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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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The Salt
12:12 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

See More, Eat More: The Geography Of Fast Food

The density of fast-food joints where we live, work and commute could be a problem for our waistlines.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 2:16 pm

When it comes to avoiding unhealthy food, it might be that out of sight means out of mind.

The more fast-food joints people encounter around their homes and workplaces, the likelier they are to be obese, according to a study published Thursday.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge found that the people who are most exposed to fast food were almost twice as likely to be obese as those who were least exposed.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Book News: Children's Books From North Korean Dictators?

Kim Jong Il (right) and his father, Kim Il Sung, are pictured on what is believed to be Paekdoo San, a mountain located along the Sino-North Korean border in this image released by the North Korean news agency in 1994.
AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:15 am

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

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Naked And The Nerds

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:41 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

A while ago, we devoted a segment to the matter of profanity, and now, as summer follows spring and spring (supposedly) follows winter, we are moving on to the issue of nudity. When is it decorative? When is it exploitation? And how would they see all of this from Europe?

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Step Right Up: 20 Very Silly Inventions Actually Pitched On 'Shark Tank'

The Moberi bike-powered smoothie stand is demonstrated for the investors of Shark Tank.
Michael Ansell ABC

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 1:55 pm

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Man On U.S. Army's 'Most Wanted' List Nabbed After 37 Years

Unidentified military police captains depart the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 2007. Jones escaped from the U.S. Army's maximum-security prison in 1977.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:53 am

James Robert Jones was arrested without incident on Thursday, 37 years after he escaped from the U.S. Army's maximum-security prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he was serving time for first-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Jones, 69, was on the U.S. Army's 15 Most Wanted list. He was taken into custody as he showed up to his job in Pompano Beach, Fla.

The Associated Press says:

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Author Interviews
10:59 am
Fri March 14, 2014

In 2009, 3 Americans Went For A Hike, And Ended Up In A Tehran Prison

Joshua Fattal (from left), Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer were on a hike in 2009 when they unknowingly crossed a road that bordered to Iran. They were stopped by border patrol and imprisoned in Tehran.
Mia Nakano Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin

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

In the summer of 2009, three young Americans went for a hike. Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were living together in Syria, teaching and writing. Their friend Josh Fattal was visiting from the U.S. The three took a tour to a waterfall in the Kurdish highlands of Iraq, and as they hiked along a road that turned out to be the border with Iran, an armed man in uniform waved them over.

The next thing they knew, they had embarked on a two-year ordeal in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran. They join NPR's Renee Montagne to talk about their new memoir, A Sliver of Light.

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