4:38pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Animals

With Brawls And Calls, Love Is In The Air For Elephant Seals

A male northern elephant seal calling near Santa Cruz, Calif.
A. Friendlaender NMFS Permit No. 14636

On this Valentine's Day, we bring you a story from the California coast, where love is in the air. It sounds something like this:

That's a male northern elephant seal. It's the peak of their mating season right now. Elephant seals spend of the most of the year alone, out in the Pacific Ocean. So you can probably guess what happens when they get together every winter.

Naturalist Lisa Wolfklain is leading a public tour at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, two hours south of San Francisco, where hundreds of elephant seals are packed together on a narrow strip of beach.

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4:13pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Legacy And Future Of Mass Incarceration

Decades On, Stiff Drug Sentence Leaves A Life 'Dismantled'

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:11 pm

Now 59, George Prendes works as a telemarketer in New York and struggles to make the rent on his small Bronx apartment.
Natasha Haverty

There are roughly half a million people behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes in America. But no one really knows how many people have been sentenced to long prison bids since the laws known as Rockefeller drug laws first passed 40 years ago.

What's clear is that tough sentencing laws, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts, shaped a generation of young men, especially black and Hispanic men.

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3:55pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

We Wonder: Why Couldn't Disabled Cruise Ship Be Evacuated?

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:05 pm

In this handout from the U.S. Coast Guard the tugs Resolve Pioneer and Dabhol tow and steer the disabled 893-foot Carnival Triumph cruise ship on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

As the Carnival Triumph drifted for days in the Gulf of Mexico, we wondered: Instead of undertaking a slow, arduous tow to Mobile, Ala., wouldn't it have been easier — and more comfortable for passengers — to send an empty cruise ship to the area and evacuate the 3,143 passengers?

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3:54pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Deceptive Cadence

Measures Of Affection: Five Musical Love Letters

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:21 pm

Composer Peter Lieberson wrote his Neruda Songs for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Johansen Krause Peter Lieberson

3:41pm

Thu February 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama's Road Trip To Conclude With Florida Break

President Obama plays a learning game while visiting children at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center on Thursday in Decatur, Ga. Obama's campaign-style trip this week was to end with a nonworking stop in Florida.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

President Obama will cap off a busy week of politicking with some R&R in Florida.

Obama plans to travel to the West Palm Beach area for what his spokesman called "some well-deserved downtime."

"He's going to spend Presidents Day weekend relaxing with some friends," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "There's no work on the schedule."

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3:34pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Traces Of Anxiety Drugs May Make Fish Act Funny

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

Perch exposed to the anxiety drug oxazepam were more daring and ate more quickly than fish that lived in drug-free water.
Courtesy of Bent Christensen

Many of the drugs we take aren't actually digested — they pass through our bodies, and down through the sewer pipes. Traces of those drugs end up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife. Nobody's sure what effect they have.

Now, a paper being published in Science magazine finds that drugs for anxiety drugs — even at these very low levels — can affect the behavior of fish.

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3:08pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Prosecutors: Former San Diego Mayor Gambled Away $1 Billion

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:06 pm

Maureen O'Connor, center, and Mayor Ed Koch in 1987 in New York.
Marty Lederhandler AP

In a federal court today, prosecutors said former San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Connor misappropriated $2 million of her late husband's charitable foundation because of a gambling addiction.

During a period between 2000 and 2008, reports the San Diego Union Tribune, prosecutors say O'Connor gambled away more than $1 billion.

The paper reports:

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2:48pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Canada To Zombies: Drop Dead, Eh

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:06 pm

Canadian zombies dress for success. (An Occupy Vancouver "Zombie Walk" in October 2011.)
Sergei Bachlakov Xinhua /Landov

Apparently, the undead aren't even welcome in the ever polite Great North.

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2:20pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

With GDP Slip, German Economy 'Finally Lost Its Invincibility'

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:42 pm

Today we got more troubling news for the world economy: Germany's GDP slipped 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012, sending the Eurozone deeper into recession.

The Guardian spoke to Carsten Brzeski and analyst for ING, who said:

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1:46pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Business

Will The US-American Merger Make The Skies Less Friendly?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. You can soon add US Airways to a long list that includes TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Western, Braniff and so many others. US Airways will merge with American. The new American Airlines will be the world's largest, and after decades of consolidation, one of just four major airlines in the U.S.

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