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Fresh Air Weekend
1:56 am
Sat March 3, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Being Flynn,' Barry Blitt

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
1:00 am
Sat March 3, 2012

Tornadoes Slow, With Destruction In Their Wake

Powerful storms stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes cause major damage Friday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

This morning, the death toll rose in areas affected by extreme weather in the Midwest and the South. Towns have been wrecked and the number of people missing is unclear. Now, residents are starting to sift through the wreckage and recover what they have left.

At least 28 people have been reported dead. (Note: This number is bound to change, and we'll update as we have more information.)

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Around the Nation
6:33 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Storms And Tornadoes Lash Eastern U.S.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Economy
6:09 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

GM Puts Volt Into 'Neutral' To Let Sales Catch Up

Workers assemble a Chevrolet Volt at GM's Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant in October. The auto maker says it will idle the plant for five weeks, to allow demand to catch up with inventory.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

General Motors will suspend production of its Chevrolet Volt electric car for five weeks amid disappointing sales.

A GM spokesman said Friday that the company will shut down production of the Volt from March 19 until April 23, idling 1,300 workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

"We're taking a temporary shutdown," said GM spokesman Chris Lee. "We're doing it to maintain our proper inventory levels as we align production with demand."

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Middle East
5:57 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

U.S. To Israel: Iran Is Feeling Heat From Sanctions

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 8:41 am

The White House meeting next Monday between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be the most critical encounter for the two men since they took office.

Netanyahu is expected to argue that time is running out on efforts to discourage Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Obama may say the Israelis can count on U.S. support, but that they should give sanctions and diplomacy time to work before turning to military action.

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It's All Politics
5:39 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Santorum, Romney Vie For 'Center Of The Political Universe': Ohio

Rick Santorum speaks Friday in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Republicans in 10 states will vote on Super Tuesday next week, and the general election battleground state of Ohio may be the most coveted prize.

NPR's Don Gonyea reports that both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are pushing hard for the state, where 63 delegates are at stake.

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U.S.
5:38 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Air Force Mortuary Official Resigns Amid Scandal

The remains of a U.S. Army private arrive at Dover Air Force Base for a transfer ceremony last November. The mortuary at Dover Air Force Base has come under accusations that body parts of the nation's war dead were cremated and the ashes dumped in a Virginia landfill.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 5:46 pm

One of three officials accused of mismanaging the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, Del., and of retaliating against three whistle-blowers, has resigned.

The Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency, said Friday that Quinton Keel had resigned and that it is in touch with Air Force officials about their final decisions on disciplinary action against the two other accused officials.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Widespread Tornadoes Across Tennessee And Ohio Valleys Leave Three Dead

Stanley Nelson looks at what is left of his home after a possible tornado hit the Canebrake subdivision on Friday in Athens, Ala.
Butch Dill AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

Yet another line of extreme weather is cutting across a wide swath of the country today. On Wednesday, tornadoes pounded some of the same areas and caused 13 deaths.

The AP reports that 14 people have been killed in southern Indiana. (Keep in mind that in these situations, this number is bound to change.)

RTV 6 in Indianapolis reports that authorities are still trying to get a handle on the damage.

The local station reports:

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Mine Safety Officials Ditched Safety Citation Fearing Congressional Scrutiny

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 7:25 pm

NPR has obtained a report from the Inspector General of the Labor Department that describes an incident last year in which the nation's coal mine safety chief and agency lawyers withdrew a legitimate safety citation and order "not based upon the merits" but "to avoid the appearance of retaliation and possible Congressional scrutiny."

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World
4:47 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Mexican Drug Cartel Targets Australia

An image released Nov. 14, 2011, by the Australian Federal Police shows cocaine seized during the yacht raid in Bundaberg. Drug smugglers take advantage of Australia's long coastline and many harbors.
Australian Federal Police EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 7:09 am

Australia is a huge island, with stretches of lonely, rocky coastline that extend for thousands of miles. What's more, there are lots of harbors and airports.

In short, opportunities are plentiful for an enterprising Mexican drug trafficker to move his product 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to service the vibrant new market Down Under.

One such drug lord is Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, head of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. He's a cunning, small-statured, exceedingly dangerous outlaw recently dubbed "the world's most powerful drug trafficker" by the U.S. Treasury Department.

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The Salt
4:36 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Kids Don't Mind If You Put Veggies In The Cake

Chocolate chip cookies don't seem to be a great vehicle for chickpeas, according to kids.
Robert Linton iStockphoto.com

Will kids eat their veggies if they're inside desserts? Parents and nutritionists have been debating this question for years.

Now, it seems there's an answer: Yes, if it's broccoli in the cake. No, if it's chickpeas in the chocolate-chip cookies.

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Around the Nation
4:35 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Tourism Boom Pays Off For N.Y. Hotel Union

New York hotel workers protest at a hearing for former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in June 2011. Under a new contract, workers will receive "panic buttons" to use if they fear for their safety. They also won several other significant benefits.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:01 pm

When the New York Hotel Trades Council ratified a new contract for hotel workers last month, much of the media coverage focused on "panic buttons." Coming after the sexual assault allegations against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the idea of housekeepers wearing a badge that could call for help was all over the news.

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Rescued Photographer: In Syria 'It's Not A War, It's A Massacre'

An image grab from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Paul Conroy in the Syrian city of Homs.
AFP/Getty Images

The British photographer who was rescued from Syria gave his first interview to Sky News today.

Paul Conroy, who was injured during the shelling of the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, said that what he saw in the city was a "massacre beyond measure."

"It's not a war, it's a massacre," he said. "An indiscriminate massacre of men, women and children."

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Sports
4:21 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

With Playoff Expansion, Baseball Goes Wilder

Manager Fredi Gonzalez was the face of frustration when his Atlanta Braves collapsed last year and missed the playoffs on the last day of the season. If this season's rules had applied, he might've been smiling: The Braves and the Boston Red Sox would've made the postseason.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to 10 teams Friday, adding a second wild-card in each league.

The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records who are not division winners, meaning a third-place team could win the World Series.

This is the only change in baseball's playoff structure since the 1995 season, when wild-card teams were first added.

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It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Obama Phones His Support To Fluke, Law Student Limbaugh Derided

Law student Sandra Fluke talking to House Democrats, February 23, 2012.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 5:01 pm

In a move certain to bring even more attention to one of the latest media tempests, President Obama on Friday got on the phone to encourage the Georgetown University law student disparaged by conservative radio superstar Rush Limbaugh with misogynistic epithets.

Sandra Fluke, who is also an activist, was about to appear on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports when she took a phone call from the White House. It was the president. As an emotional Fluke explained once she was in front of the cameras with Mitchell:

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Europe
4:03 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

After Fraud Charges, Russian Election Under Scrutiny

There were widespread allegations of fraud in Russia's parliamentary polls in December. In advance of Russia's presidential election Sunday, Russian citizens abroad have been allowed to vote early. This woman casts a ballot in Kyrgyzstan on Feb. 26.
Vyacheslav Oseledko AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:01 pm

Just three months ago, Russia's parliamentary elections prompted widespread allegations of fraud and drove thousands of protesters into the streets in the days afterward.

The Russian government and government critics both say they are trying to prevent a similar outcome in Sunday's presidential poll.

Valdimir Putin, who has been either the president or the prime minister for the past 12 years, is widely expected to win another six-year term as president. But the credibility of Russian elections is also at stake.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:42 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Cancer Drugs Thwart Ebola In Lab

The Ebola virus causes a hemorrhagic fever that can be deadly.
Frederick Murphy CDC

Ebola is one virus you never want to catch. Ever.

After some aches and a fever, many infected people develop uncontrolled bleeding. The mortality rates from Ebola infection can run as high as 90 percent.

There's no cure for Ebola. But a group of scientists is exploring whether some drugs already approved to treat cancer might help tame the virus.

Sounds wild. But there's a reason — and now some evidence — to think it might work.

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Music Interviews
3:38 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Estelle: Coming To America

Estelle's new album is titled All of Me.
Keith Major

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 10:48 am

Estelle Swaray is a Londoner. But for the past few years, the British singer best known for the song "American Boy" (her 2008 Grammy-winning hit with Kanye West) has called the U.S. home. It was a particular American boy, she says, who convinced her to make the move.

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Monkey See
3:34 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Jennifer Lopez In 'Q'Viva': A Talent Search Goes Bilingual, With A Dash Of Drama

Q'VIVA! THE CHOSEN: Jennifer Lopez travels through 20 countries to find and showcase the most outstanding Latin singers, dancers and performers in Q'VIVA! THE CHOSEN premiering Saturday, March 3 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Fox

Their marriage may be over, but singers Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have come together for a new TV show that seeks out talent from throughout Latin America. It's been airing on Spanish language TV in the U.S. and in 21 countries. And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports on today's All Things Considered, the show will also premiere on Fox this weekend, with English subtitles.

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Winter Songs
3:31 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Heating Up The Kitchen To Vampire Weekend's 'Horchata'

NPR listener Amanda Sauermann has never had horchata, but Vampire Weekend's song of the same name kept her warm during a rough winter.
rogerimp via Flickr

All winter long, we've brought you songs that evoke the season. Yeah, we know it's March, but since winter doesn't officially end for another few weeks, we still have time to bring you a musical memory of a cold night from one of our listeners, Amanda Sauermann from Gracey, Ky. Her winter song is "Horchata" by Vampire Weekend.

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Movie Reviews
3:21 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

'Being Flynn': Taking In A Prodigal Father

After almost two decades of estrangement, fractious writer Jonathan Flynn (Robert De Niro, right) gets in contact with his adult son Nick (Paul Dano) when he's forced to leave his apartment.
Focus Features

Robert De Niro's last outing with director Paul Weitz was less than auspicious: The comedy Little Fockers received terrible reviews. Being Flynn, their second collaboration, is a more serious affair about the estranged relationship between a fractious father and his son.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

U.N. Panel Says Findings On Gadhafi's Death Are Inconclusive

The late Moammar Gadhafi attends the opening session of the Africa-EU summit in November 2010.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

A United Nations expert panel found that both sides in the conflict leading up to Moammar Gadhafi's demise in Libya last year were responsible for war crimes.

The AP reports:

"The U.N.-appointed Commission of Inquiry on Libya says in its report published Friday that "international crimes, specifically crimes against humanity and war crimes, were committed by Gadhafi forces."

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The Salt
2:43 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

American History Baked Into The Loaves Of White Bread

Aaron Bobrow-Strain is an associate professor of politics at Whitman College. He specializes in the politics of the global food system.
Greg Lehman Courtesy Beacon Press

White bread, like vanilla, is one of those foods that's become a metaphor for blandness. But it wasn't always that way.

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, professor of food politics at Whitman College, tells Weekend Edition's Rachel Martin that white bread was a deeply contentious food — ever since the early 1900s' ideas of "racial purity" up to the cultural revolution of the 1960s. He documents that cultural legacy in his new book, White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf.

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The Salt
2:15 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Bloggers Replace Mom's Recipe Box As Source Of Food Knowledge

The laptop is replacing the recipe box in many American kitchens.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 2:36 pm

We're going to venture that just by nature of the fact that you're reading this blog, you count yourself as a member of the social mediarati.

If so, you, and a lot of other people, may sooner turn to Epicurious or Facebook to plan your next meal than your grandmother's recipe box or the Nestlé Toll House bag of chocolate chips in the cupboard. That's the word from the Hartman Group, a consumer research firm, and Publicis Consultants USA, a marketing agency.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Va. Supreme Court Denies State Attorney's Request For 'Climategate' Records

FILE - In this 2011 file photo, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gestures during a news conference in Richmond, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 2:21 pm

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli's quest to obtain records from a noted climate scientist has been halted by state's Supreme Court.

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Monkey See
2:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Kristin Chenoweth On God, Comedy, And Dolly Parton

Kristen Chenoweth stars in the new ABC series GCB.
Karen Neal ABC

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 3:00 pm

Kristin Chenoweth talks to Jacki Lyden on today's Weekends on All Things Considered, and if the only thing you got from the interview was Chenoweth warbling a bit of the first solo she ever did in church, it would be well worth it.

The Emmy-winning actress stars on ABC's new GCB, a sort of Desperate-Housewives-ish dishy, soapy comedy-drama premiering Sunday night at 10. She's come quite a long way since, as she explains, her father negotiated her first contract.

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Around the Nation
1:28 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Decoding The Allure Of The Almanac

An unusually warm winter has caused many flowers and trees to begin blooming early in the northeast.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

There's been something wacky with the weather this winter, and many forecasters never saw it coming.

Among them was the Old Farmer's Almanac, the quirky, centuries-old mix of historical data, prognostications and folk wisdom. Millions of people consult the quirky, centuries-old almanac, which uses a secret formula to come up with its annual, year-long weather forecasts, even though meteorologists say it has a dubious track record.

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Health
1:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Partnerships Help Drugmakers Get Closer To Patients

Proteus Biomedical has developed chip-in-a-pill technology that transmits patient data directly to a smartphone. Novartis has partnered with Proteus to investigate applications of this technology. C&EN senior editor Rick Mullin discusses how the nontraditional partnership is part of a larger trend.

Science
1:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Michael Mann, From The Trenches Of The 'Climate War'

In his book The Hockey Stick And The Climate Wars, Michael Mann discusses what he calls a well-funded campaign to discredit climate change. He describes efforts by opponents with ties to the fossil fuel industry to harass climate scientists and create doubt about climate change.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

'Galileo' Lives In A New Production

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 2:07 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Up next, an old play that's even more relevant today. An off-Broadway production of the play "Galileo" - Bertolt Brecht - just opened here in New York. It stars F. Murray Abraham in the title role. Brecht wrote the play in 1938. That's more than 70 years ago. I saw the play this week. And I'm no theater critic, but the message and the theme of the play about a Renaissance-era astronomer written by a Cold War-era playwright, it feels like it could have been written last week.

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