11:46am

Wed February 27, 2013
It's All Politics

Why The Budget May Be Easier Criticized Than Cut

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 12:28 pm

The U.S. Capitol is seen Tuesday, three days before the government sequester is scheduled to begin. It would require $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts over the next seven months, but would not target specific programs.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

If it seems odd that so many members of Congress have such trouble coming up with specific things to cut from the budget (apart from the usual favorites, "waste" and "fraud), perhaps they're simply taking their cues from their bosses, their constituents.

The Pew Research Center studied this in a recent poll, and found that of 19 different budget categories, there is majority support for cutting spending in exactly none of them.

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10:58am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Salt

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

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:17 am

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

Consider the following entirely fictitious but totally plausible scenario:

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10:53am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

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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10:17am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Hagel Sworn In As Defense Secretary

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:18 am

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

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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9:54am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:01 am

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

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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9:34am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Come Aboard! Here's What The 'Titanic II' Will Look Like, Inside And Out

An artist's image of the Titanic II.
Blue Star Line UPI /Landov

Declaring it will be the safest cruise ship in the world and will have more than enough lifeboats just in case something goes wrong, the designer of what's supposed to be a replica of the Titanic has unveiled images of what the Titanic II will look like, inside and out.

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8:09am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Countdown To Sequester: Three Stories That Sum It Up

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 8:08 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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8:04am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Reports: U.S. Eyeing 'Direct' Aid To Syrian Rebels, Though Not Weapons

Rebel fighters in Aleppo, Syria, in January.
Thomas Rassloff DPA /LANDOV

"The Obama administration is moving toward a major policy shift on Syria that could provide rebels there with equipment such as body armor and armored vehicles, and possibly military training, and could send humanitarian assistance directly to Syria's opposition political coalition," The Washington Post reports. It cites as its sources "U.S. and European officials."

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7:39am

Wed February 27, 2013
Animals

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.

7:37am

Wed February 27, 2013
Books News & Features

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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