5:56am

Sat March 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Caught For Fins, Sharks Die At Unsustainable Rate, Study Finds

Fresh shark fins dry on the deck of an apprehended fishing boat in a declared shark and manta ray sanctuary located in the eastern region of Indonesia.
Conservation International /Getty Images

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year, "largely due to their inherent vulnerability, and an increasing demand, particularly for their fins, in the Asian market," a new report finds.

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5:11am

Sat March 2, 2013
Commentary

Pianist Van Cliburn, Warmed Russian Hearts During Cold War

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 3:35 pm

Van Cliburn accepts flowers from the audience in the Moscow Conservatory in April 1958, after a performance during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won.
Courtesy Van Cliburn Foundation AP

Van Cliburn thawed out the Cold War.

He went to Moscow in 1958 for the first International Tchaikovsky Competition. When he sat down to play, Russians saw a tall, 23-year-old Texan, rail thin and tousle-haired, with great, gangly fingers that grew evocative and eloquent when he played the music of the true Russian masters — Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin.

Cliburn died Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 78.

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3:47am

Sat March 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Does President Obama Know When To Say When?

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:02 am

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama appeared on The View last fall in New York.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Doesn't the president get enough attention?

The president is always the star of the show. When just about any major event occurs — whether it's a downturn in the unemployment rate, a natural disaster or some crisis overseas — much of the news media ask how it's going to play out for the president, the central actor in our national drama.

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3:08am

Sat March 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Searching For Stability, Tunisia Stumbles

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 9:15 am

Tunisia's Prime Minister-designate, Ali Larayedh, speaks during a Feb. 26 press conference. His priorities will include forming a stable government and overseeing the writing of a new constitution.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Tunisia took the lead in the Arab Spring back in 2011. Its revolution was swift and largely peaceful. Within months, an assembly was elected to write a new constitution.

As other Arab countries grew more violent and chaotic, Tunisia seemed to be showing the way for an orderly transition away from authoritarian rule.

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3:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
NPR Story

'It Can't Go On Forever': Michigan Steps In To Help Detroit

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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3:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
NPR Story

Dealing With 'Root Causes' To Tackle Incarceration Rates

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Jeffrey Beard has watched America's prisons grow larger and larger every year adding prisoner after prisoner. He began working in the Pennsylvania Corrections system in the early 1970s when there were about 8,000 prisoners. He was secretary of corrections by the time he left in 2010 and by that time Pennsylvania had more than 50,000 people in its prisons.

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3:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
NPR Story

Let The Cuts Begin: Sequestration Deadline Passes

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 8:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Sequestration is official. President Obama signed an executive order on spending late last night as required by law. He sent the order to Congress and that triggered budget cuts known as sequestration. Earlier in the day, the president met with congressional leaders and when they left without a deal, he took questions at the White House.

NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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3:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
Sports

In Alaska's Iditarod Sled Race, Vets Are A Dog's Best Friend

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 9:15 pm

Mushers can bring up to 20 dogs to the Iditarod but can start the race with only 16. In the days before the competition, the animals are taken to the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, for pre-race exams.
Russell Lewis NPR

In Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, the "Last Great Race on Earth" begins.

Sixty-seven sled dog teams will start the 998-mile Iditarod race across the barren, frigid and unforgiving land. In this year's competition, there are a handful of first-time racers — but those aren't the only rookies.

One is veterinarian Greg Reppas, whose job is to ensure the dogs are healthy throughout the race.

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3:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP On The Sequester: Many Messages But Mostly The Same Point

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 8:04 am

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media after a meeting with President Obama on Friday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In the days leading up to the sequester taking effect Friday, Democrats on Capitol Hill had a very unified message.

"We're seeking to provide the American people with a balanced approach. Again, that's what the American people want," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said at a press conference.

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3:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
U.S.

Florida Atlantic Donation Sparks Outrage, But University Doesn't Budge

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 8:04 am

Florida Atlantic University says it's standing by its deal to sell naming rights to its new football stadium to a controversial private prison company. The Boca Raton-based GEO Group faces allegations of abuse and neglect at some of its facilities, and there's a growing call on campus for the school to sever its ties.

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