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It's All Politics
4:50 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Breakthrough On Jobless Benefits May Lead To Blind Alley

Republican senators Rob Portman (left), Dean Heller and Susan Collins worked with a bipartisan group to reach a deal to extend long-term jobless benefits for five months.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:49 pm

The bipartisan agreement in the Senate over a five-month extension of federal unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless may seem like a breakthrough.

But for Sister Marge Clark, senior lobbyist for NETWORK — a national Catholic social justice lobby that welcomes the news, the fact that the agreement is seen as a progress shows just how far the political situation in Washington has deteriorated.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

U.S. To Relinquish Remaining Control Of The Internet

A screen shows a rolling feed of new generic top-Level domain names (gTLDs) that have been applied for.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:54 pm

The United States announced its intention on Friday of relinquishing its remaining control of the Internet.

In a statement, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration said it wants to relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

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This Week's Must Read
3:13 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Malaysia Flight 370 And The World's Attention

A Vietnamese Air Force plane returns from a search operation over Vietnam's southern sea.
HOANG DINH NAM AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:33 pm

It's been a week since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a week filled with misinformation, wild theorizing and the anxiety of the passengers' families. The story, and especially its lack of information, has the world watching and wondering.

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Missing Jetliner
3:05 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Boeing 777 Pilots: It's Not Easy To Disable Onboard Communications

In this photo released by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, a patrol vessel of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency searches for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane off Tok Bali Beach in Kelantan, Malaysia, on Sunday.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:48 pm

Commercial aviation pilots tell NPR that they would have no idea how to disable all the systems designed to automatically communicate with ground stations, though they could probably figure it out from checklists and other documentation available aboard an aircraft.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

FDIC Sues 16 Big Banks, Accusing Them Of Fixing Interest Rates

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:41 pm

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has filed a lawsuit against 16 of the world's biggest banks, accusing them of fixing the London interbank offered rate and costing smaller, failed American banks money.

Bloomberg explains it like this:

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Music Interviews
2:26 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Kevin Gates: 'I Put All My Flaws On Front Street'

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:11 pm

Kevin Gates drove up in a matte black truck and sat down in the backyard of East Austin shop and coffee shop Friends & Neighbors the same week his song "Get Up On My Level" rang out all over the SXSW music festival. It was just days before his most-anticipated project (yet), By Any Means, was to be released and only a week after fellow Baton Rouge rapper (and early collaborator) Lil Boosie left prison.

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Planet Money
2:26 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Europe Says Your Parmesan Isn't Really Parmesan

Dinner Series/Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 2:39 pm

The European Union wants U.S. cheese makers to stop calling their Parmesan cheese Parmesan cheese, the AP reports. According to the Europeans, only cheese called Parmesan should come from Parma, Italy. Also: If it doesn't come from Greece, it's not feta.

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The Salt
1:42 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Companies Tap Celebrity Power For Extreme Vegetable Makeover

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:31 pm

Marketing to kids may have gotten a bad rap in the past. Especially since children have been the target of so much junk food advertising.

But it's a new day.

Increasingly, companies are seeing profits pushing ultra-healthy stuff. And they're not using a finger-wagging, guilt-ridden, eat-your-veggies-because-they're-good-for-you messaging.

Birds Eye is taking a page from the playbook of other companies that have had success leveraging the power of teen pop stars: The frozen food giant is turning to Disney.

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Music News
1:41 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Israel's Orthodox Ravers Are On A Holy Mission To Dance

A group of Na Nachs goof off before a wedding performance in Tel Aviv.
Marlon Bishop for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:33 pm

Natan Gabbay takes a gulp of clear liquor and warms up on his shofar, the ram's horn trumpet that is sacred in Judaism. He's a member of a whimsical Orthodox sect known as Na Nach. Tonight, about a dozen Na Nachs have been hired as an entertainment act for a fancy wedding outside Tel Aviv. It's a surprise — the guests have no idea what's in store for them.

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Around the Nation
1:19 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

For The Poor, Warmth In The Winter Comes At A Steep Price

Christopher Sessums Flickr

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 3:05 pm

Even as signs of spring emerge around the country, one particular remnant of winter remains: high energy bills. For low-income residents, a hefty heating bill can be an especially big burden, and not just in traditional cold-weather states.

In January, as temperatures dipped to record lows in eastern Tennessee, the Knoxville Utilities Board urged its customers: If you think you cannot pay your bill, call us. On average, gas bills were 29 percent higher than they were a year ago. And the poor have suffered even more, says Jeanie Fox, a customer counselor.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Feds Say New York's Metro-North Rail Line Values Punctuality Over Safety

Cranes prepare to salvage the last car from from a train derailment in the Bronx section of New York, in December 2013.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 12:39 pm

The Federal Railroad Administration issued a scathing report on New York's Metro-North rail line.

The inquiry, which was launched after a derailment in December that killed four passengers and injured 70, found that the rail line put punctuality above safety.

The Washington Post reports:

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Shots - Health News
12:49 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Can Congress Put An End To Annual Medicare Payment Ritual?

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, after House Republicans passed a measure Friday that would overhaul the system Medicare uses to pay doctors.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:08 pm

Congress is still searching for money to avoid a 24 percent cut in pay for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

But seniors are already paying their share of the cost in premiums, as if the pay cut — scheduled to kick in on April 1 — won't happen.

Seniors' premiums cover 25 percent of their Medicare Part B outpatient services, including doctor visits, outpatient lab tests and hospital visits, medical equipment and home health care.

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Parallels
12:26 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

'Waiting For Godot' Strikes A Chord In Tehran

Just as characters in the play "Waiting for Godot" wait for someone named Godot, some believe that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is Iran's only politician who can end the country's waiting when it comes to resolving a nuclear deal.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:27 am

At the National Theater in downtown Tehran, "Waiting for Godot" seems to have captured the mood of a country.

The Irish playwright, Samuel Beckett dramatized endless waiting in vain for someone named Godot. The play, translated into Farsi, got a standing ovation on the night I attended. The characters, in classic white suits, black top hats and black shoes, took endless bows as the audience whistled and clapped.

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Code Switch
12:25 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Got Bulgogi? The (Maybe True) Story Behind A 'New York Times' Ad

This ad was published in The New York Times on Wednesday.
Via The New York Times

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 2:25 pm

Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? All are standard questions, but: "Bulgogi?"

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Parallels
12:13 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Angst In Germany Over Invasion Of American English

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:33 pm

It seems hardly a sentence is spoken in Berlin that doesn't have an American English word in it.

One word that especially grates — and I confess to a certain bias, having learned German as a toddler when it wasn't so Americanized — is a word pronounced "sogh-ee." Or, as Americans say it, "sorry."

"Sogh-ee" your package is late.

"Sogh-ee" your hot water is off.

"Sogh-ee" we can't help you.

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