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5:31 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

These Guitars Are For The Birds — Literally

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So that's one question. And here's another that we're sure has been bothering many of you for years. What happens when you give a bird a guitar? Well, you'll get your answer at a new exhibition opening Saturday at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. It's called "From Here to Ear."

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Picture this: One room, 70 zebra finches, 14 tuned and amplified guitars, no fingers.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

IMF's Lagarde: Any U.S. Budget Deal Is Better Than None

Christine Lagarde, who heads the International Monetary Fund, offered some positive comments about Congress on Wednesday.

Her assessment was a shade better than "faint praise," but something less than "Attaboy!"

Speaking at the National Press Club, Lagarde said she was pleased to see U.S. lawmakers have been moving forward "in a more orderly fashion" as they work on spending legislation.

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The Salt
4:19 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

German Farmers Fear For Europe's Bacon With U.S. Trade Deal

German farmer Rudolf Buehler and other opponents of the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement protest with 17 pigs in front of the chancellor's office building in Berlin on Wednesday.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:12 pm

When German farmers and activists descended upon Chancellor Angela Merkel's office building Wednesday morning, they brought along some special guests — 17 pigs. The stunt was the latest European backlash against a proposed free trade deal with the U.S. that could lift restrictions on American meat sold in Europe.

Under the watchful eye of German police officers, the pigs munched happily on straw strewn across the pavement to keep the herd from running amok.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

House Republicans Join In Passing $1 Trillion Spending Bill

House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders face reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:19 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill — a compromise that appeared to get past the bitter partisan showdowns that have caused an unpopular federal government shutdown and nearly tipped the U.S. into default.

The 359-67 vote was a sign of considerable support from Republicans, thanks to a bipartisan deal worked out last month laying out spending for the next two years.

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Politics
3:46 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Why The GOP Is Winning The Statehouse War

Texas is one of 23 states in which Republicans have control of both the state legislature and the governor's office.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:18 pm

While the federal government is divided and gridlocked, some states have become political monopolies where one party controls both the state legislature and the governor's office.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Reports Of New Video Showing U.S. Soldier Held In Afghanistan

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl watches as one of his captors displays his identity tag in the first of several videos of the soldier, in July, 2009.
Reuters/Landov

U.S. officials have reportedly received the first "proof-of-life" video in three years of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2009 and is believed held by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network.

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NPR Story
3:09 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Peru Now The Biggest Cocaine Producer

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:32 pm

Peru has taken over as the world’s top producer of cocaine, overtaking its neighbor Colombia.

Colombia drastically reduced cocaine production there with a multi-billion dollar effort to eradicate the coca leaf that is used to produce cocaine.

The BBC’s Robin Lustig traveled to Peru to see that nation’s effort to stall cocaine production.

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NPR Story
3:09 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Increases to Public Health Funding in Omnibus Spending Bill

Aerial photo of the NIH Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland. (Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:32 pm

The National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will all be spared from further cuts if Congress passes the omnibus spending package.

The NIH specifically would get $29.9 billion, a $1 billion increase from 2013.

This increased funding would help Americans and patients get preventative care, including amplified efforts toward mental health programs.

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NPR Story
3:04 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

DJ Sessions: Rare Soul Gets Some Love

The Four Tops were among the American soul singers who became popular in the U.K.'s "Northern Soul" scene. (Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:32 pm

Americans who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s are probably familiar with soul artists like Marvin Gaye and Al Green.

But a number of artists who didn’t make it big in the U.S. went on to become stars in Northern England years later.

And to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Northern Soul All Night Dance Party in Northern England, KALW in San Fransisco curated a 24/7 music channel online devoted to the style.

One of the DJs behind the effort is Ashleyanne Krigbaum of KALW in San Francisco.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

U.S. Official: Afghanistan Could Become 'Narco-Criminal State'

Soldiers in the Afghan National Army's 6th Kandak (battalion), 3rd company, search a local farmer's poppy field during a joint patrol with U.S. forces in Kandahar province in March of last year.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:50 pm

Despite a $7 billion effort to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan, poppy cultivation there is at its highest level since the U.S. invasion more than a decade ago, sparking corruption, criminal gangs and providing the insurgency with hard cash, says John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

In testimony before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, he warns Wednesday that Afghanistan could degenerate into a narco-criminal state.

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