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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Franklin Graham Apologizes For Seeming To Question Obama's Faith

Rev. Franklin Graham in 2007.
Davis Turner Getty Images

One week after saying "you'll have to ask President Obama" when asked if he believes the president is a Christian, Rev. Franklin Graham has issued an apology for "any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama."

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Movie Interviews
9:50 am
Wed February 29, 2012

'Being Flynn': When Dad Needs To Take Shelter

Robert De Niro (left) plays Jonathan Flynn, the father of writer Nick Flynn (played by Paul Dano) who shows up at his son's workplace: a homeless shelter.
David Lee Focus Features

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:24 am

Writer Nick Flynn was working in a homeless shelter in his 20s when his father — an alcoholic and self-proclaimed writer who left when Flynn was a baby — showed up as a client. Flynn wrote about the experience in his 2004 memoir, Another Bulls- - - Night in Suck City.

That story is now a movie called Being Flynn, starring Paul Dano as the young Nick Flynn and Robert De Niro as his father, Jonathan.

Flynn and Paul Weitz, the film's director, tell Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the film boils down to a few important themes.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:43 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The High Price Of Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer's

The last photo taken of Joy (left) and her father, Patrick, in July 2011.
Courtesy of Joy Johnston

As a kid, Joy Johnston was Daddy's little girl.

Her father, Patrick, worked in the trucking trade, took care of his family and loved singing to his daughter.

When Joy got older, she moved to Atlanta for work and her parents retired to New Mexico. When she flew in for a visit in 2008, she noticed her father was changing. He would pay for gas but not fill up the tank. He would ask his wife, Jane, "Where's Jane?"

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The Salt
9:28 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Truffles Take Root In Appalachian Soil

Perigord truffles for sale in southwestern France. American farmers say they've figured out how to make the delicacy flourish in Appalachian soils.
Regis Duvignau Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 3:09 pm

As orchards go, truffle orchards are upside-down and backwards. The magic happens not on the branches of oak and hazel trees, but beneath them, where a richly flavored mushroom sprouts from fungal colonies laced about the trees' roots. This cultivated variety is the black Perigord truffle, or tuber melanosporum.

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Research News
9:28 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The Man Working To Reverse Engineer Your Brain

A map of neurons of the mouse retina, reconstructed automatically by artificial intelligence from electron microscopic images.
A. Zlateski based on data from K. Briggman, M. Helmstaedter, and W. Denk MIT/Seung

Our brains are filled with billions of neurons, entangled like a dense canopy of tropical forest branches. When we think of a concept or a memory — or have a perception or feeling — our brain's neurons quickly fire and talk to each other across connections called synapses.

How these neurons interact with each other — and what the wiring is like between them — is key to understanding our identity, says Sebastian Seung, a professor of computational neuroscience at MIT.

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All Tech Considered
9:16 am
Wed February 29, 2012

How To Adjust Your Privacy Settings, Before Google's Big Shift

A screengrab shows the Google Search history page — and the buttons to click to remove and pause a user's history.
NPR

News that Google will place its dozens of services under one privacy policy — a change that also means the company will compile and collate each user's data from all those products — has some of its customers scrambling to restrict their privacy settings before the new policy goes into effect on March 1.

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Asia
8:59 am
Wed February 29, 2012

N. Korea Agrees To Nuclear Moratorium, U.S. Says

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. We have learned this morning that North Korea has agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests and uranium enrichment activities. This is according to State Department officials just back from a trip to China, where they met with North Korean negotiators. NPR's Michele Kelemen has more on what could be a step towards reviving nuclear disarmament talks.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The Story Of HitmanForHire.net

Some people are serious when they say, "I want him dead." That is just one of the astonishing revelations chronicled by The Los Angeles Times in a feature on the misadventures of Essam Ahmed Eid.

Eid, as we learn, was the Las Vegas poker dealer turned Internet entrepreneur behind HitmanForHire.net, a site that once promised to bring together people with problems and people with solutions.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Wed February 29, 2012

U.S. Says North Korea Has Agreed To Halt Nuclear Activities

In what could be a diplomatic breakthrough, the United States said today that North Korea had agreed to cease nuclear weapons tests and enrichment and will allow U.N. inspectors to verify activities at its main reactor.

The announcement comes just two months after the country's leader Kim Jong Il died and the Communist Party handed the reins of power to his son Kim Jong Un. The AP reports that the agreement also includes a moratorium on long-range missile tests.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:10 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides for 80 Years

John White

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 8:07 am

No, this isn't a make-believe place. It's real.

They call it "Ball's Pyramid." It's what's left of an old volcano that emerged from the sea about 7 million years ago. A British naval officer named Ball was the first European to see it in 1788. It sits off Australia, in the South Pacific. It is extremely narrow, 1,844 feet high, and it sits alone.

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Business
8:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Murdoch's Son To Change Posts At News Corp.

Media baron Rupert Murdoch's son James, 39, is leaving his job as executive chairman of News Corp.'s newspaper arm, the company said Wednesday. He'll focus instead on the international TV business at the company, which has been embroiled in a scandal over phone and e-mail hacking in Britain.

Shots - Health Blog
7:53 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Teens Fare Worst After Concussions

In teens' developing brains, a concussion can cause more disruption.
iStockphoto.com

Concussions affect the thinking of teenagers more than they do that of adults or children, according to a new study. But all three age groups show lasting problems with working memory after sports concussions.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed February 29, 2012

James Murdoch Steps Down As Executive Chairman Of News International

(FILES) In a picture taken on July 13, 2011 then News International Chairman and Chief Executive James Murdoch arrives for work in east London.
Warren Allott AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 6:34 pm

As the phone hacking scandal that roiled his father's international news company deepened, James Murdoch is stepping down as Executive Chairman of News International.

The AP reports that News Corp., owned by James' father Rupert Murdoch, said he was stepping down "to focus on the company's international TV business."

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

Update at 9:28 p.m. ET. Murdoch's Statement:

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Revised Numbers Show U.S. Economy Quickened In The Fourth Quarter

During the last three months of the year, the U.S. economy picked up its pace of growth. The Commerce Department revised its previous estimate today and said the gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3 percent, which exceeded the previous estimate of 2.8 percent and was better than the third quarter's 1.8 percent pace.

The AP reports:

"The growth estimate was revised up because consumers spent more than first thought, and businesses cut spending by much less.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Man Who Collected Ryan Braun's Sample Says He Didn't Tamper With It

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun waits for his turn to take batting practice at baseball spring training in Phoenix. The person who collected Braun's urine samples that tested positive for elevated testosterone levels says he followed the collection program's protocol.
Paul Connors AP

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 6:41 am

Dino Laurenzi Jr., the man who collected a urine sample from the Milwaukee Brewer's left fielder Ryan Braun, is defending himself for the first time.

Laurenzi was thrust into baseball's drug testing debate, when Braun questioned his integrity during a press conference on Friday.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed February 29, 2012

UPDATED: Ex-Mine Security Chief Sentenced To Three Years

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 12:59 pm

(The top of this post was updated at 1:45 p.m. ET with news of the prison sentence, and at 3 p.m. ET with the U.S. Attorney's reaction.)

A federal judge in West Virginia has sentenced Hughie Stover to three years in prison. Stover is the former security chief of the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 miners died in a massive explosion in 2010.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Man U.S. Calls A Top Al-Qaida Figure Is Arrested At Cairo Airport

Saif al-Adel.
FBI

A man the United States lists as one of its most wanted terrorists has been arrested in Cairo.

The AP reports that "security and airport officials" said Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi was arrested when he arrived in the country on Wednesday from Pakistan.

Makkawi, who the FBI says is also known as Saif Al-Aldel, is wanted in connection to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Makkawi, the FBI says, is also suspected of being a high-ranking member of al-Qaida.

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Ketchum Could Be First Female A&M Yell Leader

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:08 am
Wed February 29, 2012

UPDATED: At Least 12 People Killed In Deadly Midwest Storms

Sherry Cousins and her brother Bruce Wallace of Hollister, Mo., sit in the wreckage of their secondhand store in Branson, Mo, on February 29. A powerful storm system that produced multiple reports of tornadoes lashed the Midwest early today, roughing up the country music resort city of Branson.
Mark Schiefelbein AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

A line of severe storms moving across the Midwest left death and destruction in its wake early today.

The storms moved through Kansas and Missouri overnight, destroying one trailer park and leaving at least one dead in Buffalo, Mo.

The hardest hit area is Harrisburg, Ill., where authorities say at least six people have been killed after what is presumed to be a tornado raked the town before dawn. (Note: in situations such as this, details such as the number of people killed and injured change as more information comes in. We will be updating this post.)

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Around the Nation
5:08 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Tow Truck Fishes Dozens Of Cars Out Of Wis. Lake

At this year's fishing contest on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, they weren't just fishing for sturgeon. People arriving to fish parked their cars too closely, and the ice gave way. No one was hurt but three dozen vehicles were pulled out of the lake.

It's All Politics
5:05 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Super Tuesday: Which Candidates Can Win Outside Their 'Comfort Zones'?

Mitt Romney narrowly won in Michigan Tuesday night. For Super Tuesday, he'll set his sights on Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 1:56 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney notched two big wins Tuesday, upping his Republican presidential delegate count and taking modest-plus momentum into the week leading up to Super Tuesday on March 6.

With the Michigan and Arizona primaries in the history books as Romney's fifth and sixth victories, we're looking ahead to Super Tuesday, when presidential contests will be held in 10 states and 413 delegates will be up for grabs.

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It's All Politics
3:30 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Santorum & Co. Left To Mourn What Might Have Been in Michigan

Detroit native Mitt Romney greets supporters with wife Ann in Novi, Mich., after squeaking out a win in Tuesday's primary. He also won Arizona.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

Rick Santorum and his campaign will likely look back on Michigan's 2012 primary not only as a heartbreaking loss in the battle against Mitt Romney but also as a historic lost opportunity.

The upstart former senator from Pennsylvania was within a few percentage points of toppling the wobbly frontrunner in a state that really mattered.

Unlike his earlier wins in caucus states (Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota) and a nonbinding "beauty contest" (Missouri), a win in Michigan meant a real cache of committed delegates.

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Business
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to our last word in business on this Leap Day: a rare proposal. Traditionally in many European countries Leap Day was considered the only day when a woman could propose to a man. And one restaurant in Swindon, England seems to be capitalizing on that.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Romney Scratches Out Close Victory In Michigan

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. For Mitt Romney, this is a day to savor victory and feel a lot of relief. The former Massachusetts governor turned back former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in two states. Romney won an easy victory in Arizona. In Michigan, Romney had to scratch out a close win in the state where he was born.

Romney has reclaimed his status as clear front-runner one week before 10 more states vote on Super Tuesday.

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Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

29 GOP Delegates In Arizona Go To Romney

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And while Mitt Romney was eking out that win in Michigan, he pretty much walked away with yesterday's Arizona primary. Romney was expected to win in Arizona, but he walloped his closest challenger - that would be Rick Santorum - by 20 percentage points. Helped, in part, by the support of the last Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain.

And while all the attention was on Michigan throughout the night, NPR's Ted Robbins reports that in the all-important delegate count, the Arizona win counts for nearly as much.

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Asia
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Journalists Tracks Drone Strikes Near Afghan �"Pakistan Border

Pakistani journalist Pir Zubair Shah has been following drone strikes in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than half a decade. He talks to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about his recent article in Foreign Policy magazine titled "My Drone War."

Business
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an invitation from Apple.

Journalists were invited yesterday by Apple for a product event next month. And that was enough to send the company shares to another all-time high. There's wide speculation the event will introduce the next generation of its iPad tablet. The iPad 3 is expected to have a faster processor and a high definition display. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Research News
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Do NASCAR Races Contribute To Motorists' Wrecks?

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

New research indicates that five days after major NASCAR races, there is a measurable increase in traffic accidents caused by aggressive driving.

Afghanistan
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

After Quran Burnings, U.S. To Review Afghan Mission

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The deadly violence in Afghanistan over the burning of Qurans by the U.S. military has brought the American-led NATO mission to a crossroads. Among the dead have been four Americans, two of them by an Afghan policeman inside what was thought to be a highly secure government ministry building. The U.S. pulled all of its advisors from those ministries. The entire international community is on virtual lockdown.

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