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Space
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Space Thief Or Hero? One Man's Quest To Reawaken An Old Friend

Early days: NASA's International Sun-Earth Explorer C (also known as ISEE-3 and ICE) was undergoing testing and evaluation inside the Goddard Space Flight Center's dynamic test chamber when this photo was snapped in 1976.
NASA

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 7:56 pm

More than 30 years ago, Robert Farquhar stole a spacecraft.

Now he's trying to give it back.

The green satellite, covered with solar panels, is hurtling back toward the general vicinity of Earth, after nearly three decades of traveling in a large, looping orbit around the sun.

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Parallels
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

After 300 Years Of Marriage, Scotland Contemplates U.K. Divorce

Pro-independence campaigners attend a rally In Edinburgh, Scotland, in September.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:22 am

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.

Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.

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Space
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Ripples In Space Could Point To The Universe's Beginnings

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:24 am

Physicists say they've discovered a faint signal from just moments after the universe began. If confirmed, it could revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos. But not everyone is convinced.

U.S.
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Decades Later, A Medal Of Honor For Hispanic-American Hero

Santiago Erevia is one of only three living soldiers receiving a Medal of Honor on March 18. Behind him is a photo projection of his younger self in uniform.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:26 am

At the White House on Tuesday, President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to two-dozen soldiers whose service ranged from World War II to the Vietnam War. These soldiers are being commemorated after congress mandated a review to make sure that no one was overlooked because of prejudice.

One of them is Santiago Erevia, who risked his life on a May afternoon in 1969, charging toward bunkers held by the North Vietnamese.

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Your Money
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Report: Most Americans Not Putting Enough Away For Retirement

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:44 am

The stock market surge has given a lift to many retirement portfolios. But a new report finds that most Americans haven't saved nearly enough for the kind of retirement they expect.

The Two-Way
7:27 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards Is Running For Congress

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and his new wife, Trina Grimes Scott, after getting married in the French Quarter in New Orleans, La., in July 2011.
CHERYL GERBER AP

Edwin Edwards, the 86-year-old ex-con and former Louisiana governor, is seeking public office again.

Today, Edwards announced he was running for the state's 6th Congressional District.

The Times Picayune reports:

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The Two-Way
6:59 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Sept. 11 Conspirator: Bin Laden's Son-In-Law Had No Military Role

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 7:03 pm

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, made a submission to federal court in Manhattan on behalf of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who is on trial there. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is "an eloquent, spellbinding speaker," but he did not have any prior knowledge of al-Qaida operations, Mohammed said.

As we reported earlier this month on the first day of Abu Ghaith's trial:

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The Two-Way
6:44 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Interior Secretary: 1 Percent Of Wildfires Take 30 Percent Of Funds

A U.S. Forest Service photo shows firefighters near the perimeter of the Elk Complex fire near Pine, Idaho, last summer. Lawmakers are calling for a change in the way America pays for wildfire disasters.
AP

Western lawmakers and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urge changes to the way America pays to fight and recover from wildfires, starting with preserving money that's meant for fire prevention. They met with fire officials Monday who predicted a busy fire season for much of the West.

NPR's Nathan Rott reports for our Newscast unit:

"Secretary Jewell says her department and the U.S. Forest Service spend more than $3 billion annually fighting fires. A third of that is spent on megafires, the biggest 1 percent of any season's blazes.

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Shots - Health News
6:19 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Big Drop In Colon Cancer Fuels Push To Get More People Screened

Many people think that colon cancer screening is no walk in the park. This giant inflatable colon on display at the University of Miami Health System campus was intended to help them think otherwise.
Suzette Laboy AP

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:37 pm

The number of people getting colon cancer has fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in people over 50, and much of that progress is due to screening, a study finds.

But a substantial number of people in that target age group still haven't been screened, and a consortium of organizations say they're pushing to get 80 percent of those people screened at least once by 2018.

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It's All Politics
5:57 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

One Year After Party 'Autopsy,' GOP Touts Progress

Immigration supporters gather during a rally for citizenship on Capitol Hill last year.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

One year ago, a frank Republican Party assessment of why it came up short in the 2012 presidential election included a stark recommendation.

Embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform, the post-mortem authors urged, or get used to a party whose appeal "will continue to shrink to its core constituents only."

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The Two-Way
5:49 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Third Person Dies After Being Rammed By Car At SXSW

Bystanders rush to help those who were struck by a vehicle early Thursday on Red River Street in Austin, which was crowded with people headed to South by Southwest events.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:15 pm

A third person has died after being rammed by a car last week during the SXSW festival in Austin.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

"The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office said Austin resident Sandy Le, who had been in critical condition with head injuries, died at University Medical Center Brackenridge after she was hit by a speeding car on Red River Street outside The Mohawk Club last Thursday.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Army General Pleads Guilty To Adultery; Other Charges Dropped

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair (L) leaves the Fort Bragg Courthouse with his attorney Ellen Brotman, after sexual assault charges against Sinclair were dropped after he pleaded guilty to lesser charges Monday.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 8:17 am

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who was accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate, has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a plea deal reached with government prosecutors. A judge accepted the plea deal Monday; the general's sentencing hearing will continue Tuesday.

NPR's Tom Bowman reports for our Newscast unit that the prosecution's case against Sinclair, 51, fell apart because of missteps by the Army command and credibility problems with his accuser:

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All Tech Considered
4:28 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

With Google's Robot-Buying Binge, A Hat Tip To The Future

A BigDog robot at Boston Dynamics in 2010. The BigDog is being developed to help soldiers carry heavy equipment in the field. It can follow a human being, walking across wet/sandy/rocky terrain, just like a dog would.
Suzanne Kreiter Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:56 pm

In less than a year, Google has bought more than a half-dozen robotics companies, setting the industry abuzz. But when I ask Google what it's up to with all these robots, the company won't say a thing.

"They are very careful — they haven't disclosed what they are doing," says Richard Mahoney, the director of the robotics program at SRI International, a nonprofit technology accelerator in Menlo Park, Calif. Mahoney also served on the board of Redwood Robotics, one of the companies Google bought.

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Parallels
4:20 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

A Syrian Refugee Camp With Girl Scouts And A Safeway Store

An informal Girl Scout group at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan sings: "We want to learn and rise up to fulfill our dreams."
Nabih Bulos NPR

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:57 pm

On a sunny afternoon in the dusty, overcrowded Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, a group of Syrian girls recites a familiar pledge and hope to change their future. The youngsters promise to serve God and country, to help people at all times and live by the laws of the Girl Scouts.

The troop was organized by Hanna Vazquez, a volunteer with Mercy Corps, a U.S.-based humanitarian group.

"We are going to do the Girl Scout music badge," she says, as the girls gather around.

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News
4:20 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

General Takes Plea Deal In Sexual Assault Case

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, a plea deal in the most closely watched sexual assault case in the military. An Army general admitted to charges of mistreating a subordinate and adultery. But Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair will not face more serious charges. That's because the Army's case against him fell apart. We're going to hear more about what happened now from NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Hi, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hello, Robert.

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