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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Dip In Weekly Jobless Claims Seen As Sign Of Better Times Ahead

As the weather warms, will more signs such as this pop up? Economists say the latest data on claims for unemployment benefits may signal that better times are ahead.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:37 am

There were only 3,000 fewer first-time claims filed for jobless benefits last week, but the slight decline is being seen as another sign that the nation's labor market will gain some strength once spring arrives.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that 336,000 applications were submitted last week, versus 339,000 the week before.

That means the pace of claims is still running about where it's been since late 2011.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Thu February 20, 2014

In Venezuela, Another Beauty Queen's Death Adds To Anger

This photo, which witnesses say shows Venezuelan beauty queen Genesis Carmona being evacuated from the scene of a protest on Tuesday, is ricocheting around the Web. She died after being shot.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:40 am

There's a sad symmetry to the news from Venezuela, where anti-government protests in recent weeks have been fueled in part by outrage over the shooting death of a beauty queen — a death that underscored that nation's struggle to control violent crime.

One of the five people killed this week during protests against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro, it's now being reported, was another young beauty queen.

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Thu February 20, 2014

World's Outrage Grows As Death Toll Rises In Kiev

An injured man is carried away Thursday after more clashes between anti-government protesters and police in Kiev.
Yannis Behrakis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:46 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Kiev

This post is being updated as the day continues.

Just hours after a truce was declared, deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces broke out again in Ukraine's capital.

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Politics
7:05 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Ex-Aide's Emails May Taint Wisconsin Governor's Political Ambitions

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to the media after meeting with President Obama at the White House last month.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:42 pm

A Wisconsin court has released an enormous number of emails — 27,000 pages — from a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker.

Kelly Rindfleisch was convicted last year of using her government job to do illegal campaign work. At the time, Walker was the Milwaukee County executive.

The emails paint a picture of constant coordination between Walker's county office and his 2010 gubernatorial campaign. They were made public in the middle of Walker's gubernatorial re-election campaign, and at a time when the governor is considered a presidential hopeful for 2016.

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Around the Nation
6:44 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Obama Apologizes To Art History Professor

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. When President Obama told a crowd at an auto plant that young people could make a lot more money in skilled manufacturing than with an art history degree, Ann Collins Johns was offended. So this professor of art history at the University of Texas Austin dashed off an email to the president. Yesterday she got a handwritten apology. The president shared with Johns that, quote, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sports
6:38 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Russia's Hockey Coach Faces Media After Team's Loss

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a reenactment of Russia's hockey coach. After Russia lost in the Olympics, a reporter asked if the coach would lose his job since his predecessor was, quote, "eaten alive." The coach replied...

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Well, then. Eat me alive right now.

INSKEEP: The reporter said a world championship is coming up.

MONTAGNE: There will be a different coach since you will have eaten me alive.

INSKEEP: Finally, the coach confessed. Even after defeat, he said...

NPR Story
5:18 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Santa Cruz Bookstore To Receive Funds From Patterson

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And one of the bookstores on James Patterson's list is Bookshop Santa Cruz.

CASEY COONERTY: We're located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz.

INSKEEP: That's Casey Coonerty, the owner of the bookstore.

COONERTY: I took over from my father about eight years ago. So we're a second-generation bookstore.

INSKEEP: And in the store's 40 years, the Coonertys has had to face down more than their share of challenges.

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NPR Story
5:18 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Author James Patterson To Give $1 Million To Bookstores

James Patterson writes suspense and thriller novels as well as children's books. He runs the children's literacy campaign ReadKiddoRead.
Deborah Feingold Courtesy Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 12:43 pm

James Patterson, the best-selling author of thrillers and romance and young adult novels, has pledged to give away $1 million of his personal fortune to independent booksellers around the country. Today, he announced the names of the dozens of booksellers who are receiving grants in the first round of his big giveaway.

The money is heading toward smaller bookstores, which are under pressure from competitors like Amazon and e-books. Patterson's own books are big sellers everywhere — he doesn't depend on small bookstores to succeed. But his giveaway is driven by a broader concern.

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NPR Story
5:18 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Bush Summit Focuses On Providing Assistance To Vets

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

George W. Bush made a rare public appearance yesterday in Texas. The one time commander-in-chief hosted veterans summit. It was intended to promote assistance to military vets and their families.

Here's Lauren Silverman of our member station KERA.

LAUREN SILVERMAN, BYLINE: Former President George W. Bush says obstacles for veterans trying to re-enter the workforce can start with the job application.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: What's a veteran supposed to put down? My last office was a Humvee?

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Environment
3:45 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Toxic Leak Taints North Carolina Coal Plants, And Regulators

North Carolina's Dan River was polluted with toxic coal ash that leaked from a coal plant earlier this month. The spill is under investigation.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:29 am

A broken pipe funneled 30,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River in North Carolina earlier this month, turning it gray. The pipe has been plugged, but the spill has reignited a fight over storage of coal ash, and scrutiny of the state regulators responsible for monitoring it.

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