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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Construction Spending Dips, But Manufacturing Expands

There was a 1.1 percent decline in spending on construction in February vs. January, the Census Bureau just reported. But spending was still 5.8 percent above the level of February 2011.

According to the bureau, spending on home construction was unchanged in February from the month before. Public construction spending was down 1.7 percent.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Irish Protest Against Household Tax As Austerity Pain Bites Further

Phyllis O'Toole joined an estimated 5,000 demonstrators in the streets of Dublin on Saturday (March 31, 2012).
Shawn Pogatchnik AP

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 10:55 am

House prices have crashed. Banks and businesses have failed. Jobs have been axed. People are struggling to make the mortgage.

The Republic of Ireland's 4.6 million people have suffered considerably since the financial crisis began four years ago, forcing their government to turn to the European Union and International Monetary Fund for a $90 billion bail-out.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:49 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Caffeine Might Keep Moms Awake, But Not Their Babies

Moms, it's not the coffee that's keeping baby awake.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Mothers of new babies might be forgiven for turning to caffeine to get through those sleep-deprived months. And they might worry that drinking coffee interferes with the sleep of breast-fed babies — the Web is full of such questions. But a new study says it's not so.

Instead, researchers in Brazil found that the babies of heavy coffee drinkers were no more likely to wake up than were babies whose moms didn't have a serious espresso habit.

Crying and colic at 3 months old, as well as frequent night waking at 12 months, were not affected by a mom's caffeine intake.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Bin Laden's Wives, Daughters Sentenced To 45 Days Detention, Deportation

Pakistani security personnel stand guard outside the house in Islamabad where family members of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden are being held.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 9:21 am

"A Pakistani court on Monday convicted Osama bin Laden's three widows and two of his grown-up daughters of illegal residency, sentencing them to 45 days detention and ordering their deportation," Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reports.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Mega Millions Mystery: Who Won?

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The wait continues to see who bought the three winning tickets in Friday's record $656 million Mega Millions lottery drawing.

If for some reason you haven't checked yet (yeah, right!) the winning numbers were 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 and the mega ball was 23.

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Around the Nation
7:49 am
Mon April 2, 2012

The 1940 Census: 72-Year-Old Secrets Revealed

An enumerator interviews a woman for the 1940 census. Veiled in secrecy for 72 years because of privacy protections, the 1940 U.S. census is the first historical federal decennial survey to be made available on the Internet initially rather than on microfilm.
National Archives at College Park

Nylon stockings became all the rage. Black fedoras were the "pure quill" — meaning the real deal. Bing Crosby crooned Only Forever on the console. And Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American actor ever to take home an Oscar.

Ah, 1940. Three score and 12 years ago, America was in a very different place — economically and culturally.

But on April 2, 2012, when the National Archives releases detailed data from the 1940 census, we will get an even keener idea of how much — or how little — this nation has really changed in the past 72 years.

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Europe
7:28 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Whiskey Label Honors Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth is marking 60 years on the throne, and Johnny Walker wanted to do something special. The whiskey label released a new blend called Diamond Jubilee. It's been distilling since 1952, and a bottle costs $200,000.

The Two-Way
7:25 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Trayvon Martin Case: Voice Calling For Help Isn't Zimmerman's, Experts Say

At a rally in Miami on Sunday, Arleen Poitier held a sign with images of Trayvon Martin.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 7:28 am

Over the weekend, The Orlando Sentinel reported that two experts it consulted believe the voice heard calling for help in the background during a 911 call to police is not that of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who says he acted in self defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla.

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Around the Nation
7:23 am
Mon April 2, 2012

At 92, Cab Driver Still Navigates Manhattan

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Three Books...
7:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Secret Worlds: 3 Magical Myths For Grown-Ups

iStockphoto.com

We have all felt the ethereal siren song of other universes — the thrilling suspicion that touching a certain ring may in fact suck you into a Wood Between the Worlds, or that if you walk just so between platforms nine and 10 at King's Cross Station, you might find yourself departing from platform nine and three-quarters. For some, the tingling sensation of magical lands fades after leaving childhood behind. But I still peer curiously into wardrobes, and thus here are three blazingly intelligent adult novels for the untamable Alice in all of us.

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Mitt Romney
4:04 am
Mon April 2, 2012

On Energy Policy, Romney's Emphasis Has Shifted

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns in Muskego, Wis., on Saturday.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 11:24 am

The GOP candidates for president have seized on high gas prices as a line of attack against President Obama, largely saying the answer is more domestic oil drilling.

But GOP front-runner Mitt Romney used to have a position seemingly at odds — at least in emphasis — with what he and the other Republicans are now advocating.

As Massachusetts governor, Romney said high gasoline prices "are probably here to stay," and he advocated policies to cut energy demand.

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Business
4:03 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Oil Scare Turns FedEx Onto Energy Efficiency

A FedEx hybrid delivery truck. In FedEx's fleet of over 90,000 vehicles, 408 are hybrid or electric, and 4,000 are fuel-efficient, lower-emitting "Sprinter" vans.
Courtesy of FedEx Corp.

The rising cost of oil isn't just a hit to the family budget. Businesses are hurt, too. Few are more affected than firms like FedEx. It deploys nearly 700 planes and tens of thousands of trucks and vans every day to deliver packages around the world. And few business leaders are more focused on finding alternatives to petroleum-based fuels than FedEx CEO Fred Smith.

Shortly after Smith founded Federal Express, the 1973 Arab oil embargo almost killed it. The experience imprinted Smith with a keen interest in the price and availability of oil.

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All Tech Considered
4:02 am
Mon April 2, 2012

You Should Keep Tax Records — But How, And For How Long?

A pile of IRS Form 1040 tax documents is seen in this file photo. Personal finance experts recommend keeping most records for three years after they're used in a tax return.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 10:01 am

Tax Day 2012 is looming — and after we file our returns, many of us will try to figure out what to do with the seemingly innocuous but possibly crucial documents we use to prepare our returns. Filing electronically can make those records easier to manage. But what should we really keep, and for how long?

Most experts recommend holding on to financial records for three years after they're used in a tax return — that's the amount of time the IRS has to audit taxpayers.

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The Salt
4:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

What's Inside The 26-Ingredient School Lunch Burger?

Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 11:23 pm

Thiamine mononitrate, disodium inosinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride.

Why are these hard-to-pronounce ingredients added to everything from a burger served in schools to veggie burgers in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store? We try to answer that on this edition of Tiny Desk Kitchen.

It turns out the answers are as varied as the ingredients. But as we yearn to know what's in our food and how it's made, these kinds of ingredients with unfamiliar names make people suspicious.

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Latin America
3:45 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Some Argentines Demand Return Of Falkland Islands

People walk past a Falklands War memorial in Ushuaia, Argentina, on Sunday. Some Argentines want Britain to give up the Falkland Islands, which Argentina tried to take over in a bloody war in 1982.
Natacha Pisarenko AP

Thirty years ago, on April 2, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, leading to a short but bloody war with Britain. Argentina lost, and the islands in the frigid South Atlantic stayed under British control.

Argentina still claims the islands, however, and is pressuring Britain like never before.

On a recent day, the ornate Palais de Glace museum in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, was packed with visitors browsing through a collection of photographs from the Falkland Islands war.

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The Two-Way
3:44 am
Mon April 2, 2012

The Historic Texas Drought, Visualized

Click here to explore the StateImpact interactive.
NPR

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 1:00 pm

A devastating drought consumed nearly all of Texas in 2011, killing livestock, destroying agriculture and sparking fires that burned thousands of homes. It was the worst single-year drought in the state's recorded history.

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Africa
3:27 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Unease Grows Over Islamist Political Agenda In Egypt

Egyptians protest outside the administrative court in the capital, Cairo, on Tuesday. The protesters are calling for the panel drafting the constitution to be made up entirely of non-parliamentarians. Controversy swirls around the 100-member panel — handpicked by Islamist lawmakers — which includes only a handful of women and Christians.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in Egypt are flexing their growing political muscle. They control the legislative agenda in parliament, and in recent weeks introduced controversial proposals to curb social freedoms and legal rights.

Islamist lawmakers also handpicked a 100-member panel that began meeting this week to write a new constitution, which is widely expected to enshrine Islamic law.

Even so, Islamist leaders say they want Egypt to remain a secular state. But many secular Egyptians are not convinced.

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The Two-Way
12:01 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Top Prosecutor At Guantanamo Military Commissions To Retire

Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins.
U.S. Central Command

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 12:03 am

NPR has learned that the top prosecutor at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions has asked to retire from the military after he finishes his assignment there.

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins says he hopes the decision will drain some of the politics out of the chief prosecutor's position and will provide some continuity.

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Around the Nation
4:36 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Fla. Cases Test 'Stand Your Ground' Law's Limits

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 10:25 pm

Since the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin made Florida's Stand Your Ground law the subject of national debate, one of the legislators who helped write it, Rep. Dennis Baxley, has been adamant in his belief that the law simply doesn't apply in this case.

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Arts & Life
4:15 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

'Did Jesus Exist?' A Historian Makes His Case

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 5:11 pm

So, did Jesus really exist? With his new book, Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, Bart Ehrman, historian and professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, wanted to provide solid historical evidence for the existence of Jesus.

"I wanted to approach this question as an historian to see whether that's right or not," Ehrman tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

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Strange News
3:38 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

N.Y. Preschool Starts DNA Testing For Admission

At the Porsafillo Preschool Academy, there are 32 spots but more than 12,000 applications.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:46 am

For years, New York parents have been applying to preschools even before their youngsters are born. That's not new, but the approach one prestigious pre-school on the Upper West Side is.

At the Porsafillo Preschool Academy, all applicants must now submit a DNA analysis of their children.

The preschool is housed in a modern glass and steel building designed by IM Pei. It's situated in a leafy corner of the Upper West Side. On a recent afternoon, Headmaster Rebecca Unsinn showed off "Porsafillo Pre," as it's called.

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World
3:34 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Do Israeli-Azeri Ties Portend Conflict With Iran?

A secret agreement came to light this week between the Israel and the Central Asian nation of Azerbaijan: The Azeri government has granted Israelis access to eight air bases, located just a couple hundred miles north of Israel's foe Iran.

Allowing Israeli fighter jets and bombers to land and refuel so close to Iran raises questions: Could this mean Israel and Iran are one step closer to war? Or are Azerbaijan and Israel just looking to strengthen their relationship?

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Analysis
3:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Race, Politics And The Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 5:11 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Joining me now is Corey Dade. He's a national correspondent for NPR digital news. He's been writing a lot about the Trayvon Martin case, and he's also interviewed Trayvon's parents. Also with us is legal scholar and attorney Michelle Alexander who recently published a book called "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." Corey, welcome to the program.

COREY DADE, BYLINE: Thank you, Guy.

RAZ: And, Michelle Alexander, welcome to the program.

MICHELLE ALEXANDER: Thanks for having me.

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Coalition Moves To Fund Rebels In Syria

An international coalition supporting the Syrian opposition announced new aid today, including a multimillion dollar fund for opposition fighters. The support for the opposition comes just as Damascus rejected a call to withdraw its troops and begin a cease-fire. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

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