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7:09pm

Tue April 15, 2014
The Two-Way

In India, Landmark Ruling Recognizes Transgender Citizens

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 6:08 am

An Indian eunuch in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar dances Tuesday to celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling recognizing a third gender category.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

India now has a third gender.

The Supreme Court has recognized the country's transgender community as being in a third neutral category — neither male nor female.

In handing down the ruling, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said, "Transgenders are citizens of this country ... and recognition as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue."

Article 15 of India's Constitution guarantees that no state can discriminate against citizens on the basis of religion, caste, race or sex.

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7:06pm

Tue April 15, 2014
The Two-Way

NYPD Shuts Down Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:19 pm

Men pray on the street before the start of the American Muslim Day Parade in 2010 in New York.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would disband a special unit charged with detecting possible terrorist threats by carrying out secret surveillance of Muslim groups.

The squad that conducted the surveillance, known as the Demographics Unit, was formed in 2003. It brought the NYPD under fire from community groups and activists who accused the force of abusing civil rights and profiling.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration has promised "a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair.

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6:13pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Shots - Health News

Risks Of Popular Anxiety Drugs Often Overshadowed

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:40 pm

Xanax and Valium, prescribed to treat anxiety, mood disorders and insomnia, can be deadly when mixed with other sedatives.
Dean812 Flickr

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an overdose in February, the New York City medical examiner ruled that his death was the result of "acute mixed drug intoxication." Heroin, cocaine and a widely prescribed class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, were found in his system.

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5:16pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Economy

Sending Money On An Overseas Round Trip To Avoid Taxes

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:03 pm

Round-tripping occurs when American citizens open bank accounts in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, funnel money into the accounts and then use it to buy stocks and bonds back in the U.S.
David McFadden AP

Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping — sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues.

Recently, MIT professor Michelle Hanlon and two colleagues set out to find out all they could about round-tripping.

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4:56pm

Tue April 15, 2014
NPR Story

In Portugal, A Sales Receipt May Be Your Ticket To Win Big

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:51 pm

A customer pays a vendor for her purchases at Feira da Ladra flea market in Lisbon, Portugal, in October 2013. The government has introduced a "Lucky Receipts" lottery to encourage people to ask for receipts — which will automatically be entered into a national lottery for fancy new cars. It's an effort to curb tax evasion and raise revenue.
Mario Proenca Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Lisbon's cobblestone lanes, the Portuguese economy is hobbling along as it always has — in cash.

In a tiny, 100-year-old bar, Nuno Goncalves pours out glasses of ginja — a Portuguese sweet cherry liqueur — for his customers, mostly old men in flat caps. A small shot-glass full costs 50 cents — cash only. There is a cash register, but it doesn't print receipts.

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4:15pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Music Interviews

Perennial Co-Writer Returns With An Album Of His Own

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:29 pm

Dan Wilson is your favorite songwriter's favorite co-writer, lending a pen to artists from Nas to Adele. But he also writes music for himself — and he joins the program to talk more about it.

4:15pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Around the Nation

Months Of Training And A Moment Of Silence As Marathon Draws Near

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:29 pm

Even as Boston pays tribute to the victims of the marathon bombing, runners are preparing to run in the race next week. NPR is following the stories of eight of these participants, dubbed the "NPR 8."

4:15pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Around the Nation

The Long Wait On Safety Rules For The 'Soda Can' Of Rail Cars

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:29 pm

Safety advocates have been pressuring Canadian and U.S. officials to create new safety standards for tank cars and to make old DOT-111s like this one more puncture-resistant.
Nati Harnik AP

Freight trains roll through the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Ill., every day, many pulling older tank cars known as DOT-111s. They're known as the "soda can" of rail cars, says village President Karen Darch, because their shells are so thin.

Many of the DOT-111s are full of heavy Canadian tar sands crude oil. Some carry ethanol. And more and more of them are loaded with light Bakken crude oil from North Dakota.

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4:15pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Shots - Health News

Despite Worries, Boston Survivor Heads Back To The Start Line

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 9:24 pm

Carol Downing is still haunted by memories of last year's marathon. But she's excited about reuniting with other survivors.
Michael Dwyer AP

At last year's Boston Marathon, Carol Downing was just a half a mile from the finish line when bombs exploded and injured two of her daughters. This year, she's going back to complete the race.

More than 36,000 runners hope to cross the finish line for the Boston Marathon this year. Downing plans to be among them. But she's worried.

"There's definitely some fear of going back," Downing says. "I know that for the whole time of the 26.2 miles, I'm going to be wondering if my family is safe."

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4:15pm

Tue April 15, 2014
News

Boston Mourns A Tragic Anniversary With Voices Of Victims

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:29 pm

One year has passed since bombs rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The city honored victims of the tragedy Tuesday with a tribute, including speeches from three of the victims themselves.

4:15pm

Tue April 15, 2014
News

Ukraine's Army Launches Campaign Against Eastern Militants

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:29 pm

Ukraine's army began a "special operation" in the east of the country Tuesday, moving against pro-Russian militants who are occupying government offices across the region.

4:00pm

Tue April 15, 2014
It's All Politics

Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself

President Obama meets with faith leaders in the Oval Office on Tuesday — also known as Tax Day 2014.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.

The White House released the president's tax return last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.

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3:56pm

Tue April 15, 2014
The Salt

Behold Ukrainian Easter Art: Incredible, Inedible Eggs

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:50 pm

Ukrainians have been crafting elaborately decorated eggs for thousands of years.
Konstantin Chernichkin Reuters/Landov

As Nancy Shute reported in 2012, Ukrainians have for centuries practiced an ancient form of art, drawing intricate patterns on eggs using a traditional method that involves a stylus and wax.

It's called pysanky, and it's alive and well in Ukraine and Ukrainian immigrant communities around the world.

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3:12pm

Tue April 15, 2014
The Two-Way

Saturn Might Have A New Baby Moon Named Peggy

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:54 pm

The disturbance visible at the outer edge of Saturn's A ring in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft results from gravitational effects on ring particles by an object that may be replaying the birth process of icy moons.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

It's not like Saturn needs another moon to look after — it's already got 53 officially, with nine more labeled as "provisional" (and those are just the ones we know about). But the tiny, icy object nicknamed "Peggy" could prove hard to resist.

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2:33pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Author Interviews

Pakistan, The Taliban And The Real 'Enemy' Of The Afghanistan War

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:42 pm

Children play at the demolished compound of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Aqeel Ahmed AP

Carlotta Gall's new book opens in 2006, when undercover Pakistani intelligence agents punched her in the face, after breaking into her hotel room and confiscating her phone and computer.

It's just one example of how risky her job — covering Afghanistan for The New York Times — has been. Gall writes that over 12 years, she lost friends and acquaintances in suicide bombings and shootings and saw others close to her savagely maimed.

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