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Law
4:14 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Supreme Court Wades Into Affirmative Action Issue

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the 2003 Supreme Court opinion on affirmative action in college admissions. The newly energized conservative majority on the court could now change course.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will revisit the divisive issue of affirmative action in higher education. The court agreed to hear arguments next fall in a case that challenges the affirmative action program at the University of Texas. By re-entering the fray after more than 30 years of settled law on the issue, the newly energized conservative court majority has signaled that it may be willing to unsettle much of that law.

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Middle East
4:07 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Israel Agrees To Free Palestinian Hunger Striker

Khader Adnan, a senior member of the radical Islamic Jihad group, has been held by Israel without charge. Israel agreed Tuesday to release Adnan, 33, who was on a hunger strike for more than two months.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 4:51 pm

Thousands of Palestinians are in Israeli jails. But one case in particular — that of Khader Adnan, a member of the radical Islamic Jihad group — has been raising tensions between the two sides.

Israel's Justice Ministry agreed Tuesday to free Adnan, who has been on a hunger strike for more than two months and was apparently near death.

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The Road Back To Work
4:01 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Even When Employed, Health Care A Challenge

Casaundra Bronner, of Hazelwood, Mo., worked in marketing before being laid off in March 2010. She found a job again in March 2011 but is still uninsured and having trouble getting the health care she needs.
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:24 pm

Part of an ongoing series

Zumba is a fitness craze; a high-energy dance and exercise program. You can find it in high-end gyms and even the community center in Hazelwood, Mo., where Casaundra Bronner, 40, lives.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Venezuela's Chávez Will Require Surgery For New Lesion

President Hugo Chavez waves during a military parade in Caracas, Venezuela, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a failed coup attempt he led. After battling cancer last year, Chavez has returned to his high-profile, fiery ways.
Ariana Cubillos AP

With elections just months away, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said he will require surgery for a new lesion doctors found in the area where he had cancer surgery last year.

"It is a small lesion of about 2 centimeters [less than 1 inch] in diameter, very clearly visible," Chávez said on state TV, according to the AP.

The AP adds:

"The announcement throws new uncertainty over the country's politics because the socialist leader is seeking re-election this year, hoping to extend his more than 13 years in power.

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Music Reviews
3:28 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

A 'Giant Anthology' Of Profile Records, Rap's Early Champion

Profile Records never meant to get into the rap game, but the label launched the careers of rap groups like Run-D.M.C.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 12:59 am

Before the rise of Def Jam as hip-hop's definitive record label, there was Profile, which helped shepherd in some of the genre's early shifts in sound and style. A new two-CD anthology, Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology, chronicles the label's 15-year history and legacy.

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Music Interviews
3:19 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Galactic: A Funky Day In The Life Of Mardi Gras

The New Orleans funk band Galactic's latest album, Carnivale Electrico, takes listeners from Fat Tuesday to Ash Wednesday.
Zack Smith

Get ready to dance, because it's Mardi Gras — a day to cut loose before Lent begins. In New Orleans, that means a day of parades, costumes and music everywhere you turn.

For the members of Galactic, Mardi Gras actually started on Monday, with an "annual gig that goes until the sun comes up at local club Tipitina's," saxophonist and harmonica player Ben Ellman says. For the long-running New Orleans funk band, it's one of the biggest gigs of the year.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Seismic Activity May Mean Moon Is Not Dead Yet

Shallow graben that may have been formed in the past 50 million years.
NASA

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is casting doubts on the belief that the Moon is a lifeless piece of rock.

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Animals
2:54 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Cheers! Fruit Flies Drink To Their Health, Literally

Fruit flies will drink alcohol from fermenting fruit to kill off wasp parasites that can grow inside of them.
Jan Polabinski iStockphoto.com

As humans, we sometimes pay a price for drinking alcohol — in hangovers, or worse. But if you happen to be a young fruit fly, it turns out that alcohol can be just what the doctor ordered.

The pesky little fruit flies often show up when apples or bananas are left sitting around for too long on the kitchen counter. Most folks find them annoying, but Todd Schlenke can't get enough of them.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Indiana Lawmaker Says Girl Scouts Are Destroying 'American Family Values'

Would Indiana Rep. Bob Morris approve of his fellow Republican's endorsement of this organization? 1997: Former President Reagan receives cookies from members of Girl Scout Troop #313 as a gift for his 86th birthday.
Mike Guastella AFP/Getty Images

Saying that the Girl Scouts is a "radicalized organization" that promotes "homosexual lifestyles" and is aligned with honorary president Michelle Obama's "pro-abortion" viewpoint, an Indiana state legislator has told his fellow Republicans he can't support a proclamation honoring the organization's 100th anniversary.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Greece: So, What Now?

Restoration work on the pillars of the Parthenon atop Athens' Acropolis is symbolic of Europe's recent negotiations to save Greece from default.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 4:06 pm

Greece is looking more and more like one of those "troubled homeowners" we hear so much about.

It's underwater and struggling to cover debts worth far more than its gross domestic product. So nervous lenders are offering to write down some of those loans in hopes of sending Greece a lifeline and keeping Athens current on its payments.

In return, the country has agreed to put its balance sheet in order, a process that is going to be neither easy nor quick.

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

'If A Tree Falls' Explains Earth Liberation Front's Rise

In January 2001, members of the Earth Liberation Front were arrested and charged with the arson of the Superior Lumber Co. company in Glendale, Or.
Roy Milburn

In the documentary If A Tree Falls, director Marshall Curry tells the story of the rise and fall of the Earth Liberation Front, a group that the FBI once described as America's number one domestic terrorism threat. The film has been nominated for an Academy Award.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

What China's Internal Politics Mean For The U.S.

The visit of Chinese Vice President and heir apparent Xi Jingping to the United States, raised questions about internal Chinese politics — from human rights to technological development — and how the country will be governed in the future.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Op-Ed: Va.'s Ultrasound Bill Is Unconstitutional

Virginia state legislators passed a bill requiring women to receive an ultrasound — which is conducted via transvaginal probe in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy — before having an abortion. Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor for Slate magazine, calls the proposed law "an abomination."

Economy
1:00 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

What Happened To The Rainy Day Fund?

Americans have tended to save more and spend less in the years since the economic downturn in 2008. But according to a survey from BankRate.com, only 54 percent of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt.

From Our Listeners
1:00 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Letters: 'Linsanity', The Meaning Of 'Black Cool'

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including the concept of "black cool," Jeremy Lin and "Linsanity," and which country's constitution Egypt should use as an example.

The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Iranian General Warns Of Pre-Emptive Action If Threatened

International tension over Iran's disputed nuclear activities was ratcheted up today, when an Iranian general warned that his country would take pre-emptive action if its national interests were threatened.

Reuters reported Gen. Mohammed Hejazi made his comments in an interview with the semi-official Fars News Agency.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:37 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

When Body Piercings Go Bad

Will it look as good with a scar?
iStockphoto.com

Thinking about getting a body piercing? Who hasn't, right?

Well, one thing to consider is that about 20 percent of the time there are complications from the procedure, such as infection or scarring, a fresh review of the medical literature finds.

Piercings of the bellybutton and upper ear are especially prone to problems.

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The Fresh Air Interview
12:19 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Catherine Russell: The Fresh Air In-Studio Concert

Catherine Russell.
Stefan Falke

Blues and jazz singer Catherine Russell says she frequently listens to the radio while washing dishes. One night, she was by the sink listening to a Chick Webb compilation when Ella Fitzgerald's "Under the Spell of the Blues" came on. The song struck her.

"The lyric came on, and it was just a beautiful story, and then I [was] compelled to learn the tune, and then I learned about everything surrounding it," she says.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Tue February 21, 2012

High Court Will Weigh Discount Fees In Quicken Mortgage Case

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 12:35 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether it is illegal for mortgage lenders to tack on fees to closing costs for services that were not provided. The case was brought by three Louisiana couples who claim their lender violated a 1974 federal law aimed at preventing abusive practices in real estate closings.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Tue February 21, 2012

A Year Later, One Libyan Fighter Says 'Nothing Has Changed'

Danny Vampire, "a battle-hardened veteran of Libya's 2011 revolution."
Andy Carvin

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 11:54 am

A lanky Libyan man leans hard against the railing, looking out at the waves of the Mediterranean crashing below us on the seafront in Benghazi. He's lost in thought for a moment, then shakes his head and takes a long drag from his cigarette.

"They were dropping like flies," he says. "I knew I was going to die next."

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Music Reviews
11:31 am
Tue February 21, 2012

'Barchords': An Intense, Pensive Album About Love

Afie Jurvanen
Dave Gillespie All Eyes Media

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:54 am

The song "I Got You Babe," on Bahamas' new album, Barchords, is obviously not Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe." This version is an original song the Canadian singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen, who records under the stage name Bahamas, has written about holding and losing someone.

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The Salt
11:10 am
Tue February 21, 2012

How Using Antibiotics In Animal Feed Creates Superbugs

Many livestock groups say there's no evidence that antibiotics in livestock feed have caused a human health problem, but researchers beg to differ.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:19 pm

Researchers have nailed down something scientists, government officials and agribusiness proponents have argued about for years: whether antibiotics in livestock feed give rise to antibiotic-resistant germs that can threaten humans.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Supreme Court To Hear Affirmative Action Case That Could Be Campaign Issue

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 11:05 am

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear oral arguments in a Texas affirmative action case that has, as NPR.org's Liz Halloran wrote last fall, "the potential to rewrite law on how or whether public colleges and universities may consider race and ethnicity as a factor in admissions."

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Religion
10:58 am
Tue February 21, 2012

The Religious Language In U.S. Foreign Policy

Historian Andrew Preston says George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were not religious themselves but did see religion as a source of morality.
Three Lions Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 11:10 am

Historian Andrew Preston first became interested in the overlap between religion and America's foreign policy decisions while teaching an undergraduate class on American foreign policy in the days leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:26 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Convenient Methods For Birth Control Take More Work For Payment

Insurance coverage may vary.
Tiplyashin Stanislav Gennadevic iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:59 pm

Free contraception has sure been a hot topic lately. But there's still one facet that hasn't received much attention.

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Digital Life
10:18 am
Tue February 21, 2012

How Companies Are 'Defining Your Worth' Online

Ugurhan Betin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 12:01 pm

One of the fastest-growing online businesses is the business of spying on Internet users. Using sophisticated software that tracks people's online movements through the Web, companies collect the information and sell it to advertisers.

Every time you click a link, fill out a form or visit a website, advertisers are working to collect personal information about you, says Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. They then target ads to you based on that information.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Tue February 21, 2012

U.S. General Apologizes To 'Noble People Of Afghanistan' For Quran Burnings

An Afghan demonstrator holds a copy of a half-burnt Quran, allegedly set on fire by soldiers at Bagram Air Field, during a protest outside the base today.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Back On The Air, Stephen Colbert Gives Nod To Ailing Mom

Stephen Colbert, explaining his absence.
ColbertNation.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 8:04 am

Without directly saying so, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert all-but-confirmed last night that he was off the air for two days last week because his 91-year-old mother Lorna has been ill.

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Around the Nation
7:55 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Nature Lovers Forced To Store 30,000 Books

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A couple who met working in a bookstore in Denver have spent their marriage amassing books about their passion - nature. Tales of birds and bees and literature like "The Mad Farmer" poem spill out of every corner of their home - 30,000 volumes. Now the house is up for sale and they're scrambling to find storage. One admirer joked to the Denver Post, it's a thin line between collecting and hoarding, but this collection is the best. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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