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8:59 am
Wed February 29, 2012

N. Korea Agrees To Nuclear Moratorium, U.S. Says

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. We have learned this morning that North Korea has agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests and uranium enrichment activities. This is according to State Department officials just back from a trip to China, where they met with North Korean negotiators. NPR's Michele Kelemen has more on what could be a step towards reviving nuclear disarmament talks.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The Story Of HitmanForHire.net

Some people are serious when they say, "I want him dead." That is just one of the astonishing revelations chronicled by The Los Angeles Times in a feature on the misadventures of Essam Ahmed Eid.

Eid, as we learn, was the Las Vegas poker dealer turned Internet entrepreneur behind HitmanForHire.net, a site that once promised to bring together people with problems and people with solutions.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Wed February 29, 2012

U.S. Says North Korea Has Agreed To Halt Nuclear Activities

In what could be a diplomatic breakthrough, the United States said today that North Korea had agreed to cease nuclear weapons tests and enrichment and will allow U.N. inspectors to verify activities at its main reactor.

The announcement comes just two months after the country's leader Kim Jong Il died and the Communist Party handed the reins of power to his son Kim Jong Un. The AP reports that the agreement also includes a moratorium on long-range missile tests.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:10 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides for 80 Years

John White

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 8:07 am

No, this isn't a make-believe place. It's real.

They call it "Ball's Pyramid." It's what's left of an old volcano that emerged from the sea about 7 million years ago. A British naval officer named Ball was the first European to see it in 1788. It sits off Australia, in the South Pacific. It is extremely narrow, 1,844 feet high, and it sits alone.

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Business
8:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Murdoch's Son To Change Posts At News Corp.

Media baron Rupert Murdoch's son James, 39, is leaving his job as executive chairman of News Corp.'s newspaper arm, the company said Wednesday. He'll focus instead on the international TV business at the company, which has been embroiled in a scandal over phone and e-mail hacking in Britain.

Shots - Health Blog
7:53 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Teens Fare Worst After Concussions

In teens' developing brains, a concussion can cause more disruption.
iStockphoto.com

Concussions affect the thinking of teenagers more than they do that of adults or children, according to a new study. But all three age groups show lasting problems with working memory after sports concussions.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed February 29, 2012

James Murdoch Steps Down As Executive Chairman Of News International

(FILES) In a picture taken on July 13, 2011 then News International Chairman and Chief Executive James Murdoch arrives for work in east London.
Warren Allott AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 6:34 pm

As the phone hacking scandal that roiled his father's international news company deepened, James Murdoch is stepping down as Executive Chairman of News International.

The AP reports that News Corp., owned by James' father Rupert Murdoch, said he was stepping down "to focus on the company's international TV business."

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

Update at 9:28 p.m. ET. Murdoch's Statement:

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Revised Numbers Show U.S. Economy Quickened In The Fourth Quarter

During the last three months of the year, the U.S. economy picked up its pace of growth. The Commerce Department revised its previous estimate today and said the gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3 percent, which exceeded the previous estimate of 2.8 percent and was better than the third quarter's 1.8 percent pace.

The AP reports:

"The growth estimate was revised up because consumers spent more than first thought, and businesses cut spending by much less.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Man Who Collected Ryan Braun's Sample Says He Didn't Tamper With It

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun waits for his turn to take batting practice at baseball spring training in Phoenix. The person who collected Braun's urine samples that tested positive for elevated testosterone levels says he followed the collection program's protocol.
Paul Connors AP

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 6:41 am

Dino Laurenzi Jr., the man who collected a urine sample from the Milwaukee Brewer's left fielder Ryan Braun, is defending himself for the first time.

Laurenzi was thrust into baseball's drug testing debate, when Braun questioned his integrity during a press conference on Friday.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed February 29, 2012

UPDATED: Ex-Mine Security Chief Sentenced To Three Years

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 12:59 pm

(The top of this post was updated at 1:45 p.m. ET with news of the prison sentence, and at 3 p.m. ET with the U.S. Attorney's reaction.)

A federal judge in West Virginia has sentenced Hughie Stover to three years in prison. Stover is the former security chief of the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 miners died in a massive explosion in 2010.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Man U.S. Calls A Top Al-Qaida Figure Is Arrested At Cairo Airport

Saif al-Adel.
FBI

A man the United States lists as one of its most wanted terrorists has been arrested in Cairo.

The AP reports that "security and airport officials" said Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi was arrested when he arrived in the country on Wednesday from Pakistan.

Makkawi, who the FBI says is also known as Saif Al-Aldel, is wanted in connection to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Makkawi, the FBI says, is also suspected of being a high-ranking member of al-Qaida.

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Ketchum Could Be First Female A&M Yell Leader

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:08 am
Wed February 29, 2012

UPDATED: At Least 12 People Killed In Deadly Midwest Storms

Sherry Cousins and her brother Bruce Wallace of Hollister, Mo., sit in the wreckage of their secondhand store in Branson, Mo, on February 29. A powerful storm system that produced multiple reports of tornadoes lashed the Midwest early today, roughing up the country music resort city of Branson.
Mark Schiefelbein AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

A line of severe storms moving across the Midwest left death and destruction in its wake early today.

The storms moved through Kansas and Missouri overnight, destroying one trailer park and leaving at least one dead in Buffalo, Mo.

The hardest hit area is Harrisburg, Ill., where authorities say at least six people have been killed after what is presumed to be a tornado raked the town before dawn. (Note: in situations such as this, details such as the number of people killed and injured change as more information comes in. We will be updating this post.)

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Around the Nation
5:08 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Tow Truck Fishes Dozens Of Cars Out Of Wis. Lake

At this year's fishing contest on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, they weren't just fishing for sturgeon. People arriving to fish parked their cars too closely, and the ice gave way. No one was hurt but three dozen vehicles were pulled out of the lake.

It's All Politics
5:05 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Super Tuesday: Which Candidates Can Win Outside Their 'Comfort Zones'?

Mitt Romney narrowly won in Michigan Tuesday night. For Super Tuesday, he'll set his sights on Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 1:56 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney notched two big wins Tuesday, upping his Republican presidential delegate count and taking modest-plus momentum into the week leading up to Super Tuesday on March 6.

With the Michigan and Arizona primaries in the history books as Romney's fifth and sixth victories, we're looking ahead to Super Tuesday, when presidential contests will be held in 10 states and 413 delegates will be up for grabs.

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It's All Politics
3:30 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Santorum & Co. Left To Mourn What Might Have Been in Michigan

Detroit native Mitt Romney greets supporters with wife Ann in Novi, Mich., after squeaking out a win in Tuesday's primary. He also won Arizona.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

Rick Santorum and his campaign will likely look back on Michigan's 2012 primary not only as a heartbreaking loss in the battle against Mitt Romney but also as a historic lost opportunity.

The upstart former senator from Pennsylvania was within a few percentage points of toppling the wobbly frontrunner in a state that really mattered.

Unlike his earlier wins in caucus states (Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota) and a nonbinding "beauty contest" (Missouri), a win in Michigan meant a real cache of committed delegates.

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Business
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to our last word in business on this Leap Day: a rare proposal. Traditionally in many European countries Leap Day was considered the only day when a woman could propose to a man. And one restaurant in Swindon, England seems to be capitalizing on that.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Romney Scratches Out Close Victory In Michigan

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. For Mitt Romney, this is a day to savor victory and feel a lot of relief. The former Massachusetts governor turned back former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in two states. Romney won an easy victory in Arizona. In Michigan, Romney had to scratch out a close win in the state where he was born.

Romney has reclaimed his status as clear front-runner one week before 10 more states vote on Super Tuesday.

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Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

29 GOP Delegates In Arizona Go To Romney

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And while Mitt Romney was eking out that win in Michigan, he pretty much walked away with yesterday's Arizona primary. Romney was expected to win in Arizona, but he walloped his closest challenger - that would be Rick Santorum - by 20 percentage points. Helped, in part, by the support of the last Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain.

And while all the attention was on Michigan throughout the night, NPR's Ted Robbins reports that in the all-important delegate count, the Arizona win counts for nearly as much.

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Asia
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Journalists Tracks Drone Strikes Near Afghan �"Pakistan Border

Pakistani journalist Pir Zubair Shah has been following drone strikes in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than half a decade. He talks to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about his recent article in Foreign Policy magazine titled "My Drone War."

Business
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an invitation from Apple.

Journalists were invited yesterday by Apple for a product event next month. And that was enough to send the company shares to another all-time high. There's wide speculation the event will introduce the next generation of its iPad tablet. The iPad 3 is expected to have a faster processor and a high definition display. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Research News
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Do NASCAR Races Contribute To Motorists' Wrecks?

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

New research indicates that five days after major NASCAR races, there is a measurable increase in traffic accidents caused by aggressive driving.

Afghanistan
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

After Quran Burnings, U.S. To Review Afghan Mission

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The deadly violence in Afghanistan over the burning of Qurans by the U.S. military has brought the American-led NATO mission to a crossroads. Among the dead have been four Americans, two of them by an Afghan policeman inside what was thought to be a highly secure government ministry building. The U.S. pulled all of its advisors from those ministries. The entire international community is on virtual lockdown.

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Business
1:31 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Identity Theft A Growing Concern For Businesses

Fake business listings and other forms of business identity theft are a growing concern, causing real business owners to worry about protecting reputations and losing customers.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

You've heard of identity theft — someone using a person's credit information or a Social Security number for ill-gotten gains. Well, experts say similar crimes are also affecting businesses.

Business identity theft involves posing as a legitimate business in order to get access to credit lines or steal customers. Experts believe that the practice has become more prevalent in the past two years.

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The Salt
1:27 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Newfoundland Gives Whole New Meaning To Ice Cold Beer

Quidi Vidi's lager is brewed with 25,000-year-old water harvested from Newfoundland's icebergs.
Courtesy of Quidi Vidi

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:31 am

The year the Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. started brewing beer with iceberg water, a giant iceberg floated up against the cliffs around St. John's, Newfoundland.

"It was a big berg and it jammed right across the harbor here," says Charlie Rees, the brewery's tour guide.

Rees says Newfoundlanders have a curious relationship with icebergs. On the one hand, they're a fact of life. On the other, when that iceberg was in the harbor's mouth, hundreds of people came down to gawk. He took pictures.

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Economy
1:25 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Record Low Interest Rates Raise Inflation Concerns

The Federal Reserve plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero until 2014, and some critics are concerned about the risk of inflation and the message it sends about the economy.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The goal of the Federal Reserve's low interest rate policy is to juice the economic recovery. The low rates should make it easier for people to borrow money, which they'll hopefully spend; the increased demand for goods and services is then supposed to translate into more hiring.

That's what the Fed is banking on. It hopes low interest rates will help with its mandate of achieving maximum employment, but it also has another mandate: to keep prices stable.

"In many cases, those two conflict," says economist Joe Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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The Record
10:08 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Music In Political Campaigns 101

Kid Rock performs during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Michigan Monday night. Romney asked for, and was given, permission to use the Detroit rocker's song "Born Free" in his campaign.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

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Sweetness And Light
10:01 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

100 Points, One Game: A Basketball Record Turns 50

Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors poses in the dressing room after he scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knickerbockers on March 2, 1962.
Paul Vathis AP

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Dave Zinkoff — or simply "The Zink" — was perhaps the most distinctive public address announcer in sports when, years ago, he called games in Philadelphia, especially for the city's NBA teams. Just his declaring that there were two minutes left in the quarter made you feel that, never mind that quarter, doomsday was but 120 seconds away.

But nothing The Zink cried out was so resounding as when Wilt Chamberlain would make an emphatic slam.

"Dipper dunk!" he would holler.

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All Tech Considered
10:01 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Nailing Down The Appeal Of Pinterest

A visit to the Pinterest home page reveals images of what some say are stereotypically female interests, from women's fashions to recipes.
Pinterest

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

To the list of weird-sounding hybrid words of the digital age, like Googling and tweeting, we can now add "pinning." As in Pinterest. It's sort of an online scrapbook or bulletin board, and it's one of the fastest-growing websites in history.

Last month, more than 10 million unique visitors signed on to Pinterest. But some of them, like Billy Winburn, are still trying to get the hang of it. At an office in Alexandria, Va., Jennifer Folsom, who works a few desks away, is walking him through the process.

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