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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Snow leopards are an endangered species native to Asia. They're also one of the official mascots of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. So when Russian scientists found one of the rare cats earlier this month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took the time to visit him over the weekend. The World Wildlife Fund has said the leopard should be released into the wild, which it was, right after Putin and the cameras took their leave.

You simply cannot appreciate the brilliance of Angry Birds unless you play the game. So go get your iPhone or borrow one from a friend. You can download the first game for free.

There are many spoilers ahead in this piece, and by spoilers, we mean this: If you want to be surprised by the final few episodes of Big Love, you should not read or listen to this piece until you finish the season.

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SIMON: Warren Christopher was a famously meticulous man. When he stepped down as President Clintons secretary of State, the president referred to him as the only man ever to eat M&Ms on Air Force One with a fork.

Warren Christopher died last night at the age 85, at home in Los Angeles. He was the son of a North Dakota bank clerk who became a blue chip, L.A. lawyer in splendid suits, and a famously self-effacing diplomat.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

To baseball now. Jimmy Breslin, the great New York columnist, has written a new Penguin Lives biography of Branch Rickey, the great general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the man who invented the minor league system, coined bromides like: Luck is the residue of design, and made American - not just sports history - by signing Jackie Robinson and integrating the game of baseball.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Egyptians vote today in the first election since ousting Hosni Mubarak from power last month. At stake: nine amendments to the constitution that the former ruler helped create. Supporters say the referendum is the first step toward a real democracy in Egypt. But opponents argue the measures leave too much power in the hands of Egypt's future presidents and they want the constitution scrapped.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports voter turnout is unusually high in some districts.

(Soundbite of people speaking foreign language)

The earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan's northeast has torn the social fabric of many communities wrought havoc on the normal cycles of life and death. In the northern city of Kesennuma, where at least 300 people were killed by the tsunami, communities are struggling to maintain dignity and respect as they send off the deceased.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

In Libya, forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi are continuing their attacks on rebel-held towns less than a day after Gadhafi's government declared a cease-fire. In Paris today, Secretary of State Clinton is meeting with key allies to plan possible military action in Libya. The U.S., France, Great Britain and others are set to give final approval for a no-fly zone over Libya but the details of how this military operation might work are unclear.

The social networking site Twitter turns five today. The service now boasts 200 million users, who send more than 100 million tweets each day. Twitter co-founder Isaac "Biz" Stone joined NPR's Scott Simon to answer questions about the popular social media site — including the one we've all been dying to know: Why 140 characters?

"I have a good answer for that," says Stone. "From the very beginning we built Twitter to work over SMS, or simple mobile text messaging. The limit internationally for text messages is 160 characters."

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR news. I'm Scott Simon.

Time for sports. It's March and, as usual, upset Madness in the early rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Underdogs: Virginia Commonwealth, Morehead State and Richmond might be sizing their feet for glass slippers to wear to the big dance, after beating some heavily-favored teams this week.

NPR's Mike Pesca joins us in our studio. Good to be with you personally, right across from each other.

MIKE PESCA: Good to be with you.

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Eastern Standard

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Ohio Valley ReSource

Mary Meehan

Days after sending mixed signals on his response to the nation’s opioid crisis, President Donald Trump said Thursday that he plans to declare a national emergency to better address the epidemic.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” the president said, announcing that his administration was drafting the paperwork to make the emergency declaration official.


Rebecca Kiger

The Trump administration’s top health official backed away from a presidential commission’s proposal to declare a national public health emergency to address the opioid crisis.

An emergency declaration could have big implications for the Ohio Valley, a region with some of the country’s highest addiction and overdose rates.

The top recommendation from President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis was for the president to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.   


J. Tyler Franklin

Paramedics and police are already in the hotel room when Kyle Simpson walks in.

“What happened?” he asks.

A 37-year-old man in the room is barely conscious–just revived by the overdose reversal medication Narcan.


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