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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Mon January 6, 2014

German Chancellor Merkel Fractures Hip In Skiing Accident

German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the recording of her annual New Year's speech at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 30.
David Gannon AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 10:00 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured a hip during a cross-country skiing accident in the Swiss Alps, her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Monday.

He says the injury will confine the German leader to a bed for about three weeks, so Merkel has cancelled some meetings.

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Nation Turns Blue As Temperatures Continue To Plunge

Alison Mueller skies to work through several inches of snow in Detroit as the area deals Monday with record-breaking freezing weather. Wind chill has driven temperatures in Michigan and much of the Midwest down to 50-70 degrees below zero.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 5:55 pm

One weather map tells the story.

Check out the National Weather Service's map of the Lower 48 for Monday night. If you need to know just how much of the nation's going to be freezing (or well below!), it offers a bone-chilling picture. Anywhere in the blue-to-purple shades is going to be cold — and that's before accounting for wind chills.

What is the Weather Service forecasting?

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Europe
7:26 am
Mon January 6, 2014

23 Years Later, Message In A Bottle Answered

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

When she was 10 years old, Zoe Averianov tossed a bottle into the North Sea with a letter talking about her love of the flute and hamsters. Now 33, she's hard back from a Dutch couple who found her bottle.

The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Book News: Steve Jobs Biographer Asks Internet To Help Edit New Book

Walter Isaacson speaks during the April 2013 Creativity Conference at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Kris Connor Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
7:14 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Kids, Don't Try This At Home

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 11:08 am

A New Hampshire girl learned the hard way: Don't lick anything metal. Maddie Gilmartin, 12, wondered what would happen if she touched her tongue to the flagpole in her front yard. Anyone who has seen A Christmas Story knows how that turned out.

The Two-Way
7:01 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Liz Cheney Drops Senate Bid Due To Family 'Health Issues'

Liz Cheney during a 2010 appearance on the CBS news program Face the Nation.
Chris Usher CBS/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 10:32 am

10 a.m. ET: Click here for an update.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Liz is ending her primary challenge to Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

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NPR Story
5:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Florida State Meets Auburn In Final BCS Game

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Fans will not be complaining, at least not about the weather tonight, as Florida State and Auburn face off in a very important game. They're playing in tonight's college football championship in warm and sunny Pasadena, California. And there's even better news for the many college football fans who've grown to loathe the Bowl Championship Series, known as the BCS. Tonight marks the end of it. It's being replaced next season by a playoff that will decide the national champion.

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NPR Story
5:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Dangerously Cold Weather Felt Across Much Of U.S.

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's news many of you know already: It's cold, really cold, even dangerously so in much of the United States, and another Arctic blast is expected. We are talking about temperatures 25-below zero in North Dakota. And the South isn't being spared, its single digits in some spots in Georgia and Alabama.

Chuck Quirmbach from Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

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NPR Story
5:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Financial Benefits Of A College Degree Accumulate

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We've known for some time, that having more education usually leads to higher pay. Well, now a study suggests that the advantage persists even into retirement years, in part because those with more education tend to stay in the workforce longer.

NPR's Ina Jaffe covers aging and she has this story.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: For people in their late 60's or 70's or beyond, college might seem like a long time ago. But the impact persists, says study co-author Heidi Hartmann.

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The Salt
3:06 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Amazon Locavore: Meet The Man Putting Brazilian Food On The Map

Brazilian chef Alex Atala, whose restaurant, D.O.M., is ranked among the top 10 in the world, was named one of the most influential people by Time magazine this year.
Cassio Vasconcellos AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

He was named one of the most influential people by Time magazine this past year.

Now Alex Atala, whose restaurant, D.O.M., is ranked among the top 10 in the world, is putting a new kind of Brazilian food on the map.

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Sports
3:03 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Figure Skater With 'Happy Feet' Hopes To Clinch Spot In Sochi

Jeremy Abbott performs during a figure skating competition in Paris in 2012.
Gonzalo Fuentes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

As the Olympic Games get closer, athletes like figure skater Jeremy Abbott are focusing on making Team USA. With only two slots on the U.S. men's figure skating team, the competition is tough. But the three-time U.S. champion — who has yet to deliver on the world stage — wants 2014 to be the year he takes a medal in Sochi, Russia.

Abbott, 28, has been in ice skates since he was 2 years old. He's already been to one Olympics, placing ninth at the 2010 games in Vancouver.

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Europe
3:02 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Madrid's Street Performers Now Must Audition To Hold Out A Hat

Street musician Valentino Juanino, right, plays his bagpipe at the Conde Duque Cultural Center last month after taking a quality test to obtain official permission to perform in the streets of Madrid.
Paul White AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

On the train, in the park, on the famed medieval Plaza Mayor — the Spanish capital of Madrid is famous for its street performers.

And with more than a quarter of Spaniards out of work, more people than ever before have been crisscrossing the city with their violins and voices, for extra cash. People squeeze giant accordions onto the metro, and roll amplifiers on carts across cobblestones.

The street performers are a tourist attraction. But Madrid's mayor, Ana Botella, says the clamor has reached its limit.

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Shots - Health News
3:02 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Dental Coverage Deciphered, And The Latest On Sign-Up Deadlines

Laura Breland gets her teeth cleaned by Denise Lopez-Rodriguez at a community health center in Aurora, Colo., in 2012. Dental coverage is available through the Affordable Care Act.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 4:01 pm

New Year's Day marked the halfway point to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for coverage this year.

And after a dismal start, things seem to be going a lot better on the HealthCare.gov website. Federal officials say more than 1 million people enrolled in coverage by the Christmas Eve deadline for coverage that began January 1.

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Around the Nation
3:01 am
Mon January 6, 2014

An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine

Hal Faulkner (left), 79, receives his new papers from two Marines after having his military status changed to "honorable discharge" at a recent ceremony. Faulkner was kicked out of the Marine Corps in 1956 for being gay.
Courtesy of Phil Latzman

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

Hal Faulkner is 79 years old and he's already lived months longer than his doctors predicted.

"I don't know what to say, it's just incredible that I'm still here," Faulkner says in a halting voice made gruff by age and cancer.

Faulkner joined the Marines in 1953, and served in the Philippines. In 1956, he got kicked out with an "undesirable discharge" for being gay. His military papers said "homosexual" on them, quite an obstacle in the 1950s.

Still, Faulkner moved on, and had a successful career in sales.

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Digital Life
6:11 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

The Internet's Cicada: A Mystery Without An Answer

A poster found in Warsaw shows a QR Code for a website related to the Cicada 3301 mystery.
Cicada 3301

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

"Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck."

That message, signed "3301," appeared on the underground message board known as 4chan two years ago. It was mysterious, cryptic and sparked a global Internet mystery that has yet to be answered to this day.

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Around the Nation
5:53 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Calif. Toxin Law Warns Consumers, But Can Burden Businesses

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

All over California, signs in restaurants, parking garages and other businesses warn that you could be exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer.

The disclosure is mandated by 1986 state law. If a company fails to warn consumers, it can be sued.

But a lot has changed since the law was passed: The list of toxic chemicals is longer and the lawsuits are more prolific. In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed an amendment to ease the burden on businesses.

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Law
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Some Women Decide Their Place Isn't In The Illegal Gun Trade

Most gun crimes are committed by men, but women also help buy, hide and sell guns for others.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 9:28 am

Most firearms in the U.S. start out in a state of perfect legality, sold by a manufacturer to a federally licensed dealer. But somewhere along the way, some of them cross the line and become what are called "crime guns."

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History
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

WWII Female Air Force Pilots Still Flying High

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 1:07 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

During World War II, a group of women took a bold step in aviation. While male pilots were sent overseas, the Women Air Force Service Pilots took up the war effort on the home front. From 1943 to 1944, they logged over 60 million miles across the U.S., flying 77 types of military aircraft to haul supplies and conduct training exercises.

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Books
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Upcoming Books To Read In 2014

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

NPR's Arun Rath talks to Daniel Alarcon, the author of At Night We Walk in Circles, about the new books he is most excited about for 2014.

Sports
5:25 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Costs Climb As Sochi Winter Olympics Approaches

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 6:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Russia is spending $51 billion on the Sochi Winter Olympics, the most expensive Olympic Games ever by a wide margin. The preparations have not gone smoothly. Construction has been delayed repeatedly and marred by accusations of political corruption. The outlandish price tag for the games has turned into an embarrassment for Russian officials.

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The Salt
2:32 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

In Sao Paulo, Organic Markets Are Beginning To Take Off

As demand for organic food in Brazil rises, organic produce is getting more affordable.
Paula Moura for NPR

Sao Paulo holds the title of the biggest city in Latin America, with an estimated 22 million people in its metropolitan area. But when it comes to local, organic food, the pickings are pretty slim: The city has just 20 organic farmers' markets.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Kerry Appears To Signal Openness To Iran Role In Syria Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 3:37 pm

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has opened the door for Iran's participation in peace talks to end Syria's civil war.

The U.S. has long been opposed to an Iranian role in the so-called Geneva II talks later this month, but Kerry's comments in Jerusalem on Sunday may be the first sign that opposition is softening.

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Politics
11:58 am
Sun January 5, 2014

The Campaign For Jobless Benefits Begins In Congress

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is co-sponsoring the three-month extension of unemployment benefits up for a vote in Congress this week.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The Senate gets back to work Monday after a two-week holiday break. Just as Majority Leader Harry Reid promised, the first piece of legislation getting a vote will be a three-month extension of the long-term unemployment benefits that ran out a week ago for 1.3 million jobless Americans.

Though the Senate unemployment measure is bipartisan, it's not clear it has enough votes to beat a GOP filibuster. Regardless, Democrats are banging the drum on the issue as a midterm election year begins.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Pope Francis Says He'll Visit Holy Land In May

Pope Francis arrives for the Angelus noon prayer Sunday, during which he announced he would travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan on May 24-26. It would be Francis' first visit to the Holy Land.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 12:21 pm

The pope says he'll visit the Holy Land in May.

Pope Francis made the announcement Sunday while giving his weekly blessing at the Vatican.

"In the climate of joy, typical of this Christmas season, I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 May next, God willing, I will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land," he said.

The pope is expected to visit Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Israel's Sharon Fights For Life, But Doctors 'Pessimistic'

Former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been in a coma since 2006, but his condition is now deteriorating.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 3:41 pm

The outlook for Ariel Sharon's survival is "pessimistic," but the former Israeli prime minister is "fighting like a lion."

That's according to Dr. Zeev Rotstein, the head of the Chaim Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv where Sharon is being treated.

At a news conference this weekend, Rotstein said Sharon's condition was still critical, and that his organs weren't functioning. But, he added, doctors had stabilized the former leader's blood pressure and pulse.

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