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9:51 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Why You Won't Win Warren Buffett's Billion-Dollar Bracket

Florida's Will Yeguete shoots over Missouri's Keanau Post in the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament on Friday in Atlanta. Investor Warren Buffett is betting $1 billion that no one can pick all 63 winners of the NCAA college basketball tournament that begins next week.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 10:19 am

The men's NCAA college basketball tournament starts next week.

In a twist on the familiar March Madness bracket, a mortgage company and a world-famous investor are offering a billion dollars to anyone who picks the winner of all 63 games in the NCAA college basketball tournament.

It's a contest, and it may also be the perfect publicity stunt.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Indian Court Stays Death Penalty For Two In Rape Case

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:58 pm

The hanging of two of the four men convicted for raping and murdering a woman in New Delhi in late 2012 has been stayed, according to a ruling by India's high court that was issued Saturday. The men had been found guilty of raping and attacking a woman on a bus; they've been appealing that finding.

The four men were sentenced to death in September for a crime that sparked shock, anger and intense debate over how India handles violence against women.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Sat March 15, 2014

U.S. Beats Russia To Win Sled Hockey Gold At Sochi Paralympics

The U.S. hopes to repeat as Paralympic gold medalists in sled hockey Saturday, when the team will play host Russia. Earlier this week, Nikko Landeros of USA was chased by Dmitrii Lisov of Russia during group play at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Harry Engels Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 3:12 pm

It's the game many Americans wanted to see: USA facing off with Russia on the ice for a gold medal in Sochi. And it's happening today at the Paralympic Games, where the U.S. is the defending champion in sled hockey.

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Shots - Health News
9:42 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Gay Couples Entitled To Equal Family Health Coverage, Fed Says

The family health insurance rule applies only to married couples and not to those who are in domestic partnerships or civil unions.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 8:58 am

What insurers offer to spouses in a traditional marriage, they must make available to same-sex couples, the federal government said Friday.

The change means that same-sex couples, who haven't been able to buy family health policies, will be able to do so now.

"It's a big deal," says Katie Keith, director of research at the Trimpa Group, a consulting firm that works on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. "If you identify as married, it's hard to stomach that you can't get family coverage."

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Interviews
9:41 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Wes Anderson, Driverless Cars And 'Overwhelmed'

Wes Anderson shot the Grand Budapest Hotel's lobby scenes in a department store on the German-Polish border.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 7:09 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Parallels
9:41 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Economic Sanctions Play Out In Strange Ways In Iran

Iranian shoppers buy vegetables from a street vendor in Tehran last November, a day after a six-month nuclear deal took effect. The U.S. says crippling sanctions — which caused prices for necessities like bread, rice and soap to increase — forced Iran's hand.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 11:02 am

It's hard to see crippling sanctions at a modern shopping mall in north Tehran — the shops are stocked, the cafes are full. The latest western electronics – even iPhones and iPads, are available for those who can afford it.

But talk to middle class Iranians and you hear dire stories. They say they suffered as prices on almost everything rose dramatically for two years. International sanctions fueled skyrocketing inflation, estimated at 45 percent. Practically, that means that necessities – bread, rice, soap – got more expensive every month.

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Code Switch
9:41 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Pizza Chain That Markets To Mexicans Says New Promotion Isn't Profane

Pizza Patrón hires bilingual employees to serve their core customer base, Mexican immigrants.
Dave Einsel Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 9:05 am

EDITOR'S NOTE: Fair warning - this story is about and includes the use of a Spanish-language word that some consider a profanity.

Pizza Patrón is a Dallas-based chain that's generated a lot of media buzz over the years for advertising aimed at its core customer base, Mexican immigrants. Its newest promotion uses a popular Mexican slang word that to some means "super cool," while others find it super-offensive.

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Author Interviews
9:40 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Why'd The Scientist Cross The Road? To Figure Out Why You're Laughing

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 3:03 pm

Here's a joke: A man is sitting on the porch with his wife one night when, out of the blue he says, "I love you." His wife says, "Was that you? Or was that the beer talking?" The man says, "That was me — talking to the beer."

Maybe you laughed at that and maybe you didn't, but either way, cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems wants to know whether you found it funny. In his new book HA! Weems explores the science "of when we laugh and why."

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Parallels
9:40 am
Sat March 15, 2014

U.S. Ambassador Speaks Pidgin English; Nigerians Love It

James F. Entwistle, the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, speaks pidgin English during an interview with Wazobia FM in Nigeria.
Wazobia FM

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 8:32 am

It's not often that a broadcast interview by a diplomat wows listeners, but a recent conversation involving the American ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, is causing a buzz – and winning applause.

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Health Care
9:39 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Under 30? The President Would Like You To Know Health Care Is Hip

The president joined host Zach Galifianakis on the Funny or Die mock talk show, Between Two Ferns this week. Obama was there to promote the Affordable Care Act.
Funny or Die

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 8:32 am

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Prime Minister: 'Deliberate Action' Disabled Missing Jet's Systems

A woman reads messages for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday.
Lai Seng Sin AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:51 am

Malaysia's prime minister says he is now certain that someone disabled the communication systems on the passenger jet that disappeared last week with 239 people aboard.

The missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flew more than six and a half hours after its last communication with air traffic control, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a news conference early Saturday.

"These movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane," he said.

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The Two-Way
7:46 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Man Widely Known As The 'Kissing Sailor' In 1945 V-J Day Photo Dies

As pedestrians watch, an American sailor passionately kisses a white-uniformed nurse in Times Square to celebrate the long awaited-victory over Japan on August 14, 1945.
Alfred Eisenstaedt Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:37 pm

The man widely believed to be at the center of an iconic 1945 photo showing a sailor kissing a nurse in the middle of Times Square on V-J Day has died.

The Associated Press reports that Glenn McDuffie died of natural causes on Sunday in a nursing home in Dallas.

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It's All Politics
7:41 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Hispanic Activists Vow To Keep Pressing White House Over Deportations

Demonstrators protest the Obama administration's deportation policies in Phoenix last year.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 1:52 pm

Five months before his 2012 re-election, President Obama announced that his administration would stop deportations of more than a half-million young adults, often referred to as "Dreamers," brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Latinos subsequently turned out to vote in record numbers that fall. More than 70 percent marked their ballots for Obama — helping him win the popular vote and triumph in key battleground states.

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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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