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10:12am

Wed March 25, 2015
The Two-Way

Panel Finds FBI Made Strides After Sept. 11, But Must Speed Reforms

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:00 pm

FBI headquarters in Washington. An independent review says the bureau has made strides since Sept. 11 but "needs to accelerate its implementation of reforms."
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET

An independent, external review of how the FBI implemented the recommendations made in the 9/11 Commission Report concludes the bureau "has made strides in the past decade but needs to accelerate its implementation of reforms to complete its transformation into a threat-based, intelligence-driven organization."

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10:00am

Wed March 25, 2015
The Two-Way

3 Americans Among Crash Victims Who Included Students, Opera Singers

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:40 pm

Students mourn in front of their school in Haltern, Germany, on Wednesday, a day after the Germanwings plane crash. Sixteen high-schoolers and two teachers from the school were among the 150 people onboard the plane.
Martin Meissner AP

We're learning more this morning about some of those people onboard Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 that crashed Tuesday with 150 people onboard. The passengers were from at least 15 countries, including the U.S.

Here is some of what we know about them.

An American And Her Daughter

The Americans on the flight were identified as Yvonne Selke and her daughter, Emily Selke, of Nokesville, Va.

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8:55am

Wed March 25, 2015
Shots - Health News

Affordable Care Act Makes This Tax Season Painful For Many

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:08 pm

Tax preparation software doesn't always calculate the complexity of Affordable Care Act subsidies and credits properly.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

This tax season, for the first time since the Affordable Care Act passed five years ago, consumers are facing its financial consequences.

Whether they owe a penalty for not having health insurance, or have to figure out whether they need to pay back part of the subsidy they received to offset the cost of monthly insurance premiums, many people have to contend with new tax forms and calculations.

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8:18am

Wed March 25, 2015
Space

NASA Rover Opportunity Wins Mars Marathon

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

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8:18am

Wed March 25, 2015
Around the Nation

SAT Prep Test Misquotes Taylor Swift

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

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7:33am

Wed March 25, 2015
The Two-Way

Heinz, Kraft Announce Merger

Commemorative ketchup bottles with portraits of Warren Buffett are seen at the exhibition of Berkshire Hathaway companies at the annual meeting in Omaha, Neb., on May 3, 2014. Kraft Foods said it will merge with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co., owned by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway Inc, to form the world's fifth-largest food and beverage company.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods Group said they are merging to create the world's fifth-biggest food and beverage company.

The new company will be called The Kraft Heinz Co. and will be co-headquartered in Pittsburgh and the Chicago area, the companies said in a statement. The new company will have revenues of approximately $28 billion.

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7:20am

Wed March 25, 2015
Research News

Safer Anthrax Test Aims To Keep The Bioweapon From Terrorists

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:25 pm

Safe and small: The credit-card-sized test for anthrax destroys the deadly bacteria after the test completes.
Courtesy of Sandia Nation

Engineers at Sandia National Laboratory have come up with what they think is a safer diagnostic test for anthrax bacteria — a test that would prevent the "bad guys" from getting their hands on this dangerous pathogen.

Sandia is home to the International Biological Threat Reduction Program. "Our interest is in safety and security of pathogens," says Melissa Finley. Finley isn't a bioweapons expert. She's a veterinarian.

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7:10am

Wed March 25, 2015
Sports

John Urschel Balances Math Career With Pro Football Risks

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:18 am

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

7:03am

Wed March 25, 2015
Goats and Soda

Superslick Coatings Conquer Ketchup, But What About Ebola?

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 4:17 pm

No thumping required: Ketchup easily slides out of a glass bottle treated with LiquiGlide.
Screengrabs from LiquiGlide

6:57am

Wed March 25, 2015
The Two-Way

Investigators Examine Mangled Voice Recorder From Doomed Flight

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:05 pm

This post was last updated at 1:51 p.m.

French investigators say they are examining the cockpit voice recorder of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525, which crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people onboard.

Remi Jouti, head of France's bureau of investigations and analysis, said at a news conference that the orange voice recorder was found mangled, but viable.

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5:32am

Wed March 25, 2015
NPR Story

Ex-Inmate Uses His Sentence To Create Successful Business Plan

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:18 am

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

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5:14am

Wed March 25, 2015
NPR Story

Female Marines Make Adjustments To Advance In Combat Training

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:18 am

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

5:14am

Wed March 25, 2015
NPR Story

Israelis Hope Obama-Netanyahu Rift Will Result In Change

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:18 am

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

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5:14am

Wed March 25, 2015
NPR Story

VA Changes 40-Miles Rule For Private Medical Care

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:18 am

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

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4:23am

Wed March 25, 2015
Sweetness And Light

'Borland Effect' A Fumble For Football? Deford Says It Will Pass

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:18 am

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, center, during an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. Borland announced that he will retire after just one season to protect himself from brain injuries.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Once again, the question of the NFL's pre-eminence — even existence — has been raised with the retirement of Chris Borland, a very good player, who has walked away from the game and millions of dollars at the age of 24 in order to preserve his health, or more specifically, his brain.

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4:21am

Wed March 25, 2015
Youth Radio

Oakland Kids Get A Raise From The New Minimum Wage

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:18 am

Eighteen-year-old Alicia Donaldson works at a busy McDonald's in East Oakland. Her job is more complicated than anyone might think.

"When you do the grill and the chicken by yourself, it's not easy," she admits. "You have to put down the meat on the grill, and then put chicken in the grease. People get burned a lot."

That's a lot of pain for only $9 an hour. Today it's still hard work, but now Alicia is making $12.25 instead.

"When I worked 56 hours my check was about $480," she remembers.

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4:20am

Wed March 25, 2015
Parallels

Couple Spends Millions To Save Migrants In The Mediterranean

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 11:23 am

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) carries out its first rescue in the Mediterranean in August 2014. The Malta-based private rescue service founded by a wealthy American and his Italian wife has rescued more than 3,000 migrants since its launch in August 2014.
Barcroft Media /Landov

Christopher Catrambone, a wealthy businessman from Lake Charles, La., docks his boat these days in Malta, the Mediterranean island he now calls home. That boat, called the Phoenix, has been getting outfitted for a series of trips set to begin in May.

But Catrambone and his crew don't intend to use the Phoenix for luxury cruises. He and his Italian wife, Regina, invested about $8 million of their own money to buy the ship and hire a crew for an entirely different purpose: to save lives at sea.

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4:19am

Wed March 25, 2015
U.S.

Remote Jailing Cuts Off Inmates From Real-World Support System

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 11:49 am

On weekdays, the visitation room at Yakima County Jail in central Washington state buzzes with the sounds of 20 simultaneous conversations between inmates and their friends and family.

Preston Bighead is nearing the end of a seven-month sentence for a DUI conviction, but he hasn't seen his family once.

"It's two-and-a-half hours for my girlfriend to come visit — five hours round trip," he says.

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4:19am

Wed March 25, 2015
The Salt

Vanilla, Nutmeg Spice And Everything Nice On A Zanzibar Farm

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 9:21 am

Vanilla is seemingly a prima donna spice because its pods have to be hand-pollinated and then boiled and dried in the direct sun for only one hour.
iStockphoto

Let's start with a spice quiz. One is a bean discovered in Mexico. One's a tree native to India. One's the seed of a fruit discovered in Indonesia.

Today vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg can all be found in any spice farm in Zanzibar — the East African archipelago that was used as a spice plantation by the 18th century Omani Empire.

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4:11am

Wed March 25, 2015
It's All Politics

Obama Administration Emissions Rules Face Supreme Court Test

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 7:20 pm

Steam from a coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the sun near St. Marys, Kan. Industry groups say there should be a far more aggressive consideration of costs of regulation than the Obama administration took into account.
Charlie Riedel AP

The Supreme Court hears a challenge Wednesday to Obama administration rules aimed at limiting the amount of mercury and other hazardous pollutants emitted from coal- and oil-fired utility plants. The regulations are being challenged by major industry groups like the National Mining Association and more than 20 states.

The regulations have been in the works for nearly two decades. Work on them began in the Clinton administration, got derailed in the George W. Bush administration, and then were revived and adopted in the Obama administration.

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8:35pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Code Switch

Retired Oakland Police Officer Recruits Locals To Police Their Own City

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:42 am

File photo of the Oakland Police Department as they salute at the public memorial service for slain Oakland police officers.
Michael Macor-Pool Getty Images

Police departments around the county are under more and more pressure to diversify. In Oakland, Calif., officials say police-community relations also might be improved by increasing the number of cops who actually live in the city.

Margaret Dixon, a fiery retired Oakland police officer, grew up in a rough part of this city of 400,000. These days she's teaching classes at Merritt College, an Oakland community college — including one on policing and community relations.

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6:50pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Politics

U.S. Reconsiders Troop Withdrawal Plan In Afghanistan

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're going to talk more now about the decision to keep about 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of this year. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman is here in the studio.

Welcome, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

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5:24pm

Tue March 24, 2015
The Two-Way

Do-Si-Don't: China To Regulate Outdoor Square-Dancing

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:50 am

Chinese women holding toy guns dance to a revolutionary song during their daily exercises at a square outside a shopping mall in Beijing. The Chinese government is beginning to regulate public square-dancing, after the practice drew complaints about noise.
Andy Wong AP

China.org.cn, China's national online news service, is reporting that the country's General Administration of Sport and Ministry of Culture are planning to regulate outdoor square-dancing in China. The news website says the government has introduced 12 "choreographed practices" for dancers.

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5:22pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Politics

President Obama Holds First Meeting With Afghan President

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

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

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5:22pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Food

'The Katering Show' Reflects The Plight Of Food Intolerance

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

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

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Good news for the food intolerant and their best friends - there's now an online cooking show to help you cope.

(SOUNDBITE OF "THE KATERING SHOW")

KATE MCCARTNEY: I'm Kate McCartney.

KATE MCLENNAN: I'm Kate McLennan.

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5:22pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Sports

Bowling's First 900 Score Still Disputed After 30 Years

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Jeff Richgels, who writes the blog, "The 11th Frame," about when bowler Glenn Allison rolled 36 strikes in 1982. His score was disallowed because of an alleged performance enhancing lubricant.

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

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5:22pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Parallels

Foreign Carmakers Shift Into Reverse In Russia

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

Cars drive past the Kremlin along the Moscow River last December. Foreign automakers had been ramping up production in Russia, but the country's economic woes have caused car sales to drop sharply. Several foreign automakers have cut back production, and General Motors is pulling out of Russia.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

General Motors announced last week that it's closing its auto plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Volkswagen says it will lay off workers and reduce shifts at a plant in central Russia.

The latest auto industry troubles highlight a dismal picture for foreign investment in Russia, which could see a 35 percent drop in sales this year.

Seven years ago, GM was looking at a bright future in the Russian market. Cars sales were taking off and would eventually grow at a rate of more than 10 percent a year.

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5:22pm

Tue March 24, 2015
It's All Politics

Lessons In Moving Forward On Race From A 40-Year Mayor

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

"It's an intense job, you give it all, everyday, and I just don't want to get into another term where I say 'Gee, it would be nice to take it a little bit easier,'" Mayor Joe Riley says.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

It might not sound newsworthy that Charleston, S.C., is getting a new mayor next year. But the last time the city elected a new mayor was 40 years ago, in December 1975.

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4:34pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Around the Nation

California Plastic Bag Referendum Could Spark Environmental Showdown

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

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

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4:34pm

Tue March 24, 2015
World

Mexican Drug Lords File Complaint Over Inhumane Prison Conditions

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

Some of Mexico's most infamous drug traffickers, including El Chapo Guzman and Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal, have written a letter to the country's National Human Rights Commission complaining about conditions in the maximum security prison where they are being held.

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