2:46pm

Mon April 8, 2013
It's All Politics

Guns, Immigration And Budget On Washington's Agenda

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:18 pm

Blooming magnolia trees are seen along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House on Saturday. This week, President Obama is speaking out on gun control, and will release his proposal for the nation's budget.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Congress returns from a two-week recess amid reports that a gun deal in the Senate may have gained late momentum; a focus on immigration to include a rally on Capitol Hill; and a budget proposal from President Obama that already has some in his own party fuming.

Here's what's happening on key issues this week:

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2:12pm

Mon April 8, 2013
Author Interviews

The 'Alchemists' Who Control The Purse Strings Of The Economy

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:03 pm

Cover of The Alchemists

As the U.S. economy struggles to recover from the financial crash, and Europe is buffeted by a series of banking crises, attention has focused on the presidents and prime ministers who've tried to cope with it all. Journalist Neil Irwin, an economics writer for The Washington Post, says there's an elite group of policymakers who can make enormously important decisions on their own, often deliberating in secret, and in many ways unaccountable to voters.

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2:12pm

Mon April 8, 2013
Remembrances

Remembering David Kuo: Refocusing Religious Groups On Faith

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. David Kuo died Friday of brain cancer at the age of 44. We're going to hear an excerpt of my interview with him. When President Bush created the office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in 2001, Kuo, a conservative, evangelical Christian, became its deputy director. When he left the office in 2003, he accused the Bush administration of manipulating conservative Christians to get the Christian vote.

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2:09pm

Mon April 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Britain's Thatcher An Unlikely Icon For American Conservatives

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:47 pm

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1987.
AFP/Getty Images

As an icon of the American conservative movement in the 1980s, it would have been difficult to find a more unlikely figure than Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday following a stroke.

Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, a full year and a half before Ronald Reagan became president. She hailed from a country seen as a hopeless bastion of socialism by conservatives, many of whom, like Reagan himself, were strongly invested in the idea of American exceptionalism.

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2:04pm

Mon April 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Louisville Basketball Has A Rare Chance At A Double

In New Orleans on Sunday, the women from Louisville (in red) defeated California to reach the championship game against Connecticut on Tuesday.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Around midnight ET Monday, we should know whether something that's only happened once might happen again.

If the University of Louisville's men win the Division I basketball championship — they play Michigan in a game set to start at 9:23 p.m. ET on CBS TV — then there's a chance that this year both the men's and women's trophies will go to the same school.

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1:32pm

Mon April 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Annette Funicello, 'America's Sweet Heart', Has Died

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:23 pm

Headshot portrait of American actor and singer Annette Funicello.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Annette Funicello, who was one of the first child stars to emerge out of The Mickey Mouse Club, has died, the official Disney Fan Club reports.

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1:30pm

Mon April 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Deadly Blast In Damascus Reflects Growing Danger In Capital

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 2:18 pm

A deadly car bomb explosion rocked central Damascus, Syria, in front of the Finance Ministry building (center) and the Central Bank (right) on Monday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Editor's note: The author is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus and is not being further identified for safety concerns.

The major blast that rocked Damascus at midday Monday took place in what has come to be called the "Square of Security," an area of about a dozen urban neighborhoods or so that are under tight government security.

It's also home to major government buildings, including the Parliament, various ministries, major intelligence branches and foreign embassies, now mostly closed.

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1:18pm

Mon April 8, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

The Big Squeeze: Can Cities Save The Earth?

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:04 pm

Courtesy of Michael Wolf

Let's get dense. If we take all the atoms inside you, all roughly 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of them, and squeeze away all the space inside, then, says physicist Brian Greene:

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1:01pm

Mon April 8, 2013
The Two-Way

'I Liked It,' Putin Says Of Protest By Topless Women

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:09 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin (far left) looks on Monday in Hanover, Germany, as one of three women who stripped off their tops protests his appearance at a trade fair. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the green jacket.
Jochen Luebke EPA /LANDOV
  • From the NPR Newscast: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on the protest in Hanover

At a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on Monday, three women protesters got quite close to Russian President Vladimir Putin before stripping off their blouses and shouting expletives at the Russian leader.

Putin, who was joined at the fair by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, later sarcastically thanked the women for calling the news media's attention to the gathering.

"As to this action, I liked it," Putin said, according to a German translator. The Russian leader added that the protesters were "pretty girls" and said he couldn't hear what they were screaming.

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12:00pm

Mon April 8, 2013
Law

How Powerful Are White Supremacist Prison Gangs?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We've been talking a lot about college readiness on this program. Often the focus is kids from tough backgrounds. Now, though, we're hearing that even some high achieving college students just aren't college ready. We'll talk about why that might be later in the program.

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