Author Interviews
10:45 am
Wed February 27, 2013

'Behind The Scenes' At The Vatican: The Politics Of Picking A New Pope

In his new book, The Vatican Diaries, John Thavis draws on his nearly 30 years of reporting on the Vatican.
Viking/Penguin Group

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 12:54 pm

The years of his papacy had seen "moments of joy and light, but also difficult moments," Pope Benedict XVI told some 100,000 spectators gathered in St. Peter's Square Wednesday during his final address. "There have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us ... and the Lord seemed to sleep."

As Benedict becomes the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years and cardinals gather in Rome to choose his successor, a series of scandals — child sex abuse, mismanagement at the Vatican bank, the leaking of secret church documents — has left the Vatican reeling.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Picking A Pope? Try The 'Sweet Sistine' Bracket Challenge

The "sweet sistine" brackets.
Religion News Service

Next month brings "March madness" for fans of college basketball.

It's also going to bring Roman Catholic cardinals together to choose a new pope.

Which means, according to Religion News Service, it's time to "make your picks in the Vatican's Sweet Sistine brackets!"

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The Salt
9:52 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Cheesecake Factory, IBM Team Up To Crack The Code Of Customer Bliss

A new outpost for The Cheesecake Factory in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:17 am

Consider the following entirely fictitious but totally plausible scenario:

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Political Junkie
9:33 am
Wed February 27, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

Has anyone figured out how the sequester would affect ScuttleButton?

I didn't think so.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday (or, as they call today, "Wednesday") I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Hagel Sworn In As Defense Secretary

New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, as he was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon. His wife, Lilibet, held the Bible. Michael L. Rhodes, the Pentagon's director of administration and management, administered the oath.
MC1 Chad J. McNeeley Office of the Secretary of Defense

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:18 am

After a somewhat stormy debate in the Senate over his confirmation, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon and took over as secretary of defense.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Negotiators At Six-Nation Talks See Signs Of Hope In Iran Nuclear Standoff

Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili speaks during talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday.
Shamil Zhumatov AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:01 am

Officials at six-nation nuclear talks on limiting Iran's nuclear program say the two-day meeting in Kazakhstan has been a turning point, and Tehran's lead negotiator described the discussions as a positive step.

But NPR's Peter Kenyon, reporting from the talks in Almaty, says it appears that most of what was accomplished was simply laying the groundwork for future discussions.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:46 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Close Your Eyes And Imagine A Protein. See Anything? A Housefly, Maybe?

Courtesy of Maja Klevanski

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 9:09 am

Pay no attention to this housefly. We'll get to it later, but first, how about a "Do You Recognize This?" quiz.

If I say "DNA," what do you see? Well, instantly, you see one of these:

But what if I say "protein"? What comes to mind? Anything?

Well, for many people, "protein" is what you find on a plate ...

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Countdown To Sequester: Three Stories That Sum It Up

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 7:08 am

As a public service to our readers this week we've been offering a list of three stories each day that we think illuminate the looming sequester (or at least the debate over it), set to be triggered by the passing of Friday's deadline.

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Animals
6:39 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Runaway Bald Eagle Captured After 3 Days

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne. Bald eagles are the definition of cool, but apparently they spook easily. So when Sequoia, a bald eagle at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, got caught in a strong wind while spreading her wings at a local park, she took off to other suburbs. The San Jose Mercury News reports it took three days for the bald eagle's handlers to track her down. And then she was treated with a feast of mouse and quail. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Books News & Features
6:37 am
Wed February 27, 2013

6 Books On Shortlist To Win Oddest Title Prize

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer with contenders for oddest book title of the year.

Six books are shortlisted for the British Diagram Prize including histories, "How Tea Cozies Changed the World. Also, how-to books, "Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop" and "How to Sharpen Pencils." The competition coordinator says you can't judge a book by its cover. But I think people do. The winner will be announced on March 22nd.

You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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