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11:25am

Fri March 2, 2012
Movie Reviews

'The Lorax': A Campy And Whimsical Seussical

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 1:02 pm

The Once-ler (voiced by Ed Helms) and the Lorax (Danny DeVito) are surrounded by bar-ba-loots in Truffula Valley in Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.
Universal Pictures

At the far end of town
Where the Grickle-grass grows
And the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows
And no birds ever sing excepting old crows ...
Is the Street of the Lifted Lorax.

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11:22am

Fri March 2, 2012
Author Interviews

Frank Calabrese Jr. On Opening His 'Family Secrets'

This interview was originally broadcast on March 14, 2011. Operation Family Secrets is now available in paperback.

When Frank Calabrese Jr. was a teenager, his father came home one night and took him into the bathroom for a chat.

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10:25am

Fri March 2, 2012
The Two-Way

California Woman Awarded $168 Million In Workplace Harassment Case

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 2:32 pm

The scales of justice tipped toward the plaintiff in this case.
Christophe Ena AP

A California woman's nearly $168 million award from a jury is "believed to be the largest for a single victim of workplace harassment in U.S. history," the Los Angeles Times reports.

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9:35am

Fri March 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Taliban Claims It Killed More Than 20 Rival Militants In Pakistan

Among the reports of more deadly violence in Pakistan today — about 70 people were killed in three incidents, DAWN reports — is word that about 20 of the deaths were the result of one militant group attacking another.

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8:55am

Fri March 2, 2012

8:48am

Fri March 2, 2012
It's All Politics

Friday Political Grab Bag: Obama To Israel, Iran - 'I Don't Bluff'

President Obama tells both Israel and Iran through an interview with The Atlantic that "as president of the United States, I don't bluff," when he leaves open the possibility of a U.S. military strike against Iran's nuclear program.

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8:35am

Fri March 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Red Cross Aid Convoy Arrives In Devastated Syrian City

After weeks of shelling and sniper fire from Syrian Army forces, the people who remain in the Baba Amr district of the city of Homs may finally get some aid from the outside world today.

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7:56am

Fri March 2, 2012
Business

Continental, United Go To Single Computer System

It would be easy not to have known Continental Airlines has been merged with United for two years. That will change Saturday when all operations and branding are combined under just United. Any hiccups could mean delays throughout the airline's system.

7:50am

Fri March 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Ohio School Reopens, Coach Who Chased Shooter Says 'I'm Not A Hero'

Chardon High School assistant football coach Frank Hall.
Tony Dejak AP

7:35am

Fri March 2, 2012
Around the Nation

Honeymooners Revisit Waldorf-Astoria 6 Decades On

When Joan and Izzy Schwartz got married, they spent their wedding night in a suite at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. Back then, the room cost $16.80. For their 60th anniversary, the Waldorf will give the couple a room for the same rate they paid in 1952.

7:28am

Fri March 2, 2012
Europe

London Fashion Students Make A Green Statement

Students at London's Kingston University this week unveiled luxury designs made of bio-degradable materials. There are stilettos made from pistachio shells and coffee beans, a wood-chip corset and a top made from orange peel.

7:25am

Fri March 2, 2012
The Two-Way

Tornado Trauma: Five Died On One Short Street; More Storms Due Today

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:09 pm

The areas inside the red lines are where tornadoes were being reported at 11:36 a.m. ET.
National Weather Service

Five of the estimated 13 deaths from the tornadoes that pounded Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee on Wednesday happened on one "short avenue in a tight-knit neighborhood" of Harrisburg, Ill., the Los Angeles Times writes today.

Brady Street was pummeled. "There are no words to describe this," Dena McDonald, whose mother was killed there, tells the Times. The newspaper describes the aftermath this way:

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4:43am

Fri March 2, 2012
Energy

As Gas Prices Rise, Natural Gas Vehicles Get A Boost

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 9:39 am

Bob Davis fills up his airport shuttle van at a natural gas pumping station in College Park, Ga. A growing number of companies are considering converting their vehicle fleets to natural gas.
David Goldman AP

Interest in natural gas vehicles soared in the 1990s and then faded. Twenty years later, the cost of gasoline is going up while the cost of natural gas is going down. And that difference in price explains the resurgent interest in natural gas vehicles.

In Indiana, Fair Oaks Dairy Farm does more than just produce milk — it is also in the transportation business. The farm owns 60 trucks, which deliver milk to a processor halfway across the state. Last September, most of the trucks were converted to natural gas.

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4:00am

Fri March 2, 2012
NPR Story

Santorum Upset By Mich. Delegate Decision

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in Michigan, there's a fight going on over one delegate to the Republican National Convention. Rick Santorum's campaign team says its candidate is a victim of, quote, thuggery. They accuse Michigan Republican leaders of engineering an after-the-fact rules change to give Mitt Romney a slim lead in delegates from last Tuesday's state primary.

We have more from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

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4:00am

Fri March 2, 2012
NPR Story

Shadid's Memoir 'House Of Stone'

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 1:59 pm

Anthony Shadid, who died Feb. 16, was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times based in Baghdad and Beirut. He won a Pulitzer Prize twice, in 2004 and 2010.
Nada Bakri Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The death of Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid in Syria on Feb. 16 was a devastating loss for journalism and for the Middle East he did so much to illuminate.

But Shadid's voice is still with us — in the form of the memoir House of Stone, published this week.

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4:00am

Fri March 2, 2012
Business

Dentist Wins Bid For Elvis Presley's Crown

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 3:59 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business this morning is: crowning achievement. At an auction in the U.K. last week, a dentist from Alberta, Canada, paid $10,000 for a crown that once belonged to The King himself: Elvis Presley.

The crown is actually the kind you wear on a tooth. That isn't the only dental collectible this dentist has paid top dollar for. He shelled out $31,000 for a rotten tooth that belonged to John Lennon. He says his waiting room is starting to look like a Hard Rock Cafe, but it's good for business.

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4:00am

Fri March 2, 2012
Middle East

Syria Update

The district of Baba Amr in the city of Homs had been the heart of the Syrian uprising, where mass protests turned into an armed resistance. Activists say government troops are combing the area, arresting any male over the age of 12.

4:00am

Fri March 2, 2012
Election 2012

Washington State To Hold Nominating Contest

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 7:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

The next big day for Republican presidential hopefuls is Super Tuesday. But on the way to Tuesday, the candidates are making stops in Washington state. Republican caucuses there are set for tomorrow morning.

And as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, with the fight for the nomination still tight, for once the caucuses in Washington state may actually mean something to the presidential race.

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4:00am

Fri March 2, 2012
Energy

Liquid Metal Battery Could Budget Sun's Energy

David Greene talks to materials chemist Donald Sadoway from the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Long Beach, Calif. Sadoway is the co-inventor of the liquid metal battery. It's inexpensive, super efficient, sustainable and can provide large scale energy storage.

3:41am

Fri March 2, 2012
StoryCorps

'Life Is Really Good,' Says Cancer Survivor, 12

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:27 am

Jennifer Coursey with her son, 12-year-old Grant Coursey, at StoryCorps in Ukiah, Calif.
StoryCorps

When Grant Coursey was a toddler, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer often found in young children. A tumor had wrapped itself around Grant's spinal cord and had grown so that it pushed against his lungs.

Now 12, Grant is cancer-free; he received his first "clean" scan 10 years ago in March 2002. He had to undergo several procedures to rid his body of the cancer.

Recently, Grant and his mother, Jennifer, sat down to talk about his young life and how cancer has affected it.

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3:37am

Fri March 2, 2012
Fine Art

In 'Ocean Park,' Gentle Portraits Of California Light

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:31 am

Richard Diebenkorn's 1975 work Ocean Park #79, features pastel blues, lavenders and aquas — and thin strips of deep red and green at the top to draw the viewer's gaze upward.
The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art

In the late 1960s, while America was in turmoil over the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, a painter in Santa Monica, Calif., was creating a series of tranquil, glowing canvases that made his reputation and transfixed art lovers. Those works — the Ocean Park series — are now on view at the Orange County Museum of Art, about an hour's drive from the place where they were painted.

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3:36am

Fri March 2, 2012
Asia

Looking For Elephant Ivory? Try China

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:53 am

A Malaysian customs official examines elephant tusks at a port in Kalang. Malaysia has become an ivory transit hub, with African elephant tusks bound for China. Worldwide, authorities seized more than 5,000 smuggled tusks.
AFP/Getty Images

Armed with tips from animal welfare activists, I recently went on an ivory hunt with my Chinese assistant, Yang, in an antiques market in Beijing.

Activists say China's growing purchasing power is driving global demand for products from vulnerable animals, everything from elephant ivory to rhino horn.

Two huge stone lions stood sentinel outside the four-story market nestled among a forest of buildings off one of Beijing's beltways. In China, vendors usually accost shoppers and try to lure them into stores.

Not here.

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12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Governing

Shrinking Community Grants Put Cities In A Crunch

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:24 am

Budget cuts approved by Congress in the past two years are trickling down to local communities, and officials there are not happy. They say that reductions in community development block grants will hurt the nation's most vulnerable neighborhoods.

Two years ago, the federal government gave out about $4 billion in such grants to low- and moderate-income communities. This year, the figure is $3 billion — a 25 percent cut. And as that pie has shrunk, those whose slices have shrunk even more are hungry for answers.

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12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Planet Money

What The IRS Could Learn From Mormons

The money Mormons tithe goes to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and then is distributed to congregations around the world.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Many religious traditions stress the importance of charity. But Mormons are remarkable for the amount and the precision with which they give to their church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that each Mormon in good standing should tithe 10 percent of his or her income. The money goes right to church headquarters in Salt Lake City and then is distributed back to congregations around the world.

"That's written in stone, and preached from the pulpit," says Gordon Dahl, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, who is Mormon.

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12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Europe

Putin Heavily Favored As Russians Pick A President

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:12 am

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a campaign speech during a rally of his supporters in Moscow, Feb. 23. Putin is mounting a vigorous campaign in the face of growing opposition but is expected to win Sunday's presidential elections.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

When Russians go to the polls Sunday, they will have several choices for president. But none is a serious threat to Vladimir Putin, who has been the most powerful figure in Russia for the past 12 years.

Boris Makarenko, a longtime observer of Russian politics, says the candidates arrayed against Putin are all more or less part of what Kremlin leaders call "the systemic opposition."

In other words, he says, they are "the tolerable opposition ... which can never even hope of replacing them in the Kremlin."

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12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Around the Nation

Underground Cold War Relics As Doomsday Castles?

Larry Hall shows off the old vents and 9-foot-thick walls of a missile silo he's developing into condominiums.
Frank Morris

One clear threat once menaced civilization: nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The Cold War is over, but decades later, some of the fortifications built to fight that war still dot the American landscape.

Four years ago, Larry Hall bought a nuclear missile silo out on the open rolling land north of Salina, Kan. Hall paid $300,000 and spent much more to clean out all the scrap metal and stagnant water.

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12:01am

Fri March 2, 2012
Governing

Government Backs Up On Rearview Car Cameras

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 6:47 pm

A camera is used instead of a rearview mirror on the Toyota NS4 plug-in hybrid concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 10.
Mike Cassese Reuters/Landov

6:23pm

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Judge Who Emailed Racist Obama Joke Calls For Investigation On Himself

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 6:32 pm

U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull says he will apologize to President Obama and ask for a panel of judges to investigate his conduct after a Montana newspaper reported he had sent a racially inflammatory message using his courthouse email account last month.

The Great Falls Tribune reported the judge had forwarded the following message to six of his friends February 20:

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6:07pm

Thu March 1, 2012
News

Nation's Toughest Immigration Law Stays Put For Now

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 4:38 pm

A line of people wait outside the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard arguments over tough new laws targeting illegal immigration in Alabama and Georgia on Thursday.
John Amis AP

Portions of Alabama's strict immigration law will remain in force until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on its predecessor, the Arizona statue that ignited a national firestorm in the debate over illegal immigration.

A panel of three judges from an Atlanta federal appeals court decided Thursday to put off action on lawsuits against measures in Alabama and Georgia. Oral arguments are set for April 25 before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Arizona's enforcement policy.

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6:03pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Europe

Will The New AK-47 Be As Popular As The Original?

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

A Colombian police officer stands guard next to seized Chinese-made AK-47 replicas on Nov. 18, 2009. The guns have become so ubiquitous around the world that Russia's planned redesign may not do much to booster sales.
Luis Robayo Getty Images

The Kalashnikov assault rifle, or AK-47, is one of the most dangerous and widely used weapons in the world. For more than 60 years, nations, rebels, gangsters and child soldiers have wielded the gun.

And now, Russian officials say it's outdated. As part of a $700 billion army modernization program, the country has announced a redesign of the rifle.

New York Times foreign correspondent C.J. Chivers — author of The Gun, a book about the Kalashnikov — tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the updates are mostly cosmetic.

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