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NPR news, audio, and podcasts. Coverage of breaking stories, national and world news, politics, business, science, technology, and extended coverage of major national and world events.
Updated: 41 min 26 sec ago

Top Stories: Boeing Contract OK'd; Record Low Temps Expected

Sat, 2014-01-04 06:09

Also: Singer Phil Everly dies; passengers rescued in the Antarctic resume their trip home; and a man who won $174 million didn't realize his good fortune for weeks.

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'Cheers And Jeers' As Boeing Machinists Narrowly OK Contract

Sat, 2014-01-04 05:35

With 51 percent of machinists voting yes, a new labor pact was approved. It means production of the new 777X widebody jet will be done in the Puget Sound region. But many in the rank-and-file think they gave up too much to keep the jobs in Washington State.

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Billboards That Drop Angels On Your Head

Sat, 2014-01-04 05:32

There you are in a train station, and if you stand in the right space, suddenly an angel — a lady with enormous wings, looking like the real deal — appears at your side. She's not real. She's a billboard display gone wild. Which is what a bunch of billboards have been doing lately. We visit three of the wildest.

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Phil Everly Dies; Transformed Rock 'N' Roll With Brother Don

Sat, 2014-01-04 05:00

The tight harmonies in the Everly Brothers' string of hits in the '50s and '60s were huge influences on others such as Simon & Garfunkel, The Hollies, and The Beach Boys. Among their biggest songs: "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Susie" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream." Everly was 74. Brother Don is 76.

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Comic Artist Yumi Sakugawa On Friend-Love, Identity And Art

Sat, 2014-01-04 05:00

How should you tell your friends that you're in friend-love with them? Sakugawa, the artist and author of I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You shares what inspires her work.

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22 States Curb Access To Abortion In 2013

Sat, 2014-01-04 04:15

The 205 restrictions enacted between 2011 and 2013 outpaced the 189 enacted during the entire previous decade. Also, the number of U.S. states deemed by a leading reproductive rights group to be "hostile" to abortion rights continues to rise — from 13 states at the turn of the millennium to 27 today.

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Boeing Machinists Approve Contract To Secure 777X Work

Sat, 2014-01-04 04:09

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

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Lovebirds + String + Watering Can + Dog = Rube Goldberg Magic

Sat, 2014-01-04 02:53

The term "Rube Goldberg machine" has become shorthand for a convoluted contraption made up of a series of chain reactions. But Goldberg was also a real person, whose ideas for whimsical devices have captivated imaginations for decades.

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Transgender Issues Follow Path Blazed By Gay Rights

Sat, 2014-01-04 01:46

Some gay and lesbian activists say 2013 was "the gayest year ever," but as 2014 opens, another issue is gaining traction — transgender rights.

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Want Perfect Pitch? You Might Be Able To Pop A Pill For That

Fri, 2014-01-03 21:50

The ability to identify musical notes by ear is usually thought to be something developed early in life. Now a Harvard study says a drug normally used as a mood stabilizer might allow adults with no musical experience to learn perfect pitch.

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For The Blind, Connected Devices Create A Novel Way To Read

Fri, 2014-01-03 17:02

Braille hasn't changed much in the nearly 200 years it's been around. But with tablets, smartphones and e-readers, how we read things has. Judy Dixon of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped talks with NPR about how technology has changed Braille — and whether it can endure.

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This Week's Massive Winter Storm, Seen From Space

Fri, 2014-01-03 14:19

On Friday, NASA tweeted a composite image of the storm that has covered large areas of the Midwest and Eastern U.S. with a blanket of snow.

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House GOP Puts Another 'Target' On Obamacare

Fri, 2014-01-03 14:08

House Republicans plan to start the year with a vote on legislation to better safeguard the personal data that HealthCare.gov collects. Democrats see it as yet another attempt to undermine the health law, but they also see political risk in voting against more security for sensitive consumer data.

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Big Cities See Violent Crime Rates Fall In 2013

Fri, 2014-01-03 13:54

Cities across the country saw sharp drops in violent crime rates in 2013. For some big cities, murder rates reached historic lows. The numbers reflect a decades-long decline, which shows that plenty of neighborhoods in urban areas are safe while some remain troubled by violent crime.

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The NSA's Quantum Code-Breaking Research Is No Secret

Fri, 2014-01-03 13:37

So the world's most clandestine spy agency is working on something called a quantum computer. It's based on rules Einstein himself described as "spooky," and it can crack almost any code. That's got to be top-secret stuff, right? Guess again.

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'Playboy' Gets Pranked: Group Flips The Script On Sex

Fri, 2014-01-03 13:29

A Baltimore-based group is working to change the messages companies are sending about sex. So far, it has created convincing, fake websites pretending to be Playboy and Victoria's Secret — but putting an emphasis on consent.

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Let Them Eat Sandwiches: USDA Eases School Lunch Restrictions

Fri, 2014-01-03 13:16

Participation in the school lunch program suffered after USDA restricted the amount of grains and protein that could be served to kids at lunchtime. Now school food directors are applauding the decision to allow more of them back on lunch menus.

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California County Pushes Drugmakers To Pay For Pill Waste

Fri, 2014-01-03 13:16

An Alameda County ordinance puts the responsibility for drug disposal squarely on the companies that made the medicines. States and the federal government have considered similar measures, but none has passed.

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Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity

Fri, 2014-01-03 13:10

Students at Rice University in Houston are finding low-cost solutions to big global health problems. The women running the program are hoping to get these young engineers hooked on helping. One particularly successful device that helps infants breathe has already been tested in Malawi and will be distributed to hospitals around the country.

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Obama Administration Moves To Alter Gun-Buying Rules

Fri, 2014-01-03 13:06

Federal agencies are proposing new rules for handling gun buyers' background checks, in changes the White House says will "keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands." The changes include a clarification of rules barring firearm possession due to mental health problems.

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