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Planet Money
5:33 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Who Killed Lard?

Old school.
Steve Snodgrass Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 11:01 am

Ron Silver, the owner of Bubby's restaurant in Brooklyn, recently put a word on his menu you don't often see anymore: lard. The white, creamy, processed fat from a pig. And he didn't use the word just once.

For a one-night-only "Lard Exoneration Dinner", Silver served up lard fried potatoes. And root vegetables, baked in lard. Fried chicken, fried in lard. Roasted fennel glazed with lard sugar and sea salt. Pies, with lard inside and out. All from lard he made himself in the kitchen.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Federal Prosecutors Drop Doping Case Against Cyclist Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong arrives at a training session during a rest day of the 2010 Tour de France.
Nathalie Magniez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:54 pm

Federal prosecutors say they have dropped its doping case against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. For two years, prosecutors looked into allegations that Armstrong and his United States Postal squad used performance-enhancing drugs.

The AP reports:

"In a press release, United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. says the case has been closed but didn't disclose the reason for the decision.

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It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Voting Heads West: A Nevada Republican Presidential Caucus Primer

Men arrive at a campaign rally for Mitt Romney in Elko, Nev., on Friday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:54 pm

While hotels along the Vegas Strip are full of Super Bowl fans and convention attendees this weekend, another event will be playing out Saturday at more than 100 locations across the state.

Nevada's Republican presidential caucuses will be taking place, not in expensive hotels, but mostly in low-key places like schools and firehouses.

David Gallagher of the Nevada state GOP says each county's local party is responsible for organizing its own caucus, so opening times vary.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

On Positive Jobs Report, Nasdaq Hits 11-Year High

The better-than-expected jobs numbers released today, sent the markets into positive territory they hadn't seen in years.

The Nasdaq Composite rose to an 11-year high, while the Dow hit its highest reading in almost four years. The S&P gained 1.4 percent, marking its best start to a new year since 1987.

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Music Interviews
4:39 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Ruthie Foster: Texas Gospel With A Worldly Touch

Ruthie Foster's new album is Let It Burn.
John Carrico

Ruthie Foster is from a small town in central Texas — but there's nothing small about the way she sings on her new album, Let It Burn. Zigzagging between blues, soul, gospel and rock, the album features solid originals and surprising covers, along with several stirring collaborations with The Blind Boys of Alabama.

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Middle East
4:26 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Near Syria's Capital, The Evidence Of Heavy Fighting

A Syrian army tank moving along a road during clashes with the Syrian army defectors, in the Rastan area in Homs province, central Syria, on Jan. 30, 2012.
STR ASSOCIATED PRESS

This story was written and reported by a GlobalPost correspondent in Damascus, whose name has been withheld for security reasons.

When a team of foreign journalists entered the eastern Damascus suburb of Saqba last Friday, they were greeted by a sight that did not bode well for the Syrian regime.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Military Judge Denies Request To Delay Sept. 11 Case At Guantanamo

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 4:51 pm

A request for a delay in the Sept. 11 case at Guantanamo has been denied.

Two lawyers close to the proceedings tell NPR that a military judge denied their request to delay the arraignment of the Sept. 11 suspects at Guantanamo until the summer.

The lawyers were asking for more time to file memos on why Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators should not be tried in a capital case and be eligible for the death penalty. The 911 suspects are expected to be arraigned before a military commission as early as April.

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The Salt
4:11 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

The Surprising Story Of A Super Bowl Snack

Presented on a gourmet plate or eaten out of the bag the chips came in, Frito Pie is an American standard.
malloreigh flickr.com

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 9:12 am

This Super Bowl Sunday, millions of Americans will watch the game with bowls of corn-based snacks at their side. Whether you prefer Doritos, Cheetos, or even Funyuns, you owe the pleasure of that crunchy munchy to the humble corn curl that started it all: the Frito.

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Author Interviews
3:51 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

'Best Practices': Learning To Live With Asperger's

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:54 pm

When he was 30 years old, David Finch's wife, Kristen, sat him down and asked him a series of odd questions:

"Do you notice patterns in things all the time?"

"Do people comment on your unusual mannerisms and habits?

"Do you feel tortured by clothes tags, clothes that are too tight or made in the 'wrong material'?"

"Do you sometimes have an urge to jump over things?"

David's answers to all of these questions — and more than 100 others — was an emphatic yes.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Senator Demands Answers from Freddie Mac's Regulator

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 4:19 pm

Sen. Robert Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, sent a list of questions about Freddie Mac's controversial trades to the mortgage giant's regulator, highlighting how much remains unknown even after a flurry of statements from the regulator.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Vermont Inmates Hide Image Of Pig On Police Decals

It took Vermont officials four years to notice a little creative editing by one or more inmates. Look at this police decal:

Look at the cow underneath the tree. Embedded within the cow's spots is an image of a pig, which as the Burlington Free Press reminds us is the '60s-era epithet used by protesters to refer to police.

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Health
3:23 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Can Komen Recover From Controversy?

Nancy G. Brinker, CEO and founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 11:18 am

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has had one of the worst weeks in terms of public relations of any organization in recent memory.

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Winklevoss Twins May Reap $300 Million From Facebook IPO

Tyler (left) and Cameron Winklevoss.
Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 3:23 pm

Before we finish the week, we have to pass on at least one more story related to Facebook's plan to raise about $5 billion with its first sale of shares to the public.

It seems that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — the "Winklevii" twins — could get up to $300 million worth of Facebook shares when the deal goes through.

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Afghanistan
3:18 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Afghans View Peace Talks With Hope, Suspicion

Taliban fighters walk with their weapons after joining Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province, last month. Thirty fighters left the Taliban to join government forces in western Afghanistan. The Taliban announced recently that they would open a political office in Qatar ahead of talks with Washington.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

The surprise announcement last month that the U.S. and the Taliban could soon begin peace talks in the Gulf state of Qatar may have increased the chances of a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

But Afghans are treating the prospect with equal measures of hope and suspicion — perhaps more of the latter from the government of President Hamid Karzai.

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Movie Interviews
3:02 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Sharon Van Etten: Learning How To Rock

Sharon Van Etten says that when she writes music, "it's to heal."
Dusdin Condren

Originally published on Sun February 5, 2012 4:01 pm

Sharon Van Etten was once an aspiring songwriter in Tennessee, but she had no idea how the music industry worked. So she moved to New York City and took an unpaid internship working for a record label.

"I started doing mail orders and then learned my way around the music blogs," Van Etten says in an interview with Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "I didn't know what a music blog was at the time."

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Jobs Numbers May Boost Obama Re-election Effort

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with fresh evidence that the U.S. economy is on the mend. The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly last month to 8.3 percent. And according to the Labor Department, U.S. employers added nearly a quarter million workers to their payrolls. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, it's not only good news for the economy and the nation, it's also good news for President Obama and his re-election campaign.

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Business
3:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Facebook's IPO And The Average Investor

The social network filed to go public earlier this week and is hoping to raise $5 billion in a huge IPO. The markets are buzzing, but what might it mean for an individual investor? Melissa Block gets the story on how high profile IPOs work from Dennis Berman, Marketplace editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Economy
3:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Jobs Numbers Surprise Economists

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

January's weather looked like spring in much of the country, and today's monthly employment report suggests it's spring in the job market, too. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the economy added 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Nobody expected that job creation in January would be this strong, or that the unemployment rate would fall again to 8.3 percent – nobody including John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

In Egypt, Military Blamed For Targeting Soccer Fans

Violent protests continued for a second day in Egypt in response to the deadly riot at a soccer match earlier this week. Many of the protesters claim authorities chose not to stop the soccer riots as retaliation against fan groups — known as Ultras — who had a hand in the country's political uprisings last year. Melissa Block talks with Adel Iskandar, Lecturer in media studies at Georgetown University, about the role of the Ultra football fan clubs in Egypt's politics.

Sports
3:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

The Physics Of A Football Player's Performance

The New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs is a 6'4", 270 pound running back. And with that kind of size, you think he'd be able to run right through would-be tacklers, especially when he only needs to pick up a few yards. But he often can't — Jacobs's stats are below average in those situations. A couple NFL greats and a physics professor have the answer.

Shots - Health Blog
2:57 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Many Hits, Rather Than A Big One, Pose Greatest Concussion Risk

Members of the Jefferson High School football team took 200 to more than 1,800 hits to the head in a season.
Purdue University

High school football players have changes in their brain function long before they have recognizable signs of a concussion, according to a new study.

The more hits a player got, the more brain function changed. The findings support the growing belief that a concussion comes as the result of a succession of insults, not just one bad hit.

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The Salt
2:30 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Prison Meal Deal: Where The Staff Serves Lunch ... And Time

Inmate Calvin Hodge, in the second week of a five-week rotation as head chef, stirs gravy in preparation for lunch at the Fife and Drum Restaurant at the Northeastern Correctional Center in Concord, Mass., Jan. 26.
Photos by Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

The Fife and Drum Restaurant offers a daily lunch bargain that sounds hard to pass up: For just $3.21, you get a hot, tasty meal, made mostly from scratch and delivered to your table by friendly waiters.

So what's the catch? You have to go through security before you're served.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

After A Tepid Start, Cities Like Rome, Denver Receive Winter Battering

A man dressed as a Roman Gladiator stands in front of the ancient Colosseum as snowflakes fall in downtown Rome on Friday.
Angelo Carconi AP

Denver and Rome could not be farther apart. But today one city used to massive snow storms is facing a blizzard so big it cancelled 310 flights, even though the Denver airport has 500 workers clearing the snow. The other one hasn't seen this much snow since the '80s.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli told our Newscast unit the 1.5 inches of snow in Rome and the 16 inches that have accumulated in the northern suburbs have meant that very few attended schools and big tourist attractions like the Colosseum were closed.

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Economy
1:53 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Have Economists Got It Wrong About The U.S.?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pauses during a hearing before the House Budget Committee on Feb. 28, 2007.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 11:23 am

Five years ago, a subprime mortgage firestorm was melting down the U.S. economy, but most analysts didn't see it happening.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress in February 2007, said the housing sector "is a concern, but at this point we don't see it as being a broad financial concern or a major factor in assessing the course of the economy."

If he and the vast majority of economists were blind to the economic and financial calamity taking shape then, could they also be missing the start of a huge economic boom now?

A boom? Really?

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Pop Culture
1:53 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

3 Hidden Themes Of This Year's Super Bowl Ads

Many of this year's Super Bowl ads, like this one from CareerBuilders.com, play off our affection for animals.
CareerBuilders.com AP

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 10:01 am

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

'Anonymous' Follows Hacking Of FBI-Scotland Yard Phone Call With Attacks

The Greek Ministry of Justice website after it was hacked earlier today.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

A day that began with the Anonymous hackers posting a nearly 17-minute recording of a conference call between officials of the FBI and Scotland Yard has been followed with some tweeted taunting of law enforcement and the news media, and the hacking of websites for the Greek Ministry of Justice, Boston Police Department and lawyers who defended a U.S. Marine at the center of the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians.

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It's All Politics
1:24 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

If Romney Misspoke About 'Poor' Why Did He Later Repeat Statement?

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 3:10 pm

(Revised at 2:19 pm ET)

In an interview Thursday, Mitt Romney said he "misspoke" when he infamously said earlier in the week that he was not concerned about the very poor because they had a safety net, and the very rich but, instead, was focused on the middle class.

Speaking of the CNN interview that has caused Romney a world of trouble, the Republican presidential frontrunner told Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun during an interview program called Face to Face:

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

IBEX Spacecraft Intercepts 'Alien' Particles

As it circles Earth, NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer hunts for particles streaming in from beyond the solar system. It has intercepted hydrogen, helium, neon and oxygen atoms. IBEX principal investigator Dave McComas discusses how the abundance of those atoms hints at the Milky Way's composition.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

What Grosses You Out?

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 1:38 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. What grosses you out, the sight of maggots squirming on a rotten piece of meat? How about a cockroach running around your spice cabinet when you turn the lights on at night? How about eating strange organ meat like sweetbreads, pancreas. Maybe just a doorknob is enough to give you the chills, touched by so many hands, or a toilet seat touched by - well, you know, there must be so many germs, right.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Study Tracks Alzheimer's Progression In Mice

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 1:40 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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