Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

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The Two-Way
7:43 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

The Next Air Force One Will Be A Boeing 747-8

Air Force One, carrying President Obama, passes a Boeing building in Seattle. The Air Force has announced that the next Air Force One will also be a Boeing aircraft.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 8:22 pm

The Air Force has picked a new Air Force One, the Boeing 747-8, and it wasn't even a close race. In a statement announcing the pick, the Air Force said the decision was made "through a Determinations and Findings document, which "authorizes the commercial aircraft purchase by other than full and open competition."

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The Two-Way
3:36 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Officers Ask Map App To Remove Police Tracking

Waze's police reporting tool is one of several features in the app. Users can also share reports of traffic and construction in real time.
Courtesy of Waze

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:50 pm

Waze, the popular navigation app boasting more than 50 million users worldwide, has a new critic: police officers. Over the past few weeks, law enforcement officials have been urging the app and its owner, Google, to disable a feature that allows users to report when they've spotted a police officer, in real time, for all other Waze users to see.

Sergio Kopelev, a reserve sheriff in Orange County, Calif., is one of the law enforcement officials behind the push to remove Waze's police tracker. He says he first discovered the feature through his family.

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

An Asteroid Is Passing Very Close To Earth Today. Here's How To See It

Asteroid 2004 BL86 will be visible in parts of the sky tonight. Visibility is expected to peak around 9 p.m. ET, as shown in this NASA graphic.
Sky & Telescope

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:46 pm

By the time you read this post, asteroid 2004 BL86 will already have come as close to us as it's going to get as it flies by Earth. At about 11:19 a.m. ET today, it was nearly 745,000 miles away from our planet. That's only about three times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

But don't worry, you may still be able to catch a glimpse of the huge hunk of rock tonight.

When and how can I see the asteroid?

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Obama Proposes New Protections For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

A polar bear walks in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.The Obama administration is proposing new protections in the region that would ban mining and drilling.
Subhankar Banerjee AP

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 8:03 am

The Obama administration is proposing new protections for large portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The U.S. Department of Interior says it's the first time it's recommended additional protections and that their new recommendations have the potential to be one of the largest conservation measures "since Congress passed the visionary Wilderness Act over 50 years ago."

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The Two-Way
9:20 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Ancient Egyptian Relic Broken, Repaired With Glue

The funeral mask of King Tutankhamun is seen during a 2011 tour for the press in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. Officials say the mask's beard broke off last year, and was hastily glued back on.
Tara Todras-Whitehill AP

The gold and blue mask of King Tutankhamun, perhaps the most famous piece of Egyptian art in the world, has glue on its face.

Multiple sources are reporting that during a routine cleaning last year, Tutankhamun's long blue beard snapped off the mask. Curators rushed to fix it, and epoxyed the beard back on. But the fix was bad. The glue shows, and the mask is scratched.

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All Tech Considered
5:45 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

This Is True: Facebook Starts Cracking Down On Hoax News Stories

A Facebook worker at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced it will start flagging hoax news stories in users' News Feeds.
Paul Sakuma AP

Facebook's on a mission to make your News Feed a little more truthful.

The social media giant has announced it will start doing more to alert users when stories they're seeing in their feeds are fake. And it will allow users to start flagging hoaxes themselves. But Facebook says it won't remove false stories. And the company says it won't start "reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy."

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The Two-Way
7:23 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

J.C. Penney Brings Back Its Print Catalog, After A 5-Year Hiatus

A J.C. Penney store in a Pembroke Pines, Fla., shopping center. The company's resurrected print catalog will be much thinner than its previous "Big Book," which was sometimes 1,000 pages.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:05 am

After more than five years away, and at a significantly smaller weight, J.C. Penney Co.'s print catalog is back. The company discontinued its often 1,000-page "Big Book" in 2009 and phased out several smaller, specialty catalogs over the past few years as well. But the company announced this week that it's re-entering the print catalog game.

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The Two-Way
5:55 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Public Sales Of Google Glass To End Later This Month

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wears Google's Project Glass prototype publicly for the first time while attending a charity function in San Francisco. Google is suspending public sales of its first generation of Google Glass next week.
Corbett Lee AP

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:42 am

Google Glass Phase 1 is officially over. The Google Glass team posted a statement with the news to Google+ today. But the announcement says that Glass is not dead, it's just going through a "transition," and that the Google Glass team is "continuing to build for the future." The first, "Explorer," version of Glass was, according to the team, an "open beta" version, or basically a big, public test of the new product. The team didn't give a timeline for future versions.

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The Two-Way
8:34 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

After Foie Gras Ban Lifted In California, Some Chefs Face Threats

Karlene Bley of Los Angeles spreads her torchon of foie gras onto bread during lunch at the Presidio Social Club restaurant in San Francisco. Last week, a federal judge overturned California's ban on the dish.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 12:59 pm

Last Wednesday, a federal judge overturned California's ban on the sale of foie gras, the delicacy made from the livers of fatty ducks and geese that have often been force-fed. The ban was approved by California voters in 2004, and went into effect in 2012.

Since the ban was overturned, some chefs using foie gras in their menus have been receiving threats.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Free-Climbers Make It To Summit Of Yosemite's El Capitan

Tommy Caldwell (top) climbs what is known as Pitch 17 and Kevin Jorgeson handles the line as they free-climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite's El Capitan.
Tom Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 2:02 pm

Update at 6:46pm ET:

On their 19th day of climbing, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the top of El Capitan in California's Yosemite National Park at 3:25 p.m. PT. The Los Angeles Times reports the climbers' families were waiting for them at the summit. From The New York Times:

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

U.Va. Reinstates Fraternity Accused In 'Rolling Stone' Rape Story

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. The fraternity was at the center of a controversial Rolling Stone article describing an alleged gang rape at the school.
Steve Helber AP

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the center of a disputed Rolling Stone account of an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia has been reinstated, according to a statement released on the school's website Monday.

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The Two-Way
7:56 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Honda Fined $70 Million For Underreporting Deaths And Injuries

A man walks past a Honda on display at Honda Motor Co. headquarters in Tokyo. The Obama administration on Thursday, said it will fine Honda $70 million — the largest civil penalty leveled against an automaker --- for not reporting to regulators over 1,700 complaints that its vehicles caused deaths and injuries and not reporting warranty claims.
Koji Sasahara AP

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has fined Honda $70 million, for according to NHTSA, "failing to report deaths, injuries, and certain warranty claims to the federal government." NHTSA says Honda failed to report 1,729 death and injury claims tied to their vehicles between 2003 and 2014, and that the company failed to submit "early warning reports identifying potential or actual safety issues." The NHTSA also claims Honda underreported warranty and customer dissatisfactio

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The Two-Way
10:53 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Construction Begins On California's $68 Billion High-Speed Rail Line

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to the crowd during the California High-Speed Rail Authority groundbreaking event in Fresno. The $68 billion project faces challenges from Republicans in Congress, and from Central Valley farmers suing to block the train from crossing their fields.
Gary Kazanjian AP

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:35 pm

One of the biggest transportation projects the country has ever seen broke ground Monday in Fresno, Calif. In theory, the much delayed high-speed rail line would allow a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours, with speeds of over 200 mph.

The milestone comes six years after voters first approved an almost $10 billion bond act to fund the project. But that bond, plus about $3 billion in federal funds, still leaves the project about $55 billion short of the cost to get the line up and running by 2030.

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The Two-Way
9:32 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Plastic Bag Industry And Allies May Dispose Of California's Ban

A man carries plastic single-use bags past the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Starting in July 2015, California could become the first state to ban single-use plastic bags, unless a referendum delays the measure from taking effect.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 12:45 pm

Last October, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that would ban single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, and allow shops to sell customers environmentally-friendly bags for 10 cents. Senate Bill 270 was set to take effect in July 2015.

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The Two-Way
8:50 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

U.S. Rep. Scalise Under Fire For Reported Speech To White Supremacists

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill as Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers look on.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 10:10 am

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, is facing criticism over a speech he reportedly made to a gathering of white supremacists in 2002. According to The Washington Post, the remarks were given at a conference of the European American Unity and Rights Organization, a group founded by David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana state legislator.

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Movies
4:13 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Online Success For 'The Interview' May Not Change Movie Distribution

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 1:42 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

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Movies
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Sony Will Show 'The Interview' In Some Theaters

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
6:08 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Organization Behind 'Kony 2012' Set To Close Its Doors In 2015

Invisible Children's co-founders, Jason Russell (from left), Bobby Bailey and Laren Poole, record footage in Africa in 2007. Their organization is set to close its doors in 2015.
PRweb

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 3:08 pm

Invisible Children, the organization that made the viral video Kony 2012, will likely cease to exist at some point in 2015, the nonprofit's leadership says.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Greenpeace Apologizes For Stunt At Peru's Sacred Nazca Lines

Greenpeace activists stand next to massive cloth letters next to the hummingbird geoglyph at Peru's sacred Nazca lines. The Peruvian government is pursuing criminal charges against the activists.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:12 pm

Greenpeace has apologized to the people of Peru after activists entered a highly restricted area to leave a message on ancient, sacred desert land.

Activists placed giant, yellow letters spelling out, "Time for change! The future is renewable. Greenpeace," near markings in the earth known as the Nazca lines.

Reuters reports that:

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Business
4:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Justices: If You Aren't Working, No Pay, Even If You Can't Leave

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:23 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

America's Highest-Paid Private-University President Made $7.1 Million In 2012

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson holds 2005 commencement exercises in Troy, N.Y. Jackson is one of three dozen presidents of private colleges and universities who made more than $1 million in 2012.
Tim Roske AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:16 pm

It's a pretty good time to be president of a private college, at least financially. The Chronicle of Higher Education just released its annual roundup of executive compensation for private college presidents, and it reports that Shirley Ann Jackson of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute earned $7.1 million in 2012 alone. (2012 is the latest year federal tax documents with this information are currently available.)

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The Two-Way
9:02 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Uber Is Richer Than Ever, But The Company Still Isn't Playing Nice

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick arrives at the 2014 TIME 100 Gala in New York. Kalanick is known for being a tough guy, and by some measures, that reputation has helped the company.
Evan Agostini AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 10:20 am

Uber is riding high. The company announced its latest investment numbers Thursday, and they're impressive. Uber Technologies Inc. raised $1.2 billion in its latest round of financing, and is now valued at over $40 billion. Fortune magazine also reports that the ride-sharing service was recently authorized to sell up to $1.8 billion in stock.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

American Couple Detained In Qatar Allowed To Return Home

Shortly before they left Qatar on Wednesday, Grace and Matthew Huang spoke with Dana Shell Smith, the U.S. ambassador to Qatar, at the Hamad International Airport in Doha.
Osama Faisal AP

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 4:54 pm

Matthew and Grace Huang, an American couple who had been forced to remain in Qatar over the death of their adopted 8-year old daughter in 2013, have left the country en route to the United States.

On Sunday, an appeals court cleared the Huangs of all charges in their daughter's death, but as they arrived at the Hamad International Airport in Doha later that day to fly home to California, the couple were detained again. Qatari authorities said another appeal had been filed in their case and that they could not travel.

That travel ban was lifted Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
12:09 am
Wed December 3, 2014

U.S. Government Contractor Marks Five Years In Cuban Detention

Alan Gross is an American who has spent more than four years imprisoned in Cuba. His wife says he told her he can't take life in prison much longer.
James L. Berenthal AP

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 4:01 am

Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of USAID subcontractor Alan Gross' detention in Cuba. Gross had been working on a covert program to improve Internet access for Jewish Cubans, giving out laptops and mobile phones while traveling in the country on a tourist visa. Gross was arrested on Dec. 3, 2009. A Cuban court found him guilty of crimes against the Cuban state in 2011, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

Nick Miroff previously reported on this story for NPR:

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Apple's Success Continues Under Tim Cook, But Steve Jobs Still Looms Large

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's market capitalization neared $700 billion late last month.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:55 pm

Since Tim Cook has been CEO of Apple, the company's market capitalization (or the value of its outstanding shares) has increased by more than $300 billion. On Nov. 26, it reached its highest level yet, almost $698 billion.

Numerically, this is a feat. Quartz says, "In nominal terms no company has ever been as big as Apple." Of course, Quartz goes on to say that, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft was bigger at its 1990s peak.

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Law
6:30 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

New Affirmative Action Cases Say Policies Hurt Asian-Americans

Edward Blum announces the filing of two lawsuits on Monday, challenging the alleged racial preference admissions policies of Harvard and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:22 pm

If you go to HarvardNotFair.org, you'll find yourself on a page that says this: Were You Denied Admission to Harvard? It may be because you're the wrong race.

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The Record
3:33 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Taylor Swift, Platinum Party Of One

Some things actually are surprising: Taylor Swift, performing on ABC's Good Morning America in New York City on Oct. 30, sold over a million copies of her new album, 1989, in its first week.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 5:53 pm

Tuesday night, Nielsen SoundScan announced that Taylor Swift sold 1.287 million copies of her new album, 1989 in its first week of release. This would be impressive in any year, but in a year like this, you could call it a miracle. So far in 2014, only one album has sold more than a million copies: the soundtrack to the movie Frozen, which actually came out in 2013. No other album released in 2014 has sold one million copies, all year long. So it's not just that Taylor Swift is doing big numbers. She's doing big numbers at a time when no one else is doing big numbers.

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Sports
3:27 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Terminally Ill Player Scores First Basket Of NCAA Season

After Hill's first basket, the sold-out crowd at Cintas Center in Cincinnati went wild.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 6:41 pm

Nineteen-year-old college freshman Lauren Hill played her first game Sunday night, for a tiny, Division III college in Cincinnati.

That's not usually big news. But Hill has a rare form of brain cancer, and her first collegiate game might also be her last — which brought an unusual degree of attention to the court at Mount Saint Joseph University.

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History
4:39 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Officer Killed In Civil War To Receive Medal Of Honor

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 1:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now this - President Obama will award a long delayed Medal of Honor to a soldier next month. He'll honor Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who fought in the Civil War. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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Business
5:46 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

Movie Theaters Hope To Add Another Dimension To Their Profits

Theaters that call themselves 4-D use lights, moving seats, fog and even sprays of water and air to give moviegoers a unique experience — one they hope audiences will consider worthy of higher ticket prices.
Ernesto López Ruiz Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 2:10 pm

Some experimental features have been popping up in movie theaters lately. One of them is a so-called 4-D experience. It's hard to describe in words exactly what a 4-D movie experience feels like, but here's one attempt: it is intense.

During a recent screening of Guardians of the Galaxy in 4-D at the Regal Cinemas LA Live theater, the seat moved up and down and side to side, like a simulator ride. There were strobe lights; fog seemed to come out of the walls and little jets of water sprayed over the seats.

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