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4:59 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Outdated Tax Code Gives Some Working Spouses A Bad Deal

The U.S. tax code, which dates back to the days of Ozzie and Harriet, works against dual-income spouses. In some cases, it's cheaper for one spouse to stay home.
Sherry Yates iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 10:07 am

Women today are nearly half the workforce, and two-income couples are the norm. But the U.S. tax code? It's straight out of Ozzie and Harriet.

When it comes to paying taxes, economists say, a lot of secondary wage-earners are getting a raw deal. It's called the marriage penalty.

"The system was never designed to penalize working spouses," says Melissa Kearney, director of the Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution. "It was just designed in a different era."

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Around the Nation
4:59 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Keep It Brief, Commencement Speakers! No One Will Remember Anyway

Do any of these students remember what Vice President Joe Biden said in June 2012?
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 7:03 pm

It's that time of year when colleges and universities send out press releases touting which coveted commencement speakers they've snagged.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

'Bully' Serves His Punishment: Holding Sign In Public

Edmond Aviv, 62, sits with a sign at a street corner in the Cleveland suburb of South Euclid Sunday. Aviv, who called his neighbor "monkey momma" as she held her adopted, disabled African-American children, was ordered by a judge to display the sign.
Aaron Josefczyk Reuters /Landov

The sign tells the story.

"I am a bully," it reads. "I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in."

That sign was displayed next to a busy roadside in a Cleveland suburb Sunday by Edmond Aviv, after a court found that he had abused his neighbors with racial slurs and vandalism that sometimes included dog feces.

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Law
3:12 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

'Pay Secrecy' Policies At Work: Often Illegal, And Misunderstood

President Obama signs two executive actions aimed at closing the gender pay gap, including an order to combat "pay secrecy," on April 8.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 7:03 pm

President Obama says his administration is fighting to close the gender wage gap, the gulf between what working men and women earn for the same job.

Last week, Obama moved to circumvent a divided Congress on the issue. He announced two executive actions promoting the idea of "equal pay for equal work," both directed at creating more transparency in the workplace.

For one, the president directed the Department of Labor to collect more information on what federal contractors pay their employees, "so pay discrimination can be spotted more easily."

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

A Girl Ages From 0 To 14 Years Old, In 4 Minutes

A Dutch filmmaker has updated his time-lapse video project, showing his daughter growing from a a chubby-cheeked baby into a braces-wearing teenager.
YouTube

A Dutch filmmaker has updated one of the more compelling uses of time-lapse photography techniques online. Frans Hofmeester has filmed his daughter, Lotte, every week since her birth in 1999. He recently posted a video that shows her on a white background, growing from a chubby-cheeked baby into a braces-wearing teenager.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Early Afghan Election Results Set Candidates Posturing

Initial results released by Afghan officials show former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah with a narrow lead over former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, in a tight presidential election.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 1:49 pm

Initial results from Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election show two candidates — Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani — far ahead of their rivals. Election officials released the figures Sunday, based on less than 7 percent of the total vote.

Though the sample released Sunday represented a small fraction of the estimated 7 million votes cast, that hasn't stopped the leading candidates from posturing about the final outcome, as NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul:

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Marijuana Vending Machine Unveiled In Colorado

A customer eyes marijuana samples at a Denver dispensary. The makers of a newly unveiled vending machine are hoping to change how pot is sold in stores.
Theo Stroomer Getty Images

An automated pot-selling machine was unveiled at an event held at an Avon, Colo., restaurant Saturday, promising a potential new era of selling marijuana and pot-infused snacks from vending machines directly to customers.

Its creators say the machine, called the ZaZZZ, uses biometrics to verify a customer's age. The machine is climate-controlled to keep its product fresh.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Sun April 13, 2014

In Jordan Spieth, Golf World Looks For Its Next Tiger — Again

Jordan Spieth lines up a putt during the third round of the 2014 Masters on Saturday.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 2:14 pm

The golf world loves discovering a player who might be the Next Big Thing, someone who could take Tiger Woods' place someday as world's best golfer.

This weekend's Masters at Augusta National could be on the verge of serving up the newest candidate.

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Education
11:32 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Boston Finds That Quality Preschool Is Worth The Effort

Using a projector, Jodi Doyle points out shadows on the ceiling to students in her preschool class at the Eliot School in Boston. Boston has become a beacon for the universal preschool movement, but so far it can only provide seats for about half the interested families.
Jesse Costa WBUR

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:32 pm

It's a Wednesday morning at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School. Teacher Jodi Doyle is working with a small group of preschool students interested in domes.

"What do you think the difference is between a dome and an arch?" she asks.

The lesson doesn't go exactly as planned. Doyle wants the kids to build their domes with wire, but she wants the children to come up with that idea themselves. The kids used wire several months ago for a related project, and she hopes they'll remember.

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Economy
10:20 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Frustrated With Congress, IMF Heads Leave D.C. With Budding Idea

The U.S., the IMF's most powerful member, has refused to sign off on reforms. On Saturday, global leaders suggested the IMF would turn to other options if Congress doesn't act by year's end.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 10:41 am

As far as looks go, Washington turned in a dazzling performance as host city for this past week's meetings at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Cherry blossoms peaked, tulips popped, and the air carried the sweet scent of hyacinths.

But politics-wise, Washington let down its global guests. They came begging Congress to approve a package of IMF reforms, but are leaving Sunday with nothing.

"We are all very disappointed by the ongoing failure to bring these reforms to conclusion," Australia's Treasurer Joe Hockey told reporters.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Climate Change Adjustments Must Be Fast And Major, U.N. Panel Says

The world must cut its greenhouse gas emissions to meet its goals, climate experts said Sunday. Members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (left to right) Youba Sakona, Ramon Pichs Madruga, Ottmar Edenhofer and Rajendra Pachauri hold copies of their new report in Berlin.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 7:33 am

A new report from the United Nations' panel on climate change says major action is needed, and fast, if policymakers want to limit global warming to acceptable levels.

There's an international target to control climate change: keeping the global temperature rise to just 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — that's 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says it's technically possible to meet that goal. But doing so will require rapid, large-scale shifts in energy production and use.

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Monkey See
9:34 am
Sun April 13, 2014

'Mad Men' Returns, Full Of Footnotes

As Mad Men returns for its seventh season, its entire sprawling cast has plenty to do.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Imagine a scene in which a man is sitting on a park bench reading a book. A woman comes up and sits beside him. He looks up at her. She hands him a letter. "It's over," she says.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Pope Francis Poses For Selfies With Crowd At St. Peter's

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:03 pm

After speaking to a crowd that was estimated at 100,000 people Sunday, Pope Francis moved through the audience in his popemobile — and then delighted some of those in attendance by getting out of the vehicle and posing for photos with them.

Francis posed for photos several times during his circuit through St. Peter's Square, where throngs of the faithful had gathered to hear him speak on Palm Sunday.

"After the ceremony, the pope hopped onto his popemobile and moved through the crowd, often getting off to pose for selfies with young people," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Ukraine Says An Officer Died In Battle With Pro-Russian Forces

A Pro-Russian force guards a barricade outside a regional police building seized by armed men in Slovyansk Sunday. Ukraine, which launched an "anti-terrorist operation" in the eastern town, says one of its officers has been killed in a clash near the town.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:13 pm

  • Rep. Mike Rogers Discusses U.S.-Russia Relations On 'Weekend Edition'

A Ukrainian Security Service officer has been killed and five others wounded in the eastern city of Slovyansk, officials from Ukraine's interim government said Sunday. The casualty comes after Ukraine pledged a "very tough" response to those occupying government buildings.

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Law
7:35 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Drug Courts Help Addicts Recover — But May Cost Them Their Rights

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Twenty-five years ago, Miami-Dade County in Florida was overwhelmed with the crack cocaine epidemic. The judges there kept locking up the same addicts over and over so the county came up with a different concept to deal with them - drug courts. If you were a nonviolent drug offender, you could avoid an immediate prison sentence by going to a drug court. You'd get regular therapy and drug testing. A judge watched your progress, and if you relapsed, well, then you could go to jail.

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