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1:40 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Inconsistency: The Real Hobgoblin

Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney clashed often during Wednesday's GOP debate.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 2:03 am

This campaign season, inconsistency seems to be, well, almost everywhere. Each flip-flopping politician revels in pointing out the flip-flopping ways of his opponents.

Why are politicians and those of us who vote for them so obsessed with inconsistency? We take that question on from three angles: how our brains are wired; the psychology of judging what's consistent; and how consistency plays out in leadership styles.

Jon Hamilton: Why Our Brains Hate A Flip-Flopper

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

Districts Still Unsettled As New York Primary Nears

Pedestrians walk along a section of Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens, New York. The neighborhood is part of an area targeted for congressional redistricting, but the process is still dragging on as the state's primary draws near.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 8:51 am

By now, most states around the country have redrawn their political boundaries based on the 2010 census — and then there's New York.

For voters in the Forest Hills section of Queens, it has been rough. A year ago, they were represented by Democrat Anthony Weiner, who tweeted his way to infamy. Now, they're represented by Republican Bob Turner, who won a special election after Weiner resigned.

Right now, nobody even knows what district they're in.

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Music News
7:19 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

Jazzercizing To 'It's Raining Men'? Hallelujah!

Jazzercizers in action.
Jazzercize, Inc.

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Presidential Race
3:03 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

1 Of Tuesday's 10: GOP Candidates Vie For Ohio Bump

Republican presidential candidate, former US Senator Rick Santorum speaks to the Lake County Republican Party during their Lincoln Day dinner in Willoughby, Ohio on Friday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Ohio is one of 10 states holding contests to pick their party's presidential nominee on Super Tuesday, but it has been the main focus of attention for GOP candidates because it will be a major battleground state in the general election this November.

The conventional wisdom has been that whoever takes Ohio in the general election goes on to win the White House, which gives Tuesday's contest a lot of potential momentum for the eventual winner.

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Author Interviews
2:43 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

They're Nobody And Want To Know Everything

Two mysterious men pull up to the courthouse and head to the public records office. They're strangers, and they ask a lot of strange questions like, "I'd like to look at Mayor John Doe's property deeds." Or, "I want to see Congressman Smith's voting records."

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Around the Nation
2:10 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

(Sock) Monkey Business: A Festival For Iconic Toy

Sock Monkeys at the 8th annual Sock Monkey Madness Festival in Rockford, Ill.
Jenna Dooley WNIJ

Adele Jedynak makes monkey sounds to a group of kids who are steps away from playing Sock Monkey bowling and plush-primate parachuting. It's all part of the Sock Monkey Madness Festival, the eighth annual festival dedicated to the sock monkey in Rockford, Ill.

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Science
2:08 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

Meteorite Hunter Scours The Ground For Bits Of Sky

One of Ruben Garcia's favorite spots to go meteorite hunting is an enormous dry lake bed in southern Arizona.
Courtesy Jana Becker

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 5:03 pm

Every so often, pieces of heaven crash into Earth.

They can come from our own solar system, or millions of light years away. Few of us are lucky enough to get our hands on one of these space rocks. But for meteorite hunters and dealers such as Ruben Garcia, touching a piece of outer space is a daily routine.

The Best Hunting Grounds

One of Garcia's favorite spots to go meteorite hunting is an enormous dry lake bed in southern Arizona.

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Author Interviews
12:25 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

A Road Trip In Search Of America's Lost Languages

Trip of the Tongue cover detail
Bloomsbury Publishing

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 11:38 am

The vast majority of the 175 indigenous languages still spoken in the United States are on the verge of extinction.

Linguist Elizabeth Little spent two years driving all over the country looking for the few remaining pockets where those languages are still spoken — from the scores of Native American tongues, to the Creole of Louisiana. The resulting book is Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Lost Languages.

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Around the Nation
12:13 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

A Hollywood Writer's Second Act: Gongs

Comedy writer Andrew Borakove left California for Lincoln, Neb., to sell gongs.
Guy Raz

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 1:22 pm

There's a Mystery Machine sitting outside Andrew Borakove's nondescript warehouse on a quiet street in Lincoln, Neb.

"I can never be depressed driving around town, because there's always some 4-year-old waving to me manically," Borakove says.

The mystery about the Scooby Doo replica van starts to fade, however, once you notice the bumper stickers on the back. Black background, white font, like a "Got Milk?" ad: "Happiness Is a Warm Gong." "Gongs, Not Bongs." "My Child Is an Honor Gong Player."

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Europe
9:04 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Financial Woes Keep Spanish Airport Grounded

Spanish politicians spent $220 million on the sparkling new Castellon airport on Spain's Mediterranean coast — $40 million alone was spent on TV ads and other marketing. They also paid $600,000 for ferrets and falcons to kill birds that endanger aircraft.

Yet no plane has yet taken off. Construction, which began in 2004, went over budget, partly to fund a 75-foot statue of a local politician out front.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Eric Cantor Endorses Mitt Romney

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a key endorsement Sunday morning when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia endorsed Romney on NBC's Meet the Press.

Cantor cited the economy as the top issue of the campaign.

"What I have seen is a very hard-fought primary. And we have seen now that the central issue about the campaign now is the economy," Cantor said. "I just think there's one candidate in the case who can do that, and it's Mitt Romney."

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World
6:00 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Obama To AIPAC: Israel's Security 'Non-Negotiable'

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 7:02 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL MARCH)

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Middle East
6:00 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Between The U.S., Israel And Iran, Who Blinks First?

When President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, he is expected to try to convince Netanyahu to put off any plans his government may have to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Martin Indyk, director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and a former U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Storms Mangle Ky. Town; Community Comes Together

Residents in parts of the Midwest and South are recovering from a wave of deadly and destructive tornados and storms. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Pastor B.J. Donahue of Piner Baptist Church in Piner, Ky., who describes what his town looks like now.

Europe
6:00 am
Sun March 4, 2012

French Head To The Slopes For Winter Break

Paris has become a virtual ghost town as families vacate the city for two weeks of ski holiday, a time-honored ritual the French seem disinclined to give up. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports.

Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Candidates See Super Tuesday On The Horizon

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 11:00 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, on to Super Tuesday. In two days, 10 states will cast votes in the GOP presidential nominating contest. It will be the largest single day of voting yet in the Republican race.

And Mara Liasson joins us with analysis. She is NPR's national political correspondent.

OK, Mara. Do you think Romney's win in Washington state may foreshadow what may come on Super Tuesday? I mean 10 presidential contests happening that day.

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Europe
6:00 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Russians Vote Amid Calls Against Fraud

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 11:00 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Russians are voting today in an election that's expected to return Vladimir Putin to the presidency. There's not a lot of suspense about the choice, but there are big questions about whether a growing segment of Russian society will accept the result. Russia's parliamentary elections, in December, were tainted by allegations of massive vote fraud. This time, thousands of volunteer poll watchers have been deployed to try to curb any attempts to rig the vote.

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Presidential Race
4:52 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Mitt Romney Tops Washington Caucuses

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 9:03 am

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pulled ahead of his rivals in Washington State's presidential straw poll on Saturday, with more than one-third of the votes. Romney finished well ahead of Ron Paul, who himself squeaked past Rick Santorum by just over 500 votes. Newt Gingrich had to settle for about one vote in 10.

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Presidential Race
11:04 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Va. Campaigners Persevere Despite 2-Person Ballot

Supporters attend a party for Ron Paul on Feb. 28 in Springfield, Va. Paul and Mitt Romney are the only two candidates on the ballot for Virginia's Tuesday contest.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 5:35 am

Virginians will choose between just two candidates on the state's primary election ballot Tuesday: Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

The rest of the Republican candidates failed to collect enough signatures last fall to get on the state's printed ballot. But that hasn't made Romney and Paul's campaigners complacent.

At the headquarters for each candidate in Northern Virginia, volunteers and staff are busy gearing up for Super Tuesday, when voters in 10 states will pick their party's nominee.

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Music Interviews
9:35 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Suzanne Ciani, Trailblazing Synth Musician, Looks Back

Suzanne Ciani's new retrospective album, Lixiviation 1969-1985, presents long-form works alongside her many commercial projects.
Courtesy of the artist

Suzanne Ciani's start in music was traditional enough. She was classically trained, majored in music at Wellesley College, and got a fellowship to study composition at UC Berkeley. But when she arrived there in the mid-1960s, just in time to witness the student protests that consumed the Bay Area during that decade, her focus shifted.

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World
8:53 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Israelis Face Off Over Orthodox Military Exemption

Israeli soldiers get ready to launch the Skylark drone during a drill in January. Israelis are required to serve in the military, and an exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews has created a fierce debate.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 7:04 am

In Israel, a country where citizens serve a mandatory military service of two to three years, the exemption of some is a topic of heated debate. That debate is even fiercer now that Israel's Supreme Court has struck down a law that excused ultra-Orthodox Jews from serving in the military.

The decision highlights growing tensions between the religious and secular elements of Israeli society. As the ultra-Orthodox population continues to grow, many are asking what part they will play in the Jewish state.

'They Need To Contribute, Too'

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Asia
5:58 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Vote In Small Chinese Village Holds Big Meaning

Residents of Wukan in China's southern Guangdong province fill in forms before voting in village elections on Saturday.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

In southern China, a village that rebelled against corrupt Communist officials has elected the main protest leaders as its new village committee leaders. Reformers are hoping this could be a template for defusing unrest through grassroots democracy, but others say the experience of the rebellious village is unique.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Limbaugh Apologizes For Insulting Law Student

Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, waits to testify before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Feb. 23.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 5:24 pm

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh apologized today to a Georgetown University law student he called a "slut" and a "prostitute" this week. His comments about Sandra Fluke, who testified on Capitol Hill that insurers should provide no-cost contraception, outraged women's groups and others, including the president, who called her on Friday.

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Author Interviews
2:55 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

'Enchantments' Of Rasputin's Lion-Taming Daughter

Rischgitz Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 3:09 pm

The famed mystic Rasputin — notorious for his otherworldly powers and his sexual escapades — may not have seemed like a traditional family man, but in fact, he had a wife and three children.

His eldest daughter, Maria, is at the center of Kathryn Harrison's new novel, Enchantments, a dark fairytale mash-up of history and magical realism set during the last days of Imperial Russia.

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Around the Nation
2:25 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

After Scandal, New Rules For Juveniles In Pa. Courts

Former Judge Mark Ciavarella leaves the federal courthouse in Scranton, Pa., in 2009. Ciavarella was convicted last year of racketeering and conspiracy for taking nearly a million dollars from the developer of two for-profit prisons.
David Kidwell AP

More than 2,000 young people in Pennsylvania are trying to put one of the nation's worst juvenile justice scandals behind them. It's been a year since a former judge was convicted in the so-called "kids for cash" scandal.

New rules intended to protect the rights of children took effect this week, but questions about Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system remain.

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Around the Nation
2:24 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Settlement Only The First Step In BP's Legal Woes

A cross with the words "Promises Made"-- referring to statements from BP and government officials — stands in front of a pile of crosses symbolizing things that were impacted by the spill, in a front yard in Grand Isle, La.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 3:09 pm

Oil giant BP has agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from its well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal was announced late Friday and prompted a federal judge in New Orleans to postpone a Monday trial, but the proposed settlement solves only one piece of BP's legal exposure from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

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Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Animal Disease Center's New Home Proves Difficult

The animal disease center that the Homeland Security department has maintained since Sept. 11 has fallen into disrepair. A proposed new location in Kansas has been riddled with neighborhood concerns, safety threats and escalating costs. Laura Ziegler of Harvest Public Media reports.

The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Mormon Leaders Warn Followers To Stop Controversial Baptisms

The sun sets behind the Mormon Temple, the centerpiece of Temple Square, in Salt Lake City.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 11:00 am

Mormons around the world are getting this warning Sunday: Stop posthumous baptisms of "unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims."

"Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors," says a letter to be read in every Mormon congregation. "Those whose names are submitted for proxy [baptisms] should be related to the submitter."

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Simon Says
6:57 am
Sat March 3, 2012

Politics Gets Dirtier: Attack Ad Goes After Cat

Not even pets can hide from the political caterwauling; a superPAC has attacked the candidacy of Hank the Cat.
YouTube

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 11:38 am

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Middle East
6:01 am
Sat March 3, 2012

Red Cross Restricted As Killing Continues In Syria

The Syrian government continued shelling the city Homs overnight. The latest United Nations report estimates 7,500 people have been killed since unrest began nearly a year ago. The government has also continued to refuse entry to the International Committee of the Red Cross. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports.

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