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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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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Teenagers have become as devoted to cell phones as they can be to gum snapping or Lady Gaga. They text, talk and leap at the bleeble of any possible message from a friend, a parent - or Miley Cyrus. So we were intrigued to learn about a high school senior named Michelle Hackman, who won second place in a national science competition. She conducted a study to see what happens when a teenager is deprived of his or her phone.

She joins us on a phone from John L. Miller Great Neck North High School on Long Island.

Picture this: You wake up bleary-eyed on New Year's Day. Last night was wild, and you're not feeling so hot.

It's the first day of 2100, and here's how your morning might unfold: You stumble into the bathroom to wash your face and brush your teeth. Tiny microchips in your toothbrush and your toilet instantly analyze your health. You wrap a few wires around your head and mentally cue up soothing music and fried eggs for breakfast. When you're ready, you issue another mental command to your magnetic car, and it leaves the garage and cruises up to your front door.

Soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan routinely carry between 60 and 100 pounds of gear including body armor, weapons and batteries.

The heavy loads shouldered over months of duty contribute to the chronic pain suffered by soldiers like Spc. Joseph Chroniger, who deployed to Iraq in 2007.

Twenty-five years old, he has debilitating pain from a form of degenerative arthritis and bone spurs. "I mean my neck hurts every day. Every day," he says. "You can't concentrate on anything but that because it hurts that bad."

At 22 years old, Adele was inspired by the works of Etta James, Jeff Buckley and Jill Scott when she decided to enroll in the BRIT school. By the time of graduation she had perfected her sound and emerged as a soulful songbird and MySpace sensation in 2007 and 2008.

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Ohio Valley ReSource

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The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency returned to friendly terrain in coal country this week for two days of public hearings on its proposal to repeal a key federal rule aimed at reducing pollution that contributes to climate change.

Last month EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt chose an eastern Kentucky mining town as the venue to announce his intent to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the Obama-era rule that sought to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

 


Glynis Board/Ohio Valley ReSource

A group of about 30 coal miners in work apparel complete with hardhats sat in one of the three hearing rooms to hear their boss, Bob Murray. Murray is CEO of the Ohio-based coal company Murray Energy, and a leading opponent of the Clean Power Plan. He applauded EPA’s decision to repeal the regulation.

“God bless President Trump, and you coal miners,” Murray said. “I love you, fellas. God bless you.”

Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach. Troops must be fed in order to fight. But what happens when that army faces hunger after marching back home?  

Federal statistics show tens of thousands of U.S. military veterans struggle with homelessness, hunger and food insecurity.

As the holiday season approaches, a pilot program in the Ohio Valley aims to serve those who served their country.


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