4:17am

Wed March 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Michael Vick Cancels Book Tour Because Of Threats

Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles on the sidelines during a game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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4:17am

Wed March 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Winning Musher Is Oldest Champion In Iditarod History

On their way to victory: Mitch Seavey and his team as they left White Mountain, Alaska, on Tuesday in the last leg of the Iditarod.
Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News MCT /Landov

"Mitch Seavey scored one for the AARP-eligible crowd Tuesday night by becoming the oldest champion in Iditarod history," the Anchorage Daily News writes this morning.

According to Alaska Public Telecommunications, the 53-year-old Seavey crossed the finish line at 10:39 p.m. local time on Tuesday — 2:39 a.m. ET Wednesday. It has "checkpoint to checkpoint" coverage of the race posted here.

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3:23am

Wed March 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Day 2 Of The Conclave; Will There Be A New Pope?

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 9:07 am

Black smoke rose from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel at midday Wednesday in Vatican City. That means the cardinals have not yet chosen a new pope.
Pool Reuters /Landov

Update at 6:41 a.m. ET. The Smoke Is Black:

Smoke just started pouring from a special chimney above the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City — and its dark color means the 115 cardinals meeting inside the chapel have not yet agreed on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

If all has gone as planned inside the chapel, where the cardinals are meeting in secret, they have now cast three ballots and no one name has been written on at last two-thirds of the slips of paper. It takes two-thirds — 77 votes — to become leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

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2:38am

Wed March 13, 2013
Religion

Can't Read Smoke Signals? Try A Pope Alert Via Text

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Even if the cardinals now locked away in the Sistine Chapel are losing sleep over who will become the next pope, that does not mean that you have to, thanks to Popealarm.com. The service is provided by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. It lets eager Vatican watchers sign up for a text or an email alert that will go out as soon as the pope is chosen.

Their slogan? When the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

2:35am

Wed March 13, 2013
Around the Nation

A Real-Life 'Jump Street' In Tennessee

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Police Deputy Donna Rogan relived her high school years. She went undercover pretending to be a transfer student in Carter County, Tennessee. The Elizabethton Star reports it was called Operation Jump Street, after the old TV show. Now, we do not know Ms. Rogan's grades or which boys asked her out. But we do know she played a student convincingly enough to slip into the local drug culture, gathering information leading to 14 arrests.

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1:29am

Wed March 13, 2013
The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays

Six Words: Ask Who I Am, Not What

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 6:46 am

A submission to the Race Card Project, which asks people to describe their experience with race in six words.
Cliff Owen AP

This month NPR begins a series of occasional conversations about The Race Card Project, where people can submit their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Thousands of people have shared their six-word stories and every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into the trove of six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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1:29am

Wed March 13, 2013
It's All Politics

Retiring Carl Levin Says He Wants To Leave The Senate Fighting

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin speaks in Dearborn on Feb. 4.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Retiring Michigan Sen. Carl Levin says he wants to spend his last two years in the Senate focusing on issues "that I believe to my core are really, really important to the country."

Although the Democrat says he "kind of" enjoys campaigning, he has decided not to seek another term in 2014 after 34 years in office. Levin says campaigns cost too much.

"Even in a state which leans Democratic — at least we think it will — still there's fundraising involved, and it's much more important that we, frankly, do our job here," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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1:28am

Wed March 13, 2013
Middle East

Syrian Cyber-Rebel Wages War, One Hack At A Time

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:27 pm

Ahmad "Harvester" Heidar is a computer software engineer whose work for the Syrian rebels includes sweeping the hard drives of detained anti-government activists, and trying to develop a robot that will help extract sniper victims in Syria. Turkish officials have given Heidar the green light to develop a prototype of his robot, which he calls Tina.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

The Internet is a battleground in Syria, a place where President Bashar Assad's regime has mounted a sophisticated surveillance campaign that includes monitoring and arresting activists by tracking their Facebook pages.

The Syrian Electronic Army, an arm of the Syrian military, is in charge of the monitoring.

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1:26am

Wed March 13, 2013
Middle East

With Official Wink And Nod, Young Saudis Join Syria's Rebels

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Mohammad al-Qahtani, a human rights and democracy activist, speaks at his home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2011.
Hassan Ammar AP

Following a circuitous route from Saudi Arabia up through Turkey or Jordan and then crossing a lawless border, hundreds of young Saudis are secretly making their way into Syria to join groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, GlobalPost has learned.

With the tacit approval from the House of Saud and financial support from wealthy Saudi elites, the young men take up arms in what Saudi clerics have called a "jihad," or "holy war," against the Assad regime.

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1:24am

Wed March 13, 2013
Health Care

'We Shouldn't Have To Live Like This'

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 9:05 am

Linwood Hearne, 64, and his wife, Evelyn, 47, stand near Interstate 83 in Baltimore where they have slept on and off for the past four years. According to the local nonprofit Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), a growing percentage of homeless patients nationally are 50 or older, with complex mental and physical conditions.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

If aging is not for sissies, that's especially true if you're homeless. You can be on your feet for hours, or forced to sleep in the frigid cold or seriously ill with no place to go. But, increasingly, the nation's homeless population is getting older. By some estimates, more than half of single homeless adults are 47 or older.

And there's growing alarm about what this means — both for the aging homeless and for those who have to foot the bill. The cost to society, especially for health care and social services, could mushroom.

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