12:25am

Mon March 18, 2013
Afghanistan

Afghanistan's Forests A Casualty Of Timber Smuggling

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 11:34 am

An Afghan laborer works in a firewood yard at a market in Herat on Dec. 11, 2011.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Despite Afghanistan's fierce winter, it's rare to find a house with insulation or a modern heating system. So Afghans rely on bukharis, stoves that look like an oil drum with a big rusty pipe growing out of the top that bends off into a hole in the wall.

That fact keeps the hundreds of wood vendors around Kabul quite happy. This winter, NPR staff fed several tons of firewood into their bukhari — and that's just one house in a city of about 5 million people.

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12:23am

Mon March 18, 2013
National Security

Women In Combat, And The Price They Pay

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:30 am

Staff Sgt. Jessica Keown, with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss in El Paso Texas, served with a female engagement team, or FET, in Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

America has been debating the role of women in combat since 1779.

That's when the Continental Congress first awarded a military disability pension to Mary Corbin after she manned a cannon in the Revolutionary War at the battle of Fort Washington in New York. Corbin got only half the pension male soldiers received, but she asked for — and received — the full ration of rum.

Today, as the Pentagon decides how to remove the combat exclusion, women still have trouble getting fully recognized for what they've achieved at war.

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12:22am

Mon March 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

To Control Asthma, Start With The Home Instead Of The Child

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 7:36 am

Maria Texeira-Gomes holds a photo of her 5-year-old son, Matheo, who has struggled with asthma nearly all his life.
Richard Knox NPR

Nothing sends more kids to the hospital than asthma.

So when doctors at Children's Hospital in Boston noticed they kept seeing an unusually high number of asthmatic kids from certain low-income neighborhoods, they wondered if they could do something about the environment these kids were living in.

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12:21am

Mon March 18, 2013
Business

U.S. Probes Abuse Allegations Under Worker Visa Program

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:38 am

Workers and labor organizers in New York City protest the alleged exploitation of students on J-1 summer work travel visas who worked at a Pennsylvania McDonald's, on Thursday.
Jess Jiang NPR

A group of foreign college students who came to the U.S. on cultural work exchange visas in December have been protesting their working conditions at a McDonald's in Harrisburg, Pa. In the process, they've wading into a debate about guest workers in the U.S.

The students include Jorge Rios, who says three months ago he eagerly did the legwork necessary to get a J-1 visa, used for student work exchange.

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12:19am

Mon March 18, 2013
Law

Can States Go Beyond Federal Law On Voter Registration?

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:38 am

A voter fills out her ballot during early voting before the 2012 presidential election at the Gila County Recorder's Office in Globe, Ariz., on Oct. 26.
Joshua Lott Reuters/Landov

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case that could upend the federal effort to spur and streamline voter registration.

At issue is an Arizona law that requires prospective voters to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the state law must fall because it conflicts with federal law.

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12:19am

Mon March 18, 2013
Law

Lawsuit Over NYPD's 'Stop And Frisk' Program Heads To Court

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:38 am

An opponent of the New York Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy marches last year in New York City. The NYPD says the stops assist crime prevention, while opponents say they involve racial profiling and civil rights abuses.
Mario Tama Getty Images

A major lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department's use of warrantless stops in high-crime neighborhoods goes to federal court Monday.

Critics say the NYPD's practice — known as stop and frisk — is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. But defenders say it is legal and has helped make New York City safer than it's been in 50 years.

The case, Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al., is a class-action suit, so the stories of the plaintiffs are all different. But they do have some basic things in common.

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12:00am

Mon March 18, 2013

9:48pm

Sun March 17, 2013
Theater

Familiar Folks Make Up A Play's 'Good People'

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:38 am

Johanna Day as Margie and Andrew Long as Mike in the recent Arena Stage production of David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People. The childhood friends drift apart as their lives take on very different socioeconomic dimensions.
Margot Schulman Arena Stage

How we end up in life has a lot to do with where we came from. That theory gets a good workout in the play Good People, from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire. When the show was on Broadway two years ago, the trade magazine Variety proclaimed that "If Good People isn't a hit, there is no justice in the land."

As it turns out, justice has been served: Good People is the most produced play in America this theatrical season. By the end of this summer, it will have been on stage in 17 different cities.

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8:48pm

Sun March 17, 2013
Minds Over Matter March 17, 2013

Minds Over Matter for March 17, 2013

Tonight Dana Rodriguez Leah Garchik and Gerry Nachmann to the Bay Area's favorite quiz show!

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8:29pm

Sun March 17, 2013
Politics

Will Durst: The charmingly offensive road tour

Thankfully the current revival of President Obama’s Charm Offensive is not a theatrical production because the reviews are decidedly mixed. Seeing him furiously pirouette around Washington for the last two weeks like a carnival contortionist makes you wonder if he might be secretly setting up a post-presidential career in a Las Vegas Cirque de Soleil spin-off.

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