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8:28am

Wed April 1, 2015
The Two-Way

World's Oldest Person Dies At Age 117

Misao Okawa, who died at age 117, posed for a photo with her son Hiroshi Okawa, 92, (left) and other family members as they celebrated her birthday last month in Osaka, Japan.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

She was born in 1898. And now comes word that Japan's Misao Okawa has died at age 117. She had been the world's oldest person since 2013, according to Guinness World Records.

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7:43am

Wed April 1, 2015
The Two-Way

Iran Nuclear Talks: Varied Signs Of Agreement On An Agreement

Prolonged nuclear talks gave Russian journalists time to play a game of giant chess in a courtyard of the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AP

A day after the self-imposed deadline has passed for reaching a political agreement on Iran's nuclear program, negotiators are still working. Top diplomats from Iran and six countries are sending mixed signals on a potential deal; some have left the talks.

As of Wednesday morning, NPR's Peter Kenyon tells Morning Edition, "three foreign ministers — half the international contingent — are gone. That's Russia, China, and France."

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7:36am

Wed April 1, 2015
Asia

China Limits Chauffeurs; Workers Struggle To Pass Driving Test

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

7:36am

Wed April 1, 2015
Music News

Colorado Lawmakers Don't Want Marijuana Going To People On Welfare

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:05 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

7:16am

Wed April 1, 2015
The Two-Way

CEOs Of Germanwings, Lufthansa Visit Crash Site

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:00 am

CEO of Germanwings Thomas Winkelmann, left, and Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr visited the site of the Germanwings jet crash in Le Vernet, France, Wednesday.
Claude Paris AP

Top executives of Lufthansa and Germanwings airlines visited the site of last week's plane crash that killed 150 people. Speaking to reporters, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr did not respond to questions about the co-pilot's medical history.

Spohr said that while his airline is learning more about the crash, "It will take a long time for all of us to understand" how the tragedy occurred.

From Berlin, Esme Nicholson reports for our Newscast desk:

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5:54am

Wed April 1, 2015
NPR Story

Minimal Sierra Nevada Snowpack Will Not Ease California's Drought

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:23 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:54am

Wed April 1, 2015
NPR Story

The Neighborhood Wal-Mart, A Blessing Or A Curse?

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:31 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:30am

Wed April 1, 2015
NPR Story

Comedy Central Backs New 'Daily Show' Host Despite Insensitive Tweets

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:34 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:30am

Wed April 1, 2015
NPR Story

No Joke. Flood Insurance Rates Incease On April 1

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:36 am

Copyright 2015 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit http://www.wshu.org/.

5:30am

Wed April 1, 2015
NPR Story

Understanding The Forces At Play In Yemen's Civil War

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 7:36 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:30am

Wed April 1, 2015
NPR Ed

The Opposite Of The Dean's List

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 7:36 am

No school wants to be on this list.

It was just released by the Department of Education. On it: The names of 556 colleges and universities that failed the department's so-called "financial responsibility test."

Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell says each school's finances are now being placed under a microscope because "[the government] had serious concerns about the financial integrity of the institution or its administrative capacity."

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3:55am

Wed April 1, 2015
Goats and Soda

Engineer Turned Cabbie Helps New Refugees Find Their Way

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:16 am

After a long day at the Somali American Community Center he founded in Clarkston, Ga., and then at an after-school program, Omar Shekhey drives a taxi to earn extra money. Often he gives his earnings to refugees to help them with expenses.
Kevin Liles for NPR

This story is part of an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Almost 70,000 refugees — victims of war, hardship and persecution — are allowed into the U.S. each year. But settling into their new homes can be a challenge, from learning English to figuring out how to turn on the dishwasher.

Omar Shekhey says he's there to help. The Somali American drives a cab at night, but during the day, he runs the nonprofit Somali American Community Center, based in Clarkston, Ga.

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3:53am

Wed April 1, 2015
Shots - Health News

Tobacco Firm Seeks Softer Warning For Cigarette Alternative

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 9:01 am

Will this maker of these snus, an alternative to cigarettes, be allowed to claim they are less harmful?
Swedish Match

The Food and Drug Administration weighing whether to allow a tobacco company to do something it's never done before — claim that one of its products is less risky than cigarettes.

The company, Swedish Match of Stockholm, has applied to the FDA to designate its General brand of snus (rhymes with "loose") as safer than other versions of tobacco.

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3:32am

Wed April 1, 2015
The Two-Way

Closing Arguments To Begin Monday In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

The defense rested its case on Tuesday for admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after just a few hours of testimony. The defense called four people to testify compared to the 92 called by prosecutors.

Tsarnaev's lawyers have admitted he did what he's accused of doing. Their single aim is to try to cast Tsarnaev as less in charge than his brother Tamerlan — who died while they were running from authorities — and therefore less deserving of the death penalty if it gets to that.

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7:26pm

Tue March 31, 2015
The Two-Way

Oversight Committee Issues Subpoena To 2 Secret Service Agents

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 7:10 am

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has issued subpoenas to two Secret Service agents, setting up a confrontation with the embattled agency.

The subpoenas are linked to an investigation into an incident in March, when two potentially drunk Secret Service agents appeared to bobble the investigation into a potential bomb near the White House.

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6:26pm

Tue March 31, 2015
The Two-Way

Federal Judge Says South Dakota Officials Violated Native American Families' Rights

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:59 pm

Two of South Dakota's largest tribes won a sweeping victory in federal court that could reverberate for tribes across the country.

A federal judge has ruled that the state Department of Social Services, prosecutors and judges "failed to protect Indian parents' fundamental rights" when they removed their children after short hearings and placed them largely in white foster care.

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5:50pm

Tue March 31, 2015
It's All Politics

Supreme Court Deals Medicaid Blow To Doctors And Health Companies

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:59 pm

The 5-to-4 vote crossed the court's usual ideological lines.
Molly Riley AP

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that private Medicaid providers cannot sue to force states to raise reimbursement rates in the face of rising medical costs. The 5-to-4 decision is a blow to many doctors and health care companies and their complaint that state Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that health care providers often lose money on Medicaid patients.

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5:48pm

Tue March 31, 2015
The Two-Way

Despite Criticism, Arkansas Passes Religious Freedom Bill

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:14 pm

Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock (center), leads protesters outside the House chamber at the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock on Monday.
Danny Johnston AP

Despite criticism and protests, Arkansas legislators passed a religious freedom bill on Tuesday that is similar to the one passed by Indiana.

NBC News reports:

"Protesters gathered outside the governor's mansion in Little Rock on Tuesday morning. A final vote in the state House could come later in the day.

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5:46pm

Tue March 31, 2015
The Record

Jay Z's Music Service, Tidal, Arrives With A Splash, And Questions Follow

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:00 pm

Madonna, Deadmau5, Kanye West and Jay Z onstage at the Tidal launch event.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Jay Z doesn't do anything small. His album drops feature entire new apps. His tours (with his wife, Beyonce, or collaborator Kanye West) gross hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. So of course the launch of his recently acquired streaming music service, Tidal, would have to be just as big.

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5:46pm

Tue March 31, 2015
Remembrances

Remembering Pop Singer Selena, 'The Queen of Tejano'

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

She was and is still the queen of Tejano.

(SOUNDBITE OF SELENA SONG)

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5:46pm

Tue March 31, 2015
Politics

Obama's Diplomatic Gamble On Iran Adding Instability In Middle East

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:00 pm

"We must try as best we can to balance isolation and engagement, pressure and incentives, so that human rights and dignity are advanced over time," Obama said five years ago, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Even before he became president, Barack Obama was imagining the possibilities of a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran. His willingness to reverse decades of official U.S. hostility was one of the things that set Obama apart on the campaign trail.

"We have to have a clear break with the Bush-Cheney style of diplomacy that has caused so many problems," Obama told NBC's Meet the Press in November 2007.

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5:46pm

Tue March 31, 2015
U.S.

Supporters Work To Reclaim Legacy Of Penn State Coach Joe Paterno

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:00 pm

Supporters of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno have launched a campaign to reclaim his legacy, including an initiative to have his statute returned to the university grounds.
Gene J. Puskar AP

The Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal rocked Penn State University in 2011, and the fallout from the case continues today. A series of lawsuits are ongoing and, now, a campaign is underway to restore the legacy of the university's former head football coach Joe Paterno.

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5:42pm

Tue March 31, 2015
It's All Politics

Watchdog Groups File Complaints Against Likely Candidates

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is one of four "un-candidates" being targeted by liberal groups Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21. They say the politicians have crossed the line into candidacy based on their activities in recent months.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Updated at 5:40 p.m. E.T.

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5:38pm

Tue March 31, 2015
NPR Ed

Activists Stop Paying Their Student Loans

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:51 am

Makenzie Vasquez (from left), Pamala Hunt, Latonya Suggs, Ann Bowers, Nathan Hornes, Ashlee Schmidt, Natasha Hornes, Tasha Courtright, Michael Adorno and Sarah Dieffenbacher are refusing to pay back loans they took out to attend Corinthian Colleges.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Latonya Suggs says she borrowed thousands of dollars in student loans to attend the for-profit Corinthian Colleges but has nothing to show for it. Most employers don't recognize her criminal justice degree.

"I am completely lost and in debt," Suggs says. And now she's doing something about it: She's refusing to pay back those loans.

Suggs and 106 other borrowers now saddled with Corinthian loan debt say their refusal to repay the loans is a form of political protest. And Tuesday, the U.S. government gave them an audience.

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5:31pm

Tue March 31, 2015
The Two-Way

Lufthansa Says It Knew Of Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz's Depression

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:09 pm

Andreas Lubitz competes in the Airportrun in Hamburg, Germany, on Sept. 13, 2009. Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot, is believed to have deliberately crashed his plane carrying 149 others into the French Alps last week.
Michael Mueller AP

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who appears to have deliberately crashed his aircraft into the French Alps last week, had informed Lufthansa in 2009 of a "serious depressive episode," the German airline said in a statement.

Lufthansa says a note about a "previous depressive episode" was found in email Lubitz apparently sent to the Lufthansa flight school when he resumed his training after a months-long interruption.

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5:13pm

Tue March 31, 2015
Goats and Soda

Advice For Trevor Noah From The 'Jon Stewart Of South Africa'

South African comedian Loyiso Gola performed at The Orbit, a club in Johannesburg, in February.
Joao Silva/The New York Times

This week, Comedy Central announced that Jon Stewart's replacement on The Daily Show will be a South African comedian, Trevor Noah. To get some perspective on this surprise decision, we contacted Noah's colleague and friend Loyiso Gola, a comedian who hosts Late Nite News, his own satirical news program on South African television. Gola spoke to us by telephone as he rushed to the Johannesburg airport — running late — to catch a flight to New York, where he is performing this weekend.

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4:16pm

Tue March 31, 2015
Shots - Health News

Tweeners Trust Peers More Than Adults When Judging Risks

Jump off a roof? Ride a bike while texting? Well, what do you think?
iStockphoto

If you are the parent of a preteen, you are all too aware that they suddenly seem to value the opinions of their peers far more than yours.

The good news, if there is any, is that you're not alone. Young teenagers ages 12 to 14 are more influenced by their peers' opinions than they are by adults', a study finds. That's true only for that age group, not for older teens, children or adults.

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4:15pm

Tue March 31, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Media Mischief On April Fools' Day

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 9:04 am

Mickey Mantle was the subject of a newspaper hoax in 1961. Here he is that year taking practice swings at Yankee Stadium.
AP

In the annals of journalism, there is a long tradition of newsfolks — reporters, writers, broadcasters — pulling April Fools' Day tricks on readers and listeners. Sometimes the prank prevails; sometimes it fails.

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3:43pm

Tue March 31, 2015
The Salt

The Revival Of Lamb Ham: A Colonial Tradition Renewed

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 3:54 pm

"This lamb ham is sweet, buttery and smoky, with just a hint of lamb flavor," says Sam Edwards, one of the Virginians who is bringing back the colonial style of curing lamb.
Courtesy of Sammy Edwards

Roast rack of lamb or a platter of smoked, glazed ham — which dish should be the centerpiece of the Easter table?

Lamb is rich in religious symbolism: A sacrificial lamb was first served by Jewish people on Passover, and Christians often refer to Jesus as the lamb of God. But ham feeds more guests and makes tastier leftovers.

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3:34pm

Tue March 31, 2015
It's All Politics

What The 2016 Hopefuls Are Saying About Indiana's 'Religious Freedom' Law

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:00 pm

Opponents of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act gathered in front of the Indiana State House Saturday.
Doug McSchooler AP

A controversial law in Indiana has made its way into the 2016 presidential race. Supporters praise the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's for protecting religious convictions, but the law has drawn wide criticism from those who say it allows businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian patrons.

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