., has about 2,000 students. During the 2010-2011 school year, 105 students were disciplined for drug or alcohol-related school offences. These students had almost twice as many unexcused absences, more than three times the number of days of school suspension, and almost a full grade point lower average GPA compared to students without drug/alcohol related offences. (Jenny Brundin/CPR)

When Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 back in November of 2012, they set in motion an effort that has focused on setting up a system for people to legally obtain recreational marijuana.

But there’s been less attention on how to keep pot away from those who aren’t supposed to use it — anyone under 21 years of age. Parents and educators are struggling to fill the void, with public health campaigns only in the planning stages.

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Shots - Health News
12:14 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Despite Worries, Boston Survivor Heads Back To The Start Line

Carol Downing is still haunted by memories of last year's marathon. But she's excited about reuniting with other survivors.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:24 pm

At last year's Boston Marathon, Carol Downing was just a half a mile from the finish line when bombs exploded and injured two of her daughters. This year, she's going back to complete the race.

More than 36,000 runners hope to cross the finish line for the Boston Marathon this year. Downing plans to be among them. But she's worried.

"There's definitely some fear of going back," Downing says. "I know that for the whole time of the 26.2 miles, I'm going to be wondering if my family is safe."

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Saturn Might Have A New Baby Moon Named Peggy

The disturbance visible at the outer edge of Saturn's A ring in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft results from gravitational effects on ring particles by an object that may be replaying the birth process of icy moons.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:54 pm

It's not like Saturn needs another moon to look after — it's already got 53 officially, with nine more labeled as "provisional" (and those are just the ones we know about). But the tiny, icy object nicknamed "Peggy" could prove hard to resist.

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Television
11:33 am
Tue April 15, 2014

FX's 'Fargo' Is Neither Remake Nor Sequel

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:05 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The FX cable network premieres a new drama series tonight. It's called "Fargo" and has the same title as the 1996 Coen brothers movie. Our TV critic David Bianculli says it's a wonderful show in that same wacky spirit, but he says it's just as important to note what this new "Fargo" is not. It's not a remake, and it's not a sequel.

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Author Interviews
11:33 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Pakistan, The Taliban And The Real 'Enemy' Of The Afghanistan War

Children play at the demolished compound of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Aqeel Ahmed AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:42 pm

Carlotta Gall's new book opens in 2006, when undercover Pakistani intelligence agents punched her in the face, after breaking into her hotel room and confiscating her phone and computer.

It's just one example of how risky her job — covering Afghanistan for The New York Times — has been. Gall writes that over 12 years, she lost friends and acquaintances in suicide bombings and shootings and saw others close to her savagely maimed.

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It's All Politics
11:26 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich waves after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference annual meeting in National Harbor, Md., on March 8.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 12:13 pm

Newt 2012, the presidential campaign vehicle for Newt Gingrich last time around, couldn't bag the Republican nomination for him.

And now, the former House speaker's committee still owes $4.7 million from the attempt.

The campaign tells the Federal Election Commission that its debt on April 1, 2014, was just $14,507 less than the amount owed on May 31, 2012 — the month Gingrich officially suspended his White House bid.

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Around the Nation
11:01 am
Tue April 15, 2014

A Year After Boston Marathon Bombing, How Does Public Grief Help?

A Boston Red Sox cap left at a makeshift memorial on the Boston Marathon route.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:23 pm

It's been a year since a bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured hundreds of others.

The tragedy brought a massive outpouring of grief and concern from all over the world, as people sent flowers, running shoes, messages, quilts and all kinds of tributes to Boston.

The bombing even affected people who did not not have a direct connection with the city. Across the pond in England, Danny Bent says he "knew one person in the whole of the United States," but he tells NPR's Celeste Headlee that he was moved to act.

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Monkey See
10:54 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Ken Burns Tackles Lincoln, Education And Money In 'The Address'

Cooper and Ned are two of the boys working on learning the Gettysburg Address in Ken Burns' latest documentary.
Lindsay Taylor Jackson/Florentine Films PBS

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:07 pm

The Ken Burns documentary The Address, premiering on most PBS stations Tuesday night, opens at the Greenwood School in Vermont, where students are being introduced to a longstanding tradition: studying the Gettysburg Address until they can recite it from memory in front of a large audience of students, staff and parents. If they succeed, they receive a special commemorative coin that is only given for this achievement. A first, second and third prize will be awarded — one for middle school, one for high school — for these performances.

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NPR Story
10:54 am
Tue April 15, 2014

The Problem With U.S. Tax Policies

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 12:17 pm

Tax expert David Cay Johnston says it’s easy to fool the IRS, but there’s one catch: “you have to be rich.”

Johnston says Congress keeps passing laws that make the tax code increasingly complex, while at the same time it’s cut funding for the IRS, making it very hard for the agency to inspect returns properly.

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NPR Story
10:54 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Tensions Grow In Eastern Ukraine As President Initiates 'Military Operation'

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 12:17 pm

The Ukrainian government began today what it’s calling a “military operation” to confront pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern part of the country, even as the Russian militants fortify their positions, putting up barricades and seizing buildings.

Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov says the goal of his new offensive is to “root out separatists.”

The focus of the latest tensions between Russia and the Ukraine is the city of Slovyansk, about 100 miles from the Russian border, where pro-Russian insurgents are demanding broader autonomy and closer ties with Russia.

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