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7:07 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

More Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees

TV producer Colleen Bell, shown here in a 2013 photo, was a big donor for President Obama before she was nominated to become ambassador to Hungary. Obama has chosen more political appointees than his predecessors.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:05 pm

The nominee to be U.S. ambassador to, say, Hungary should be able to explain what the U.S. strategic interests are in that country — right?

But Colleen Bell, a soap opera producer and President Obama's appointee to be U.S. envoy to that European country, struggled to answer that simple question during her recent confirmation hearing.

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The Edge
6:12 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In Men's Figure Skating, U.S. Pins Hopes On A New Class

Jason Brown skated to Prince during his short program Thursday.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

What's the hardest sport at the Winter Games — biathlon, aerial skiing, snowboarding, or high-flying slopestyle?

Jeremy Abbott thought it was one of those until an Olympic official told him otherwise. "Hands down," he was told, "absolutely, figure skating is the hardest."

Abbott may not completely agree, but he says it's the rare affirmation he's gotten as a male figure skater.

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Shots - Health News
6:12 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Stopping Microbes Not Missiles: U.S. Plans For Next Global Threat

Hannah Rood, 3, receives an H1N1 vaccine at a clinic in San Pablo, California, during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Spot the next plague before it arrives. Predict the next swine flu outbreak before it makes headlines. Even detect a biological weapon before it's launched.

These are the goals of an ambitious initiative, launched Thursday, to build a worldwide surveillance system for infectious diseases.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Many Flights Canceled, But Fewer Fliers Stranded On Tarmac

Passengers wait in line at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday. A major snowstorm has delayed flights from Atlanta to New York.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:43 pm

Would-be air travelers sitting at home may be frustrated about their canceled plans. But most likely, they are happier than they would have been had they gotten trapped on an icy tarmac.

And that used to happen many hundreds of times a year before the Department of Transportation stepped in to reduce the frequency of passenger incarcerations.

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Afghanistan
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Afghan Prisoner Release Promises To Inflame Tensions

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Remembrances
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Tech Innovator And Master Of Maps Dies At 80

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Roger Tomlinson, the man widely regarded as the father of GIS — Geographic Information Systems — has died at age 80. Tomlinson's 1960s innovation, using computer software to overlay different types of maps on top of one another, revolutionized industry and government.

Media
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Consumer Advocates Alarmed By $45 Billion Deal

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Comcast is already the nation's biggest cable TV and Internet service provider. And now, it's trying to get a whole lot bigger. The company struck a deal to buy its top cable rival, Time Warner Cable. The price tag, $45 billion. NPR's David Folkenflik reports that critics say if the sale is approved, Comcast will be too dominant.

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Sports
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Between U.S. And Russian Hockey, A Different Kind Of Cold War

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

For a lot of Russians, the true start of the Olympics was today. Team Russia took the ice in men's hockey. At the very same time, Team USA also had their very first game. We sent a reporter to each game to see how the two rivals stack up against each other and they sent his report.

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National Security
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

With A Citizen In The Crosshairs, Where's The Line Drawn For Drones?

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Around the Nation
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Grounded And Confounded, Airlines Wait For Storms To Pass

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

The snow and ice storms sweeping the East Coast have been felt not only on the ground but in the air, as well. Airlines are cancelling thousands of flights, and both the companies and their passengers have had to deal with the fallout.

Around the Nation
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

The Carolinas Host A Rare And Rowdy Visitor — Snow

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Snow has become a four letter word, that take from one suburban Philadelphia official on the latest winter storm to hit the East Coast. And who can blame them?

BLOCK: The storm slammed the South then barreled up the coast and is burying the Northeast in layers of snow. More than a foot of it has fallen in parts of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore.

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Sports
4:55 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

What's Important In Sochi? Depends Where You Ask

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Eighty-eight countries have sent athletes to the Sochi Winter Olympics - from Albania to Zimbabwe. We're going to hear now from three reporters in Sochi from three different countries, starting with the Netherlands. They cheer their athletes on this way.

EDWIN PAQUES: Hop-hop-hop, we always say. (Foreign language spoken)

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It's All Politics
4:46 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Debt Ceiling Vote Relied On GOP's 'Tough Vote' Caucus

House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (left), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (right) were among the 28 Republicans whose votes made it possible for most other Republicans to vote against the debt ceiling hike.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 3:08 pm

Within the House Republican Conference, an unofficial "tough vote" caucus is taking shape.

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All Tech Considered
4:18 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Facebook Gives Users New Options To Identify Gender

Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison demonstrates the website's expanded options for gender identification at her company's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. Harrison, who helped engineer the project, plans to switch her identifier to "Trans Woman."
Noah Berger AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 11:21 am

Gender identity online is evolving.

Facebook is rolling out changes to its 159 million members in the U.S. that will allow people to have a wider choice than simply male or female when selecting a gender description on the site.

A third option now appears in the gender field: custom. Users who select that option can then choose from roughly 50 options including Trans Male or Female, Cisgender or Androgynous.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

U.K. Warns Scotland: Vote To Secede, Lose Common Currency

A display of T-shirts are seen for sale in a Scottish memorabilia shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Jan. 13, 2012. Scotland votes in September on independence, but the U.K. government has warned that freedom will come at a cost: Scotland will lose the pound.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:06 pm

Scotland, as we've told you previously, is voting later this year on breaking away from the U.K.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond had said that the new country would retain the pound as its currency and take on a portion of the U.K.'s debt. Britain's message today [Thursday]: Not so fast.

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