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"Buying a car sucks," Scott Painter says. "It's something that most consumers fear."

Back in the '90s, Painter started a company to try to change this. "The name of the company was Cars Direct," he says. "The mission was to sell cars directly."

Painter wanted his company to build virtual dealerships that would let people go online and buy cars. But after talking with a few car execs, he realized nobody would even consider his idea.

What's Driving The Violence In Chicago

Feb 19, 2013

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CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. At the urging of local groups, President Obama went home to Chicago last week to talk about urban violence in a city that recorded more than 40 murders just last month, among them the high-profile killing of Hadiya Pendleton.

When Emily Bazelon was in eighth grade, her friends fired her. Now a senior editor for Slate, Bazelon writes in her new book, Sticks and Stones: "Two and a half decades later, I can say that wryly: it happened to plenty of people, and look at us now, right? We survived. But at the time, in that moment, it was impossible to have that kind of perspective."

In Sticks and Stones, Bazelon explores teen bullying, what it is and what it isn't, and how the rise of the Internet and social media make the experience more challenging.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Earlier this hour, President Obama spoke in the White House about the impacts of deep spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect a week from Friday. A group of first responders in uniforms stood behind him. The president said if Congress does not stop these cuts, these men and women in uniform will not be available to help communities respond to, and recover from disasters.

Houston Couple Welcomes Quadruplets

Feb 19, 2013

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Congratulations to the Montalvos of Houston, Texas on the birth of their identical twins Ace and Blaine and on the birth of identical twins Cash and Dylan. The couple thought they'd hit the jackpot when they learned they were expecting twins. Then they heard fourth heartbeat. Quadruplets are unusual, but a pair of identical twins - the odds are about 70 million to one. Next? Possibly a family trip to Las Vegas. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Unknown hackers captured Burger King's Twitter account for more than an hour yesterday. They changed BK's bio, saying the company was sold to rival McDonald's because the Whopper had flopped. McDonald's sent the message: We didn't do it. The hackers did bring Burger King 30,000 new followers. BK recovered its account and tweeted: Interesting day.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The torture of alleged terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay — first reported by the Red Cross in 2004 and since attested in thousands of declassified memos and acknowledged by a top official in the administration of George W. Bush — has never been far from the headlines, and rightly so. But another breach of human rights and American values at the Cuban prison camp gets far less attention: the secretive military commissions that prosecute these suspects away from the American justice system.

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

  • A new James Bond novel by William Boyd will come out in the U.S. in October. The novel will be a return to the "classic" Bond, and will be set in the 1960s. Ian Fleming, the original Bond author, died in 1964.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Fans of the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals were likely the first to learn of the meteorite that exploded over central Russia this past week - that is, if they were reading the Russian Machine Never Breaks. It's a website devoted to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Chris Gordon and Peter Hassett blog for the site, and they join us in our studios to explain how they unexpectedly broke this story. Welcome to the program, guys.

CHRIS GORDON: Thank you so much.

PETER HASSETT: Thank you.

Economist Sonali Deraniyagala lost her husband, parents and two young sons in the terrifying Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. They had been vacationing on the southern coast of her home country Sri Lanka when the wave struck. Wave is her brutal but lyrically written account of the awful moment and the grief-crazed months after, as she learned to live with her almost unbearable losses — and allow herself to remember details of her previous life.

"I just got the phone call one day," is how poet Richard Blanco describes to Fresh Air's Terry Gross how he learned he had been selected to write and read the inaugural poem for President Obama's second swearing-in on Jan. 21.

A new surge of Syrian refugees is swamping humanitarian aid agencies in southern Turkey, where official refugee camps are full.

But the newcomers may be just the tip of the iceberg. In central Syria, civilians under attack by combat jets, tanks and artillery have fled towns and villages north of the city of Hama, and thousands are on the move.

"What they do now, they burn everything ahead of them. They bomb this area with everything they've got," says Hossan Hamadah, a Syrian-American from Texas.

To get the newest military medal, you don't have to have been on the front lines. In fact, you could work very, very far from any combat.

The Distinguished Warfare Medal, announced by outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday, would recognize drone operators and those engaged in cyberattacks who haven't put themselves in harm's way.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The fate of new gun control legislation for now lies in the U.S. Senate. And we turn to Senator Patrick Leahy. He's a Democrat from Vermont and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY: This is the first Judiciary Committee hearing of the 113th Congress.

MARTIN: His committee has been holding hearings to try to come up with possible ways to address gun violence.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It is one of the most iconic American Westerns of all time. "The Searchers," directed by John Ford, hit the big screen in 1956. John Wayne starred in the lead role of the film as Ethan Edwards.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE SEARCHERS")

JOHN WAYNE: (as Ethan Edwards) Our turning back don't mean nothing. On the long run, she's alive. She's safe.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Feb 16, 2013

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?

CARL KASELL: We have a tie for first place, Peter. Brian Babylon and Roxanne Roberts both have three points. Luke Burbank has two.

Bluff The Listener

Feb 16, 2013

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CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Luke Burbank, Brian Babylon and Roxanne Roberts. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

Prediction

Feb 16, 2013

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, panel, what will replace wrestling in the Olympics? Roxanne Roberts?

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Cage fights between drugged roosters and nervous fish called Cock-a-doodle Don't.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Brian Babylon?

BRIAN BABYLON: A new aquatic event called Competitive Cruise Ship Towing.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And Luke Burbank?

LUKE BURBANK: Drug Free Cycling, which in all honestly is going to mean sometimes walking the bikes up the hills.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now to another remarkable fall from grace. Just three months after he resigned from Congress, Jesse Jackson, Jr. is preparing to plead guilty to a criminal conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say the Illinois Democrat used $750,000 in campaign funds to buy a Rolex watch, mink coats, sports memorabilia. His wife Sandy will plead guilty to a tax change for failing to report that money to the IRS.

NPR's Carrie Johnson has the story.

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