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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Photo: Northern Lights Over Iceland

The Northern Lights in the sky Thursday above Faskusfjordur on the east coast of Iceland Thursday.
Jonina Oskardottir AP

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 1:28 pm

The solar storm that swept over Earth Thursday didn't seem to cause any major problems, as some had feared.

But the prediction that it would create some beautiful Northern Lights has proved to be quite true. The Associated Press has moved a quite striking photo taken Thursday on the east coast of Iceland.

If you see others, and good videos as well, share any links in the comments thread.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

VIDEO: Check Out This 7-Year-Old's Monster Trap

Audri, up close.
YouTube.com

If you have a few minutes, you might enjoy 7-year-old Audri Clemmons' Rube Goldberg machine.

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National Security
10:03 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Drones Over America: What Can They See?

A Predator B unmanned aircraft lands after a mission at the Naval Air Station last November in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 8:15 am

Unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, have long played a role in military operations. But imagine thousands of drones flying over U.S. skies — something we may see in just a few years. In February, President Obama signed an aviation bill requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to make plans to integrate drones into American airspace.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:59 am
Fri March 9, 2012

FDA: Skin-Lightening Creams Pose Mercury Threat

FDA

What is it with heavy metals showing up in cosmetics?

First it was lead in lipstick. Now, the Food and Drug Administration warns that some beauty products made overseas contain mercury.

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The Salt
9:45 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Insect Experts Issue 'Urgent' Warning On Using GM Seeds

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 3:28 pm

For America's agricultural biotech companies, the corn rootworm is threatening to turn into their worst nightmare.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Fri March 9, 2012

'Horrified' by Destruction She Saw, U.N. Humanitarian Chief Presses Syria

Feb. 11, 2012: some of the damage in the Baba Amr district of Homs, Syria.
AFP/Getty Images

There are stark words this morning from the U.N.'s top humanitarian affairs official about what she saw this week during a two-day visit to Syria. In a statement sent to reporters, Valerie Amos says, in part:

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It's All Politics
9:27 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Friday Political Grab Bag: Economy Adds More Jobs Than Experts Forecast Etc

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 9:50 am

In another sign that the economic recovery is deepening, the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in February, according to the Labor Department, more than what many economists had expected. Meanwhile, the jobless rate of 8.3 percent remained unchanged from the prior month even as more workers entered the workforce. The news kept alive a trend helpful to President Obama re-election chances.

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Economy
9:17 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Will Improving Economy Bring Surge Of Job Seekers?

People waited in line to get into a job fair in Independence, Ohio, in November.
Tony Dejak AP

William Johnson, a graphic designer by trade, recalls with much bitterness the long, grinding job hunt that followed his 2007 pink slip in Milwaukee.

"There were some people I emailed or called 10 or 15 times," he says. "After a few years of that, not hearing back from people ... slowly but surely I just sort of gave up."

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It's All Politics
8:38 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Next For GOP: A Brief Stop In Kansas And A Southern Swing

Rick Santorum poses with people at Harvest Graphics, a small business, during a campaign stop Wedneday in Lenexa, Kansas.
Julie Denesha Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 8:39 am

  • Listen to the Story on Morning Edition

Up next in the Republican presidential race is Kansas, which holds its caucuses Saturday.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas — the 1996 GOP presidential nominee — is urging the state's Republican electorate to back Mitt Romney.

Dole, who had endorsed Romney months ago, called the former Massachusetts governor "a main street conservative" in a statement Thursday, released by the Romney campaign.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Unemployment Rate Stayed At 8.3 Percent In February

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 9:53 am

There were 227,000 net jobs added to private and public payrolls last month and the nation's unemployment rate remained unchanged, at 8.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

We'll have more from the report shortly. And watch for the Planet Money blog to add its take later.

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET. White House Comment:

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Unemployment Rate Likely Held Steady At 8.3 Percent, Economists Say

Will more signs such as this be showing up? (Nov. 30, 2011 file photo from San Rafael, Calif.)
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Here's what to expect at 8:30 a.m. ET when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its much-anticipated February jobs report, economists say:

-- "The economy probably created 210,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey, following January's tally of 243,000. The unemployment rate is expected to have held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Deal To Hand Over Prison To Afghans Is Key To Transition, U.S. General Says

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 7:34 am

Afghan and American officials today signed an agreement that will hand over control of the main U.S. detention center in that country to the Afghan government.

And the American commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan called the agreement "another example of the progress of transition, and our efforts to ensure that Afghanistan can never again be a safe haven for terrorists."

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Around the Nation
7:20 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Oregon Man Stopped For Speeding 3 Times In 1 Hour

When Oregon police stopped Jose Romeo-Valenzuela the first time, he was driving 105 mph. The second time he was driving 98 mph. And the third time, 92 mph. He faces $2,000 in tickets. He was trying to get to court to face drug possession charges.

Around the Nation
7:10 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Florida City Cracks Down On Illegal Highway Signs

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Author Interviews
7:06 am
Fri March 9, 2012

'1861': A Social History Of The Civil War

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 2:12 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on April 12, 2011. 1861: The Civil War Awakening is now available in paperback.

The first shots of the American Civil War were fired almost 151 years ago in the Charleston, S.C., harbor. Less than two days later, Fort Sumter surrendered. It would take the Union army nearly four years to bring the coastal fortification back under its command.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Greece Takes Critical Step Toward Avoiding Bankruptcy

The European Union flag flies in front of the Parthenon in Athens. Greece's EU partners are about to give it another massive bailout.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

The important takeaway from this morning's news about Europe's financial mess:

It seems less likely that Greece will go bankrupt and more likely that it will get another international bailout that hopefully will shore up the nation's economy and prevent a domino-like tumble of other ailing European nations and the unsettling repercussions that could have for the U.S. economy.

As The Associated Press writes:

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Pace Of Iran's Nuclear Program I Overestimated

Iranians have agreed to meet with Western officials to discuss their nuclear program, amid increasing Western concern about its purpose. Steve Inskeep talks to Paul Pillar about his article in The Washington Monthly entitled "We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran." Pillar teaches in the security studies program at Georgetown University.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

U.S. Command Fights Terrorists On African Soil

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Back in January, Navy Seals rescued an American aid worker who was held for months by Somali pirates. That moment shone a spotlight on the U.S. military's newest regional command - Africom, the U.S. Africa Command, which was created in 2007. One of its biggest concerns is dealing with terrorist groups such as al-Qaida and its regional affiliates. Renee spoke with the head of Africom, General Carter Ham.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Review: 'Salmon Fishing In The Yemen'

The new film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen stars Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor. It's a pleasant fantasy whose few attempts at seriousness are best forgotten.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Miss. Gov. Bryant Endorses Mitt Romney

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mitt Romney is on the road again, this time in the deep South. He's campaigning today in Mississippi and Alabama, both states that hold primaries next Tuesday. NPR's Ari Shapiro was at a Romney rally at a port on the Gulf of Mexico.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Mitt Romney left his home in bright spring Boston weather and flew down to where the air is thick and the accents are thicker, a town known as Goula.

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Business
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Wal-Mart Ads Targets Regional Grocer Harris Teeter

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 3:31 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a surprising ad campaign from Wal-Mart.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: OK. Charlotte, North Carolina, is the scene of Wal-Mart's latest ad. The commercials here are unusual because they mention a competitor - a small, regional grocery chain - by name.

As Scott Graf of member station WFAE reports, Wal-Mart says it's the first time it's ever done this.

SCOTT GRAF, BYLINE: One of the commercials goes like this:

(SOUNDBITE OF WAL-MART COMMERCIAL)

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Business
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Gamer Double Fine Works Around Publishers

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This week, San Francisco is hosting the Game Developers Conference. It's the largest global event for the industry that makes video and online games. Twenty thousand people from one hundred countries are there right now. And a game that hasn't even been created yet is getting lots of attention.

From member station KQED in San Francisco, Aarti Shahani reports.

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Business
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's one more sales pitch for you. Today's last word in business is your chance to buy a legendary brand.

Fender made guitars held by everyone from Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix to Bruno Mars - and maybe even smashed by a few of them. And now Fender has filed paperwork for an initial public offering. The company is looking to raise some $200 million. This company, based in California, wants to pay down debt, and get into new markets like India and China.

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Africa
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Viral Video Educates World On Ugandan War Lord

The American non-profit group Invisible Children aims to raise awareness about Ugandan war lord Joseph Kony. A video the group made has gone viral on the Internet. Steve Inskeep talks to Barbara Among, a journalist with Uganda's Daily Monitor, to find out what Ugandans think of the campaign.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Kansas Is Up Next With GOP Nominating Contest

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Kansas holds its Republican presidential caucuses tomorrow. Rick Santorum has been the most active candidate in that state. He's trying to stop Mitt Romney's momentum again. Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda has more.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick...

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Economy
4:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Employment Opportunities Grow, Layoffs Decline

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inkseep. Let's follow up on today's unemployment report. The Labor Department says unemployment stayed where it was, 8.3 percent, but the economy created 227,000 new jobs net.

And we're going to talk about that with NPR's Yuki Noguchi. She's in our studies. Yuki, good morning.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: What stands out here for you?

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The Picture Show
3:53 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Before And After: Japan's Wreckage And Recovery

Yuko Sugimoto (right) stands reunited with her 5-year-old son, Raito, on a road in Japan's Miyagi prefecture, 2012. This photo was taken at the same place where she was photographed immediately after the tsunami in March 2011.
Toru Yamanaka and Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

On March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. (JST) Japan changed as a nation. A magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the largest to ever hit the island nation, and subsequent tsunami claimed more than 16,000 lives. One year later, the recovery efforts continue, as does the mourning.

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The Two-Way
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Is Buying 'The New Republic'

www.tnr.com

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

Social media meets old media:

Saying that he's convinced "the demand for long-form, quality journalism is strong in our country," Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he's buying The New Republic.

That's a magazine, as Steve says, which is four times older than its new owner. Hughes is 28.

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Rebuilding Japan
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Trauma, Not Radiation, Is Key Concern In Japan

A worker is given a radiation screening as he enters the emergency operation center at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on Feb. 20.
AFP/Getty Images

One year ago this Sunday, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off Japan triggered a tsunami that killed 20,000 people. It also triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station, one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

But health effects from radiation turn out to be minor compared with the other issues the people of Fukushima prefecture now face.

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