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Afghanistan
3:25 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Afghanistan's Forests A Casualty Of Timber Smuggling

An Afghan laborer works in a firewood yard at a market in Herat on Dec. 11, 2011.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 2:34 pm

Despite Afghanistan's fierce winter, it's rare to find a house with insulation or a modern heating system. So Afghans rely on bukharis, stoves that look like an oil drum with a big rusty pipe growing out of the top that bends off into a hole in the wall.

That fact keeps the hundreds of wood vendors around Kabul quite happy. This winter, NPR staff fed several tons of firewood into their bukhari — and that's just one house in a city of about 5 million people.

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National Security
3:23 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Women In Combat, And The Price They Pay

Staff Sgt. Jessica Keown, with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss in El Paso Texas, served with a female engagement team, or FET, in Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:30 pm

America has been debating the role of women in combat since 1779.

That's when the Continental Congress first awarded a military disability pension to Mary Corbin after she manned a cannon in the Revolutionary War at the battle of Fort Washington in New York. Corbin got only half the pension male soldiers received, but she asked for — and received — the full ration of rum.

Today, as the Pentagon decides how to remove the combat exclusion, women still have trouble getting fully recognized for what they've achieved at war.

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Shots - Health News
3:22 am
Mon March 18, 2013

To Control Asthma, Start With The Home Instead Of The Child

Maria Texeira-Gomes holds a photo of her 5-year-old son, Matheo, who has struggled with asthma nearly all his life.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:36 am

Nothing sends more kids to the hospital than asthma.

So when doctors at Children's Hospital in Boston noticed they kept seeing an unusually high number of asthmatic kids from certain low-income neighborhoods, they wondered if they could do something about the environment these kids were living in.

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Theater
12:48 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Familiar Folks Make Up A Play's 'Good People'

Johanna Day as Margie and Andrew Long as Mike in the recent Arena Stage production of David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People. The childhood friends drift apart as their lives take on very different socioeconomic dimensions.
Margot Schulman Arena Stage

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:38 pm

How we end up in life has a lot to do with where we came from. That theory gets a good workout in the play Good People, from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire. When the show was on Broadway two years ago, the trade magazine Variety proclaimed that "If Good People isn't a hit, there is no justice in the land."

As it turns out, justice has been served: Good People is the most produced play in America this theatrical season. By the end of this summer, it will have been on stage in 17 different cities.

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The Picture Show
7:48 am
Fri March 15, 2013

It's Called 'De-Extinction' — It's Like 'Jurassic Park,' Except It's Real

The bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex, lived high in the Pyrenees until its extinction in 2000. Three years later, researchers attempted to clone Celia, the last bucardo. The clone died minutes after birth. Taxidermic specimen, Regional Government of Aragon, Spain
Robb Kendrick National Geographic

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 9:30 am

Sorry to disappoint, but science writer Carl Zimmer says we're not going to bring back dinosaurs. But, he says, "science has developed to the point where we can actually talk seriously about possibly bringing back more recently extinct species."

It's called "de-extinction" — and it's Zimmer's cover story for National Geographic's April issue.

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Author Interviews
6:50 am
Fri March 15, 2013

'Bankers' New Clothes' Leave Too Little Skin In The Game

At a hearing in Washington on March 6, Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to senators why it has been hard to go after big bank executives:

"It does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large."

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NPR Story
5:44 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Vladimir Putin Hobknobs With ... Steven Seagal

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 6:44 am

First, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to French actor Gerard Depardieu. Now, Putin is hobnobbing with the actor Steven Seagal. The star of Under Siege toured a new sports facility with Putin, who used the occasion to call for reviving a Soviet-era fitness program in which kids threw javelins, learned to ski and fired guns.

NPR Story
5:41 am
Fri March 15, 2013

106-Year-Old Woman Finally Gets Her High School Diploma

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 6:42 am

Reba Williams of Columbus, Ohio, finished her last class back in 1925. But the 106-year-old didn't receive her high school diploma until Wednesday. Her daughter told the Mansfield News-Journal that young Reba, who was a good student for all 12 years, was headstrong. She refused to read a book assigned by her teacher that she'd already read and didn't like.

National Security
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Is All The Talk About Cyberwarfare Just Hype?

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says the danger of a devastating cyberattack is the No. 1 threat facing the U.S. He made the assessment Tuesday on Capitol Hill before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 10:00 am

U.S. government pronouncements about the danger of a major cyberattack can be confusing. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and the head of the U.S. military's Cyber Command, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, delivered mixed messages this week while testifying on Capitol Hill.

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StoryCorps
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

A 'Good Enough' Dad And His Special Son

Tim Harris (right) and his father, Keith, visited StoryCorps in their hometown of Albuquerque, N.M.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 10:53 am

In Albuquerque, N.M., there's a restaurant called Tim's Place. It's named after Tim Harris, a young man with Down syndrome who started the business in 2010 with help from his dad, Keith.

Six days a week, Tim greets each customer at the door. He calls it the world's friendliest restaurant.

The day Tim's Place opened "felt awesome," Tim, 27, tells his father on a visit to StoryCorps. "I wanted to own a restaurant ever since I was a kid. That was my dream."

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NPR Story
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

JPMorgan In Hot Seat Over London Whale Losses

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Story
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Chavez Faithful Look For A Way To Keep His Memory Alive

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 7:01 am

Ten days after his death, Hugo Chavez's remains are being moved to a museum after being on display at a military academy. The government has been debating what to do with the body long term. His political heirs simply say they want to keep his memory and image alive.

NPR Story
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Tablet Games Go To The Cats

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Touch-screen devices have opened up video gaming to a whole new demographic: cats. Our last word in business today is: swipe this.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The laser pointer, obviously, is so last century.

Cat-food company Friskies has already made a few tablet games designed specifically for cats to play.

INSKEEP: Yeah, you put your paw right there on the screen.

MONTAGNE: Doesn't it hurt the screen?

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Around the Nation
7:02 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 12:48 pm

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
6:31 am
Thu March 14, 2013

'Veronica Mars' Fans Set A Kickstarter Record

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 9:34 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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